THE Rock of Ages Exalted above Rome's imagined Rock On which her CHURCH Is builded:

She proved not to be the onely Church of Christ; her corrupt Doctrines reproved not to be Apostolick, but contrary to the true Church of Christ in the Apostles Dayes.

Also, Divers Arguments answered, which may convince the Papists that they are not the true Church. Wherein a Book is also answered, called, A Catechism against all Sectaries; Newly published by C. M. in the Year 1661.

By Francis Howgil, a Member of that Church which is coming out of the wilderness.

LONDON, Printed for G. C. at the west end of Pauls, 1662.

A Table of the principal things contained in this Book.

COncerning the true Religion, what it is, and where it is demonstrated.
Pag. 7, 8, 9.
The Church of Rome proved to be the false Church▪
P. 10, to the 20▪ and pag. 59.
The Pope proved not to be the Head of the true Church▪ and Christ proved to be the Head of the Body, which is his Church, and the Rock upon which his Church is built.
P. 20. to 24
Purgatory proved to be an errone­ous Doctrine, which is held [Page] forth by the Papists; and their Praying for the dead proved to be another false Doctrine, not commanded nor practised by Christ or his Apostles.
p. 25, to the 28
The Papists Doctrine which saith Christ is really and personally in the Masse, and in the Eucha­rist, proved to be Blasphemy and great Idolatry.
29 to 36.
The Papists Masse, and their Ce­remonies, proved not to be A­postolical,
P. 36. to the 38:
The Papists honoring of Reliques and Images of Saints, and pray­ing by Beads; proved to be but the inventions and traditions of men, and contrary to the do­ctrine which the Apostolick Church held forth.
P. 39, to 47
[Page]The Doctrine of forbidding cer­tain kind of Meats, and forbid­ding the Scriptures to be read by all, answered.
P. 47. to 56.
Concerning Miracles.
P. 76.
Answers to eight Propositions set forth by C. M. in his Catechise aforesaid.
From P. 78. to the end.

A Booke entituled, The Glory of the true Church discovered, as it was in its purity in the Primitive time. Writ­ten by the same Au­thor.

The Rock of Ages exalted above Rome's imagined Rock on which her Church is builded, &c.

GReat hath been the Havock and Spoile that the Beast which John saw rise out of the waters, made against them, in destroying them who received not his Mark in their fore­heads; and the cry hath been long, Who is able to make war with the Beast? and great hath the suffering been (these many ages) of the Children of Light, and still is of the Members of the true Church of Christ, which is in God, which hath pro­ceeded from her, who sate as a Queen up­on the Waters, which are Nations, Kind­reds, Tongues and People, which hath been the seat of Mysterie Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, who hath held out her golden Cup of Fornication, ful of A­bomination, [Page 2] false Doctrine and Error which the Nations have drunk of, and the Kings of the Earth have been made drunk with, and all have been in instability, and have reeled and staggered up and down in the dark, in the night of ignorance, and have wildered in the Mysts o [...] Error, and lost the true Foundation, and are gone from the Rock upon which the true Church is builded, which is neither Peter nor his Successor, but Christ the true Foundation, which abideth sure; and all that believ in him, and have their minds staid upon him, know settlement and e­stablishment in that which the Gates of Hell prevails not against.

But blessed be the Lord, he is come, re­vealed and made manifest, who is able to make war with the Beast and his follow­ers, and a discerning is given unto his ser­vants, that they can distinguish betwixt the Cup of Fornication, and the Cup of Blessing, and betwixt the Table of the Lord, & the Table of Devils; betwixt the true Church, the Lambs Wife, & Mysterie Babylon, the Mother of Harlots; betwixt the Heavenly Treasure, which is commu­nicable to the Saints in Light, who are Members of the true Church, and the [Page 3] Merchandize and the corrupt treasure of the Harlot, which the Nations, Kindreds and Tongues have been forced to buy, by reason of the forcing and compelling po­wer of the Beast; and so the Nations have been begotten into a strange nature, into the cruel nature, killing one another a­bout the forms of Worship, and shadows, and the substance hath been known but to a few, neither the Lambs nature, which is meek and innocent, and the Leaves of the Tree of Life, which heals the Nati­ons, hath been known but to a few, which is the cause of all the Broiles, Murthers and Massacres, Imprisonments and cruel Torments which the Nations have afflict­ed one another with, who have professed Christianity, but have been out of the life, and out of the nature of the true Church, which Christ is the Head of, which is Wife unto the Lamb; and herein is the true Church manifest from the false; The false Church hath propogated and encreased her number of Members by force and awe, and Cain's Weapons, and many have been forced into a belief, and a feigned kind of Profession, rather than by sound Doctrine, or answering God's Witness in Peoples hearts and conscien­ces. [Page 4] But the true Church, who is of the Husband's Nature, her weapons have been, is, and wil be spiritual, and yet is mighty through God, to beat down strong holds of sin & wickedness in peo­ple, and hath by sound Doctrine and a good example, answered God's Witness in people's Consciences, without forcing to any thing, but recommended them­selves to every one's Conscience in the sight of God, and would have every one perswaded in their own hearts (by the Lord) of the truth which they believed▪ and not to take things by tradition and hear-say, as the false Church and her Members have done, and so have had no assurance of God's Spirit in their hearts for what they did, and so doubts have ari­sen in the mind, because whatsoever is not of faith, is sin: But God is opening the eyes of many, and enclining the hearts of ma­ny to seek after the assurance of God's blessed Spirit in their hearts, for what they do believe.

And now Reader, I shall present thee with a great fardal and bundle of the Whore's Merchandize, and of the coun­terfeit Ware which she hath long decei­ved the Nations with, which hath long [Page 5] laid as mouldy and rusty in this Nation, but now new trim'd up, and presented again to this Nation as for precious trea­sure, and it is not to be concealed in a narrow corner, or put off under hand; so that this Merchant of Babylon hath pre­sented it to publick view with a great con­fidence that people that hath been tossed up and down, and have found no rest for their souls, at last may come to make a trial of this Merchandize, and see what it wil do; but lest any should be cheated and deceived with such counterfeit Traf­fique, I could not chuse (having the know­ledge thereof) but declare against the de­ceit thereof, and to give warning unto all to beware how they touch, tast or handle it, lest they be defiled and corrupted by it, and their understandings darkned, and their Consciences defiled: And the Mer­chandize is this, tituled, A short Catechism against all Sectaries, by way of Question and Answer; wherein all the Doctrines and Pra­ctices of the Church of Rome are asserted for infallible and Apostolical; wherein also it is holden out, That the Church of Rome is the onely true Church, out of which theres no salvation; and some Arguments to prove the same: Also in this said Book, [Page 6] all that are not of the Church of Rome, arecondemned already as Hereticks, Se­ctaries, wholly to be without salvation: Newly published and translated by C. M. and London printed for P. S. 1662.

And though we have given publick Te­stimony both in word and writing (in di­vers Nations) in doctrine and practice; yet such hath been the envy of many pro­fessors, who have denied the Church of Rome, that they have accused us for hold­ing Popish tenents, yet now on the other hand by this Popish Author, we are con­demned as Hereticks and Sectaries, and to be without salvation: And thus they who have been under the Beasts power in the Apostacy, have tost us upon their horns from one to another, and have pushed us this way and that way; and every party and sect hath reckon'd us, and join'd us with them whom they judged to be trans­gressors; but it is a small thing to us to be judged by man's Judgment; for our Judg­ment is with the Lord, and he judgeth in righteousness, and unto him we appeal, who in his own day, when righteousness comes to be revealed in peoples hearts, they shall come to know us as we are, and the truth which we believe and walk in as it is in Jesus.

[Page 7]But that such a heap and bundle of false Doctrine, and Superstitious and Ido­latrous practices may not go unreproved God hath put it into my heart to bear my testimony against it, and all the con­fused heap of darkness which is laid down for Catholick Doctrine, and to discover the deceit thereof, lest any should be be­guiled and led into the dark paths of Ig­norance and Error, and should become an Inhabitant of that City, which hath shed the blood of the Prophets and Mar­tyrs, where now Christ is crucified.

First of all, the Author saith, There is but one true Religion wherein any can be sa­ved.

Ans. 'Tis true, there is but one true Re­ligion in the which salvation is witnessed, which is confessed by all who profess Re­ligion, and every one wil needs lay claim to it; and many have contended even by force and arms since the Apostacy enter­ed in, and hath kill'd and destroy'd one a­nother about the name or sound, without the thing it self; and all Professors of Religion who are in that nature, are not in the true Religion in which salvation is witnessed: The true Religion standeth [Page 8] in the Power of God, and to be exercised in those things which the Power of God directeth every one in, who believe in it, and to be obedient unto the commands of Christ, and to keep his sayings, and to follow his Example in righteousness and holiness; and in that which overcometh the World, and giveth victory over it, and keepeth out of the pollutions of it. And this is the pure Religion which purifies the heart & conscience from dead works, and teacheth to love Enemies. Now the Church of Rome is manifest not to be in the one true Religion, but have departed from this Faith, and this Doctrine: Let all Nations bear witness where your Religi­on hath been professed, how you have kept this Faith, and walkt in this Religi­on; if any have dissented from you these many hundred years, and that upon good grounds, as Luther and Calvin, which thou art so angry at, and bring'st many Calumnies against, and slanderous things, and lyes, of which thy Vessel is ful. Now they, with all others that dissent from you, you have reckon'd (and do) as Se­ctaries and Hereticks: And in case it were really so, if you were in the true Religi­on, and in the Faith of Christ, you would [Page 9] not destroy so many mens lives as you have done within these thousand years; I appeal to all Nations where your Au­thority hath been exercised; how many have you kill'd, tortur'd, burnt to ashes, and destroyed the Workmanship of God: But it may be thou judgest such a distinction as this will cover a little, as, To hate their Heresie, and to love their persons; but how you have lov'd their persons, I hope England hath not yet forgotten; instance John Wickliffe, whose bones you took up and burnt forty one years after his decease; and how many hundreds more hathbeen burnt to ashes in England, in later years, as Hereticks and Sectaries, whose blood yet speaks and cries for vengeance upon that City, that Church and Religion, which hath drunk the blood of the Prophets & Mar­tyrs. So in what I have said, the Church of Rome (to all unbyassed spirits) wil ap­pear to be out of that one true Religi­on, and that Faith and Doctrine which Christ deliver'd; and so salvation is not to be looked for amongst killers and de­stroyers: And so what I have said may convince the Author of this Book, that they are not in the one true Religion [Page 10] in which salvation is witnessed.

And this Roman Church hath been always visible and universal since the Apostles dayes, and Infidels have alwayes been obliged to join unto her; yet one cannot be bound to seek that which is invisible: And the marks and signs of this Roman Church are four, comprized in these words. I believe in the true Church, which is One, Holy, Catholick and A­postolick.

Answ. That there was a Church at Rome in the Apostles dayes, is not deni­ed; so was there at Antioch, at Philippi, at Thessalonica, at Corinth, and divers o­ther places that I might instance, which were as visible as Rome was, and as much a City set on a Hill, as Rome was; and not inferior in Doctrine, Gifts & good Works, to Rome at all, but as to Prece­dency and Antiquity, may claim prio­rity before Rome: And if he pleads that Peter was at Rome, and (as he saith) was Christs Vicar and Bishop; and if because of this, Rome doth excel, (which the Scripture is silent in) Jerusalem might claim priority before Rome in this, for he (we read of) was more conversant at Jerusalem, and a Minister of Circum­cision, and Paul ministred to Gentiles, [Page 11] who preacht two whole years both to Jews and Romans, which were Gentiles; but it seems the very imagining Peter to bee Bishop of Rome hath made Pauls work void, and hath turned his work out of doors; but however he which hath usurped the Name of Christs Vicar, hath turned both Peter and Paul their Life, and Doctrine, and Practice out of doors, to set up Pride and Deceit. But what blindnesse and ignorance is this, to judge that God hath bound himself so by prom se to any place, that he will always continue with them, whether they abide in his Doctrine yea or nay: And though Christ said, The Gates of Hell should not prevail against the Church, had this onely a Limitation to one place; if it must needs be understood of a place outward, because of these words afore-mentioned, then why is it not extended as well to Antioch, and the seven Churches of Asia, and the rest afore-mentioned; hath not the Gates of Hell, and powers of darkness pre­vailed against them places, and the Turks taken possession thereof. And as for your Church at Rome, which thou saith cannot err, and hath always been [Page 12] visible and universal: What saist thou to Marcilianus, Christ's Vicar as you judge? Whether did he not lose his keys when he sacrificed to Ido's, in the tenth year of Dioclesian? But it may be then thy Church must not reside in Christ's Vicar, but in a general Council: But hereafter we wil consider whether they have been alwayes one, and could not erre.

Secondly, That whereby the Roman Church gives us a Mark and Sign to be the true Church, to wit, Universality and Visibility makes her clearly to be a Harlot; for John saw the true Church flye into the Wilderness for time, times, and half of time; now if yours hath been visible and universal all this time, times and a half, then you are not the true Church; for Universa­lity comprehends all Nations, Kind­reds, Tongues and People; and if this be the Seat of your Church, then abso­lutely your Church is Mysterie Babylon, (and not the Lambs Wife) for she sate upon Nations, Kindreds, Tongues, Peo­ples and Languages, which were Wa­ters.

[Page 13]And here is your Catholick, Visible Church measur'd with God's Measu­ring-Rod: First, To be the Harlot, be­cause she was never in the Wildernesse. Secondly, because her seat hath been so Universal and Catholick, as Natious, Kindreds, Tongues, Peoples and Lan­guages hath been the seat of your Church, which are the Waters which John saw; and so truly may be called the Great City.

And as for Infidels being obliged to join to you, this hath been because you have forc'd and compell'd by your power and outward force where you had do­minion, and to escape your tortures, rather than by sound Doctrine, or a holy Example. Or,

Secondly, Because your Religion hath stood in so many formalities and ceremonies, which hath been very plea­sing, and so near unto the Heathens na­ture.

And thou says, that one cannot be bound to seek that which is invisible: I say, through faith God hath been seen who is invi­sible; and Christ said, Seek and ye shall find; and the Kingdom of God is spiri­tual and invisible, and the natural and [Page 14] visible eye never discerned it, for the Church is in God, and God is a Spirit, and Christ is the quickning Spirit who is the Head of the Church which is his Body; and the spiritual and invisible eye is that which discerns the Head and the Body; and you that looke gazing af­ter things that are visible, have never discern'd the Members of the true Church of God as such, neither have known them, but have condemned them as Hereticks in all ages, as your generation hath done, who have been in Cains way.

Secondly, If Unity, Holiness, Univer­sal and Apostolick, be the marks and figns of a true Church, then yours is not the true Church no more then they you count Sectaries and Hereticks, which thou saist, are no more one than Cats and Dogs: The comparison is o­dious, and like a suarling, catching spi­rit, who would tear every one that com­eth nigh thee. And what if there be Protestants, Puritans, Anabaptists, Indepen­dents and Quakers, these titles are but nominal, and there is not one amongst all these, but they acknowledge one God, and Jesus Christ to be the Head [Page 15] of the Body which is his Church, and one Spirit by which the Saints are san­ctified; and they acknowledge Christs Doctrine in words, and his Worship, that it is in spirit and in truth, and walketh nearer to the practice of the Apostles and the Church in their days, than you do: And if in some things they do va­ry, why may not variety be allowed by thee, where it is onely nominal and cir­cumstantial, as well as thou canst allow variety of Ave Maries, Creeds, and Pa­ter Nosters, which thou saist delighteth? But why hast thou not judged at home? Thou must not think to lead us like A­nimals by the Head, as your Church doth poor ignorant people, to receive every thing for Apostolick Doctrine, be­cause the Church of Rome calls it so, and cryes Unity: Might not the Secta­ries as thou callst them, return this up­on your selves, that you are not at uni­ty, and not one? What meaneth the diversity of Orders in your Church, which may be called sects, that is, Jerom's Order, Austin's Order, Gregory's Order, Carmalites, Crouched Fryars, Franois, An­thony's, Bennet's, Dominick's, Trinity, Ba­sil, Brigandine's Orders? All these kind [Page 16] of Orders, and many more, with every one their distinct Service, Formalities and Ceremonies, what a heap of Secta­ries are here, and yet Rome cryes Unity! Besides, what contradiction in your Councils, may hereafter be made ma­nifest, and in your Vicars, one throw­ing down and condemning that which others have set up for Apostolick doctrine. So if Unity be a mark of the true Church, then you are without this mark and sign more than they which you call Se­ctaries.

Thirdly, If Holiness be a sign of the true Church, you are without this sign also more than the Sectaries, as you are pleased to call them: What cruel Mur­thers, Massacres, Tortures, Bloodsheds hath been acted by your Church, and that by Commission from his Holiness, (so call'd) Christ's Vicar, against them that have dissented from you upon good and warrantable ground, onely upon the account of Religion, because they could not acknowledge the Pope to be the Head, and Christ's Vicar, and receive all Decrees, though never so re­pugnant unto the Doctrine of Christ; yet because for Conscience-sake many [Page 17] have denied such things, nothing but fire and sword have been threatned, and the force thereof hath been known in many Nations; as for instance, in Germany and the Low-Countreys, France, Pyedmount, Holland, England, and Ireland of late years, many thousands massacred (not in War, but) in holes, hundreds of Houses burnt, men, women and children; children ta­ken from their Mothers Breasts, & knockt against the Walls, toss'd upon Pikes and Spears, wounded with Swords, thrown into Lakes and Rivers, stript naked, starv'd in cold seasons, through such like inhumane and savage cruelty: Commis­sions given from your Nuntio's and A­gents to rob, to steal, even Servants from their Masters, even upon this account on­ly, to weaken & enfeeble the Sectaries and Hereticks, as you stile them, to advance your Holinesse's Chair, and to progagate your holy, or rather unholy Church and Religion, which things remain fresh in the memory of many Nations to this day▪ besides, doth not your Church tolerate Stews and Adulterous Houses in the Ci­ties where you have Dominion? Besides, Pride abounds amongst you, more than the Nations beside. And so your Church [Page 18] hath neither this Mark nor Sign of Holi­nesse.

Fourthly, As for your Church being Catholick and Universal, you want this sign also; If it be One, Universal compre­hends all Nations, like as all the World (in comparison) were your Church: What, is Germany, France, England, Scotland and Ireland, nothing? What, is all the Turks Dominions of your Faith? And thou saist, In Asia, Affrica and America, all is com­ing to an end. There is that risen, and a­rising in America, which must spread over the Nations; the breath of the Lord bloweth, which will daily dry up the Wa­ters, which is the Seat of your Church, which you so much boast of: And what, have you converted all the Indians? nay have you not hardened their hearts a­gainst the Name of Christ, because of your cruelty and unholy conversation among them? So that the Name of Christ and Christian, is become as odious unto them, as Mahomet is unto you; And so you are without this Sign, as that you are the true Church.

Lastly, That your Church is Apostolick, if this be the Mark of the true Church, then you are without this also; for you [Page 19] neither Apostolick in Doctrine nor Pra­ctice; your weapons are carnal, theirs spiritual; their Head was Christ the Light of the World; your Head is visible and carnal, which darkens the World; they turned people from darkness to light, and to the Word of Faith in their hearts, and to know Christ in them to justifie them: But one of your Rabbies told us lately, you had no such Doctrine in the Church of Rome, as Christ in you: The Apostles turn'd them to the Annointing, and to the Spirit, to be taught by it, and to be led by it into all truth, and to worship in it; and you turn them to Images, Pictures, Crucifixes, Beads and Altars, and so keep people in outward things, which feed the sensual and corrupt part. Lastly, they said bodily exercise profiteth little; and most of your Worship stands in observing of days, meats, drinks, washings, sprinklings, Al­tars, Tapers, lighting and bearing Can­dles, bowing, creeping to the Cross, turn­ing, wheeling this way and that way in all time and parts of your Worship; so that there is no time left for the heart to be exercised towards God; And so you are not Apostolical, and so are without this true sign of being the true Church of [Page 20] God. But I shall descend to particular things, which is asserted, and seems to be proved, but very weakly: But we can ex­pect no Wine but such as is in the Bottle.

It is asserted by this Author, That the Pope is the Head of the true Church, in which salvation is onely to be expected; And his proof he brings, is this; Christ hath so ordained it, in saying to Peter, Matth. 16. 18, 19. Upon this Rock will I build my Church; and Christ hath given power to him and his Successors to be a Head to rule and govern the Church; and as there is an Em­peror to be Head of the Empire, and a King of the Kingdom, so Peter and his Successors are the Head of the Church, and have the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to bind and to loose, and to remit and retain sinnes.

The Apostolick Church hath this Doctrine, That Christ was given to be the Head of the Body, which is the Church, which is spiritual, though in the World, yet not of the World; and the Father hath committed all power in Heaven and Earth to the Son, and hath ordained him to be a Leader, a Teacher, and a feeder of his Flock, and to be his salvation to the ends of the Earth, and his glory he will not give to another: But [Page 21] it seems the Church of Rome hath soared so high in their conceits and imaginati­ons, that they judge all this Power to be given unto the Pope, Peter's Successor, as they say: Now we do not read of Two Heads to the One Body, which is the true Church, Eph. 4. 4. 15. And so this is a con­trary Doctrine then that of the primi­tive Church; and Christ who is the Head of the Body, he said, Lo I am with you to the end of the world: And so it is the meer arrogancy and pride of the Pope to be called the Head of the Church, and an intrenching Christ's Power and Preroga­tive; and that ever Peter was called the Head of the Church, we do not read; and that of the 16. of Matthew is but a poor proof to prove Peter to be the Head of the Church; for Christ spoke unto his Dis­ciples, ver: 15. and asked them, Whom say ye that I am? Peter as one amongst the rest said, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God; and Christ said, Upon this Rock will I build my Church, viz. Upon him which was revealed unto Peter by the Fa­ther, the Son of God, which was the Rock which the Fathers eat of, and drank of, Christ the Rock of ages; and another Foundation can none lay (said the Apostle) [Page 22] then that which is laid already, Christ the Rock and Corner-stone, and not Peter; for Christ is unchangeable, and abideth for ever, and so was not Peter, though Peter and the rest of the Apostles received po­wer from Christ; yet in the 22. and 23. verses of the same Chapter, he was gone out of the savour and discerning, and Christ said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan, for thou savourest not the things of God; and what though it could be pro­ved that Peter was at Rome, a Pastor, an Elder, or a Biship, who fed the Flock, and did feed the Flock, and so might be rec­kon'd as an Elder, and worthy of Honor in respect of his labour and diligence in the work of Christ; is the Promise so en­tailed to Rome or to any place, that the next that succeeds in that place must needs receive the same honor, when he doth not the same work, which is worthy of honor, neither is in the same power; but this I am sure of, though the Church of Rome lay claim unto Peters Bishoprick, as they say, yet they have not done his work.

And secondly, If Peter was at Rome, and a Pastor, yet he was not a Lord; for Christ reproved that when they strove [Page 23] which should be the greatest, and said un­to them, The Gentiles exercise Lordship one over another, but it shall not be so among you; and though Peter and the rest of the A­postles who were in the power of God, had that which did open into the King­dom of God, and shut out that which did defile; yet this we are sure of, he sold no Pardons nor Indulgences for gain and fil­thy lucre, as many have done whom you call Peter's Successors, and Christ's Vicar, and Universal Bishop, and visible Head; but it's manifest how the Pope became vi­sible Head, and Universal Bishop, not be­cause of any work or labour in the Do­ctrine of Christ, or the Work of the Go­spel, but by means of the Roman Empe­ror; for while the Christians were under persecution and suffering, there was no talk of Visible Heads, or much of Uni­versal Bishop, for then Rome had no more priority then the rest; for the Churches at Constantinople, at Jerusalem, at Caesaria, at Cyprus and Alexandria, for the first three hundred years, they had as much power in their several Churches, as Rome had, and often the Elders or Bishops of the a­foresaid Churches did reprove sharply the Bishop of Rome; But at last about five [Page 24] hundred years or upward, Phocas to aspire to the Empire of Rome, he murthered his own Master Mauritius and his Children, to attain unto the Empire; So at that time Boniface the third was Bishop of Rome, and Phocas somewhat fearing, and willing to have Boniface his favour, condescend­eth to all his Petitions and grants him to be Universal Head-Bishop over all Chri­stian Churches; and there was the first rise of Rome's visible Head; for this frivo­lous reason of being Peter's Successor, could never have raised him to that height, but then the Emperors Power and Authority became to be the more forcible plea; for before that time the Bi­shops of Rome were chosen by the Empe­rors consent, but after he had got power, Emperors could not be chosen but by the Popes consent; and then came the Bishop of Rome to be a visible Head, and be cal­led Universal Bishop, Christ's Vicar, a Lord Spiritual over all the Churches, and in process of time, Lord temporal over all the Empire.

And thus your Church of Rome be­came magnificent and great, and to sit as a Queen upon the Waters, Nations, Kin­dreds and Tongues, as you acknowledge [Page 25] your Church of Rome hath spread over; and here is a Héad and a Body which are joyn'd together in union: Christ is the Head of the true Body, which is his Church and his Wife; and Antichrist he is the visi­ble Head of his visible Church and Wife, Mysterie Babylon.

The next piece of Merchandize which the Author brings forth to view, is Pur­gatory, and prayer to be made for the dead, and also prayer unto the Saints; and the Authors proof is 1 Cor. 3. 15. where the Apostle speaks, Every mans work shall be tryed, and that work which will not abide the fire, must be burnt; and this the Author calls the fire of another World; and prayers for the dead he proves out of the 12. of Maccabees, and prayer to the Saints: He sayes, it's lawful to pray in this world unto good people; and Paul while he lived, did pray for others, and also did beg their prayers: And the Angel in the first of Zachary prayed for Israel; and there can be no harm in praying to them that can pray for us.

Ans. Them that dwell in the shadow of death, are like to speak out of thick dark­ness; and they that have made a Covenant with death, are loath to have it broken; and they that have a mind to continue in [Page 26] sin while they live, have a mind to put the evil day afar off, and Judgement afar off, and evil-doers will never have it time to give account for their evil deeds, and so puts it off till they are dead, and to ano­ther world; and let the Devil have prehe­minence in their hearts while they live, and reckon their sins venial, and light faults; this is contrary to the Doctrine of the true Church of Christ, and contrary to the Apostles Doctrine, who said, The wages of sin is death; and there is no sinne goes unpunished nor unjudged; and Sion is redeemed through judgement, and by the Spirit of burning; and Purgatory is a fiction, a falshood, and a lye; & there is no cleansing from sin in another World; Solomon saith, As the Tree falleth, whether to the North, or to the South, so shall the tree lye; and the Word of God, who hath re­ceived it in their hearts, which is as a fire that purifies; and the Blood of Christ is that which cleanseth from all sin: & there's not any cleansing from any sin, but by it, & there is no cleansing in another world; but Purgatory hath been invented, and prayer for the dead, that thereby the Pope might be enriched, and sell the in­vented Prayers and Ave Maries, and so [Page 27] cheat people of their money; and there's no sacrifice to be offer'd for the dead who dye in their sins, nor no remission after this life.

And as sor praying to the Saints, the Scripture makes no mention of; & though Paul did pray for others, and beg the prayers of others, yet he prayed not for them when they were dead, neither did beg the prayer of the dead, but prayed for them who were believers in the true Church, and desired the prayers of them that were living Members, and were alive, and lived in the world, and were redeem­ed out of it; and the Angel prayed not for the people of Israel when they were dead; and that which thou calls Jeremy's prayer in the Maccabees, was never spoken by the Spirit of the Lord, nor the offering was not made in the will of God; and the Pro­phet saith, Though Abraham know us not, and Israel be ignorant of us, yet thou O Lord, art our Father. And the Lord said unto David, Seek my face, and call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear and answer: Not upon Mary, Peter and Paul, Dominick and Anthony. Again, it's contrary to the practice of the Saints in the primitive times, and contrary to the Doctrine of Christ, who said unto his Disciples, What­soever [Page 28] you ask in my Name, the Father shall give it you: He doth not speak of any o­ther Name; neither is any Prayer or Sup­plication accepted of the Father, but in the Name of Christ alone. So these Do­ctrines are false, and Doctrines of Devils, never commanded nor practised by any of the Saints in the primitive times, but onely have been invented and practised by the Apostates, who have erred from the faith and Practice which was once de­liver'd unto the Saints, which the Church of Rome hath made shipwrack of in ma­ny things, which I have made appear; and I shall proceed to more particulars to manifest it, lest. any should be beguiled with such deceitful Babylonish Merchan­dize which the Nations are too much cor­rupted with already.

The next false Doctrine which the Au­thor lays down, is, That Christ is really and personally in the Mass, and in the Eucharist: And his proof is Luke 22. 19. 1 Cor. 11. 25, 26. For saith he, God who is Almighty, is able to change Bread into his Body, and Wine into his blood (in the Mass) as he did change the Water into Wine, and make the World of nothing. Hence also by the way you may learn, that we are no Idolaters, adoring the Eucha­rist, [Page 29] because it's no more Bread, but whole Christ, our God and Redeemer, who placeth himself there by Miracle after the Priest hath uttered the sacred words of Consecrati­on; yet the external accident of Bread and Wine remain, as our eyes represent to us; but faith tells us, the true Body of Christ is hidden under it, and the substance and nature of the material Bread is there no more.

Oh horrible Blindness, and gross Igno­rance; great Idolatry, and horrible blas­phemy; your Priests by their words it seems, can make God who made all things, and can make Christ the Redeem­er, then your Priests are greater then God and Christ; for he which createth and maketh, must needs be greater then that which is created and made: And thou confesses that it is really Bread and Wine before the Priests sacred words are utter­ed of Consecration, but afterwards it be­comes the real and true body of Christ; yea, whole Christ our God and Redeem­er: So it is clear that the Priest hath power, in your judgment, to make the body of Christ, to make God and whole Christ a Redeemer; Oh that ever such gross darkness should enter into the hearts of the sons of men: As for those [Page 30] two places in Luke 22. 1 Cor. 11. it is but a pitiful ground for you to plead, that the material Bread, and the material Cup is the very Body and Blood of Christ; was not Christ present, when he broke the Bread, and gave the Cup, and after too, and alive. Did they eat his Body when he was with them, and drink his Blood? Was his body broken for them then, be­fore he was offered up? and was his Blood shed then, before he suffered upon the Cross? nay it's manifest he was alive in the Real Body, after they had earen the Bread, and drunk the Cup, and this was a sign unto them of his Suffering for them, and of his Death; and as the Apostle saith, As oft as they eat the Bread, and drunk the Cup, they shewed forth the Lords death till he came. (And reveal'd himself in his own life and power) and then they saw and feel'd that which was signified through the figure before, that like as the Bread and the Cup did nourish the natural man, likewise their souls were fed and nourish­ed with the Bread of Life; and the Cup of blessing which they knew and feel'd little of, when Christ broke the Bread, and gave the Cup; and doth not Christ say, I am the Door, I am the Way, I am the [Page 31] Vine; and also, This is my Body, and This is my blood: Why should one place be li­terally and naturally understood and in­terpreted, and not another so.

2ly. And we do not question what Christ can do, but what he did; That he turn'd water into Wine we do believe; and that God made the world of nothing is for thee to prove yet, and that Christ made himself Invisible, & passed through his enemies somtimes without being seen, we believe; but that he made himself In­visible, vvhen he broke the Bread, and gave the Cup to the Disciples, is clear contrary to the aforementioned Scrip­ture, and divers others; or that he con­veyed himself so invisibly into the Bread, and into the Wine, as you ignorantly sup­pose, or that he was so under it, as thy own word is; so as that he was not seen visi­bly by the Disciples, even when they eat the Bread, and drank the Cup, and after he bless'd it (is utterly false;) for they saw him before he took the bread, and when he took it, and bless'd it, and brake it, and when they eat it, and after they had eat­en, he was visible in all these moments of time, is very evident both by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in their Narrati­on [Page 32] of the Supper; and so all your twi­ning and turning, and vain arguments, are made void.

3ly. We do not believe that ever any of your Priests turn'd Water into Wine, or Bread into Flesh, or Wine into blood, of one sort or other; much less into the flesh or blood of Christ: for thou saist the external Accidents remain, as our eyes represent unto us after Consecra­tion; but yet the nature of the materi­al Bread is no more, as your faith tea­ches you; so it seems you confess the visible appearance which may be seen and felt, as to the natural Aspect doth remain; that the natural Elements of bread and wine still remain in sight, but the substance, nature and matter is no more in being, I shall appeal to the light of Christ in your consciences, whether this be true yea or nay; Nay it is so ridiculous a thing, that I dare ap­peal to any man or woman that have not lost their sences, whether that which may be seen with the natural eyes, and may be felt by the natural hands, and tasted by the natural taste, be not the very same in nature and mat­ter after Consecration as before, if the [Page 33] external Accidents do remain, as you say it doth, we will join issue with you in this thing for trial, if you dare ven­ture it, and put it to proof, you and we with a joint consent will chuse Bread and Wine, and you and we will both eat and drink of some part of it before, and then your Priest shall consecrate it, and we will hear and see what he saith, and doth, provided that he shall onely speak to it, or pray over it, and then when he hath done, we will both eat a­gain; and if it be not of the same sub­stance, and the same effect, as to your own understanding, sence and feeling, as you are men and creatures; which if there be no alteration, but it remain the same in substance, in taste, in mat­ter, nature and quality with that be­fore Consecration, then you shall con­fess your error, & deny your Doctrine; but if it be alter'd, we will deny ours, and join unto your Faith.

Or secondly, If you will stand to tri­al, and appoint time and place for two or three of you, and two or three of us to meet together, where both parties may be secure as to their persons, you and we will take Bread and Wine, and [Page 34] one part of it shall be unconsecrated, and another part you shall be allow'd to con­secrate as well as you can for the honor of your Church, and that which is consecra­ted, and that vvhich is unconsecrated shall be set together, and shall be watched by some of each party; and if that which is consecrated, do corrupt, and decay, as that which is unconsecrated, then you wil renounce your Doctrine, and leave your killing about it; but if it do not corrupt and decay as well as that which is uncon­secrated, then we will deny our Faith, and confess that you are the true Church.

Lastly, If you be not Idolaters, there was never any in the world, who say, that to adore or worship the Bread and Wine after consecration, is no more Bread, but whole Christ, your God and Redeemer, who placeth himself there upon the Al­tar by miracle: It's a miraculous thing indeed, that that which is given unto you by the Priest, which enters in at the na­tural mouth, and goes into the belly, should be the body of Christ, and whole Christ, and very God and Redeemer, as thou saist; that one person should con­tain whole God, seeing the Scripture saith that the Heaven of Heavens cannot con­tain [Page 35] him; for he is the very fulness that fil­leth all things: Oh gross darkness, and palpable ignorance which you have led people to believe! and call this Idol that Rats and Mice may eat, whole Christ, God and Redeemer! And you have destroyed and burnt to ashes many for Hereticks, who could not believe this Doctrine. Therefore all people it's time to look a­bout you, and see where you stand, and what you join unto: If you cannot receive this Doctrine for holy and Apostolick by the Church of Rome, not worthy to live; and without doubt, might not, if this Church had but that Authority which sometimes it hath had in England: but I hope the eyes of many are open to see and detect this damnable Doctrine.

So what I have said in this particular, may be enough to confirm them who are in any measure in the truth, and to keep them back who have desires after this for­nication, which the Nations hath drunk too much of: But I proceed to another particular; but before, take a word or two about the ceremonies.

The Author sayes, That ceremonies were used by Christ at his last Supper; and they excite people to their devotion du­ring [Page 36] the Sacrifice; but for proof you must, expect none from this Author, and the Scripture is silent in the thing; and Cere­monies and Formalities are so far from stirring up the mind to God, that they in­deed draw the mind to be busied in the ex­ercise of them, from waiting upon God, & from worshipping him in the Spirit; & such Worshippers are onely accepted of him.

The Masse is said in Latine, and the rest of Divine Service; for if it were not, ignorant people might easily be mistaken, if these Mysteries were done in the vulgar Language; and because the Scripture hath been written in Latine. Greek and Hebrew, and these three Languages were written upon Christ's Cross, and therefore these three Nati­ons ought to use them at their Masse and Di­vine Service; but the Priestly Garments and Ceremonies gives enough to understand what is done at the Masse and Divine Service.

Ans. This looks with a bl [...]ck visage to be Apostolick Doctrine; but however I shall search into it, and examine it by the Apostles Doctrine, before it be condemn­ed: It's a good shift (indeed) to keep peo­ple from mistakes, not to let them know what they say or do; but this is contrary to the Apostles Doctrine, 1 Cor. 14. 7, 8, [Page 37] 9, 10, 11, 14; 15. If a Trumpet give an un­certain sound, who can prepare to Battel? And except words utter'd, be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? If the meaning of the voice be not known unto him to whom it is spoken, the speaker and the hearer are Barba­rians one to the other: And when one under­stands not what is spoken, how can he be edifi­ed? And all services ought to be done to edi­fication. So your Church is erred from the Apostolick Doctrine; and your Masse, and your Service doth not edifie at all, but you are as Barbarians one to another; for your Worship goes on in such a pack Road, that the vulgar people would soon learn it, and know it, and (it may be) slight it, if they should know the worth­lesness of it; and therefore the onely way (you judge) is to keep them in ignorance. And what mysterie is there in the Masse and your Service, seeing that it stands in crossings, cringings, and abundance of endless ceremonies, and reiteration of words, which are patcht up by many Au­thors, contrary to Christ and the Apo­stles Doctrine: But it seems the Priests garments and ceremonies gives under­standing enough to the Auditors; a dumb shew is enough for them, (like a Poppet [Page 38] Play) to make them understand the My­steries of your Mass, an unbloody Sacri­fice indeed, in which there is no remission nor acceptation. And here thou hast ac­quainted us with a Mysterie indeed! Be­cause Latine, Greek and Hebrew was writ­ten by Pilate upon the cross of Christ, therefore they are called Sacred Langua­ges! Sure the church of Rome hath lost both Faith and Reason; Will any that hath a friend that should be crucified up­on a cross, and an enemy who condemn'd him, should set over him words in Latine, Greek and Hebrew, in contempt, that therefore a man should count the Crosse holy, and the Language sacred, as the Church of Rome doth, is great ignorance and idolatry, of which she is full, & there­fore is not Apostolick, nor the one true Church in which salvation is to be looked for, as the Author would make people believe.

The next false and superstitious Do­ctrine which this Merchant of the Church of Rome holds forth for Apo­stolical, is, The Reliques and Images of Saints, and also Prayer by the Beads, by number and tale, as Brick-makers sells their Brick; And this the Church of [Page 39] Rome would put off unto us as Aposto­lical Doctrine.

The Reliques and Images of Saints are honorable in regard of the Saints which they have relation unto, and God himself makes use of them for his Miracles. Moses was en­forced to honor the holy ground where the An­gel appeared, Exodus 3. and David com­manded the Ark to be adored, because it was God's foot-stool, Psal. 99. 5. And to honor the Reliques and Images of Saints is no Idolatry; for that is Idolatry to worship false gods; and Christ doth not take it ill that we honor his Saints and Friends: And to number our Prayers, if Hail Mary be said upon Beads threescore and three times, it's because Mary lived so many years; and the Prophet prayed seven times a day, and Christ three times in the Garden: And it's not evil to say our Prayers by number; and if five Pater No­sters be said, it is in honour of the five wounds, and what would there be amiss in this. And it's not Idiots that prays by Beads, but Ca­tholick Kings, the Pope, Cardinals and Bi­shops makes use of them; and variety delight­eth the mind, and there is no better prayers then the Pater Noster, Ave, and the Creed.

[Page 40] Answ. The Reliques, or that which remains for all the Saints and Members of the true Church of Christ to follow, and to honor, is, To live in the same life that they lived in, and to honor him who was their life, by whose power they fulfilled the will of God, and to walk in the same foot-steps, is to honor him that was their life, and them also, who walked as examples of righteous­ness; and that power by which they became examples of holiness and righ­teousness; but for the Church of Rome to worship pieces of Cloth, Dead Bones, Painted Images, which may as well be called the Images of Cain, Ishmael, Judas, and all the seed of Evil-doers, as well as the image of Christ, or Peter, Paul or Ma­ry, for any thing that they know, which they have but receiv'd by story, and is but as old Wives fables, which Paul to Timothy reproved. And hath the Church of Rome no better thing to put them in mind of the Saints life, then a dead Pi­cture or Image made by the hand of the Crafts-man upon a wall, or a board, or parchment, or paper, this is Idolatry; for Christ promised to his Disciples, and to the true Church, That he would send [Page 41] his: Spirit to lead them into all truth (which is an invisible thing) and to bring to remembrance what ever Christ had spoken, and whatsoever was necessary as to Salvation, whether the Saints life and holy practices which they lived in; or whatsoever else as conduced to their peace and justification with God; and what Images did God make use of to shew his Miracles by? This is▪ but an old fable formed by the Apostate Chri­stians, whose minds are turned after shadows and vain shews, and is erred from the invisible life, and worships the works of mens hands.

2. Though Moses did put▪ off his shoo's according to the command of the Lord, where God appeared in power and glory to him▪ What is this to your purpose? as to create and form places, and Consecrate them as holy, and then command reverence and honor unto them, this is but to worship the work of your own hands; and though David say in the 99 Psal. 5 vers. Exalt the Lord God, and worship at his footstool, for he is ho­ly. What of all this, doth God call Re­liques or Images his Footstool. And if the Author do judge that it was spo­ken [Page 42] of Zion and Jerusalem outward, where Aaron and the rest of the priests worshipped; yet doth not Christ say, It's not at Jerusalem, &c. But they that worship God, worship him in spirit and truth: What, doth not the church of Rome profess Chri­stianity and Apostolick Doctrine, and wil now turn Jews or imitaters of them? What is Rome? Jerusalem or Zion? And must Pictures invented, and dead pieces of bones and wood, be recommended unto the Nations as holy things? This is contrary to the Apostolick church, and with the life of God is judged; and the life of the Saints whom you honour in words, and make pictures of, and wor­ships the works of your own hands, and crucifies the life where ever it appears, that they lived in, and teacheth a contra­ry doctrine.

3. Confession may be made in words of the true God, and talk may be of his won­derous works, and yet people Idolaters; the church of the Jews who acknowledge the true God, and had seen and heard of his wonderous works, they eat and drank and rose up to play; and these were Ido­laters, & such is the church of Rome (who take peoples minds up with garments and [Page 43] Vestments, with Altars and Candles, with Crucifixes & Agnus Dei, with Images form­ed by Painters, with a piece of Bread called a Holy Host, and Eucharist, an unbloody Sacrifice) who neglects the life, and him that is the Head of the Bo­dy, and his Witnesse in their hearts and consciences, and leads them to worship and honour visible and carnal things, and to busie their mindes in the exercise of outward things▪ which profiteth little or nothing at all, and so are Idolaters, wor­shipping the works of your own hands, which Christ and the Apostolick church bore testimony against; for▪ that which the creatures mind goes out after, besides, or without that which may be known of God in the heart, is made an Idol of, and the true God is not minded; and them that honor Gods Friends and Saints, walks in their footsteps, live their life, and ho­nor their sayings; but your Church is con­trary, who would kill, and have killed a­bout these invented Fopperies,▪ which is contrary to the Apostles Doctrine. God accepts not prayers by number nor tale, nor for multitude of words, which are without understanding, and without the Spirit; this Christ counted as evil, and re­prehended [Page 44] the Pharisees, and said, It was like the vain repetitions of the Heathen, who thought to be heard for their much babling▪ and the Salutation which the Angel gave to Mary▪ is no prayer: And that which is called the Apostles Creed, is no prayer; and them that are unconverted unto God▪ may prattle and prate over the words, in the unbelief, and never have a­ny acceptance of God: And though the Prophet did pray seven times a day, it was according to the motion of God's Spirit in his own heart, which shewed him his state and necessity; and what is this to imitators, when they pray not with the same Spirit, neither in the same words? And what if Mary lived threescore and three years? who gave commandment that Hail Mary should be said threescore and three times over? The rest of the Saints are like to have but small shares of worship and honor, if she go with all this in a day. And what five wounds is that which the Church of Rome dreams of, that five Pater [...], must be said for the ho­nor of? With Deceit and Ignorance you wound him every day, and your Pater no­sters doth not honor him at all, pattred oft over with your polluted lips, who are [Page 45] given to speak lyes, and your tongues to speak mischief, which Christ accepteth not: What, are you all new creatures that say, Our Father which art in Heaven? Are you born again? Are your Natures changed? Sin you not? Do you hallow his Name, who do not love that which shews your evil deeds? Would you see his Kingdom come, which stands in righte­ousness? Where will you appear? Or how will you stand when he appears in his Power and Glory to take vengeance on all them that wis [...] not that he should rule in their hearts, who is the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world? Would you see his wil done on earth as it is in Heaven, when you walk contrary to his Doctrine which the Apo­stolick Church walked in, and sets up a numberless number of Traditions and Inventions of men instead thereof, which the Lord accepteth not, and you pray not with understanding?

5. As for your Beads, which are nei­ther Jewish nor Christian, but meer Hea­thenish, as to reck on the number or tale of that which you call your prayers by; and though Kings, Popes, Cardinals and Bi­shops do the same, this is but a small proof [Page 46] as for Authority; Kings have drunk of the Whores Cup, and Popes and Cardi­nals have usurped power that Christ never gave, as to exercise Lordship, and be Law­givers unto others; for the Lord is the Saints Law-giver, and the Saints Life and Judge, and he will not give his glory to another; for Kings have 'drunk of the VVhores cup of Fornication, and Popes have usurped Authority, and Cardinals have exercised Lordship over mens con­sciences, yea and over great Kingnomes and States too. And if they pray by Beads, as others do set forms by number & tale, they are as much Ideots as the rest are, who know not the Spirit to pray by. And so this is no authority to prove your practice Apostolical and holy; as for va­riety of prayers and worships, it delight­eth the carnal mind indeed; but they that worship God in spirit and truth, they pray by the spirit, and in it, as David and Christ prayed, whether seven times, five times or three times, and with understan­ding; and that which they prayed in, was not various, but one; and it's by that one spirit which is not various, by which the sons of God cry Abba Father; and the variety of your formed charms, bablings [Page 47] upon your Beads, God hath no regard unto, but is a smoke in his nostrils all the day. And they that have exercised themselves in these things, have not the witness of God in their own consci­ences that they are accepted of God; and so I shal proceed to another Do­ctrine called Apostolical, and holy; and that is about Meats, whether they may be lawfully eaten at all times.

The Author confesseth they forbid certain kinds of meats, but it is but at certain times; and they are forbidden not as they are evil, and the Creatures of God, but because they are forbidden by the Church; and his proof is the Apple which Eve and Adam eat was not evil in it self, but being prohibited; so to eat that which is good of it self is not ill, but to eat contary to the Superiors mind and order, this is evil. The Bible and Scriptures ought not to be read, but leave is to be asked of the Superior, because there are many hard passa­ges, which they which have little or no learn­ing, as Peter testifies in his second Epistle, Chap. 3. some understands it one way, and some another; and therefore it is the fittest for Learned men to judge of them, and they must judge whether people be in a capacity to read them.

[Page 48] Answ. And why are Meats forbid­den at certain times. Is this like the A­postolick Doctrine? Are not all times and seasons in the hand of the Lord, and are all good to them that believe, and to the pure all things are pure, all times and seasons, all meats and drinks being sanctified by the Word, which made them all holy unto all that do believe: And if you forbid them not as they are Creatures of God, but be­cause they are forbidden, I say, who did forbid them, or when were they forbidden? by Christ, his Apostles, or the true Church of Christ in their day; but on the contrary Christ taught, That which goeth in at the mouth, and in at the belly doth not defile the man, but that which proceedeth out of the heart, which is corrupt­ed. And Paul said, What is sold at the shambles may be eaten, and no question made for conscience sake; for to the clean all things are clean, and to the believing all things are pure; and who limited such meats for such dayes, and such times, the true Church? No: but the Church of Rome, who are going on in that Doctrine the Apostle spoke of the 1. of Tim. and the 4. which he reckoned a doctrine of Devils: [Page 49] but here is your Argument that must bring you off, because you forbid it not at all times; I say, if it be a Doctrine of Devils to forbid at all times, then it is some part of the Doctrine of Devils to for­bid at any time, seeing time and things are all good in the hand of the Lord: but if this Doctrine should hold, what would become of your Dogg-days, and of your Lent, which has been patched up Week by Week by diverse Popes; and of your Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Fasts, so by this account of yours half of the year is either unholy, or else some meat is unholy for half of the year; but there is few but sees your blindness, that in this much need not be said, but onely thus, That which may be lawful in it self, when it is pro­hibited by the Lord unto any particu­lar, then it becomes evil; for whatso­ever is not of Faith is sin: But Christ a­lone, unto whom all power is commit­ted, hath the sole power over the Heart and Conscience; and for any to make Injunctions and Prohibitions contrary to him, the same is Antichrist; and so the practice which your Church com­mands is not Apostolical, but you bring [Page 50] yoaks upon the true Disciples necks; which they that are made free by the Son, cannot stoop unto, neither join with; for whosoever doth, goes into bondage: And Christ is the Supreme Power unto whom all power is commit­ted; and when He justifies, what Supe­rior can condemn? And there is no need of asking leave of them that are Superiors, which reckons themselves as so, seeing every man stands clear in the sight of God, when he transgresses not against the Supreme Law of Christ in his Conscience; and to offend any Su­periors who lays any Injunction con­trary to the Command of God, is not to offend God, neither to break his Com­mand.

2ly. It seems all parts of Religion is monopolized by Mysterie Babylon, in which Rome is comprised, not onely Patents and Pardons sold for eating of meat, but authority and licence must be given to every one that reads Scrip­ture, a thing which the Apostolick Church (before the Pope had a being) knew nothing of; but on the contrary, some were exhorted to read the Scrip­tures, and some were commended for [Page 51] reading of the Scriptures, and for sear­ching whether the things were so as Paul testified; and in this they were counted more Noble then they at Th [...]s­salonica: but now it is become an igno­ble thing, and not at all to be suffered to read the Scriptures without Patent or Licence in the Church of Romes ac­count, who have laid down Ignorance to be the Mother of their Devotion: But the danger is, because there are hard passa­ges which are not understood when people have little or no Learning, as the Author saith: What was it for want of natural Learning that Peter complain­ed they▪ wrested the Scriptures, and therefore is it for want of natural Lear­ning that the Scriptures are not under­stood, and for want of this they must not be read, as the Author saith: Ig­norant man! what was Peter such a great Learned man? a poor Boat-man, or Fisherman, whom the Scripture saith was illiterate; in the Acts, when they beheld Peter and John, and that they were illiterate men, and saw their bold­ness, and took notice they had been with Jesus: What was it want of natu­ral Learning that Peter spoke of, then [Page 52] he spoke against himself, for he was il­literate: but it was such a Learning that they wanted as this Author wants, who is untaught by the Spirit, and un­learned in the Doctrine of Christ, and such wrest the Scriptures, and do not understand hard sayings, because the deep things of God are revealed through the Spirit of God, and not by natural Learning, as this Author, who would sell Licences and Pardons for reading the Scriptures, as they have done for eating Flesh in Lent; but a story of Robin Hood, a Comedy, or a Play is more frequently read by the Mem­bers of the Church of Rome, which be­gets into loosness and prophaneness, a thing which this Generation is in love with rather then the Scriptures; and though the Scriptures be applauded in words as for the rule of Life by many, and a Judge of Controversies, yet how should they be ruled that may not read them without a Licence, or a Tolerati­on from the Superior: If it be lawful to read with Toleration, it's lawful to read without Toleration; for the tole­ration of men neither addeth to, nor di­minisheth from any spiritual exercise; [Page 53] and Timothy read the Scriptures of a youth, and who gave him his Tolerati­on? And Apollos was a mighty man, and a knowing man in the Scriptures; from whence had he his License?

3. Because thou judgest according to the judgement of this present evil world, that they are onely fit to read the Scrip­ture, and give interpretations upon it, who are naturally learned, and have the wisdom of this world: I say, Nay, the world by wisdom knew not God, neither know him now; and them that had natu­ral learning, rejected the Foundation; them that had the Hebrew Language set Christ at nought; they that had the Greek tongue, withstood Paul, and called him a babler; them that had the Latine Tongue (the Tongue of the Whore your Mother) persecuted the Christians in the first three hundred years after Christ, as your own Histories do relate: So according to all these who had onely the knowledg in the natural Languages, they did not under­stand the things of God; and it was the wise builders which builded by art & skill in the Earthly Wisdom, that rejected the true Foundation and Corner-stone; but on the contrary, we say, according to the [Page 54] Apostolick Doctrine, that the Scriptures may be read, and ought to be read; for they are profitable for instruction and correction, and information, to make the man of God perfect, and thorowly fur­nisht to every good work through faith in Christ Jesus: And I would have the Author know, that we do not look upon Cardinals, Fryers, Monks and Bishops, to be the alone men of God, so that they alone have the sole power to tolerate the read­ing of Scriptures; for he is a man of God who is born of the spirit which sanctifi­eth and leadeth into the clear pathes of Equity and Righteousness, who walks not after the flesh, neither fulfils the lusts thereof; and such there are, and have been, which have been unlearned in natu­ral Tongues; but this is the way to keep your Church in reputation, to believe as you believe, and every man to put out his own eyes, and live by another's sight, and hang his faith upon another's shoulders; this is not like Apostolick Doctrine, for the Apostle said, Let every one be perswaded in his own mind (not by other mens minds) and he that believeth, hath the witness in him­self, and hath it not to seek among the litteral Rabbies, who darken Counsel [Page 55] through words; and it is not for want of natural learning, that one understandeth the Scriptures this way, and another that way, but because they want the under­standing of that Spirit which gave forth the Scriptures, which Spirit universally is given to all men and women (a measure of it) to lead into truth, and through which the deep things of God are revea­led: And it's not your Traditions▪ Inven­tions, natural Learning, Schools & Col­ledges, Fryeries and Covents, in which the Spirit of God is onely limited; but every one that seeks, finds, whether lear­ned or unlearned; for of a truth, God is no respector of persons: And so the mind of Christ is manifest unto them that be­lieve, and the one Spirit into which the Saints were baptized, is that which opens the Scriptures truly as they are, and dis­cerneth the times and the seasons, and fulfilleth it in the hearts of them that be­lieve, and manifests the state unto which they were spoken. And if the Scriptures be so hard to be understood, by reason of the hard sayings, or because of the Trans­lations, what have you been doing these fourteen hundred years, with all your learning, with all your Councils, Popes, [Page 56] Bishops and Clergy, that you have not translated them aright, or so plain that they may be understood by all that reads? But then your Doctrine, Worship and Practice, would be soon manifest not to be Apostolical, nor consonant and agree­ing to the practice of the true Church of Christ.

And now I come to the effectual Argu­ments and pregnant wayes which the Au­thor tells of, which will work upon the Sectaries to make them return to the Ca­tholick Church, which he saith they have groundlesly forsaken; and now I shall come to try his arguments, and search the force of them, which he layeth down as the most efficacious way to convince all Sectaries (as he is pleased to stile them) to come to the Church of Rome; but the hope of this man will be like a Spider's Web, for unto all whose Eyes God hath illuminated in any measure, will come to see the weakness of this Philosophy and vain deceit, which he hath laid down as a chief instrument to convince all, that the Roman Church is the true Church, and that salvation is onely concluded in her.

[Page 57]1. The first argument he takes from Matth. 18. 17. Christ sends us to the Church (saith he) if any neglect to hear her, they must be counted as Heathens and Publicans: From hence this is the Argument, That, that Church is to be heard in which there is most assurance to be had that one is in the way to salvation; but in the Roman Church there is most assurance, therefore the Roman Church is to be heard.

Ans. The Minor is false, and also the Conclusion; That Church which hath the foundation of its assurance without, it is not the true Church of Christ, neither is to be heard; but the Roman Church hath onely their assurance of salvation without them, therefore are not to be heard; it is manifest their assurance stands onely in outward things, as Antiquity and Visibility, which are not the alone Marks of the true Church; Cain was an­cient enough, and there were them that were in Cain's way before Rome was so highly elevated; and that for Universali­ty and Visibility, there is no assurance in that, for all the World hath wondered af­ter the Beast, and the Whore hath sitten upon Nations, Kindreds and People; and [Page 58] so the first argument is denied, and pro­ved to be false▪ I shall lay down another; 1. That Church which hath always been so visible and Universal since the Apostles dayes, as hath had its seat over Nations, Kindreds and Tongues, is not the true Church of Christ, but the Harlot; but the Church of Rome hath been universal over Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and People, therefore the Church of Rome is the Harlot, and not the true Church of Christ.

But I shall not traduce thee in thy vain deceit, but return thy arguments upon thy self, which thon chargest upon others.

1. As first, That Church is not to be heard whose Authors and Doctors are Cozeners and Impostors.

2. But all are Cozeners and Impostors but the Church of Rome.

Again, That the Church of Rome hath the Marks of the true Church, and no other, as Antiquity, Miracles, holiness of life, Uni­versality. Again, That the Church of Rome takes the narrow way that leads to life. Again, Because the Church of Rome keeps Sunday instead of Saturday, by Tradition; therefore she is the Church of Christ.

[Page 59]To the first; If that Church is not to be heard, neither her censures regarded, whose Authors and Teachers have been Cozeners and Impostors, then the church of Rome is not to be heard, nor her cen­sures regarded, because the chief Authors have been Cozeners, Cheaters and Im­postors, who have been out of the power of God, and have taught for Doctrine the traditions of men; as Purgatory, prayer for the dead, onely to cozen and cheat by, to fill the Bags and Coffers of the Popish Clergy; which Doctrine is contrary unto the Doctrine of Christ and the Apostolick Church; therefore the Church of Rome is not to be heard.

2. That the Church of Rome hath the marks of the true Church, and no other, as Antiquity, Holiness of life, Miracles, and Universality▪ This is false; there were Churches before Rome, that had these marks; and there hath been since, and are now, more then the Church of Rome: Antiquity some of them called Sectaries will allow you a thousand years to be cal­led a Church, and yet prove you Apostates both in Doctrine and Practice. Your Mi­racles are but cheats, deceits, and lying stories, if your own Authors be search­ed; [Page 60] you confess most of your Miracles are wrought by your Images, works of your own hands.

2. Antiquity without Truth, proveth nothing; and holiness of life, if your Church be holy, which is prophane? tole­rating (as I said before) Whoredoms, Stage-Playes, vain sports and pastimes, which draw people from the fear of God; and many foolish sopperies which I shall not now mention; so that there are them that have dissented from you, which are more ancient in the Faith, more holy in life and conversation, more agreeable in doctrine and practice, to the true primi­tive Church, then you are. And as for Miracles which are wrought by the true power and finger of God, there hath been, and are more amongst them called Sectaries, than in the Church of Rome: The blind have received their sight, the Le­pers have been cleansed, the Lame have been made to walk, and the deaf have heard, and the dumb have spoken, the dead have been raised, and many that have been bound by Satan fourty yeares, are loosed; and there are thousands that are Witnesses of it, and can testifie the truth thereof, even in this time, and in [Page 61] this year, in Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany and America, 1662. So there is a true Church which hath the Marks of the true Church of Christ, more than the Church of Rome; therefore the Ro­man Church is not the alone true Church.

3. To the third argument, That the Church of Rome keeps Gods commandments, and walks in the narrow way of Christ's counsel, therefore she is to be heard: How she keepeth the commandments of God, is known, if he mean the ten command­ments; Thou shalt not make to thy self any graven Image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in Heaven or Earth, neither bow down nor worship them. Now you make Images of things in Heaven, as of God and Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and of Ma­ry; and as for things in Earth, you have Images of all sorts, witnesse your Masse-Houses, called Churches, your Cloisters, Fryaries and Covents; so that every place is filled ful, & worship unto them is taught by you for Doctrine, contrary to God's Doctrine, & your distinction of Latria & Doulia wil not serve; for it's meer deceit; he that honors an Image, and bows down be­fore it in his heart, whether you may judg it represents this or that, is an absolute Idolater, & knoweth not the spirit which [Page 62] Christ said he would send to the true Church, which should bring all things to their remembrance both what he did and said, and the Saints life and example to re­membrance, (without your Pictures.) And how you are in the narrow way, is known to many thousands that you do not walk in it at all, neither take up the crosse of Christ, which is to crucifie the lusts, affe­ctions and desires of the flesh, but taketh up outward crosses, and bears them on your necks, or pin them on your sleeves, or hang them about your necks, and all because Christ was crucified on the cross: And here you are honorers of Pilate and the Jews, who crucified Christ upon the crosse as a blasphemer, rather then ho­norers of Christ; and the strait and nar­row way you are ignorant of, and Christ's sufferings you are strangers to: What! your Popes are as Emperors, your Car­dinals as Lawgivers, your Ecclesiastical Officers as Lords of great possessions in the Earth, except some begging Fryars, which you have prest into a voluntary humility, without necessity. And how do you love your Enemies? How many Indians have you destroyed and killed as dogs? and how many that have professed [Page 63] the Name of Christ have you burned and destroyed as though they had been Wood, and onely fewel for the fire. And how can you say your Pater▪ Noster, a­bout which you make so much ado, and say, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them▪ that trespass against us; if the Hea­then have trespassed against you, if them you call Sectaries have trespassed against your Church, how do you for­give them? and how do you fulfil the Law of Christ, and keep his Counsel, seeing that you are out of his Doctrine; away with such deceit and hypocrisie, God hath found it out, and is judging it by his Saints, who rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, nor in fleshly Traditions and Ima­ginations, but lives in the power of God, and walks in the Spirit▪ and therefore because you walk contrary to the Command of God and Christ's Counsel▪ and are out of the narrow way that leads to life▪ your Church is neither to be heard, minded, nor heeded.

The fourth Argument that the Church of Rome is the true Church, be­cause they keep their Sabbath of the Sunday by Tradition, and not upon [Page 64] the Saturday, as the Jewes did; and therefore the Church of Rome is to be heard, because they have Tradition & solid Reason on their side. Thy speech bewraies thee, which bespeaks thee ra­ther a Heathen then a Christian; for the Heathens had a day that they cele­brated to an Idol made like the Sun, called Sunday, and another day which they celebrated to an Idol called Satur­nus, called Saturday; and in this your Church is not to be heard, who is out of the form of sound words: but the Seventh day was the Jews-Sabbath, which none that professes Christianity ought to keep, seeing that Christ put an end to the shadows: and the Saints Sab­bath is a stranger to the Church of Rome; he that hath overcome the World and the Divel onely knows God's rest, and the true Sabbath, of which the Jewes was a figure; and the Sundays thou calls, it is no more a Sabbath reckoned by the Lord of Life then that which thou calls Saturday; for every day is kept holy to the Lord by him that wit­nesses the work of Redemption, and this is according to the Apostolick Do­ctrine; and if because of example the [Page 65] Christians whom you are pleased to stile Sectaries, do observe the first day of the week in the Power of God, for his Wor­ship, then they are as much, if not more to be heard than you, and have as much solid reason on their side as you; and thou must not think to carry the matter on with such frivolous arguments as this, to advance Mysterie Babylon; for this is a a knowing age blessed be the Lord, where­in the wisdom of God is revealed, and that which comprehendeth all shadows, types, dayes, times, years, meats, drinks, washings, and other figures, they are all seen over, and he is come and manifest which is Head of the true Church, (and not the Pope) who was, is, and is to come, life it self, truth it self, power, strength, and everlasting satisfaction to thousands, and ten thousands, who have believed, (and to a numberless number which are yet to be gathered into God's sheep- [...]old, and into the narrow way of Christ) which will deny, and doth deny upon good grounds, and infallible Testimony from the Eternal Spirit, that the Church of Rome is either in whole, or in part, any part of the true Church of Christ.

[Page 66]And seeing this valiant Champion hath made so fair a proffer, that all their Priests, Jesuits, and Catholicks over all the world, will turn to the Sectaries way (as he calls them) if they can but get a clear and satisfactory reso­lution to the following doubts:

Answ. I am one which do acknow­ledge my self to be reckoned by him as a Sectarian; yet as a Sectarian is rec­koned by the true Church of God in the Primitive time, in the Apostles and Christ's dayes, I do not reckon my self as such; and that I am a Minister of the Everlasting Gospel I dare not deny, see­ing a necessity is laid upon me to ac­knowledge the same; yet herein I do not glory, but in him who hath called me for the work sake; and I know the Teaching of Christ Jesus, and his Do­ctrine, and no other thing this many years have I published, but that which I received of the Lord, and from him by his Spirit, which is according to the true Faith and Godliness, which was in the Primitive Church (before ever Rome did lay claim to be the onely true Catho­lick Church, excluding all others but her self to be in the way that leads to salvation) I which am as one amongst [Page 67] many thousands which God hath ma­nifested his mind unto, shal answer in clearness, and according to Apostolick Doctrine, and the manifestation of his Spirit; but when I have so done, I am afraid this Champion, with the rest of the Priests and Jesuits, and the rest of the Catholicks over the World, wil hard­ly own his Challenge, or consess that Doubts are answered▪ yet however if it satisfie but one of a thousand I have my reward▪ and shal put it to tryal.

The first thing the Author, who it seems knows the mind of the Church of Rome in all things, both as to Do­ctrine and Practice, vvhich they do al­lovv of, and the contrary they vvil de­ny, (he knovvs to the full) or else he vvould never (sure) have made such a bold challenge.

The first thing that they vvould be resolved in, is,

Whether any can clearly shew that any Tea­chers, Doctors or Ministers, are sent of the Almighty God to preach and reform the Ro­man Catholick Church, and that they are not some who say the Lord saith, when the Lord hath not spoken unto them, neither sent them, Ezek 13. 2.

[Page 68] Ans. What the Roman Church and their Members will take for a satisfactory reso­lution as to themselves, I somewhat que­stion, and do doubt the resolving of the most; but however by the same command­ment that the Apostles did evidence their commission, that they were sent to re­form the Church of the Jews, and also them that had made defection from the Faith amongst the Gentiles; this may be shown:

1. The Apostles of Christ Jesus did de­clare their commission which they had received from Christ; and for other proof they sought none amongst them that were auditors or hearers, but the witness and testimony of God, unto which they desired to be approved in the sight of God.

2. They shewed the Jews, that they held the types and the figures, but did not receive, or believe him who was the substance, in whom they all ended; they were sent to bear testimony to the true Light that lighteth every one that com­eth into the World; and to preach down dayes, times, months, years, fasts, feasts, sabbaths, circumcision, temples and of­ferings, the priesthood and the sacrifice, [Page 69] which were but to continue until th time of reformation, and the bringing in of a better hope, by which they drew nigh unto God, and had an accesse unto him, and they declared their Commission against a voluntary humility, and wor­shipping of Angels; all which things the Church of Rome do stick in, and vindicate for Apostolick Doctrine; and many more things which the Church of Rome is run into, contrary to the true Church of Christ, and therefore had need of Refor­mation: So that which is contrary to the Doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, and practice of the primitive Church in the first hundred years, is in the apostacy; but Rome is in many practices and doctrines contrary to the true Church▪ therefore needs reforming.

And so God hath manifested himself in this his day of Power, and hath disco­vered the Church of Rome to be contra­ry in doctrine and practice to the true Spouse of Christ, and hath stirned up, and moved many by his Power and Spirit to preach the everlasting gospel, and to de­clare also against the defection of the Church of Rome, and her apostatizing from the Faith; and they are not of those [Page 70] whom the Prophets spoke of, which ran, and the Lord sent them not; for them were the false prophets in Israel, and they were manifest by their fruits, of which there are great store in Rome, who are manifest by their fruits, and they are such as are in Cain's way, who would kill, and such as are seekers of gain from their quarter, and such as take the Jews tythes; and these the Lord never sent to be Tea­chers or Ministers to bring to the know­ledge of Christ; but we deny all these things, and your Church in the very ground and foundation, and know that it will be swept away when the Beast is taken alive, upon which your Church now rides; then shall you see that that which you long put off among people as Apostolick Doctrine, will not be received any more, neither traditions nor inventi­ons of men for the Worship of God.

The second doubt which the Author would be resolved in, is, Whether we can make good what Luther and Calvin, with all Protestants, have boasted that they would do, to reform convincingly one of the silliest Ro­man Catholicks that is, and to begin, do it in the matter of the real presence after Consecra­tion?

[Page 71]What Luther and Calvin have said unto you as about your Worship, Doctrine and Practice, hath been made good by themselves while they were living, and in the body; and what they said, did not onely inform the minds of many of the Roman Catholicks, but reform'd them too which were not of the silliest amongst you; not onely one, but thousands did see your error and deceit, though they in some particulars did but differ from you: But now that is manifest which denieth your Foundation in the very ground. And what I have said as about the real presence of Christ's Body being in the Bread and Wine after consecration, if thou dare put it, and endeavour the trial thereof (according as I have in reasona­bleness propounded unto thee) it wil con­vince many of the Roman Catholicks of their error, or else many of the Protestants of their error; and so if thou dar'st ad­venture it, make no more boasts, but let it come to trial, as before is propounded unto the Church of Rome, if she, or any of her Agents dare admit of it.

3. The third Argument which he pro­miseth, If it can be proved from the Scrip­ture, [Page 72] (which he calls God's written Word) that the Sabbath-day is commanded by God to be kept on Sunday, and that little Children are to be baptized.

What others have said as to these two partibulars, who were but depart­ed a little way from you in diverse things, as to their judgments, I shal not stand to vindicate; because the Church was rather but a coming out of the Wil­derness, rather then come already into her first purity; but I am one of those amongst many thousands in Europe, who denyes the Church of Rome as to be the Bride, the Lamb's wife: and yet I shall not vindicate either the one, nor the other, but deny both, as amongst Chri­stians (viz.) [...] to keep the Jewish Sab­bath upon Sunday, as the Author calls it, and Sprinkling of little Children is like the other, an invention in the Apo­stacy, never that we read of command­ed, commended or practised in the A­postles dayes as such. The first day of the week the Apostles met together, and worshipped God, not by virtue of the Jewes commandment, but in the power of God, and you onely have them both, [Page 73] and keep them both by Tradition and Custom, without Commandment; and so are out of the power of God, and out of the Saints life.

4thly. The Fourth Argument: Can the Sectaries with reason and ground suffici­ent▪ condemn all Catholicks that were so ma­ny Ages before Luther and Calvin, for be­ing no better then Heathens? and convince me, that adhering to you I shall be more secure in my salvation, then in joining to them that have time out of mind, been of the onely saving Religion.

Ans. The Sectaries have not gone a­bout to condemn every individual man before Luther and Calvin, for no better than Heathens; we believe some were; and we believe many were as bad, (if not worse) they that walk in the practice of the Heathen, and bring forth fruit, but not unto God, are in the Heathens Na­ture; but the generallity of the Church of Rome have (for these many hundred years) brought forth no better fruit than the Heathen, and therefore are in the nature of the Heathen; for like as the Heathen persecuted the Christians in for­mer [Page 74] dayes, even so hath the Church of Rome persecuted the true Christians in their day, and in this are no better than Heathens; instance the bloodshed, mur­ther, cruel deaths you have put many un­to since you have had the Name of a Church; and therefore are no better than Heathens in nature: And for An­tiquity, it proveth nothing without Ve­rity; and there can be no assurance in your Church, seeing that it stands upon tradition and hear-say, and outward per­formances, and bodily exercises that pro­fiteth little; but some whom you call Se­ctaries have more assurance, for it is the Spirit of God that gives it; and as there is obedience yeilded unto the Lord (that Spirit) he giveth them assurance; and them that are born of it, do overcome the world, and his Spirit beareth witnesse to their spirits, that they have overcome, by which they cry Abba Father: And this Spirit of truth that leadeth into all truth, bringeth more assurance unto them that are led by it, and worship it in, than can be had in all your outward Formalities, Ceremonies and Traditions:

[Page 75]5. Argu. Can you make evident at least, that in your Flock, and Luther and Calvin their Guides, there is more holiness and vir­tue than can be found among the Catholicks, and that you go the narrow way that leads to life?

I answer, Yes; I am one among many thousands who are not of the Church of Rome, yet am of Christ's Flock which he hath cleansed by his blood, and revealed his virtue in, and his holy life; and it's made manifest that they are in the nar­row way more than the Church of Rome; they are in the way that leads to life, and abide in Christ's Doctrine; We love them that hate us; we bless them that curse us, we pray for them that persecute us; but so doth not the Church of Rome, but kill them, and persecute them that oppose her: We say, Without righteousness and holiness be revealed and wrought in our hearts, we can bring forth no fruit unto God, neither can be members of the true Church; but if any conform unto the practice of your Church in outward things, he is counted a good Member of your Church, though righteousnesse and holiness, self-denial, humility and love be [Page 76] wanting. Therefore we are the Church in which there is more holiness, virtue and life enjoyed, than in the Roman Church.

6. Can you shew us any miracles that ever were wrought in testimony of your Religion, or that the Catholicks Miracles are wrought by Belzebub? And now thou hast askt us a resolution of the doubts, and let all that are illuminated, judge how we are deluded.

It's an adulterous generation that seeks a sign; and what Christ wrought, was rec­koned as no miracles by them that are in the unbelief; yet these signs have accom­panied the Gospel, which is the power of God; the blind have been restored to sight, and the dead have been raised, and the deaf have heard, and the lame have been made whole, and this hath been witnessed by many; and we have a cloud of witnes­ses which your Church know not of, and by the effectual working of God's power these things have been done, which doth give testimony, and confirm our Religi­on. And for your Miracles, the most that ever I heard of, hath been done by Pictures and Images, as you have testi­fied, which are but fabulous sto­ries. [Page 77] And now let them who are light­ned with the true Light of Christ, judge who are in the delusion; and now let all judge whether these be not satisfactory Resolutions unto the aforesaid Doubts or Questions, which may convince them that have erred from Christ the power of God, and gone in their own traditions and in­ventions, and have forsaken the strait way, and the narrow path that leadeth to life, and all are exhorted to come unto him, (who is the light and life of men) that their souls may live, and that they may witness assurance of the love of God unto them by his Spirit's manifestation. And now let us see whether the Author will keep to his word, whether the church of Rome will all turn unto our way, which is Christ, the way, the truth and the life, or they will follow their visible Head, the Pope, who is changeable, and doth not a­bide for ever, who leadeth onely to an ob­servance of outward things, but neglects the weightier things to walk in.

And now I shall come to some Propo­sitions, which the Author saith hath been propounded, which are unanswerable; and the Propositions are against all Sectaries; and the Propositions are laid down by [Page 78] Francis Costorus, (as the Author saith) of the Society of Jesus, wch hath been laid down fifty years ago, and they are in number eight; and with them eight Propositions the Author saith he hath put all the ablest Ministers of Germany and the Low Coun­treys unto their wits end; now I hope some will be able to give an answer, and yet keep both their Faith, Wit, and Reason.

1. The first Proposition is this, That never since the Apostles time, till the Year 1517. (wherein Luther began his Doctrine) were any found in the world who did consent with either the Lutherans, Calvinists, or A­nabaptists, or other Sectaries opinions; nor ever shall any of the Sectaries prove that any of the Apostles or Evangelists were of their Faith, & so by consequence the Sectaries are without Faith; & they are the men whom the Scriptures in several places affirms that should come, In the latter times false Prophets, &c.

Answ. As I said before, any opinion which Luther, Calvin, or the Baptized people do hold, I shal not stand to vin­dicate it, because they have so holden; yet in many things they are separated from you upon good ground, & their Do­ctrine [Page 79] and Worship was far more con­sonant and agreeable unto the Apostles dayes then yours are; but I am one that owns my self a Protestant, who denies the Church of Rome; and I do say this Proposition is silly, poor, and feeble; and I do not believe that any was so hard put to it, as to be brought to their wits end by answering of it; for what need he talk of since the Apostles time till such a year, we shal come to the Apostles time and age, and if any society of people now are found the same in Faith, in Doctrine, in Worship, in Life, Practice and Conversation, then they are the true Church: And let Francis Costorus, with the rest of the Ro­man Merchants take that Faith to them­selves, and that Doctrine to themselves, and those particular points of Worship and Tradition to themselves, since all the world hath wondred after the Beast, and hath worshipped his Image, and this was since the Apostles dayes. And if the Church of Rome plead the whole world as for a proof, John saw that Antichrist's false Prophets, Deceivers, were entred in then, fifteen hundred years ago, and the world went after [Page 80] them, and he saw the whole world wonder after the Beast, and the Whore sit upon the Waters, Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and People, and this compre­hends the World, the Whores seat; and we matter not for her consent neither to Doctrines and Principles, nor opini­ons; nor for the approbation of them that have drunk of her Cup. But if we can prove a people which are gathered by the Word of God, and thorow the preaching of the Gospel, into the same Faith, Hope, Doctrine, Life and Pra­ctice which the Apostls walked in then, this is the Church which is coming out of the Wilderness again, where she has been preserved, while the Mother of Harlots has sit as a Queen, and has been so visible as over all the World, and hath made the Nations drink her Cup of For­nication; and therefore your Unity in this thing, and in this time is clear, that the Church of Rome is not the Church of Christ: but there are some whom Rome is pleased to call Sectaries, that own the same Practice, the same Doctrine, the same Faith which the Apostles wal­ked in; and therefore this great Pro­position is false, That all that have separa­ted [Page 81] from the Church of Rome have no Faith, or a new fancied Faith; and now I come to his second Proposition.

2. Propositon: The Religion and Faith of the Romane Church hath not been any way changed, in any Article that belongs to Reli­gion, by any Pope, Councils, or Catholick Bi­shops; but it is the very same Faith hath re­mained intire, and inviolate, from the Apo­stles to this present day.

There were Churches planted before there was any at Rome; and the Faith which they received, was that which did overcome the world, and gave them victory over sin and death; and the Religion which the Churches of Christ professed, as Corinth, Galathia, Thessalo­nica, and the rest of the Churches which the Apostles planted, is no more like the Faith and Religion of the Church of Rome now, then Black is to White; as for instance, Prove us out of the Scri­pture what foundation you have for Purgatory, for selling Indulgences and Pardons for sins; and vvhat Scripture have you for Auricular confession, for an Unbloody Sacrifice, for Prayer to [Page 82] Saints, for worshipping of Images, (in the New-Testament) for observing of Lent, consisting of so many days? And what Scripture and example from the Churches that were in the Apostles dayes (before Rome was called a Church) con­cerning prayer for the dead, for yours crosses, your tapers and candles, for an­nointing with oyle and cream in Baptism, which was onely invented by Pope Cle­ment, which another Pope (Pope Silvester) confirmed, 315. Plat. Volat. Sabil. And what example from the true Church for baptizing of Infants, and for God-fathers and God-mothers, in Christ's day, when he planted the Church? And that Infants should be baptized, and onely at Easter and Whitsuntide, was not this ordained by Pope Leo, in the year 676. Lib. Council, Volat. Pol. Chron. And was not Transub­stantiation, which you call the Body and Blood of Christ after the consecration, when the Priest hath whispered over the Bread and Wine a few Latine words, As, Hoc est Corpus meum, hic est enim sanguis meus, &c. The Bread is turned into the natural Body of Christ's flesh, blood and bone; was not this ordained by Pope In­nocent, held at Latterane by twelve hun­dred [Page 83] Romish Priests, Monks and Fryars, in the year 1215. decret. de summa Trinitate, Cap. firmiter. And whether are not these articles of the Church of Rome, yea or nay? If I should traduce the church of Rome in their Bishops and Councils these 12. hundred years and upward, I might bring a cloud of witnesses that the church of Rome is not the same in articles of faith in Religion, but divers Popes (I might prove) have made distinct articles, and divers Councils and Bishops; so that I might clearly prove, and can, and shall, if God permit me with life, if I hear any more of the church of Rome, or the Au­thor of this Book, that I shall prove, that the church of Rome in the articles of her Faith, is not the same that the church of Christ was in before Rome was planted a church.

2. I shall prove (if need require) her universal Councils (as she calls them) to vary, and her Bishops to be different in their Decrees, and that her faith, in points of Religion, is not the same from the A­postles day, to this time, as the author of this Book would make people believe; but what I have said to this unanswerable Proposition, (as he calls it) may be suffi­cient [Page 84] to convince both the Author and them that are doubtful in their minds a­bout this particular.

3. Proposition is, That neither the Sa­craments nor Ceremonies, or any Doctrine of the Church of Rome, contain any thing that is contrary to the Scriptures, but learned Do­ctors maintain the same, and that there is no alteration in any article of faith. And then the Author makes a conclusion, though full too hastily, That they which dissent from the Church of Rome (which he is pleased to stile Sectaries and Hereticks) have no reason to withdraw from the Catholick Church.

Ans. As for that which you call the Catholick church of Rome, we find such di­versity of Orders and constitutions one distinct from another, that to begin to enumerate them all, would take up much time before one ended, and would prove tedious to the Reader to view over the variety of Constitutions and Decrees that have been made concerning the ceremo­nies, Sacraments, (as they call them) and other Doctrines of the church of Rome, which at this time is not my intention; [Page 85] but Pope Alexander commanded that un­leavened Bread should be used in the Sup­per, in the year 1119. Lib, Concil. grat. Sa­bil. Before that time the outward Bread was indifferent whether it was leavened or unleavened; notwithstanding the Greeks do use leavened bread unto this day, in that which is called a Supper, and they use Wine onely in the Cup; but the Church of Rome mingle Water with their Wine, ac­cording to Pope Alexander's Decree: And the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, of turning the bread into the body of Christ, and wine into the blood (as they say) was an unknown Doctrine in the A­postles dayes, and also among the Greeks, until Pope Innocent the third, 1215. Like­wise Honorus the third, he made a new Ordinance, That the Sacrament of the Altar (as the Church of Rome terms it) should be worshipped and kneeled unto of the people, and also it should be born unto the sick, yea, and that with Candle­light, though it be at noon-day, in the year 1214. D. 3. Tit. Cap. 10. Lib. Council, Pant. And Innocent the third ordained that the Sacrament of the Altar should be kept under lock and key, that such as were like to dye, might not want spiritu­al [Page 86] comfort at the time of their death, Lib. Council, Cron. Pant. Pope Innocent the 8th. permitted that the Priests of Norduegia might fing Masse with Water for lack of Wine, in the year 1484. Math. Palm. Pant. And as about the ceremonies about the Sacrament or Masse, in a Council held at Rottomage, it was decreed that the Sacra­ment should not thenceforth be given to Lay-men nor Lay-women in their hands any more, but the Priests should put it in their mouths, contrary to the use and practice of the primitive church; yea and of the church of Rome it self many years after, Lib. Council, &c. And so here the church of Rome is contrary to the former churches, and to their own church of Rome in former times, though C. M. would elevate the Propositions of Francis Costo­rus (a Jesuit) unanswerable.

4. Proposition▪ The Author saith, It cannot be proved that any have been admitted Priests, but were duly consecrated by Bishops▪ Whence we infer, That Lutherans, Calvin­ists, and other Hereticks, are no true Mini­sters, neither are of Divine Priesthood, be­cause they give to people a meer piece of bread [Page 57] and nothing else, and they have no power to absolve people from their sins, but send them away entangled with sin, as when they came to them.

Ans. As for the consecration of the Priests of Rome, you have consecrated many who are out of the Doctrine of Christ, who are traytors to Kings and Governments; and it's a Maxime, and a thing meritorious in your church, to slay a Heretick, that is, one dissenting, or not consenting to your corrupt principles; and as one deceiver hath ordained and admitted another, so hath your Bishops and Popes ordained the rest to execute their drudgery and corrupt traffick; and as I have offered unto thee before, if it be not a piece of bread, and wine, except mingled with water, (according to your changeable Ordinances before-mention­ed, put it to trial upon the terms I before mentioned, that you may be made mani­fest to be deceivers, or else we, to all peo­ple. And as for your Absolutions & Par­dons, it hath been that which you have sold for money, which made Luther and divers of your own church to deny you, because it hath been contrary to Christ [Page 88] and the Apostles Doctrine. And as for forgiveness of sins, it properly belongs to Christ, and to them that are in the same Power; to them that confess, forsake and turn from sin▪ to pronounce forgive­ness and mercy; but the members of your Church confess from day to day unto your Priests that are as much entangled in sin as they who do confess, and neither do repent nor find mercy at the hand of the Lord; and your confessors, and they that do confess, they are defiled as much with sin when they end their work, as when they began.

5. Proposition. It cannot be found in the holy Scripture, that nothing is to be believed but what is clearly and expresly contained in the same: Hence follows the overthrow of the ground work of the Sectaries, who say that nothing is to be believed but what is ex­presly set down in the Scripture.

Ans. What others have said as to this particular, I shall not now stand to vindi­cate, because it is not my work to vindi­cate every particular judgement and per­son who believe contrary to your church; but I say, many are of that mind (that are not of your church, that things may [Page 89] be believed to be true, according to the manifestation of God's Spirit, though the Scripture in express words doth not declare the same; yet you to bring in fa­bulous stories, which you call unwritten verity, that are to be believed though ne­ver so repugnant unto the Scripture, and to the truth contained in it, this we can­not receive, neither believe; and this will never be attributed by the Lord unto any for unbelief, although you say it.

6. Proposition: The Author saith, He would fain have Luther and Calvin, and the other Sectaries, to shew where Matthew's Writing is called holy Scripture, more than Nichodemus his Gospel; and seeing they can­not prove the one no more than the other, they must needs believe something that is not writ­ten in the holy Scripture.

Ans. I shall let Luther and Calvin a­lone, they were men that God did honor, and I do honor, and many more as in their day; they are at rest in the Sepul­chers of their fathers, where your revi­ling cannot touch them; they prevailed in their Doctrine and Faith so much against you, as you have not recovered in a hun­dred [Page 90] and thirty years, neither I believe ever will so long as the Church of Rome will have any cause to call her self Christ's onely visible Church upon Earth. And I do not believe Matthew's Writing onely because it is reckoned by you and us for holy Scripture, but because we feel by the Spirit of God that gave forth all words, that it is a declaration of those things which were brought to pass in his day, and likewise Mark, John and Luke, testifie unto the same matter; but for Ni­chodemus his Gospel, as you are pleased to call it, the Spirit of God doth not testifie in us unto the same, but that it is repug­nant unto the mind of the Spirit, and is a meer patcht up thing in the corruption of time, wherein many things are contai­ned that are in opposition, and contrary to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, their Declaration. And so thy feeble Argument is answered, which thou conclud [...]st hath not been alterable these fifteen hundred years; and let not him that puts on his Armour, boast, but him that hath over­come, and puts it off.

7. Proposition is, That it cannot bee shewen for this fifteen hundred years, that [Page 91] there hath been any Catholick that held that the Pope of Rome was Antichrist, or that did rail at the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or Invocation of Saints and Angels, and usual Praying for the Dead, and such like works of Piety belonging to our Faith and Religion, which the whole world hath laudably practised and reverenced for fifteen hundred years.

It is a wonder that this Author be­longing to the the Church of Rome, is not ashamed of his Arguments, & the sil­ly Propositions that he hath propounded from another hand: It seems neither this Author, nor Francis Costherus, whose Propositions the Author hath vaunted in, and boasted of, knows the Apostles Doctrine, who said, The whole world lay in wickedness: and If any man loved the World, the love of the Father dwells not in him: and Christ said to his true Church, Ye are not of the World, therefore the World hates you: and again, I have chosen you out of the World; and John in his day saw through the Spirit, all the World wander­ing after the Beast, and worshipping his I­mage (and not the Image of God) and [Page 92] saw all Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and Peo­ple to be Waters; and the Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and People to drink the Whores Cup; and these the two Authors brings in for a great proof, and for an unanswerable Proposition, as that the whole World lies in wickedness, in whom the love of God dwells not in; and they that have drunk of the Whores Cup of Fornication, and they that have wondred after the Beast, to wit, the whole World, these are his dark cloud of Witnesses, to prove that the Pope was never called Antichrist. Will they that have received the Roman Faith, and ac­counteth the Pope Christ's Vicar, and the Visible Head, call him Antichrist, which hath exalted himself, and the Church of Romes Faith over the whole world, as the Author boasts, That the whole world hath laudably practised and reverenced Invo­cation of Saints, and Praying for the Dead, for the Piety, Faith and Religion of the Church of Rome for this 1500 years: This proves the Church of Rome to lye in wickedness, and to be contrary to the Doctrine and Practice of Christ and his Apostles. And this doth not clear the Pope at all, but rather makes him to be an Antichrist, and your Church to be the [Page 93] ill-favored Harlot, and not the true Church of Christ. Hast thou forgotten how John Bishop of Constantinople would needs be chief Bishop over all the rest of the Churches, about the year two hundred fifty and upwards, and how the other Bishops cried out against him for to be Antichrist: But your Bishop he got to be called Chief-Bishop over all Christian Churches; not by con­sent of the Elders nor Churches, but by the means of Phocus a Heathen Empe­ror, as before I have said; and is not he much more an Antichrist? And as for the Sacrifice in the Mass, Invocation of Saints, and Praying for the Dead, which thou saist is a laudable practice, I say none hath or doth reckon it worthy of praise, but they that worship the Beast and his Image, and have drunk of the Whores Cup, and are erred from the Faith and Religion that the Apostles and true Church of Christ were in, which all the world did that wondred after the Beast.

Lastly, this I say, He that teaches a Faith, a Religion, a Doctrine contrary to the Doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, is an Antichrist; But the Pope this 1500 years hath taught a contrary Doctrine; [Page 94] therefore he is an Antichrist. The first Proposition is evident from diverse te­stimonies of Scriptures, who teaches onely to pray unto the Lord in the name of Christ, and for them that are alive in the body, and not for them that are dead. The Second is proved by the Authors own testimony, That the Pope and Church of Rome hath prayed unto the Saints, and prayed for the Dead this 1500 years (to his shame be it spoken) therefore the consequence must neces­sary follow, The Pope is an Antichrist.

8. And last Proposition is this, That the first Authors of the Christian Faith in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Eng­land and Low Countries have acknow­ledged no other Faith, nor brought any other to them, then the Catholick. Roman Faith, which the whole Universe hath acknowledged, which we have learned of our Forefathes; therefore they that have brought in another are accursed.

[Page 95]That which the Whole Universe hath acknowledged (in the Apostacy) which lieth in wickedness, seeing all hath won­dered after the Beast, and drunk of the Whore's cup since the Apostles dayes, is but a lame and pitiful argument, as to prove the Church of Rome the true Church; and as for the Faith delivering (such as it was) to the Nations before­mentioned, onely excepting Spain, because it's probable that the Apostle Paul spread the Faith there, seeing that he said he had a purpose to come there into Spain, which if he did, thy boast may cease as for the planting of Religion there; and we know he was no hypocrite, but the same Faith and gospel which he had preached over the Regions, he would preach there; and his Gospel and Doctrine we find contra­ry to the Church of Rome; he condemn­ed diverse Doctrines which the Church of Rome holds, as forbidding Meats, Mar­riages, new Moons and Sabbaths, and vo­luntary humility, and worshipping of An­gels, and praying unto them, and pray­ing for the dead; and if you brought the Christian Faith (so called) into the rest of the Nations first, and the aforesaid Do­ctrines mentioned, and preached them up [Page 96] for Apostolick Institutions, then you brought in a Doctrine and a Gospel that is accursed, which you have received of your fore-fathers, who wondered after the Beast, and received his mark, and have been drunken with the Whore's Cup, to wit, the Universe which you lay claim to, and none but you called Christians: So that it is manifest, your Visible, Univer­sal Church is the Harlot, and hath brought in another Gospel, and other Doctrines than the Apostles, and so are anathomized; for the Apostles preached the Power of God to be the Gospel; and you have preached traditions, inventi­ons, old Wives Fables, and outward cere­monies for the Gospel, and so have decei­ved the Nations; and now when they be­gin to dislike your Traffick, you are an­gry; but the day hath made manifest, that discovers all your deceit.

And now I have answered the sub­stance of the Book, and also the eight Propositions proposed by the Author and thee, & I am not yet at the wits end, as thou saith the Ministers in Germany & the Low Countreys have been, neither at Wisdoms end, but am in it, and ready (if you will [Page 97] lay down your carnal weapons to begin with thee, and to vindicate the Truth as it is in Jesus, against the Doctrines of the Church of Rome, whensoever I shall hear of thee▪ or any that pertain to your Church make such another bold at­tempt, as to condemn all since the A­postles days for Sectaries, Hereticks and Scismaticks, who have dissented from you; and shal indeavour in the strength of Christ to vindicate and contend (though not with Cain's weapons) for the Faith and Doctrine which was once delivered to the Saints before the Apo­stacy, and now is manifest again in us, and is with us, when the Apostacy is coming to an end, and the everlasting Gospel is to be preached again to them that dwell on the Earth, and to Nati­ons, Kindreds, Tongues and people that they may come to the true Foundation again, and to the Rock of Ages again, that they may be established in righte­ousness for ever, the joyful sound whereof is going into the Borders of Babylon, which will make the Inhabi­tants thereof to abhor their City in which they have inhabited, and they shall return to Zion with Songs of De­liverance, [Page 98] and everlasting joy upon their Heads, because the hour of God's judge­ment is come, and coming upon the Har­lot, and the Year of Redemption is pro­claiming to the Captive, and the dead shall be raised to life, and shall hear the Word of Life, and their graves shall be opened, and they shall have victory over it; and they that hear the voice of the Son of God in themselves, shall live, and shall deny the voice of many waters, and the voice of your Church, Mysterie Babylon, whose seat hath been upon them.

And as for Doctor Baily, which the Author asserts for his proof, and layes down his Reasons wherefore the Church of Rome hath been, and is still the true Church, by way of demonstration. He saith, That the Church of Rome was an ex­cellent flourishing▪ Mother-Church; this Church could not cease to be such, but she must fall either by Apostacy, Herefie or Schism▪ Now Apostacy (saith he) is a renouncing of the Faith of Christ, and no man will say that the Church of Rome had ever such a fall▪

2. (He saith) Heresie is an adhering to some private and singular Opinion, or Error in Faith, contrary to the approved Doctrine of the Church.

[Page 99] Ans. Whatsoever the Author is plea­sed to boast of the Church of Rome, we do not find flourishing for Faith, wholsome Doctrine and sound conversation, more than other Churches that were planted before her, as is evident both by Seripture, and the best Ecclesiastical Histories, which the Church of Rome her self will allow of; and so I can say, the Church of Rome hath had a fall (and prove it too) by Apostacy, Heresie and Schism▪ As,

First, she is fallen from her first Love, and from the Doctrine of Christ, who taught to love Enemies, and to do good to them that hate them, and to pray for them that persecuted them: Now the Church of Rome hath not loved their E­nemies, neither such as they reckoned as so, but have persecuted them to death, and to banishment, who did not receive their Doctrine: And this renouncing of that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints by Christ himself, who taught to love Enemies, and if they beat them up­on the one check▪ turn the other; but the Church of Rome is out of this Faith and Doctrine, and hath renounced this Faith of Christ, and hath denied the power of God, and placed it in a Man, to wit, the [Page 100] Pope, that infallibility is in him And this is in the Apostacy.

2. If Heresie be an adhering to some private Opinion or Error in Faith, then the Church of Rome is in the Heresie; for the Faith that was held among the true Churches, was that which did overcome the world, and give victory over sin; and Faith in Christ was that which onely gave an interest into the Kingdom of God; but Cardinal Bellarmine (a chief Pillar of your Church) hath asserted this for the Do­ctrine of the Church of Rome, That a man hath a two fold right to the Kingdom of God, first by the merits of Christ; Secondly, by the merits of man's good works, or works of su­pererogation: And this is an adhering to a singular Opinion, and is an Error in the Faith that was generally held in the true Churches of Christ, as witness▪ He work­eth in us to will and to do, viz. Christ. So that there is nothing appropriated unto the creature as a creature.

3. This is an Error in the Faith of the Church of Rome, who teacheth, and are taught, That there is a place called Purga­tory in which men are cleansed from some light faults, or venial sins; and this is con­trary to the faith of the true Christian [Page 101] Churches, and is no less than Heresie; for the true Church, or Churches of Christ, taught, That the blood of Christ alone clean­seth from all sin, and that he is (to wit, Christ) the propitiation for sin, and the ever­lasting Sacrifice and Offering; but you have other Offerings, as the Sacrifice of the Masse, which you call an unbloody Sacri­fice, which is contrary to the faith of the Christian Church in Christ's and the A­postles days, and therefore is Heresie.

Again, praying for the dead, and pray­ing to Angels, and worshipping of Ima­ges, is absolute Heresie, and contrary to the Faith and Doctrine of the true Church of Christ.

4. And as for Schism, the Church of Rome hath separated from many other churches in their practice, and also have excommunicated them as Schismaticks and Hereticks, witness the Eastern chur­ches, the church of Caesaria, and divers others, as about your Lent, your fasts, feasts, and invented holy-dayes, which the true Church of Christ did not allow of; but you have brought those things in as Apostolical, and excommunicated all the rest that would not bow unto you: As for example, about the Feast of Easter, [Page 102] the time when it should be celebrated, though Victor the Bishop of Rome excom­municated all the Eastern Churches be­cause they did not accord with Rome, Eu­seb. Lib. 5. cap. 23. At which Iraeneus, Bi­shop of Lyons in France, sharply reproved him, ibid. cap. 23▪

So in many more things which I shall not now stand neither to trouble my self nor the Reader, which the church of Rome hath departed in her practice from the primitive Church, as you may see farther in a Book entituled, The Glory of the true church discovered; Published by F. H.

And whereas the Author desires to be satisfied by what General Councils she was ever condemned, or which of the Fathers wrote against her; or 3dly, By what Authori­ty she was otherwise approved.

Ans. Because the Author is so confi­dent in his assertions, as though they were unanswerable, I return this short answer, which if I hear any more from the Au­thor may be amplified.

For instance, In the year 287. there was a Council of Bishops called at Sinvis­ [...], where the Pope was condemned [Page 103] (which your Church hath taught could not err) for sacrificing to Idols.

At a Council held at Carthage decreed, That Clergy men should not meddle with temporal affairs.

At a Council held at Valentia in France, a Decree was made that Priests should not marry; and these were called Christians, and some of Rome's Visible, Universal Church.

And this was again reproved and con­demned in the first Council held at Tolle­do in Spain, they decreed that Priests should marry. And now Rome look to thy unity.

Again at a Council held at Caesar Au­gusta, accursed all them that eat not the Sacrament in the Church▪ but the church of Rome hath decreed that it may be kept, and ready to carry abroad to sick people, and upon other occasions, out of the Church.

At a general Council at Constantinople, decreed, That Mary shall be called the Mother of God; as though God were ge­nerated by natural generation, which is Blasphemy.

The Council of Armenium decreed for the Armenians, That Christ was not God.

[Page 104]The Council of Chalcedon (which was one of the four Councils that Pope Gre­gory compared to the four Gospels, and that their Decrees were sure and certain as the Scripture, yet) Pope Leo did not stick to condemn it, and all of them as unadvised, viz. the whole Council.

So Councils have erred, as is evident; and that which some have decreed for A­postolick Doctrine since the Apostles dayes, other Councils have condemned as Heresie, though called Christians as well as the Church of Rome; and yet they have condemned that which some Councils did allow.

So the Pope hath erred, the Councils have erred, as is manifest in what I have said, that I shall not trouble my Reader in large things, which I could, and might do upon another occasion, if I hear any more from the Church of Rome.

2. By what Authority she▪ (viz. the church of Rome) is reproved. In short, Leo the fourth, Bishop of Rome, made void the the acts of Adrian, Bishop of Rome. Stephanus made void and abroga­ted the Decrees of Formesus and Sabian, Christ's Vicars so called; commanded that [Page 105] Pope Gregory (another Vicar▪ so called) his Writings and Decrees should be burn­ed. And all these before-mentioned did say, and the Church of Rome holds it as such, that they were Peter's Successors. So here one Father or Head of the church, as they reckon the Bishop of Rome, hath confounded another.

3. The Nicene council determined, That Images were not onely to be placed in the churches, but also worshipped; and the then Pope said, that Images were lay­mens Calenders.

The Latterane council under Julius, did repeal the Decrees of the Pissan council: The Bazil council decreed that a council was above the Pope; but the Latteran council decreed, that the Pope was above the council, that he that should think o­therwise, should be counted a Heretick: Yet the Bazil council aforesaid, decreed, that they that judged that a council was not above the Pope, were Hereticks. And yet the Church of Rome layes claim to vi­sibility and universality over all the World, and yet one as distinct from ano­ther, as black is to white, and is as unsuit­able as Snow is in Summer, or Rain in [Page 106] Harvest. One word more, and I have done.

Boniface the eighth, a great Father of the Church of Rome, and a Pope, That no man in the World can be saved, unless he be subject to the Roman Church, like this Au­thor. And Pope Paschal thus said, That no Council could make Laws for the Church of Rome.

And so much of General Councils, and of the confusion of the Church of Rome; a few words more of Synods, and I have done.

1. Bernardus saith, the Church of Rome was polluted with many Supersti­tions; that the Bishops were biters of the Sheep, rather than true Shepherds: Sometimes (saith he) I have admired that there should be a Traytor among the twelve Disciples, but now I much more wonder that among so great a company of Bishops and Pre­lates, one upright Disciple cannot be found, Apop. Chr. Lib. 13, p. 260.

Gregorius Theologus, who lived about three hundred years after Christ, did determine never to come more at Councils or Synods, Because (saith he) [Page 107] there comes more evil than good out of them; for the contention and ambitiousnesse of the Bishops is above measure, said he, Anno 300.

D. Paraeus said, Often hath the Truth suffered wrong in Synods, because all that were assembled, agreed in one error, so that Truth came to be passed by with silence, Iren. pag. 57.

Again, Gregorius Nazianzius used to say, That he never had seen any good end of any Council or Synod, Vide Inst. Clav. 4. Lib. 9. cap. 11.

And some Synods have said, That remedy was not to be expected from the Cler­gy, who were the cause of the Disease, An­no 1616.

So the Author saith, Whose company did the Church of Rome leave? And from whom did she go forth? And where was the Church that she did forsake, that she should be counted Heretical and Schis­matical?

I say, She left the company and so­ciety of the Primitive Church in Christ's and the Apostles days, and [Page 108] she went forth from the rest of the Churches that were planted, as I in­stanced; The Church of Rome in the year 193▪ did excommunicate all the Eastern Churches: And where was the true Church that she did forsake? saith the Author. Not onely one, I say, but many, to wit, The Doctrine that the Apostles had laid down and preach'd at Antioch, at Philippi, at Corinth, at Ephesus, and the rest of the Churches of Asia.

And so the Church of Rome is proved to be an Apostate, in the A­postacy, in Heresie, in Schism; so that there is an absolute defection from the Life and Power of God which was manifested in the Apo­stles dayes, and therefore the church of Rome is not the true Church.

What I have said as to the Do­ctrines and Grounds which have been laid down by the Author, I shall refer it, and the answer, unto Gods Witnesse in every man's Conscience; and if I hear any more of the Au­thor, his great Boasts, or ambiti­ous [Page 109] challenges, which may reach to all that do dissent from the Church of Rome, as to be Hereticks, I shall engage in the strength of the Lord to vindicate the Truth, however opposed, and shall further (if God permit) be ready to give a more large and full answer unto the Do­ctrines, and Practices, and Wor­ship of the Church of Rome, and prove them to be contrary to the Scriptures, and the Apostolick Do­ctrine, and the Faith that was once delivered unto the Saints.

So in what I have said, I hope may convince the Authour of his vain assertions, and them that are enclined towards Babylon, it may put a stop to that which would too readily close with every thing which goes under the name of ANTIQUI­TIE.

But in what I have said upon the whole matter, I hope will be suffi­cient unto all who read with a sin­gle Eye, without prejudice; and un­to such I say, The Lord give them [Page 110] an Understanding, that they may see and discern the way which lead­eth to Life and Felicity, from that which leadeth to the Chambers of Death, and the pathes that take hold on destruction.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.