A PAPIST Mis-represented and Represented: OR, A Twofold Character of POPERY. THE ONE Containing a Sum of the Superstitions, Idolatries, Cruelties, Treacheries, and wicked Principles of that POPERY which hath disturb'd this Nation above an hundred and fifty Years; fill'd it with Fears and Jealousies, and deserves the Hatred of all good Christians. THE OTHER Laying open that POPERY which the Papists own and profess; with the Chief Articles of their Faith, and some of the Principal Grounds and Reasons, which hold them in That Religion.

Narraverunt mihi Iniqui Fabulationes; sed non ut Lex tua,

Psal. 119. v. 85:

By I. L. one of the Church of Rome.

To which is added, A Book entituled, The Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome, truly Represented. In Answer to the aforesaid BOOK. By a Protestant of the Church of England.

And for the Readers better convenience, in the Re-printing, it is so ordered, that every Chapter of the latter immediately follows that of the former, to which it is an Answer.

Licensed according to Order.

Dublin, Re-printed by A. C. & S. H. for the Society of Stationers. 1686.

A PAPIST Mis-represented and Represented: OR, A twofold Character of Popery. To which is added, The Doctrine and Practices of the Church of Rome, truly Represented, &c
THE INTRODUCTION.

THE Father of Lies is the Author of Mis-representing. He first made the Experiment of this Black Art in Paradise; having no surer way of bringing God's Precept into Contempt, and making our First Parents transgress, than by mis-representing the Command, which their Maker had laid upon them. And so unhappily successful he was in this his first attempt, that this has been his chief stratagem ever since, in all business of difficulty and concern: esteeming That his best Means for preserving and propagating Wickedness amongst Men, by which he first won them to lose their Innocence. And therefore there has nothing of Good yet come into the World, nothing been sent from Heaven, but what [Page 4] has met with this Opposition; the Common Enemy having imploy'd all his Endeavours of bringing it into discredit, and rendring it infamous, by mis-representing. Of this there are frequent instances in the Old Law, and more in the New. The truth of it was experienc'd on the Person of Christ himself, who, tho' he was the Son of God, the immaculate Lamb, yet was he not out of the reach of Calumny, and exempt from being mis-represented. See how he was painted by malicious Men, the Sons of Belial, Ministers of Satan; a prophane and wicked Man, a breaker of the Sabbath, a Glutton, a Friend and Companion of Publicans and Sinners, a Fool, a Conjurer, a Traytor, a Seducer, a tumultuous Person, a Samaritan, full of the Devil; he hath Bel­zebub, and by the Prince of the Devils, casteth he out Devils, (Mark 3.22.) There being no other way of frighting the People from embracing the Truth, following the Son of God, but by thus disfiguring him to the Mul­titude, reporting Light to be Darkness, and God to be the Devil. The Disciples of Christ every where met with the like encounters. Stephen had the people stirred up against him, because they heard he had spoke blasphe­mous words against Moses, and against God, (Acts 6.11.) Paul also and Si­las, for exceedingly troubling the City, (Acts 16.20.) Iason also with them, because he had turned the World upside down, and did contrary to the Decrees of Caesar, (Acts 17.6, 7.) Paul again, because he did teach all men every where against the people, and polluted the holy place, (Acts 21.28.) And because he was a pestilent fellow, and a mover of Sedition among all the Iews through­out the World: to which the Iews also assented, saying that these things were so, (Acts 24.5, 9) Neither did these Calumnies, these wicked Mis-repre­sentations stop here; he that said, The Disciple is not above his Master, if they have called the Master of the House Belzebub; how much more shall they call them of his Houshold? did not only foretell what was to happen to his Fol­lowers then present, but also to the Faithful that were to succeed them, and to his Church in future ages, they being all to expect the like Fate; that tho' they should be never so just to God and their Neighbour, upright in their ways, and live in the Fear of God, and the Observance of his Laws; yet must they certainly be reviled and hated by the World, made a by-word to the people, and have the repute of Ideots, Seducers, and be a scandal to all Nations. And has not this been verified in all ages; See what was the State of Christians in the primitive times, when as yet Vice had not cor­rupted the purity of the Gospel. 'Tis almost impossible to believe in what contempt they were, and how utterly abominated. Tertullian, who was a sharer of a great part, gives us so lamentable a account of the Christians in his time, that 'tis able to move compassion in stones. He tells us, so many malicious Slanders were dispers'd abroad, concerning the manner of their [Page 5] Worship; and their whole Doctrine describ'd, not only to be folly, and meer toys, but also to be grounded on most hellish Principles, and so to be full of Impieties, that the Heathens believ'd a man could not make profession of Christianity, without being tainted with all sorts of Crimes; without being an enemy to the Gods, to Princes, to the Laws, Apog. c. 2. to good Manners, and to Nature. Hence they conceiv'd such prejudice against them, and they were render'd so impious in the opinion of the Vulgar; that whatsoever Accusations were brought in, tho' never so false and malicious; whatsoever Villanies were laid to their charge; all was welcom to the enraged multitude, to which nothing seem'd incredibie con­cerning those, that were thus already odious. Upon this it was, that they were brought in guilty of Atheism, of Superstition, of Idolatry, of Cruelty, of Sedition; of Conspiracies, of Treasons: and bloody Persecutions were rais'd against them, to which the people were exasperated by Fears and Iealou­sies: Quod Pontifices, (as Spondanus says) Gentilitiae super­stitionis Christianos more solito, calumniis circumvenissent, Sp. Anno 286. Par. 5. qua­si aliquid contra Imperium molirentur; Because the Priests did use to divulge it abroad, that the Christians were plotting against the Government. Nor were these Crimes the whole Sum of their Charge; For besides, every publick calamity and misfortune that befell the Commonwealth, was thrown upon them. If Spond. An. 362. Daphnes Temple was consum'd by Lightning from Heaven, yet must the Christians be condemn'd as the Incendiaries: If Id. Anno 66. the City was laid in Ashes, it must be reveng'd on the Christians; Nay Apo. c. 40. Tertullian has it, if Tiber overflowed, if Nile watered not the Plains, if Heaven stop'd its Course, and did not pour its Rains here below; if there were Earth-quakes, Famine, or Plague; they would immediately cry out, Christianos ad Leones, Cast the Chri­stians to the Lions, as the cause of all the Calamities that arrived in the World, and all the Evils that People suffer'd. And now the Christians being thus reputed profane in their Worship, Enemies to the Government, and the undoubted occasions of every misfortune throughout the Empire; 'tis easie to conceive, in what contempt they were, and how detestable amongst the Heathens; But because none can relate it so to the life, as Apo. c. 3. Tertullian has done, I'le set it down in his own words, as translated by P. 1. pag. 936. Dr. Howel, in his History of the World. Is it not strange (says he) that the hatred wherewith this Name is pursued in such manner, blinds the minds of most Men, that when they witness the Probity of a Christian, they mix in their Discourse as a reproach, that he hath embraced this Religion. One [Page 6] saith; Truly, he of whom you speak is an Honest Man, if he were not a Christian, and his Life would be free from blame. Another; Do you know such a one, who had the reputation of a Wise and Discreet Man? He is lately turn'd Christian. (Again) These people, by an extreme blindness of hatred, speak to the advan­tage of the Name Christian, when they strive to render it odious. For, say they, How pleasant, and of what a good humour, was that Woman? How sociable and jovial was that Man? 'Tis pity they should be Christians. So they impute the amendment of their Lives to the Profession of Christianity. Some of them also purchase the aversion they carry against the Name Christian, which we bear, with the price of what is most precious to them; rather desiring to lose the sweet­ness of life, tranquility of mind, and all sorts of Commodities, than to see in their Houses That which they hate. A man, who heretofore had his mind full of Jea­lousie, can no longer endure the company of his Wife, what assurance soever he has of her Chastity, after once he perceives her to be turn'd Christian; and parts from her now, when her actions full of Modesty have extinguish'd all suspicions, wherewith he was heretofore mov'd. A Father, who of a long time endur'd the Disobedience of his Heathenish Son, resolves to take from him the hope of succeed­ing him in his Inheritance, for turning Christian, when at the same time, exe­cuting his Commands without murmuring. A Master that used his Slave gently, when his Carriage gave him some cause of distrust, now puts him far from him, for being a Christian, when he hath most assurance of his Fidelity. 'Tis commit­ting a Crime to correct the disorders of a Mans Life, by the motions of a Holy Conversion to the Christian Faith; and the good which is produc'd by so happy a Change, works not so powerfully in the minds of men, as the hatred they have con­ceiv'd against us. Indeed this hatred is strange; and when I consider, that the Name of Christian only, makes it be so, I would willingly know, how a name can be criminal, and how a simple word can be accused? Thus was Christianity wholly infamous amongst the Heathens, contemn'd and detested by all; and where Lies were in credit, Calumnies and Slanders confirm'd and back'd by Authority, there was no other Crime but Truth. And 'twas these Calum­nies, these false Accusations (invented to cry down the Christian Religion,) oblig'd Tertullian to write his Apology, wherein he declar'd to the World, that Christianity was nothing like that, which the Heathens imagin'd it to be: That Idolatry, Superstition, Impiety, Cruelty, Treachery, Conspiracies, &c. was none of their Doctrine, but condemn'd and detested by them; that these Crimes were only the malicious inventions of the Heathenish Priests, who find­ing themselves unable to withstand the force of Christianity, had no other way to preserve themselves in Repute, and the People in their Errour, than by forming an ugly, odious, and most horrid Vizor, a damnable Scheme of Re­ligion, than holding this forth to the World, and crying out, This is the [Page 7] Religion of the Christians, these are their Principles; Behold their Ignorance, their Stupidity, their Profaneness; Behold their Insolence, their Villanies, a People unsufferable in a Commonwealth, Enemies to their Country and their Prince: And thus representing it as monstrous as they pleas'd, they brought an odi­um upon as many as own'd that Name, and condemn'd them for Follies and Crimes, that were no where, but in their own Imagination. And 'twas not only in Tertullians time, that Christianity lay under this scandal, but al­so in after ages: And therefore, as for the Vindication of the Christian Pro­fession, he was forc'd to apologize for his time; so did after him St. Cypri­an, Arnobius, and many other Ecclesiastical Writers; nay, and under Chri­stian Emperors, the Calumnies of the Heathens yet being urg'd with much vigour and confidence, Orosius was oblig'd to write his History, and St. Augustine his City of God, in defence of the Faith and Doctrine of Christ. And now, when by the propagation of Christianity, and the laborious en­deavours of her Professors, Heathenism was pretty well extinct; yet was not the Mouth of Malice stopp'd; the same Calumnies, which had been in­vented by the Infidels, being taken up by evil Christians. No one going out from the Communion of the Church of Christ, but what did, by reviving old Scandals, (and the addition of fresh ones,) endeavour to make her infa­mous, and blacken her with such Crimes, as could be thought most convenient for rendring her odious to all. It being look'd upon by as many as ever went out of her, the best means to justifie their Separation, and to gain to them­selves the credit of Orthodox Christians; to paint her out in all the Anti­christian Colours, and represent her as Hellish, as Wickedness could make her. 'Tis strange how much she suffer'd in this Point from the Manichees, and from the Donatists, and how much pains it cost Saint Augustine, to prove their Accusations to be meer Calumnies, principally intended to raise prejudices in the minds of the People against her; that so being convinc'd by these Hellish Artifices, of her teaching unsound and profane Doctrine, wicked Principles, and humane Inventions instead of Faith, might never think of go­ing to her, to learn the Truth; nor even so much as suspect her to be the Church of Christ. This, Saint Augustine complains, was the chief cause of his continuing in the Error of the Manichees so long; and that he impugn'd with so much violence this Church. And therefore, after he was come to the knowledge of the Truth, he discover'd this to the World for the unde­ceiving others, who were caught in the same snare, making it part of his Confessions, Confess. l. 6. c. 3. p. 1.) When I came to discover, says he, that— I mingled Ioy and Blushes, and was asham'd, that I had now for so many years been barking and railing, not against the Catholick Faith, but only against the fictions of my carnal conceits. For so temerarious and impious was I, that, those [Page 8] things which I ought first to have learned from them by enquiry, I first charg'd upon them by Accusation; readier to impose Falshoods than to be inform'd of the Truth, — And thus I so blindly accused the Catholick Church; now suffi­ciently clear'd to me that she taught not the Opinion, I so vehemently persecuted. And this he did, deluded and deceiv'd by the Manichees. And now since 'tis certain, that this has not been the case of Saint Augustine alone, but of as many almost, as have given ear to the Deserters of this Church; nay, is at this day the case of infinite numbers, who following that Great Father, when as yet in his Errors; do not enquire, how this thing is believ'd or understood by her, but insultingly oppose all; as if so understood, as they imagine; not making any difference betwixt what the Catholick Church teaches, and what they think she teaches: and so believing her to be guilty of as many absurdities, follies, impie­ties, &c. as the Heathens did of old: 'Tis evident, there's as much need now of Apologies, as ever there was in Tertellian's or S. Austin's time: Not Apolo­gies to vindicate what is really her Faith and Doctrine; but rather to clear her from such Superstitions, Profaneness, and wicked Principles, as are malici­ously or ignorantly charg'd upon her. And tho' the number of Calumnies, the in-sincerity of Adversaries, the obstinacy of a byass'd Education render a performance in this kind, a just Task for a Tertullian's, or St. Augustine's hand; yet because I find no such eminent Pen engag'd in this design at pre­sent; and the shewing the true Religion in its own Colours, seems a Duty in­cumbent on every one that's a lover of Truth; I'le endeavour to pull off the Vizor from suffering Christianity, and apologize for the Cotholick Faith; that Faith, I mean, maintained by those Primitive Fathers, with so much Vigour and Zeal; which being first planted in the Head City of the World by St. [...]eter, hath been propagated throughout the Universe, and derived down to us by many Christian Nations, in communion with that See, under the Protection of the Holy Ghost, and the Charge of A Chief Pastor, which beginning in that great Apostle, has continued in a visible Succession to these our days. This Faith it is, for which at present I design to make an Apology, which having been in all ages violently oppos'd, does at this time most wrongfully suffer, under Calumnies and false Imputations. I'le en­deavour therefore to separate these Calumnies and Scandals, from what is really the Faith and Doctrine of that Church; I'le take off the Black and Dirt, which has been thrown upon her; and setting her forth in her genuine Complection, let the World see how much fairer she is, than she's painted; and how much she's unlike that Monster, which is shewn for her. And be­cause the Members of this Church are commonly known by the name of Pa­pists; I think I cannot take a more sincere, open, and compendious way, in order to the compleating this design, than by drawing forth a double Cha­racter [Page 9] of a Papist: The one expressing a Papist in those very colours as he is painted in the imagination of the Vulgar, Foul, black and Antichristian; with the chief Articles of his imagined Belief, and reputed Principles of his Profes­sion. The other representing a Papist, whose Faith and exercise of his Re­ligion, is according to the Direction and Command of his Church. That so, these two being thus set together, their difference and disproportion may be clearly discerned, and a discovery made, how unlike Calumny is from Truth; and how different a Papist really is, from what he's said to be. The former Character is of a Papist Mis-represented; the other of a Papist Represented. The former is a Papist so deform'd and monstrous, that it justly deserves the hatred of as many as own Christianity; 'Tis a Papist that has disturb'd this Nation now above an hundred years with Fears and Jealousies; threat­ning it continually with Fire and Massacres, and whose whole Design has been, to rob the Sovereign of his Crown, and the Subject of his Liberty and Property. 'Tis a Papist, that is so abominable, so malicious, so unsufferable in any Civil Government, that, for my part, I detest him from my heart; I conceiv'd an hatred against him, and all his, from my Education, when as yet a Protestant; and now, being a Roman Catholick, I am not in the least reconcil'd to him, nor his Principles, but hate him yet worse. I am so far from thinking the Laws too severe against such Popish Recusants, that I could wish a far greater severity were executed against them, their Favou­rers, and all such as make men so sottishly Religious. And if to be a Pro­testant, nothing more be requisite, than to protest against such Popery, to hate and detest it; I think my self, and all Roman Catholicks, as good Pro­testants, as any whatsoever throughout his Majesties Dominions. And I dare engage, that not only as many Roman Catholicks, as under the name of Papists have severely smarted in this Nation, for being the Professors of such kind of Popery, but also that all Roman Catholick Nations in the World shall subscribe to the Condemnation of all such Popish Principles and Do­ctrines, shall joyn with all good Protestants for the extinguishing it, with all that profess or practice it, and utter rooting it out from his Majesties three Kingdoms, and the whole Universe. The other Papist is one, that lives and believes according to what is prescrib'd in the Council of Trent, in Catechisms set forth by Catholicks, and other Spiritual Books, for the Di­rection and Instruction of all in their Communion, whose Faith and Do­ctrine I have here set down, with some Grounds and Reasons of it, and will so leave it to apologize for it self. In drawing out the Character of the former, I have quoted no Authors, but have describ'd him exactly according to the Apprehension I had of a Papist, fram'd by Me when I was a Prote­stant; with the addition only of some few points, which have been violently [Page 10] charg'd against Me by some intimate Friends of late, to shew the unrea­sonableness of my choice, after the quitting of that Communion. The latter is wholly copied out from the Papist that I am now; being the Sum of what I was taught, when reconcil'd to the Church of Rome, and which after sixteen years conversation with Men of that Communion, in hearing their Sermons, in being present at their Catechising, in reading their Books, and discoursing with them, I have found to be their Doctrine. I have done both, I hope, with Sincerity and Truth, and without Passion. For as my endeavours have been, that my Religion should lose nothing by Lies, so nei­ther do I desire it should gain by them; And did I but know of any thing in the following Papers, that has any relation to that unchristian Artifice, I would strike it out immediately. And do here oblige my self, upon in­formation, either from Friend or Adversary, to acknowledge the mistake, as it shall be made appear, and make a publick Recantation. But it is time, we should see what these Papists are.

An Answer to the Introduction.

THE Introduction consists of two parts,

  • I. A general Complaint of the Papists being Mis­represented among us.
  • II. An Account of the Method he hath taken to clear them from these Mis­representions.

I. As to the First; Whether it be just, or not, must be ex­amin'd in the several particulars. But here we must consider, whether it serves the End it is designed for in this place, which is, to gain the Reader's good Opinion of their Innocency: Not meerly because they complain so much of being injured, but because the best Men in all Times have been mis-represented; as he proves at large in this Introduction, from several Exam­ples of the Old and New Testament, but especially of Christ and his Apostles, and the Primitive Christians. But it is observable, that when Bp. Iewel began his excellent Apology for the Church of England, with a Complaint much of the same Nature, and produced the very same Examples, his Adversary would by no means allow it to have any Force, being, as he called it, Exor­dium Commune, which might be used on both sides, and there­fore [Page 11] could be proper to neither. And although it be reasona­ble only for those to complain of being mis-represented, who having Truth on their side, do notwithstanding suffer under the Imputation of Error; yet it is possible for those who are very much mistaken, to complain of being mis-represented; and while they go about to remove the Misrepresentations of others, to make new Ones of their own. And as the best Men. and the best Things, have been mis-represented; so other Men have been as apt to complain of it: and the worst Things are as much mis-represented, when they are made to appear not so bad as they are. For Evil is as truly mis represented under the appearance of Good, as Good under the appearance of Evil; and it is hard to determine whether hath done the greater Mis­chief.

So that if the Father of Lies be the Author of Mis-representing, (as the Introduction begins) we must have a care of him both ways. For when he tried this black Art in Paradise, (as our Author speaks) it was both by mis-representing the Command, and the Danger of trangressing it. He did not only make the Command appear otherwise than it was; but he did very much lessen the Punishment of Disobedience, and by that means de­luded our first Parents into that Sin and Misery, under which their Posterity still suffers. Which ought to be a Caution to them, how dangerous it is to break the Law of God under the fairest Colour and Pretences; and that they should not be ea­sily imposed upon by false Glosses, and plausible Representati­ons, though made by such as therein pretend to be Angels of Light.

But although the Father of Lies be the Author of Mis-represent­ing: yet we have no reason to think, but that if he were to plead his own Cause to Mankind, he would very much com­plain of being mis-represented by them; and even in this respect, when they make him the Father of those Lies which are their own Inventions. And can that be a certain Argument of Truth, which may as well be used by the Father of Lies?

And the great Instruments he hath made use of in deceiving and corrupting Mankind, have been as forward as any to com­plain of being mis-represented. The true Reason is, Because no great Evil can prevail in the World, unless it be represented otherwise than it is; and all Men are not competent Judges of [Page 12] the Colours of Good and Evil; therefore when the Designs of those who go about to deceive, begin to be laid open, they then betake themselves to the fairest Representations they can make of themselves, and hope that many will not see through their pretences.

If I had a mind to follow our Author's Method, I could make as long a Deduction of Instances of this kind. But I shall con­tent my self with some few Examples of those who are allow­ed on both sides to have been guilty of great Errors and Cor­ruptions.

The Arrians pleaded they were mis-represented, when they were taken for Enemies to Christ's Divinity; for all that they contended for, was only such a moment of time, as would make good the Relation between Father and Son.

The Pelagians, with great success for some time (and even at Rome) complained, that they were very much mis-represented, as Enemies to God's Grace; whereas they owned and asserted the manifold Grace of God; and were only Enemies to Mens Idle­ness, and neglect of their Duties.

The Nestorians gave out, that they never intended to make two Persons in Christ, as their Adversaries charged them; but all their design was to avoid Blasphemy, in calling the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God; and whatever went beyond this, was their Adversaries Mis-representations, and not their own Opinions.

The Eu [...]ychians thought themselves very hardly dealt with, for saying, there was but one Nature in Christ; they did not mean thereby (as they said) to destroy the Properties of the Humane Nature, but only to assert that its Subsistence was swallowed up by the Divine; and of all Persons, those have no reason to blame them, who suppose the Properties of one Substance may be united to another.

Even the Gentile Idolaters, when they were charged by the Christians, that they worshipped Stocks and Stones, complained, they were mis-represented; for they were not such Ideots, to take things for Gods, which had neither Life, nor Sense, nor Motion in them. And when they were charged with worshipping other Gods as they did the Supream; they desired their Sense might not be taken from common prejudices, or vulgar pra­ctices, but from the Doctrine of their Philosophers; and they [Page 13] owned a Sovereign Worship due to him that was Chief; and a subordinate and relative to some Celestial Beings, whom they made application to as Mediators between him and them. Must all these Complaints now be taken for granted? What then becomes of the Reputation of General Councils, or the Primi­tive Christians? But as, if it were enough to be Accused, none would be Innocent; so none would be Guilty, if it were enough to complain of being mis-represented.

Therefore in all Complaints of this Nature, it is necessary to come to particulars; and to examine with care and Diligence the Matters complained of, and then to give Judgment in the Case. I am glad to find our Author professing so much Since­rity and Truth without Passion; and I do assure him I shall follow what he professes: For the Cause of our Church is such, as needs neither Tricks nor Passion to defend it; and therefore I shall endeavour to state the Matters in Difference, with all the clearness and calmness that may be; and I shall keep close to his Method and Representations, without Digressions, or pro­voking Reflections.

II. But I must declare my self very much unsatisfied with the Method he hath taken to clear his Party from these Mis-repre­sentations. For,

1. He takes upon him to draw a double Character of a Pa­pist; and in the one he pretends to follow a certain Rule, but not in the other; which is not fair and ingenuous.

As to the one, he saith, He follows the Council of Trent, and their allowed Spiritual Books and Catechisms: and we find no fault with this. But why must the other Part then be drawn by Fancy, or common Prejudices, or ignorant Mistakes? Have we no Rule, whereby the Judgment of our Church is to be ta­ken? Are not our Articles as easie to be had and understood, as the Decrees and Canons of the Council of Trent? I will not ask, How the Council of Trent comes to be the Rule and Mea­sure of Doctrine to any here, where it was never received? But I hope I may, why our Representations are not to be ta­ken from the Sense of our Church, as theirs from the Coun­cil of Trent? If he saith, his Design was to remove common Pre­judices, and vulgar Mistakes; it is easie to answer, if they are contrary to the Doctrine of our Church, we utterly disown [Page 14] them. We know very well there are Persons, who have so false a Notion of Popery, that they charge the Rites and Cu­stoms of our Church with it: but we pity their Weakness and Folly, and are far from defending such Mis-representations. But that which we adhere to, is the Doctrine and Sense of our Church, as it is by Law established; and what Representa­tions are made agreeable thereto, I undertake to defend, and no other. But if a person take the liberty to lay on what Colours he pleases on one side, it will be no hard mat­ter to take them off in the other, and then to say, How much fairer is our Church than she is painted! It is an easie, but not so allowable a way of disputing, for the same per­son to make the Objections and Answers too; for he may so model and frame the Arguments by a little Art, that the Answers may appear very full and sufficient; whereas if they had been truly represented, they would be found very lame and defective.

2. He pretends to give an Account why he quotes no Au­thors for his Mis-representations, which is very unsatisfacto­ry, viz. That he hath d [...]scribed the Papist therein, exactly ac­co [...]ding to the Apprehension he had of him when he was a Prote­stant. But how can we tell what sort of Protestant he was; nor how well he was instructed in his Religion? And must the Character now supposed to be common to Protestants, be taken from his ignorant, or childish, or wilful Mistakes? Did ever any Protestant that understands himself, say, That Papists are never permitted to hear Sermons which they are able to understand, or that they held it lawful to commit Idolatry; Or, that a Papist believes the Pope to be his great God, and to be far above all Angels, &c? Yet these are some of his Misrepresentations. Did he in earnest think so himself? If he did, he gives no good account of himself: if he did not, he gives a worse; for then how shall we believe him in other things, when he saith, He hath drawn his Mis-representations exactly according to his own Apprehensions? It is true, he saith, he added some few points, which were violently charged on him by his Friends: but we dare be bold to say, these were none of them. But let us suppose it true, that he had such Appre­hensions himself. Are these fit to be printed as the Chara­cter of a Party? What would they say to us, if a Spanish [Page 15] Convert should give a Character of Protestants; according to the common Opinion the people there have of them; and set down in one Column their monstrous Mis-represen­tations, and in another, what he found them to be since his coming hither; and that in good Truth he saw they were just like other Men? But suppose he had false Appre­hensions before he went among them; why did he not take care to inform himself better before he changed? Had he no Friends, no Books, no Means to rectifie his Mistakes? Must he needs leave one Church, and go to another, be­fore he understood either? If this be a true Account of himself, it is but a bad Account of the Reasons of his Change.

III. The Account he gives of the other part of his Cha­racter, affords as little Satisfaction: For although in the general, it be well that he pretends to keep to a Rule,

(1.) He shews no Authority he hath to interpret that Rule in his own sense. Now several of his Representations depend upon his own private Sense and Opinions, against the Doctrine of many others as zealous for the Church as himself; and what reason have we to adhere to his Representations, ra­ther than to theirs? As for instance, he saith, The Pope's per­sonal Infallibility is no Matter of Faith: But there are others say it is, and is grounded on the same Promises which makes him Head of the Church. Why now must we take his Represen­tation rather than theirs? And so as to the Deposing Power, he grants, it hath been the Opinion of several Popes (and Coun­cils too) but that it is no matter of Faith. But whose Judgment are we to take in this Matter, according to the Principles of their Church? A private Man's, of no Name, no Authority, or of those Popes and Councils who have declared it, and acted by it? And can any man of their Church justifie our relying upon his Word, against the Declaration of Popes and Coun­cils? But suppose the Question be about the Sense of his own Rule, the Council of Trent: Bulla Pii 4 [...]i super Confir­mat. Concil. Tridentini. what Authority hath he to declare it, when the Pope hath expresly forbidden all Prelates to do it, and reserved it to the Apostolical See?

(2.) He leaves out, in the several Particulars, an essen­tial part of the Character of a Papist since the Council of [Page 16] Trent; which is, that he doth not only believe the Doctrines there defined to be true, but to be necessary to Salvation. And there is not a word of this in his Representation of the Points of Doctrine, but the whole is managed as though there were nothing but a difference about some particular Opinions; whereas in truth, the Necessity of holding those Doctrines, in order to Salvation, is the main Point in difference. If Men have no mind to believe their own Senses, we know not how to help it; but we think it is very hard to be told, we cannot be saved unless we renounce them too. And this now appears to be the true State of the Case, since Pius the 4th drew up and published a Confession of Faith, according to the Decrees and Canons of the Council of Trent, wherein Men are not only re­quired to believe their Traditions as firmly as the Bible, the Seven Sacraments, Transubstantiation, the Sacrifice of the Mass, Purga­tory, Invocation of Saints, worshipping of Images, Indulgences, Su­premacy, &c. but they must believe, that without believing these things, there is no Salvation to be had in the ordinary way; for after the enumeration of those Points, it follows, Hanc veram Catholicam sidem extra quam nemo salvus esse potest, &c. This is the true Catholick Faith, without which no man can be saved; i. e. The belief of these things is hereby declared as necessary to Sal­vation, as of any other Articles of the Creed. But it may be objected, The subscribing this Profession of Faith, is not required of all Members of that Church. To which I answer, That to make a Man a Member of it, he must declare that he holds the same Faith which the Church of Rome holds: And this is as much the Faith of the Roman Church, as the Pope and Council of Trent could make it. And it is now printed in the Roman Ritual at Paris, set forth by Paul the 5th, as the Confession of Faith owned by the Church of Rome. And therefore this ought to have been a part of the true Representation, as to the Doctri­nal Points; but when he comes to the 35th Head, he then owns, That unless Men do believe every Article of the Roman Faith, they cannot be saved, and he that disbelieves one, does in a manner disbe­lieve all. Which may as well reach those who disown the De­posing Power, and the Pope's personal Infallibility, as Us, since those are accounted Articles of Faith by the ruling part of their Church, to whom it chiefly belongs to declare them; and the former hath been defined both by Popes and Councils.

[Page 17](3.) He never sets down what it is which makes any Do­ctrine to become a Doctrine of their Church. We are of­ten blamed for charging particular Opinions upon their Church; but we desire to know what it is which makes a Doctrine of their Church; i. e. whether frequent and pub­lick Declaration, by the Heads and Guides of their Church, be sufficient or not to that End? Our Author seems to imply the Necessity of some Conditions to be observed; for be­sides the Popes Authority, he requires due Circumstances, and proceeding according to Law: But who is to be Judge of these Circumstances and legal Proceedings? And he never tells what these Circumstances are. And yet after all, he saith, The Orders of the Supream Pastor are to be obey'd, whether he be in­fallible or not. And this now brings the Matter home; The Popes, he confesses, have owned the Deposing Doctrine, and acted according to it: And others are bound to obey their Orders, whether infallible or not; and consequently they are bound by the Doctrine of their Church to act, when the Popes shall require it, according to the Deposing Power. But he seems to say, in this Case, that a Doctrine of their Church is to be judged by their Number; for, saith he, There are greater num­bers that disown this Doctrine. I will not at present dispute it; but I desire to be informed, Whether the Doctrines of their Church go by majority of Votes, or not? I had thought the Authority of the Guides of the Church ought to have o­ver-ballanced any Number of Dissenters. For, what are those who refuse to submit to the Dictates of Popes and Councils, but Dissenters from the Church of Rome? The di­stinction of the Court and Church of Rome, is wholly imperti­nent in this Case. For, we here consider not the meer Tem­poral Power which makes the Court, but the Spiritual Ca­pacity of Teaching the Church: and if Popes and Councils may err in Teaching this Doctrine, why not in any other? I know there are some that say, Vniversal Tradition is necessary to make a Doctrine [...]f their Church. But then no Submission can be required to any Doctrine in that Church, till the Univer­sal Tradition of it, in all Times, and in all Parts of the Christian Church, be proved. And we need to desire no better Terms than these, as to all Points of Pope Pius the 4th his Creed, which are in dispute between us and them.

[Page 18](4.) He makes use of the Authority of some particular Divines, as delivering the Sense of their Church, when there are so many of greater Authority against them. Whereas, if we proceed by his own Rule, the greater Number is to carry it. Therefore we cannot be thought to mis-represent them, if we charge them with such things as are owned, either by the general and allowed Practices of their Church, or their publick Offices, or the generality of their Divines and Casuists; or in case of a Contest, with that side which is owned by the Guides of their Church, when the other is censured; or which was approved by their Canonized Saints, or declared by their Popes and councils, whose De­crees they are bound to follow. And by these measures I in­tend to proceed, having no design to mis-represent them, as indeed we need not.

And so much in Answer to the Introduction.

A Papist Mis-represented and Represented.
I. Of Praying to Images.

A Papist Mis-represented, Worships Stocks and Stones for Gods. He takes no notice of the Second Commandment, but setting up Pictures, and Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other his Saints; He prays to Them, and puts his Trust and Confidence in them; much like as the Heathens did in their Wooden Gods, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, &c. And for this reason, He erects stately Monuments to Them in his Churches, adorns them sumptuously, burns Candles, offers Incense, and frequently falls down prostrate before them, and with his Eyes fix'd on them, cries out, Help me Mary, assist me Anthony, remember me Ignatius.

A Papist Represented, believes it damnable, to Worship Stocks and Stones for Gods, to Pray to Pictures or Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or any other Saints; as also, to put any Trust or Confidence in them. He keeps them by him indeed, to preserve in his Mind the Memo­ry of the things Represented by them; as People are wont to pre­serve the Memory of their deceas­ed Friends by keeping their Pi­cture. He is taught to use them, by casting his eye upon the Pictures or Images, and thence to raise his heart to the Prototypes, and there to imploy it in Meditation, Love, Thanksgiving, Imitation, &c. as the Object requires: As many good Christians, placing a Death-head before them; from the sight of it, take occasion to reflect often up­on their last End, in order to their better preparing for it; or by seeing Old Time painted with his Fore-lock, Hour-Glass and Scythe, turn their thoughts upon the swiftness of Time, and that whosoever neg­lects the present, is in danger of beginning then to lay hold, when there's no more to come. These Pictures or Images having this advantage, that they inform the mind by one glance, of what in reading requires a Chap­ter, and sometimes a Volume. There being no other difference between them, then that Reading represents leisurely and by degrees; and a Pi­cture, all at once. Hence he finds a convenience in saying his Prayers with some devout Pictures before him; he being no sooner distracted, but the sight of these recalls his wandring thoughts to the right Object; [Page 20] and as certainly brings something good into his mind, as an immodest Picture disturbs his heart with naughtiness. And because he is sensible that these holy Pictures and Images represent and bring to his mind such Objects, which in his heart he loves, honours, and venerates; he can­not, but upon that account, love, honour, and respect the Images them­selves. As whosoever loves their Husband, Child, or Friend, cannot but have some love and respect for their Pictures; and whosoever loves and honours his King, will have some honour and esteem for his Image: Not that he venerates any Image or [...]icture, for any Virtue or Divinity be­liev'd to be in them, or for any thing that is to be petition'd of them; but because the honour that is exhibited to them, is referr'd to the Proto­types which they represent. So that 'tis not properly the Images he ho­nours, but Christ and his Saints by the Images: As it is not properly the Images or Pictures of Kings or dukes we generally respect or injure; but by their Images or Pictures we respect or injure Kings or Dukes them­selves. All the veneration therefore he expresses before Images, whether by kneeling, praying, lifting up the Eyes, burning Candles, Incense, &c. 'tis not at all done for the Image, but is wholly referr'd to the things re­presented, which he intends to honour by these actions. And how, by so doing, he breaks the Second Commandment, he cannot conceive; for he acknowledges only one God, and to him alone gives Sovereign Honour; and is so far from honouring Images as Gods, that for any ones satisfa­ction, he is ready to break or tear a Crucifix, or other Image whatsoever, into a thousand pieces, and cast them into the fire. And what respect he shews them, seems to him no more injurious to any of the Commandments, than 'tis for a Christian to love and honour his Neighbour, because he bears the Image of God in his Soul; to kiss and esteem the Bible, because it contains and represents to him God's Word; or to love a good Preacher because he minds him of his Duty; all which respects do not at all dero­gate from God Almighty's Honour; but are rather testimonies of our greater Love and Honour of him, since, for his sake, we love and esteem every thing that has any respect or relation to him.

I. Of Praying to Images.

IN this, and the other Particulars, where it is necessary, I shall observe this method;

1. To give a clear and impartial Account of the State of the Controversy in as few words as I can.

[Page 21]2. To make some Reflections on what he saith, in order to the clearing them from Misrepresentations.

As to the State of this Controversy, as it stands, since the Council of Trent, we are to consider.

1. We must distinguish between what persons do in their own Opinion; and what they do according to the Sense of the Divine Law. It is possible that men may intend one thing, and the Law give another Sense of it: as is often seen in the Case of Treason; although the persons plead never so much they had no intention to commit Treason, yet if the Law makes their Act to be so, their disavowing it doth not excuse them. So it is in the present Case; Men may have real and serious Intentions, to refer their final, ultimate, and Sovereign Worship only to God; but if the Law of God strictly and severely prohibits this particular manner of Worship by Images, in as full, plain, and clear words as may be, and gives a Demonination to such Acts, taken from the immediate Object of it; no particular Intention of the Per­sons can alter that Denomination, or make the Guilt to be less than the Law makes it.

2. There can be no Misrepresenting as to the lawfulness of many External Acts of Worship, with Respect to Images, which are owned by them. But it doth not look fairly to put the Title, Of Praying to Images; for the Question is, about the Worship of Images: Whereas this Title would insi­nuate, as though we did directly charge them with Praying to their Images, without any farther Respect. Which we are so far from charging them with, that I do not know of any People in the World, who are not like Stones and Stocks themselves, who are liable to that Charge. The PEN­DETS in the East-Indies are fully cleared from it, by Thavenet, as well as Bernier. The veno [...] Voy [...]ge [...] In [...]es p. 188. Bernier Me­moirs. Tom. 3. p. 172. And it would be hard we should not allow the same to our Fellow-Christians. I do therefore grant what our Author saith, viz. That all the Ve­neration they express bèfore Images, whether by kneeling, praying, lifting up the Eyes, burning Candles, Incense, &c. is not at all done for the Image, but is wholly referr'd to the things represen­ted, which he intends to honour by these Actions. But I hope now, it is no Misrepresenting for us to say, that they do kneel, pray, lift up their Eyes, burn Candles, Incense, &c. [Page 22] before their Images; which is all I charge them with at present.

3. To perform these Acts before Images, without a de­sign to worship the Images by them, is declared, by great Divines of the Church of Rome, to be next to Heresie. The Case was this; There were before the Council of Trent, several Persons who lived in Communion of that Church, but by no means approved the Worship of Ima­ges, such as Durandus, Helcot, Picus Mirandula, and others. Now these Persons thought fit to comply in these Exter­nal Acts, but declared they intended not to worship the Images, but the Objects before them. Since the Council of Trent decreed Images were to be worshiped, this Case hath been debated by the Divines and Casuists of greatest Reputation among them; And Suarez saith,Suarez i [...] 3. per [...]. Qu. 2 [...]. Disp. 53. §. 3.2. [...]. [...], [...]5 § 5. This way of Durandus is dangerous, rash, and savours of Heresie; and he saith further from Medina, That it was Victoria's Opinion, that it was Heretical,; but he adds, that his own Opinion, that Images were truly and properly to be Worshipped, was ge­nerally received by their Divines: and therefore I need name no more.

4. It is granted by their Divines and Casuists, that the People in the Worship of Images may easily fall into Ido­latry.

(1.) If the Worship do not pass from the Image to the Thing represented. And so Aquinas himself determines, That no Irrational Creature is capable of Worship, but as it hath, Respect to a Rational Being. But here lies the Difficulty, how an Extrinsecal Relation to an Object of Worship, where the Thing is confessed to deserve none, can give any Reason, for its being properly worshiped. But they all grant, if the Worship stop at the Inanimate part, it can be no other than the Worship of Stocks and Stones.

(2.) If the Worship be given to the Image, which is pro­per to God alone. This Bellarmine is forced to grant, be­cause the Evidence is so clear in Antiquity,Bellarmine de Imag. l. 2. c. 2. [...]. that the Gnosticks were condemned for some Worship which they performed to the Image of Christ. Now, we cannot think that these Gnosticks were such Sots, as to take the Image of Christ to be Christ himself; and therefore whatever Worship it was, [Page 23] it must be Relative, i. e. given to the Image for the sake of Christ represented by it.

(3.) If the People believe any Divinity to be in the Images, Con [...]il. Trident Sess. 25. or put any Trust or Confidence in them, then the Council of Trent it self owns such to be like the Heathen Idolaters. Now, how shall it be known when the People believe Divinity to be in Images, but by some more than ordinary Presence or Operation in or by them? by their having a greater Opi­nion of one Image than of another of the same Person? by their going long Pilgrimages to certain Images in hopes of Relief, when they might easily cause Images to represent at home?

And that such are no extravagant Imaginations, is known to all who have heard of Loretto, or Compostella, or other places nearer home. I need not mention the Complaints of Polydore Virgil, Cassander, or Wicelius to this purpose, who all died in the Communion of the Church of Rome; for the same is very lately complained of by a considerable Person in that Communion, who saith, The greatest part of the Devotion of the People of Italy, Spain, and Portugal,Moy [...]n [...] Surs & [...] Co [...]version de to [...]s les Here­ [...]iqu [...]s. To. 2. p. 115. con­sists in prostrating themselves before Images, and going in Pil­grimage to them, and hoping for Remission of their Sins by so doing. And another very lately yields, That to avoid the peril of Idolatry, to which (he saith) the People is evidently exposed by the use of Images, Entre [...]iens de Philal [...]the & Phile [...]ne. 2da part. p. 157. it would be necessary to take them away from the Altars, and by no means to have them allowed for the Objects of Religious Worship.

The Question now is, Whether the Council of Trent hath taken any effectual Course to prevent these Abuses? If not, what Mis-representing is it to charge the Abuses upon the Doctrines and Practices allowed by it?

The Remedies prescribed by the Council, are these;

1. Declaring that there is no Divinity or Vertue in them for which they should be worshipped; and that nothing is to be desired of them, nor any Trust or Confidence to be put in them.

2. Expressing their earnest desire, that if any Abuses have crept in, they may be removed.

[Page 24]But in the mean time the Council decrees, the Images not only to be useful to be set up in Churches, but to have due Honour and Worship given them there, for the sake of those they repre­sent; as not only putting off the Hat, but falling down before them, And the Roman Catechism declares, That this Worship is very beneficial to the People, Catechis. Rom. Part. 3. [...] [...]. §. 14. and so much is to be told them; and that Images are to be in Churches, not meerly for Instruction, sed ut colantur, that they may be worshipped.

But what could the Council do more, than to desire all Abuses may be taken away; and is it not then the fault of others, and not of the Council, if they be not?

I grant, the Council doth desire Abuses may be taken away, if any such be; but then it enumerates those Abuses, in He­terodox Images, in making Gain of Images, in painting them too wantonly: but besides, it doth say, that all Superstition be re­moved in the Sacred Vse of Images; but it doth not say in the Worship of them; and so it may relate to Magick and Di­vination, But that the Council could not prevent, or design to prevent the Abuses mention'd in the Worship of Images, will appear by these things.

1. The Cuoncil of Trent allows the highest relative Wor­ship to be given to them: it setting no bounds to it, so it be for the sake of the Prototypes.

2. It allows a Worship to be given to the Images them­selves too; for it confirms the second Council of Nice, which decreed an inferiour Adoration to be given to them.

3. It disapproves no Customs then practised among them in the Worship of Images; which were all known, and by many complained of, both as Pilgrimages to them, and the carrying of them about in Procession, and the solemn Con­secration of them; the Form whereof is not only inserted but inlarged in the new Pontifical since the Council of Trent. And it is to be observed, that in the old Pontifical, A. D. 1511. there is no Form for consecrating an Image; in that of Paul the 3d, it is inserted; but out of Durandus; but in that of Clement the 8th, it is put in more largely and as au­thentically as if it had been always there. And is not this the way to reform the Worship of Images?

To come now to our Author's Reflections, on the Mis-re­presentation he saith hath been made as to this Point.

[Page 25]1. A Papist represented, believes it damnable to worship Stocks and Stones for Gods; to pray to Pictures or Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or any other Saints.

These Expressions are capable of a double Sense, and therefore this is not fair Representing.

(1.) To worship Stocks or Stones for Gods, may signifie two things. (1.) To believe the very Stocks and Stones to be Gods. And this we do not charge them with. (2.) To give to Images made of Wood and Stone, the Worship due only to God; and so by construction of the Fact, to make them Gods, by giving them Divine Worship. And if they will clear themselves of this, they must either prove that External Adoration is no part of Divine Worship, (not­withstanding the Scripture makes it so, and all the rest of Mankind look upon it as such, even Jews, Turks, and Infi­dels) or that their external Adoration hath no respect to the Images (which is contrary to the Council of Trent) or that Divine Worship being due to the Being Repre­sented, it may be likewise given to the Image. And how then could the Gnosticks be condemned for giving Divine Worship to the Image of Christ, which Bellarmine confesses; and is affirmed by Irenaeus, Epiphanius, S. Augustine, and Da­mascen?

(2.) To pray to Images of Christ, or the Blessed Virgin, may likewise be taken in two senses. (1.) To pray to them, so as to expect to be heard by the meer Images, and so we do not charge them with it. (2.) To pray to them, so as to expect to be rather heard by themselves for praying to them by their Images. And if this be not so; to what end are the Prayers made in the Consecration of Images, for those that shall pray before them? To what purpose do so many go in long Pilgrimages to certain Images, if they do not hope to be better heard for praying there?

But he goes on, 2. He keeps them by him indeed, to keep in his mind the memory of the things represented by them. And is this all in good Truth? We will never quarrel with them, if this be true Representing. No, that he dares not say.

But, 3. He is taught to use them. But how? by custing his Eye upon the [...]ictures or Images, and thence to raise his Heart to the Prototypes. And is this all yet? No.

[Page 26]But, 4. He finds a double conveniency in the use of them. (1.) They represent at one glance; and Men may easily make good Reflections, as upon the sight of a Death's Head, or Old Time painted with his Fore-lock, Hour-glass, and Scyth. And will he undertake, that Images shall be used in Churches for no other End? Was the Picture of Old Time ever conse­crated, or placed upon the Altar, or elsewhere, that it might be worshipped? as the Roman Catechism speaks of their Images. (2.) They cure Distractions; for they call back his wandring Thoughts to the Right Object. What is this Right Object? the Image, or the Person represented? And that must be either a Creature, or God himself. If it be a Creature, doth not this imply that it is made a Right Object of Worship? If God himself, how doth an Image cure our Distraction, in the Worship of an infinite invisible Being; when the very Image is most apt to distract our Thoughts, by drawing them down from his Divine and Adorable Per­fections, to the gross and mean Representations of an Image. But are we yet to come to the utmost use of them? No.

But, 5. He cannot but love, honour, and respect the Images themselves, for the sake of those they represent. Will this con­tent them? And will he promise to go no further? It is hard to part upon Terms of meer Respect and decent Regard, where there is no encroachment upon Divine Worship. And here we are at a stand.

But he goes further. 6. And so he is come at last, to Ve­neration before Images. And is this all? Dares he deny Ve­neration to Images, when the Council of Trent hath deter­mined it. Eisque venerationem impartiendam? What is this Veneration before Images only? Bellarmine hath a Chapter on purpose to prove, that true and proper Worship is to be given to Images. And was he a Misrepresenter? Suarez saith, It is an Article of Faith, that Worship is to be given to them. But if the Veneration be only before them, why are they consecrat­ed, and set up in places proper for Adoration?

But, 7. To satisfie any one that he is far from making Gods of his Images, he is ready to break them into a thousand pieces. What, a Consecrated Image? Dares he take a Crucifix from the Altar and tear it in pieces? This doth not look like the Love, Honour, and Respect he mentioned before, not [Page 27] to name Veneration. And I am afraid this is a strain beyond true Representing: Yet at length he hath found some pretty Parallels for the Veneration of Images themselves; and so we are come at last to the main Point. But this is not directly owned; yet in the way of his Representing, it is fairly insi­nuated by his Parallels.

1. A Christian loves and honours his Neighbour, because he bears the Image of God in his Soul. But doth he therefore take him and set him before him when he kneels at his Devotion: to raise his Mind, and cure his Distractions? Would he set him upon the Altar, and burn Incense before him, because of the Image of God in him? Is there no difference between the Object of Christian Love, and of Divine Worship? Nor between a Spiritual Invisible Divine Image in the Souls of Men, and a Material and Corporeal Representation?

2. We may kiss and esteem the Bible, because it contains and represents to Vs Gods Word. But when we kiss and esteem the Bible, we remember the second Commandment is in it; and we dare not break his Law, when we pretend to ho­nour his Word. But we think there is some difference be­tween Reverence and Respect to the Bible, and falling down be­fore an Image. The Circumstances of the one declare it to be meer Respect, and a Religious Decency; and if the other be not External Adoration, we know not what it is

3. A good Preacher is loved, because he minds Men of their Duty. But what should we say to him that should therefore kneel down and say his Prayers, and burn Candles and Incense before him, out of a Respect to his good Doctrine? Did S. Pe­ter, or S. Paul like this, when Men would have worshipped them? A good Preacher would tell them of their Duty, as they did; and take Men off from the Worship of any Crea­ture, animate or inanimate, and direct them to worship God alone, who made Heaven and Earth.

II. Of Worshipping Saints.

HE makes Gods of Dead Men, such as are departed hence, and now are no more able to hear, or see, or understand his necessities: And tho' God be so good as to invite all to come unto him, and to apply themselves to their only and infinite Mediator Je­sus Christ: Yet so stupid is He, that neglecting, and, as it were, passing by both God and his only Son, and all their Mercies, he betakes himself to his Saints, and there pouring forth his Prayers, he confides in them as his Mediators and Redeemers, and ex­pects no Blessing, but what is to come to him by their Merits, and through their hands: And thus, without scru­ple or remorse, robs God of his Honour.

HE believes there's only one God; and that 'tis a most damnable Idolatry to make Gods of Men, ei­ther living or dead. His Church tea­ches him indeed, (and he believes) That it is good and profitable to desire the Intercession of the Saints, reigning with Christ in Heaven; but that they are Gods, or his Redeemers, he is no where taught; but detests all such Doctrine. He confesses, That we are all redeem'd by the Blood of Christ alone, and that he is our only Mediator of Redemption: But as for Mediators of Intercession, (that is, such as we may desire lawfully to pray for us) he does not doubt, but 'tis acceptable to God, we should have many. Moses was such a Me­diator for the Israelites; Iob for his three Friends; Stephen for his Persecutors.Ep. ad Rom.Cor.Eph. The Romans were thus desir'd by Saint Paul to be his Mediators; so were the Corinthians, so the Ephesians; so almost every sick man desires the Congre­gation to be his Mediators; that is, to be remembred in their Prayers. And so he desires the Blessed in Heaven to be his Mediators; that is, that they would pray to God for him. And in this, he does not at all neglect coming to God, or rob him of his Honour; but directing all his Prayers up to him, and making him the ultimate Object of all his Petitions, he on­ly desires sometimes the Iust on Earth, sometimes those in Heaven, to joyn their Prayers to his, that so the number of Petitioners being increas'd, the Petition may find better acceptance in the sight of God. And this is not to make them Gods, but only Petitioners to God; 'tis not to make them his Redeemers, but only Intercessors to his Redeemer; he having no hopes of obtaining any thing, but of God alone, by, and through the Merits of Christ; for which he desires the Saints in Heaven, and good men on Earth, [Page 29] to offer up their Prayers with his; the Prayers of the Iust availing much before God. But now, how the Saints in Heaven know the Prayers and Necessities of such, who address themselves to them, whether by the Mi­nistry of Angels, or in the Vision of God, or by some particular Revela­tion, 'tis no part of his Faith, nor is it much his concern it should be de­termin'd. For his part he does not doubt, but that God, who acquain­ted the Prophets with the knowledge of things, that were yet to come ma­ny hundred years after; That inform'd Elijah of the King of Syria's Counsel, tho' private, resolv'd on in his Bed-chamber, and at a distance; (2 Kings 6.12.) can never want means of letting the Saints know the de­sires of those who beg their Intercession here on Earth: Especially since our Saviour tells, That Abraham heard the Petitions of Dives, who was yet at a greater distance, even in Hell; and told him likewise the manner of his living, while as yet on Earth. Nay, since 'tis generally allow'd, that even the very Devils hear those desperate wretches, who call on them: Why should he doubt, that Saints want this Priviledge, in some manner granted to sinful men, and to wicked Spirits; who, (tho depar­ted this life) are not so properly dead, as translated from a mortal life, to an immortal one; where, enjoying God Almighty, they lose no Per­fections which they enjoy'd, while on Earth, but possess all in a more eminent manner; having more Charity, more Love, and being more ac­ceptable to God than ever; becoming like Angels: And as these offered up their Prayers for Ierusalem, and the Cities of Iudah, (Zach. 1.12.) so undoubtedly they likewise fall down before the Lamb, having every one of them Harps, and golden Vials full of Odours, which are the Prayers of the Saints, Apoc. 5.8.

II. Of Worshipping Saints.

FOr the clear stating this Controversy, these things are to be premised.

1. We do not charge them, that they make Gods of dead men, i. e. that they believe the Saints to be Independent Dei­ties. For this our Author confesses were a most damnable Ido­latry.

2. We do not say, that the State of the Church of Rome, with respect to the Worship of dead men, is as bad as Hea­thenism. For we acknowledge the true Saints and Martyrs to have been, not only good and Vertuous, but extraordi­nary Persons, in great Favour with God, and highly de­serving [Page 30] our Esteem and Reverence, as well as Imitation; whereas the Heathen Deified Men, were vile and wicked Men, and deserved not the common Esteem of Mankind, ac­cording to the Accounts themselves give of them. And we own the common Doctrine and Advantages of Christianity to be preserved in the Church of Rome.

3. We do not deny, that they do allow some external Acts of Worship to be so proper to God alone, that they ought to be given to none else besides him. And this they call Latria; and we shall never dispute with them about the proper signification of a Word, when the Sense is agreed, unless they draw Inferences from it, which ought not to be allowed. To this Latria, they refer not only Sacrifice, but all that relates to it, as Temples, Altars, and Priests: so that by their own Confession, to make these immediately and pro­perly to the Honour of any Saint, is to make a God of that Saint, and to commit Idolatry.

4. They confess, that to pray to Saints to bestow Spiri­tual or Temporal Gifts upon us, were to give to them the Worship proper to God, who is the only giver of all good things. For else I do not understand, why they should take so much pains to let us know, that whatever the Forms of their Prayers and Hymns are, yet the Intention and Spirit of the Church, is only to desire them to pray for us, and to ob­tain thngs for us by their Intercession with God.

But two things cannot be denied by them.

1. That they do use solemn Invocation of Saints in places of Divine Worship, at the same time they make their Ad­dresses to God himself, with all the Circumstances of Exter­nal Adoration, with bended Knees and Eyes lifted up to Hea­ven; and that this Practice is according to the Council of Trent, which not only decrees an humble Invocation of them, but declares it to be impiety to condemn mental and vocal Supplication to the Saints in Heaven.Sect. 25.

2. That they do own making the Saints in Heaven to be their Mediators of Intercession▪ but not of Redemption; al­though Christ be our Mediator in both senses.

And upon these two Points this Controversy depends.

[Page 31]Let us now see what our Representer saith to them.

1. His Church teaches him indeed, and he believes that it is good and profitable, to desire the Intercession of the Saints reigning with Christ in Heaven; but that they are either Gods, or his Re­deemers, he is no where taught, but detests all such Doctrine.

There are two Ways of desiring Intercession of others for us.

1. By way of Friendly Request, as an Act of mutual Cha­rity; and so, no doubt, we may desire others here on Earth to pray for us.

2. By way of Humble Supplication, with all the external Acts of Adoration: and we cannot think St. Peter, or St. Paul, who refused any thing like Adoration from men, would have been pleased to have seen men fall down upon their Knees before them; and in the same posture of Devotion in which they were praying to Almighty God, to put their Names into the middle of their Litanies, and so pray them then to pray for them.

But how are we sure that their Church teaches no more than this? I have read over and over the Council of Trent, and the Roman Catechism about it, and I can find no such li­mitation of their sense there, where, if any where, it ought to be found. The Council of Trent mentions both the Pray­ers, and the Help and Assistance of the Saints which they are to fly to. If this Help and Assistance be no more than their Prayers, why is it mentioned as distinct? Why is their reign­ing together with Christ in Heaven spoken of, but to let us un­derstand they have a Power to Help and Assist? For what is their Reigning to their Praying for us? But I have a further Argument to prove the Council meant more, viz. the Coun­cil knew the common Practices and Forms of Invocation then used and allowed, and the general Opinion, that the Saints had power to Help and Assist those who prayed to them. If the Council did not approve this, why did it insert the very words upon which that Practice was grounded? They likewise very well knew the Complaints which had [Page 32] been made of these things; and some of their own Commu­nion cried shame upon some of their Hymns. Wicelius saith, one of them,Wicel. in E­lencho Abu­suum. Salve Regina, &c. is full of downright Impiety, and horrible Superstition, and that others are wholly inexcusable. Lud. Vives had said, He found little difference in the Peoples opinion of their Saints in many things, Vives in Aug. de C [...]it. Dei l. 5. c. 27. from what the Heathens had of their Gods. These things were known, and it was in their power to have redressed them, by declaring what the Sense of the Council was, and that whatever Forms were used, no more was to be understood by them, but praying to them to pray for them Besides, the Council of Trent, in the very same Session, took care about reforming the Missal and Breviary; why was no care taken to reform these Prayers and Hymns, which they say are not to be construed by the Sense of the Words, but by the Sense of the Church? There was time enough taken for doing it; for the Reformed Missal was not published till six Years after the Council, [...] de Philalethe & [...]hi [...]erene Part 2. p. 160, 163.1 [...]. nor the Breviary till four. In all that time, the Prayers and Hymns might easily have been al­tered to the Sense of the Church, if that were truly so. But instead of that, a very late French Writer cries out of the necessity of Reforming the Breviaries as to these things; wherein he confesses, Many Hymns are still remaining, wherein those things are asked of Saints, which ought to be asked of God alone; as being delivered from the Chains of our Sins, being preserved from Spiritual Maladies, and Hell-Fire; being inflamed with Charity, and made fit for Heaven. In good Conscience, saith he, is not this joyning the Saints with God himself, to ask those things of them which God alone can give? And whatever Men talk of the Sense of the Church, he confesses, the very Forms, and natural Sense of the Words; do raise another Idea in Mens minds; which ought to be prevented.

But doth not the Roman Catechism explain this to be the Sense of the Church? Catech. Rom. Part 4. c. 6. n. 2, 3. I have examined that too, with all the care I could, about this matter. And I cannot find any necessity from thence of putting this Sense upon them. I grant in one place, where it explains the difference of the Invocation of God and Saints, it saith, We are to pray to God as the Giver, and to Saints that they would obtain things of God for us; and then it adds, the Forms differ, that to God is, Miserere Nobis, and Au­di Nos; that to Saints is, Ora pro Nobis. Very well! And [Page 33] is there then no other Form owned or allowed in the Church of Rome to Saints besides this? Hold a little, saith the Catechism, for it is lawful to make use of another Form; and that is, we may pray to Saints too, Vt nostri mise­reantur. And how doth this now differ from that to God, but only in Number? But it adds, that the Saints are very pi­tiful; then surely we are encouraged to pray to them for Help and Pity. Yes, saith the Catechism, we may pray to them, that being moved with pity toward us, they would help us with their Favour and Intercession with God. But yet this doth not clear the Matter; for elsewhere the Roman Catechism attributes more to Saints than meer Intercession;Catech. Rom. Part. 3. c. 2. n. 4, 6. Cum praesint no­bis Sancti & re­rum nostrarum curam gerant. Bellarm. de Sanct. Beatit. l. 1. c. 20. §. deinde. Nou solum ab A [...]ge­lis sed etiam à spiritibus bea­rorum hominum Regi & Guber­nari fideles vi­v [...]n [...]es. Id. ib. c. 18. §. nos au [...]em. and we may pray to them for what is in their Power: For where it un­dertakes to give an exact Account of the Reason of Invo­cation of Saints and Angels; it there parallels them with Ma­gistrates under a King; and saith, they are Gods Ministers in governing the Church; Invocandi itaque sunt quod & perpetuo Deum intuentur, & Patrocinium Salutis nostrae libentissimè susci­piunt. What is this Patrocinium salutis nostrae? Is it only Praying and Intercession with God? That cannot be, for it in­stances presently in Deliverances by Angels, and Jacob's pray­ing to the Angel to bless him, and not meerly to intercede for him. But though this is spoken of Angels, yet from hence it infers the Invocation of Saints too. But what need we insist more on this, since they do own the Ministry of Saints as well as Angels, with respect to the Church; and do Cano­nize Saints for particular Countries, as lately S. Rosa for Peru. And where there is such a particular Protection sup­posed, what incongruity is it to interpret the Form of their Prayers, according to a Doctrine so received and allowed? But of this more under the next Head.

2. He confesses that we are all redeemed by the Blood of Christ alone, and that he is our only Mediator of Redemption; but as for Mediators of Intercession, he doth not doubt but it is acceptable with God we should have many.

I would ask, concerning this Distinction, the Question which Christ asked concerning Iohn's Baptism, Is it from Heaven, or of Man? No doubt there may be such a Di­stinction of Mediators, if God please to make them. But [Page 34] who hath Authority to appoint Mediators with him besides himself? Is it not usurping his Prerogative, to appoint the great Officers of his Kingdom for him? Would any Prince upon Earth allow this, viz. when he hath absolutely decla­red his Pleasure, that his own Son should present Petitions to him, that others shall take upon them to set up Masters of Requests themselves?John 14.13, 14, 16, 23, 24. Heb. 7.25. & 9.7, 24. 1 Jo. 2.1. Can any thing be plainer in the New Testament, than that God hath appointed the Mediator of Redemption, to be our Mediator of Intercession? And that his Intercession is founded upon his Redemption. As the High Priest's going into the Holy of Holies to intercede for the Peo­ple, was upon the Blood of the Sacrifice of Expiation, which he carried in with him. If there were no Revelation in this Matter, there might be some reason for it. But since the Revelation is so clear in it, this Distinction looks just like the Socinians Distinction of a God by Nature, and a God by Office; which was framed on purpose to avoid the plain Texts of Scripture which called Christ God. So doth this look as if it were intended to avoid that clear Text, which saith,1 Tim. 2.5. There is one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Iesus. Which is presently answered with this Di­stinction; although there be not the least ground in that or any other Text for it.

Yes, saith our Author, Moses was such a Mediator for the Israelites; Job for his three Friends; Stephen for his Perse­cutors: The Romans were desired by S. Paul to be his Mediator, and the Corinthians and Ephesians; so almost every sick Per­son desires the Congregation to be his Mediator, that is, to be re­membred in their Prayers.

But is there no difference between Men praying for one another, and desiring others to pray for them here on Earth, and an humble Invocation of the Saints in Heaven to be our Mediators of Intercession with God there?

There is a threefold disparity in the Case.

1. Here upon Earth we converse with one another as Fellow Creatures, and there is no danger of our having an Opinion thereby, that were able to assist one another any other way than by our Prayers. But the case is very diffe­rent as to the Saints in Heaven, who by being addressed to [Page 35] there by such solemn Invocation, may too easily be conceived to have the Power of bestowing such Blessings upon those who call upon them.

2. Heaven is looked upon by all Mankind who direct their Devotions thither, as the particular Throne of God, where he dwells, and discovers himself after another manner than he doth upon the Earth. And we are directed to pray to our Father in Heaven; where he is represented as infinitely a­bove all his Creatures; and the great Concernment of Reli­gion is, to keep up the apprehension of this distance between him and them. Now it is hardly possible to keep it up, if in the Publick Offices of Religion; in the solemnest postures of Devotion, with Eyes lifted up to Heaven, they do make Addresses, both to God and to his Creatures.

3. Men are sure, when they pray to others on Earth to pray for them, that they do no more than they can justifie in point of Discretion, when they speak or write to those that can understand what their desire is: But no man on Earth can be certain that the Saints in Heaven can do it: For it is agreed they cannot do it without Revelation, and no Man can be assured there is a Revelation; and it is not rea­sonable to expect it; for they pray to Saints to pray to God for them, and they cannot tell what they pray for, unless God to whom they are to pray, reveal to them what it is they must pray to him for. Is it not then the better, the safer, the wiser way, to make our Prayers to him, who we are sure is able to hear and help us; and hath promised to grant what we ask in his Son's Name? But there is no other Name, either under Heaven, or in Heaven, whereby we can be saved, or our Prayers accepted, but his alone.

But our Author saith, It is no part of his Faith, how the Saints in Heaven know the Prayers and Necessities of such who ad­dress themselves to them.

But how comes it to be any part of his Faith, that they know them? However he doth not doubt but God can never want means of letting the Saints know them. And is this a suf­ficient ground for solemn Invocation of Saints? God doth not want Means to let the Emperor of Iapan know a Re­quest any one here hath to make to him; but is this a rea­sonable Ground, for him at this distance to make it to him? [Page 36] God doth not want Means to let the Pope know what a mighty Service it would be to the Christian World, to make a wise and truly Christian-Reformation in the Church; but would this be a Ground sufficient for me at this Distance, to make a Speech to him about it? I knew a Man who un­derstood not a word of Latin, but yet would needs go to hear a Latin Sermon: some asked him afterwards, what he meant by it; and the chief Reason he gave was much like this, God did not want Means to let him know what the Preacher meant:

But after all, Suppose God should make known to the Saints what is desired of them; I ask, Whether this be sufficient Ground for solemn Invocation, when Socinus was not able to defend the Invocation of Christ himself, supposing that he could know our Hearts only by Relation? And he had no­thing material to say, but only that there was a Command for it; which can never be so much as pretended in this Case.

As to what he alledges of the Elders falling down before the Lamb, having Vials full of Odours, which are the Prayers of the Saints, Apoc. 5.8. It must be strained hard to be brought to this purpose, when both Ancient and Modern Interpreters take it for a Representation of what was done upon Earth, and not in Heaven. And if it were in Heaven, Prophetical Visions were never intended for a Measure of our Duties. If the Angels do pray for Mankind, Zech. 1.12. Doth it therefore follow we must pray to them? But we say as the Angel did to S. Iohn, Revel. 19.10. in a like Case; See thou do it not: worship God.

III. Of Addressing more Supplications to the Virgin Mary than to Christ.

HE believes the Virgin Mary to be much more powerful in Heaven than Christ, and that she can com­mand him to do what she thinks good: And for This reason he honours her much more than he does her Son, or God the Father; For one Prayer he says to God, saying ten to the Holy Virgin.

HE believes it damnable to think the Virgin Mary more power­ful in Heaven than Christ; Or that she can in any thing command him. He honours her indeed, as one that was chosen to be the Mother of God, [Page 37] and blessed amongst all Women: And believes her to be most acceptable to God, in her Intercession for us: But owning her still as a Creature, and that all she has of Excellency or Bliss, is the Gift of God, proceeding from his meer Goodness. Neither does he at any time say even so much as one Prayer to her, but what is directed more principally to God; because offered up as a thankful Memorial of Christ's Incarnation, and an ac­knowledgment of the Blessedness of Iesus the Fruit of her Womb. And this without imagining that there's any more dishonouring of God in his re­citing the Angelical Salutation, than in the first pronouncing it by the Angel Gabriel and Elizabeth: Or that his frequent Repetition of it is any more an idle Superstition, than it was in David to repeat the same words over twenty six times in the 136 Psalm.

III. Of Addressing more Supplications to the Virgin Mary, than to Christ.

HEre is no need of farther starting the Question, this only relating to the extraordinary Service of the Blessed Virgin. And therefore we are presently to atttend his Motions.

He believes it damnable to think the Virgin Mary more power­ful in Heaven than Christ, or that she can in any thing command him.

But in good earnest, Is is not damnable, unless a man thinks the blessed Virgin more powerful than Christ? Suppose one should think her to have an equal share of Power with Christ; Is this damnable, or not? Is it not setting up a Creature equal with God?

But what thinks he then of those who have attributed an universal Dominion to her, over Angels, Men, and Devils? What thinks he not only of Psalters, but of a Creed, Litany, and all the Hymns of Scripture being applied to her?S. Bonavent. Opusc. Tom. 1. ad sin.All which was done by a Canonized Saint in their Church; and the Books printed out of the Vatican Manuscripts, and dedi­cated to the Pope. And there we find something more than an Ora pro nobis in the Litany; for there is Parce nobis, Domi­na, Spare us, good Lady: and Ab omni malo, libera nos, Do­mina: From all evil, Good Lady, deliver us.

[Page 38] S. Bernardin. Sen. apud Ber­nadin. a Bustis Marial. Part 12. Serm. 2.What thinks he of another Canonized Saint, who said, these two Propositions are both true, All things are subject to God's Command, even the Virgin; and all things are subject to the Command of the Virgin, even God. Was this damnable in a Canonized Saint?

What thinks he of the noted Hymn?

O felix Puerpera nostra pians scelera.
Iure Matris impera Redemptori!

Was not this damnable? And I have not only seen it in the old Paris Missal, but Balinghem a Jesuit,Balinghem Parnass. Mari­an. p. 208. saith, it was in the Missals of Tournay, Liege, Amiens, Artois, and the Old Roman. I could produce many other Passages cited by him out of the old Offices to the same purpose; but I forbear.

But I cannot omit the Approbation given to the blasphe­mous saying of St. Bernardin by Mendoza, Mendoza. Vi­rid. Sacr. l. 2. Probl. 1. & 4. (who endeavours to prove the blessed Virgin's Kingdom, not to be a Metaphorical, but a true and real Kingdom). And by Salazar, Salazar pro Immac. Con­cept. c. 32. another no­ted Jesuit, who saith, Her Kingdom is as large as her Son's. And we have lately seen how far this Divinity is spread, for not many years since, this Proposition was sent from Mexico,

I [...]er. peres de Nueros Lapi­dicina Sacra Tr. 1. Sect. 12. N. 148. Filius non tantum tenetur audire Matrem, sed & obedire;

The Son is bound not only to hear, but to obey his Mo­ther. And is it still damnable for to say, she commands him?

But our Author saith, Whatever esteem they have for her, They own her still as a Creature. Is he sure of that? What thinks he of another saying, which Mendoza approves of, viz. of Christ's saying to his Mother,Viridar. Sacr. l. 2. Probl. 2. N. 11. As thou hast communi­cated Humanity to me, I will communicate my Deity to thee?

But it may be said, We are by no means to judge the sense of a Church by some mens extravagant sayings.

I grant it. But I have something considerable to reply; viz. That we may easily judge which way the Guides of that Church incline, by this following passage: About ten years since a Gentleman of that Communion published a Book, called, Wholsome Advice to the Worshippers of the Blessed Virgin, [Page 39] and the whole design of it,La veritable Devotion en­vers la S. Vi­erge Etable & Defendu par le pere Crasset à Paris, A. D. 1679.being Printed in Latin and French, was to bring the people of that Church to a bare Ora pro nobis to the Blessed Virgin. But this was so far from be­ing approved, that the Book was condemned at Rome, and vehemently opposed by the Jesuits in France; and a whole Volume published against it.

Here I have reason to enquire, Whether the Virgin Mary then, according to the sense of the Church of Rome, be only a Mediatrix of Intercession or not, since so large Power and Do­minion is attributed to her? And why should not her Sup­pliants go beyond an Ora pro nobis, if this Doctrine be recei­ved; as it must be, if the contrary cannot be endured? For that Author allowed her Intercession, and Prayer to her on that account;Monita Salu­taria B. V. Mariae ad Cultores suos indiscretos §. 3. n. 56. §. 4. but he found fault with those who said she had a Kingdom divided with her Son; that she was the Mother of Mercy, or was a Co-Saviour, or Co-Redemptrix; or that she was to be worshipped with Latria; or that men were to be slaves to her. Now, if these things must not be touched without Censure, and no Censure pass on the other Books; it is not easy to judge, which is more agreeable to the Spirit of the Guides of that Church?

But we have a fresh Instance of this kind at home,Contempla­tions of the Life and Glo­ry of Holy Mary, the Mo­ther of Jesus, A. D. 1685.in a Book very lately published; Permissu Superiorum. There we are told in the Epistle, That not only the Blessed Virgin is the Empress of Seraphims — the most exact Original of Practical Perfection which the Omnipotency of God ever drew; but that by innumerable Titles she claims the utmost Duty of every Christian, as a proper Homage to her Greatness. Pag. 4. What can be said more of the Son of God in our Nature? In the Book it self she is said to be Queen of Angels, Patroness of the Church, Advocate of Sinners; that the Power of Mary in the Kingdom of Iesus, is suitable to her Maternity, and other Priviledges of Grace; and therefore by it she justly claims à servitude from all pure Crea­tures. But wherein doth this special Devotion to her consist?Pag. 8. He names several Particulars.

1. In having an inward, cordial and passionate value of the Maternity of Mary, and all other Excellencies proper to, and in­separable from the Mother of God.

2. In External Acts of Worship, of eminent Servitude towards her, by reason of the Amplitude of her Power in the Empire of Ie­sus. [Page 40] And can we imagine these should go no farther, than a poor Ora pro nobis? He instances in these External Acts of her Worship. (1.) Frequent visiting holy Places dedicated to her Honour. And are not those her Temples then? which Bellarmine confesses to be a peculiar part of the worship due to God.Bellarm. de Culiu Sanct. l. 3. c. 4. inis. And the distinction of Basilicae cannot hold here: because he believes the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin; and he will not pretend to her Honour is only for Discrimina­tion. (2.) A special Reverence towards Images representing her Person. (3.) Performing some daily Devotions containing her Praises, congratulating her Excellency, or imploring her Media­tion: and by oft calling upon the Sacred Name of Holy Mary, &c.

(3.) In having a firm and unshaken Confidence in her Patro­nage amidst the greatest of our outward Conflicts, and outward Tribulations; through a strong Iudgement of her eminent Power within the Empire of Iesus, grounded upon the singular Preroga­tive of her Divine Maternity. I have not Patience to tran­scribe more, but refer the Reader to the Book it self; only the eighth Particular of special Devotion is so remarkable, that it ought not to be passed over,Pag. 12. viz. Entring a solemn Cove­nant with Holy Mary, to be for ever her Servant, Client and Devote under some special Rule, Society, or Form of Life, and thereby dedicating our Persons, Concerns, Actions, and all the Moments and Events of our Life to Iesus, under the Protection of his Divine Mother, choosing her to be our Adoptive Mother, Pa­troness and Advocate; and intrusting her with what we are, have, or do hope, in Life, Death, and through all Eternity. And is all this no more than an Ora pro nobis?Pag. 14. And it follows, Put your self wholly under her Protection. What a pitiful thing was the old Collyridian Cake, in comparison of these special Acts of Devotion to her! But there are some extraordinary strains of Devotion afterwards, which it is pity to pass over. As, I will ever observe thee as my Sovereign Lady, Pag. 22. Adoptive Mother, and most Powerful Patroness; relying on thy Bowels of Mercy, in all my Wants, Petitions, and Tribulations of Body and Mind. Could any thing greater be said to the Eternal Son of God? And in the Praise:

Vers. Open my Lips, O Mother of Jesus.

Resp. And my Soul shall speak forth thy Praise.

[Page 41] Vers. Divine Lady, be intent to my Aid.

Resp. Graciously make haste to help me.

Vers. Glory be to Jesus and Mary.

Resp. As it was, is, and ever shall be.

Then follows the Eighth Psalm, applied thus to her.

Mary, Mother of Iesus, how wonderful is thy Name, Pag. 24. even unto the Ends of the Earth!

All Magnificence be given to Mary, and let her be exalted above the Stars and Angels.

Reign on high as Queen of Seraphims and Saints; and be thou crowned with Honour and Glory, &c.

Glory be to Iesus and Mary, &c.

In the next Page, follows a Cantique in imitation of the Te Deum.

Let us praise thee, O Mother of Iesus!Pag. 25. Let us acknowledge thee our Sovereign Lady.

Let Men and Angels give Honour to thee, the first conceived of all pure Creatures, &c.

I think I need mention no more; only three things I shall observe; (1.) That this is now printed Permissu Superio­rum; and we thank them for the seasonableness of it, in help­ing us in true Representing, what their allowed Doctrines and Practices are. (2.) That this is published in English, that our People, as well as theirs, may be convinced how far we have been from unjust charging them as to such things as these. (3.) That at the same time they plead for keeping the Bible out of the hands of the People, wherein their Dis­cretion is so far to be commended, since the Scripture, and this new Scheme of Devotion, can never stand together. There being not one word in the Bible towards it, but very much against it; and the Psalms and Hymns must be bur­lesq'd to found that way.

But what saith our Author to their Rosaries, wherein there are ten Ave Maries to one Pater noster; which is accounted a special piece of Devotion; and great things are said of the Effects of it by Alanus de Rupe, and many others.

1. As to the Ave Maries, he saith, there is no more Dis­honour to God in reciting the Angelical Salutation, than in the first pronouncing it by the Angel Gabriel and Elizabeth. But it may not be altogether so pertinent. But doth he really [Page 42] think they said the whole Ave Maria, as it is used among them? Did the Angel and Elizabeth say, Sancta Maria, Ma­ter Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc & in hora mortis nostrae? If not, to what purpose are they mentioned here?

2. As to the Repetition; that, he saith, is no more an idle Superstition, than David's repeating the same words 26 times in the 136. Psalm. But what is this to the Question, why more Supplications to the blessed Virgin than to Christ? And not one word of Answer is given to it. But Alanus de Rupe answers it roundly,Alanus de Rupe de usu Psalie­rii, l. 1. c. 6. Because the blessed Virgin is our Mediatrix to Christ, the Mother of Mercy, and the special Patroness of Sinners. This is indeed true representing.

IV. Of paying Divine Worship to Relicks.

HE believes a kind of Divinity to remain in the Relicks of his re­puted Saints, and therefore adores their ro [...]ten Bones, their corrupted flesh, their old Rags, with Divine Honour; kneel­ing down to them, kissing them, and going in Pilgrimage to their Shrines and Sepulchres. And he is so far pos­sess'd with a conceited Deity lying hid in those senseless Remains, that he foolishly believes they work greater Mi­racles, and raise more to life, than ever Christ Himself did.

HE believes it damnable to think there's any Divinity in the Relicks of Saints, or to adore them with Divine Honour, or to pray to their rotten Bones, old Rags or Shrines, or that they can work any strange Cures or Miracles, by any hidden Power of their own. But he believes it good and lawful to keep them with a Veneration, and give them a Religious honour and respect. And this he thinks due to them, in as much as knowing himself oblig'd to respect and honour God Almigh­ty from his heart; he looks upon himself also oblig'd to respect and honour every thing that has any particular Relation to him: But this with an inferiour Honour; as the Iews did to the Ark, to the Tables of the Law, to Moses's Rod, to the Temple, to the Priests: So we gene­rally allow to the Bible, because it contains Gods Word; to the Church, because it is Gods House; to Holy Men and Priests, because they are Gods Servants. And so he does to Relicks, because they appertain to Gods Fa­vourites; and being insensible things, are yet very sensible Pledges, and lively Memorials of Christ's Servants, dead indeed to us, but alive with him in Glory. And more especially, because God himself has been pleas'd to hnour them, by making them Instruments of many evident Miracles [Page 43] he has visibly work'd by them; as is manifest upon undeniable Record. And this he believes as easie for God Almighty now, and as much redoun­ding to the honour of his holy Name, as it was in the Old Law, to work such miraculous effects by Moses's Rod, by Gideon's Trumpets, by Elia's Mantle, after he was taken up into Heaven, (2 Kings 2.14.) Eliseus's Bones, (2 Kings 13.21.) and infinite other such like insensible Things: And also in the New Law, by the Hem of his own Garment, (Mat. 9.21.) by the Shadow of St. Peter, (Acts 5.15.) by the Napkins and Handker­chiefs that had but touch'd the Body of S. Paul, casting out Devils, and curing Diseases, (Acts 19.12.) and such like. And thus by having a Veneration and Respect for these, he honours God: And does not doubt, but that they that contemn and profane these, do the like to God, as much as they did, who profan'd the Bread of Proposition, the Temple, and Vessels that belong'd to it.

IV. Of paying Divine Worship to Reliques.

FOR the right understanding this Controversie, we are to consider,

1. That there is a due Veneration to the Bodies of Saints and Martyrs, allowed on both sides; and there is an undue Worship of them, which is disowned on both sides. The due Veneration is, a Religious Decency to be observed to­wards them; which lies in avoiding any thing like Con­tempt or Dishonour to them, and using all such Testimo­nies of Respect and Decency, which becomes the Remains of Excellent Persons; provided we are satisfied of their Sincerity, without having recourse to Divine Omnipotency to prove them: which Ferrandus the Jesuit runs so much to,Ferrandi Dis­quisitio Reli­quiaria. to prove the Truth of many Reliques, worshipped in the Church of Rome in many places at once. But that it is possible to exceed in the Worship of true Reliques, even Bellarmine confesseth, who says, that God took away the Body of Moses, lest the People should give Divine Worship to it. And S. Ierom, as hot as he was against Vigilantius, De Imag. sanct l. 2. c. 4. yet he utterly denied giving any Adoration to the Reliques of Martyrs. It seems then it is very possible to exceed that way.

2. The Question then is, Whether those Acts of Wor­ship which are allowed in the Church of Rome, do not go beyond due Veneration? For it is unreasonable to suppose those who give it, to believe those Reliques to be Gods; [Page 44] and therefore it must be such a Worship as is given to them, supposing them to be only Reliques of such Persons. The Council of Trent decrees Honour and Veneration to be given to them, but never determines what is due, and what not: it forbids all Excesses in drinking and eating, in the visiting of Reliques; but not a word of Excesses in worshipping of them, unless it be comprehended under the name of Super­stition. But Superstition lies in something forbidden, accor­ding to their notion of it: therefore, if there be no Prohi­bition by the Church, there can be no Superstition in the Worship of them. And if they had thought there had been any in the known Practices of the Church, they would cer­tainly have mentioned them; and because they did not, we ought in reason to look on them as allowed. And yet not only Cassander complains of the great Superstition about them;Cassand. Con­sult. Art. 21. Tract. special. 4. Controv. 4. but even the Wollenbergii lately confess, that the abuses there­in have not only been offensive to us, but to themselves too.

But what saith our Representer to them?

He believes it damnable to think there's any Divinity in the Reliques of Saints, or to adore them with Divine Honour. But what is this adoring them with Divine Honour? A true Representer ought to have told us what he meant by it, when the whole Controversie depends upon it. Is it on­ly saying Mass to Reliques, or believing them to be Gods? Is there no giving Divine Honour by Prostration, burning of Incense, &c. Nothing in expecting help from them? Yes, If it be from any hidden Power of their own. But here is a very hard Question: If a Man doth not believe it to be an intrinsick Power in the Reliques, may a Man safely go to them. Opis impetrandae causâ, as the Council of Trent saith, in hopes of Relief from them? Is it not possible for the Devil to appear with Samuel's true Body, and make use of the Relique of a Saint to a very bad end? Then, say I, no Reliques can secure Men against the Imposture of Evil Spirits, who, by God's Permission, may do strange things with the very Reliques of Saints.

But God hath visibly worked by them, saith our Author, by making them Instruments of many Miracles; and it is as easie for him to do it now. This is the force of all he saith. To which I answer.

[Page 45]1. It is a very bold thing to call in God's Omnipotency, where God himself hath never declared he will use his Pow­er; for it is under his own Command, and not ours. But there is no Reason to deduce the Consequence of using it now, because he hath done it formerly.Rabat. Ioy de Iansenist, A.D 1656. And that they may not think this is cavilling in us, I desire them to read Pere Anna [...]'s Answer to the Jansenists pretended Miracle at Port Poyal, viz. of the Cure wrought by one of our Saviour's Thorns. There he gives another account of such Miracles than would be taken from us. But where he saith, It is as much for the Honour of God's Name to work such Miracles now; their own Authors will tell him the contrary; and that there is no such Reason now, as in former times, when Religion was to be confirmed by them; and when Martyrs suffered upon the sole account of the Truth of it; and therefore their Reputation had a greater Influence upon converting the un­believing World.

2. Suppose it be granted, yet it proves not any Religious Worship to be given to them. For I shall seriously ask an important Question: Whether they do really believe, any greater Miracles have ever been done by Reliques, than were done by the Brazen Serpent? And yet, although that was set up by God's own Appointment, when it began to be wor­shorshipped after an undue manner; it was thought fit by Hezekiah to be broken in pieces. What now was the undue Worship they gave to it? Did they believe the Serpent, which could neither move nor understand, was it self a God? But they did burn Incense to it. And did that make a God of it? Suppose Men burn Incense to Reliques; What then, are they made Gods presently? Suppose they do not, but place them upon Altars, carry them in Procession, fall down before them, with intention to shew the Honour they do them; are not these as much as burning a little Incense, which could not signify so much Honour as the other do? and it is hard then to make the one unlawful, and not the other.

V. Of the EUCHARIST.

HE believes it lawful to com­mit Idolatry, and makes it his daily practice to Worship and adore a Breaden God, giving Divine Honour to those poor empty E­lements of Bread and Wine. Of these he asks Pardon for his sins; of these he desires Grace and Salvation; these he acknowledges to have been his Re­deemer and Saviour, and hopes for no good but what is to come to him by means of these household Goods. And then for his Apology, he alledges such gross contradictions, contrary to all sense and reason, that whosoever will be a Papist, must be no Man: Fondly believing, that what he adores, is no Bread or Wine, but Christ really present under those appearances; and thus makes as many Christs, as many Redeemers, as there are Churches, Altars, or Priests. When, according to Gods Infallible Word, there is but one Christ, and He not on Earth, but at the right hand of his Father in Hea­ven.

HE believes it unlawful to commit Idolatry; and most damnable to Worship or Adore any Breaden God, or to give Divine Honour to any Elements of Bread and Wine. He worships only one God, who made Heaven and Earth, and his only Son Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who, being in all things equal to his Father, in Truth and Omnipotency, he believes, made his words good, pronounc'd at his last Supper; really giving his Body and Blood to his Apostles; the Sub­stance of Bread and Wine being by his powerful Words chang'd into his own Body and Blood, the Species or Accidents of the Bread and Wine remaining as before. The same he believes of the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, consecrated now by Priests: That it really contains the Body of Christ, which was de­liver'd for us; and his Blood, which was shed for the remission of sins: Which being there united with the Divinity, he confesses Whole Christ to be present. And him he adores and acknowledges his Redeemer, and not any Bread or Wine. And for the believing of this Mystery, he does not at all think it meet for any Christian to appeal from Christ's Words, to his own Senses or Reason, for the examining the truth of what he has said; but rather to submit his Senses and Reason to Christ's Words in the obse­quiousness of Faith: And that being a Son of Abraham, 'tis more be­coming him to believe as Abraham did, promptly, with a Faith superiour to all Sense or Reason, and whither these could never lead him. With this Faith it is, he believes, every Mystery of his Religion, the Trinity, Incar­nation, [Page 47] &c. With this Faith he believes that what descended upon our Saviour at his Baptism in Iordan, was really the Holy Ghost, though Sen­ses or Reason could discover it to be nothing but a Dove: With this Faith he believes, That the Man that Ioshua saw standing over against him with his Sword drawn, (Iosh. 5.13.) and the three Men that Abraham entertain'd in the Plains of Mambre, (Gen. 18.) were really and substan­tially no Men; and that notwithstanding all the information and evi­dence of Sense from their Colour, Features, Proportion, Talking, Eating, and many others, of their being Men; yet, without any discredit to his Senses, he really believes they were no such thing, because God's Word has assured him of the contrary: And with this Faith he believes Christ's Bo­dy and Blood to be really present in the Blessed Sacrament, though, to all appearance, there's nothing more than Bread and Wine: Thus, not at all hearkning to his Senses in a matter where God speaks, he unfeignedly confesses, That he that made the World of nothing by his sole word: That cured Diseases by his Word: That raised the Dead by his Word: That expell'd Devils: That commanded the Winds and Seas: That multiplied Bread: That changed Water into Wine by his Word, and Sinners into Just Men, cannot want Power to change Bread and Wine in­to his own Body and Blood by his sole Word. And this without danger of multiplying his Body, of making as many Christs as Altars, or leaving the right hand of his Father. But only by giving to his Body a superna­tural manner of Existence; by which, being left without extension of parts, and rendred independent of place, it may be one and the same in many places at once, and whole in every part of the Symbols, and not obnoxious to any corporeal Contingencies. And this kind of Existence is no more, than what in a manner he bestows upon every Glorified Body: Than what his own Body had, when born without the least violation of his Mothers Virginal Integrity: When he arose from the Dead, out of the Sepulchre, without removing the Stone: When he entred amongst his Disciples, the Doors being shot. And though he cannot understand how this is done, yet he undoubtedly believes, That God is able to do more than He is able to understand.

V. Of the Eucharist.

THere are two material Points under this Head which are to be examined, because he endeavours to set them off with all the advantage he can, viz. Adoration of the Host, and Transubstan [...]iation.

I. Of the Adoration of the Host.

1. The Question is far enough from being, Whether it be lawful to commit Idolatry? as our Representer puts it. For the Misrepresenter saith, That a Papist believes it lawful to com­mit Idolatry: and to clear this, our Author gravely saith, He believes it unlawful to commit Idolatry. pag. 9. As though any Men ever owned it to be lawful: Which is, as if the Que­stion were, Whether such a Man committed Adultery, and he should think to clear himself by saying, he believed it un­lawful to commit Adultery.

2. The Question is not, Whether Christ may be lawfully adored by us in the Celebration of the Eucharist; which we are so far from denying, that our Church requires our recei­ving it in the posture of Adoration.

3. The true Question is, Whether the Body of Christ, be­ing supposed to be present in the Host by Transubstantiati­on, be a sufficient ground to give the same Adoration to the Host, which they would do to the Person of Christ.

And that this is the true state of the Question, will appear by these things.

1. The Council of Trent first defined Transubstantiation, and from thence inferrred Adoration of the Host; as is most evident to any one that will read the fourth and fifth De­crees of the Thirteenth Session. Nullus itaque dub [...]tandi locus, &c. i.e. If Transubstantiation be true, then Adoration fol­lows. It's true, the sixth Canon only speaks of Christ being there worshipped; but that ought to be compared with the first, second, and fourth Canons, where the Doctrine of Tran­substantiation is fully set down, as the Foundation of that A­doration.

2. The Adoration is not fixed on the Person of Christ, as separate from the Host, but as making one Object of Worship together with it. And so the Council of Trent declares in the sixth Decree; when it saith, The Sacrament is neverthe­less to be adored, because it was instituted to be received This cannot be otherwise understood, than as relating to the Sa­crament: and so that whatever it be, must be granted to be the Object of Adoration. By the Sacrament, saith Cardinal Pallavicini,Pallavicin. his.. Concil. Trident. l. 12. c. 6. is understood the Object made up of the Body of Christ, and the Accidents. The Worship then being confessed to be [Page 49] Adoration, which is due to God alone, and that Adoration directed to the Sacrament as its proper Object; the Questi­on now is, Whether such a Supposition in the Sacrament, doth justifie that Adoration?

Our Author saith, He accounteth it most damnable to wor­ship or adore any Breaden God, or to give Divine Honour to any Elements of Bread and Wine.

Then, I say, by his own confession, if it be only Bread, he commits Idolatry; for the Adoration he cannot deny. But our Representer loves ambiguous Expressions, which to the People sound very well, but have no sincere meaning: for what is it he understands by his Breaden God? If it be that he worships a God, which himself supposes to be no­thing but Bread, we do not charge him with it; but if it be what we believe it to be, the Substance of Bread, but himself believes to be turned into the Body of Christ, then he cannot deny his Adoration to be given to it.

All that can excuse them is, the Supposition; and whe­ther that will or not, is now to be consider'd.

1. If it be not true, themselves grant it to be Idolatry. The Testimonies of Bishop Fisher, and Costerus, Roffeus. c. Occo­lamp. l. 1. c. 2. Coster. Enchi­rid. c. 8. n. 10. are so well known to this purpose, that I shall not repeat them. And Catharinus, a Divine of Note in the Council of Trent, con­fesses it is Idolatry to worship an unconsecrated Host, al­though the Person, through a Mistake, believes it conse­crated. And he quotes Saint Thomas and Paludanus for his Opinion; and gives this Reason for it;Catharin. in Cajet. p. 133, &c.. Ed. Paris 1535. Because Christ is not worshipped simply in the Sacrament, but as he is under the Spe­cies; and therefore if he be not so present, a Creature hath Di­vine Worship given it. As those were guilty of Idolatry, who wor­shipped any Creatures of old, supposing God to be there, as that he was the Soul of the World. They were not excused, saith he, that they thought they worshipped but one God; because they worshipped him as present in such a manner, as he was not. Lugdan. 1542. And this Book of hi [...], he saith, in the Review of it, was seen and approved by the Pope's Order, by their Divines at Paris.

2. If the Bread were taken to be God, our Author doth not deny it would be Idolatry, for that were to worship a Brea­den God. Yet here would be a Mistake, and a gross one; yet this Mistake would not excuse the Persons committing it [Page 50] from most damnable Idolatry, as he confesses: Why then should the other Mistake excuse them, when they suppose the Substance of the Bread not to be there, but the Body of Christ to be under the Species? Yes, say they, then no Crea­ture is supposed to be the Object of Worship. But when the Bread is supposed to be God, it must be supposed not to be a Crea­ture. There is no Answer to be given in this Case, but that the Bread really is a Creature, whatsoever they imagined; and if this Mistake did not excuse, neither can the other.

II. Of Transubstantiation.

Three things our Author goes upon, with respect to this.

  • 1. He supposes Christ's words to be clear for it.
  • 2. He shews the possibility of it, from Gods Omnipotency.
  • 3. He argues against the Testimony or Evidence of Sense or Reason in this Case, from some parallel Instances, as he thinks.

1. He believes Iesus Christ made his Words good, pronounced at his last Supper, really giving his Body and Blood to his Apo­stles? the Substance of Bread and Wine being, by his powerful Words, changed into his own Body and Blood; the Species only, or Accidents of the Bread and Wine, remaining as before. The same he believes of the Eucharist consecrated now by Priests.

This is a very easie way, of taking it for granted that the words are clear for Transubstantiation. And from no better Ground, to fly to God's Omnipotency to make it good, is as if one should suppose Christ really to be turned into a Rock, a Vine, a Door; because the words are every jot as clear, and then call in Gods Omnipotency, which is as effectual to make them good. I confess, these words are so far from being clear to me for Transubstantiation, that if I had never heard of it, I should never have thought of it, from these or any other words of Scripture, i.e. not barely considering the sound of words, but the Eastern Idioms of speaking; the Circumstances of our Saviour's real Body at that time when he spake them; the uncouth way of feeding on Christ's real Body, without any Objection made against it by his Disci­ples; the Key our Saviour elsewhere gives for understanding the manner of eating his Flesh; and withal, if these words be literally and strictly understood, they must make the [Page 51] Substance of Bread to be Christ's Body; for that is una­voidably the literal sense of the words. For can any Men take This to be any thing but this Bread, who attend to the common sense and meaning of Words, and the strict Rules of Interpretation? Yet this sense will by no means be allow'd; for then all that can be infer'd from these words is, that when Christ spake these words. The Bread was his Body. But either Christ meant the Bread by This, or he did not; if he did, the former Proposition is unavoidable in the literal sense; if he did not, then by vertue of these words, the Bread could never be turned into the Body of Christ. For that only could be made the Body of Christ which was meant, when Christ said, This is my Body. This seems to me to be as plain and convincing as any Demonstration in Euclid. Which hath often made me wonder at those who talk so confidently of the plain Letter of Scripture, being for this Doctrine of Transubstantiation. But several Divines of the Church of Rome understood themselves better, and have confessed, that this Doctrine could not be drawn out of the literal sense of these words; as it were easie to shew, if it had not been late­ly done already. It is enough here to observe, that Vasquez confesseth it of Scotus, Vasq. in 3 part. Disc. 180. Q. 75 Art. 2. c. 5. Durandus, Paludanus, Ockam, Camera­censis; and himself yields that they do not, and cannot signi­fie expresly the Change of the Bread and Wine into the Body of Christ. For how can, This is my Body, literally signifie, this is changed into my Body? If that Proposition were lite­rally true, This is my Body, it overthrows the Change; For how can a thing be changed into that which it is already?

2. He believes Christ being equal to his Father in Truth and Omnipotency, can make his words good. We do not in the least dispute Christ's Omnipotency, but we may their familiar way of making use of it to help them out, when Sense and Reason fail them. And therefore Cajetan well said;Cajetan. in 3 Part. Q. 75. Art. 1, 2, 3. We ought not to dispute about Gods Absolute Power in the Doctrine of the Sacraments, being things of such constant use; and that it is a foolish thing to attribute to the Sacrament all that God can do.

But we must consider what he saith against Sense and Rea­son. For the believing this Mystery, he does not at all think it meet for any Christian to appeal from Christs Words, to his own [Page 52] Senses or Reason, for the examining the Truth of what he hath said, but rather to submit his Senses and Reason to Christ's Words in the obsequiousness of Faith. What! whether we know this to be the meaning of Christ's Words, or not? And thus we shall be bound to submit to every absurd Interpretation of Scripture, because we must not use our Senses or Reason for examining the Truth of what is said there. Can any thing be plainer said in Scripture, than that God hath Eyes and Ears, and Hands? Must now every Man yield to this in the obsequiousness of Faith, without examining it by Principles of common Reason? And we think we are therefore bound to put another Sense upon those Expressions, because they im­ply a Repugnancy to the Divine Perfections. Why not then where something is implied which is repugnant to the Nature of Christ's Body, as well as to our Senses? But the Question about judging in this matter by our Senses, is not, as our Au­thor is willing to suppose, viz. Whether our Senses are to be believed, against a clear and express Divine Revelation; but whether the Judgment of our Senses and Reason is not to be made use of for finding out the true sense of this Reve­lation? And we think there is great reason for it.

(1.) Because we have no more certain way of judging the Substance of a Body, than by our Senses. We do not say our Senses go beyond the Accidents; but we say, our Senses, by those Accidents, do assure us of the bodily Substance, or else it were impossible for us to know there is any such thing in the world.

(2.) Because Christ did himself appeal to the Judgment of his Disciples Senses concerning the Truth of his own Body after the Resurrection; Behold my Hands and my Feet, that it is I my self: S. Luk. 24.39. handle and see, for a Spirit hath not Flesh and Bones, as ye see me have. Now we think we have reason to allow the same Criterion which Christ himself did about the very same Body. Unless he had then told his Disciples, that there was to be another supernatural manner of Existence of the same Body, concerning which their Senses were not to be Judges.

(3.) Some of the most important Articles of the Christi­an Faith do suppose the Judgment of our Senses to be true. As about the Truth of Christ's Body; whether he had re­ally [Page 53] a Body, or only the outward Accidents and Appearance of a Body? if he had not, he did not really suffer upon the Cross, and so the Sacrifice of Propitiation there offered up to the Father for the sins of mankind, is lost. There was a great Controversy in St. Iohn's time, and afterwards, Whether Christ had any real Body? Those who denied it, brought Revelation for it; those who asserted it, proved it by their Senses, as S. Iohn himself,1 S. John. 1.1, 3. That which we have seen, and heard, and our hands have handled, &c. He doth not tell men, they must submit their Sense and Reason to the pretence of Re­velation; but they ought to adhere to the Judgment of their Senses concerning the Reality of Christ's Body. Since there­fore Christ himself appealed to it, the Apostles made use of it, without any caution or limitation, we have great reason to rely still on the Judgment of our Senses concerning the same Object, viz. the Body of Christ.

3. But we must now consider his Instances to overthrow the Iudgment of our Senses and Reason in this Point.

1. He believes Christ to be God, though to Senses he seemed nothing but Man. Do we ever pretend to judge of Christ's Di­vinity by our Senses? How then can this be pertinent, when our only Dispute is about judging his Body, and the substance of Bread and Wine by them? And yet the Senses were of great use as to the proof of his Divinity by the Miracles which he wrought? which if they had been like the preten­ded Miracles in Transubstantiation, could have convinced no man, because they could never see them.

2. He believes the Holy Ghost descended on our Saviour, tho Senses or Reason could discover it to be nothing but a Dove. If there were no reason to judge otherwise, the Judgment of Sense were to be followed: but since the Scripture declares it was the Holy Ghost descending as a Dove, we have no reason to question that Revelation. For we do not pretend that our Senses are so far Judges of Divine Appearances, as to exclude the possibility of God's assuming the shape and figure of his Creature when he pleases, by moulding the sub­stance of a real Body into such a Representation. Thus we do not deny the possibility of an appearance of the Holy Ghost under Bread and Wine, if God thought fit, any more than under a Dove; and in this Case we do not pretend [Page 54] that our Senses can exclude the presence of a Spirit under the Elements; but that is very different from the present Case, for here the Substance is supposed to be gone, and nothing but Accidents remaining; and no spiritual Presence of Christ is denied, but that of his Body, the very same Body which suffered on the Cross.

3. He believes the Man who appeared to Joshua, (ch. 5 13.) and the three Men to Abraham, (Gen. 18.) were really and sub­stantially no Men, notwithstanding all the Information and Evi­dence of Sens [...] to the contrary, from their Colour, Features, Pro­portion, Talking, Eating, and many others. And what follows from hence, but that Spiritual Invisible Substances may be under the appearance of Bodies, and that our Senses cannot be Judges of them? Which is not our Question, but Whe­ther Bodies can be so present after the manner of Spirits, as to lose all the natural Properties of Bodies? and whether a Material Substance can be lost, under all the Accidents pro­per to it, so as our Senses cannot be proper Judges of one by the other?

But our Author seems to grant this, in a natural way of the Existence of a Body: but he saith, Christ gives to his Body a supernatural manner of Existence, by which being left without extension of Parts, and rendred independent of Place, it may be one and the same in many places at once, and whole in every part of the Symbols, and not obnoxious to any corporeal contingencies.

This is to me a Mystery beyond all comprehension by Sense or Reason; and there is certainly a great difference be­tween governing our Understandings, and giving them up, as we must do if this Doctrine hold good; for it overthrows any fixed Principles of Reason in mankind concerning the Nature and Properties of Bodies.

For, 1. We must still suppose the Body of Christ to be the very same individual Body which suffered upon the Cross; but if it had no extension of Parts, and be reckoned inde­pendent upon Place, it ceaseth to be a Body. It is granted, that after a natural way of Existence, a B [...]dy cannot be in more places than one: but let the way of Existence be what it will, if it be a body, it must be finite; if finite, it must be limited and circumscribed; if it be circumscribed within one place, it cannot be in more places, for that is to make it cir­cumscribed, [Page 55] and not circumscribed; undivided from it self, and divided from it self at the same time. Which is a mani­fest Contradiction, which doth not depend only on Quantity or Extension, but upon the essential Unity of a Body.

2. If it be possible for a Body to be in several places by a supernatural Existence; why may not the same Body be in se­veral places by a natural Existence? Is it not because Exten­sion and Circumscription are so necessary to it, that in a na­tural Way it can be but in one Place? Then it follows that these are essential Properties of Bodies; so that no true Bo­dy can be conceived without them.

3. This Supernatural Existence doth not hinder the Body's being individually present in one place: My meaning is this; A Priest Consecrates an Host at London, and another at York; is the Body of Christ at London, so present there by virtue of Consecration, as to be present at York too, by this Supernatu­ral Existence? What then doth the Consecration at York pro­duce? If it be not, then its Presence is limited to the Host, where the Consecration is made; and if it be so limited, then this supernatural Existence cannot take off its relation to place.

4. The same Body would be liable to the greatest Contra­dictions imaginable: For the same Body after this supernatu­ral way of Existence, may not only be above and below, with­in and without, near and far off from it self: but it may be hot and cold, dead and alive; yea, in Heaven and Hell at once.

5. What is it that makes it still a Body after this superna­tural way of Existence, &c. if it lose extension and dependen­cy on place? If it be only an aptitude to extension, when that supernatural Existence is taken off, then it must either be without quantity, or with it. If it be without quantity, how can it be a Body? if with quantity, how is it possible to be without Extension?

6. This confounds all the differences of Greater and Less, as well as of Distance and Nearness. For upon this Suppo­sition, a thing really greater may be contained within a less: for the whole Organical Body of Christ, with all its parts, may be brought within the compass of a Wafer; and the whole be in every part without any distance between Head and Feet.

[Page 56]7. This makes Christ to have but one Body, and yet to have as many Bodies as there are consecrated Hosts. No, saith our Author, This supernatural manner of Existence is without danger of multiplying his Body, or making as many Christs as Altars. But how this can be, is past all humane Under­standing: For every Consecration hath its Effect, which is supposed to be the Conversion of the Substance of the Bread into the Body of Christ. Now, when a Priest at London con­verts the Bread into the Body of Christ there, he doth it not into the Body of Christ at York, but the Priest there doth it; therefore the Body of Christ at London, is different from that at York; or else the Conversion at London would be into the Body, as at York. But if not, what is the substantial Term of this substantial Change, where nothing but an accidental Mode doth follow? If there be any such Term, whether that must not be a production of something which was not be­fore; and if it be so, Christ must have as many new Bodies, as there are Consecrations.

8. This makes that which hath no particular Subsistence of its own, to be the Subject of a substantial Change; for this is the condition of Christ's Body, whatever its manner of Existence be, after the Hypostatical Union to the Divine Nature. For, when Bellarmin, Petavius, Bellarm. de Incarn. l. 3. c. 8. Petav. de In­carnatione p. 6. c. 1. §. 3. and others of their greatest Divines, undertake, against Nestorius, to explain the Hypostatical Union, they tell us it consists in this, that the human Nature loseth its proper Subsistence, and is assumed into the Subsistence of the Divine Nature. From whence I infer, That the Body of Christ, having no proper Subsistence of its own, there can be no substantial Change into that which hath no proper subsistence, but into that which hath; and consequently the Change must be into the Divine Na­ture principally; from whence it will follow, the Elements losing their Subsistence, upon Consecration the Divinity must be united hypostatically to them, as to the human Nature; and so there will be as many Hypostatical Unions, as there are Consecrations. And so this Doctrine not only confounds Sense and Reason, but the Mysteries of Christ's Incarnation too: Which I think is sufficient for this Head.

VI. Of Merits and Good Works.

HE believes Christ's Death and Passion to be ineffectual, and in­significant, and that he has no depen­dance upon the merits of his Sufferings, or the Mercy of God for the obtaining Salvation; but that he is to be sav'd by his own Merits. And, for this rea­son he is very zealously busie in fasting, in whipping himself, in watching, in going in Procession, in wearing Hair-shirts, and using a thousand such like Mortifications: And having done this, he thinks himself not at all beholding to God for his Salvation, and that to give him Heaven, will be no favour: It be­ing now his due, upon the account of his own meritorious Atchievements, with­out any God-a-mercy to Christ's Passi­on, or his Makers Goodness.

HE believes it damnable to say that Christ's Death and Pas­sion is ineffectual and insignificant: And that 'tis the Doctrine of Devils to belive, That he has no depen­dance for his Salvation upon the Merits of Christ's Sufferings, or the Mercy of God; but only upon his own Merits and good Works. 'Tis his Faith to believe, That of our selves we are not sufficient, so much as to think a good thought, that the Grace by which we are justified, is given us purely gratis upon the ac­count of Christs Merits; moreover, that no Man, how just soever, can merit any thing, either in this life, or in that to come, independant on the Merits & Passion of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, that through the Merits of Christ, the good Works of a just Man proceeding from Grace, are so acceptable to God, that through his Goodness and Promise, they are truly meritorious of eternal Life. And this he has learn'd from the Apostle, (2 Tim. 4.8.) where he is taught, that there is a Crown of Justice, which our Lord, a just Judge, will render at the last day, not only to Saint Paul, but also to all those, that shall have fought a good sight, and consummated their course, kept the Faith, and lov'd his coming. Knowing therefore that at the day of Judgment, he is to receive according to his Works: He endeavours by good Works to make his Vocation and Election sure. And in following this Counsel, he thinks he no more offends against the fulness of the Merits of Christ's, or God's Mercy, than the Apostle does in giving it.

VI. Of Merits and good Works.

FOr the true stating this Controversie, we are to observe:

1. That we do not charge those of the Church of Rome, [Page 58] That they belive Christ's Death and Passion to be ineffectual and insignificant, and that they have no dependence on the Merits of his Sufferings, or the Mercy of God for attaining Salvation; but that they are to be saved only by their own Merits and Good Works; as the Misrepresenter saith.

2. We do not charge them with denying the Necessity of Divine Grace in order to merit; or with asserting that they can merit independently thereupon.

3. We do by no means dispute about the Necessity of Good Works, in order to the Reward of another Life; or assert that Christ's Merits will save Men without working out their own Salvation; but do firmly believe, that God will judg Men according to their Works.

The Question then is, Whether the Good Works of a just Man, as our Author expresses it, are truly meritorious of eter­nal Life? Which he affirms, but qualifies with saying, That they proceed from Grace, and that through Gods Goodness and Promise, they are truly meritorious. But the Council of Trent denounces an Anathema against those who deny the Good Works of justified Persons, Concil. Trident Sess. 6. Can. 32. to be truly meritorious of the increase of Grace, and of eternal Life.

Here then lie the Points in difference, (1.) Whether such Good Works can be said to be truly meritorious? (2.) Whe­ther those who deny it, deserve an Anathema for so doing? As to what relates to Gods Acceptance and Allowance, and his Goodness and Promise, we freely own all that he saith about it; and if no more be meant, what need an Anathema about this matter? There must therefore be something beyond this, when Good Works are not only said to be truly meri­torious, but we are cursed if we do not say the same.

To make any thing truly meritorious, we must suppose these Conditions requisite.

  • 1. That what we pretend to merit by, be our own free act.
  • 2. That it be not defective.
  • 3. That there be an Equality between it, and the Reward due to it.
  • 4. That there be an Obligation in point of Justice, to give that Reward to him that doth it.

And from these Considerations, we deny that good Works, even of justified Persons, can be truly meritorious.

[Page 59]1. It is granted by themselves, That what is truly merito­rious, must be a free Act of the Person who doth it.Meritum est actio libera cul Merces debetur ex justitiâ. Co­ster. Enchirid. de Meritis bon. Oper. c. 7. Now the good Works of justified persons cannot be said to be their own free Acts, if the Power of doing them depend upon Divine Assistance, and there was an antecedent Obligation upon them to perform them: So that they can do nothing but what they are bound to, as God's Creatures; and their very Power of doing it is from the Grace of God. If Men pretended to merit at anothers hands by what God gives, there were some colour for it;In quantum ho­mo propriâ vo­luntate facit id quod debet, me­retur apud De­um, alioquin reddere debi­tum non esset meritorum. A­quin. 1, 2. qu. 114. artic. 1. resp. ad. 1. but to merit from God him­self by what he gives us, seems very incongruous. If I ow a Man an 100 l. and another knowing me unable to pay it, gives me so much to pay the Debt, this is no more than what may be called strict Payment, as to the Creditor; but if the Creditor himself gives me this 100 l. to pay himself with, will any Man call this strict Payment? He may call it so himself, if he pleases, but that only shews his Kind­ness and Favour; but it doth not look very modestly or gratefully, for the Debtor to insist upon it as true legal Pay­ment. Just so it is in good Works done by the Power of God's Grace, which we could never have done without it; and therefore such cannot be truly meritorious.

2. What is truly meritorious must not be defective; be­cause the Proportion is to be equal between the Act, and the Reward due to it; which being perfect, requires that there be do Defect in the Acts which merit it. But this can never be said of Good Works of justified Persons, that they have no Defects in them. We do not say, they are not Good Works, but they are not exact and perfect: for although the Grace of God, as it comes from him, be a perfect Gift; yet as it acts upon Mens Minds, it doth not raise them to such a degree, but that they have Imperfections in their best Actions. And whatever is defective, is faulty; whatever is faulty, must be forgiven: whatever needs forgiveness, can­not be truly meritorious. But not only their Good Works are defective; but if they would merit, they ought to have none but Good Works, whereas the mixture of others ren­ders the good uncapable of being meritorious, because there is so much to be pardoned, as takes away all claim of Me­rit in the good they perform. And themselves do not pre­tend, [Page 60] that Men can merit the Grace of Remission; but it is very strange that those who cannot deserve to be forgiven, should deserve to have an infinite Reward bestowed upon them.

Meritum se ha­bet ad praemium sicut pretium ad illud quod emi­tur. Altisiodor. l. 3. tr. 12. Absoluta aequa­litas inter mer­cedem & meri­tum poni [...]ur per modum Iusti­tiae commutati­vae. Bell. Iustis. l. 5. c. 14.3. There must be an exact Proportion between the Act and the Recompence: for to merit, is to pay a Price for a thing; and in such Acts of commutative Justice, there must be an Equality of one thing with another. But what Equality can there be between the imperfect Good Works of the best Men, and the most perfect Happiness of another World, especially when that consists in the fruition of the Beatifical Vision? For what Proportion can there be be­tween our Acts towards God, and God's Acts towards the Blessed in Heaven? Let the Acts be of what Person soever, or of what Nature soever, or from what Principle soever; as long as they are the Acts of finite imperfect Creatures, it is impossible there should be any Equality, or exact Pro­portion between them and the Eternal Favour of God, which is the Reward promised.

4. Where Acts are truly meritorious, there follows an Ob­ligation of strict Justice, to pay the Recompence due to them. But what strict Justice can there be between the Creator and his Creatures, to recompence the Service they are bound to perform; when their very Being, Power to act, Assistance in acting, and Recompence for it, are all from his Bounty and Goodness? But our Author would a­void all this, by saying, that though Good Works are truly meritorious; yet it is through the Merits of Christ, and as they proceed from Grace, and through his Goodness and Promise that they are so; i. e. they are truly meritorious, because it ap­pears from all these things they neither are, nor can be me­ritorious. For,

(1.) How come the Merits of Christ to make good Works truly meritorious? Are the Merits of Christ imputed to those Good Works? Then those Good Works must be as merito­rious as Christ's own Works; which I suppose he will not assert. Or, is it that Christ hath merited the Grace where­by we may merit? But even this will not make our personal Acts truly meritorious; and the Nature of Merit relates to the Acts, and not to the Power.

[Page 61]2. How comes the Power of Grace to make them truly me­ritorious; when the Power of Grace doth so much increase the Obligation on our side? If it be said, That the state of Grace puts men into a capacity to merit: we might more reaso­nably infer the contrary, that it puts them out of a capacity of meriting; because the Remission of Sins, and the Favour of God, are things for which we can never make him any recompence.

(3.) How comes a Divine Promise to make Acts truly me­ritorious? For God's Promise is an Act of meer kindness, which is very different from strict Justice: and although by the Promise God binds himself to performance; yet how come those Acts to be more meritorious of Heaven, than the Acts of Repentance are of Remission of Sins? Yet none will now say, that there can be any Acts meritorious of that. Yet certainly there is a clear promise of Pardon upon Repen­tance, as there is of Heaven upon Good Works: And if the Promise in the other case doth not make Repentance merito­rious of Pardon; how can it make Good Works truly meri­torious of Eternal Life? But notwithstanding, we do not deny God's Fidelity to his Promise may be called Iustice, and so God, as a Righteous Iudge, 2 Tim. 4.8. may give a Crown of Righteous­ness to all that follow St. Paul's Example, without making Good Works to be truly meritorious.

VII. Of Confession.

HE believes it part of his Religion to make Gods of Men; foolishly thinking that these have power to for­give sins. And therefore as often as he finds his Conscience oppressed with the guilt of his Offences; he calls for one of his Priests, who are commonly more wicked than himself, and falling at his feet, he unfolds to him the whole state of his Soul; and having run over a Catalogue of his Sins, he asks of him Pardon and Forgiveness. And what is most absurd of all, he is so sillily stu­pid as to believe, That, if his Ghostly Father, after he has heard all his Vil­lanies in his Ear, does but pronounce three or four Latin words, making the sign of a Cross with two fingers and a thumb over his head, his sins are forth­with forgiven him, although he had ne­ver any thoughts of amendment, or in­tention to forsake his wickedness.

HE believes it damnable in any Religion to make Gods of Men. However he firmly holds, that when Christ speaking to his Apo­stles, said, (Ioh. 20.21.) Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained: He gave to them, and their Succes­sors, the Bishops and Priests of the Catholick Church, Authority to ab­solve▪ any truly penitent sinner from [Page 62] his sins. And God having thus given them the Ministry of Reconciliation, and made them Christ's Legates, (2 Cor. 5.18, 19, 12.) Christ's Mi­nisters, and the Dispensers of the My­steries of Christ, and given them pow­er to loose on Earth whatsoever was to be loosed in Heaven, (Mat. 18.18.) he undoubtedly believes, that who­soever comes to them making a sin­cere and humble confession of his sins, with a firm purpose of amendment, and an hearty resolution of turning from his evil ways, may from them receive Absolution, by the Authority given them from Heaven, and not doubt but God ratifies above, the sen­tence pronounced in that Tribunal; Loosing in Heaven whatsoever is thus loosed by them on Earth. And that, whosoever comes without the due pre­paration, without a Repentance from the bottom of his heart, and real intension of forsaking his sins, receives no benefit by the Absolution, but adds sin to sin, by an high contempt of God's Mercy, and abuse of his Sacraments.

VII. Of Confession.

WE do not charge the Church of Rome, that in the power of Absolving, they make Gods of Men, as our Misrepre­senter pretends.

2. We do not deny, That Christ gave to the Bishops and Priests of the Catholick Church, Authority to absolve any truly pe­nitent Sinner from his Sins, (which he therefore needlesly proves out of Scripture) and that such Absolution is ratified in Heaven.

3. We are glad to find that our Author declares, That no Man receives benefit by Absolution, without Repentance from the bottom of his Heart, and real intention of forsaking his Sins; by which we hope he means more than Attrition.

But yet there are some things which stick with us, as to the Doctrine and Practicee of the Church of Rome in this matter, which he takes no notice of.

1. That Secret Confession of Sins to a Priest, is made so necessary to Salvation,Sess. 14. Can. 6. that an Anathema is denounced against all that deny it, when they cannot deny that God doth for­give [Page 63] Sins upon true Contrition. For the Council of Trent doth say, That Contrition, with Charity, Sess. 14. c. 4. doth reconcile a Man to God before the Sacrament of Penance be actually received. But then it adds,Lomb. l. 4. Dist. 17. Grat. d [...] Poenit. Dist. 1. c. 90. Quidam. That the desire of Confession is included in Contri­tion: Which is impossible to be proved by Scripture, Reason, or Antiquity. For so lately, as in the time of the Master of the Sentences, and Gratian (in the 12th. Century) it was a very dis­putable Point, whether Confession to a Priest were necessary. And it is very hard for us to understand how that should be­come necessary to Salvation since, which was not then. Some of their own Writers confess, that some good Catho­licks did not believe the necessity of it. I suppose the old Ca­nonists may pass for good Catholicks; and yet Maldonat saith,Greg. de Va­lentià. de ne­cessit. Confess. c. 2. Maldonat. Oper To. 2. de Poenit. c. 2, & 3. That all the Interpreters of the Decrees held, that there was no Divine Precept for Confession to a Priest; and of the same Opinion he grants Scotus to have been. But he thinks it is now declared to be Heresie, or he wishes it were. And we think it is too much already, unless there were better ground for it.

2. That an Anathema is denounced against those who do not understand the words of Christ, Whose Sins ye remit they are remitted, &c. of the Sacrament of Penance,John 20.23. so as to im­ply the necessity of Confession: Whereas there is no appea­rance in the words of any such Sense; and themselves grant, that in order to the Remission of Sins by Baptism, (of which St. Matthew and St. Mark speak in the Apostles Commission) there is no necessity of Sacramental Confession, S. Mat. 28.19. Mark 16.16. Iansen. Concor. Evang. c. 147. but a general Confession is sufficient. And from hence the Elder Ianseni­us concludes, That the Power of Remission of Sins here granted, doth not imply Sacramental Confession. Cajetant yields,Caiet [...]n. in. loc. Ed. Paris, 1540. Catharin. i [...] Cajetan. l. 5. p. 444. There is no Command for Confession here. And Catharinus adds, That Ca­jetan would not allow any one Place of Scripture to prove Auricu­lar Confession. And as to this particular, he denies that there is any Command for it; and he goes not about to prove it, but that Cajetan contradicts himself elsewhere, viz. when he wrote School-Divinity, before he set himself to the study of the Scriptures. Vasques saith,Vasques. [...]: 3. Part. Th. Tom. 4. Qu. 90. Art. 1. Dub. 2. Num. 2. Greg. de Va­lent. in Thom. That if these words may be un­derstood of Baptism, none can infer from them the Necessity of Auricular Confession. But Gregory de Valentia evidently proves, that this place doth relate to Remission of Sins in Baptism; not only from the Comparison of places, but from the Te­stimonies [Page 64] of Saint Cyprian, Tom. 4. Disp. 7. Qu. p. Punct. 2. p. 284. Saint Ambrose, and others.

3. That it is expressed in the same Anathema's that this hath been always the Doctrine and Practice of the Catho­lick Church from the beginning. We do not deny the anci­ent practice, either of Canonical Confession, as part of the Discipline of the Church for publick Offenses; nor of Vo­luntary Confession, for ease and satisfaction of the perplexed Minds of doubting or dejected Penitents; but that which we say was not owned nor practised by the Church from the beginning, was this Sacramental Confession as necessary to the Remission of sins before God. It is therefore to no pur­pose to produce out of Bellarmine, and others, a great num­ber of Citations, to prove that which we never deny; but if they hold to the Council of Trent, they must prove from the Fathers, that Sins after Baptism cannot be forgiven with­out Confession to men:Bonavent. in l. 4. Sent. Dist. 17. part 2 Godign. de re­bus Abyssin. l. 1. c. 28. Trinerarium Orientale. l. 5. c. 8. Galan. Concil. Eccl. Armenae. Tom. 2. p. 605. Historie Cri­ti (que) de la Cre­ance & de Cou­rums des Na­tions du Le­vant. c. 8. p. 105. Ch. 1. pap. 14. Resp. 1. Ierem. patriarch. ad Theolog. Wir­temberg. p. 87. Arcud. de Con­cord. Ecclesiae Occident. & Orient. in 7 Sa­cram. l. 4. c. 3. Goar in Eu­cholog. p. 681. which those who consider what they do, will never undertake, there being so many Testimonies of undoubted Antiquity against it. And it is observable, that Bonaventu [...]e grants, that before the Lateran Decree of Inno­centius 3. it was no Heresie to deny the necessity of Confession; and so he excuses those who in the time of Lombard and Gra­tian, held that Opinion. And all other Christians in the World besides those of the Church of Rome, do to this day reject the necessity of particular Confession to a Priest, in order to Remission, as the Writers of the Church of Rome themselves confess. So Godignus doth of the Abyssins; Philip­pus à SS. Trinitate, of the Iacobites; Clemens Galanus of the Nestorians, who saith, They made a Decree against the use of Confession to any but to God alone. And Alexius Meneses of the Christians of St. Thomas in the Indies. The Greeks believe Confession only to be of Positive and Ecclesiastical Institu­tion, as the late Author of the Critical History of the Faith and Customs of the Eastern Nations, proves. And the very Form of their Absolution declares, that they do not think particular Confession of all known Sins, necessary to pardon: for therein the Priest absolves the Penitent from the sins he hath not confessed through forgetfulness, or shame. And now let any one prove this to have been a Catholick Tradition by Vincentius his Rules, viz. That it hath been always received, every where, and by All.

VIII. Of Indulgences.

HE believes, that his Holy Father the Pope can give him leave to commit what sins he pleaseth; especially, if he can make him a present of a round Sum of Mony, he never need doubt of an In­dulgence or Pardon for himself and his Heirs for ever, for all sorts of Crimes or Wickedness, he, or any of his Posterity may have convenience of falling into. And having this Commission in his Pocket, under the Popes Broad Seal, he may be confident that Christ will confirm, and stand to all that his Vicar upon Earth has granted, and not call him to any account for any thing he has done, although he should chance to die without the least re­morse of Conscience, or Repentance for his sins.

HE believes it damnable to hold, that the Pope or any other Pow­er in Heaven or Earth, can give him leave to commit any sins whatsoever: Or, that for any Sum of Mony he can obtain an Indulgence or Pardon for sins that are to be committed by him, or his Heirs, hereafter. He firmly be­lieves that no sins can be forgiven, but by a true and hearty Repentance: But that still, there is a Power in the Church of granting Indulgences, which concern not at all the Remission of sins either Mortal or Venial; but only of some Temporal Punishments remain­ing due after the Guilt is remitted. So that they are nothing else, but a Mi­tigation or Relaxation upon just causes, of Canonical Penances, which are or may be injoyn'd by the Pastors of the Church, on penitent sinners, according to their several degrees of demerit. And this he is taught to be grounded on the Judiciary Power, left by Christ in his Church, of binding and loosing: whereby Authority was given to erect a Court of Conscience, to assign Penalties or release them, as circumstances should reguire. And this Authority he knows S. Paul plainly own'd, (2 Cor. 2.6.) where he decreed a Penance; Sufficient (says he) to such a man, is this punishment: And (2 Cor. 2.10.) where he released one; For your sake (speak­ing of the Penance injoyn'd the incestuous Corinthian,) I forgive it in the Per­son of Christ. And what Mony there is given at any time on this account, concerns not at all the Pope's Coffers, but is by every one given as they please, either to the Poor, to the Sick, to Prisoners, &c. wherefore they judge it most Charity. And tho' he acknowledges many abuses have been committed in granting and gaining Indulgences, through the default of some particular Persons; yet he cannot imagine how these can in Justice be charg'd upon the Church, to the prejudice of her Faith and Doctrine; [...] ­specially, since she has been so careful in the ret [...]enching them: As may be seen by what what was done in the Council of Trent. Dec. de Indulg. cum potestas.

VIII. Of Indulgences.

1. THey must be extreamly ignorant, who take the Power of Indulgences, to be a Leave from the Pope to commit what Sins they please; and that by virtue thereof, they shall escape Punish­ment for their Sins, without Repentance, in another World. Yet this is the sense of the Misrepresentation, which, he saith is made of it. And if he saith true in his Preface, That he hath described the Belief of a Papist, exactly according to the apprehension he had when he was a Protestant: He shews how well he understood the Mat­ters in difference, when I think no other Person besides himself ever had such an apprehension of it, who pretended to be any thing like a Scholar.

2. But now he believes it damnable to hold that the Pope, or any other Power in Heaven or Earth, can give him leave to commit any Sins whatsoever; or that for any Sum of Mony, he can obtain any Indulgence or Pardon for Sins that are to be committed by him, or his Heirs hereafter. Very well! But what thinks he of obtaining an Indulgence, or Pardon, after they are committed? Is no such thing to be obtained in the Court of Rome for a Sum of Mony? He cannot but have heard of the Tax of the Apostolick Chamber for several Sins, and what Sums are there set upon them. Why did he not as freely speak against this? This is published in the vast Collection of Tracts of Canon Law, Tractat. Tra­ctatuum. To. 15. Part. 1. s. 368. set forth by the Popes Au­thority, where there are certain Rates for Perjury, Murder, Apo­stacy, &c. Now what do these Sums of Mony mean? If they be small, it is so much the better Bargain, for the Sins are very great. And Espencaeus complains,Espencae. in Ep. ad Tit. c. 1. digress. 2. that this Book was so far from being called in, that, he saith, the Popes Legats renerred those Facul­ties, and confirmed them, It seems then a Sum of Mony may be of some consequence towards the obtaining Pardon for a Sin past, tho' not for a Licence to commit it. But what mighty diffe­rence is there, whether a Man procures with Mony a Dispensa­tion, or a Pardon? For the Sin can hurt him no more, than if he had Licence to commit it.

3. He doth believe there is a Power in the Church to grant Indul­gences; which, he saith, concern not at all the Remission of Sins, ei­ther mortal or venial, but only of some temporal Punishments remain­ing due after the Guilt is remitted. Here now arises a material Question, viz. Whether the Popes or the Representer be rather to be believed. If the Popes, who grant the Indulgences are to be believed; then not only the bare Remission of Sins is con­cerned [Page 67] in them, but the plenary and most plenary Remission of Sins is to be had by them. So Boniface the 8th, in his Bull of Iubilee granted, Non solum plenam & largiorem, imo plenissimam veniam peccatorum. If these words had no relation to Remission of Sins, the People were horribly cheated by the sound of them. In the Bull of Clement the 6th, not extant in the Bullarium, Bullar. Cheru­bin. in To. 1. p. 204. but pub­lished out of the Vtrecht Manuscript, not only a plenary Abso­lution from all Sins is declared to all persons who died in the Way to Rome; but he commands the Angels of Paradise to carry the Soul immediately to Heaven. And I suppose, whate­ver implies such an Absolution as carries a Soul to Heaven,Prorsus manda­mus Angelis pa­radisi, quantum animam illius à Purgatorio pe­ni [...]us absolutam in paradisi glo­riam introdu­cant. Bulla Clem. 6. Vltrajecti A. D. 1653. Gobel. Person. Gosmodr. aet. 6. c. 86. p. 278. Bullar. To. 3. p. 74. To. 4. p. 80. doth concern Remission of Sins. Boniface IX. granted Indulgences, à Poenâ & à Culpâ; and those certainly concerned Remission of Sins; being not barely from the temporal Punishment, but from the Guilt it self. Clement VIII. whom Bellarmine magnifies for his care in reforming Indulgences, in his Bull of Iubilee, grants a most plenary Remission of Sins; and Vrban the 8th, since him, not only a Relaxation of Penances, but Remission of Sins; and so lately as A. D. 1671. Clement the 10th published an Indulgence upon the Canonization of five new Saints, wherein he not only grants a plenary Indulgence of Sins, but upon invocation of one of these Saints in the point of Death, a plenary Indulgence of all his Sins. And what doth this signifie in the point of Death, if it do not concern the Remission of Sins?

4. Indulgences, he saith, are nothing else but a Mitigation or Re­laxation, upon just Causes, of Canonical Penances, which are or may be enjoyned by the Pastors of the Church on penitent Senners, accord­ing to their several degrees of Demerits. If by Canonical Penances, they mean those enjoined by the Penitential Canons, Greg. de Valentia saith, This Opinion differs not from that of the Hereticks, Greg. de Va­lent. de Indulg. 2. Bell. de Indulg. i. 1. c. 7. and makes Indulgences to be useless and dangerous things. Bellarmin brings several Arguments against this Doctrine. (1.) There would be no need of the Treasure of the Church; which he had proved to be the Foundation of Indulgences. (2.) They would be rather hur [...]ful than profitable, and the Church would deceive her Children by them. (3.) They could not be granted for the Dead. C. 2. (4.) They who receive Indulgences, do undergo Canonical Penances. (5.) The Form of them doth express, that they do relate to God, & not only to the Church. And this, I think, is sufficient to shew how far he is from true Repre­senting the Nature of Indulgences; for we do not dispute the Church's Power in relaxing Canonical Penances to penitent sin­ners upon just Causes.

IX. Of Satisfaction.

HE believes very injuriously of Christs Passion, being perswaded, that his Sufferings & Death were not sufficiently satisfactory for our sins; but that it is necessary for every one to make satisfa­ction for themselves. And for this end, after he has been at Confession, the Priest injoyns him a Penance; by the perfor­mance of which, he is to satisfie for his offences; And thus confidently relying upon his own penitential Works, he ut­terly evacuates Christ's Passion; and though he professes himself a Christian, and that Christ is his Saviour; yet by his little trusting to him, he seems to think him to be no better, than what his Cru­cifix informs him, that is, a meer Wood­den one.

HE believes it damnable, to think injuriously of Christs Passion. Nevertheless he believes, that though condign Satisfaction for the Guilt of Sin, and the Pain eternal due to it, be proper only to Christ our Saviour; yet that penitent Sinners being re­deem'd by Christ, and made his Mem­bers, may in some measure satisfie by Prayer, Fasting, Alms, &c. for the tem­poral pain, which by order of God's Justice, sometimes remains due, after the Guilt, and the eternal pains are re­mitted. So that trusting in Christ as his Redeemer, he yet does not think that by Christ's Sufferings, every Christian is discharg'd of his parti­cular Sufferings; but that every one is to suffer something for himself, as S. Paul did, who by tribulations, and in suffering in his own flesh, did accomplish those things, that wanted of the Passions of Christ; and this not only for himself, but for the whole Church, Col. 1.24. and this he finds every where in Scripture, viz. People admonish'd of the greatness of their sins, doing Penance in Fasting, Sack-cloth and Ashes, and by voluntary austerities, endeavouring to satisfie the Divine Justice. And these personal Satisfactions God has sufficiently also minded him of, in the punish­ments of Moses, Aaron, David, and infinite others; and even in the Afflicti­ons sent by God upon our own Age, in Flagues, Wars, Fires, Persecutions, Rebellions, and such like: Which, few are so Atheistical, but they confess, to be sent from Heaven for the just Chastisement of our sins; and which we are to undergo, notwithstanding the infinite Satisfaction made by Christ, and with­out any undervaluing it. Now being thus convinc'd of some temporal punish­ments being due to his sins, he accepts of all Tribulations, whether in Body, Name or Estate, from whence-soever they come, and, with others of his own chusing, offers them up to God, for the discharging this debt, still confes­sing, that his Offences deserve yet more. But these penitential Works he is taught to be no otherwise satisfactory, than as joyn'd and apply'd to that sa­tisfaction which Jesus made upon the Cross; in virtue of which alone, all our good Works find a grateful acceptance in God's sight.

IX. Of Satisfaction.

1. HE believes it damnable to think any thing injuriously of Christ's Passion: But then he distinguishes the Eternal and Temporal Pain due to Sin. As to the Guilt and Eter­ternal Pain, the satisfaction, he saith, is proper to Christ; but as to the Temporal Pain, which may remain due by God's Iustice, after the other are remitted, he saith, that Penitent Sinners may in some measure satisfy for that by [...]rayer, Fasting, Alms, &c.

2. These Penitential Works, he saith, are no otherwise satisfa­ctory, than as jo [...]ned and applyed to Christ's Satisfaction, in virtue of which alone our good Works find a grateful acceptance in God's sight.

But for right apprehending the State of the Controversy, we must consider;

1. That they grant both Eternal and Temporal Pain due to Sin, to be remitted in Baptism; so that all the satisfaction to be made, is for Sins committed after Baptism.

2. We distinguish between Satisfaction to the Church be­fore Absolution, and Satisfaction to the Justice of God for some part of the punishment to sin which is unremitted.

3. We do not deny that truly Penitential Works are plea­sing to God, so as to avert his displeasure;Catech. Roma [...]. part. 2. c. 5. n. 52.56. but we deny that there can be any Compensation in way of Equivalency, between what we suffer, and what we deserve.

The Matter in Controversy therefore on this Head, consists in these things.

1. That after the total Remission of Sins in Baptism, they suppose a Temporal Punishment to remain, when the Eternal is forgiven; which the Penitent is to satisfy God's Justice for; and without this being done in this Life, he must go into Pur­gatory for that End. Of which more under that Head.

2. That this Satisfaction may be made to the Justice of God, after Absolution is given by the Priest. So that although the Penitent be admitted into God's Favour, by the Power of the Keys, according to their own Doctrine; yet the Application of the Merits of Christ, together with the Saints in the Sentence of Absolution (according to their Form) do not set him so free, but he either wants a new Supply from the Treasure of the Church, i. e. from the same Merits of Christ and the Saints; or [Page 70] else he is to satisfy for the Temporal Punishment by his own Penances.

3. That these Penitential Works are to be joyned with the Merits of Christ, in the way of proper Satisfaction to Divine Justice. And however softly this may be expressed, the mean­ing is, that Christ hath merited, that we may merit, and by his Satisfaction, we are enabled to satisfy for our selves. And if the Satisfaction by way of Justice be taken away, the other will be a Controversy about Words.

4. That these Penitential Works may not only be sufficient for themselves,Catech. Rom. de panit. Sacr. n. 61. but they may be so over-done, that a great share may be taken from them to make up the Treasure of the Church, for the benefit of others who fall short, when they are duly applied to them in the way of Indulgences. And about these Points, we must desire greater Proof than we have ever yet seen.

X. Of Reading the Holy Scripture.

HE believes it part of his Duty to think meanly of the Word of God, to speak irreverently of the Scripture; to do what he is able, to lessen the repute of it, and bring it into disgrace. And for this end, he says it is obscure, full of ambiguous expres­sions, plain contradictions, not fit to be read by the Vulgar, nor fit to be trans­lated into Vulgar Languages: And without respect to Christ, or his Apo­stles, profanely Preaches, that no Ten Books in the World have done so much mischief to Christianity as this one: And under a vain pretence of preventing farther inconveniences, endeavours to deprive all of this Spiritual comfort, of this Divine Food, of this Heavenly Light; that so being kept in darkness, they may be also preserv'd in igno­rance, and Damn'd Eternally.

HE believes it damnable in any one to think, speak, or do any thing irreverently towards the Scripture; or by any means whatso­ever to bring it into dis-repute or disgrace. He holds it in the highest Veneration of all men living, he pro­fesses it to be the Dew of Heaven, O­racles of God, Fountain of Eternal Life; that to profane it, is to incur the guilt of Damnation: And that we are rather bound to lose our lives, than concur any way to its profanation. 'Tis true, he does not think it fit, to be read generally by all, without Licence, or in the Vul­gar Tongues: Not for any disrespect to it; But, I. Because he understands, that private Interpretation is not pro­per for the Scripture, 2 Pet. 1.20. II. Because that in the Epistles of St. [Page 71] Paul are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable deprave, (as also the rest of the Scriptures,) to their own perdition. III. Because God hath given only some to be Apostles, some Prophets, other-some Eva [...]gelists, and other-some Pastors and Doctors, Eph. 4.11. For these Reasons he is taught, That 'tis not convenient for the Scripture to be read indifferently to all men, but only such as have express Licence, and good testimony from their Cu­rates; that they are humble, discreet, and devout persons; and such as are willing to observe directions in the perusing this Sacred Volume: That is, take notice of all Godly Histories, and imitable examples of Humility, Cha­stity, Obedience, Mercy to the Poor, &c. and all such places as are apt to provoke and stir up the hatred of Sin, fear of God's Judgments, love of Virtue, &c. and in all Hard, Obscure and Disputable Points to refer all to the Arbitrement of the Church, to the judgment of those whom God hath ap­pointed Pastors and Doctors: Never presuming to contend, controul, teach, or talk of their own Sense and Phansie in deep Questions of Divinity, and high Mysteries of Faith; but expecting the sense of these from the Lips of the Priest, who shall keep knowledge, and from whose mouth they shall require the Law, Mal. 2.7. And this caution is used, lest that the Scripture coming in­to the hands of a presuming sort of proud, curious and contentious people, be abused and perverted; who make it their business to enquire into Dog­matical, Mystical, High and Hidden secrets of God's Counsels, into Prede­stination, Reprobation, Election, Pre-science, and other such incomprehensible My­steries; and upon the presumption of I know not what Spirit, immediately become Teachers, Controllors, and Iudges of Doctors, Church, Scripture, and all; and acknowledging no Authority left by Christ, to which they are to sub­mit; under pretence of Scripture and God's Word, make way for all sorts of Profaneness, Irreligion and Atheism. So that 'tis not for the preserving Ignorance, he allows a restraint upon the reading the Scriptures, but for the preventing a blind ignorant Presumption. And that it may be done to edifi­cation, and not to destruction, and without casting the holy to dogs, or pearls to swine.

X. Of Reading the Holy Scripture.

1. HE believes it damnable in any one, to think, speak, or do any thing irreverently towards the Scripture, or by any means whatsoever to bring it into disrepute or disgrace: but not being contented with this, he adds, That he holds it in the highest Vene­ration of all Men living. Now, here we must desire a little bet­ter Representation of this Matter. For certainly, those who derive its Authority from the Church; who set Traditions in [Page 72] equal esteem with it; who complain so much of its Obscurity, can never be said to hold in equal Veneration with those who maintain its independent Authority, its Sufficiency and Perspi­cuity. And these are known and material Points in Controversy between us and them: therefore let them not say, they hold it in the highest Veneration of all men living; tho those thought themselves thorough Catholicks, who have compared it to a Nose of Wax, to a Lesbian Rule, to a dead Letter, unsensed Cha­racters, and to other things, not fit to be repeated. But we are well pleased to find them express such Veneration for it. Wherefore then are the people to be kept from reading it?

2. He saith, It is not out of disrespect to it. But why then? (1.) Because private Interpretation is not proper for the Scripture, (2 Pet. 1.20.) One would think the Scripture were not kept o [...]ly from the people, by such a Sense being put upon it; for any one that would but consider that place, will find it must relate to the Prophets themselves; and doth he think the Pro­phets were to be debarred from reading the Scriptures? But this is playing with Scripture, and not reasoning from it (2) Because in the Epistles of S. Paul are certain things hard to be [...]n­derstood, which the unlearned and unstable deprave, as also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own Perdition, (2 Pet. 3.16.) Now in my Opinion, such men deserve more to be debarred from med­ling with the Scripture, who make such perverse Inferences from it, than ordinary Readers. And if they use all other pla­ces, as they do this, they cannot be excused from depraving it. It is granted, there were then unlearned and unstable men, who misunderstood, or misapplied the Writings of St. Paul, and other Scriptures. And what then? There are men of all Ages, who abuse the best things in the World, even the Gospel it self, and the Grace of God. Doth it hence follow, that the Gospel must not be preached to them, or the grace of God made known to them, for fear of mens making ill use of it? If this had been the just consequence, would not St. Peter himself have thought of this? But he was so far from making it, that he adviseth those persons he writes to, to have a mighty regard to the Scrip­tures, even to the Prophetical Writings, as to a Light shi [...]ing in a dark place, 1 Pet. 1.19. According to this way of deducing Consequences, St. Peter should have argued just contrary; The Prophetical Writings are dark and obscure, theref [...]r [...] meddle not with them, but trust your Guides: Whereas the Apostle, after he had [Page 73] told them what the Apostles saw and heard, he adds, That they have a more sure Prophetical Word, as the Rhemists translate it. How could that be more sure to them, unless they were allowed to read, consider, and make use of it? (3.) Because God hath given only some to be Apostles, some Prophets, other some Evangelists, and other some Pastors and Doctors, Ephes. 4.11. Doth it hence fol­low that the People are not to read the Scriptures? In the Uni­versities, Tutors are appointed to interpret Aristotle to their Pupils; doth it hence follow that they are not to read Aristotle themselves? It is, no doubt, a mighty Advantage to have such infallible Interpreters as the Apostles and Prophets; and all Chri­stians are bound to follow their Sense, where they have deliver­ed it. But suppose the Question be about the Sense of these In­terpreters; must their Books not be looked into, because of the danger of Error? This Reason will still hold against those who go about to deliver their Sense; and so on, till by this Me­thod of Reasoning, all sort of Books and Interpretations be re­jected; unless any such can be found out, which is not liable to be abused or misunderstood. And if there be any such to be had, they are much to blame who do not discover it. But as yet we see no Remedy for two things in Mankind, a proneness to Sin, and to Mistake. But of all things, we ought not to take away from them one of the best Means to prevent both, viz. a dili­gent, and careful, and humble reading the Holy Scriptures.

But, 3. He denies that all persons are forbid to read the Scri­ptures, but only such as have License, and good Testimony from their Curats: and therefore their design is not to preserve Ignorance in the people, but to prevent a blind, ignorant presumption.

These are plausible pretences to such as search no farther; but the Mystery of this matter lies much deeper. It was, no doubt, the Design of the Church of Rome to keep the Bible wholly out of the hands of the people. But upon the Reformation they found it impossible; so many Translations being made into vul­gar Languages; and therefore care was taken to have Transla­tions made by some of their own Body; and since the people of better inclinations to Piety were not to be satisfied without the Bible; therefore they thought it the better way to permit cer­tain persons whom they could trust, to have a License to read it: And this was the true Reason of the fourth Rule of the In­dex Liber. prohibit. made in pursuance of the Order of the Coun­cil of Trent, and published by Pius IV. by which any one may [Page 74] see it was not an Original Permission out of any good Will to the Thing; but an Aftergame to get the Bible out of the hands of the People again: And therefore Absolution was to be de­nied to those who would not deliver them to their Ordinaries when they were called for: And the Regulars themselves were not to be permitted to have Bibles without a License: And as far as I can understand the Addition of Clement VIII. to that fourth Rule, he withdraws any new Power of granting such Licenses; and saith they are contrary to the Command and V­sage of that Church, Quod quidem in [...]iold [...]e ser­us d [...]m est. Clem. VIII. ad R [...]g. 4 Indi­cis Roman. which, he saith, is to be inviolably observed: Wherein I think he declares himself fully against such Licenses: And that inferior Guides should grant them against the Com­mand of the Head of the Church, is a thing not very agreeable to the Unity and Subordination they boast of.

XI. Of Apocryphal Books.

HE believes it lawful to make what Additions to Scripture his Party thinks good; and therefore takes no notice of the ancient Canon approved by the Apostles and primitive Christi­ans; but allows equal Authority to the Books of Toby, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and the Macchabees, as to the other part of the Scripture; altho' these were always rejected by the Jews, never exant in the Hebrew Copy, and expresly condemn'd by St. Jerome, as not Canonical, and never admitted by the Church, but only of late years, in some of their Synods, which made these Innovations contrary to the Sense of their Ancestors.

HE believes it damnable to add a­ny thing to the Scripture. And yet allows the Books of Toby, Iudith, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, Mac­chabees, to be Canonical: because the Church of Christ has declar'd them such; not only in these later ages, but even in the primitive times. S. Gre­gory Nazianzen, (Orat. de S S. Macc.) who lived in the year 354. Also S. Ambrose, (lib. de Iacob. & vit. beat.) An. 370. Innocent. I. (Ep. ad Exup.) They were also received by the third Council of Carthage, An. 419. which approv'd all these Books as Canoni­cal, Can. 47. and was subscrib'd by S. Augustine, and confirm'd in the 6th General Synod, August. lib. 2. Doct. Christ. cap. 8. So that to him 'tis of lit­tle concern, whether they were ever in the Hebrew Copy; the Canon of the Church of Christ being of much more Authority with him, than the Canon of the Iews: He having no other assurance that the Books of Moses, and the four Gospels, are the true Word of God, but by the Authority and Canon of the Church. And this he has learn'd from that great Doctor S. Augustine, [Page 75] who declares his mind plainly in this case, saying, That he would not believe the Gospel, except the Authority of the Catholick Church mov'd him threunto. (Contra Ep. Fundam. c. 4.) Now he is well satisfied, that many doubted whether these Books were Canonical or no; and amongst others, S. Ierom; because the Church had not declar'd them so: But since the Church's De­claration, no Catholick ever doubted; no more than of other Books, viz. of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of St. James, the second of St. Peter, the second and third of St. John, St. Jude's Epistle, and the Apocalyps: All which were for many years after the Apostles time doubted of; but after­wards declar'd and receiv'd as Canonical. This he finds S. Ierome expresly confessing of himself, viz. That for some time the Book of Judith seemed to him Apocryphal; to wit, till the Council of Nice declar'd it otherwise. Praef. in Iudith. The like he affirms of S. Iames's Epistle, that it was doubted of by many for several years; Paulatim tempore procedente meruit authoritatem: By little and little in process of time it gain'd Authority. De viris illus. verb. Iacob. For this reason he matters not what Books have been reputed Apocryphal by some, and for some years: But only what Books are receiv'd and declar'd by the Church, Canonical, in what year, and at what time soever. For be­lieving the same spirit of Truth assists her in all Ages; he looks upon himself equally oblig'd to receive her Definitions of the Year 419. as of any of the precedent years: It not being possible for Christ to fail of his Promise, or the Holy Ghost to err or misguide the Church in that year, more than in any other.

XI. Of Apocryphal Books.

1. WE do not charge the Church of Rome with making what Additions to Scripture they think good, as the Misrepre­senter saith; but we charge them with taking into the Canon of Scripture such Books as were not received for Canonical by the Christian Church; as those Books himself mentions, viz. Toby, Iudith, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and Maccabees.

2. We do not only charge them with this, but with Anathe­matizing all those who do not upon this Declaration believe them to be Canonical; since they cannot but know,Consil. Trident. S [...]ss. 4.8. Ap. de Canon Scrip [...]. that these Books never were in the Iewish Canon, and were left out by many Christian Writers. And if the Church cannot add to the Scripture, and our Author thinks it damnable to do it; how can it make any Books Canonical, which were not so received by the Church? For the Scripture in this sense is the Canon; and there­fore if it add to the Canon, it adds to the Scripture; i. e. it [Page 76] makes it necessary to believe some Books to be of infallible Au­thority, which were not believed to be so, either by the Iewish or Christian Church,Bp Cosins Scho­lastical Histo­ry of the Ca­non of Scrip­ture. as appears by abundant Testimonies to that purpose produced by a learned Bishop of this Church; which ought to have been considered by the Representer, that he might not have talked so crudely about this matter.

But however, I must consider what he saith;

1. He produces the Testimony of Greg. Nazianzen, Greg. Nazian­zen. in carmin. 2 Vol. p.. 98. who is expresly against him, and declares but Twenty two Books in the Canon of the Old Testament; but how doth he prove that he thought these Books Canonical? He quotes his Oration on the Maccabees;Orat. de Mac­cab. [...]ol. 1. p. 398. Where I can find nothing like it; and instead of it he expresly follows, as he declares, the Book of Iosephus, of the Authority of Reason concerning them. So that if this proves any thing, it proves Iosephus his Book Canonical, and not the Maccabees.

2. He adds the Testimony of S. Ambrose, Ambros. de Ia­cob. & Vitae E­rat. l. 2. c. 10, 11, 12. Coc [...]i. Thes. Ca­thol. l. 6. Act. 18. who in the place he refers to, enlarges on the Story of the Maccabees, but saith no­thing of the Authority of the Book. And even Coccius himself grants that of old Melito Sardensis, Amphilochius, Greg. Nazian­zen, the Council of Laodicea, S. Hierom, Russinus, and Gregory the Great, did not own the Book of Maccabees for Canonical.

Scholastical hi­story, n. 83.3. Innocentius ad Exuperium speaks more to this purpose. And if the Decretal Epistle be allowed, against which Bishop Cosins hath made considerable Objections; then it must be granted, that these Books were then in the Roman Canon; but that they were not received by the Universal Church,Euseb. l. 5. [...].24. Orig. Pref. in Psal. Athan. in Sy­nopsi. Hilar pres. in Psal. S. Cyril. Ca­we [...]. 4. Epip. har. 8.76 Basil. philo [...]al. c. 3. Amphil. Epist. Canon. ad Se­lenc. Chrys. hom. 4. in Gen. Scholast. Hist. n. 71. appears evidently by the Canon of the Council of Laodicea, c. 60. wherein these Books are left out; and this was received in the Code of the Universal Church; which was as clear a Proof of the Canon then generally received, as can be expected. It is true, the Council of Carthage took them in; and S. Augustine seems to be of the same Opinion: But on the other side, they are left out by Mel [...]to Bishop of Sardis, who lived near the Apostles times, Origen, Athanasius, S. Hilary, S. Cyril of Ierusalem, Epiphanius, S. Basil, Amphilochius, S. Chrysostom, and especially S. Ierom, who hath laboured in this point so much, that no fewer than thirteen places are produced out of him to this purpose, by the fore­mentioned learned Bishop of our Church, who clearly proves there was no Tradition for the Canon of the Council of Trent in any one Age of the Christian Church. But our Author goes on.

[Page 77]4. It is of little concern to him, whether these Books were ever in the Hebrew Copy. I would only ask whether it be of any con­cern to him, whether they were divinely inspired or not? He saith, It is damnable to add to the Scripture; by the Scripture we mean Books written by Divine Inspiration: Can the Church make Books to be so written, which were not so written? If not, then all it hath to do, is to deliver by Tradition what was so, and what not. Whence should they have this Tradition, but from the Iews? and they owned no Divine Inspiration af­ter the time of Malachy. How then should there be any Books so written after that time? And he that saith in this matter, as he doth, It is of little concern to him whether they were in the Hebrew Canon, doth little concern himself what he ought to believe, and what not, in this matter.

5. Since the Churches Declaration, he saith, no Catholicks ever doubted. What doth he mean by the Churches Declaration, that of Innocent, and the Council of Carthage? Then the same Bishop hath shewed him, that since that time, there have been very many, both in the Greek and Latin Church, of another O­pinion. And a little before the Council of Trent, Catharinus saith,Cathar. Adver. Cajet. p. 48. ed. Paris 1535. That a Friend of his, and a Brother in Christ, derided him as one that wanted Learning, for daring to assert these Books were with­in the Canon of Scripture; and it is plain, Card. Cajetan could never be perswaded of it: But if he means since the Council of Trent, then we are returned to our Difficulty, how such a Coun­cil can make any Books Canonical, which were not received for such by the Catholick Church before? For then they do not declare the Canon, but create it.

XII. Of the Vulgar Edition of the Bible.

HE makes no Conscience of abusing the Scripture, and perverting, for the maintenance of his Errors and Su­perstitions. And therefore, though he dares not altogether lay it by; lest he should, by so doing, lose all claim to Christianity: Yet he utterly disapproves it, as it is in its genuine Truth and Pu­rity, and as allow'd in the Church of England; and crying this down, he be­lieves it unlawful to be read by any of his Communion. And then puts into their hands another Volume, which in its Frontis-piece bears the Title indeed of the Word of God, with the names of the Books and Chapters; but in the context of it, is so every where full of Corruptions, Falsifications, and intole­rable Abuses, that it almost every where belies its Title, and is unfit for any one, who professes himself a Christian.

HE believes it a damnable sin, to abuse the Scripture, or any ways to pervert it, for the maintenance of Errors or Superstitions, and thinks himself oblig'd, rather to lay down his life, than concur to, or approve of any such Falsifications or Corrup­tions, prejudicial to Faith or Good Manners. For this reason, being con­scious, [Page 78] that in all Ages, there has been several Copies of this Sacred Vo­lume, quite different from the Origi­nals in many places, either through the mistake of the Transcribers, or ma­lice of others, endeavouring by this means to gain credit to their new Doctrines: He is commanded not to receive all Books indifferently for the Word of God, that wear that Ti­tle; but only such as are approv'd by the Church, and recommended by her Legitimate. And such is that he daily uses, commonly known by the name of the Vulgar Translation; which has been the principal of all other Latin Copies in all Ages, since the Primi­tive times; much commended by St. Augustine; and never altered in any thing, but once heretofore by the Holy Studies of St. Hierome: And twice or thrice since, being review'd by Authority, and purg'd of such mistakes, as in length of time, had crept in by Transcribers, or Printers faults. And that this Translation is most pure and incorrupt, as to any thing concerning matter of Belief, or differences in Religion, is not only the Doctrine of his Church; but also the Sentiment of many Learned Men of the Reformation, who approve this Version, and prefer it before any other Latin one whatso­ever. Beza in his Preface to the New-Testament, Anno 1559. blames Eras­mus for rejecting it. Paulus Fagius cries out against all that disallow it, (Cap. 4. Vers. Lat. Paraph Chald.) Ludovicus de Dieu, with admiration con­fesses it to be most Faithful, (in Not. ad Evang. Praef.) Causabon prefers it before the Greeks Text now in use; and acknowledges that it agrees with the Ancient Manuscripts, (in Not. ad Evang. & Act.) Grotius professes to the World, that he highly esteems it, for that it contains no erroneous Opi­nions, and is very Learned; (nulla dogmata insalubria continet, & multum ha­bet in se eruditionis, Pr [...]f. Annot. in vet. Test.) And for this reason, he refers his Annotations generally to this Translation, as he declares himself. So that, seeing this Version is deliver'd to him with the approbation of his whole Church, and is commended by most Learned Adversaries; he thinks he has great reason to receive it, and that he may peruse it, without any danger that can come to him, from any Corruptions or Falsifications. And because he has not the like assurance of the English Translation allowed by Prote­stants, or any other made since the Reformation, by any of that Perswasion; but sees, that there has been almost as many different Translations made and published by these, as there had been men of different Humours, different [Page 79] Spirits, and different Interests; whereof none have ever approv'd the Versions of any of the rest; but cry'd out against, and Condemn'd them, of many Alterations, Additions, Detractions, and Forgeries; Bucer, and the Osi­andrians exclaiming against Luther, Luther against Munster; Beza against Castaleo; Castaleo against Beza; Calvin against Servetus; Illyricus against Calvin and Beza. Our English Ministers against Tindal and his Fellows: And this, not upon the account of some oversights, or like mistakes, or the following of different Copies; but accusing one another of being Absurd and senseless, in their Translations of obscuring and perve [...]ing the meaning of the Holy Ghost, of Omissions and Additions, of perverting the Text in eight hun­dred forty and eight pieces; of corrupt and false Translations; all which in express Terms, has been charg'd by great Abbetters of the Reformation a­gainst a Bible yet us'd in England, and ordered to be read in all Churches by Queen Elizabeth, and to be seen in the Abridgement of a Book deliver'd by certain Ministers to King Iames, pag. 11.12. in Mr. Burges's Apology, Sect. 6. Mr. Broughton's Advertisement to the Bishops. And in Doctor Rey­nold's refusing before the King at Hampton-Court, to subscribe to the Com­munion-Book, because it warranted a corrupt and false Translation of the Bible. For these and such other reasons, he is commanded not to read any of these Translations; but only that, which is recommended to him by the Church.

XII. Of the Vulgar Edition of the Bible.

1. WE do not dispute about the Vulgar Edition, whether it may not be preferr'd before modern Latin Editions, because of its great Antiquity in some parts of it, and its gene­ral Reception since the time of Gregory I. But our dispute is, whether it be made so Authentick since the Council of Trent, that no Appeals are to be made to the Originals, i. e. whether that Council by its Authority could make a Version equal to the O­riginals out of which it was made? Especially since at the time of that Decree,In hac Vulg [...]a Editione visa sunt nonuulla mutanda. qu [...]e consul [...]o m [...]tata non sunt. Clem. VIII. in Buila. the Vulgar Edition was confessed to be full of Errors and Corruptions by Sixtus V. who saith, he took infinite pains to correct them, and yet left very many behind, as ap­peared by Clement VIII. who corrected his Bibles in very many places, and grants some faults were left uncorrected still: Now, how was it possible for the Council of Trent to declare that Edition Authentick, which was afterwards so much cor­rected? And, whether was the correct Edition of Sixtus V. Authentick or not, being made in pursuance of the Decree of the Council? If not, how comes Clement his Edition to be made [Page 80] Authentick, when the other was not, since there may be Cor­ruptions found in that,Luc. Brugens. in variis Lect. as well as the other; and no one can tell, but it may be reviewed and corrected still; as some of their own Writers confess it stands in need of it?

Nat. Alexan. dissert. de vulg. vers. quaest. 6.2. Our Controversy is not so much about the Authority of the Vulgar Latin, above other Latin Versions to those who un­derstand them; but whether none else but the Latin Version must be used by those who understand it not? And here our Representer saith, That he is commanded not to read any of these Translations (speaking of Tindal's, and that in Queen Elizabeths time) but only that which is recommended to him by the Church. If this relate to the Vulgar Latin, then we are to seek, why the common people should have none to read, but what they can­not understand; if to Translations of their own, then we doubt not to make it appear, that our Translations allowed among us, is more exact and agreeable than any they can put into their hands.

XIII. Of the Scripture as a Rule of Faith.

HE believes it lawful; nay, that it is his obligation to undervalue the Scripture, and take from it that Au­thority, which Christ gave it. For whereas Christ left this to the World, as the Rule of Faith, and as a Sacred Oracle, from whence all his Followers might be instructed in the Precepts of a good Life, learn all the Mysteries of their Faith, and be resolv'd in all diffi­cult and doubtful Points of Religion: He is taught flatly to deny all this; and to believe that the Scripture is not ca­pable of deciding any one point of Con­troversy, or reconciling the different Sentiments of Men in Religion: And thus demeans himself towards the word of God, in a manner most unbecoming a Christian.

HE believes it damnable to un­dervalue the Scripture, or take from it the Authority given it by Christ. He gives it all respect due to the Word of God; he owns it to be of greatest Authority upon Earth, and that it is capable of leading a Man to all Truth, whensoever it is rightly understood. But to any one that misunderstands it, and takes it in any other sense, than what was in­tended by the Holy Ghost; he believes it to such a one, to be no Scripture, no word of God; that to such a one, it is no Rule of Faith, nor Iudge of Controversies. And that what he thinks to be the Doctrine of Christ, and Command of Heaven, is nothing but his own Imagination, and the sug­gestion of the Devil. And since, by [Page 81] the experience of so many thousand Heresies since our Saviour's time, all pretending to be grounded on Scripture, he finds that almost every Text of the Bible, and even those that concern the most Essential and Fundamental Points of the Christian Religion, may be interpreted several ways; and made to signifie things contrary to one another; and that while thus contrary mean­ings are by several Persons drawn from the same Words; the Scripture is al­together silent, without discovering, which of all those Senses is that intend­ed by the Holy Ghost, and leading to Truth, and which are Erroneous and Antichristian: He is taught to believe that the Scripture alone can be no Rule of Faith to any private or particular person; not that there is any thing wan­ting on the Scripture-side; but because no private person can be certain, whe­ther amongst all the several meanings every Text is obnoxious to, that which he understands it in, is the Right, or no. And without this certainty of Truth, and security from Error, he knows, there's nothing capable of being a Rule.

XIII. Of the Scriptures as a Rule of Faith.

THE only thing insisted on here is, That it is not the Words, but the Sense of Scripture is the Rule; and that this Sense is not to be taken from Mens private Fancies, which are various and uncertain; and therefore where there is no security from Errors, there is nothing capable of being a Rule.

To clear this, we must consider,

1. That it is not necessary to the making of a Rule, to pre­vent any possibility of mistake, but that it be such that they cannot mistake without their own fault. For Certainty in it self, and Sufficiency for the use of others, are all the necessary Properties of a Rule; but after all, it's possible for Men not to apply the Rule aright, and then they are to be blamed, and not the Rule.

2. If no Men can be certain of the right Sense of Scripture, then it is not plain in necessary things; which is contrary to the design of it, and to the clearest Testimonies of Antiquity, and to the common Sense of all Christians, who never doubted or disputed the Sense of some things revealed therein; as the Unity of the Godhead, the making of the World by him, the Deluge, the History of the Patriarchs, the Captivity of the Jews, the coming of the Messias, his sending his Apostles, his coming again to Judgment, &c. No Man who reads such things in Scripture, can have any doubt about the Sense and Meaning of the Words.

[Page 82]3. Where the Sense is dubious, we do not allow any Man to put what Sense he pleases upon them; but we say, there are certain means, whereby he may either attain to the true Sense, or not be damned if he do not. And the first thing every man is to regard, is not his security from being deceived, but from being damned. For Truth is made known in order to Salva­tion: If therefore I am sure to attain the chief end, I am not so much concerned, as to the possibility of Errors, as that I be not deceived by my own fault. We do not therefore leave Men either to follow their own fancy, or to interpret Scripture by it; but we say, They are bound upon pain of Damnation to seek the Truth sincerely, and to use the best means in order to it; and if they do this, they either will not err, or their Errors will not be their Crime.

XIV. Of the Interpretation of Scripture.

HE believes that his Church, which he calls Catholick, is above the Scripture; and profanely, allows to her an uncontrollable Authority of being Judge of the Word of God. And being fondly abus'd, into a distrust of the Scriptures; and that he can be certain of nothing, even of the Fun­damentals of Christianity, from what is deliver'd in them, though they speak never so plainly; he is taught to rely wholly upon this Church, and not to believe one word the Scripture says, unless his Church says it too.

HE believes, that the Church is not above the Scripture; but only allows that Order between them, as is between the Iudge and the Law. And is no other than what general­ly every private Member of the Re­formation challenges to himself, as often as he pretends to decide any doubt of his own, or his Neighbours in Religion, by interpreting the Scrip­ture. Neither is he taught at all to distrust the Scripture, or not to rely on it; but only to distrust his own private Interpretation of it, and not to rely on his own Iudgment, in the Res [...]lution of any doubt concerning Faith or Religion, though he can pro­duce several Texts in favour of his Opinion. But all such cases he is com­manded to re-cur to the Church; and having learnt from her the sense of all such Texts; how they have been understood by the whole Community of Christians, in all Ages since the Apostles; and what has been their Re­ceiv'd Doctrine, in such doubtful and difficult Points; he is oblig'd to sub­mit to this, and never presume on his own private Sentiments, however seemingly grounded on Reason and Scripture, to believe or preach any [Page 38] New Doctrine opposite to the Belief of the Church; But as he receives from her the Book, so also to receive from her the Sense of the Book: With a Holy Confidence, that she that did not cheat him in delivering a False Book for the True one, will not cheat him in delivering a False and Erroneus Sense for the True one; her Authority, which is sufficient in the one, being not less in the other: And his own private Iudgment, which was insufficient in the one, that is, in finding out the True Scripture, and discerning it from all other Books; being as incapable and insucffiient in the other; that is, in certainly discovering the meaning of the Holy Ghost, and avoiding all o­ther Heterodox and mistaken Interpretations.

XIV. Of the Interpretation of Scripture.

1. THE Question is not, Whether Men are not bound to make use of the best means for the right Interpretation of Scripture, by Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Advice, a hum­ble and teachable Temper, &c. i. e. all the proper means fit for such an end? but whether after all these, there be a neces­sity of submitting to some infallible Judge, in order to the at­taining the certain Sense of Scripture?

2. The Question is not, Whether we ought not to have a mighty regard to the Sense of the whole Christian Church in all Ages since the Apostles, which we profess to have; but, Whether the present Roman Church, as it stands divided from other Communions, hath such a Right and Authority to inter­pret Scripture, that we are bound to believe that to be the in­fallible Sense of Scripture which she delivers?

And here I cannot but take notice how strangely this matter is here misrepresented: for the Case is put,

1. As if every one who rejects their pretence of Infallibility, had nothing to guide him but his own private Fancy in the Interpretation of Scripture.

2. As if we rejected the Sense put upon Scripture by the whole Community of Christians in all ages since the Apostles times. Where­as we appeal, in the matters in difference between us, to this universal Sense of the Christian Church, and are verily per­swaded they cannot make it out in any one Point wherein we differ from them. And themselves cannot deny, that in several we have plainly the Consent of the first Ages, as far as appears by the Books remaining, on our side; as in the Worship of Images, Invocation of Saints, Papal Supremacy, Communion [Page 84] in both kinds, Prayer and Scripture in known Tongues; and I may safely add, the Sufficiency of the Scripture, Transubstan­tiation, Auricular Confession, Publick Communions, Solitary Masses, to name no more.

But here lies the Artifice; We must not pretend to be ca­pable of judging either of Scripture, or Tradition; but we must trust their Judgment what is the Sense of Scripture, and what hath been the Practice of the Church in all Ages, al­though their own Writers confess the contrary: which is ve­ry hard.

But he seems to argue for such a Submission to the Church;

1.Because we receive the Book of Scripture from her; there­fore from her we are to receive the Sense of the Book. An admi­rable Argument! We receive the Old Testament from the Iews; therefore from them we are to receive the Sense of the Old Testament, and so we are to reject the true Messias. But this is not all: If by the Church, they mean the Church of Rome in distinction from others, we deny it: if they mean the whole Christian Church, we grant it: but then the force of it is quite lost. But why is it not possible for the Church of Rome to keep these Writings, and deliver them to others, which make against her self? Do not Persons in Law-Suits often produce Deeds which make against them? But there is yet a further Reason; it was not possible for the Church of Rome to make away these Writings, being so universally spread.

2. Because the Church puts the difference between true and false Books, therefore that must be trusted for the true Sense of them. Which is just as one should argue, The Clerks of the Rolls are to give an account to the Court of true Records, therefore they are to sit on the Bench, and to give Judgment in all Causes. The Church is only to declare what it finds as to Canonical Books; but hath no Power to make any Book Canonical, which was not before received for such. But I confess Stapleton saith, the Church if it please may make Hermes his Pastor and Cle­mens his Constitutions Canonical:Conti [...]v. 5. Qu. 4. art. 2. but I do not think our Au­thor will therein follow him.

XV. of Tradition.

HE believes the Scripture to be im­perfect: And for the supplying of what he thinks Defective in it, he admits Humane Ordinations and Tra­ditions of Men; allowing equal Au­thority to these, as to the Scriptures themselves; thinking himself as much oblig'd to submit to these, and believe them with Divine Faith, as he does, whatsoever is written in the Bible, and confessedly spoken by the Author of all Truth, God himself. Neither will he admit of any one to be a Member of his Communion, although he undoubtedly believes every Word that's written in the Scripture; unless he also assents to these Traditions, and gives as great credit to them, as to the Word of God, although in that there is not the least footstep of them to be found.

HE believes the Scripture not to be imperfect, nor to want Hu­mane Ordinations, or Traditions of Men, for the supplying any defects in it: Neither does he allow the same Authority to these, as to the Word of God; or give them equal credit; or exact it of others, that desire to be admitted into the com­munion of his Church. He believes no Divine Faith ought to be given to any thing, but what is of Divine Re­velation; and that nothing is to have place in his Creed, but what was taught by Christ, and his Apostles, and has been believ'd and taught in all Ages by the Church of God, the Congregation of all True Believers, and has been so deliver'd down to him through all Ages. But now, whether that which has been so deliver'd down to him, as the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, has been by Word of Mouth or Writing, is altogether indifferent to him; he being ready to follow, in this point, as in all others, the command of St. Paul, that is, To stand fast, and hold the Traditions he has learn'd, whether by Word, or by Epistle, 2 Thess. 2.15. And to look upon any one as Anathema, That shall preach otherwise than he has (thus) receiv'd Gal. 1.9. So that as he undoubtedly holds the Scripture to be the Word of God, penn'd by Prophets and Apostles, and inspir'd by the Holy Ghost, because in all Ages, from Moses to Christ, and from Christ to this time, it has been so Taught, Preach'd, Believ'd and Deliver'd successively by the Faithful; and never scruples the least of the truth of it; nor sticks to assent to it, with a stedfast and Divine Faith; altho' they are not, nor have not at any time been able to prove what they have thus taught, and deliver'd with one Text of Scripture. In the like manner, he is ready to receive and be­lieve, all that this same Congregation has, together with the Bible, in all Ages successively, without interruption, Taught, Preach'd, Believ'd and Deliver'd as the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles; and assent to it with Divine Faith; [Page 86] just as he does to the Bible; and esteems any one Anathema, that shall Preach otherwise than he has thus receiv'd. And although some may seriously en­deavour to convince him, that several Points of Faith, and other Religious Practices, which he has thus receiv'd and believes, are not the Doctrine of Christ, nor Apostolical Institutions, but rather Inventions of Men, and Les­sons of Antichrist, and should produce several Texts of Scripture for the proving it: He is not any thing surpriz'd at it: As well knowing, that he that follows not this Rule, of Believing all to be of Christ, that has been uni­versally taught and believ'd as such, by the Church of Christ; and of understand­ing the Scripture in the same sense, in which it has in all Ages been understood by the same Church; may very easily frame as many Creeds as he pleases, and make Christ and his Apostles speak what shall be most agreeable to his Hu­mour, and suit best with his Interest, and find plain proofs for all: And make no more difficulty in producing Scripture against Christ's Doctrine. than the Iews and the Devil did against Christ's Person, who never wanted their Scriptum est; (It is written;) when 'twas necessary to carry on their designs. And if there were any thing in these sort of Arguments, to make him doubt of the truth of any Point of Doctrine, thus receiv'd; he thinks it might make him call in question the Truth of the Scripture, and the Bible it self, as soon as any thing else. They all standing upon the same foundation of the Church's Tradition, which, if it fail in one, leaves no security in any.

XV. Of Tradition.

1. THE Question is not about Human Traditions supplying the Defects of Scripture, as he misrepresents it; but whe­ther there be an Unwritten word, which we are equally bound to receive with the Written word: Altho these things which pass under that Name, are really but Huma [...]e Traditions; yet we do not deny that they pretend them to be of Divine Origi­nal.

2. We do not deny, but the Apostles might deliver such things by Word, as well as by Epistle, which their Disciples were bound to believe and keep: 2. Thes. 2.13. but we think there is some difference to be made between what we certainly know they delivered in Writ­ing, and what it is now impossible for us to know; viz. what they delivered by word without writing.

3. We see no ground why any one should believe any Doctrine with a stedfast and divine Faith, which is not bottom'd on the Written word; for then his Faith must be built on the Testi­mony [Page 87] of the Church as Divine and Infallible, or else his Faith cannot be Divine. But it is impossible to prove it to be Divine and Infallible, but by the Written word; and therefore, as it is not reasonable that he should believe the Written word by such a Divine Testimony of the Church; so if any particular Do­ctrine may be received on the Authority of the Church without the Written word, then all Articles of Faith may, and so there would be no need of the Written word.

4. The Faith of Christians doth no otherwise stand upon the Foundation of the Churches Tradition, than as it delivers down to us the Books of Scripture, but we acknowledg the general Sense of the Christian Church to be a very great help for un­derstanding the true sense of Scripture; and we do not reject any thing so delivered; but what is all this to the Church of Rome? But this is still the way of true Representing.

XVI. Of Councils.

HE believes that the Faith of his Church may receive new Additi­ons every day: And that he is not only oblig'd to believe what Christ taught, and his Apostles; but also e­very Definition or Decree, of any Gene­ral Council assembled by the Command of the Pope. So that as often as any thing is issued out by the Authority of a­ny of these Church-Parliaments, and order'd to be believ'd; he thinks himself under pain of Damnation, immediately bound to receive it; and having added it to his Creed, to assent to it with as Firm, Stedfast and Divine a Faith, as if it had been Commanded by Christ him­self, and Decreed in the Consistory of Heaven. And by this means he never comes to understand his Religion, or know what he is to Believe; but by the continual Alterations, Additions, Di­minutions, Interpretations, of these Councils he is preserv'd in a necessary Confusion, and tho he changes often, yet he fondly thinks himself always the same.

HE believes that the Faith of his Church can receive no Additi­ons; and that he is oblig'd to believe nothing, besides that which Christ taught, and his Apostles; and if any thing contrary to this should be defin'd and commanded to be be­liev'd, even by Ten thousand Coun­cils, he believes it damnable in any one to receive it, and by such De­crees, to make Additions to his Creed. However, he maintains the Necessity and Right of General Councils law­fully Assembled; whose business it is, not to coin new Articles of Faith, or devise Fresh Tenets; but only, as of­ten as any Point of Receiv'd Doctrine is impugned or call'd in question; to debate the matter; and examine, what has been the Belief of all Na­tions (who are there present in their Prelates) in that Point. And this [Page 88] being agreed on, to publish and make known to the World, which is the Catholick Doctrine, left by Christ and his Apostles; and which the new-breach'd Error. And by this means to prevent the loss of infinite number of Souls, which might otherwise be deluded, and carried away after new inventions; not being capable by their own knowledge and abilities, to distinguish betwixt Truth and Fals­hood, and discover the subtilties of every crafty Deceiver. And in this case he believes that he is oblig'd to submit, and receive the Decrees of such a Council; the Pastors and Prelates there present, being by Christ and his Apostles appointed, for the decision of such Controversies. They having the care of that stock committed to them, over which the Holy Ghost has made them Overseers, to feed the Church of God, Acts 20.28. and to watch against those men, who should arise from among themselves, speaking perverse things t [...] draw Disciples after them. Ib. vers. 30. And he having receiv'd Command, as likewise the wh [...]le Flock of Christ, to obey their Prelates, and to be subject to them, who watch, and are to render an account for their Souls, Heb. 13.17. with an assurance. That, He that heareth them, hearch Christ; and he that de­spiseth them, despiseth Christ, Luke 10.16. And withal being taught, that as this way of the Ancients of the Church, and Prelates meeting, in case of any danger threatning their Flock, or any new Doctrine arising; was the means instituted by Christ, and practised by the Apostles, in the first planting of the Church, for the preventing Schisms, and preserving Vnity among the Faithful, and that they should speak and think the same thing, and be perfectly joyn'd together in the same mind, and same judgment, 1 Cor. 1.10 So it ought to be the means in all succeeding Ages, for the preventing Divisions, and conserving Vnity among the Faithful. And that therefore, as that Contro­versy concerning the necessity of Circumcision, (Act. c. 15.) arising in the Apostles times, was not decided by any private Person, nor even by Paul and Barnabas, who nevertheless, had received the Holy Ghost; and one would have thought, might have pretended to the Spirit, and a Heavenly Light; but by a General Meeting of the Apostles and Elders of the Church at Ieru­salem, who were consulted by Paul and Barnabas about this Question. So all other Disputes and Difficulties of Religion arising in succeeding Ages, ought to be referr'd to the Successors of the Apostles (whose Charge, Dignity and Of­fice is to continue to the end of the World, tho' they are dead in Person) who are to consider of the matter, (Acts 15.6.) as the Apostles did; while all the Multitude keeps silence, ver. 12. without any one presuming on any Learn­ing, Gift, Virtue, Prayers or Inspiration, to intermeddle in the Dispute, or put an end to the Question: This being none of their business or obligation, [Page 89] but only with all Patience and Humility to expect the Determination of their Prelates and Elders, and receive it with the same expressions, as those good Christians did heretofore, who rejoyced for the Consolation, (Acts 15.31.) And unless this that the Apostles did, and their Obsequious Flock, be taken as a Pattern in all Ages, for the ending such-like difficulties; he believes 'tis impossible that Believers should stand fast in one Spirit, with one Mind, (Philip. 1.27.) and be not carried away with divers and strange Doctrines (Hebr. 13.9.

XVI. Of Councils.

1. WE are glad to find so good a Resolution as seems to be expressed in these words, viz. That he is obliged to believe nothing besides that which Christ taught, and his Apostles; and if any thing contrary to this should be defined, and commanded to be believe, even by Ten Thousand Councils, he believes it dam­nable in any one to receive it, and by such Decrees to make Addi­tions to his Creed. This seems to be a very good saying, and it is pity any thing else should overthrow it. But here lies the Misrepresenting; he will believe what Christ and his Apostles taught, from the Definitions of Councils; and so all this goodly Fabrick falls to nothing; for it is but as if one should say, If Ari­stotle should falsly deliver Plato's sense, I will never believe him, but I am resolved to take Plato's sense only from Aristotle's Words. So here, he first declares he will take the Faith of Christ from the Church; and then he saith, if the Church Re­presentative should contradict the Faith of Christ, he would ne­ver believe it.

2. We dispute not with them, the Right and Necessity of Gene­ral Councils, (upon great occasions) if they be truly so, rightful­ly called, lawfully assembled, and fairly managed; which have been, and may be of great use to the Christian world, for setling the Faith, healing the Breaches of Christendom, and reform­ing Abuses. And we farther say, that the Decrees of such Coun­cils ought to be submitted to, where they proceed upon certain Grounds of Faith, and not upon unwritten Traditions; which was the fatal stumbling at the threshold in the Council of Trent, and was not to be recovered afterwards; for their setting up Traditions equally with the written Word, made it it easie [Page 90] for them to define, and as easie for all others to reject their De­finitions, in case there had not been so many other Objections against the Proceedings of that Council. And so all our Dispute concerning this matter is taken off from the general Notion, and runs into the particular Debate concerning the Qualifica­tions and Proceedings of some which were called Free, General Councils; but were neither General, nor Free; and therefore could not deliver the Sense of the Catholick Church, which our Author requires them to do.

XVIII. Of Infallibility in the Church.

HE believes that the Pastors and Prelates of his Church are In­fallible, and that like so many Divine Oracles, or petty Familiar Deities, they are exempt from Errour, and cannot deceive. But this, especi­ally when they are met together in a General Council; It being a main part of his Faith, That then they are secure from all mistakes; and that it is as impossible for them to decline ei­ther to the right hand or the left, in any of their Definitions and Decrees, as it is for God to leave Heaven, and be­come the Author of Lies. Thus fondly believing these to be assisted with a ne­cessary Infallibility, like Gods, whom their Ignorance, ill Example, and de­bauch'd Lives, to a true Considerer, scarce speak to be Men. As if God Al­mighty did so blindly throw his Benefits and Graces amongst his Creatures, that none should have a more powerful assi­stance of Gods Truth and infallible Spi­rit, than those in whom there was least of God to be found.

HE believes that the Pastors and Prelates of his Church are Fallible; that there is none of them, but may fall into Errours, Heresie and Schism, and consequent­ly are subject to mistakes. But that the whole Church can fail, or be deceiv'd in any one Point of Faith, this he believes impossible; know­ing it to be built on better Promises; such as secure her from all Errour, and danger of Prevarication. Her Foundation being laid by Christ, a­gainst which the Gates of Hell shall not prevail, (Matthew 16.18.) The Power that protects her, being Christ himself; Behold I am with you all days, (Matthew 28.20.) The Spi­rit that Guides and Teaches her, be­ing the Comforter of the Holy Ghost; who shall teach her all things, and sug­gest to her all things that Christ has said to her, (Ioh. 14.16.) The time that she is to be thus protected, taught and assisted, being not only while the Apostles liv'd, or for the first [Page 91] three, for or five hundred years next after; but for ever, to the end of the World, Behold I am with you all days, (Matthew 28.20.) He will give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, (Ioh. 14.16.) And the thing, that she is to be thus taught to the end of the World, be­ing all Truth: He shall teach you all Truth, (Ioh. 16.13.) Now being as­sured by these Promises, that the Church of Christ shall be taught all Truth by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, to the end of the World; he has Faith to believe, that Christ will make his Words good; and that his Church shall never fail, nor be currupted with Antichristian Doctrine, nor be the Mistress of Errours; but shall be taught all Truth, and shall teach all Truth to the Consummation of things; and that whosoever hears her, hears Christ: And whosoever despiseth her, despises Christ; and ought to be esteemed as an Heathen or a Publican, Matthew 18.17.) The like assi­stance of the Holy Ghost, he believes to be in all General Councils, which is the Church-Representative: (as the Parliament is the Representative of the Nation,) by which they are especially protected from all Errour, in all Definitions and Declarations in matters of Faith. So that what the A­postles pronounc'd concerning the Result of their Council; (Acts 15.28.) It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to Vs; He does not doubt, may be prefix'd to all the Determinations in Point of Faith, resolv'd on, by any General Council lawfully assembled since that time, or to be held to the Worlds end. The Assistance being to extend as far as the Promise. And though 'tis possible that several of the Prelates and Pastors in such an As­sembly, (as also many others in Communion with the Church of Christ) should at other times, either through Pride or Ignorance, prevaricate, make Innovations in Faith, teach Erroneous Doctrines, and endeavour to draw Numbers after them; yet he is taught, that this does not at all argue a Fallibility in the Church; nor prejudice her Faith, but only the Persons, that thus unhappily fall into these Errours, and cut themselves off from being Members of the Mystical Body of Christ upon Earth: Whilst the Belief of the Church remains pure and untainted; and experiences the Truth of what Saint Paul foretold, That Grievous Wolves shall enter in a­mong you, not sparing the Flock: Also of your own selves shall Men arise, speak­ing perverse things, to draw away Disciples after them, (Act. 20. v. 29, 30.) which, as it prov'd true even in the Apostles time by the Fall of Nicholas and his Followers, as also several others: So it has been verified in all Ages since, by turbulent and presuming Spirits, broaching new Doctrines, and making Separations and Schisms: But this without casting any more Aspersion on the Church or Congregation of the Faithful, than the Fall of Iudas did on the A [...]ostles; or the Rebellion of Lucifer on the Hierarchy of Angels; which was no more than that such wicked and presuming Spirits, [Page 92] went out from amongst them, and were expell'd their Communion, as un­worthy. Neither does it reflect at all on the Churches Authority, or make the Truth of her Doctrine questionable to him; that many of her eminent Members, Doctors, Prelates, and leading Men, have been, or are great enormous Sinners, infamous for their Pride, Covetousness, or other Vices, whatsoever: The Promises of God's continual and un-interrupted Assistance to his Church, being not to be frustrated by the Wickedness of such par­ticular Men, though in great Dignities. These Promises being made surer to her, than ever the Iewish Church: Which nevertheless stood firm in her Authority, and the Delivery of Truth, notwithstanding the frequent I­dolatry of the People, Nadab and Abihu's (consecrated Priests) offering strange Fire: Corah, Dathan and Abiram's making a great Schism, and the Sins of Moses and Aaron, and other High-Priests in all her succeeding Ages. Nay, though all things touching Religion and Virtue, were in a manner run to decay, in our Saviour's time, both in Priests and People; yet did he maintain the Authority of the Iewish Church; and commanded all to be Obedient, and submit to those who had the Superiority; with­out calling in question their Authority, or doubting of the Reasonableness of their Commands. The Scribes and Pharisees, (says he, Matth. 23.2.) sit in Moses's Chair: All therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe, and do: But do ye not after their Works. If therefore God's special Assistance was never wanting to the Church of the Iews, so as to let it fail in the Truth of its Doctrine, or its Authority; notwithstanding the Pride, Cove­tousness, Cruelty, Impiety, Idolatry, of many of her Levites, Elders, Priests and High-Priests. Why should not he believe the same of the Church of Christ, which, (as Saint Paul says) is built on better Promises; and that it remains entire in the Truth of her Doctrine, and her Authority, notwith­standing the Viciousness of many of her Governours. Especially, since he's in a manner confident, that there has been nothing so infamous acted by any Priests, Prelates, Popes or others, since Christ's time, but what may be follow'd; Nay, was out-done by the Priests of the Iews.

XVII. Of Infallibility in the Church.

1. HE doth not pretend this belongs to the Pastors and Pre­lates of his Church, who may fall, he saith, into Heresie and Schism; but that the whole Church is secured by Di­vine Promises from all Error and danger of Prevarication; which he proves from the Promises of the New Testament, Mat. 16.18—28.20. Iohn 14.16, 26. But however the former seems to take away Infallibility from the Guides of the Church, yet that this is to be understood of them seperately, appears by what follows.

2. The like Assistance of the Holy Ghost he believes to be in all Ge­neral Councils, which is the Church Representative; by which they are specially protected from all error in all definitions and declarati­ons in matters of Faith.

Now here are two sorts of Infallibility tacked to one another by vertue of these general Promises, which ought more di­stinctly to be considered.

1. To preserve Christs Church so as it shall never cease to be a Church, is one thing; to preserve it from all Errors is another: The former answers the End of Christs Promises as to the Duration of the Church; and the latter is not implied in them.

2. The promise of teaching them all Truth, Joh. 16.13. is not made to the whole Church, but to the Apostles: And their case was so peculiar and extraordinary, that there can be no just in­ference from the assistance promised to them, of what the Church should enjoy in all Ages.

3. If the diffusive Church have no infallible Assistance pro­mised, then no infallible Assistance can from thence be proved for the Church Representative; so that some particular Promi­ses to the Guides of the Church as assembled together, are ne­cessary to prove the Infallibility of Councils.

4. It by no means proves following Councils to be Infallible, because the Apostle said, Acts 15.28. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us. Our Author doth not doubt, but the same may be prefixed to all determinations in point of Faith, resolved on by any General Council lawfully assembled since that time, or to be held to the Worlds end. But what Reason he had for not doubting in this matter, I cannot see; the Assistance, he said, being to extend [Page 94] as far as the Promise: But shall Assistance imply Infallibility? Then there must be good store, as long as the Promises of Di­vine Grace hold good: But this Assistance of Councils is very different from the Assistance of Grace, for the Church may sub­sist without Councils, but cannot without Grace: What Gene­ral Council was there from the meeting, Acts 15. to the Coun­cil of Nice? Were not Christ's Promises fulfilled to his Church all that time, when it encreased in all parts against the most violent Opposition?

5. No parity of Reason from the Iewish Church can be suf­ficient proof for Infallibility in the Christian. But our Author argues thus, If Gods special Assistance was never wanting to the Church of the Iews so as to let it fail in the truth of its Doctrine, or its Authority; Why should not he believe the same of the Church of Christ, which is built on better Promises? What special Assistance was it which Israel had, when it is said, that for a long time Is­rael had been without the true God, 2 Chr. 15.3. and without a teaching Priest, and without Law? And as to Iudah, was there no failing in point of Doctrine in our Saviours time? It is true they had the Law in­tire, and that was all that was good among them; for their Teachers had corrupted themselves and the people, and made the Law of no effect among them: If there were Infallibility a­ny where it must be in the High Priest and Sanhedrim; but is it possible for any Christian to think them Infallible, when they were so grosly mistaken about the main Article of their Faith as to the Messias, and pronounced him worthy of Death? Is not this a fine Argument for the Infallibility of the Guides of the Christian Church? But the Church of Christ hath better Promises: No doubt of it, greater Promises of Grace and Mercy in this World, and in that to come: but what is all this to Infallibi­lity in Councils?

6. Christ's Command of Obedience to those who sat in Mo­ses Chair, (Matth. 23.2.) doth not prove the Infallibility of those who sat there. Yet this is alledged to that purpose; and that men ought not to doubt of the Reasonableness of the Com­mands of their Superiors. But St. Chrysostom saith,Chrysost. in Mat. Hom. 73 Hieron. in loc. our Saviour speaks of the things commanded by the Law of Moses. [...]er Cathe­dram Doctrinam Legis ostendit, Caten. Gr. in loc. Hilar. Canon. 24. saith St. Ierome; Not their own Doctrine, but that of Moses, saith Isidore; and so Hilary and Theophylact. Theophilact. in loc. Maldonate confesseth, our Saviours Words are to be understood, not of their own Doctrine, but of that of the [Page 95] Law; and therefore he yields the Obedience here required is to be restrained to that; All things, saith Cajetan, which they teach out of Moses's Chair: Not all their Doctrines, but as far as they were conformable to the Law, saith Ferus. Now, can any one hence infer,Matt. 15. that no men ought to dispute any Commands of Superiors, when it is supposed, that there is a Rule and Stan­dard for them to speak according to; and our Saviour else­where doth suppose these very men to teach things contrary to the Law; as in the Case of Corban. Would our Saviour con­tradict himself? or require a blind Obedience in things repug­nant to the Law? We do not deny a due submission to our Su­periors in the Church; yea, we allow them a Power to deter­mine things not forbidden; and think Obedience due in such things by vertue of their Authority: but yet this is far enough from Infallibility, or an unlimited implicit Obedience, which would overthrow the force of all our Saviour's Reasonings a­gainst the Scribes and Pharisees, as to their misinterpreting the Law, and the Superstitious Practises they imposed upon the people.

XVIII. Of the POPE.

HE believes the Pope to be his great God, and to be far above all the Angels. That Christ is no longer Head of the Church, but that this Holy Fa­ther hath taken his place; and that whatsoever he Orders, Decrees or Com­mands, is to be received by his Flock, with the same respect, submission and awe, as if Christ had spoken it by his own mouth. For that his Holiness (ha­ving once receiv'd the Triple-Crown on his Head,) is now no more to be look'd upon as Man, but as Christ's Vicar, whose Office it is to Constitute and Or­dain such things as Christ forgot, when he was upon Earth, not throughly con­sidering, what would be the Exigencies of his Flock in future Ages. And for this intent, he is assisted with a certain Mysterious Infallibility; such as hides it self, when he is upon his own Private Concerns, exposes him to all the De­signs, Cheats, Malice, and Machina­tions of his Enemies, and lets him be as easily over-seen, as imprudent, as silly as his Neighbours. But when he comes in­to his Chair, to hear any Publick Busi­ness, then it begins to appear, and pro­tects him from all Mistakes and Er­rors; and he becomes immediately full of the Holy Ghost, though he had the Devil and all of Wickedness in him just before.

HE believes the Pope to be none of his God, neither Great nor Little; That he is not above the An­gels, but only a Man. He believes that Christ, as he is supreme Master, Governour and Lord of all created things, so also of his Church, of which he acknowledges him to be the Founder and Head. But as notwith­standing this Lordship and Headship of Christ over all things, every Fa­ther of a Family owns himself to be Master of it under Christ; every petty Commander of a Ship stiles [Page 96] himself Master of it under God; and every Prince, King, and Emperour is confess'd supreme Lord and Governour of his Dominions under God: So also, he believes, that there is a Pastor, Go­vernour and Head of Christ's Church under Christ, to wit, the Pope or Bi­shop of Rome, who is the Sucessor of St. Peter, to whom Christ committed the care of his Flock; and who hath been follow'd now by a visible Suc­cession of above 250 Bishops acknow­ledg'd as such in all Ages, by the Christian World. And now believ­ing the Pope to enjoy this Dignity, he looks upon himself oblig'd to shew him that Respect, Submission and Obedience, which is due to his place; a thing which no body can in reason or conscience deny to any one in Rule, or that has any Superiority. Neither does he doubt but God assists those who have this charge, with a particular helping Grace, such as has a special respect to the Office and Functi­on, more than to the Person. Such was given to all the Prophets, when they were sent to preach: Such to Moses, when he was made God to Pharaoh, Exod. 7.1. Such to the seventy Elders, when God taking of the Spirit of Moses, gave it unto them, & constituted them Iudges. Such to Caiphas, who to coun­cil, prophesied of the death of Christ, which St. Iohn ascrib'd not to his Person, but to his Office of High-Priest, Job 11.51. And this spake he not of himself, but being High-Priest that year, he Prophesied, that Jesus should die for that Nation. By priviledge of his Office, uttering a Truth, which he himself never meant. With such like helping Grace, he doubts not, but God gene­rally assists the Pastors of the New-Law, and more especially the High-Priest, for the Good of the whole Flock. And therefore, tho' he were as wicked as Caiphas, yet he is ready to tender him all respect due to his Function, and obey him in every thing concerning the Exercise of his charge, not for any consideration of his Person, but meerly for the Office he bears: It being the Duty of a good Son to Obey his Father, and of a Loyal Subject his King, and never to question their Authority, or dis-respect them in their Office, tho' for some particular Vices, they may have little respect for their persons. In this manner is he ready to behave himself towards his chief Pastor, with all Reverence and Submission, never scrupling to receive his Decrees, and [Page 97] Definitions, such as are issued forth by his Authority, with all their due circumstances, and according to the Law, in the concern of the whole Flock. And this, whether he has the Assistance of a Divine Infallibility, or no: Which, though some allow him, without being in a General Council, yet he is satisfied, 'tis only their Opinion, and not their Faith, there being no Obligation from the Church, of assenting to any such Doctrine. And therefore, as in any Civil Governments, the Sentence of the supreme Iudge or Highest Tribunal, is to be obey'd, though there be no assurance of Infal­libility, or Divine Protection from Error or Mistake: So is he taught, should be done to the Orders of the Supreme Pastors, whether he be Infallible or no.

XVIII. Of the POPE.

1. WE do not charge them with Believing the Pope to be God; which it seems himself did, if we believe the Misre­presenter in his Preface: but there is some Reason to doubt whether they do not at some times give him greater Honour than becomes a Man.Cerem. §. 1. c. 2. I instance in the Adoration after his E­lection, when the new Pope is placed upon the Altar to re­ceive the Submissions of the Cardinals: but the Altar, them­selves do confess, to be sacred to God alone: And there they profess to Worship Jesus Christ, as present in the Host. This therefore looks too much like assuming the Place of Christ, and not becoming the Distance between God and Man.

2. The Question is, Whether Christ hath appointed the Pope or Bishop of Rome to be Pastor, Governour, and Head of his Church under him? This, he saith, he believes, and this he knows we deny, and therefore had reason to expect some proof of it, But instead thereof he tells us how they look on themselves as obliged to shew him the Respect due to his place, which he knows is not the matter in question. Two things however he saith, which seem to justifie his Title.

1. He is the Successor of St. Peter, to whom Christ committed the Care of his Flock. But how far is this from proving the Pope to be Head of the Church under Christ? For, how doth it appear that Christ ever made St. Peter Head of the Church, or committed his Flock to him, in contradistinction [Page 99] to the rest of the Apostles? This is so far from being evident from Scripture, that the Learned Men of their Church are ashamed of the Places commonly produced for it; it being im­possible ever to justify the sense of them according to their own Rules of interpreting Scripture, viz. by the unanimous consent of the Fathers For,

1. Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church, is interpreted by many of the Fathers both Greek and Latin, of S Peters Confession, and not of his Person; so by S. Chry­sostom, S. Ambrose, S. Augustine, S. Basil of Selucia, S. Hilary, S. Gregory Nyssen, and Theodoret;Matt. 16.18. Chrysost. hom. 1. in P [...]ntec. Tom. 5. ed. Savill. p. 97 [...]. Am [...]s [...] de In­car [...]. Dom. Sacramento c. 5. A [...]pus [...]. de Verbis Dom. ad Evang. se­cund. Matth. Serm. 13. Tract. in Joh. 124. Basil. Seluc. Orat. 25. ad sin. Hilar. de Trinit. l. 6. Greg. Nyssen de Advent. Domini cap. ult. Theodoret Epist. 77.146. Matt. 16.19. all great and considerable Persons in the Christian Church, whose words are plain and full to that purpose; and so they can never produce the una­nimous Consent of the Fathers for S. Peter's Supremacy out of these words.

2. And unto thee will I give the Keys of the Kingdom of Hea­ven, are interpreted by the Fathers, of S. Peter in common with the other Apostles; so Origen, S. Cyprian, S. Hilary, S▪ Hierom, and S. Augustine, Orig. Com­ment. in Mat. Gr. Lat. p. 275. Cyprian de U­nit. Ecclesiae. Hillar. de Trinit. l. 6. Hier. c. Jovin l. 1. c. 14. in Matt. 16. Aug. in Joh. Tr. 118.124. in Epist. Joh. To. 10. as they are all owned by some Mem­bers of the Roman Communion.

Moyens surs & honestes, &c. p. 34. &c. Entretiens de Philaleth. et Phileren. p. 121. Joh. Lannoi. Epist. part 5. Reim. Formentino, & Part. 2. Ep. 5. p. 47, &c.And, 3. For these words, Feed my Sheep, a late learned Doctor of the Sorbon shews, that if they prove any thing pe­culiar to Saint Peter, they must prove him sole Pastor of the Church, which was the thing Saint Gregory disputed against so warmly. But that there was nothing peculiar to Saint Peter, above or beyond the rest of the Apostles, he shews at large from S. Chrysostom, S. Cyril, S. Augustine, and others, to whom I refer the Reader, and to the former Authors. But suppose it were made to appear, that Saint Peter was Head of the Church; How doth the Bishop of Rome's Succession in that Headship shew it self?

To that he saith, 2. That there hath been a visible Succession of above Two hundred and fifty Bishops, acknowled as such in all [Page 79] past Ages by the Christian World. As such: What is that? As Bishops of Rome? That is not of weight enough to put it upon Tryal; as Heads of the Catholick-Church? That he knows is not only denied by us, but by all the Greek, Armenian, Ne­storian, Abyssin Churches; so that we dare say, it was never allowed in any one Age of the Christian Church. But we need not insist on the proof of this, since the late mentioned Authors of the Roman Communion have taken so great pains, not only to prove the Popes Supremacy to be an Incroachment & Usur­pation in the Church, but that the laying it aside is necessary to the Peace and Unity of it. And until the Divine Instituti­on of the Papal Supremacy be proved, it is to no purpose to debate what manner of Assistance is promised to the Pope in his Decrees. Our Author is willing to decline the Debate about his personal Infallibility, as a matter of Opinion, and not of Faith; and yet he saith, he doubts not but God doth grant a special Assi­stance to the High Priest, for the good of the whole Flock, under the New Law, as he did under the Old, and produces the Instance of Caiaphas, Joh. 11.51. This is a very surprizing way of Rea­soning; for if his Arguments be good from Scripture, he must hold the Popes personal Infallibility as a matter of Faith; and yet one would hardly think he should build an Article of Faith on the instance of Caiaphas: For what consequence can be drawn from Gods over-ruling the Mind of a very bad man, when he was carrying on a most wicked design, to utter such words, which in the event proved true in another sense than he meant them, that therefore God will give a special Assistance to the Pope in determining matters of Faith? Was not Caia­phas himself the man who proposed the taking away the Life of Christ at that time? Was he assisted in that Council? Did not he determine afterwards Christ to be guilty of Blasphemy, and therefore worthy of Death? And is not this a rare Infallibility which is supposed to be consistent with a Decree to crucifie Christ? And doth he in earnest think such, Orders are to be o­beyed, whether the Supreme Pastor be Infallible or not? For so he concludes, That his Sentence is to be obeyed, whether he be Infallible or no?

XIX. Of Dispensations.

HE believes, that the Pope has Au­thority to pispense with the Laws of God; and absolve any one from the obligation of keeping the Commandments. So that, if he has but his Holy Fathers leave, he may confidently Dissemble, Lie, and Forswear himself in all what­soever he pleases, and never be in dan­ger of being call'd to an account at the last day; especially if his Lying and Forswearing was for the common good of the Church: there being then a sure Reward prepar'd for him in Heaven, as a recompence of his good Intentions and Heroick Atchievements. And if at any time he should chance to be catch'd in the management of any of these pub­lick and Church-concerns, and being obnoxious to Penal Laws, should have Sentence of Death pass'd on him; he has liberty at his last hour on the Scaf­fold or Ladder, to make a publick De­testation of all such Crimes, to make protestations of his Innocence; to call God to witness, that he denies unjustly; and that as he is immediately to appear before the Supreme Judge, he knows no more of any such designs, and is as clear from the Guilt of them as the Child un­born. And this, though the Evidence against him be as clear as noon-day, though the Jury be never so Impartial, and the Judge never so Conscientious. For that he having taken the Sacra­ment and Oath of Secresie, and re­ceiv'd Absolution, or a Dispensation from the Pope, may then Lye, Swear, Forswear, and Protest all that he plea­ses, without scruple, with a good Con­science, Christian-like, Holily and Ca­nonically.

HE believes, that the Pope has no Authority to dispense with the Law of God; and that there's no Power upon Earth can absolve any one frome the Obligation of keeping the Commandments; or give leave to Lie or Forswear; or make, that the breaking of any the least Divine Pre­cept, shall not be accountable for at the day of Judgment. He is taught by his Church in all Books of Directi­on, in all Catechisms, in all Sermons, that every Lie is a Sin; that to call God to witness to an Vntruth dam­nable; that it ought not to be done to save the whole World; that whoso­ever does it, either for his own per­sonal account, or for the Interest of Church or Pope, or whatsoever else, must of necessity answer for it at the last day, and expect his portion with the Devil and his Angels, if unrepen­ted: And that no one can give leave for Lying, Perjury, or committing a­ny Sin; or even pretend to it, unless it be the Devil himself, or some de­vilish Ministers of his, such as he de­tests in his heart, and utterly abomi­nates. And in consequence to this be­lieves, that whosoever at the hour of his death denies any Crime, of which he is guilty, and protests himself to be innocent, when he is not so; can have no hope of Mercy: but depart­ing out of this World, an enemy to God, and the Truth, shall infallibly [Page 101] be receiv'd as such in the next; and dying with a Lye in his mouth, can expect no reward, but from the Fa­ther of Lies. And this, whatsoever his Crime was, whether incurr'd by an undertaking for Mother-Church, or no; and whatsoever his pretences for the denial of the Truth were, whe­ther Absolutions, Dispensations, the Sacrament, or Oath of Secresie, or what­soever else: nothing of these being capable of excusing him in Lies or Per­jury, or making them to be Innocent, and not displeasing to God. Nor in­deed did he ever hear of these so much talk'd on, Dispensations and Absolu­tions, from any Priests of his Church, either in Sermons or Confessions; he never read of them in his Books and Catechisms; he never saw the Practice of them in any of his Communion; it having been their Custom, ever since Oaths were first devis'd against them, rather to suffer the loss of their goods, banishments, imprisonments, torments, and death it self, than Fors [...]ear themselves, or protest the least Untruth. And 'tis not out of the memory of man, that several might have saved their Estates, and Lives too, would they have subscrib'd to, and own'd but one Lye, and yet refus'd it; chusing rather to die infamously, than prejudice their Conscience with an Vntruth. So that it seems a great Mystery to him, that those of his Profession, should have Leave and Dispensations to Lye and forswear themselves at pleasure, and yet that they should need nothing else but Lying and Perjury, for the quiet enjoyment of their Estates, for the saving their Lives, for the obtain­ing Places of highest Command, and greatest Dignity; such as would be extraordinarily advantagious for their Cause, and the interest of their Church. And yet that they should generally chuse rather to forego all these so considerable Conveniences, that once Lie or Forswear themselves. And is it not another great Mystery, that these Dispensations for Lying and Swearing should be according to the Receiv'd Doctrine of his Church; and yet that he, or any of his Communion, were never instructed nor inform'd of any such Diabolical Point? nay, had never come to the knowledge of it, had it not been for the information receiv'd from some Zealous Adversa­ries, such as relate either meerly upon Trust, or else such as have receiv'd a Dispensation of Lying from the Devil, that they might charge the like Do­ctrine on the Church of Rome, and the Pope.

XIX. Of Dispensations.

HEre the Misrepresenter saith, That a Papist believes that the Pope hath Authority to dispence with the Laws of God, and absolve any one from the Obligation of keeping the Commandments. On the other side, the Representer affirms; That the Pope has no Authority to dispence with the Law of God, and that there's no Power upon Earth can absolve any one from the Obli­gation of keeping the Commandments: This matter is not to be de­termined by the one's affirming, and the others denying; but by finding out, if possible, the true sense of the Church of Rome about this matter. And there are three Opinions about it.

1. Of those who assert, That the Pope hath a Power of Dispen­sing in any Divine Law, De Concess. Praebend è proposuit. Abb. c. pro­posuit de Conc. Prae­bend. C. 5. Q. 6. c. Aucto­ritate. except the Articles of Faith. The Gloss upon the Canon Law saith, that where the Text seems to im­ply, that the Pope cannot dispence against the Apostle, it is to be understood of Articles of Faith: And Panormitan saith, This Exposition pleases him well; for the Pope may dispense in all other things: Contra Apostolum dispensat, saith the Gloss on the Decree: And the Roman Editors in the Margin, refer to 34 Dist. c. Lector to prove it: And there indeed the Gloss is very plain in the Case, sic Ergo Papa dispensat contra Apostolum: And the Roman Correcters there justifie it, and say it is no absurd Doctrine as to positive Institutions:Sum. Angelic. v. dispensatio. But the former notable Gloss, as Panormitan calls it, sets down the particulars wherein the Pope may dispense. As, 1. Against the Apostles and their Canons. 2. Against the Old Testament. 3. In Vows. 4. In Oaths. The Summa Angelica saith, the Pope may dispense as to all the Precepts of the Old Testament. And Clavasius founds this Pow­er upon the Plenitude of the Popes Power, according to that Expression in the Decretal mentioned, that he can, ex plenitudine potestatis de Iure supra Ius dispensare; and without such a Pow­er, he saith, God would not have taken that care of his Church, which was to be expected from his Wisdom. Iacobatius brings several Instances of this Power in the Pope,Jacobat. de Conciliis l. 5. p. 215. and refers to the Speculator for more. Iac. Almain saith,Almain de Potest. Eccle­sia c. 1 [...]. That all the Canonists are of Opinion, that the Pope may dispense against the Apostle, and many of their Divines, but not all: For,

2. Some of their Divines held that the Pope could not dispence [Page 103] with the Law of God, as that implies a proper relaxation of the Law, but could only Authoritatively declare that the Law did not oblige in such a particular Case; because an Inferiour could not take away the force of a Superiors Law; and otherwise there would be no fixed and immutable Rule in the Church; and if the Pope might dispense in one Law of God, he might dispense in the rest. And of this Opinion were some of the most eminent School-Divines, as Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Major, Soto, and Catharinus, Catharin. [...]. Cajetan. 6. p. 524. who at large debates this Question, and denies that the Pope hath any Power to dispense with Gods Law: But then he adds, that the Pope hath a kind of propheti­cal Power to declare in what Cases the Law doth oblige, and in what not; which he parallels with the Power of declaring the Canon of Scripture; and this he doth not by his own Authority, but by Gods; He confesseth the Pope cannot dispense with those Precepts which are of themselves indispensable; nor alter the Sacraments; but then, saith he, there are some Divine Laws, which have a general force, but in particular Cases may be di­spensed with; and in these cases the Law is to be relaxed, so that the Relaxation seems to come from God himself: But he confesses this Power is not to be often made use of; so that he makes this Power to be no Act of Jurisdiction, but of propheti­cal Interpretation, as he calls it; and he brings the Instance of Caiaphas to this purpose: And he adds, that the difference be­tween the Divines and Canonists was but in Terms; for the Ca­nonists were in the right as to the Power, and the Divines in the manner of explaining it.

3. Others have thought this too loose a way of explain­ing the Popes Power, and therefore they say, That the Pope hath not a bare declaratory Power, but a real Power of dispensing in a proper sense in particular Cases: For, say they, the other is no act of Jurisdiction, but of Discretion, and may belong to other men as well as to the Pope; but this they look on as more a­greeable to the Popes Authority and Commission; and a bare declaratory Power would not be sufficient for the Churches Ne­cessity; as Sanchez shews at large, and quotes many Authors for this Opinion;Sanchez. d [...] Mattrim l. 8. Dis. 6. n. 5. Say [...]. Clavis Reg. l. 5. c. 11. S [...]ez de vot. l. 6. c. 9. n. 7, 8, 9, 17. and Sayr more; and he saith the Practice of the Church cannot be justified without it: Which Suarez much insists upon; and without it, he saith, the Church hath fallen into into­lerable Errors; and it is evident, he saith, the Church hath gran­ted real Dispensations, and not meer Declarations. And he founds [Page 104] it upon Christ's Promise to Peter, To thee will I give the Keys, and the Charge to him, Feed my Sheep. But then he explains this Opinion, by saying that it is no formal Dispensation with the Law of God, but the matter of the Law is changed or ta­ken away.

Thus I have briefly laid together the different Opinions in the Church of Rome about this power of dispensing with the Law of God, from which it appears, that they do all consent in the thing, but differ only in the manner of explaining it.

And I am therefore afraid our Representer is a very unstudied Divine, and doth not well understand their own Doctrine, or he would never have talked so boldly and unskilfully in this matter.

As to what he pretends, that their Church teaches that every Lye is a Sin, &c. it doth not teach the Case; for the Question it not, whether their Church teach men to lye, but whether there be not such a power in the Church, as by altering the na­ture of things, may not make that not to be a Lye, which other­wise would be one: As their Church teaches that men ought not to break their V [...]ws; yet no one among them questions, but the Pope may dissolve the Obligation of a Vow, although it be made to God himself. Let him shew then, how the Pope comes to have a Power to release a Vow made to God, and not to have a Power to release the Obligation to veracity among men.

Again, We do not charge them with delivering any such Doctrine, That men may have Dispensations to lye and forswear themselves at pleasure; for we know this Dispensing Power is to be kept up as a great Mystery, and not to be made use of, but upon weighty and urgent causes, of great consequence and be­ne [...]it to the Church, as their Doctors declare. But as to all matters of fact, which he alludes to, I have nothing to say to them; for our Debate is only, whether there be such a Power of Dispensation allowed in the Church of Rome, or not?

XX. Of the Deposing Power.

HE believes, that the Pope has Au­thority to dispence with his Alle­giance to his Prince; and that he needs no longer be a Loyal Subject, and main­tain the Rights, Priviledges and Autho­rity of his King, than the Pope will give him leave. And that if this Mighty Father think sit to thunder out an Ex­communication against him, then he shall be deem'd the best Subject, and Most Christian that can first shed his Prince's Blood, and make him a Sacri­fice to Rome: and he's but ill reward­ed for his pains, who, after so Glorious an Atchievement, has not his Name plac'd in the Kalendar, and he Cano­niz'd for a Saint. So that there can be no greater Danger to a King, than to have Popish Subjects, he holding his Life amongst them, only at the Pope's pleasure.

'TIS no part of his Faith to believe, that the Pope has Authority to dispence with his Allegiance to his So­vereign, or that he can Depose Princes upon any account whatsoever; giving leave to their Subjects to take up Arms against them, and endeavour their ru­in. He knows that Deposing & King-killing Power has been maintain'd by some Canonists, and Divines of his Church, and that it is in their Opinion lawful, and annex'd to the Papal Chair. He knows likewise that some Popes have endeavor'd to act according to this Power. But that this Doctrine, appertains to the Faith of his Church, and is to be believ'd by all of that Com­munion, is a malicious Calumny, a down-right Falsity. And for the truth of this, it seems to him a sufficient Ar­gument, that for the f [...]w Authors that are Abettors of this Doctrine, there are of his Communion three times the number that publickly disown all such Authority; besides several Universities, and whole Bodies that have solemnly condemn'd it; without being in the least suspected of their Religion, or of denying any Article of their Faith. Those other Authors therefore Publish their own Opinions in their Books, and those Popes acted according to what they judg'd lawful; and all this amounts to no more, than that this Doctrine has been, or is an Opinion amongst some of his Church; but to raise it to an Ar­ticle of Faith upon these grounds, is impossible. Let his Church therefore answer for no more, than what she delivers for Faith; let Prelates answer for t [...]eir Actions, and Authors for their own Opinions; otherwise more Churches must be charg'd with Deposing and King-killing Doctrine, besides that of Rome: The University of Oxford having found other Authors of Pernicious Books, and Damnable Doctrines, destructive to the Sacred Persons of Princes, their State and [Page 106] Government, besides Iesuits, as may be seen in their Decree, published in the Lon­don Gazette, Iuly 26. 1683. In which they condemn'd twenty seven false, i [...]pious, seditious Propositions, fitted to stir up Tumults, overthrow States and Kingdoms, to lead to Rebellion, Murder of Princes, and Atheism it self. Of which number only three or four were ascrib'd to the Iesuits: the rest having men of another Communion for their Fathers. And this Doctrine was not first condemn'd by Oxford; What they did here in the Year 1683. having been solemnly done in Paris in 1626. Where the whole Colledge of Sorbon gave Sentence against this Proposition of Sanctarellus; (viz) That the Pope, for Heresie and Schism, might depose Princes, and exempt the Subjects from their Obedience; the like was done by the Universities of Caen, Rhemes, Poictoirs, Valence, Bour­deaux, Bourges, and the Condemnation subscrib'd by the Iesuits. And Mari­ana's Book was committed publickly to the flames by a Provincial Council of his own Order, for the discoursing the Point of King-killing Doctrine problemati­cally. Why therefore should this disloyal Doctrine be laid to his Church, when­as it has been writ against by several hundred single Authors in her Communion, and disown'd, and solemnly condemn'd by so many famous Universities? And why should the Actions of some few Popes, with the Private Opinions of some Speculative Doctors, be so often and vehemently urg'd for the just charging this Doctrine upon the Faith of the Church of Rome; which, to a Serious, Impar­tial Considerer, are only meer Fallacies, capable of Libelling all Societies in the World, of overthrowing all States and Kingdoms, and only fit Arguments for Knaves to cheat Fools withal. There being no Government in the World which might not be easily proved Tyrannical; No Religion, Perswasion, or So­ciety, which might not plausibly be indicted of Atheism; If the Actions, Preten­ces, Claims, and endeavour of some few of their Governours and Leading Men; the Opinions, Writings, Phansies of some Authors be allow'd as sufficient Evi­dence, for the bringing in the Verdict of Guilty upon the whole. When Ma­lice ther [...]fore and Envy have done their worst in this point, to render the Papists bloody and barbarous to the World; yet 'ds certain, after all, that Popish Princes sit as safe in their Thrones, enjoy as much Peace and Security as any other Princes whatsoever; and that the Papists in England can give as good proofs of their Loyalty as the best of those that clamour so loud against them. They can bid defi [...]nce to their Adversaries to shew any one Person of Honour and Estate amongst them, or even four of any condition whatsoever that bore Arms against Charles the First, during the whole time of his Troubles. They can make good, that there was scarce any amongst them that did not assist his Majesty either with Person or Purse, or both. And they can say, that Charles the First was murder'd in cold blood by his Protestant Subjects, after many hundred Papists had lost their Lives for the preventing that Butchery, and that [Page 107] Charles the Second, being pursued by the same Subjects for his Life, sav'd it a­mongst the Papists.

XX. Of the Deposing Power.

TO bring this matter into as narrow a compass as may be, I shall first take notice of his Concessions, which will save us a labour of Proofs.

1. He yields that the Deposing and King-killing Power hath been maintained by some Canonists and Divines of his Church, and that it is in their opinion lawful, and annexed to the Papal Chair.

2. That some Popes have endeavoured to act according to this Power.

But then he denies that this Doctrine appertains to the Faith of his Church, and is to be believed by all of that Communion. And more than that, he saith, The affirming of it is a malicious Calumny, a down­right Falsity.

Let us now calmly debate the matter, Whether according to the received principles of the Church of Rome, this be only a particul [...]r opinion of some Popes and Divines, or be to be received as a matter of Faith. The Question is not,

Whether those who deny it, do account it an Article of Faith; for we know they do not: But whether upon the Principles of the Church of Rome they are not bound to do it.

I shall only, to avoid cavilling, proceed upon the Principles owned by our Author himself. viz.

1. That the sense of Scripture, as understood by the Community of Christians in all Angels since the Apostles, is to be taken from the pre­sent Church.

2. That by the present Church be understands the Pastors and Pre­lates assembled in Councils, who are appointed by Christ and his Apo­stles for the decision of controversies; and that they have In [...]allible as­sistance.

3. That the Pope as Head of the Church, hath a particular as­sistance promised him, with a special regard to his Office and Function.

If therefore it appear that Popes and Councils have declared this Deposing Doctrine, and t [...]ey h [...]ve received other things as Articles of Faith upon the same Declarations, why should they then stick at yielding this to be an Article of Faith, as well as the other.

It is not denied, that I can find, that Popes and Councils for se­veral [Page 108] Ages have asserted and exercised the Deposing Power; but it is alledged against these Decrees & Acts. 1. That they were not grounded upon Universal Tradition. 2. That they had not Univer­sal Reception.

Now, if these be sufficient to overthrow the Definitions of Councils, let us consider the consequences of it.

1. Then every Man is left to examin the Decrees of Councils, whether they are to be embraced or not; for he is to judge whe­ther they are founded on Universal Tradition; and so he is not to take the sense of the present Church for his Guide, but the Univer­sal Church from Christs time: which overthrows a Fundamen­tal Principle of the Roman Church.

2. Then he must reject the pretended Infallibility in the Guides of the Church, if they could so notoriously err in a matter of so great consequence to the Peace of Christendom, as this was; and consequently their Authority could not be sufficient to declare any Articles of Faith. And so all Persons must be left at Liberty to believe as they see cause, notwithstanding the Definitions made by Popes and Councils.

3. Then he must believe the Guides of the Roman Church to have been mistaken, not once or twice, but to have persisted in it for Five hundred years; which must take away, not only Infall [...]bi­l [...]ty, but any kind of Reverence to the Authority of it. For what­ever may be said as to those who have depended on Princes, or favour their Part [...]es against the Guides of the Church, it cannot be denied that for so long time the leading Party in that Church did assert and maintain the Deposing Power. And therefore Lessius truly understood this matter,Discussio De­creti Magni Concil. Late­ [...]. p. 89. when he said, That there was scarce any Article of the Christian Faith, the denial whereof was more dan­gerous to the Church, or did precipitate Men more into Heresie and Hatred of the Church, than this of the Deposing Power; for, he says, they could not maintain their Churches Authority without it.

And he reckons up these ill Consequences of denying it.

1. That the Roman Church hath erred for at least five hundred years, in a matter fundamental as to Government, and of great Moment: Which is worse than an Error about Sacraments, as Pe­nance, Extream Unction, &c. and yet those who deny the Church can err in one, hold that it hath erred in a greater matter.

2. That it hath not only erred, but voluntarily and out of Am­bi [...]ion, perverting, out of Design, the Doctrine of the Primive [Page 109] Church and Fathers concerning the Power of the Church, and bringing in another contrary to it, against the Right and Authority of Princes; which were a grievous sin.

3. That it made knowingly, unrighteous Decrees, to draw per­sons from their Allegiance to Princes; and so they became the Cau­ses of many Seditions and Rebellions, and all the ill Consequences of them, under a shew of Piety and Religion.

4. That the Churches Decrees, Commands, Judgments, and Censures may be safely contemned as Null, and containing intole­rable Errors. And that it may require such things which good Subjects are bound to disobey.

5. That Gregory VII. in the Canon Nos Sanctorum, &c. Ur­ban. II. Gregory IX. the Councils of Lateran under Alex. III. and Innocent III, the Councils of Lyons, of Vienna, of Constance, of Lateran under Leo X. and of Trent, have all grievously and enor­mously erred about this matter; for that it was the Doctrine of them all, he shews at large; and so Seven General Counc [...]ls lose their Infallibility at one blow.

6. That the Gates of H [...]ll have prevailed against the Church: For the true Church could never teach such pernicious Doctrine as this must be, if it be not true. And if it erred in this, it might as well err in any other Doctrine, and so Men are not bound to be­lieve or obey it.

7. That Princes and all Laymen have just Cause to withdraw from their Church; because it shewed it self to be governed by a spirit of Ambition, and not by the Spirit of God; and not only so, but they may justly prosecute all that maintain a Doctrine so per­nicious to Government, if it be not true.

Let us now see what our Author saith to clear this from being a Doctrine of the Church of Rome.

1. That for the few Authors that are abettors of this Doctrine, there are of his Communion three times the number that publickly disown all such Authority.

If this b [...] true, it is not much for the Reputation of their Church, That there should be such a number of those who are liable to all these dreadful Consequences, which Lessius urges upon the deni­ers of it: But is it possible to believe there should be so few follow­ers of so many Popes, and Seven General Councils, owned for such by the disowners of this Doctrine,Discuss. Dis [...]u [...]s. Part 3. Sect. 3. p. 1: except the Lateran under Leo 10? The poor Eastern Christians are condemned for Here­ticks [Page 110] by the Church of Rome, for refusing to submit to the Decrees of one General Council, either that of Ephesus, or of Chalcedon: And they plead for themselves, That there was a misinterpretati­on of their meaning, or not right understanding one another a­bout the diff [...]rence of Nature and Person, which occasioned those Decrees.Philip. a SS. Trinir. Itiner. Orient. l. 5 c 5. Clem. Galan. Concil. Eccl. Arm. Qu. 2. SS 3. p. 92. I would fain know whether those Churches which do not embrace the Decrees of those Councils, are in a state of He­resie or not? If they be, then what must we think of such who reject the Decrees of Seven General Councils, one after another, and give far less probable accounts of the Proceedings of those Councils in their Definitions than the other do.

2. He saith, Those who have condemned it, have not been in the least suspected of their Religion, or of denying any Article of Faith. Let any one judg of this by Lessius his Consequences: And the Author of the first Treatise against the Oath of Allegiance saith in plain Terms, That the Opinion that the Pope hath no such Power, is erroneous in Faith, Iesuits Loyal­t [...] first Treatise, p. 1. &c. as well as temerarious and impious; And he proves it by this substantial Argument; Because they who hold it, must suppose that the Church hath been for some time in a dam­nable Error of Belief, and Sin of Practice: And he not only proves that it was defined by Popes and Councils, but for a long time universally received; and that no one Author can be produ­ced before Calvins time, that denied this Power absolutely, or in any case whatsoever. But a few Authors that are Abettors of it, saith our Representer: Not one total Dissenter for a long time, saith the other: And which of these is the true Representer? The de­niers of it not in the least suspected of their Religion, saith one: Their Opinion is erroneous in Faith, temerarious and impious, saith the o­ther. And a Professor of Lovain, now living, hath undertaken to shew that the nu [...]ber is far greater of those who assert this Do­ctrine, than of those who deny it.

Auctoritas se­atis.3. If we charge their Church with this Opinion, may not they as well charge ours with the like; since Propositions as dangerous were condemned at Oxford, July 26, 1683. as held not by Jesuits, but by some among our selves? Apostolicae vindicata ad­versus Natal. Alexand. per Francisc. D. Enghien. Co­lon. A.D. 1684. This is the force of his Reasoning: But we must desire the Reader to consider the great disparity of the Case. We cannot deny, that there have been men of ill Minds, and d [...]sloyal Principles, Factious and Disobedient Enemies to the Government both in Church and State; but have these Men ever had that Countenance from the Doctrines of the Guides of our [Page 111] Church, which the Deposing Doctrine hath had in the Church of Rome? To make the Case parallel, he must suppose our Houses of Convocation to have several times declared these Damnable Do­ctrines, and given Encouragement to Rebels to proceed against their Kings; and the University of Oxford to have condemned them; for this is truly the Case in the Church of Rome; the Popes and Councils have owned, and approved, and acted by the Depos­ing Principle: but the Universities of France, of late years, have condemned it. How come the Principles of the Regicides among us to be parallel'd with this Doctrine, when the Principles of our Church are so directly contrary to them; and our Houses of Con­vocation would as readily condemn any such damnable Doctrines, as the University of Oxford? And all the World knows how re­pugnant such Principles are to those of the Church of England; and none can be Rebels to their Prince, but they must be false to our Church.

As to the Personal Loyalty of many Persons in that Church, as I have no Reason to question it, so it is not proper for me to de­bate it, if I did; since our business is not concerning Persons but Doctrines; and it was of old observed concerning the Epicureans, That thô their Principles did overthrow any true Friendship, yet many of them made excellent Friends.

XXI. Of Communion in one kind.

HE believes, that he is no longer o­blig'd to obey Christ's Commands than his Church will give him leave. And that therefore tho' Christ instituted the Sacrament under both kinds, and commanded it to be receiv'd so by all; yet he thinks it is not necessary, for any to do so now, but Priests; because his Church, forsooth, hath forbidden the Cup to the Laity; And put a stop to the Precept of Christ who said, Drink ye all of this, (Mat. 26.) In submission to which Church-Prohibition, all the poor people of his Communion contentedly rest, while they see themselves, defrau­ded of great part of that benefit, which Christ left them, as his Last Will and Testament: for the comfort of their poor Souls, and the Remedy of their In­firmities.

HE believes, that he is oblig'd to o­bey all the commands of Christ: and that neither his Church nor any o­ther Power upon Earth can limit, alter, or annul any precept of Divine Institu­tion, contrary to the intention of the Law giver. N [...]ither is the Denial of the Cup to the Laity, a practise any ways opposite to this his Belief: He be­ing taught, that thô Christ instituted the blessed Sacrament under both kinds, and so deliver'd it to his Apostles, who only were then present, and whom he had [Page 112] made Priests just before; yet he gave no command, that it should be so re­ceiv'd by all the faithful: But left this indifferent, as is evident from his own words, where he attributes the obtain­ing life everlasting (the end of the In­stitution) sometimes to the receiving under both kinds, sometimes under one: as when he says, If any Man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever. He that eats Me, even he shall live by me. He that eats of this bread shall live for ever, (John 6. v. 51, 57, 58.) And a curious Reader may find as many Texts for thus Receiving under one kind, as for the other. And St. Augustine was so f [...]r of this Opinion, that he says, that Christ himself administred the Sacrament to some of his Disciples, under one kind only, viz. to those two go­ing to Emaus, (Luk. c. last, 30.) And that the Apostles afterwards did often pra­ctise the like, when they assembled, to break bread, (Acts 2. &c.) Which places Ile and other Fathers explicate of the Sacrament, (Aug. l. 49. de Cons. Evang) And that this was the Custom of the Primitive Christians, to give it under one kind, to Children, to the Sick, and that Men on a Iourney used so to carry it with them, is attested by all antient Writers, and modern Historians, Nay, he finds, that this was the practice of the Church, to Communicate un­der one kind only, or else under both, as every one thought good, especially in all Private Communions, for the first four hundred years after Christ: and that the first Precept of Receiving under both kinds, was given to the Fait [...]ful by Pope Leo I. in the year 443. and Confirm'd by Pope Gelasius in 490. not for the correcting any Abuse, that had crept into the Church, but for the discover­ing the Manichees, (who being of opinion, that Christ had no true Blood, and that Wine was the Gall of the Devil,) us'd to lurk among the Christians, and receiving under the form of Bread only, as the rest did, remain'd und [...]stinguish'd, till by this Obligation of all Receiving the Cup, (which they judg'd unlawful and abominab [...]e) they were all detected. And, now, if a thing (till that time Indifferent,) was for these Motives determin'd by an Ecclesiastical Precept, and so observ'd for many hundred years, without scruple or questioning the Autho­rity; why should he doubt to submit to the same Authority: when (upon dif­ferent Motives and Circumstances,) they issue forth another Precept. Few doubt of this in the matter of Eating of strangled Meats and Blood; which, thô forbid by the Apostles, (Acts 15.) and so unlawful, is now by another Order, and upon other circumstances, become a thing Indifferent, and like other things. And why then should he scruple in this, especially since there's no Injury done, nor he defrauded of any thing. For believing the Real Presence of Christ in the [Page 113] Sacrament, he cons [...]quently believes whole and living Iesus to be entirely con­tain'd under either Species: And that (receiving under one kind,) he is truly partaker of the whole Sacrament, and not depriv'd of other the Body or Blood of Christ.

XXI. Of Communion in one kind.

FOR our better proceeding in this Controversie, I shall set down the State of it as clearly as I can.

1. The Question is not, Whether the first Institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist by Jesus Christ, were in one kind, or two; for all confess it was under both kinds.

2. It is not. Whether both kinds are not still necessary for the due Celebration of it; for it is granted that both kinds are ne­cessary to be upon the Altar, or else there could be no compleat Sacrifice.

3. It is not, Whether the People may be wholly excluded from both kinds, and so the Sacrifice only remain: for they grant that the People are bound to communicate in one kind.

4. It is not concerning any peculiar and extraordinary Cases, where no Wine is to be had, or there be a particular Aversion to it, or any such thing, where positive Institutions may be rea­sonably presumed to have no force: But concerning the publick and solemn Celebration, and participation of it in the Christian Church.

5. It is not concerning the meer disuse or neglect of it, But concerning the lawfulness of Excluding the People from both Kinds, by the Churches Prohibition, notwithstanding the Insti­tution of it by Christ in both kinds, with a Command to keep up the Celebration of it to his Second Coming.

Here now consists the point in Controversie, Whether the Church being obliged to keep up the Institution in both kinds, be not equally obliged to distribute both as our Saviour did, to as many as partake of it? Our Author not denying the Institu­tion, or the continuance of it, saith, Our Saviour left it indiffe­rent to receive it in one kind, or both. And that is the point to be examined.

1. He saith, Christ delivered it to his Apostles, who only were then present, and whom he made Priests just before: yet he gave [Page 114] no command that it should be so received by all the Faithful.

But were not the Apostles all the Faithful then present? I pray in what capacity did they then receive it? As Priests? How did they receive the Bread before the hoc facite? As Priests or as faithful? It is ridiculous to suppose the hoc facite changed their capacity; and if [...]t did, it only relates to consecrating, and not to receiving: but if Christ gave it only to the Apostles as Priests, then for all that I can see, the People are not at all con­cerned in one kind or other; but it was intended only for Priests: If the people be concerned, how came they to be so? Where is there any command but what refers to the first Institution? And it had been more plausible, according to this Answer, to exclude the People wholly, than to admit them to one kind, and to debar them the other.

2. Christ attributes the obtaining Life Everlasting, the end of the Institution, sometimes to receiving under both kinds, sometimes under one, John 6.51, 57, 58. He could not easily have thought of any thing more against himself; for our Saviour there makes it as necessary to drink his Blood, as to eat his Flesh, Verily, ve­rily, S. John 6.51. I say unto you, Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink his Blood, ye have no Life in you: If this be under­stood of the Sacrament, as he saith, How is it possible for him to make the Cup indifferent? Unless it be indifferent whether the People be saved or not.

3. Christ himself administred the Sacrament to some of his Dis­ciples under one kind only, Luke 24.30. But is he sure Christ did then administer the Sacrament to them? Or that if he did, the Cup was not implied, since breaking of Bread, when taken for an ordinary Meal in Scripture, doth not exclude drinking at it? But S. Augustin, he saith, (l. 49. de Consensu Evangel.) under­stands that place of the Sacrament. If he doth, it cannot be where he saith; for S. Augustin wrote but Four Books of that Subject: but l. 3.25. he doth say something towards it; yet S. Augustin in another place supposes that these Disciples did both eat and drink. The Disciples did not know him, but in the breaking of Bread;Tract. 2. in Epist. S. Joh. and truly he that doth not eat and drink Iudgment to him­self, doth in the breaking of Bread own Christ. Whe [...]e it is plain, that he applies both, to the breaking of Bread here spoken of.

[Page 115]4. He saith, it was the Custom of the Primitive Christians to give it under one kind to Children, the Sick, and to Men in a Iourney. I would he had produced his Authorities to prove these things; for I can bring several to prove the direct contrary as to Children, and sick P [...]rsons, and Travellers, and not only ancient Writers, but the most Learned of their own Church. And there­fore I cannot but wonder to find him saying, This was attested by all ancient Writers, and modern Historians. But I have ever found those have been most mistaken, who produce all Writers and Hi­storians; when it may be, there is not one that speaks home to the business. At least, we have here none mentioned, and there­fore none to examine; and it would be too hard a task to search All.

5. He adds to this extravagancy, in saying, That Receiving in one or both kinds, was indifferent for the [...]irst four hundred years; when the contrary is so manifest, that the most ingenious of their own Writers confess it. If any Persons did carry home one kind (which is very questionable; for Baronius and Albaspinaeus say, they carried both kinds) to receive it in times of Persecution, at what season they thought fit afterwards; This ought not to be set up against the general and constant Rule of the Church; which is attested, not only by Cassander, and such like, but even by Salmero, Ruardus Tapperus, and Lindanus, who make no scru­ple of saying, the publick Celebration in the Primitive Church was in both kinds. But then, how is it possible for us to judge better, what they thought themselves bound to do, than what they constantly observed in all their publick Celebrations? The Church is not accountable for the particular Fancies or S [...]perstiti­ons of Men; but what was observed in all publ [...]ck Offices, we have reason to think the Church thought it self obliged so to do, out of regard to the Institution of Christ. And to shew how Un [...]versal this Observation was in the Church, those who give ac­count of the Eastern Church say, That the Greeks, Nestorians, Cotovic. Itiner. Hierosolymit. l. 2. c. 6. Histoir. Cri­tique, p. 14. Armenians, Maronites, Cophtites and Abyssins, do all observe it still, viz. That the publ [...]ck Communicants do partake of both kinds. And not one of all these Churches, but think themselves bound to observe it, out of regard to the Institution of Christ; and why then should any think the Pr [...]m [...]tive Church thought it in­different?

[Page 116]6. The first Precept of receiving under both kinds, was given to the Faithful by Pope Leo, A. D. 443. and confirmed by G [...]l [...]sius, A. D. 490. This is a great mistake, for Leo gave no Precept ab [...]ut it; but only told the People how they might certainly dis­cover the Manichees, for they would conform in other things, but they would not taste of the Wine; which argued, that all other Communicants did then partake in both kinds. Gelasius not only confirms the Custom then used, but he saith, That it is Sacriledge to divide that Holy Mystery. And sur [...]ly he did not account Sacriledge an indifferent thing.

p. 52.7. Lastly he saith, That those who receive in one kind are truly Partakers of the whole Sacrament. This is a new way of Concomitancy; we used to hear of Whole Christ under either Species, and that Whole Christ was therefore received; but how comes it to be the whole Sacrament which consists of two di­stinct Parts? And if it be a Sacrifice, the Blood must be separa­ted from the Body, else the Blood of Christ is not considered as sh [...]d, and so the Notion of the Sacrifice will be lost: Which is our next Head.

XXII. Of the MASS.

HE believes an insufficiency in the Sacrifice made by Christ upon the Cross: and that his Death will little avail us in order to our Redempti­on, unless we, by daily Sacrificing him to his Father, perfect what he began: and therefore little taking notice of St. Paul's Words to the Hebrews, (Chap. 10.14.) where he says, that Christ our High-Priest by one Ob­lat [...]on, hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified: He thinks he shall never be sanctified, but by the Offering made by his Mass Priest upon their Al­tars, when they say Mass; and thus wholly relying upon this Superstition, (an Invention of some crafty P [...]pe for the deceiving W [...]dows and Credu­l [...]us Women,) he is taught to neglect the Passi [...]n of Christ and to put no hopes in his Merits, and the work of our Redemption.

HE believes that the Sacrifice made by Christ upon the Cross was altogether sufficient: That by it he Sav'd and Redeem'd us, paying the Debt of Sin, and satisfying the Infi­nite Iustice of his Father: That by it he procur'd means for our Salvati­on; which means are Faith and Good Works, and most honourable to God is the Offering a Sacrifice. And as Christ's Worshipping of God, Christ's Fasting, Christ's Praying and suffering for us, does not hinder or evacuate our Worshipping of God, our Fasting, our Suffering, our Praying, for our [Page 117] selves. So neither did his Sacrifice hinder or evacuate all Sacrifices for ever. But as he instituted [...]asting, Praying, and suffering for his Fol­lowers, th [...]t by so doing they might apply what he did to themselves; so a [...]so he instituted a Sacrifice; that by it they might apply the merits of his Sacrifice, and make it beneficial to their Souls. So that though he firm­ly believes, that Christ offered Sacrifice for our Redemption, and by one only Offering, (spoken of by St. Paul) perfected by way of Redemption the Sanctifi­cation of all those that are sanctified; yet he also believes, that to receive the ben [...]fit of this Offering, we must also do our parts, by our Good Works concur­ring with Christ, so becoming Labourers together with God, 1 Cor. 3.9, and in some manner purifying our own selves, 1 John 3.3. and therefore not omit the best of all Works, which is Sacrifice, proper to none but God: Which our Saviour Iesus Christ instituted at [...]is last Supper, when leaving unto us his Body and Blood under two distinct Species of Bread and Wine, he be­queath'd, as a Legacy to his Apostles, not only a Sacrament, but also a Sa­crifice: A Commemorative Sacrifice, lively Representing, in an unbloody man­ner, the bloody Sacrifice which was offered for us upon the Cross; and by a distinction of the Symbols, distinctly shewing his Death (Christ's) until he come. This he gave in charge to his Apostles, as to the first and chief Priests of the New Testament, and to their Successors to Offer; commanding them to do the same thing he had there done at his last Supper, in commemoration of him. And this is the Oblation, or Sacrifice of the Mass, which has been observ'd, perform'd, frequented by the Faithful in all Ag [...]s, attested by the General Consent of ancient Canons, universal Tradition, Councils, and the pract [...]ce of the whole Church, mention'd and allow'd of by all the Fathers Greek and Latin; and never call'd into question but of l [...]te Years; being that pure Offering which Malachy, (Prophecying of Christ) foretold should be offer'd among the Gentiles in every place, Mal. 1.11. as it is understood by seve­ral Fathers, and particularly, S. Cypr. l. 1. c. 18. advers. Iud. S. Ierom, S. The­odoret. S. Cyril, in their Commentaries upon this Text: S. Augustine, l. 18. c. 15. de Civit. S. Chrysost. in Psal. 95. and others.

Of the MASS.

UNder this Head, which is thought of so great cons [...]quence in the Roman Church, I expected a fuller Representation than I here find; as about the Opus Operatum, i. e. how far the meer Act is effectual: About their Solitary Masses, when no Person receives but the Priest; about the People having so little to do, or understand, in all the other parts of the Mass; About the Rites and Ceremonies of the Mass, how useful and impor­tant they are; About reconciling the present Canon of the Mass, with the present Practises; About offering up Masses for the ho­nour of Saints. All which we find in the Council of Trent, but are omitted by our Representer; Who speaks of the Mass, as tho there were no Controversie about it, but only concerning the Sacrifice there supposed to be offered up, and which he is far from true Representing: For the Council of Trent not only affirms a true proper propitiatory Sacrifice to be there offered up for the quick and dead, but denounces Anathema's against those that de­ny it.Sess 22. cap. 2. can 1, 2, 3, &c. So that the Question is not, Whether the Eucharist may not in the sense of Antiquity be allowed to be a Commemorative Sacrifice, as it takes in the whole Action; but whether in the Mass there be such a Representation made to God of Christ's Sa­crifice, as to be it self a true and propitiatory Sacrifice for the Sins of the Q [...]ick and the Dead?

Now, all that our Representer saith to the purpose, is,

p. 53.1. That Christ bequeathed his Body and Blood at his last Supper under the species of Bread and Wine, not only a Sacrament, but al­so a Sacrifice. I had thought it had been more proper to have offered a Sacrifice, than to have bequeathed it. And this ought to have been proved as the Foundation of this Sacrifice, viz. That Christ did at his last Supper offer up his Body and Blood, as a Propitiatory Sacrifice to God. And then what need his suffering on the Cross?

2. He gave this in charge to his Apostles, as the first and chief Priests of the New-Testament, and to their Successors, to offer. But Where? When? and How? For we read nothing at all of it in Scripture. Christ indeed did bid them do the same thing he had there done in his last Supper. But did he the offer up him­self, [Page 119] or not? If not, How can the Sacrifice be drawn from his Action? If he did, it is impossible to prove the necessi [...]y of his dying afterwards.

3. This Sacrifice was never questioned till of late years. We say, it was never determined to be a Propitiatory Sacrifice, till of late. We do not deny the Fathers interpreting Mal. 1.11. of an Offering under the Gospel; but they generally understand it of Spiritual and Eucharistical Sacr [...]fices; and although some of them, by way of Accommodation, do apply it to the Eucharist, yet not one of them doth make it a Propitiatory Sacrifice, which was the thing to be proved: For, we have no mind to dispute about Metaphorical Sacrifices, when the Council of Trent so posi­tively decrees it to be a True, Proper, and Propitiatory Sacrifice.

XXIII. Of Purgatory.

HE believes, (contrary to all Rea­son,) the Word of God, and all Antiquity, that (besides Heaven and Hell,) there is a third place, which his Church is pleas'd to call Purgatory; a place intended purely for those of his Communion, wh [...]re they may easily have admittance after this Life, with­out danger of falling into Hell; for, that though Hell was designed first, for the punishment of Sinners; yet (that now, since the blessed discovery of Pur­gatory,) Hell may easily be skip'd over, and an eternal Damnation avoided, for an exchange of some short Penalty un­dergone in this Pope's Prison; where he never need fear to be detained long; for that, if he has but a friend left behind him, that will but say a few Hail-Maries for his Soul, or in his Testament did but remember to order a small sum to be presented to some M [...]ss Priest, he never need doubt of be­ing soon releas'd; for that a Golden K [...]y will as infallibly open the Gates of Purgatory as of any other Prison wha [...] ­soever.

HE believes it damnable to admit of any thing for Faith that is contrary to Reason, the Word of God, and all Antiquity; and that the Being of a Third Place, (call'd Purgatory,) is so far from being contrary to all, or any of these, that it is attested, confirm'd and establish'd by them all. 'Tis expresly in the 2d. of the Macca­bees, c 12. where Money was sent to Hierusalem, that Sacrifices might be offered for the slain: And ' [...]is recom­mended as a Holy Cogitation to Pray for the Dead. Now though these Books are not thought Canonical by some, yet St. Augustine held them as such, and says they are so received by the Church, (l. 18. de Civit.) But whether so, or no, one thing is al­low'd by all, viz. That they contain nothing contrary to Faith, and that [Page 120] they were cited by the Antient Fathers for the Confutation of Errors, form­ing of good Manners, and the ex­plication of the Christian Doctrine: Thus were they us'd by Origen for Condemnation of the Valentinian He­reticks, (Orig. in cap 5. Ep. ad Rom.) thus by St. Cyprian, (Lib. de Exhor. Mart. c. 11.) thus by Euseb. Caesarien­sis.) Lib. Praepar. Evang. 11. c. 15.) thus by St. Greg. Naz. Ambros. &c. And he is in a manner certain that the Books would never have been put to this Use by these Holy and Learned F [...]thers; they would never with such confi­dence have produc'd their Authority, nor would they have been read by the Church in those Golden times, had this Doctrine of a Third Place, (and of Prayers for the Dead, which they maintain,) been any idle Superstition, a meer Dream, contrary to Reason, the Word of God, and Antiquity; or had it been any Error at all. The being also of a Third Place is plainly intimated by our Saviour, (Matth. 12.32.) where he says, Whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this World, neither in the World to come. By which words Christ evidently supposes, that (though these shall not) yet some sins are forgiven in the World to come: which since it cannot be in Heaven, where no sin enters; nor in Hell, whence there is no Redem­ption; it must necess [...]rily be some Middlestate: And in this sense it was un­derstood by St. Augustine nigh twelve hundred Years ago, as is manifest in his Works, (Civ. Dei, l. 21. c. 13, & 24. & lib. 6. cont. Iulian. c. 15.) so also by St. Gregory the Great, (l. 4. Diacl. c. 39.) so by St. Bernard against the Here­ticks of his time. In the same manner does St. Augustine understand those words of St. Paul, (1 Cor. 3.15.) He himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Where he thinks him to speak of a purging fire, (Aug. in Psal. 37.) So the same Father understands that Prison of which St. Peter speaks, (1 Pet. 3.19.) to be some place of Temporal Chastis [...]ment, (Aug. Ep. 99.) And if this great Doctor of the Chu [...]ch in those purer times, found so often in the Bible, a place of Pains after this Life, from whence there was Release; how can any one say, without great presumption, that the Being of a Third Place is contrary to the Word of God? Neither can the Antiquity of this Doctrine be more justly call'd in question, of which is found so early mention, not only by this Holy Fa­ther, but even by others his Predecessors, the Disciples of the Apostles, and the best Witnesses of their Doctrine, (Dionys. l. de Eccl. Hier. c. 7. In Actis SS. Perpet. & Felicit. mention'd and approv'd by S. Aug. l. 1. de Anima & ejus Orig. c. 10. l. 3. c. 9. & l. 4. c. 18. Tertul. l. de Cor. Mil. c. 3. Cypr. Ep. 66. ad Cler. [Page 121] Arnob. l. 4. cont. Gent. pag. ult.) and many others quoted at length by the Learned Natalis Alixand. Tom. 9. Hist. Eccl. dissert. 41) And as for the Reason of this Tenet, he is bound to think it does not want it, since he finds it abetted by such Virtuous, Learned and Considering Men, whom he dares not reckon Fools; never hearing, that these us'd to Believe, but upon very good Ground [...] and substantial Reasons. And he thinks he is able to give some himself, by what he has learned from the Scriptures, and these Fathers. For having been taught by these; First, That when a sinner is reconci [...]'d to God, though the Eternal Punishment due to his sins, is always remitted, yet there sometimes remains a Temporal Penalty to be undergone. As in the case of the Israelites. (Num. 14.) who by Moses's Prayers obtained Pardon for their Murmuring, and yet were ex­cluded the Land of Canaan. As in the Case of David, (2 Sam. 12.) who was punish'd in the loss of his Child, after his sin was forgiven. Secondly, That there are some sins, which of their own nature are Light and Venial, such as cool the fervour of Charity, but do not extinguish it, from which even Holy Men are not exempt, and of which it is said, that the Iust man falls seven times, (Augustin. Enchir. c. 70. & lib. Quaest. Oct. tr. 9.26.) Thirdly, That to all sins, whe­ther great or small, some Penalty is due to the Iustice of God; who as he has Mercy to forgive, has also Iustice to punish: so that as St. Augustin says, ( [...]n Ennar. in Psal. 50.) Whosoever seeks to God for mercy, must remember that he is just, and that his sin shall not pass unpunished. Fourthly, That generally speak­ing, few Men depart out of this life, but either with the guilt of some light offences and venial sins, or else obnoxious to some Temporal Punishment due to former sins forgiven. From these Heads, Discourse leads him immediately to the Necessity of some Third Place. For since the Infinite Goodness of God can admit nothing into Heaven, which is not clean, and pure from all sin both great and small: And his I [...]finite Iustice can permit none to receive the Reward of Bliss, who as yet are not out of debt, but have something in Iustice to suffer: There must of necessity be some Place or State, where Souls, departing this life, pardon'd as to the Eternal Guilt or Pain, yet obnoxious to some Temporal Penalty, or with the gu [...]lt of some venial faults, are Purg'd and Purify'd before their Ad­mittance into Heaven. And this is what he is taught concerning Purgatory. Which, though he knows not, Where it is; of what nature the Pains are, or how long each Soul is detained there? yet he believes, that those, that are in this Place, being the Living Members of Jesus Christ, are reliev'd by the Prayers of their Fellow-Members here on Earth; and that the Charitable Works perform'd upon their Death-bed, and the Alms dispos'd on in their Last Will, are very a­vailable afterwards in order to their speedier release.

XXIII. Of PVRGATORY.

HEre our Author begins with proving from Scripture and An­t [...]quity, and then undertakes to explain the D [...]ctrine of Purgatory from substantial Reasons.

1. As to his Proof from Scripture.

1. Is that from 2 Maccab. c. 12. where he saith, Money was sent to Jerusalem, that Sacrifices might be offered for the slain; and 'tis recommended as a Holy Cogitation, to pray for the dead.

To this, which is the main foundation of Purgatory, I answer, 1. It can never prove such a Purgatory as our Author asserts; for he supposes a Sinner reconciled to God, as to eternal Punishment, before he be capable of Purgatory; but here can be no such Suppo­sition, for these Men died in the sin of Achan, which was not known till their Bodies were found among the slain. Here was no Confession, or any sign of Repentance; and therefore if it proves any thing, it is deliverance from Eternal Punishment, and for such as dye in their Sins without any shew of Repentance. 2. We must distinguish the Fact of Iudas from the Interpretation of Iason, or his Epitomizer. The Fact of Iudas was according to the strict­ness of the Law, which required in such Cases a Sin-Offering; and that is all which the Greek implies. [...]. And so Leo Allatius confesses all the best Greek Copies agree;Leo Allat. de Purgat. p. 889 and he reckons Twelve of them. Now what doth this imply, but that Iudas remembring the severe pu­nishment of this Sin in the Case of Achan, upon the People, sent a Sin-Offering to Ierusalem? But saith Leo Allatius, It was the sin of those men that were slain. I grant it. But the Question is, Whe­ther the Sin-Offering respected the dead or the living? For the Law in such a Case required a Sin-Offering for the Congregation. Levit. 4.13. And why should not we believe so punctual a Man for the Law, as Iu­das, did strictly observe it in this point? But the Author of the Book of Maccabees understands it of those that were slain. I do not deny it; but then, 3. We have no Reason to rely upon his Authority in this matter; which I shall make appear by a parallel Instance. He doth undoubtedly commend the fact of Razias in Killing himself (2. Macc. 14.42.) when he saith he did it, [...], like a brave Man; and if he had thought it a fault in him, he would never [Page 123] have given such a Character of it, but he would have added some­thing of Caution after it. And it is no great advantage to Purga­tory, for him that commends Self-murder to have introduced it. The most probable account I can give of it is, That the Alexan­drian Iews, of whose number Iason of Cyrene seems to have been, had taken in several of the Philosophical Opinions, especial­ly the Platonists, into their Religion, as appears by Philo; and Bellarmine himself confesses,Bellar. de P [...] ­gat. l 1. c. 8. that Plato held a Purgatory: and they were ready to apply what related to the Law, to their Plato­nick Notions. So here the Law appointed a Sin-offering with re­spect to the Living; but Iason would needs have this refer to the dead; and then sets down his own remark upon it, That it was a holy Cogitation to pray for the dead; as our Author renders it. If it were holy with respect to the Law, there must be some ground for it in the Law. And that we appeal to; and do not think any particular Fancies sufficient to introduce such a Novelty as this was, which had no Foundation either in the Law or the Prophets. And it would be strange for a new Doctrine to be set up, when the Spirit of Prophecy was ceased among them.

But S. August. held these Books for Canonical, and saith, they are so received by the Church, l. 18. de Civit. Dei. To answer th [...]s it is sufficient to observe, not only the diff [...]rent Opinions of others before mentioned as to these Books; but that as Canus notes,Can. l. [...]. c 1 [...].2 [...].4. it was then lawful to doubt of their Authority: and he goes as low as Gregory I. whom he denies not to have rejected them. And I hope we may set the Authority of one [...]gainst the other; especially when S. Augustine himself,Aug. cont ad Epist. Gaudent l. 2 c. 23. being pressed hard with the fact of Razias, conf [...]sses. 1. That the Iews have not the Book of Macca­bees in their Canon, as they have the Law, the Prophets▪ and the Psalms, to whom our Lord gave Testimony as to his Witnesses. Which is an evident Proof, he thought not these Books sufficient to ground a Doctrine upon, wh [...]c [...] was not found in the other, 2. That how­ever this Book was not unprofitably received by the Church, if it be soberly read and heard. Which implies a greater Caution than S. Augustine would ever have given, concerning a Book he belie­ved truly Canonical. But saith Bellarmine, De Purgat. l. 1 c. 3. his meaning is only to keep men from imitating the Example of Razias; whereas that which they pressed St. Augustine with, was not meerly the Fact, but the Character that is given of it. Sancta [...]um Sc [...]ip [...]urarum [Page 124] Auctoritate laudasus est Razias, are their very Words in S. Augu­stine. And therefore the Caution relates to the Books, and not meerly to his Example. And he lessens the Character given by the Author, when he saith, He chose to dye nobly; It had been better, saith he, to have died humbly. But the other is the Elogium given in the Heathen Histories, and better becomes brave Heathens than true Martyrs. Can any one now think S. Augustine believed this Writer Divinely inspired, or his Doctrine sufficient to ground a Point of Faith upon? And I wonder they should not every jot as well commend Self-murder as an Heroical Act. as prove the Do­ctrine of Purgatory from these words of Iason, or his Epitemi­zer. For the Argument from the Authority of the Book, will hold as strongly for one as the other. And yet this is the Achilles for Purgatory; which Natalis Alexander (whom our Author follows in this matter) saith,Natal. Alex. Sec. 4 Diss. 4. is a demonstrative place against those that deny it. But I must proceed.

2. Purgatory is plainly intimated by our Saviour, Matt. 12.32. Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this World, neither in the World to come. By which words, Christ evidently supposes, that some Sins are forgi­ven in the World to come. I am so far from discerning this plain Intimation, that I wonder how any came to think of it out of this place. Well! But doth it not hence follow, that Sins may be forgi­ven in the World to come? Not near so plainly, as that Sins will not be forgiven in the World to come. Not that particular Sin, but others may; How doth that appear? What intimation is there that any Sins not forgiven here, shall be forgiven there? Or that any Sins here remitted as to the Eternal Punishment, shall be there remitted as to the Temporal? And without such a kind of Remission, nothing can be inferred from hence. But if there be a Remission in another World, it can be neither in Heaven nor Hell, therefore it must be in Purgatory. But those who own a Remissi­on of Sins in another World, say it will be on the day of Judg­ment: For the actual Deliverance of the Just from Punishment, may be not improperly called the full Remission of their Sins. So S. Augustine, whom he quotes, plainly saith, Si nulla remit­terentur in judicio illo novissimo, &c. Iulian, l. 6. c. 5. where it is evident S. Augustine takes this place to relate to the Day of Judg­ment; and so in the other, (De Civit. Dei l. 21. c. 24.) But as he [Page 125] supposed a Remission, so he did a Purgation as by Fire in that day. In illo judicio poenas quasdam purgatorias futuras. De Civit. Dei l 20. c. 25. And so he is to be understood on Psal. 37. to which he ap­plies 1 Cor. 3.15. But our Author was very much out, when he saith S. Augustine applied 1 Pet. 3.15. to some place of temporal Chastisement in another World, when Bellarmine sets himself to confute S. Augustine about it,Bell. de An. Christi l. 4. c. 13. as understanding it of this World. And therefore he hath little cause to boast of St. Augustine's Au­thority about Purgatory, unless he had brought something more to the Purpose out of him. H [...]s other Testimonies of Antiquity are not worth considering; which he borrows from Natalis Alexander: that of Dionysius Areopag. Eccl. Hierarch. c. 7. is a known Coun­terfeit, and impertinent, relating to a Region of Rest and Hap­piness. And so do Tertullian's Oblations for the Dead, De Cor. Mi­lit. c. 3. For they were Eucharistical, as appears by the ancient Liturgies, being made for the greatest Saints. St. Cyprian, Ep. 66. speaks of an Oblation for the Dead: and he there mentions the Natalitia of the Martyrs: but by comparing that with his Epist. 33. it will be found that he speaks of the Anniversary Comme­moration of the Dead, which signifies nothing to Purgatory: for the best men were put into it: and St. Cyprian threatens it as a Punishment to be left out of the Diptychs; but surely it is none to escape Purgatory: Arnobius l. 4. only speaks of praying for the Dead, which we deny not to have been then used in the Church, not with respect to any temporary pains in purgatory, but to the Day of Judgment: And therein lies the true state of the Contro­versie, with respect to Antiquity: which is not, Whether any solemn Prayers were not then made for the dead; but whether those Prayers did relate to their deliverance out of a state of Pu­nishment before the Day of Judgment. For whatever state Souls were then supposed to be in, before the great Day, if there could be no deliverance till the Day of Judgment, it signifies nothing to the present Question.

As to the Vision of Perpetua concerning her Brother Dinocrates who died at Seven Years old, being baptized, it is hardly reconcila­ble to their own Doctrine. to suppose such a Soul in Purgatory: I will not deny that Perpetua did think she saw him in a worse Condition: and thought likewise that by her Prayers she brought him into a better; for she saw him playing like little Children: [Page 126] and then she awaked, and concluded that she had given him ease: but is it indeed come to this, that such a Doctrine as Purgatory must be bu [...]lt on such a Foundation as this? I do not call in questi­on the Acts of Perpetua, nor her sincerity in relating her Dream: but must the Church build her Doctrines upon the Dreams or Vi­sions of young Ladies, tho very devout? for Ubia Perpetua was then but Twenty Two, as she saith her self. But none are to be blamed who m [...]ke use of the best supports their Cause will afford.

It is time now to see what strength of Reason he offers for Pur­gatory. 1. He saith, When a Sinner is reconciled to God, tho the Eternal Punishment due to his Sins is always remitted, yet there some­times remains a temporal Penalty to be undergone; as in the case of the Israelites and David. But doth it hence follow, that there is a Temporal Penalty that must be undergone either here or here­after, without which there will be no need of Purgatory? Who denies, that God in this Life, for example sake, may punish those whose Sins he hath promised to remit as to another World? This is therefore a very slender Foundation. 2. There are some sins of their own nature light and venial. I will not dispute that; but s [...]ppose there be, must men go then into Purgatory for meer Venial Sins? What a strange Doctrine doth this appear to any m [...]n's Reason? That God should forgive the greater sins, and re­q [...]ire so severe a Punishment for sins in their own nature venial; i. e. so inconsider [...]ble in their own Opinion, that no man is bound to confess them; which do not interrupt a State of Grace; which require only an implicite detestation of them;S. Th [...] part 3. q. 87 art 3. in cor. v. Marsil. Column. Hydra­giolog Sect. 7. [...]. 3. n. 32. [...] 3. c. 2. n. 15 29 c 3. n. 1. Bell. de Cultu Sanct. l 3 c. 7. Sect. se [...]undo. which do not de­serve eternal Punishment; which may be remitted by Holy Wa­ter, or a Bishop's Bl [...]ssing, as their Divines agree. 3. That to all Sins some penalty is due to the Iustice of God. And what follows from hence but the necessity of Christ's Satisfaction? But how doth it [...]ppear, that after the Expiation of Sin by Christ, and the re­m [...]ssion of eternal Punishment, there st [...]ll remains a necessity of farther satisfaction for such a temporal penalty in another World? 4. That generally speaking, few men depart out of this Life, but ei­ther with the guilt of venial sins, or obnoxious to some Temporal pu­nishment. No doubt, all men are obnoxious by their sins to the pu­nishment of another World; but that is not the point, but whe­ther God hath declared, That altho he remits the eternal Punish­ment, he will not the temporal; and altho he will forgive thou­sands [Page 127] of pounds, he will not the pence and farthings we owe to him: But if Mortal sins be remitted as to the guilt, and Venial do not hinder a st [...]te of Grace, what room is there for Vindictive Justice in Purgatory?

Yet this is the Doctrine which so much weight is laid upon; that Bellarmine saith,De Purgatorio l. 1. c. 11. SS. Haec sunt. They must go directly to Hell who do not be­lieve purgatory. If this be true, why was it not put into the Re­presentation, that we might understand the danger of not belie­ving so credible, so reasonable a Doctrine as this? But we believe it to be a much more dangerous thing to condemn others for not believing a Doctrine which hath so very slender a pretence either to Scripture or Reason.

XXIV. Of Praying in an Unknown Tongue.

HE it counsell'd by his Church, to be present at Sermons, but never permitted to hear any he is able to un­derstand; they being all deliver'd in an unknown Tongue. He is taught to Pray, but it must be in Latin. He is commanded to assist at the Church Ser­vice, and to hear Mass, but it must be without understanding a word; it being all perform'd in a Language of which he is altogether Ignorant. And thus is mi­serably depriv'd of all the comfortable Benefits of Christianity: Hearing, but without Understanding; Praying, but without reaping Fruit; assisting at Pub­lick Assemblies, but like a Stock or a Stone, without feeling, or any the least sense of Devotion.

HE is counsell'd by his Church to be present at Sermons, such as he is able to understand, they b [...]ing always deliver'd in the Vulgar Language of every Country: In France, French; in Spain, Spanish; in Italy, Italian: in England (if permitted) English: they being purely intended for the good In­struction of the Congregation present. He is taught to Pray, and alw [...]ys pro­vided of such Books of Devotion as he is capable of understanding; every Na­tion being well furnished with such helps, extant in the Language proper to the Country. He is commanded to assist at the Church-Service, and to hear Mass; and in this he is instruct­ed, not to understand the Words, but to know what is done. For, the Mass be­ing a Sacrifice, wherein is daily commemorated the Death and Passion of Christ by an Oblation made by the Priest. of the Body and Blood of the Imm [...]culate Lamb, under the Symbols of Bread and Wine, according to his own Institu­tion: [Page 128] 'tis not the busines of the Congregation present, to imploy their Ears in attending to the Words, but their Hearts in contemplation of the Divine Myste­ries, by raising up fervent affections of Love, Thanksgiving, Compassion, Hope, Sorrow for sins, Resolutions of amendment, &c. That thus having their Heart and Intention united with the Priests, they may be partakers of his Prayers, and of the Sacrifice he is then offering, than which he believes nothing is more acceptable to God, or beneficial to true Believers. And for the raising of these affections in his Soul, and filling his Heart with the extasies of Love and Devotion, he thinks in this case, there's little need of Words; a true Faith, without these, is all-sufficient. Who could but have burst forth into Tears of Love and Thanksgiving, if he had been present while our Saviour was tyed to Pillar, Scourg'd and Tormented, though he open'd not his mouth to the By­standers, nor spake a word? who would have needed a Sermon to have been fill'd with Grief and Compassion, if he had seen his Saviour expos'd to the scorn of the Iews, when he was made a bloody spectacle by Pilate, with, Ecce homo, Lo the Man? Who could have stood cold and senseless, upon Mount Calvary, un­der the Cross, when his Redeemer was hanging on it, though he had heard, or not understood a word that he spoke? Does any one think that those Holy Women, who follow'd their Lord, in these sad Passages, and were Witnesses of his Sufferings, wanted Holy Affections in their Souls, because he spoke not: or were they scandaliz'd at his silence? Was not their Faith in him that suffer'd, by which they believ'd him to be Christ Iesus, true God and Man, laying down his life for the Redemption of Man, sufficient to excite in their Souls all the Pas­sions due from a sinful Creature, to his bleeding Redeemer, to his Crucified Ie­sus? The like Faith also is sufficient to fill him with Devotion, when he is pre­sent at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: For believing, that Christ is there really present before him, under the Species of Bread and Wine, and that He that lies upon the Altar, is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the World; What need of more, to quicken in his Soul all the Affections of a Devout Lover? Can he behold his Redeemer before him, and not break forth into Love and Thanks­giving? Can he see him, that gives sight to the Blind, health to the Sick, and life to the Dead, and yet stand still senseless and un-mov'd, without putting any Petition to him, without asking any thing, for his blind, sick and sinful Soul? Can he believe that he that gives his life for the World, and died for our sins, is there before him, and not be touch'd with sorrow and contrition for his Offence? Can he see commemorated every doleful passage of his Saviour's sufferings, in the several Mysteries of the Mass, and yet not be fill'd with grief and compassion? Is not Iesus welcome to a devout Soul, although he come in silence? Is not the Presence of Christ, a more forcing motive to a Christian, than any Humane [Page 129] Words could be? And if he must needs have Words, let him behold with the eye of Faith the gaping Wounds of his Redeemer, and see if those speak nothing to his Soul? If they do not, 'tis because he wants Faith. It nothing therefore con­cerns his Devotion, that the Mass is said in Latin: If the Church has order'd it thus, so to preserve Unity; as in Faith, so in the External Worship of God, and to prevent alterations and changes, which it would be expos'd to, if in Vulgar Languages, and other good Reasons; What's that to him? He should receive but little advantage if it were in his Mother Tongue. For besides, that the greatest part is said in so low a Voice, that it is not possible he should hear it; the Words do not belong to him, That's only the Priest's Office; and the Obligation is, to accompany the Priest in Prayer, and Spirit, to be a joint-Offerer with him, to contemplate the Mysteries there represented, and to excite in his Soul De­votions according to the exigency of every Passage; according to the Directi­ons he finds in his English Prayer-Books, of which there are extant great vari­ety, set forth for the help of the Ignorant; by which they are taught the mean­ing of every Part and Ceremony of the Mass, and how to apply their Devoti­ons accordingly. And if at any time he be present at other publick Devotions, as the Church Offices, the Litanies, solemn Thanksgivings, Exequies, &c. which are all perform'd in Latin; or should say any private Prayers, or sing an Hymn in the same Language, which he understands not; yet is he taught that this may be done, with great benefit to his Soul, and the acceptance of God; if at these occasions he does but endeavour to raise his thoughts to Heaven, and fix his Heart upon his Maker. For that God does not respect the Language of the Lips, but of the Heart, does not attend the motion of the Tongue, but of the Mind; and if these be but directed to him in Thanksgiving, in Praeising, in Pe­titioning, in Humiliation, in Contrition, and such like Acts, as Circumstances require, he need not doubt but that God accepts his Prayers and Devotions: It being an undeniable th [...]ng, that, to say Prayers well and devoutly, 'tis not neces­sary to have attention on the Words, or on the Sense of the Prayers; but rather purely on God: Of these three Attentions, this last being approv'd by all, as of greatest Perfection, and most pleasing to God. And this he can have, whether he understands the Words or no: it being very usual and easie for a Petitioner to accompany his Petition with an earnest desire of obtaining his suit, tho the Language in which it is worded be unknown to him.

XXIV. Of Praying in an unknown Tongue.

THE Q [...]estion in short is, Whether the Church Service, at which Persons are bound to assist, ought not to be in a Language understood by those who are bound to assist?

[Page 130]For our Author grants, That a Papist is bound to assist at the Church Service, and to hear Mass; but he is not bound to under­stand the Words there spoken.

This is a plain state of the case; and one would have thought St. Paul's Discourse about Edification in the Church-Service, and a known Tongue, and the Primitive Practice, had des [...]rved a little consideration, but not a Word is said to either of them; and the whole is so managed, as tho there had been no Rule, or any appearance of Practice to the contrary. But I must con­sider what he doth say.

1. The Mass is a Sacrifice: And what then? Have they no other Church-Service but the Mass? What then becomes of their Breviaries, Litanies, and all other Offices? But suppose the Priests Office in the Mass, be to offer the Sacrifice; are there no Prayers in the Canon of the Mass, wherein the People are con­cerned? Why must not they understand what they are required to assist in Prayer for? If they have English Books, as he saith, to teach them every part and Ceremony of the Mass, why not as well the Prayers in the Mass, wherein they are to joyn? They tell us, It is unseasonable then for the People to say their Beads, and other Devotions: And I suppose as unseasonable to talk, or think of other matters. Why then should not they know what it is they are to do, and what Petitions they are then to make to God? Are there no Responses to be made? No Lessons to be read? No Creed to be professed? Doth not the Priest speak to the People to pray, and they answer him? Is there no Thanks­giving after the Communion which the People is concerned in? We are as much for their Devout Affections as they can be, but we think they are not hindred by understanding what they are about: We cannot but wonder, that any man should say, That it nothing concerns his Devotion that the Mass is in Latin, if he understand it not. Is it no part of Devotion to joyn in the pub­lick Prayers, not merely by rote, but from a due apprehension of the matter contained in them? He requires, That they accom­pany the Priest in Prayer and Spirit: And why not in understand­ing also? But the Church hath so ordered it: And that is the thing we complain of, as done against St. Paul, against the Pri­mitive Church, against the natural sense of Mankind, who think it is sit for them to know what they do, especially in the Wor­sh [...]p [Page 131] of God: But it is to preserve Unity: Methinks however Uni­ty in Spirit and Understanding is better than without it: There are other good Reasons: I know not one good one; and if there were more, he would have produced them: The greatest part is said in a low Voice, that it is not possible he should hear it: And to what purpose should it be spoken louder, if they are not to un­derstand it? But why so low in publick? Yet the People might have Books, and joyn, if they understood what was said. But why should not the rest be understood, which is spoken as if it were?

2. As to other Offices, he saith, He is taught, that he may perform them in a Language which he understands not, with great benefit to his Soul, and the acceptance of God, if at those occasions he endeavours to raise his Thoughts to Heaven, and fix his Heart upon his Maker. But the Question is not, Whether a Man may not have devout Thoughts at that time, but whether he can perform his part in the publick Offices, with true Devotion, without Un­derstanding? for the publick Offices of Devotion were designed for the uniting the Hearts and Desires of the People in the same things. It is not, whether one Man may not pray for Heaven, and another for fair Weather, and another for pardon of his Sins, and a Fourth for Patience, and so on, in the same place, and at the same time; for all this may be done as well in a silent Meet­ing, where not a Word is spoken: But there being one Form of Prayer for all to joyn together in that with the united force of the whole Congregation, their Petitions may go up to Heaven; The matter now in dispute is, Whether it be not necessary in or­der to this united Devotion, that the People all know what they pray for? And one would think nothing need to be said to prove this: But what our Author adds in Justification of this, overthrows all publick Devotion; for he saith, It is not necessary to have atten­tion on the Words, or on the Sense of Prayers, but rather purely on God: Which is to make all publick Forms unnecessary, and to turn all Devotion into Prayer of Contemplation: For if this be true, all Forms whatsoever are not only useless, but burthensome; and by the stinting the Spirit, do hinder the nimbler flights of the Soul in pure silence towards God: And this Principle must lead men to Enthusiasms, and unintelligible Unions; and make them despise Forms as a mean and dull Dispensation.

[Page 132]But at last he saith, A petitioner may accompany his petition with an earnest desire of obtaining it, though the Language in which it is written be unknown to him. Very true, if he ind [...]ted the matter of the Petition, and trusted another to put it into that Lan­guage, which the Person to whom he makes it doth understand, but not his own: But all Languages are alike to God's Infinite Wisdom, and so there can be no pretence on that account to keep only to some particular Tongues, tho unknown to the Party; and if it were so to all men, no man would have a Petition present­ed in a Language which he did not know: But in Prayer to God, the design of it is not to acquaint him with something which he knew not, but to excite the Hearts and Affections of men to an earnest desire of the things which are fit for them to ask: Now let any man undertake to prove, th [...]t mens affections are as easily moved by Words they do not understand, as by those they do, and I will give up this Cause.

XXV. Of the Second Commandment.

HE is kept in Ignorance as to an Essential part of his Duty to­wards God; never being permitted to know the Commandments, but by halves. For in the Books deliver'd to him for his Instruction, (such are Catechisms and Manuals) the Second Commandment is wholly left out; And he by this means Superstitious Worship, and is taught to fall into all sorts of down right Ido­latry. And then the Commandments he does learn, are in such disorder by a confusion of the two first into one, and a cutting the last into Two, by putting only three in the first Table, and seven in the second: That no reason can be able to justifie this mangling and chopping, in opposition to all Authority and Anti­quity,

HE is instructed in his whole Duty towards God, and most espe­cially in the Ten Commandments. He is taught to understand them all and every one: that there's an Obligation of observing them, under pain of eter­nal Damnation; and that whosoever breaks any one of them, loses the Fa­vour of God, and as certainly hazards the loss of his Soul, as if he broke them all. And tho in the short Catechisms and Manuals, in which the whole Christian Doctrine is deliver'd in the most com­pendious and easie method, in conde­scendence to weak Memories, and low Capacities; the Second Commandment (as 'tis reckon'd by some) be wholly omitted; yet it is to be seen at length [Page 133] in other Catechisms, and Doctrinal Books, to be met with every where in great plenty. And if any one should chance not to see any of these, yet would he be out of all danger of falling into any Superstitious Worship or Idolatry: for that having read his First Commandment, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me; he is taught, that by this he is commanded to Serve, Love, Adore, and Worship one only True, Living, and Eternal God, and no more: That 'tis for­bidden him to Worship any Creature for a God, or to give it the Honour due to God; and that whosoever Worships any Idols, Images, Pictures, or any graven thing (whatsoever the Object be, whether in Heaven above, in the Earth be­neath, or in the Waters under the Earth) for God, breaks the Commandment, by committing Idolatry, and stands guilty of an inexcusable and most damn [...]ble sin. Now having been taught, that this is the intent of the first Precept of the Decalogue, he thinks there can be but little danger of his becoming Supersti­tious in his Worship, or an Idolator for want of the Second; there being no­thing in this, but what he is fully and expresly inctructed in, by having learn'd the First: it being rather an Explication of this, than any New and distinct Pre­cept: And for this reason he finds them in his Books, put together as One, or rather as the first Commandment, with its explication; by which means it comes about, that there are only Three in the first Table, teaching him his Duty to­wards God; and seven in the latter, concerning his Duty to his Neighbour; which is the Division assign'd by St. Augustine. And tho St. Hierom observes not this me­thod, but divides them into Four and Six, yet there being no direction in Scripture concerning the Number of the Commandments to be assign'd to each Table; nor to let us know which is the first, which the second, which the third Comm [...]nd­ment, or which the last: He is taught, that 'tis but an unnecessary trouble, to concern himself about the Number of them, or Division, when-as his whole Business ought to be, the Observance of them in his Life and Conversation.

XXV. Of the Second Commandment.

THE Dispute about this is not,

Whether the Second Commandment may be found in a­ny of their Books, but by what Authority it comes to be l [...]ft out in any; as he confesses it is in their short Catechisms and Manuals ▪ But not only in these; for I have now before me the Reformed Office of the Blessed Virgin, Printed at Salamanca, A. D. 1588. published by Order of Pius V. where it is so left out: And so in the English Office at Antwerp, A. D. 1658. I wish he had told us in what publick Office of their Church it is to be found: But [Page 134] himself pleads for the leaving it out, when he saith. The People are in no danger of Superstition or Idolatry by it; since the First Com­mandment secures them from it; and there is nothing in this, but what is vertually contained in the First, and is rather an Explanation, than a new and distinct Precept. But is this so plain and clear, that a Mans Conscience can never make any just and reasonable Doubt concerning it? There is a terrible sanction after it; and men had need go upon very good Grounds in a matter of such moment. Hath God himself any where declared this to be only an Explicati­on of the First Commandment? Have the Prophets, or Christ and his Apostles ever done it? How then can any mans Consci­ence be safe in this matter? For it is not a trifling Controversie, whether it be a distinct Commandment, or an Explication of the First, but the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness of the Worship of Images depends very much upon it: For if it be only an Explicati­on of the First, then unless one takes Images to be Gods, their Wor­ship is lawful, and so the Heathens were excused in it, who were not such Ideots: But if it be a new and distinct Precept, then the Worshipping any Image or Similitude, becomes a grievous sin, and exposes men to the Wrath of God in that severe manner mention­ed in the end of it: And it is a great confirmation that this is the true meaning of it, because all the Primitive Writers of the Chri­stian Church, not only thought it a sin against this Command­ment, but insisted upon the force of it against those Heathens who denied that they took their Images for Gods: And therefore this is a very insufficient Account of leaving out the Second Com­mandment.

XXVI. Of Mental Reservations.

HE is taught to keep no Faith with any that are reputed Hereticks by his Church; and that whatsoever Pro­mises he has made, thô never so positive and firm, with this sort of People, he may lawfully break, and cheat and co­zen them without any scruple. And tho he must not do this by down-right Lying, and telling Untruths, for that would be a sin; yet he may make use of any in­direct ways, such are Dissimulation, Equivocations, and Mental Reservati­ons, and by these means draw them in­to his snares; And this without fear of offending God, who is well pleas'd with these kind of pious Crafts, allows of these Holy Cheats,

HE is taught, to keep Faith with all sorts of People, of whatso­ever Iudgment or Perswasion they be, whether in Communion with his Church, or no; he is taught to stand to his Word, and observe his Promise given, or made to any whatsoever: and [Page 135] that he cannot cheat or cozen, whether by dissembling, equivocations, or mental reservations, without defi [...]nce of his own Conscience, and the violation of God's Law. This is the Instruction he receives from the pulpit, the Confessi­onary, and his Books of Direction. The holy Francis Sales, in his Intro­duction to a Devout Life, (p. 3. c. 30.) tells him plainly, Let your Talk be courteous, frank, sincere, plain and faith­ful, without double-dealing, subtilty or dissembling: This he is taught to observe and practise, and that without this 'tis not possible to please God. In the Ca­techism ad Parochos, compil'd by order of the Council of Trent, and recom­mended to all Parish Priests for the Instruction of the Faithful, he is taught, that by the Eighth Commandment he is forbidden all Dissimulation, whether in Word or Deed; that cum scelere conjuncta sunt, to speak or do otherwise than for the intimation of what is in the mind, is abominable and wicked. That no man shall bear false witness against his Neighbour, whether he be Friend or Enemy. And Pope Innocent XI, in a Decree issued forth the Second of March, Anno 1679. has strictly commanded all the Faithful in virtue of his ho­ly Obedience, and under pain of incurring the Divine Vengeance, that they ne­ver swear equivocally, or with any mental reservation, upon no account or pre­tended convenience whatsoever; And that if any presume either publickly or privately to teach or maintain the Doctrine of Swearing with equivocations or mental reservation, that they de facto incur Excommunication latae Sententiae, and cannot be absolv'd by any but the Pope himself, excepting at the hour of death, He is taught therefore to speak plainly and sincerely, without Dissimu­lations, Equivocations, mental Reservations, or any such like Artifices ▪ which cannot be but very injurious to all Society, and displeasing to the First Truth. And now if any Authors in Communion with his Church, be pr [...]duced as Pa­trons of inward Reserves, and grand Abettors of th [...]se mental Iuggles ▪ let them hold up their hands, and answer for themselves: Their Church has declar'd for no such Doctrine, and is no more to be charg'd with their extravagant Opinions, than with the unexemplar lives of other her Members, whose Irregularities are not at all deriv'd from their Religion, but from the neglect of their own corrupt Incli­nations, and giving way to the temptations of their Enemy.

XXVI. Of Mental Reservations.

UNder this Head he denies Two Things.

1. That they are ever taught to break Faith with Hereticks.

2. That their Church doth allow any Equivocations, or Mental Reservations.

As to the former, I am sincerely glad to find a Principle so de­structive to all humane Society, so utterly disowned, when he saith, He is taught to keep Faith with all sorts of People, of whatsoever Iudgment or Perswasion they be; and to stand to his Word, and observe his Promise given, or made to any whatsoever. And whatever Opi­nions and Practices there may have been of that kind formerly, we hope there will never be occasion given to revive that dispute.

2. As to the Second, We embrace his Declaration against it, and hope there is no Equivocation, or Mental Reservation in it. But there are some things which must here be taken notice of.

1. He cannot deny that there are Authors in Communion with his Church, which may be charged with teaching another Do­ctrine; and those not a few, nor inconsiderable; who not only allow the Practice of Mental Reservations and Equivocations, but say with great confidence, it hath been received in the Roman Church for no less than Four hundred Years; and that in some Cases they are all still agreed in it. See Parsons Treatise of Mi­tigation, c. 7. Sect. 2.3. c. 10 Sect. 1.

2. We do not deny, that Innocent XI. hath condemned Equi­vocations and Mental Reservations in Swearing, as at least scan­dalous and pernicious in Practise; and therefore we cannot charge the Pope with abetting this Doctrine. But we cannot but reflect on what our Author said about the Deposing Doctrine, That al­tho Popes had believed it, and acted by it, yet the greater number opposed it. And what shall we say in this Case; if the Generality of their Casuists in some Cases approve it, and think it no Lye or Perjury, as in that of Confession; but if it be really so in any one Case, then it may be some other fault; but it is not a Lye or Perjury in any other, when a Man doth not think himself bound to speak all he knows.

3. That as we highly commend the Pope's condemning such Doctrines and Pract [...]ses now; so we have Reason to think the [Page 137] contrary did not once want the encouragement and approbation of the Roman See: as may be found in the resolution of some Ca­ses by Pius V. relating to some Missionaries, who were to be sent hither; and then it was declared, That if they were summon'd before our Judges, they might Sophistice Iurare & Sophistice Respondere;Apud G. Abl [...] ­de de Mendacio, &c. in Praef. p. 6. &c. and that they were not bound to answer according to the Intention of the Judges, but according to some true sense of their own, i. e. which was made true by the help of a Mental Re­servation. But it is very well, that now the very same things are condemned at Rome, as Scandalous and Pernicious in Practise.

XXVII. Of a Death-Bed Repentance.

HE is bred up in a total neglect of the service of God, of all Virtue and Devotion, while he is well, and in good health, upon presumption of a Death-bed Repentance, and a confidence, that all his sins will be certainly forgiven, if he can but once say, Lord have mercy upon me, at the last hour And 'tis a sufficient Encouragement to him, to rely wholly upon this, to see that there is no such profligate Villain, none that has liv'd, tho to the heighth of Wickedness and debauchery of his Communion; but at his Death he shall be assisted by a Priest, and shall receive an Absolution from all his Sins, with an absolute Promise of being soon admitted to Bass, and reigning with Christ, if he can but once say, he is sorry; or if his Voice fail him, signifie as much by a Nod of his Head, or the Motion of a Finger.

HE is bred up in the Service and Love of God, taught to work his Salvation in fear and trembling to provide in health time against the last hour, and by no means to rely upon a Death-bed Repentance; for that Men, (generally speaking,) as they live, so they dye; and 'tis to be fear'd greatly, that those who neglect God Alm [...]gh­ty, and forsake him a [...]l their life-time, w [...]ll never find him at their death: So that (with St. Augustine) he doubts the Salvation of as many as de [...]er the [...]r Con­version till that Hour, and has no en­couragement at all to do it. However, if any are found t [...]at have been so ne­glectful of their Duty, as to put [...]ff this great business of Eternity to the last mo­ment; he is taught, that, in Charity, they ought to have all assistance possi­ble, to put them in mind of their con­dition, to excite them to a he [...]y de­testation of all their Off [...]nces: To let them know, that tho they deserve Hell­fire in Punishment of their Wick [...]dness, yet that they ou [...]ht by no means despair[Page 138] for that God is merciful; and, who knows, but if they heartily call upon him, and endeavour for a sincere Repentance, with an humble confidence on the Me­rits and Passion of Iesus Christ, he may hear their Prayers, shew them mercy, and give them time to repent. These are all the Promises can be given in this point; and this is what he sees daily practis'd; and if some, by these means, are pre­serv'd from falling into despair, 'tis well; but as for any receiving from hence, encouragement of coming into the like circumstances, he thinks there's but little danger, especially since there's nothing so often repeated in Books, no more common Subjects for Sermons, than the disp [...]aying the manifold perils of delay­ing ones Conversion, and putting off Repentance till the last hour.

XXVII. Of a Death-bed-Repentance.

WE have no difference with them about this matter, as far as they hold to these points: 1. That men are strictly obliged to work out their Salvation with fear and trembling in time of health: 2. That it is very dangerous to defer their Repentance to the last. 3. That if any are surprised, they ought in Charity to have all pos­sible assistance, to put them into the best way for their Salvation.

But yet there may be some particular Doctrines owned in the Church of Rome, which may give men too much encouragement to put off true Repentance; as 1. The easiness of being put into a state of Grace by the Sacrament of Penance; for which no more is required than removing the Impediment; as appears by the Coun­cil of Trent, Sess. 7. Can. 6. and afterwards it defines, That bare At­trition doth sufficiently dispose a Man to receive Grace in that Sacra­ment, Sess. 14. c. 4. So that altho a man hath led a very bad Life, if he hath but this Attrition for his Sins when he doth confess them, he is put into a state of Grace by this Sacrament. And what can any Man expect more, and what can he do less! I do not mean a bare natural Attrition, the sufficiency whereof is condemned by Innocent XI. in the same Propositions, (Fifty seventh) but that which the Council of Trent calls Imperfect Contrition, i. e. a good Motion in a man's Mind to forsake his Sins for fear of Punishment: If really no m [...]re be required for a state of Grace but this, it is no wonder i [...] Men put off the doing of that which may be done at any time so easily by the help of a Priest.

2. The Treasure of the Church is another thing which is very apt to hinder mens speedy Repentance; for by that they believe [Page 139] there is a stock ready of so many Merits and Satisfactions of others, if duely applied to them by Indulgences, that they need not be at such pains to work out their own Salvation with fear and trem­bling. When a Man by the Sacrament of Penance is put into a state of Grace, the Eternal Punishment is discharged, and nothing re­mains but some Temporal Pains: and to ease him of these he hath many helps, but especially the Treasure of the Church, which the Pope hath the dispensing of, as he is bound to believe: and by Indulgences he may easily get off some Thousands of years of Pur­gatory-Pains; and if these should fail him, there is another help yet left, which is leaving a stock of Prayers for his Soul when he dies; which, even our Author assures him, are very available to­wards his speedier release out of Purgatory.

XXVIII. Of Fasting,

HE is contented with the appearance of Devotion, and looking not be­yond the name of Mortification, he sits down well satisfied with the shadow, without ever taking care for the sub­stance. And this, being a great Pretend­er to Fasting and the Denial of himself, he thinks he has sufficiently complied with his Duty in this point, and made good his claim, if he has but abstain'd from Flesh; and tho at the same time, he regales him­self at Noon with all variety of the choi­cest Fish and stuffs himself at Night with the best Conserves and delicatest Jun­kets, and drinks all day the pleasant­est Wines, and other Liquors; yet he per­swades himself, that he is a truly Mor­tified Man, that he has most Christian­like commemorated the bitter Death and Passion of his Redeemer, and done a work of great force, in order to the sup­pressing his corrupt Inclinations, and sa­tisfying for the Offences of his Life past. Nay, he has such a preposterous conceit of things, that he believes it a greater sin to eat the least bit of Flesh on a Fasting-d [...]y than to be down-right Drunk, or commit any other Excess; as having less scruple of breaking the Commandments of God, than of violating any Ordinance of the Pope, or any Law of his Church.

HIS Church te [...]ches him, that the Appearance of Devotion, the Name of Mortification, and pretence to it, are only vain and fruitless things, if they are not accompanied with the sub­stance; and that 'tis but a very lame compliance with the Ecclesiastical Pre­cept of Fasting, to abstain from Flesh, unless all other Excesses are at the same time carefully avoided. 'Tis true, his Church has not forbidden on these days the drinking of Wine, but permits a mo­derate use of it, as at other times; but is so far from giving liberty to any of her Flock of committing Excesses, that she declares Drunkenness and all Gluttony whatsoever, to be more hainous and scandalous sins on such days than on any other, they being expresly contrary, not only to the Law of God, but also to the intention of the Church, which appoints [Page 140] these times for the retrenching Debau­cheries and conquering our vicious Ap­petites. And now if any of his Profes­sion make less scruple of being Drunk on a Fasting-day than of eating the least bit of Flesh, he knows nothing more can be said of them, than of many others▪ who will not break the Sabbath-day by doing any servile Labour on it, for all the World, looking on this as a most damn­ing sin; and yet at the same time have little scruple of Swearing, Cursing, Lying or Revelling the greatest part of the day. Which is not because they have more liberty for these than the former, they being all most wicked Offences; but because they that do thus, are but Christians by halves, who with a kind of Pharisaical and Partial Obedience, seem to bear some of the Commandments most zealously in their Hearts, while others they trample under their feet; scrupling many times at a Moat, and on other occasions passing by a Beam undiscern'd; for which, their Church is not to be accountable, but They themselves; as being guilty of a wilful blind­ness, and a most unchristian Negligence. This is the real case of such of his Communion, who, on days of Humiliation, while they abstain from Flesh, yet give scandal by their Intemperateness. They have a Command of God, by which they are oblig'd on all days to live soberly, and to avoid all Gluttony and Drunkenness; and on Fasting-days: besides this Command of God, they have a Church-precept, by which they are bound (if able) to eat but one Meal in a day, and that not of Flesh. And now if some are so inconsiderate and careless, as to be scrupulously observant of one of these Commands, and wholly negligent of the other; 'tis not because their Religion teaches them to do so, (which detests and condemns all such scandalous Partiality, and complying with their Duty by halves) but because they shut their ears to all good Instruction. and chuse rather to follow their own corrupt Appetites, than the wholsome Do­ctrine of their Church.

XXVIII. Of Fasting.

THE Question here is, Whether a Man doth not observe their Churches Command about Fasting, who forbears all forbidden things, but takes liberty in those which are not for­bidden?

[Page 141]It is not, Whether they may not break the Commands of God, against Gluttony and Drunkenness; but whether they break the Law of the Church about Fasting? And notwithstanding what our Author hath said, I see no Reason for the Affirmative. I do not deny, 1. That it is a very indifferent sort of Fasting, to abstain from Flesh, unless all other sorts of Excesses at the same time be carefully avoided. 2. That Excesses on such days are more scan­dalous, because there is a pretence of Fasting. 3. That God's Command doth at all times forbid Intemperance. Which are the chief things he insists upon. But yet this doth not reach the point, which is about their Churches Command. For their Casuists distin­guish Fasting into 1. Natural: which is total Abstinence: and this is required only in order to receiving the Eucharist. 2. Moral: which is the same with Temperance, or Fasting for Health. 3. Ec­clesiastical: which is defined by them to be, An Abstinence from Food forbidden by the Church. And if this Definition be true, it can­not be broken but by eating what the Church hath prohibited.

And therefore their Casuists, as far as I can find, are agreed in these things;

1. That a Man may eat a full Meal of what is not forbidden, and not break the Churches Precept of Fasting, provided Vespers be first said. And the later Casuists blame Covarruvias for making any scruple about it. If a Mans Excess comes to be a mortal Sin, Reginald. Praxis. l. 4 c. 14. n. 163. Less. de Justit. l. 4. c. 2. Dub. 2. n. 10. Instruct. Sa­cerd. l. 6. c. 2. n. 4. P. Zacch. Qu. Medico legales l. 5. tit. 1. Qu. 1 p 29, 30, 31 Pasqual. Decif. 120. n. 5. Dian. Sam. v. Jejun. n. 7. Zach. Pasqua­ligi, Praxis Je­junii Eccles. Decis 116, n. 3. Dec. 117.1, 2 3. yet for all that, saith Reginaldus, He shall not be judged as a breaker of his Fast. Nay, Lessius goes further, and saith, He doth not lose the Me­rit of Fasting. Quamvis aliquis multum excedat non solvit Iejuni­um, saith Card. Tolet. And Paulus Zacchias saith, This is the com­mon Opinion; and he thinks the Intention of the Church is suffici­ently answered. And so doth Pasqualigus in his Praxis of Fasting.

2. A Man may drink Wine, or other drink, as often as he pleaseth, without breaking his Fast. He may toties quoties bibere, saith Diana. Zach. Pasqualigus, who hath written most fully on this Subject, shews, That it is the general Opinion, that no quan­tity of Wine or other drink, tho taken without any necessity, is a vi­olation of the Precept of Fasting; no, not although the Wine be ta­ken for nourishment, because the Church doth not forbid it; but this last, he saith, is not the general, but the more probable Opinion

3. A Man may eat something when he drinks, to prevent its doing him hurt; besides his good Meal, he may take what [Page 142] quantity he pleases of Sweet-meats or Fruit; he may have a good Reflection at Night, and yet not break this strict Precept of Fast­ing; For the eating as often as one drinks, it is the common Opinion, saith the same Casuist (who was no Iesuit) That it is not forbidden, Decis. 119. n. 2. Decis. 86. n 34. Less. ubi supr. n. 11. Tolet ubi sup. Regin. ubi sup. n. 185. because it is taken by way of a Medicine; and he quotes a great num­ber of their Casuists for it. A Collation at evening is allowed, saith he. And Lessius saith, There is no certain Rule for the Quantity of it. And Card. Tolet saith, very large ones are allowed at Rome by the Pope's Connivence; even in the Court of Rome, saith Reginal­dus. And now I leave the Reader to judge of the severity of Fasting required in the Church of Rome.

XXIX. Of Divisions and Schisms in the Church.

HE is of a Religion in which there are as many Schisms as Families: And they are so divided in their Opini­ons, that commonly, as many as meet in company, so many several Tenets are maintain'd. Hence arise their infinite and endless Disputes; and disagreement of their Divines, who pretend to give a true and solid explication of the Myste­ries of the Christian Faith, and yet differ in as many Points as they write of. Be­sides, what variety of Iudgments are there in their Religious Houses and Cloisters, none agreeing with another in their Foundation, Institution, and Profession? This being of the Religion of St. Dominick, That of St. Francis, a third of St. Bernard, Others of St. Be­nedict; and so without number; so that as many Orders, as many Religions. And yet they pretend to Christian Uni­ty, amidst this diversity growing upon them every day.

HE is of a Religion in which there are no Schisms or Separations; all the Members of it (however spread through the World) agreeing like one man, in every Article of their Faith, by an equal submission to the Determina­tions of their Church. And no one of them, tho' most Learned and Wise, ever following any other Rule in their Faith besides this, of assenting to all that the Church of God, planted by Christ, assisted and protected by the Holy Ghost, proposed to the Faithful to be believ'd, as the Doctrine of the Apostles, and receiv'd as such in all Ages. Which is, all una­nimously to believe as the Church of God believes. No one of his Communion ever doubting of this, or scrupling to receive any thing after his Churches Declaration. And now, tho they all thus conspire in every point of Faith; yet there is great diversity among School men in their Divinity-points and [Page 143] Opinions of such matters as are no Articles of Faith, and have no relation to it, but as some circumstance or manner; which being never defin'd by their Church, may be maintain'd severally, either this or that way, without any breach of Faith, or injury to their Religion: And of these things only they dispute, and have their Debates in manner of a School-Exercises, without any disagreement at all in their Belief, but with a perfect Unity. The like Unity is there amongst their Religious Orders, all which say the same Creed, own the same Authority in the Church of Christ; and in every thing profess the same Faith; and have no other differences, than as it were of so many several steps or degrees in the practice of a Devout and Holy Life; some being of a more severe and strict Dis­cipline, others of a more gentle and moderate: some spending more time in Pray­ing, others more in Watching, others more in Fasting; some being intended for the Catechising and breeding up of Youth, others for taking care of Hospitals, and looking after the Sick; others for going amongst Infidels, and Preaching to them the Gospel of Christ, and for such-like Pious and Christian Designs, to the greater Glory and Honour of God: which differences make no other diffe­rence in the several Professors, than there was between Mary and Martha, who express'd their Love and Service to their Lord in a very different Imploy; but both commendably, and without any danger of prejudicing the Unity of their Faith.

XXIX. Of Divisions and Schisms in the Church.

TWO things he saith upon this Head:

1. That they are all agreed in matters of Faith.

2. That they only differ in some School Points; from whence he infers, That they have no Schisms or Separations among them.

But that this is no just consequence, will appear by the Schisms and Separations among us, made by such who profess to agree in all matters of Faith. Yet let us see how he proves that they agree in all matters of Faith; because they agree to submit equally to the Determinations of the Church.

Now this very way evidently proves that they do not all agree, because they do not equally submit to the Churches Determinati­ons. For,

1. Some say they are bound to submit to the Churches Deter­minations, as it represents the Universal Church; Others say no; but as the Churches Power is virtually lodged in the Guides of it. Now this is a very material Difference: for if it be on the former [Page 144] Account, then not the Popes and Councils Declarations are to be regarded, but as they express the sense of the Universal Church; and so the Majority of Votes, the Numbers in the Representa­tive and Diffusive Church is chiefly to be regarded. And on this Ground some reject the Deposing Power, tho plainly decreed by Popes and Councils, but they unhinge their Churches Authority by it. Now how is it possible for them to agree about matters of Faith, who differ fundamentally about the way how any things come to be matters of Faith? If they be decreed by Popes and Councils say some; and so the Deposing Power is become an Ar­ticle of Faith. No such matter, say others, for a greater Number in the diffusive Church oppose it, as in the Gallican Church, and elsewhere. Very well! But how then can these Parties be said to agree in matters of Faith, and an equal Submission to the Deter­minations of the Church?

2. Some again say, That it is not the consent of the present Church can make any Article of Faith, but there must be an Uni­versal Tradition from the Apostles times. And so they tell us the Deposing Power can never be an Article of Faith, because it wants the Consent of all the Ages before Gregory VII. So that upon this Ground there can be no Article of Faith which cannot be proved to be thus delivered down to us. Others again say, this is in effect to give up their Cause, knowing the impossibility of proving parti­cular Points in this manner: and therefore they say, the present Church is wholly to be trusted for the sense of the foregoing.

Now these differences are still on foot in their Church; and from these do arise daily disputes about matters of Faith, and the Seat of Infallibility, whether in the Guides, or the Body of the Church: if the former, whether in the Church Representative, or Virtual? Whether the Personal Infallibility of the Pope be a matter of Faith or not? Our Author saith, Not; others say, Yes: and yet he saith, they are agreed in matters of Faith. So that by his own Confession they differ about other things than mere School-Points.

But suppose they were agreed in Articles of Faith, can there be no Schisms or Divisions in their Church? What thinks he of all the Schisms between Popes and Popes? Of all the Schisms between the Popes and the Emperors Parties? Which were as notorious, and scandalous, and mischievous, as ever were in the World. What thinks he of the Schisms between the Bishops and the Regular [Page 145] Orders, which were as cross and peevish towards the Bishops and Secular Clergy, as our Dissenters themselves? And among the Regular Orders, what Heats and Contentions have been, Not about the practice of a devout Life, I assure him, but about matters of Doctrine; and which both Parties severally plead to be matters of Faith? As in the noted Controversies of this last Age, about the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the power of Grace, and the Pope's Personal Infallibility: and they cannot say they are as yet agreed about these things.

XXX. Of Fryars and Nuns.

HE is taught to have a high esteem for all those of his Communion, who cloistering themselves up, become Fryars and Nuns; a sort of People who call themselves Religious, and are nothing but a Religious Cheat: under the cloak of Piety, and pretence to Devotion, decei­ving the World, and living to the height of Wickedness, under the notion of Saints. They vow Chastity, Poverty, and Obe­dience, and observe nothing less; but live in all respects so irregular and scan­dalous, that were there to be taken a com­pendious draught of all the Luxury, Pride, Covetousness, Irreligion, and other Vices, through the whole World, it might be mo­dell'd according to what is acted between any of these four Walls, in which these Recluses live, without danger of omit­ing any thing that is wicked and un­christian.

HE is taught to have a high esteem for those of his Communion who undertake that sort of Life, which according to Christ's own direction, and his Apostles, is pointed out as the best. A sort of People, who endea­vour to perform all that God has com­manded, and also what he has counsell'd as the better, and in order to more perfe­ction. They hear Christ declaring the danger of Riches; they therefore em­brace a voluntary Poverty, and lay a­side all Titles to Wealth and Posses­sions. Saint Paul Preaches, That he that giveth not his Virgin in Marriage doth better than he that does; and that she that is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how she may be holy both in body and Spirit: They therefore chuse a single state, consecrating their Virgi­nity to God; that so they may be wholly intent on his Service, and be careful how to please him; while she that is married cares for the things of the World, how she may please her Husband, 1 Cor. 7.32, 33, 34, 38. The Gos­pel proclaims, That those that will follow Christ, must deny themselves; they [Page 146] therefore renounce their own Wills, and without respect to their own proper Inclinations, pass their Life in a perpetual Obedience. And because the World is corrupt, so that to a pious Soul every business is a Distraction, every diver­sion a Temptation, and more frequently the provocations to Evil, than ex­amples to Good; they therefore retire from it as much as possible, and confi­ning themselves to a little Corner or Cell, apply themselves wholly to De­votion, making Prayer their business, the Service of God their whole Employ, and the Salvation of their Souls their only design. And now, if in these Re­tirements, where every thing is order'd as it may be most advantageous for the promoting Virtue and Devotion, nothing permitted that is likely to prove a disturbance to Godliness, or allurements to Evil, yet some live scandalously, and give ill example to the World: What can be said, but, That no State can secure any Man; and that no such Provision can be made in order to a Holy Life, but it may be abus'd? But yet he does not think that such Abuses, and the Viciousness of some, can be Argument enough to any just and reason­able man, to condemn the whole, and the Institution it self. Is not Marriage abus'd an infinite number of ways, and many forc'd to embrace this State, or a [...] least to accept of such particular Persons contrary to their own choice and liking? Is there any state in this World, any Condition, Trade, Calling, Profession, Degree, or Dignity whatsoever, which is not abus'd by some? Are Churches exempt from abuses? Are not Bibles and the Word of God abus'd? Is not Christianity it self abus'd, and even the Mercy of God abus'd? If there­fore there is nothing so Sacred and Divine in the whole World, which wick­ed and malicious Men do not pervert to their ill designs, to the high disho­nour of God, and their own Damnation; how can any one, upon the mere consideration of some abuses, pass Sentence of Condemnation against a thing which otherwise is Good and Holy? 'Tis an undeniable Truth, that to embrace a Life exempt, as much as can be, from the turmoils of the World; and in a quiet Retirement to dedicate ones self to the Service of God, and spend ones days in Prayer and Contemplation, is a most commendable Undertaking, and very becoming a Christian. And yet, if some, who enter such a course of Life as this, fall short of what they pretend, and instead of becoming eminent in Virtue and Godliness, by their unexemplar lives prove a Scandal to their Pro­fession; Is there Rule and Institution to be condemned; or rather, they who swerv'd from it? No, let not the Dignity of an Apostle suffer for the Fall of Iudas; nor the Commandments lie under an Aspersion upon the account of those that break them.

XXX. Of Friars and Nuns.

OUR Dispute is not, about the lawfulness of retiring from the World by such Persons who are rendred unfit for doing Service in it; and the more they spend their time in Devotion and Contemplation, so much the better.

But it lies in these Things.

1. Whether the Perfection of a Christian State of Life lies in being cloystered up from the World, or labouring to do good in it? For this was the great snare made use of, to draw men into it, because they represented this as the most perfect state; where­as according to the Doctrine and Example of Christ and his Apostles, the active Life of doing good, is far beyond it.

2. Whether, although such a Retirement be allowed, it be a thing pleasing to God, to tye such Persons up by indispensable Vows, whatever their Circumstances may be, not to alter that State of Life; who either in Youth, or through Force, Passion, or Discontent, have entred into it? And this may be so much rather questioned, because those who assert the Pope may di­spense, go upon this ground, Because Circumstances may alter the Obligation of a Vow; and when a greater good is to be attained it ceaseth to oblige; which to my Apprehension doth not prove the Pope's Power to dispense, but the dispensable Nature of the Vows themselves.

3. Whether all things of this nature being liable in continu­ance of time to great Degeneracy and Corruptions; and the num­bers of such Places being unserviceable either to Church or State, it be not in the Power of the King and States of the Kingdom, to dissolve and reduce them to ways more suitable to the Conve­niences of both?

As to what he discourses about Councils of Perfection, the Di­stractions of the World, the Corruptions of the best Things, &c. they reach not the main Points, but are only general Topicks, which we are not concerned to debate.

XXXI. Of Wicked Principles and Practices.

HE is Member of a Church which is called Holy; but in her Do­ctrine and Practices so Foul and Abo­minable, that whosoever admires her for Sanctity, may upon the same grounds do homage to Vice it self. Has ever any So­ciety since Christ's time, appear'd in the World so black and deform'd with hellish Crimes as she? Has not she out-done e­ven the most Barbarous Nations and In­fidels, with her Impieties, and drawn a scandal upon the name of Christian, by her unparallel'd Vices? Take but a view of the horrid Practices she has been en­gag'd in of late years; consider the French and Irish Massacres, the Murders of Henry III. and IV. Kings of France, the Ho [...]y League, the Gun-powder Trea­son, the Cruelty of Queen Mary, the Firing of London, the late Plot in the Year 1678. to subvert the Govern­ment, and destroy His Majesty; the Death of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey; and an infinite number of other such-like Devilish Contrivances; And then tell me whether that Church, which has been the Author and Promoter of such bar­barous designs, ought to be esteem'd Ho­ly, and respected for Piety and Religi­on, or rather be condemn'd for the My­steries of Iniquity, the Whore of Ba­bylon, which hath polluted the Earth with her Wickedness, and taught nothing but the Doctrine of Devils? And let never so many Pretences be made, yet 'tis evident that all these Execrable Practices have been done according to the known Principles of this Holy Church, and that her greatest Pa­trons, the most Learned of her Di­vines, her most Eminent B [...]shops, her Prelates, Cardinals, and even the Popes themselves, have been the chief Ma­nagers of these Hellish Contrivances. And what more convincing Argument that they are all well approved & conform to the Religion taught by their Church.

HE is Member of a Church, which, according to the ninth Article of the Apostles Creed, he believes to be Holy; and this not only in Name, but also in Doctrine; and for witness of her Sanctity, he appeals to her Councils, Catechisms, Pulpits, and Spi­ritual Books of Direction; in wh [...]ch the main design is, to imprint in the Hearts of the Faithful, this compre­hensive Maxim of Christianity; That they ought to love God above all things, with their whole Heart and Soul, and their Neighbour as themselves. And that none flatter themselves with a confidence to be sav'd by Faith a­lone, without living Soberly, Iustly, and Piously; as 'tis in the Council of Trent, Sess. 6. c. 11. So that he doubts not at all, but that as many as live according to the Direction of his Church, and in observance of her Doctrine, live Holily in the Service of, and Fear of God, and with an hum­ble confidence in the Merits and Pas­sion of their Redeemer, may hope to be receiv'd after this Life into Eter­nal Bliss. But that all in Commu­nion with his Church do not live thus Holily, and in the fear of God, he knows 'tis too too evident; there be­ing many in all places wholly forget­ful of their Duty, giving t [...]emselves up to all sorts of Vice, and guilty of [Page 149] most horrid Crimes. And though he is not bound to believe all to be Truth that is charg'd upon them by Adver­saries; there being no Narrative of any such Devilish Contrivances and Practices laid to them, wherein Pas­sion and Fury have not made great Additions; wherein things Dubious are not improv'd into Certainties, Suspi­cions into Realities, Fears and Iea­lousies into Substantial Plots, and down­right Lies and Recorded Perjuries into Pulpit, nay Gospel-Truths. Yet really thinks, that there has been Men of his Profession of every rank and degree, Learned and Unlearned, High and Low, Se­cular and Ecclesiastick, that have been scandalous in their Lives, wicked in their Designs, without the fear of God in their Hearts, or care of their own Salvation. But what then? Is the whole Church to be condemn'd for the vicious Lives of some of her Professors, and her Doctrine to stand guilty of as many Villanies as those commit who neglect to follow it? If so, let the Men of that Society, Iudg­ment, or Perswasion, who are not in the like circumstance, fling the first stone. Certainly if this way of passing Sentence be once allow'd as just and reasona­ble, there never was, nor ever will be, any Religion or Church of God upon the Earth. 'Tis but reck'ning up the Idolatries, Superstitions, Cruelties, Rebel­lions, Murders of Princes, Impieties, and other such like Enormities, committed by the Iews, as they stand recorded in Scripture; and 'tis immediately prov'd that the Iews were never the chosen People of God, nor their Law the Dictates of Heaven. 'Tis but making a Lift of the Misdemeanours, Irregularities, Abu­ses, Excesses, Treacheries, Simony, Separation, Discords, Erroneous Doctrines, to be found, even in the time of the Apost [...]es and their Followers, and they are all effectually prov'd to be the Disciples of Antichrist, and that the World's Redeemer had no sooner ascended into Heaven, but his Apostles left him, and began to set up for Schism and Vice. By this way, Con­stantine may be evidently condemn'd for an Heathen, because he murder­ed his Wife and his Son. And the Religion of Theodosius be mark'd out for Atheism, because, by his Order, seven Thousand Thessalonians were trea­cherously Massacred in three hours space, without distinction of Sex or Age, or the Innocent from the Guilty. A confident Undertaker would find no difficulty in proving all this; especially if he had but the Gift of exaggerating some things, [Page 150] misrepresenting others of finding Authorities and Texts for every idle Story, o [...] charging the ex [...]ravagant Opinions of every single Author upon the Religion they profess, of raking together all the Wickedness, Cruelties, Treacheries, Plots, Conspiracies, at any time committed, by any ambitious Desperado's, or wicked Villains: And then positively asserting, that what these did was according to the Doctrine of that Church of which they were Members; and that the true measures of the Sanctity and Goodness of the Church in whose Com­munion these Men were, may be justly taken from the Behaviour of such Offen­ders. But certainly no Man of Reason and Conscience can allow of such Proceedings. No sober Man would ever go to Tyburn, and Whetstones-Park, to know what is the Religion professed in England according to Law; Nor would look into all the Sinks, Jakes, Dung-hills, Common-shores about Town, from such a Prosp [...]ct to give a true Description of the City. Why therefore should the Character of the Church of Rome and her Doctrine be taken only from the loose Behaviour and wicked Crimes of such, who thô in Communion with her, yet live n [...]t according to her Direction? She teaches Holiness of Life, Mercy to the Poor, Loyalty and Obedience to Princes, and the necessity of keeping the Commandments (witness the many Books of Devotion and Direction, made English for Publick benefit, written originally by Papists,) and great numbers there are (God be prais'd) who practice this in their Lives. And now if there be many also, who stop their Ears to good Instruction, and following the Sug­gestion of their own ungovern'd appetites, of Pride, Ambition, Covetousness, Luxury, &c. so lay aside all concern of Salvation, and become unchristian both to God and their Neighbour, that they are a shame to their Profession: Why should the Church be rep [...]esented according to the Wickedness of those that ne­glect her Doctrine; and not rat [...]er by the Piety and Exemplar Lives of such as follow it? Is not this to deal by her, (if we may use such a Comparison) as 'tis generally done by the Sign of St. Dunstan, near Temple-Bar, (on which, thô the Saint be drawn almost in the full proportion, and there's no more of the Devil on it, besides the reaching towards him with a pair of Tongs;) yet 'tis describ'd only by the name of the Devil-Tavern, without the least mention of the Saint? And is not this partiallity unjust, and these piece-meal Descriptions unreasonable? L [...]t the Character of the Church be given according to what she teaches, and not according to the Writings of every positive Opiniator, and the Practices of every wicked Liver, and then there's no fear of its coming out so ugly and deform'd. Neither le [...] any one pretend to demonstrate the Faith and Principles of the Papists, by the Works of every Divine in that Communion; or by the Actions of every Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope; For they extend not their Faith beyond the Declara­tions of General-Councils: And standing fast to these, they yet own, that many [Page 151] of their Writers are too loose in their Opinions, that all Bishops and Cardinals are not so edifying as becomes their State; and that Popes may have their [...] too. A Pope is a Temporal Prince, keeps a Court, has variety of Officers [...]bou [...] him. And it he has Flatterers, and Mis informers too, 'tis nothing but what all Princes are sensible of, but cannot remedy. And hence he doubts not, but 'tis possible he may be engag'd in unlawful undertakings, and invite others to the like. And are not all other Princes subject to this too? But what then? These Actions of Popes concern not the Faith of those who are in Communion with them; they may throw a scandal indeed upon the Religion, but they can never alter its Creed. But what need any other return to the numerous Clamours made daily against the wickedness of the Papists? 'Tis a sufficient vindication of their Chief Pastors and Popes, (to use the words of a Person of Quality) that among two hundred and fifty, that have now Successively bore that Charge, there are not above ten or twelve, against whom their most malicious Adversaries can find occasion of spit­ting their Venom; and that a Challenge may be made to the whole World, to shew but the fifth part of so many Successive Governors, since the Creation, of which there have not been far more that have abus'd their Power. And as for their Flock and People owning this Authority, 'tis true, many wicked things have been done by some of them; and too many, like Libertines, neglect the care of their Souls: But however the Generallity of them live like Christans; few come to them, but with their Religion they change also their Manners for the better; Few desert them, but such who seem to be fall'n out with all Christianity; And whosoever will look into any of our Neighbouring Popish Towns, as Paris, Ant­werp, Gaunt, &c. will find in any one of them, more Praying, more Fasting, more receiving the Sacraments, more visiting of Prisoners, and the Sick, more Alms-giving, than in any ten Towns of the Reformation.

XXXI. Of Wicked Principles and Practices.

THE Misrepresenter charges the Church of Rome with many horrid Practices, as the French and Irish Massacres, the Mur­ders of Two Kings of France, the Holy League, the Gun-pow­der-Treason, &c. And charges these as being done according to the Principles of that Church.

But in Answer to this he saith, 1. In General, That the Do­ctrine of it is holy, teaching the Love of God and our Neighbour, and that none can be saved by Faith alone. In which Doctrine we hear­tily concur with them. 2. That altho many uncertain things pass for certain, and false for true, yet he cannot deny that all ranks and [Page 152] degrees of men have been corrupted among them, being scandalous in their Lives, wicked in their Designs, without the Fear of God in their Hearts, or care of their own Salvation. This is a general Ac­knowledgment, but no particular Answer to the things objected. 3. That the whole Church is not to be charged for the sake of such villanies. Very true, unless some Doctrine owned in that Church gave encouragement to them: As suppose any should ever have fal­len into Rebellion upon the belief of the Deposing Power; is not that Doctrine chargeable with the Consequences of it? They are extremely to blame who charge a Church with what her Mem­bers do in direct Opposition to her Doctrine; but it is quite another Case, when the main Ground they alledge for their Actions is some allowed Principle in it. 4. They are not accountable for the Actions of every Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope; for they extend not their Faith beyond the Declaration of General Councils. But suppose General Councils have declared such Doctrines, and Popes act but accor­ding to them; is not their Church then accountable for their Acti­ons? 5. There is more Praying and Fasting. and receiving the Sacraments, more visiting the Prisoners, and the Sick, more Alms­giving in any of our neighbouring Popish Towns, as Paris, Antwerp, Gant, &c. than in any Ten Towns of the Reformation. And is there more Charity too? It doth not appear, if they be as ready to censure others, and admire themselves, as our Author, who so freely gives his Judgment about a matter it is impossible for him to know.

We see no reason to admire or imitate the manner of their Pray­ing, and Fasting, and receiving the Sacraments; for to pray with­out understanding, to fast without Abstinence, to receive a maimed Sacrament, are things we do not envy them for; but althô our Devotion be not so pompous, and full of shew, yet We may pray and fast in secret, according to our Saviours Directions, far more than they do; however our People are mightily to blame if they do not understand what they pray for, if they do not receive more of the Sacrament than they; and we verily believe there are as great and remarkable Instances of true Charity among those of the Church of England, as among any People in the World.

XXXII. Of Miracles.

HE is so given up to the belief of idle Stories and ridiculous Intenti­ons in favour of his Saints, which he calls Miracles, that nothing can be rela­ted so every way absurd, foolish, and al­most impossible, but it gains credit with him, and he is so credulously confident of the truth of them, that there's no diffe­rence to him, betwixt these Tales, and what he reads in Scr [...]pture. 'Tis a pretty Romance, to see what is recounted of St. Francis's Cord, the Scapular, St. An­thony, St. Bridget, and other such Favou­rites of Heaven. He that has but read the Atchievements of these, may excuse the perusal of Bevis of Sou [...]hampton, the Seven Champions, or Quevedo's Dreams; For these are nothing to com­pare to the former, either for the rare invention, wonderful surprises, or per­formance of impossibil [...]ties.

HE is not oblig'd to believe any on [...] Miracle, besides what is in the Scripture; and for all others, he may give the credit, which in prudence he thinks they deserve; considering the Honesty of the Relator, the Authori [...]y of the Witnesses, and such other circum­stances, which on the like occasions use to gain his assent. And if upon the account of meer History, and the con­sent of Authors, few make any doubt, but that there was such a one as Caesar, Alexander, Mahomet, Luther, &c. Why should he doubt of the truth of many Miracles, which have not only the like consent of Authors and History, but also are attested by great numbers of Eye-witnesses, examin'd by Authori­ty, and found upon Reco [...]d, with all the formal [...]ties due to such a Process? St. Augustine relates many Miracles done in his time, so does St. Ierom, and other Fathers; and if they doubted nothing of them then, Why should he question the truth of them now? He finds, that in the time of the Old Law, God favour'd many of his Servants, working Miracles by their hands; and he thinks now that God's hand is not shortned; that the Disciples of Christ are no less Favourites of Heaven, than those of Moses; and that the new Law may be ve­ry well allow'd to be as Glorious, and as particularly priviledg'd as the Old: es­pecially since Christ promised that his Apostles should do greater Miracles than ever He himself had done. And what if some Miracles (recounted by Authors,) are so wonderfully strange, to some they seem Ridiculous and Absurd? are they the less true upon this account? Is not every thing Ridiculous to Unbelievers? The whole Doctrine of Christ is a Scandal to the Iews, and Folly to the Gen­tiles. And what more Absurd to one that wants Faith, than the Miracles re­counted in the Old Testament? Might not such a one turn them all into [Page 154] Ridicule and Buffoonry? Take but Faith away, and see what becomes of Bala­am and his Ass. Sampson and his Iaw-bone, Elias and his Fiery Chariot, Elijah's M [...]ntle, Ax-head, and Dead Bones, Gideon's Pitchers, Lamps and Trumpets in demolishing the Walls of Iericho, Moses and his Burning Bush, his holding up his hands for the Victory over his Enemies, his parting of the Red-Sea, and Ioshua's commanding the Sun to stand still, &c. Might not these, and all the rest be painted out as Ridiculous as any supposed to be done since Christ's time, and be put in the same List with the History of Bevis, or Guy of Warwick? A little incredulity, accompanied with a presumption of measuring God's Works by Humane W [...]sdom, will really make the greatest part of them pass for Follies, and Absurd Impossibilities. And thô he is so far from giving equal assent to the Mi­racles related in Scripture, and the others wrought since, that the former he be­lieves with a Divine Faith, and the rest with an inferiour kind of assent, accord­ing to the Grounds and Authority there is in favour of them, like as he does in Prophane History: Yet the strangeness of these, never makes him in the least doubt of the Truth of them, since ' [...]is evident to him, that all the Works of Hea­ven far surpass all his reasoning, and that while he endeavours but to look even into the very ordinary things daily wrought by God Almighty, the Motion of the Sun, Moon and Stars, the Flowing of the Sea, the Growing of an Ear of Corn, the Light of a Candle, the Artifice of the Bees, &c. he quite loses himself, and is bound to confess his own Ignorance and Folly, and that God is Wonderful in all his Works, a God surpassing all our knowledge. Whatsoever therefore is related upon good grounds, as done by the extraordinary Power of God, he is ready to assent to it, although he sees neither the how, the why, nor the wherefore; being ready to attribute all to the Honour and Praise of his Maker, to whose Omnipo­tent Hand, most of poor Man's impossibles, are none.

XXXII. Of Miracles.

1. OUr Author saith, He is not obliged to believe any one Mira­cle besides what is in Scripture.

2. He sees no Reason to doubt the truth of many Miracles, which are attested by great numbers of Eye-witnesses, examined by Authority, and found upon Record, with all the Formalities due to such a Process.

Now, how can these two things stand together? Is not a Man obliged to believe a thing so well proved? And if his other Argu­ments prove any things, it is, that he is bound to believe them. For he thinks there is as much Reason to believe Miracles still, as in the time of the old or new Law. If he can make this out, I see no reason why he should not be as well obliged to believe them now, [Page 155] as those recorded in Scripture. But I can see nothing like a proof of this. And all Persons of Judgment in their own Church, do grant there is a great difference between the Necessity of Miracles for the first establishing a Religion, and afterwards. This is not only as­serted by Tostatus, Erasmus, Stella, Andradius, and several others formerly; but the very late French Author I have several times men­tioned, saith it in expr [...]ss Terms.Moyens Surs & Honestes. &c. To. 2. p. 149. And he confesses the great Im­postures of modern Miracles, which, he saith, ought to be severely punished; and that none but Women and weak People think them­selves bound to believe them. And he cannot understand what they are good for: Not to convert Hereticks; because not done among them: Not to prove there are no corruptions or errors among them, which is a thing incredible; with much more to that pur­pose, and so concludes with Monsieur Paschal, That if they have no better use, we ought not to be amused with them.

But Christ promised, that his Apostles should do greater Miracles than himself had done. And what then? Must therefore S. Francis, or S. Dominic, or S. Rosa, do as great as the Apostles had done? What Consequence can be drawn from the Apostles times to latter Ages? We do not dispute God's Omnipotency, or say his hand is shortned; but we must not from thence infer, that every thing which is called a Miracle is truly so; or make use of God's Power, to ju­stify the most incredible stories. Which is a way will serve as well for a false as a true Religion; and Mahomet might run to Gods Om­nipotency for cleaving the Moon in two pieces, as well as others for removing a House over the Seas, or any thing of a like nature.

But, he saith, their Miracles are not more ridiculous and absurd than some in the Old Testament. Which I utterly deny; but I shall not run out into the examination of this Parallel, by shewing how very different the Nature, Design, and Authority of the Miracles he mentions, is from those which are believed in the Roman Church. And it had been but fitting, as he set down the Miracles of the Old Testament, so to have mentioned those of the Roman Church which were to vye with them; but this he was willing to forbear, for certain good Reasons. If most of poor Man's impossibles be none to God, as he concludes, yet every thing is not presently true which is not impossible; and by this way of Arguing, there can be nothing objected against the most absurd and idle Fictions of the Golden Legend, which all Men of Understanding among themselves, not only reject for want of Authority, but of Credibility.

XXXIII. Of Holy Water.

HE highly approves the Superstitius use of many inanimate things, and attributes wonderful effects to such Creatures, which are but in a very infe­riour rank, and able to do no such things. Holy Water is in great esteem with him, so are Blessed Candles, Holy Oyl and Holy Bread, in which he puts so much con [...]idence, that by the Power of these, he thinks himself secure from all Witch­craft, Inchantment, and all the power of the Devil; nay, that by the help of these se [...]seless Medators, he may obtain re­mission of his Venial or lighter sins. And in the use of these things, he is taught by his Church to so obstinatley positive, as if he had the Authority of Fathers and Scripture to back it, when-as there is not the least grain of Reason, no hint of Antiquity. no Text throughout the Word of God for the defence, command, or even permission of it.

HE utterly disapproves all sorts of Superstition. And yet is taught to have an esteem for Holy-Water, Blessed Candles, Holy Oyl, and Holy Bread; not doubting, but that as such Men, who have Consecrated them­selves to the Service of God, in the Preaching the Gospel and Adm [...]nistrati­on of the Sacraments, have a particular respect due to them above the Laity: As Churches Ded [...]cated to God, are o­therwise to be look'd on, than other dwelling Houses: So likewise these o­ther Creatures, which are particularly deputed by the Prayers and Blessing of the Priest; to certain uses for God's own Glory, and the Spiritual and Corporeal good of Christians, ought to be respe­cted in a degree above other things. And what superstitions in the use of them? Has not God himself prescrib'd such in­animate things, and Holy Men made use of them, for an intent above their natural Power; and this without any Superstition? Was there Superstition in the Waters of Iealousy, Numb. 5.17. In the Shew-Bread, in the Tables of Stone, in the Salt us'd by Elijah for sweet'ning the infected Waters, in the Liver of the Fish taken by the Angel Raphael, for expelling the Devil? Was it Superstition in Christ to use Clay for the opening the eyes of the Blind; or in the Apostles to impose hands for the bringing down the Holy Ghost upon Christians; or to make use of Oyl for the curing of the Sick? Mark 6.13. And thô there be no ex­press Command in Scripture, for Blessing Water, Bread, &c. yet there is this assurance, that every Creature is sanctified by the Word of God and Prayer, 1 Tim. 4.5. and frequent Promises, That God would hear the Prayers of the Faithful. Why therefore should he doubt, but that these Creatures, on which the Bles­sing of God is solemnly implor'd by the Word of God, and the Prayers of the [Page 157] Priest and People, for their sanctification, are really sanctified, according to the assurance of the Apostle, and the Promises of God? St. Cyril of Ierusalem, who liv'd in the Third Century, made no question, but that as these things wh [...]ch are offer'd to Idols, tho pure in their own nature, are made impure by the Invocation of Devils; so on the contrary, simple Water is made holy, and gets a Sanctity, by vir­tue receiv'd from the Invocation of the Holy Ghost, Christ our Lord, and his eternal Father, (Cyr. Catech. 3.) St. Augustine was of the same Judgment touc [...]ing the Benediction of Bread; affirming, that the Bread which the Catechumens did take, tho it was not Christ's Body, yet it was holy; yes, and more holy than the Meat wherewith we are nourish'd, (Aug. Tom. 7. l. 2. de Pecc. Mer. & Remis [...]c 26.) The like is to be seen in the Epistle of St. Alexander, who govern'd the Church but fifty years after St. Peter; where he declares the Custom even at that time of blessing Water, and confirms the Practice of it by his Command. And that Wa­ter thus bless'd was capable, by virtue receiv'd from Heaven, of working eff [...]cts above its own nature, was the Sentiment of Christians in the Primitive times; Epiphanius makes early mention (Tom. 2. l. 1. cont. haer. 30.) where he relates a passage at length, how that Water being blessed in the Name of Iesus, and sprinkled upon Fire which by Witchcraft was made unactive, and hindred from burning, immediately the Enchantment ceas'd, and the Fire burn'd: as also that a possess'd Person being besprinkled with bless'd Water, the Party was imme­diately cured. Theodoret has the like Narration of the Devil hindring fire from burning, and how that he was chased away, and the Charm dissolv'd by blessed Water being thrown on it, (lib. 5. Eccles. hist. c. 21.) And does not St. Hierom (in vit. Hilarion, p. 323. Paris print,) make this relation, how that Italicus took Water from blessed Hilarion, and cast it on his bewitched Horses, on his Chariot, and the Barriers from whence he us'd to run, and that the Charm or Witch­ery did cease upon the sprinkling this Water; so that all cryed out Marnas victis est à Christo, Christ hath conquered Marnas (the Idol) And now, there's no jeer­ing and ridiculing these things will ever make them look like idle Superstitions to one that considers seriously how much they are grounded upon Reason, the Word of God, Antiquity, and the Authority and Practice of the Catholick Church; which tho it approves the use of them, yet it teaches plainly, that there is no Confidence to be put in any thing but only in Iesus Christ; and what power these things have they not of themselves, but only from Heaven, and by the Invocation of the Name of Iesus; who, as by his heavenly Blessing he enables us to do things above the power of Nature; so also by the Prayers of his Church he blesses these things, in order to the working effects above their own natural qualities, that by them his Fatherly Benefits may be appl [...]ed to us, and that so the Faithful may more particularly honour and bless him in all his Creatures.

XXXIII. Of Holy Water.

THE Misrepresenter charges him with approving superstitious uses of inanimate things, and attributing wonderful effects to them; as Holy-Water, Candles, Oyl, Bread, &c.

In Answer, our Author 1. declares, That the Papist truly repre­sented, utterly disapproves all sorts of Superstition. But it he had designed to have represented truly, he ought to have told us what he meant by Superstition, and whether any Man who observes the Commands of the Church can be guilty of it.

2. He saith, That these things are particularly deputed by the Prayers and Blessing of the Priest to certain uses for God's Glory, and the Spiritual and Corporal Good of Christians.

This is somewhat too general; but Marsilius Columna, Arch­bishop of Salerno, who hath taken most pains in this matter, sums them up;Hydragiolog. Sect. 3. c. 2.12. p. 45. 1. As to Spiritual, they are Seven. 1. To fright Devils. 2. To remit Venial sins. 3. To cure Distractions: 4. To elevate the Mind. 5. To dispose it for Devotion. 6. To obtain Grace. 7. To prepare for the Sacrament.

2. As to Corporal. 1. To cure Barreness. 2. To multiply Goods. 3. To procure Health. 4. To purge the Air from pestilential Vapours.

And now, as our Author saith, What Superstition in the use of it? He names several things of Gods own appointing to Parallel it; as the Waters of Iealousy, the Shew-bread, the Tables of Stone; but the first was miraculous, the other had no such effects that we ever heard of. Elisha's Salt for sweetning the Water, was undoubtedly a Miracle. Is the Holy-Water so? As to the Liver of the Fish for expelling the Devil, in the Book of Tobit, he knows the Book is not owned for Canonical by us; and this very place is produced as an Argument against it; there being no Ground from Scripture, to attribute the Power of expelling Devils, to the Liver of a Fish, either naturally or symbolically: Vallesius offers at the only proba­ble account of it,Valles. Sacr. Philosoph. c. 18. p. 229. that it must be a Divine Power given to it, which the Angel Raphael, did not discover: and yet it is somewhat hard to conceive, how this Liver should have such a power to drive away any kind of Devil, as it is there expressed, unless by a Devil there, no more be meant than some violent Disease, which the Iews generally believed to arise from the possession of evil Spirits: But however here is an Angel supposed, who made this known to [Page 159] Tobit; but we find not Raphael to discover the virtue of Holy Wa­ter against Devils. As to Christ using Clay to open the Eyes of the Blind, it is very improperly applied, unless the same miraculous Power be supposed in it, which was in Christ himself: And so is the Apostles laying on of Hands, and using Oyl for miraculous Cures; unless the same Gift of Miracles be in every Priest which consecrates H [...]ly Water, which was in the Apostles: And Bellar­mine himself confesses, That no infallible effect doth follow the use of Holy Water, because there is no Promise of God in the case, but only the Prayers of the Church. But these are sufficient to sanctifie the Water, saith our Author; And to what end?De Cultu Sanct. l. 3. c. 7. For all the spiritual and corporeal benefits before mentioned? Is no promise of God neces­sary for such purposes as those? How can any Church in the World dispose of God's Power without his Will? It may appoint significant and decent Ceremonies, but it can never appropriate divine Effects to them; and to suppose any divine Power in things which God ne­ver gave them, is, in my Opinion, Superstition; and to use them for such ends, is a superstitious use. St. Cyril, whom he quotes, speaks of the Consecration of the Water of Baptism, Càtech. 3. St. Augustine only of a consecrated Bread, which the Catechumens had (De Peccat. Merit. & Remiss. l. 2. c. 26.) but he attributes no divine Effects to it. Pope Alexanders Epistle is a notorious Coun­terfeit. Those Passages of Epiphanius, Theodoret, and S. Ierom, all speak of miraculous effects; and those who had the power of Miracles might sometimes do them with an external sign, and sometimes without, as the Apostles cured with anointing, and without: But this is no ground for consecrating Oyl by the Church, or Holy Water, for miraculous Effects. If these Effects which they attribute to Holy Water be miraculous, then every Priest must have not only a power of Miracles himself, but of annexing it to the Water he consecrates; if they be super-natural, but not mira­culous, then Holy Water must be made a Sacrament to produce these Effects ex opere operato; if neither one nor the other, I know not how to excuse the use of it from Superstition.

XXXIV. Of Breeding up People in Ignorance.

HE is train'd up in Ignorance; and 'tis the chief means made use of by his Church, for preserving Men in that Communion to hide from them her manifold Mysteries of Iniquity, her sot­tish Sup [...]rstitions, her un-christian Do­ctrines, by performing all in unknown Tongues, and not permitting the poor misled People to look into, or understand any thing that they Believe or Profess. And by this blindness they are perswaded to embrace such infinite numbers of gross Errors that were but the Vail taken from their eyes but for one half hour, and they but permitted to have one fair prospect of their Religion, thousands and thou­sands would daily desert her, and come over to the Truth.

HE has all the liberty, encourage­ment, and convenience of beco­ming [Page 160] learned, of any People or Per­swasion whatsoever. And none that has ever look'd over any Library, and found that the greatest numbers and choicest Books of all Sciences, have men of his Communion for their Authors: None that in his Travels has taken a thorough view of the Universities in Popish Countries, of the Sorbon, Louvain, Salamanca, Boloign, &c. and consider'd their laborious Studies, in Philosophy, Di­vinity, History, the Fathers, Councils, Scripture, &c. and besides the Students here, has seen how many thousands there are in Religious Houses, who, free from the disturbances of the World, make Virtue and Learning the busi­ness of their whole Life; will ever lay Ignorance to the charge of the Papists; but must in Justice confess, that amongst them are to be found as many and as great Scholars as amongst any People or Societies in the World. And tho the vulgar and common sort, of that Profession, understand not Latin, yet are not they train'd up in ignorance of their Religion, nor led along in blindness; but are so provi­ded of Books in their own Mother-Tongue, of Instruction and Devotion, where­in is expl [...]cated the whole Duty of a Christian, every Mystery of their Faith, and all the Offices and Ceremonies perform'd in the Church; that they must be very ne­gligent, or else very meanly parted, who do not arrive to a sufficient knowledge of the [...]r Obligation in every respect. And whosoever has seen the great pains and care some good men take abroad, in Explicating (on Sundays and Holy-days in their Churches, and on Week-days in the Streets,) the Christian Doctrine to the crowds of the ignorant and meaner sort of People, not omitting to reward such as answer well with some small gifts, to encourage Youth, and provoke them to a com­mendable Emulation; will never say, that the Papists keep the poor people in Ig­norance, and hide from them their Religion; but rather that they use all means for instructing the Ignorant, and omit nothing that can any ways conduce to the breeding up of Youth in the knowledge of their Faith, and letting them see into the Religion they are to profess. Neither does it seem to him even so much as probable, that if the Church-Offices, and Service, &c. were perform'd in the vul­gar-tongue, that upon this the now-ignorant and blinded People would immedi­ately discover so many idle Superstitions, sensless Devotions, and gross Errors, that they would in great numbers, upon the sight, become deserters of that Commu­nion [Page 161] in which now they are profess'd Members. For since there is nothing done but in a Language which the Learned, Judicious, and Leading Men of all Nati­ons do every where understand, and yet these espy no such Ridiculosities which fright them from their Faith; but notwithstanding the seeing all thro' and thro', they yet admire all for solid, holy, and Apostolical, and remain stedfast in their Profession; how can it be imagin'd that the vulgar, weak, and unlearned sort, (did they but understand all as well as they) would espy any such Errors and Su­perstitions which these others, with all their Learning and Judgment cannot dis­cover? No, he thinks there's no reason to fear, that what passes the Test among the Wise and Learned, can be groundedly call'd in question by the Multitude.

XXXIV. Of breeding up People in Ignorance.

THE Misrepresenter charges them with this, on these accounts. 1. By keeping their Mysteries of Iniquity from them. 2. By performing Divine Service in an unknown Tongue. 3. By an im­plicite Faith. To which the Representer answers. 1. That they give encouragement to Learning; and he instances in their Universities and Conventual Libraries; But what is all this to the common People? But their Indices Expurgatorii, and prohibiting Books so severely, which are not for their turn, (as we have lately seen in the new one of Paris) argues no great confidence of their Cause, nor any hearty love to Learning: And if it could be rooted out of the World, their Church would fare the better in it; but if it cannot, they must have some to be able to deal with others in it. 2. As to the common People he saith, They have Books enough to instruct them. Is it so in Spain or Italy? But where they live among Heret [...]cks, as we are called, the People must be a little better instructed to defend themselves, and to gain upon others. 3. If the People did know their Church Offices and Service, &c. they would not find such faults, since the Learned approve them Let them then try the Experiment, and put the Bible and their Church-Offices every where into the Vulgar Tongues: But their severe Prohibitions shew how much they are of another Opinion: What made all that Rage in France against Voisins Translation of the Missal? Such Proceedings of the Assembly of the Clergy against it; such Complaints both to the King and the Pope against it, as tho all were lost if that were suffered? Such an Edict from the King, such a Prohibit [...]on from the Pope in such a tragical Stile about it? Such a Collectio Au­thorum Vulg. Versionis damnantium Jussu. ac Man­dato Cleri G [...]l­licani edita Lutet. Paris. 1661. Collection of Authors to be printed on purpose against it? Do th [...]se things shew, even in a Nation of so free a temper, in Comparison, as the [Page 162] French, any mighty Inclination towards the encouraging this Knowledg in the People? And since that, what stirs have there been about the Mons Testament; What Prohibitions by Bishops? besides a Bull from this very Pope against it. What vehement Opposition by others? So that many Volumes have already been written on the occasion of that Translation. And yet our Author would perswade us, That if we look abroad, we shall find wonderful care taken to keep the People from Ignorance; but we can discern much greater to keep them in it.

XXXV. Of the Uncharitableness of the Papists.

HIs Church teaches him to be very uncharitable; it being her constant Doctrine, that none out of her Commu­nion can be saved. So that let a man be never so honest in his Dealing, never so just to his Neighbour, never so charitable to the Poor, and constant in his Devotion to his Maker; yet all this shall avail him nothing, if he be not a Member of his Church. 'Tis not enough for him to be­lieve in Iesus Christ, to confess him his Redeemer, to believe that he died for our Sins, that he rose again, and ascended into Heaven; unless he believes and assents to every Article and Tenet declar'd by any of his General Councils; for that obstinately to deny any one of these, does as certainly place him at the Left Hand of the Judge, as if he perversly stood out against the truth of Christianity, and de­nied Jesus Christ to be God. And by this means, as many as by his Church are mark'd out for Schismaticks or Here­ticks, are to expect nothing but Damna­tion; or rather are condemned already.

HIs Church teaches him no uncha­ritableness at all, and the Doctrine she delivers concerning the desperate Estate of Hereticks and Schismaticks, is nothing but what she has learnt from the mouth of Christ and his Apostles. Among the last advices, recommended by our Saviour at his Ascension, is found the Sentence of Doom pronounced a­gainst all such as would not receive the Doctrine preach'd by the Apostles, Preach the Gospel (says Christ, Mark 16.16.) to every Creature: he that be­lieveth, and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be damned. And this is all his Church delivers in this point, repeating the same Sentence of condemnation against all such, as will not receive and believe the Doctrine left by Christ, and preached by his A­postles. And if among those that be­lieve not, she comprehends not only Infidels and Heathens, but also all He­reticks and Schismaticks; 'tis nothing but what she has receiv'd from the Apo­stles; who did not only shake the dust [Page 163] off their Feets in witness against those who denied them entrance, and refused to believe in Jesus, but also denounc'd such of the Brethren to stand guilty of dam­nation, who notwithstanding their belief in Jesus, that he died for the Red [...]mption of Man, and that rising again he Ascended into Heaven; did make Divisions a­mongst the Faithful, or Preached any new Doctrine contrary to what they had deliver'd. St. Paul is very express in this, who foretelling Timothy (1 Tim. 4.1, 2, 3.) of some, who in latter times would come and Preach a Doctrine, For­bidding to Marry, and commanding to abstain from Meats, which God hath cre­ated to be received: brands them with the infamous Title of Men that depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits, and Doctrines of Devils. In these words plainly letting him understand, that though these Men would not deny Christ, yat that their false Doctrine in those two other Points, were enough to make them Seducers, Deserters of Christ, and Leaders to the Devil. And does not he as expresly in his 2d Epistle to Timothy, (c. 2. v. 16, 17, 18.) condemn Hymeneus and Philetus, for prophane and vain bablers, increasers of Ungodliness, and overthrowers of the Faith, who concerning the Truth erred only in one Point, saying that the Resurrection is past already? By which ' [...]is manifest to him, that the Doctrine now taught him by his Church, is nothing but what she has learnt from St. Paul, and the rest of the Apostles; it being deliver'd by them that he is a Lyar who denieth that Iesus is the Christ, (1 Ioh. 2.22.) And that every spirit that confesses not, that Iesus Christ, is come in the flesh, is not of God, (ib. c. 4. v. 3.) And not only this, but likewise A man that is an Heretick, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself, (Tit. 3.10, 11.) With this weighty advice to the Brethren, in which they are commanded in the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, to speak all the same thing, that there be no divisions among them, but thet they be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement, (1 Cor. 1.10.) For that having strife and divisions among them, they will shew themselves to be Carnal, and to walk as Men, (ib. c. 3. v. 3.) That therefore, there being but one Body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, they should endea­vour to keep the Unity of the Spirit, in the Bond of Peace, and not be tossed to and fro like Children, and carried about with every Wind of Doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning Craftiness, whereby they lye in wait to deceive, (Ephes c. 4. v 3, 4, 5, 14.) Who transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ, are false Apo­stles, deceitful Workers, (2 Cor. 11.13.) But certainly accursed, for that trou­bling the Faithful, they would pervert the Gospel of Christ. and preach another Gospel, than that which had him preach'd by the Apostles (Gal. 1.7.8.) And this is the Sum of the Doctrine of his Church, which believing that Fai [...]h is ne­cessary to Salvation, it being impossible without Faith to please God, (Heb. 11.6.) teaches likewise, that the Faithful ought to hold fast the profession of their [Page 164] Faith without wavering, for that not only they lose it; who deny Iesus Christ to be God, as some have done: but also all those, who endeavor to pervert the Gospel of Christ, and in any point of Faith obstinately deny, or teach otherwise than was taught by Christ, and his Apostles, as Hymeneus and Philetus did: so that, that Christian makes but a very imperfect and lame profession of his Faith, who can only say, I believe that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh, and that he is God and Man, the Redeemer of the World: unless he can with truth add this like­wise, I also believe the whole Gospel that he preach'd, and every point of Faith, that he has taught and deliver'd to us by his Apostles: there being the same Obliga­tion to obey his Precepts, and hearken to his Words, as to acknowledg the Di­vinity of his Person; and it being a sin of the same blackness, obstinately to oppose any point of his Doctrine, as to deny the truth of his Pers [...]n. 'Tis not therefore any uncharitableness in his Church, to declare plainly this miserable unhappy state of all such, who wilfully oppose and separate from the Doctrine of Christ, deliver'd by the Apostles, and continued in the Catholick Church; and of such who disobey and seperate from the Government of the same Church, which Christ has Commanded all to hear and obey: But 'tis her Zeal so to do, and the same solicitude for the salvation of Souls, which mov'd the Apostles here­tofore, to Preach the like Doctrine to their Flock; as also the Primitive Christi­ans to expel their Communion, and Anathematize all such, who by broaching erroneous Tenets, contrary to any point of Receiv'd Doctrine, or by disobedi­ence, did wilfully divide themselves from the Belief or Discipline of the Catholick Church: Such as were Marcion, Basilides and Bardesanes, who were Con­demn'd in the First Age, for opposing that Article of our Faith, in which we believe the Resurrection of the Dead; such the Archonticks, Condemn'd likewise for denying the necessity of Baptism: Such Tatianus &c. for Preaching Marri­age to be unlawful. Such the Millenarians, for maintaining a thousand Years Reign of Christ up [...]n Earth, with his Saints in sensual pleasures. And so in all Ages others were condemn'd upon the like account. It having been al­ways, a received Custom, even in the purest time of the Gospel, for the El­ders and Prelates, to whose charge Christ committed the care of his Flock, to oppose all those that by new Doctrine. or by making Schisms and Divisi­ous, did disturb its peace: and not to permit any that by such like means d [...]d endeavour to destroy his Unity, so much desired and recommended by the Apostles. So that they were equally declar'd Enemies of Christianity, who denyed Christ, and they, who confessing Christ, did yet contradict and reject any part of his Doctrine. And this upon the Principle, that Christian Faith ought to be entire. For that every Article, Mystery and Point of it be­ing deliver'd by the same hands, and recommended by the same Authority; whosoever did oppose any one Point of it, was immediately judg'd guilty of all, [Page 165] in discrediting the Authority, on which the whole stood equally grounded. And this is that great Truth proclaimed above thirteen hundred years ago, and now every where read in St. Athanasius's Creed. Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith. Which Faith, except every one do keep Whole and undefiled, without doubt, he shall perish everlastingly. By which words was made known to the Christian World▪ the Sense and Doctrine of the then pure and unspotted Church, as receiv'd from Christ and his Apostles. That it is vain for any one to hope for Salvation, unless he first believe the Catholick Faith; and that whosoever does not be­lieve it Whole and undefiled, shall certainly perish everlastingly. Which is a Doctrine like that deliver'd by the Apostle, conce [...]ning the observance of the Laws of God; that as whosoever fails in one, is made guilty of all; so al­so, whosoever disbelieves one Article of the Catholick Faith, does in a manner disbelieve all. There being no more hopes of Salvation for one that denies ob­stinately any one Point of the Catholick Faith, thô he believes all the rest; then there is for one, who keeps Nine of the Commandments, with the Breach of the Tenth. An obstinate opposition against one Point of Faith, and a sin against one Commandment being as certainly damnable, as if 'twere against all. There be­ing the same reason, and an equal necessity that the Observance of God' [...] Law, and the Assent to the Catholick Faith be alike entire and Whole. And now being convinc'd, that none can believe to Salvation, but he that embraces the Catho­lick Faith thus wholly and entirely, by an equal submission to all the Mysteries contain'd in it, without opposition to any. And being likewise convinc'd, that no one can arrive to the true knowledg of this Faith, with an assurance of its Integrity, but by receiving it as propos'd and believ'd by the Church of Christ: Which Church was founded by the Son of God, watered with his Blood, and by an infallible assistance of the Holy Ghost (by which it was to be taught all Truth to the end of the World) was secur'd from the danger of being deceiv'd or deceiving others, to the consummation of things: He does not doubt, but as in the Apostles time, so also ever since, and at pre­sent, God addeth to his Church daily such as shall be saved, (Acts 2.47) there being no entire faith necessary to Salvation, to be found out of this Church; and no possibility, as St. Cyprian says, that God shall be a Father to any, who own not this Church for his Mother. But now, where and which this Church is, and what Society of Men are Members of it, among such variety of Pretenders; though it may seem a great difficulty to some to distinguish; yet to him it is none at all; for since there is no other Church, besides the Ro­man Catholick, which has had a continued and visible Succession of B [...]shops and Pastors in all Ages since the Apostles; no other that has converted Infidel Nations to Christianity; no other that has always preserv'd Peace and Unity [Page 166] amongst its Members, all of them speaking the same thing, and being perfectly joyn'd together in the same mind, and the same judgment; no other that by assem­bling the Elders and Prelates, has oppos'd in all Ages Heresies and Schisms, and condemn'd all those, who not sparing the Flock, have spoken perverse things, endeavouring to draw away Disciples after them; no other, that has, in obedi­ence to the command of Christ, send Apostles amongst Infidels and Unbelievers, for the preaching to them the Gospel, and instructing them in Christianity; and by this way, without Arms or Blood, have spread their Faith throughout the World; no other, that by evident and undeniable Miracles, have prov'd the truth of her Doctrine; no other, but what has begun by Separation, whose first Preachers have gone out from this; the time of their first Preaching and shewing themselves to the World, being upon Record, and their new Doctrine censur'd and condemn'd by that Church, from whence they separated. Since, I say, there's no other Society or Christian Congregation in the World, to which these certain Marks of the Church of Christ does agree; 'tis evident to him, that this is the only true Church; that whosoever denies any Article of her Faith, denies so much of Christ's Doctrine; that whosoever hears her, hears Christ; and whosoever obstinately and wilfully is separated from her, is in the same di­stance separated from Christ himself; and finally, that God addeth to this Church daily such as shall be saved, (Acts 2.47.)

XXXV. Of the Vncharitableness of the Papists.

THE Missrepresenter, (as he is called) charges this Point home. Because they deny Salvation to those who believe all the Ar­ticles of the Christian Faith in the Apostles Creed, and lead vertuous and good Lives, if they be not of their Communion.

To this the Representer answers in plain terms, That this is no­thing but what they have learn'd from the Mouth of Christ and his Apostles. And to this end he musters up all their Sayings against I [...]fidels, false Prophets, Gnosticks, Corinthians, as thô they were point-blank levelled against all that live out of Communion of the Church of Rome.

But this is no Uncharitableness, but pure zeal, and the same the Primitive Church shewed against Hereticks, such as Marcion, Basi­lides, and Bardesanes, who were condemned in the first Age for de­nying the Resurrection of the dead, &c. What in the first Age! Me­thinks the Second had been early enough for them: But this is to let us see what Learning there is among you. But do we deny the Resurrection of the Dead? or hold any one of the Heresies [Page 167] condemned by the Primitive Church? What then is our Fault, which can merit so severe a Sentence? We oppose the Church: What Church? The Primitive Apostolical Church? The Church in the time of the four General Councils? I do not think that will be said, but I am sure it can never be proved: What Church then? The present Church? Is it then damnable to oppose the present Church? But I pray let us know what ye mean by it; The Uni­versal Body of Christians in the World? No, No, abundance of them are Hereticks and Schismaticks as well as we: i. e. All the Christians in the Eastern and Southern parts, who are not in Com­munion with the Church of Rome: So that two parts in three of Christians are sent to Hell by this Principle; and yet it is no Un­charitableness. But suppose the Church of Rome be the only true Church, must men be damned presently for opposing its Doctrines? I pray think a little better on it, and you will change your Minds. Suppose a man do not submit to the Guides of this Church in a matter of Doctrine declared by them, Must he be Damned? What if it be the Deposing Power? Yet his Principle is, If a Man do not hold the Faith entire, he is gone. But Popes and Councils have de­clared this to be a point of Faith; therefore if he doth not hold it, he must be damned. There is no way of answering this, but he must abate the severity of his Sentence against us. For upon the same Reason he questions that, we may question many more. And all his Arguments against us, will hold against himself; For, saith he, he that disbelieves one Article of Catholick Faith, does in a manner disbelieve all. Let him therefore look to it, as well as we. But he endeavours to prove the Roman Catholick Church to be the true Church, by the ordinary Notes and Marks of the Church. Al­tho he is far enough from doing it; yet this will not do his business. For he must prove, that we are convinced that it is the true Church, and then indeed he may charge us with Obstinate Opposition, but not before. And it is a very strange thing to me, that when their Di­vines say, that Infidels shall not be damned for their Infidelity, where the Gospel hath not been sufficiently proposed to them; and no Christian for not believing any Article of Faith till it be so proposed; that we must be damned for not believing the Articles of the Roman Faith, which never have been, and never can be suf­ficiently proposed to us. Methinks such men should study a little bet­ter their own Doctrine about the sufficient Proposal of matters of Faith, before they pass such uncharitable and unlearned Censures.

XXXVI. Of Ceremonies and Ordinances.

HIS Church, upon the presumption of being Apostolical and Commis­sioned by Christ, has brought in such an infinite number of unnecessary superstiti­ous Ceremonies, that the whole exercise of her Religion consists in nothing but a vain Pomp and empty Shew. And where­as Christians are commanded by the Apostle to serve the Lord in Spirit and Truth; She has made void this Precept; and neglecting both Spirit and Truth, has restor'd the heavy Yoke of Jewish Rites, without the least Authority of the Word of God: but rather, in express oppositi­on to it, has made these her humane In­ventions take place of the Divine Law. And then besides her Ceremonies, what an endless account is there of other Ordi­nances. Institutions, Precepts, to which she obliges all in her Communion. How many are her Fast-days, Rogation and Ember-days? How many her Festival and Holy-days? How many her Injun­ctions on several degrees of People? That Priests shall not Marry, that whosoever is in Orders shall be oblig'd to the reci­ting or singing such and such Offices. That Marriage shall not be permitted, but at some set times: and a multitude of other such respective Commands, which have no grounds in Scripture, and no other Authority for them, besides the de­crees of some Popes, who for some pri­vate Ends, and the making themselves great, thought fit to lay these burdens upon the People. Some being first insti­tuted by Pope Telesporus, as the Fast of Lent: Some by Cal [...]xtus, as the Ember-days, Some by Pope Nicholas, as the Prohibition of Marriage: And so all the rest. And yet, forsooth, all these must be observed under pain of eternal Damnation, as if God and the Pope com­manding were but all one, and had Hea­ven and Hell equally at their disposure.

HIS Church has appointed a great number and variety of Cere­monies to be used in the Celebrating Divine Service, in the Offices and the Administration of the Sacraments. She has likewise many Observances, Ordi­nances, Constitutions, appertaining to Discipline and the Government of the Flock. And all these are receiv'd, ap­prov'd, or instituted by her, every one in her Communion does embrace, ad­mit, and willingly submit to, without opposition, exception, or calling any into question: because, altho the Par­ticulars thus appointed or commanded be not to be found in Scripture; yet there being in the Scripture an express and absolute Command given to the whole Flock of Christ, of following and being obedient to those that have thus order'd these things; in virtue of that Command, they voluntarily, and with­out constraint, accept all that is of their Appointment; without excepting a­gainst any thing, unless it be manifest­ly sinful. And this they look on as a Christian Duty belonging to all such that are, by God's Pleasure, in subje­ction to the H [...]gher Powers, or under charge. And therefore, as a Servant, having receiv'd a Command from his Master, is oblig'd to comply with it, in case it be not sinful, altho he cannot find the thing then particularly com­manded, in Scripture; the general Pre­cept of Servants being obedient to Ma­sters [Page 169] being sufficient to let him know his Obligation, and to remove all scruple. And as Ch [...]ldren are in Duty oblig'd to perform the Will of their Parents, up­on the Command, Obey thy Father and thy Mother, whether the thing par­ticularly willed be in Scripture or no; so they judge it the Duty of all Chri­stian People to submit without conten­tion to the Ordinances and Constituti­ons of their Pastors and Prelates, altho the things particularly order'd by them be not express'd in Scripture; it being a sufficient ground for this their Submission and Obedience, that God has given them a General Command; Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves; for they watch for your Souls, as they that must give account, (Hebrews 13.17.) Remem­ber them which have the Rule over you, who have spoken to you the Word of God, whose Faith follow, (Hebrews 13 7.) So that to them it seems a very fallacious rule, leading to all Confusion and unchristian Comentions, viz. That the Higher Powers, our Superiours, Pastors and Prelates, are not to be obey­ed, but only in such things as are express'd in Scripture; and as for any other Particulars, whosoever upon Examination cannot find what is commanded by them in Holy Writ, may lawfully refuse Submission; nay, he is oblig'd to resist. For however this seems to bear much of the Word of God in the face of it, yet certainly 'tis wholly destructive to it; and under pretence of adhering close to the Scripture, undermines the very Author of it. This the Primitive Christians understood so well, that they detested all such Max­ims, and following the Advice of the Apostle, chose rather to trust their Souls in the hands of those, whom God had plac'd over them, by an humble Submission to the Government, and a peaceable Obedience to their Decrees; than by a presumptuous questioning of every thing, and raising vain disputes, to take the Rule of the Flock out of the hands of those, to whom God had provi­dentially deliver'd it, and place themselves Judges over the Church, their Elders, Prelates and Pastors, whom God had commanded them to hear, and be in Subjection to. So that we never read, that they ever pretended to weigh the Ordinances of their Superiors by their own reasoning, or to bring them to the Test of the Word of God, before the acceptance; but alway judg'd it conform to the Word of God, that their Governours should Rule, and they Obey. Thus when the Apostles observ'd the Sunday instead of the Sabbath; and met together at Pentecost; we don't read that the Faithful then began to turn over their Bibles, to find a Command for [Page 170] these particulars, but with a prompt Obedience readily followed them in the Ob­servance. So when Abstinence from Blood and strangled Meats was order'd by the Elders assembled at Ierusalem; (Acts 15.) the multitude of Believers having heard the Decree, never murmur'd at it, or call'd it into question, however seemingly contrary to the intention of Christ, who in abrogating the Law of Moses was thought to have cut off all these Obligations; but they all rejoyced for the Consolation, (ib. v. 31.) So when St. Paul gave orders to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. 11.) in what manner and posture they were to behave themselves at Pray­ers in their Assemblies, both Men and Women; we don't hear that he was challeng'd by any to shew by what authority of Scripture he thus reprov'd and prescrib'd in these Particulars, or by what they were ob [...]ig'd to receive his Pre­scriptions; but with a prompt submission accepted his Orders, not doubting, but since it was God's Will to place Rulers and Governours over them, it must be God's Will that they should be obedient to them, in following their Decrees, and observing their Constitutions. And with this Doctrine of Obedience, Humi­lity, and Submission, all the Primitive Christians were train'd up by the Apostles, who zealously laboured by this means to preserve them in Peace and Unity; that so they might think all the same thing, and be of one mind and one judg­ment, and without Divisions; insomuch, that there is not any one thing so of­ten repeated in their Writings, as Exhortations to this Obedience and Submis­sion: See, how, going through the Cities they deliver'd to them (the Faithful) the decrees for to keep, that were ordain'd by the Apostles and Elders which were at Ierusalem, (Acts [...]6 4.) See how St. Paul commands the Thessalonians, to hold fast the Traditions they had been taught by word or by Epistle, (2 Thess. 2.15.) See how he commands the Hebrews; Obey them that have the rule over you. Re­member them which have the Rule over you, (Heb. 13.7.17.) See with what ear­nestness St. Iohn urges this; He that knoweth God heareth us, he that is not of God heareth us not, (1 Joh. 4.6.) hereby know we the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error. And then again, does not St. Paul commend the Corinthians for their Obedience; Now I praise you, Brethren, that you remember me in all things, and keep the Ordinances, as I deliver'd them to you, (1 Cor. 11.2.) And then, having given them directions as to their Behaviour in their Assemblies, he adds; But if any man seem to be contentious, We have no such custom, neither the Church­es of God, (1 Cor. 11.16.) And now it being thus evident, that the Church of Christ in the Apostles time was founded, and preserv'd by a Submission and Obedience of the Flock to their Pastors; the Papists teach and believe, that what was taught and commanded by the Apostles to the Faithful then living, ought to be receiv'd as a Doctrine necessary for all succeeding Ages, and that Submis­sion and Obedience ought to have been as much the Duty of Believers ever since as it was then; the Commands and Practice of that time being undoubtedly the [Page 171] best and only Pattern for the Faithful for all times, even to the end of the World. And they do not only teach this Doctrine of Submission in their Books and Ser­mons, but also observe it in their Lives, having in all Ages depended on their Elders and Prelates in all matters touching the Discipline and Government of the Church; leaving Rule to those whose Charge and Office it is to Rule; and never believing, that they, who are under Charge and Command expresly by St. Paul to Remember and Obey those who have the Rule over them, can upon any pretence whatsoever, nay, thô an Angel from Heaven should come and Preach otherwise, be discharg'd from this Christian Obligation, and be ex­empted from Remembring and Obeying, whom thus by God, speaking by his Apostle, they are Commanded to Remember and Obey. And upon this ground it is, that in things concerning the Order to be observ'd in the Divine Service, in all Ceremonies; Holy Rites, Ecclesiastical Constitutions, and Ordinances, they have neither Nill nor Will of their own; but always receive, and think that the best, which is Order'd and Appointed by those, to whom, by Divine Law, they owe this Submission and Obedience, and to whom the Ordering and Appointing these things appertains. And therefore, if these appoint a Day of Humiliation for imploring God's Mercy, or averting his Judgments, they never scruple to observe it; if a day of Thanksgiving, in memory of some signal Benefit, they likewise Obey. If these judge it fit, that on every Friday should be commemora­ted the Death and Passion of our Redeemer in Fasting; and command Lent to be observ'd, in remembrance and imitation of our Lord's 40 days Fast in the Desart, they think it their obligation to do so. If these order such and such days to be set a­part, and kept holy in Remembrance and Thanksgiving for the Incarnation, Nati­vity, Circumcision, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, and for other such like In­tentions, they esteem it sinful to oppose it. If these judge it decent, that the Faithful shou'd bow at the Name of Iesus, stand at the reading of the Gospel, prostrate, or incline themselves at the Confession: If they appoint Tapers and Lamps to be used in Churches, to represent our Saviour who came to enlighten the World; and Incense to be used, to mind the People, that their Hearts and Prayers should, l [...]ke the Smoak, ascend d [...]rectly toward Heaven: If in the Administration of the Sacraments, in Exorcisms, in the Offices, and the Celebration of the Mass, these determine several Rites and Ceremonies to be observ'd, for more Decency, greater Solemnity, and that by such exteriour helps the minds of the Faithful may be mo­ved to the contemplation of the Sacred Mysteries, and rais'd more sensibly to the Apprehension of the Majesty of God, in whose Honour all is pe [...]form'd; they look upon themselves bound to allow and embrace all these things, without Reluctance or Opposition; always thinking that to be most proper which is instituted by such who have the Rule over them. And if any endeavour to raise Disputes, and be contentious concerning the Necessity of these In­stitutions, [Page 172] they have no such Custom, neither the Churches of God. One thing they know to be necessary, that is, that they should be Obedient; and that in the Service of God they must not honour him as the Iews did, Isa. 58.13. by doing their own ways, finding their own Pleasure, and speaking their own words; but as Christians are commanded, in a true Self-denial, a sincere Humility and Obedience, submitting to those whom God has left to rule and govern the Flock. Neither is there any danger of falling back into the Iewish Law, by approving the allow'd Ceremonies of the Church; it being certain, that in the Abrogation of the Old Law, all Ceremonies were not at the same time ex­tinct; but only such as were mere Types and Figures of things to come in the New Law, which are now fulfill'd: Whilst others (fit for the raising Devo­tion, and expressing the affections of the Soul, and other such ends,) are still commendably retain'd as lawful, and equally necessary now, as heretofore: such are, Kneeling, Fasting, lifting Hands and Eyes to Heaven, Sighing, knocking the Breast, days of Humiliation, Thanksgiving, Watching, Hair-cloth, Singing, Impositions of Hands, Benedictions, using Oyl, Spittle, Breathing, &c. all which [...]re as lawful, convenient, and necess [...]ry for Christians, as they were for Iews; and no more to be neglected, because they were us'd in the Old Law, than pray­ing, meeting, Reading the Law, Singing Psalms, Humility, and Obedience, &c. are to be laid by, and disown'd by Christians because they were observed by the Iews: especially since these, with many others, have been recommended to us by the practice of Christ and his Apostles, and of all Primitive Christianity. Neither has the use of Holy Ceremonies been wholly disapproved by those of the Reformation. The English Profession of Faith, publish'd in the year 1562. allows them in the 34th. Article. The Bohemick Confession in the 15th. Article, Anno 1537. The Augustine, Tit. de Miss Anno 1530. as it was penn'd by Me­lancthon. So that since Ceremonies are generally look'd on as commendable and lawful amongst Christians; the Papists judge it proper to those who have the Rule, to Order and Dispose of them, and declare to the Flock, how, when, and where they are to be observed. And if they who govern judge fit to oblige the Faithful to the observance of any in particular, they teach that it is the Duty of the Flock to Obey. Things indifferent, after such Commands, being no lon­ger of choice but necessary; and no less obliging than the Commands of a Fa­ther to his Child; where, in case the thing be not apparently sinful, 'tis no Persw [...]sion of the thing being superfluous, can excuse an obstinate denial from Disobedience. It being more safe and Christian like for all that are under any Government, whether Natural, Ecclesiastical, or Civil, to perform and com­ply with such things as they judge in their own private Sentiments Unnecessary, m [...]rely upon the account of being Commanded, than upon such considerations, to disturb the Order of Government, and fly in the Face of Lawful Autho­rity; [Page 173] than which nothing is more opposite to the Principles of Christianity, and destructive of all Humane Society. And upon these grounds it is, that the Papists founding themselves upon the sure Foundation of Huminity and Obedience, have in all Ages acknowledged Overseers and Rulers over them to watch and feed the Flock, to whom God hath given Power; there being no Power but of God, and that whosoever resisteth the Power, resisteth the Or­dinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves Damnation, Ro­mans 13.1, 2.

XXXVI. Of Ceremonies and Ordinances.

HIS Discourse on this Head is against those who refuse to obey their Superiours in things not expressed in Scripture, which is no part of our Controversie with them. But yet there are several things about their Ceremonies we are not satisfied in: As, 1. The mighty number of them which have so much muffled up the Sacraments, that their true face cannot be discerned. 2. The Efficacy attributed to them, without any promise from God; whereas we own no more but decency and significancy. 3. The Doctrine that goes along with them, not only of Obe­dience, but of Merit; and some have asserted the Opus Operatum of Ceremonies as well as Sacraments, when the Power of the Keys goes along with them; i. e. when there hath been some Act of the Church exercised about the matter of them; as in the Consecration of Oyl, Salt, Bread, Ashes, Water, &c.

XXXVII. Of Innovations in Matters of Faith.

HIS Church has made several In­novations in matters of Faith, and howsoever she lays claim to Antiquity, with a pretence of having preserv'd the Doctrine of the Apostles inviolable and entire; yet 'tis evident to any serious Observer, that the greatest part of her Be­lief is mere Novelties; that bearing date from Christ or his Apostles, but only from some of her own more modern Synods. There scarce having pass'd any Age yet, wherein there has not, in these Ecclesia­stical Mints, been coyn'd New Articles, which, with the counterfeit stamp of Christ and his Apostles, are made to pass for Good and Currant, amongst his cre­dulous and undiscerning Retainers: And besides these, what a great number of Er­rors have been introduc'd at other times; how many did Pope Gregory bring in, and how many the Ignorance of the Tenth Age? So that if we compare the Church of Rome now, with the Primi­tive times of the first three or four hun­dred years, there are no two things so un­like; she is a Garden now, but quite o­vergrown with Weeds; she is a Field, but where the Tares have perfectly choak­ed up the Wheat, and has little in her of Apostolical, besides the Name.

HIS Church has never made any Innovation in Matters of Faith; what she believes and teaches now being the same that the Catholick Church believ'd and taught in the first three or four Centuries after the Apo­stles. And though in most of her Ge­neral Councils there has been several Decisions touching Points of Faith; yet can no one, without an injury [Page 174] to truth, say, that in any of these has been coin'd new Articles, or Christians forced to the acceptance of Novelties, contrary to the Scripture, or ancient Tradition. These have only trodden in the Apostles steps, as often as they have been in the like circumstances with them; doing exactly according to the Form and Example left to the Church by those perfect Masters of Christiani­ty. And therefore as the Apostles in their Assembly, Acts 15. determin'd the Controversie concerning the Cir­cumcision; and proposed to the Faith­ful what was the Doctrine of Christ in that point, of necessity to be believ'd; of which till that Decision there had been rais'd several Questions and Doubts; but now no longer to be que­stioned, without the Shipwrack of Faith. So in all succeeding Ages the Elders of the Church, to whom the Apostles left their Commission of watching over the Flock, in their Councils have never scrupled to determine all such Points which had been controverted amongst the Brethren, and to propose to them what of necessity they were to believe for the future, with Anathema pronounced against all such as should presume to preach the contrary. Thus in the year 325. the first Nicene Council declar'd the Son of God to be Consubstantial to his Father, against the Arians; with an Obligation on all to assent to this Doctrine, though never till then propos'd or declar'd in that Form. Thus in the year 381. the Holy Ghost was declar'd to be God; against Macedonius and his Followers, in the first Constantinopolitan Council. And in the first Ephesin, Anno 431. Nestorius was condemned, who maintain'd two Persons in Christ, and that the blessed Vir­gin was the Mother of God; with a Declaration, That both these Tenets were contrary to the Catholick Faith. In the second Nicene Council, Anno 787. Image-breakers were Anathematiz'd. And so others at other times; and at last, in the Council of Trent, was declar'd the Real Presence, Transubstantiation, Purgatory, the lawfulness of the Invocation of Saints, of keeping Holy Images, &c. against Lu­ther, Calvin, Beza, &c. And now, tho in all these and the other General Coun­cils the Persons condemned took occasion, from these New Declarations, to cry out, Novelties, Novelties, to fright the People with the noise of new coin'd Articles, [Page 175] and that the inventions of Men were impos'd on them, for Faith. Yet 'tis evi­dent, that these New Declarations contain'd nothing but the Antient Faith; and that there had never been any such Declarations made, had not the Doctrine pro­pos'd in them, being oppos'd and contradicted by some seducing Spirits, who going out from the Flock, endeavour'd by making Divisions, to draw numbers after them. So that the new Proposal of a Tenet, is but a fallacious proof of the Doctrine being lately invented, but a good Argument of its being lately oppos'd. 'Tis certain from Scripture, Acts 15. that the Apostles had never declar'd the non-necessity of Circumcision, had not certain men come down from Iudea and taught the Brethren the contrary. And that the Consubstantiality of the Son, had never been defin'd by the Nicene Fathers. had not Arius, with his Follow­ers, oppos'd this Catholick Doctrine. And as certain it is, that the Council of Trent had been altogether silent as to Transubstantiation, Praying to Saints, Pur­gatory, &c. had not Luther, Calvin, and their Disciples, once professors of this Doctrine, gone out from the Flock, and upon the presumption of a New Light, e [...] ­deavour'd to perswade the Faithful, that these Tenets, then believ'd by the whole Christian World, were no longer to be own'd, but to be quite thrown by, as Antichristian and Diabolical. 'Twas this oblig'd the Pastors to watch and take care of their Flock, and therefore not flying away, as the Hireling does, when the Wolf catcheth, and scattereth the Sheep, they assembled together in a Body, and declar'd to all under their charge, that they ought not to follow strangers; that howsoever they came pretending to the Shepherd's voice; yet since they came not by the door into the Sheepfold, but climbing up some other way, they were no Shepherds, but Thieves and Robbers; such whose business was not to feed, but to steal, kill and destroy. 'Twas this made them encourage all under their care, not to waver; but to stand fast, and hold the profession of their Faith, and not­withstanding all pretences, by no means to suffer themselves to be deluded, and led away with strange Doctrine; and that they might the better secure them from falling into Errors, they gave them a Draught of their Christian Doctrine; espe­cially of all those points, which these modern self commissionated Apostles did preach against, and endeavour to undermine; particularly declaring to them, the Faith they had been bred up in, which they had receiv'd from their Forefathers, and been deriv'd even from the Apostles. Securing them, that whatsoever was contrary to this, was Novelty and Error. And now in the Pastors declaring this to the Faithful, where was the Innovation? The Council did nothing but pro­pose fully and explicately, what, before their meeting, was the Doctrine of all Christendom, and had been so amongst the Primitive Fathers. 'Twas they made Innovation, who preach'd contrary to the Doctrine thus believ'd and receiv'd; which Luther was not asham'd to own himself guilty of; plainly acknowledging, that He seperated from the whole World.

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[Page 176]But it seems that the whole World was then corrupted, and the Religion then every where profess'd, was overgrown with Superstitions, Errors and Abomina­tions; such as had crept into the Church, some five Hundred Years before, some nine Hundred, and some a Thousand; and 'twas from these Luther sepe­rated, intending to Reform Christianity, and bring it to the purity of the Primitive times, of the first three Hundred Years. And was it not very strange now, that so many gross Fooleries, idle Superstitions, and even down-right Idolatry, should c [...]eep into a Church, and spreading it self through all Nations, infect the whole World, becoming the publick profession of Christendom for so many hun­dred Years, and be confirm'd and establish'd by the Laws of every Kingdom; and that no body should take notice of any such thing, either at its first Rise, or in all its progress of so many Years: Insomuch, that had not Luther made the Discovery, 'tis likely we should never have come to the knowledge of these Thousand Years Errors and Corruptions: No thinking Man certainly, but judges it impossible, that the very Fundamentals of Christianity should be shaken, and the Religion planted by the Apostles turned into Idolatry; and yet that no Lean­ed Man should any where appear to contradict these Abominations, no Zealous Pastors to withstand them, no pious Princes to oppose them: History sufficient­ly satisfies any Curious Reader, that from the first planting of the Church, there has been in no Age, any Man yet that has preach'd any Heterodox and Erroneous Tenets, and by introducing Novelties, has endeavour'd to infect the minds of the Faithful with Heresie and Superstition, but immediately have stood up Vir­tuous and Learned Men, in defence of the Truth, in their Writings and Ser­mons publickly confuting and condemning the Errours, and giving an Alarm to the World, to beware of such Deceivers, and their wicked Doctrine; and withal, never omitting, to Record their Names to Posterity; with an account of the Year when they began to Preach, under what Emperours, and what was the occasion of their Revolt. Was not all this, and even more done against Arius? How many appear'd against the Manichees? How many against the Donatists; against the Novatians, against the Macedonians, the Nestorians, the Eutychians, the Pelagians, the Berengarians, &c. So that never any thing has made so much noise in the World, so many commotions, so many disturbances; nothing as been so impossible to be carryed on with secresie and silence, as the broaching any new Heresie, the making a Schism, the alteration of Religion, the starting up of some new Society and Pretenders to Reformation. What Tumults did all the fore-mentioned Apostles raise; disturb'd at the Doctrine of Mahomet, and the crying up the Alcoran? What Stirs and Commotions at the Reformation of Church and Faith, pretended by Luther, Zwinglius and Calvin? How then can it be judg'd in the least probable, that great variety of erroneous Tenets and Antichri­stian Doctrine should be introduc'd by the Papists, contrary to the sense and belief [Page 177] of all Christianity, either in the fourth, fifth, sixth or tenth Century; and yet that there should not be the least d [...]sturbance occasion'd by it, not tumults or opposition; but all done with so much quietness, in such a profound Peace and Silence, that had it not been for the News brought, some Ages after, we had never suspected the Alteration? And is this possib [...]e? Is it possible, that the whole C [...]ristian World should change their Religion, both as to the Internal Belief, and external Profession and exercise of it; and no body be sensible of the change, so as to with­stand the Abomination, or to transmit to Posterity, even so much as the least word of its beginning or propogation? Let any man upon some consideration, tell me, whether it be possible, that this one little Kingdom of England should fall from this pure Apostolical Doctrine it now professes, into down right Popery, (or any other way alter the whole Scheme of its Religion) and have the Alteration co [...]fir­med by several Acts of Parliament, and continue in the publick Exercise of it for a thousand, five hundred, or even one hundred years, and yet no one in this King­dom, or out of it, should be sensible of the Alteration; but also to be manag'd with such Policy and Craft, that the whole business should be a Secret for many Age? And if this be scarce to be thought possible of this one Kingdom; what can be im­agin'd, when 'tis affirm'd of many Nations of the whole Christian World; Can any thing look more like a Fable or Romance? Or can any rational man, barely upon such a Report, condemn the Faith and Religion of his Ancestors, for Novelty and Humane Inventions; and quite laying aside this, take him for the Rule of his Reformation, who thus, without Reason, Justice or Truth, has thrown such an Infamy upon all the Christians preceeding him for a thousand years?

But not to insist upon these reasonings, for the wiping off the scandal of No­velty from the Doctrine of the Church of Rome; 'twould not be amiss here, to look beyond the Tenth Century, as also beyond the time of Pope Gregory. And if in those earlier Christians, nothing can be found of that Faith and Profession, which is charged as Novelty and Error against the Church of Rome, all the Papists in the World shall join with their Adversaries, and condemning Pope Gregory for a Seducer, and all of the Tenth Age for so many Ignoramus's, shall in one voice with them cry out against all such Doctrine, Novelty, Novelty, Errour, Errour. But if, on the contrary, every Point thus challeng'd of Novelty, shall appear to have been the Profession of the Faithful in the time of the Purity of the Gospel; if before Pope Gregory we find that Invocation of Saints, the real Presence, Tran­substantiation, Purgatory, Prayer for the Dead, the use of Holy Images, Relicks, the Sign of the Cross, Procession, &c. were a receiv'd Doctrine, and common Practice of Christians in those Primitive times; Then shall the Papists remain as they are, as being of the same Faith and Religion, with those Antient Believers, without any Additions and Alterations; and all their Adversaries ought in justice to return again to their Communion, and making up one Q [...]ite, cry out with them; Blessed [Page 178] are they who believe as our Forefathers believ'd, who receiv'd their Faith from the Apostles and their Successors; and Accursed be they, who separate from this Faith, and upon the Noise of Novelty and Errour, make Divisions in the Church, and fall from her Communion, believing Lies rather than Truth.

In order to this, I intended in this place to have given the Reader a fair prospect of the Doctrine and Belief of the Fathers, at the first five hundred years after Christ; but finding the matter to increase so much beyond expectation upon my hands, I have reserv'd them for another occasion. But however, upon confidence of what I am able to produce in that point, I cannot omit to assure the Reader, that the chief, and most material Points charg'd upon the Church of Rome for Novelty, the Pri­mitive Fathers do so plainly own to have been the Faith and Profession of the Church in their days; and to have been deliver'd down, and taught as the Doctrine of the Apostles; that an impartial Considerer need not take much time to conclude, whether are the greater Innovators, those that now Believe and Profess these Te­nets and Practices; or they that disown or rej [...]ct them. 'Tis evident, that every Point of that Doctrine, which is now decry'd for Popery, and basely stigmatiz'd with the note of Errors introduc'd of late, and of a modern invention, is by many Ages older than those, who are reputed to be the Authors; that every particular Article laid to the Ignorance of the Tenth Century, and to the contrivance of Pope Gregory, are as expresly and clearly own'd, and taught some Ages before, as it is now at this day. That those Great Men were as down-right Papists in these Points, as we are now. And that any disturber of Christianity might have as well def [...]n'd them for believers of Novelties and Errours, as we are now at this present. The Faith that they profess'd then, we profess now; and if any of our Doctrine be Novelty, 'tis a Novelty of above twelve hundred years standing: And who can question it not to be of an older date? If it was the publick belief of the Chri­stian World, in the fourth Century, who can be better Witnesses of what was be­li [...]v'd before them, even in the third Age, than They? They tell us, that the Do­ctrine they maintain and deliver, is the Faith of the Catholick Church, receiv'd from their Fore-fathers, and as it was taught by the Apostles, and we don't find, that in any of these Points, they were challeng'd by any Authority, or opposed by the Pastors of the Church, or any Writers, either then living, or succeeding them, but received always with great veneration; And upon what grounds can any chal­lenge them now (Is it possible, that any living now, can give a better account of what was believ'd and practis'd in the third Age, than They that immediately fol­low'd them: Which will be more credible Witnesses of what was done in Forty Eight; those that shall be alive fifty years hence; or they that are not yet to come these thousand years? If therefore these Holy Men declare to us the Doctrine they b [...]liev'd; with an assurance, that it was the Faith of the Catholick Church, so be­liev'd by their Ancestors, and as they had receiv'd it from the Apostles and their [Page 179] Successors; do not they deserve better credit, than others, who coming a thousand years after, cry out against all these several Points, that they are nothing but No­velty and Errour? 'Tis evident therefore to him, that this noise of Novelty, was nothing but a stratagem for the introducing of Novelties; and that those that brought an Infamy upon these Points, by this aspersion, might with as great ap­plause every, and as easily have laid a scandal upon other Articles of the Christian Faith, which they thought sit to retain, and have had them all exploded for Novel­ty. And this has been so far done already, that even three parts of that Doctrine, pick'd out by the first Reformers, for Apostolical, and conform to the Word of God, we have seen in our days clamem'd against for Novelty, and thrown by with as general Approbation, and as clear Evidence of the charge, as ever they laid by Transubstantiation and the Primacy. The first Reformers cast off the Authority of the first Bishop as being a Novelty; Others soon alter cry'd down the Authority of all Bishops, for a Novelty. The First disown'd a great part of the Priestly Function, as being lately crept in; the Others disown'd all the rest, and even Ordination it self, as having all crept in together. The First threw out a great number of Ce­remonies, as being not Apostolical, but of a modern Institution: The Others threw out even what they had retain'd, for being no more an Ordination of the Apostles, than the former. The First laid by five of the Sacraments; the Others laid by the other two. And thus Novelty was the Word, whensoever any receiv'd Doctrine of Christianity was to be outed, and may to be made for a Novelty: And he does not doubt, but, that if the noise of Novelty continue long, so unhappily successful as of late, and the liberty be permitted to every presuming Spirit, to fix this scandal upon whatsoever Doctrine or Institution they shall think fit; that all Christianity is in a fai [...] way of being thrown out of doors: And the Bible, Preaching, Catechi­sing Christ's Incarnation and Passion, &c. is as likely to b [...] cast off for a Novelty, as all the rest have been. Those that will but shew to the People, that even these things have been all receiv'd from Rome, and that the Papists by their Missionaries, spread these Doctrines over the World, may soon perswade them, they are no­thing but Popish Inventions, meer Novelties; that those that began the Reformation, did their business by halves, and that the World will never be throughly Reform'd, till all these Romish Superstitions, are laid by with the rest; they being of the same date. He takes no notice thereof of all the clamours rais'd against several points of the receiv'd Doctrine of his Church; his Faith is founded on better Principles, than to be shaken with such a Vulgar Engine. Novelty, Novelty, is a cry, that may fright unthinking Men from their Religion; but every serious Man will re­quire better Motives than a Noise, before he forsake any point of his Faith; and 'tis impossible he should joyn with any in condemning such things for Novelties, which he finds the Profession of all Antiquity.

XXXVII. Of Innovation in matters of Faith.

THE Substance of his Discourse on this Head may be reduced to these things. 1. That the Church in every Age hath Power to declare what is necessary to be believed, with Anathema to those who Preach the Contrary; and so the Council of Trent, in decla­ring Transubstantiation, Purgatory, &c. to be necessary Articles, did no more than the Church had done before on like Occasions. 2. That if the Doctrines then defined had been Innovations, they must have met with great Opposition when they were introduced. 3. That those who charged those points to be Innovations, might as well have laid the scandal on any other Article of Faith which they retained.

These are things necessary to be examined, in order to the ma­king good the charge of Innovation in matters of Faith, which we believe doth stand on very good Grounds.

1. We are to consider, Whether the Council of Trent had equal Reason to define the necessity of these points, as the Council of Nice and Constantinople had to determin the point of the Trinity; or those of Ephesus and Chalcedon, the Truth of Christ's Incarnati­on. He doth not assert it to be in the Churches Power to make new Articles of Faith, as they do imply new Doctrines reveal'd; but he contends earnestly, That the Church hath a Power to declare the necessity of believing some points which were not so declared before. And if the Necessity of believing doth depend upon the Churches Declaration, then he must assert, that it is in the Churches Power to make points necessary to be believed which were not so; and consequently to make common Opinions to become Articles of Faith. But I hope we may have leave to enquire in this Case, since the Church pretends to no new Revelation of matters of Doctrine, therefore it can declare no more than it receives, and no otherwise than it receives. And so nothing can be made necessary to Salva­tion but what God himself hath made so by his Revelation. So that they must go in their Declaration either upon Scripture, or Uni­versal Tradition; but if they define any Doctrine to be necessary without these Grounds, they exceed their Commission, and there is no Reason to submit to their Decrees, or to believe their Decla­rations. To make this more plain by a known Instance: It is most certain that several Popes and Councils have declared the Desposing Doctrine, and yet our Author saith, It is no Article of Faith with him. [Page 181] Why not, since the Popes and Councils have as evidently delivered it, as the Council of Trent hath done Purgatory, or Transubstanti­ation? But he may say, There is no Anathema joined to it. Suppose there be not; But why may it not be, as well as in the other Cases? And if it were, I wou [...]d know, whether in his Conscience he would then believe it to be a necessary Article of Faith, thô he believed that it wanted Scripture and Tradition? If not, then he seees what this matter is brought to, viz. That althô the Council of Trent declare these new Doctrines to be necessary to be believed; yet if their Declaration be not built on Scripture and Universal Tradi­tion, we are not bound to receive it.

2. As to the impossibility of Innovations coming in without notori­ous opposition, I see no ground at all for it, where the alteration is not made at once, but proceeds gradually. He may as well prove it impossible for a Man to fall into a Dropsy or a Hectick-Fever, unless he can tell the punctual time when it begun. And he may as well argue thus, Such a Man fell into a Fever upon a great De­bauch, and the Physicians were presently sent for to advise about him; therefore the other Man hath no Chronical Distemper, be­cause he had no Physicians when he was first sick; as because Councils were called against some Heresies, and great Opposition made to them, therefore where there is not the like, there can be no Innovation. But I see no Reason why we should decline giving an Account, by what D [...]grees, and Steps, and upon what Occasions, and with what Opposition several of the Doctrines defined at Trent were brought in. For the matter is not so obscure as you would make it, as to most of the Points in difference between us. But that is too large a Task to be here undertaken.

3. There is no colour for calling in Question the Articles of Faith received by us on the same Grounds that we reject those defined by the Council of Trent; for we have the Universal Consent of the Chri­stian World for the Apostles Creed; & of the 4 General Councils for the Doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation; who never pretended to determine any Point to be necessary which was not revea [...]ed in Scripture; whose sense was delivered down by the Testimony of the Christian Church from the Apostles times But the Council of Trent proceeded by a very different Rule;Sess. Quarta. for it first set up an Unwritten Word to be a Rule of Faith, as well as the Written; which althô it were necessary in order to their Decrees, was one of the great­est Innovations in the World; and the Foundation of all the rest, as they were there established.

The CONCLUSION.

THese are the Characters of the Papist, as he is Mis-represented, and as Re­presented. And as different as the One is from the Other, so different is the P [...]pist, as reputed by his Maligners, from the Papist, as to what he is in him­self. The One is so absurd and monstrous, that 'tis impossible for any one to be of that Profession, without first laying by all thoughts of Christianity, and his Reason. The Other is just contradictory to this; and without any farther Apology, may be expos'd to the perusal of all prudent and unpassionate Considerers, to examine if there be any thing in it that deserves the hatred of any Christian: and if it be not in every Point wholly conform to the Doctrine of Christ, and not in the least contra­ry to Reason. The Former is a Papist, as he is generally apprehended by those who have a Protestant Education; such, as whensoever reflected on, is conceiv'd to be a perverse, malicious sort of Creature, Superstitious, Idolatrous, Atheistical, Cru­el, Bloody-minded, Barbarous, Treacherous, and so Prophane, and every way Inhumane, that 'tis in some manner doubted, whether he be Man or no. The Other is a Papist, whose Faith is according to the Proposal of the Catholick Church; which by Christ's Command he is oblig'd to believe and hear, and whose whole design in this World is for obtaining Salvation in the next. And is it not strange, that these two Characters so directly opposite, so wholly unlike one the other, that Heaven and Hell is not more, should agree to the same person: 'Tis certainly a strange piece of Injustice, and yet not at all strange to those who know, that they that follow Christ shall be hated by the World, that those who study the Wisdom of Heaven shall have the repute of Fools; and that as many as attend the Lamb, shall be painted in the Livery of Satan. Our Fore-fathers were so before us; all the Primitive Christians, the Apostles, and even the Lamb himself, our Re­deemer. Calumny ever follow'd them, Mis representation waited upon them; and what wonder that Infamy was their constant Attendance? And now if the Ortho­dox Christians have thus in all Ages had their double Character, one of Justice, ex­actly drawn from what they really believ'd and practis'd; the other of Malice, copi­ed from them, as Mis-represented; 'tis not at all strange to find it so now in our days, when Calumny, Malice, Ignorance, &c. are as powerful as ever; who, though from the beginning of the World, that is above five thousand Years, they have made it their chief business to Paint, Copy, and Represent Things and Per­sons; yet they never did it with so much injury, so altogether unlikely, as they do now to the Papists; there being scarce any one Point of their Faith and Pro­fession which they do not blindly mistake, or basely disguise. The Papists believe 'tis convenient to pray before Holy Images, and give them an inferiour or relative Respect. These describe the Papists Praying to Images, and Worshipping them [Page 183] as Idols. The Papists believe 'tis good to desire the Prayers of the Saints, and Ho­nour them as the Friends of God These paint out the Papists as believing Saints to be their Redeemers, and Adoring them as Gods. The Papists believe, that Christ left a Power in the Priests of his Church, to absolve all truly Penitent Sinners from their Offences. These Representing the Papists as believing, That the Priests can infallibly forgive all such as come to Confession, whether they Repent or no. The Papists believe there's Power in the Supreme Pastor, upon due Motives, of granting Indulgences; that is, of releasing to the Faithful such Temporal Pe­nalties as remain due to their past Sins, already remitted as to their guilt, on con­dition they perform such Christian Duties as shall be assign'd them, i. e. humble them­selves by Fasting, confess their Sins with a hearty Repentance, receive worthily, and give Alms to the Poor, &c. These make the Papists believe, That the Pope, for a sum of Money, can give them leave to commit what Sins they shall think [...]it, with a certain Pardon for all Crimes already incurr'd; and that there can be no danger of Damnation to any that can but make a large Present to Rome at his death. The Pa­pists believe, That by the Merits of Christ, the good Works of a just Man are accep­table to God, and through his Goodness and Promise meritorious of eternal Happi­ness. These report, That the Papists believe they can merit Heaven by their own Works, without any dependance on the work of our Redemption. The P [...]p [...]sts worsh [...]p Christ really present in the Sacrament, true God and Man. These say they fall down to, and worship a piece of Bread. Some Papists maintain the Deposing Pow­er: These will have it to be an Article of their Faith; and that they are oblig'd to't by their Religion. Some Papists have been Traytors, Rebels, Conspirators &c. These make these Villanies to be Meritorious among the Papists, and that 'tis the Doctrine of their Church. And thus there is scarce any one thing belonging to their Faith and Exercise of their Religion, which is not wrong'd in the describing it, and injuriously Mis-represented. And if any be so curious, as to desire to be satis­fied how this comes about, let him but stand by any of the Undertakers, while they are taking the Copy of Popery, and observe their Method, and he may soon come to the bottom of the Mystery. He may see them seriously viewing some of her Tenets, and upon a short Consideration, immediately to fall to the making Inferences, and deducing Consequences, then down go these for so many Ar­ticles of Popery. They go on, and see other of her Tenets, and these containing Mysteries, such as Reason cannot reach to, when Faith is not an Assistant, they are presently follow'd with variety of Absurdities, and seeming Contradictions: And down go these to the former, for so many Articles of Popery. They p [...]ss [...]on to others, and these being not conform to the Principles of their Education, seve­ral Misconstructions are presently rais'd upon them, and down go these for so ma­ny Articles of Popery. They look forward, and seeing others, in the practice of which many Abuses have been committed; then down go the Abuses for so many [Page 184] Articles of Pop [...]ry. He [...]ce they turn to the Court of Rome, and as many D [...]s­orders and Extravagances as they find there, so many Articles of Popery. They enquire into the Actions and Lives of her Pastors and Prelates, and as many Vices, as many wicked Designs they discover there, so many Articles of Popery. They examine the Behaviour of her Professors, and whatsoever Villanies, what­soever Treasons and Inhumanities, they find committed by any that own themselves Members of that Communion, down they all go for so many Articles of Popery. They hear the Reports of such as have deserted her Authority, and tho through th [...]r Extravagancies and rashness they deserve not credit even in a trifle, yet their whole Narrative shall be accepted, and all their idle Stor [...]es be summ'd up for so many Ar [...]icles of Popery. They peruse every scurrilous Pamphlet and abusive Libel, and such ridiculous F [...]bles as are only sit for a Chimney-corner, they borrow thence, and set them down for so many Articles of Popery. They turn over eve­ry P [...]pish Author, and whatsoever light, loose, or extravagant Opinions, what­soever Discourses carried on either through Flattery, Disgust, or Faction, appear in any of them, they are all mark'd out for so many Articles of Popery. And by these and such like means is finish'd at last a compleat D [...]aught of Popery, in which she is render'd so foul, monstrous, and abominable, that there can be nothing raked from the very Sinks of Turcism, nothing borrow'd from the wild Africans, or barbarous Americans, that can make her more odious, or add to her deformity. Why, and is not Popery then such as 'tis thus generally painted? No, 'tis no more like it, than Monarchy is to that which turbulent Republican Spirits shew for it; when displaying to the multitude some Miscarriages of State, Frailties in Persons in Dignities, Abuses of Government, &c. they cry out. Behold this is Monarchy. By this means making it infamous among the People, that they may more easily over­throw it. And are not the Papists such as they are commonly Represented? No: They are no more alike than the Christians were of old under the Persecuting Em­perors, to what they appear'd when cloathed with Lions and Bears Skins they were exposed in the Amphi-theatre to Wild Beasts; under those borrow'd Shapes to provoke their Savage Opposites to greater fury; and that they might infallibly, and with more rage, be torn in pieces, Let Monarchy be shewn in its own colours, and the Christians be expos'd in their own form, and one will have but few Ma­ligners, and the others will meet with a more tame Behaviour, even from the wildest Beasts. Let any but search into the C [...]uncils of the Church of Rome, even that of Trent, than which none can be more Popish; let them peruse her Catechisms, that, ad Parochos, or others set forth for Pastors to instruct their Flock, and for Chil­dren, Youth, and others to learn their Christian Doctrine, of which there is extant great variety in English: let them examine Vernon's Rule of Faith, and that set forth by the Bishop of Condan: let them look into the Spiritual Books of Direction, Those of Bish [...]p Sales, the Following of Christ, the Christian Rules, the Spiritual [Page 185] Combat, Granado's Works, and infinite others of this sort, which Papists gene­rally keep by them for their Instruction: And then let them freely declare whether the Papists are so ill principled, either as to their Faith or Morals, as they are gene­rally made appear. A little diligence in this kind, with a serious inquiry into their conversation, their manner of Living and Dying, will easily discover, that that of Beast, with which they are commonly expos'd to publick, is not theirs, but only of the skin, that is thrown over them. The Papists own, that there are amongst them Men of very ill Lives, and that if every corner be narrowly sifted, there may be found great abuses, even of the most sacred things; that some in great Dignities have been highly vilious, and carried on wicked Designs; That some Authors maintain and publish very absurd Opinions, and of ill consequence. But these things are nothing of their Religion, they are Imperfections indeed, the Crimes, the Scandals of some in their Communion; but such they are so far from being oblig'd to approve, maintain or imitate, that they wish with all their heart, there had been never any such thing, and desire in these Points a thorough Reformation. Thô the Imprudences therefore, the Failings, the Extravagancies, the Vices, that may be pick'd up, throughout the whole Society of Papists, are very numerous and great, and too too sufficient, if drawn together, for the composing a most Deform'd Antichristia [...]-Monster; yet the Popery of the Roman-Catholicks is no such Monster, as 'tis painted. Those things which are commonly brought against them, being as much detested by them, as by the Pers [...]ns that lay the charge of their dis-favour; and having no more relation to them, than Weeds and Tares to the Corn amongst which it grows; or Ch [...]ff to the Wheat, with which it lies mix'd in one heap. A Papists therefore is no more than he is above Represented; and whosoever enters that Communion, has no ob­ligation of believing otherwise, then as there specified. And thô in each Particular, I have cited no Authorities, yet for the truth and exactness of the Character, I Appeal to the Council of Trent. And if in any Point it shall be found to disagree, I again promise, upon notice, publickly to own it. And as for the other Part, of the Papist Mis-represented, it contains such Tenets as are wrongfully charged up­on the Papists; and in at many respects, as it is contrary to the other Character; in so many, it is contrary to the Faith of their Church: And so far, they are ready to disown them, and subscribe to their Condemnation. And though any serious en­quirer may be easily satisfied as to the truth of this; yet for a publick satisfaction, to shew that those Abominable Unchristian Doctr [...]nes are no part of their Belief, (however extravagant some men may be in their Opinions;) the Papists acknowledg that a Faith assenting to such Tenets, is wholly opposite to the Honour of God, and Destructive to the Gospel of Christ, and do publickly invoke God Almighty's Iudg­ments upon that Church, which teaches either publickly or privately such a Faith. And since 'tis lawful for any Christian to answer Amen, to such Anathema', as are pronounc'd against things apparently sinful; the Papists, to shew to the World [Page 186] that they disown the following Tenets, commonly laid at their door; do here oblige themselves, that if the ensuing Curses be added to those appointed to be read on the first day of Lent; They will seriously and heartily answer Amen to them all.

I. Cursed is he that commits Idolatry; that prays to Images or Relicks, or Worships them for God. R. Amen.

II. Cursed is every Goddess Worshiper, that believes the Virgin Mary to be any more than a creature; that Honour her, Worship her, or puts his Trust in her more than in God; that believes her above her Son, or that she can in any thing command him. R. Amen.

III. Cursed is he that believes the Saints in Heaven to be his Redeemers, that prays to them as such, or that gives God's Honour to them, or to any creature whatsoever. R. Amen.

IV. Cursed is he that Worships any Breaden God, or makes Gods of the em­pty Elements of Bread and Wine. R. Amen.

V. Cursed is he that believes that Priests can forgive Sins whether the Sinner repent or no: Or that there's any Power in Earth or Heaven that can forgive sins, without a hearty repentance and serious purpose of amendment. R. Amen.

VI. Cursed is he that believes there's Authority in the Pope or any others, that can give leave to commit sins; Or that can forgive him his sins for a sum of Money. R. Amen.

VII. Cursed is he that believes (that Independent of the Merits and P [...]ssion of Christ) he c [...]n Merit Salvation by his own good Works; or make condign satis­faction for the guilt of his sins, or the pains Eternal due to them. R. Amen.

VIII. Cursed is he that contemns the Word of God, or hides it from the People, on design to keep them from the knowledge of their Duty, and to pre­serve them in Ignorance and Error. R. Amen.

IX. Cursed is he that undervalues the Word of God, or that forsaking Scrip­ture chuses rather to follow Humane Traditions than it. R. Amen.

X. Cursed is he that leaves the Commandments of God, to observe the con­stitutions of Men. R. Amen.

XI. Cursed is he that omits any of the Ten Commandments, or keeps the people from the knowledge of any one of them, to the end they may not have occasion of discovering the Truth. R. Amen.

XII. Cursed is he that Preaches to the People in unknown Tongues, such as they understand not; or uses any other means to keep them in Ignorance. R. Amen.

XIII. Cursed is he that believes that the Pope can give to any, upon any account whatsoever, Dispensation to lie or swear falsly; or that 'tis lawful for any, at the last hour to protest himself Innocent in case he be Guilty. R. Amen.

[Page 187]XIV. Cursed is he that encourages sins, or teaches Men to defer the amend­ment of their Lives, or presumption of their Death-bed-Repentance. R. Amen.

XV. Cursed is he that teaches Men that they may be lawfully drunk on a Friday or any other Fasting-day, tho they must not taste the least bit of Flesh. R. Amen.

XVI. Cursed is he who places Religion in nothing but a pompous shew con­sisting only in Ceremonies; and which teaches not the People to serve God in Spirit and Truth. R. Amen.

XVII. Cursed is he who loves or promotes Cruelty, that teaches People to be bloody-minded, and to lay aside the meekness of Iesus Christ. R. Amen.

XVIII. Cursed is he who teaches it lawful to do any wicked thing, tho it be for the Interest and Good of Mother-Church: or that any Evil Action may be done that Good may come on it. R. Amen.

XIX. Cursed are we, if amongst all those wicked Principles and damnable Do­ctrines commonly laid at our doors, any one of them be the Faith of our Church: And cursed are we, if we do not as heartily detest all those hellish Pract [...]ces as they that so vehemently urge them against us. R. Amen.

XX. Cursed are we, if in an answering, and saying Amen to any of these Curses, we use any Equivocations, Mental Reservations; or do not ass [...]nt to them in the common and obvious Sense of the Words. R. Amen.

And can the Papists then, thus seriously, and without check of Conscience, say Amen to all these Curses? Yes they can, and are ready to it whensoever, and and as often as it shall be requir'd of them. And what then is to be said of those who either by Word or Writing, charge these Doctrines upon the Faith of the Church of Rome. Is a lying Spirit in the mouth of all the Prophets? Are they all gone aside? Do they b [...]ck b [...]te with their Tongue, do Evil to their Neighbour, and take up Reproach against th [...]ir Neighbour? I'll say no such thing, but leave the impartial Considerer to judge. One thing I can safely af­firm, That the Papists are foully Mis represented, and shew in publick as much unlike what they are, as the Christians were of old by the Gentiles; that they lie under a great Calumny, and severely smart in good Name, Persons, and Estates, for such things which they as much and as heartily detest as those who accuse them. But the Comfort is, Christ has said to his Followers, Ye shall be hated of all men, (Matth. 10.22.) and Saint Paul, We are made a Specta­cle unto the World; and we don't doubt, that who bears this with Patience, shall for every loss here, and content, receive a hundred fold in Heaven: For base things of the World, and things which are despi [...]ed, hath God chosen, [...] Corinth. 1.28.

[...]
[...]

An Answer to the Conclusion.

HAving thus gone through the several Heads which our Author complains have been so much Mirsrepresented; it is now fit to consider what he saith in his Conclusion, which he makes to answer his Introduction, by renewing therein his doleful Complaints of their being Misrepresented just as Christ and his Apostles, and the Primitive Christians were. I hope the former Discourse hath shewed their Doctrines and Practices are not so very like those of Christ and his Apostles, and the Primitive Christians, that their Cases should be made so paral­lel: but as in his Conclusion he hath summed up the substance of his Representa­tions, so I shall therein follow his Method, only with this difference, that I shall in one Column set down his own Representations of Popery, and in the other the Reasons, in short, why we cannot embrace them.

Wherein Popery consists as represented by this Author.

1. IN using all external Acts of Adoration before Images, as Kneeling, Praying, lifting up the Eyes, burning Candles, Incense. &c. Not merely to worship the Objects before them, but to worship the Images them­selves on the account of the Objects represented by them: or in his own Words, Because the Honour that is exhibited to them, is referred to the Prototypes which they represent.

2. In joining the Saints in Heaven together with Christ in Intercession for us, and ma­king Prayers on Earth to them on that Account.

[Page 189]3. In allowing more Sup­plications to be used to the Blessed Virgin, than to Christ; For he denies it to be an idle Superstition, to repeat Ten Ave Maria's for one Pater-Noster.

4. In giving religious Ho­nour and Respect to Relicks. Such as placing them upon Altars, burning Wax Candles before them, carrying them in Processions, to be seen, touched, or humbly kissed by the People: which are the known & allowed Practices in the Church of Rome.

[Page 190]5. In adoring Christ as present in the Eucharist on the account of the Substance of Bread and Wine being changed into that Body of Christ which suffered on the Cróss.

6. In believing the Sub­stance of Bread and Wine, by the Words of Consecration, to be changed into his own Bo­dy and Blood, the Species on­ly or Accidents of Bread and Wine remaining as before.

7. In making good Works to be truly meritorious of E­ternal Life.

8. In making Confession of our Sins to a Priest in or­der to Absolution.

[Page 191]9. In the use of Indul­gences for taking away the Temporal Punishments of sin remaining due after the Guilt is remitted.

10. In supposing the Peni­tent Sinner may in some mea­sure satisfie by Prayer, Fast­ing, Alms, &c. for the Tem­poral Pain, which by order of God's Iustice sometimes remains due, after the Guilt and the Eternal Pain are remitted.

11. In thinking the Scripture not fit to be read generally by all, without Licence, or in the Vulgar Tongue.

[Page 192]12. In allowing the Books of Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasti­cus, Wisdom, Maccabees, to be Canonical.

13. In preferring the Vulgar Latin Edition of the Bible before any other, and not allowing any Translations into a Mother-Tongue to be ordinarily read.

[Page 193]14. In believing that the Scripture alone can be no Rule of Faith to any private or particular Person.

15. In relying upon the Au­thority of the present Church for the sense of Scripture.

16. In receiving and belie­ving the Churches Traditions as the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, and assenting to them with Divine Faith, just as he doth to the B [...]ble.

[Page 194]17. In believing that the present Guides of the Church being assembled in Councils for preserving the Unity of the Church, have an Infal­lible Assistance in their De­crees.

18. In believing the Pope to be the Supreme Head of the Church under Christ, be­ing Successor to S. Peter to whom he committed the care of his Flock.

[Page 195]19. In believing that Com­munion in both Kinds is an in­different thing; and was so held for the first four hundred years after Christ, and that the first Precept for Receiving under both Kinds, was given to the Faithful by Pope Leo I. and confirmed by Pope Gela­sius.

20. In believing that the Doctrine of Purgatory is foun­ded on Scripture, Authority, and Reason.

[Page 196]21. In believing that to the saying of Prayers well and devoutly, it is not necessary to have attention on the Words, or on the Sense of Prayers.

22. In believing that none out of the Communion of the Church of Rome can be sa­ved; and that it is no Uncha­ritableness to think so.

23. In believing that the Church of Rome, in all the new Articles defined at Trent hath made no Innovation in mat ters of Faith.

Our Reasons against it in the several Particulars.

1. THou shalt not make to thy self any graven Image, or any likeness of any thing in Hea­ven, or Earth, &c. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them. Which being the plain, clear, and express Words of the Divine Law, we dare not worship any Images, or Representati­ons, lest we be found Transgressors of this Law. Especially since God herein hath declared him­self a Iealous God; and annexed so severe a San­ction to it. And since he that made the Law is only to interpret it, all the Dictinctions in the World can never satisfy a Mans Conscience, unless it appear that God himself did either make or approve them. And if God allow the Wor­ship of the thing Represented by the Represen­tation, he would never have forbidden that Wor­ship absolutely, which is unlawful only in a certain respect.

2. We have an Advocate with the Father, Iesus Christ the righteous, 1 John 2.1. And one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Iesus, 1 Tim. 2.5. For Christ is entered into Heaven [Page 189] it self, now to appear in the Presence of God for us, Heb. 9▪ 24. And therefore we dare not make o­ther Intercessors in Heaven besides him: and the distance between Heaven and us, breaks off all Communication between the Saints there, and us upon Earth; so that all Addresses to them now for their Prayers, are in a way very different from de­siring others on Earth to pray for us: and if such Addresses are made in the solemn Offices of Di­vine Worship, they joyn the Creatures with the Creator in the Acts and Signs of Worship, which are due to God alone.

3. Call upon me in the day of Trouble, I will deli­ver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me, Ps [...]l. 50.15. When we pray to Our Father in Heaven, as our Sa­viour commanded us, we do b [...]t what both Natu­ral and Christian Religion require us to do: But when men pray to the Blessed Virgin for Help and Protection now, and at the hour of Death, they attribute that to her, which belongs only to God, who is our Helper and Defender: And altho Christ knew the Dignity of his Mother above all others, he never gives the least Encouragement to make such Address [...]s to her: And to suppose her to have a share now in the Kingdom of Christ in Heaven, as a Copartner with him is to advance a Creature to Divine Honour, and to overthrow the true Ground of Christs Exaltation to his Kingdom in Heaven, which was, His suffering on the Cross for us.

4. And no man knoweth of the Sepulchre of Mo­ses unto this day, Deut. 34.6. Why should God hide the Body of Moses from the People, if h [...] al­lowed giving religious Honour and Respect to Relicks? Why should Hezekiah break in pieces the Brazen Serpent, because the Children of Israel did burn In­cense to it? 2 Kings 18.4. especially when it was a Type or Representation of Christ himself, and God had wrought many Miracles by it.

[Page 190]5. Whom the Heaven must receive until the times of the Restitution of all things, Acts 3.21. And therefore in the Eucharist we adore him, as sitting on the right hand of God; but we dare not direct our Adoration to the Consecrated Host, which we believe to be the Substance of Bread and Wine, (tho consecrated to a Divine Mystery) and there­fore not a fit Object for our Adoration.

6. The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 10.16. This is spoken of the Bread after Consecration, and yet the Apostle supposes it to be Bread still, and the Communion of his Body is interpreted by the next Words, For we being many are one Bread, and one Body; for we are all Partakers of that one Bread, v. 17. Which is very different from the Bread being changed into the very Body of Christ; which is an Opinion that hath no Foun­dation in Scripture, and is repugnant to the com­mon Principles of Reason, which God hath given us, and exposes Christian Religion to the Re­proach and Contempt of Iews, Turks and Infidels.

7. When you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable Ser­vants, we have done that which was our Duty to do. St. Luke 17.10. And therefore in no sense can our best Works be truly meritorious of Eternal Life: Which consisting in the enjoyment of God, it is im­possible there should be any just Proportion or due Commensuration between our best Actions and such a Reward.

8. And the Son said to him, Father I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight, S. Luke 15.21.

Where Confession to God is required because the Offence is against him, but it is impossible for any Man upon Earth to forgive those whom God doth not forgive: And he alone can appoint the necess [...]ry conditions of Pardon, among which true Contrition and Repentance is fully declared, [Page 191] but Confession to a Priest, thô it may be useful for the ease of the Penitent, is no where in Scripture made necessary for the Forgiveness of Sin.

9. I said, I will confess my Transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin, Psal. 32.5.

If God doth fully forgive the Guilt of sin, there remains no Obligation to Punishment; for where­ever that is, the guilt remains: It is true, God may not sometimes fully pardon; but he may re­serve some temporal Punishment here for his own Honour, or the Chastisement of a penitent Sinner: But then what have any men to do, to pretend that they can take off what God thinks fit to lay on? Can any Indulgences prevent Pain or Sickness, or sudden Death? But if Indulgences be understood only with respect to Canonical Pe­nances, they are a most notorious and inexcusable corruption of the Discipline of the Ancient Church.

10. For if when we were Enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his Life, Ro­mans 5.10. And therefore no Satisfaction to the Justice of God is now required from us, for the Expiation of any Remainder of Guilt. For if Christ's Satisfaction were in it self sufficient for a total Remission, and was so accepted by God, what Account then remains for the Sinner to dis­charge, if he perform the Conditions on his part? But we do not take away hereby the Duties of Mortification, Prayer, Fasting, and Alms, &c. but there is a difference to be made between the Acts of Christian Duties, and Satisfaction to Divine Iustice for the Gu [...]lt of Sin, either in whole or in part. And to think to joyn any Satisfactions of ours together with Christ's, is like joyning our hand with God's in Creating or Governing the World.

11. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all Wisdom; teaching and admonishing one anot [...]er, &c. Col. 3.16.

[Page 192]How could that dwell richly in them, which was not to be communicated to them, but with great Caution? How could they teach and admo­nish one another in a Language not understood by them? The Scriptures of the New Testament were very early perverted; and if this Reason were suf­ficient to keep them out of the hands of the Peo­ple, certainly they would never have been publish­ed for common use, but as prudently dispensed then, as some think it necessary they should be now. But we esteem it a part of our Duty, not to think our selves wiser than Christ or his Apostles, nor to de­prive them of that unvaluable Treasure which our Saviour hath left to their use.

12. All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, 2 Tim. 3.16. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1.21.

Therefore, where there is no Evidence of Di­vine Inspiration, those Books cannot be made Ca­nonical. But the Jewish Church, To whom the O­racles of God were committed, never deliver'd these Books as any part of them, being written when Inspiration was ceased among them. And it is im­possible for any Church in the World to make that to be divinely inspired, which was not so from the beginning.

13. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the Earth, and their Words unto the ends of the World, Rom. 10.18.

Therefore the Intention of God was, that the Gospel should be understood by all Mankind; which it could never be, unless it were translated into their several Languages. But still the difference is to be observed between the Originals and Trans­lations; and no Church can make a Translation equal to the Original. But among Translations, those deserve the greatest esteem which are done with the greatest Fidelity and Exactness. On which account, our last Translation deserves a more par­ticular [Page 193] Regard by us; as being far more useful to our People, than the Vulgar Latin, or any Tran­slation made only from it.

14. Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet, and a Light unto my Path, Psalm 119.105.

Which it could never be, unless it were suffici­ent for necessary direction in our way to Heaven. But we suppose Persons to make use of the best means for understanding it, and to be duely qualifi­ed for following its Directions: without which, the best Rule in the World can never attain its End. And if the Scripture have all the due Properties of a Rule of Faith, it is unconceivable why it should be denied to be so; unless men find they cannot justify their Doctrines and Practices by it, and therefore are forced to make Tradition equal in Authority with it.

15. Wo unto you Lawyers, for ye have taken away the Key of Knowledg; ye entred not in your selves, & them that were entring in ye hindred. S. Luk. 11.52.

From whence it follows, that the present Guides of the Church may be so far from giving the true Sense of Scripture, that they may be the chief Means to hinder Men from right understanding it. Which argument is of greater force, because those who plead for the Infallibility of the Guides of the present Church, do urge the promises made to the Jewish Church at that time; as our Author doth from those who sat in the Chair of Moses, and from Cal [...]phas his Prophesying.

16. We have also a more sure word of Prophesie; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed. 2 Pet. 1.19.

And yet here the Apostle speaks of something de­livered by the Testimony of those who were with Christ in the Holy Mount. From whence we in­fer, that it was not the Design of Christ to l [...]ave us to any Vocal Testimony, bu [...] to refer us to the Written Word, as the most certain Found [...]tion of Faith. And it is not any P [...]sons assum [...]ng the Title of the Cathol [...]ck Church to themselves, [Page 194] can give them Authority to impose any Traditions on the Faith of Christians; or require them to be believed equally with the Written Word. For be­fore any Traditions can be assented to with Di­vine Faith, the Churches Authority must be pro­ved to be Divine and Infallible, either by a writ­ten or unwritten Word; but it can be done by nei­ther, without overthrowing the necessity of such an Infallibility in order to Divine Faith; because the Testimony on which the Churches Infallibi­lity is proved, must be received only in a way of Credibility.

17. Also of your own selves shall Men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away Disciples af­ter them, Acts 20.30.

Which being spoken of the Guides of the Chri­stian Church, without Limitation of Number, a possibility of Error is implied in any Assembly of them; unless there were some other Promises which did assure us, That in all great Assemblies the Spirit of God shall always go with the casting Voice, or the greater Number.

18. And he gave some Apostles, and some Pro­phets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers—for the edifying of the Body of Christ —till we all come in the Unity of the Faith, &c. Ephes. 4.13, 14, 15.

Now here being an account given of the Offi­cers Christ appointed in his Church, in order to the Unity and Edification of it, it had been un­faithfulness in the Apostle to have left out the H [...]ad of it, in case Christ had appointed any. Because this were of more consequence than all the rest, being declared necessary to Salvation to be in subjection to him. But neither this Apostle, nor St. Peter himself, give the least intimation of it. Which it is impossible to conceive should have been left out in the Apostolical Writings upon so many occasions of mentioning it, if ever Christ had insti­tuted a Headship in the Church, & g [...]ven it to S. Pe­ter and his Successors in the See of Rome.

[Page 195]19. For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come, 1 Cor. 15.26.

The Apostle speaking to all Communicants, plainly shews, that the Institution of Christ was, That all should partake of both Kinds, and so to continue to do as long as this Sacrament was to shew forth the Death of Christ, viz. till his Second coming. And there is no colour for asserting the Christian Church ever looked on observing Christs Institution in this matter as an indifferent thing; no not for a thousand years after Christ. Altho the Practice and the Obligation are two things, yet when the Practise was so agreeable to the Institut [...] ­on, and continued so long in the Church, it is hardly possible for us to prove the sense of the Obligation, by a better way than by the continuance of the Pra­ctise. And if some Traditions must be thought binding, and far from being indifferent, which want all that Evidence which this practise carries along with it, How unreasonable is it in this Case to al­low the Practise, and to deny the Obligation?

20. And whom he justified them he also glorified, Rom. 8.30.

But whom God justifies, they have the Remis­sion of their Sins as to Eternal Punishment. And if those who are thus justified, must be glorified, what place is there for Purgatory? For there is not the least intimation of any other state of Punishment that any who are justified must pass through before they are admitted to Glory. We grant they may, notwithstanding▪ pass through many intermed [...]a [...]e trials in this World; but we say, where there is Justification, there is no Condemnation; but where any part of guilt remains unremitted, there is a Con­demnation remaining so far as the punishm [...]nt ex­tends. And so this distinction as to Eternal and Temporal Pains, as it is made the Foundation of Purgatory, is wholly groundless; and therefore the Doctrine built upon it can have no Foundation in Scripture or Reason.

[Page 196]21. I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the Understanding also, 1 Cor. 14.15.

What need this Praying with the Understanding, if there were no necessity of attending to the sense of Prayers? For then praying with the Spirit were all that was required; for that supposes an attention of the Mind upon God. And I can hardly believe any Man that thinks with Understanding, can justifie praying without it; especially when there are Ex­hortations and Invitations to the People to joyn in those Prayers, as it is plain there are in the Roman Offices.

22. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of Persons; but in every Nation, he that feareth God and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him, Acts 10.34, 35.

Whereby we perceive, that God doth not limit the possibility of Salvation under the Gospel to Communion with the See of Rome; for if S. Peter may be believed, the capacity of Salvation depends upon Mens fearing God and working Righteousness; and it is horrible Uncharitableness to exclude those from a possibility of Salvation, whom God doth not exclude from it.

23. That ye should earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, Jude v. 3.

Therefore all necessary Doctrines of Faith were at first delivered; and whatever Articles cannot be proved to have been delivered by the Apostles, can never be made necessary to be believed in order to Salvation. Which overthrows the addit [...]onal Creed of Pius IV. after the Council of Trent; and puts them upon the necessity of proving the Universal Tradition of those Doctrines from the Apostolical Times: and when they do that, we may think bet­ter of them than at present we do; for as yet we can see neither Scripture, nor Reason, nor An­tiquity for them.

[Page 197]THus I have Represented that kind of Popery which our Author, (who com­plains so much of Misrepresenting) allows; and I have in short set down how little ground we have to be fond of it; nay, to speak more plainly, it is that we can never yield to, without betraying the Truth, renouncing our Sen­ses and Reason, wounding our Consciences, dishonouring God and his Holy Word and Sacraments, perverting the Doctrine of the Gospel as to Christ's Satisfaction, Intercession, and Remission of Sins; depriving the People of the Means of Salvation which God himself hath appointed, and the Primitive Church observed, and damning those for whom Christ died.

We do now in the sincerity of our Hearts appeal to God and the World, That we have no design to Mis-represent them, or to make their Doctrines and Pract [...]ses appear worse than they are: But take them with all the Advantages even this Author hath set them out with, we dare appeal to the Judgments and Consciences of any impartial men, whether (the Scripture being allowed on both sides) our Doctrines be not far more agreeable thereto than the New Articles of Trent, which are the very Life and Soul of Popery? Whe­ther our Worship of God be not more suitable to the Divine Nature and Per­fections, and the Manifestations of his Will, than the Worship of Images, and Invocation of Fellow-Creatures? Whether the plain Doctrine of the necessity of Repentance and sincere Obedience to the Commands of Christ, do not tend more to promote Holiness in the World, than the Sacrament of Penance, as it is delivered and allowed to be practised in the Church of Rome, i. e. with the easiness and efficacy of Absolution, and getting off the Remainders by In­dulgences, Satisfactions of others, and Prayers for the Dead? Whether it be not more according to the Institution of Christ to have the Communion in both Kinds, and to have Prayers and the Scriptures in a Language which the People understand? And lastly, whether there be not more of Christian Charity in be­lieving and hoping the best of those vast Bodies of Christians who live out of the Communion of the Church of Rome, in the Eastern, Southern, Western; and Northern Parts, than to pronounce them all uncapable of Salvation on that Account? And therefore out of regard to God and the Holy Religion of our Blessed Saviour; out of regard to the Salvation of our own and other Souls, we cannot but very much prefer the Communion of our own Church before that of the Church of Rome.

But before I conclude all, I must take some notice of his Anathema's: And here I am as much unsatisfied as in any other part of his Book, and that for these Reasons.

1. Because he hath no manner of Authority to make them, suppose they were meant never so sincerely: And if we should ever object them to any others of that Church, they would presently say, What had he to do to make [Page 198] Anathema's▪ It belongs only to the Church and the General Councils to pronounce Anathema's, and not to any private Person whatsoever. So that if he would have published Anathema's with Authority, he ought to have printed those of the Council of Trent; viz. such as these,

Cursed is he that doth not allow the Worship of Images.

Cursed is he that saith Saints are not to be Invocated.

Cursed is he that doth not believe Transubstantiation, Purgatory, &c.

2. Because he leaves out an Anathema in a very material point, viz. As to the Deposing Doctrine. We do freely, and from our Hearts Anathematize all such Doctrines as tend to dissolve the Bonds of Allegiance to our Sovereign, on any pretence whatsoever. Why was this past over by him, without any kind of Anathema? Since he seems to approve the Oxford Censures. Why did he not here shew his zeal against all such dangerous Doctrines? If the Deposing Doctrine be falsly charged upon their Church, let us but once see it Anathe­matized by publick Authority of their Church, and we have done: But instead thereof, we find in a Book very lately published with great Approbations, by a present Professor at Lovain Fr. D'Enghien, all the Censures on the other side censured and despised, and the holding the Negative as to the Deposing Doctrine, Auctoritas Sedis Apostolicae in Reges. p. 374 408. ad 430. is declared by him to be Heresie, or next to Heresie: The Censure of the Sorban against Sancta­rellus, he saith, was only done by a Faction; and that of Sixty Eight Doctors there were but Eighteen present; and the late Cen­sure of the Sorban,P. 549. he saith, was condemned by the Inquisition at To­ledo, J [...]n. 10. 1683. as erroneous and schismatical; and so by the Cler­gy of Hungary, Oct. 24. 1682.

We do not question but there are Divines that oppose it; but we fear there are too many who do not; and we find they boast of their own numbers, and despise the rest as an inconsiderable Party: This we do not Misrepresent them in, for their most approved Books do shew it.

However, we do not question, but there are several Worthy and Loyal Gentlemen of that Religion, of different Principles and Practices; and it is pity such be not distinguished from those who will not renounce a Doctrine so dan­gerous in the Consequences of it.

3. Because the Anathema's he hath set down, are not Penned so plainly and clearly as to give any real Satisfaction; but with so much Art and Sophistry, as if they were intended to beguile weak and unwary Readers, who see not into the depth of these things, and therefore may think he hath done great matters in his Anathema's, when if they be strictly examined, they come to little or nothing; as,

[Page 199]1. Cursed is he that commits Idolatry. An unwary Reader would think herein he disowned all that he accuses of Idolatry; but he doth not curse any thing as Idolatry, but what himself thinks to be so. So again, Cursed is he (not that gives Divine Worship to Images, but) that prays to Images or Relicks as Gods, or Worships them for Gods. So that if he doth not take the Images themselves for Gods, he is safe enough from his own Anathema.

2. Cursed is every Goddess worshiper, i. e. That believes the Blessed Virgin not to be a Creature. And so they escape all the force of this Anathema. Cur­sed is he that Honours her, or puts his Trust in her more than in God. So that if they H [...]nour her and trust in her but just as much as in God, they are safe enough; Or that believes her to be above her Son: But no Anathema to such as suppose her to be equal to him.

3. Cursed is he that believes the Saints in Heaven to be his Redeemers, that prays to them as such. What if men pray to them as their Spiritual Guardians and Protectors? Is not this giving God's Honour to them? Doth this deserve no Anathema?

4. Cursed is he that worships any Breaden God, or makes Gods of the empty Elements of Bread and Wine: viz. That supposes them to be nothing but Bread and Wine, and yet supposes them to be Gods too. Doth not this look like non­sense? And yet I am afraid our Author would think it a severe Anathema in this matter, to say, Cursed is he who believes Nonsense and Contradictions.

It will be needless to set down more, since I have endeavoured by clear stating the several Controversies to prevent the Readers being imposed upon by deceitful Anathema's. And yet after all he saith,

Cursed are we, if in answering and saying Amen to any of these Curses, we use any Equivocations or Mental Reservations, or do not assent to them in the common and obvious use of the Words.

But there may be no Equivocation in the very Words, and yet there may be a great one in the intention and design of them: There may be none in saying Amen to the Curses so worded: but if he would have prevented all suspicion of Equivocation, he ought to have put it thus;

Cursed are we if we have not fairly and ingenuously expressed the whole mean­ing of our Church as to the Points condemned in these Anathema's; or if we have by them designed to deceive the People: And then I doubt he would not so rea­dily have said Amen.

The CONTENTS.

 Papist.Protestant.
 Page.Page.
THE Introduction and Answer.110
Of Praying to Images.1920
Of Worshipping Saints.2829
Of Addressing more Supplications to the Virgin Mary than to Christ.3637
Of Paying Divine Worship to Relicks.4243
Of the Eucharist.4647
Of Merits and Good Works.5757
Of Confession.6162
Of Indulgences.6566
Of Satisfaction.6869
Of Reading the Holy Scriptures.7071
Of Apochryphal Books.7475
Of the Vulgar Edition of the Bible.7779
Of the Scripture as a Rule of Faith.8081
Of the Interpretation of Scripture.8283
Of Tradition.8586
Of Councils.8789
Of Infallibility in the Church.9093
Of the Pope.9597
Of Dispensations.100102
Of the Deposing Power.105107
Of Communion in one Kind.111113
Of the Mass.116118
Of Purgatory.119122
Of Praying in an unknown Tongue.127129
Of the Second Commandment.132133
Of Mental Reservations.134136
Of a Death-Bed Repentance.137138
Of Fasting.139140
Of Divisions and Schisms in the Church.142143
Of Fryars and Nuns.145147
Of Wicked Principles and Practices.148151
Of Miracles.153154
Of Holy-Water.156158
Of Breeding up People in Ignorance.159161
Of the Vncharitableness of the Papists.162166
Of Ceremonies and Ordinances.168173
Of Innovations in Matters of Faith.173180
The Conclusion and Answer to it.182188
FINIS.

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