[Page] THE COPPY OF A LETTER Sent from France by Mr. Walter Mountagu to his Father the Lord Privie Seale, with his answere thereunto.

❧ Also a second answere to the same Letter by the Lord Faukland.


Imprinted, 1641.

[Page] [Page 1] My Lord,

AFter much debate concerning the fittest expression of my duty to your Lord­ship, whether I ought by silence seeke to suspend the beliefe of the declara­tion of my self, I have made here, or by a cleere profession of it assure you of what I may onely feare to present you with, as apprehensive of a mis-in­terpreted affection, I concluded what was most satisfa­ctory to my first, and immediate duty to God, was most justifiable to my second, and derivative to Nature, there­fore I resolved so soone to give you this ingenuous ac­count of my selfe; The greatest part of my life capable of distinction of Religions hath been employ'd in places and conversant with persons opposite to the faith I was bred in, therefore it had been strange if naturall curiositie without any spirituall provocation had not invited mee to the desire of looking with mine own eyes upon the foun­dation I stood upon, rather there holding fast blindfold by my education to agree to be carried away alwayes af­ter it insensible of all shocks I met to unfasten me, and be­sides [Page 2] I was solicited with the reproaches Protestants press upō Catholikes, that they blindly believe al the impostures of the Church, without any illumination of their judge­ments; this me thought enjoyn'd the cleerest information of my self of the differences betweene us I could propose to my capacity. So at my last journey into Italy, I did employ all my leasure to a more justifiable settlement of my belief, as I then imagined to a cōfirmation of my judg­ment, in what had been introduced by my birth and educa­tion; I began with this consideration, that there were two sorts of questions betweene the Catholikes and Prote­stants, the one of right or doctrine, the other of fact or story; as this, whether Luther were the first erector of the Protestants Faith; whether it had a visible appearance of Pastors and Teachers before his time? I resolved to begin my enquiry with the matter of fact, for these Reasons; first because they were so few, and so comprehensible by all capacities; and the controversies of doctrine intricate, and so many, as they required much time, and learning for their disquisition onely, and I found my self unprovided of both those Requisitions, for this undertaking: and for the de­cision of the other, I needed not much presumption to be­lieve my selfe a competent Judge when it consisteth onely in a perusall of authentike testimonies; Secondly, I con­sidered that there was no one part of controverted Do­ctrine, whereon all the rest depended, but that this one question of fact was such as the decision of it determined all the rest; for if Luther could be proved to be the Inno­vator of the Protestants faith, it was necessarily evicted of not being the true, ancient, and Apostolicall Religion, therefore I began with this enquiry which Protestants are bound to make, to answer this Objection, to find out an existence of some Professors of the Reformed Doctrine [Page 3] before Luthers time; for finding the Catholikes were not obliged to prove the Negative, it was my part to prove to my selfe the Affirmative, that our Religion was no Inno­vation by some Pre-existence before that, but in the per­usall of all the Stories or Records Ecclesiasticall or Civill, as I could chuse, I could finde no ancienter a dissention from the Roman Church, then Waldo, Wickliffe, and Huffe, whose cause had relation to the now-professed Protestan­cie, so as I could find an intervall of about 800 yeers from the time that all Protestants confesse an unitie with the Church of Rome, downe to those persons without any ap­parent profession of different faith: to answer my selfe in this point, I read many of our Protestant Authours who treated of it, and I found most of them reply to this sence, in which I cite here one of the most authentike, Doctor Whitaker, in his Controversie 2. 3.. pag. 479. Where they aske of us where our Church was here­tofore for so many ages? Wee answer that it was in secret solitude, that is to say, it was concealed and lay hid from the sight of men; and further the same Doctor Chap. 4. pag. 502. Our Church alwayes was, but you say it was not visible, doth that prove that it was not? No, for it lay in a solitary concealment To this direct sence all the answers were that ever I could meet with, to this objection, I repeat no more; those places being so po­sitive to our point, this confession of Invisibility in our Church for so many ages did much perplex me, it seemed even to offend naturall Reason, such a derogation from Gods power or providence, as the sufferance of so great an ecclipse of the light of this true Church, and such a Church as this is describ'd to be, seeming to mee repug­nant to the mayne reason why God hath a Church upon earth, to be a conserver of the doctrine of Christ, and his [Page 4] precepts, and to convey it from age to age, untill the end of the World: therefore I applyed my study to peruse such Arguments as the Catholikes brought for the proof of the necessity of a continuall visibility of the true Church down from the Apostles time in all ages, and ap­pearance of Doctors teaching and administring the Sacra­ments; in proof of this I found they brought many pro­visoes of Scripture, but this Text most litterall of the fourth of the Ephesians: Christ hath placed in his Church Pastors and Doctors to the consummation of the Saints, till we meet in the unitie of the faith: and next the dis­course upon which they inferre this necessary visible suc­cession of the Church, seem'd to me to be a most rationall and convincing one, which is to this effect. Naturall rea­son not being able to proportion to a man a course that might certainly bring him to a state of supernaturall hap­pinesse, and that such a course being necessary to man­kind, which otherwise would totally faile of the end it was created for, there remayned no other way, but that it must be proposed unto us by one whose authoritie wee could not doubt of, and that in so plain a manner, as even the simplest might be capable of it as well as the Learned. This work was performed by our Saviour, from whose mouth all our faith is originally derived. But this succee­ding age not being able to receive it immediate from thence, it was necessarie it should be conveyed unto them that lived in it by those that did receive it from Christs own mouth, and so from age to age untill the end of the World; and in what age soever this thread of doctrine should be broken, it must needs be acknowledged, for the reason above mentioned, that the light which should con­vey mankind through the darknesse of this world was ex­tinguisht, and wee left without a guide to inevitable ruine, [Page 5] which cannot stand with Gods providence and goodnesse; which Saint Augustine affirmes for his opinion directly in his Booke de vtil. cred. cap. 16. saying if divine providence does preside over our humane affairs, it is not to be doubted but that there is some authority constituted by the same God upon which going as upon certain steps we are carried to God; Nor can it bee said hee meant the Scripture onely by these steps, since experience shewes us by the continuall altercation about the right sense of severall of the most important places of it, that what is contained there cannot be a competent rule to mankind, which consisteth more of simple then learned men; and besides the Scripture must have supposed to have beene kept in some hands whose authority must beget our accep­tance of them; which being no other then the Church of all ages, we have no more reason to beleeve that it hath preserved the Scripture free from all corruption then that it hath maintai­ned it selfe in a continua [...] [...]isibility which Saint Augustine con­cludeth to be a marke of the true Church in these words in his booke contra Cecill. 104. The true Church hath this certain signe that it cannot bee hid, therefore it must bee knowne to all Nations, but that part of the Protestant Donatist is un­known to many, therefore cannot bee the true; No inference can be stronger then from hence that the concealment of a Church disproves the truth of it; Lastly, not to insist upon the allegation of the sense of all the Fathers of the Church in severall ages, which seemed to mee most cleere; that which in this cause weighed much with mee was the Confession and Testimony of the approved Doctors themselves of the Prote­stant Church, as Hooker in his booke of Eccles. Pol. pag. 126. God always had and must have some visible Church upon earth. And Doctor Field the first of Eccle. cap. 10. It cannot bee but those that are the true Church must be knowne by the Profession, [Page 6] and further the same Doctor saies how should the Church bee in the World, and no body professe openly the saving truth of God? And Doctor White in his defence of the way, cap. 4. pag. 790. The providence of God hath left monuments and sto­ries for the confirmation of our Faith, and I confesse truly that our Religion is false, if a continuall descent of it cannot be de­monstrated by these monuments downe from Christs time; this appeareth unto mee a direct submission of themselves to produce those apparent testimonies of the publique profession of their faith, as the Catholikes demand, but this I could never read, nor know of any that performed; For D. White himself for want of proof of this, is fain to say in another place in his way to the Church p. 520. The Doctors of our faith have had a cōtinual succession though not visible to the world, so that he flies from his undertaking of a conspicuous demonstration of the monuments of his faith to an invisible subterfuge, or a beleefe without appearance: for hee saith in the same Book in an other place pag. 4. All the externall government of the Church may faile so as a locall and personall succession of Pastors may be interrupted, and pag. 40 [...]. We doe not contest for an externall succession, it suffiseth [...]hat they succeed in the Doctrine of the Apostles, and faithfull who in all ages did embrace the same truth; so as here hee removeth absolutely all externall proofes of succession which before hee consented to be guided by; I cannot say I have verbally cited these Au­thors, because I have translated these places, though the Ori­ginall be in English, yet I am sure their sense is no way injured, and I have chosen to alleadge Doctor Whites authority, because he is an Orthodox professor of the Protestant Church; the re­flection of the state of this question wherein I found the Pro­testants defend themselves onely by flying out of sight, by confessing a long invisibility in their Church in apparence of Pastors and Doctors, left mee much loosened from the fast­nesse [Page 7] of my professed Religion, but had not yet transported me to the Catholike Church; for I had an opinion that our Di­vines might yet fill up this vacuitie with some more substan­tiall matter then I could meet with, so I came back into Eng­land, with a purpose of seeking nothing so intentively as this satisfaction, and to this purpose, I did covertly (under another mans name) send this my scruple to one in whose learning & sufficiencie I had much affiance, in these termes, Whether there was no visible succession to be proved in the Protestant Church since the Apostles time downe to Luther, and what was to be answered to that objection? Besides the confession of invisibilitie for so many ages; to this I could get no other answer, but that the point had been largely, and learnedly handled by Doctor White, and many others of our Church: upon this I resolved to informe my selfe in some other points which seemed to mee unwarrantable and superstitious in the Ceremónies of the Church of Rome, since I had such an in­ducement, & so little satisfaction in a point which seemed to mee so essentiall, and in all these scruples I found mine owne mistake in the belief of the Tenets of the Roman Church gave me the onely occasion of scandall, not the practice of their doctrine, and to confirme mee in the satisfaction of all them, I found the practice and authority of most of the ancient Fa­thers, and in the Protestant Refutation of these Doctrines, the Recusation of their Authorities, as men that might erre, so that the question seemed then to me whether I would ra­ther hazard the erring with them, then with the later Refor­mers which consequently might erre also in dissenting from them; since then my resolution of reconciling my selfe to the Roman Church is not lyable to any suspition of too forward or precipitate resignation of my selfe, my judgment may per­chance be censured of seducement, my affection cannot bee of corruption.

[Page 8] Upon these Reasons I did soone after my returne last into England, reconcile my selfe to the Roman Catholike Church, in the belief and convincement of it to be the true, ancient, and Apostolicall Church, by her externall marks, and her in­ternall objects of faith and doctrine, and in her I resolve to live and die, as the best way to salvation; when I was in Eng­land, I did not studie dissimulation so dexterously as if my for­tune had read it to me, nor doe I now professe it so desperatly as if it were my fortunes Legacie, for I doe not believe it so dangerous, but it may recover, for I know the Kings wisdome is rightly informed that the Catholike Faith doth not tend to the alienation of the subject, it rather super-infuseth a reve­rence and obedience to Monarchie, and strengtheneth the bands of our obedience to our naturall Prince, and his grace and goodnesse shall never finde any other occasion of diver­sion of them, from the naturall and usuall exercise of them­selves upon those that have had the honour to have been bred with approbation of fidelitie in his service, nor can I feare that your Lordship should apprehend any change in my duty, even your displeasure (which I may apprehend upon this mis-interpreted occasion) shall never give me any of the least recession from my duty, in which profession I humbly aske your blessing as

Your Lordships obedient Sonne, W. Mountagu.

The Answer.


YOur Letter sent from Paris tels mee how much de­bate you had with your selfe, whether with silence to suspend my beliefe, or by a cleere profession to assure mee what you feared to present mee; but what was most satisfactory to the first dutie to GOD, that you thought most justifiable to your derivative dutie to na­ture, therefore resolved to give me an ingenuous accompt of the declaration you had made then: had you asked my coun­sell, before you signified the resolution, it would have shewed more dutie in you, and bred lesse discontent in me; but think how welcome that Letter could bee, that at once tels of the intention, and signifies the resolution.

Say you could not expect from me so much Theologicall Learning as to satisfie your scruples, yet it had beene a fair ad­dresse, of a sonne to a Father in a matter of that importance; nor are you ignorant of my care, I dare say knowledge stu­died, for the settlement of my children in that true faith which their father professed, and the Church of England hath established: Therefore it would have beene your greater justification, and my lesse sorrow, so to have lost your selfe with love, that I could not have held you in with religious reason. Happily you will returne upon me the misconstruction of that speech, If any man come to mee, and hate not his father, he cannot be my Disciple. But I must tell you that by this post-da­ted [Page 10] duty you have trespassed upon loves duty, for you have robbed mee of the meanes of helping you with mine advise; which as it is the best part of a fathers portion to give, so it is not the least testimonie of filiall duty to aske.

Now to lay such a blemish upon all the cares of your for­mer education, as not to think mee worthy to see the ayme, untill you have set up your rest, is such a neglect that without over-much fatherly candor cannot be forced into an excusa­ble interpretation: It makes me suspect that some politike re­spects or private seducements, if not discontentments, have wrought upon you.

Policie and Religion as they do well together, so doe they as ill asunder, the one being too cunning to be good; the o­ther being too simple to be safe: But upon policie to change Religion, there is no warrant for that, lesse for discontent­ments, or upon seducements.

When I looke upon your Letter, which you termed an in­genuous account of your self, it seemes to mee not an account of your new professed Religion, but rather an exprobration of mine, and so of ours of the Church of England.

Had I knowne the doubts before, I might have beene an adviser, but objecting them after you had resolved, you call mee up now to be a Disputer: although I be of his opinion, who thought that truth did oftentimes suffer by too much al­tercation, it being a common errour amongst great Clerks, to contend more for victory, than for veritie: yet since you have so punctually led me into it, though it be contrary to my first resolution of silence (else you had heard from me sooner) and finding that the Letter you sent mee had a farther reach then to give me satisfaction, (else the copies of it would have not beene divulged before I came to receive it, and uses made of it to my discomfort) I therefore thought my selfe tied to give you an answer, lest those of your new profession should think [Page 12] (as some of them say) that a new lapsorian, was more able by a few days discipline to oppose our Religion, then an old Fa­ther and long professor was able to defend it.

Having this tie upon me, I hope, on the one side, our learned Divines will pardon mee, if for my sonnes sake I dip my pen in their inke; and you on the other side will lay mine argu­ments more to heart, as proceeding from the bowels of a Fa­ther, then if they had been framed by the brains of a learned Divine.

In this case also I have some advantage of other men, who though they might write more learnedly, yet cannot doe it so feelingly: for mine interest is not only in the cause, but in the person, for whom I might give an account, if there be fayling in my part to reduce him to truth: A person whose Letter I take into mine hands, as he did the Urne of his sonnes ashes to shed over it veras lachrymas, as arguments of the truth, both which I hope shall perswade forceably, if there be any of that bloud left in you that I gave you, It is true, affection is not to rule Religion: yet in this way nature may co-operate with grace.

Your Letter sayes truly, the greatest part of your life ca­pable of distinctions of Religions hath beene in places, and conversant with persons opposite to the faith I bred you in, therefore you say, it had beene strange if naturall curiositie without any spirituall provocation had not invited you with desire of looking upon the foundation I trode on, rather then holding fast blind-fold by your education to be alwayes car­ried away after it.

In your education, God knows my first care was to season you with true Religion, wherein from a boy you attained un­to such knowledge as Spaine will witnesse, (when you were but a youth) how strong a champion you were for the Pro­testant profession. The Court of France, nor yet all the Prin­ces [Page 12] Courts of Christendome (most of which you have visi­ted) could never till now taint your faith, but always rendred you sound in the Religion which you carried with you hence.

But now Italy hath turned you, because England hath dis­contented you.

In the last journey into Italy, as you said, you applyed all your leisure to confirme your judgement in the doctrine intro­duced by your education, which if you had done seriously, you could not so soon, nor would not at all, upon so weake motives, have let goe your hold; for of all other their tenents the two you mentioned are the weakest, and have received cleerest satisfaction: whereby it appeares, that you were re­solved to give up the cause, before you came at it; and what you would not hold blind-fold, to give up blind-fold which is worst.

Could that be a motive to your desertion of our Church, as perswaded that Luther was the Father of our faith? your selfe cannot forget, but how that wee build our faith upon Christ, not upon Luther, upon the doctrine of the Scriptures, not upon the inventions of men; Could it be proved against us that Luther or any other man how gray-headed soever were the inventor of our faith, there needed no more to be said, we would contend no longer.

But wee renounce all men alike as inventors of Religion, or any part of it, but hold only the Apostolicall doctrine, of the ancient Primitive and Catholike Church, & presume not to coine any new Creed.

Yet we are not unwilling to grant that Luther was one, but not the first of many that restored the purity of the doctrine, which had been long smothered by the Papacie; our faith if you take in the whole is no other but what is exiconized in the Apostles Creed, included in the Scriptures: If you take it in a lower and straighter way, for so much of it as is oppo­sed [Page 13] to the corruption of popery, you must remember that these points are neither the whole nor greatest points of faith, there are not any points of our faith, but we are able to shew they had mayntainers few or many in all ages since the Apo­stles time; and every of these ages, those substructures of Popery opposed, some by one man, some by an other.

I wonder therefore to see you carried away with that com­mon and triviall calumny, that Luther was the inventor of our faith; and why say you that for the intervall of 800 yeers before there was no apparent profession of faith different from Rome? and this you collect by historicall search of all the sto­ries and Records Ecclesiasticall and Civill.

It seems Italy affords you no coppies of our Writers, else might you see in them a list which they carry out through all these spaces, and shew you, that most of our tenents have had the suffrage of the learn'dst of Romes side, and how many men in the decursion of time, from the ancientest of Fathers, have declared themselves, and some of them apparently, yee ear­nestly contended for the truth of our doctrine.

And where you object that Waldo, Wickliff, & Hus, had scarce any relation to the professed Protestancie, if you meane be­cause we disclaim those horrid opiniōs wch are put upon them (how true God knows) therein you say truly, Neither they to us, nor we to them have any relation: but in the main points of doctrine touching faith and opposition of the superstitions and usurpation of the papacie, wee have a joynt consent of all the best Writers, Historians, and Divines, of both sides, that they and we consent in one.

It is strange therefore to say, that these and wee had no re­lation to the Protestant profession, who for substance of Re­ligion held as we doe, their errours only we own not: and the consent of times doe all agree, that the Waldenses flew out a­gainst their corruptions 400 yeeres before Luther was borne, [Page 14] nay, saith Renerus, Quidam dicunt quòd secta illa duraverie à tempore Silvestri, alii quod à tempore Apostolorum, deriving their fundamentall doctrine from the time of the Apostles: nor were they few, sed multiplicati super arenas maris; nor plebei­ans only, sed principum favore armati, As the Kings of Arra­gon, the Earles of Tholouse, and many moe. So that, there are witnesses more then sufficient, that there were many who op­posed themselvs to the Papacie in the Protestants tenents long before Luther. This is the first supposition failing, I will now let you see the mistakes in the subsequent passages, and open to you my self, hoping yet that I may draw you againe to me.

You as you conceive having shewed a defect of vi­sibilitie in our Church till Luthers time, labour to prove a necessity of visibilitie to every true Church: if it were gran­ted that it were simply necessary to the essentiating of a Church to be able to demonstrate in all times, both the visi­ble number of professors of the truth, as also a visible succes­sion of Pastors, we are able to demonstrate both these for our defence to bee as unquestionable in our Church as in the Church of Rome: they that are otherwise minded will ac­count this a bold undertaking, but it is no hard matter to do: Wherefore the vanitie of that question, to aske, where our Church was before Luther, becomes not any man that hath read any thing of our Church monuments.

But you would seeme to mee to prove it two wayes; first, by the testimonie of our owne Divines; Secondly, by argu­ment.

By testimonies of our Divines you would have Doctor Field, Doctor White, and Master Hookes, to confesse needful­nesse of visibilitie: and yet for their own Church fly to la­tencie.

For the second you instance Doctor Whitaker, and Doctor White, one of them, to confesse our Church for many ages to [Page 15] have beene in a secret solitude; and the other to let goe his defence of visible succession by flying to an invisible subter­fuge of non-apparency: if you had better perused the truth of those Writers, they would have given you full satisfacti­on, but you mistake both the persons and the points.

These made a demonstration of those 3 points: First, that neither the Churches obscurity is repugnant to the visibilitie of it: Secondly, nor the visibility of it such as excludes all latencie: Nor yet the latencie of Orthodox Christians in the swaying time of Popery, such as had not requisite lineaments of an accomptable visibilitie.

But you must know that visibilitie doth not alwayes carrie the same height, but admits of degrees, so that wee cannot say, that that wants visibilitie which hath it in a lower degree. The Sun compared with it selfe is in a degree visible, though in a mist, yet not so cleerly visible as when it shines out: so it is with the state of the Church, because her splendour is not in termino, but such as receives degrees by augmentation or dimi­nution; like as the Sun is as truly visible under a cloud as in his brightnesse, though not so cleerly visible; though not to admit the Church to be visible, except shee be glorious, is an errour; for there's a variation of the Churches visibilitie in re­spect of her object: the want of which consideration, I believe is one cause why so many deceive themselves in this point. secondly, there is another diversity, which ariseth from the vi­sible object, some may see and will not, there the fault is not in the object, but in the beholders. Philosophers say, Visibilia non sunt minus visibilia cum non videntur, quam quando videntur, The objects of sight remain still discernable, when they are not discerned: so it is with the Church, there are strictures of visibility discernable in her obscure condition, but it is possi­bile non visum, which fals out when men will not open their eyes, or they shut them on purpose, which hapned in the pre­vailing [Page 16] times of popery, when this notwithstanding, yet there were lights which appeared by the defence of the truth, and the discovery of errour, in every age of the intervall.

But sure our men labour in vain to demonstrate that visibi­litie, whilst they of the Papacie are so dis-affected, as not to acknowledge it upon any terms, otherwise this controversie had long since been ended, if they had been as well disposed to see, as we ready to shew our visibility: in this question men are to consider that there is a double splendor of the Church, which makes way for the visibilitie of it.

The proper splendour of a Church consists in puritie of doctrine.

The common splendour of a Church consists in the out­ward accommodations which appertain not to the being, but the well being of the Church, as temporall peace, multitude of professors, locall succession of Pastors; yet persecution may interrupt this succession of Pastors, it may cut off the multitude of professors, heresie may so far prevail as to make the Orthodox Church pull in her head, witnesse the time of Arianisme, when few but godly Athanasius, and some with him were faine to keepe in corners, and of this our Di­vines are to be understood when they speake of our latencie, that for this outward splendour it suffered a great obscuritie, for divers hundred yeeres, yet when it was at the lowest, the doctrine was visible, and some professors still in the eye of the World, I would wish you well to consider the things which I shall tell you.

The state of the Church is so ordered by our great Master Christ, that she is to expect her times of obscurity, as well as her times of splendor, hee hath made her estate militant, and appointed her to a passive condition, as well as an active: de­signed her to vicissitudes of obscurity, as well as luster, and shews her no lesse glorious in her obscurity then in her tri­umph, as Tertullian saith of vertue.

[Page 17] Extruitur duritia: destruitur mollitia.

2 This visibilitie represented by an innumerous multi­tude, locall Succession, Secular estate, these were not consi­dered in the first times, when the Church stood sound, nor in the later times, when she got some recovery, only in the intermediate, when she lay under the crosse; and were these the probats of Faith, it had bin ill with the Israelites Church in the time of Elias, worse with the Apostolicall Church, when the Scribes and Pharisies sate in Moses Chaire, worst in the time of Arianisme, and in times of Antichristianisme, which shall come as most Writers say.

3 This glorious succession which Rome so much brags of is a deceitfull medium whereby to measure the truth of a Church, because a Church may be a true Church without it: and be also a false Church with it.

Non colligitur ibi necessariò esse Ecclesiam ubi est successio, saith Bellarmine, though Stapleton be of another minde: Alexandria challengeth succession, as well as Rome, the Church of Constantinople takes her pedigree from Saint Andrew the Apo­stle, and brings it down to our times.

A false Church may have succession, and a true Church may want it, otherwise you will grant that Rome is no true Church: the Church of Rome hath sometimes lyen empty; sometimes it hath carried double, and both of them have bin deposed, these broken links marre the chaine of that succes­sion. But because this rather concernes the persons not the thing, It is otherwise to be cleerly shewed, that it may be a true Church that hath not this uninterrupted succession: for else no Church at all could be true in her first plantation. For successions are by descent, descents have no place in first ori­ginals, whereas the orthodox faith doth the very first day put her in possession of Apostolical succession, as Tertullian well [Page 18] saith, That Churches wch have not their original descent from the Apostles are Apostolicall, propter consanguinitatem doctrinae.

The place which you cite out of the fourth to the Ephesians proves cleerly the necessity of orthodox Pastors, not of lo­call Succession, you may hereby see how in the informing of your selfe in this particular you are overtaken; this thing also much troubles me, that your Letters said, that when you last came back out of Italy, you sought nothing so attentively as satisfaction in these points of controversie, especially that touching the visibilitie of our Church in all ages, but could receive none.

Could you never in all the while of your last being in Eng­land find the time to acquaint me with your desire? doubtles, I must say, you did in this time study the dissimulation of your intention, otherwise I must have known it.

I was heretofore more indulgent towards you, for God knows it Walter, the sonne of my bodie was never so deare un­to me, as the salvation of my sonne Walters soule, your yonger yeers can witnesse how I shewed you the way which I my selfe took to settle mine own salvation: for though it was my happinesse to be derived from vertuous and religious parents; yet I tooke not my Religion meerly by discent, but studied and examined the ground on which I was to found my faith; I read both Papists and Protestants, I found both confident, and contradictory.

Et quoties palpitavit mihi tremulum cor, before I setled either way? sometimes thinking safest to mean well, and to keep unsetled either way, yet I saw a necessity laid on mee, to be one of the two Churches, but how to find out which of them was the true Church, whereof I must be a member if I would secure my salvation, hic labor hoc opus est: I easily resolved there was not two Churches whereof a man might chuse which to be of, and after long study I found cleerly that to be [Page 19] the true Church, which constantly held the common faith, which faith had the Scripture for the rule, this known and re­solved, which is undoubted, then I was not scared with that fearfull censure of the Roman Church, which pronounced all damned that are not of that Church.

But how much am I distasted to finde severall arguments made in the Letter, all to insinuate that the Scriptures are not a competent rule of faith? and first, varietie of interpre­tation, secondly, obscuritie of some places, thirdly, inauthen­tiquences of themselves, fourthly, their authoritie dependent on the Church, fiftly, the puritie of them warranted by the visibility of the Church, sixtly, made Authentike by the Churches authoritie: strange assertions, as if the true Church were not to be tried by the true faith, but the true faith by the Church. I know my self bound to believe the authoritie of that Church which makes Scripture the rule of faith; but as for the act of any Church, though it be a fit Ministry to shew me the way, yet it is not of authority sufficient of it selfe to se­cure me of my salvation; from true faith the true Church is inferr'd, and which is the true Church when all is done must be tried by the Scripture: but it is now with us, as it was in the time of Chrysostome, when there was so much question, which was the true Church, and men were of so many diffe­rent opinions about it as none could tell what Church to bee of, or what Religion was safest to trust to, so saith the Father of the Scriptures, which in matters of faith necessary to sal­vation speak so truly, so fully, so plainly, as it is but a shift for a man to say, he understands them not; and good Saint Au­stin finding that from controversies in Religion, there came no other fruit, but indeterminata luctatio, said with sorrow, Why do we strive about our Fathers Will? Nos fuimus fratres, and our Father is not dead intestate, but hath left his Will and [Page 20] Testament in writing: let it be followed and all controversies will soon be ended. Flatter not your self Walter, the Remon­strance you make shews that the resignation you made of your selfe to the church of Rome was precipitate, then the resoluti­on to live and die there desperate, yet you give some hopes when you say, nor do you now so desperatly professe, as if it were your fortunes legacie, for you do not believe it so dan­gerous but it may recover.

The Kings benignitie and goodnesse is always to interpret the best, but know that his Majestie hath a better opinion of those who are bred such, then of those who become such by relapse; nor am I willing to apprehend any change of your dutie, yet take this for a caveat, that commonly all changes follow change of faith. I never travelled of you till now, and it is with a great deal of paine, I thought you should have wept over me, when Nature had called for her due, but you have prevented me, And yet my sonne you may yet returne to me, but I shall never goe to you in this way, nor had I ever gone so far into this question, but to fetch you again my sonne otherwise a lost child.

Thus as your Letter began so do I end, after much debate concerning a fit expression of my selfe, whether was better by not writing to shew my dislike, or by long writing to la­bour your recovery; this last was most satisfactory to my con­science, though the other more agreeable to nature displea­sed; I have therefore resolved as you see to give you this an­swer, and I pray God that he may blesse you and mee so in it, that my pen may have the fruit my heart wishes.

Your Loving Father, Manchester.

My Lord Faulklands Answer.

A Letter of Master Mountagu, justifying his change of Religion, being dispers'd in many copies, I was desired to give my opinion of the Reasons, and my reason if I misliked them; having read and consider'd it, I was brought to be perswaded, First, because ha­ving beene sometimes in some degrees mov'd with the same inducements, I thought that what satisfied me might possibly have the same effect upon him: Secondly, because I being a Layman, a youngman, and an ignorant man, I thought a little reason might in likelihood work more from my pen, then more from theirs, whose profession, age, and studies might make him suspect that it is they are too hard for him, and not their cause for his: Thirdly, because I was very desirous to doe him service, not onely as a man, and a Christian, but as one whom all that know him inwardly esteeme of great parts (and I am desirous somewhat to make up my great want of them by my respects to those that have them) and as an im­partiall seeker of Truth which I trust he is, and I professe my selfe to be; and so much for the cause of this paper: I come now to that which it opposeth.

[Page 22] First then, whereas he defends his search, I suppose hee is rather for that to receive prayse, then to make apologies, all men having cause to suspect that gold which were given with this condition, that the Receiver should not try it by any touchstone.

Secondly, Hee saith, that there being two sorts of questi­ons, the one of right or doctrine, the other of fact or story, as whether the Protestants faith had a visible appearance before Luther, hee resolved to begin his enquiry with the matter of fact, as being sooner to be found (because but one) & easier to be cōprehended: to this I answer by saying, that if they would not appeal from the right Tribunall, or rather rule, which is the Scripture, those many might easier be ended then this one (we building our faith onely upon plain places, and all reaso­nable men being sufficient judges of what is plain) but if they appeal to a consent of Fathers, or Councels, whereof many are lost, many, not lost, not to bee gotten, many uncertain whether Fathers or no Fathers, and those which we have be­ing too many for almost any industry to read over, and abso­lutely for any memory to remember, which yet is necessary (because any one clause of any one Father destroys a consent) and being besides liable to all the exceptions which can bee brought against the Scriptures being the rule, as difficulty, want of an infallible interpreter, and such like, and being de­nied to have any infallibilitie (especially when they speak as witnesses, which a consent of them never doth against us) by one party, which the Scripture is allow'd to have by both, then I wonder not if he think such a way so uncertain, and so long, that he was willing to chuse any shorter cut rather then travell it. Neither doe I believe this to be so short, or so con­cluding as he imagines, for if he consider the large extent of Christian Religion, so that wee know little from any indiffe­rent Relator of the opinions of the Abissines, so great a part of [Page 23] Christendome, if he consider the great industry of his church in extinguishing those whom they have call'd Heretikes, and al­so their Books, so that wee know scarce any thing of any of them but from themselves (who are too partiall to make good Historians) if hee consider how carefully they stop mens mouthes (even those of their own) with their Indices Expur­gatorii, it will then appeare to him both a long work to seek, and a hard one to finde, whether any thought like Luther in all ages, and that hee concludes very rashly who resolves there was none because he cannot finde any, since they might have bin visible in their time, & yet not so to us (for men are not the less visible when they are so, for not being after remembred) as a man may be a Gentleman, though he know not his pedi­digree: so that as I will not affirm that there were always such, because I cannot prove it, so neither ought they to make themselves sure there were none without they could prove that which is impossible, and therefore no argument can be drawn from thence: and if it could be proved that such a no-wayes erring church must at all times be, I had rather be­lieve that there were still such, though wee know them not, which may be true, then that theirs is it, which in my opini­on cannot.

Thirdly, He says, hee could finde no one point of contro­verted doctrine, whereupon all the rest depended, but that this one question of fact was such as the decision of it determined all the rest. To this I answer, that the question of the infalli­bilitie of the Pope, at least of those who adhere to him, which they call the church is such a one as if determin'd must de­termine all the rest, and not onely so to us but to all men; whereas this (though granted necessarie, & determin'd to his wish) would indeed conclude against us, but not for them, since the Greek Church would put in as good plea upon the title of [Page 24] visibilitie as that of Rome, and hee would be to begin anew with them, when he had ended with us.

Fourthly, He gives his reason. If Luther could be evicted to be the Innovator, his Religion was then evicted of not be­ing the true Ancient and Apostolicall; To this I answer, by confessing the consequence, but hee might be the Renovator, and not the Innovator, and then no such consequence fol­lows.

Fifthly, He saith, we are bound to find an existence of some Professors of the Reformed Religion before Luther, which requiry is grounded upon his supposition of the necessity of a continuall succession of a visible and no wayes erroneous Church. Now I will first examine the sence of his tearmes: By the first I conceive by a place hee cites out of Saint Augustine, that he means visible to all Nations, but I pray hath his been always so, I mean (at least for many Centuries) to those Nations which Columbus hath not long since discove­red? By the second tearm Church, I suppose he means a com­pany of Christians holding neither more or lesse then Christ taught (for in a more large sence no man denies the Church to have bin always in some degrees visible) and in this sence I not onely deny it necessary, that it should always be visible, but that it should alwayes be, for I doubt whether there be, or for a long while have bin any such. Next that such a one as hee meanes appeares, because when catalogues have been brought of some who in all ages have differed from them in things which wee hold, his side would not accept of them, because they agreed not with us in al things, & yet when Campian intends to prove all the Fathers to be his, hee useth onely this course of instancing in some wherein they agree with him (though sometimes not so much, but rather the con­trary ought to be inferred, as in the instance of Polycarpus, for comparing his words with the History it will appeare that he [Page 25] concluded him a Papist for not being perswaded by the Pope) though they differed from them in many other, as indeed all the notable Fathers doe in more then one point. I will there­fore say, that if this be required to shewing that a Church hath been ever visible, it is more then either part can doe, and therefore I hope they will come upon better consideration, to confesse that not necessary for us to doe, which is impossible for themselves: For let any man look into Antiquitie, I will not say without all prejudice, but without an absolute Reso­lution of seeing nothing in it that contradicts his present be­liefe, and if he find not some opinions of the Church of Rome, as unknown to Antiquity, as either hee or I, as the Popes In­dulgenges having power to deliver out of Purgatory (confest by Bishop Fisher, and Alphonsus de Castro, where they treat of Indulgences) if hee finde not others at first unknown after known, but not held de fide, which are yet so at Rome, as prayer to Saints, their enjoying the beatificall vision before the day of Judgment, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and her being free from all actuall sinne; If he find not some wholly unknown & absolutely condemned which wee condemne, as the lawfulnesse of picturing of God the Father, whereof the first is confest by Baronius in the margent, to an Epistle of a Pope, which sayes the same, and the latter is to be found in Tom. 9. An 72. De fide & [...]. 2. lib. 2. c. many places of Saint Austine, Lactantius, and others; nay, if he find not that all the Doctors, Saints, and Martyrs of the two first ages (I mean as many as are now extant, and speak of it) held something which both parties condemned, as the opini­on of the Chiliasts, if I say he finde not this, or I shew him not that he might have found it, I professe I will be ready to spend my life for the Church against which I now em­ploy my pen: So that this will be the end, neither of our Churches have been always visible, onely this is the dif­ference, that we are troubled to shew our Church in the lat­ter [Page 26] and more corrupt ages, and they theirs in the first and pu­rest, that wee can least finde ours at night, and they theirs at noon: And whereas hee expects that D. White should stand to this to confess his Religion false if a continual descent of it could not be demonstrated, if hee himselfe please to grant as much as he exacts, if he but continue in this Resolution, and in this search, I doubt no more but that hee will soone leave to be a Papist, then I should doubt if I saw him now receiving the Communion in the Kings Chappell, that he had done it already.

Sixthly, his reason for the necessitie of the visibility fol­lows, because the cōtrary were a derogation from Gods pow­er or providence, I answer, to say he could not keep the truth exactly in mens beliefe, were to derogate from Gods power, to say he had not given sufficient means to finde the truth, and yet damned men for error, the first would be a derogation from his providence, the second from his Justice, but to say hee suffers men to erre who neglect the meanes of not erring, and that he damnes none for a meere errour, in which the will hath no part, and consequently the man no fault, derogates from none of the three, but sayes hee, this is repugnant to the maine reason why God hath a Church upon earth to be the conserver of the doctrine of Christ, and to convey it from age to age, I answer to conserve it is every mans duty, but such as they may all fail in, and is indeed rather the forme of the Church then the end of the Church, an exact conservati­on making an exact Church, as a lesse perfect conserving a lesse perfect Church. As for conveyance of doctrine, the whole Church conveyes none, whereof many (if his be it) have had but little convey'd to them. Particular Christians (especially Pastors) teach others which it is every mans duty to doe when he meets with them who want instruction which he can give, and they are likely to receive, yet is not the in­struction [Page 27] of others every mans mayne end. But I know Ma­ster Mountague perswades himself that some body of men are appointed to convey this doctrine which men are to receive, onely because they deliver it, and this I absolutely deny, for we receive no doctrine from the Church upon the Churches authority, because we know her not to be the Church, till we have examined her doctrine, and so receive rather her for it, then it for her. Neither for the conveyance of the Truth is it necessary that any company of men in all times hold it all, because some may convey some truths, and others other, out of which by comparing their doctrine with the Scripture, men may draw a perfect body of Truths: and though they deli­vered few other Truths, yet in delivering Scripture (wherein all necessary Truths is containd) they deliver all, and by that rule whosoever regulates his life and doctrine, I am confident that though he may mistake errour for Truth in the way, hee shall never mistake Hell for Heaven in the end.

Seventhly, His next reason is their common Achilles, the fourth of the Ephesians, which he chuseth onely to employ like his Triarios, his mayn battell, leaving his Velites, his light ar­med Souldiers, some places too allegorical, even in his own o­pinion, to stand examinatiō. The words are these. He hath given some Prophets, some Apostles, some Evangelists, some Pastors, and some Doctors, for the instauration of the Saints, for the work of the Mini­stery, for the edification of the body of Christ, till wee all meet in the unity of Faith, and the knowledge of the Sonne of God unto a perfect man, and unto the measure of the age of the fulnesse of Christ, That we may be no more children tost and carried away with every winde of doctrine, &c. Verse 11, 12, 13. Now out of this place I see not how a succession may be evinced, rather I thinke it may that the Apostle meant none: For first, he saith, not hee will give, but he hath given, and who could suppose that the Apostle could say that Christ had given then the present Pope, and [Page 28] the Doctors who now adhere to him; Secondly, allow that by he hath given, were meant, he hath promis'd (which would be a glosse not much unlike to that which one of the most witty and most eloquent of our modern Divines Doctor Dun notes of Statuimus i. Abrogamus) yet since these severall Nowns are all governed by the same Verb, and no distinction put, it would prove as wel a necessity of a continual succession of Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists, as of Pastors, and Do­ctors, which is more then either they can shew or pretend they can, so that it seemeth to me to follow that these were then gi­ven to do this, till then, and not a succession of them promi­sed till then, to doe this; and so wee receiving and retaining the Scriptures, wherein what they taught is contain'd (as wee would any thing else, that had as generall and ancient a tradi­tion if there were any such) need no more, for if hee say that men are tost for all the Scriptures, I answer so are they for all these Doctors, nay, if these keep any from being tost, it is the Scripture which does it, upon which their authority is by them founded upon their own interpretation, and reason, who yet will not give us leave to build any thing upon ours out of plainer places, and though they tell us that wee cannot know the Scripture, but from the Church, they are yet fain (as ap­peares) to prove the Authoritie of the Church out of Scrip­ture, which makes mee aske them in the wordes of their owne Campian, and with much more cause, Nihilne pudet Labyrinthi?

Eigthly, there follows an other reason to this sense, that Reason not being able to shew away to eternall happinesse, and without such an one man would fail of the end to which he was ordained, it must be propos'd by an infallible authority, in so plain a manner as even the simple might be capable of it, which being performed by our Saviour, it must be convai'd to suc­ceeding [Page 29] ages by those who heard it from him, and whensoever this thread failed mankind was left without a guide to inevita­ble ruine; I answere, that though all this be granted, it proves not against us, for we have the Scripture come downe to us relating Christs Doctrine, and written by those that heard it, and which the simple are capable of understanding (I mean as much as is plaine, and more is not necessary, since other Questi­ons may as well be suffered without harme as those betweene the Jesuites and Dominicans about Predetermination, and be­tweene the Dominicans, and almost all the rest about the Im­macultate conception) and those who are not neither are they capable out of Scripture to discerne the true Church; Much lesse by any of these notes, which require much understanding and large learning, as conformity with the Ancients, and such like.

Ninthly, the same answere I give to this serves also to the following words of Saint Austin, for whereas Master Mountague concludeth, that he could not meane the Scriptures as a com­petent rule to mankind, which consisteth most of simple per­sons, because there hath been continuall altercations about the sense of important places, I answere that I may as well con­clude by the same Logick, that neither is the Church a com­petent guide, because in all ages there have also beene disputes, not onely about her authority but even which was shee, and to whatsoever reason he imputes this, to the same may we the o­ther, as to negligence, pride, prejudication and the like; and if he please to search, I verily beleeve he will find that the Scrip­tures are both easier to bee knowne then the Church, and that it is as easie to know what these teach as when that hath defin'd, since they hold no Decrees binding de fide without a confirmation of the popes, who can never bee knowne infallibly to be a Pope, because a secret simony makes [Page 30] him none, no not to be a Christian, because want of due intenti­on in the Baptizer makes him none, whereof the latter is always possible, and the first in some ages likely, and in hard Questi­ons, a readinesse to yeeld to the Scriptures when they shall be explan'd me thinks should serve, as well as a readinesse to assent to the decrees of the Church when those shall bee pro­nounced.

Tenthly, Hee saith the Scripture must be kept safe in some hands, whose authority must beget our acceptance of them, which being no other then the Church of all ages, we have no more reason to beleeve that it hath preserved that free from corruption then its selfe in a continuall visibility: I answer that neither to giving authority to Scripture nor to the keeping of them is required a continuall visibility of a no ways erring bo­dy of Christians, the writers of them give them their authority amongst Christians, nor can the Church move any other, and that they were the writers of them, we receive from the generall Tradition, and testimony of the first Christians, not from any following Church, who could know nothing of it but from them (for for those parts which were then doubted of by such as were not condemned for it by the rest why may not wee re­mayn in the same suspence of them that they did) & for their be­ing kept and convey'd this was not done onely by their Church, but by the Greeks, and there is no reason to say that to the kee­ping, and transmitting of Records safely it is required to under­stand them perfectly, since the old Testament was kept & trans­mitted by the Iews, who yet were so capable of erring, that out of it they lookt for a temporall King, when it spake of a spiritual: & me thinks the testimonie is greater of a church that contradicts the Scripture then which doth not, since no mans witnessing is so soon to be taken as when against himselfe, and so their te­stimony is greater of a Church that contradicts the Scripture [Page 31] by which themselves are condemn'd: Besides the generall re­verence which ever hath bin given to the Books, & the con­tinuall use of them (together with severall parties having al­wayes their eyes upon each other ready and desirous to have somewhat to accuse in their Adversaries) gives us greater cer­tainty that these are the same writings, then we have that any other ancient Book is any other ancient Authors, and we need not to have any other unerring company preserv'd to make us surer of it: yet the Church of Rome as infallible a Deposita­rie as she is, hath suffer'd some varieties to creepe into the Co­pies in some lesse materiall things, nay and some whole Books (as they themselves say) to be lost, and if they say how then can that be the rule whereof part is lost, I answer, that wee are excus'd if we walk by all the rule that we have, and this makes much against Traditions being the rule, since the Church hath not lookt better to Gods unwritten word then to his written, and if she pretend she hath, let her tell us the cause why Anti­christs comming was deferr'd, which was a Tradition of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, and which without impudence she cannot pretend not to have lost, and if againe they say God hath preserv'd all necessary Traditions, I reply so hath hee all necessary Scripture, for by not being preserv'd it became to us not necessary, since wee cannot be bound to beleeve and follow what we cannot finde. But besides, I beleeve that all which was ever necessary is contain'd in what remaines, for Pappias sayes of S. Mark, that he writ all that S. Peter preach'd, as Iraeneus doth that Luke writ all that S. Paul preach'd, nay Vincentius Lirinensis though hee would have the Scripture ex­pounded by ancient Tradition, yet confesseth that all is there that is necessary (and yet then there was no more Scripture then we now have) as indeed by such a Tradition as he speaks of no more can be prov'd then is plainly there, and almost all Christians confent in, and truly I wonder that they should [Page 32] bragge so much of that Author, since both in this and other things he makes much against them, especially in not sending men to the present Roman Church, a much readier way (if he had knowne it) then such a long and doubtfull one as hee prescribes, which indeed it is impossible that almost any que­stion should be ended by.

Eleventhly, He brings S. Austines authority to prove, that the true Church must be alwayes visible; but if he understood Church in Master Mountagu's sence, I think he was deceiv'd. Neither is this impudence for me to say, since I have cause to think it but his particular opinion, by his saying (which Card. Perr. quotes) that before the Donatists the question of the Church had never beene exactly disputed of, and by this be­ing one of his maine grounds against them, and yet claiming no Tradition, but onely places of Scripture most of them al­legoricall, and if it were no more, then I may better dissent from it, then he from all the first Fathers, (for Dionisius Areo­pagita was not as yet hatcht) in the point of the Chiliasts, though some of them (Pappias and Iraeneus) claim'd a direct Tradition, and Christs owne words. Secondly, as hee useth this kind of liberty, so he professeth it in his 19 Epistle, where he saith, that to Canonicall Scriptures he had onely learnt to give that reverence, as not to doubt of what they said, because they said it, and from all others hee expected proofe from Scriptures, or reason. Thirdly, the Church of Rome con­demnes severall opinions of him, and therefore she ought not to finde fault with them who imitate her examples.

Twelfthly, He adds two reasons more, the consent of the Fathers of all ages, and the confession of Protestants: To the first I answer, that I know not of any such, and am the more unapt to beleeve it, because M. Mountague vouchsafes not to insist upon it, nor to quote any, which I guesse he would have done, but that hee misdoubted their strength. Secondly, sup­pose [Page 33] that all the Fathers which speak of this did say so, yet if they say it, as private Doctors, and claime no Tradition for it, I know not why they should weigh more then so many of the now-learned, who having more help from Art, and no fewer from Nature, are not worse searchers into what is truth, though lesse capable of being witnesses to what was tradition. Thirdly, they themselves often professe they expect not to be read as Judges, but as to be judg'd, by their and our rule, the Canonicall Scriptures. Fourthly, Let him please to read a­bout the imaculate conception Posa, Salmeron, & Wadding, and he will finde me as submissive to antiquity, even whilest I re­ject it, as those of his owne Party, for they to preferre new opinions before old, are faine to preferre new Doctors be­fore old, and to confesse the latter more perspicacious, and to differ from those of former times, with as little scruple as hee would from Calvin (whom Maldonat on purpose to oppose confesseth he chuseth a new Interpretation before that of all In 6 cap. Ioh. the Ancients, which no witnesse but my eyes could have made mee beleeve) nay, and produce other points wherein their Church hath decreed against the Fathers, to perswade her to doe so againe, although Campian with an eloquent brag would perswade us that they are all as much for him as Greg. the 13, who was then Pope. To the second I answer, that infallibility is not by us deni'd to the Church of Rome, with an intention of allowing it to particular Protestants, how wise and learned soever.

Thirteenthly, Hee says next, that hee after inform'd him­self in other points which seem'd to him unwarrantable, and superstitious, and found onely his own mistakes gave him oc­casion of scandall; to this I answer that I cannot well answer any thing, unlesse he had specified the points, but I can say that there are many, as picturing God the Father (which is generally thought lawfull, and as generally practised) their [Page 34] offerings to the Virgin Mary (which onely differs frō the here­sy of the Colliridians in that a candle is not a cake) their praying to Saints, and beleeving de fide that they heare us, though no­way made certaine that they doe so, and many more which without any mistake of his might have given him occasion to be still scandalized; for whereas he saith that these points were grounded upon the authority of the ancient Fathers, which was refused as insufficient by Protestants, I answere, that none of these I name have any ground in the Ancientest, nay, the first is by them disallowed, and if any other supersti­tion of theirs have from them any ground, yet they who de­part from so many of the Ancients in severall opinions cannot by any reason be excused for retaining any errour, because therein they have consent, nor have the Protestants cause to receive it from them, as a sufficient Apologie, neither hath he to follow the Fathers rather then Protestants, in a case in which not the persons, but the reasons were to be considered: For when Saint Hierome was by this way both brought into, and held in a strange errour, though hee spake something like Master Mountagues patiaris me errare cum talibus, suffer mee to erre with such men, yet he could not obtain Saint Augustines leave, who would not suffer him, but answered their reasons, and neglected their authorities.

Fourteenthly, Hee speaks of his Religion super-infusing loyalty, and if he had onely said it destroyed, or weakned it not, I (who wish that no doubt of his alleageance may once enter his mind to whom we all owe it, but professe my selfe his humble servant, and no ways his enemie though his ad­versary) would then have made no answer, but since he speaks as if Popery were the way to obedience, I cannot but say, that though no tenet of their whole Church (which I know) makes at all against it, yet there are prevailing opinions of that side, which are not fit to make good subjects, when their King and [Page 35] they are of different perswasions. For besides that Cardinall D'Ossat (an Author which I know Master Mountague hath read, because whosoever hath but considered state matters must be as wel skilled in him as any Priest in his Breviary) tels us that it is the Spaniards maxime, that faith is not to be kept with Heretiks, and more that the Pope intimated as much in a discourse intended to perswade the King of France to for­sake the Queene of England, he saies moreover speaking in an other place about the Marquizat of Saluces, that they hold at Rome that the Pope to avoid a probable danger of the in­creasing of Heresie may take away a territory from the true owner and dispose of it to an other, and many also defend that he hath power to depose a Hereticall Prince, and of Heresie he makes himselfe the Judge: so that though I had rather my tongue should cleave to the roofe of my mouth, then that I should deny that a Papist may be a good Subject, even to a King whom he counts a Heretick, since I verily believe that I my selfe know very many very good, yet Popery is like to an ill aire, wherein though many keep their healths, yet many are infected (so that at most they are good subjects but during the Popes pleasure) and the rest are in more danger then if they were out of it.

To conclude, I believe that what I have said may at least serve (if he will descend to consider it) to move Master Moun­gue to a further search, and for Memorandums in it, which if he doe, hee will be soone able to give as much better reasons for my conclusion (that such a visible Church neither need, nor can be shewed) as his understanding is degrees above mine. I hope also by comparing the bodie of their beliefe, and the ground of their authoritie, that little that can be drawn out of the fourth of the Ephesians, with the Myriads of contradicti­on in Transubstantion, he will come to see that their pillars [Page 36] are too weake to hold up any building be it never so light, and their building is too heavie to bee held up by any pillars bee they never so strong, and trust he will returne to us whom he will then finde that hee hath causesly left, if hee be (which I doubt not) so ingenuous, as not to hold an opinion, because he turn'd to it, nor to stay, onely because he went.


Pag. 30. line ult. for, is greater of &c. read, is more receivable which is given to the Scripture


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