A SERMON Preached before the KING AT WHITE-HALL. The 24th. of Novemb. 1678.

BY WILLIAM LLOYD, D. D. Dean of Bangor, And Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty.

Published by His Majesties Command.

LONDON, Printed by M. C. for Henry Brome, at the Gun at the West-End of St. Pauls. 1678.


ACTS ii. 42.‘And they continued stedfastly, in the Apo­stles Doctrin, and Fellowship and in Breaking of Bread, and in Prayer.’

THey of whom this is said, were that Multitude of Peo­ple whom the Apostles first converted to the Christian Faith. All together in one word, they are called the Church in the last verse of this Chapter. Which being observed, it will soon appear what we are to learn from these words.

They teach us, First, What the Church of Christ was in the Apostles days.

[Page 4] Secondly, What Church is now a true Mem­ber or Branch of it.

Thirdly, That, having such a Church, it is our duty to continue in it.

Accordingly in my discourse on these words, I shall endeavour to shew you,

First, a description of that Original Church by all it's Tokens and Characters; which are described in my Text to have been,

First, the Apostles Doctrin,

Secondly, their Fellowship,

Thirdly, their Sacraments Breaking of Bread,

Fourthly, their Worship of God, and Prayers.

Second [...]y, I shall consider what Church in our days hath those Characters of the Origi­nal Church. I shall shew, they are very con­fused in that Church which will own them in no other: They are through Gods bles­sing, in great Purity and Perfection in our Church.

Lastly, I shall shew that it is the Duty of every Christian to continue stedfastly; first in the Church that hath these Characters, and secondly in these things that are the Characters of the Church, and thirdly to live sutably to them in his whole Conversation.

[Page 5] First, be [...]re I speak of the Characters of a true Church, I ought to shew in few words what it is that is to be known by them.

The Church, Ecclesia, among Christians in the largest use of the word, is the whole Multitude of Believers joyned together in one Body or Society under one Head Iesus Christ.

In the Nicene Creed it is called, the Catholic Apostolic Church. Apostolic, because it was plan­ted at first by the Apostles, and still retains the Characters of their Original Church. Ca­tholic, that is, Universal; (for that is the plai­ner English word,) because it is made up of all those Particular Churches, of which every one hath these Characters in my Text, and is therefore a true part of the Catholic or Uni­versal.

For the word Catholic, as fond of it as they are now in the Roman Church, If any Christi­an of Rome, for some ages after Christ, had heard any one say I am a Catholic, he would not have been able to have guest what Religi­on he had meant. But when the Greeks had used the word [...] in their language; First, to distinguish the Christian Church as ex­tending to all Nations, from the Jewish which was confined to one Nation in particular; Af­terwards [Page 6] to distinguish the Common Christi­anity, which was in all parts of the World, from that of a Sect which sprang up in some particular Country: After this, the word Catholic was taken up by them of the Roman Church. And in process of time they came to distinguish themselves by it, from the Greeks, and from those of the other Eastern Churches that first used it.

It could not but seem very strange to the Greeks, to see them of the Roman Church, whose Communion extended no farther at that time, than only to the West part of Eu­rope; that they should call the Roman Church the Catholic, or Universal, in Opposition to the Greeks, and to all other Christians, that then possest, not only all the rest of this Europe, but all that was Christian in Afric and Asia besides. But this is not strange to any one that considers, how natural it is for men of any Sect to make a great Business about Words. As they are apt to bestow the worst words they can find upon their Adversaries, so with the same Partiality they are ready to ap­propriate the good ones to themselves. Thus the Jews will have none but themselves to be the children of Abraham. The Turks will have [Page 7] none but themselves to be called Musulmans, Believers, The Arrian Heretics, in their Day, would allow none but themselves to be Catholics, Lucifer, [...] 1568. p. 79. & 328. Prosper. Chr. [...] If they of the Roman Communion will be the only Catholics now, who can help it? But we shall not allow it them, till they can prove all other Christians to be Schismatics, and us in particular; Which will be tried in the issue of this Discourse.

The mean while to give the word its Origi­nal use, the Catholic Church (as I have shewn) signifies the Universal. And by the Universal ChurchIren. adv. har. l. 3. c. 3. cals it, t [...]e Church from which every Church had its beginning. we mean that which from this Head in my Text came to disperse it self into all parts of the inhabited World. The Original of this Church Universal was that Church which the Apostles planted first at Ierusalem; Therein following the Command of our Sa­viour who bade them,Luke xxiv. 47. Go, preach to all Nations, beginning at Ierusalem. The Body of this Uni­versal Church consists of all those, whether National, or Less, that are called Particu­lar Churches. Which were either derived from that Original Church in that age; such as were, those seven Churches of Asia, and the rest which are mentioned in Scripture: or that have been deri [...]ed from th [...]m by [Page 8] any after Conversion, in whatsoever Country or Age.

These Particular Churches are many, as the parts of the Body are many. And as all those parts together are one Body, so all these Par­ticular Churches make up one Universal. One I say, in both respects, both as being deri­ved from one source, that Original Church at Ierusalem: And also One, as being united to­gether in those Common Characters, by which that Original Church is described in this Text.

Those Characters are four, which I come now to consider particularly; The Apostles Doctrin, and Fellowship, and Sacraments, and Prayers.

The first is the Apostles Doctrin, the Do­ctrin of Faith; and not the Inward Belief, but the Outward Profession of it. The Inward Be­lief is required to make us true Christians, but the Outward Profession makes us Members of a true Church. And as it can be no true Church that has not a Public Profession of the Apostles Doctrin; so it can be no sound Church that embraces any other for the Doctrin of Faith, then what was received from the Apostles.

Now their Doctrin, at this time referred to in my Text, was no other than what they [Page 9] preached as the Faith of Iesus Christ. But consi­dering how long ago it was that they preached; how many ages have past since; and especial­ly what ages they have been; many ages toge­ther, of Darkness and gross Ignorance, as they cannot but know, that are any thing acquainted withV. Card. Baron. An­nal. Eccl. Anno 900. &c. History; I say, after so many extreme ignorant Ages, it is impossible we should have known what was preached by the Apostles, unless it had been also delivered in writing, and unless those writings had been brought down to our Hands. And, blessed be God! there was such a Delivery, in the Books of the New Testament. In which Books, the Apostles bearing witness, as they do, to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, that they were2 Tim. iii. 16. 2 Pet. i. 21. Writ­ten by Divine Inspiration, and that they2 Tim. iii. 15. are able to make us wise to Salvation through Faith in Iesus Christ; and delivering the Faith in Iesus Christ, as they do, in their own writings, to the endJoh. xx. that all men may believe on him to Eternal life; Therefore in these Books of the Old and New Testament together, we have a Standard of the Apostles Doctrine; and we have not the like for any other than what is written in these Books.

[Page 10] Here is all that we can surely call the Do­ctrine of the Apostles, unless we know more than the Fathers of the Primitive Church. They through whose hands this Doctrine must pass, before it could come into ours, knew no­thing but what they had in the Scriptures. This was constantly their Standard and Rule of all things, in the words of St. ChrysostomChrysost. in 2 Cor. Hom. 13. Edit. Savil. Tom. III. p. 624. 43. Who says a­gain, Idem in 2 Thess. Hom. 3. Ib. Tom. IV. p. 234, 19. All things that are necessary, are plain and manifest in the Scriptures. So St. Austin says, Aug. de Doctr. Christianâ l. 2. c. 9. Edit. Basil. 1541. Tom. III. Col. 25. D. In iis enim, &c. All things that belong to Faith or Life are to be found in plain places of Scripture. St. Basil saith, Basil. M. Hom. 29. Edit. Paris. 1618. Tom. I. p. 623. C. Believe those things that are written, inquire not into things that are not written. St. Ierom,Hieron. adv. Helvid. Edit. Basil. 1524. Tom. II. p. 13. B. Non credi­mus quia non legimus; we believe no more than we [...]ead. In like manner say many other of the Fathers.

And though they did sometimes quote the Apostles Traditions, for Ritual things; yet in matters of Faith, if they prove any thing from Tradition, it is either the Writ­ten Tradition of Scripture; of if Unwritten, [Page 11] 'tis no other than the Creed (as it were easie to shew in many Instances.)Iren. adv. Haer. l. 1. c. 2. & 3. & alii passim. And withal they believed there was nothing in the Creed but what they could prove from the Scriptures; and they did prove it from the Scriptures upon occasion in every Particular.Cyprian. Testim. ad Quirinum. lib. 1. & 2. proving all things of Faith and Life from the Scripture. Constantin. M. apud Theodorit. Hist. Eccl. l. 1. c. 7. Edit. Vales. p. 25. D. Offers the Scriptures for deciding all Controversies touching the Faith. So Atha­nasius and others prove every disputed Article. And when the Heretics produced Tradition on their side, the Fathers always held them to the Scriptures.

So that in their Judgment, it is not only a sufficient, but the only Measure of the Do­ctrin of the Apostles. And by this we may judg (as to matter of Doctrin) who are, and who are not Members of the Apostolical Church.

The next Character is this, that they continu­ed in the Apostles [...] or Fellowship; a word that has diverse senses in Scripture. In this place it seems to be the same as Society. They were in the Apostles Society or Communion.

Now to continue in their Society (consider­ing what they were, men deputed by Christ for the Government of his Church;) it could be no other than to continue as Members of that Body which Christ put under their Govern­ment.

[Page 12] But how can any be so now? they being dead so many Ages since, and their Govern­ment so long since expired with them. No, their Government is not expired, though they are. For it was to continueMat. xxviii. 2c. till the end of the World. So that according to the common saying among the Jews, Whosoever one sends be­ing as himself: So our Saviour having sent the Apostles saith,Mat. x. 40. Whosoever receives you, receives me; In like manner, whosoever were sent by the Apostles, were as themselves; And whosoever continued in their Fellowship, were in the Fellowship of the Apostles.

Now their Government is declared to have been [...], their Bishopric.Act. i. 20. And in this Office they were equal among themselves; as our Saviour describes them, sitting on twelve Thrones, and judging the twelve Tribes of Israel. Mat. xix. 28. Luke xxii. 30.

It is observable that this was after his Pro­mise to St. Peter, Mat. xvi. 16, &c. Which Promise I consider, by the way, because 'tis so much pressed by the Romanists, to prove a Power, which Christ had given St. Peter over the rest of the Apostles. If Christ had truly given it, we must then have considered, whe­ther St. Peter left any Successors in that Power? [Page 13] And if so, why not St. Iohn the Apostle by Survivance? why not the Bishop of the un­doubted Mother-Church at Ierusalem? Why not the Bishop of some other City, where the Scripture has assured us that St. Peter Preacht? rather than of Rome, where if he did preach, we have not a word of it in Scripture. These and sundry more such Questions would have risen upon that Hypothesis, of such a Power given to S. Peter. But it is out of Question that the Apostles never so understood those words of Christ. They knew of no Power that was promised to St. Peter more than to themselves in that Text. For after this,Matth. xviii. [...]. xx. 24. they were at strife among themselves who should be chief. After this,Mat. Luk. xxii 24 they disputed it again and again: and Christ chid them every time, but never told them, I have promised it to Peter. Nay it appears that Christ did not intend it, by his open Declarations to the contrary; ThatMat. xx. 26. & xxiii. 8, 9, 10. Luke xxii. 26. it should not be among them, as in Secular Kingdoms and Monarchies. It appears more plainly in the fulfilling of his Promise. For he both ordained the rest with S. Peter, Joh. xx. 21, 22, 23. without any Difference; And when they all together had received the Holy Ghost, in this Chapter, St. Peter stood [Page 14] up with the eleven, ver. 14. And upon him and them Christ built his Church; even all these who continued, not only in his, but in the Fel­lowship of all the Apostles.

Now if all the Apostles were equal in their [...] or Government, then it is cer­tain that their Successors must be so in like manner. Though one must have Precedence before other, for Order's sake; as St. Peter hadUsually, but not al­ways; for at Jerusalem, St. James, being Bishop there, had the Precedence. Act. xv. [...]al. ii. 9. usually among the Apostles, when they were together: And though one may be above others, in the same National Church, as all Primats are, by Human Laws; Yet none, by the Law of God, hath Authority over others; I say none among their Succes­sors, any more than among the Apostles them­selves. So St. Cyprian Cyprian de Unit. Eccl. c. 3. Edit. Paris. 1649. p. 208. The other Apostles were also that which Peter was, they had an equall share both of Honor and of Power. Epist. 51. p. 80. Every Bishop orders his own, affairs, and is to give account to God. Epist. 54. p. 95. Every one has his own Flock to govern, of which he is to give account to God. Conc. Carth. de Bapt. Haeret. p. 353. No Bishop can be judged by ano­ther, or can judg another. But we all wait for the Iudgment of Christ, who is the only One that has Power, both to put us into the Office, and to judg of our Discharge of it. Tertullian. de Praescript. c. 36. Edit. Paris. 1641. p. 245. Run over the A­postolic Churches, in which are yet the very Chairs of the Apostles. Ye have Corinth. Ye have Ephesus. Ye have Philippi. Ye have Rome. Cyprian. Epist. 26. p. 42. Christ said to Peter, Thou art Peter, and I will give thee the Keys, &c. From thence by course of times and successions, is derived the Ordination of Bishops in the Church. Epist. 74. p. 163. The Bishops have succeeded the Apostles being ordained in their stead. declares oftentimes in his Writings. Not to mention the like, as I might, from many other of the Fathers.

[Page 15] Now the Bishops in after times, in their several Churches, were undoubtedly held to be the Suc­cessors of the Apostles.Iren. con­tra Haereses. l. III. c. 3. We can reckon up them who by the Apo­stles were made Bishops in the several Churches. We have as great a consent among the Antients for this, as we have for the Observation of the Lord's Day. And it is evident from theEpist. 68. p. 136. The Church is a People united to their own Bishop, and a Flock adhering to their own Pastor. Primitive Writers, that they lookt upon Communion with their Bishops as Communion with the very Apostles. They held it the Duty of every Christian, to obey them in Spiritual things; They held it the Duty of every Bishop, to govern and feed his own Flock; To attend to that only,Ibid. Poly­carpus, by the Apostles made Bishop of the Church of Smyrna. and not to usurp upon his Brethren; But all, as occasion served, to do all good Offices one for another, and to join their endeavours for the common Concern­ments of the ChurchEpist. 66. p. 128. To Steven Bishop of Rome. Therefore, my dear Brother, there is a numerous body of Bishops united together by the bond of Concord and Vnity; that if any one of our College should attempt to make a Sect and to tear and spoil the Flock of Christ, the rest may come in to help, and as good and compassionate Shepherds may ga­ther the Lord's sheep into the flock. And for them so [Page 16] to govern the Church, and for the People to live under their Government, in Spiritual things; This was to live in the Fellowship of the Apostles, which is the Second Character in my Text.

The third is the Participation of the same Sacraments. One only is mentioned in my Text, that is the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup­per. For being already baptized, they had no more occasion for Baptism; But that be­ing spoken of before ver. 41. I therefore men­tion both these Sacraments.

The use of both these, in the Apostles times, was a Character and Token of the Christian Church. Thus St. Paul, 1 Cor. xii. 13. menti­ons both these Sacraments, as the Instruments and Means by which we are united to Christ. By one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body, and we have all been made to drink into one Spi­rit.

Both these Sacraments they received of Christs own Institution, who required them to be used in all Ages of the Church; to be administred to all it's Members by every Church. And that in the same manner as they were instituted by Christ; I mean as to all the Essential parts of the Sacraments. [Page 17] However Ceremonies or Rites may be varied; yet in their Essential parts they are of perpetual Obligation.

For Baptism, when it was instituted by our Saviour for the Admission of Members into his Church; he said thus to his Apostles, Matt. xxviii. 19. [...], make Disci­ples, so Acts xiv. 21. But [...], Disciples, is as much to say as Christians. Acts. xi. 26. Go, make Disciples, (that is, Christians,) of all Nations, Baptizing them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And thus doing, Matt. xxviii. 20. Lo I am with you till the end of the World.

And for the Lords Supper, he [...]dministred it himself to his Disciples, (who were then not in Orders, for it was before his Death; and he did not ordain them till after his Resurrection.) And administring the Sacrament to them, who were not in Orders,Matt. xxvi. 26. Mar. xiv. 22. Lu. xxii. 19. 1 Cor. xi. 24. He took Bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to them, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, and what follows. Matt. xxvi. 28. Mar. xiv. 24. Luke xxii. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 25. He gave them the Cup in like manner, say­ing, Drink ye all of it. This is my Blood, or this Cup is the New Testament in my Blood.

Accordingly it was done in the Church in the Apostles times. The Apostle calls it the Bread and the Cup which they received in the Sacra­ment, never otherwise; though Spiritually [Page 18] and Sacramentally the Body and Blood of Christ, yet Bread and Wine in its Natural and Bodily substance. He says,1 Cor. x. 16. The Cup which we bless is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? And the Bread which we break is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? No doubt we have the Mind of Christ in these words. It is properly the Communion of His Body and Blood, which we receive in this Sacrament. And ac­cording to his Law they are conveyed to us, under the Elements of Bread and Wine. For so the Apostle tells us, that, even after Conse­cration, It is Bread which we break; it is Bread which we partake; It is Bread that we eat in this Sacrament. Which last thing he says three times together, in three Verses.1 Cor. x. 16, 17. & xi. 26, 27, 28. In like manner it was properly Wine which remained in the Cup, even after Consecration. So it was called by our Saviour,Matt. xxvi. 29. Mar. xiv. 25. the fruit of the Vine, and this Fruit; even the same of which he had said, This is my Blood. And, as he said to his Apostles, being Laymen,Matt. xxvi. 27. Drink ye all of it; and as St. Mark observes,Mark xiv. 23. They all drank of it, so did all other in those times, as well Laity as Clergy. 1 Cor. xii. 13. We are all made to drink into one Spirit.

[Page 19] 'Tis observable, the whole Sacrament there is called drinking, as here the whole Sacrament is called Breaking of Bread.

And the Sacrament being thus instituted by Christ, being thus administred by his Apostles, and being thus received in his Church, was to continue till Christs coming again. So the Apostle saith expresly. 1 Cor. xi. 26. So that here's a third Character of an Apostolic Church; to continue the use of those Sacraments which they used, and that in all the Essentials of them, according to Christ's own Institution.

A fourth Character in this Text is Prayer, [...], in the Plural Number; that is, not one or two, but many, and oft. And it ap­pears they were publick Prayers, by what fol­lows, ver. 46. They continued daily with one accord in the Temple. There the Apostles used to meet after Christ's Ascension into Heaven. They were continually in theLuke xxiv. 53. Temple praising and blessing God. They were constantly there in the times of Devotion, as may appear from Acts iii. 1. and other places. They continued this Practice as long as the Iews would suffer them; till they drove them away from their Temple and Synagogues. After which, these first Chri­stians had Assemblies elsewhere, as we read Acts xviii. 17. [Page 20] In which Assemblies, what they prayed, and what they did besides praying, we have no particular account in Holy Scripture. But we have in those Writers that lived within the Age of the Apostles. That is, in an Epistle of the Younger Pliny to Trajan, Plin. lib. [...]. Epist. 97. and in St. Iu­stin Martyr's second Apology.Justin M. Apol. II. Edit. Paris 1636. p. 97, &c.

There we find in Pliny, Plin. ib. that they did Carmen Christo quasi Deo dicere secum in vicem. They spoke Verses, answering one another by turns; as we speak the Reading Psalms, I know not how he could better express it.

And, saith Iustin Martyr, they read Lessons out of the Apostles, and out of the Prophets; Justin ibid. p. 98. D. And when the Reader had done the Bishop Preached, [...], either the Bishop, or the chief Minister.

Then they rose up all together, and prayed. They had, saith Iustin Martyr, [...], Com­mon Prayers. (Those are his Words.)P. 97. C. In which they prayed for themselves, and for their Princes,P. 64. D. and for all others that were living P. 97. C. and for all o­thers every where, that we may learn the truth. &c. with them. They prayed only to God,p. 63. D. [...], p. 64. D. [...]. saith Iustin Martyr twice.P. 97. D. & 98. D,

[Page 21] This, together with the Administration of the Sacraments, and their gatherings for the poor, is all the Account they give us of their Meet­ings. Which account being given much with­in fifty years of the Apostles times, we may rea­sonably conclude it was the manner of their Prayers, the use whereof was the fourth Cha­racter in our Description of the Apostolick Church.

Besides these you see my Text hath given us no other: and therefore whosoever would make sure of such a Church, he may do well to judg of it by these Characters, being all that the Apostles have given us.

But if these were the Notes of a true Church in the Apostles times, what mean they of the Now Roman Church, to require any other? Or what would they have that cannot content themselves with these? Sure their hearts mis­give them that these are not for their turn. Either they have them not, or others have them as well as they: And therefore they choose ra­ther to insist upon those, which they can hope to appropriate to their own Faction.

It is not worth the while, in this Place, to reckon up the fifteen Notes of a true Church, whichBellarmin de Conciliis & Ecclesiâ lib. 4. Bellarmin gives us. All which, are [Page 22] either common to other Societies, as well as a true Church; or if they are proper to such a Church, they are elsewhere no less, nay, much more in some others, than in theirs.

As for the Essential Properties, here in my Text, they are but four, and those are from an Infallible Authority, The like whereof cannot be shewed for any other. Therefore our Church desires nothing more than to be tried by these Tokens. If the same way of Tryal does not please them so well in the Roman Church, we cannot wonder at it, for these make no way for them, but against them in every Particular. I shall make a short Proof of it, trying their Catholic Church (as they call it) by these Characters of the Primitive Apostolick Church.

And first for the Doctrine of the Apostles. If the Publick Profession of that, without any o­ther, be required of any true Church; and if the Scriptures contain all the Doctrine of the Apostles, as it was firmly believed by the Fa­thers in the Primitive Church: How come they of the Roman Church to find out so many Doctrines, of which there is no mention in the Scripture, nor in any of the Primitive Fathers? In what place were they kept, to be made known in after-times, that were not known to [Page 23] them that lived in or near the Apostles times?

But they have I know not how many such Doctrines, and they are properly Doctrines of their Church. They are declared by their Coun­cils, with most dreadful Anathemas to all those that shall presume to deny them. We see they Unchurch us; we know what they have done more, and may guess what they would do more to us, for denying them. But they have them in their Creed, the Creed that is sworn by all their Clergy.In the form of Pro­fession, Pre­scribed by Pius IV. ac­cording. Decree of the Council of Trent. Sess. XXIV. De­cret. de Re­form. cap. 1. & 12. They swear first the old Nicen, and add to that the new Roman Creed: They con­clude it in these terms, Hanc esse veram Catholi­cam Fidem extra quam nemo salvus esse potest. Concil. Edit Labb. Tom. XIV. Col. 946. B. That this is the true Catholick Faith, without which no man can be saved.

What a horrible thing is this, to couple to­gether, I believe in God, and in our Lord Iesus Christ; with I believe the Doctrines of Transub­stantiation, Auricular Confession, Image-Worship, Pur­gatory, Indulgences, and what not? some of which things some of themselves do confess, Of Transubstantiation, this is confest by Did in Can. Missae Lect. 40. beginning, that Whether the Bread be turned into Christs Body, or remains with his Body, it is not found exprest in the Scriptures. Bellarmin. de Eucharist. III. 23. Tertiò addit. mentions others of their Church that had said the like and he grants it not improbable that it could not he proved out of Scripture, till the Scripture was declared by a General Council; meaning (as he there shews) that of Lateran, above twelve hundred years after Christ. Of Auricular Confession Gloss. in Decr. de Poenit. dist. 5. beginning, Semeca saith, it was instituted by some Tradition of the Vniversal Church, rather than by the Authority of the New or Old Testament. Panormitan super Quinto, de Poenit. & Remis. c. Omnis utriusque, saith, I am much pleased with that opinion of Se­meca: For there is not any plain Authority, which shews that God or Christ instituted plainly, that Confession should be made to a Priest, Biel in Sent. IV. 17. G. saith, It was delivered, by word and deed, without any Scripture. For Image Worship. Bellarmin de Eccl. Triumph. II. 12. can find only two Texts of the New Testament. Mat. 5. 33. Swear neither by Heaven, for it is Gods Throne; nor by Earth, for it is his Footstool; and 2 Tim. iii. 15. From a Child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures. Of Purgatory. Baconthorp in sent. 1. 4. dist. 49. q. 1. saith, Others think it can­not be proved by the Authority of Scripture. Petrus à Soto, saith, It cannot be plainly proved from testimonies of Scripture; Chemnit. Exam. Conc. Trid. Sess. 25. beginning. Perion. saith, he knows no place of Scripture to prove it. Bulenger saith, It is hard to bring any express and clear Text for it; Chamier Panstr. Tom. III. l. 26. c. 2. §. 3. For Indulgences. St. Antonin. Summ. Moral. part. 1. Tit. 10. c. 3. beginning. Of Indulgences we have nothing expresly from Scripture, nor from the sayings of the Antients, but of the late Doctors. Cajetan opusc. Tom. I. tract. 15. c. 1. Of the Rise of them, no Authority of Scripture, or Antient Doctors Greek or Latin, have brought this to our knowledg: only within these three hundred years it hath been writ­ten, &c. Bishop Fisher Assert. Luther. Confutatio Art. 18. p. 135. grants there is neither Precept, nor Counsel for it in Scripture. are not so much as once mentioned in Scrip­ture; [Page 24] and none of them is mentioned there in plain words, not in any words that were under­stood so by the Fathers for many Ages after Christ.

For the Doctrine of Transubstantiation. Be­sides that we find nothing for it, but many [Page 25] things against it in the Ancients,As that What we re­ceive in the Sacrament is Bread in it's own nature and essence, and that it nourisheth our Body, &c. That wicked men receive no other but Bread, though to the Faithful it is truly Christ's Body, and therefore it is called his Body. That it is a Sacrament, a Sign, an Image, and a Figure of his Body. Which last words were in the Canon of the Mass, till it was altered in favour to this new Opinion. v. Gratian Decr. de Consecr. Dist. 2. c. 55. so many that we are sure it could not be the Tradition of those Times. We see at its first birth it was declared to be a Novelty, and a Falshood, by Rabanus Arch-Bishop of Mentz, Rabanus in his Canonical Epistle published by Baluz, with his Regino. p. 517. hath these words, Some of late, not holding aright of the Sacrament, have said that the Body of Christ which was born of the Virgin Mary, &c. is [the same which is received at the Altar.] Against which Error we have written to Egilus Ab­bas. But that Book is lost; and in this, as Baluz shews, [those last words] were rased out of the Manuscript. and by otherBertramus, or Ratrannus Corbeiensis in his Book written against it, by or­der of Carolus Calvus, and transcribed in great part into our Saxon Homily. Which Book is mentioned as his, by the nameless writer in defence of Paschasius, and by Sigebert, de Script. Eccl. c. 96. Iohannes Scotus, Professor at Oxford in King Alfrid's time, in his Book against it, that was burnt 200 years after, when this Innovation had pre­vailed. But none of these Books were censured in that Age when they were written. of the learnedst men that lived eight or nine hundred years after Christ. We find at that time, and for two hundred years after, it was a rude lump,Anno 1059. The Pope and his Roman Council put these words into the mouth of Berengar, that not the Sacrament, but the very body of Christ is broken and ground by the Teeth of the Faithful. Which, the Glosse there saith, was a greater Heresie then Berengar's, unless their words be taken in a sound sense, that is, otherwise than they signifie. Decr. de Consecr. dist. 2. c. 42. Ego Berengarius. which askt much lick­ing [Page 26] over to perfect itAbout the year 1150 the Master of the Sentences l. 4. dist. 11. saith, Whether the change be Formal, or Substantial, or of some other kind, I am not able to define. Only I know it is not Formal. But Anno 1215. Pope In­nocet defined it to be, of no other kind but Substantial. Conc. Lateran. IV. c. 1.. And then having both Shape and a Name, it was defined to be of Faith by Pope Innocent in his Lateran-Council, above twelve hundred years after Christ.

For Confession to a Priest, the necessity of it was unknown to the Fathers of the Primitive Of se­cret sins no Confession is necessary, but to God only. Chrysost. Edit. Savil. Tom. I. p. 708. 11. IV. p. 589. 40. V. p. 258. 6. &. p. 262. 44. Church. Nay, above a thousand years af­ter Christ, it was held disputable in the Roman Gratian. Decret. de Poenit. Dist. 1. c. 89. Quibus Autoritatibus, having brought Arguments for and against it, thus Concludes, Which side is in the right, I leave the Reader to judge, for on both sides there are wise and Religious men. The Master of the Sentences lib. 4. dist. 17. Though himself was for Con­fession, yet saith, Learned men differ about it, for so the Doctors seem to vary and deliver things near contrary to one another about it. So that yet it was disputa­ble in those times. Church. And though the Practice of it was imposed by Pope Innocent, in his Council of Late­ran Conc. Lateran. IV. Can. 21.; yet even then it remained disputableGloss. in Decr. de poenit. Dist, 1. c. 37. Allii è contr. saith. Here fol­low Allegations, to prove that one of Age is not forgiven sin without Confession. Which is false. [Page 27] as to the Doctrine, till it was made to be of Faith by the Trent CouncilConc. Trident. Sess. 14. Can. 6, 7, 8. After which, in the Roman Edition of the Canon Law, there were notes put upon those places above-mentioned. Where Gratian doubted whether Confession were necessary, they say, It is most certain, and to be held for most certain, that Confession is necessary. And where Semeca had said, It is false, they say, Nay it is most true..

For their Doctrine of Image-Worship, than which nothing can be more contrary to the Scriptures, as they were understood by the Pri­mitive The Se­cond Com­mandment which for­bids bowing down defore any Image or Likeness, though it does not ap­pear in the Roman Decalogue, was held by the Fathers to be a Law of Perpe­tual Obligation. So Irenaeus adv. Heres. l. II. c. 6. & l. IV. c. 31. Clemens Alex. Admon. ad Gentes Edit. Leyd. 1616. p. 31. 12. Strom. V. Ib. p. 408. 22. Tertull. de Idololatria c. 4. p. 105. D. Idem. adv. Marcion. l. II. c. 22. p. 470. A. B. Idem. in Scorpiac. c. 2. p. 617. C. D. Cyprian. de Exhort. Mart. p. 283. Idem. in Testim. ad Quirinum l. III. c. 59. p. 345. Augustin. Epist. 119. c. 11. Tom. II. col. 569. A. Fathers; we know it was establi­shed by the second Nicen The English, and French, and Germans of that Age, called it Pseudosyno­dum, the Mock-Synod, of Nice; or rather of Constantinople, because it began and ended in that City. Concil. Edit. Labb. Tom. VII. p. 37. D. & 592. B. Hincmar. Opusc. 33. c. 20. Edit. Sirmondi Tom. II. p. 457. Ado Vienn. aet. VI. Edit. Paris. 1512. fol. 181. Annal. Fuld. & V. opera Alcuini in fine. Council, and we know what a Council that was. But it was condemned in the same Age by two as nume­rous Councils; that of Constantinople Of which there is nothing left, but what is repeated out of it in the se­cond Nicen Council Act. 6. Edit. Labb. Tom. VII. col. 392. E. a lit­tle before it, and that of Frankfort Ib. col. 1057. E. imme­diately after it.

[Page 28] And the matter was held in debate all that Age, in both the EasternBaron, Anno 843. num. 16. saith, Till that year the Nicen Council had not prevai­led in the Eastern Church. and WesternWitness the Book of Charles the Great, and that of the Synod of Paris under Ludovicus Pius, and that of Agobard Bishop of Lions, against the Worship of Images as it was then in the Roman Church. Church: till at last it was setled in the East according to the Nicen Council; which they have so much out done in the Roman Church, that even the Greeks charge them withFor their Carved Images of Saints; Goar in Eucholog. p. 28. saith, The Greeks abhor Carved Images, as Idols, of which they do not stick to sing in Davids words, They have mouths and speak not. And for picturing God, the second Nicen Council condemns it, by approving the Epistle of St. Ger­man, which calleth the Image of God an Idol. Concil. Edit. Labb. Tom. VII. col. 301. E. and 304. A. Ido­latry; And they are not wholy excused from it by manyLud. Vives in his notes on Aug. de Civitate Dei l. VIII. c. 27. Tom. V. col. 494. B. saith, In many Catholics, I do not see what difference there is between their opinion of the Saints, and the Heathens opinion of their Gods. Polydor. Virg. de Invent. l. VI. c. 13. saith, Men are come to that pitch of madness, that this part of Piety differeth little from Impiety. For very many—trust more in their Images, then in Christ or the Saints, to whom they are dedicated. The like complaints have many other of their Writers. Bellarmin de cultu Imag. II. 22. Edit. Venet. Tom. 1599: II. col. 836. E. saith, That they who hold that some Images are to be worshipped with Latria, are forced to use most subtle distinctions, which they themselves scarce understand, much less the ignorant People. And yet this, which he so censures, is the constant judgment of Divines, and seems to be the meaning of the Council of Trent, saith Azorius, Institut. Moral. l. 9. c. 6. of their own Communion.

[Page 29] For their Doctrin of Purgatory, it doth not appear that any one of the Ancients hit upon it, among all the different OpinionsSome held, that all go imme­diately after Death, to Heaven or Hell. Others, that none go to either, but that all are kept in secret Receptacles till the ge­neral Resur­rection. Some, that the Mar­tyrs go to Heaven, and the Damned Souls to Hell; but all the rest are kept there in expectation and suspense till the Day of Iudgment. Some held, that there shall be a first Resurrection of the Righteous; of whom some shall rise sooner, some later, in the thousand years of Christs Reign upon Earth. And that the de­lay of that Resurrection shall be the Punishment of their Sins. Others held, that their sins shall be purged away by that fire that shall burn the World at the last Day. And that they shall burn a longer or less while, and with more or less pain, according to the Degrees of their sins. All the Fathers were of some or other of these Opinions, which are all inconsistent with the Roman Doctrine of Purgatory. that they had concerning separated Souls, till St. Austins time; and yet then, we are as sure it was no Catholic Tradition,Aúg. de Fide & Operibus, c. 15. Tom. IV. p. 69. E. saith, Some think men that die in sin may be purged with Fire, and then be saved, holding the Foundation. For so they understand that Text. 1 Cor. iii. 13. They shall be saved as by Fire. So Enchirid. ad Laurent. c. 67 [...]. Tom. III. p. 175. C. Ibid. de Fide & Operibus p. 71. B. He saith. that this is one of those places which St. Peter saith are hard to be understood, which men ought not to wrest to their own Destruction. Ibid. c. 16. p. 73. B. He saith, for his own part, he understandeth that Text to be meant of the Fire of Tribulation in this life. So Enchir. ad Laur. Ib. c. 68. But for the Doctrine, he saith, that some such thing may be, is not Incredible: and whether it be so, it may be enquired; and it may be found, or it may not. So Enchir. ad Laur. c. 69. p. 176. D. All these Texts he repeats again, in his answer to the first of the eight Questions of Dul [...]itius. De Civitate Dei l. XXI. c. 26. Tom. V. p. 1315. B. He again delivereth the same meaning of that Text. And as to the Doctrin, he saith, I do not find fault with it, for Perhaps it is true. Ibid. p. 1316. B. I suppose St. Austin would not have said this of the Do­ctrine of Christs Incarnation. as we can be of any thing of that Age. After near two hundred years more, it was believed by one of great Name:Pope Gregory. I. in his Dialogues, where, among many idle tales, he hath some that are palpably false, andd such as bewray both his Ingo­rance and Credulity together. For Example, that of St. Paulins being a Slave in Afric till the Death of the King of the Vandals, who could be no o­ther than Genseric, that out-lived St. Paulin five and forty years. And yet Gregory saith, I heard this, from our Elders, and this I do as firmly believe as if I had seen it with my own Eyes. lib. 1. Praef. &c. 1. from whose fabulous wri­tings Bishop Fisher against Luthers Assert. Art. 18. p. 132. saith, it was a good while unknown, and then it was believed by some, pedetentim by little and little, and so at last it came to be generally received by the Church. it got Credit; And so crept by De­grees Platina (who then lived,) in the life of Eugenius IV. Edit. Colon. 1593. p. 310. saith, After many meetings, and much contention about it, the Greeks at last being overcome with reasons did believe there was a place of Pur­gatory. But he adds, that not long after they returned to what they held before. And in the life of Nicolas V. p. 323, 324. he saith, that he would fain have reduced them to the Catholic Faith, but he could not. Bishop Fisher ubi supra, saith, There is none, or very seldom mention of it among the Ancients; and it is not believed by the Greeks to this day. Alphonsus de Ca­stro adv. Haeres. l. 8. Tit. Indulg. hath the same words. and l. 12. Tit. Purgatorium, saith That this is one of the most known Errors of the Greeks and Armenians. Bzov. contin. Baron. Anno 1514. n. 19. saith, The Mus­covites and Russians believe no Purgatory. Most of these believe a middle State, as those Ancients did; but that will not stand with this Doctrin.into the Faith of the Roman Church. But it is received by no other Christians.

[Page 30] [Page 31] For their Doctrin of Indulgences, It is so confessedlyFor the Age of it, scarce any go higher than the Stations of Pope Grego­ry. I. Who lived about the year Six hundred, And to fetch it from those Times, they have no antienter Au­thor than Thomas Aquinas. (for neither Gratian, nor Peter Lombard, have so much as one word of this matter.) So Cardinal Cajetan Opusc. Tom. I. tract. 15. c. 1. saith, This only has been written within these three hundred years, as concerning the Antient Fathers, that Pope Gregory instituted the Indul­gences of Stations, as Aquinas hath it. So likewise Bishop Fisher, and Al­phonsus a Castro, both ubi Supra. Cardinal Bellarmin de Indulg. l. 3. of­fers some kind of proof from Elder Times, in such a manner, as if he would not oblige us to believe it. But for the Instance of Pope Gregory I. he saith, we are Impudent if we deny it. But with Bellarmins leave, a French Ora­toire, Morinus de Poenit. l. 10. [...]. 20. does deny it; and convicts this, and all his other Proofs of Indulgences before Gregory. VII. to be nothing but Forgery and Imposture. It seems probable indeed, that Gregory VII. (commonly known by his former name, Hildebrand,) was the first that granted any Indulgences; and that was above a thousand years after Christ. Cardinal Tolet. casuum l. VII. c. 21. 1. saith, that Paschal II. was the first that granted Indulgences for the Dead. That must be about the year eleven hundred. And Ibid. lib. VI. c. 24. 3. he saith, that the first that granted Plenary Indulgences, was Pope Boniface VIII. who lived about the year thirteen hundred. So antient is this new Catholic Faith. new, It was at first so illThe Ground of this Faith, according to Bellarmin de Indulg. l. 2, 3. is made up of a number of School Opinions put together; about which Opinions (as he there saith) the School-men have differed among them­selves. But all his comfort is, that they that did not hold his way, were ready to acquiess in the Iudgment of the Church, if she held otherwise. He might as well have said, that the Church, when they lived, was so far from having declared her Judgment of this Doctrine; that she had not yet declared her sense of those Opinions, which were to be the Ground of it in after-times. grounded, and soThe design of Hilde [...]ands Indulgences was to engage men to fight in his quarrel, and to do other Services to the Papacy. Greg. VII. Epist. II. 54. and VI. 10, 15. and VII. 13. and VIII. 6. The design of Pope Bo­niface, in his farther Improvement of this Invention, was to get Mony. Chron. Citiz. Anno 1289. He was greedy of Mony, and to gather it, he sent his Legates into divers parts of the world, to trade with Indulgences. And with these, he raised very great sums, enough to have maintained a Holy War. But what became of it, we shall know at Doomsday. wickedly designed, that God seemed to have suffered them to run on into this, to shew the World (as afterward he did,) by this Example, what Stuff the Lusts of men left to themselves, would bring into the Christian Religion.

[Page 32] It were easie to shew the like in all their new Articles of Faith. Most of them I shall consider as they come under the other Heads of my Discourse. The mean while these may pass for a sample of the rest. They all sprung up in late corrupt Times, and went at first as Private Opinions only; but being found to make well for the InterestsTran­substantiati­on, for the Honour of the Clergy; Confession for their Power and Authority; Image Worship, to bring in Oblations to the Church; Purgatory, for the Profit of Masses to the Lower Clergy; In­dulgences, for the Profit of the Superior; Plenary Indulgences, for the Popes own Coffers. of the Clergy, they were concerned to bring them in credit with the People. And they took a way for it that could not fail in such an Age, by forging [Page 33] New RevelationsFor Tran­substantiati­on, the first that wrote was Paschas. Rathertus a­bout the year 820. And he tells us of sundry Per­sons, that had seen, in­stead of the Host, one a Lamb, ano­ther a Child, another flesh and blood. Paschas. de corp. & sang. Dom. c. 14. And after the year 1200, when it was defined to be of Faith; Caesarius of Heisterbach wrote a whole Volume, of Miracles that were wrought in that Age to con­firm the Truth of it, more in number than are Recorded in Scripture to con­firm the whole Divine Revelation. For Auricular Confession. Bellarmin produces sundry Revelations and Mira­cles, by which he saith God witnest that the Churches Faith concerning it was true, de Poenit. l. III. c. 12. Quarta. Among the rest, he hath that of St. Francis, who raised one from the Dead to be Confessed, which I take to be no less than the fetching of Trajans Soul from Hell, according to their Doctrine. For Image-Worship, the Fathers in that second Nicene Council set it up in con­templation of the Miracles that were wrought by the Images, Concil. Edit. Labb. Tom. VII. p. 252. C. So Bellarmin de Imagin Sanct. l. II. c. 12. Mira­cula; saith, The Miracles which were done by the Images, were therefore done, that they might prove and establish the Doctrin of Images. For Purgatory. Pope Gregory in his before-mentioned Dialogues l. IV. c. 55. &c. declares upon what ground it was that he believed it; namely, from the Rela­tion of the poor Souls themselves, that were confined to the Hot Baths, and kept there at hard work, Swelterd as Tenders use to be: From which miserable Bondage they were redeemed by Prayers and Masses, as he tells us. So Bishop Fisher ubi Supra p. 132. saith, Purgatory was found out, partly by Re­velations and partly by Scriptures; but Scriptures, he confesseth, so understood as they never were in former times. And for Indulgences, he tells us, that they came not in use till after men had quaked a while at the flames of Purgatory, The belief of that Doctrine fitted men for this. And yet this had Miracles to support it. So Lintur. App. ad Fascic. temp. Anno 1489. tells, how at Friburg one Devil in the Shape of a Dog helpt one to rob the Pope of all the Mony that his Factors had taken in that City, for which the Thief, having confessed it, was put to a m [...]st direful death. and Miracles. when by these means, worthy of their Doctrines, they had brought them into the Christian Faith; then beside the Interest that first brought them in, there was another reason to continue them. It was necessary for the Credit of the Infallibility of the Roman Church. Touch that, and you shake the whole building of Popery, even to the Foundation, thatBellarmin de Romano Pontifice, Praef. saith, When we speak of the Popes Power, we speak of the Sum of Christianity. is, the Papacy it self. To secure that, they are brought under this misera­ble necessity, of holding all for Catholic Faith, that is once received in the Roman Church. Whatsoever she bringeth forth, must be fa­thered on the Apostles, though there is not the least Colour for it in their Writings.

[Page 34] But to shew how little trust they have in the Apostles writings, there needs no other instance than this, that their Church hath forbidRule 4th. of the Index made by or­der of the Council of Trent, that Whosoever shall presumè to read, or have a Bible, though of a Catholic Translation, without a Faculty in writing from his Bishop; such a one cannot receive Absolution, till he has delivered up his Bible to the Ordinary. For fear this should not be enough, Pope Cle­ment VIII. has added this Note, that by command and practice of the Holy In­ [...]isition, no Bishop has power to grant any such Faculty to read or keep a Bible any vulgar tongue. her Laity to read them, and hath taken a course that if they read they cannot well understand them. The Scripture was writ by the Apo­stles in the most vulgar language of their times, the Greek, which was the mother tongue of [Page 35] most, and well known in allCicero pro Archia, Edit. Grut. l. 292. 17. Countrys where the Scripture was written. And they writ it for every one to read, as it appears in plain wordsSt. Iohn saith at the end of the Gospel; These things are written, that ye might believe, and that believing ye might have Life. St. Paul directs his Epistles to all in general; Rom. i. 7. To All that be in Rome, beloved of God. &c. 1 Cor. i. 2. To the Church of God at Corinth, with All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ 2 Cor. i. 1. To the Church at Corinth with All the Saints which are in all Achaia. So in other Epistles. in their writings. And the Ancient Fathers requiredChrysost. in Gen. Serm. 29. Tom. I. p. 225. 10. I beseech you to at­tend with diligence to the reading of the Scriptures: and that not only while you are here, but also at home; to take the Bible in your hands, and receive the profit of it with care. Lin. 22. Let us not, I beseech you, neglect so great a profit; but also in our houses, let us diligently attend the reading of Scriptures. Lin. 36. That we may not only have enough for our selves; but be able to help others, and instruct wife and children and neighbours, &c. Id. in Joh. Serm. 53. Tom. II. p. 776. 27. I beseech you, get Bibles. Id. in his Sermon of the profit of reading Scripture. Tom. VIII. p. 112. 43. Let us apply our selves to reading, not only these two hours, for this bare hearing is not enough to secure us; but continually, let every one, when he is come home, take his Bible, and go over the sense of those things that have been said. For the tree that was planted by the waters, was by the waters, not two or three hours, but all day and all night; therefore it bringeth forth leaves and fruit, &c. So he that is continually reading the Scriptures, though he have none to interpret, yet by continual reading he draws much profit. Id. de Lazaro Serm. 3. Tom. V. p. 242. 30. This I alway beseech, and will never leave beseeching you; that you would not only attend to what is said in this place, but also that when you are at home, you would continually be reading the Scriptures. This also at all times I have not ceased to beg of them with whom I speak in private. all men to read it, all the Laity, even theChrys. in Coloss. Serm. 9. Tom. IV. p. 136. 18. On these words, of the Apostle, Let the word of God dwell in you richly; Hear you people of the world, you that have charge of wife and children, how he exhorts you more than others to read the Scriptures; and that not slightly, or any how, but with much diligence. Again, p. 137. 2. Hear, I beseech you, all you that work for your living, and get your selves Bibles for the cure of your souls. Lin. 7. This is the cause of All evils, that men do not know the Scriptures. Lin. 9. Do not throw all upon Vs [of the Clergy] You are Sheep; but not brutes, but rational creatures. meanest of the Laity; they Condemned the neglect of it; they Id. de Lazaro Serm. 3. Tom. V. p. 244. 43. Take the Bible in your hands, Read all the History; Hold fast the known things. For the dark and unknown, go often over them; and if thou canst not by continual reading find out what is said, Go to thy teacher; If he shall not teach thee, God will, seeing thy dili­gence, &c. commended them that read it day and night. There is nothing more frequent in the writings of the Ancient Fathers.

[Page 36] Yet now it is found out that the Laity may hurt themselves with reading it. How so? It will make them Hereitics. One would little expect it, that had read what the FathersChrysost. de Lazaro. S. 3. Tom. V. p. 245. 18. The reading of Scripture is a great security against sin. The ignorance of Scripture is a great precipice, and a deep pit. It is a great Betraying of our Salvation to know nothing of the Laws of God. It is this, that hath brough forth Heresies; this that has brought in corrupt life; this hath turnd things upside down. For it is impossible, I say it is impossible for any one to depart without fruit that enjoys reading continually with observation. [Page 37] say of this matter. But now it is Heresie to disbelieve the Roman Church. And, no doubt, to read the ScriptureBellarm. de verbo dei II. 15. Quid quod. The people would not only re­ceive no bene­fit, but would also receive hurt by the Scriptures, &c. Peter Sutor tralat, Bibliae, c. 22. fol. 96. Will not the people be drawn away easily from observing the Churches Institutions, when they shall find that they are not conteind in the Law of Christ? will bring men to this. But whose fault is it? Surely theirs, that instead of reforming their Church, have rather chosen to silence the Scriptures. Which being done in favour of their Doctrines, it appears that they themselves, (I mean the governours of their Church) have been sensible that some at least of their Doctrines are not the Do­ctrines of the Apostles.

In the next place for the Apostles Fellowship, which I have interpreted to be Union under lawful Pastors and Governors; They can by no means allow this Character to our Church, or to any that submits not to their Universal Pastor. Which title they appropriate to the Bishop of Rome; and him they swear, in their forementioned profession of Faith, to be the Vicar of Christ, and the successor of St. Peter the Apostle. And to shew how far they dare [Page 38] go againstLuke xxiv. 47. Gal. iv. 26. The second General Council called the Church of Ierusalem the mother of all Churches, Theodorit. Eccl. Hist. V. 9. Edit. Vales. p. 211. D. evidence, they swear also, that his Roman Church is not only Mistress, but also the Mother of all Churches.

Not to say in how many things, he that will be Supream Pastor, invades the just rights of other Pastors, who are all, in the judgment of Primitive times, the Successors of the Apostles of Christ; Or how little he hath to shew for his claim to a succession in that Power from St. Peter, either in Scripture Story, or in the writings of the PrimitiveConside­rations a­gainst Pope­ry. p. 81, 82, &c. Church: I shall only desire you to consider these beginnings of Christianity in my Text. When the whole Church was comprehended in three or four thousand believers, and they were all together with the Apostles at this time in Ierusalem; It is certain that then there was no Bishop, nor no Christian, at Rome. So that then for the Bi­shop or Church of Rome to be any thing, which they swear they are, in those Articles of their Faith, was surely no part of the Apostles Do­ctrine.

Nor did the Fellowship of the Apostles con­sist in subjection to St. Peter. Though he was [Page 39] the firstMat. x. 2. in Order, yet that he had Authority over the rest, there is no ground to assert: There is much evidence against it, as I have shewn from sundry places of Scripture.

Nor granting this to St. Peter, (which they can never prove,) can they bring down a title from him to the Roman Bishop. He hath a better pretence to succeed the Roman Emperors, D [...]m. a S [...]to in Sent. IV. dist. 46. q. 1. art. [...]. Though [Da­niels fourth Monarchy, that is,] the Civil Empire of the Ro­mans, hath now ceased; yet the world is not at an end, because that Tempo­ral Empire hath been changed into a Spiritual, as Pope Leo saith in his Sermon of the Apostles. in Monarchy, than he hath to succeed any of the Apostles. And indeed that was the design, as they know that are skild in the wri­ters of antient times. Rome seemed a place designd for Empire; and when the Emperors faild, then the Bishops set up inWhat the Popes would have had, it may appear by their forging a donation from Constantin; in which they make him give them his Crown and Scepter, together with the City of Rome, and all the Western Provin­ces, Places and Cities. And that he might leave the Pope in possession, they make him remove into the East, and there build a new Seat for his Em­pire; reserving only the honor to put on the Popes Crown and hold his stirrup, to himself and his Successors. Concil. Edit. Merlini 1530. fol. 58. A. B. This donation was a part of the Acts of S. Sylvester, which were forged in the eighth Century; and that probably by Pope Adrian I. for he first quoted them. And he may justly be suspected to be the Author of that body of Law, which, under the name of St. Isidors Collection, was ge­nerally received within a hundred years after; and which obtains to this day in the Roman Church, though the learned men among them are convinced and own that it is an errant heap of Corruption and Forgery. their stead. What the Emperors could not hold by Arms, the Bishops would fetch in by Religion. And so they obtrude upon all Christians, in truth, a Secular Monarchy, instead of that which my Text calls the Fellowship of the Apostles.

[Page 40] Thirdly, for the two Sacraments of the Apo­stles, they tell us of seven, which were insti­tuted by our Lord Iesus Christ. In this Chap­ter we read of Baptism p. 41. and we read of breaking of Bread in my Text. Here are two; but where are the other five? They were not thought of at that time, for ought that appears to us in Scripture.1 Cor. x. 2, 3, 4. and xii. 13. S. Paul men­tions only Baptism and the Lords Supper. Nay it doth not ap­pear in a thousand years after. It was eleven hun­dred years after, when Peter Lombard wrote his Book of the Sentences, before which they can­not find the least mentionBellarm. de Sacram. II. Cap. 24. endeavours to shew that each of the five has been called a Sacrament by one or other of the Fathers; (and the like he might have shewn of twenty things more.) But he could not produce one Father, that either said there were seven Sacraments of Christs Instituting; or that spoke of all these as being such, or of so many as would make up that Number. Only he says Cap. 25. The Master of the Sentences, and all Divines since his time▪ have delivered that there are seven Sacraments; And adds, if this be false, the whole Church for four hundred years must have erred most perniciously. He might have said the whole Roman Church, and we should not much have differed about it. of that number of Sacraments.

[Page 41] But to speak of no more than that menti­oned in my Text. Where is the breaking of bread? As they receive it in the Roman Church, there is neither breaking nor bread The in­vention of the Wafer came in after the Doctrin of Transub­stantiation. Cassandri Liturgic. c. 27. It was then of use. For the Sen­ses have less to do about a Wafer than about Bread. in their Sacrament. Where is the Communion1 Cor. x. 16.of Christs Body and Blood? Their daily Worship is the Mass. But their Mass is no Communion Verse xvii. For we being many are one bread and one body, For we are all partakers, &c. If that be a good reason; then they which are not partakers, have not that Communion. So tis inferred by the twelfth Council of Toledo Can. 5. That they who do not eat are not partakers of the Altar. Concil. Ed. Lab. Tom. VI. 1230. B.. The Priest only Consecrates and eats, while all the people stand by and adore. Was there ever such a thing heard of in the PrimitiveJustin M. Apol. 11. p. 97. E. They give to Every one that is present to re­ceive of that which is Consecrated. So. p. 98. E. The giving and receiving of the Consecrated things is to Every one. Apost. Constit. VIII. 13. Concil. Ed. Labb. Tom. I. 483. E. The Bishop receives, and then the Priests, &c. and then All the people in order. Again, 485. A. Let the thirty third Psalm be said while all the rest are receiving, and when all the men and all the women have received, Let the Deacons take what is left, &c. The same may be observed in all the Antient Liturgies. Chrysost. in Ephes. Serm. 3. Tom. III. 778. 26. Ye hear Proclamation made, As many as are in Penance be gone. As many as do not Receive are in Penance. Ib. p. 779. 3. How is it that you tarry, and do not partake of the Table? You are Vnworthy, you say; then you are so of Communi [...]n in Prayer. Your Eyes are unworthy of these sights, and your Ears are unworthy, &c. Ib. Line 13. It is no more lawful for you to be here, than for one that is not Christned. times? In those times, none were suffered to be present but onlyJustin M. Apol. 11. p. 97. E. They give to Every one that is present to re­ceive of that which is Consecrated. So. p. 98. E. The giving and receiving of the Consecrated things is to Every one. Apost. Constit. VIII. 13. Concil. Ed. Labb. Tom. I. 483. E. The Bishop receives, and then the Priests, &c. and then All the people in order. Again, 485. A. Let the thirty third Psalm be said while all the rest are receiving, and when all the men and all the women have received, Let the Deacons take what is left, &c. The same may be observed in all the Antient Liturgies. Chrysost. in Ephes. Serm. 3. Tom. III. 778. 26. Ye hear Proclamation made, As many as are in Penance be gone. As many as do not Receive are in Penance. Ib. p. 779. 3. How is it that you tarry, and do not partake of the Table? You are Vnworthy, you say; then you are so of Communi [...]n in Prayer. Your Eyes are unworthy of these sights, and your Ears are unworthy, &c. Ib. Line 13. It is no more lawful for you to be here, than for one that is not Christned. such as received. And if any were present, they were punishableApostol. Can. 9. Repeted and explained by the Council of Antioch, Can. 2. Concil. Edit. Labb. Tom. II. p. 561. D. That all that come to Church, and hear the Holy Scriptures; but do not join in Prayer with the People, or decline the Receiving of the Eucharist, therein doing disorderly; these must be cast out of the Church by Excommunication. Greg. I. Dialog. II. c. 23. At Mass according to the Custom, the Deacon cried. If any one do not Receive, let him give place. Gratian. Decret. de Consecr. dist. 1. c. 59. And more at large, Dist. 2. c. 10. Peracta. After the Consecration, let all Receive that will not be put out of the Church. For so it was Ordained by the Apostles, and is held by the Holy Ro­man Church. On which words the Gloss tells us; Thus it was Antiently, but now every one is left to do as he pleases. if they did not receive. What could they have thought of such a Sacrament as is now the daily WorshipBellarm. de Missa. II. c. 9. Tertia, saith We read no where expresly that the Antients offered the Sacrifice without the Communion of some one or more beside the Priest. Yet we may easily gather it by Conjectures. His first Conjecture is from a Canon of the Council of Nantes, which is not to be found but in Ivo after the year 1100. His second is from that Canon which teaches plainly the contrary, and which therefore I quoted in Note (c) The rest are such weak colors for the justifying of this practice, that he might better have only gone about to excuse it, as he does Cap. 10. Septima, by saying, That new oftentimes the Priest alone eats the Sacrifice▪ It is no fault of the Priests, or the nature of the Sacrifice, but the negligence of the People. But he seems to have forgot that at some Masses the Church does not require the presence of the People. of the Roman Church?

[Page 42] [Page 43] Sure enough in the Apostles Church, as oft as they met to Worship God, they All did eat of that one bread. 1 Cor. x. 17. And they All were made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Cor. xii. 13.

And whereas of this last, our Saviour ha­ving said to his Disciples, who were then Lay­men, Drink ye Matth. xxvi. 27. all of it; St. Mark takes particular notice,Mar. xiv. 23. that they all drank of it; which practice (we see) was followed in the Apostolic1 Cor. x. 21. Ye—drink the Cup of the Lord; and xi. 26, 27, 28. Ye eat this bread and drink this Cup; and 12, 13. We have been all made to drink. So Justin M. Apol. 2. p. 97. E. and 98. E. declares the manner of those times, that every one of the people that were present at the Sacrament did receive it in both kinds. Church: The Roman It appears that this manner was continued in following Ages, it does not appear that it was changed in any Church, till that Doctrine came in which requires men to disbelieve their Senses. This being hard to do in that part of the Sacrament, the Cup was taken away by degrees in these Western Churches. The first that writ for this use, (as far as I can find) was Gislebertus, that lived about the year eleven hundred. Aquinas, that lived about one hundred and fifty years after, says that then this new manner was providently ob­served in some Churches. Summ. Part. III. q. 80. art. 12. in Corp. After one hundred and fifty years more was the Council of Constance, which enjoin'd it to all; and that with a bold non obstante to all that Christ had said or done to the contrary. For thus the Decree. Sess. 13. Concil. Ed. Labb. Tom. XII. 100. B, C. Though Christ administred this Sacrament to his Disci­ples in both kinds, of bread and wine; yet Notwithstanding this,—the ap­proved Custom of the Church is otherwise.—And though in the Primitive Church this Sacrament was then received by the faithful in both kinds; Yet this Custom was brought up with good reason; for the avoiding of some Perils and Scandals, &c. It seems they were such as Christ did not foresee, or the Antient Church did not find, for otherwise this had not been then to do. Church will let her Laity drink none of it. None of the Cup of blessing which we bless; But the Cup of Unblessed Wine, the Ablution as they call it: A trick which they brought up in those corrupt ignorant times, I know not why, if not on purpose to deceive the people, that they may not miss the Wine, though they have none of the Blessing. So far they are removed from the Original Church in her Sacraments.

[Page 44] Lastly, for the Worship of God, here cal­led the Apostles Prayers, There are many things in the Roman Church, whereof some were forbidden by the Apostles, and others can­not consist with their Doctrine.

The chief part of her Worship is the Sa­crifice of the Mass; and that is declared, in the Creed before-mentioned, to be a true proper propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and the dead.

This horrible affront of Christs Sacrifice,It makes the Sacrifice of Christ as much lower in value, as it is oftener offered than the Levitical Sacrifices. For the reason of their being often offered was because of their insufficiency to take away sin. Heb. x. 11. Had Christs Sacrifice been like theirs, he must often have suffered, Heb. ix. 25, 26. He must have oftentimes offered the same Sa­crifice, Heb. x. 11. As they say he doth at every Mass in the Roman Church. But this he needed not; Christs Once was enough. Heb. vii. 27. and ix. 12, 26, 28. and x. 10. He offered one Sacrifice for sin for ever. Heb. x. 12. and by that one of­fering he hath perfected for ever them that are Sanctified, V. 14. So that there is no more offering for sin, V. 18. No more true proper propitiatory Sacrifice. [Page 45] and abuse of his SacramentThe Sa­crament of the Lords Supper was Ordained, for the re­membrance and repre­sentation of the propitia­tory Sacri­fice of Christ, to be offered or made by every believer. He takes, eats, drinks; he Does this, in remembrance of Christ. Luk. xxii. 19. and so doing he sheweth forth the death of Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 26. and applieth to himself Christs body broken and his blood shed for us. There goes with it an Eucha­ristical Sacrifice, that is, before the Sacrament an Oblation solemnly presented to God: in, and after it, a Spiritual Sacrifice of Prayer and Thanksgiving, an offering of our selves souls and bodies. For this every Christian is a Priest 1 Pet. ii. 5. The manner of it is thus described in the old Roman Missal set forth by Pamelius. After the reading of the Gospel, the Offertory is sung, and the Oblations are offered by the people: out of which, Bread and Wine are set upon the Altar to be Consecrated; and the Prayer is said over the Oblati­ons. After this the Priest began the Canon of the Mass, and said the Com­memoration in these words, Remember Lord, all here present, who offer to thee this Sacrifice of praise, for themselves and all theirs. Menardi Sacr. Gregor. p. 2. In those times men saw the Oblations to which those words did re­fer. But afterward when there was no more such offering, and no more breaking of Bread, but a Wafer to be offered by the Priest for the People, then the Antient form was improper, and therefore they altered it thus. Remember Lord all here present, for whom We offer to thee, &c. So it stands now in the Roman Missal. Where all the other Prayers, which were designed for the Eucharist, are misapplied to the new Propitiatory Sacrifice. And yet still they continue these following words of the Prayer after the Diptychs; through our Lord Jesus Christ, By whom thou O Lord Createst all these things always good, &c. and givest them to us. This they say over the Wafer and Wine after Consecration. Of the Creatures of Bread and Wine, See the end of Page 47. together, was brought in upon the back of that Doctrine of the Corporeal Presence. When, accord­ing to that Doctrine, the Priest hath made Christ; Next he is to kill him, or do somthing as bad; for they pretend toBell. de Missà. Lib. l. Cap 2. Secundò. saith, All things whatsoever that are called Sacrifices in Scripture were of necessity to be destroyed: and that by Killing them, if they were living things; if without life, by Burning them, &c. sacrifice him to God.

[Page 46] How this is done, the Divines of that ChurchBell. de Missà. Lib. I. Cap. 27. the whole Chap­ter. Whether by [...], &c. are not yet agreed. It were well if, at least, they could tell Why they do it. For they had need, for such a Sacrifice, to have a clear Institution from God. But they cannot pretend to that. There is nothing clearly for it in all the Texts that they bring out of Scripture. This they were told aloud at the Council of Trent 1562. Jul. 24. Pa­dre Pa [...]l [...]saith Atai [...]e▪ Cardinal Palavicino saith F [...]rer [...] shewed, that the Sacrifice of the Mass cannot be pr [...]ved from Scripture a­lone, without Tradition: particularly, that it cannot be pr [...]ved from Christ, words at the last Supper▪ but by the uniform exposition of the Fathers. He adds, that They did not so understand it, as if their sense were of Faith. The truth is, the Ancient Fathers did not so understand our Saviours words, nor perhaps did many of the Trent Fathers themselves. For when the questi­on was put, whether Christ at the last Supper offered himself for a Propitia­tory Sacrifice; it held both the Divines and Bishops in long Dispute, saith Card. Pallavicino. XVII. 13. 11, &c. It was alledged on the one hand, that if that at the last Supper was a true Propitiatory Sacrifice, then that upon the Cross could be only in remembrance of this: and on the other hand, if it was not such a Sacrifice, then there was no such Sacrifice Instituted by Christ; for the words of Institution, Hoc Facite, could refer to nothing else but to what was done then and there. (I have shewed that they refer to those words, Take, Eat, Drink; and were spoken to the Disciples, as Communicants, and no otherwise.) After much time and heat, at last the Doctrine was set down in these words, that at the last Supper Christ offered himself for a Sacrifice, without saying whether Propitiatory, or Eucharistical. But nei­ther did this satisfie, saith Cardinal Pallavicino, XVIII. 9. 3.: and others since have acknowledgedSuarez in tertiam Aquin. disp. 41. art. I. Secundò potest. saith, in the New Testament there are no convincing testimonies to prove that there is a true proper Sacrifice under the Gospel. it. They pretend indeed that it is clear in the Tradition of the Fathers. But for the Fathers that received the Scripture from the Apostles, it is evidentNone before Iustin Martyr speaks of Sacrifice among Christians; un­less Clemens Remanus, in his Epist. ad Cor. §. 36. Where he calls Christ the High Priest of our offerings. But he speaks only of the Sacrifice of praise, and contrite hearts. Ibid. and §. 52. But for Iustin in his Book against Tryphon, p. 344. c. He proves that we are all a Holy Priesthood, because God accepts none but Priests: and yet all that offer the Sacrifices which Christ delivered, in the Eucharist, or blessing of Bread and Wine, are accepted of God. And whereas the Jews say that, since they have no temple, now their Prayers are their Sacrifice: So, saith he, I say; that Prayers and Thanksgivings, offered by them that are Worthy, are the Only perfect Sacrifices and acceptable to God. For Christians have learnt to offer these things Only; and that even in commemoration of that food in which there is a remembrance of the Passion of Christ. The next Father was Irenaeus, who writing adversus Haereses, Lib IV. Cap. 32. and 34. sheweth, that in the Oblation at the Eucharist those things which were offered to God according to the custom of those times were no other than his own Creatures of Bread and Wine. See the end of Page 45. And con­cludes, that our Altar is in Heaven; for thither it is that we send up our Prayers and Oblations. Which last words being taken into the Canon of the Roman Mass remain there for a Testimony against their new Doctrine. that they could not find any such thing in it. Nor could any of themEuseb. demonstr. Evang. Lib. I. Cap. 10. Edit. Paris. 1628. p. 38. C. Christ offered to God that eminent Sacrifice for the Salvation of us all, and deli­vered to us a memorial to offer to God Continually instead of a Sacrifice. A­gain p. 39. A. We are taught to celebrate the memorial of that Sacrifice [of Christ] on a Table by the Symbols of his body and blood, He goes on thus to the end of that Chapter. Austin Epist. 23. Tom. II. p. 93. B. Towards Easter, we say to morrow is the Lords Passion; though it was many years ago that he suffered, and that Passion was but Once. So on Easter-day, we say, to day the Lord arose; though so many years are passed since his Resurrection. Why is no man such a fo [...]l, to say we lie when we speak thus? But because we name these days upon the account of their Likeness to those days in which these things were done. Was not Christ but once Offered in Himself? and yet in the Sacrament he is Sacrificed by the People, not every Easter, but every [Communion] day; and it is no lie, if being asked one should answer that Christ is Sacrificed. Chrysost. in Hebr. S. 17. p. 523. 15. We offer not another Sacrifice, as the High Priest did [among the Jews.] but we offer always the same. Nay ra­ther we make a Remembrance of the Sacrifice. that lived in the first six hundred years. Nay they were to seek for it that lived above a thousand years after the Apostles times.Pet. Lombard Sent. Lib. IV. dist. 12. Puts the question, Whether that which the Priest doth, is called properly a Sacrifice? He answers, that which is Offered and Consecrated by the Priest, is called a Sacrifice and Oblattion; because it is a Remembrance and Representation of the True Sacrifice on the Cross. Gratian de Consecr. II. dist. 2. c. 48, 51, 53, 54. is plain for the Sacrifice, but seems to be against the True Proper Propitiat [...]ry.

[Page 47] [Page 48] Some indeed of the Antients have spoke of an unbloody Sacrifice, See Eu­seb. demonst. Evang. lib. 1. c. 10. p. 39, 40. Where he explains it also, of a Contrite heart, and of Praises and Prayers. So in his Eccles. Hist. l. x. c. 4. p. 386. D. and life of Constantin, lib. iv. c. 45. and that offered by [Page 49] everyChrysost. in 2 Corin. v. 18. p. 647. 2. In these things there is no difference between the Priest and the Lay-man. Christian; as well without the Sa­crament as with it. But as they alway de­nied any more Bloody Sacrifice; So little did they think of an unbloody to take away sin, and that such as none could offer but the Priest. How much less, that Chirst himself must be that Sacrifice; nay, must come from heaven, both to offer, and to be offered; and that up­on such pitiful small, or needless occasions! The most common pretence, not to mention anyTo al­lay a Storm, to cure Cat­tel, &c. See the Roman Missal. worse, is to fetch a soul out of Purga­tory; Which the Priest is to do for a small piece of Silver. But they have other devices to do the same thing. Therefore why must Christ come from Heaven to earn this mony? And be sent on these errands ten thousand times a day? And every time suffer as much Conc. Triden. Sess. XXII. Cap. 2. It is one and the same Sacrifice with that which Christ offer­ed on the Cross, and differs only in the Way of offering it. as it cost him to Redeem all mankind? This horrible Mystery, unknown to former Ages, was kept for times worthy of such a dis­covery; Those dark dismal times that brought in the Grossest errors of Popery.

Other things in their Worship are new and bad Enough, though they do not come up to the Monstrousness of this: Namely, their prayer to Angels, and to Saints departed this life, and their prayer for Souls in Purgato­ry; [Page 50] which things together make up a great part of their Offices in the Roman Church.

For the first of these, Prayer to Angels; We cannot say that there was no such thing in the Apostles times. For an Apostle, by mi­stake, was like to have used it,Rev. xix. to St. [...]word [...]aith of the Angel with whom he sp [...]ke. I fell down so Wor­ship him: and [...] said to me. See thou do it not; I am thy fellow Servant. &c. Worship God. Again, Rev. xxii. S. 9. The Apo­stle was like to have committed the same Error, taking the Angel for Christ whom he represented, and in whose name he spoke; verse 13. and 16. Till he was better informed by the Angel himself. For, saith Athanasius cont. Ari­anos Orat. 3. p. 394. B. Angels know that they are, not of them that are to be Worshipped, but if them that are to Worship the Lord. The like is said by St. Au­stin de vera Relig. c. 55. Tom. l. p. 717. C. but was forbid by the Angel to whom he offered wor­ship. And another Apostle writColoss. ii. 1S. Let no man beguile you of your Reward, in a volun­tary humility,—Worshipping of Angels, intending into things he hath not [...]. Whether is was that Superstition of the Essens mentioned by I [...]sep [...]us de bell. Jud. xi 7. Or whether that of Simon Magus, serving Angels, which was accounted a sort of Idolatry, and condemned by St. Peter the Apostle, as Tertullian saith, de praefer, haeret. c. 33. p. 245. B. Chrys [...]st. in Coloss. S. 1. p. 90. 9. Saith, it was the chief design of that Epistle, to beat down the Error of them that made addresses to God by the Angels. Ibid. S. 5. p. 114. 14. He saith, it was the Devil, that put it in their heads. Ibid. S. 6. p. 123. 27. They said▪ We must come to God by his An­gels; and not [immediately] by Christ, for that is a thing too high for us. This Error, saith Theodoret in his Comment on that Text, continued long among the People of Colossae and of the adjacent Countries. And for this cause a Council met at La [...]dicet, a City about twenty miles from Colossae, made a Law against Praying to Angels. It is the 35. Canon of that Coun­cil, that no Christian so all leave the Church, and go, and name Angels; that is, call upon them in Prayer, as all the Scholiasts understand it, with Theo­doret above-mentioned. To do which thing, the Council saith, is Secret Ido­latry: a charge that so nearly touches them in the Roman Church, that, to avoid it, they have made no Conscience of turning the word Angelos into Angulos, and the Sense of the Canon into Nonsense, in their Latin Editions of that Council. purpose­ly against it as being a Superstition that some would then have brought into the Church. But those instances sufficiently shew that it could be no part of the Apostles Prayers.

[Page 51] For Prayer to Saints, as the Apostles have left no Example; so they could have none before them, according to the DoctrineThey hold that all that died before Christ were in Lim­bus Patrum till his Re­surrection; and therefore could not hear the Prayers of the Living. This is observed by Bellarm. de Sanct. Beat. l. 19. Item Exod. Who therefore, as he pretends not to bring any Text out of the New Testament, So might have spared those which he brings out of the Old Testament, to prove the Invocation of Saints in Heaven, which is the thing in Question. of the now Roman Church. Nor is there any colour for it inCard. P [...]rron Replique V. 12. Granteth, that for Prayer to Saints, there is no Precept nor any formal Example in Scripture. Scripture, nor in theIbid. V. 19. p. 871. He also granteth, that in the Authors who lived next the times of the Apostles—There is not to be found any Footstep of this. But he comforts himself, that in them there is nothing repugnant, but all fa­vourable to it. Of which see more in the next note. Tradition of the Apostles Age. There are many things in bothFor Scripture. 1 Kings viii. 39. Thou Only knowest the hearts of all men. Psal. lxv. 2. Thou that hearest Prayer, to thee shall All flesh come. Mat. iv. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him Only shalt thou serve. Christ al­so sheweth us this in his perfect Pattern of Prayer. For the Fathers of the Apostles times; See Justin Martyr before in P. 20. Note [...], i. The Church or [...] in their Epistle concerning Polycarp's death, says, It was a Calumny of the Iews, who said that we would worship him after his death. For we cannot leave Christ, nor can we worship any other. For we worship him, as being the S [...]n of God: But for the Martyrs, as being the Disciples and F [...]ll [...]wers of the Lord▪ we [...] them accordingly. Uss. Edit. p. 27. Theophilus Antioch. ad Au [...]ol. l. p. 77. A. The King will not allow any that bear Office under him to be called Kings.—So neither is it lawful for any so be worshipped▪ but God only. Tertullian Scorp. c. 4. p. 620. I am prescribed not to call any other, God;—nor so other, nor so worship, any other, in any manner whatsoever. to the contrary.

[Page 52] But after some hundreds of years; when Christianity was the Established Religion, and Heathens came by droves into the Church; It is no wonder that they who in their Gen­tilism Prayed to Deified men, more than to God, were apt to run into this Superstiti­on. They were still for a Religion that would affect the sense. And they found mat­ter for it at the Memories of the Martyrs; where from the Miracles that were wrought for the Testimony of their Faith, They took occasion to treat the Saints as before they had done their HeathenAustin Confess. Lib. 6. c. 2. Tom. I. p. 108. B. Saith, It was the Custom in Afric to bring Potages and Bread and Wine to the Monuments of the Saints. And thus his mother Monica did till St. Ambrose rebuked her for it. The like was done in other Coun­tries. It was a Custom brought in out of Heathenism. Gods, and to address themselves to them for those Tem­poral [Page 53] Austin Serm. de Sanctis 47. We expect by their Intercession to receive of the Lord Temporal benefits. It is in the R [...]an Breviary, the fourth Lesson in Commune Plu [...]im. Mart. extra temp. Pasch. benefits which they took to be con­ferred by their means.

It may seem strange that some of the Fa­thers of the Church should give countenance Some of the Fathers, as Nazian­zen, &c. used those Rhe­torical or Poetical streins, which soun­ded like formal Prayers. But they were not so intended, as appears by his cal­ling upon Saints with these Additions. If you have any sense, or if you have any care of our matters: Which plainly sheweth that he spoke in imitation of the Heathen Orators and Poets, or of the Academic Philosophers who held nothing certain concern­ing the state of departed souls. Greg. Naz. in Gorgoniam, & Stelit. 1. to this popular Error. But however they complied with the weakness of the people, in hope to promote their Zeal to Religi­on; and perhaps they might have some other HypothesesBasil and Austin have some tast of that Platonic Opinion; That souls hover about those places where their bodies or any part of them is laid. And hence they thought that the souls of the Martyrs might be present to hear and to dispatch those suits that were made at their Me­mories. Bas [...] of St. Mamas Tom. I. p. 595. D. Aug. de Cura pro mort. c. 16. Tom. IV. p. 892. B. of their own; yet they writ thingsSt. Austin de Ver [...] Religione. c. 55. Tom. 1. p. 716. C. Says he worship [...] [...] dead men [...] should be no part of our Religion. If they have [...] to be honoured for Imitation, not to be worshipped for Religion. which could not consist with this worship. And some of the FathersEpiphan. haer. [...]g. cap. 5. Neither is Elias to be worshipped, [...] among the living [...] nor is John to be worshipped;— [...] is Tecla, no [...] any [...] the Saints worshipped: and cap. 7. Though Mary was a [...] and holy, and honoured; yet not so as to be worshipped. writ directly against it. They asserted to GodGreg. Nyssen, Cont. Eunom. or. 4. Edit. Paris 1635. Tom. II. p. 146. B. We are taught to consider every Creature as being without the Di­vine Nature, and to worship and adore that Nature Only which is not Crea­ted. Aug. de Quant. Animae, c. 34. Tom. I. p. 598. C. It is Divinely and singularly delivered in the Catholic Church, that the soul is to worship no Crea­ture, but him only that is the Creator of all things. the whole duty of Worship. They own­ed no other Mediator but Christ.Aug. in Psal. lxvi. Tom. VIII. p. 661. B. He alone of them that hath w [...]rn flesh, there within the veil makes Intercession for us. Id. cont. Parmen. l. 2. c. 8. Tom. VII. p. 32. B. He who Intercedes for all, and none for him, is the only and true Mediator. This they all acknowledged to be the sense of the That this is not the sense of the now Roman Church, appears by the Index Expurgatorius, Ed. Madrit, 1667. Which on those words of Nyssen Note ( [...]) bids, strike out the word Only. p. 146. Col. 1. from the In­dex of Epiphanius, bids strike out these words, That no Creature is to be worshipped; and also those, that Saints are not to be worshipped. p. 547. Col. 1. and 2. and from the Index of St. Austin, strike out those words, that only God is to be worshipped; and also those, that Saints are to be honoured, and not worshipped. p. 56. Col. 2. and p. 57. Col. 2. We may be sure that what they dislike is not their own Doctrine. Catholic Church.

[Page 54] But the darker times grew, the more that Error prevailed. The people led their Guides, and tolled them on with worldly advantage; who repaied them with lying [Page 55] Bellarm. de Sanct. Beat. l. 19. Probatur quinto, shews how it was proved by Visions and Miracles. Wonders and Visions to confirm them in their Error. At last by PoetryBy Hymns and Antiphons. it got in­to the Offices of the Church. And yet then they had no Doctrine sufficient to bear it. A thousand yearsGratian deer. II. caus. 13. c. 2. c. 29. The Case has his sense in these words. Gratian m [...]ves the Question. Whether they that are departed this life know what is done here by the living ? and he Answereth that they do not. Lombard Sent. l. 4. c. 45. Sed forte. Puts the Question Whether Saints hear the Prayers of their Petitioners? and he answereth, that it is not Incredible that they do. This was far enough from a certainty. after Christ they were not sure that the Saints heard their Prayer, or that the SaintsConc. Trent. Sess. ult. Founds this worship on this Doctrine, That the Saints are in Heaven and reign with Christ. This is the Founda­tion of all, saith Bellarmin de Sanct. Beat. in Praef. For therefore the Souls of the Prophets and Patriarchs were not so worshipped and called upon, as we n [...]w worship and call upon the Apostles and Martyrs; because they were yet kept shut up in the infernal Prisons. Now that all deceased Christians are shut up in like manner, (the Saints not excepted,) was the Doctrine of the Old Roman Church. For thus she Prayed; Lord remember all thy Servants and All thy Handmaids, who have gone before us with the sign of Faith, and who sleep [...] the sleep of [...]eace. Grant to all that rest in Christ a place of Refreshing, and of Light and Peace, we humbly beseech thee. Liturg. Gregor. in Bibl. Patr. Gr. Lat. Tom. II. p. 129. C. Therefore also, in their Masses for any Bishop that died, they prayed thus; Grant, O Lord, that this Oblation may profit the Soul of thy servant and Bishop Such a one. Gregor. Sacram. super Oblata, Edit. Menardi. p. 227. and Edit. Pamelii. p. 38 [...]. And thus they Prayed yearly for Pope Le [...] I. on his day Iune, 28. as appears in Edit. Menardi. p. 112. and thus for Pope Gregory I. on his day, Ma [...]th 12. as appears in Edit. Pa­melii. p. 209. But in the now Roman Missal all these Prayers are changed. And great reason they should be so, when the Church has changed her Do­ctrine. For as the Gloss saith of Le [...], Antiently the Church prayed for him, but Now he prayeth for us, and so the Church Office was changed. Gregor. Decr. III. 41. 6. Tertio Loco. Therefore now the Prayer on those Saints-days is thus; Grant, Lord, that this Oblation may profit Vs by the Intercession of thy servant Le [...], or Gregory. And yet in the Office pro defunctis; and that as well for any other, as for a Bishop; the words are still, (what they used for those Saints in former times,) Grant, O Lord, that this Oblation may pr [...]it the Soul of thy Servant Such a one. And for that Prayer above-mentioned, in Canon Missae Commem. pro defunctis, they first left out those words All thy Servants and All thy Hand-maids; and Prayed thus, Lord remember Them who have gone before us, as it standeth in Ed. Pamelii. p. 182. But the word Them extending to Saints as well as others, they altered it again, Remember Lord thy Ser­vants and Hand-maids N. and N. who are gone before us. But still the end of that Prayer remains as it was, Grant All that rest in Christ a place of refreshing, and of light and peace, we humbly beseech thee. They that Made this Prayer did not believe that the Saints were already in Heaven; and therefore they knew not the Foundation of these Prayers to Saints that are now used in the Roman Church. are in Heaven, which is the very Foundation of their worship. Their very Prayers (e) taught them the con­trary. And therefore they that came after, al­tered them in some places. But yet still there is enough left in the Mass Book (f) to shew them how far they are removed from the Old Roman Church.

[Page 56] The Prayers for Souls in Purgatory could be no antienter than the Doctrine of Pur­gatory was. And therefore having shewn [Page 57] p. 24, 29, 30. that the Apostles had no such Doctrine, I need not prove that these were none of their Prayers. But if they prayed for the dead on any other2 Tim. i. 18. St. Paul prays for O­nesiphorus; the Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that Day: that is, at the day of Judgment. He might well be living when St. Paul made that Prayer. account, it doth not concern the now Roman Church: For she pretends Conc. Trent. Sess. 25. That the Souls which are kept there in Purgatory are profited by the Prayers of the Faithful. Bellarm. de Purg. lib. 2. c. 38. It is certain that the Prayers of the Church do not profit the Blessed, nor the Damned, but only them that live in Purgatory. Azor. Instit. Moral. Tom. I. lib. 8. c. 20. Neque vero; saith, the Greeks pray for the dead: but Certainly neither for the Blessed, nor for the Damned, which were plainly Absurd and Impious. The truth is, the Greeks prayed for the Blessed; even for the Virgin Mary, and the Apostles. And so did the Antient Roman Church; in those Offices which the present Roman Church hath both corrupted, and mis­applyed. not to pray for any dead, but for them that are in Purgatory.

And yet to do her Right, she hath not one prayer expresly for them in all her Offices In the Mass for the dead, there is not the name of Purgatory; nor it doth not appear that the Church thought of any such thing. The Hymn is wholely of the day of Judgment. The Prayers are for deliverance at that Day: and if they are for any thing else, it is nothing but what is asked for All the Faithful as much as for any person. The Lessons and Sequences are all concerning the Resurrection. There is not among them One Text of those Many that are brought for the proof of Purgatory: except only 2. Mac. xii. 43. Which according to the Roman Doctrine should be rather for [...], than for Purgatory; But indeed it relates to neither, but (as the Office intends it,) to the Resurrection. for the dead, The Reason is, because [Page 58] those Offices were made before that Fiction was generally believed. The Offices were fit­ted to those DoctrinesThey are agreeable e­nough to se­veral of those opinions concerning the state of Souls, which are mentio­ned before p. 29. Note (a.) which were Then in the Roman Church; Which (as I have shewn)See▪ p. 55, 56. were much different from what she hath now. So where their Doctrines were doubtful, there the Prayers are in am­biguous Miss. pro defunct. O [...]ertorium; Lord Iesus—deliver the souls of All Faithful [...] from the Pains of Hell—that they may not fall into darkness; But that the standard-bearer St. Michael may carry them into eternal light. Ibid. The Prayer in the Obits; We pray thee for the soul of thy Servant N. that thou wouldest not deliver it into the hands [...]f the Enemy▪ no [...] f [...]rget it for ever; but command it to be received by thy Holy Angels, and be led to the land of the Living. That he may come to rejoyce in the Society of thy Saints; So Miss. Sarum. That he may not suffer Eternal pains but p [...]ssess Eternal joys; So the Old Roman. But the New has changed Eternal into Infernal, as being more for the sense of the present Church. terms. But they are plain enough in that which is of Faith; that is, where they prayIb. Tractus. Absolve, O Lord, the Souls of all the Faithful decea [...]t from every b [...]nd of their sins; and by the [...] if thy Grace let them obtain to es­cape the Iudgment of Vengeance, and to enjoy the blessedness of Eternal Light. Ib. Post-communion among the diverse Prayers; O Lord, the soul of this thy servant from every bond of his sins; that, in the glory of the Resurre­ction, he being Raised again may have refreshment among thy Saints and [...] ones. (as we do,) for a blessed Resurre­ction.

[Page 59] But because that is assured to all that die in Christ, whether in a Perfect or Imperfect e­state; and men will not buy Prayers for that which will come without asking: Therefore to get their mony, there was no better way, than to persuade them that their friends, might be fetched out of Purgatory, or might be eased in it, by such Prayers as were then used in the Church. There might have been new Prayers made for the purpose. But as bad as times were, in that darkness of Popery, some would have declared against such a gross Innovation. Therefore it was thought enough to keep the old Prayers, and get the Church to interpret them, as she hath done C [...]nc. Tr [...]nt. Sess. 25. d [...]cr. Of Purgat [...]ry. Let the Bishops take care, that the suffrages of the living Faithful, v [...]. the Sacrifices of Misses and Prayers, &c. which have been usually made for the Faithful deceased, be made according to the Ordinance of the Church. sufficiently to shew her own Novelty in this matter.

For the other parts of their Worship, we read that the Ptimitive Christians, that lived next the Apostles times, had their Lessons from [Page 60] the ScripturesSee p. 20. Note, d. of the Old and New Te­stament. So they have some likewise in the Roman Church. But for every such Lesson, they have Two Lessons out of other Books: And no small part of them (I say no more than I can prove,) are as arrant FablesFor their Saints. whom they make sharers with Christ in their Prayers, and pray to God to be heard for their Merits and Intercession, not a few of the Persons themselves are meer Fictions; as St. Christopher, St. Parnel, St. Catherine, St. Win [...]frid, St. Vrsula and her eleven thousand companions. Most of the others are of doubtful Authority: and Some▪ for ought they can know, and as they have reason to fear, are Damned Souls: as Pope Steven, Pope Marcel [...]nus, Pope Felix II, St. Thomas Becket, St. De­minie. But of the true Saints, not a few of their stories are Fables; as those of the Immuculate Conception, Presentation, and Assumption of the Vir­gin Mary; of the Apparition of St. Michael; May, S. Of the Martyrdoms of some Apostles, Of almost all the Antient Popes; Of St. Denis and his fellows, &c. Add the Tales of St. Peters chains, August, 1. Of the Dedi­cation of the Later [...]n, and the Vatican Churches, Novemb. 9. and 18. as any that are in the Heathen Poets.

For the Language of their Prayers and Of­fices in their Church; it is all in Latin, and that is an Unknown tongue. It is a chance if any there understands it. And their Church is not concernedConc. Trent Sess. 22. cap. 8. It hath seemed to the Fathers not to be expedient that every where Mass should be said in the Vulgar Tongue. There is an Order indeed, that oftentimes between the Masses some body should expound Somthing to the people of what is read to them in the Mass. Suppose some part of the Gospel, or the like. But that will not make them able to join with him that reads it. And Bellarmin saith, in those Mysteries there are Many things which Ought to be secret: meaning I suppose, that the People Ought not to under­stand them. Bellar. de Verbo Dei. I. II. c. 15. Septim [...]. that they should under­stand [Page 61] it: But St. Paul was; as we read, 1 Cor. xiv. 14. If I pray, saith he, in an Unknown tongue, my Spirit prays, but my Understanding is unfruitful. But I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the Understanding also. Again, verse 16. How shall he that stands in the room of the un­learned say, Amen, at thy giving of thanks? see­ing he Understands not what thou sayest. Again, verse 9. In the Church I had rather speak five words with my Understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an Unknown tongue. These are plain Texts of Scripture, which the Roman Church evidently transgressing, does wisely no doubt to keep the Scriptures from the Reading or Understand­ing of her people. For otherwise, it could be no great comfort to them, to find how directly she goes against, as well the Precepts, as the Practice of the Apostles.

I shave shewn that she doth it, not only in One, or a few, Instances; But in Many, and those of the greatest note; In all the Notes that the Apostles have given us of a true Chri­stian Church.

[Page 62] Having given this account of her that calls her self the Catholic Church; Having shewn how far she is removed from this Church in my Text; I shall not pass any judgment upon her, as she peremptorily doth upon others, damning all that are not of her Com­munion: Better leave that to God, and they will find so at the last day. Only, being as she is, I think we have all reason to beware of her; to thank God that we are at this di­stance from her; to bless her for her curses, Gun-powder Treason Edit. 1679. p. 1 [...]9. F [...]r from the year Eliz. 1. unto 11. all Pa­pists came to our Church and Service without Scruple.—But when [...] the Bull of Pope Pius Quintus was come and published, wherein the Queen was accursed and deposed, and her Subjects discharged of their Obedience and Oath, yea, Cursed if they did obey her; Then did they all f [...]r [...]with refrain the Church, then would they have no more society with us in Prayer. that have caused that distance; to Pray for her and her Children, that they may be purged from their Errors; And till then, to Watch and Pray for our selves; and to put it, at least, in our Private Litany, (it shall al­way be in mine,) from Popery good Lord deliver us.

Let us next consider our own Church; and when I say our own, I know you all un­derstand me, that I speak of the Church of England in the first place; and proportiona­bly [Page 63] of all other Reformed Churches. And this I say; If any Church which holds the same Doctrine, which retains the same Go­vernment, which partakes the same Sacraments, and the same Worship of God, as they did in the Apostles times, be a true Apostolical Church: We are bound to bless God, who hath placed us where we are; who hath made us Members of such a Church, which hath all those Characters so entire and so vi­sible in it.

First for Doctrine, we profess to believe 3 [...]. Art. Art. 6. the Holy Scriptures, which (I have shewn) See. p. 10. Note [...], &c. have been antiently thought to contain the whole Doctrine of the Apostles. We ac­knowledg for Canonical Scriptures, neither less nor more, than all those Bookslb. Art. 6. And this is proved in Bishop Cou­sins Book of the Canon of the Scri­pture. whose Authority is undoubted in the Church. We profess the same Faith, and no more, than all Christians have professed in all Ages: namelyArt. 8. that which is briefly comprized in the Apostles Creed;Office of Baptism. Wilt thou be Baptized in this Faith? I will. explained in the Creeds called the Nicen, This alone was enough to make one a Catholic in the times of the Christian Emperors. Cod. Theodos. lib. XVI. Edicta de Fide Catholicà. and that of A­thanasius; [Page 64] and proved in every Article or PointCanon Anno 1571. of Pre [...]ers. We are obli­ged, under pain of Ex­communica­tion, to teach nothing but what is agreeable to the Old and New Testament, and what the Catholic Fathers and Antient Bish [...]ps have gathered out of that very Doctrin. Statut. 1. Eliz. 1. We judg all those things to be Heresie which were declared so by the four General Councils: therein following the Judg­ment of the Antient Church. See Aelfrics Saxon Canon 33. There were four Councils for defence of the Faith against Haereties.—There were many [...], since that time, but these four were the most firm. by the Holy Scriptures taken in that sense, which is both most evident in the words, and which hath been approved by the consent of the Universal Church.

Secondly for the Government Art. S. of our Church, as to the Constitution of it, it is according to the Scripture rules and Primi­tive patterns.

And for the Exercise of it; It goes as far as the looseness of the Age will bear. If this hath weakened theSee the Commina­tion. Discipline of our Church, we know the same looseness hath the same effect elsewhere, even in those Churches of the Roman Communion: And it had no less in the Church of Corinth 1 Cor. i. 11, 12. and v. 2, &c. and see Clemens Epistle to the Corinthians. in the Apostles times.

For the persons that are emploied in the Ministery;Art. 23. and Offices of Ordina­tion. They are such as are law­fully called to it; they are Consecrated and [Page 65] Ordained for that purpose; and thatProved by Mason in his Book de Minist. Angl. ac­cording to the Scripture and Canons of the Universal Church. They are such as wholly attend on this very thing, in the ApostlesRom. xiii. 6. words. And for our Church of England, I may add, without prejudice to any other, we can de­rive the SuccessionMason Ibid. and Bramhal of Succession. of our Bishops from the Apostles, as high as most Churches can, even of them in the Roman Communion.

Thirdly, for our Sacraments; Art. 25. we use the same, and no other than those, which Christ expresly left to his Church: I mean, which he both Instituted, and Commanded us to use; Which can be said of no other than only Bap­tism, and the Lords Supper.

Lastly, For our Public Worship, we have cause to bless God that has given us such a Li­turgy; in which, according to all the measures we have of the Apostles, we can see nothing but what, as to the Substance, is Theirs; And our most malicious Enemies can tell us of no other ill they see in it; but only this, that the Words of it are Ours.

The Ministration of this Worship and of these Sacraments, is in a Language Art. 24. un­derstood by all those that are concerned in them. They can all say Amen 1 Cor. xiv. 16. to their [Page 66] Prayers. It is performed with such Rites, Art. 20. as are not against the word of God, but are agree­able to it; being only1 Cor. xiv. 40. for order and decency. And we use them,Art. 34. and Pre [...]a [...]es before the Liturgy. not as necessary in them­selves, but in obedience to the Authority which every Church hath over its own Mem­bers.

We do, according to Saint Cyprians Cyp [...] Epist. [...]2. p. 151. & [...] Carthag. de [...]. Bapt. P. 353. rule, condemn or judg no other Church. We separate from none, any otherwise, than by purging our selvesAnno 1603. Can. 3 [...]. the Church of England de­clares: that she was so far from being willing to depart from the Churches of Italy, France, Spain. Germany. &c. in all things that she knew they held and Observed; that she disserted from those Churches in th [...]se Articles Only, in which they first fell a­way, [...]th from their own former Integrity, and also from the Apostolical Churches from which they had their Original. from those things, which we be­lieve to be Corruptions, and Errors: to which end several of those Articles were framed, to be subscribed by our own Clergy, without imposing them on any other.

In all these respects, our Church holds a Communion, or hath done nothing to break it, with any other National Church; no, not with those of the Roman Communion: and is, not only, what they deny, a true Member; but what they are not, a Sound member, of that one Holy Catholic Church, which was from [Page 67] the beginning, and which will be to the end of the world.

The last thing is, having proved we have a true Church, to persuade you, First to continue in it stedfastly. And Secondly in the Belief and Practice of those things, by which it ap­pears to be a true Church. And Lastly, to profit by them; and so to adorn our Holy Re­ligion with a Holy and good Conversation.

First, to persuade you to continue stedfastly in this Church; it is enough, if you are convin­ced that you cannot mend your selves by any Change.

Who would not desire to continue where he is well? Who would not stick to that which is the best he can chuse? Who would needlesly run the danger of any loss? Especially of lo­sing himself, which is the greatest loss that is possible? and yet That we have reason to ex­pect from the just indignation of God, if we shall reject the great benefit that he hath given us, to be born in the womb, and bred up in the bosom of such a Church.

No doubt you hear, (for who does not?) on every side the voices of them that would al­lure you, or would threaten you out of it. But whatsoever they say, remember what the [Page 68] Philosopher made the first part of wisdom, [...] do not believe all that is said. Remember how our Saviour forewarned,Matth. xxiv. 23. Mar. xiii. 21. if any tell you, Christ is here, or Christ is there, be­lieve him not. If Antiquity be pretended on the one hand, if large boasts of Purity on the other, many fine things are said, believe them not. And if many have been seduced by these means, let them answer for themselves: you had best to look before you follow them. If many have fallen off from our Church, so did many from Christ. But some were wiser, and considered what they should get by it. They said,John vi. 68. whither should we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. If our Church has but that, whatever she wants else, it will be our wisest way to continue in it.

But then secondly, you are to continue in those Characters by which it appears to be a true Church: And to exercise your Commu­nion in all the Acts that belong to these Cha­racters; namely in the Apostles Doctrine, and Fellowship, and in the Sacraments, and in Prayers.

First for Doctrine; Hold fast2 Tim. i. 13.the form of sound words which you have received. ContendJude verse 3.ear­nestly for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints. Seek it not in muddy Streams, but in the living [Page 69] Fountains of Scripture. All Scripture2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.is given by inspiration from God; and is enough to make the man of God perfect, and throughly furnisht to every good work. It is sufficient to make us wiseVerse 15. to salvation: So that if we mind only that, we have no need of any other; and yet we would refuse no other that could be made out, as this is, to be the Doctrine of the Apo­stles of Christ.

Secondly, as to the Apostles Fellowship, we have heard it is continued in the Bishops their Successors. Therefore we ought to take heed how we break Communion with them. We are both to acknowledg, and make use of their Ministery; to obey them Heb. xiii. 17. in spiritual things, as being those that must give account for our souls.

Thirdly, for the Sacraments and Worship of God, forsake not the assembling of your selves to­gether, Heb. x. 25. nor run into separate Meetings, as the manner of some is. Some will alway be stragling; we cannot help what they do; and what they do among themselves we do not enquire. They that are of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, will be only for the Catho­lic and Apostolic Sacraments; Namely, for those which Christ himself instituted in his Church: Baptism, by which we areRom. vi. 5. planted [Page 70] into Christs death; and the Lords Supper, in which we keep up the remembrance of it1 Cor. xi. 26. till he comes. We have also the same worship of God, which was in the Apostles times, and which hath been ever since in the Church. They who are now Saints in Heaven, while they were upon earth, prayed to no other but God only. If we pray not to them, they will excuse us, we do as they did. And we do it in assurance that the same worship which they used, will bring us (as it did them) to be Saints in Heaven too, if we continue in it.

Lastly continuing in the Church, and in all the Characters of it, our business is to profit by all these; to grow2 Pet. iii. 18.in grace, and in the knowledg of our Lord Iesus Christ.

It concerns us, not only to be in a true Church, but to see that we our selves are true Christians; and that can no otherwise appear, than in the likeness of Christ, in Righteousness and Holiness of life. Without this, though you be of a true Church, you will not be so long, or you will be so to no purpose. A wicked life will, in time, eat out all the sense of Religion; or the more sense one hath, he will find the less comfort in Ours. Our Reli­gion hath no comfort for him that is and will [Page 71] be Wicked. Our Religion hath no Purgatory to keep him from Hell. Our Religion can make him no penny-worths of Heaven. Our Religion hath no pardon for sin, but on Re­pentance; No Repentance, but on real amend­ment of Life. He that cannot come to that, Alas! what does he in our Religion? As it cannot, if he knows it, but be uneasie to him; so he will make himself unworthy of it. He will provoke God to deprive him of the bene­fit. And it is all one which way he deprives him; whether by letting him now run out of the Church, or whether by shutting him out of Heaven at the last. For that it will come to, when all is done, without holiness there is no coming thither. Without holinessHeb. xii. 14.no man shall see the Lord. None shall; If you want that, not you in particular; and then what will your Religion signifie? Though your Church hath all that the Apostles Church had, What good will this do you, if you perish in it? Though your Ship will go its Voyage, what is that to you, if you die of a surfeit by the way? Though you have the True Doctrine, Commu­nion, Sacraments, and Prayers, what com­fort will all this give you in that terrible day? Yea, what Horror will it be, that being placed [Page 72] well by God, you are fallen from it? You have lost, you have thrown away that great Blessing that he had given you.

BelovedHeb. vi. 9. we hope better things of you, and things that accompany Salvation, though we thus speak.

I Hope, and therefore Pray, that all that hear me this day may be the better for being of such a Church. God intended we should. He has dealt exceeding graciously with us. But yet he expects that we should do some­thing for our selves: That considering the Op­portunity that is put in our hands, Seeing how near God has brought us to the Kingdom of Heaven, Seeing nothing but our own sins be­tween us and it, (should that sight make us fly out; and seek other ways; ways that God never made nor will bless? Nay ra­ther) we should break through our sins, and go the way that he calls us in his Word; there can be no better, there is no other than this.

So performing his design, pursuing the ends of our Calling, living suitably to our excel­lent Religion: We are indeed the followers of the Apostles in this life, and shall be with them hereafter in the blessedness of Life Ever­lasting.


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