AN Historical Account OF THE Antiquity and Vnity OF THE Britanick Churches. CONTINUED From the Conversion of these Islands to the Christian Faith, by St. AƲGƲSTINE, to this present Time.

By a Presbyter of the Church of England.


Z. ISHAM. R. P. D. HENRICO Episc. Lond. à Sacris.

LONDON, Printed for W. Whitwood, at the Angel and Bible in Little Britain, MDCXCII.


Courteous Reader!

FOR Right or Wrong, so we Call all. Not that we Believe they will be so, but because we would have them so. For when a Man hath been at no small Pains (at least as he thinks) for the Benefit of Others, he is very prone to expect, as his due, a Return of Kindness or Candour: But on the otber Hand, He, who is at the trouble to Peruse, takes it to be his Privilege to Judge; and so far he judgeth rigbt, if he proceed not further, thinking he cannot be a Judge, unless he be malicious; And that the Business of Reading a Book is to find or make more Faults then there is, not to make an honest Advantage of what may be found useful. Ʋpon this Score, he that Adventures on the Press, brings Himself like a Bear to a Stake, where though he may Fancy he Creates Others great Diversion, yet He himself is sure to be the Sufferer, and becomes liable to be Baited at every ones pleasure. But be it as it will, I have wrote my Thoughts freely, and I Envy no Man the same freedom of speaking his: Only I could wish all Men would Consider, That sometimes Men run down-Hill faster, then is for their own Convenience, and that Liberty loseth its Nature, when it degenerates into Licentiousness, or becomes a Cloak of Maliciousness: I will not waste time in fruitless A [...]ologies; For if this small Tract hath nothing in it self to Buoy it up, it must certainly Sink; for it is not all the Daubing and Flattery in the World, that will Perswade Honest, Sober or Judicious Men, to embrace Senseless Impertinence: And as for Others I desire not the Scandal of their good Opinion.

If this little thing should be any whit taken Notice of in the World, I know it will be bitterly Objected, That I seem inclineable to the Exercise of a more severe Dis­cipline, then hath (at least o [...] late) been Exercised amongst us, or then this loose Age will bear, in which perhaps there is too much Truth. But I could wish the Reader would suspend his Censure, till he hath Considered these few things I shall Return in A [...]swer. First, that in an Age wherein all Men are Ca [...]vers to themselves for Re­ligion, it is but equal, that they sbould not deny me, who am very sparing of using it, the same Liberty with themselves; especially since a wanton or loose Practice of Religion may be as uneasi [...] [...]o me, as the strictest Rules, Order or Decency can be to them. Se­condly, because in this I am not Singular, but have not only the Judgement of the Fa­thers and Practice of the Primitive Church, but the Constitutions of our own Church on my side, which (to Avoid Num [...]rous Instances,) is evident from the Preface be­fore the Commination A [...]pointed to be Read on Ash-Wednesday. Thirdly, that the more ungratefu [...] it may be to Ʋn-governable tempers. So much the more necessary it is fo [...] the Safety and Peace of the Church, and perhaps also of the State. For, for want of this all things Run into Disorder and Consusion, Discipline being not only the Fence about Doctrine, but the Pr [...]curer and Preserver of good Manners, and sober Conversation; And in vain shall Men Reason, Talk or Preach, whilest the Cor­ruptions, Discontents, Pride, and various ill Humours of the greatest part of Man­kind [Page] knows no other Awe, then the simple Restraint of bare Perswasions. Both Ro­manists and Dissenters frequently with open Mou [...]h upbraid us, that we have not that Influence on the Lives, Manners and Actions of our People, which they have, and that meerly for want of Discipline, which indeed is true, though we do not desire so much as they have. For by woful Experience we find, that they can as powerfully In­fluence them to ill Actions, as good But at the same time they forget to tell us, that they Joyn all their Forces, and make all possible Interest, that we may be Tied up from the Exercise of the most just and necessary Discipline, and that purely in fear, lest a Discipline as primitive as our Doctrine joyned together, should get Ground so fast in the World, that in time they might become Ashamed, or grow weary of their Trade.

What is here wrote is only a Preparatory to my principal Design, which was to shew, That notwithstanding all the High and Specious Pretences of the Romanists, when Matters are thoroughly Examined, the only true Reason of their difference with us would be found to be Interest, and that such an interest, as (to say no worse) is very unbecoming the Professors of Christian Religion. This alone was first in my thoughts, and the rather, because I observed that many had touched upon it in their Way, but no Man (so far as I know) had ever yet made it his Business. But upon second Thoughts, though I did not depart from my first Design, yet I thought fit to Enla [...]ge it; not only because some would think that alone would look more like a Libel, then a just Plea; but because I my self did think, that to Common Appre­hensions it would leave things in the dark, and not be very profitable to any, and per­haps to some hurtful; For as some vain Mindes are Apt to take Occasion from our Dissentions to Burlesque all Religions, so some Persons Addicted to the Reading of Controversies, have Learned Skill enough to Condemn others, but not to know them­selves; and they can tell you what they are not, but not what they are. Now a purely Negative Religion at best is next to no Religion, if it be any at all. Now though this be not the fault of those Authors, who are bound to follow their Adversaries Steps, but of those Men who will only Busie themselves in such Authors; yet wh [...]n my Me­thod and Matter was wholly at my own Choice, and in my own power, I could not think my self excuseable, if I should procced only in a destructive way; And there­fore in reference to the Parts which are to follow, I did propound to my self to state the Case between us in each particular, to set down positively what we do Hold or can Allow; And then to Enquire into the Reasons of the Controversie, both pretended and real; for that Method I take to be best, which leaves Men not at a Loss for Right, whilest it sortifies them against the Wrong.

But my Comfort under my afflictions is this, that my Share is inconsiderable in respect of my Great Master's, or his true Follower St Paul, who underwent the full Trial of all those things, whereby he Teacheth us to Approve our Selves Ministers of God, amongst which I think I have some peculiar Interest in these, i. e. To have done it by ho­nour and dishono [...]r, by evil report and good report, as a deceiver and yet [Page] true. (2 Cor. 6. 8.) I never thought that Contreversies were to be written for Controversies sake, but rather what in us lay to put an End to them; And I should not think my self unfortunate under all the Caluinnies and Sufferings in the World, if I could be in the least Instrumental to Advance the Sincerity of Religion, and Promote the Peace of Gods Church: But if I may not be Capable of Endeavouring it to any purpose, I will never cease to pray for it; And therein I doubt not to have the Concurrence of all good Men, whatsoever otherwise may be their Perswasions; And thus Protesting my Inte­grity before God, and freely leaving my self to the Censure of all Men. I am

Yours in all Christian Offices, S. G.


CHAP. I. Of Obligations to Unity among Christians.
  • 1. REasons of the Enquirie.
  • 2. Obligations from the Nature of the Christian Re­ligion.
  • 3. From Christians Considered as a Body, with Remarks thereon.
  • 4. An Objection Answered.
  • 5. From the Honour of the Christian Religion.
  • 6. From express Precepts of the Gospel.
  • 7. From the Rewards of Preserving, and Punishments of the Breach of Ʋnity.
  • 8 From the Encouragements, Helps and Succours to Attain it.
CHAP. II. Wherein this Unity Consists.
  • 1. Mistakes concerning Ʋnity, and the Reason thereof.
  • 2. A Caveat against the Plea of extraordinary Cases.
  • 3. The first Step towards, or the Foundation of this Ʋnity.
  • 4. That our Ʋnity must be suitable to our state, what that is, and that it must be in the visible Church.
  • 5. An Inference thence.
  • 6. In Respect of our State-Ʋnion with the invisible Catholick Church, by Ʋnion with the visible Catholick Church, and Ʋnion with the visible Catholick Church by Ʋnion with some true Part of it. i. e. a particular Church.
  • 7. That Admission into all Societies is by some known Ceremony, or formal Way of Proceedings, this in the Christian Society is Baptism. Reflections on the Ana­baptists.
  • 8. That Admission into a Soci [...]ty, implies Submission to the Rules of the So­ciety, and an Obligation to the Duties thereof, and to whom these have Regard in the Christian Society.
  • 9 Duties of particular Christians towards each other.
  • 10. That Duties of particular Christians must be Practised in Conjunction with Duties Re­lating to Worship and Communion.
  • 11. Communion though of necessity it be in parti­cular Churches, yet thereby it is in and with the Catholick Church.
  • 12. Communion in Worship supposeth a Necessity of Communion with lawful Pastors, which is further Proved by several Arguments and Instances.
  • 13. That the Pastors ought also to main­tain Communion with each other, and the Nature thereof, or by what means it is maintained, briefly Examined.
  • 14. An Objection Answered, and what is the Duty of particular Persons in such Case declared.
CHAP. III. Of the Nature of Schism.
  • 1. What hath inclined Men to maintain ill Principles, and particularly Schism.
  • 2. The General Notion of Schism.
  • 3. 4. 5. Several Separations which are not Schism.
  • 6. The distinguishing Note of Schism, and an Inference thence.
  • 7. 8 9. Several Ways whence Schism Ariseth.
  • 10. What Schism is sinful, with a Defi [...]ition thereof.
  • 11. The Authors A [...]knowledgment and the Assertion, in Relation to the Controversie, which he undertakes to prove, and his Request.
CHAP. IV. Of the Liberties and Priviledges of the Britannick Churches, and of the Actual Separation.
  • 1. Two General Objections against our whole [...], and a General Exception a­gainst [Page] both.
  • 2. The first Objection Consists of two Branches, whereof the first at pre­sent put off, the latter Proposed to be Examined.
  • 3. The Title of Patriarch at this time set up as a Sham Device.
  • 4. Granting a Patriarchate to the Pope, it is denied to Extend to the Britannick Churches.
  • 5. How Patriarchates came in, and that they possessed no all Places.
  • 6. 7. The Bisbop of Rome not possessed of an [...] such jurisdiction in these Isles, but a [...]ter Patriarch [...]tes were set up.
  • 8. Britain a Church before Rome, and Reasons of the different Observation of Easter, both in them and other Churches.
  • 9. The Reasons of the Britons mistake at to Easter, such as ought not to have made a Breach, and that they were not Quartodecimani.
  • 10. Augustines Mission and Helps for the Work. That the K [...]ntish Saxons were be [...]ore Prepared for Embracing the Gospel, how He and the Brittish Bis [...]ops Meet in Councel to no Effect.
  • 11. The Reasons of the Brittons for not Relinquishing their old Ʋsages, and for Refusing to Admit Augustine their Archbishop, their Perseverance therein, and the unhappy Effects of their second Meeting him.
  • 12. Both Britons and Irish Agree against Laurentius Augustines Successor.
  • 13. The Agreement of the English, Irish and Scots in Religious Rites.
  • 14. The Irish prevailed with to Assist Laurentius and his Success [...]rs in Converting the Saxons, but Adhere still to the Brittish Customes, which in the End makes a Breach. An Account of the Disputation between Coleman and Wilfrid.
  • 15. A doubt, whether any Missionari [...]s from Rome into this Island be­fore Augustine the Monck.
  • 16. Particular Friendship between the Gallican and Brittish Churches, and an Inference thence.
  • 17. Continuance of the Brittish Li­berties.
  • 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. Sir Francis Hastings, John Fox, &c. Vindi­cated against the Cavils of F. Parsons.
  • 25. Expiration of the Brittish Liberty.
  • 26. An Answer to the Plea of Jurisdiction from the Conversion of the Saxons▪
  • 27. That no Plea of Prescription Lies against these Isles in this Case.
  • 28. This fur­ther proved from the Eighth Canon of the Councel of Ephesus
  • 29. The Erection of Patriarchates, when, by what means, and how Received.
  • 30. Patriarchal Authority [...] [...]erviceable to the Pope.
  • 31. Whether a Patria [...]chate be Forfeitable? And whether the Pope have not Actually Forfeited his?
  • 32. That supposing the B [...]s [...]op of Rome's Patriarchate had taken in these Isles, yet it is now ceased and become void and null, even by the Laws o [...] the Ancient Church.
  • 33. The Churches of these I [...]es free, a [...]d Invested with Power to Reform themselves, and how that Power hath been [...]sed, Pro­posed to Consideration.
  • 34. The Condition of great Actions, with an Answer [...]o the Plea of Sacrilege.
  • 35. They themselves the Authors of many things, whereof they Accuse us.
  • 36. Notwithst [...]nding the Reformation, no Schism [...]ill the Pope made it.
  • 37. Queen Elizabeth a Legitimate and Lawful Sover [...]ign.
  • 38 The present Church defended
  • 39. What things must be Considered to Justifie our Church, particularly our Ordination defended.
  • 40. The Way of Trying Doctrine, and the Insufficiency of the Roman Way.
  • 41. The Reason of Negative Doctrines.
  • 42. Soundness of our Doctrine, proved from the Concessions of our Adversaries.
  • 43. Sufficiency of the Scriptures, and our Canon defended against the Roman.
  • 44. The Ʋse of Tradit [...]on, [Page] with several Cautions and Distinctions whereby to judge of it.
  • 45. Answer to an Objection.
CHAP. V. Of the Councel of Trent.
  • 1. The Power, Ʋse and Rise of General Councels.
  • 2. Difference between the First and Succeeding General Councels, and of the Subject of Infallibility.
  • 3. 4. 5. In what Sense a Councel is the Church-Representative, and the Reason of the different force of their Decrees.
  • 6. How long time taken to Contrive the Couneel of Trent.
  • 7. 8. 9. 10. General Exceptions against the Lawfulness of the Councel of Trent, and that their Determinations bind none.
  • 11. Aparticular Reason to prove, that of what force soever they may otherwise be, yet they bind not us.

ERRATA Sic Corrigenda.

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CHAP. I. Of Obligations to Ʋnity amongst Christians.

I. SO Vehement and Implacable have been the Divisions amongst Chri­stians, Managed not only with Tongue-shot, Disputations, and all manner of Calumnies and Reproaches, but even with base Arts, most bloody Wars, and barbarous and inhumane Cruelties, that it might move an Enemy of our Religion, yea, perhaps an inconsiderate Person amongst our selves, to think, that that saying of our Saviour, I Come not to send Peace, but a Sword, (Mat. 10. 34.) was not designed to forewarn his true Dis­ciples of the Persecutions they are to expect from the wickedness of others, but rather to instruct and animate them in Quarrels, and to live as Cut­throats amongst one another; And whatever are their Pretences, yet by daily Experience we see, That this is too much the Practice of many, who are so devoted to their Factions, that they startle at the Name of Peace; And we have been told of some, whose Furious Raptures have Inspired them with such a blasphemous Impudence, as to affront God with their impious Prayers, That he would Heighten and Increase the Divisions of the Church. These and other such like Extravagancies have moved Me in the first place to Con­sider what Obligations to Unity Christians Lye under, for if they Lye under no such Obligations, it is most certain, That the Name of Schism can hardly be so much as a Theological Scare-crow; And they who keep such a Goil for Peace, will be found the greatest Violaters of it, as attempting to bring all Men to that which they are nothing bound to; But on the contrary, if there be such Obligations, then it is as certain, That all dividing and unquiet. Persons do incur a Guilt proportionable to the Measure of their Proceed­ings, and the strength of those Obligations; And if it further Appear, That the Christian Religion doth lay the strongest Obligations to Unity upon all the Professors of it, Threatens the breach of it with the highest Penalties, Re­wards the Observation of it with the utmost Advantages, and Affords the best Means and H [...]lps to preserve it, then all that Own the Name of Chri­stians must confess themselves to be indispenseably and eternally bound to the Peace, so as to continue in it, and procure it upon any termes but that of Sin, with which no Peace is to be had; But though I propound this parti­cular with this very design, That the General Concernment and Obligations of [Page 2] Christianity might make Men bethink themselves, and abate their over-eager Propensions, and obstinate Adherence to their particular Parties; yet I shall be very brief, because (unless it be some Religious Madmen, whose Brains are Heated with Enthusiasm beyond any Hope of Cure) even those, who are too Active and too Guilty in promoting Division, do yet upon any sober Dis­course freely Acknowledge, That it is not only a good and a pleasant thing for Brethren to dwell together in Unity, but also that it is a duty incumbent upon every Christian in his Station, by all honest means to promote it, not only amongst his own party, but with all Others, who have Given up their Names to Christ; And I wish they were as serious in their Practice, as they are free in their Acknow [...]edgments, and would not amongst themselves Teach some private Tenets to Ensure their Partizans, whilest they discourse at an­other Rate with those, whom they are too apt to Esteem their Adver­saries.

II. And in the first place, If we Consider the Nature of the Christian Religion, what can be more evident, then that all its Principles and Do­ctrines, as they are most inseparably Knit together, and subservient to each other, so they tend to Effect and Confirm the strongest Unity amongst the Professors of it. Saint Paul, beseeching the Ephesians to Endeavor to Keep the Ʋnity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace, presseth them more particularly with this very Argument, There is (saith he, Eph 4. 4. &c.) one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are Called in one Hope of your Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all; And in this Profession we have all Engaged our selves to be the faithful Servants of God and of Christ, and therefore ought joyntly to Serve the Interest, and Maintain the Honour of our Gracious and common Master: Nay, we not only here­by become Servants, but have the Honour of being Friends of Christ, Adopted Sons of God, and are taken into the same Family and Houshold; And of how heinors and insufferable a Crime they are Guilty, who are troublesome in this Family, and make Factions in this Houshold, we may Learn from that Saying of our Saviour, (Matth. 3. 25.) If a House be divided against it self, that House cannot stand.

III. But possibly it may deserve our particular Consideration, That the Holy Scriptures speak of all Christians as being incorporated into one Body, and that in such a manner, that the Hopes of our common Salvation depends upon our being Members of that one Body. Hence in relation to our first Admission or Infition, we are said to be all Baptized into one Body, and that whe­ther we be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, (1 Cor. 12. 13.) Hence also our pro­gress and Growth in Christianity, is Attributed to that Nourishment, which as Members is Communicated to us by this Body, the Body it self being Fitly Framed and Joyned together, by all parts drawing it from Christ the Head, [Page 3] Eph. 4. 15, 16. Col. 2. 19.) Hence the Church of God is said to be his Body, (Col. 1. 24.) and this Church not to be many Bodies, but one, (Eph. 4. 4.) and that we might understand, That Salvation is not to be acquired, but by being Members of this Body; We are Taught, That Christ Works our Salvation by Reconciling us into one Body, (Eph. 2. 16.) And for this Reason the Apostle calls Him The Head of the Church, and the Saviour of the Body, (Eph. 5. 23.) from these and many other places of Scripture of the like Nature hath arose that common Axiom, Extra Ecclesiam non est Salus, Which the Ancient Fathers have upon occasion Excellently Explicated, pressed and proved against Schis­maticks; But I have no mind to make a Flourish with Citations in a matter so well known, though I wish it were better Heeded; Only before I pass away, I shall take the boldness to leave these Remarks. 1. That all particular Christi­ans, as Members of the same Body, are Reciprocally bound to each other, not only in the Common Offices of Justice, but even of Love, Kindness and Christian Succours; So that if the Man live in England or Armenia, at Rome or Geneva, in the Enemies Coun­trey or our own, if he be a Christian, I ought to wish and pray for his good, and if oc­casion be offered in no case to decline the Promoting the good of his Soul; And if Cir­cumstances will permit, of his Body and Estate also. Secondly, That Christs Church and his Body, being terms convertible, it must consist not only of the Present, but of the past Ages, even of all that either have or expect Salvation by Christ; So that no Person, by any Endeavors whatsoever can in the ordinary way duely hope for Salvation, as being a Member uf this or that particular Church, otherwise then as that particular Church by a Succession of Doctrine and Worship, and consequently of Lawful Pastors and Go­vernours, (without whom such Worship cannot be duly Performed) is united to, and Em­bodied with the Catholick Church of God: for even the present Church diffused over the Face of the whole Earth, though it may be said to be Catholick in respect of particular Churches, and of its Authority, as to the present living Persons, yet in it self it is not Catholick, otherwise then as deriving from, and united to the Church of the foregoing Ages, running up unto Christ their Head: Neither can any that comes after be ac­counted Catholick but as an accession to the former; And this if well Weighed might be a means to make Men very cautious how they gathered separate Bodies without extra­ordinary good Grounds. Thirdly, that though every Schismatick do affront and injure the whole Church of God, yet the grea [...]est' detriment is to himself. The Church may lose an unprofitable Member, but he loseth himself; For if Christ be only the Saviour of the Body, none can divide from it, without apparent hazard of their ow [...] Salvation. So dangerous a thing is the Sin of Schism, though so lightly esteemed in our dayes.

IV, But here some, who are ready to catch at every Twig, and think them­selves just drowning and lost, if they must be bound to live peaceably and to be wise only to Sobriety, will Object, That such are the various apprehen­sions, inclinations, interests, education and prejudices of Mankind, That this Doctrine, as meeting with insuperable Difficulties, cannot be admitted with­out [Page 4] very great Abatements and Allowances? To these I might justly Answer, That in this Case I am not concerned for their Prejudices, Interest, or any­such Matters; And it were much better, if they were less concerned for 'um themselves; for that Man that will be a Christian, must not follow his parti­cular Inclinations and Interests, much less his Humours and Whimseys, or any thing of like Nature; but must abide by, a [...]d keep close to the Consti­tutions of his Saviour, and must cast down Imagination [...], and every high thing that exalte [...]h it self against the Knowledge of God, and bri [...]g into Captivity every thought to the Obedience of Christ, (2 Cor. 10. 5.) But because I had rather Untie the Knot then cut it, I further Answer, That Opinions inconsistent with the Foun­dation of Faith, of a good Life, and a just Church Government and Discipline are never to be allowed; for these directly tend to the destruction of the Church, or our selves, or rather of both; but in things of remote consequence, or private and less Concernment, there Ʋnio Voluntatum, non Opinionnm is sufficient; we may severally opine as we see cause, provided that we severally resolve not to transgress the bounds of Charity; In this Case the Apostles Advice is, To forbear one another in Love, (Eph 4. 2.) and that the strong should not despise the weak, nor the weak judge the strong, (Rom. 14. 3.) and to this purpose it is observable, That no Religion or Persuasion in the World ever Canonized Humility and Self-denial for Vertues; but the Christian, thereby taking care at once both to moderate the Judgement and the Practice; The One Teach­ing us, (to use the Apostles phrase) in lowliness of Mind to Esteem others better then our selves; the other not to seek our own, but every Man anothers Wealth; And by this means Men would not only be Restrained from Running to the utmost Bounds of what may seem lawful, but be careful to learn and do what is most expedient, whereby the Peace of the Church, and mutual love and kindness amongst its Members would be constantly preserved; Nor need our Men of Interest fear, that this Doctrine will undo them; For he, who like Ishmael, hath his Hand against every Man, will most certainly have every Mans Hand against him; so that there is odds in the Match, that one time or other he will come by the worst on't; But he, who by Christian Condescension in a Reasonable Cause denies himself, obligeth many others to do him the same kindness on the like occasion, whereby one favour to another procures many to himself; And were this principle duely practised, a man would not only be out of danger in all places, but should never want that Comfort, Succour and Assistance, which an honest Cause and Christian Deportment can expect. But suppose, (as indeed it is more then a Supposal) that others will not do their duty herein; yet he that Aims at an Heavenly Inheritance, must not take the Measures of his Proceedings from those, who value nothing above their worldly Inter [...]st; Nor ought he to think much to Meet with some Rubs in his way, when the Crown of Glory he pursues, exceeds all that he can [Page 5] imagine; And let the worst be s [...]pposed that can be, such a Man obligeth all that are good or grateful: He enjoys the present satisfaction of a good Con­science, and is so much before others in a more certain Hope of his future Bliss, as he is more true to his duty; whilest those that cast off all care of this duty, whatever they may have of the Name, have nothing of the Sin­cerity of Christians, and consequently are not to expect the Reward.

V. This Argument hath engaged me longer then I intended, and therefore what others I shall take Notice of, I shall little more then mention, and cer­tainly that Man who understands and values his Religion, will be concerned for the Honour of it, which is by nothing more blasted (if not as to some wholly ruined then by Contentions and Divisions: It is Reported of So­crates, that he particularly gave God Thanks for three Things, Viz. That He was a Man, and not some other Creature, That he was born in Greece, the then most Civiliz'd Part of the World, And that he had his Education in Athens, the then most famous School of Philosophy in the World; How much greater Cause have we with daily Thanks and Praises to Celebrate Gods Holy Name, by whose Blessing we are Christians, whereby we have not only an unerring Rule to walk by, but also from the Revelations and Promises of the God of Truth, [...]nd by the Earnest and Pledge of his Sons Resurrection and Ascension, are assured of that Immortality and those future Joys, which that wise Heathen only blindly Grop'd after? But can we think to perswade others of the truth of this, by living unspeakably worse then they, who could pretend to no such advantages? Or if this be true, then do not we by our Divisions raise a great Scandal and Prejudice against such glorious Truth: We [...]ast, That Ours is the best Religion in the World; Nay more, and that truly, That Ours is the only true Religion in the World. for there is Salvation in no Other, nor any other Name Given under Heaven whereby we must be faved, but that of the blessed Jesus, (Acts 4. 12.) And I can still remember, That when I was a Youth, I have heard plausible Harangues in Sermons, and dole­ful Petitions in Prayers, about them who sate in darkness, and in the Regions of the Shadow of Death; And doubtless, as the Case of the one was Lament­able, so the Zeal of the other was so far Commendable; But when I Con­sider, that those Men had destroyed the Mother that bore them, and thought the Gospel was no further Advanced then their Schism was propagated; I cannot but wonder, with what Confidence a parcel of Seditious Rebellious Schismaticks could think themselves the only Fit Men to bear the Light, to Conduct those that lay in darkness into the bright Sun-shine of the Gospel; [...]ut as I have heard little of their Endeavors, so less of their Success; nei­ther ought any in reason to hope for much better, who are studious to pro­mote Divisions; For suppose a discreet Hea [...]hen should come amongst us, and observe how one Church Anathematizeth another, how every Party pre­tends [Page 6] it self to be in the right, and as peremptorily condemns all others to be in the wrong, and what Multitudes of Divisions there are amongst us, would not this be a strong temptation to Him to be of that Religion, which they could not agree in themselves? But when he should further see the open vi­olence and unusual Mischiefs which the Divisions in all places produce, he would surely Resolve with himself, of all others to Fly that Religion; for when all's done, let us say what we can, Men will believe what we do. Mens Words and Actions are often too far asunder; But they generally Act what they really think, and therefore most persons think it safer (where they can) to judge of Men by their Actions rather then their Sayings, as being surer Indices of their Minds, and having a closer Correspondence with their Hearts and Designes, so that if they see Christians to be of a froward perverse Con­versation, they will judge no better of their Religion; So great Reason we may see had the Apostle to give us in Charge, to Walk in Wisdom towards them that are without, (Col. 4. 5.) The Result of this Consideration briefly amounts to thus much, That Divisions not only produce many foul Irregularities, and inexcusable Enormities amongst our selves; but also misrepresent and scan­dalize our Religion, so as rather to affright others from it, then allure them to it; by which means the Practice of Christians is debauched, the Propa­gation of the Gospel hindered, the Truth as unjustly as highly dishonoured, and the whole design of Christianity in a manner frustrated. And if any Man be so in love with Schism, as to think this a small Crime, or so blind as not to see it; I scarce know what I can do more for him, except to pray to God to open his Eyes, and turn his Heart.

VI. And yet there is still something further, and very considerable, to be of­fered in this Case; for nothing is more directly binding then a Precept, and nothing more strongly binding then a Precept from him, who hath the whole Propriety in us, and absolute Sovereignty over us. So that if the God of all Power, who hath Created us, and his Son Jesus Christ, to whom he hath Given all Power, have expressly required this Unity, then the indispense­ableness of the duty on our part can be no longer a dispute, nor can this be a doubt to any, who have but lightly perused the Holy Scriptures; for though it may be enough to any Considerate Person, That the whole Current of Scripture bears against all Disorderliness, Unruliness and Unquietness; yet that our Mouths might be for ever stopped, the thing it self is Commanded in as plain and express terms, as can be desired. Thus St. Paul, (2 Cor. 13. 11.) Be of one Mind, live in Pence. Thus St. Peter, (1 Pet. 3. 8.) Be ye all of one Mind. And that we might know, that this Unity must be as well in Practice as in Judgement, we are Commanded as well to walk by the same Rule, as to Mind the same thing, (Phil. 3. 16.) And St. Paul takes not a little pains to explain the necessary duty of every Member of Christ, in walking orderly in [Page 7] their several stations, to this end, That there should be no Schism in the Body, (1 Cor. 12. 25,) I could heap up many more Testimonies, but I think it need­less, for any one ought to be enough to him, who owns the Holy Scriptures to be stampt with the Authority of Heaven, and to contain what is the Will of God, that we should believe and do: And if a Word, a Nod, a Beck from a Master, shall command or direct a Servant at his pleasure, can we think not only to neglect, but to bid open Defiance to the Commands of the Almighty, and be guiltless or 'scape Scot-free? The Sin in violating any Command is always so much the greater, by how much the greater is the Authority of the Person Commanding; from whence we may learn how great a Sin is the Violation of that Christian Unity, which is Commanded by the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth.

VII. But still we are further informed, of how great Moment this duty is from the rewards and punishments, that attend the performance or violation of it; The Breach of Unity is it self no small punishment, for Divisions na­turally create Disturbances, increase troubles, and tend towards destruction. Hence St. Paul gives us this Caution, (Gal. 5. 15.) If ye Bite and devour one an­other, take heed that ye be not Consumed one of another. So that the Advantages which flow from Unity, and the Mischiefs which arise from the contrary, are sufficient Motives to any Man, who minds his own good, to follow those things which make for Peace. But least this should not be enough, a [...]l that further can affright us from evil, is added; And no less then eternal Dam­nation is made the portion of Transgressors in this kind; For St. Paul tel­ling us what are the Works of the Flesh, which they that do shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; Amongst them reckons these, Hatred, Variance, E­m [...]lations, Wrath, S [...]rife, Seditions, Heresies, Envyings, (Gal 5. 20.) And the same Apostle tells us, That if any Man did but seem to be Contentious, they had no such Custom, neither the Churches of God, (1 Cor. 11. 16.) By which he seems to me to intimate, That such Persons do cast themselves out of the Church, and conse­quently exclude themselves from the Hopes of Salvation; But that we may not Complain of being Affrighted into Goodness, and terrified to our Duty, the punishment of the Violation of this Duty is not so great, but the Reward of its due performance is every way equal; And besides those Comforts that [...]re naturally contained in it, and flow from it, there is no less then eternal Happiness entailed on it. Christ himself hath declared, That Blessed are the Peace-Makers, for they shall be Called the Children of God, (Mat. 5. 9) And if so, then certainly they shall have a portion and inheritance with the rest of his Children, and be fellow-Heires with Christ.

VIII. Now if all these Considerations were put together and well weighed, methinks no difficulties whatsoever should be able to deterr or remove us from our duties, or to hinder us from standing fast in one Spirit, with one [Page 9] Mind, striving together for the Faith of the Gospel; For to Him that pro­fesseth Himself a Christian, and believes what he professeth, what can all the Allurements and Temptations, all the Joyes, Troubles or Torments of this transitory Life Work, when set against the pains of Hell on the one Hand, and the Joyes of Heaven on the other? and yet even this pretence is taken away; And that we may not with any Shew of Reason plead any discourage­ments, we are assured that God will supply us with Strength and Succours in our faithful Endeavours, that so far as concerns us, we shall be able to over­come all difficulties, and discharge our Duties; And the difference is not much, whether there be no difficulties, or the difficulties be Conquerable; an idle fluggish Person perhaps would desire the former, but he that is con­tent to take pains for Heaven, and had rather exercise and Varnish his Gra­ces, then suffer them through disuse to be sullied and weakned, possibly will think the latter more expedient for him. I do not say, that we shall be fur­nished with abilities to reduce all others, but that unless by our own default we shall not want Assistance to secure our selves; And then whatever the dif­ficulties may really be or appear, we can have no just cause of Discou­ragement; And I know not what greater Comfort or Encouragement to this Duty could be given us, then what St. Paul tells us, (2 Cor. 13. 11.) Be of one Mind, live in Peace, and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

CHAP. II. Wherein this Ʋnity Consists.

I. THis Unity is a Thing that sounds bravely in the Eares of all Persons, and Meets with a General Applause and high Commendation in all Places; And indeed it cannot Receive more Praises then it deserves; but when we come seriously and closely to consider what it is, and wherein it con­sists; When we think to grasp it, it Vanisheth, and wo fall foully together by the Eares about the Unity we joyntly Extol, and make it self the occasion of our losing it; the great Reason of which is apparently this, That when Men have fallen in love with some singular way, and set up their Rest in some dividing Principles, they do not fetch the Nature of Unity from the full Pre­cepts of the Gospel, which best Teach it, and the Practice of the Primitive Church which best Explains it, but Catching some Shreds of Scripture for pretence, they frame such a Notion of Unity as may suit with their own Scheme, and rather then quit any of their darling Errours, they will under­take to Wash a Blackmore white, I mean, to find out such a Unity as shall be consistent with Division and Separation; But it is pity to fall out about [Page 9] Unity, and therefore leaving such to their vain Imaginations, I shall discover my own Apprehensions, wherein I think it Consists: And if I fall in any part, I'shall be highly obliged to that person, who shall bring Me to a clearer and fuller Understanding of its Nature; for certainly did we better understand what it was, we should come nearer together, and better concur in the Ob­servation and Practice of it.

II. But before I can proceed, I must for my own Security, enter a Caveat a­gainst the Pretences of extraordinary Cases; And therefore do tell my Reader, that I shall limit my Discourse to Gods ordinary Way and standing Esta­blishment, to which all Persons ought to have Regard. I will not here con­cern my self upon what terms he may stand, who is fast Lock'd in a Dun­geon, or cast upon an uninhabited Coast, or made a Slave amongst Infidels, or Lies Concealed in a Cave for fear of his Life, or any of the like Nature; I make no doubt, but that for extraordinary Cases God hath extraordinary Mercies; but then this is not Applicable to what is common or ordinary: There can be nothing more perverse and unnatural, then to judge of the sta­ted Case of Things by the Exceptions from it; Or to Confound the common Condition of Mankind with that, which is rarely and only at some times the sad Misfortune of some few; And it is not possible to Guess, whither those Mens Errours will lead them, who in stead of observing what are the Exceptions from a General Rule, do frame to themselves a General Rule from exempt Cases, and so overthrow the common Standard; And I must Confess, that I have not been a little scandalize [...], to find this very thing done in a great Measure, by Men otherwise of Eminence, Learning and Piety.

III. Now though this Christian Unity be a Harmony of many parts, many of which must concur to make it true, and all ought to meet to make it Com­pleat; The first Bond in this Common Tye, or that from whence it takes its first Rise and Beginning, is that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints; And he that doth unfeignedly embrace it, is so far forth united both to all those, whoever heretofore received it; And all those, who now live in Profession of it; but yet we must go a great way further, or else we shall come short Home.

IV. For though this Unity principally relates to the Catholick Church of God, Comprehending all Ages and places, which is that Body, whereof Christ is the Saviour, and to whom the great and precious Promises are primarily made; yet if we would speak rather os fully then magnisicently, we are not so much to Consider in this Case the Church we are united to, as the means whereby we are united to it, and therefore as Men on Earth we are to consider our selves in statu viatorum, as Men that are not only bound to believe, but to profess the Faith of Christ Crucified, (for our Blessed Saviour hath told us, That if we be Ashamed of Him and his Words, He will be Ashamed of us, when He [Page 10] cometh into the Glory of his Father, Mark 8. 38.) as Men so indispenseably bound [...]o that Profession, that they must not only hazard, but even Actually lose all that is near and dear to them, rather then depart from it, (for the same Christ hath told us, That if a Man come to him, and hate not Father and Mother, and Wife, and Children, and Brethren, and Sisters, yea, and his own Life also, he can­not be his Disciple, Luke 24. 26.) as Men, who are bound to embody in a com­mon Fraternity and Society, that they may joyntly as well as openly make this Profession, not forsaking the Assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is, (as the Apostle teacheth, Heb. 10. 25.) In a word, seeing we here live in expectation of the Promises, we must submit to all the termes and conditions of the Covenant, upon which God hath made their Performance to depend; And being the whole tenure of the Gospel, doth oblige us on Earth to joyn in a visible Fraternity, to a visible Profession, to particular duties to visible Professors, and to a real not imaginary Obedience to them, who Rule over us and Watch for our Souls; I see not how we can Challenge the Name of Christians, whilest we cast off all Care of these Duties. And hence it is Apparent, That we cannot be United to that great Catholick, Mystical and Invisible Church of God, but by becoming Members of his visible Church on Earth, as being that part of his Church, wherein he hath placed, and to which the greatest part of our Duties do particularly Relate. To Arrive to the state of Glorified Saints and Angels, that Church without Spot or Wrinkle is our Hope and Endeavour; But whilest we are on Earth, we are only on our Way towards it▪ and are particularly of that part of Gods Church, wherein grow Tares as well as Wheat, to be distinguished and separated in Gods good time: And by our faithful sincere Obedience in this, we do through Christ Jesus Require and Preserve a Right and Title in time, to be made the imme­diate Members of the other.

V. This being our present state and condition, our Unity ought certainly to be agreeable and suitable to it, and therefore must be visible amongst the vi­sible Professours of the Gospel; and what that is, or wherein it consists, is my present Business to describe: But first from the foregoing Premisses I would make this Inference, That a Believer at large is only a Christian in Fieri, his Faith alone without the other Duties and Accomplishments, which the Go­spel prescribes to all Christians, is not sufficient to give him the full Title of a Christian; 'Tis true he hath laid a good Foundation, but unless he pro­ceed to build thereon, he can no more be said to be a Christian, then an Ar­tificer can be said to have Erected a fair House, when he hath only laid the Ground-Work; And the Reason is plain, because Faith in its own Nature doth not only incline, but oblige to Obed [...]ence; And I therefore not only more chearfully Obey Gods Commands, because I believe Him faithful who hath promised, but I must condemn my self as utterly inexcusable, if I disobey [Page 11] Him at the same time, that I pretend to believe in Him. Hence it is observe­able, That the word Faith taken Objectively, is often in Scripture-phrase used to Signifie not only Revealed Truths, but Precepts of Life, even the whole Gospel of Christ Jesus, or the Law of Faith; And where it speaks distinctly of it, yet it will have the other to follow it, Commanding us to add to our Faith Vertue, (2 Pet. 1. 5.) And to Shew our Faith by our Works (Jam. 2. 8.) And accordingly the first Converts to Christianity, upon their Owning the Faith, thought themselves Obliged to go on to what the Law of Faith Required. Thus the [...]unuch, [...]hen Convinced by Philip, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, doth not Acquiesce in that Faith, but proceeds as far as his present Circum­stances would permit, and of his own Accord bespeaks Philip, See, here is Water, what doth hinder me to be Baptized? (Acts 8. 36.) And consonantly, hereto it is Ob­servable, That the primitive Church did Vouchsafe the Title of Fideles to no Adult Persons, but such as were in full Communion; And did Men perswade themselves that their Faith did so indispenseably oblige them to all Christian Duties, that without their sincere Endeavour even Faith it self became defective, it would make a fair Advance towards Unity; And till they do so, I see no Reason to hope for it.

VI. But now to Return to the thing in Hand, As we are Men on Earth, and Probationers for Heaven, our Unity must be such as is Required by this our state, and consequently must consist in such matters as Unites all the visible Professors of the Gospel into such a Body or Society, which God hath instituted and designed for his Worship on Earth; But then we are to Consider, That as we are United to the Catholick invisible Church of God, by being United to his visible Catholick Church on Earth, so we are United to this visible Catholick Church, by being United to some true part of it, or by becoming Members of some particular Church; for no Mem­ber can be United to the Body all over, or to the whole immediately, but is United to the Body by being United to it in some part, For the Body is not one Member, but many, (1 Cor. 12. 14.) And as these fitly Framed alto­gether make the whole, so by Vertue of this Union each Member hath a Com­munication with the Whole. and is both capacitated to discharge his Duty to the Whole, and to Receive Supplies from, and claim an Interest in the Whole.

VII. Now, being that our Belief in the Son of God, and that he is the Head of the Body his Church, (if considered Antecedently to, and sepa­rately from other Christian Duties) doth rather capacitate us to become Christians, then denominate us so, it will follow, That to have the benefit of our Belief, we must take care to be Admitted into that Body, which it qualifies us to be Members of. Now in all manner of Societies, of what Nature soever, Members are Admitted by some Signal Ceremony, and [Page 12] known Form of Proceedings, that thereby they may be known to Others to be Members of that Society, and may undisturbedly do the Exercises and enjoy the Priviledges of that Society. Now this Formal Way of Admission into the Christian Body or Society, is by the Sacrament of Baptism; And that even by our Saviours own Command and Institution; for when they are so well Instructed as to believe, he will have them Received by being Ba­ptized; Go ye, (saith he, Mat. 28. 19.) Teach all Nations, Baptizing them in the Name, &c. And though Unbelief alone be sufficient to put a Man into a state of Condemnation; yet Belief alone without Baptism doth not ordi­narily put a Man into the state of Salvation. This is our Saviours own Do­ctrine, (Mark 16. 16.) He that Believeth and is Baptized, shall be saved; And he that believeth not shall be damned. And the Reason is plain; for though Un­belief, as rejecting the Covenant of Grace, and its Author, is alone able to ex­clude us from all benefit of it; yet Belief, though it lay hold on the Covenant, is not able alone to secure to us the benefits of it, if considered abstractedly and separately from the other necessary Conditions of it; for he that expects the benefit of a part, must observe not one, but all the necessary termes and con­ditions of it; from hence it may appear, how necessary it is, that we be all Partakers of that one Baptism; And this Consideration ought to Alarm those Persons to examine well the Grounds whereon they proceed, who se­parate from all other Christians, making it the singular part of their Re­ligion to deny Baptism, even to the Children of Christian Parents, for though God is not bound up to withhold his Mercy, where the default is not in the Persons themselves; yet we have no certain Rule to assure us, that he will afford such Mercy out of the way, that he hath prescribed; but it is purely in his good pleasure; And if Baptism be ordinarily the Way of Admission and Entrance into that Body, whereof Christ is the Saviour; then such Per­sons, by denying them Baptism, do what in them lies to damn them, which doubtless is a very unchristian part. And though it be true in relation to Persons out of the Covenant, that they must first be qualified not only with an actual but a professed Faith, without which they are not capable of Admission; yet in reference to Persons in Covenant the Case is quite other­wise, for the Covenant is not to them alone, but to their Seed; And the Children being sanctified in their Parents do follow their condition, and are born to Priviledges in the Church, which those without cannot claim; And th [...]refore ought not particularly to be denied this, without which they are not by the ordinary Laws of the Covenant, Entitled to the Rest. But I will prosecute this no further, my business being rather with Adult Persons then Children. For though their Salvation is by being of the Body, yet they have small Influence on Christian Communion; and until they lose that Name are scarce able to disturb or break the Unity of the Church, which is the thing I am to Explain.

[Page 13] VIII. The Parts of our Christian Unity are so close Knit together, that they seem to Lead Us by the Hand from the one to the other; so that it may seem somewhat a wonder how Persons should for the Generality be so wofully mistaken about them; For having thus laid the Foundation of Faith, and being Actually Admitted by the Sacrament of Baptism, it will (I suppose) be easily Agreed on all Hands, That Persons are not only Ad­mitted to the Priviledges and Benefits of the Society, but come under an Obligation to observe the Laws and do the Duties of the Society; for no Society whatsoever, whether Sacred or Civil, ever admitted any to their Priviledges, without Tying them up to their Rules; 'Tis true, that in some Societies there are certain Honorary or Titular Members; but it is indeed only a Title: For where they are excepted from duty, they are ex­cluded from benefit: But this is peculiar to the Christ an Religion, that it admits none such; but whoever doth become a Member professing it, must fall under an Obligation to perform the Duties it requires; And by this we may perceive what further Progress our Christian Unity must make; for we must be United in the Consent, Profession and Practice of all those things, which according to our several stations in that Society the Laws of Christianity do require from us. Now these may have relation either to particular Christians, or to them as embodied in particular Societies, or to them considered under the Notion of Subjects and Governours; Or lastly, to the Duty and Behaviour of Governours towards each other.

IX. Every particular Christian is bound to the Sincere and constant Pro­fession and Exercise of all those Christian Duties, which the Gospel requires of every one in their single Capacities, as Humility, Sobriety, Temperance, Patience, and the like; And their Concurrence in, and due Observance of these things, is not only very profitable and Comfortable to Themselves, but very Honourable to their Society; But above all we are Commanded to Put on Charity, (Col. 3. 14.) and that not only for this Reason, that it Virtually conteins, and in its own Nature directs and provokes to the Practice of all other Christian Duties, on which Account the Apostle in the following words stiles it [...], but also because our Saviour himself hath made it the Character and Badge of his Followers. For (saith he, John 13. 35.) By this shall all Men know that ye are my Disciples, if ye have Love one to an­other.

X. But here it is to be Considered, that these Vertues of particular Chri­stians have been, and may be so fairly Copied out, and handsomely Exercised by Heath [...]ns and Unbelievers, that to outward Appearance the one cannot be distinguished from the other; And though the Vertues of Christians are really distinguishable from the like in Heathens from their Principles and Ends, yet these Principles and Ends are things in themselves not seen; And [Page 14] therefore that those Vertues may appear to proceed from such Christian Principles and Ends, they must be practised in Conjunction with such other Duties, as do apparently Testifie what Principles we own; And that Charity it self may be a Mark of Christs Disciples, it must carry them on to those Exercises, which he hath Commanded his Worshippers to joyn in. Now this cannot be done only by separate well living, but by joyning in that Wor­ship and Christian Communion, which the Laws of Christ, and the Nature of that Church or Society he hath Instituted, doth Require; And in these we do most clearly own and profess our selves Christians, and visibly unite in the Body; And from hence it will follow, that all Christians, under the pe­nalty of excluding themselves from this Body, are bound to joyn in all the publick Offices of the Church, and to bear their part in all Acts and Duties of Christian Communion, and therefore Attendance to Ordinances is not only the benefit, but the necessary duty of every Christian; And as Members of the Society they must do their parts, joyning in the publick Prayers, Praises. Thanksgivings, Confessions, and the like; And especially ought to be careful to be duely partakers of the Lords Supper, as being that Act whereby of all others, we are most strongly, firmly and closely united both to [...]hrist o [...]r Head, and to each other. Hence it is by way of Eminence, sometimes called, The Communion; And hence it is, That amongst the primitive Christians, though a Man had openly professed the Christian Faith. had been admitted by Ba­ptism, was not only an Auditor, but does Communicate in the Prayers of the Church, yet they did not Account him compIeatly a Christian, till he did par­take of the Lords Table; And there is the same Reason for this still, and perhaps greater Reason now then ever to urge it, when the most weighty Du­ties are most neglected, and People are so apt to set up their Rest far short of what our blessed Saviour hath made their Duties.

XI. That this Communion is maintained by Communicating with that par­ticular Christian Church, being neither Heretical nor Schismatical, where every Christian lives, seems to me out of [...]oubt; For if he do not Commu­nicate there, it is not possible he should actually Communicate any where else, and therefore whatsoever Preparations of Mind may be pretended, the wilful or careless neglect of this, seems to Amount to no less then a Re­nunciation or Under valuing of all Communion, which strikes at the very Heart of the Christian Religion. But yet for all this our Communion in that particular Church is Communion with the whole, whereof that is a part, by which we are United to the whole, in which we express our Com­munion with the whole, and by which we draw Supplies from the whole; For our Communion in particular Churches Arises from the Necessity of our Natures, and the Condition of Humane Beings, which are not capable of Communicating with the whole altogether, but only by parts: And [Page 15] though particular Churches in respect of particular Christians, and the Offices and Authority therein Exercised are truly called Churches, yet in respect of the Catholick Church they are but Members, whereby we are United to the whole, and Communicate with the whole; Both the Name and Benefit of Christianity comes to us from joyning in Communion with that Church, which is Christs Body: And that is the Catholick Church, and it is to that we desire to be United, and in that to Communicate by joyning with some true part of it, which is all our Natures allow us to do, and in Act can Compass; But if any Man Unite himself to, or joyn in Communion with any particular Church, either in opposition to all others, or without any relation or obligation to any other Church; As to Ca­tholick Communion, he must suppose that particular Church to be that Body, whereof Christ is the Head and Saviour, or else he cannot Hope for Salvation in it and then (unless he have the Impudence to affirm, that there is no other true Church of God) he must make Christ have more Bodies then one, and in the immediate consequence overthrow an Article of our Creed, which acknowledgeth but One Catholick Church. Our Communion there­fore, though in a particular, yet by means thereof is both in and with the Catholick Church; And hence it is, that the Members of particular Churches, have an equal Right all the World over to Communion in all other Christian Churches; And when they come to other Churches, are then actually bound to Communicate with them; Upon this Ground it was, that the primitive Christians proceeded; for though they did debarr Strangers from Communion, till they did produce their Communicatory Letters or Credentials, whereby it might appear, that they lived in some particular Church of Catholick Communion, (that they might not be imposed upon by Hereticks and Schismaticks) yet when the Church they came to was satisfied in that particular, they were not only acknowledged to have the same right with their own Members, but also to lie under the same Obli­gations; And if very satisfactory Reasons were not given of their for­bearance, if they did not then actually Communicate they were Treated as Schismaticks, so that that Schismatical Distinction of such an Occasional Com­munion as leaves Men at liberty where and when to Communicate, and that even in separate and opposite Communions, was altogether unknown to the primitive Church, or if it had been started, would never have heen en­dured.

XII. From what hath been said it may Appear, That in the Practical No­tion, Unity, Uniformity and Communion, are words much of the same Im­portance; The two latter only more clearly Explaining the Nature and Manner of the former; And if it be true, that our Unity consists in our Communion in the Solemn Acts of Worship, and publick Offices and Duties [Page 16] the Christian Church, it will then unavoidably follow, that we must be U­nited, and firmly adhere to the True and Lawful Pastors of the Church, with­out whom those Offices cannot be Lawfully discharged, and for want of whose Support and Ministry the Solemn Worship and daily Sacrifice would fail; And the greater Reason have all Christians to take Heed to this good Order of Men; both because our Saviour hath Invested them with his own Autho­rity, so far forth as is necessary for the Officiating in, and Governing of his Church, and also because he hath made them a special Promise of his Assist­ance in the discharge of their Offices: in Relation to the first he thus Com­missionates his Disciples, As my Father hath sent Me, even so send I You, (John 20. 21.) In Respect to the latter he hath said, I am with you alway, even unto the End of the World, (Matt 28. 20.) So that if not under the Law, much less under the Gospel may any Man take this Honour to himself, but he that is Ca [...]ed of God; And he that intrudes into this Office, without a derivation of just Authority, comes not in by the Door, but climbs up another way; And for that Reason ought to be Esteemed a Thief and a Robber. This Au­thority of theirs is indeed of a spiritual Nature; They have no power of Coercion, they cannot by force lay a Restraint upon any Mans Person; but yet their Authority is real, and in some sense higher then theirs, who by Gods Commission carry the Temporal Sword for the terrour of evil Doers, and Defence of those who do well. For the same God who gave Authority to the Pastors of his Church, hath Commanded the people to obey them, (Heb. 13. 17.) And doth interpret the disobedience or neglect of them to be an Affront to Himself. For thus our Saviour Teacheth us, (Luke 10. 16.) He that heareth you, heareth me; And he that despise h [...] you, despiseth me; And he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me: And therefore, though such De­spisers may not seem to suffer any thing here, yet they stand Accountable to a higher Tribunal, and do run a greater hazard then any temporal punishment; when their Cause is forejudged by their Spiritual Governours. Hence, saith Tertullian▪ (Apol.) Summum futuri Judicii Pr [...]judiciur [...] est, si quis ita deliquerit, ut à Communicatione Orationis, & Conven [...]û [...], & Omnis Sancti Commercii Relegetur. The Wickedness indeed of Spiritual Governours is of very dangerous Con­sequence, the Influence of it makes many bad, and will not suffer others to be so good as they would: And as we read, that the L [...]wdness of Eli's Sons, made the People even to Abhor the Offering of the Lord; So by Moses Law the Offering for the Sin of the Priest was the same as the Offering for the Sin of the whole People, and much exceeded the Offering for the Sin of the Civil Ruler. (Levit. 4) It is sad with Gods Church when the Complaint lies at that Door: But yet even this will not Absolve Christians from their Obedience to them, in Matters which are within the just Bounds of their Authority, and properly belong to their Office: Even our Saviour himself, [Page 17] who so often warns his disciples to Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisces, yet Commands them to obey the same Men, so far forth as they satt in Moses Chair; And doubtless he doth not Require less Observance of those who Sit in his own Chair; And though People are very apt to begin the Quarrel here, yet methinks they should be more fearful of breaking Communion with their Pastors, if they did Consider, That this is the Door, by which always Schism enters; for it is not Conceiveable how they should forsake Christian Communion, but by deserting their Pastors in their Pastoral Office. Hence the Fathers, (especially St. Cyprian, them whom no man better understood or wrote of this Case upon all Occasions) as they usually describe a particular Church by the Union of the Flock to their Pastor, so they define Schism by a Separation from the Bishop; Not that they meant it is no more, but that that is the Act which makes the Schismatick, and that by leaving his proper Bishop, he forsakes not only the Communion of that particular Church, but of all other Churches, of whose Communion that Bishop is; And Conse­quently the Communion of the Catholick Church, if he be truly a Catholick Bishop; And hence I think it may Appear, that for Maintaining Christian Communion in Christs Body, the People must be United to their Pastors, and that not only with Resoect to Preaching the Word, publick Prayers and the Use of the Sacraments, but also with Regard to Matters of Dis­cipline and Government, without which Order and Regular Proceedings in the Church, it cannot be upheld. Upon this Score the primitive Christians were so Observant of the Rules, Orders and Censures of their Bishop, That if any Man fell under the Sentence of Excommunication, they for so much as Related to them, vigorously put it in Execution, and not only would not suffer such a One to joyn in Communion, but would not so much as Eat, Drink, Couverse, or ordinarily Traffick with Him; Which Practice seems to have had its Foundation from that of St. Paul, (2 Thes. 3. 14.) If any Man obey not our Word by this Epistle, Note that Man, and have no Company with him, that he may be Ashamed. As also from that, (1 Cor. 5. 11.)) Now I have written unto you, not to keep Company, if any Man that is called a Brother be a Fornicator, or Covetous, or an Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, with such an One, No, not to Eat.

XIII. But that a Firm Christian Unity may be in the Church of God, it is not sufficient, that the Flock continue in a due Subjection to, and steddy Com­munion with their Pastor, unless the Pastors themselves Maintain a fair Cor­respondence, and keep due Order one amongst another, For if the Trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall Prepare himself to the Battel? (as the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 14. 8.) how is it possible, that an Army should be Unanimous in it self, or Employ its full force against the Enemy, if the Commanders Agree not, but give out contrary Orders? Nor is it possible, That the Unity of the [Page 18] Church should be preserved, if the Pastors Govern their Flocks, not in Con­junction, but Opposition to each other, and set up such termes of Com­munion, as other Churches cannot approve, but must withdraw from; It is indeed true, That every Bishop in his particular Church, hath a kind of So­vereign Authority, and is to Govern his Flock Rationem Actûs, sui Domino redi­turus, (as St. Cyprian more then once phraseth it,) Hence it is, That in some things a Christian Man is bound to Observe the Orders of his own Church, and obey his own Bishop, before any, if not all the Bishops in the Christian World; But then, this Authority must not be stretch'd beyond the Bounds of his own particular Church; And hence arose those several different and often contrary Usages and Customes in several Churches, which were not ex­cepted against, because they belonged to the Power of each particular Church, and consisted in such things, That he that Communicated after the one Manner in one Church, might Lawfully Communicate after the con­trary in another. Of this Nature was that known different Usage of old, between the Churches of Rome and Millan; In the former they Fasted on Sa­turdays, in the latter not. And therefore St. Ambrose, who was truly as stout a Bishop as ever the Church had, though he strictly Required. Obedience to the Orders of his own Church▪ yet at Rome was as Observant of theirs, and Advised St. Augustine's Mother Monica to do the same. The Reason must be fetch'd from the Nature of the Things, which being indifferent in themselves, might be Lawfully practised either Way, and therefore were in the Power of every Church to determine or not determine, as She found most for her good and Advantage; But when these Things are determined, Obedience put on the Nature of Duty, and Disobedience of Sin: But though every Bishop, in Respect of his particular Church or Flock▪ hath (according to the Old Eccle­siastical Language) his Throne, yet in Relation to the Catholick Church he is but a principal Member, who in Conjunction with Others of the fame Au­thority is to Share in care of the whole; And therefore in Matters which have an Influence on Catholick Communion, he is Accountable to his Col­leagues or Fellow Bishops, and for any Misdemeanour herein may by them be Suspended, Deposed or Censured, as they or a convenient part of them shall [...]udge Meet, for the prefervation of the Churches Peace. And in this Case the Bishops of other Churches did not only Exhort, but Require both the sub­ordinate Clergy and the People to Refuse Communion with their Bishop, though in all other Cases the separating from the Communion of their Bi­shops, and the Erecting another Altar, or setting up a Conventicle against him, was Accounted the peculiar Signature of Schism. And the Reason is plain, for though they could not hold Communion with the Church, but by Maintaining Communion with their Bishop, yet they did Communicate in that Church as a part of the whole; And if he did break off from the whole, [Page 19] or was Injurious to the whole, if they should Adhere to him therein, they must follow his Fate; And therefore here they might desert him, and cleave to some other sound part, and joyn in Communion Approved by Or­thodox Bishops. The Reason of the Bishops absolute Power in one respect, and his Subjection in another, seems to be briefly Couched in that short Say­ing of St. Cyprian, Episcopatus unus est, cujus à singulis in solidum pars tenetur. (do un) for though he held but part of that Episcopacy, by which the whole Church (Concordi multorum Episcoporum numerositate) was Governed; yet holding that Parte in solidum, he had the full Episcopal Authority, and was a Catholick Bishop, and his Orders according to their Nature ought to be Heeded by all Bishops: But then what he held in solidum, being but Pars Episcopatûs unius, he was Bound to Exercise his Office in Conjunction with them, who were equal Sharers with him; And herein was Answerable to his Fellow-Bishops for any detriment or injury done by him to their Com­mon Office and Common Charge. Hence a Bishop was in some things Ob­noxious, even to the delebility and loss of his Character, (as Spalato hath proved against the fond device of the Schools lib. 2. cap. 4.) and was bound at his peril, not only to Preach the same Faith, but to Walk and Act ac­cording to the Cannons of the Church; And yet in other Things, his Act was sufficient to Tye up all the Bishops in the Christian World; Both which Things are an invincible Evidence of the Sense of Antiquity, of their Participation of the same Office, and of their Obligation to, and dependance upon each other in the discharge of it. Hence it was, that when a Bishop was placed in any Vacant See, though he was never so Canonically Ordained yet he was bound to send abroad his Circular Epistles to other Bishops, to Sig [...]ifie his due Admission to that great dignity, and withal to give in a Summary of his Faith, that they might Admit him to Catholick Communion, and upon occasion might Communicate with him, and Assist him in the just discharge of his place: If he afterwards fell into Heresie, or did any irregular Act, he was Tryable by his Peers, and might be Cen­sured according to his demerits. On the other Hand, what wholesome Or­ders he made for the good of his own particular Church, those, who came from any other Church thither, were bound to observe them; And if he justly put any Person under the Sentence of Excommunication, upon his Cer­tifying thereof with the Cause, all other Bishops and all other Churches were bound to take that Person for Excommunicate, wherever he came, and to Re­ject him from their Communion; For in Cases of this Nature, every Regular Act of Authority in one Church, was Regarded as the Act of the whole Church; And thus in all things particular Churches Acted in Relation to, and Communion with the Catholick, and Maintained their Unity Firm and Inviolable.

[Page 20] XIV. My Design hath been to Write a Chapter, not a Treatise of Chri­stian Unity, and therefore I may be excuseable, if I have not Hit every thing; though I perswade my self, that had we these, the rest would not be want­ing; But my fear is, that my Accusation will rather Lye on the other Hand, That I have Iaid the Platform of such a Unity as in all its parts is no where on Earth to be found; And though the more is the pity, yet possibly it is too true: But then this Objection Amounts to no more (though that, God knows, is too much) then to shew the deplorable state of the Church, and the woful degeneracy of Christians; For the Religion we profess Requires such an Unity; And de facto it has been had and practised in the Church; And till it be Restored, I see little Hopes that Matters can be brought to Rights, and that they are not, they must Answer who are the true Cause: If any enquire, What particular Persons in this Case are to do? I Answer, that invincible Impediments may excuse à tanto but not à toto, where we can­not do all we should, yet we must do all we can: But more particularly, I think, First, That every Man ought to joyn in Communion with that Church wherein Gods Providence hath placed him, if he cannot justly Charge the termes of its Communion with Sin. Otherwise there will be no End of Se­paration, and the Breach will daily grow wider, Secondly, That our Judge­ments and Censures on those from whom we depart, be moderated with Cha­rity; that we pick not Quarrels without a cause, nor Represent them worse in Opinion or Practice then they are; for this exasperates and alienates Mens Hrarts from Peace. Some Persons have seemed to Me to have read their Adversaries Books with a Design to mistake them, which (alas!) is too easily done without giving our Minds to it. Thirdly, that in separate Commu­nions, Proposals might be made how far they can come up to each other, that it may be known how far they do agree, and that unquiet Spirits may not bear the Ignorant in Hand, that they agree in nothing, and then that the true Causes of the Difference may be sett down, which would sett generous Spirits on Work to Remove these stumbling-Blocks, and make up the Breaches; At least, it would give opportunity to all Considerate Persons to weigh the Mat­ter, to cast off real Scandals, and to come nearer together as they saw cause. Lastly, That all Persons be desirous of true Christian Union and Communion, that they heartily pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, and to their power in their several Capacities endeavor it; That we come short of this Unity is our Unhappiness, and no Honour to our Religion; But if any do not truly de­fire it, I see not how they can be excused from Schism, or somewhat worse; f [...]r such seem to be insensible and regardless of the Honour of Gods Church, the Glory of his Name, the Peace, Comfort and Encouragement of Chri­stians one amongst another, and the daily Advancement and Propagation of the Gospel of Christ; From which kind of temper the Lord preserve every One who calls himself a Christian.

CHAP. III. Of the Nature of Schism.

I. OUR Religion is so Unchangeable, That if an Angel from Heaven should come and teach any other, then what we have already Received, he ought to be Accursed; And therefore the nearer we come to the first Settlement, the surer we are to be in the Right; But some Men so doat on their fond Devices, and are so bewitched with the pleasure of Coyning New Notions, that not content to delude themselves, they labour all they can to perswade others, that every thing that is old is ugly and to be Abominated. Thus that sweet Harmony of the primitive Christians, whereby they preserved their Body Sound, against the Malice of Hereticks and Schismaticks, enjoyed free Com­munion in all Places, and were no where destitute of Comfortable Support and Assistance, whether Spiritual or Temporal, this (I say) has either been imputed to the folly of the first Converts, or the Tyranny of Hereticating Bishops: But if there was any thing ill, and of Mischievous consequence to Religion, for this they became zealous Advocates, were ready to tell us, That the Devil is not so black as he is Painted, and so palliate the Matter, that at length they would draw it in to be useful. Amongst Matters of this Nature nothing hath found more Patrons then Schism. Some have shuffled it to and fro, till they have lost it; and some have Trick'd and Trimm'd, and Sett it out for such a pretty harmless thing, as would al­most tempt One to be in love with it. But being I have said enough in the first Chapter to prove Schism a Sin of a deep Dye, I shall forbear to in­veigh against it, and Sett my Self rather to make a discovery of it, that the Rock appearing we may be the better able to avoid it.

II. Schism in its general Notion signifies any Rent, Rupture, Division, Se­paration or Solution of Continuity: But in an Ecclesiastical Sense, as ap­plied to the Church, it denotes some Breach or Separation among the Members or parts of that Body, growing so high as to cause Bandying into Parties, and setting up distinct and opposite Communions, or the like: But because all Separation is not Schism, and that which is, is not always sinful, therefore it may be convenient to enquire, by what means Separations are made, what Separation is Schism, and what Schism is sinful.

III. Those Persons who are so far from any Communion in the Church, that they never did or would receive and embrace the Gospel of Christ Jesus, are really separated and excluded from his Body the Church; But [Page 22] then in this they cannot properly be said to depart from it▪ or make any Schism in it, because they were never of it, nor any way Related to it. And therefore their Crime is not stiled Schism, but Infidelity; And the Persons Infidels or Heathens, not Schismaticks.

IV. Some Persons have Professed the Faith, and Lived in the Communion of the Church, but through the powerful Instigations of the Devil, the strong temptations of Worldly Advantages, Sense of Torments, dreadful Appre­hensions of Danger, or the like ill Motives, have Renounced not only the Communion of the Church, but the Faith of Christ; But these are not pro­perly Schismaticks; for Schism doth import some Relation still to the Church, though it suppose a disorderly behaviour in it, and a Breach and Vio­lation of its Peace and Unity: But these are wholly gone off, and their Crime is in it self of a higher Nature, though many times not so Mis­chievous in its Effects; And it is commonly called Apostacy, and the Persons Apostates, or in the Modern Language Renegado's,

V. There is a third Sort of Persons who profess the Faith, and live in the Communion of the Church, but through Pride, Discontent, Wantonness, or the like Causes, are not careful to Attend to sound Doctrine, but fall into Errours, and Entertain and devise Opinions prejudicial to the Gospel of Christ, and the Salvation of Souls; But if these Men keep their Opinions to themselves, whatever damage they may bring to their own Souls, they can make no Ecclesiastical Schism; but if they Broach or Propagate them, then Schism is usually the Effect and Consequence of such doings; but their Deno­mination is from the particularity of their Crime, or obstinacy in their ill Opinions, which is called Heresy, and the Persons Heret [...]cks.

VI. Now though Heresy is of that [...]u [...]ulent Natu [...]e, th [...]t it seldom fails to produce S [...]hism, yet it may so [...]e, that Persons may be Sound in the Faith, and yet through P [...]ide, Discontent, Ambit [...]on, or the like ill Motives, may vi­olate that Unity and Conjunction which ought to [...]e [...]mongst [...]hristians in the Profession of the Faith and Duties it Requires: So that Heresy seems to be opposed to the Verity and Soundness of Religion, Schism to the Union of Persons amongst themselves, professing Religion. Now because the Acts of this Unity consist in Christian Communion, and it cannot be otherwise ex­pressed and manif [...]sted but by such Communion, therefore a departure or Se­paration from that Communion must be that which we call Schism. Hence Hesychius explains [...], which Signifies a Secession or Se­paration. And hence it appears, That every Heat, Quarrel or Brabble, (how faulty soever it may otherwise be,) doth not Amount to Schism, unless it so influence the Communion as to make a breach in that; And therefore nei­ther that Contention between Paul and Barnabas, nor that Contest between Polycarp and Anicetus, nor that Difference between Chrysostom, and some who [Page 23] had been his Auditors, nor that sharp Conflict between the same Chrysostom and Epiphanius, nor that long debate between Stephen and Cyprian, were any of them to be Accounted or brought under the Notion of Schism; because the Communion of the Church was still kept up and Maintained by all the Parties; But when this Communion is violated and broken, then it comes to a direct and open Schism; And this may be done several wayes, all of them I pretend not to reach, and those I shall mention I shall not dwell on.

VII. Some there are, who forsake the Communion of the Charch, but go not so far as to set up any opposite Communion, not that they have any honour for, or regard to Church-Communion, but that they think it unne­cessary, if not prejudiciaI. These, though they seem not to Fly so high as others, in that they Vex not the Church with opposite Communions, yet they really overthrow all Communion, and destroy the whole publick Wor­ship of God, wherein his People are United for his glory and their own benefit; And therefore these are nothing such harmless Creatures as some think them; Amongst these we may Reckon those Rank Enthusiasts, who have overgrown Ordinances, and account themselves far above all such weak Helps and beggerly Elements.

VIII. I shall further propose it as a Question, whether some Men by their particular Opinions or Declarations may not make themselves Schismaticks, even whilest they continue in the Communion of a Church that is truly of Catholick Communion? for though the Pastor and Officers of the Church walk never so Canonically, and Perform all Services with relation to, and dependance upon the Catholick Church; yet if any Member shall so awk­wardly adhere to this particular Church, as to oppose it to all others, and condemn all others, and refuse Communion with any other, he seems to Me to make himself a Schismatick; For though the Church be of Catholick Communion, yet he communicates in it upon Schismatical Principles, and makes it Schismatical to him. The Church indeed is in Communion with other Churches, but he communicates in it in opposition to other Churches; And this seems in some Measure to have been the Case of the Church of Co­rinth; Paul, and Apollos, and Cephas were all Ministers of the same Christ, great Master-Builders in his Church, and zealous Maintainers of its Com­munions; and yet several in the Communion of this Church, seems to have communicated upon narrower termes then the Constitution of it Required. For some were for Paul, and some for Apollos, and some for Cephas, and they that were for one were against the other two, and against all others, who did not joyn with them in the same quarrel. I will not say but that it might go higher, and that there might be opposite Communions; That St. Paul there Planting the Gospel, might leave so many Congregations in that Church as the Number of Converts required; That Apollos coming after upon the [Page 24] increase of Converts, might leave them more Church-Officers, and increase the Number of their Congregations; And the first might stand stiffly for Paul, and the other for Apollos: However, the first is not improbable, and indeed both might be true successively; They might first clash in the same Communion, and then break into opposite Communions. But this I leave to the further Consideration and Censure of Others.

IX. Where there is such a Renunciation of Communion, as to set up op­posite Communions, it may be Effected several Ways: Sometimes the Layety have forsaken their Pastors, Congregated into Bodies, and of their own Au­thority Raised distinct Communions; I will not here dispute whether they deserve that Name; but certainly this is the Height of Presumption and Madness; for though it be true, which Cerah said, (Numb. 16. 3.) That all the Congregation are holy; yet the sad Story that follows. assures us, That they are not therefore all Priests and Levites, and that they may not presume to enter upon, and promiscuously discharge that Sacred Office and Function. Sometimes Subject Presbyters, and other Church-Officers have forsaken their Bishop, carried away many of the Members of his Church, and gathered Sheep from all Quarters out of the true Fold; And this is the more Mis­chievous, as carrying along with it some Shew of Authority. Sometimes Bishops and their Churches have Rejected the Communion of other Bishops and their Churches; Sometimes in like manner Metropolitans have op­posed Metropolitans, National Churches National, and Patriarchal Patri­archal. And the Schism is ever the more Mischievous, according to the Considerableness of the Persons concerned in it, or the Extent of their Ju­risdiction, or the Cause they divide upon. Too much of all this is in the present Divisions of the Christian World, which are managed with that Bitterness and Height, and have torn the Church so all-to pieces, that it is a Subject fitter for our Lamentation then Discourse.

X. And yet after all it must be Acknowledged, that all Separation is not sinful; for then wherever there was a Separation, they would be faulty on both Sides, as well they that made, as they that suffer by the Separation; Nay, if that should be granted, a Man might be necessitated to Sin, which he never is or can be. For if unsufferable Corruptions or sinful Usages be brought into a Church, whereof any Person is a Member, and set up as termes of Communion; He cannot Communicate without Sin, nor can he Depart without Sin, but unavoidably must Split upon one of these two Rocks, if all Separation be sinful; And therefore to discover that Schism which is Sinful or Criminal, we mast bring it not only a Physical but a Moral Consideration. Such the Case may be, that the Separation may not only be lawful but necessary. It was Gods Command to the Israelites concerning Ba­bylon, (Jerem. 5. 45.) My People, Go ye out of thae midst of her, and deliver ye [Page 25] every Man his Soul from the fierce Anger of the Lord. And St. Paul, having de­scribed a Sort of ill Men, which in the latter times should infest the Churc [...], he gives this Charge to Tsmothy concerning them, (2 Tim. 3. 5.) From such turn away. Actual Separation therefore may sometimes be a Duty, when it is a Departure from those who have before departed from the Right, and vio­lated the Unity, and corrupted the Communion of the Church. But being there ought to be no Separation, but upon the score of Avoiding Obligations to Sin, and no further then may secure us in that matter, there can be no Se­paration but there will be Sin on the one side or the other; And being the bare Separation may not only be lawful but duty, the Sin of Schism must Lie, where the cause and evil is found, and they are the Schismaticks who unjustly cause the Breach. And indeed simple Separation doth not include the whole Nature of Schism in an Ecclesiastical Sense. For though those, who depart from any true Church of God, as it is a part of the Catholick Church, do break off from the Body; yet those, who depart upon just and warrantable Grounds, though they depart from the Schismaticks, yet they do not forsake the Church of God, but continue in its Communion, and are Members of that Body; and therefore cannot be Schismaticks: But I need not Discourse this any further, because (I think) it is Agreed on all Hands, that the Sin of Schism follows the Cause. Now from all that hath been said, this or the like Definition of Schism may be Gathered, That it is an unjust Violation, Breach or Solution of the Unity of the Church: Or (to express it more plainly) a Causeless Separation from Ecclesiastical Communion.

XI. How far some more moderate Person in the Church of Rome, may be willing to go along with Me in these Considerations, I cannot tell; the Ge­nerality of them I know go further; but that will not be the least part of that Controversie; However, here we must part. But because I do profess my self a Person, who doth deeply Mourn over that dismal state of the Church, to which thefe Divisions have brought it, (and that God, who knows the Secrets of all Hearts, knows that I say true) and do wish an End of their Broils, and would Contribute the utmost of my Endeavors to Re­pair the Breaches: And do moreover freely confess, That Schism is a Sin of a very dangerous Nature; it will therefore Concern Me to discharge my self, from being either a Partner in, or an Abettor of that Mischievous Evil, of which I Complain; And therefore now I shall endeavour to prove, not only that the Cause of the Schism between the Church of England and the Church of Rome lyes at the Church of Rome's door; But further, that let them pretend what they will, that Schism was first made, and still Main­tained and Upheld for such Reasons as ought to be Strangers to the Christian Religion, and do drive on and keep up such an unwarrantable and fulsom Interest, as is not Consistent with the true state of Gods Church. If any [Page 26] Man shall give me better Information, upon due Consideration I shall b [...] willing to receive it, and thankful for it. But if any Man shall please to se [...] himself against Me, I would desire him to deal with Me as a Man, who is of the Communion of the Church of England in sense of duty, who never gave up my self to any particular Party of Men, and who in all my Studies have had a Special Eye to the Advancement of the Peace of Gods Church, and the Satisfaction of my own Conscience.

CHAP. IV. Of the Liberties and Priviledges of the Britannick Churches: And of the Actual Separation.

HE who would Build true, will first clear the Ground; And therefore I must crave leave to Remove some old Rubbish out of my way, before I can descend to some such particular Matters (for I pretend not to take in all) as I think may Justifie that Separation, which we now Maintain, (for we are not the M [...]n who made it, but defend that Church, which we found, and were born and bred in, and therefore ought not to desert it without just Cause) Two things with no lack of Confidence are Urged as a Prejudice a­gainst our whole Cause. First, That these Churches, and even all their Bi­shops did owe a particular Subjection to the Bishop of Rome, either as Sole V [...]car and Plenipotentiary of Christ Jesus on Earth, or at least as the Western Patriarch Secondly, that supposing this to be otherwise, yet since the Se­paration Matters have been decided by a General Council, (viz. That of Trent,) to which all ought to submit. I shall Endeavor to give a fair Answer to both these Objections; But first must premise, That supposing, not grant­ing the truth of either or both these Objections, yet of themselves they do not overthrow our Cause; for no Plea of any exorbitant Authority or Con­ciliar Determination can oblige us to a Sinful Communion; And if that Plea be made good against them, all their other Arguments Vanish into Air; For the Holy Ghost never Assisted any Council to make wicked Determinati­ons; Nor did the Ancients know of any such Exotick Power in the Pope, as that he might be Obeyed in every thing; for though several Mátters con­tributed to gain him an extrao [...]dinary Respect in, and Influence on the Churcb, yet they held him to the Canons; And if he deviated from them or [...] Truth, they without scruple opposed him. When Basilides and [...], two Spanish Bi [...]hop [...], justly deposed, fled to Stephen Bishop of Rome; And [Page 27] by Lyes and Flattery so prevailed with him, that he not only admitted them to Communion, but endeavored to restore them; St. Cyprian smartly op­poseth it, writes not only to the Bishops, but even to the People there to re­fuse Communion with them, Commends the Substituting two other Bishops in their Room, and says, That the Faults of Basilides in Endeavoring his Resti­tution by Stephen's means, were Non tam abolita, quàm cumulata (Epist. 68. dd. Pam.) I could bring Instances enough of this kind, but this being a by-matter in this place, I will leave it and Return to the Objections.

II. Two Titles are set up the better to secure us; But the one is purely forged: and the other is crackt, weak and bad, and not able to support the Claim which is Founded on it; It is hard to say, what Authority the Bishop of Rome doth not Challenge under the Notion of Christs Vicar; His Flatterers will scarce allow any Bounds to be Set to it, and Examine his Actions, and you will find that he [...]ets himself none, On this score, not only we, but all the Christian Churches in the World, which are not of the Roman Communion, are stigmatized for Schismaticks: On the con­trary I think, that there is no one thing that doth better Justify our Sepa­ration, then the Challenge, and (what in him lies) Exercise of such an Ar­bitrary and boundless Authority over all the Churches of God. Upon this Account this Matter will fall under a particular Consideration, as one of the principal Grounds and Reasons of our Separation; And therefore at present I will leave this great Vicar-General, and try if we can come to any better termes with the Western Patriarch.

III. This latter Title, as less liable to Exception, hath been insisted upon of late by some, who would seem to be of more moderate Principles, and more tender both of the Liberty and Authority of particular Churches: nor is it to be denied, That the Bishop of Rome had a Patriarchate in the Western part of the Roman Empire, but by what Authority he came by it, and how far it was extended, and whether he hath forfeited and justly fallen from it, and other Questions of the like Nature, will fall in of them­selves in the Series of our Discourse. In the mean time, I do think this Title to be set up at this time only as a Blind to Amuse the more unwary and well Meaning Persons, who are willing to submit to Ecclesiastical Con­stitutions, though they detest all unjust, much more all insolent and shame­less Usurpations; for if by a Charter from Christ he be his only Vicar, over the Universal Church, it is not only a Lessening of his Holiness, but a direct Affront to our Saviour, to Cope up his Deputy within Bounds, and to Give Him a limited Jurisdiction by Ecclesiastical Authority, when he is Invested with all by Original Right, and needs not any which they can Give; And it would certainly be much greater Satisfaction to the Christian World, to prove his Authority to be of God, rather then Men. Besides, I would gladly [Page 28] know, whether the Bishop of Rome will Acquiesce here, and Rest Contented with the Title and Authority of the Western Patriarch? For Patriarchal Autho [...]ity is by Ecclesiastical Constitution, and was at first Suited to the Di­visions of the Empire, and the Grandeur of some principal Cities in it; And by the same Authority it was Given may be taken away, or placed elsewhere, as shall be judged most useful and beneficial to the Church of God. Now though all this may be easily proved, yet being applied to the Bishop of Rome, (and according to the present state of the Question, it is as applicable to him as any other Patriarch) I fear the whole College of Cardinals Nemin [...] Contradicente, would Cry out, Heresie, damnable Heresie. And therefore the starting this Title at this time, I only look on as a Sly Device to let in the Cats Head, that she may with greater Ease draw in her Body after.

IV. But be it as it will, without any regard to any such ill Designes, which some Men may covertly Manage, let the Objection have its due force, and let us Examine, whether the Bishop of Rome as Western Patriarch, (so called in Re­lation to other Patriarchates in the Empire of another Site) had any peculiar and proper Jurisdiction over the Britannick Churches, or whether they were any part of his Diocess, as the word in its largest Acception signifies, A Di­vision containing several Provinces? And this I think will be fully Answered: if I prove, That in Relation to the Britannick Church, either he had no such Jurisdiction, or none by Right.

V. That the Government of the Church was left in the Hands of the Bi­shops, I shall prove hereafter. But for the more convenient and advan­tageous Management of the Churches Affairs, there began very early a par­ticular Deference, Respect and Observance to be paid to the Bishop of the principal City, where the Secular Governour had his Residence. He at first was called Episcopus primae Ʋrbis, or Sedis; Afterwards, a Metropolitan. But some overgrown Cities, whose Numbers, Wealth and Interest enabled them to overtop and oppress Others, as it were, Naturally Infused into their Bishops a Spirit of Ambition to extend their Jurisdiction and Power, Answerably to the Grandeur of their City. These Mens Encroachments were for a long time stoutly opposed, but Power naturally following Strength, Wealth and Interest, and an Advantage being given them by the New Division of the Em­pire by Constantine, they in the End prevail'd, and Grasp'd so large Jurisdiction as to have several Metropolitans under them, and obtained their first Ratifi­cation in the Council of Chalcedon, as our late Learned Bishop of Oxford hath [...]l [...]arly proved. (Account of Church-Govern.) These at first were called Exa [...]chs, afterwards Patriarchs, and sometimes Primates. Of this new Booty, with­out fail, the Bishop of Rome, as Bishop of the most Renowned City in the World, and the Ancient Seat of the Empire, carried away no small Share; for he was always of Kin to the Lion in the Fable, who, when the Prey came to be [Page 29] divided, made the Beasts that Hunted with him, Content with a very small pit­tance, if he was so gracious as to allow any thing: But yet this New Exor­bitant Power did not swallow up the whole Church, but in many Places they still Lived in their Ancient Liberty, Governed by their Bishops and Metro­politans, without being subject to any Pratriarch; of which the Cyprian Churches are a famous Instance in the East, and I can yet see nothing to per­swade me to think otherwise of the Britannick in the West.

VI. Never any Succession of Men have stood so constantly on their Guard, and have been so watchful, diligent and industrious upon all occasions, to de­press others and Exalt themselves, as the Bishops of the Roman See: All was Fish that ever come to their Net; If they could at any time steal into a Ju­risdiction, though never so unjustly, they would never quit it, or not without strong Tugging and eternal Claiming. And therefore Considering this Tem­per it were a fair Proposal, that Setting aside Flams and Impertinencies, they would produce any fair Footsteps of a proper Jurisdiction exercised by the Bishop of Rome over the Britons, within the space of a Hundred years after the Council of Chalcedon; For when Men have always been so busie in Acquiring, so tenacious in Keeping, so severe in Exercising Jurisdiction, and want no Records, (unless what themselves have either falsifyed or abused); That these Men can produce no good Evidence for such a Jurisdiction, to Me it seems a good Argument, that from the Beginning there was none. If bare Claims, (and those coming after) were enough, no Man could live in Peace: And therefore he that will thrust another out of possession for his own benefit, must well and clearly prove his Title. Had these Islands belonged to the Roman Patriarch, there was no strength in them to have kept out his Power, when it was back'd with the least Shew of Right. If therefore it cannot be proved, that the Bishop of Rome was in possession of such Jurisdiction, here, at or near the time that Patriarchates were setled, he may let his Suit fall; un­less he have more Hopes from force or fraud, then Right; In this Cafe, if in any, that Common Rule, Idem est non esse, & non apparere, hold good; And the rather, because the Canon that Confirms Patriarchates, supposeth the former Exercise of fuch Jurisdiction by Custom. What by degrees he gained long after, may serve well enough to prove him an Usurper, but can Create him no Right, as I shall prove Anon.

VII. Now though it be all the Reason in the World, that if the Romanists will pretend a Title, they should prove it; yet I will not barely insist upon Possession on our part, without giving some Reasons that may manifest our Right to it. If the Patriarchate of the Bishop of Rome was Confined to the Suburbicary Churches, it is most certain, that the Britons lay too far off to be Hook'd in by that Title; What other Evidence can be brought for the cer­tain Bounds of his Patriarchate, I cannot tell; I have met with no better: [Page 30] And this having been plainly Assigned to him, it will concern them to bring their Proofs, who will extend it further, and therefore I will not longer in­sist on it. Yet this among other Reasons moves me to think, that as Pa­triarch he had no proper Jurisdiction either over the Gallican or Spanish Churches, and divers others, otherwise then as he might sometimes interpose as an Honourary Arbitrator, or at other times upon a nicking Opportunity with the diligence of a watchful Usurper, invade their Rights. That the French Churches came not under his Authority in the same way and manner, that some Others did, the Liberties of the Gallican Churches so stoutly Maintained to this very day, are an irrefragable Instance; And perhaps that is almost the only Church of the Roman Communion, which affords us any Hope, that the Cause may one day come to a more equal Hearing, and Matters be brought more to Rights in the Church of God. But as for our selves, if the Bishop of Rome never Exercised any such Patriarchal Jurisdiction over the Britons, nor would they own or submit to any such (considering the low Estate of the One, and the Power, Arts and indefatigable Industry of the other) it will be a Convincing Argument to any unprejudiced Person, that he never had any such Juris­diction here; That he did Exercise any such Jurisdiction, I deny; And it will Concern them to Convince Me by clear Instances of the contrary, who will Assert it; But if it were possible, that they could tell me Five Hundred Tales of Persons sent over hither by the Bishop of Rome, I shall not Value it one Rush. For if wherever he sends one of an Errand, he Requires the Ju­risdiction of the place, as he hath the Privilege which never Man had; so if he hath not been very negligent and false to his own Interest, he might long since have gained the Jurisdiction of the whole World, and that is certainly too much for a Patriarch, which is our present dispute. But though I am not bound to prove the Negative, yet to shew that he could have no such Juris­diction, I shall produce two Arguments, the one taken from the different Rites and Usages of the Britons from the Romans; The other from the Brittish Bishops downright disclaiming such Authority, and Asserting and Proving their Liberty.

VIII. Doubtless it doth more Concern us to be truly thankful, that God hath Vouchsafed us the Light of his Gospel, and to be careful to live acccrd­ing to it, then scrupulously to enquire after the precise time, when the Britons Received the Christian Faith. But if Enquiry should be made, (which in our present Case may not only be allowable but useful) I am prone to think it would appear, That the British Churches were so far from being the Slave, that they were the Elder Sister of the Church of Rome; And if neither the Gift of Christ, nor the Canons of the Ancient Church have dealt her any hard Measure in this Matter, certainly the Prerogative of her Birth-right ought to invest Her with some Honour and Priviledge, at least to Shield Her from [Page 31] Truckling too much to the Power and Petulance of her younger Sister: And the rather because she hath not been unfruitful, as having brought forth the first Christian King, furnished the World with the first Christian Emperour, afforded the first (call her as you please) Christian Queen or Empress, and of all Others first so Received the Faith, that it was the publick, Allowed and Au­thorized Religion of the place, in which Respect she hath sometimes been Honoured with the Title of Primogenita Ecclesia; But to pass by these Ho­nourary Titles, it is generally Agreed, That the Britons, as in several other Matters, so especially in the Observation of the Feast of Easter, did differ from the Romans: And to find out the true Reason of this, I think the best Way will be to look still higher, even to the first times of Christianity. Our blessed Saviour was so far from separating from the Jewish Church, that he made them his particular Care and Charge, and seems to have so designed all his Labours for their Conviction and Reformation, that all Nations might have been Aggregated to them in his Name; And therefore he was generally shy towards Others, and being Urged with Arguments in favour of the Wo­man of Canaan, plainly Answers, (Matth. 15. 24.) I am not sent, but unto the lost Sheep of the House of Israel. This Honour towards the Jewish Church, (the only Church of God then on Earth) and Care that it might not be lost, [...]at rather that the Wall of Separation being broken down, all Others might be let in to Her, continued with the Apostles and Difciples of Christ, after his Death and Resurrection, for they remained still at Jerusalem, preaching to the Jews. And when the Cruelty of Herod, and Malice of the Jews followed them so close, that they were many of them forced to Fly out of Jerusalem to save their Lives, yet their kindness to the Jews, and Hopes of their Con­version still stuck clofe to them, in so much that those, who were scattered upon the Persecution of Stephen, and went as far as Phenice, Cyprus and An­tioch, Preached the Word to none but the Jews only, (Acts 11. 19.) And there was need of no less then a Miracle to perswade Peter to go and instruct Cornelius a Gentile in the Way os Truth, (Acts 10.) and though he did go upon such unanswerable Motives, yet he was called to an Account for it: The going in unto Men Uncircumcised was thought a Crime not to be suffered, unless extraordinary Reason could be given for it. And perhaps this Tenderness to­wards the Jews might be no small cause of Peters Judaizing at Antioch. Now whilest the Disciples did Adhere so close to the Jews, it is not only Reasonable to suppose, that they Used their Customes and Rites; But we have Scripture Testimony of some Instances, wherein they did so, as in the matter of the Sabbath, (though they kept also the Lords Day) and Circumcision, and some other things. And therefore it is likely, that they did observe with them their other Fasts and Feasts, especially that which was Accounted the Prin­cipal, the Passeover. For as they look'd upon these things as in their own Na­tures, [Page 32] to be matters then indifferent, so tbey did hope to draw off the Jews by degrees, and to let the Law of Moses go off Honourably rather by Difuse then Contempt. And this Practice continued for some time after the Conversion of divers of the Gentiles by the Disciples, who were dispersed by the Perse­cution at Jerusalem. And therefore I take that Plea of Polyerates for his dif­ferent Observation of Easter from Victor Bishop of Rome, to be a Testimony of the very early Conversion of those Asiatick Churches, and that they were of the First fruits of Christianity. But after that God, by bestowing the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles, and other clear Signes and Indications of his Will, had Convinced all the Apostles and Ministers of the Word, that it was not only lawful, but their Duty to make known the Words of Eternal Life unto the Gentiles, and the Gentiles upon their Preaching in all places did plentifully Flock into the Church, then in those Gentile Churches Christian Liberty began in a greater Measure to be Maintained against the Mosaical Rites. And now Paul, who Circumcised Timothy, refused to Circumcise Titus; yea, even the Council at Jerusalem disburthen of all those Matters ex­cept some few things, which the Necessity of the Times would not permit them to take off, unless they should have utterly disobliged the Jews, of whom they had some Hopes. And about this time it is probable began the strict Observation of the Lords Day, with the Neglect of the Sabbath; And the Celebrating the Resurrection, not on the precise time of the Jewish Passe­over, but on the first day of the Week, (Called the Lords Day, from his Re­surrection on that day) next following the Fourteenth of the Moon. And yet though this was Allowed in the Gentiles, yet in Communion with the Christian Jews, a greater Regard was had to the Law; And therefore when that great Assertor of the Gentiles Liberty St. Paul, came up to Jerusalem, though the Disciples Approved what he had done, yet they Advise Him to go purifie himself in the Temple, and do such other Matters, that he might Appear according to the Opinion of the Jews, to Walk orderly and keep the Law, (Acts 21.) But when neither Pains, Patience nor Arguments could prevail, but the Jews became more obstinate then ever in Adhering to the Mosaical Rites, and obtruded them upon all Others, with the Opinion of such absolute Necessity that they became a Scandal to the Gospel, and made the Death of Christ in vain, and upon this Account were the Implacable Enemies of the Christians in all Places; Then to Vindicate the Gospel the Christians were under a Necessity to depart from them; And those, who before Complyed all that could be with them, now lest they should seem to Countenance the Opinion, That Salvation was by the Law of Moses, not by the Faith of Christ Jesus, Fled as far as they could from them, and would not joyn with them in, or Practise any of the Rites peculiar to the Law of Moses; for the Matter was now come to that pass, that they could not do it without betraying the [Page 33] Christian Religion; so that now ceased the Obligation to these Matters, which the Council at Jerusalem had formerly imposed in favour of the Jews, and Hopes to Win them. And hence it is probable, many Churches too [...] Occasion to turn the Great Festival of the Jews the Sabbath into a F [...]t. And for this Reason amongst Others, viz. That they might not Ground their Festival from any Jewish Rite, or because they thought the Account no [...] exact, they declined the Fourteenth of the Moon, and began that Feast on the Lords Day, reckoning from the Fifteenth to the One and Twentieth of the Moon. Now not to Run over the Stories of Simon Zelotes, Joseph of Ari­ [...]athea, and Others, who are Celebrated for the first Planters of the Chri­stian Religion in these Isles: From these Premisses it is not irrational to Con­clude, that the British Churches, observing the Feast of Easter after the Usage which obtained before the Separation from the Jews, and the Roman Church more exactly as was devised afterwards, the Gospel in all probability must have been Preached and Received in Brittain, some time before any Consi­derable Church was Gathered at Rome; And being this Usage continued for several Hundreds of Years, though the Bishops of Rome were so far from suf­fering it in, that they would scarce suffer it out of their Jurisdiction, it will follow, that these Churches were neither of Roman Conversion, nor Roman Ju­risdiction.

IX. This Matter will be much clearer, if we now descend to Consider the Debates, Behaviour and Actions of the Brittish Bishops towards Augustine the Monk, who was sent hither by Pope Gregory for the Conversion of the Saxons. But first to prevent mistakes I must tell you, that I have no design either to Vindicate the Brittish Bishops in the Observation of Easter, or to con­demn the Roman; It Matters not to Me who was right or wrong; but it is the Difference and the Grounds whereon it was Maintained, which serves my Ends. The Britons were not Quartodecimani, as some have supposed; for those kept the Feast on the Fourteenth of the Moon, on what day of the Week soever it fell: but the Britons expected the Lords Day. But I suppose none now will Contest it, but that the Romans were most exact and right in their Observation; but then that arose from this Nicety, That the Law of Moses Commands the Paschal Lamb to be slain in the Evening of the Four­teenth day of the first Month: Now according to the Jewish Account, who Reckoned the foregoing Night to the following day, that must be on the Be­ginning of the Fifteenth day: But the Britons, who Reckoned not from Sun­set, but from Sun-rise, and so on the contrary joyned the following Night to the foregoing day, could not see this, but must of course take the Evening fol­lowing the Fourteenth Day, to be part of the Fourteenth Day. And there­fore their Practice being suitable to their Common Conceptions; And having obtained amongst them from their first Entrance into Christianity, it was [Page 34] unreasonable that those, who had no Jurisdiction over them, should impose an Alteration upon them, and still worse to raise irreconcileable fewds, and make Divisions in Gods Church for such a matter; As if a Man could not be a good Christian, without being an exact Astronomer, and Critically cunning in the Customes of other Nations.

X. But to Return to our Matter. Mauritius, according to Beda, (Eccl. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 23.) came to the Empire in the Year 582; In the Tenth Year of his Reign Gregory came to the Popedom; And he in the Fourteenth Year of the same Emperours Reign sends Augustine to the Saxons, so that A [...] ­gustines first M [...]ssion was about the Year 596, But though he and his Com­panions seem [...]d to set forth with great Chearfulness and Resolution, yet whe­ther from the dread of a Warlike and barbarous People, or from an Appre­hension of their inability for the Work, as not understanding the Language, or what other Cause I know not; After mature deliberation in Council they fairly tack about, and Sail back again. This much troubled the good Pope, who by all Circumstances seems to have Set his Heart on this Work; And he had the greater Reason for it, because it was already half done to his Hands; And therefore he gently Reproves those faint-hearted Souldiers, but takes greater pains to encourage them; And that they might want nothing to Fit them for the work, he Sends and Recommends them to Etherius Archbishop of Arles, who furnisheth them with Interpreters de Gente Erancorum, (Bed. Eccl. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 24. & 25.) And now away they go for good, and Land in the Isle of Thanet, and perhaps there was no great difficulty in Converting King Ethelbert, for it was now about 150 Years since the Coming in of the Saxons; And though their Quarrel was with the Britons, yet they could not in all that time but understand somewhat of the Christian Religion from them. Besides, Ethelberts Queen was a Christian, and de Gente Erancorum Regiâ (as Beda phraseth it); And it was Conditioned at her Marriage, That She should have the fr [...]e Use of her Religion; And the Condition was duely kept; for whereas the King had his Court in Canterbury, the Queen had for her Use the then Ancient Church of St. Martin standing at the Towns-End, and her Bishop Lindhardus, who Officiated; And any Body will suppose▪ That both She and her Bishop would do all they could to Influence and perswade the King: Further, Beda (Eccl. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 25.) saith expressly, though somewhat mincingly, That Antea fama ad eum Christianae Religionis pervenerat. And Gregory the Great in one of his Letters saith, They were desirous of it. And whosoever shall duely Consider the whole Behaviour of King Ethelbert, will find in him no Aversion to the Christian Religion, but that like a wise Prince he only [...]ook care so to manage the Matter, that he might Receive it with the Satisfaction of his Subjects, and draw them to it after him. Well, in a short time the King is Convert [...]d, and Augustine becomes his Favourite: [Page 35] And yet before this, with the true Industry of a Monck, he Lends the Ho­nest Bishop Linhardus a Lift, who had prepared Matters for him, and by the Kings Favour gets Possession of St. Martins Church. And here I know not well how to excuse Beda from Partiality. For he saith as little as could be be [...]ore, but henceforward not a word of the endeavors of the Queen or her Bishop, nor a tittle of all the labor and pains of the French Intetpreters, without whom this our English Apostle could have done nothing; But Augustine, like a true Son of the R [...]man Church, goes away both with all the Honour and all the pro­fit. And now being grown too great for a Monck, he makes a Journey to Arles, and by the Arch-bishop of that place, at the Motion of Pope Gregory, is Ordained no less then Archiepiscopus Genti Anglorum, (Bed. Eccl. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 27.) a pretty Fetch before New Converts understood themselves, to se­cure the whole Authority of the Nation to a Roman Missionary, and conse­quently to the Pope, whoever should be afterwards at the pains to convert them. However, after his Return he seems to have Laboured in the business, and after the Death of Pope Gregory, which Beda (Eccl. Hist. lib. 2. cap, 1.) Refers to the Year 605, he obtains a Conference with the Brittish Bishops, with a design to get their Assistance in converting the Saxons, and withal to Advance Himself by drawing t [...]em under his Jurisdiction; But whether in Hatred to the Saxons, their Mortal and indeed unjust Enemies, or through offence at Augustines Pride and taking too much upon him, or in love to their old Customes, which Augustine unseasonably would not allow, the main Business miscarried, and then first Arose the Paschal Controversie in Britain, so that at first dash here Ariseth a Prescription of about 600 Yeares for the British Usage.

XI. The Grounds whereon the Britons proceeded seem to be Chiefely these, That they would not give up their Ancient Liberties and Customes, nor de­part from the Canons of the Church. And here Beda shews himself little favourable to their Affaires, as at other times he appears very ignorant in them; for though he studiously Conceals Augustines Ambition, yet the Britons Answers plainly discover it. For their first Answer is this. Non se posse absque suorum consensn ac Licentiâ Priscis abdicare Moribus. And in the second Meet­ing or Synod their Answer is plainly this, That they will not Receive Him for their Arch-bishop, (Bed. Ecc. Hist. lib. 2. cap. 2.) But the Answer of the Abbot of Bangor shews the Reason, why they neither could, nor ought to do it; and is so pat to the purpose, that I shall set it down as Sir Henry Spelman hath Translated it from the Brittish, (Co. pag. 108.) Be it known, and without doubt unto you, That we all are, and every one of us Obedsent and Subjects to the Church of God, and to the Pope of Rome, and to every godly Christian, and to love every One in his degree, in perfect Charity, and to keep every One of them, by word and d [...]ed to be the Children of God; And other Obedience than this I do not know due, [...]te Him [Page 36] whom you Name to be Pope, nor to be the Father of Fathers to be Claimed and to be Demanded; And this Obedience we are ready to give and to pay to him, and to every Christian continually. Besides, we are under the Government of the Bishop of Kaer­leon upon Uske, who is to Oversee, under God, over us, to Cause us to keep the Way Spiritual. This Answer throughout savours the temper of the most early Pri­mitive times, and shews, That the Afflictions of the Britons had kept their Churches from that Corruption and secular Pride, which had then too much invaded Others; And from it I will only observe three things. First, That with a tender Care to express their Communion with the Catholick Church, and their duty to all Christians, they own no other Obedience to the Bishop of Rome, then as Christians they owe to any other Foreign Bishops and their Churches; And so the Bishop of Rome owed as much to Them as they to Him. Secondly, That the Authority which Augustine demanded, and the Power of any Foreign Bishop to place him over them, was a thing utterly unknown and unheard of to them; so little were they Acquainted with the Patriarchate, which is now so Confidently Asserted. Thirdly, that they were so subject to the Arch-bishop of Caerleon, That they did not think him subject to the Juris­diction of any other particular Bishop whatsoever, but that he was over them▪ next under God. And accordingly we never hear of any Appeals from him to any Superiour See; But if any thing concerned them in Common, or was too weighty for him, it was Transacted Synodically. And it is Observeable, That though the Brittish Bishops and Clergy Flockt to this Synod with their main strength, yet the Arch-bishop of Caerleon absented himself, in all like­lihood either in indignation at Augustines Claim, or lest his Appearance should seem any ways in the least to Countenance that Superiority, which he Challenged over him. The Effects of this Synod were very unhappy, for the Britons went away so Enraged at Augustines Pride and Pretences, that they would not Afford the least Assistance towards the Conversion of the Saxons; Nay, when th [...]y were Converted, it is Apparent, That they looked on them as Schismaticks, or worse, and would have no Communion with them: And in this untoward Humour they persisted, even when the Saxon Kings had brought the Brittisb Kings under some kind of Subjection. This is evident from Beda, (Ecc. Hist. lib. 2. cap. 20.) who telling us, how Carduella King of the Brit [...]ns Rebelled against Edwin then principal King of the Saxons, and by the Help of Pe [...]da King of the Mercians, slew both Him and his only Son, and utterly Routed his whole Army; after he had bestowed some ill words on them both for their pains, he has this Remarkable Passage concerning Carduella and the Britons, Sed nec Religioni Christianae, quae apud eos exorta erat, aliquid impend [...]bat Honoris: quippe cùm usque hodie Moris sit Britonum, Fidem Re­ [...]igionémque Anglorum pro nihilo habere, neque in aliquo [...]is magis Communicare, quàm Paganis. So that hence it is plain, That they continu [...]d the same not only [Page 37] after Augustines time, but even to Beda's. But to Return again to Augustine, he being every way defeated of his purpose, meditates Revenge, and incenseth Ethelbert so highly, That he stirs up Edilfrid King of the Northumbrians, and they together made that lamentable Slaughter of the Moncks of Bangor, which Beda, and after him the Romanists, as one Man Account as a Signal J [...]dgement of God upon their Obstinacy; But Others say, it was a Con­trivance, and that God more Signally Vindicated their Innocence; For three British Princes with their Mirmidons met them both, whilest they were Reek­ing hot with the Blood of these Innocents, and killed above ten Thousand of their Men, sore Wounded Edilfrid, and warmly pursued Ethelbert, by which means their sinking Spirits were Recruited, their Wrongs in some Measure Revenged, and their Borders enlarged as far as the Humber, (Spel. Co. pag. 111. & seq.)

XII. Hitherto the Britons preserved their Ecclesiastical Liberties entire, though they had lost the best part of their Count [...]ey; And neither Augustine's Reasons, nor Ethelbert's Armies, could prevail with them to give up those just Rights, which they had been so long possessed of. But when Augustine died, Laurentius succeeds him, a Man both pious and prudent, and of a much sweeter temper then his Predecessor: And he in Zeal for the Propagation of the Faith Attempts to perswade not only the Britons but the Irish to joyn with him in the Work, only he seems very desirous, that they would all unite in observing Easter at the same time; But as for the Britons, they were so far from any Accommodation, that they would not Allow of any Communion with him: Nor was his success at present much better with the Irish, for though he Hoped to find them otherwise, yet he was deceived, and upon Discovery it is Acknowledged with some Grief. Scottos (i. e. the Irish, for Beda's Scotti are Irish) nihil discrepare à Britonibus in eorum Conversatione, (Bed. Ecc. Hist. lib. 2. cap. 4) and the Behaviour of Digamus an Irish Bi­shop did not a little trouble him, of whom he has this Complaint, Ad nos venien [...], non solum cibum Nobiscum, sed nec in eodem hospitio quo vesceb [...]mur, sumere voluit, (id. ib.) so that it seems the Roman Bishops would have been content to have Communicated with the Brittish and Irish Bishops, and allowed them Orthodox; but the other would not own them to be so.

XIII. By the Way give me leave to observe, That the Britons, Scots and Irish all unanimously Agreed in the same Religious Rites. As to the Irish and Britons, it appears from what hath been said already, and will be more evident from what shall follow. As f [...]r that part of the Island now called Scotland, it was then inhabited, partly by the Scotti, who Flockt thi­ther out of Ireland, and from whom it afterwards took its Name; And partly by the Britons under the Name of Picts: For he that Considers Mr. Cambdens Reasons to prove them Britons, will never be at the pains to [Page 38] fetch them so far as Scithia, (Brit. tit. Picti) And when Beda tells us of Colum­banus an Irish Abbot going to Convert the Picts, he Confesses, That the Southern Picts had been Christians long before; and so might the Northern too: though it is probable, that living in those wilde Countreys, and con­tinually Exercised in Wars and Rapine, they might be so far degenerated, that the Recovering them to the true sense and state of Christianity, might not unfitly be called a Conversion. Now as Columbanus was an Irish Man, so Nynias, who long before Converted the Southern Picts, was a Briton, And therefore doubtless both Taught the same Rites, wherein both People Agreed. But perhaps much stress is not to be laid on the Story, so far as it Relates to Nynias; For Beda tells that part of it with an ut perhibetur, no [...] was he well skilled in the Ancient Brittish Affairs; And I am apt to think, That for the Honour of the Roman Way, which Beda upon all Occasions promotes, he patch'd that Piece to his Heard say Tale, That Nynias was Romae regulariter Fidem & Mysteria Veritatis edoctus; for the Britons at that time had little or no Converse with the Roman Christians, though they eve [...] kept a kind Correspondence and Friendly Communion with the French. Nor can I find one clear instance, that any part of the British, Scotch or Irish Churches, till after Augustines time, differed in their Religious Rites, espe­cially as to the Observation of Easter. Nay, it will appear Anon, that th [...] Roman Party themselves, yielded them to be Unanimous in this thing. Yea, Beda expressly Affirms, That Omnis Natio Pictorum, &c. The whole Nation of the Picts observe Easter the same Way. (Ecc. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 3.) And for the other it is out of Question.

XIV But to Return to Laurentius; He was not only frustrated in his pious Design by the Britons and Irish, but fell soon after into a great deal of trouble; For after the Death of Ethelbert Religion went backward amongst the Saxon [...], the Pagan Worship and Wickedness got Ground daily, and a dreadful Storm seemed to grow up apace, and Hang over the Heads of the Christians, in so much that Mellitus and Justus the Bishops of London and Rochester, dis­couraged with their ill success, and finding themselves not safe, Retire into France, and Laurentius was once Resolv'd to follow them. But it pleased God to be more merciful to these People, and propitious to his Endeavours; For he seems to have been a Man truly pious, and to have discharged all the Parts of a good Christian Bishop. And having happily Reclaimed King Eadbald, the Son and Successor of Ethelbert, he recals Mellitus and Justus. And now it is very Reasonable to suppose, That he Resolved to lay aside these Punctilio's and little Differences, and perswaded Mellitus and Justus, who both in their Turns succeeded him, to do the same; that they might be more serviceable to the main Christian Cause, and the Propagation of the Gospel; For though the Britons could by no means be Wrought on, as either [Page 39] being Jealous of the Roman Clergy, or Exasperated by the Injuries which they had and daily did Receive from the Saxons; yet the Irish and Scotch, who had not the like Quarrel as to their Territories, in a short time fall to labour in the Harvest, and that very successfully. But it should seem, that they first Agreed to enjoy their own Liberties and Rites For those who were Converted by them of the Roman Way, kept Easter as the Romans did, and observed their Rites; And those who were Converted by the Irish or Scots, followed the Irish Customes, which were the same with the Britons, and yet both Communicated with each other, and joyntly promoted the Com­mon Cause: And this with some little Disputes, which will always Happen in such Cases, continued without any breach of Communion, for a very Con­siderable times. Aidan a Scotchman, the first Bishop of the Northumbrians, preached the Gospel so powerfully, and lived so Exemplarily, That the Ro­ [...]ist [...] themselves had him in no mean Veneration; Nor doth Beda (except in the Matter of the Paschal Solemnity, in which he forgives no Man) afford any Man a fairer or sweeter Character throughout his whole History. After seventeen Years toyl God sends him a Writ of Ease, and he is Succeeded by his Countreyman Finan, who lived in the See ten Years; All this time both Romish and British Rites were promiscuously used, according as every Man was instructed by him, who Converted him, and yet both Parties lived in great Charity and Christian Communion. And thus it held till the third year of Coleman, Finans Successor, which was in the Year of our Lord 664. (Bed. Ecc. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 26.) And then that turbalent Fellow Wilfrid set it on Foot again; and violently push'd on so far, that a Synod or Confe [...]ence was had about it, where the King, the Prince. several Bishops, and many of the Clergy appear. Now Wilfrid had subtilely nickt his time; for the King was wavering, the Queen and Prince sure on his side, and Agilbertus Bishop of the West Saxons, a stiff Assertor of the Roman Way, was then occasionally come to that Court▪ The King opens the Conference, and desires his Bi­shop Coleman first to relate upon what Grounds he Relied; The Summe of whose Answer is this, That he had Received the Tradition from his Fore­fathers, who had all unanimously observed it; That herein they followed St. John the beloved Disciple of our Saviour, and the Churches which he Go­verned; And that they had also on their side the Authority of Anatolius. Now considering how Eusebius relates Matters to have been long before Ad­justed by Polycarp and Anic [...]tus, (viz. That Charity and Christian Communion being preserved, each might follow the Ancient Customes of those whom they succeeded) Any one would think this so fair a Plea, that it might deserve both a Civil and a Satisfactory Answer. Yet Wilfrid, then but newly made a Priest, with a Roman Modesty puts the Fool upon the Good Bishop Coleman and his whole Party. His Answer is Related by Beda with all Advantage, [Page 40] in which some things are true, some false. But it is Observeable, That he never tells them of any Missionaries from Rome, either to the Britons, Irish, Scots or Picts; He never tells them, that they had received the Faith by means of the Roman Church; He never Charges them so much as with In­gratitude, or to have fallen from what they had received; Nay, he doth not deny such a Tradition amongst them, but impugnes it as a too early Tra­dition, as more Ancient then he pretended to, or ought to be followed; And that they were ignorant of what was established-in the Church after the Separation from the Jews; And herein lies the main strength of his Plea. But of all things insisted on by Welfrid, nothing was so luckily urged, as that St. Peter had the Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven. For the King, in no small fear that he might be lock'd out if he displeased the Porter, presently gives the matter on Wilfrids side. But all this nothing moved Coleman, who chose rather to abandon his Bishoprick, then forsake his Ancient Customes, and seem to betray the Rights of those Churches and Bishops, who had Or­dained and sent him thither; And accordingly he Retires into his own Coun­trey, with many others, who were of the same Persuasion: And no doubt but Wilfrid and the Romanists were well pleased, that they had all to them­selves.

XV. These Considerations amongst Others, do with Me not a little shake the Credit of those Stories, that tes [...] us how Phaganus and Deruvianus, (or by what other Names they are Called, for they have not less then Twenty between them) were sent by Pope Eleutherius to King Lucius, Palladius and St. Patrick by Celestine to the Irish; or of any other Persons pretended to be sent before Augustines time. I do not deny, but that there were such Persons, who were famous in their Generation, and did eminent Service in the Church of God; But the Assertions of all our Moncks, and as many more, will not half perswade Me, that these Men were Roman Missionaries; For who can be­lieve, That these Men should come with Instructions from Rome, and yet every one of them should Agree to Establish such Rites, as were not only different from the Church of Rome, but such as the Bishops of Rome were particular E­nemies to? If any Man say, that these Rites in opposition to each other, had not clearly obtained, even in Rome it self so early, so far as Relates to Easter, that early Contest between Polycarp and Anicetus confutes it. But if it be said, that though such Usages were setled at Rome, yet they were not averse, but that Others might be Taught and Practised in other Countreys, then that b [...]stle which Victor made over all the Christian World will not suffer us to be­lieve this. But that those very Men, who were sent by the Popes to Con­vert the Britons, should Establish those Rites and Usages, which they knew he would never endure, is such a Riddle, as wants a better Oedipus then Me to unfold it; And it is somewhat strange, that in all the Contests-between [Page 41] Augustine and his Followers, with the Britons and Irish, not one of these Men should be Objected to the British, Irish or Scots, that they should never be Check'd with Ingratitude to his Holiness; that it should never be said that they had been taught otherwise, and were fallen from their first Principles and Converters. It is very Rare, that the Romanists forget themselves so much, or are meal-Mouth'd in such Cases. And therefore it is not unlikely, that the Pope, in process of time becoming the bold Man who Challenged the Command over all, the Moncks of after-times, oweing their Privileges and unjust Exemptions from their Bishops to him, in Requital made him that busie active Man, who had ever done all; And therefore when they heard or read of any People Converted by any Person, imagining that he must have Authority from the Roman See, they without scruple plainly Asserted, that he was sent thence; And their Fictions must now pass for Historical Testi­monies. And then as to the Persons pretended to be sent, Deruvianus, though Trim'd for Sound sake, and set off with a Latine Termination, carries the plain Marks of a Brittish Name, and some write him Dwywan, which the Cri­ticks may, if they can, make Latin at their leisure; If it were lawful to Guess in this Case, I should think his Name was Durwan. The like might be said concerning Phaganus, but I pass it by. But then after the Conversion of Lucius, h [...]w these Men should so readily find their way in Insulam Aval­ [...]i [...], (Glassenbury) where had been a Retreat for the Religious ever since the Gospel had been Preached in this Isle, is somewhat strange; Perhaps, it was by Miracle, but it seems more probable, that upon Encouragement they came forth, or were sent from their Monastery, and having Accomplished their Work, either for Reasons to us unknown, or as a thing usual in those times, retired thither again. As for Palladius, from whence soever he came, it is certain he died too soon to effect any thing Considerable. And for St Pa­trak though there is no sma [...]l striving for him, yet the best Reasons Con­clude him a B [...]iton; And though some sell him to the Irish, some to the Bri­t [...]s, yet it is most likely that he was Conveyed away young to the Irish, like Joseph into Egypt, where in his Affliction learning their Language, he was the better Fitted for that great Work, to which God had designed him. These Men all left the Brittish Rites in force, and made further Emprovem [...]nts upon the Stock of Chri [...]ianity, form [...]ly pl [...]nted in this Island, which things, (considering also, that they all along C [...]aimed to derive from St. John) are a strong Evidence, That this Illand was both of Early and Eastern Conversion. And perhaps that may be some Rea [...]on, that there are so many Greek words in the Brittish Tongue, and in the same Signification in both Languages, it being very likely that they might receive them from those who first Converted Then to Christian [...]ty.

XVI. This Digression will not casily be pardoned by some; And yet I shall [Page 42] Adventure to follow it with another: for it were manifest Injustice to the Gallican Churches, to pass by that Christian Prudence and Moderation, which they steadily used during all their Heats and Controversies, between the Ro­manistt on the one part, and the Britons, Scots and Irisb on the other; for, as if Irenaeus had left a double Portion of his Spirit among them, they did not think themselves bound to break Communion with any for these Matters, but did all they could to promote the Common Cause; Those of the Roman▪ Way were frequently Ordained by them, and indeed without their Help and Assistance at every Turn, they seem to have been able to do little or nothing in the Conversion of the Saxons, and yet at the same time they shew the same kindness both to the Britons and Irisb, Friendly receiving their Bishops, Com­municating with them, and if Occasion required readily Ordaining for them. But between the Gallican and Brittish [...]hurches, there seems to have been a more inward kindness, and more close Communion then ordinary; And they seem to have depended more upon the mutual Succours of each other, then any other Churches. Hence we find the Britons Assisting in the Gallican Councils; And when the Pelagian Heresie grew too strong for them in Britain, they presently have Recourse to the Gallican Churches, and re­ceive Succours thence, A Gallicanis Antistitibus auxilium Belli spiritalis inquirant, saith Beda, (Ecc. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 17.) And whereas Pope Gregory, in his Letter to Queen Brunechild, seems covertly to upbraid both French and Britons for not preaching the Gospel to the Saxons, Who (he saith) were desirous to re­ceive it; (so that Augustine had no such hard Work of it,) I know not what better Reason can be given for the Slackness of the French in this Case, (who were then a Flourishing Church, and well stored with Men of Learning, Piety and Zeal) then their Resentment of that barbarous Usage, which their Old Friends the Britons had received from the Saxons. I wi [...]l not Heap up more Inst [...]nces in this matter; but t [...]at which will make it no impertinent Digression is this, That the Britons were so inveterate against all Pretences of Roman. Authority, that they would not so much as [...]ommunicate with them; a [...]d yet at the same time the Gallican Churches held Communion with the Britons as Orthodox; Now had the Roman Patriarchate then either by Council [...] Custom extended over these Isles, the Gal [...]can Bishops for this constant Practice w [...]ul [...] have been Condemned as Schismaticks, or at least as Schis­maticis favente & adhaerentes. B [...]t no such m [...]t [...]er was ever Attempted, and [...]owever [...] Stories have since involved things in darkness, yet it seems the Matter was than too pl [...]in to be denied; No [...] was the Bishop of Rome then got to that Height, as to deal with [...]ll Churches as he Listed; so that here we have the Testimony of a Neighbor Church, (who were then well Acquainted with the B [...]itish Affai [...]s, and none of the meanest Churches in the Christian [Page 43] World) for the Liberties of the British Churches for betwixt Six and Seven Hundred Yeares.

XVII. But now to return where I left off. The Contest with Wilfrid seems to have preduced a Separation, and both Parties continued Resolutely in their own way, even unto Beda's days, who Flourished in the Eighth Cen­tury. 'Tis true, they got some little Ground on the Irish and Scots, but that [...]ery slowly, and not without great difficulty, as may appear from Beda's Narrative of the Travel and pains of Adamnanus, (Ecc. Hist. lib. cap. 16.) But as for the Britons, though oppressed on all Hands with their Enemies, they not only Asserted, but Enjoyed their Ecclesiastical Liberties, and by Beda's own Confession even in his time, would no more Communicate with the Saxons then with Pagans. This Prescription is sufficient to secure the Right of their Liberties from the Popes pretence as Patriarch, as I shall presently [...]ake appear; But yet they lived in possession of these Liberties several Ge­nerations after, as may Appear from that known Testimony of Giraldus Cam­ [...]rensis, Episcopi Walliae à Menevensi Antistite sunt Consecrati, & ipse similiter ab [...] tanquam Suffraganeis est Constitutus, nuliâ penitus alii Ecclesiae factâ Professione [...] Subjectione, i. e. The Bishops of Wales are Consecrated by the Bishop of [...]enevia, (al. St. Davids, the prime See) and he likewise is Constituted by the other Bishops his Suffragans, without any manner of Account Given, or Subjection made to any other Church. And here by the way take Notice, That the Britons kept close to the true and most early Antiquity, in paying a j [...]st deference to him, who was Episcopus primae Sedis, without using the Names of Metripolitan or Arch-bishop, which were termes of later date.

XVIII. I was never an Admirer of Personal Quarrels, and therefore was [...]ever fond of heing engaged against particular Persons; But that Arch-Traytor to his Countrey F. Parsons hath made such a Blunder and Bustle in this Matter, that it may seem needful to return a particular Answer to some things alledged by him; If scurrilous Language and Impudence be neces­sary Properties in an accurate Lyar, scarce any Man was ever better Accom­ [...]lished: Only one Qualification he wanted, without which all the Learned [...]ave thought a Man can never dextrously Manage that Trade; for either he [...]ad a very frail Memory, or else thought all other Men to be very short­ighted, and would swallow down all his Assertions without any Exami­ [...]ation. If a Conjecture of any Protestant fall in his Way, whether of any moment or not, he Teazeth it with all his might and cunning, and yet the preatest part of his Proofs are meerly Conjectural, and often very [...]round­less. He is highly Offended with Sir Francis Hastsngs, for saying, That the f [...]st Teachers of Christian Faith in Britain, were rather Gre [...]ians, and of the East Church in Asi [...], then of the West Roman Church. And for this he pe [...]empt [...]rily says, That there is no Author at all, (3 Conver. cap 1. se [...]. 4.) I will not insist [Page 44] on it, that they were Grecians, they might be of the Jewish Nation; But with F. Parsons good leave, even the Remans themselves owe their Conversion to the Easterling, either Jews or Grecians, for they were b [...]fore them in Chri­stianity; And considering the early Conversion of the Britons, it could come from none other, unless Travelling thorough the Western Parts of the World, made them of the Western Church and no other. And if he were living, I would desire him to tell me, what Countreymen S [...]mon Zelotes and Joseph of Arima [...]hea were, whom he himself makes great [...]nstruments of our Conversion. Besides, the Feast of Easter was then Celebrated uncertainly, and the Controversie not risen, and not determined till long after: And it is an Argument that we were not under the Authority of the Bishop of Rome, because these Isles did not submit to their Determination▪ But afterwards, (cap. 3. sect. 7.) forgetting himself he Acknowledgeth, That Coleman Al­ledg [...]d a Tradition from St. John and Anatolius; So that his Saying will be true, when St. John and Anatolius can be proved to be of the particular Church of Rome, and Bishop Coleman and Beda to be no Authors.

XIX He proceeds, telling us, That it is a Notorious Lie of John Fox, in say­ing, That St. Beda A [...]firmeth this Custom of Keeping Easter with the Jews to have been here in Britain in his time, as though all Britain had used it; whereas in divers Places he doth expressly Attribute the same to the Scots, that dwelled in the Island of Ireland principally, as also to some of them that dwelt in Britain, and to fome Bri­tains themselves; But all the English Church, (saith he) was free from it. Indeed it is a Mistake both in Parsons and Fox, if they thought any of them kept it with the Jews in the strict sense; For in that famous Northumbrian Dispu­tation, their Enemy Wilfrid doth not deny their Keeping it on the Lords Day, but accuseth them with a false Account from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth of the Moon; But if there were any other some, who kept it the Roman way, I would know who they were, what were any of their Names, and in what parts of these Islands they dwelt? Here all Instances utterly failed the Jesuite, and therefore he subtilely passeth it by, never offering at any proof. But I need not insist on this, because I haue already proved, that all the Christians of these Isles till Augustines time kept Easter the same way, and different from the Roman. Beda himself tells us, That Wilfrid was Confident, that his Doctrine was Omnibus Scottorum Traditionibus jure Praese­rendam. So that as Confident as he was, yet they w [...]re all against him by his own Confession, without an [...] of F P [...]rsons Exceptions. And in the Beginning of the Dispute Coleman's Assertion is this, Pasca hoc, quod agere soleo, à Ma­joribus meis accepi, qui me huc Episc [...]p [...]m miserunt, quod omnes Paetres nostri vir [...] Deo dilecti eodem modo Celebrasse, noscuntur. (Bed. Ecc. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 25.) As [...]or his English Church being free (i. e. from this Errour) nothing could be said more impertinent and ridiculous; For if he mean before Augustine's [Page 45] time, his English Church were then all Pagans; If he speak of what was in or after Augustine's time, it is nothing to the purpose; for no Body denies but that Augustine brought in the Roman way; the Dispute is concerning what was the Practice here before; And now F. Paersons may take his Lye again, as being the true Father of it.

XX. Upon this false Foundation he frames this Trifling Argument, which he seems to make great Account of: That the Britons can no more be said to be of Eastern Conversion, then a Man could say the first Preachers to them were Pelagians, because in Beda's time some Reliques of the Pelagian Heresic might be found amongst them. To which I Answer, That the Case is quite otherwise; And if in Beda's, or any others time, the Britons had been found as unanimously A­greeing in the Pelagian Heresie as they were in the Paschal Solemnity, and no Footsteps appearing that it had been otherwise, any Man would Conclude, That their first Preachers had been Pelagians, or Men infected with the same Heresie, if they were not known by the same Name. And thus he ought to have laid his Argument to make the Parallel run true to the Reality of the Cases: But he was more Crafty then so, for that had been to Confute him­self. Next, he triumphs over Fox, for saying, That Beda affirms this Custom concerning Easter, to have been in Britain almost 1000 yeares after Christ; Whereas (saith he) Beda was a much older Author, and died in the Year 735. Well, but what if all this should be done by Miracle? (without one I know not how it could) and Beda should appear almost 300 yeares after his Death to some drowsie Monk, and tell him this [...]ale? F. Parsons, if it had made for him would have Hugg'd such a Revelation: But after all, it is only a mistake, if not, a wilful One; though Fox's heedless way of Expression gave too much Occasion for it; for his meaning is this, That Beda affirmeth Easter to be so kept by the Britons in his time, and that the same Custom continued after his time amongst them so long, as to be Practised almost 1000 yeares after Christs time; And all this is very true, as shall appear Anon.

XXI. To Revenge this Wrong (as he thinks) done to Beda, he falls foul upon the Magdeburgenses, for making Jeoffery of Monmoutb to live about 700 years after Christ. Jeoffery's Testimony indeed Gauled him forely, and there­fore it was to be shuffled off by any means; Whether he hath done the Magdeburgenses Right in that thing, I neither know nor care. For their Er­rour as to the time of Jeoffery's Life doth nothing invalidate his Testimony. But if it were good before their mistake, it is so still, so that this is only Ca­villing. Besides, though Jeoffery of Monmouth lived in the time of King Stephen, which is above 500 yeares since, and so is no Yesterdays Author; yet the Work it self is much older; For he was not the Author but Translator of that History, which was written Orginally in the Brittish Language, and Accounted an Old Book before he was born, as Lambard and others have [Page 46] proved, and therefore the Testimony is more Considerable, and deserves a better Answer after all the Magdeburgenses Account, may Refer to the Mat­ter of the Testimony, and Time when the thing was Transacted, not to Jeoffery's Life; and then it will be too Modest and too favourable; To less purpose is his time spent in proving Jeoffery to be no Cardinal. I should be prone to believe him, if I had no other Reason, but his Relating a Truth so prejudicial to the Interest of the Court of Rome; But if he was not a Cardinal, he might be as honest a Man; 'Tis certain he was a Bishop, and as such was a much better Man; especially if the Pope would suffer them to be what Christ and his Apostles made them, and not Appropriate all that Authority to the Roman See, to a Share of which every Bishop hath as good Right and Title as himself.

XXII. At length, after a deal of Shuffling, Lying and Rayling, he comes to the Matter of Jeoffery's Testimony; And that he Answers easily, and so may any Man, who takes no Care to speak Truth, but only what may serve his Turn; He says, There is not a Word in it of not Acknowledging the Popes Su­premacy. I know not how there should, for such a Supremacy as is now Claimed, was not then Lick'd into form. He might have Remembred, that the Transactions there mentioned, relate to the time of Gregory the Great, then whom no Man wrote more fiercely against the Supremacy; Or, which is in effect the same thing, the setting up an Universal Bishop; Or if he had bethought himself of what he elsewhere tells us, That the Britons would not Communicate with Augustines Converts, then Dogs; he might have made it a strong Argument for their professing Obedience, and Subjection to the See of Rome. In fine, he will have their Answer Amount to no more but this, That only they would not Acknowledge Augustines Superiority over them, seeing be was sent only to the English; And that the Authority of their own Arch bishop was not taken away by his coming, for any thing they knew, but remained as before (3 Con­ver. cap. 2. sect. 14.) What pity is it, that Augustine did not better inform them? it seem's they would have been a very obedient People, had they known the Pope's Orders, and been told the Truth of the Matter. But it is an un­lucky thing, that when a Man with Working his Wits has devised an An­swer that would do the Business, he should not have the Privilege to make it pass for Truth, unless it be so in it self. Now all this is spoken by a Figure called Fiction, which the rude Vvlgar call Lying. For the Britons no more regarded the Pope then they did Augustine. I have already set down the Answer of Dinothus Abbot of Bangor, to which Jeoffery's words Relate; and he who will be at the pains to read it will see, That it is as expressly and directly Levelled against the Pope's Authority or Supremacy, (if it must be so called) as could be well f [...]amed. They impugne Au­gustines Authority by denying the Pope, and own no Superiour but the [Page 47] Bishop of Caerleon, who was to oversee under God over them, or (according to the Brittish) had the only Eye over them under God. And this they Con­firm by their unanimous Practice, despising all Orders from Rome, and ob­stinately refusing all Communion with Augustine and his Successors. Yet this and more F. Parsons Chymistry can melt into Obedience, and an Ac­knowledgement of the Pope's Supremacy. At this Rate who can doubt of Miracles in the Church of Rome?

XXIII. In the next place he is highly Offended with the Magdeburgenses, for speaking so irreverently of Pope Innocent the First, and his Testimony, That all the West Churches were Founded by St. Peter, on his Disciples and Suc­cessors. And it is no wonder if Pope Innocent spoke out for himself, and it may go a great way, where they have not to do with such Hereticks as ex­pect Proofs. If this be true, why has F. Parsons discovered some such First Founders of the Brittish Churches, as were none of Peters Disciples or Suc­cessors, His Forgetfulness sometimes doth his Holy Father as much injury, as the Magdeburgians malice; neither doth it carry any force of Truth; because by rheir own Confession there was a time, when Easter was not so ex­actly observed, as now it is, whether there was a Stated Church at Rome then or not, and that the Conversion of the Britons was at that time, I see not any better Account can be Given. To Help out this, he tells us of Two more Popes, Honorius and John the fourth, who wrote to the Irish to reduce them from this Errour; But Honorius will do him small service, because in that Account which Beda gives of his Letter, (Ecc. Hist. lib. 2. cap. 19.) it is clearly implied, that the whole Nation was involved in it, and so we have a Pope on our Side to set against him that follows. His Pope John was searce Pope then, at Best he was but [...]lect; And the Letter seems to com [...], (as' I may say) from the Chapter in the Vacancy of the See; and of those many who joyn in Writing it. Hilarius the Arch-Presbyter, not John, is first men­tione; but for once let John have the Cred [...]t of it, and he then will tell us, That this Heresie (i.e. concerning Easter) was but lately sprung up amongst them, and only some sew infected with it. But now how John and Honorius will Agree about this, I cannot tell; For once I will be so kind to F. Parsons, as to try if I can make them Friends. The Brittish and Irish Usage was in this Western part of the World a great Singularity in those days; Now if John had a Mind to draw them off from it, who can blame him from speaking favour­ably, and representing the Matter as inoffensively as could be: The Way to Win Men is not to provoke them; and we sometimes seem not to believe, that a Man is so bad as we know he is, because we would not harden him with shame, but have a defire to make him better. But when Men purposely and designedly speak sparingly, their Words are not to be brought as an Evidence of the whole Matter. But the Truth is, they had little knowledge of our [Page 48] state, but by uncertain Relations; Gregory the Great himself, when he sa [...] the English Children Sold in the Market, knew not whether their Nation was Christian or Pagan. Augustine even for some time after his Coming hither, knew not the Usage of the Britons, yea, even Laurentius his Suc­cessor had much such an opinion of the Irisb as F. Parfons, till Time and Experience undeceived him; And therefore such Forreigners as were far more ignorant of our Affairs, we may justly except against as incompetent Witnesses, especially they being the very Men who taught these Men their Errour, which their Eyes and Eares after Convinced them of.

XXIV. But now comes the Knocking Argument to this Effect; That nei­ther Damianus, and others sent by Eleutherius, nor St. German and his Fel­lows, who came twice hither to oppose the Pelagian [...], make any mention of this Usage, which they would have done and Amended it too, had they found it here, Because (saith he) both Pope Pius and Pope Victor had before Con­demned it for Heretical. I could thank the Jesuite for this Argument, for it mortally Wounds his own Cause. I will not again dispute the Mission of Damianus or Deruvianus, (or what other Names the Jesuite will give Him,) nor will I insist on it, that Germanus and Lupus were sent by the French at the Request of the Britons, and not by the Pope; But if that Usage was uni­versally practised by the B [...]itttish and Irish, and no good Instance appear, that it was ever otherwise, as I have already proved, and that it continued for a long time after; then it will unavoidably follow, that the Britons were not under the Roman Jurisdiction, nor thought themselves bound to stand to the Popes Determination: Yea fu [...]her, that these very Men, whom he saith the Pope sent were of the same Mind, or else dealt very unfaithfully in making no stir about it. Nay, being the French Churches did Commu­nicate both with Brittisb and Irish at that time, when they not only Main­tained this Usage in opposition to Rome, but refused Communion with their Bishops; It is an Argument, that they neither thought the Bishop of Romes Decrees did bind the Britons, nor that the thing was so Heretical in it self; For certainly they would never have so freely and Friendly Maintained Communion with them, had they stood in open opposition, and professed disobedience to their proper Patriarch. By this a Judgement may be made of the Rest of F. Parsons Arguments; I shall follow him no further. It is not the Observation of Easter which we dispute with Rome, but we urge the Practice of the Britons and Irish, to prove the Liberty of these Islands.

XXV. Now to avoid Tediousness in this particular, having left the An­cient Britons in possession, we must suppose they held it, till it can be proved, they were ejected. Now the first (so far as I can yet find) who Attempted this to any purpose, was Henry Beau-cl [...]rk; and he being a Wise as well as a potent Prince, thought the Subje [...]i [...]g the Welch Bishops to the Metropolitan [Page 49] See of Canterbury might be a means to keep the Welch in order, and so far as concerned his own Kingdom, he herein dealt not only like a Politick Princ [...], but even the Laws of the Church did [...]ountenance him; But then by the same Act he submitted all the Welch Bishops to the See of Rome, as things then stood, and so Compleated the Popes Conquest of these Isles; which thing the iniquity of those times would either not afford him Eyes to see, or not power to prevent; Accordingly he prefers Bernardus, a Norman, and his Chaplain, to the Bishop [...]ick of St. Davids; But Liberty and Power are both sweet things, and Bernardus being got in possession grows resty, and Asserts his Rights, and the Priviledges of his See; And here the Pope first got the Fi [...]gering of the Cause, so as to make his true Advantage of it: 'Tis true, Bernardus appeared Confident, and swagger'd bravely; but in vain did he think [...]o carry a Cause in the Court of Rome against the Archbishop of Can­terbury's Purse, and the Pope's Interest, when at the same time, and in the same thing he also Cross'd his own Kings design. There is no doubt but that his Holiness swallowed this long-look'd for Morsel with a great deal of pleasure and greediness; And yet the Sentence did not fully and quietly take place till a long time after, which possibly is the Reason that our Au­thors so differ in Assigning the time of this Submission, for the Welshmen could not yet forget what they once were, and upon all Occasions strugled hard to retain their Government amongst themselves; so that as Affairs went with the English this matter either got or lost Ground. If the English Power was at leisure to wait on the Welsh Men and awe them, then the Welsb Bishops were the Popes and his Grace of Canterbury's Grumbling Servants; But if the English Affairs were so involved that their Countrey had a little Rest, the one was as ready to Cast off the Eccl [...]siastical, as the other the Civil Yoke. And thus Matters seem to have stood Wavering till Henry the third, or Edward the first times; But about the thirty second year of Henry the third, (Matt. Paris Hist. Maj. Hen. 3. page 715) the English Forces so Har­ [...]asied Wales, that the Ground lay Untilled, Cattel neglected, the Famine Ra­ged amongst them; The Bishop of St. David died, overcome with Grief for the miseries of his Countrey, and the Bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor were reduced to that miserable Condition, as to Beg their Bread in a Coun­ [...]rey wasted with Fire and Sword. But when Matters were somewhat Com­posed, St. Davids the Metropolitical See of Wales was found to be so Impo­veri [...]ed, that it was thought a despicable Preferment for an Arch-Deacon of Lincoln, though Thomas Wallensis in Commiseration of his Countrey did accept it; And here the Brittish Ecclesiastical Liberty seems to have drawn its last Breath, or to have given only some few Gasps after; yet if we place its Fall in Henry the First his time, it will have lasted above 1000 yeare [...], but if in Henry the third's time, it will be above 1200. But henceforward till [Page 50] till the Reformation, I think it must be Acknowledged, that the Pope Rod [...] in full Triumph over all parts of these Isles; And though in some Matters he Met with smart Opposition, yet he Exercised an Authority nothing less then Patriarchal. It remains now therefore to be enquired, whether this his Intrusion or Possession did create him any Right, or any such Right, but that the Churches in these Isles, as Matters then stood, might Reform them­selves, and lawfully Re-assume their former Liberties?

XXVI. Were it not that the Romanists make a Flourish with every little Argu­ment, that seems to favour their Cause, as if there were some great thing in it; I should not think it worth my while to mention the Plea, from the Conversion of the Saxons by Augustine. For first, if it were good, that would give them but little Ground, for his Preaching seems not to have taken any Effect be­yond Kent, the East-Saxons, and perhaps some small Matter in the East-Angles; As for the Kingdoms of the Northumbrians and Mercians, which were of greatest Extent, they were apparently of Scotch or Irish Conversion; Nor will this Claim in the least touch the Britons, Irish, Scots or Picts. But Secondly, if there be any thing in this, then such Zealous Christians as have gone out from any of these Isles, and Converted Pagans, would obtain a Jurisdiction for the Metropolitans of such Places from whence they went, in rhose Countreys; But if any of our Bishops should on that score Chal­lenge a Jurisdiction in Germany, or other places, I am apt to think, that they would be well Laught at for their pains, and be esteemed very idle imper­tinent persons, if not worse used. We are therefore ready Gratefully to Acknowledge all those good Offices, which any of the Popes Predecessors have heretofore done for us, or he at any time shall do for us; But if for Others merits, or his own good Turns, he conclude he has gained us to be his Slaves; I think he Sells Kindnesses the dearest of any Man living, and we shall beg his Pardon, that we are not in Haste to agree to so hard a Bargain.

XXVII. As for these Isles, they having been truly and rightfully possessed of such Ecclesiastical Liberties, they cannot be lawfully deprived of them by any fraud or force. If another Man take away my Goods, and keep them never so long, yet if I can prove them to have been my Goods, and that they were fraudulently and forcibly taken and detained from Me, no Possession or Prescription can Create a Right to him, who by unlawful means is possessed of that which Apparently belongs to another; de facto indeed it may be otherwise, but de jure it never ought or can; And therefore it was a Sanction of the Twelve Tables, Adversus Furèm aeterna Lex esto. But the Ca­nons of the primitive Church seem more carefully to have secured the Rights of p [...]rticular Churches, then the Secular Laws have done the possessions of particular Men. The Bishops of th [...]se overgrown Cities, Rome, Antioch and [...] m [...]ke Use of their Reputation and Interest, [Page 51] to Augment their Power and Jurisdiction; But as none other had the like Advantages, so none Traded with such Success as the Bishop of Rome; These were the Occasion of the 6th. Canon, of that truly Venerable, and so much Celebrated Councel of Nice, where in Relation to the Right of Me­nopolitans, it is thus determined, [...]. And though the lat­ter part of the Canon seems to Confirm to them something extraordinary, i. e. all that Custom cou [...]d then fairly and clearly entitle them to, yet not­withstanding this Complement to Men then great and pious, it seems to have been made on set purpose, that it might be a Barr to their future U­surpations.

XXVIII. This will more plainly Appear, if we Consider the Eighth Ca­non of the General Councel at Ephesus, which was Composed with a De­ [...]gn both to Explain and Strengthen the Nicene Canon; For overmuch Greatness is hardly to be Confined within Rules; And their Topping Bi­ [...]ops had been at Work again. The Bishop of Antioch had made fair At­tempts to Seize the Isle of Cyprus, and the Bishop of Rome not only took his part, but by his Letters Condemned the Cyprian Bishops, as not wise in the Faith for opposing, and plainly gave the Cause on his Side, which had been [...]nough in all Conscience, if he had been near so infallible or powerful then, as he is now; But when the Matter came before the Councel, the Fathers without any Regard to the Authority of the Roman See, are quite of another Mind. This Act of the Bishop of Antioch, (which was the Or­daining Bishops in Cyprus) they stile, [...]. An Innovation contrary to the lawes of the Church, and the Canons of the Holy Fathers. And though the Complaint was particular as to the Province of Cyprus, yet they make it a Common Cause, saying that it was a Matter [...], which concerned the Liberties of all Churches. They Compare it to a Common Disease, which needs a stronger Medicine or Cure; And then ha­ [...]ing Restored the Cyprian [...] to their Rights, lest they should seem negligent of other Churches, and leave them open to Usurpers, they make their [...] General against all other Persons, who should invade the Rights of any [...]ther Church whatsoever, and that twice in the same Canon; so jealous [...] tender were they in this point. First, [...], &c. That the same thing should [...] Observed in all other Diocesses and Provinces whatsoever, that none of the most Holy Bishops should invade any other Province, which of old time and from the beginning had not been under the Government of him or his Predecessors; But lest this should not be enough, they Back it again with another Sanction, [...], &c. It hath seemed good to the Holy and Universal Syn [...]d, that [Page 52] the Rights of every Province, which Confirmed by old Custom have been Held formerly, even from the Beginning, shall be preserved pure and invi­olable, and that every Metropolitan have free Liberty to take a Copy of their Transactions for his own Security. And here we have the Nicene Canon not only Confirmed, but we are informed what are those [...], those Ancient Customes, which they would have take place. They were such, which were not only [...] but [...], not only of some time back­ward, but from the Beginning. And if these be they which must carry the Cause, I think the Churches of these Isles are or ought to be as safe, as ever were the Cyprian. For these had not then so much as been Attempted, when the other were but a small Matter from being quite Ravished, and had undoubtedly been swallowed up, had a General Councel been kept off but some few yeares longer. But that they might more effectually pre­vent the Mischiefs which Attend such Encroachments, and the Detriment and Dishonour done to Religion by them, the Holy Fathers give no less then three Reasons for this their Constitution. First, [...]. That the Canons of the Fathers may not be trans­gressed, it seems the Laws of the Church had been all along against it. But what of that? What are Canons to the Pope, who is subject to none. 'Tis pity he was not excepted: But the true Reason is, because the Fathers thought he ought not. The Plenitudo Potestatis, now so much boasted of, was not then thought of; Or if it was, durst not appear abroad, lest it should have been Knock'd o'th' Head for a Monster. Popes themselves in those days pleaded the Canons, and were iudged by them: And this Canon hath a peculiar evil Aspect upon him; for it is directly contrary to his declared Opinion and Determination in behalf of the Bishop of Antioch. So that if the Popes now do not regard the Canons, it seems heretofore they as little regarded him. The second Reason of the Canon is expressed thus, [...]. That the Pride and Va­nity of Secular Power may not enter the Church, under a pretence of Dis­charging the Ministerial Function, which seems directly to point to that Saying of our Saviour to his Disciples, (Matth. 20 25. I Cite the Original, because there is something peculiar in the words, which our English Tran­slation could not easily reach,) [...]. Surely if these Fathers had not a Grudge at the Bishop of Rome, they had a foresight of his Progress. For put together what the Bishop of Rome now Acts, and what, he Claims; And if that Typhus Seculi, which the Antients all along so feared and bitterly inveighed against, be not brought into the Church by him; I will be bold to say, that all their Feares were Follies, and that it neither it nor ever can be brought in whilest the World stands. The third Reason [Page 53] ought to Affect any Man, who calls Himself a Christian. It is this, [...]. Lest by degrees we lose that Liberty, which our Lord Jesus Christ the Redeemer of all Men hath purchased for us, (or bestowed on us) with his Blood. If so, our Churches, in stead of being blamed, ought to be highly Commended for defending this Liberty: And as he, who shall invade it, ought at present to be discountenanced by all others, so it is to be feared, that he will have asad Account to make up in the day of the Lord Jesus, though he pretend to be his Vicar. Now if Reason could prevail, here is sufficient; But be­cause oftentimes Men will not be Ruled by Reason, therefore the Fathers yet take a further Care to Compel them by Law, and determine in the same Canon, That [...], &c. If any Man do Seize anothers Province, and subject it to Him, [...], That He shall Restore it; And that they might take away all Pretences, they Conclude, [...]. That if any Man should produce a Constitution contrary to what is now determined, it shall be void, or of no Authority. Now if there be any Reverence for, or force in a Canon, so carefully penn'd, by so Venerable a Councel, then it is plain, That we have withdrawn no Obedience which the Pope could lawfully Claim, nor Cast off any Authority that he was possess [...]d of in Right; For being there were then Churches in these Illes, setled under their Bishops, according to the primitive Forme and Usage, and Owed no Subjection to the Bishop of Rome, either as Metropolitan or Patriarch, as hath been proved; then whatever Pretences he can now make [...]or any Authority over us, are by the Councel determined to be void; And what Usurpatiòns soever he hath made, are Adjudged to be Restored; So that if they have no better Arguments then the Bishop of Rome's Authority as Patriarch, that will do them no service here; but it will rather Appear, That we have pro­ceeded very Canonically in our Reformation

XXIX. Thus much will clearly Appear, That as the Bishops of those po­pulous and powerful Cities, Rome, Antioch and Alexandria, were ever and A­non making Inroads upon other Mens Jurisdiction; So the Three First Ge­neral Councels were very careful to Fence the Liberties of the Church a­gainst their and all others Encroachments. For as for the Second General Councel, which I have Omitted, any Man may be abundantly satisfied, who will take the pains to Read The Account of the Government of the Christian Church▪ written by the Learned Dr. Parker, late Bishop of Oxford; Yet either Tyred with endless strugling, or over-born with power, or out-witted by Cunning, or rather wrought on by all these means, thē Fourth General Councel did plainly Amplifie their Power. For after the Translation of the [Page 54] Seat of the Empire to Constantinople, the Bishop of that place by the favour of the Emperour, by the Power of the City, by the Assistance of Depen­dants, and by a lucky Opportunity offered from the New Division of the Empire, suddenly starts up from a mean Suffragan to be the Second, and perhaps most powerful Bishop of the Empire. And now a Councel Meet­ing at Chalcedon, just under his Nose, and Consisting mostly of Eastern Bi­shops, and many of them his Dependants, and where the Emperour some time Appeared in Person, and his Ministers all along bore a great sway. This he thought was the time, if ever, to get that done, which no Coun­cel before would hearken to; And to obtain a Confirmation of that ex­orbitant Jurisdiction, which that Ravenous See had seized in few yeares space. But in doing this, he is constrained to do Others Business, that he might do his own. And here first. we find one set over the Head of the Metropolitan, and an Appeal from Him Ratified by Canon; And thus the Bishops of those great Cities Mounted into Exarchs, afterwards called Patriarchs, and the Bishop of Constantinople got the best Share. There was doubtless no mean Artifice used in the Managery of this Matter; for it seems to be rather Slurr'd upon the Councel, then Acted by them: And the Foxes themselves, the Bishop of Rome's Legats were here caught, and all they could do was afterwards to Protest against Proceedings in this Matter. But when Leo heard of it at Rome, he fell a Roaring at no Rate, not that he had too little, but taht the Bishop of Constantinople had too much; He was in a bodily fear of such a dangerous Competitour, who on a sudden had from almost Nothing Risen to such Greatness, that he was able to Cope with Him; And by the Grandeur of his City, his Interest in the Clergy, and favour of the Emperour, might in a short time be able to over-top Him. It is not unlikely, that Leo might think, that he could have scram­bled well enough for Himself without the Help of any such Canon, and might possibly look on it as a Confinement. But whatever he thought, his Plea is clear contrary, and that he might depress the Rising Constantino­politan, he is Tooth and Nail for the Nicene Canons, and the power of Me­tropolitans, which by the Way is an Argument, that it was not then thought, that the Nicene Canons Erected Patriarchates, as some since Main­tain. The Issue of this Quarrel I am not concerned to pursue; But grant­ing the Bishop of Rome to be here made Patriarch, you see he doth not care to accept it: But suppose him to be N [...]lens Vol [...]ns invested with it, yet the Churches in these Isles were out of the Reach of it, and lived long after in their former state and freedom, and therefore may still Challenge the Be­nefit of the Ephesme Canon against Usurpations.

XXX. But now let us for once suppose, what can never be proved, viz. That the Patriarchate of the Bishop of Rome was Legally and Canonically [Page 55] extended [...]ver these Isles; yet what Feats will this do for him? even under Patriarchates, (for they did not obtain in all places of the Empire) the power of Metropolitans was still Reserved; they still Ordained the Bishops of their Provinces; they did Convene and hold Provincial Synods, and determined Matters as formerly; Only whereas the Metropolitan was before Ordained in his Province by his Suffragans, now he was to be Ordained by the Pa­triarch, or at least with his Consent, and there lay an Appeal from him and his Synod. In short, the Power of a Patriarch Consisted in certain known lastances, but chiefly in Conjunction with the Bishops of his Diocess or Ex­archate. Now what a pitiful shrivel'd thing would the Pope think this, if it were offered him? How would he fret and storm, if we should thus Admit Him, and Tye his Hands behind Him? And yet as Patriarch this is all he can Claim; But to Claim that and ten times more, where he hath not so much as a Patriarchal Right, is such a Piece of Impudence as none would be guilty of, but those who can blush at nothing. And therefore it will be best not to trust him, but hold our own as long as we can.

XXXI. Upon the same Supposition we may still proceed further, and En­quire, whether a Patriarchal Power do Entitle a Man to all he can Grasp, or lay his Hands on? Are we so fast bound, that there is no getting quit of Him, though he Command such Matters as dishonour God, disturb the Church, mislead Christians out of the true Way, and does Actually Tyran­ [...]ize over Mens Souls, Bodies and Estates? Patriaschal Autherity was first Instituted for the good of the Church, that Order might be preserved, Pu­rity of Religion secured, all Persons contained in and held to their Duties, and Heresies and Schisms prevented. But now, if this Power be made use of against all these Ends, must the good of the Church give way to [...] of it to the good of the Church? That it has been and is abused by the Bishop of Rome, contrary to all these Ends, might be fully proved by an Induction of Particulars, but that would lead Me into too large a Field; And I shall therefore Omit here, because it will be done hereafter, when I shall insist on those particular Heads, which prove the Romanasts guilty of the Schism. Besides, a Patriarch is only a Bishop with an extended Jurisdiction; The Bi­shop is the highest Order in Gods Church, the Patriarchate is only an Eccle­siastical Gift or Institution, whereby the Bishop of a certain place is En­trusted with the oversight of more Churches for the Enlarging Communion, and securing Religion; Now if any Bishop go against the Canons, or teach false doctrine, or encourage lewd Practices, and preach up ill Manners, his Flock might desert Him, and joyn in Communion with such as were Or­thodox: If a Metropolitan took such Courses, the Bishops of his Province might cast Him off, and Govern their Churches by themselves independently of Him. And of a Patria [...]ch, who hath somewhat a greater trust, shall at [Page 56] the same Rate abuse it, he ought the more speedily to be Renounced, to A­void the greater Mischief and Detriment, which will otherwise befal the Church of God. Ecclesiastical Constitutions must give way to Divine, and when instead of serving them, they overthrow or frustrate them, they are ipso facto void and null. Let us suppose, that a Person were Recommended to the Pope to be Consecrated or Instituted Archbishop of Gaenterbury, be­sides the tedious Waiting and large Feeing that must be in the Case, his Ho­liness will have for First-Fruits, 10000 Florens, and for the Pall 5000, (for these were the old Rates,) And besides all this, to secure the New Arch­bishep to be at his devotion at all times for the future, will force Him to take an Oath, not of Canonical Obedience, but of Fealty, (for that they have brought it to.) Now perhaps the King may not be willing, that such great Summs of Money should from time to time be dreyned out of the Nation; And as much more Averse, that his Subjects should Swear Allegiance to an­other Prince, as thinking it prejudicial to his absolute Sovereignty, and in­consistent with the safety and peace of his Kingdoms. What shall be the Issue of rhis? Either the Person Recommended and King too must yield, or we must have no Metropolitan, and the King shall be Excommunicated. And if he continue stubborn and obstinate in the Right, perhaps the whole Kingdom shall be put under an Interdict; And so if your Purses be not at the Popes service, and your Persons his Slaves, you shall not be suffered so much as to Worship God. Now is not this a fine Patriarch? And would it not be a great Sin to cast Him off, and serve God whether he will or no? This Power the Pope has used, this Power he still pretends to, and he that Claims an Authority against God and his Worship, who was only Entrusted for it, hath Forfeited his Trust, and fallen from the Honour of it.

XXXII. I shall now only Advance one step higher, and then leave this mighty Patriarch, till we Meet him again in another disguise. Let us still suppose the Roman Patriarchate to have extended over these Isles; Nay more, be it supposed that the Pope is his Holiness indeed, and that he could be ac­cused of no ill Management; yet I doubt not but his Patriarchate hath of it self in course failed ceased and become void, at least so far as Relates to their Churches; And that too, by those very Laws and Canons of the Ancient Church, which may seem to have Erected or Countenanced it. The Mo­tives, Reasons and Ends of a Law ought to be well Considered, because It is not the Words and Phrases, but the Sense and Meaning which is the Law: And therefore we commonly say, That Ratio Legis Lex est. Now nothing can be more plain, then that the Bounds of Eccsesiastical Jurisdiction were Framed on purpose, that they might not interfere with the Civil Power; And as hereby the Church manifested her Tenderness and Regard to it, and the Subjection of her Members, so She Reaped no small Benefit by it. Hence [Page 57] the Limits of Jurisdiction in the Church followed the Divisions of the State: Where the Governour of the Province had his Residence, there of course the Metropolitical Authority placed it self, and the Bishop of that City was he, whom the Apostles Canons, (Can. 35.) call the First, to whom all the other Bishops of the Province are to have such a peculiar Re­gard, that they are to Act nothing of Common Concern without his Cor­currence. And so after the Division of the Empire into Diocesses, sud­denly rose up that Rank of Men since called Patriarchs. But by the way we must observe, that this did not take in all places. For in some Cities where the Vicars of the Empire Resided, were not of Strength, Interest and Power sufficient to Mount their Bishops into Patriarchs. Besides, the Bi­shops of the Church were exceeding jealous of this new start-up Power, as savouring more of Worldly Pride, then Episcopal Care, and therefore kept it out wherever they could: And the wary African Bishops made a Decree against so much as the Use of the Name; And great Reason they had for it, for it would be no hard Matter to prove, that by this means crept in those Abuses and Corruptions into the Church, which are now Maintained with a Pretence of Authority, and therefore the more Reme­diless. Moreover, as this new Honour was dangerous, so it was needless, for the Diocesses, though they seemed to swallow up, yet they did not destroy the Provinces; So that the Metropolitical Authority remained still Suited to the Government of the State, and was much more safe and better Fitted to keep out Secular Pride, Vanity and Worldly Pomp out of the Church; And though it was thought requisite, that the Ecclesiastical should Comply with the Civil Government, so far as to be useful in the State, yet it was never thought needful to run out into all Divisions of Ci­vil Government, so as to be prejudicial to the Church. But however, if those Laws of the Church, which Erected or Confirmed Metropolitical or Patriarchal Power, proceed upon this Grand Reason, That the Govern­ment of the Church might be Agreeable to the State, then it is Apparent, that they never did immoveably Fix such Authority to any particular pla­ces; for Alteratio [...]s often happening in States that might be clear con­trary to their designes; But th [...] End, Sense and Meaning of those Laws must be this, that the Governours of the Church should always be careful, that the Limits of Church mens Jurisdiction should be made to Comply with the Divisions and Limits of the Civil Government, under which they live, that both may Sit easie, and be useful to each other. And doubtless, the God of Order never intended, that his Church should Fill the World with Disturbance and Confusion; which will be unavoidable, if those two Powers be always Clashing; If then such Civil Divisions are abolish [...]d, and the Government ceased or altered, for whose sake such Metropolitical [Page 58] or Patriarchal Power was Erected, then those very Laws themselves, which first Erected it, do in their professed Design, Reason and Intention, not only disannul it, but direct the Governours of the Church to establish or procure the Establishment of such other Limits of Jurisdiction, as may be more sa­tisfactory to the State, and beneficial to the Church. Indeed, all these Su­pereminent dignities, whereby one Bishop was raised above another, were Erected either for he better Management of Affaires in the Roman Em­pire, or for the Grandeur of it; Or else sprang up by degrees for the benefit of those Cities, which were of greatest Power and Interest, in which thing Rome had the most advantage, as being the Imperial City, and giving Deno­mination to the whole Empire. But now that Empire being broken, and Resolved into several absolute and independent Principalities, other Mea­sures ought to be taken, and for the same Reason, that such Authority was set up, it ought now to be taken down, or Restrained; And the Limits of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Confined within the Extent of the Civil Power, and Exercised for its Ease, Safety and Benefit. And it seems to Me to be a Matter not to be despised, that though the Holy Scriptures of the New Te­stament were written under the Government of the Roman Empire, and in the time of its greatest Height and Glory; yet the word Emperour, (so far as I can Call to mind) is no where to be found there. Indeed there is a Precept Relating to Caesar, by Reason of a particular Question, which de­termined it to that Name, and the word Augustus and [...], (which An­swers it) are Historically mentioned; But these (what use soever After­times made of them) were then Gentilitial or Honourary Titles: But the Name Emperour was that by which they then Ruled, and which Held all along, whatever other Titles or Distinctions were devised; And that I think is no where to be found in the New Testament, at least, not in that sense; Perhaps the word [...], which mostly Answers it was thought too presumptuous; However it is, the Security the New Testament gives them, is only by Commanding Obedience to the Higher Powers, or in the like Phrases, never mentioning their distinct Title. But though the Name of Kings was odious to the Romans, yet most of the Evangelical Precepts, which Require Obedience to the Civil Power, expressly direct it to Kings; so that they seem to be given not only with a Spirit of Prophesie, that that great unweldy Body should fall in pieces, and be divided into several King­domes, but also with a special design to secure and oblige all Christians to Obedience and Submission to such Kings. And if we further consider, that our Blessed Saviour hath told us, That his Kingdom is not of this World; And that the Christian Religion teacheth Self denial and Renunciation of the World, and Requires all Christians, especially the Governours of the Church, to be of a most Humble, peaceable and exemplary Behaviour. [Page 59] This kind of Proceedings in its Covernment will seem most agreeable and natural to it; For the Business of Church-Governours is to promote the Interest and Power of the Gospel, not pertinaciously to strive for Juris­diction to its prejudice and dishonour. If each Changes happen in Mun­dane Affairs, that by Alteration of the Bounds of Temporal Principalitie [...] ▪ one Bishop gain and another lose; yet the Church of God loseth nothing but hereby gains its Peace, and a good opinion amongst the Princes of the Earth; And Church-Governours have the greater freedom and more Ad­vantage to do good. But the insisting upon Jurisdiction in another Chri­stian Princes Dominion, is to take his Subjects from him; It ever causeth Disturbances, Creates Jealousies in Princes, and makes them think those who should be the best Christians, to be the worst Subjects; And for that cause to have the meaner opinion of Religion it self; It would therefore certainly be best with the Church of God, and most conduce to its happy Government, if this Rule were observed in all Christian Kingdoms, that the Jurisdictions of Bishops should Comply with, and Conform to the Divisions & Boundaries of the Civil Power. This was the true primitive Practice, and this the Bishops have ever been inclinable to, when they have been able to with­stand that everlasting Encroacher the Bishop of Rome: Of which take this one Instance, Immediately after the Synod at Constantinople against Photius, a Con­troversie arose, to whose Diocess the Bulgarians, then newly Converted to the Faith, should belong. The Bishop of Rome (who never lost any thing for want of demanding it) made strong Claim by his Legats. Upon this Account there Meets before the Emperour in his Palace, Ignatius Patriarch of Constantinople, then newly Restored, the Vicars of the Eastern Patriarchs, i. e. of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, the Legats of the Bishop of Rome, and the Legats of the Bulgarians. But upon debate, in spite of all the Endeavours of the Roman Legats, it is unanimously given to the Constanti­nopolitan, and such a Reason along with it, as might have satisfied any Per­sons, except Messengers from Rome, who are never to be satisfied with any thing, but with what shall be acceptable to their Masters insatiable Cove­tousness, and boundless Ambition. For their joynt Answer is this, Satis in­decens est, ut Vos, qui Graecorum Imperium detrectantes, Francorum faderibus inhae­retis, in regno nostri Principis ordinando jura servetis So that though no sort of Men were more given to Encroachments, then the Patriarchs, yet of Five, (and those if I mistake not, all that were then in being) we have sour to one who are for the old Rule, That Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction should be Suited to the Limits of the Civil Power.

XXXIII. What hath been said upon Supposition of the Patriarchship ex­tended over these Isles, hath been Argued purely ex Abundanti; For having before proved, that it did not extend to them, we could not be bound to [Page 60] submit to it; And though the Pope did by degrees thrust in and possess himself of a Jurisdiction here for a long time, yet from the foregoing Ar­guments it will Appear, that he was only Possessor Malae Fidei, whom neither the Ecclesiastick nor Civil Laws will suffer by any length of time to pre­scribe; And therefore he was Canonically thrust ou [...] again. Hence it fol­lows, That the Churches of these Isles are Accountable to no other Church, or Church-man as Superiour, but remain only in the dependance of Co­ordinate or Sister-Churches to all Others, who all are mutually bound to each other what in them lies to uphold Communion, and Acquit themselves of doing any thing, that may be detrimental or injurious to the whole; But for the Matter of Government, Order, Reforming Abuses, and the like, the Power is in themselves: Others may Advise, but cannot Controul, unless the Universal Church of God o [...] damnifi [...]d by their Actions. And thus having found our Churches invested with a power of Governing and Reforming themselves; We now have only to enquire, how it hath been made use of, which directly leads Me to the Actual Separation and Re­formation.

XXXIV. If any Man will set Himself to Examine a great Action, which involves variety of Matter, is Carried on thorough Multitudes of diffi­culties, Managed by divers Hands, and necessarily requires no small time for its Accomplishment; And then expects that in all Parts and Circum­stances it should be without Exception; He may so look for such a thing in the Kingdom of Heaven; but if ever he can find it on Earth, I dare engage my self to be his Bondslave, and therefore unnecessarily to put ill Constructi­ons upon Matters, to pick little Quarrels, to Call in every mean and slight Failing, and to Rave against the Miscar [...]iages of particular Persons, though disallowed, this is only to fling dirt and calumniate, not to draw up a just Accusation. If therefore they cannot Wound our Reformation in the Es­sentials, Christian Charity would teach them to cover a multitude of small faults, and Common Prudence would Advise them not to strive to no pur­pose. The most Celebrated Theme upon this occasion is Sacrilege; And here even those, whose prosound Ignorance suffers them not to stir a step further then their Guides Conduct them, (and yet with a blind Obedience follow whither soever they lead them,) can be not only Eloquent but bitter: But as for those, who have the Reins in their Hands, and would fain be B [...]idling us, never any Subject yielded Matter for More Tragical Excla­mations; But if Railing against Sacrilege would do us any good, we are as ready to do that as themselves; We are [...]o far from allowing it, that with sorrowful Hearts we bemoan it, and openly Avow that we detest it; And indeed, of all other persons it is we, who suffer most under it. Some Be­nefices (if they deserve the Name) are so wofully impoverished, that they [Page 61] will scarce afford the Curate Bred; so that if for the sake of a bare Live­lihood he do not give up himself right or wrong to Sooth up his Pa­rishioners, every Plough boy will trample upon him, and they will set up some Mongrel Teacher or other of their own, on purpose to torment him And again, we being destitute of a tolerable Maintenance for so great a stock, as the Universities send abroad amongst us, (which would be none too few, had not the Church been Robb'd of her Revenews) many discontented Spi­rits Fly over to the Church of Rome, not for Religion, but in Hope of Pre­serments, or through Vexation of Mind, or driven by want. So that this Sacrilege hath Fill'd their Seminaries, and plagued us with domestick Schis­maticks. In the mean time, that we suffer with patience the spoiling of our Goods, I think may rather deserve any Mans pity then blame: But for the Spoylers themselves I shall as little plead for them, as any Son of the Church of Rome: And I wish there were not too many, who are still Gaping after, and Work all their Wits in contriving how they may seize the poor Remainder. But however the Catholicks, (as they call themselves) ought to be extreamly wary how they accuse or point out the guilty Persons in this had Cafe, lest they Condemn themselves. For if some such Parable as Na­thas put to David, were offered to the Romanist, it would be said in the Con­clusion, Thou art the Man. For let them deal fairly and ingenioufly with us, and the most Considerable Persons who made such a squander of the Churches Rights, will be found to be Men who died in the Roman Communion.

XXXV. And upon this Account it seems strange to Me, why they should so strictly enquire into, and so nicely insist upon Matters done by Henry the Eighth, and his Clergy; for if it be with a design to Charge us with them, it is much the same thing, as when a Villain cuts anothers Throat, and as soon as he hath done slips the bloody Knife into an innocent Mans pocket. For who were they that yielded up or seized their Monasteries, and made such havock of Church Lands? Who were they that first set up Henry the Eighth's S [...]remacy, and Wrote in defence of it? Who was it that Main­tained the Supremacy beyond the Seas in so gross a sense, that even Calvin Himself thought his Prerogative invaded, and was out of patience at it? These Men all lived and died in the Roman Communion; And if they were not Roman-Catholicks, what were they? Henry the Eighth after the Af­fi [...]ming the Supremacy, was judged so good a Catholick, even by the Pope Himself, that he could find no Fitter a Person [...]o Recommend for a Pattern to the Emperour. What Heresie soever there might be in detaining the Peter-pence, or setting up his own power, it seems he was Catholick enough in his Proceedings upon the Six Articles. Any thing they imagine to be ill, must be Ours; But make Enquiry after the Authors, and they are all their own: Methinks it should concern them to Acquit themselves, before they [Page 62] fall foul upon us. Nay, if we proceed forward so far as to the Reign of Queen Mary, the Persons who had the greatest Influence on those Revo­lutions will be found Men of their own Persuasion; for except some few, whose Proceedings were more easily Answered with Fagots then Arguments, thofe on our part will not be very Considerable, throughout the Reigns of Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth; Searce any two Persons seem to be deeper dipt in Sacrilege, then the Vicar-General Cromwell, and Dudley Duke of Northumberland; yet how profound Hypocrites soever they might live, our Oxford Church-Governour will have them both Roman-Catholicks at their Death; Others, if they think it worth their while, may Contest it with him; But for Me he may take them both, and make his best of them. Only I think it a Reasonable Request, that since he will needs have their Persons, he would be pleased to take their faults along with them, and not accuse us for the Crimes of his Brethren.

XXXVI. But let particular Persons, whether theirs or ours, Answer for their own demerits; I can be heartily sorrowful for the Men, but never will be an Advocate for their Mis-deeds. The only Matters of any moment, for which we can be concerned, I conceive must be either Doctrine, Dis­cipline, Worship or Government. Now though the Pope might think him­self obliged to stickle for his profits, and above all for his Supremacy, yet the Roman Catholicks themselves did not think the Changes in Religion of such Weight, that upon that Account they should make a perfect Schism. For till Felton [...]ixed the Bull of Pius the Fifth upon the Bishop of Londons Palace Gate, the Roman Catholicks freely frequented our Churches, and joyned in Communion with us: And this was no small time, for this was not done till the eleventh or twelsth year of Queen Elizabeth; So that a small matter would have made her Catholick, if she could have digested the Roman Supre­macy; And though the Romanists, so far as concerned Religion, thought themselves bound to obey the Pope, yet the discreeter sort of them were not a little offended, that they were thus thrust headlong into so dangerous a Schism. For this we have the Testimony of Mr. Cambden, a Person beyond Exception, not only as he was a Man of Singular Judgement, and Learning, and a faithful and prudent Historian. But as being personally Acquainted with the Transactions of those times; His Words are these▪ Caeterùm hanc Bullam Pontificii plerique moderatiores tacitè improbabant, quòd nulla ex jure adm [...] ­nitio praecesserit, & praevidentes molem malorum inde s [...]bi impendere, qui priùs pri­vatim sua sacra intra parietes satis securè coluerunt, vel rec [...]pta in Ecclesiâ Angli­canâ sacra sine Conscientiae Scrupulo adire non Recusârunt, (Annal. Eliz. ad Ann, Dom' 1570) So that the Reformation was indeed made on our part, for which we wanted neither good Cause, nor sufficient Authority; But the Separation was made by the Pope; For had not He Excommunicated [Page 63] Queen Elizabeth, for what Reason the Romanists held Communion with us till such Excommunication, for the same it might have continued to this day, and no Schism made. But if this Excommunication had neither law­ful Authority, nor just cause, then will the Pope be not only the Author but cause of the Schism, and draw the whole guilt of it on him and his party. The proof of this in particular I will not insist on here, because it will be [...]bundantly done in the progress of the Work, especially in the second and [...]ird part, if it shall please God that I live to Finish them. Only here I will leave this Choak-pear, which I desire my Adversary to swallow before [...] [...]ttaqae me, That whosoever undertakes the Defenee of that Bull, (be­ [...]des all other Extravagancies which he shall be obliged to maintain) must in the first place fairly Confess himself to be a Rebel and a Traytor as to Principles of Civil Government, and obliged in Conscience actually to be so, [...] often as the Pope requires, and of this the Pope to be the sole and un­consroulable Judge.

XXXVII. Having here slipt into the mention of Queen Elizabeth, it may not be altogether impertinent to Acquit Her of one dishonourable Scandal, wherewith some foul Mouth'd Romanists endeavour to Blast her Memory. [...]f Henry the Eighth belonged to any, he was certainly theirs not ours; Yet Handling the Reformation, they spare not to charge Him with all the [...]decencies true or false, which they can Rake together; But nothing [...] more exagitated then his two First Marriages, and that o [...]ten in such [...] and obscene Language, as is not a little offensive to chast Eares. The De [...]gn of▪ all this is, that they might invalidate Queen Elizabeths Title to [...] Crown, upon which score some ruder Romanists will at this day as fa­ [...]iliarly and confidently call Her Bastard, as if she had been found in the [...]eets, laid at some door in a Basket. It is well known, that she was a Per­ [...] so excellently qualified for Government, that even living she struck Envy [...]mb, and made those who most implacably hated Her, to Admire Her? it might therefore justly move Indignation in any Generous Spirit to see [...]ery Ass spurn at a dead Lion. But if this were as rrue as it is false, yet if [...] would deal ingeniously, they must confess, that this could no way effect [...] Church, as to that Power Conferred on it by God, and that Authority, which doth always distinctly and entirely remain in it self; Only it may [...] the Church destitute of any Legal Civil Sanction during her time; [...]nd if for that they will Condemn us, they may as well Condemn the Chri­ [...]tian Churches of the first three Hundred Yeares, and then we shall not be [...]uch afraid in so good Company. But there is nothing but Malice or Ig­ [...]orance in the thing it self, and the Romanists of all Men ought to be cau­tious in this Matter; because whilest they Fence with this Two-Edged Sword; intending to Cut Queen Elizabeth, they as deeply Wound Queen [Page 64] Mary. Neither will the Sickly Salvo of the Popes Dispensation stand them in any stead; for it is not only we who deny that his Power reached to it, but the greatest part of their own Universities, gave it under their Hands and Seals. And indeed this was at that time so generally the Opinion of the Romanists, That the Author of Church-Government freely Acknowledgeth, (though little to the Credit of his Cause) that when Mary was Offered in Marriage First to the Emperour Charles the Fifth, and after to Francis King of France, She was Refused by both on this Account, because they doubted of the Lawfulness of Henry's Marriage with her Mother, (part. 5. cap. 2.) But for my part I am not of their Humour, who take a pleasure in bespat­tering Princes; and to do it by our own, can be no Honour to our selves. I do not see, that any thing Alledged, can be any real Prejudice either to Mary or Elizabeth, for the Succession to our Crown depends neither upon Canons nor Councels, much less upon Popes Bulls and Decretals, but upon the Constitutions of our Kingdom. And it was nev [...]r yet doubted, but that King Henry was Married as well to Katherine as Anue Bolen; And if the Mar­riage was Sole [...]nized, the Children are Legitimate by our Laws, which ab­hor all thoughts of any such thing as Bastards in Matrimony. 'Tis true, our Laws permit and Authorize Ecclesiasticks to divorce such Persons, who Marry within the degrees prohibited, but yet suffer no prejudice to be done to their Issue. And if the Parents, though too near of Kin, were Legally Married, their Ch [...]ldren shall succeed to their Estates and Rights in the same manner, that other Persons Child [...]en [...]o, where the Marriage was without Exception. And it is very hard Measure to deprive a King of that privilege, which belongs to the meanest of his Subjects, especially in this Case, which may endanger to involve a Nation in Confusion and Ruine. Let King Henry therefore Answer for his own faults, what iniquity soever there might be in his Marrages, yet being Married, his Issue are Legitimated; And I doubt not but that Mary and Elizabeth were both in their Turns our Lawful Sovereigns, I will therefore prosecute this no further, save with a Request to the Romanists, that henceforward they would cease to set the Childrens Teeth on Edge with the soure Grapes the Father Eat, and be as ready to Acknow­Iedge Queen Elizabeth a Lawful Sovereign as we are Queen Mary.

XXXVIII. I did once Intend to have thoroughly Examined the Matter of the Reformation, but I find that it would oblige Me rather to Write a Vo­lume then a Chapter; And after all, perhaps, I should be accused of needless pains, for it hath been often and sufficiently done already; And all Answers contain only the Crambe centies cocta, or some bold Fictions or tedious Tri­flings. Nor do I think that I can be Constrained to Answer for all that went before me: In this Church I was Born, Baptized and Bred; I had no Hand in the Making, Modelling or Altering it; Gods Providence cast Me into it, [Page 65] and I take it as I found it. And if as such it be defensible, I need concern my self no further. And therefore without troubling my self to Rake the Dead out of their Graves, I shall Consider our Church under her present Constitution; for if that will not Hold, we are gone without more ado; But if that be good, it is not ten thousand faults of Men, who are dead and rotten, that can overthrow it.

XXXIX. I have already proved, that the Romanists themselves made the Breach; And it may be more fully proved, if need Require. But two Schis­maticks may fall out, and both be in the wrong; And therefore that we may Appear to be in the right, something must be said to clear up the Justice of our own Cause; To this End I shall briefly Examine these two things, The Government and the Doctrine of our Church. Government will of course take in Discipline as the Fruits of it: And Doctrine will include Worship, because there is no Abuse or ill Practice in Worship, but it is Founded upon some Errour in Doctrine. Government seems to Me there­fore to belong even to the Essence of every particular Constituted Church, because without it Ordinances cannot be discharged, Sacraments Celebrated, nor those things Performed, which they are obliged to do in joynt Com­munion, and as a Body of Men. That this Government be lawful and warrantable, it is to be wished that the Governours might be always good, but it is absolutely necessary, that they have Lawful Authority, and are rightly empowered to do some things, which other Men may not do. He who saith otherwise must with Corah and his Company lay all in Common, which the most Heathenish and Bruitish Religions have ever abhorred to do; For this, perhaps, the Romanists will not much quarrel Me; But if it were [...]or my present purpose, I could accuse him for being false to these Principles, by allowing the contrary in Practice. But to return to the Business, That Authority be lawful it is requi [...]te, that it be derived from such, who were truly invested with such Authority; for Nil dat, quod non habet. And fur­ther, that they have likewise a Power or Authority to convey and derive it to others; for it is often Personally Lodg'd in Men, and Incommunicable; Knights cannot make Knights nor Lords Lords; And therefore a Lawful Church-Authority must be such as des [...]ends from those, who received it from Christ with a Power to transmit it, Now I find not that our Saviour said to any but his Apostles, A [...] my Father hath s [...]nt me, even so send I you, John 20. 21. And therefore from those Hands wherein they l [...]st it, with the like power to transfer it to others, must all L [...]wful Eccles [...]stical A [...] ­tho [...]ity come. The Way to Avoid this, is either-with Erastus and H [...]bbs, (who learnt their Politicks from Jer [...]boams Practice [...] to place all Authority in the Civil Magistrate, or else with the Fanaticks to set up the extrao [...]din [...]y Call and Plea of an Authority immediately from God. Now though too [Page 66] many of late have put in Practice M. Hobs his doctrine, whilst they Rail against his Person, and others are drunk with their pretended Visions & Revelations, thereby Filling Mens Brains with Enthusiasm, and in many places making a N [...]llity of all Ordinances, yet these are not the Men I have now to do with, and therefore I will not here engage against th [...]m. And as for the Romanists, I think, I need not dispute it with them; for though they strangely doat on Miracles, yet I could never observe them either very fond of exeraordinary Missions, or very free in allowing any Ecclesiastical Authority to the Civil Magistrate. Now if they will take us at this Lock, we are ready to Joyn Issue with them; And to prove, that we have a good Succession of Lawful Authority. They cannot sairly Refuse us here, becaus [...] this is one of the Prescriptions, which Tertullian lays down against Hereticks. Edant ergo (sai [...]h he) Origines Ecclesiarum suarum, evolvant Ordinem Episcoporum suorum ita per Successio [...]es ab initio decurrentem, ut primus ille Episcopus aliquem ex Apostolis vel Apostolicis viris (qui tamen cum Apo [...]olis Perseveraverint) habuit Auctorem & Antecessorem, (de Praescrip.) Now as for a Succession, possibly there is not any in the Christian World so strongly Twisted, as that of the English Churches. If some of the Apostles, and other Apostolical Persons being present in this Isle, and planting Churches; If Ordination from the Brittish, Irish, French or Roman Bishops, or any or all of these could derive a Lawful Authority to us, we do not want it. We have more Ways of Conveyance, and consequently (of God) more Evidence of our Authority then the Romanists themselves; And if the Rest were laid aside, we have the same which they have, and so cannot have less; so little Reason had the Author of Church-Government to Conclude his Book with such a passionate Invective against our Amoca­tacresies. Indeed, could that Infamous Fable o [...] the Naggs-Head Ordination have been made good, it would have made a foul Breach in our Succession, if not, put a full stop to it; But never was a most malicious Contrivance more miserably Baffled; Several Learned Pens have not only cleared the Matter of Fact, but disproved the probability, yea, the very possibility of such a thing; so that if any thing more can, nothing more need to be spoken to it. If therefore any Romanist will still urge it, i [...] this particular I shall leave him as a Man eithe [...] past shame, or given up to strong delusions to be­lieve a Lye. Their other Objections are of two Sorts, Either against the Legality or the Vali [...]ity of our Ordination. But because Other [...] have An­swered them fully in eve [...]y minute particular, I shall Content my self with two General A [...]swers; First, That the Neglect or Oversight, (if any such were) of some Circumstances Required by Law, though it may make the Persons obnoxious, yet it doth not invalidate the Ordination; Our Laws Allow Persons to be Married only betwixt Eight and Twelve in the Fore­noon; Yet if it Happen, that they be Married at Ten at Night, the Marriage is [Page 67] good, though the Persons be punishable. Some Circumstances in the Ma­nagery of Ordination may be Regulated by the Civil Power, i. e. So fa as it hath Regard to the State; But the Ordination it self, and the Va [...]dity of it proceeds from a Power so distinct from the Civil, that no Civil Au­thority or Sanction can either make or disannul it, And therefore such Objections which are made only against the Legality of our Ordination do tacitely suppose the Validity of it; And so if they were true, are little or nothing to the purpose. As for the other sort of Objections which relate to the Validity of our Ordination, those indeed would be fatal, if they were sufficient. But before I Return my General Answer thereto, I desire it may be observed, That there is more of Interest then Matter in these Objections▪ For the Church of Rome hath such a Jealousie of this small Church, that they think not themselves safe while it is in b [...]ing; Now if they could inva­lidate our Ordination, it would take away our Ministry, our Ordinances, and consequently our Church, so that this is a blow at the Root. And therefore right or wrong they Resolv [...] to stick on this, which may Win some to them, keep Others from us, and Alarm all. And though their Ar­guments be never so weak, yet being Managed by subtile Heads, they will Appear the more Considerable; because few Persons are able to judge of a Case of this Nature. But if we were reduced to that state, that they thought themselves out of all danger from us, our Ordination might easily pass. A pretty insta [...]ce of this hapned in the time of the Rebellion. The Loyal Clergy of this Ch [...]rch, being either starved at home, or driven out into other Countreys, and little or no Hopes appearing, that th [...]y should ever be Restored; Dr. Basier, amongst other places, (any place being then better then Home) Travels to Jerusalem; And after the mention of his Re­ception from the Grtcks, he thus sets down his Entertainment by those of the Roman Way. A [...] for the Latins, they Received Me most Courteously into their own Convent, though I did openly Prosesi my self a Priest of the Church of England: And a [...]ter some V [...]l [...]ations about the Validity of our Ordination, they procured Me Entrance into the Temple of the Sep [...]lchre, at the Rate of a Priest, that is, Half in Half left then the Laymens Ra [...]e; And at my Departure from Jerusalem, she Pope's own Vic [...]r [...] (Called, Commissarius Apostolicus Generalis) gave Me his Diploma in Parchmeno, under his own Hand and p [...]blick Seal; In [...] stiling Me, Sacerdotem Ecclesiae Anglicanae, & S. S. Theologiae Doctorem. But there was no need to have Travelled so far for an Instance, it being well known that King Edwards Bishops were Admitted in the time of Queen Mary, without Re-o [...]dination; so that it is not the Validity of Ordination, but our Non-submission to the Pope which lies at the bottom. It is true, that a Dispensation [...]rom Rome was talked of, but that was only a Blind. A Dispensation may Re [...]ch Circumstances, but not Essentials. If their [Page 68] former Ordination had been invalid and null, they ought to have been Re­o [...]d [...]ined; for no Dispensation, nor all the Popes in the World can make those to be true and valid Orders, which never were so in themselves. He may as well Build Castles in the Air, or Erect stately Palaces without any Materials, as to make those really and truly to be Orders, which never were so; It is one thing to Dispense, another to Ordain; Seeing he did only dispense, it is plain that he aceused them of no more then some Irregu­larities in the Circumstances of their Ordination, which though we shall not yield, yet I think it unnecessary to dispute, because not being Re-ordained, their former Ordination must be supposed good. 'Tis true, they very de­voutly burnt Ridley, and one or two others, without d [...]grading them as Bi­shops; And thence Conclude, that they were never truly such, i. e. They set up a Novel Opinion, and prove it by their own wicked Actions; And the proof will be good, when they are as infal [...]ible in Matter of Fact, as they pretend to be in Matter of Right. But it is no New thing for the Court of Rome, to make quite contrary Determinations as to the self-same thing, as their present Interest leads them. When Queen Mary first came to the Crown, and they wanted Help, then King Edwards Bishops are to be Invited in, and Acknowledged with the slight Salvo of a Dispensation, that the Pope might seem to do something; But when they were a little setled in the Saddle, and could Ride over all who stood in their way; Then none of his Bishops were to be Acknowledged, who did not fully Comply with them; i. e. those who joyned with them were good Bishops; those who opposed them were no Bishops; though the Orders of both stood upon the same Foundation, and were either valid or null for the same Reason. But to a­void the tediousness of discussing the whole Matter, I shall now only Give this General Answer, That in this Way of Arguing they take the Course to undermine and destroy all Succession and Church-power; This I am apt to think, that many of them well enough see; But they think, that we either do not, or will not; and so they are safe enough, whilest it only serves to Route us, The Arguments whereon they lay the great [...]st str [...]ss in this Matter are such, as may with equal, if not more advantage, be teturned up­on themselves. 'Tis true, we are not desirous to Molest others, we wish Peace to the Churches, Reasonable things would Content us; and therefore we generally keep on the defensive part, and stand all their Attacks and Op­position. But if by such foul dealing they will continually provoke us, till we change the state of this Scribling War, and b [...]ing it into their own Countrey, what Work will this make? [...]or if they will Vouch those Ar­guments to be good against our Orders; And we prove, that they are of no less force against their own, or that we have other stronger Reasons a­gainst them, whither will they then go [...]or Ecclesiastical Authority? their [Page 69] pride and stomach is too great to Truckle to the Greek, or any other Church, or to Borrow any Authority from them; But if they should, they ought to Consider, whether the same Arguments will not follow them; yea more, [...]h [...]ther divers of their Hot-spurs have not Carried them thither already? [...]f so, all their Labour is in vain: And if their Arguments be good, all [...] power and Succession is lost. This indeed doth not so fatally affect [...] as it doth them; because we for good Reasons deny those Arguments to [...]e good, and so keep up our Succession and Ecclesiastical Authority. But [...]hat will become of that Church, or what Remedy is left for it, which ob­ [...]inately maintains the Validity of such Arguments, when they are proved as valid against her self? especially it being a Church of that pride and am­ [...]ition, as to scorn to own any Authority in any other Church, which she [...]th not more fully in her self. Now, if rather then not destroy our Or­d [...]s, they will what in them Lies overthrow all Ecclesiastical Authority and Succession, though thanks be to God they cannot do it, yet it is Apparent, that they will hazard the very Worship of God, and shake the very Foun­dations of Religion, rather then be frustrated in their malicious Purposes and ambitious Designes. And this I take not to be any strong Temptation [...] prefer their Communion before all Others.

XL. As for our Doctrine we are willing it should come to the Trial; And I know no better Way to Try it, then by its Agreement with what was [...]aught by our Saviour and his Apostles; This is the Way Tertullian pre­s [...]ibes us, both for the Security of the Church, and Exclusion of Hereticks; [...] after some things premised he makes this Inference, Constat proinde omnem [...]strinam, quae cum illis Ecclesiis. Apostolicis Matricibus & Origiualibus Fidei [...], Veritati deputandam, id sine d [...]bio tenentem, quod Ecclesiae ab Apostolis, [...] à Christo, Christus à Deo suscepit; Roliquam vero omnem doctrinam de [...] praejudicandum, quae sapiat contra Veritatem Ecclesiarum; & Apostolorum, & C [...]risti, & Dei. And again speaking of Hereticks in general, Ipsa enim [...] corum cum Apostolicà comparata, ex diversitate & contr [...]rietate sua Pronun­ [...]it, neque Apostoli alicujus A [...]toris esse neque Apostolici. And then shewing how [...] Churches, or such, which should at any time after be Constituted, [...]ight defend themselves against Hereticks, He saith thus, Ad hanc itaque [...] Provocabuntur ab illis Ecclesiis, quae liv [...] [...]ullum ex Apostolis vel Apostolicis [...] suam proferant, ut multò Posteriores quae denique quotidie instituuntur; [...] in eâdem fide Conspirantos, non minùs Apostolicae deputantur pro Consan­ [...]itate doctrinae, (de Praescrip.) Now let this be the Test, and in our De­ [...]nce we say with Tertullian, Posterior nostrares non est, immò omnibus Prior est. Hoc erit Testimonium Veritatis ubique occupantis Principatum, (de Praescrip.) Now let them Charge us, if they can, with Maintaining any Doctrine, as of ne­cessity to Salvation, which came not from Christ or his Apostles; and when [Page 70] they can prove that all these did, they shall make Me believe any thing. Only by the Way I cannot but take Notice of the difference between this good Old Father, and the present Romanists in their Resolution of Faith, or in the last Result, Standa [...]d and Trial of Faith. The One Refers us to what our Saviour taught by Commission from the Father, and the Apostles by Authority from Him, and to Examine Matters by their Agreement here­with: The other without more ado Resolves all into the Authority of the present Roman Church. The One saith, It is the Way of Truth, because the same that Christ and his Apostles Taught; The Other saith, We cannot be de­ceived because the Present Roman Church Voucheth it to be Right. Now though for my own part I Adhere to the Opinion of the Father, and therein of the Ancient Church; yet I must Confess, that the Romanists, whether right or wrong, have laid their Plot well; for if they can once bring a Man to swallow this Proposition, That the Roman Church is the only certain Rule and Judge of Truth; Or, That all thinge must give Way to their Determinations; Then as for Particulars, his Work is done, and he is bound with an implicit Faith to swallow them all without a [...]y scruple, or the least Examination▪ Now this is sure and quick Work; but too quick for Me, who as a Christian lying under an Obligation, upon occasion to Render a Reason of the Faith that is in Me, would be willing to know a Reason, that I may be able to d [...] so. That the Roman Church saith so will be no Reason, till she produce a better Charter for her Authority, then she hath yet done; And till I and Others can be satisfied by good Reason or Evidence of such Authority. For if a Reason be Required of Me, my Answer that Others say so will be none, unless I can convince them by good Evidence, that their Say-so is of sufficient Authority and indubitable, the Plea indeed of Indefectibility were good, if it were true; But they rather urge that because it serves their Turns, then that they have any good Evidence of it: And the Father, who directs us to trace Truth to the Apostolical Churches, supposes that particular Churches may fall from it. Sicut (saith he) Apostoli non diversa inter se d [...]cuiffent, ita & Apostolic [...] non contrarià Apostolis edidissent, nisi illi, qui ab Apostolis desci [...]erant; & aliter praedicaverunt, (de Praescrip.) The Pomanists indeed lay their [...] wisely, they understand well enough what would do their Business, and ac­cordingly fail not to plead what must do it with those, who Admit thei [...] Plea without proof; The Consequence or Building would be good, if th [...] Antecedent or Foundation were sound: But you must not narrowly Ex­amine that, lest a Rotten Bottom tum [...]e all the stately Pageant down again If the Roman Church be indefectible by Vertue of any Promise made t [...] St. Peter, then other Churches may use the same Arguments, and lay Clai [...] to the same Privileges as well as they; And our own Church as much a [...] any; For their own Authors, and particularly our Sworn Enemy Fathe [...] [Page 71] Parsons, say, that St. Peter Preached the Gospel in Britany; so that here we are equal, unless it make any thing for their Advantage, that he was so well used here as to Go off safely hence; But after his Return was Martyred there; And so Rome may Value her self for that which our Blessed Saviour [...]pbraids Jerusalem for, Killing the Prophets, and Stoning those that were sent unto [...]er, (Matt. 23. 37.)

XLI. This Matter will fall hereafter under a more particular Conside­ [...]ation; And therefore to Return to Doctrine, it may be Considered either as Positive or Negative. It is true, that all Doctrine Resolves it self into positive Truth; That we Maintain any thing in the Negative is Accidental, and Ariseth from the Difference and Quarrels amongst Men; for when Par­ties cannot Agree, if One Affirm, the Other of course denies: In this Case, the Matter in Controversie being either Falshood or Wrong, if any Man A [...]ert that which is contrary either to Truth or Justice, we are forced to go somthing the further about in defending them, by first denying and re­jesting what is either false or unjust; but then this will terminate in some­thing positive, which is the Foundation and Summary of all. As for Ex­ample, if. in Opposition to the Practices or Affirmations of Others I deny, That Divine Worship can be Given either to Angels or Saints; The Reason [...]nd Ground of that Denial must be this or the like positive Assertion, That Divine Worship is Gods Propriety, and to Him only to be directed. And therefore that we Maintain some things in the Negative, is not our but their fault, in Asserting that which is either false or unlawful; And whe­ther they do so or not must be Tried by Particulars, which I shall come to [...]reafter.

XLII. As to positive Doctrines perhaps the Difference is not very great; the Quarrel lies more in what we do not hold, then in what we do; It is [...]ot to be denied that we have much Truth, but not enough as they think; And we are afraid of more, lest it should make us have less; for many Mat­ters which they would thrust upon us for Truth, are far remote from it; And should we receive them, it were the way to corrupt the Truth we have; There was a time when some of their Priests set themselves to Reconcile. (and without Allowance and Encouragement they durst not have Attempted such a thing) the very Articles of our Religion to a Catholick Sense, (as they call it,) though many of [...]hem were purposely framed in opposition to se­veral of their Opinions and Practices. The Author of Church-Govern­ment, (Part 5. page 206.) hath discovered a Sense, wherein that great Grie­vance of the Roinanists, The Oath of Supremacy may be lawfully taken, and that to no other Sense then what he fetcheth from the 37th. of our Articles of Religion; And why then all that Labyrinth of Discourse which follows after upon it, and serves to no other purpose but to Confound Himself and [Page 72] his Reader? For can it be imagined, that we our selves should take it in a sense contrary to our Articles of Religion? From our Book of Common Prayer might be Extracted a wholesom Body of Divinity; And it shews to the World both what our Worship is, and how our Worship and Do­ctrine Agree; And if this may be Allowed of, methinks we should not be Hereticks. Now what Vincentius Parapalia, the Pope's Legat, proposed to Queen Elizabeth, I am apt to think was known to few; For on the one Hand the Honour of the Pope was concerned, if he suffered an open Repulse; On the Other, the Queen, [...]hough she Admitted not his Proposals, was un­willing to irritate his Person, he being then very Kind and Civil to Her, contrary to the Petitions and Endeavors of many powerful Adversaries. But that some such Considerable Matters were proposed, that he was Jealous the Queen would think they would never be performed, or at least not long kept, we have some Reason to Guess from the Conclusion of his Letter, which is one of the Kindest that ever any Pope wrote to one He Accounted a Heretick; For thus He Courts Her, Sed hâc de re pluribus verbis idem Vin­centius tecum aget, & nostrum tibi Paternum animum declarabit, quem ut benig [...] excipias, diligentérque audias, eandémque ut ejus Orationi Fidem habeas, quam habere [...] Nobis: ipsis, S [...]renitatem tuam rogamus. (Annal. Eliz. part. 1. p. 48,) Mr. Cambde [...] Confesseth, That he could not upon his own Knowledge say, what these Pro­posals were, and he believes they would never trust them in Writing, but a [...] secret as they were kept, it seems they took Air, for he subjoyns this fol­lowing Account, [...]ama obtinet P [...]ntificem Fidem dedisse, sententiam contra matris [...]uptias, tanquam injustam rescissurum; Liturgiam Anglicam suâ Anthoritate con­firmaturum, & usum Sacramenti sub utràque Specie Anglis permissurum, [...] illa Romanae Ecclesiae se aggregaret, Romanaeque Cath [...]drae Primatum agnosceret; [...] & haec curantibus aliquos aureorum millia fuisse promissae. (id ibid. I cannot imagine with what Hopes Pius the 4th fed Himself; Or whether he were better Natured then usually Popes are; But though after this the Queen would not suffer his Nuncio the Abbot of Mar [...]inego to come on English Share, yet he continued the same Mildness towards Her; which being insuccessful, Pius the 5th. instigated by the King of Spain, and being angry enough Him­self, tryes a severer Course, and Thunders out his Excommunication against Her; But that succeeded worse then the other: For it not only altogether Alienated the Queens Mind, but Compleated the Breach, and made a to [...] Separation in Communion, which had not been till that time; And it i [...] probable this might make some succeeding Popes [...]; for Bishop B [...] ­bington though he Refer it to a Pope after both the former, yet whence so­ever he had it, he saith plainly, That the Pope Offered to Allow the Book (i. e. o [...] Common-Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, &c.) to Queen Eli­zabeth o [...] Eternal Memory, if she would have taken it of Him, as so Allowed o [...] [Page 73] Him, (on Numb 7.) But what need of that? For as for the Use of the Sa­crament in both Kinds, It is Christs own Institution; And as for ou [...] Prayers, being in the Vulgar or known Tongue, it is according to St. Pauls Direction. And if these two be not Authority enough without the Pope's Licence, then have we not the Liberty so much as to serve God even ac­cording to his own Appointment and Institution, but how and when the Pope pleaseth; And so if the Devil at any time should be big enough in Him, it will be in his power and at his pleasure, whether God shall be openly Worshipped in the World or not. As for the Matter of the Book it is such, that (except some few, which all Men of any sober Communion never esteemed otherwise then as Mad-Men) Persons of any Communion in the Christian World may safely joyn in it. When any bring their particular Objections, whether Romanists or Others, they shall receive their Answers. As for the Romanists I am apt to think, that they would rather adde to it: But because we think those to be such Matters as would corrupt it; That must be Tried by the Examination of Particulars, which is not the business of this place.

XLIII. As for the Ways or Means of Coming to the Knowledge of the Catholicism of any Doctrine; I know but two whereon the Ancients laid any Stress, Scripture and Tradition. The Sufficiency of the Scriptures as a Rule of Faith, or that they contain all Matters in themselves necessary to Salvation, we not only Maintain, but further say, That since God hath been pleased (for the securing us from the frailtie of Mens Memories, the Mis­guidance of Mistakes, the Cheat of Impostures and the like dangers) to Cause his Will to be put in Writing, and Compleat the Canon of Scripture; The Scriptures are the only sure and infallible Rule of our Faith; And whatsoever is fetch'd from those Fountains cannot but be O [...]thodox and Right. Here is our sure Anchor-Hold, and in this the Fathers go along with us. Nobis (saith Tertull. de Praescrip.) Curiositate opus non est post Christum Jesum, nec Inquisitione post Evangelium. And Sal [...]ian, (de Guber. Dei l [...]b. 3▪ p. 67.) Si scire vis, quid tenendum est, habes Literas sacras: Perfecta Ratio est hoc [...], quod legeris. He that Affects Citations may heap up enough to this purpose; Nor doth it do the Romanists Cause any Service; That many of their Authors speak so meanly and disgracefu [...]y of the Holy Scriptures; for pious Eares do not well bear to Hear the Conf [...]ssed Word of God Con­temptibly Treated; And Mr. Apulton seems to Me to have been very im­pr [...]dent in Entitling Part of his Answer to Dr. Tenison, A Confutation of the Doctors Rule os Faith; for the Doctors Rule of Faith was no other then the Scriptures; And a Confutation of them would of all others be the Work for a Christian. If a difference Arise, Who shall Interpret this Rule? I Answer, First, That whosoever Interpreteth he is bound to his Rule; [Page 74] And it is not therefore the sense of the Rule, because he saith it; but he is therefore in the Right, because he gives the true Meaning of it; If he speak his own, and not the Rules Meaning, he doth not Interpret but deprave. Se­condly, I Answer, That if the Priests Lips ought to preserve Knowledge, and the People to seek the Law at his Mouth, then we have a Succession of Lawful Pastors duely Authorized, who no more depend on the Romanists then the Romanists on them; And so we stand seized of as good Authority to interpret Scripture as any they can justly pretend to; And that we use it more duely and rightl [...] may appear hence, That we not only diligently use all lawful Means to come to the Knowledge of Truth, but Condemn all those ill Arts which obscure or corrupt it; We have no Index Expurgatorius, to Expunge or Alter any Passages in the primitive Fathers, or any other ho­nest Authors, if they do not please us; yet by this one base unpaidonable A [...] ­tifice the Romanists, whilst they have been undermining the sufficiency of the Scriptures, have shaken the Authority, and weakned the Evidence of Tra­dition, and so difarmed the Church of her best Weapons of Defence; for certainly a Tradition is best proved by those, who lived in or near those times, when it was delivered; But how shall we believe their Testimony, when their Writings are daily Curtail'd, Changed and Falsified at pleasure? And had not that God, who takes Care of his Church, caused the Chear to be discovered, it would have done more Mischief, then all the diligence and pains of all the Romanists in the World could ever have made a just sa­tisfaction for. But this it is, for a particular Church to set up for Infalli­bility; which is a point that can never be gained, without putting out the Eyes of all at present living, and stopping the Mouths of all that went be­fore them: For though I beleeve, that God will never de [...]ert his Church in all parts of it in Matters necessary to Salvation, yet he has not given her any Power over the Faith, but She is Tied to that and that alone which was at first delivered to the Saints; And if the Roman or any other Church, or an Angel from Heaven should teach any other doctrine, then what we have received, they ought to be so far from being regarded, that, if we fol­low St. Paul, they ought to be Accursed. That we Adhere to the Scriptures, th [...] Romanists cannot justly blame us, because they themselves Acknowledge their divine Authority. For, see the Council of Trent doth. (Sess. 4. decret. de Can' Script') but they accuse us as too strict Scripturists, upon two Ac­counts, First, because we Admit not Tradition to be of equal Authority with the Holy Scriptures. Secondly, because we receive not several Books as Canonical, or of unquestionable divine Authority, which they have thrust into the Canon. As for Tradition and its Authority, I shall Treat of it more distinctly in the next Paragraph, and there answer this Accusation. As for the Canon of Scripture, we own the very same and no other, which [Page 75] the Church of God hath Handed down to us, after the Canon of Scripture was Compleated: As for those Books Called Apocrypha, which the Council of T [...]ent first made Canonical, it is Apparent, That we do not by that Title utterly Condemn them, but rather Repute them of an Inferiour or Eccle­siastical Authority; because we Read them in our Churches for Instruction of Manners, and inciting to good Living; And sometimes use them for the Illustration of Doctrine, but never to Introduce or Found any Doctrine upon, and this is as much as the Ancients allowed them. The Jewish Church was the Keeper and Preserver of the Canon of the Old Testament, as much as the Christian is of the Old and New now: But they had none of those Books in their Canon; And therefore if any Assert, that those Books do belong to the Canon, the Consequence will be, That the Jewish Church did not preserve the Canon of Scripture entire and true, and for the same Reason any one may suspect the Christian, and so render the Au­thority of the whose dubious: So injurious are the Romanists to the Faith it self, whil [...]st they set up their own Authority against the whole Church of God. Besides, if they will not own, that we received the entire Canon of the Old Testament from the Jewish Church, they ought to tell us from whom [...]e did receive it, and to whose Custody it was Committed till the time of Christ and his Apostles? But whoever will be at the pains to read the Scholastical History of the Canon of Scripture, Written by our Learned Dr. Cosins Bishop of Dures [...]ne, will be abundantly satisfied, that the Tridentines under pretence of Tradition have Enlarged the Canon of Scripture, con­trary to the Tradition of the Church of God in all Ages, even to their own time. Thus when Modern Mens bare word must be allowed a sufficient Au­thority to Vouch a Tradition, a Pretence of Tradition is set up against the truth of it, and so Tradition it self rendred doubtful or useless; And therefore I shall not trouble my self to pursue those many particular s [...]uffling pleas, which they use to Justify themselves in offering violence to the Sacred Canon; But if you would know the true Reason, which it was their Business to Conceal; I believe Spalato hath Hit on it, Suas non poterant N [...]nias ex Sacrâ Scripturâ verè Canonicâ probare, ideoque noluerunt permittaere, us [...] aliae Scripturae etiam non Canonicae eriperentur, quo suas qualescunque [...]aberent [...]retras, unde spicula desumerent, ac praeterea viderent, ac praeterea ne viderentur [...]ein aliquâ Protestantibus cedere a [...]t consentire, maluerunt etiam falsa tueri & [...]. (de Repub. Ecc. lib. 7. cap. 1▪ Num. 28.)

XLIV. He that doth believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God, must of course believe their Sufficiency, or that they contain all Matters neces­sary to Salvation, for they give this Testimony to themselves: And he that believes them to be the Word of God, must believe the Testimony they give either of themselves or others; St. Paul saith, They are able to make, [Page 76] Man wise to Salva [...]ion, (2 Tim. 3. 15. 16.) But that cannot be so, unIess they con­tain at least all things necessary thereto; But though the Scriptures be thus sufficient, and contain a certain Sense in themselves, yet by reason of the di­stance of time, when they were Wrote, through Unskilfulness in Oriental Customes and Phrases where they were Wrote, through Ignorance of some particular Tenets, which some Argumentative part of Scripture is Levelled against, and [...]uch like Causes; But above all, through the Perverseness of evil Men and Seducers, it so falls out, That those Scriptures which are of a certain Sense, yea, plain in themselves, are made obscure to us; and we either become doubtful of their Meaning, or follow a wrong Meaning: For what is, or can there be so plain and easie, which some wi [...]ked Men have not or cannot render intricate and perplexed, especially to weak Judge­ments and faciIe Tempers? Now for the Discovery of the true Sense of Scripture in this Case, true and genuine Tradition is possibly the best Help and surest Refuge, and to Wrest the Scriptures out of the Hands of Here­ticks, and Restore the Rule to its true Force, right Use and proper Meaning, perhaps there is not a surer nor more effectual way; for our Blessed Saviour Himself Wrote nothing, or at least nothing which he designed to be a per­petual Standard and Rule to all his Followers; It is said indeed, (John 8. 6.) That He Wrote with his Finger on the Ground: But what that was no Body can tell. Eusebius indeed Records an Epistle of his to Agbarus; but if the Story be true, (and I have no mind to derogate from the Reputation of so Learned and Industrious an Historian) yet it was to a particular Person, in Answer to a particular Request; And the principal Contents are a Pro­mise, That after his Death one of his Disciples should come, and both Cure and In­struct Him; Nor was it ever Accounted as any part of Canonical Scripture. The Apostles indeed being Led by the Spirit into all Truth, not only taught it to the then present Age, but Committed it to Writing for the benefit of Posterity; But then they Wrote nothing contrary or disagreeing with what they preach'd and taught, both before and after they wrote. And there is no doubt, but that those Doctrines which they Comprized summarily in the Scripture, were expounded more fully in their daily Conversation, and con­tinued discharge of their Ministerial Function If therefore any doubt or Controversie did Arise concerning the Meaning of Scripture, there could be no better way to determine it, then by enquiring in what Sense those Churches understood it, which the Apostles had planted, & where upon all Oc­casions they at large Explained themselves; for it is certain, That the Apostles best knew their own Meaning; And when they were no longer living to tell it, let witty or wicked Men make never such a Bustle or fair Shew, it will be very difficult to perswade any sober Men, but that those must needs best know their Meaning, to whom the Apostles themselves most amply dis­covered [Page 77] it. Now it being the great Business of Hereticks to corrupt the Scriptures, and wrest them to a wrong sense, that they might seem to have a sufficient Authority patronizing their Errours; When it so Hapned, the Ancient Church usually declined the Nice Way of Cavilling and Captious Disputes, and fell to enquire what was the Doctrine and Sense of the Apo­stolick Churches; for it could not be but that those, to whom the Apostles had preached all their days, must better understand their Meaning, then any Upstarts who followed their own Imaginations, and were fond of New and p [...]stilent Notions; And by this means they not only Silenced Hereticks, but wrung the Scriptures and the Interpretations of Them out of their Hands, and then turned them against them, And whilst Apostolical Men were living, this was a sure Way; And so far as such Tradition can be proved to have been preserved genuine and true, it is still a good Way: And when the Romanists have endeavoured to bring the Cause to this Issue, I think they have had no great Cause to boast of their Gains, Witness (to avoid Naming many) the Controversie Managed by Bishop Jewel and Har­ [...]ing. But then as to Tradition these Cautions would be observed. 1. That this is no prejudice to the Scriptures, being the only sufficient Rule of Faith; for though the Apostles wrote and taught the same things, and so both were alike a Rule to the then living Persons; yet when those things were put in Writing, it was for this very Reason, That a Sure and Certain Rule might be Preserved for Posterity; For Tradition might in time be mistaken, forgotten or corrupted; But the Scriptures would remain un­alterable. So that the Scriptures are the Rule to us, though there are many Helps to lead us to their true Meaning, of which perhaps genuine Tradition is none of the worst. But this makes nothing against the perfection and sufficiency of the Scriptures, which contain all things necessary to Salvation, though they do not find us Eyes to see, nor Ears to hear, nor Brains to Con­sider; though God doth all this, and all other Helps abundantly. All Arts and Sciences are supposed to be Complete in themselves, and to contain Rules sufficient to instruct a Man in them; And yet some of the Noblest of them can never be thoroughly Attained, unless▪ a Man be first Instructed in the Rudiments of some other Arts or Sciences preliminary, and preparatory to them. But the Scriptures being the most perfect Rule, as proceeding from the All-wise God, and leading to the Noblest End, why should not Others or rather all be subservient to them? yet this is so far from making them less, that it argues their greater Perfection. Secondly, That nothing be Admitted as a Tradition, which hath not some Apparent Foundation in Scripture, for that being the undoubted Word of God, whatever is not A­greeable thereto, much more whatsoever is contrary to it, ought never to be admitted. But by Reason of our own Weakness, or Others Frowardness, [Page 78] the Rule in some Cases being not so clear, a true primitive Tradition, in re­lation to Matters contained in Scripture, may be very useful to lead us to the true Sense, as in the Cafe of Infants Baptism, the Observation of the Lords Day, and some other Matters. For all the Churches of God from the first times, having Baptized Infants, and duely observed the Lords Day, it must be supposed, That the Apostles did unanimously so teach the first Churches, and consequently that those General Precepts concerning Baptism in Scripture, are inclusive of the Children of believing Parents; And that those Scriptural Instances of the Observation of the Lords Day, were in­tended to direct our Practice: Nor let any Man think, that the Romanists will be Gainers by this; for I will never deny any Truth for fear of giving Advantage to an Adversary: Whatever they can prove from Scripture, Ex­pounded by such truly primitive Tradition, as shall be agreeable to the two foregoing and the following Cautions, I shall freely yield to them or any o­ther Party. But if the Matter come to this Issue, they must lose all the most Considerable things, for which they Contend with us. I know they make great Flourishes, and pretend Scripture back'd with Tradition, for Purgatory and some other Fopperies; But what can I or any Man help it, if they will use the best means for the worst Ends? They know good Rules, but use them ill. For as for such a Notion of Purgatory, which they have set up, and such a Use for it as they have devised; as there is not any Foot­steps of it in Scripture, so was it utterly unknown to the primitive Church; or if it could have been known, would have been Abominated. And if Men will have the Impudence to pretend without any colour for their Pretences, yet I will not forsake a good Course because they abuse it. Thirdly, that nothing be admitted as a genuine Tradition, but what was univers [...]lly re­ceived, and wherein all the primitive Churches were agreed, according to that known Rule of Vincentius Lyrinensis, Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab oinnibus, or (as he otherwise phraseth it) Ʋniversitaetis & Antiquitatis Con­sensio. Nothing can be so plainly spoken, but the Weakness, the Heedlessness or the Malice of some Persons may mistake or corrupt it. Thus the Mil­lenary Errour sprang from Papias misunderstanding John the Elder; And his Authority again seems to have Influenced Irenaeus and Justin Martyr; But this Meeting with Opposition in the Church, and being in the End Exploded, it hath only the Reputation of a very early Mistake, and serves well for an In­stance to shew how quickly Tradition may be Corrupted, unless the Churches of God be exceeding vigilant. What the Apostles taught for the Common Concern of our Salvation in an [...] one Church, they taught the same in all; and therefore unless they all Agree, that there is a Mistake is certain, whe­ther there be a Tradition, or where it lies is uncertain; and so at least it is useless. But though here and there a Man might in some particular [Page 79] things mistake the Apostles, and by their means Others might be deceived, yet that all Persons of all Churches should clearly mistake the Apostles in any necessary matter, notwithstanding they lived so long, and daily so La­boured in the Word and Doctrine, is a thing incredible: And therefore wherein they unanimously Agree concerning the Doctrine of the Apostles, no doubt but it is the best Exposition of the Doctrine in the Scriptures; the same things being written for our perpetual Instruction, which were at first preached for the benefit of the then living Generation. Fourthly, That Traditions be always deduced from the First Ages of the Church; for Tra­ditions are received, not made; And if they proceeded not from Apostles and Apostolick Persons, they can never become genuine Traditions after­wards. What was delivered to the [...]st Churches, though since neglected, lost or forgotten, was a true and genuine Tradition; and is so still, if it can be discovered; But if any thing be Vouched as a Tradition, though of a Thousand yeares standing and more; yet if it came not from the First Churches, it is not a Tradition but an Imposture; And such are most of the Roman Traditions, much like those of the Pharisees, of whom our Saviour saith, That they had made the Commandment of God of none effect by their Tra­ditions, (Mat, 15. 6.) and yet they called them the Traditions of the Elders, (verse 2.) and stood then up for their Antiquity as stoutly as the Other do now. But (as Tertullian observes, lib. de Praeserip.) Veritas mendacio prior est. And therefore here we are to follow, not quod Antiquum, but quod Antiquis­s [...]num. Lastly, that a Difference be observed as to Traditions, according to their Nature and Rise; There are Traditions of particular Churches, arising mostly from the Orders and Constitutions of some Venerable Apostolick Persons, made and prescribed to the Churches, which they respectively Governed; These Claim a Respect, not only upon the Account of their suit­ableness to Order, but also in Honour of the Persons from whom they came; but yet they oblige not other Churches. None indeed ought to contemn them, but they may lawfully either use or disuse them, as their present Churth-Governours shall think Fitting for the benefit of the present Churches. Some Traditions are more Universal, as proceeding from the Apostles themselves; but if they be only concerning things in their own Nature indifferent, neither are these immutably binding. That some such were is Apparent from that of St. Paul to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. 11. 34.) The Rest will I set in Order when I come. But if any Man can certainly tell Me what Orders he made, Erit mihi magnus Apollo: And perhaps the A­postle never Committed them to Writing, lest an over-great Veneration to Apostolical Authority should Run other Churches into an inconvenience▪ For those very Orders, though most wisely Fitted to the Church of Corinth, might at the same time be inconvenient for other Churches, yea, for the [Page 80] very self-same Church in following times. For though some indifferent things must of Necessity be determined, because otherwise the Solemn Worship will unavoidably he disorderly and indecent, yet such Orders can never be so Fixed for all Churches, as to be of a perpetual, immutable and unalterable Nature; For Climates, Customes, Times, Persons, do variously alter the state of Matters; so that what is prudenrly Constituted in one Church, may be very inconveniently and indiscreetly enjoyned in another; And therefore, though such Apostolical Constitutions deserve Veneration, as being unquestionably best Fitted to the then present Churches; yet it remains in the Power of Church-Governours to lay them aside upon just Occasion, and Constitute Others in their Room, as may be most for the good of the Churches. Again, some Traditions concern the Practice of the Universal Church, which obtained in all places, and these have their Ground and Warrant from Scripture; but their particular Determination from Church-Authority, which is still preserved to us by Tradition; Of this we have a clear Instance in the Fasts and Feasts of the Church, as Gods Sig­nal Mercies require our Solemn Thanksgivings, so our own Sins, especially the publick, Call on us openly to Humble our Souls before God, and to give manifest Testimony of our Repentance; Besides, to tame our unruly Af­fections, and Fit us for the discharge of our Duty, Acts of Mortification are very requisite; To this the Scriptures direct us, and thereof gives us many Instances: But when this shall be done, (I mean publickly, for as to private Thanksgiving or Mortification, relating to Mens private Concerns, they may use their Discretion, provided that they thwart not the Orders of the Church) is partly pointed out to us by the times, when such Mercies were received, or Evil done; and partly determined by Ecclesiastical Au­thority. And this even Natural Reason it self doth so fully teach, that there never were any Men of any Religion, how barbarous soever, but they had their Solemn Fasts and Feasts. Upon this Account I was very sorry to find a Relation in Mr. Ricaut (St. of Turk:) to this Effect, That certain Fa­natical Merchants of ours Residing at Smyrna, and some other parts of the Turks Dominions, being observed to keep neither Fast nor Feast, but to use every day alike, all Persons presently esteemed them as Men of no Religion, and look'd on them as Persons who thought they had no God, against whom they could offend, nor from whom they had, or might hope to receive Fa­vours. But though these Men were of our Countrey, they were not of our Communion; And we are not to Answer for their ill Examples, who have forsaken us chiefly for this Reason, that they might take their full swinge in Running a Whoring after their own Inventions. The most Ancient Feasts and Fasts are Appointed by the Constitutions of our Church, and Con­ [...]rmed by the Laws of the Land; If we regard not some in the Roman Church, [Page 81] it is because they are Apparently of later date, and introduced by their own Authority, which obligeth not us; Besides, we much doubt of the Popes Skill in discerning these later Saints, but more of his power to make them such. If it be observed, that our own Fasts and Feasts are ill observed a­mong us; I grant it to be true, but I say it is not our fault; Ill Men and ill Times have been and still are too hard for us; and not to Complain of the too many Obstructions of Discipline, (without which no Church can long stand, much less flourish, which is the Reason that all Parties whatso­ever have unanimously combined to hinder the Exercise of our Discipline, that by that means they might have opportunity, upon all Occasions, to make their full blow at the Church it self) though our Church hath had the Laws on her side, yet she hath ever had the Lawyers (without whom the rest could have done nothing) her Enemies, who have made even the Laws them­selves either insignificant or hurtful to Her. I speak not of the whole Body of them, for there are many Honest and Honourable Persons amongst them; But there want not enough, who are sworn Enemies of Church Discipline, and all Ecclesiastical Authority; who lay Trains and Snares for the Go­vernours of the Church if they execute it; And if any Man be Constrained [...] defend the Sanctions or Rights of the Church, they will encourage Par­ties, and make Interests against Him, lead him thorough all the Courts in the Kingdom, till they have undone him; And expose Him as if he were the [...]ilest Man living: They will neither suffer the Censures of the Church to take place, nor her Rights to be gotten; Nay, more I will be bold to say, that partly by quite discharging some Tithes, and by Erecting Iewd Modus's and nostart Customes, and other Sly Tricks, they have deprived the Clergy of one fourth, of what the Bare-faced Church-Robbers left; And if they b [...] suffered to go on at this Rate, they will in some few Generations insensibly [...]gger all the Livings in the Kingdom. Now what can we do against these, and many other powerful and inveterate Opponents, wh [...]m I will not Name? Our Constitutions are good; We wish and endeavour what we fairly can, that they may be kept: They must Answer it to God Almighty, who will not suffer it. But to leave Complaining, where we are like to have no Remedy, and return to our Matter: As to Traditions of Matters [...]f Practice, distinction must be made between the Matter of the Tradition and the Circumstances of it; Tradition as to Circumstances may differ in different places, and may be Altered by the Power of the Church. Thus as to the Feast of Easter, all Agreed in the Tradition, that it was to be ob­served; But divers Churches disagreed about the time of its Observation, so that whilest some were Fasting, and had not Compleated their Lent, others had Entred upon the Feast of Easter; Here the Church interposed her Authority, and to prevent Disorder and Confusion, reduced the Observation [Page 82] to a certain time, though it did not take place without a great deal of trouble, so tenacious are people of Ancient Usages, and therefore ought Go­vernou [...]s to be very tender of disturbing them, without w [...]ighty Reasons. But then as for the Matter of such Traditions, which are genuine and truly primitive, (as of the Observation of Easter, and the first day of the Week, commonly called, The Lords Day, &c) I cannot perswade my self, that even the whole Church hatb Power to Alter or Abrogate them. What may be done in Plenitudine Potestatis, I will not dispute, because it is a thing I have no kindness for. For when Persons will be judges of the Ex­tent of their own Authority, they will be sure to C [...]rve libera [...]ly for them­selves; And when they will be Acting to the utmost Bounds of it, the odds is ten to one, that they go beyond them. Lastly, other Traditions there may be which relate to Doctrine, but this could be nothing but what the A­postles taught, and therefore must be fetch'd from those they taught it to; And so must be derived from the first primitive Churches; If it started up after, it was an Innovation not a Tradition, though older then Augustine or Ambros [...]: for there could be no Tradition but from the Apostles, and where­in the Churches immediately following them unanimously Agree as to their Doctrine; It serves well for the Explanation of the Sense of Scripture, as hath been shewn; But then it becomes not our Rule, though it is an ex­cellent Help: for a Rule ought to be full, obvious and useful; He that will pretend it full, has doubtless an Aking Tooth at the Holy Scriptures, to ex­plode them as Useless, and then he will leave us no Rule at all; for this pre­tended Rule is neither obvious nor useful as a Rule; For to fetch the Do­ctrines of the Christian Religion from the unanimous Consent of all the Apostolick Churches, is a Work for which not one in a thousand is ca­pable: Nay, take twenty for one of their own Priests, and either they are not able, or shall not be suffered to Attempt it; And is this Fit to be set up for a Rule in a Matter of the Eternal Salvation of all Men, which the most cannot, and many, if they could, must not use? This and some other Reason I could give, make me suspect, that the Tridentines in defining the Scriptures and Tradition to be Received Pari Pietatis affectu ac reverentiâ, had this in their Eye, that under the pretended Authority of Tradition they might foist in those Corruptions, which they knew the Holy Scri­ptures would by no means patronize. But to leave this Matter, and draw a Conclusion from the Premisses, if according to our Constitutions, (for we are not to Answer for the Miscarriages of any particular Persons) both our Doctrine and Discipline, our Government and Worship are good and justifiable, then we cannot be Hereticks: If the Roman Patriarchate ex­tended not to these Isles, then the Maintaining or Re-assuming our just Li­berties cannot make us guilty of Schism, as to his Patriarchship, but [Page 83] the first is proved, therefore the latter must be true.

XLV. I should now have done with this Matter, were there not one Trifle in my Way. Men, who are Resolved not to be Couvinced, will be sure to say any thing rather then be put to Silence. And so the Romanist, when driven from all his Posts, Cryes out, You were once of the Roman Communion, anâ did Pay Obedisnce to the Bishop of Rome; There was a C [...]ition, and therefore there must be a Schism. Now though the Answer of this is plain from what hath been said, yet some Men must be particu­larly Answered in every Impertinence, or else they will Cry up their Tri­flings for unanswerable Arguments. Whoever denied there was a Schism? Do not we bewail it, and heartily wish that Peace were Restored to the House of Israel; That all Churches held a sweet Correspondence, and all Christians might Communicate in all Churches wheresoever they came, without any Scruple of Conscience, as in the primitive times? But our Enquiry is, Who are in the fault? And that the Romanists are the guilty Party I have in some Meafu [...]e proved, and shall do it more fully hereafter, if it shall please God to Vouchsafe me Life and Leasure. But to say the Truth, there is a subtil Gincrack in this Objection, which when they speak out runs thus, You were once Ʋnited and Lived in Obedience to the See of Rome, [...]d are now gone off from it; What do you tell us of Corruptions, Faults or [...] Actions of the Church of Rome; You cannot be safe till you be recon­ [...]ed, and again Ʋnited to it; because that Church is the Mother and My­ [...]ess of all Churches, and the Source of all Authority. This is indeed a nimble Way to take for granted the main Matter in dispute; And if they could [...] easily prove it, as they are ready to beg the Question, it would go very [...]. But by the Way take Notice, how streightly She hath bound all other Churches in Fetters, and what a swinging Priviledge She hath Cut out for [...]er self. Let her do what She will, all others must follow Her; Let her do [...]ver so ill, none must so much as Accuse Her. Let her hold here, and She is safe enough; It is well Con [...]rived, if these wicked Cross grain'd He­r [...]ticks would but believe it. They who Claim such ample Privileges, ought [...]o produce their Charter: But when they come to proving, they produce [...]othing but such wretched stuffe, that Men are at a loss to return them an [...]nswer, by being st [...]uck with Admiration at their Impudence. That other [...]hurches have as good Authority as the Roman, is already proved, and shall be more fully in due place; And therefore this Assertion is an insolent Af­ [...]ont and Abuse to all the Churches of God. But yet I further Answer, That supposing some Preeminence did belong to the Church of Rome, that cannot Justify them in an ill Cause. If ever any Church should Claim to be the Fountain of all Authority, the Jewish Church, whether as Mosaical or Christian, seems to bid the sairest for it. Upon that Stock (as I may say) [Page 84] were the Christians Grafted. What Pr [...]eminence St. Paul allows the Jews above the Gentiles, you may read, Rom. the 11th. and elsewhere; And what particular Respect all the Apostles had to the Jews, how forbearing they were towards them, how yielding to them, how tender of them, and how careful and desi [...]ous to Maintain Communion with them, the Scriptures every where Test [...]fy. But yet when they became obstinate, and spake evil of Christianity, even St. Paul himself departed from them, and separated the Disciples. (Acts 19. 9.) Now we have cast off a Usurped Authority, and Re­formed some insufferable Abuses; For this the Pope not only with the Jews speaks evil of us, but thrusts us away, and Curseth us. Let him pretend what Privilege he will, if we be Schismaticks, we are Schismaticks with St. Paul: And in so good Company we are nothing concerned, though the Pop [...] and his Teazers Rail and B [...]rk at us all the Way we go. It must needs be, (saith our Saviour, Matt. 18. 7.) that Offences come, but Wo to that Man by whom the Offence cometh. So deplorable Schisms there be, and perhaps more or less will be, till the dissolution of all things put an end to them; But then Wo be to that Man, who to Maintain his enormous Greatness tramples on his Fellow Bishops, and Tyrannizeth over all Christians, and unless they will buy Peace at his unconscionable Rates, will not suffer the Wounds of the Church to be healed, nor her Breaches made up▪ Nay, if they should yield to him, it might indeed be some kind of uniting like Brethren in iniquity, but then it would be only a debanching, not regulating the Church, So that it was not for nothing, that Marcellus the second, in a Silent Melan­cholick posture, Leaning his Head on his Hand, at length broke forth into this Expression, I do not see it possible; how a Man in this High Dignity can be saved. But let them look to that, for having put in an Answer to the Claim of the Western Patriarch, and briefly Justified the actual Separation, I shall now Examine, whether the so much boasted Councel of Trent can do them any better service.

CHAP. V. Of the Councel of Trent.

I. THough the best things, by the Frowardness and Contrivance of wicked Men and Seducers may be abused to the worst Ends, and per­verted contrary to their Nature, to serve the most pernicious Designes, as hath been too often the Fate of Councels: yet it ought not to be denied, but [Page 85] that General Councels, or others, are of greatest Use and Benefit to the Church of God, when lawfully called and duely managed, where serious, continued and unanimous Prayers are put up for Gods Assistance, where Matters are freely and fairly debated, and where not only the Intentions but Endeavours of the Parties, are wholly bent to discover the Truth of God, not to Gratifie any Party of Men. For if God have promised to be with two or three, who are Gathered together in his Name, Surely, he will not be wanting to the Governours of his People, and the wisest and so­berest of Christians, when Met together, to discover to the Christian World the poison of Hereticks, and to serve the Necessities of his Church, pro­vided that they take due Cou [...]ses; And it is Agreeable to Reason, that a Considerable Number of good and able Men Assembled together in the fear of God, where Matters are freely and fully debated, and all Moral Industry used, should be better able to discover Truth from Falshood, then any single Person, or any small Number of Men. And where Men are satisfied of the Regularity of their Proceedings, though they should not be so well satis­fied in their Determinations, yet the Authority of the Persons, and unex­ceptionableness of their Proceedings, would be an Awe at least upon all sober and Rational persons, and make them cautious o [...] disturbing the Churches Peace. Nor doth it seem to be without Encouragement and Di­rection, that the primitive Christians in difficult Cases Fled to General Councels as their Sovereign Remedy. For the Apostles themselves set them a Precedent, and the first Councel at Jerusalem, (though small, yet perhaps the most General that ever was) was a Pattern worthy Imitation. For though the Apostles had severally the Holy Ghost, and were the Persons pur­posely Chosen to make known to Mankind the extraordinary Revelations of Gods Will; and so might have determined any Question concerning any such Matter by their own Authority; yet the Quarrel arising between the Jews and Gentiles concerning Circumcision, and in the Consequence con­cerning the whole Ceremonial Law of Moses, though they knew that one great End of Christs Coming was to abolish it, to fulfil its Types, and set up a more spiritual Worship; yet the whole Church being divided by this means into two Parties, they would not determine the Matter till Met in Councel together; that a full debate, and their unanimous Consent might give the greater satisfaction to all. And indeed their Proceedings are an admirable Copy, for all following Councels to write after; even they, who best might, do not Magisterially give us their Naked Decrees and Defi­nitions; for though they had the Holy Ghost, and in their Decree did say, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us; yet they do not say this, before they had undeniably proved, that it did seem good to the Holy Ghost, and there­fore ought to them. For St. Peter clearly proves, that God Himself had [Page 86] already determined the Matter in the Case of Cornelius; And then Barrabas and Paul as clearly proved Gods further Confirmation of it by Miracles and Wonders wrought amongst the Gentiles, whilest they Preached the Gospel to them. So that here was nothing left for Men to say against the Decrees of the Councel, unless they would Argue against God. And though the same degree of Evidence and fulness of Authority do not Attend after Coun­cels, yet it would be a great means to procure submission to them, when their Imitation of the Apostles, and Care of the Churches did Appear, by their Accompanying their Determinations with the clearest Evidence that might be.

II. Some Romanists will needs have every General Councel (i. e. such as they Call Lawful) to be as infallible as that of the Apostles; but methinks they should allow some difference, if it were only for this Reason, That the A­rostles did infallibly and fully discover to us the whole Truth of God in order to the Salvation of Man; All that come after them have nothing more to do, then to enquire after that Truth which they taught, and which Rests upon their Authority as Inspired by the Holy Ghost; And therefore certainly there is a great difference between them, and those who follow them, and are bound to build upon them, and are certainly in the wrong, whenever they depart from them. Infallibility is a word that sounds high, and promiseth all that Man can de [...]ire; And therefore the Romanists them­selves would have it upon no other termes, but so, that they may have both the possession and the use of it. But when we come to look for this Salve for all Sores, we know not whe [...]e to find it; for they themselves are so miserably divided, that they know not where to place it. And then how can we, or indeed they themselves, be any thing the better for it? Some say it is in the Church, some say in Tradition, some say in a General Councel, some in a Councel together with the Pope, some in a Counc [...]l Confirmed by the Pope, (though these two last are often odly Jumbled together) and some say in the Pope alone, when he defines pro Cathedr [...], and that is a Mystery too. Now in all and each of these they entangle themselves in some palpable Contra­dictions, and woful Absurdities, that a Man might wonder, that ever such Learned Men should Appear in their Defence, did we not see by Experience, that extravagant interest as well as great Oppressions often makes wise Men mad. The truth is, all these are set up as a blind, as shall appear in its proper place. And if their General Reasons to prove, that there must be some sort of per­sonal Infallibility, be good, there must be another sort of Infallibility set up then any of these, and such as they themselves will by no means approve, and which none have pretended to, but the worst of Enthusiasts; And yet their Reasons must prove this, if any; Such lewd Opinions do Men Run into, when they will take upon them to prescribe to God, rather then [Page 87] obey him. And indeed it hath sometimes struck Me with horrour to see how boldly they tell us, what God must do, and how presumptuously they charge him with breach of Promise, as Neglect of his people, if he do not make good all their Contrivances; As if God were bound to do, whatso­ever their working Brains can think fit to Advance their unworthy and unchristian Interests. No doubt but God will not fail on his put, if we neglect not our own; But to Tye Him to serve our humours or baseness, is to provoke Him to desert us in those things, which are really most needful for us. But these things I must not here particularly pursue, nor shall I engage in the Dispute concerning the Infallibility of General Councels, both because whatever they pretend, it is not that which they would have, as also because they have Received such Answers already in that Matter from Spalato, the most Reverend A. B. Laud, the Learned Dean of St. Pauls and others, that it is now altogether a Needless La­bour.

III. He that takes his Aim, though never so carefully, yet may sometimes miss his Mark; And if that should be my Misfortune in what I write in this place, I may in Equity expect the more favourable Usage. For though in a good Sense a Councel may be said to be the Church Representative, as I shall shew anon. Yet I have Considered and Considered again, and can by no means Reconcile to Reason that Notion or Proposition, (in the sense which some Men take and Explain it,) That a General Councel is Representative of the diffusive Body of the Church. For if it be so, it must either be by In­stitution from God, or Delegation from Men. But that God in any Case hath Appointed the whole Body of Christians to choose certain Persons as their Representatives, whose Acts by vertue of such Election shall be as [...]inding, as if it had been done by all and every Man, I think can no where be found; for my own part, I could never see any Footsteps of it, or any thing like it. If on the other Hand, it be by an unprescribed spontaneous Delegation from Men, it must either be by the whole Body of Christians Met together for that purpose, or by Parts Assembled in particular Churches. The First, I think, if it be not impossible, is altogether impracticable, as the state of the Church now is: Nor was it ever put in Practice, when the Church being less, closer and better united, did not labour under those dif­ficulties which now it doth; As for the second, it hath neither Scripture nor Antiquity on its side, and for that Little, which some may wrest to look that way, it is so very little, that it may thence Appear, that the Churches of God never thought it necessary. For though Paul and Barnabas, and certain others were sent up to Jerusalem about the Controversie between the Jews and Gentiles, (Acts 15. 2.) Yet there is not any Circumstance to lead us to think otherwise, but that they went by Order or Agreement of these Go­vernours [Page 88] of the Churches, (among whom that Controversie had been de­bated, but could not be finally decided, by reason of the turbulency of the Jews) and not by Election of the People: And when the Councel Met at Jerusalem, though all Christians had freedom to Appear in it; yet when the Apostles and Elders are said to come together to Consider of the Matter, (verse 6.) they Met by their own Authority. And further, if a Councel be so the Church Representative, that in Order to its being a Representative, it be necessary, that the Persons Appearing be Elected from the Church-Members of particular Churches; the Consequence will be, That the first four Famous General Councels were not lawful Councels; for they Met by the Emperours Summons, not by Election from the People; And therefore upon this Supposition could not be duely Convocated. Besides, if a Depu­tation of the People or Church-Members be necessary, let the Honour or Orders of the Persons deputed be what it will, they must Represent mostly as Laymen; for such are Incomparably the sar greater Number; But we read not of any Bishops Sitting in Councel, but as Bishops, and subscribing as Bishops, and taking place there by vertue of their own Authority as Bishops, not by any Deputation; unless perhaps some Person Appeared for some absent Bishop as well as himself, or as the Legate of some Bishop; But then a Commission or Deputation from that absent Bishop was sufficient without so much as Consulting any Church-Members. I do not say, but that some Persons were Chosen on purpose to be sent to Councels, but then they were either such Priests or Deacons, as the Bishops thought Fit to take along with them, or were pitch'd on by the Advice of their Clergy. And we have a Custom amongst our selves, that Two out of every Diocess be Chosen and sent to the Provincial Synod or Convocation; And thought it is Reasonable that some should be there, who by daily Inspection and Expe­rience understand the Countreys Affairs, and the Circumstances of the Rural Clergy, upon whom not the least part of the Burthen lies; yet the great Reason is this, That the Determinations of the Convocation may pass into the Law of the Land, which they cannot do, unless the Convocation con­sists of such Persons as the Law requires, whose Acts must be Ratified by the King also to that purpose. But then those Persons so Chosen are only the Proctors of the Clergy, not Deputies of the People: And Canons for the Church might be made without them, though not Laws of the Land. And indeed the Romanists themselves, though they talk loud of a Councels being the Churches Representative, yet sometimes they are as dumb again, and willing to let it sleep, or to shift it off. When they have to do with private Persons, or such whom they Call Hereticks, then they talk big of their pack'd Councels, and what a Madness it is to withstand the Repre­sentative of the whole Church of God; This looks great, and seems to [Page 89] carry no small Authority with it: But if Discourse happen of a Councel in Relation to the Pope, then they are as Mute as Fishes, or Mince the Mat­ter, and will by no means be induced to speak out as to any such Authority in Councels of themselves. And it is well known, That the Tridentines were never suffered to use the Phrase, Repraesentans universalem Ecclefiam, though many stickled hard for it, the Pope being in no small fear, that an Inference would be thence drawn, That any Member, how great soever, was Inferiour to the Representative of the whole Body of Gods Church, the Consequence of which might have been fatal to Himself. But the Question concerning the Right to, or Exercise of Authority in any diffusive Body of Men, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil, perhaps deserves a more thorough Ex­amination, then it hath ever yet undergone; And consequently, whether any can? And if any, then who and how far they can make a Representative? I may perhaps have Occasion to discourse of it hereafter, but shall not in this place.

IV. He that proceeds only in a destructive way, gives too much Ad­vantage to Loose Wits, and in stead of Instructing unsettles weak Heads. It is therefore but just, that he who opposeth what he thinks a Mistake, should set down what he thinks right; lest he do more hurt by leaving no­thing to build upon, then he doth good by discovering an Errour, which perhaps might be harmless, if Consequences of too great moment were not Wire-drawn from it. If therefore we should say, That a Councel, (ie. as far as Relates to such Churches, whose Bishops Appear in Councel) is the Church Authoritative; and in Consequence the Representative, as bringing [...]ith it all that Authority Christ left in his Church, and which he Lodg'd in his Church-Officers, by Vertue of which Authority they Represent, and not by any Deputation from the People or Church Members; I think that (with submission to better Judgements) it would be much more plain in the Explication, and facile in the Reasons of it; And thence would Evi­dent [...]y Appear the true Grounds of the different force of their Decrees and Canons. For in what Relates to Discipline and external Government, every Bishop hath Power to make Orders in his own Church; And when they are Met in Councel together, for the Agreement and Harmony of Churches, and better upholding Communion, they may make Rules bind­ing all those Churches, and in all things lawful and honest they are to be obeyed. For in their Hands God left the Government of his Church as a Church. And it is no less then an Aposto [...]ical Command, in reference to Church-Governours; Obey them th [...]e have the Rule over you, and submit your selves, &c (Heb: 13. 17.) And this is so clear from the Practice of the P [...]i­mitire Church, that to b [...]ing a few Instances, were only to light a Candle to the [...]un. But then those [...]egimental Rules or Orders were not binding to those Churches, whose B [...]shops were not there either by themselves or their [Page 90] Delegates, and Consenting to them, though they were bound to observe them, whenever upon any Occasion they came to any of those Churches, on whom they were laid; And also had a Power to Receive and Confirm them, if they found them convenient for their Churches, and so to make them Obligatory ex post facto, though they themselves were not at the Coun­cel. And it is further Observable, That Constitutions of this Nature were never thought to be so unalterable and binding. But that not only follow­ing General Councels might alter them, but even Provincial Councels in some Cases might Rescind, what more General Councels had Appointed. For no Laws are binding contrary to their own End and Design. Now the End and Design of their Constitutions being the Peace and Benefit of the Churches, and for the most part in Matters of themselves by Nature in­different or mutable; It can hardly be, that in all things their General Sanctions should Hit the Condition of all Churches, for Climates alter Men much; And the Humours, Inclinations and Customes o [...] People much vary in different places, yea, not seldom in the same place, in different Ages. So that what is convenient, easie and useful in one place, may be inconvenient, uneasie and unprofitable in another. If therefore by Reason of the Con­dition of some particular Church or Churches, which was not well made known to the General Councel, some of their Constitutions should prove to be really and truly Burthensom and Offensive to such Churches: If there be no Prospect of another General Councel near at Hand, a Provincial Coun­cel of their own, who understand their state and necessities, may Relieve them, by making other Orders more Fit and Practicable sor them; but al­ways with Honour and Observance of those Constitutions, where they do take place, and without any Contempt or disrespect, where they are laid aside, To this Effect is that Answer of our Learned Dr. Beveridge to his f [...]oward Observator, Nemo nescit Synodos Posteriores saepe alia, nonnunquam & contraria c [...]nstituisse ac quae prioribus constituta fuerant, idque licèt Priores illae aecu­enenicae si [...]e Ʋniversales & Posteriores singularium tantummodò Provinciarum Synodi [...]ssent, quod sexcentis, sinec [...]sse esset, exemplis demonstrare licet, (Cod. Can. Ecc. [...]i. lib. 1. cap. 3.) In these things (if I mistake not) consists the greatest an [...] most direct Power of Councels; for these things are to be received and observed by vertue of their own Authority. And hence it is Observable, That in most ancient Councels, the greatest Part of their Canons relate to Discipline and Government. And they never Cared to meddle with Matter of Doctrine, [...]less the Troubles of the Church and unquietness of Hereticks con­strained them to it. And though in this Case, not only Men in inferiour Orders, but even prudent Laymen may be Consulted with, and have liberty [...]o Advise and freely sp [...]ak their Thoughts, that the state of the Church may be the better known, yet the decisive Voice is in the Bishop: And that [Page 91] the Contrary Asserted by Spalato is a great Mistake; I shall happily have Occasion to prove; when I come to speak of the Nature, Power and Rights of Episcopacy, in opposition to the Roman See, whose Usurpations have not only diminished, but in a manner destroyed that Order, to the irreparable damage of Gods Church, and without the Restoration of which to its just Rights, I see not how the Church can hope for either Unity or Peace.

V. But though in Relation to Government and Discipline the Power of Bishops in Councel is very great, yet in Matters of Doctrine it is by no means the same. For he that Committed to their Trust the Government of his Church, gave them no Power over the Faith. Rules for Discipline may alter, as Cases alter; But the Gospel of Christ Jesus must be yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever. No Monckish Evangelium aeternum, nor Fanatick Evangelium armatum, must be suffered to thrust this out of doors; What Christ and his Apostles delivered to the Saints at first must be the Rule to the last: And therefore here the Business of Councels is not to Ap­point but Enquire; Not to Constitute, but declare: They have no Au­thority to make us a New Gospel, or any New Article of Faith, but to dis­cover the Old; And therefore here their Authority goes equal pace with their Sincerity, Diligence and Skill. And if these Qualifications be truly in them, and duely used; It is all the Reason in the World that we should Acquiesce in their Determinations, and that not only because we cannot have any better or more able Body of Men to decide the Controversie; But also because we have good Grounds to believe, that God will Afford them his Assistance; sor the Promise made to the Disciples of being with them al­ways to the End of the World, is not capable of any other Construction, but of his Affording not only to them, but to their Successors sufficient Aid and Assistance to preserve, discover, teach and declare that Truth and Do­ctrine, which our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles taught, and left with them to be taught to the End of the World, for the Salvation of Souls. And though even Laymen, as being all Concerned in the Common Salvation, may Challenge a Right to Appear in Councel in o [...]de [...]ly Manner and Number, yet certainly the greatest Authority lies in them. to whom God hath Com­mitted the Care of all the Churches, and who must Answer sor others So [...]s as well as their own. Where therefore the Pastors of the Church are Met together about Matters relating to the Necess [...]ties of the Church, and are Honest, Industrious and able; I doubt not, but that in Matters of Religion their Authority is the greatest of any Men on Earth. God, I think, would not suffer such Men, so qualified, to dec [...]ive us in any thing of necessity to Salvation, and therefore they are not lightly to be regarded. And if these things could be truly said for the Councel of T [...]nt, I should have a better esteem [...]or it, then I am like to have in haste. But on the other Hand, if [Page 92] any Pastors of the Church, how many soever, though never so able and in­dustrious, Meet together, and be not Honest and Sincere, but (at least by the prevailing Number) for base Interest, labour by subtile and unworthy Arts not to Amend, but Establish gross Errours, Abuses and Corruptions; These Men not only Offer the greatest Affront to God and his Christ, but At­tempt to put the most pernicious Cheat upon the Christian World; And in stead of Assistance from God, they may rather expect, that in Judgement he should give them over to strong delusions, to believe a Lye. And these are to be Abominated, and with as great indignation Rejected, as good and law­ful Councels are with Reverence to be received and followed. And in which of these Rancks the Councel of Trent ought to stand, I sh [...]ll now En­quire

VI. And in the first place, it may not be Amiss, to Consider what time was taken to Frame and Mould this Councel to the Popes Mind. The Coun­cels of Constance and Basil having Eclipsed the Roman See in the very Height of its Greatness and Glory, the Popes ever since have looked with a malign [...] Aspect upon General Councels, and the very Naming one was enough to put any of them into a Fit of a Feavour; And indeed this made following Councels not only useless but noxious. For if the Necessities of the Church seemed at any time to Require a General Councel, the Pope would never suffer it to be, but in such place that he could Command; And always took care, that it should Consist of such Persons, who at least for the greater Num­ber were at his devotion; And yet even then was wofully uneasie, till it was Finished; so unwilling are Popes to trust themselves with a Councel, though themselves have the packing of it. But that Spark, which first fell through the Clashing of Luther and the Pardonmongers, being blown to such a Flame, that no Common Help could quench it, a General Councel seemed necessary: But to Manage it for the Advantage of the Roman See, and to hold it in convenient place was a Matter of no small difficulty in such times of Confusion; so that it seemed to be as dangerous to the Pope, as it was ne­cessary for the Church. It was well for the Court of Rome, that the greatest Princes of those times were perswaded that it was the Popes Right, (though meerly Founded upon Usurpations) to Call General Councels: For by this means they gained time to Fit Matters for their Turn; And yet though the most Refined Politicians in the World, it was not a little time did serve their Turn; For though tho Popes successively seemed daily willing, that so they might stop Mens Mouths, and Gratifie their Importunity, yet was it not less then Twenty-seven yeares before these perfect Crafts-Masters could Contrive Matters to their Mind, and then too they were rather Necessitated then willing, and in no small fear that their Wings would be Clipt-Luthers first Appeal to a General Councel, which was quickly followed with the desire; [Page 93] of all Germany, was in the Year 1518. But the Councel of Trent did not open till the 13th. of December 1545. So long did this Compassionate Suc­cessor of St. Peter suffer the Wounds of the Church to Lye Bleeding, and at last only Cured them as Chyrurgions do Gang [...]enes, by Cutting off the Mem­bers. As for the Indictions at Mantua and Vicenza, I make no Account of them; for as it may Reasonably be suspected, that they were only Shams to gain time; so had either taken effect; it is certain it was a Device to keep the Councel in greater Slavery, then it was at Trent, though it was so great there, that little good could be expected from it, as shall presently appear. And now after so long Plotting, having got something like a Councel, in a [...]rightful place, at a time when Christian Princes were most jealous of each other, and the Pope had Leasure and Opportunity to play his Game; Let us enquire into its State and Actions; And if just Exceptions cannot be brought against it, let it take place.

VII. I do not pretend to bring all the just Exceptions, which may be Al­ledged against the Councel of Trent; It is sufficient, if those few I shall bring, or any one of them be so material and to the purpose, as to Just [...]fy our Re­jecting it. Now the first Quarrel I have against them is, that the prevailing Part all along carried on a Design to betrary the Liberties of all the Churches, and the Power of all Bishops to the Pope, and to make him the absolute Mo­ [...]arch of the whole Church. And what good can we expect from Men, who were Traitors to their own Order? But though there could be no greater baseness and falseness then such a Design, yet it must be Confessed, that never was an Intrigue Managed more Neatly, or more S [...]ily brought a­bout, for they never Offer to put his Supremacy to the Vote, nor by any ex­press Canon or Decree declare or give it him; for that might have Awake­ [...]d the Sleeping Bishops, and Alarm'd the World, and perhaps they might not have Carried it; Or if they had, yet what one Councel gave, another might take away; At least he must have been beholding to them, and held it as their Gift, which would not do the Pope's Business. But more craftily, whilest the Councel was intent upon other Matters, they upon all Occasions [...] in such words into the Decrees and Canons, which though nothing to the purpose, as to the Matter to be decided, (and therefore in all likelihood little Heeded) yet might infer the Pope's Supremacy by an Antecedent or Divine Right; And thus they insensibly put him out of the Reach of all Councels, and did their Work more effectually, then if they had spoke never so plainly, Those who Heedsully Read over the Canons and Decrees of the Councel of Trent, may furnish themselves with plenty of Instances; To Avoid Tediousness I shall only mention some few. For a Trial how this would glide down, the Decree for Reformation is Ushered in with these words, Eadem SS. Syn [...]dus Piis Summorum Pontificum, & Probatorum Conciltorum [Page 94] Constitutionibus inhaerens, (Sess. 5. cap. 1.) Here the Pope is not only put be­fore the Councels, but that ye might see by what Right he is Adorned with the Epithet Summus; And though the Councels are suffered to wait on him, yet it is with a Restriction, they must be such as are Probatae: Now what those are, and who shall have the Approving them, any Man may guess with­out being suspected for a Conjurer; For with them the meanest Provincial Councel is as good as a General, if Confirmed by the Pope, and without his Confirmation the most General is not worth a Rush. Thus what shrivelled things are Councels to a Pope? But as if all Reformation Consisted in ex­alting the Pope, in the Decree of Reformation, (Sess. 6 cap. 1:) He is stiled, Ipsius Dei in Terris Vicarius; They could hardly have made him greater, un­less they had stiled Him, Our Lord God the Pope; And in the latter part of the same Decree they declare him to be Captain'Mend-all, with a power to punish at Discretion, even the Highest Prelates of the Church; And that not by Vertue of any Trust reposed in Him by the Councel, but Suae Supreme Sedis Auctoritate: This I think is pretty fair, they did deserve to be stroked and called his white Boys for it. When they come to determine the Matter concerning the Reservation of Cases, which extreamly needed Reformation, (for by that means Persons oft were forced to Travel to Rome, from the far­thest Countreys at vast Charges, and often for meer Trifles) in stead of Re­forming, they Justify it▪ And for fear of losing the booty, they seem wil­ling that some other Bishops should have a Share with Subordination to his Holiness; But as for th [...] Pope himself, they tell us roundly, that he may do it Merito pro Supremâ Potestate, sibi in Ecclesiâ Ʋniversâ traditâ, (Sess. 14 cap. 7.) This, I think, drives the Nai [...] home, and Clinches it too; for if his be the Supreme Power in the Universal Church, that Man or Men had need be Back'd with a strange Authority, who shall dare to Controul or oppose Him Further, the Matter is so Ordered, that the Councel frequently gives the Pope the Title of Dominus ne [...]er, and the Consequence can be no less, but that they were or ought to be his Humble Servants. Perhaps some will say, that this was done in good Manners, and by way of Complement. But put a Complement upon the Pope, and if it serves his Turn, he interprets it a Reality; And the Decrees and Canons of this Councel are Restrained to his Interpretation, that they can only speak what he pleases, so that he may make the utmost use of it; And we know, that Sayings, which do not by the hundredth part so much Countenance his Supremacy, are Confidently brought in to prove it. An endless and needless Labour i [...] would be to pur­sue all Instances of this kind, and therefore I shall Content my self with one more. When most Men were Tyred out and grown Sick of the Councel, and the Papalins being in fear of the Popes Death, were Resolved to Conclude it in a Hurry, in the very last Session this Decree passeth, Postremo Sancta [Page 95] Synodus, omnia & singula, sub quibuscunque clausulis & verbis, quae de Morum Re­formatione, atque Ecclesiasticâ Disciplinâ, tam sub fel. vec. Paulo 3tio, ac Julio 3tio, quèm sub Beatissimo Pio 4to Pontificibus Maximis, in hoc Sacro Concilio statuta s [...]nt, declarat, it a decreta fuisse, ut in his Salva semper Auctoritàs Sedis Apostolicae & sit & esse, intelligatur, (cap. 21.) Now if they had done any thing as to the Pope before, this had undone it all: And this, with the Help of such a Construction as the Pope may put upon it, may enable Him to do what he will; He is now left to Carve for Himself, and if he want any thing it is his own fault. By what Surprize this Decree was obtained, the Historian briefly tells us. When a Councel was just Shutting up, few Men gave their Minds to Heed or stick at any thing; and therefore in the Close of the day this is passed as a thing granted, though it had never been mentioned in any Con­gregation, (Hist. C. T. lib. 8 pag. 812,) Now what the Authority here de­ [...]gned is, you may give a shrewd Guess by the Acclamation in the Shutting [...]p of the Councel, Beatissimo Pio Papae, & Domino nostro, Sanctae Ʋniversali [...] Ecclesiae Pontifici, &c. What can he desire more? It seems the Dispute a­bout Ʋniversalem Ecclesiam and Ʋniversas Ecclesias, was out of their Heads now.

VIII. As to the Authority of Bishops, it was the Contrivance of the Councel all along, by all Arts possible, to bring it in a manner to nothing. 'Tis true, some were sensible of the Mischief of this, and amongst such the Spaniards deserved no mean Commendation, especially Gramata, then whom there was not a more brave and Magnanimous Prelate in all the Councel: [...] wanted not much once, but that they had out-witted the early Legats; b [...]t their honest Plot being discovered, they were quickly over-born by the [...]ians and Pensioners, who never Consider what is Right, but what will [...]ive the Pope's Turn: And to exalt him, it was necessary to depress all other [...]shops; for if other Bishops be Christs Vicars as well as the Pope, they will [...] in danger to be his Fellows; but if they be only Vicars, or Delegates of Christs Vicar, then they must submit to Him as their Head, from whom they [...]ive all their Authority. And to bring it to this Pass they used many [...]rts, though none more effectual then this, which shall be the only Instance I shall produce in this place. In the Matter of Reformation it was necessary [...] seem to do something, (though God knows their Reformation was much [...] Boccaline's in Parnassus, which after a mighty Bustle, and vast Expectati­ons, Amounted to no more then the Moderating the Price of Cabbages and [...]ayons.) Now though in things of greatest Concern, the Reformation was l [...]ft to the Pope, which was Magno cona [...] nihil agere; yet all could not be so Referred, and the Execution of such things had been always left to the Bi­shops. Now to have Committed them to any other Hands, would have been not only to bring themselves under Eternal Infamy, but to put the World [Page 96] in a Mutiny; On the other Hand, to leave it to them would seem to infer a Right, if not a Divine Right in prejudice of the Pope. One would think here they had been taken in a Noose, but they slip the Knot with ease; And certainly never any thing was more Neatly taken away in the very giving. For when Matters came under debate, which did Require the Ex­ercise of Jurisdiction upon the place, they then Committed it to the Bishops, but with this Restriction, As Delegates of the Apostolick See. Here indeed the Bishops Received a Power to Exercise some Authority, but in the very Accepting it they gave up their Right, and placed all Authority Originally in the Pope; so that if he pleased at any time to undelegate them, he did in effect unbishop them. And yet the only Reason which moved the Car­dinals, St. Clemens and Alexandrinus to persevere in their Opinioe to the last against the Confirmation of the Councel, was this, That too much Authority had been Given to Bishops in that Councel, (Hist. C. T. lib. 8. p 817.) So Jealous is the Roman Court of the Authority of Bishops, that they are not willing to Allow them the Shadow of it; And indeed they have Reason for it, for if every Bird had her own Feather, those Jolly Cardinals, now Princes Mates, would Appear to be only a parcel of bald Cootes. For this and some other Reasons the Councel of Trent might have Waited for a Confirmation, had not Hugo Buon [...]cmpagno Bishop of Bestice, not only clearly Convinced the Pope, that he was no Loser by the Councel; but also taught Him a Trick how He might make what he pleased of it, and become no small Gainer by it, (Hist. C. T. p. 816.) To all this the Bigoted sort of Romanists will Re­turn, that it is the Pope's Right. But if it be not his Right, then both He and that Councel are guilty of a World of Wrong done to the Churches of God. But that Dispute is not proper in this place, but will be fully Handled in the Particular of Supremacy; And if they be cast in that, they must be so in this,

IX. It hath ever been Held to be one necessary Qualification of a General Councel, That it be free; And therefore I may Reasonably put in this Ex­ception against that at Trent, That it was in manifest Slavery all the time. If there were nothing more to be urged but the Decree Proponentibus Legatis, that alone were sufficient; For by this means the Bishops, who best knew the state of their Churches, could not offer any thing in Councel, how needful soever they knew it to be; And what should be debated, was wholly left to their pleasure, who either could not understand the state of the Churches; Or if they did, yet did not regard it, but made it their whole Business to Advance the Interest of the Court of Rome. And though it was Pleaded, that this was a New Thing never before done in any Councel; though at several times strong Reasons were brought to prove, that it Infringed the Lib [...]rty of the Councel; And from time to time great Intercession was made [Page 97] to take off that Decree, yet it could never be obtained; And we may Rea­sonably believe, that it was Resolved it never should, whatsoever they might pretend. For when this Decree with no small Art had passed, the Pope was so well pleased with the News, that he wrote privately to the Legats, That they should Maintain it firmly, and put it in Execution, without Re­le [...]ting one jote, (Hist. C. T. lib, 6. p. 470.) But though this was too much yet this did not satisfie them; But they took still a greater Liberty to En­slave all the Rest. For when they had proposed any Matter, if the debate did not proceed to their Mind, they took upon them to interrupt Men in their speaking, and to Check, Reproach or Threaten Others; so that fe­veral died of Grief or Indignation for the Disgrace and Abuse Received; [...]nd some pretended Necessity of Business, or want of Health, and Asked leave to depart, and were not a little glad they were got away. If this did not do, then by Proregations and Delays they wearied Men out, and would do nothing till an Opportunity Presented for their purpose. Neither was the Councel under less Restraint as to time, then Matter; they were so far from having any Power to Sit, till they had dispatched the weighty Affairs they came about, that they could not Sit an Hour longer then they pleased their Masters the Legats; For they had a Bull by them, empowering them to prorogue, transfer or dissolve the Councel as they should thin Fit. So that let the Necessities of Christendom be what they will, if the Designes of the Legats were not carried on, all the Bishops in Councel must either Sir still and cool their Heels, or March off and be gone; And that they were Resolved to take this Course, if they could not Compass their Ends, is ma­nifest from that rude Translation of it to Bologna. And yet one would think there should be little need of all this Caution; For the Councel consisted wholly of Persons sworn to the Pope, in as full and ample Manner as any Oath of Allegiance can be made by a Subject to his Lawful Prince, as is plain from the Form of the Oath set down by our Learned D. of St. P. (Vind. A. B. L. cap. 8. p. 491.) so that they couid Practice nothing contrary to the Pope's Will without being guilty of Perjury; And the Legates upon Oc­casion did not fail to put them in Mind of it. Indeed, it may more properly be called a Faction then a Councel, for there were none Admitted but the Pope's Party; And was it likely, that they should do right, who were Com­plained of for doing all the wrong? The Protestants are not suffered to Come and Sit as a Part of the Councel, but to be heard as Criminals: And they had great Encouragement to come, who were Condemned before hand. Three Safe Conducts were Granted to the Protestants, Two under Julius [...]tiu [...], and one under Pius 4t [...]s, but not one of them will Admit them as Mem­bers of the Councel, but supposeth them to come as Offenders, with a Li­berty to make the best of their Cause they can. But he, who shall Heedfully [Page 98] read the first Safe-Conduct, will see, that it was rather intended for a Snare to Trepan them, then an Instrument to Secure them. That Phrase, Quan­tum ad ipsam Sanctam Synodum spectat, looks suspitiously, as if they intended it as a Reserve for another to do that, which they were ashamed of them­selves; and there is the greater Reason to think this, because the very last words of the Safe-Conduct shew, that they did intend to proceed against such, whom they should judge Hereticks; Only they promise, that they shall have Judices sibi benevolos, i. e. They shall be Hanged with Silken Halters. And what kind of Entertainment they were like to find, we may hence Guess, that it is sometimes plainly said by some in Councel, That their Coming thither was to Condemn the Lutherans; And when Vega spake of a Lutheran Opinion, as Reconcileable with what they called Catholick, the Councel was highly Offended, as thinking it a prejudice, that any of the Differences might be thought Reconcileable, (Hist. C. T. p. 208.) yet they had the best Knack at Reconciling, when they had a Mind to it, that I ever knew; for they could Reconcile differences amongst themselves, that were as opposite as Light and Darkness, without Condemning either of the Contraries; Witness a­mong others, the Controversie between the Dominicans and Franciscans about the immaculate Conception. They were so bent on this design, that they would Admit none into the Councel, who were thought in the least to favour the Reformers. When Vergerius Fled to the Councel, though as a Bishop he had Right to a place there, yet the Legats would not suffer him to be there, but send him to the Pope to clear himself from the Imputation of Lu­theranism; And he was glad to be gone, and at last to get out of Italy, though he did in some Measure Requite the Kindness afterwards. For in Revenge he wrote a Book to prove, that all Liberty was taken away from the Councel, and that it was Called by the Pope, not to Estabish the Do­ct [...]ine of Christ, but the Servitude and Oppression of poor Souls, (Hist. C. T. p. 436.) And though he had been foully abused, and was an angry Man, yet in this he was too much in the Right. But as some were not Admitted, so such as did. Sit there were upon their good Behaviour, and might by one De­vice or another be Fetcht out of the Councel at pleasure. Even one of their greatest Creatures the Bishop of Bitont [...], was Cited from the Councel to Ap­pear before the Auditor of the Rota at Rome, such a piece of Impudence as was never before Practised, and enough to have made the Councel Assert its▪ Authority against the Pope, if there had been any Considerable Number of [...]ny Courage or Honesty. But though upon the Bishops modest Complaint he Legats were ashamed of it, and the poorer Bishops began to be Mu­ [...]inous, yet the Pope made his Advantage of all. For laying hold on this Opportunity, as it were, in Compassion to succour the meaner Bishops, he [...]ade Pensioners and fast Friends of those, who were in danger to be his [Page 99] Enemies; and gained a clear Instance of the Pope's Exercising Jurisdiction over a Councel. And though this shews Him to have been a dext [...]ous Artist, who could so easily turn his danger to his gain, and Kill two Birds thus with one Stone; yet it speaks little in Commendation of those, who what in them lay sold the Liberties of all Christians so Dog-cheap. And though the Pope was thus secured o [...] them, yet they were not trusted: But when the Legats had prepared any thing, if it was not treated of in all Points to their liking, it was either utterly quashed, or laid aside at pleasure. When as Matter of Reformation it was proposed to set down the Qualities, requisite in the Pro­motion of the greater Prelates and Ministers of the Church, which cer­tainly might have been of great use and profit to so disordered and corrupt [...] state, as the Churches Affairs were then in; It was all presently turned out of doors, and that chiefly for this Reason, Because more then two Thirds of the [...]en [...]fices are Reserved to the Apostolick See, unto which it is not Fit to Prescribe a Law, (Hist C. T. lib. 2. p. 216.) When the Matter of Residence was treated of with some little Heat, they were all presently cooled, and the Matter put off, Cardinal Monte, after some specious Pretences, plainly telling them, That the Pope's Wi [...] was Resolutely so, (Hist. C. T. lib. 2. p. 232.) And with this they are all struck dumb. And as they might not speak but with Leave and Licence, so what they did was insignificant, if it Chanc'd afterwards not to please the Pope. For the Councel having taken Care for Correcting the Vulgar Edition, and for procuring an exact Impression, and having Em­ployed Deputies on the Work; When this News came to Rome, the Pope undoeth it all by his own Authority, and the Legats in pursuance of his Or­der, cause the Deputies to desist from the Work, and to bring all they had done to them, and this without any Respect to the Councel, or so much as making them privy to it. It seems somewhat strange, that they should have no more at least seeming liberty, but be used so scornfully; For the Pope had ever the Major Party in the Councel. It began, if not altogether, yet for the most part with his own Creatures: And they, when but a con­temptible Number, and (as the Historian saith) for the greater part a very igno [...]ant Parcel of Men, defined Matters of the greatest Concern, which were never before defined; And too soon then. But when Cardinal Pac­ceco gave Information, that the Spanish Bishops, Men of exemplary Pi [...]ty and great Learning, were coming to the Councel, the Legats thought (as they truly fou [...]d) that their Task would be harder; And therefore they begin timely to look about them, and sollicit the Pope to send them trusty Bishops to out-Vote the Ʋltraniontans, (as they called th [...]m) (Hist: C T. lib. 2. p. 142.) This did well enough all the time of Paul and J [...]liu [...]; But when the F [...]ench were pr [...]paring to come to the Councel in the time of Pi [...]s 4 [...]us, the Rumour of such Mens coming, who were naturally of a daring temper, and free [Page 100] Speech, and in no great danger of incur [...]ing the displeasure of their King for either, so Alarm'd the Pope, that he openly and with little less then a professed Design for out Voting them, sent such a strength of Confidents and Titulars, that the Papalins in Councel were themselves ashamed of it; for by that it was manifest, that nothing could be done in that Councel, but what was Carried by his Creatures, and consequently by himself. This will still be more plain, if we Consider the Nu [...]ber of Prelates in Trent. The Catalogue at the End of the Councel tells us, that they came from four­teen Nations; but if it were well Examined, it would Appear, that many of the Prelates of those several Nations were only Titulars, or the Pope's Pen­sioners; But the Number of all together, (and yet they never were all to­gether) Amounts to 281. Now all of this Number, (take Procurators and all) which App [...]ared at various times from thirteen Nations, were only 91, the Rest were all Italians, the Pope's Devotees, who either for fear durst not, or for Interest would not in the least oppose him; and they Amounted to 189, which makes somewhat above two Thirds of the Councel. Now when all the Complaints were against the Court of Rome, let any Man judge what could be Car [...]ied in a Councel, wherein the Pope had so much the Ma­jor Party, and Voices were Numbred and not weighed. And when the Councel is Called by Him, and Consists chiefly of Persons, whose dep [...]ndance is on Him, and all Sworn to Him, and when they are Met, must Treat of nothing but what is Proposed by his Order, nor then any further, or in any other Manner theu makes for his Interest; And if any thing displeases, are liable to be sent packing away when he pleases; And their Orders may be discharged without their Consent, and are in all things under his Govern­ment, who will never suffer them to follow their own Judgement. I Hum­bly desire to know by what Figure such a Councel is called Free, for in pro­per speaking it cannot be so.

X. Another small Objection which I have against this Councel is this, That the Decrees and Canons set forth in that Councels Name, were really not the Decrees and Canons of the Councel: for the Truth is, it was a meer Sham, and only a Skreen or Curtain drawn between the World and the Pope, that he might play his Game more safely out of Sight. For what do they tell us of Trent? If there was any Councel, it was at Rome; for there all was really Transacted and Concluded. In Trent they did only Act the Play which Others made, and therefore it is unju [...]t that they should be Ac­counted the Authors of it, and Rob Others of their Glory; for though they carry the Name, yet in Truth the Tridentine Fathers, were neither Fathers nor Mothers of those Decrees and Canons, but were only the Midwives to deliver the Pope and Conclave of a Brat, which they had long been big with; though they were partly forced and partly Hired to take it upon [Page 101] themselves, left the World should have judged it a Bastard-Child. By the Orders of Paul the 3d. to the Legats, they were to receive from him what they should propose, deliberate and conclude, and not to publish any Decree in Session, before they had Communicated it at Rome, (Hist. C. T. lib. 2. p. 164) And all along there were Deputies in Rome kept over the Councel, that no­thing could be dispatched in Trent, till they had first Considered, Corrected and Concluded the Matter, and satisfied the Pope in it: And then he sent i [...] to Trent, that it might pass for their Decree. And to this purpose Dis­patches came from Rome every Week at least once, and sometimes twice, un­less the Waters were up, (as they often were there) and then the Pope could not inspire them, but the Legats were forced to make delays, and Bu [...]e the Councel in By-matters; of all which a very pleasant Account is given in the letter of the Bishop of Five-Churches to the Emperour. And sometimes it hapned, that the Deputies in Rome did not understand the Affair so well as the Legats, who were upon the place; And so the Pope sometimes put things upon them that were uneasie or unsafe; And then they were at a [...]t [...]nd, whether they should follow his Orders or his Interest; But the Com­mon Resolution was to Employ the Councel in something else, till they could give the Deputies more full Information and Satisfaction, that the Orders night be Corrected, but still nothing could be Concluded in the Councel, till it was first Agreed on and determined at Rome; And from that they were not to depart. Now I cannot understand, but that those who made the Decrees and Canons, were more effectually the Councel, then those who published them. And being Romanists are apt to Ask, what Objection can be made against the Councel of Trent, which may not also be made against the Councel of Nice? I desire to know of them, whether they will say that these things can be truly Objected against the Councel of Nice? If not, then they must Acknowledge a wide difference.

XI. But suppose these and other Objections did not Lye against it, yet what is the Councel of Trent to us? If the Acts of that Councel bind us it must either be from the Authority of the Councel, or the Nature of the things determined. If from the Nature of the things, then they are bind­ing before, and without the Councel: And so where the Councel of Trent i [...] in the Right, we may receive it for its own sake, not the Councels; be­cause it is true, not because the Tridentine Fathers so determined; And so the Plea of the Councel is laid aside to Examine the Nature of the thing. But if those Acts must be supposed Binding by Vertue of the Authority of the Councel, I would know how that Authority Reacheth us? for Coun­cels bind those Churches, whose Bishops are present and Consenting to them. And though the Pope hath Usurped the Privilege to be the onl [...] Confirmer of Councels, yet Anciently his Confirmation Reached no further [Page 102] then to his own Church or Diocess at most; And every Bishop had as much power to Confirm Councels as He, and the Councel stood, in as much need of their Confirmation as his in Respect of their particular Churches; And their Common Stile in Subscribing was, Ego A. B. Con­firmavi, Corroboravi, or the like. And if they did not do thus, the Decree [...] and Canons of the Councel were not Reputed to be Binding to their particular Churches. If the Determinations of the Councel were thought to be of General Concern, then they were sent to other Churches, whose Bishops were not there, and they might Receive or Reject, either in whole or in part but what they received they bound themselves to, but not but by their own Act. Now what Bishops of ours were at Trent? or when did we receive it or approve it ex post facto? Henry the 8th. was so far from send­ing any Bishops to that Councel, that he Protested against it. Edward the 6th. was less a Friend to it. What Queen Mary would have done, I know not; But all the time of her Reign the Councel was under a Suspension, and sate not; And though it was Revived again in Queen Elizabeths time▪ yet it is well known, that she thought, that neither the Pope had Right to Call a Councel, nor equal that he should Preside in it; Neither did any of the Bishops of her time, (either of those put out, or those put in) Ap­pear there. As for the Blind Irish-man, he is nothing to us, and as little I think to his own Nation. It is indeed true, that Cardinal Pool [...] an Englisb-man, whom even Protestants Honour for his Moderation and Piety, was in that Councel some small time under Paul the Third; But he Sate there as the Pope's Legat, not an English Bishop: Nay, at that time he was not a Bishop, at least not of any English Church, nor deputed by any Bishop of Ours; And therefore could not Carry with Him the Authority of any one of our Churches. I wonder the Pope had not so much forecast, as to Set up some Titulars to supply this defect; But if He had, we should have little Regarded such a Mock-Authority. And as none of our Bishops were there, so there is not the least Colour to say, that we Received it since; And therefore they may Keep their Councel for a Snare to themselves, it doth not bind us. And this Argument ought to be Held good, even in the Opinion of the Councel of Trent it self, for when in Order to Carrying a Matter under debate, the Determination of the Councel of Florence was urged, it was pressed as an Argument against the Spaniards, not against the French; And for this Reason, that the one Nation had Re­ceived that Councel, but not the other. And thus I have done with the General Part, and now we must come to a more close Fight, insisting upon such Particulars, as may both Justify our Separation, and withal make ma­nifest, that whatever they pretend, the t [...]ue Reason of their Adherence to those Matters is only a Selfish and Unchristian Interest.


BOOKS Sold by (and Printed for) RICHAKD NORTH­COTT, Adjoyning to St. Peters Alley in Cornhil. 1691.

SPiritual Songs, or Songs of Praise to Almighty God, upon several Occasions, together with the Song of Songs, which is Solomons, first Turn'd then Paraphras'd in English Verse, the third Edition, with an Addition of Dives and Lazarus.

A Sermon concerning the Excellency and Usefulness of the Common Prayer, preached by William Beveridge, D. D. Rector of St. Peters Cornhil▪ London.

A Sermon preached before the Queen at Whitehall Octo­ber the 12th. 1690 by William Beveridge D. D.

A Friendly Discourse between an English Dissenter and a French Protestant, concerning the Liturgy and Cere­monies of the Church of England, by Daniel La Fite M. A. Rector of East Dean in the County of Sussex.

Gnomoniques, or the Art of drawing Sun-Dials on all sorts of Planes, by different Methods, with the Geome­metrical Demonstrations of all the Operations, by John Leek Professor of the Mathematicks.

The Experienccd Farrier, or Farring Compleated in Two Books, Physical and Chyrurgical, bringing pleasure to the Gentleman, and Profit to the Countreyman, in which you have the Whole Body, Sum and Substance of it in one Entire Volume, in so full and ample Manner that there is nothing more Material to be Added hereto.

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