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A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A Popish Priest AND An English Protestant. WHEREIN The Principal Points and Arguments of both RELIGIONS are truly Proposed and fully Examined.

By MATTHEW POOLE Minister of the Gospel.

The Last Edition corrected and amended.

LONDON: Printed by E. Cotes, and are to be sold by S. Tompson at the Bishops-Head in Duck Lane, 1667.

TO THE READER.

THE variety and differen­ces of Religion, between Protestant and Papist, distract the minds and trouble the hearts of all that have any sense of Religi­ous Concernments. In this distra­ction every serious man that hath any care of his Souls health, can­not choose but heartily desire and seek for resolution: To obtain this, there can be no better way than to understand and examine the Pretensions and Grounds of both Religions: In order to this, I have endeavoured faithfully to [Page] represent, and duly to weigh them in the following Discourse.

Wherein though I have not discussed all the Points in Con­troversie between us and them, yet I have selected the most ma­terial, and have discoursed of most, if not all, their weighty and plausible Arguments against the Protestant Religion. And this, I may say, and no knowing Papist, I think, will deny it; all the other Points will follow the fate of those which are here exa­mined, and live or die with them. I know it will be pretended, that I have managed the Work with par­tiality and deceit, and that I make the Papist speak what I please, not what they think. This must be [Page] said of course, else the Romanists, lose their old wont: Nor shall I, at all think it strange, if in stead of solid Answers, they return Ca­lumnies: their cause requires it; and no wonder if they that want Truth in their Religion, make lies their Refuge.

To silence all clamours, and sa­tisfie all jealousies will be impossi­ble, I shall never attempt it.

But for satisfaction of such as are rational and ingenuous, I shall give this following account.

1. God is my witness, that I did diligently endeavour to pick out the strongest Arguments I could find in their best Authors in each Point; nor have I willingly de­clined any thing of moment in the [Page] Questions here debated: If any Pa­pist think otherwise, let him pro­duce their greater strength, and I hope he shall find it fairly exa­mined.

2. The several Discourses, Ar­guments and Answers which I put into the Papists mouth; are such as were first taken out of their mouths, and so it is but a piece of Iustice and Restitution to re­turn them thither. They are ge­nerally such as are either known to be their opinions, and by them­selves owned, or else delivered in the sense, and very oft in the words, of their most approved Authors, whom I have quoted in the mar­gent: But here I expect the old clamour of false Quotations, where­in [Page] they have been so often taken tardy, that they must now look for the common infelicity of—not to be believed if they should chance to stumble upon Truth. All the re­lief I desire in that case is, that the Reader who is able to do it, would examine them with his own eyes, and that will be my best ju­stification. I shall detain thee no longer, but commend thee to the good Spirit of Truth to enable thee to discern between good and evil.

TO THE PEOPLE OF THE Romish Church.

THE Controversies between your Church and ours, are by Gods blessing upon the endeavours of his Ministers, brought to this pass, that I am perswaded there is nothing wanting to the Conviction of divers of you, but a free and diligent perusal of theri Books, without pre­judice and partiality: This your Priests knowing, it is their great design to keep you from looking into them; and to that end, to possess you with this Principle, That you need not trouble your selves to inquire into Books, you are safe enough, so long you believe as the [Page] Church believes, and follow the Gui­dance of your Priests and Fathers: if this be an Errour, it is a dangerous one, and may prove Damnable; That it is so, and that it will prove but a broken reed, when you lean upon it, I hope you will see there is reason to believe, if you will but do your souls that justice, not prodigally to cast them away upon blind and wilful mistakes, and take the pains to read these ensuing lines.

1. If your Church be not infallible, then this Principle is rotten; howsoever, you cannot with safety or discretion venture your souls on it, till you have examined at least this one point of the Churches Infalli­bility: do but examine that, and if you do not stifle both Reason and Conscience, you will see it is a meer cheat.

2. If the Church (that is, a Pope with a Council) were infallible (which is all that your great Champions plead for) yet all confess, that your particular Priests (upon whose conduct you hazard your eternal wel-fare) are fallible and subject to mistakes. It is most certain that divers of your Priests [Page] and Confessors lead you into many (and some [...]f them damnable) Errours. Thousands of [...]our Priests and learned Doctors do charge the Iesuits with poysoning the souls of the people with divers pestilent and damnable er­rours, such as these: That a man may venture his soul upon any probable opi­nion, and that is probable, which but one of their learned Doctors affirm. That a private man may kill his enemy to main­tain his honour, though not by way of re­venge. That a Priest may absolve even old and inveterate sinners, and such as he be­lieves incorrigible. That affliction or sorrow for sin, arising meerly from fear of punishments, is sufficient for salvation: and, that the affection of loving God is not absolutely necessary to salvation. All these and many more are clearly proved out of their own words and writings in the Provincial letters, otherwise called, the Mystery of Iesuitisme: See the La­tine Edition set forth and defended by Wen­drockius. Now if the Iesuits may, and do, so damnably deceive those thousands of you that depend upon their counsel and conduct, why may not other Orders deceive you in o­ther things? Or what is there that can give you any reasonable security? Is it their learn­ing, [Page] prudence, pretended devotion, or honesty, or any other such like quality? Why, divers of the Iesuits have given as plausible testi­mony of those things (so far as men can judge) as most of the other Orders; or will you say, all other Orders are infallible, the Iesuits on­ly excepted?

3. Nothing can be more evident (if the Bible be the word of God) than that the er­rour or misguidance of the Priest, will not ex­cuse the sin of the people. To satisfie you in this, I beseech you consider these few reasons.

1. The Scripture condemns, and God severely punished those people, which did follow the errours of their Priests. This did not excuse the Jews in Aarons time, that they were misled by Aaron, Exod. 32. nor those in the times of the wicked Kings of Israel and Judah, that their Priests did uni­versally deceive them, and poor Elijah, and so Michaiah, were left alone; nor those in Ma­lachy's daies, that the Priests caused them to stumble at the Law, Malac, 2. 8. nor the Crucifiers of Christ, that they obeyed the decrees of their Priests and Rulers.

I list not to repeat what I have said else­where: therefore read Nullity of Romish Faith ch. 2. sect. 12. And will you yet stumble at the same stone!

[Page] 2. The people will not be excused by their Priests misguidance, because they neglect their duty. If indeed there were no duty incum­bent upon the people but to believe what your Priests say, and do what they require, then your Church speaks reason. But that none but a mad man will say.

There are several duties required of the People, no less than of the Priests; the Law of God was not given only to the Priests, but to all the People; God publisheth this law in the hearing of all the people, and speaks in the singular number to every one of the people, thou shalt do or forbear this or that; and the curse is threatned to the people, Deut. 27. 26. Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them, and all the people shall say Amen. Which the Apostle repeats, Gal. 3. 10. Cursed is every one, not Priests only, but the People too, that continueth not in all things which are written in this book of the law to do them. If the Priests then should have taught the Israelites (as your Priests now teach you) thou shalt worship a graven i­mage, when God saith, thou shalt not wor­ship a graven image: can any serious man think this would have freed them from [Page] that curse; and that it was safer for them to obey the Command of men than of God? O the impudence of your Priests that dare say so! O the blockishness of those people that will believe them when they say so! your Pope may well contend with us, for it seems your Priests will contest with God for Supre­macy: When the Priests and Prophets in I­saiahs daies were generally corrupt, the peo­ple are not advised to believe all that they taught, and to obey all that they decreed (which is the strain of your Church) but are com­manded immediately to go to the law and to the testimony, and if any speak not ac­cording to them, they are to be rejected, because there is no light in them, Isa. 8. 20. Even people are required not to be­lieve every spirit, but to try the spi­rits, 1 John 4. 1. Nor did the Apostles ex­empt themselves and their doctrines from this Tryal, but allowed, commended, and required it in the people.

The Beraeans are not reproved and censured (as they would certainly be, that should tread in their steps at Rome) but commended for examining the Doctrine of S. Paul by the Scripture, Acts 17. 11. And the same A­postle allows the Galatians, not only to try his Doctrines, whether they were agreeable [Page] to what they had received; but in case they find them contrary, he gives them Com­mission to censure and anathemize him, Gal. 1. 8, 9. And he bespeaks the Corin­thians in this language, I speak to wise men, judge you what I say, 1 Cor. 10. 15. And he commands the Thessalonians to prove all things (without exception) as well as to hold fast that which is good, 1 Thess. 5. 21. Consider these things, I beseech you, and do not wilfully cast a­way your precious souls upon trifles. God hath given the Scripture as a rule to try things by (and this was written for the Ignorant, and the people, as well as the lear­ned, and the Priests, John 20. 31.) he hath given people reason to try things with, if you will hide these Talents in a Napkin, at your peril be it. The Prince was com­manded to read and meditate in the Book of the Law, that he might observe to do all that is written therein, Iosh. 1. 8. Can you seriously think that if the corrupt Priests had agreed to teach him to do contrary to all that was written therein, that this would have excused him before God? then that Precept was both super­fluous and dangerous; and if you do not think so, (as you must needs if you have [Page] any Conscience) then neither will it ex­cuse your people; for according to the Doctrine of your Church, Prince and Peo­ple are alike in this, both tied to believe as your Church believes. God commands eve­ry Christian to prove his own work; and tells us, that every man shall bear his own burden, Gal. 6. 4, 5. and, that eve­ry man shall give an account of him­self to God, Rom. 14. 12. (Do not think your Priests account shall serve turn) and all the Christian people of Corinth are commanded to examine themselves whether they be in the faith, 2 Cor. 13. 5. And dare you still live in the wilful breach of all these Commands, and blindly give up your Souls▪ and Consciences by an implicite faith, to the conduct of your Priests to lead them whether they please?

3. The Scripture hath given you full warning of your danger. Read but two places, Ezek, 33. 8. (where God assures us, that the wicked shall die in his iniqui­ty, though he perished through the Watch­mans fault) and Matth. 15. 14. (where Christ confutes this very opinion of yours, which was also the opinion of the Jews, that they were safe enough while they fol­owed [Page] their Priests Decrees and Counsels: and tells them. If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the Ditch) and doubt of this, if you can or dare.

In a word, if this senceless Doctrine were true, not only Men would have do­minion over our Faith, contrary to express Scripture; (Be not ye called Masters, for one is your Master, even Christ, Matth. 23. 10. Not that we have do­minion over your faith, said the great Apostle) but also Christ should lose his dominion, and have no authority in his Church, but as your Priests please; and it seems he shall not have this favour from you, to continue in his Office quamdiu bene se gesserit, but quamdiu vobis placuerit; and Christs power is apparently limited to your Interpretation; but the power of your Church is absolute and unlimited, and the People obliged to believe them, quamcun­que sententiam tulerint, whatsoever they shall decree, as Gretser expresseth it. If this be not to make the word and Autho­rity of God and Christ void, through your Traditions, I know not what is. I will trouble you no further. If you be capa­ble of Counsel, take warning, and suffer not your selves to be lead hoodwinckt to [Page] Hell, to serve a Carnal Interest of some a­mong you; but quit your selves like men, and by the grossness of this delusion, learn to suspect the rest; and with humble and honest hearts, read what is here proposed to you for your Souls good, and God give you light. Let my Soul prosper no otherwise than I heartily wish the good and salva­tion of you all; but if you will still persist in your blindness, and add further obsti­nacy to your Errours, I shall comfort my self in this, that I have delivered my own soul, your blood be upon your own head, for there it will assuredly fall, and not upon the Priests only.

[Page] [Page] Mr. POOLE'S Dialogue.

A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A Popish Priest AND An English Protestant.

Pop.

DEar Friend I am glad to meet with you after so long a separation; for I remember we were brought up at the same School, and I rejoyce in the opportunity of renewing our ac­quaintance, I desire a little discourse with you, to understand how it is with you in point of Religion.

Prot.

I am of the Protestant reformed Religion.

Pop.

I am heartily sorry for it in regard of our old intimacy; but if you will give me leave, I do not question, but in a very little [Page 2] time to give you such reasons as will force you to leave those damnable Errors, and to return to your antient Mother the Church of Rome.

Prot.

With a very good will shall I yield my self to your Instruction, I de­sire nothing more than true Information; I know I have a Soul to save, which is of infinite worth, and I am not fond of dam­nation; therefore if you give me better grounds than I have, you shall not finde me obstinate: but this I must tell you, you must not put me off with fancies and bare affirmations; but I shall expect so­lid proof of what you say from Scri­pture or Reason, and now speak what you please.

Pop.

First, my dear Friend, I must in­treat you to consider that which your own Ministers teach you, to wit, That there is no Salvation to be had out of the true Catholick Church, which is the Church of Rome.

Prot.

That none is saved out of the true Catholick Church, I grant, (for the Ca­tholick Church includes all Believers in the world) but a man may be saved that is no Member of the Roman, nor of any particular Church; for although you in­gross to your selves the name of the Ca­tholick Church, nothing is more clear, [Page 3] than that the Church of Rome is at best but a part of the Catholick Church, and that a very unsound one too; and there is a false Church (in which salvation can­not ordinarily be had) as well as a true Church (out of which it cannot ordinari­ly be had) and I have heard more to prove yours to be this false Church, than I am able to answer, or you either, as I suppose: therefore this being only a ge­neral (and so an unconcluding) Argu­ment, I desire you to come closer to the point.

Pop.

Then I intreat you to consider the danger of your way, and the safety of ours; since all your Ministers confess, That a Ro­man Catholick may be saved in his Religion; but all our Church unanimously declare, That you are damned if you live and dye in your Religion.

Prot.

You call us Schismaticks; but by this Argument you prove your selves to be so: For I have oft heard it, that in the very same manner those infamous Schis­maticks, the Donatists, argued against St. Austin and the Catholick Church, that he confessed Salvation was to be had in their Churches, which they affirmed was not to be had in the Catholick Church; and this very thing was by St. Austin, and [Page 4] the Church of that age, condemned as their great Schismatical Principle. But let that pass. To come to your Argu­ment: Remember the condition I made with you, that you do not put me off with Fancies and bare Affirmations, for I ex­pect you shall make good every word you say. Now here I find you under a great Mistake, and though I have heard it most confidently delivered by divers of your Brethren, yet you must give me leave to believe my own eyes and ears: I read it in divers Books of our Learned English Divines, and I have heard it from divers very able Scholars and Ministers, That Popery in these times and places of light, is to those that may see that light and will not, not only dangerous, but damnable; nor do I pin my Faith upon their sleeves, but they have given me not meer Affirmations as you do, but such Arguments as I confess I cannot answer: yet if you can, I shall be ready to hearken to you.

Pop.

It is easie to say in general, that our Religion is dangerous or damnable, but I be­seech you shew me wherein; which are those Doctrines and Practices of ours wherein the danger lies?

Prot.
[Page 5]

I will instance in few of many par­ticulars.

First, That Idolatry is a damnable sin, your own Authors grant, and Scripture expresly affirms, Idolaters shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10. and Rev. 21. 8. & 22. 15. And that your Church is guilty of Idolatry, especially in the Worship of Images, and of the Host, or Consecrated Bread in the Sacrament, is the Doctrine of all Protestant Churches, and I shall prove it before you and I have done.

Secondly, That the Worshippers of the Babylonish Beast, Rev. 13. and 14. are in a damnable condition, you all grant, and it is affirmed by God himself, Rev. 14. 8, 9, 10, 11. And that Rome is that Babylon, the most and Learnedest of your Doctors a­gree, only some of them pretend it is Rome Heathen as it was; and others, that it is Rome Iewish, as it shall be in the end of the world; both which conceits are fully refuted by divers of our Au­thors.

Thirdly, that it is highly dangerous to trust in Man, and to trust in our own Righteousness, sufficiently appears from Ier. 17. 5. Cursed is he that trusteth in Man; and from that dreadful example of [Page 6] the Iews, who going about to establish their own righteousness, did not submit to (and therefore lost the benefit of) the righteous­ness of Faith, Rom. 10. 3. and that you are guilty of this sin, in trusting to Saints and to your own Merits, shall appear in the following Discourse.

Fourthly, It is dangerous to add to the Word of God; and this your Church is not only deeply guilty of, in adding their Traditions (* to be received with equal re­verence to the holy Scriptures) but obligeth all its Members to justifie those additions, and thereby intitle them to the same plagues with themselves.

Fifthly, (to name no more) it is highly dangerous to break any of Gods commands, and to teach men so, and to make the word of God of none effect by humane Traditions, we know what woes Christ pronounceth a­gainst the Pharisees for these things. And this your Church is deeply guilty of, as in many other particulars, so most eminent­ly in this, that you profess no men are ob­liged to receive the Scriptures as the word of God, nor to believe any thing in it, but for the testimony of your Church [Page 7] By this it apears, that you have no rea­son to boast of the safeness of your way. And as for your threats of Damnation to all that do not submit themselves to your Church and Pope, however they may terrifie silly people; yet toke it from me, to prudent men it is rather an argument of the falseness of your Religion. For such will be apt to conclude, that your Faith is not right, because your unchari­tableness is so notorious, and monstrous, in condemning all the world besides your selves, and that too upon such frivolous pretences. This argument therefore of yours hath little weight.

Let me hear what further you have to say against our Religion.

Pop.

Then consider seriously of this, that your Church confesses, that she is Fallible, and that you have no Infallible Iudge among you, whereby Controversies may be ended; but our Church is Infallible.

Prot.

I confess now you speak home; make this good, That it is necessary the Church should be Infallible, and that yours is so, and I shall ease you of the trouble of further Arguments: But I must ask you two Questions: 1. What is the meaning of this Proposition? and, 2. How you will prove it? For the first, [Page 8] I ask you how you understand it? What is this Church which you tell me is Infal­lible? Are you agreed among your selves in that point? To tell me of an Infallible Judge, and not to give me infallible assu­rance who this Judge is, is to deceive me with vain words, and will no more end Controversies than to tell me there is an Infallible Judge in Heaven: For where I pray you shall I finde your Infallible Judge? Now I am in quest of him, I in­treat your counsel and direction. Tell me then, Is it the body of your Church, and multitude of Catholicks that is your In­falible Judge? Do you make your peo­ple the Judge of Controversies?

Pop.

No, For we all agreed the Govern­ment of the Church is Monarchical.

Prot.

Are you then agreed that the Pope alone is the Infallible Judge? speak the truth, and the whole truth, and no­thing but the truth.

Pop.

I will deal truly with you, we are not all agreed in that point, the French Catho­licks generally deny it, and divers of our emi­nent Doctors and Writers, as (Bellarmin confesses*) and among the rest a Pope, Adri­an by name, denies it, and even they that seem [Page 9] to be better minded towards the Pope, acknow­ledge that it is no heresie to deny this, and that divers good Catholicks deny it, and that it is but a disputable point *.

Prot.

Is it then a General Council that is infallible? Are you agreed in that? deal truly and clearly with me.

Pop.

Then I must confess we are not all agreed in that neither: For the Pope will deny this, and all the Iesuites and Italian Catho­licks, and others, who ascribe this Infallibility to the Pope only.

Prot.

Who then is this Infallible Judge?

Pop.

The Pope and a General Council a­greeing together.

Prot.

Is there then at this time any Ge­neral Council at Rome, or elsewhere, which doth agree with the Pope?

Pop.

No, but though there be no Council now in their persons, yet there is in their wri­tings, and the Pope agreeing with them is infallible.

Prot.

But I have been told that all your Doctors agree in this, that no Writing can be a judge of Controversies: If you deny this, I should think the writing of God (which you all acknowledge the [Page 10] Scripture to be) might challenge this pri­viledge as well as the writings of any Council or men. You all plead for the absolute necessity of a living Infallible Judge.

Pop.

Though Catholicks are divided in the manner of expression, yet all are agreed in this general Proposition, That our Church is Infallible.

Prot.

Call you this only a difference in manner of expression, for one to say the Pope is Infallible, another to say he is fal­lible? for some of you to affirm the infal­libility of Councils, others utterly to deny it? I beseech you remember, I am inquiring after Particulars (and therefore do not put me off with deceitful Gene­rals) who, and where is the man or men, to whom I must go to be infallibly re­solved in all Controversies? For if the King should tell his people he hath ap­pointed a Judge to end all their civil Controversies, this would be to no pur­pose, unless he should tell who that Judge is, So that till I hear you are agreed in this particular, my doubts and perplexi­ties must needs remain. And then for the next point: I ask you, how you prove this Infallibility which you pretend to, I must tell you since it is the very foundation of [Page 11] your Faith, I expect very clear and unde­niable Proofs, I pray you bring me two or three of your strongest Arguments.

Pop.

In this you speak reason, and I shall comply with your desires, I shall give you two or three plain and evident Scriptures to prove it. 1. That of Mat. 16. 18. Hence I thus argue, The Church is said to be built upon St. Peter, he is the Rock spoken of; and this Rock doth together with S. Peter include his Successours, and the Church built upon this Rock, (that is united to, and built upon the Pope) is infallible, for it is said, The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

Prot.

Not one of all these things is true.

1. It is more probable that not Peter's Person, but his Doctrine or his Confession concerning Christ, (which now he made) is the Rock upon which the Church is built; Scripture is its own best Interpre­ter: It is not Peter, but Christ which is the foundation of the Church, as he is called, Isa. 28. 16. compared with 1 Pet. 2. 6, 7, 8. It is expresly, 1 Cor. 3. 11. Other foundation can no man lay but that that is laid, which is Iesus Christ; and this is the more considerable, because, he speaks against those that made the Apo­stles foundations, one saying, I am of Paul, [Page 12] another, I of Apollos, I of Cephas. And if this were spoken of Peter, no more is said of him here, than is said of all the Pro­phets and Apostles, Ephes. 2. 20. Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets—And besides, if by this Text Peter had been made supreme and Infal­lible Head of the Church, and Judge of all Controversies, no Man in his wits can believe that St. Paul would have treated him so irreverently (to speak the least) as he doth Galat. 2. (which is more consi­derable, because then Christ was dead, and Peter in the actual exercise of his Headship and Government, and if we may believe you, publickly and univer­sally owned for such) that he would have equalled himself with him as he doth, Verse 7. The Gospel of the Vncircumcision was committed to me, as the Gospel of the Circumcision to Peter: And that he would have spoken promiscuously of Iames, Ce­phas and Iohn, that they all seemed to be pil­lars, Ver. 9. and not a word of Peters being the rock and foundation; and that he would have withstood St. Peter to his face, as he did, Verse 11.

2. If this were meant of Peter; yet this is nothing to his Successours. You must first prove that St. Peter had a Successour [Page 13] in that supposed universal Headship, which will be very hard to perswade any understanding Man, for, 1. That au­thority which the Apostles had over all Churches, was peculiar to them, and died with them: we see God did not think it necessary to leave a successour to Moses, (in his full and absolute Authority) no more was it necessary to leave any after Peter and the Apostles: and the reason is the same, because the work of Law­giving was finish'd, and those that came after were tyed to the execution of their Laws. 2. Besides, if Peter did leave a Successour, what prudent man can believe, that he would not have left some notice, thereof to the world in one of his Epi­stles? I find he saith, I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease, to have these things in remembrance, 2 Pet. 1. 15. How easie had it been to have ad­ded, to that end I leave a Successour, whom you must hear in all things? I find Moses was very careful to leave a Successour, and so was Elias, and David, and Christ (as my Father sent me, so send I you): Was Peter the only careless person, that would not be at the expence of a word to prevent all those Heresies, Schisms, and Contentions which were even then [Page 14] broached, and most likely to increase af­ter the death of the Apostles in the Chri­stian world?

3. If any did succeed St. Peter in his Head-ship, one would think it should have been one of the surviving Apostles, especially St. Iohn, who lived above 20 years after him; for who can believe (that regards what he believes) that Linus or Clemens who is said to be St. Peters successour, should be superiour to St. Iohn; yet the foundation of all your Religion is built upon this non­sensical opinion: And if this priviledge did belong not only to Peter, but some of his successours; yet to say, it be­longs to all following Popes (divers of which are acknowledged to be Apostati­cal and most wicked wretches) and that such Monsters as were the true slaves of the Devil, and brands of Hell, should be the foundations of the Church, by whom the Church was to be secured from the gates of Hell, will not find be­lief with serious Men till East and West meet together: and besides, when our Divines say, The Pope is Antichrist, and the Man of sin; you use to answer, that these expressions, the Antichrist, and the Man of sin, must needs point at a particu­lar [Page 15] Man, and not a whole Order of Men; which if it be true, the expression there used of this Rock (especially being so par­ticularly levell'd at Peter, as you will needs have it) cannot with any colour be thought to mean a succession of many hun­dreds of persons. And sure I am, whatever the Text speaks of Peter, it speaks not one word of Peters Successours, and therefore it is as easie for me to deny it, as you to af­firm it.

3. Whatever this promise or privi­ledge is, it belongs no more to the Church of Rome, than to the Church of England, the name of one is heer as clear as the other; It is a general promise ex­tending to the Church at all times and places, signifying, that God will have and maintain a Church to the end of the World: And if this place concerns only those that are built upon St. Peter, you grant the Church of England once was, as the Church of Rome now is, built up­on him too, when it was subject to the Pope. And if their being built upon St. Peter did not secure them from Falli­bility and Apostacy (as you say it did not) then consequently the building of the Church of Rome upon St. Peter did not make them infallible, but they might [Page 16] (as we say and prove they did) fall away. And certainly one of these two things must be granted, either that every Church which did once adhere to Peter, or the Pope, are secured by this Text from fal­ling away; or else, that notwithstanding this Promise, every Church that now is subject to the Pope may fall away from him, and so the Pope may be a head with­out a Body, a Shepherd without so much as one sheep: For if this Text did prove what they desire, that all that do adhere to the Pope, whilst they do so, are Infalli­ble; yet it doth not prove, that they all shall constantly adhere to him (which is quite another thing.)

4. If this Promise and Priviledge did belong to any particular Church, and to yours (in a special manner) yet it doth not prove your Infallibility: This place concerns Doctrines no more than Man­ners, and secures your Church no more against damnable Heresies, than against damnable Practices, since the gates of Hell prevail by one as well as by the o­ther, and since you acknowledge that Peters successours have lived and died in damnable sins, they might as well die in damnable Heresies: Besides, if this Text did prove the Popes Supremacy, yet here [Page 17] is not one word concerning his Infallibi­lity, which is quite another thing.

5. If this Text did prove any Infallibi­lity, it doth not prove the Popes Infallibi­lity (which you alledge this Text for) but the Infallibility of the Church which is built upon it.

Pop.

But that Church is Infallible be­cause they adhere to the Rock, viz. the Pope who therefore must needs be more Infal­lible.

Prot.

Then it seems the foundation of all your Infallibility is in the Pope, as Peters Successour, whom multitudes of your own Learned and approved Do­ctors acknowledge to be Fallible. I have heard you all confess, That your Popes may erre in Manners and Practice. Is it so?

Pop.

Yes.

Prot.

Then whatsoever he thinks, he may speak lyes, and deceive the World, in telling them he is Infallible; and surely if a Man will deceive for any thing, he will do it for such an Empire as the Pope holds: but I have heard also your Popes may erre in matters of Fact.

Pop.

That we do all agree in.

Prot.

Then he may mistake and erre [Page 18] in these Questions, whether Peter left a Successour? and, whether the Bishop of Rome be the person? and, whether there hath been that uninterrupted suc­cession in the Papal Chair, which you pretend to be necessary, which must be Infallibly certain, or else the Pope holds his Authority only upon courtesie; so this place will not stand you in much stead. Let me hear if you have any better Ar­gument.

Pop.

There is another place, which if you were not an obstinate sort of Men, would satisfie you all, and that is, 1 Tim. 3. 15. where the Church is called, The pillar and ground of truth, and therefore is In­fallible.

Prot.

Let me first ask you, What Church is there spoken of, which you say is Infallible? Is it the Church of Rome? Was Timothy Bishop of Rome or no?

Pop.

No, he was Bishop of Ephesus: But why do you ask that Question?

Prot.

This place apparently speaks of that Church, in, and over which Timothy was set: so if it speak of any particular Church, it must be that of Ephesus (which you confess was Fallible) not that of Rome; or if it speak of the Universal [Page 19] Church, that might be Infallible, though the Pope and all the Church of Rome (truly so called) should fail and perish. Tell me, I beseech you, in particular, What is that Church, which from this and other places, you conclude to be In­fallible?

Pop.

It is the Pope with the General Coun­cil, as I have told you.

Prot.

Then I pray you make sense of the verse; for to me it is meer non­sense—Timothy is here advised to be­have himself rightly in the house of God, which is the Church of God, and the Pillar and Ground of Truth: According to your opinion, this is the sense of it, That thou mightest know how to behave thy self in the Pope and a General Council. I pray you tell me truly, Was there a General Coun­cil then sitting.

Pop.

No: there was no General Council from that time, till two or three hundred years after, when the Councill of Nice was assembled.

Prot.

Then it seems to me a most un­reasonable thing to say, that Paul directs Timothy how to behave himself in a Ge­neral Council (which was not then in being, nor like to be) and that he doth not direct him how to behave himself [Page 20] in that body, the Church in which he then resided and ruled.

Besides, I pray you, where is the Pope or a Council called the House of God? If they have any thing to do there, they are the Governours, the Stewards, the Officers of the House, but are never cal­led the House of God, but this name is alwayes ascribed to the multitude of Be­lievers and Professors, as Heb. 2. 5, 6. where Moses (whose place in the Church the Pope pretends to) is not the House, but the Servant, the Officer of it; so Heb. 10. 21. Having an High-Priest over the house of God; so 1 Pet. 2. 5. Ye as lively stones are built up as a spiritual house: And if you know any one place where it is otherwise used, I pray speak; if not (as by your silence I see you do not) all understanding men will conclude that neither Pope nor Council are con­cerned in this priviledge. But besides, let me further ask you, Can you give me as­surance that these words which is the ground and pillar of Truth, imply Infalli­bility?

Pop.

It is true, the words are figurative and metaphorical, but that is the meaning of them.

Prot.
[Page 21]

My old Friend, can you advise me to venture my salvation upon a meta­phor? or that that is the true and only sense of the words? Prove it, and I am your Prisoner; but it seemeth to me far otherwise: God saith to Ieremy, I have made thee an Iron Pillar, Jer. 1. 18. Was Ieremy therefore Infallible? Peradven­ture, that was too mean a metal to amount to Infallibility; but your Church is a brazen Pillar, and so it seems by the im­pudence of your assertions. I read in Eusebius, * That the Saints of Vienna and Lyons, called Attalus the Martyr, a pillar and ground of the Truth, yet you will not allow him to be Infallible; by which and divers other passages it is suffi­ciently evident, that a Pillar in the Church is no more than a man that is well rooted and grounded and strong in the faith, as he is a reed that is tossed to and fro with every winde of doctrine; let me therefore hear if you have any better ar­guments.

Pop.

Then John 16. 3. is an express pro­mise, When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, and there­fore our Chuch is infallible.

Prot.
[Page 22]

Tell me I pray you, Is not this promise made to the Apostles only? If so, What is that to you? If you say other­wise, How do you make it appear that it concerns their Successours?

Pop.

That appears by comparing another place with it, John 14. 16. The Comforter shall abide with you for ever, not surely in their persons; for, they were to die in a little time, but in their Successours.

Prot.

I expected a place which had said at the least, that the Spirit Should lead them into all truth for ever; but this is quite another thing; you dare not say, that every one with whom the Comforter abides is infallible; but to forgive you this great mistake: Tell me truly, Is it then your opinion, That all the Successors of each of the Apostles, viz. all Bishops, or all Ministers are infallible?

Pop.

No, in no wise, for it is only S. Pe­ter's Successours, or the Pope, who is infalli­ble, and others only so far as they depend up­on him and cleave to him.

Prot.

Then this Text is not for your turn; for if it do extend to the Apostles Successors, it extends either to all or none; for sure I am, this Text makes no diffe­rence: Besides, how do you prove that these words of the Spirits leading into all [Page 23] truth, if they do reach further than the Apostles, do imply Infallibility. Then all Believers are infallible, for they are all led by the Spirit, Rom. 8. 14.

Pop.

True, but here they are said to be led into all truth.

Prot.

You know the words all and eve­ry are often taken in a limited sense, as when the Gospel is to be preached to eve­ry creature, Mark 16. 15. And you may as well conclude the omnisciency of all Believers, from 1 Iohn 2. 20. You know all things; and v. 27. The anointing teacheth you all things, as the Infallibility of your Popes or Councils from that phrase: and one Answer serves for both places, viz. that they speak of all necessary truths. But why do I hear nothing of Luke 22. 31. Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to winnow you, but I have prayed that thy faith fail not. I have heard that Bellarmine useth this Argnment, but I confess, I thought they abused him.

Pop.

It is true, he doth use it, and it is a solid one, though you scorn it.

Prot.

How do you know that it is meant of all Peter's Successours? for there is not one word of them here. But if I grant these were meant, Do you then all believe that Peter's Successours are infal­lible?

Pop.
[Page 24]

I did before acknowledge that we are divided in that point.

Prot.

Can you think to convince me with that argument that does not satisfie your own Brethren? Moreover, tell me, I pray you, What was the Faith of Peter which was struck at by the Devil, and pray'd for by Christ?

Pop.

The event shews that; for the De­vil tempted him, and prevailed with him to deny his Master.

Prot.

Did Peter deny Christ doctrinal­ly, and fall into the damnable error of dis­believing Christ to be the Messias, or was it only an error or miscarriage of his tongue, which spoke against his Consci­ence and Judgment?

Pop.

Far be it from me, to say that Pe­ter did so damnably erre in his judgment, I know no Catholick who saith so; all do all agree that it was only an error of his tongue and con­versation, and practical denial of Christ.

Prot.

Very well: Hence then I gather, that Christ prayed for his practical, not for his doctrinal Faith, and that his grace of faith might not be utterly lost by his fall: so that, if this Text and Prayer reach to your Popes, it should rather secure them from damnable Apostacies in pra­ctice (which you confess many of them [Page 25] fell into and died in) then from Heresies (of which this Text speaks not at all.) But have you no other Arguments?

Pop.

Yes, there is one more, which were sufficient if there were no other, and that is from Gods Providence; It is unbecoming the wisdom of God to leave his Church without a guide, or infallible Iudge, by which means there would be no end of Controversies: and since you do not pretend to have any such in your Church, it must be in ours, or else there is none in the world.

Prot.

I had thought you would have only taught me, but now it seems you will teach God how to govern the World. It should seem to me, that God was not of your mind; he did not think fit to end all Controversies, but to permit that there should be Heresies, 1 Cor. 11. 19. And if God in his wisdom thought an Infallible Judge necessary, certainly that same Wisdom would have named the place, person, or persons, where people should have found this Infallibility. Was it ever known, since the beginning of the world, that any Prince constituted Judges in his Kingdom, not so much as giving notice to his people who they were, to whom they must resort for Justice? this God hath not done; for you do not pre­tend [Page 26] a particular place which settles this infallible Judge at Rome, but only some general and fallacious Arguments, as I have proved; and besides, it is so far from being evident, that your selves are not agreed about it: but some seek for this infallible judgement in the Pope, o­thers in a General Council; and these do as fiercely dispute one against another in this point, as you do against us in many others; and therefore it is much more rational for me to conclude thus; God hath not nominated and appointed such an infallible Judge in the Church; there­fore there is none, and it is not fit there should be one, than sawcily to undertake to be the Counsellor of the Almighty, and to tell him what is fit to be done, and then conclude that it is done. In short, For Controversies about Fundamental and necessary things, God hath provided sufficient meanes for the ending of them, having clearly enough determined them in his Word for the satisfaction of all that are diligent and humble, and teachable: And for Controversies of lesser moment there is no necessity of having them end­ed, nor would they be much prejudicial to the peace of the world and the Church if men would learn to give any allowance [Page 27] for the infirmities of humane nature, and exercise that great and necessary duty of Charity and mutual forbearance. But since this is all you can say upon this par­ticular, I pray you, let me hear what other Arguments you have against our Church and Doctrine.

Pop.

Then another Argument against your Church and way, is taken from the No­velty of it; As for our Religion, it hath had possession in the world ever since the Apostles days; but you are of Yesterday, and know nothing; your Religion is an upstart Religi­on, never heard of in the world till Luthers days.

Prot.

First, let me ask you this Que­stion, If you had lived in the days of Christ, or of the Apostles, or of the Primitive Fathers, what would you have Answered for your self? you know bet­ter than I, that this was the very Argu­ment, which Iews and Heathens urged against the Christians then; they charged Christ with not walking after the Tradi­tions of the Elders, Matth. 7. 5. And the Athenians said to Paul, May we know what this new Doctrine is? Act. 17. 19. And the Pharisees had Antiquity on their side, being zealous for the Traditions of the Fa­thers, Gal. 1. 14. And though it be true, [Page 28] that the Apostles had the first Antiquity for them, delivering nothing but what for substance was in Moses and the Prophets, Act. 26. 22. (which also is our case) yet the immediate and latter antiquity was a­gainst them, and for divers ages together these Doctrines had been in great mea­sure obscured and unknown. What then would you have Answered to a Iew or a Heathen, objecting this Novelty to you? Learn from Christ, who when the Iews pleaded for the continuance of their old practice in the matter of Divorces; he accounted it sufficient confutation, that from the beginning it was not so, Mat. 19. 7. And to all the pretences of the Pharisees from antiquity, he opposeth this one thing, Search the Scriptures, John 5. 39. So you dispute against us with the argu­ments which the Pharisees used against Christ, and we answer you as He answe­red them: Besides let me ask you this Question, If I could clearly prove to you all the points of our Faith, and disprove the points of yours, from the Holy Scri­ptures, tell me, Would you then acknow­ledge the truth of the Protestant Re­ligion, notwithstanding all this pretended Novelty?

Pop.
[Page 29]

Yes certainly, for we all confess the truth of all that is contained in the holy Scriptures.

Prot.

Hence then it follows undeni­ably, that the main thing that you and I must look to in our faith is, that it be a­greeable to the holy Scriptures; and if ours be so, (as I am fully perswaded it is) and yours the contrary, neither antiquity is any argument for you, nor Novelty against us. Besides, when you charge our Church with Novelty, I suppose you mean that our Doctrines are new.

Pop.

I do so.

Prot.

Then you cannot justly charge us with Novelty; for,

1. You confess the Antiquity and ve­rity of most of our Fundamental Do­ctrines, and your selves do approve them, only you make additions of your own to them; you own all the Scriptures in our Bible, only you add the Apocrypha: you acknowledge Scripture the rule of Faith, only you add Tradition: we believe all the Articles of the Apostles Creed (the * belief whereof the Antient Fathers thought sufficient to Salvation). And the Doctrine of the four first General Coun­cils, [Page 30] as you do also: You own our Do­ctrine of Christs satisfaction and Justifica­tion by Christ and Faith, only you add your own works and satisfaction: Our two Sacraments you approve, only you add five more: Our Doctrine of the two states of Men in heaven and Hell you own, only you add Purgatory: You own Christ for your Mediatour and Prayers to God through him, only you add other Mediatours; Our worship of God you own, only you add Images. These are the principal points of our Religion, and dare you now say that our Doctrines are new?

2. Many of your ablest Doctors con­fess, that divers of the peculiar Do­ctrines of your Church are new and un­known to the Antient Fathers; and it is most evident and undeniable concer­ning Indulgences, Purgatory, Communi­on in one kind, Worship in a strange tongue, the receiving some of your Apo­cryphal books, Transubstantiation (e­specially as an Article of Faith) the Popes Infallibility, Worship of Images, denying of the reading of Scriptures to the people and others. And will you yet brag of the Antiquity of your Religi­on?

[Page 31] 3. These Doctrines wherein we differ from you have been not only proved from Scripture, but from the plain testi­mony of Antient Fathers, as I think none can doubt that, (laying aside prejudices,) shall read what our Iewel, and Morton, and Field, and others have written; How then can you have the confidence to charge us with Novelty?

Pop.

Your Church is new in this respect, that although some others before you might own some of your Doctrines, there was no Church that owned all your Doctrines, both positive and negative.

Prot.

That is not necessary. I hope every alteration of Doctrines of less mo­ment, doth not make the Church new; if it doth, it is most certain, that your Church is new also; for nothing can be more plain, than that the Catho­lick Church, nay even your own Church of Rome, did not antiently, in former ages hold all these Doctrines which now she owns (as your own greatest Authors confess) this is sufficient, that the Church of God, in most former ages, hath owned all our Substantial Do­ctrines. But what have you further to say?

Pop.
[Page 32]

It is sufficient against you, that your Church is Schismatical, and you are all guil­ty of Schism in departing from the true Ca­tholick Church, which is but one, and that is the Roman.

Prot.

I desire to know of you, Whether in no case a man may separate from the Church whereof he was a member with­out Schism?

Pop.

Yes certainly, if there be sufficient cause for it, for the Apostles did separate from the Church of the Jews after Christs death, and the Orthodox separated from the Arrian Churches, and all Communion with them, yet none ever charged them with Schism.

Prot.

Since you mention that instance, I pray you tell me, Why they separated from the Arrians?

Pop.

Because they held this Heresie, That Christ was a Creature, and not the true God.

Prot.

Very well: hence then I con­clude, That if your Church do hold any Heresie, and require all her members to own it too, it is no Schism for us to sepa­rate from you.

Pop.

That must needs be granted, but this is but a slander of yours, for our Church holds no such Heresies.

Prot.
[Page 33]

Your Church doth not hold one, but many dangerous Errours and Heresies, as I do not doubt to manifest e're you and I part: And if you please, we will leave the present Argumeut to this issue, if I do not prove your Church guilty of He­resie, and the imposition of it too, I am content you should charge us with Schism; if I do, you shall mention it no more.

Pop.

You speak reason, let it rest there.

Prot.

Besides, methinks, you deal bar­barously with us, you drive us out from you by your tyranny, and then you blame us for departing; as if Sarah had call'd Hagar a Schismatick for going out of A­braham's family, from which she forced her: Tell me, I pray you, if the case be so that I must depart from the Roman Church, or from God, What must I do?

Pop.

The case is plain, you must rather depart from that Church.

Prot.

This is the case, If I do not de­part from your Church, she will force me to live in many mortal sins. I must be­lieve a hundred lies, I must worship the Cross and Relicks, and Images, which God commands me under pain of his highest displeasure not to worship. I [Page 34] must worship the Sacrament with divine worship, which I am assured is no other for substance than bread; for your Church is not content to hold these opi­nions, but she enjoyns these practices to all her members. And if things be thus, I think you will not have the confidence, any more to charge us with Schism for obeying the command of God to come out of Babylon, since you force all your members to partake with you in your sins, Rev. 18. 4. Besides all this, let me ask you upon what account you charge us with Schism.

Pop.

For departing from the Catholick Church, and from your Mother Church of Rome, and from the Pope, whose Subjects once you were.

Prot.

If then I can prove that we are not departed from the Catholick Church nor from our Mother Church, nor from any of that subjection we owe to the Pope, I hope you will acquit us from Schism.

Pop.

That I cannot deny,

Prot.

Then this danger is over: For 1. We never did depart from the Catho­lick Church, which is (not your particu­lar Roman Church, as you most ridicu­lously [Page 35] call it, but) the whole multitude of Be­lievers and Christians in the world: Nay, the truth is, you are the Schismaticks in re­nouncing all Communion with all the Christian Churches in the world, except your own, (which are equal to yours in number; and many of them far superiour in true piety.) Next, we do not own you for our Mother: Ierusalem which is above, (not Babylon that is beneath) is the Mother of us all. If we grant now you are a true Church, yet you are but a sister Church.

Pop.

You forget that you received the Gospel from our hands.

Prot.

Suppose we did really so; Doth that give you authority over us? If it did, not Rome, but Ierusalem should be the Mother Church, from whom you also re­ceived the Gospel: This you deny, which shews that you do not believe your own Argument to be good. And for the Popes Universal and Infallible Authority which he pretends over all Christians, I have diligently read your Arguments for it; and I freely profess to you, I find your pretences both from Scripture and Fa­thers so weak and frivolous, that I durst commend it to any understanding and disinterested person as a most likely means [Page 36] to convince him of the vanity and false­ness of that Doctrine; that he would per­use any of your best Authors, and the very sight of the weakness and imperti­nency of your Arguments would abun­dantly satisfie him of the badness of your cause.

Pop.

You have no Ministers, because you have no uninterrupted succession from the Apostles, as we have, and therefore you have on Church, and therefore no Salvation.

Prot.

I observe you take the same course that the Adversaries of the Go­spel ever did, who when they could not reprove the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, they quarrelled with them for want of a Calling, as you may see, Iohn. 1. 25. Mat. 21. 23. Act. 4. 7. But the good Christians of that time took another course, and examined not so much the Call of the persons, as the truth of the Doctrine, Act. 8. 17. It seems to me a secret confession of your guilt, and the Error of your Doctrine, that you are so careful to turn off mens eyes from that to a far meaner point. But tell me, Do you believe that such an uninterrupted Suc­cession of Ministers from the Apostles, is absolutely necessary to the being of a Church?

Pop.
[Page 37]

Yes verily, or else this Argument signifies nothing.

Prot.

How then can you convince me or any other Christian, that you have had such an uninterrupted Succession in your Church? You must produce, and, it seems, I must read all those many hundreds of great Volumes wherein such passages are mentioned. In those you must shew me a perfect catalogue of the several names of those Popes, and others who have without interruption succeeded one another ever since the Apostles days, and this catalogue must be such that all your Authors are agreed in, (whereas I am told for certain, they differ very much in their reports therein) and are not so much as agreed among themselves who was Pe­ter's next Successor, (whether Linus or Clemens, or some other person they know not who,) and those Historians that report these things, you must assure me that they were infallible (which you do not pretend they were) or else they might mistake the things themselves, and mis-report them to me; and I have heard and read that there have been divers interrupti­ons and Schisms even in your Church, one Pope set up against another, and each pretending to be the true Pope, and dis­annulling [Page 38] all the Acts of the other, and that the Christian people were then wo­fully divided, some cleaving to one, others to another; but it may be this was a mi­stake of our Ministers; therefore tell me, Was this true or no?

Pop.

I confess it was true, after the year of Christ 1300. there were several Popes at the same time, one at Rome, another at A­vignon.

Prot.

And how long did this difference last?

Pop.

For about 50. years.

Prot.

And is it true that I have heard, that your great Baronius reports that for 150 years together the Popes were rather Apostates than Apostolicks, and that they were thrust into the Papal Chair by the pow­er of Harlots, and the violences of the Prin­ces of Tuscany.

Pop.

I must be true to you, Baronius doth say so at the year 897.

Prot.

Then never hence forward be so impudent to pretend to such a lawful, clear and uninterrupted succession; but blush that ever you mentioned it. But besides, I have heard that divers of our first re­formed and reforming Ministers too, were such as had received Ordination from and in the Church of Rome, and from your Bi­shiops. Is it true, or is it not?

Pop.
[Page 39]

I will be ingenuous, Our Doctors confess it; but if your Ministers, or some of them had a call from our Church, yet they were only called to Preach, not to overturn the world (as they did) and to undertake the Reformation of the whole Church.

Prot.

You have said enough: if they were called to the Ministry, their Work and Office was to bear witness to the Truth; and therefore to undeceive the world in those many Errors and Heresies, which you had brought into the Church: and Ministers are set for the defence of the Gospel; they were therefore bound by their Office to edeavour the Refor­mation of the Church, and salvation of Souls: and as in a great Fire (especially where the publick Officers neglect their Duty) every man brings his Bucket to quench it; so, in that miserable estate, into which you had brought the Church, (when the Pope and Bishops would not do their duty) it was the duty of every Mi­nister to endeavour, and to stir up the Kings and Magistrates of the World to endeavour a Reformation. Surely you cannot pretend to an higher priviledge than St. Paul, and yet he gives all Mini­sters and Christians this leave and charge, that if he himself should bring any other do­ctrine [Page 40] than what he had delivered, any Mi­nister (though happily such a one as re­ceived his calling from him) or Christian might not only forsake him, but judge him accursed. I shall only adde this, our Mi­nisters are in a very hard case. I have dis­coursed with Anabaptists, who have rea­soned against our Ministers as no Mini­sters, because they had their calling from Rome; and now you will make them no Ministers, because they had no Calling from Rome. (How shall they please you and them too?) But what have you fur­ther to say?

Pop.

I have this further (which is indeed unanswerable) namely, the horrible divisi­ons of, and in, your Churches: Here is Lu­ther an and Calvinist, Episcopal and Presby­terian, Independent and Anabaptist, and Quaker, and Socinian, and Familist: and what not? so that a man that would turn to your Church, knows not which to turn to: but our Church is one and entire, at perfect unity in it self.

Prot.

I pray you tell me in the first place, are divisions a certain Argument to prove any Church not to be true?

Pop.

I cannot say so; for it is plain, the Iewish Church in Christs time was full of Divisions; there were Pharisees, Sadduces, [Page 41] Essenes, &c. And so was the Church of Corinth in St. Pauls time, while some said, I am of Paul, others, I of Apollo, others, I of Cephas; and some denyed Pauls Mi­nistry and Apostleship, and some denyed the Resurrection.

Prot.

Very well, then you may blush to use such an Argument: I am told that the old Heathens did use this very Argu­ment against the Primitive Christians.

Pop.

It is true, they did.

Prot.

What a shame is it that you are forced to defend your cause with such weapons as were used by the Pagans, and wrested out of their hands by the Antient Fathers?

But besides, you talk of our Divisions, I pray you let me ask you, will you al­low me to father all the opinions of every Papist, I read or talk with, upon your Church?

Pop.

No, in no wise, Let our Church speak for her self. It is one great fault of your Ministers, they catch up every particu­lar Opinion of any Private Doctor, and pre­sently charge our Church with it; though it be such as she hath condemned: whereas they should judge of our Church only by her own Decrees and Councils.

Prot.

Very well, I desire only the same [Page 42] justice from you; Do not father upon our Church those Opinions which she dislikes and abhors: Socinians, Quakers, &c. are yours rather than ours, and joyn with you in abundance of your Doctrins: Judge of our Churches by their publick Confessions; and there also you would find, that our divisions are generally in­considerable, being almost all about a Form of Government, or oft-times, but a manner of expression, and none of them in fundamental Points. But since you talk of Divisions, let me ask you, are all the Members of your Church of one mind? I have been told otherwise: We hear great talk every day of the difference between the Jansenists, and the Jesuits: and (if we may believe either of them) it is a Fundamental difference, and such as concerns the very life of Religion. I will not trouble you with other things: But are you agreed in that, which is the foundation of your unity, I mean, con­cerning the Supream Infallible Judge of Controversies? I remember your self told me, that some of you thought it was the Pope, and others a Council: And I have read, that Popish Nations, and Universi­ties, and Doctors, are all together divided about it; and for the Pope, I have heard [Page 43] that Bellarmin reckons up the several opi­nions, and amongst others, that the Pope (if he be without a general Council) may be an Heretick, and teach Heresie: and this (saith he) is the opinion of divers Pa­pists, and is determined by a Pope himself, Adrian the 6th by name, in his question a­bout Confirmation: Is this true, or is Bel­larmin bely'd?

Pop.

It is true, Bellarmin doth say so much,* and moreover, that this opinion is not heretical, and is tolerated by the Church: but withall he tells you, that he is of another opinion, which is also the common opinion.

Prot.

However, that is sufficient for my purpose. This one difference among you being far more considerable, than all those points wherein Protestants differ a­mong themselves: for though they dif­fer in other and lesser things, they all a­gree in this great means of Union, that they own the Holy Scriptures to be the Iudge (or more properly the Rule) of Con­troversies: and therefore if you please, let this pass, and let me hear what further you have to say against us, or for your selves?

Pop.
[Page 44]

This further I say, the true Church must needs remain visible perpetually to the end of the world, such our Church hath been, whereas yours was invisible and (as I said before) unheard of in the world till Luthers dayes.

Prot.

I do not well understand you; Do you think the Church must needs be visible at all times to the whole world?

Pop.

I cannot say so, for she was not always visible to many great and famous parts of the world, as China and America; it may suffice, that she is visible in some Kingdom or part of the world, and that she remains so in all ages.

Prot.

Then the Church may remain in­visible to the greatest part of the world, and so your argument reacheth but a small part of the world: How I pray you must the Church be always visi­ble?

Pop.

There must be in all ages, in some eminent place, a great company of Christi­ans visibly united together, in the worship of God in one body and Congregation, and go­verned by their successive Pastors under the Pope.

Prot.

Very well: now I know your mind: and first I deny, that it is ne­cessary [Page 45] for the true Church to be so visible in all ages: Do you prove it?

Pop.

That I shall easily prove, from those many and glorious promises made to the Church; the Church is called a great Moun­tain, and said to be exalted above other mountains, Isa. 2. She is a City set upon a hill that cannot be hid, Mat. 5. Christ hath promised to be with her to the end of the world, Mat. 28. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against her; Christs Kingdom, is an everlasting Kingdom, Psal. 88. Dan. 2. A few invisible and dispersed Christians, cannot make a King­dom.

Prot.

Your proofs are impertinent, Isa. 2. doth prove that the Church un­der the New Testament should be glo­rious (that is spiritually) and prevalent: so it was (and we trust will be) but he saith not, the Church should always con­tinue in that condition (which is the point that you should prove) Mat. 5. If it speak of the Church, Christ only tells us what the Church then was, not that it should always remain such; besides he speaks of their duty, not their condition: and Mat. 28. proves that Christ will be with his Church, but not so as that it shall [Page 46] always be illustrious and united in a great body: this, neither that, nor any of your other Texts, prove, nor can you. But sup­pose that Christ had made such a promise that his Church should be visible in all Ages in a considerable body; How do you prove that our Church hath not been so visible in all ages?

Pop.

If you affirm that it hath been vi­sible in all Ages, you are bound to produce a Catalogue of your Churches in all successive Ages.

Prot.

That is not necessary neither: If I did positively affirm that our Church had been visible in such manner in all Ages, then I confess I am bound to prove it. But if I leave it in doubt as a thing which (for ought you or I know) might be true or false, he that affirms it was not so, is bound to make it good; and if I deny your Proposition, by all Laws of dispute, you must prove it: I will shew by an instance how unconvincing your argument is; There are several Prophesies and Promises in Scripture, the execution whereof is not recorded there, nor any where else; suppose an Atheist comes to you, and offers this Argument against the Scripture; If the Scripture be true, and the Word of God, then all its Prophesies [Page 47] and Promises were accomplisht; but there are several Prophesies and Promises there which never were accomplished within the time appointed, therefore it is not true; What would you answer?

Pop.

I would deny this Proposition, viz. That there are any such Prophesies or Pro­mises there which were not accomplisht.

Prot.

Suppose then he urge it thus, If they were accomplisht, then you must shew when and how they were accom­plisht either in Scripture or other Stories, if you cannot, I shall conclude they never were accomplisht.

Pop.

I should tell him, That he is ob­liged to shew they were not accomplisht, not I to shew that they were accomplisht; I should tell him that they might be accom­plisht, though the accomplishment of them were never put into any writing (and being but an Historical Tradition, might easily be lost) or if it were put into writing, that al­so might be lost by the injury of time, as thousands of other Books have been, so that no prudent man will believe this mad Pro­position, That nothing was done in for­mer Ages that was not mentioned in the Records which we have. But if it were possible that some particular things were not recorded, or w [...]re lost, yet it is proba­ble [Page 48] that so eminent and publick a matter as a Succession of Churches should lie hid.

Prot.

I confess it is not so probable that a large and glorious Church should so lie hid; but since it was sufficient for the making good of Christs promise of being ever with his Church; if there were some few Congregations and Mini­sters, though scattered in divers places, that these should not be recorded, is not at all strange nor improbable to any one who considers, 1. How many matters of far greater note are recorded only in some single Author, which if he had been lost (and that he was as lyable to, as they that were lost) the memory of those things had perished with him. 2. How woful­ly dark and ignorant some ages of the Church were, as you all confess, wherein there was not much reading, but to be sure, there was little or no writing. and that little that was written, was written by men of the times, who would not do their Enemies that honour or right to put them into their Histories: 3. If any did mention such things, it is not at all im­probable, that such Book or Books where­in they were recorded, might either be lost by the injury of time, (as thousands of other Books were, which was much [Page 49] more easie before Printing was found out, or suppressed by the tyranny of your Predecessors, who made it their business (as Israels enemies of old) that the name and remembrance of true Christians might be blotted out of the earth. So then, if Christ did indeed promise the perpetual visibility of his Church, I will conclude he made it good, though Hi­story be silent in the point; nor will I conclude it was not done, because it is not recorded: But I pray you let me further ask you, Is it true that I am told, that in the former ages there were many Chri­stians and Ministers whom your Church did persecute and burn for Hereticks?

Pop.

That cannot be denyed.

Prot.

This shews there were not want­ing even in former ages, some that testi­fied against your corruptions, and this was a sign they were the true Church, (whose office it is to contend for the Faith delivered to the Saints) for these things were not done in a corner. I am told that your great Bellarmine, when is was ob­jected against him, that the Church was obscure in St. Hilaries dayes, answers, that though the true Church may be obscure by multitude of Scandals, yet even then it is vi­sible in its strongest members, as then it was [Page 50] in Athanasius, Hilary, Eusebius, and two or three more whom he mentions:* whence I gather, that some few eminent Preach­ers and Professors of the Truth are suffi­cient to keep up this Visibility: I re­member I have read in the History of the Waldenses, who (though your Prede­cessors branded them with odious names and opinions, yet) do sufficiently appear to have been a company of Orthodox and serious Christians, and indeed true Prote­stants, these began about 500 Years ago, saith your Genebrard , and your Reinerius, who was one of their cruel Butchers, (otherwise called Inquisitors) writeth thus of them; This Sect (saith he) is the most pernicious of all others, for three causes; 1. Because it is of long conti­nuance, some say that it hath endured from the time of Silvester; others from the time of the Apostles; The 2. is, because it is more general, for there is almost no Land in which this Sect doth not creep. 3. That whereas all others by the immanity of their blasphemies against God, do make men abhor them, these having a great shew of godli­ness, because they do live justly before men, and believe all things well of God, and all [Page 51] the Articles which are contained in the Creed, only the Church of Rome they do blaspheme and hate. Behold here out of your own mouths, a plain Confutation of your Ob­jection, and a testimony of the perpetuity, amplitude, visibility, and sanctity of our Church; for it is sufficiently known that our Church and Doctrine is for substance the same with theirs. Now tell me, I pray you, if this History of them had been lost, and no other mention of them made in other Records, Had it been a truth for you to affirm, that there never were any such men and Churches in that time?

Pop.

No surely, for the recording of things in History doth not make them true, nor the silence of Histories about true Occur­rences make them false.

Prot.

Then there might be the like Companies and Congregations in former ages for ought you or I know; nor can you argue from the defect of an History to the denial of the thing: And all this I say not as if there were no Records which mention our Church in former Ages; for as I said before, it is sufficiently evident, that all our material Doctrines have been constantly and successively owned by a considerable number of persons in se­veral Ages, but only that you may see [Page 52] there is a flaw in the very foundation of your Argument. Moreover, I finde in Scripture several instances of such times when the Church was as much obscured, and invisible as ever our Church was, as when Israel was in Egypt, so oft-times un­der the Judges, Iudg. 2. 3. and so under divers of the Kings, as Ahab, when Elijab complained he was left alone, and the 7000. which were reserved, though known to God, were invisible to the pro­phet; and under Ahaz and Manasseh, and so in the Babylonish captivity: and so under Antiochus; read at my desire, 2 Chr. 15. 3. 28. 24. 29. 6, 7. 33. 3, 4. so in the New Testament, how obscure, and in a manner invisible, was the Christian Church for a season! Nay, let me add, this perpetual visibility and splendour is so far from be­ing a note of the true Church, that on the contrary, it is rather a sign that yours is not the true Church, as appears thus: Christ hath foretold the obscurity and smallness of his Church in some after ages; he tells us that there shall be a ge­neral Apostasie and defection from the faith, 2 Thess. 2. 1 Tim. 4. I read of a woman, Rev. 12. and she is forced to flee into the Wilderness; and I am told your own Expositors agree with us, that [Page 53] this is the Church which flees from Anti­christ into the Wilderness, and secret places, withdrawing her self from perse­cution. Is this true?

Pop.

I must confess our Authers do t [...]ke it so.

Prot.

Then it seems you do not believe your selves, when you plead the necessity of perpetual visibility and splendour, for here you acknowledge her obscurity; and really this place and discourse of yours does very much confirm me, that that obscurity which you object against us, is an argument that ours is the true Church though, according to this Prediction, the Pope this Antichrist, did drive our Pre­decessors into the Wilderness, I read of a Beast rising out of the Sea. Revel. 13. which your own Authors, Menochius, Ti­rinus, and almost all Expositors (as Ri­berus saith) acknowledge to be Antichrist, and this Beast all the Inhabitants of the World do worship, except those whose names are written in the Book of life, verse 8. that is, excepting only the invisible Church; if any Church be visible and glorious at that time, it must be the false and Anti­christian Church; and now I speak of that, I have heard that you your selves confess, that in the time of Antichrist [Page 54] the Church shall be obscure, and all publick Worship in the Churches of Christians shall be forbidden and cease: Is it so?

Pop.

It is true, it shall be so, i. e. du­ring the time of Antichrists reign, as Bellar­mine acknowledgeth*, but that is only for a short moment, for three years and a half, which is all the time that Antichrist shall reign.

Prot.

I thank you for this, for now you have exceedingly confirmed me in the truth of my Religion; for since you grant that the Church shall be obscured durings Antichrist reign, I am very well assured that your opinion of the Triennial reign of Antichrist is but a meer dream, and that he was to reign in the Church for many hundred of years, for 1260 dayes, Rev. 11. 3. & 12. 6. (that is, years, it being a very fa­miliar thing to put dayes for years, in Pro­phetical Writings.) But if the Church may be obscured for three years, why not for thirty, yea, three hundred? Did Christ in his supposed promise of perpetual Visi­bility in the Church, make an exception for these three years? I trow not: And tell me, I pray you, should you live till [Page 55] that time when Antichrist shall prevail, and your Religion no less than ours be obscure and invisible; if any of the follow­ers of Antichrist should dispute against you, that yours was not the true Church because not visible, Would you grant it?

Pop.

God forbid I should be so wicked to deny my Mother, and Church, because of her Afflictions.

Prot.

Then I see you your selves do not believe this to he a good argument, and that you do not make perpetual visibility a necessary token of the true Church. To this I add, there is no need we should shew a constant succession of Protestant Churches ever since the Apostles dayes, (as you pretend is necessary) the succes­sion that you pretend in your Church is sufficient for ours, and so long as we ge­nerally agree that your Church was a true Church (till later years) though wofully corrupted, and our Predecessors continu­ed in it, till your wounds stunk and became incurable, we need no other succession than yours; but when your impiety came to the height, then we visibly departed from you, and have given such reasons for it, as you will never be able to answer; In the mean time let me hear what you have further to say.

Pop.
[Page 56]

For as much as all your Ministers confess our Church was once a true Church, I pray you tell me how, and when she did fall? you cannot tell either the time when she fell, or the manner how, by Apostacy, or Heresie, or Schism; if you can, name your Authors.

Prot.

This is a most unreasonable de­mand: A friend of mine had the Plague last year, and died of it I askt him when he was sick, how and when he got it, he said he knew not; Shall I then conclude he had it not? Shall I make Christ a lyar, and dispute that there were no tares, be­cause they were sown when men slept, Mat. 13. 25. and so could not know when or how they came? Shall I believe no He­resie to be an Heresie, unless I can shew how and when it came into the Church? What if the Records of these things by the injury of time are lost, and their ori­ginal left in obscurity; shall I therefore say, it is now become no Heresie? I beseech you answer me freely this que­stion. Suppose I could bring plain and strong evidences from the holy Scripture, and from antient Tradition, or the una­nimous testimonies of the Antient Fathers, that your Doctrine of Merits (for in­stance) is an Heresie, your Doctrine of [Page 57] worshipping Images is Idolatry; and that you are in divers particulars apostatized from that faith which the Scriptures and Fathers do own; in this case, Would you not confess, that you are guilty of Idolatry, Heresie, and Apostasie?

Pop.

If it were so, and you could really bring (as you falsely pretend you can, but indeed cannot) any such solid proofs, I must and will confess it: For all our Writers agree, that although we must believe many things that are not contained in the Scripture, yet we must believe nothing contrary to the Scri­ptures, nor to the consent of the antient Fa­thers.

Prot.

Very well, hence then I gather that the only question between you and me is, Whether we can evidently and solidly prove the particulars now menti­oned, which if we can do, as I am satis­fied our Ministers have done, you are con­victed in your own Conscience, and will confess your self and your Church guilty of Heresie, Idolatry, and Apostasie, whe­ther I can tell the manner or time, or Au­thors of this doctrine or no.

Therefore leaving these frivolous and impertinent questions, let me hear what you have to say more against our Reli­gion, and whereas your discourse I ob­serve [Page 58] hath wholly run upon Generals, I beseech you come to some particulars, and shew me the falshood of the Do­ctrines of our Church. But it doth not a little confirm me in my Religion, that you confess (as I shewed before) most of our Doctrines to be true, and grounded upon Scripture, whereas yours are addi­tions of your own devising. Now if things be thus, you shall not need to trouble your self about many particulars. But if you please single out some of our principal Heresies, (as you call them) and let me hear what evidences you can bring against them.

Pop.

Your Heresies are very many, but I shall mention one which may be instead of all, and that is your rule of Faith and Iudge of Controversies, which you make to be the Scripture only.

Prot,

I am glad you have fallen upon so material a point, the deciding where­of may make other Disputes in great part useless. Tell me then what you have to say against this Doctrine.

Pop.

I will urge four Arguments a­gainst it. 1. Scripture hath no authority over us but from the Church. 2. You can­not know what Books are the holy Scriptures, or part of it, but by the Churches report. [Page 59] 3. If neither of these were true, yet Scripture is not a sufficient rule for your faith without Tradition. 4. If it were sufficient, yet it is so obscure, that you cannot know the sense of it without the interpretation of the Church. You see here is a fourfold cord, which you will find is not easily broken.

Prot.

Make these things good, and I confess you do your work in a great mea­sure. Let me hear your Proofs.

Pop.

For the first then, I say, that Scri­pture hath no authority over us but from the Church: neither you nor I are bound to be­lieve the Scripture to be the word of God, nor can any man know it or prove it to be so, but from the testimony of our Church concern­ing it.

Prot.

I pray tell me, if you were to discourse with an Atheist, who utterly de­nies the holy Scriptures and the Church too, Could you not prove against him that the Scriptures are the Word of God?

Pop.

God forbid, but that I should be able to defend the truth of the Scriptures against any adversary whatsoever.

Prot.

How then I pray you would you prove it?

Pop.

I need not tell you the Arguments which in this case our Doctors use, and I [Page 60] stand by them in it, they alledge for the truth of the holy Scriptures the testimony of all ages and all sorts of persons, the miracles wrought for it acknowledged even by the Enemies of it, the martyrdom, that so many thousands (and many of them wise and learned men) did run upon in the defence of them (who living so near the time of the writing of them were best able do discern the truth) and the wonderful pow­er that goes along with them in convincing, converting, and comforting or terrifying sin­ners.

Prot.

Do you believe these are solid Arguments, and that the Atheist ought to yield to them?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, for every man is bound to receive the truth, especially when it is so pro­posed and proved to him.

Prot.

It seems then by this, when you list, you can prove the Scripture to be the Word of God without taking in the Churches Authority; I hope you will allow me the same benefit. But again let me ask you, your Church that you talk of, which believes the Scripture to be the Word of God; Doth she believe it to be the Word of God upon solid grounds or no?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, our Church is not so irrational as to believe without grounds; nor [Page 61] do we pretend Revelation, but she believes it upon solid Arguments.

Prot.

I wish you would give me a list of their Arguments: But whatever they be that are sufficient to convince your Church, why should they not be suffici­ent to convince any private man, Popish or Protestant, or Atheist? And therefore there is no need of the Churches testimo­ny: Or will you say, the Church hath no other sufficient reason to believe the Scri­ptures but her own testimony, that is, she believes because she will believe?

Pop.

God forbid that I should disparage the Church, or give Atheists that occasion to scoff at the Stripture.

Prot.

Then I also may be satisfied without the Churches testimony, that the Scriptures are the Word of God; and I am so, by such Arguments as your self mentioned; but really I cannot but smile to see what cunning sophisters you are, how you play at fast and loose: The same Arguments for the Scriptures are strong and undeniable when you talk with an Atheist, and are all of a sudden become weak as water when a Protestant brings them.

Pop.

But if you can prove in the General, That the Scriptures are the Word of God, [Page 62] yet you cannnot without the Churches Autho­rity, tell what Books of Scripture, or which are Canonical, and so you are never the nearer.

Prot.

Here also I must ask you again, How doth your Church know which Books are Scripture and Canonical, doth she know this by Revelation?

Pop.

No, we leave such fancies to your Church.

Prot.

How then doth she know this, and why doth she determine it? Is it with rea­son, or without it?

Pop.

With reason doubtless, being induced to believe and determine it upon clear and un­doubted Evidences.

Prot.

I pray you tell me what are those Evidences upon which she goes.

Pop.

I will be true to you, our great Bel­larmine mentions these three, The Church (saith he) knows and declares a Canoni­cal Book, 1. From the testimonies of the Antients. 2. From its likeness and agree­ment with other Books. 3. From the common sense and taste of Christian peo­ple*.

Prot.

Since a private man especially one that besides learning and experience [Page 63] hath the Spirit of God to guide him, which is that anointing given to all Believers, which teaches them all things, 1 Joh. 2. 27.) may examine and apprehend these things as well as the Pope himself, (and better too, considering what kind of crea­tures divers of your Popes are confest to have been) he may therefore know with­out the Churches Authority, what Books are indeed Canonical; but I pray you tell me, Do not you acknowledge those books to be the Word of God which we do that are in this Bible?

Pop.

I must be true to you, we do own eve­ry Book you have there; but you should receive the Books which you call Apocryphal, so that indeed your Bible is not compleat, for you be­lieve but a part of the written Word of God, which I must tell you is of dangerous conse­quence.

Prot.

If these Books be a part of Gods Word, I confess we are guilty of a great sin, in taking away from Gods Word; and if they be not, you are no less guilty in ad­ding to it; so that the only question is, Whether these Books be a part of the ho­ly Scripture or no? Now, that if you please we will try Bellarmines rules.

Pop.

The motion is fair and reasona­ble.

Prot.
[Page 64]

First then, for the judgment of the Antient Church, let us try that; I know you hold the Churches judgment infallible, especially in matters of this mo­ment; and I suppose you think the Iewish Church was infallible before Christ, as the Christian Church now is.

Pop.

We do so, and the Infallibility of the Iewish Church and High Priest, Deut. 17. is one of our principal Arguments for the Infal­libility of our Church*.

Prot.

Then only these Books of the old Testament were Canonical, which the Jewish Church did own.

Pop.

That must necessarily follow.

Prot.

Then your cause is lost, for it is certain, the Jews rejected these Apocry­phal Books which you receive, and they reckoned only 22. Iosephus his words (ac­knowledged for his by Eusebius ), are most express for us, The Iews have only 22 Books, to which they deservedly give cre­dit, which contains things written from the beginning of the World to the times of Ar­taxerxes: other things were written after­ward, (so the Apocryphal Books are granted to have been) but they are not of the same credit with the former, because [Page 65] There was no certain succession of Pro­phets, band I am told divers of your learned Authors confess it, as Cathari­nus, c Costerus, d Marianus Victor, e and Bellarmine himself, whose words are these; All those Books which the Protestants do not receive, the Iews also did not receive: fand this is more considerable, because to the Iews were committed the Oracles of God, Rom. 3. 2. And neither Christ nor his Apostles did accuse them of breach of trust in this matter. Moreover, I am told (and surely in all reason it must needs be true) that the Canonical Books of the Iewish Church were written in the Iewish or Hebrew language, whereas these were written in Greek only. Are these things so?

Pop.

What is true I will acknowledge; It is so; The Jewish Church indeed did not re­ceive them, nor yet did they reject them, as our Canus well answers.g

Prot.

Either that Church did believe them to be Canonical, or they did not; [Page 66] if they did, then they lived in a mortal sin against Conscience in not receiving them; if they did not, they were of our opinion.

Pop.

Well, what soever the Jewish Church did, I am sure the Antient Christians and Fathers did receive these Books as a part of the Canonical Scriptures.

Prot.

I doubt I shall take you tardy there too; I am told that the Council of Laodicea, (in the year of our Lord 364.) drew up a Catalogue of the Books of the Scripture, in which (as in ours) the Apo­cryphal Books are rejected.

Pop.

It is true, they did not receive them, nor yet reject them.

Prot.

If they did not receive them, that undeniably shews that they did not be­lieve them to be Canonical, and yet they diligently scanned the point, and the Books had then been extant some hun­dred of years, and they were far more likely to know the truth than we at this distance, having then such special oppor­tunities of knowing the judgement of the antient Church, both Iewish and Christi­an: Besides, I am informed that the fa­mous Bishop of Sardis Melito, (a man of great judgment and venerable holiness, as your Sixtus Senensis saith) did take a [Page 67] journey to the Eastern Churches (where the Apostles principally preached) to find out the true Canon of the Scripture, and returned with the same Canon that we own; but for the Apochrypha brought home a Non est inventus: And moreover that divers of your greatest Champions do confess, that a great number of the Antient Fathers were of our opinion, a­mong which themselves reckon Melito, Origen, Athanasius, Eusebius, Ruffinus, Hierom, and Amphilocius, so say Canus and Bellarmine, and Andradius; and in the General, Sixtus Senensis confesseth, that the Antient Fathers were of our opinion. Are these things so?

Pop.

I will not deny the truth, it is so; but you must know that other Fathers were of another minde, as Clemens, Cyprian, and Ambrose, and especially St. Austin, and the Council of Carthage.

Prot.

The Fathers of our opinion, were both far more numerous, and such as lived nearest the Apostolical Times, and Churches: The Council of Laodicea was more antient than that of Carthage, (and therefore of greater Authority) and be­sides, the sixth Council of Constantinople doth expresly confirm all the Decrees of the Council of Laodicea, among which [Page 68] this was one) and the Council of Carthage too doth not your work: For in their Catalogue there is both more than you own, to wit, the third Book of Esdras, (although they call it the second, as the Greeks did) and less too, for they shut out Baruch and the Maccabees; But be­sides all this, I am told that very many of your most eminent Doctors have disown­ed these Books which we reject, as the Parisian Divines, and Cardinal Ximenius, with the Complutensian University, and Aquinas, and Lyra, and Pagnim, and ma­ny others. Is it so?

Pop.

I confess this is true.*

Prot.

Then I am sure this may satisfie any rational man, concerning the Testi­mony of the Antient Church; and for the next point, viz. their agreement with the Canonical Books. I think it is plain enough that they do grosly contradict them, and the truth too; that fact of Si­meon and Levi, which good Iacob acted by Gods Spirit detesteth, Iudith com­mends, Chap. 9. Tobit is said to have lived 202. years, Chap. 14. whereas if he said [Page 69] true, he must have lived twice as long, for he saith he was taken captive by Sal­manasser, Chap. 1. and 2. and 14. and when he was about to die, he saith, the time was near for the return of the Israelites from their Captivity, and the re-building of the Temple which was burn'd: If the Books of the Maccabees say true, Antiochus his soul had a lease of his body for three lives, and he was killed thrice over, (I commend the Author, he was resolved to make sure work of him.) 1. He dies at Babylon in his bed, 1 Mac. 2. 6. then he is stoned in the Temple of Nanea, 2 Mac. 1. Lastly, he dyes in the Mountains by a fall out of his Chariot, 2 Maccab. 9. And the fine fetches of your Authors to reconcile these gross contradictions, put me in mind of a story we heard at School (if you remember) of a Gentle­man that told this lye,* That he shot a Deer at one shot through his right ear, and left hinder leg; and you know how hard his man was put to it to help his Ma­ster out; but I will not launch forth into the Sea of untruths and absurdities that are contained in those Books; these may suffice to shew you that we do not with­out [Page 70] warrant reject them; but howsoever it is sufficient for my purpose, that you grant that my Bible as the Word of God, and these Books in it Canonical, and I can know this without the Churches Au­thority.

Pop.

Do not make too much haste, if I do grant that these Books in the Original Lan­guage are the Word of God, yet yours is but a Translation.

Prot.

Is it rightly translated for the sub­stance, or is it not? What Bible is that which you have?

Pop.

A Latin Bible.

Prot.

Is that the Word of God, and rightly translated?

Pop.

Yes, the Council of Trent hath de­creed so.

Prot.

Then I pray you let us try this Experiment; do you pick out any 20. verses in several parts of the Bible, and turn them into English out of your Bible.

Pop.

The motion is fair, I will do it.

Prot.

I do not finde any substantial difference in all these places between your Translation and mine, the difference is wholly in words, not at all in sense; so now, I thank you for this occasion, for I have heard some of your Priests ranting highly against our Translation, and now [Page 71] I see they have no cause for it.

Pop.

If all this were over, yet the Scri­pture is not a sufficient Rule to guide you to Heaven of it self without Tradition.

Prot.

Why so I beseech you?

Pop.

Because you are also commanded there to hold the Tradition, true in your Bible to 2 Thes. 2. 15. Hold the Traditions which ye have been taught, whether by Word or Epistle.

Prot.

How do you prove that he speaks of such Traditions as were not written in the Scripture?

Pop.

Because he so plainly distinguish­eth between what he taught them by word, and what he taught them by Epistle or Wri­ting.

Prot.

That may be true that he speaks of some things of which he had not writ­ten to them, and yet they might be writ­ten by him to others, or by others, at least after that time; but besides, not­withstanding this distinction between Word and Epistle, divers of your own Authors affirm, that Tradition is perfect, and that St. Paul taught all things necessa­ry by word of mouth; and why may not I as well say, that he taught all by Epistle? But I pray you, What do you mean by these Traditions?

Pop.
[Page 72]

I mean all the Traditions which ei­ther he, or any other Apostles did deliver: all these you are bound to receive.

Prot.

I will not quarrel with you for that, bring me solid proofs of any of your unwritten Traditions, that they did indeed come from the Apostles, I pro­mise you I will joyfully receive them; But I pray you, what are these Traditions you speak of?

Pop.

Such as these, the Doctrine of Pur­gatory, Invocation of Saints, of the Popes Supremacy, of the single life of Priests, of the Fasts of the Church, private Masses, Worship of Images, &c.

Prot.

And do you think, that all that did not believe and receive these Traditi­ons shall be damned?

Pop.

No, by no means, for, then I should condemn many of the Holy Fathers and Mar­tyrs who differed from us at least in some of these Points.

Prot.

Then it is not necessary to salva­tion to receive these Traditions; and the Scripture may be sufficient without them: But further, These unwritten Traditions you talk of, I beseech you how came you to discover them, and discern the true from the false?

Pop.
[Page 73]

I altogether approve of Bellarmin 's Rule, which is this, That (saith he) is a true Tradition, which all former Doctors have successively in their several Ages ac­knowledged to come from the Apostles, and by their Doctrine or Practices have approved, and which the Universal Church owneth as such; and the reason is, because the Universal Church cannot erre*.

Prot.

I see all depends upon this Foun­dation, that the Catholick Church (in your sense) cannot erre; which, having disproved, I need not trouble my self further: But to wave that, How I pray you do you know what former Doctors have successively owned by word or pra­ctice? I presume none of your Popes have so good a memory as to remember all that hath been said or done in former A­ges, though in my opinion when your in­ventions were upon the wheel, and you did confer upon the Pope an infallible judgment, you should have given him al­so an all-sufficient memory, and then you had done your work.

Pop.

No Sir, we pretend no such thing: but we know this from the Writings which the [Page 74] Doctors have left. It is true, Bellarmine mentions another rule, which is the continual usage of the Church in all ages; but (to deal candidly with you) I cannot know what their use was, but by their Writings; so all must come to that.

Prot.

First, then I note, you forsake your cause, and it seems a writing is now made a rule for your unwritten Traditions; if it may be so, let me beg your favourable opinion of the Apostles writings; Be­sides, those Writers which record these Traditions, were they infallible?

Pop.

No, we do not hold any particular Writers Infallible, especially not in matters of Fact, such as reporting a Tradition or use of the Church undoubtedly is.

Prot.

Then they might mistake false Traditions for true: Besides, how can I tell what the Antient Doctors did agree in, since most of them never wrote; and many of their writings are lost; and yet all of them had equal liberty of voting in this case? besides, I have heard that di­vers of the Antient Fathers did report several things to be Apostolical Tra­ditions which your Church now reject­eth, as that Infants should receive the Com­munion, and that Christ should reign on earth a thousand years, and many others: I am [Page 75] told also, that your great Baronius, writing concerning the Apostles, professeth, He despairs to find out the truth, even in those matters which true Writers have recorded; because there was nothing which remained sincere and incorrupted: Is it so?

Pop.

You shall find me ingenuous; it is so, Baronius saith it, Anno 44. sect. 42.

Prot.

Then truly I shall bid Tradition (in your sense) good night: For as to your Traditions I see there is no certainty in them. Shall I forsake the certain and ac­knowledged verity of the Scripture for such trash? God forbid.

Again, I pray you tell me, doth not e­very wise man that makes any thing, make it sufficient for its end? If you build an house to live in, will not you make it suf­ficient for that end? If a man makes a Sword to cut with, a Coat of Male to de­fend him, &c. is he not a fool if he doth not, if he can, make them sufficient for their end and use?

Pop.

That must needs be granted.

Prot.

And was not our Instruction and Salvation the end for which God wrote the Scripture?

Pop.

How do you prove that it was?

Prot.

God himself tells me so, Iohn 20. 31. These things are written that you [Page 76] may believe that Iesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through his Name.

Pop.

S. John speaks there of Miracles, not of doctrines, and so that is nothing to the purpose.

Prot.

He speaks of Miracles, which were done in confirmation of the Do­ctrine of Christ, and so the Doctrine is not to be excluded: besides, I suppose you will not say that S. Iohn wrote the Doctrines of Christ for one end, and the Miracles for another: Moreover, it plain­ly appears, both that this was the end for which the Scripture was written, and that it is sufficient for its end, from that 2 Tim. 3. 15, 16, 17. he saith expresly, The Scri­ptures are able to make a man of God wise unto salvation. *

Pop.

Well, but if all these things be so, yet since the Scripture is dark and doubtful, and you can never apprehend the true mean­ing of it but from the Church, you are never the nearer; and the Scripture is not a con­venient judge of Controversies.

Prot.

Tell me I pray, doth your Church understand the true meaning of the Scri­pture?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, because she hath the Spirit of God.

Prot.
[Page 77]

Then certainly she is most deep­ly guilty of uncharitableness, or envy, or cruelty to souls, that she doth not put forth a clear and infallible Comment upon the whole Scripture, but still suffers the whole world to live in contention about the true meaning of hundreds of Texts of Scri­pture.

Pop.

She forbears that, for reasons best known to her self: But this is not much to the purpose.

Prot.

Whereas you pretend your Church certainly knows the true sense of the Scripture, and this Church you say is the Pope, or a Council, and if these be infallible, you say they are so in their Decrees: If this be so, how comes it to pass that none do more grosly mistake, and mis-apply Scripture than divers of your Popes and councils have done, even in their Decrees, and decretal Epistles (which you reverence as the Gospel)? Your Pope Nicholas the first, proves his Supremacy from that Text, Arise Peter kill and eat: small encouragement to us to become his sheep, if he so use them; and from hence, that Peter drew to the shore his net full of Fishes, your Pope Boniface the eighth proves it from Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, [Page 78] therefore the Pope hath power in Temporals and Spirituals: and this (saith he) you must hold, unless with the Manichees you hold two principles: And your councils are not more happy Expositors. The council of Lateran proves the Popes power from Psa. 72. (which speaks of Solomon and Christ) All Kings shall fall down before him. The se­cond council of Nice alledges these Scri­ptures for the Worship of Images, that God created man in his own Image, Gen. 1. Let me see thy countenance, Cant. 2. No man when he hath lighted a Candle covereth it under a vessel, Luk. 8. 16. In my opinion they spoke like a council, expecting that the world should receive their Decrees, not for any solidity of Argument (that had been pedantick) but meerly for the Churches Majesty and Authority. Nay, the jest is, when their Adversaries had ta­ken notice of these absurd impertinencies, up steps Pater Noster, Pope Adrian, and he saith, he will maintain it (in spite of fate) that they alledged them rightly and excellently: So here we have a Pope and council joyning together (and there­fore undoubtedly infallible) in these Ex­positions. Nay, the council of Trent it self (when one would expect they should have grown wiser, though not better) [Page 79] prove the unequal power of Popes, Bi­shops, and Priests, from Rom. 13. 1. The powers that be are ordained of God; that is, digested into order. I hope ere you have done, you will put forth an entire Com­ment upon the whole Bible, which I as­sure you will be the rarest book that ever saw the light. But further, I desire to know of you how your Church comes to have this true and certain sense of Scri­pture; hath she it by Revelation or In­spiration?

Pop.

No, we pretend to no such thing; but she comes to know it by the diligent use of means, by prayer, by reading, and comparing Scripture, by consulting ancient Interpreters, Analogy of Faith, the coherence, &c. and even the Pope himself, when he set forth his Translation of the Bible, He professes to all the world, that he did it in the very same manner, and by the same helps, that other Translators do; that is, by advising with learned Men, and consulting Antient Copies, and the like*.

Prot.
[Page 80][Page 81]

Very good, Then I pray you tell me why a Protestant Minister (being oft times both a learneder and better man than the Pope) may not as certainly hit upon the true sense of the Scripture as the Pope himself.

Pop.

The reason is plain, because the Pope is guided by the infallible assistance of Gods Spirit.

Prot.

You ought not to rant at this height, until you have solidly answered [Page 82] what our Divines have wrote against this Infallibility. And I heard before the woful weakness of your arguments; for it is to me the vainest thing in the world to pretend a promise of the Spirit of God infallibly to guide such men, as (if the Scripture be true) have not the Spi­rit of Christ in them, being (as you con­fess many of your Popes and Bishops were) sensual, not having the Spirit: and having apparently no other spirit in them, but the spirit of the world, the spirit that lusteth to envy and all wicked­ness: But since you pretend the Scripture is so dark, I pray you tell me, what was the end for which God designed the Scri­pture? Sure I think it was for our under­standing; my Bible tells me, that what­soever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, Rom. 15. 4 But if you say true, it seems God meant only to put forth riddles: Gods Law was design­ed by him for a light, and that even to the simple, Psal. 19. 7, 8, 9. and 119, 105. And in a word, the Gospel is so clear, that Saint Paul pronounceth, it is hid from none but them that perish, 2 Cor. 4. 3, 4. And Saint Luke wrote his Gospel, that Theo­philus (and with him other Christians) might know the certainty of those things [Page 83] wherein they had been instructed, Luke 1. 4. and generally every discreet man that writes a Book, writes it so, as it may be understood; especially if it be for the benefit of the ignorant, as well as the learned (which the Scripture assuredly was.) Tell me then I pray you, why should God write his mind so darkly and doubtfully as you know whose Oracles are said to be delivered? was it because God could not write plainer (and wanted the gift of utterance) or because he would not?

Pop.

Notwithstanding all this, it is cer­tain, the Scripture is full of obscure places.

Prot.

I do not deny this: but those things which are obscurely delivered in one place, are more clearly delivered in another; and those dark places generally are about Prophecies, and such other things; the knowledge of which is not necessary to salvation, But for necessa­ries the Scripture is plain, and I am told, that divers of your Authors acknowledge so much: Is that true?

Pop.

I confess Costerus hath this expres­sion, that things which are necessary to be known by all Christians, are plainly and clearly delivered in the writings of the [Page 84] Apostles, and some others of our Doctors say as much *

Prot.

It could be nothing but the evi­dence of the truth which forced such an acknowledgment from its greatest Adver­saries, therefore let this go, and let me hear what further you have to say against our Religion.

Pop.

I find you are an obstinate Heretick, and setled upon the lees, and therefore it will be needless to discourse further with you; if any thing could have convinced you, surely the Ar­guments I have offered would have done it; for I assure you I have pickt out the strength and marrow of the Catholick Cause in the Points we have discoursed. And since I see you turn a deaf ear to my counsel, I shall give you over as incorrigible.

Prot.

You see I have heard you with great patience, and given you all the free­dom you could desire; now I have one re­quest to you, that you would allow me the same priviledge, with patience to hear, and, if you can, answer what I shall ob­ject against your Religion.

Pop.

With a very good will, I'le meet you here to morrow at this time, so at present adieu.

The SECOND CONFERENCE.

Prot.

WEll met Sir, I see you are as good as your word, and I hope you will al­low me as much freedom and patience as I did you.

Pop.

I shall willingly do it, therefore speak freely, and so will I, and if truth be on your side let it prevail.

Prot.

I shall divide my discourse into two Parts.

1. Some General Considerations, which indeed do very much set me against your Religion.

2. I shall examine the grounds of your Principal Points of Doctrine; for to med­dle with all, will be needless: If your Pil­lars fall the rest cannot stand. For the first, there are several weighty Conside­rations against your Religion; I shall give you them in order. The first General Consideration is this;

1. That your Church declines all [Page 86] Judgment but her own, and makes her self Judge in her own Cause; you do not allow Scripture to be Judge, nor the Antient Fathers (for all your talk of Antiquity) nor indeed any but your selves, the Pope, or a Council of your own, and your Church it seems must determine, whether she be a true Church or no, and whether she be pure or corrupted, or whether she be Infallible or no; Is this so?

Pop.

I confess this is our Doctrine, and I think grounded upon Reason.

Prot.

You speak against the common sense of all men. In all Controversies or Differences between men and men, we generally suspect that party who will sub­mit to no judgment but his own; and he who is willing to refer himself to any third indifferent party, is generally pre­sumed to have the best cause; and th [...]s is our case, Protestants do not make them­selves and their own Church the only Judge (though they might as justly and reasonably do it as you) but they are ve­ry willing to submit to other Judges, they refer themselves to be judged by the Scripture, which is acknowledged to be a most indifferent Judge; If that do not please you, they refer themselves to the Fathers for the first six hundred [Page 87] years, till your abominations had leaven­ed the world, according to what was fore­told, Rev. 13. 8.

II. My second consideration is this; You do not only decline the Scriptures judgment, but you infinitely disparage and vilifie it. I meet with several passages quo­ted out of your Authors to that purpose.

Pop.

Possibly you may out of some incon­siderable ones, but not out of any of note and name in our Church.

Prot.

Yes, out of your prime Authors, I read that Cardinal Hosius in his Adver­tisement to King Sigismund hath this ex­pression, If they (that is, the Hereticks) say, It is written, that is the voice of the Devil, speaking in his members a. But that it is below a Cardinal to read the Bible, he would have found the words also in Christs mouth. I read that Coste­rus calls the Scripture by way of con­tempt Paper and Parchment. God (saith he) would no [...] have his Church (by which always understand the Papists them­selves) now depend upon Paper and Parch­ment, as Moses made the carnal Israelites: And again, That which is written in the heart of the Church, doth by many degrees [Page 88] excel the Scriptures: First, because that was written by the finger of God, but this by the Apostles a, as if the Writings of the Apostles were only a device of man. I read that Cardinal Pool writing to Henry the Eighth, saith thus, What an absurd thing is this, that thou dost attribute more authority to the Scripture than to the Church, since the Scripture hath no authority but for the decree of the Church b? (He means the Roman Church.) I see we are highly concerned to please your Church, else we are like to have no Scriptures. I read that Pighius saith, The Apostles did never intend to subject our faith to their writings, but ra­ther their writings to our faith c. And af­terward he saith, The Scriptures are (as one said, not more pleasantly than truly) a nose of wax which suffers it self to be drawn hither or thither, as a man pleaseth d. I read that your Bullenger saith; The Scripture is the Daughter, the Church the Mother, which gives being and sufficiency to her she begets. (No wonder then, the Church makes bold with the Scripture to add, or [Page 89] alter, or dispense with it. We all know the Mother may correct the Daughter.) I confess, when I read those passages produced by our Writers, I suspected they wronged them. Are these things true?

Pop.

I acknowledge it, and it is a vain thing for me to deny it, for the Books and those passages in them are extant under their own hands: And I must confess, these Au­thors are as considerable and approved as any we have. But you ought to put a favourable sense upon them.

Prot.

I would not strain them, nor make them worse than they are. Take them as you will, they are abominable expressions, and (to me) a great evidence, that the Scripture is no friend to your Church. And I conclude this to be one accomplishment of what Christ hath said, Every one that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved, John 3. 20. And if this be the spirit by which your Church is guided, I am sure it is not the Spirit of God and of Truth; for that teacheth men reverence and love to the Scriptures: You seem to do like Herod, who being convinced that he was not of the Royal race of the Iews, did burn their Genealo­gies [Page 90] and Records, that his false pretences might not be confuted by them. And just so do you endeavour to do by the Scri­ptures:

III. My third Consideration against your Religion is this; That your Cause is such as dares not abide tryal: This is the honour and happiness of our Religi­on; We are allowed to examine all that our Ministers say, and we have a Rule (which we may peruse) to try them by, viz. the holy Scriptures, which you dare not suffer your people to read. And this I take to be a secret confession of your guilt; and I am told your Alphonsus de Castro saith, That from the reading of the Scripture all Heresies come *.

Pop.

I think your experience hath justi­fied that expression, You see what you get by the reading of the Scriptures, even this, that you are crumbled into a thousand Sects.

Prot.

Our Saviour was not of your mind, for he thought not acquaintance with, but ignorance of the Scriptures was the cause of Error; Ye erre, not know­ing the Scriptures, Mat. 22. 29. Nor did he only allow, but command the Iews to search the Scriptures, without any fear of [Page 91] this inconvenience, Iohn 5. 39. Had S. Paul been of your mind, he would not have commended, but reproved the Beraans for searching the Scriptures, and examining his Doctrine by them, Act. 17. 11. If any of your people should do as the Beraeans did, they would be sent to the Inquisition. I do not deny, but too many make a bad use of the Scripture, and wrest it to wicked purposes, which is to me no better an argument than this; Wine makes many men drunk, therefore no Wine must be sold. The Doctrine of Free Grace was abused by thousands (as we read) therefore S. Paul did ill in preaching of it. The light of the Sun hurts sore eyes, therefore Solomon was mistaken, when he said, It is a pleasant thing to behold the Sun. But since you speak of this, I pray you let me ask you one question; Were not most of the He­resies that ever were in the Church, brought in by learned men?

Pop.

I cannot deny that, for it is notori­ously known.

Prot.

Then you shut up the wrong door; for, it seems, it is not the unlearn­ed mans reading, but the learned mans perverting the Scripture, which is the true cause and fountain of Heresies: [Page 92] And besides, you must not do evil, that good may come out of it, nor defraud people of their greatest treasure, nor keep them from their duty, for fear of some inconveniencies. This is to make your selves wiser than God.

Pop.

But indeed you slander us in this point: We do not absolutely forbid reading of the Scriptures. The Council of Trent al­lows it, provided you can get the Bishops leave.

Prot,

It is true, that Council pretends to give some such liberty; but they take away with one hand, what they gave with the other; for in their Index of forbid­den Books, they have this passage: Since experience sheweth that the promiscuous read­ing of the Bible brings more evil than good, therefore if any man shall dare to read, or have a Bible without license from the Bishop, or Inquisitor, he shall not be capable of abso­lution * unless he part with his Bible. But in truth, this pretended License is but an handsome blind: For in that very place there is this Observation added to that Rule, That the power of giving such Li­censes of reading, or keeping the vulgar Bi­bles, is taken away from such Bishops and [Page 93] Inquisitors, by the command and usage of the Roman and universal Inquisition. At best, it seems, I must not obey Christs command of searching the Scriptures, un­less the Bishop give me leave. But I pray you tell me; Do your people use to ask, and the Bishops to give them leave to read the Bible?

Pop.

I will not dissemble with you, They do not. And, the truth is, an approved Writer of ours, Ledesima puts the question; What if a man should come to the Bi­shop, and desire liberty to read the Bible, and that with a good intention? to which he replies, that the Bishop should answer him in the words of Christ, Matt. 20. 20. Ye know not what ye ask, and Indeed (saith he, and he saith it truly) the root of this demand is an heretical dispositi­on*.

Prot.

Then I perceive in this, as well as in other things, you are more careful to deceive people with pretences, than to inform them. But indeed, you tell me no more than I had read, or heard out of your own Authors. It was the speech of your Pope Innocent, That the Mountain which the Beasts must not touch [Page 94] is the high and holy Scriptures which the unlearned must not read * and your Do­ctors commonly affirm, that people must not be suffered to read the Scriptures, because we must not give holy things to Dogs, nor cast Pearls before swine.

My fourth General consideration a­gainst your Religion is this, That it grosly contradicts the great designs and ends of the Christian Religion, which all confess to be such as these, the glorifying of God, and his Son Jesus Christ, and the humbling and abasing of men, the beating down of all sin, and the promoting of se­rious holiness. Are not those the chief ends of Religion?

Pop.

I do freely acknowledge they are, and our Religion doth most answer these ends.

Prot.

That you and I will now try And for the first: Your Religion doth highly dishonour God sundry ways. What can be a greater dishonour to God, than to make the holy Scriptures (which you confess to be the Word of God) to depend upon the Testimony and Autho­rity of your Pope, or Church, and to say, that the Word of God is but a dead [Page 95] letter, and hath no authority over us without their Interpretation and Appro­bation; By which means malefactors (for such all men are, Rom. 3. 9, 10. your Pope not excepted) are made Judges of, and superiour to that Law whereby they are condemned. Tell me; would not the French King take it for a great dis­honour, if any of his Subjects should say, That his Edicts and Decrees had no Au­thority over his People without their ap­probation?

Pop.

Yes, doubtless he would.

Prot.

Just so you deal with God: and what can be a fouler dishonour to God, than that which your great Stapleton affirmed, and Gretser and others justified, and your Church to this day have never disowned it: That the Divinity of Christ and of God (in respect of us) depends upon the Authority of the Pope? * And what more dishonourable to God than what your great Champion Bellarmine saith, That, if the Pope should erre in forbidding Virtues (which God hath commanded) and commanding Vices (which God hath forbidden); And that he may so erre, di­vers of your most famous and approved [Page 96] Authors confess,* the Church were bound to believe Vices to be good, and Vertues bad, unless she would sin against Conscience; that is, in plain terms, the Pope is to be o­beyed before God. Again, is it not highly dishonorable to God, to give the Worship which is proper to God, unto the Crea­ture? I confess the Prophet Isaiah hath convinced me of it, Isa. 42, 8. I am the Lord, that is my Name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven Images.

Pop.

I also am of the same mind; but it is a scandal of your Ministers, to say we give Gods honour to the Creature: I know where about you are, you mean it of Images, whereas we worship them with a lower kind of Worship.

Prot.

You worship them with such a kind of worship, as neither Angels nor Saints durst receive. Cornelius did not worship Peter with a Divine Worship as God (for he knew he was but Gods Mini­ster) yet Peter durst not receive it. It was an inferiour Worship which the Devil required of Christ, for he acknowledges at the same time, God to be his Superiour, and the giver of that power he claimeth, [Page 97] Luke 4. 6. And yet that was the Worship, which Christ saith God hath forbidden, to be given to any Creature. You are a vali­ant man, that dare venture your immortal soul upon a nice School distinction. I pray you, do you not worship the Bread in the Sacrament, with that worship which you call Latria, which is proper to God?

Pop.

We do so, and that upon very good reason, because it is not Bread, but the very Body of Christ into which the Bread is tur­ned.

Prot.

But what if the Bread be not con­verted in Christs Body: Is it not then an high dishonour to God, and indeed damnable Idolatry?

Pop.

Yes, our Fisher the famous Martyr and Bishop of Rochester, saith, No man can doubt, if there be nothing in the Eu­charist but Bread, that the whole Church hath been guilty of Idolatry for a long time, and therefore must needs be dam­ned *; but we are well assured, that it is no longer Bread; and yet I must add this; If peradventure it should still remain Bread, yet for as much as we believe it, to be the Body of our Lord, our ignorance, I hope, would [Page 98] excuse us from Idolatry, and God would not impute it to us.

Prot.

Tell me, I beseech you, Will all kind of ignorance excuse a man?

Pop.

No certainly, There is a wilful and affected ignorance; which, because it is against clear light, will not excuse.

Prot.

Tell me farther, Did this excuse the Iews from their sin of crucifying Christ, and the damnation due to it, that they did it ignorantly? Act. 3. 17.

Pop.

No, because they shut their eyes against the plain light, and clear evidence of that truth that Christ was the Messias.

Prot.

No less do you in the doctrine of the Sacrament; for they had no greater evidences against them, than Sense, and Reason, and Scripture; all which you reject, (as I shall prove by Gods help.) And as your Religion dishonours God, so doth it also highly dishonour Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, who is expresly called the one Mediatour, 1 Tim. 2. 5. But you have conferred that honour upon many o­thers, Saints and Angels.

Pop.

True, there is but one chief Media­tour, but there may be other secondary Me­diatours.

Prot.

In like manner, to that which the Apostle there saith, there is but one [Page 99] God; it might be said, there are other secondary gods, and so we might intro­duce the Heathen gods into the Church. It is the great Prerogative of Jesus Christ, that he is the Redeemer of the World; yet your Bellarmine was not a­fraid to communicate this honour to the creature, and expresly saith, It is not ab­sur'd, that holy men be called our Redeemers after a sort *, and more of the like stuff we shall meet with before we part: yet again, your Religion as it depresseth God, so it exalts the creature. I will instance but in one thing, and that is your Do­ctrine of Justification by the merit of good works: A doctrine, which S. Paul affirms, gives unto a man matter of boast­ing and glorying, Rom. 3. 27. Where is boasting then? it is excluded, By what Law? of Works? Nay, but by the Law of Faith, & Rom. 4. 2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory. Next, you grant, That it is the great de­sign and intent of Religion, to discou­rage and beat down sin, which your Re­ligion doth exceedingly incourage by your Doctrines and Practice in Absolu­tions and Indulgences. In my acquain­tance, [Page 100] I have known several Papists that have wonderfully encouraged themselves in their wicked wayes from this conside­ration; especially when Easter drew near, because they knew they should very sud­denly be shriven, and absolved, and be (as they said) as sound and clean as when they came first into the world. I have known also divers of our loose Prote­stants that have turn'd to your Religion, that they might have greater liberty for, and the security in sin; and in my Consci­ence, If I would let my lusts choose a Religion for me, they would presently lead me to your Religion: And so a­gain, your Religion doth not at all pro­mote serious holiness, but the soul and spirit of it is dwindled away into meer formality: What can be of more pesti­lent consequence to true holiness than to tell a man, that the saying so many Pater-Nosters, or Ave-Maries, (though it may be he is talking, or gazing about in the midst of his Devotions) will procure him acceptance with God? Is it true, that your great and devout Doctor Suarez saith, That is it not essential to Prayer, that a man should think of what he saith?

Pop.
[Page 101]

It is true, he doth say so in his Book of Prayer.

Prot.

Then I confess, your Religion hath the advantage of ours, for a man may do two businesses at once: It hath set me much against your Religion, since I un­derstood that you turned that great Do­ctrine of Repentance into a meer forma­lity: What a sad Doctrine is it that your great Masters teach, that Repentance is not necessary at all times, but only on Ho­ly-daies, (as some of your Authors say) only once in a year, that is, at Easter (as others.) Nay indeed, once in all his life, and that in danger of death (as Na­var, and Cajetan)? what an encouragement is this to wickedness, to tell men that a thousand of their sins are venial, which though not repented of, will not exclude them from the favour of God, and from Salvation; but I will rake no farther into this kennel.

I think this may serve turn, to let you see, that I had warrant to say, That your Religion contradicts the design, and end of all Religion.

V. The fifth Consideration that sets me against your Religion, is the desperate issues that you are driven to in the de­fence [Page 102] of your Cause; as for example, in the great point of Infallibility, I observe your learned Doctors are beaten out of all their former Assertions and Opinions; you have been driven from Scripture to the Fathers, from them to the Pope, from him to a Council, and thence to the Pope with a Council, and (as a further sign of a desperate cause) the Jesuits are brought to that exigence, that they are forced to affirm the Pope to be infalli­ble in matters of fact, which is confessed­ly a new, upstart, and indeed, monstrous Opinion; and yet those piercing wits see their cause cannot be defended with­out it: and others seeing the vanity of all their former pretences, have been forced to resolve all into the present Churches testimony.* So for the point of Idolatry, you are driven to those straits, that you cannot excuse your selves from Idolatry, but by such pretences as will excuse both Jewish and Gentile Ido­laters; and one of your ablest Champi­ons is brought to this plunge, that he is forced to affirm, that some Idolatry is [Page 103] lawful *: I might instance in very many others, but I forbear.

VI. A sixth consideration is taken from the partiality of your Religion; That Religion which is from God, is doubtless agreeable to the Nature and Will of God. But so is not your Religi­on, for it is guilty of that respect of per­sons which Scripture every where denies to be in God, Act. 10. 34. Rom. 2. 11. Iob 34. 19.

Pop.

How is our Religion guilty of re­spect of persons?

Prot.

I might shew it in many things, but I will confine my self to one parti­cular; and that is, in point of Indulgen­ces: The Souls of all that die in venial sins, are doomed to those terrible pains of Purgatory, there to continue none knows how long (by the way, I can­not but take notice of the great unhap­piness of those Christians, that lived and died in the dayes of Christ and the Apo­stles, that have been multitudes of them frying in Purgatory to this day, and are like to be so as long as the World lasts; whereas those that live nearer the end of the World, must needs have a far shor­ter abode there, so men are punished [Page 104] with continuance of their torments, meer­ly for the circumstance of time of their birth; but this is not the thing I aim at,) from these pains of Purgatory, there is no way to deliver a man but by indulgen­ces; and these indulgences must be bought off with money, and wealthy men may buy off those corporal pains, (which the rascal herd must suffer with­out bail or main-prise) and turn them in­to a fine of the purse. So I see it was not without reason, that Solomon said, Money answers all things. I have heard that your tax of the Apostolical Chancery (put forth by the Authority of your Church, where there is a price put upon all indul­gences, and upon all kinds of sins) hath this expression, Diligently note, that these graces (of Indulgences) are not given to the Poor, because they are not, and therefore cannot be comforted a; by which I see, that if St. Peter himself should rise from the dead, and come to his Successour, with his old tone, Silver and Gold have I none, if he were a thousand Peters, he [Page 105] must into Purgatory without mercy. I am told that another of your Authors, Augustinus de Ancona, an Author of great note with you, tells us, that Indulgences are for the relief of the Churches (that, is the Popes, and their Prelates) Indigencies, which b is not relieved by a willingness to give (which is all that any poor man can pretend to) but by the gift it self. (It seems your Church is not of Gods minde; for, if there be a willing mind, he accepteth it for the deed, 2 Cor. 8. 12.) And a little after (as I am told) he saith, as to the remission of punishment which is procured by indulgences, in that case it is not inconvenient, that the rich is in a better condition than the poor, for there it is not said, come and buy without money c. I confess that were a dangerous speech, and would utterly undoe all the Church of Rome. It is sufficient that Isaiah once said it, and Christ again, come and drink freely. People should have been wise, and taken them at their word, for they are never [Page 106] like to hear it a third time. Is this true?

Pop.

They do indeed say so; and the pra­ctice of our Church manifests to all the world, that Indulgences are sold for money, and the condition of the rich, in that, is better than the poor. But what great matter is that, as to the Pardon of Sin, and eternal Life, or Death, both rich and poor are alike. This dif­ference is only as to the pains of Purgatory.

Prot.

Is that nothing to you? you speak against your own, and all mens sense: we see how highly men esteem to be freed from a painful, though short, disease here; how much more to be freed from such pains as you all confess to be unspeakably more sharp and grievous, than all the pains that ever were endured in this world: It is so considerable a thing, that I assure you, it is to me matter of wonder (if Christ and the Apostles had been of your minde) how it came to pass so unluckily, that the poor only should receive the Gos­pel; whereas, if the men of that Age had not been all Fools, the rich would have been most forward to entertain it.

VII. But to proceed. My seventh Con­sideration against your Religion is taken from its great hazard, and utter uncer­tainty. According to the doctrine of your Church, no man can be sure of his salva­tion [Page 107] (without a revelation) but he must go out of the world, not knowing whe­ther he goes. Indeed there is nothing but hazard and uncertainty in your Religion; I suppose you grant that all your Faith, and consequently your salvation depends upon the infallible Authority of your Church.

Pop.

That is most certain.

Prot.

Are you then infallibly certain, that your Church is infallible, or do you only probably believe it?

Pop.

I am but a private Priest, and therefore cannot pretend to Infallibility; but I am fully satisfied in it, that the Church is infallible in it self.

Prot.

Then I see you pretend to no more certainty than I have; for I know (and you grant) that the Scripture is in­fallible in it self: and I know its infalli­bility as certainly as you know the infal­libility of your Church. But, I pray you tell me, what is your opinion? I know your are divided: but where do you place the infallibility, or where do you lay the foundation of your Faith?

Pop.

To deal freely with you, I place it in the Pope; who when he determines things out of his Chair, is infallible: for S. Peter who was supream Head of the Church, left the Pope his Successour.

Prot.
[Page 108]

Then it seems your Faith doth wholly depend on these things, that Saint Peter was Bishop of Rome, and died there, and that he left the Pope his successour in his supream and infallible Authority.

Pop.

It doth so.

Prot.

How then are you infallibly assu­red of the truth of these things, which are all matters of Fact?

Pop.

Because they are affirmed by so many of the Ancient Fathers and Writers.

Prot.

Were those Fathers or Writers infallible persons?

Pop.

No.

Prot.

Then might they, and so may you, be mistaken in that point; and so indeed you have nothing but a meer conjecture for the foundation of your Faith. But again, are you infallibly sure, that Saint Peters intention was to leave his Infallibi­lity to the Pope? For I do not read that S. Peter left it in his last wil. I tell you true it is strange to me, that St. Peter should write two Catholick Epistles, and (as I observed before) not leave one word con­cerning this matter. For my part I shall al­wayes rather question the Popes Authori­ty, than S. Peters fidelity or discretion, in omitting so Fundamental a Point when he put in many of far less concernment. But [Page 109] further, I demand, How are you assured that St. Peter intended to leave his power, and did actually leave it to his Successors?

Pop.

By the unanimous consent of the An­cient Fathers.

Prot.

I wonder at your confidence, that you dare affirm a thing which our Au­thors *have so clearly proved to be false. But suppose it were so, that the Fathers had said it; tell me, are the Fathers in­fallible? at least are they so in their reports of matter of Fact?

Pop.

No: we confess that it is only the Pope or Council that are infallible, not the Fathers; & to be true to you, even the Pope himself is not infallible in his Reports of matters of Fact.

Prot.

Then you have nothing but a meer conjecture, or historical Report deliver­ed by men, liable to mistake, for the great foundation of your Faith. Yet once more, have you any greater or better certainty for your Faith than the Pope himself.

Pop.

God forbid I should be so impud [...]nt or wicked to say so; for my Faith depends upon his certainty.

Prot.

Very well, How I beseech you is the Pope assured? what is it that makes him infallibly certain of his own Infalli­bility? Is he assured of [...] Revelat [...]on?

Pop.
[Page 110]

No (as I have told you oft) we pre­tend to no such things.

Prot.

How then?

Pop.

By the Spirit of God which guides him into all truth.

Prot.

How is he assured that the Spirit of God guides him?

Pop.

By the promises God hath made to him; I need not repeat them, they are known already, Thou are Peter, &c. Simon, Si­mon, I have prayed that thy Faith fail not, &c.

Prot.

I have already shewn how ab­surdly these Texts are alledged. But I beseech you, how is the Pope infallibly assured that this is the true meaning of those Texts? You confess it is not by in­spiration.

Pop.

He knows that, by considering and comparing Scripture with Scripture, and by consulting the Fathers, and Prayer, Diligence, and Obedience, &c.

Prot.

All these things are very good, but any other man may use these means as well as the Pope, and hath as full promi­ses from God, as any the Pope pretends to as Ioh. 7. 17. If any man will do his will, he shal know of the doctrine, whether it be of God; and the Spirit of Truth is promised to all that ask it, Luke 11. 13. So if this be all you [Page 111] have to say, God deliver my soul from such a desperate Religion, wherein all the certainty of its Faith depends upon his infallibility, that is not certain of his own infallibility.

But I need say no more of this; It is to me an undeniable argument, that there is no certainty at all in this foundation; be­cause (as you confess) so many hundreds of your ablest Schollars do utterly reject it. But once more, in my opinion you run a dreadful hazard in the point of worship­ing of Creaturers, Images, Saints, and es­pecially the Bread in the Sacrament, in which you run other hazards besides those I spoke of. I am told, that your Doctrine is this, That it is necessary to the making of a Sacrament (and so to the conversion of the Bread into Christs Body) that the Priest intend to consecrate it. Is it so?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, Bellarmine and all our Authors largely dispute for that.

Prot.

And can I be sure of another mans intentions? It is sufficiently known, that divers of your Priests are prophane, and atheistical wretches, others envious and malicious, and some actually Jews. What assurance have I, that my Priest is not such an one, and that he doth not ei­ther out of a contempt or hatred of Re­ligion [Page 112] or malice against my person, intend to deceive me, and not make a Sacrament of it? Sure I am, they intend to deceive their people in the preaching of the Word, and why they may not do so in the Administration of the Sacrament, I know not.

VIII. My eighth and last general con­sideration is this, that your Religion de­stroys even the principles of morality: which true Religion is so far from de­stroying, that it improves and perfects it. I confess, the bloodiness of your Religi­on hath ever made me both suspect and loath it. I find that Christ is a Prince of peace; though he whipt some out of the Temple yet he never whipt any into his Church; that he drew in his Disciples with the cords of a man, of conviction and perswasion; and so did his Apostles after him: but your Religion (like Dra­co's laws) is written in blood. I perceive you answer our Arguments with Fire and Faggot: besides this, your Religion de­stroyes all civil Faith and Society; your principle is known, and so is your pra­ctice of equivocation, and keeping no faith with Hereticks.

Pop.

I know where you are, you mean because of John Husse who after he had the [Page 113] faith of the Emperour given him for his safe Conduct, was contrary to that faith put to death in the Council of Constance.

Prot.

I do so, and what can you say for it?

Pop.

This I say you must not charge upon our Church, the opinion of some few private Doctors, since others disown this, and have written against it.

Prot.

It seems it is a disputable point among you, whether you ought to be ho­nest or not: but I have heard that Iohn Husse was condemned by the Council of Constance, and that when the Emperour scrupled to break his Faith, they declared he might do it, and ought to do it. Is it so?

Pop.

It is true, what was done in that point; was done by the Council.

Prot.

And you hold Councils (especi­ally where the Pope joyns with them as he did with that Council) to be infallible; and therefore this I may confidently charge upon you as a Principle of your Religion. I cannot but observe your fine devices: At other times when we alledge passages out of any of your learned Do­ctors which make against you, you tell us they are but private Doctors, and we must judge of you by your Councils. Now [Page 114] here we bring an approved Councils te­stimony, and you send us back to your pri­vate Doctors.

Pop.

These discourses of yours are only general; I had rather you would come to the other thing you proposed, viz. to examine the particular points of our Religion, wherein I hope I shall give you such solid grounds and reasons, that when you shall understand them, you will embrace them.

Prot.

You shall find me ingenuous and docible, only remember I expect not words, but solid Arguments. I think our best course will be to pick out some prin­cipal points of your Religion, and examine them; for the rest will either stand or fall as they do.

Pop.

I am perfectly of your mind, let us proceed accordingly.

Prot.

First then, if you please, we will begin with the sacrifice of the Mass, which you say is essential to the Christian Religion.

Pop.

It is so, and Bellarmine rightly saith, that where there is no sacrifice (as you Protestants have none) there is in truth no Religion.

Prot.

Therefore, I pray you, let me hear one or two (for those are as good as an hundred) of your chief grounds and reasons for that Sacrifice.

Pop.
[Page 115]

I approve your motion, and I shall only insist upon two Arguments: First, the Sacrifice of the Mass was appointed by God, or Christ, in the words of Institution of the Sacrament, do this in remembrance of me. It is the great Argument of the Coun­cil of Trent *.

Prot.

I adore the fruitfulness of your Churches Invention. It seems they think these two words, do this, contain no less than two of your Sacraments, to wit, that of Orders, which makes Priests, and that of the Supper.

Pop.

They do so.

Prot.

That, no sober man will easily be­lieve; nor that Christs meaning in the words mentioned was this, Sacrifice me in remembrance of me. But let me hear how you prove the Institution of the Mass from these words.

Pop.

Christ bid his Disciples, do this, viz. that which he did: Christ did in that last Supper truly and properly offer up himself to his Father, his Body under the shape of Bread, his Blood under the shape of Wine; and there­fore they were truly and properly to offer up, or [Page 116] Sacrifice Christ in the Sacrament. The Ar­gument is Bellarmin's *.

Prot.

How do you prove that Christ did in that last Supper truly and properly offer up his Body and Blood to his Father? I read that Christ offered himself but once, Heb. 8. 27. and 9. 25, 26, 27, 28. and 10. 14. and that was upon the Cross; nor do I find that he offered any thing at all to God in that Supper, but only to his Apostles: And what, did Christ Sacri­fice himself, and imbrue his hands in his own Blood; and did he eat up his own Body? did he take his whole Body into his Mouth? these are Monsters of Opini­ons: But how prove you that Christ did then offer up himself to God?

Pop.

Because Christ speaks in the present tense, This is my Body which is broken, Blood which is shed: he doth not say which shall be broken, and shed; and therefore it must be broken and shed at that very time.

Prot.

What a vain Argumet is this? you know nothing is more usual in Scri­pture than to put the Present Tense for the Future. Christ saith, I do lay down my life when he means, I will do it shortly, Iohn [Page 117] 10. 15. I do go to my Father, Iohn 16. 28. that is, I shall go shortly: Do that thou dost, that is, art about to do, John 13. 27. And in Mat. 26. Christ saith of his Blood, This is my Blood which is shed for many for the re­mission of sins; and yet I suppose it was not shed at that time; for you all profess the Sacrifice of the Mass is an unbloody Sa­crifice: But again, tell me, I pray you, when Christ said, do this, did they not o­bey Christs command at that Supper?

Pop.

I cannot deny that.

Prot.

Thence unavoidably follows, that this doing concerns the Communicants, as well as (if not more than) the Minister; and so it is not meant of Sacrificing Christ, but receiving of him; and real­ly, if this Text do not, there is no other which doth, enjoyn Communicants to receive; which he that can believe, hath got a good mastery over his Faith: Besides, what Christ here commands his Apostles, I finde St. Paul commands the Corinthians, and expounds doing this by eating and drinking, 1 Cor. 11. And more­over, if the words do this, were the words which did ordain both Priest and Sacrifice, who can think that two of the Evangelists, viz. both Matthew and Mark would have omitted them in mentioning the words of [Page 118] Institution; and therefore this may pass. I shall only adde, that if our Divines should prove their Doctrines no better than by such wrested Scriptures and Ar­guments as this, we should hiss them out of the Pulpit: but I suppose you have some better Argument, therefore let me hear it.

Pop.

Consider then that irresistable Argu­ment, Christ is a Priest, after the order of Melchisedeck. Now Melchisedeck did of­fer up a Sacrifice of Bread and Wine to God, Gen. 14. and thefore Christ was bound in agreement with this Type, to offer up such a Sacrifice, even his Body and blood, under the species of Bread and Wine.

Prot.

You tell me Melchisedeck offered up Bread and Wine to God; I find no such matter: it is only a dream of your own. The History is, Gen. 14. where in­deed I read of his offering Bread and Wine to Abraham and his Souldiers, to refresh them (according to the custom of those times and places,) Deut. 23. 3, 4. and Iudges 8. 6. but not a word of any offer­ing to God. It is the strangest relation of a Sacrifice that ever was; here's not one word of the Altar, or Offering, or Conse­cration, or the Destruction of the Sacrifice. You grant the thing sacrificed must be de­stroyed [Page 119] when it is sacrificed; I pray you how is this bread destroyed (save only by the Souldiers mouths, which you say came after the Sacrifice?)

Pop.

The bread possibly was destroyed by putting it in the furnace, and the Wine sprinkled upon the furnace, as Vasquez an­swers*.

Prot.

I see it was otherwise in those dayes than now it is. If I thought my Bread would be destroyed by putting it into the Oven, I assure you, I would ne­ver put it in.

Pop.

It must be a Sacrifice that is there related; for it follows, And he was the Priest of the most High God.

Prot.

Not at all; for his being Priest evidently relates to that which follows, and he blessed him, and received Tythes of all: Besides, if Melchisedeck did here of­fer a Sacrifice, was Jesus Christ obliged to offer the same kind of Sacrifice that he did? for Christ was to offer up himself, Heb. 9. 10. (which none of his Types did.) Tell me first, Was Melchisedeck a Type of Christ in that action of eating Bread and Wine?

Pop.
[Page 120]

Yes doubtless, and this was the prin­cipal thing, in respect of which Christ is called a Priest after the order of Melchisedeck, or else I say nothing.

Prot.

Then tell me, how can any man in his wits, believe that St. Paul, who spends so much of his Epistle to the He­brews; in comparing Christ and Melchise­deck, and their Priesthood together; and who picks up the very smallest circum­stances, as that he was without father, &c. Should not speak one word of this, which (if you say true) was the principal thing? Besides all this, If Melchisedeck was a type of Christ in that action, Did Christ offer Bread and Wine as Melchisedeck did?

Pop.

No, but he offered his own Body and Blood under the appearance of Bread and Wine.

Prot.

Nay, now I see there is no possi­bility of pleasing you; for I expected this all along, that Christ must needs have of­fered the same kind of Sacrifice that Mel­chisedeck did here: But now you forsake your own argument, and because Melchi­sedeck did offer Bread and Wine, Christ must not offer Bread and Wine, but some­thing else under those appearances. Now I have heard your two principial Argu­ments, I hope you will hear mine also.

Pop.
[Page 121]

Good reason I should do so.

Prot.

Then first, I argue thus, The Sa­crifice of Christ was perfect, and did per­fect all Believers, Heb. 10. 14. and there­fore it need not, and ought not to be re­peated, for the Apostle proves the im­perfection of Levitical Sacrifices, be­cause they were repeated, Heb. 10. 1, 2. Where remission of sin is, there is no more of­fering for sin, Heb. 10. 18. Either then re­mission was not obtained by his once offer­ing, or there must be no more offering; either Christs offering upon the Cross was insufficient, or yours in the Mass is unnecessary.

Pop.

It is not properly repeated, for it is the same Sacrifice, for substance, which was offered upon the Cross, and is offered in the Mass*.

Prot.

How is it of the same kind, when you say, the one is bloody, the other un­bloody; the one offered by Christ, the other by a Priest; but if it were of the same kind, so were the Levitical Sacri­fices, and all had relation to Christ (as you pretend all Masses have) and yet the Apostle makes their Repetition an evidence of their Imperfection, Heb. [Page 122] 9. 10. And moreover, the Apostle denies not only the repetition of other Sacrifi­ces, but also of the same Sacrifice, and tells us as plainly (as man can speak) that Christ was to offer up himself but once, Heb. 9. 25, &c. whereas you wil needs over-rule the Apostle, and force Christ to offer up himself thousands of times▪

Pop.

It is true, there is but one Sacrifice of Redemption, and Expiation for Sin, and that was the Sacrifice of the Cross; but there are other Sacrifices of Application to apply that to us.

Prot.

I hope the Word, and Sacra­ments, and Spirit of Christ, are sufficient to apply Christs Sacrifice; must we have one Sacrifice to apply another? who ever heard of one plaister made to apply another? or a ransome paid the second time to apply the former payment? And you seem to me quite to forget your selves, to destroy the nature of your Sa­crifice: for the business of a Sacrifice is oblation to God, not application to men. Besides, I have one Argument more which fully satisfies me; if the Mass be a real and proper Sacrifice, then the thing sacrificed must be really and properly de­stroyed?

Pop.

That I readily grant, as Bellar­min [Page 123] aalso doth, and indeed so it was in all the Sacrifices that ever were offered to God.

Prot.

But surely Jesus Christ is not de­stroyed in the Mass: Is he? And are your Priests the murderers of Christ?

Pop.

He is not so destroyed, for we tell you, it is an unbloody Sacrifice; yet he is in a manner destroy'd by the Priest's eating of him: for thereby Christ ceaseth to be where he was before, that is, in the species of Bread and Wine, and the Bread and Wine are de­stroyed.

Prot.

Call you this a destruction, for one to remove from one place to another, or to cease to be where he was before? this is ridiculous; and yet thisb fantastical and mock-destruction is all which you can bring, instead of that real destruction, which you confess necessary to the very essence of a Sacrifice. And as for the Bread and Wine they were destroyed by Transubstantiation, not by the Oblation or Sacrifice which comes after it.

And now having mentioned that, let us discourse concerning your Doctrine of [Page 124] Transubstantiation. And first, tell me what is the Doctrine of your Church?

Pop.

That the Council of Trent will in­form you, which declareth, that by Consecra­tion the whole substance of the Bread and Wine is converted into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christa

Prot.

How is it possible for the Bread to be converted into Christs Body, which was made already before the Bread? That Christ could turn Water into Wine was possible, but that he should turn that Wa­ter into such Wine as was in being before that change, this is impossible: but let that go: My next question is, if a Chri­stian did actually receive Christs Body and Blood, tell me, what profit hath he by it? I cannot believe that God would work so many Miracles (as you affirm he doth in this Sacrament) to no purpose: Scripture and Reason tells me, and your Council of Trent confessethb, that the Sacra­ment is a feast for my Soul, and not for my Body. Is it not so? Now, what is my Soul the better for eating the very Body of Christ? When the woman cryed out to our Saviour,c Blessed is the womb that [Page 125] thee; Christ replies, Yea, rather, Blessed are they that hear Gods Words, and do it: nevertheless, if you can solidly prove it, I will receive it; therefore bring forth your Principal Arguments for it.

Pop.

I will do so, and our Church proves this point, especially, from two places of Scri­pture, John 6. and the words of Institution. I begin with the sixth Chapter of John, where our Saviour oft tells us, that the Bread which he gives is his flesh, &c.

Prot.

I have heard, that divers of your learned Doctors confess this Chapter speaks not of the Sacrament: Is it so?

Pop.

I will not dissemble with you. That was the opinion of Biel a, Cardinal Cusa­nus b, Cajetan, c, and Tapperus d, and divers others.

Prot.

Certainly, This Argument is not likely to convince a Protestant which could not satisfie your own ablest Schol­lars. But I will not press that farther. Tell me then, do you judge that Christ speaks here of a bodily eating and drink­ing of his very Flesh and Blood?

Pop.

We do so.

Prot.

I confess some of the Antient; [Page 126] were of your mind, I mean the Jews. But with submission, I am rather of Christs Opinion, who plainly destroys that gross and carnal sense, telling them, it is the Spirit that quickneth, the Flesh profits no­thing, vers. 63. Again, doth not Christ press this as a necessary, and present duty, upon all the Jews that then heard him?

Pop.

That must be granted.

Prot.

Then certainly Christ speaks not of the Sacrament which was not then in­stituted, and therefore they could not partake of it. I demand further, is this Sacrament of such efficacy, that all that receive it are saved; and of such necessity, that all that do not take it are damned?

Pop.

No, our Church utterly condemns both those Opinions.

Port:

But this eating of Christs Flesh is such, that Christ saith, all that eat it are saved, v. 24. and all that do not eat it are damned, v. 53. Therefore surely he speaks not of a Sacramental eating: besides the whole Laity are utterly undone, if your sense of this Chapter be true; for I find that drinking of Christs Blood is no less necessary to life eternal, than eating of his Flesh; and therefore woe to them to whom you do not allow to drink of the Cup in the Sacrament. I am told this ob­jection [Page 127] is so considerable, that it forced divers of your Doctors (sore against their will) to forsake this Argument; and therefore this will not do your work: but I presume you have better Arguments.

Pop.

We have so. I shall urge but one, which is of its self sufficient, from the plain words of Institution, This is my Body. Me­thinks the very hearing of them read, should convince you, if you would take the words in their plain and proper sense, and not devise I know not what Figures and Tropes.

Prot.

If it were true that Christ did turn the Bread into his Body by saying these words, This is my Body, yet how doth it follow, that the Priest by reciting these words, worketh the same effect, any more than a Priest, every time he reads those words, Let there be light, doth make light; because God did make it by those words: or than he raiseth a dead man, every time he reads those words of Christ, Lazarus, come forth. Moreover, I have heard that divers of your most learned Doctors con­fess, that this place doth not, nor indeed, any other place of Scripture, prove Tran­substantiation. I have heard three Cardi­nals named, viz. Cajetan a and our Bi­shop [Page 128] of Rochester b and Cameracensis c, and divers famous Schoolmen, as Scotus and Biel, of whom this is known, and Duran­dus d, and Ocham e, and Melchior Ca­nus f, and Vasquez g, and the great Car­dinal Perron professeth, that he believes Transubstantiation, not by vertue of any neces­sary consequence, or reason, alledged by their Doctors; but by the words of Christ, as they are expounded by Tradition h: and Bellarmin himself confesseth, This opinion is not impro­bable i. Methinks so many learned mens forsaking this Argument (who doubtless would have been right glad if it had been solid, and imployed all their wits to search out the strength of it) is to me a convin­cing evidence of its weakness and vanity, as also of the badness of your Cause, that can find no better Argument; yet I am willing to hear what you can say.

Pop.

This then I say, that these words, This is my Body, are to be taken in their proper, and not in a figurative sense: for surely Christ would speak plainly to the un­derstanding of his Disciples, especially when [Page 129] he was so near his Death, and making his last Will and Testament, and instituting the Sa­crament; in such cases men use to speek plainly.

Prot.

I readily grant that Christ did speak plainly and intelligibly: But tell me, is not that plain enough, when we take the words as they are commonly used in Scripture?

Pop.

I must needs grant that; but this is not the Present case.

Prot.

But it is; for we can give you scores of instances, as you very well know where the word Is, is so taken: nor is any thing more frequent in Scripture, the seven kine, and so the seven ears of corn, are seven years, Gen. 4. 12, 18. the Stars are the An­gels of the Churches, Rev. 1. 20. the seven heads are seven Mountains, Rev. 17. 9. So Christ saith, I AM the way, the door, &c. So Zach. 5. 7, 8. This woman is wickedness; and a thousand such expressions. How do you understand these places?

Pop.

The sense is plain, they signifie those things; the Stars signifie the Angels, and so for the rest.

Prot.

Then certainly we have the ad­vantage of you in this point, for we take is for signifies, (as you confess it is com­monly taken) nor have the Jews (as I have been assured by learned men) any proper [Page 130] word for signifie (as the Greeks and Lutines have) but generally express it in this man­ner: But you must take it (if the Particle this denote the Bread, as I shall plainly prove it doth) for is converted into; a sense which you cannot give one example of in all Scripture. I see it was not without rea­son that you took the interpretation of Scripture into the Churches hands▪ for if you had left it in Gods hands, and left one Scripture to do that friendly office to expound another, you had certainly lost an Article of your Faith: And whereas you say that Christ would speak so as the Disciples might understand him, that suf­ficiently shews, that yours is not the true sense; for they could never have under­stood it, and would doubtless have been as much puzled then, as all the World now is, to apprehend that the body of Christ was contained under the species of Bread and Wine, invisibly and undiscoverably, after the manner of a Spirit, to conceive of a body without bigness, long without length, broad without breadth, broken whilest it remains whole (all which you profess to believe.) This is to turn Christs plain speech into a bundle of Riddles; and to call this the plain sense of the words which is (as you see) a heap of Figures, [Page 131] is a greater figure than all the rest; but they did well enough understand the words in our sense, because they were well read in Scripture, wherein, as you grant, that sense of the words is usual.

Pop.

If we grant it is used so in other ca­ses, yet not in Sacramental Texts, for there Christ would speak properly.

Prot.

Yes, It is usual even in the Sacra­ments; Is not Circumcision called the Covenant? This is my Covenant, Gen. 17. 10. though proprerly it was not the Co­venant, but the Seal of it, Rom. 4. 11. Is not the Lamb called the Lords Passeover? Exod. 12. though all men knew it was not the Lamb, nor the ceremony of eating it, which was or could be properly the Lords passing over the houses of the Israelites; thus 1 Cor. 10. The Rock (that followed the Israelites) is Christ, though it was so only Figuratively and Sacramentally. Moreo­ver, I am told, that divers of your own bre­thren acknowledge figures here. Tapperus saith, It is not inconvenient to admit of Tropes here, provided they be such as do not exclude the true presence of Christs body a. And that the Bishop of Eureux owns three Figures in the words of this Sacramentb; and [Page 132] that Suarez c, Bellarmine d, and divers others confess as much.

Pop.

It is true, they do say so.

Prot.

Besides, you cannot think strange, if there be Figures in the first part, This is my Body, since it is most apparent there are Figures in the last part, This is the New Testament in my bloud. Here are not one, but divers Figures in it. The Cup you grant is taken for the liquor in it, there is one figure: The Wine in the Cup is taken for the Bloud, which was not in the Cup; there is a strange figure indeed (Logicians call it Non-sense.) This Cup, or Wine, or Bloud (if you please) is the New Testament or Covenant; whereas it was only the Seal of the New Testament, as is most manifest, because it is called, The Bloud of the New Testa­ment, and the New Testament in my Bloud. Besides other strange figures, which I shall have occasion to speak to by and by. Here is figure upon figure, and yet you have the impudence to reproach us for putting in but one figure, which you con­fess to be very frequent. Wonder O [Page 133] Heavens, and judge O Earth, whether these men do not strain at Gnats, and swal­low Camels! And nothing doth more confirm the truth in this point, than to consider into what absurdities this Do­ctrine hath forced you, even to say, that the Bloud of Christ is properly the Covenant or Testament *: And that there are two sorts of Christs Bloud, the one in the Cup, the other shed on the Cross a: And that the Bloud of Christ is shed in the Sacrament, and yet never stirreth out of the veins: Did ever God or man speak of such bloud-shed? therefore for shame never charge us with understanding this Text figuratively. But again, let me ask you, Will you affirm that these words, This is my body, are to be taken properly? Doth your Church un­derstand them so?

Pop.

Yes surely, or else we do ill to reproach you for taking them improperly.

Prot.

The words are not true in a pro­per sense, nor indeed do you understand them so.

Pop.

Make that good, and I must give up this cause for ever.

Prot.

First, for the word this, it is most [Page 134] evident that it is meant of Bread: It is impossible for words to express any thing more plainly, than that by this, is meant the Bread. It is said expresly, that Christ took Bread and brake it, and gave it, and said, Take eat, THIS is my Body. Where this necessarily relates to that which Christ, took, and brake, and gave. After Christ came the Apostles, and particularly Saint Paul, and he expounds the mind of Christ (and I hope you do not think he was so bad an Expositor, that his Comment was harder than the Text) and he tells us thrice in a breath that it is Bread, 1 Cor. 11. 26. As oft as you eat this Bread, and whosoever shall eat this Bread, and so let him eat of that Bread. And again, 1 Cor. 10. 16. The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? And the participation of the Sacrament is called, breaking of Bread, Acts 2. 46. & 20. 7. which your Authors undertand of the Sacrament: and besides this, what­ever it is, is broken, as it follows; but you dare not say, Christs Body is bro­ken. Now then, since it is most evident, that this is meant of the Bread, I hope, you will not say, this is properly Christs Body.

Pop.
[Page 135]

No: We are not so absurd to say, this Bread is Christs body, for that is false and a­gainst common sense as Bellarmine well saitha.

Prot.

What then do you mean by the word this?

Pop.

By This, I understand neither the Bread nor Christs Body, but in general this substance which is contained under this spe­cies b.

Prot.

What do you mean by that? I pray you tell me, Do you believe that there are any more substances under those species, besides the Bread first, and af­terward the Body of Christ? Do not you profess, that as soon as ever it ceaseth to be Bread, it becomes the Body of Christ?

Pop.

We do so.

Prot.

Then surely if it be a substance, according to you, it must be either Bread, or the Body of Christ; but you allow it to be neither, and therefore it is no sub­stance at all. In the next place, for the word is, I have shewed, you do not under­stand that properly neither: but for the word Body also, do you understand that properly?

Pop.
[Page 136]

Yes without doubt.

Prot.

I am told that your Church pro­fesseth to believe that Christs body is there after the manner of a spirit, taking up no room; that head, hands, feet, are altogether in the least crumb of the Host. Is this true?

Pop.

Yes, we all agree in that.

Prot.

Then sure I am, the word Body is most improperly taken: A learned man well observes, that you plead for the proprie­ty of words, and destroy the propriety of things; *How can you say that it is properly a bo­dy, which wants the essential property of a body; which is, to have quantity and take up room: Take away this, and the body may be properly a spirit; for it is that only which differenceth it from a spirit: So now I see you neither do, nor can un­derstand these words properly; and upon the whole matter that this Doctrine is false, and your Proofs most weak and fri­volous, you shall see that I have better ar­guments against your Doctrine than you have for it.

Pop.

I pray you let me hear them, but be brief in them.

Prot.
[Page 137]

I have only three Arguments, your Doctrine is against Sense, against Reason, and against Scripture.

Pop.

Let me see how you will make these things good?

Prot.

For the first I ask you, if I am as sure that your Doctrine of Transub­stantiation is false, as you are sure that the Christian Religion is true; will you de­sire more evidence?

Pop.

If I should, I were an unreasonable person.

Prot.

And have you any greater assu­rance now of the truth of the Christian Religion, than you could have had, if you had lived in Christs dayes?

Pop.

That were impudence to affirm: but what do you mean?

Prot.

If you had lived then, what grea­ter evidence could you have had of it, than what your senses afforded; for since the great Argument for Christianity (as all agree) was the words that Christ spake and the works that Christ did; how could you be sure that he did so speak, or so work, if you may not credit the reports of your eyes and ears? This was S. Lukes great evidence of the truth of what he writes, that it was delivered to him by eye­witnesses, S. Luke 1. 1, 2. and St. Johns [Page 138] what we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled of the Word of life: 1 John 1. And St. Paul for Christs Resur­rection, that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve, then of the 500, 1 Cor. 15. 5, 6. Even Thomas his Infidelity yielded to this argument, that if he did thrust his hand into Christs side he would believe, John 20. 25. Christ judged this a convincing argu­ment, when the Apostles thought he had been a Spirit, handle me and see, for a Spi­rit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have, Luk. 24. 39. Are these things true?

Pop.

I cannot deny it, they are not yours, but Scripture assertions.

Prot.

And do not all my senses tell me that this is Bread?

Pop.

I must grant that, but your sense is deceived.

Prot.

Then your senses also might have been deceived about the words and works of Christ, and so the greatest evidence of Christian Religion is lost: but for my part it makes me abhor your Religion; that so you may but seem to defend your own opinions, you care not if you shake the pillars of Christianity: My second Argument is, that your Doctrine of Tran­substantiation is against reason. Tell me I pray you, do you think any of the Arti­cles [Page 139] of Christian Religion are contrary to reason?

Pop.

No, they may be above reason, but God forbid I should be so injurious to Christi­anity to say any of them are against reason.

Prot.

But your doctrine is as much a­gainst reason as sense, for it makes you be­lieve things absolutely impossible, and gross contradictions.

Pop.

You may imagine many things im­possible that really are not so: but if you can prove any real impossibilities which this do­ctrine forceth us to believe I must yield, for we joyn with you in condemning the Luthe­ran opinion that Christs Body is every where, because it is an impossibility, and we therefore expound those words, I am the Vine, I am a door, &c. figuratively, because it is impos­sible for him who is a man, to be a vine, or a door.a

Prot.

And it is no less impossible for the Bread to be Christs Body: Why might not the Vine, (as well as the Wine) be by Transubstantiation, converted into Christs Substance? I think the Mother is as good as the Daughter, and especially since Christ saith, I am the true Vine, you might as well have devised another tran­substantiation [Page 140] to make Christs words good, I know what work you would have made of it, if he had said, This is my TRVE Body, or my TRVE Blood.

But to give that over, I will shew you, that there is such an heap of contradicti­ons, as never met together, in the most ab­surd opinion that ever was in the world: I profess (when I set my wit at work) I cannot devise greater absurdities than you believe. Tell me, do you hold that the whole Body of Christ is present in e­very crumb of the Bread, and in every drop of the Wine?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, Christ is there entire, and undivided.

Prot.

I suppose you believe that Christs Body is in Heaven, in such a proportion, or bigness, as he had upon Earth.

Pop.

No doubt of that.

Prot.

Then the same Body of Christ is bigger than it self, and longer than its self, and which is yet worse, Christ is divided from himself. I know not what can be more impossible, than to say, that all Christ is at Rome, and all at London, and all in Heaven, and yet not in the places be­tween.

Pop:

All this is by Gods Almighty Power.

Prot.
[Page 141]

Then I suppose, by the same Al­mighty Power, it is possible for any other man to be in so many places; for it mat­ters not that Christ be invisibly in so many places, and another should be there visi­bly, or that Christ is there in so little a bulk, and another must be in a greater.

Pop.

I must needs grant that, and I af­firm it is not absolutely impossible for any other man to be at several places at once by Gods Power.

Prot.

Then mark what monsters follow from this: suppose now Iohn to be by di­vine Power at the same time at Rome, at Paris, and at London; where ever Iohn is alive, I suppose, he hath a power to move himself.

Pop.

That must needs be, else he were not a living Creature.

Prot.

Then Iohn at Rome may walk to­wards London, and Iohn at London may walk toward Rome, and so they may meet (shall I say, one the other?) and you may be sure it will be a merry meeting: It were worth enquiry, how long they will be e're they come together. Then again, at Rome all the parts of Iohn may be exces­sively hot, and at London excessively cold, and at Paris neither hot nor cold: This is beyond all the Romances that ever were [Page 142] devised. Besides, Iohn may be sorely wounded at Rome, and yet at London he may sleep in a whole skin; Iohn may be fea­sting at Rome, and fasting at London in the same moment. I might be infinite in rec­koning the horrid absurdities of this Do­ctrine; he that can believe these things, will stick at nothing.

Pop.

You talk at this rate, because you measure God by your selves, whereas he can do more than you or I can think.

Prot.

There are some things which it is no dishonour to God, to say he cannot do them, because they are either sinful (so God cannot lie) or absolutely impossible; God himself cannot make a man to be alive and dead at the same time: God can­not make the whole to be less than a part of it: he cannot make three to be more than threescore: he cannot make a Son to beget his Father: he cannot make the same man to be born at two several times (as your Authors confess); and therefore in like manner he cannot make the same body to be in two several places; for this is not one jot less impossible than the other.

Pop.

These indeed are great difficulties to humane reason, but reason is not to be believed against Scripture.

Prot.
[Page 143]

True, but this is your hard hap; this Doctrine of yours is against Scripture as well as Reason, and indeed against many Articles of Religion.

And first, it is against the Scripture, in as much as it is highly dishonourable to Christ, whose honour is the great design of the Scripture. What a foul dishonour is it to him to subject him to the will of every Mass Priest, who, when he plea­seth, can command him down into the Bread? What a dishonour is it, that the very Body of Christ may be eaten by Rats or Worms, and may be cast up by Vomit, and the like, as your Aquinas affirmsa. And that your Church in her Missals hath put this amongst other directions, that if worms or Rats have eaten Christ Body, they must be burned; and if any man vomit it up, it must be eaten again, or burned, or made a Relick; band yet this is no more than your Do­ctrine will force you to own: for if you will believe Christs words, in one place as well as in another, he assureth us, that whatsoever (without exception) entreth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast forth into the draught, Matth. 15. 17.

Pop.
[Page 144]

This is no more dishonourable to Christ than that the Fleas might such his Blood when he was upon earth.

Prot.

You mistake wofully; for though in the dayes of his flesh, it was no dishonor to him (and it was necessary for us) that he suffered so many indignities, and died, and was crucified, yet now, that he is risen from the dead, he dies no more, Rom. 6. and it is a dishonour to him to be crucified a­gain, and to be brought back to those re­proaches which he long since left; and all this to no purpose, and without any profit to us, (as I shewed.) Again, the Scripture approveth and useth this argument, that a body cannot be in two places at once: it is the Angels argument, He is not here, for he is risen, Mat. 28. 6. sufficiently implying, that he could not be here and there too: or must we say, that the Angels argument is weak or deceitful, that yours may be strong and true?

Pop.

He meant he was not there visibly.

Prot.

It seems, if a man being sought af­ter should hide himself with you in some corner or hole in your room, and the pursuers should ask for him, you could answer with good Conscience, He is not here, because he is invisible. Our Bles­sed Saviour every where makes these two [Page 145] opposite, his being in the world, and go­ing to heaven, Joh. 13. 1. The hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father: It seems you could have taught him the art of going thither, and keeping here too. I promise you, I durst not venture to buy an Estate of any of you, for it seems you could tell how to sell it to me, and keep it to your selves. You may remember, once you and I made our selves merry with a passage that one used in a speech; that since he could not give content, neither by going nor staying, here­after he would neither go nor stay. It seems you have as good a faculty as he had; for you know how a man may both go from a place, and stay in it, at the same time. I know not what can be more plain if you did not shut your eyes: Christ saith expresly, me you have not alwayes, that is, here, Mat. 26. 11. Besides, your do­ctrine destroyes the truth of Christs Hu­mane Nature. I read of Christ, that he was in all points like unto us, sin only excepted; his Body was like ours, and therefore it is impossible it should be in a thousand se­veral places at once (as you pretend it is;) this turns Christs Body into a Spirit: nay, indeed you make his body more spiritual than a Spirit; for a Spirit cannot be in se­veral [Page 146] places divided from it self. The soul of man, if it be entire both in the whole and in every part of the body, yet it is not divided from it self, nor from its body, nor can it be in two several bo­dies at the same time, as all confess; and much less can it be in ten thousand bodies at once (as by your Argument undoubt­edly it may). When ever an Angel comes to earth, he leaves heaven: and so this every way destroyes the truth of Christs Humane body.

Pop.

Much of what you say was true of Christs Body in the dayes of his infirmity; but when he was risen from the dead, then he received a Spiritual Body, as it is said, ours shall be at the resurrection, 1 Cor. 15.

Prot.

To this I answer, First, that you ascribe these monstrous properties to Christs Body before its Resurrection; for you say, The Flesh and Bloud of Christ were really in the Sacrament, which the Disciples received while Christ lived. Secondly, Christs Resurrection, though it heightned the perfections, yet it did not alter the Nature and Proper­ties of his Body, nor give it the being of a Spirit; for after he was risen, he proves that he was no Spirit, by this Argument, Handle me and see, for a Spirit hath not flesh [Page 147] and bones, as you see me have, Luke 24. 39. By this it appears, that your Doctrine destroys the Truth of Christs Humanity, at least it destroys the main evidence of it (against those who affirmed, that Christ had only a phantastical Body) namely, that he was seen, and felt, and heard; for you say, sense is not to be believed. Again, you destroy the truth of Christs ascension into Heaven. For Christ is not ascended if he hath not left the world; for these two are joyned together, Ioh. 16. 28. I leave the world, and go to the Father: but if you say true, he hath not left the world, but is here in every Sacrament; nothing can be more plain, than that Christ did vi­sibly and locally leave this world when he went up into heaven, Acts 1. 9, 10. that being once there, the heavens must receive (or contain) him, until the time of the resti­tution of all things, Acts 3. 21. and that at the last day he shall come visibly and lo­cally from heaven, 2 Thess. 1. 7. but that he should come down a thousand times in a day, at the command of every Mass-Priest, is such a dream, as the Scripture speaks not one syllable of, nor can any rational man believe it: Moreover, your Doctrine destroys the very Essence of a Sacrament, which consists of two parts, an [Page 148] outward element or sign, and the inward grace signified by it; and this I am told your Doctors acknowledgea I shall forbear mentioning further particulars, these are more than enough to shew the falseness of this Doctrine of Transubstan­tiation.

In the next place, pray let me hear what you have to say for your great Ar­ticle of praying to Saints.

But, first, I am told divers of your own Authors confess, it is not necessary to pray to Saints, but only convenient: Is it so?

Pop.

It is true; and, I must confess, the Council of Trent do only say, it is good and profitable. b

Prot.

Then sure, I will never run the hazard of committing Idolatry for an un­necessary work. But I am further told, that your great Scholar and Wit, Perron confesseth, That he found no footsteps of this praying to Saints, either in Scripture, or in the Fathers, before the four first Councils, (which was some hundreds of years after Christ.c He confessed likewise to Isaac Casaubone, (as he told our Bishop Andrews) that he himself never prayed to Saints, [Page 149] but only as he went in Procession that is for form sake. Andr. in Opusc. Posthuma, and that Salm [...]ron, and Cotton, a and Ec­cius say as much in effect, viz. That there is no command for this in either Testament. Is it so?

Pop.

It is true; and Bellarmine con­fesseth, That the Saints began to be wor­shipt, not so much by any Law, as by Cu­stomeb.

Prot.

Methinks these two Considera­tions should startle you, that it is both unnecessary and uncommanded. I perceive I am not like to hear Scripture Argu­ments in this point.

Pop.

Some of our Authors do urge some Scriptures, but you tie me up to use but few, and those the best Arguments; and therefore I will rather urge other Considerations.

1. Humility and Discretion adviseth us to this duty, for I suppose, if you have any request to the King, you do not sawcily rush into his presence, but make use of some of his Courtiers.

Prot.

But tell me, I pray you, If a King not only allows, but commands all his Subjects to call upon him in the day of [Page 150] trouble, to come to him freely, and upon all occasions, to pour out their complaints to him, not doubting but he will receive and an­swer them, and this King were always at perfect leisure to hear their requests, and the oftner they come to him, the welcom­er they are; and he appoints his own Son the Master of the Requests, from time to time, to receive all the Petitions of his Subjects; and both the King and the Prince are ten thousand times more com­passionate than the Courtiers; would you not in this case account him a fool (and somewhat else too) that should spend his time in petitioning this and the other in­feriour Courtier to gain access to the King?

Pop.

I cannot deny that.

Prot.

Then your Church hath need to make use of that counsel, James 1. 5: If any man want wisdom, let him ask it of God; they rather choose to ask it of Saints, and that is the reason they go without it. Most plain it is, this is the very case, and such a King God in all points is, and infinite­ly better than all this, and such a Master of Requests Christ is: but for the humi­lity you talk of, I think therein you do prudently; for I remember the worship of Angels came in under a shew of hu­mility, [Page 151] Col. 2. 18. and the door being once opened, it was discreetly done to bring in the worship of Saints there too: let me hear what else you can say?

Pop.

We use to pray to living Saints, why not as well to departed and glorified Saints; S. Paul writes to the Thessalonians, Pray for us; Col. 4. 3.

Prot.

Surely Scripture makes a suffici­ent difference; You meet with very ma­ny Commands and Examples of Prayers or Addresses to the living, not one to the dead. Besides, you know the living hear your Prayers, you know nothing that the dead do so: Besides, I trow, you do not pray to the living in such manner as you do to the dead; you do not religi­ously worship the living (and about that all our question is,) Did St. Paul invocate the Colossians, because he desired their Prayers? Can you say any thing more?

Pop.

The Saints in Glory pray for us, and therefore we may pray unto them.

Prot.

Will you affirm, that I may and ought to worship, and pray unto all those that pray for me?

Pop.

No: Then our Churches practice would condemn me; for we grant, that the Fathers in their Limbus did, and so those in Purgatory do, pray for us, and so do all the [Page 152] Living Saints upon Earth, yet we do not allow Prayers unto them.

Prot.

Then your argument is lost, from their Intercession to your Invoca­tion.

Pop.

Let me hear, if you have any better Arguments against this practice.

Prot.

You shall. 1. Since all grant that Prayer is a part of Gods Worship, then your praying to Saints is directly contrary to Gods command, Deut. 6. 13. Mat. 4. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Pop.

We do not worship the Saints, as God, with the highest kinde of Worship, which is proper to God, but only with an inferiour kind of Religious Worship, and therefore do not transgress this command.

Prot.

The Devil himself did not re­quire the highest worship, as I shewed be­fore; yet Christ thought that inferiour worship a breach of that law. Nor did those Angel-worshippers, mentioned, Col. 2. worship the Angels, as God, with the highest worship, for they were either Jews, or Judaizing Christians, (both of which never pretend to equalize the Angels with God, but judged them far in­feriour to God, and worshipped them ac­cordingly) yet nevertheless are they [Page 153] condemned by S. Paul for giving divine Honour to the Creature. Next, this pray­ing to Saints is an high dishonour to Je­sus Christ. God hath made him the only Mediatour, 1 Tim. 2. 5. he hath invited all persons to come freely and boldly to him, hath promised those that come to him, he will in no wise cast out, Ioh. 6. 37. why do not you then go immediately to Christ? This is a manifest questioning either of his power, or faithfulness, or goodness.

Pop.

It is one of the slanders of your Mi­nisters, that we dishonour Christ; we only pray to Saints to pray to Christ.

Prot.

All your Books of Devot on con­fute that pretence; for you profess in your Mass-booka they help you by their Merits, as well as by their Prayers. Bellarmine affirmeth that the Saints in some sort are our Redeemers: b Is this no more than only to pray for you? Is it no more than this, when you pray thus to the Vir­gin Mary; Do thou protect us, drive away evil from us, and require good things for us: and in right of a Mother, command thy Son? Is it no more than this, when you say the Lord was with her, (i. e. the Virgin▪ [Page 154] Mary) and she with the Lord in the same work of redemption: and when Esa. 63. is ob­jected, I trod the Wine press alone, and there was no man with me; they answer cunningly, true Lord, there was no MAN with thee, but there was a WOMAN with thee; cIs it no dishonour to Christ that your famous Biel saith, that God hath given the Virgin Mary half of his Kingdom; and that whereas he hath justice and mercy, he kept justice to himself, and granted mercy to the Virgin? d In my opinion they shall do well to take in Christ for a share in the mercy. Is it no dishonour to Christ to say, that Prayers which are made to, and delivered by the Saints, are better than those by Christ, as Salmeron saith?e Is it no dishonour to Christ, that Barradius the Jesuite asketh of Christ, why he took not his Mother up with him when he ascended up to Heaven? and frames this answer;f Per­adventure, Lord, it was lest thy heavenly Cour­tiers should be in doubt, whether to go out to meet thee, their Lord, or her, their Lady Is it no dishonour to Christ, that Carolus Scri­banius (otherwise Clarus Bonarscius) pro­fesseth, he cannot tell which to prefer, the Mo­thers [Page 155] Milk, or the Sons bloud g. I believe neither Christ nor his Mother will give these men thanks for this another day; and all these passages are not in obscure Authors, that privily steal abroad into the World; but in eminent Persons, and Books Licensed by the Approbation, and ac­cording to the Orders of your Church: and besides, your Church owns them, in that she doth not blot them out, nor put them into her expurgatory Indices. More­over, I must pray to none, but those in whom I must trust, Rom. 10. 13, 14. How shall they call on him, in whom they have not believ [...]d? And trust is Gods Prerogative incommunicable to any creature, Ier. 17. 5. Cursed is he that trusteth in man. A­gain, I must pray to none, but to whom I may pray in faith, and without doubting; and (upon good grounds believing that I shall receive) Mat. 21. 22. Iames 1. 5, 6. But I am not sure that the Saints do hear my prayers, or can and will grant them.

Pop.

The Saints in glory do know what we pray to them.

Prot.

How doth that appear?

Pop.

There are several wayes whereby they know these things, but I adhere to [Page 156] what Bellarmine saith, that they knew this by revelation from God.

Prot.

You should not only say this, but prove it. One of your infallible Popes Gregory denies this, no Scripture informs you thus much; nay, that sufficiently im­plies, that the Saints do not particularly know, nor mind the concerns of this world. God tells Iosiah, 2 Chr. 34. 28. Thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see the evil I will bring upon this place, Eccl. 9. 5. the dead know not any thing of the particular occurrences of this life, see Iob 14. 21. I am sure these are ten times better arguments than what you bring for the contrary. And in a word, its Gods incommunicable Prero­gative to know the Heart and secret Prayers, 2 Chron. 6. 30. Mat. 6. 6. So upon the whole matter, I conclude; and now by the vanity of your Arguments and Answers, do fully discern the false­ness of this opinion, and the wickedness of the practice of calling upon Saints: let me hear whether you have any better evi­dences for the worship of Images; I hope you have; and I am sure you need very clear and strong arguments for that pra­ctice, or else you are guilty of that damna­ble sin of Idolatry.

Pop.
[Page 157]

We have very good arguments for that: I will use only two, and those our stron­gest arguments, as you desire. First, we have the example and command of God for it: he caused the Images of the Cherubims to be made and put upon the Ark which was worshipped: Psal. 98. If the Ark was to be worshipped be­cause it represented Gods footstool, much more may an Image be worshipped; as our Mr. Bi­shop rightly argued*.

Prot.

I suppose if this be a good Ar­gument to us now, it was so to the Iews formerly; for length of time doth not turn false arguments into true ones; tell me therefore if you had lived when the Law, Exod. 20. was newly given, and one had perswaded you to worship Images by your own argument, what would you have answered?

Pop.

I would have said, it doth not follow that because the Ark was to be worshipped (which God commanded them to worship) therefore Images were to be worshipped (which God forbad them to worship.)

Prot.

Good Sir, bestow this answer (as a token from me) upon any of your Bre­thren that shall argue so absurdly: be­sides, it seems very unlikely to me, that the [Page 158] Cherubims were ordained to be worship­ed by the people, because they were ne­ver seen by the people. You put the Ima­ges which you worship in the most visible and conspicuous places.

Pop.

Yet no man could worship the Ark but he must worship the Cherubims, for they were over the Ark.

Prot.

In that case the Cherubims were not at all worshipped, unless you will say, that he that worships one of your wooden Images, worships also the Spider, (which peradventure is paying its devoti­on there, and got into the Saints mouth.) Besides, it doth not appear that the Ark it self was worshipped, for that also was not so much as seen by the people, there­fore not like to be worshipped. All that we read is, that the Israelites did and ought to worship God toward the Ark; and so they are said to worship God to­ward the whole Temple, and toward Ieru­salem, and towards the Holy Mountain, and towards Heaven. Yet I presume you will not say all these places were to be wor­shiped, and if God was to be worship­ed towards these places; because he tells us expresly, his special presence was there. What is this to Images? which God banisheth from his House and presence: [Page 159] and to conclude this, I pray you tell me, Is it lawful to worship every place where God is in a special manner present?

Pop.

I conceive it is.

Prot.

Then it is lawful to worship eve­ry religious man in the World; It is true, your great Vasquez professeth, that a man may worship a Stone, or a Straw, or any creature where God is, for God is there according to this essence.a By which Argument it seems Christ might have worshipped the Devil; for the essence of God being every-where, must needs be in him. But what, I pray you, is your other Argument?

Pop.

The honour of God requires the wor­ship of his Images, for that redounds to God; as if I honour a Prince, I will honour his Pi­cture; and we shew our reverence to the King in being uncovered in his Presence Chamber, though the King be not there.

Prot.

Tell me, I pray you, If a King forbid any Pictures of himself to be made, or set up; if any over-officious Subject should, notwithstanding this, set up the Kings Picture, pretending to do it in re­spect to the King; would the King esteem himself honoured or dishonoured by it?

Pop.

In that case certainly the King is dishonoured, when his commands are broken, and his Authority despised.

Prot.

You say right. And so God will give you little thanks for breaking his Commands, upon pretence of his Ser­vice. If a King require such reverence to be given to his Presence-Chamber, it is fit that he should be obeyed (seeing it is only a civil, and not a religious respect:) and if God forbid any such reverence, any Religious worship should be given to any graven Images, good reason his prohibition too should be obeyed. You talk of honouring God, but for the way or means of honouring God, whether it be most reasonable to take an estimate from the Rules and Practices of all for­mer Idolaters (who have all justified their Idolatry from this pretence of honouring God) or from the Commands of Gods, Word, and the practices of the godly Jews before Christ, and godly Christians, and Fathers, for some hundreds of years after Christ (who are all known to detest all manner of Worship of Images)a I leave to any indifferent person to judge: be­sides, if you will needs testifie your re­spect to God, by honouring his Images, [Page 161] what a madness is it to confine this honour to dead Images of Wood or Stone, and to deny it to his Saints upon earth, who are his living, and far more noble and ex­press Images.

Pop.

Since you scorn my Arguments, for the Worship of Images, let me hear your Argu­ments against it?

Prot.

My first Argument is this, the ho­ly Scripture condemns it as Idolatry.

Pop.

We have Images in our Churches only as remembrancers (to put us in mind of wor­thy and excellent persons) but not as objects of Worship.

Prot.

No friend, it is not that time of day: you cannot now deceive us with such foolish excuses, for your Councils of Nice and Trent do both command the Worshipping of Images, and all your Au­thors plead for this.

Pop.

Well, but this I am sure is true, we do not worship the Images, but only God by them, and in them; we worship them only as representations of God or Christ, &c. and the honour passeth from them to God.

Prot.

That cannot acquit you, neither before God nor man. Micah and his Mo­ther were guilty of Idolatry, yet the silver was dedicated to the Lord (Jehovah) to make a graven Image, Judg. 17. 3. also Iudg. 18. [Page 162] 5, 6. And the Israelites are charged with Idolatry in the worshiping of the Golden Calf, Acts 7. 41. 1 Cor. 10. 7. And yet they could not be so brutish, as to think that Golden Calf, which they brought out of Egypt in their ear-rings, was that God which brought them out of Egypt with strong hand.

Pop.

But they said, These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt.

Prot.

You use also to call an Image by the name of him whom it represents; you commonly say, this is the blessed Virgin, or S. Matthew, &c. when you mean, 'tis only their Image, and so it cannot be strange to you, that they express them­selves in the same manner. Besides Aaron himself proclaims the feast of the Calf in these words, Tomorrow is a feast to Iehovah. The Heathens also excused their Idolatry by this very pretence. So Celsus b and other said (as the antient Fathers tell us) We do not worship the Images of Gold or Brass, &c. as believing them to be gods; but we wor­ship the gods in them, and by them.

Pop.
[Page 163]

They worshiped wicked Men; but we worship only Holy Men, and the Friends of God, as such, and because they are such, and their Images, and therefore are not guilty of Idolatry.

Prot.

Then Saint Peter, Acts 10. and the Angel, Rev. 22. and Saint Paul, Acts 14. might have received that adoration (as being the friends of God) which they so utterly rejected. Moses was the friend of God, yet God hid away his body, lest the Israelites should worship him. And I have heard that the Fathers charged the Collyridians with Idolatry, for worshiping of the Virgin Mary; c and the Arrians for worshipping Christ, whom they be­lieved to be but a creature (though all agreed they were the friends of God.) I suppose if any man should attempt to give the honour, proper to the King, to his Brother, or Friend, this would not excuse them from Treason; nor will it excuse any Adulteress that she lay with her Hus­bands dearest Friend or Relation. Again, it matters not much to this point, for what reason you worship Images: the only que­stion is, whether you do worship Images? for the very doing of that (whatso­ever [Page 164] pretences it may have) is Idolatry. Besides, if you worshipped God alone, and not the Image, your excuse would have some colour; but it is most evident, that you worship not only God, but the Image too. I am told that your own Azo­rius affirms, that it is the constant opinion of your Divines, that the Image is to be honored, or worshipped, with the same honour and worship which is given to him whose Image it is. a And that Cajetan b and Gregory de Valen­tia, cand Costerus d affirm as much. And that your Bellarmin expresly disputes for this, that Images are not only to be worship­ped as they are exemplars, but also properly and by themselves, so as the worship may be termi­nated in them. e Are these things true?

Pop.

I cannot deny but they are.

Prot.

Then I see the vanity of your pretences, and that you only seek to raise a mist before the eyes of ignorant people; for in truth you worship the Image it self, though happily not for its self: as if a Heathen Emperor commanded his Sub­jects Religiously to Worship such a Vice-gerent [Page 165] of his; no man, who did worship that Vice-gerent, could deny that he wor­shipped him, though he did it only for the Emperours sake. Tell me, I pray you, do you not hold, that there are two kinds of Religious Worship; namely, absolute, (which you give to God or the Saints) and relative, (which you give to their Images)?

Pop.

I must own it.

Prot.

Then it is horrible impudence to say, you do not give worship to the Ima­ges, since you give one of these two kinds unto them, and unto them only: besides, if all you say were true, this would not ac­quit you from Idolatry; for your Church professeth and commandeth the Worship of the Images of Saints, as well as of God and Christ; and since it is Idolatry to give Divine Honour to any creature (as I before proved) you are no less guilty in giving it to the Saints themselves, than to their Images, and so you are double-dy'd Idolaters.

My second Argument is taken from the second Commandment, Thou shalt not make any graven Image.

But first, I pray you, tell me true, hath your Church left out this second Com­mandment in divers of her Breviaries and [Page 166] Offices of Prayer, or do our Ministers slander them? I hear; that In the Hours of our Lady, Printed at Paris, An 1611. The Commandments of the first Table are set down in these words, and no other.

1. Commandment.

I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have nor worship any other God but me.

2. Commandment.

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.

3. Commandment.

Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day and Feasts.

And that the Council of Ausburg, Ann. 1548. delivering the Commandments in Dutch for the People, leave out the men­tion of Images; and, that their cheat might not be discovered, that the people might have their full number, they make use of the mistake of one of the Fathers, and divide the last Command into two, against Sense and Reason, and the practice of the whole ancient Church. Are these things so?

Pop.

It is true, it is left out in some of our Books, but we leave it in, in all Bibles, and divers of our Catechisms.

Prot.

Very well, I see you had wit in your anger; I commend your discretion, [Page 167] that you did not your work so grosly, that all the world should cry shame of you: But that you blotted it out in any, is an evidence of your guilt. but what say you to this Argument?

Pop.

Then my first answer is, That this Command was peculiar to the Iews, who were most prone to Idolatry*.

Prot.

This is not true. It sufficiently appears that the Gentiles were under the obligation of this Law, from those pu­nishments which God inflicted upon them for their transgression or breach of it by Idolatry, Rom. 1. But where there is no Law, there is no transgression. Besides, Christ tell, us, He came not to destroy the Law, (the Moral Law) but to fulfil it, Mat. 5. 17. Belike, you are not of his mind; and dare you say the Jews, as soon they believed in Christ, were dischar­ged from this command, and allowed to worship the Images which that command forbad?

Pop.

I will not say so; but I have a second Answer; The thing prohibited here is not Images, (which are representations of real things) as you falsly render it, but Idols, which are the Images of false gods, [Page 168] which are not, and never were in the world.

Prot.

The Text its self is full against you; for the Images there prohibited, are not said to be the Images of the false gods of the Heathens (whereof many ne­ver had any being) but the Images of any thing in heaven or earth, &c. Moreover, divers of the Heathen gods were men whom they deified. I hope their Pictures were Pictures of real things, yet these are Idols.

Pop.

Though they really were Men, yet their pictures were made to represent them as gods, and such they were not really, and there­fore were Idols.

Prot.

The learned Heathens knew (as well as you and I do) that Iupiter, and Mars, and Mercury, and the rest, were meer Men, (and they smiled at the igno­rance of their Vulgar, that thought other­wise) only they thought of them just as you do of the Saints, that the great God had put some of his honour upon them, and therefore they might worship them; you cannot be so silly to think, the learn­ed Heathens thought Augustus was a god really, when he was dead; yet their worship of his Image was Idolatry. And they that worshipped the Image of Caligu­la, (while he lived) were not so sottish [Page 169] to take him for a god (whom they knew to be a foolish and wicked man) yet I hope you will not excuse them from Ido­latry. But further, as the Jews did uni­versally understand this to be a prohibi­tion of all manner of Images; so all the Prophets, and Christ, and the Apostles were so far from reproving them (which they would have done, if it had been an Error) that they every where strengthen them in this opinion, by declaiming a­gainst all worship of Images, without any distinction. And tell me, I pray you, if any Jew had at that time made (for in­stance) an Image of the Sun not looking on it as God, but as a glorious creature of God, and therefore fit to be religiously worshipped (as you think of the Saints and Angels) and had bowed down to it and worshipped it: Do you think he had not broken this Law?

Pop.

I dare not deny but he had broken it.

Prot.

Yet this had been no Idol, but an Image, according to your sense of it. Besides, I find that all manner of Images are forbidden, Lev. 26. 1. howsoever, to me you seem to venture your salvation upon a nice point, for the Hebrew word is nei­ther Image nor Idol, but Pesel, as a Divine [Page 170] told me; and this, I understand is diversly translated; some render it an Image, others an Idol. Now you ventrue your soul up­on it, that the last is the only true Tran­slation, which is a dreadful hazard; be­cause it is otherwise rendred, not only by Protestants, but by the most and best ancient interpreters*, even those whom your Vulgar Translation very oft follows in other places. These render it not an Idol, but a graven Image; and the Se­venty Interpreters (I am assured) po pro­miscuously render the word sometimes an Idol, sometimes a graven Image: Nay, more than this, that it may appear how desperately our cause is, I am informed your own Vulgar Translation (from which you are obliged not to swerve) doth fre­quently render it not Idol, but a graven I­mage (Sculptile) particularly in Exod 20. 4. Levit. 26. 1. and Deut. 4. 16, 25. and 5. 8. Are these things so?

Pop.

I cannot deny it, for the Au­thors themselves would confute me; But one thing I have to say, you must un­derstand one Scripture so as to agree with another: Now I find God himself allows and [Page 171] prescribes some Images, as those of the Che­rubims; either then he contradicts himself, or he doth not forbid all Images, but Idols only.

Prot.

Though I might say, God may make an exception to some of his Laws, when no man can (as in the case of Abra­ham's offering up Isaac, and the Israelites, spoiling the Aegyptians of their Jewels) yet I need no other answer but this; I directly deny that here is any contradi­ction at all: For our question is not about the making of Images (whether by Gods order or Mans) but about the worship­ping of them. And albeit there were such Images made, yet they were not made to be worshipped, as I before proved; nor was there any danger the people should worship them, because they were not ad­mitted to see them. But I pray you an­swer me this one question, I am told that divers of your own Authors confess, that the Jews indeed were; though Christians are not forbidden the use of Images by this command. Is it so?

Pop.

These indeed are the words of our famous Vasquez, after he hath mentioned divers Authors for the contrary opinion, There are (saith he) other Authors, neither fewer, nor inferiour to them, who are [Page 172] of the contrary opinion, which to me al­wayes seemed most probable, to wit, that all the use of Images is here forbidden to the Jewsa, and for this he quotes many of our approved Authors; and Salmeron saith no less b.

Prot.

And you need say no more, for then all these Authors thought your di­stinction of Image and Idol frivolous, and that the word P [...]sel is meant of any Images, and not of Idols only, as you foolishly di­stinguish, and so your principal refuge is lost, and you are convicted Idolaters, and then, if you repent not, you know where your portion will be. Go now and brag of the safeness of your Religion.

I see how little it is that you can say for your Worship of the Dead (Saints and their Images) let me hear whether you have any better Arguments for your Pray­ers for the Dead and Purgatory.

Pop.

I am glad you mention that, since all your Divines do agree that Prayer for the Dead was the practice of the Antient Church and Fathers.

Prot.

If that be true, it is not suffici­ent for your purpose, for I am fully sa­tisfied [Page 173] that the Fathers were not infalli­ble, and your own greatest Doctors think so too*. But Besides, I am told that their Prayers for the dead were quite of another nature than yours, and for other purposes, and they were grounded upon some private opinions of theirs, which you disown; for they prayed not only for those whom you suppose to be in Purga­tory, but for those who (you confess) many of them never did come there: they pray for all the Saints from the righteous Abel to this day; they pray for all their Ancestors, Patriarchs, Prophets, and Martyrs, as I have heard it in some of their Liturgies. Is it so?

Pop.

It is so.

Prot.

I pray you tell me, what do you pray for the Dead?

Pop.

We pray that God would deliver them from those dreadful pains of Purgatory.

Prot.

Then if there be no Purgatory, the foundation of your Prayers for the dead is gone.

Pop.

I grant it.

Prot.

Then let us discourse of the most fundamental point, (as we have hitherto done) the rest will fall of course. Therefore.

[Page 178] First, I pray tell me your opinion concerning Purgatory.

Pop.

Our Doctrine in brief is this, That though God freely gives, to all that are truly penitent, forgiveness of their sins, and freedom from eternal death; yet since they have much venial sin and corruption in them, in which oft-times they die: therefore it is necessary that they should, for the expiation of those sins, and for the satisfaction of Gods Justice, either do or suffer, such Penances, Fastings, Pray­ers, &c. as are enjoyned them here, or (where those are not sufficient) suffer the pains of Purgatorie.

Prot.

I understand your Doctrine; now let me hear two of your strongest Argu­ments to prove it: I hear that Bellarmin threatens us, that whosoever doth not be­lieve Purgatory, shall be tormented in Hell a Is it true?

Pop.

He doth say so, and I am of his mind.

Prot.

Then I hope you have very clear Arguments for it, because you lay so great a stress upon it. But first, I have heard that this Doctrine of Purgatory is con­fessed by divers of your own Brethren [Page 175] to be but a new Doctrine. Is it so?

Pop.

I will not dissemble with you, seve­ral of our Doctors have unadvisedly blurted out such expressions as these: our famous English Martyr Fisher Bishop of Rochester confesseth, That Purgatory was for a long time unknown, and either never or very seldom mentioned among the Antient Fathersb and Alphonsus de Castro saith, That many things are known to us, of which the Antient Writers were alto­gether ignorantc and amongst them he reckons Purgatory, which (saith he) the Greek Writers mentioned not, and even to this day it is not believed by the Greek Church.

Prot.

I suppose, you do not think all these Antient Fathers were damned.

Pop.

No, God forbid, for many of them were glorious Confessors and Martyrs.

Prot.

Then I see Bellarmines threats are not very formidable. But to let this pass, How do you prove this Doctrine?

Pop.

From plain Scripture, 1. From Mat. 12. 32. Whosoever speaketh a­gainst the Holy Ghost, it shall not be for­given [Page 176] him neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Which clearly im­plies, that some sins not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the next, and that must be in Purgatory.

Prot.

I pray you tell me, what sins are they which are forgiven in Purgatory?

Pop.

Not great and mortal, but small and venial sins, as we all agree.

Prot.

Is not blasphemy against the Son of Man a mortal sin?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, But what of that?

Prot.

If this Text proves the pardon of any sins, it proves the pardon of that sin no less than others, because the sin against the Holy Ghost is here spoken of as the only sin which is unpardonable in both worlds: Besides, Christ speaks thus in opposition to a corrupt opinion, which, I have heard, now is, and then was rife among the Jews, to wit, that divers of their sins were pardoned after this life, and that this was one of their antient Prayers, Let my death be the expiation of all my sins: for they thought the suffe­rings of this life and death, the last of them, did free them from the punishments of the other life: And I have heard that it was one of their sayings, That every Is­raelite hath a part in the future life: Are these things so?

Pop.
[Page 177]

To deal freely with you. This is not only true, but it is one of our Arguments for Purgatory, that Jason the Cyrenian (who lived long before Christs time) expresly af­firms, that it is profitable to pray for the dead, that their sins may be pardoned, 2 Mac. 12.

Prot.

I think that is impertinently al­ledged for Purgatory: for the sin those men died in, was a mortal sin, (as you con­fess) and therefore not pardonable in Pur­gatory. But I thank you for this; for now I am satisfied that it was an antient opinion among the Iews, and so Christ had just occasion to use this expression, to confute that vain expectation of theirs. But be­sides, the meaning of this phrase, Shall not be forgiven, is, that it shall be punished in both Worlds: this is a frequent phrase in Scri­pture. Thus Exod. 20. 7. God will not hold him guiltless, that is, he will severely pu­nish: To accept persons in judgment is not good, that is, is very bad; The father of a fool rejoyceth not, that is, grieveth much. I hear S. Chrysostome expounds it thus*, and a greater than he, S. Mark 3. 29. He hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

[Page 178] Besides all this, we all agree that there is a kind of forgiveness of sin after this life, and at the Day of Judgment, Acts 3. 19. Repent, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; for then in­deed the pardon of sin is compleated and fully manifested. And it is a common phrase in Scripture to speak of a thing as done, when it is only declared and mani­fested, as the Apostle saith, those words, Psal. 2. This day have I begotten thee, were fulfilled in Christs Resurrection, Act. 13. because that declared him to be the only begotten Son o God, as S. Paul saith, Rom. 1. 4.

To which I might add, that by the World to come, Christ may very probably understand the time of the New Testa­ment, which begun at Christs death. The Iews (I hear) oft use this expression of the days of the Messias. Nay, the Apostle himself doth so, Heb. 2. 5. This also I have read, that the Iews did generally expect a more plentiful and glorious re­mission of sins at that time, and so Christs meaning may be this, That this blasphe­my shall not be forgiven, neither in that time nor state of the Church, (in which Christ then was) nor in the time of the Gospel [Page 179] and Kingdom of the Messias which began at his death (as I said) when, though there should be many great sins and sinners par­doned (as we see there were) yet this should not. I hope you will not brag much of your Argument from this place, let me hear your other place.

Pop.

My second Argument is from, 1 Cor. 3. 15. He shall be saved, yet so as by fire, that is, the fire of Purgatory.

Prot.

It seems you understand this fire properly, which is something strange when the whole place is metaphorical, or figurative; The Gold and Silver, Hay and Stubble, all are metaphorical, and so doubt­less is the fire. I hear your Bellarmin con­fesseth, that the fire mentioned, v. 13. The fire shall try every mans work, is not meant of Purgatory.

Pop.

He doth indeed say so.

Prot.

That is enough to overthrow this Argument, for it is most evident that the fire, vers. 13. and 15. is one and the same. And this Fire cannot be Purgatory, 1. Be­cause it is the Fire of the Day of Judge­ment, when you confess Purgatory ends. dThe time of the last Judgement is cal­led the Day by way of eminency, Heb. [Page 180] 10. 25. 2 Tim. 1: 12. 18. and 4. 8. and 1 Thess. 5. 4. And the day of revelation or ma­nifestation of all things, (because then all mens works will be manifested) and the day wherein Christ will come in flaming fire. 2 This fire burns the works of men, only their Hay and Stubble, not their persons, as your Purgatory doth. 3 This fire tries both good and bad. All pass through it. The Gold and Silver is in this fire, no less than the Hay and Stub­ble.

Pop.

How then, I pray you, do you under­stand this place?

Prot.

It is a Metaphor, or Figurative way of speaking, frequent in Scripture, and common use. The delivered Jews are said to be as a fire brand pluckt out of the burning, Amos 4. 11. Zach. 3. 2. So here, he shall be saved so as by fire, that is, not with­out difficulty of loss, and possibly some momentany shame: but howsoever the fire shall burn up his work, and he shall lose that part of his reward. Now I have heard your Arguments, I hope you will hear m [...]ne.

Pop.

I am ready to do that.

Prot.

I shall urge only two.

First, Christ hath fully paid our debt, and satisfied Gods Justice for all our of­fences; [Page 181] and therefore it were injustice in God to require the payment of any part of that debt in Purgatory. Christ is a compleat Saviour, His blood cleanseth us from all sin, 1 Joh. 1. 7. He is able (and sure he is no less willing) to save to the utter­most, those that come to him, Heb. 7. 25. God laid all our sins upon him, Isa. 53. and he bare them all in his body, 1 Pet. 2. 24. In short, either you make Christ but an half Saviour and believers wash away part of their own guilt; or if Christ hath fully washed away their guilt, you make god both unmer­ciful, and unjust, and untrue too; so dread­fully to punish innocent persons, and those too his own children (as you acknow­ledge) whom he declares he hath freely and fully pardoned; and to do this for sins, which you confess venial, and such as do not deserve the loss of Gods favour, and that without any necessity, This is not the act of a Father, especially so tender a Fa­ther as God is.

Pop.

Christ is a sufficient Saviour, and hath fully satisfied, but his satisfaction is ap­plied to us by the pains of Purgatory.

Prot.

If Purgatory only apply Christs satisfaction to us, then he satisfied for our temporal as well as our eternal punish­ments; and if he did so, surely he did [Page 182] it fully, or not at all. Besides, you need not trouble your heads about the appli­cation; God hath provided for us more comfortable means of application, on his part, the Word, Sacraments, and Spirit; on our parts, Faith. You may keep Purgatory for your own use, it is not fit you should be pestered with any Hereticks there. But was ever such an application of Gods Grace heard of since the World began; that God should apply his Mercy, and the Grace of Christ Jesus, by such exquisite torments? This is (as one truly saith) as if a man should apply Physick by poison, or apply the light of the Sun, by putting out our eyes. God deliver us from such appliers. This is as if a Prince should pretend a free pardon to a Malefactor, and apply it by putting him upon the Rack.

Pop.

Though Christ made satisfaction for the guilt of mortal sins, and eternal punish­ment, yet he did not for venial sins, nor tempo­ral punishment; and therefore they must purge out those themselves in Purgatory.

Prot.

If it were true that you say, yet there is no need of Purgatory; for this purging worke may be done by temporal afflictions in this life. The truth is, you add sin, to sin, and excuse one errour with another. But what do you mean by venial sins?

Pop.
[Page 183]

We mean such smaller sins as do not exclude a man from Gods favour, nor from Heaven.

Prot.

Then surely you have very slight thoughts of sin, of God, and of his Law, that can so judge of such an horrid evil as Sin. Scripture fully condemns this Do­ctrine. It tells me that the wages of sin (all sin, without any difference) is death, even that death which is opposite to eternal life, Rom. 6. 23. that He that shall break the least of Gods commands, and teach men so, (though peradventure he do it ignorantly and so according to your opinion, it is a ve­nial sin) shall be called the least in the King­dom of Heaven; that is, he shall have no portion there. It tells me, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the Book of the Law to do them, Gal. 3. 10. And he speaks of that curse which Christ underwent for us, and redeemed us from. It tells me, that for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account there­of in the Day of Iudgment, (and by such words, if not repented of, they shall be con­demned) Mat. 12. 36, 37. So now your foundation, and one of the Pillars of Pur­gatory is gone. And as for your other fansie, that Christ did not satisfie for our temporal punishments, I pray you tell me, [Page 184] did not Christ suffer temporal afflictions?

Pop.

Yes doubtless, the whole Gospel is full of such sufferings.

Prot.

Surely all that Christ suffered, he suffered for us, both in our stead, and for our good. He was cut off, not for himself, (but for our sins) Dan. 9. 25. It was for our sakes that he bare that temporal part of the curse, to be hanged on a Tree; and all that pain and shame was but a temporal punishment, Gal. 3. 13. I read, Isa. 53. that Christ bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows, v. 4. which was not only accom­plished in this, that he bare the guilt of our sins, as S. Peter expounds it, 1 Pet. 2. 24. but also in this, that he delivered them from sicknesses and temporal afflictions, as St. Matthew expounds it, Mat. 8. 16, 17. and both these consist well together, since Christ removed both sin the cause, and af­fliction the effect of it.

Pop.

If Christ had satisfied for our tempo­ral punishments, then Believers should be free from all pains, and loss, and death, which it is apparent they are not; and therefore not­withstanding the fulness of Christs satisfacti­on, they may be liable to pains in Purgatory as well as in this life.

Prot.

To this I answer three things. First, Your inference from the pains of [Page 185] this life to the torments of Purgatory is weak, and false. I may, and must believe, that God afflicts his people here, because Scripture and Experience put it out of doubt. But that Cod will punish his peo­ple in Purgatory after this life, no Scri­pture affirms. You that can multiply your instances of the sufferings of Believers in this life, and can tell us of Adam, and David, and Solomon, and many others, have not to this day been able (though of­ten urged) to produce one instance of the sufferings of any one Believer, after this life (which one consideration is sufficient to overthrow this Argument in the judge­ment of any indifferent man.)

Secondly, There is not the same reason for the sufferings of believers here, and those which you suppose in Purgatory, nor are they of the same nature. The present sufferings of Believers are necessary, (1 Pet. 1. 6. You are in heaviness if need be) both for Believers themselves to subdue the Flesh, which in this life is potent, and altogether needs such a curb. By this shall the iniquity of Iacob be purged, Isa. 27. 9. and to prevent their eternal damnation, 1 Cor. 11. 32. as also for the terror and caution of other offenders. So that, al­beit Christ hath fully paid the debt, yet it [Page 186] is upon other accounts convenient that they should smart and suffer here. But there is no such necessity nor use of Pur­gatory sufferings, neither for Believers themselves (since there is no mortification of corruption after this life, no tempta­tions to sin there, no improvement of grace, no fear of eternal damnation)a nor for example and warning to others; For their fellow-sufferers in Purgatory, you do not pretend they are at all edified by their sufferings; and men here, they neither see nor know any thing of these pains, nor hath God revealed any thing concerning them; but when God makes any examples to others, he sets them in the view of others, or at least acquaints them fully therewith, as he did with Hell torments to this end. It were a sensles [...] thing to hang up a man in Iamaica, for the terror of those that live in England. Besides, the sufferings of Believers here do come from the love, and faithfulness of God, Heb. 12. 6. Whom the Lord lo­veth he chasteneth, Psal. 119. 75. In faith­fulness thou hast afflicted me. Accordingly, [Page 187] good men have looked upon them as choice mercies, Psal. 97. 12. Blessed is the man whom thou chastnest, and Psal. 119. 67. It was good for me that I was afflicted: and the denial of afflictions is threatned as a grievous punishment, Is. 1. 5. Hos. 4. 14. 17.

But now the sufferings of Purgatory are in all points contrary; they are pure­ly vindictive, and the effects of meer wrath: nor do you esteem those sufferings a mercy, and your happiness, but freedom from them. And therefore your Argu­ment, from the pains of this life to those in Purgatory, is foolish and absurd.

Thirdly, Believers suffering here do not at all derogate from the fulness of our Redemption by Christ, because (as I have shewed) admitting that to be compleat, yet they are necessary for other purposes. But your Purgatory sufferings do, by communicating at least some part of his proper work to your selves. You pro­fess they wash away part of your sins, which is Christs peculiar honor, He washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev. 1. 5. You make them a part of the curse of the Law from which (and not only from a part of it) Christ hath redeemed us, himself be­ing made a curse for us, Gal. 3. 13. You make them a real satisfaction in part to [Page 188] Gods justice (which is not satisfied by all that Christ did or suffered without them.) And, in a word, you make men in part their own Redeemers and Saviours I hope by this you see how weakly you reason from present troubles, to Purgatory tor­ments; and that notwithstanding your objection, my first Argument stands good ag [...]inst Purgatory.

My second Argument is this, that the Scripture every where speaks of the state of Believers immediately after death, as happy and blessed; and that all the suf­ferings of Believers are confined to this life; and of this we have many expres­sions and examples too in Scripture, and not one to the contrary. The sufferings of this present time (saith S. Paul) are not worthy to be compared with the glory, Rom. 8. 18. He knew no other sufferings: the af­flictions of Believers are light, and but for a moment, and they too are in things that are seen, 2 Cor. 4. 17, 18. and therefore he knew of no sufferings in the invisible world, unless happily you will say that S. Paul's Travels were in another road into the third heavens, and so he was ignorant of Purgatory. Lazarus received his evil things in this life, Luk. 16. 25. But now he is com­forted, therefore surely not in Purgatory. [Page 189] If our earthly house of this Tabernacle be dissolved, we have an house in Heaven, saith S. Paul, 2 Cor. 5. 1. We are no longer absent from the Lord, than present in the Body, saith S. Paul, 2 Cor. 5, 6, 7, 8. The Prophet as­sures us, that when righteous men die, they enter into peace, they rest in their beds, Isa. 57. 1, 2. I tell you, their beds are very hard, and the Prophets mistake was very great, if they be frying in the flames of Purgatory. The Beggar died (and it follows immediately) he was carried by Angels into Abrahams bosom. I cannot think these Angels mistook their way: the Theif was to be with Christ that day in Paradise, Luke 23. 43.

Pop.

The Thief was a kind of Martyr, and so had that priviledge.

Prot.

His death was so far from being a Martyrdom, that it was a just punishment for his evil deeds, as he confesseth, v. 41. But because some of your Martyrs (as you call them) were indeed Malefactors; therefore to salve their honour; you make this Malefactor a Martyr. I will give you but one place more of many, and that is Rev. 14. 13. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, that they may rest from their labours. A place so clear, that I am told, a famous Doctor of your [Page 190] own, and one of the Sorbon-Colledge, Picherellus by name, did ingenuously con­fess, St. Iohn had in these few words put out the fire of Purgatory.a And I am perswaded you would have been ashamed to have kindled it again, but that by this craft you get all your living.

I think I need say no more to this point, let us now go to another. We have dis­coursed of Purgatory: Now if you please, let us discourse of the ways whereby you pretend to free men from it, which is by Absolutions, and Indulgencies, and that which is necessary thereunto, to wit, Au­ricular Confession.

Pop.

It is well you mention that, for I as­sure you it is a matter of salvation and dam­nation; our Council of Trent hath determi­ned that it is by divine right necessary, and as attrition alone (which is a grief for sin, arising only from a fear of hell) will save a man where confession to a Priest follows; so all the repentance in the world will never save him, without this Confession to a Priest, viz. actual where it may be had, or in desire when it cannot be actually had.

Prot.

Since you lay so much stress up­on it, I expect suitable evidence for it. [Page 191] But first I pray you inform me, what your Doctrine is in this point.

Pop.

I will give you that in the words of the Council of Trent as near as I can: they say, That every Christian is bound under pain of damnation, to confess to a Priest all his mortal sins, which after diligent examination he can possibly remember; yea, even his most secret sins, his very thoughts; yea, and all the Circumstances of them which are of any momenta

Prot.

Now let me hear your strongest Arguments to prove this.

Pop.

You shall: Our two great Arguments are these; First, Priests are by God made Iudges, and intrusted with power of the Keys for the Remission of Sins: but no Iudges can exercise judicature, unless they know and understand the cause; and the Priest must know all the particular sins, and their cir­cumstances by the mans own confession, or else he knows not whether to bind or loose him, to forgive or to condemn him: This is the Ar­gument upon which the Council of Trent builds their Decreeb.

Prot.

Tell me I pray you; Is it neces­sary to Salvation, to confess every parti­cular [Page 192] mortal sin? What if a man unavoid­ably forget some of them?

Pop.

In that case we confess they may be pardoned without it, and it may suffice to say with David, Cleanse thy servant from se­cret sins ast;

Prot.

Now your Argument is quite lost: For it seems in this case (which may be in many hundreds of sins, especially in a per­son of bad memory) your Judge can pass sentence without knowing the particular Cause, and therefore such knowledge is not necessary to his giving Absolution. Moreover, tell me, I pray you, may not a Priest absolve him from his sins, whom Christ hath absolved?

Pop.

Yes doubtless.

Prot.

And is not every Priest bound to believe, that Christ hath absolved every person that is truly penitent?

Pop.

There is no question of that.

Prot.

Suppose a sinner hath visibly for­saken all his wicked wayes and company, and lives a very holy life before he comes to the Priest, and the Priest is certainly informed of this: Is not the Priest bound in that case to believe he is truly peni­tent?

Pop.
[Page 193]

I should be most uncharitable if I should deny that.

Prot▪

Then he may without any more ado upon his desire absolve him, because it appears that Christ hath absolved him, It is not at all necessary to a Priest to this purpose to know whether a man be a grea­ter or a less sinner, since the grace of God is offered unto great as well as little sin­ners: and therefore seeing this is your strong argument, and that learned Coun­cil could find no better, I see your cause is very low and bad; but I suppose you have some other Argument for it.

Pop.

There is so, and that is Jam. 5. 16. Confess your faults one to another.

Prot.

Is this your strong argument? here is not a word of the Priest, nor of Confession to him, but only to our fellow Christians; this confession is mutual, and it will as well prove that the Priest is bound to confess his sins to the People, as that the People are bound to confess to the Priest: the very next words are, Pray one for another; what are we bound to pray only for the Priest? It is one thing that sets me against your Religion to con­sider what pitiful arguments you rely upon. I am assured your own brethren confess the weakness of this argument, as [Page 194] Vasquez a, and Cajetan b, and Caenus c, but it seems you have no better. The weakness of your arguments for it, might save me the labour of mine against it; therefore I shall only offer to your thoughts these two considerations.

1. Your doctrine makes that necessary to salvation which God hath not made necessary. There is no command of God or Christ for it, as your eminent Doctors acknowledge,ast; and it sufficiently appears from the vanity of your proofs for it; you confess it was not necessary in the old Testament, and yet there was as much need and use of it then as now, and Christ hath made the condition of his Church not more, but less burthensome than it was before. Many commands and exhortati­ons to repentance there are in Scripture, not one which either commands this auri­cular confession to a Priest, or declares the necessity of it, produce one place and I yield; there are many instances of Iohn the Baptist, and Christ and the Apostles, either actual giving, or in Gods Name [Page 195] proposing and offering remission of sins upon the conditions prescribed in the Gospela among which not one of them requires this auricular confession: Bring one instance to the point and I yield.

Pop.

I will give you two instances, Matt. 3. 6. The Pharisees were baptized— confessing their sins: and, the conjurers confessed their sins, Act. 19. 18.

Prot.

These places do both speak of publick confession and in case of scanda­lous sins (which we acknowledge to be a duty) but what is this to auricular confes­sion? will you never speak to the purpose? besides these places cannot be meant of au­ricular confession for that was not then in­stituted, as your council of Trent confes­seth. Well, I see you can bring neither instance of this confession nor precept for it, and therefore I am sure there is no sin in the neglect of it, for where there is no law, there is no transgression, Rom. 4. 15.

2. Your doctrine makes that insuffici­ent for pardon and salvation which God makes sufficient. The great God assureth us. That he that confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall find mercy, Prov. 28. 13.

Pop.
[Page 196]

That makes against you, for you s [...]e there is confession required.

Prot.

And no doubt it is a mans duty to make confession to God, and in case of wrong, unto men, and sometimes to a Minister also, as in case of doubt or trou­ble of conscience, but this is nothing to auricular confession, nor can the text mean that, sor you grant it was not as yet instituted. God declares that if the wicked for sake his (evil) way and thoughts and turn unto God, he shall have mercy, Isa. 55. 7. so Isa. 1. 16. 17, 18. so Act. 16. 31. S. Paul in Gods name promiseth, believe on the Lord Iesus and thou shalt be saved. Thus Ro. 10. 13. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved: And who dares say, that he that doth all these things shall not be saved, unless he confess to a Priest, since God never spake such a word? What is it to add to Gods word, if this be not? The terms upon which Christ offered pro­mised salvation, are Repent and believe.

Pop.

Auricular confession is a part of re­pentance.

Prot.

When Christ preached that doctrine it was no part of repentance, for you confess it was not then instituted, your Council of Trent determines, that it was instituted by Christ after his re­surrection. [Page 197] De PoeniteutiâAnd you will find it hard to perswade any rational man, that repen­tance wanted a necessary part before Christs resurrection, or that it was of one kind before it, and quite another af­ter it. But I will not waste more time a­bout so vain a fancy, for my part I rest upon Christs gracious promises to repen­ting and believing Sinners: By Gods grace I will endeavour to do these things, and I doubt not but he will make good his words whether you will or no; let God be true and every man a lyar.

But possibly you have better argu­ments for Absolutions and Indulgences: Produce them, but first let me hear what your doctrine in this point is.

Pop.

I will give you this in brief together with the rise and ground of it: We believe; first. That there are divers Saints who have not only merit for themselves, but a great deal to spare, and all their merits are put into one treasury. Secondly, That these merits are appliable to others, so as God will pardon Thomas, for example, for Iohns merit. Thirdly, That God hath put this treasure into the Churches, that is, the Popes hands, and from him into the hands of all Priests, who have a power to apply these merits as they see fit.

Prot.
[Page 198]

There is nothing sound and solid in this whole discourse; first, I have pro­ved that there is no Purgatory, there is your foundation of indulgences gone; next I hope ere we part to shew, that there is no such thing as merit in good works, which is another of your founda­tions. Next, that any mans merits (except Christs) may be applied to another, I pray you inform me, for I have learned quite otherwise: I read that every one shall bear his own burden, Gal. 6. 6. Every one shall receive according to what HE hath done in his body, 2 Cor. 5. 10. The wise Virgins differed from you, they thought they had oyl little enough for themselves and none at all to spare, Mat. 25. 9. So if you are Virgins, it seems you are none of that sort. If you can prove this conceit of yours, do.

Pop.

I will give you a clear place, Col. 1. 24. S. Paul saith, I now rejoyce in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind or that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his bodies sake which is the Church.

Prot.

First tell me, do you think any thing was lacking or defective in Christs sufferings.

Pop.

No, You use to charge us with that opinion, but falsly.

Prot.
[Page 199]

It is well you grant thus much, but if you denied it, a cloud of plain Scri­ptures would force you to grant it, which tells us that by one offering Christ perfected for ever them that are sanctified, Heb. 10. 14. and that he is able to save to the uttermost, Heb. 7. 25. By sufferings of Christ then, we must understand the sufferings of Christ mysti­cal, or Christ in his members, which are usually so called;a when Christ had done suffering in his person, he left it as a legacy to his members, that they should suffer with him, and for him,b and St. Paul bore his share in these sufferings; and for the last clause of his suffering for the Church, The phrase, it is true, is am­biguous, and sometimes indeed it signifies to satisfie Gods justice for another, but in this sense St. Paul rejects it with indignation, 1 Cor. 1. 13. was Paul crucified for you? But it is not always thus taken, for St. Paul saith he suffered for Christ, 2 Cor. 12. 10. not surely to satisfie for him: There is there­fore another sense, and that is, he suffered for the Churches edification, & establish­ment, and so indeed he elsewhere explains himself, Phil. 1. 12. and I am told that your own brethren understand it thus,c and [Page 200] your Bellarmin confesseth the words may be thus expounded, but only saith, the words may conveniently receive this sense, awhich is as much as to say, if you will be courteous you may grant him the Ar­gument, but if you do not, he cannot prove it. But, admit there be such a treasury of Merits for others, as you pretended; how prove you that your Priests are made Judges, and invested with such a power of distributing those Merits and giving Ab­solutions, as you challenge?

Pop.

Our great Argument is, John 20. 23. Whosesoever sins ye remit they are remitted, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained. Answer me this Argu­ment, and I will yield up this Cause.

Prot.

What Argument do you draw from these words?

Pop.

Hence it appears that Ministers are made judges, and intrusted with full power and authority of binding and loosing; so as Christ doth not loose (or forgive) a sinner by him­self, but only by the Priest, as Bellarmin saith. b And to speak properly, as our most learned Vasquez affirmeth, God doth not properly loose a sinner, but only approves of the Priests loosing of him (b).

Prot.
[Page 201]

Now in my opinion, it were good manners to make the Priest come after God, and not to make God depend upon the Priest. It seems then, if the Priest, should grow surly or envious, and deny me a Pardon, Christ cannot help me, for he hath given the power out of his hands: So you make the Priest the Judge, and God only the Approver. The Lord re­buke this spirit of Blasphemy. Again, nothing is more familiar in Scripture than for Gods Ministers to be said to do that, which they do only authoritatively de­clare that God will do. Thus God saith to Ieremy, I have set thee over Kingdoms to root out, and pull down, and destroy, that is, by declaring that God would do it: In like manner Gods Ministers are said to bind and loose, because they have from God authority, to declare a Sinner to be bound by his Sins, or loosed from them, which (if they declare truly and according to Gods word) God in heaven doth and will make it good. As for this Text, it saith nothing but this, that every one whom they bind or loose, that is, proceeding according to their rule, (which is always to be understood) shall be bound or loosed in heaven; but it doth not say that no man is bound or loosed, but they whom [Page 202] the Priest bindeth and looseth.

But besides, if all these things were granted, how doth this Text prove that the Priest or Pope can absolve or release any souls out of Purgatory, if there were such a place? I pray you tell me, can the Pope binde any soul and keep him in Pur­gatory?

Pop.

No, we do not pretend to that.

Prot.

Then he cannot loose a soul nei­ther out of Purgatory; for I am sure binding and loosing are of the same extent. But upon second thoughts, I must own your discretion; for the binding of souls in Purgatory was an invidious and unpro­fitable work, and would have bound up mens hearts and purses: It is only the loosing of them out which opens their purse strings, & tends to the edification of the Church, that is, the Pope and Priests (as they always understand that word.) In sober sadness, it is enough to make any serious Christian abhor your Church, that your Pope should not be content to usurp a power over the whole visible world, but that he should extend his Authority to the other world, even to Purgatory. In my opinion he had done more wisely to have extended his empire to Hell, for there are many of his Predecessours (so far as [Page 203] can be judged by any mans life) whom he might have appointed his Deputies: but there is never a Pope in Purgatory; for they who can release others at pleasure, will certainly deliver themselves: But now I speak of that, I pray you tell me if it be true that I have heard, that the Pope when he dies, receives Absolution from his Confessor, and that after his death the Cardinals give him Absolution, and give order for the singing of abun­dance of Masses?

Pop.

It is true, I was at Rome when the last Pope died, and it was so then, and our Books justifie it.

Prot.

I am much pleased with your in­genuity, so the Pope gives the Priest a power to pardon himself; methinks he might save the charges of a Confessor; it were enough to say, I absolve my self. But tell me, do you say Masses for any that are in Heaven or in Hell.

Pop.

No, we utterly disclaim that.

Prot.

Then I perceive the Pope goes into Purgatory. I see your Popes are not self-seeking men (as they are slandered to be) that help so many thousands out of Purgatory, and leave themselves in.

But really, this is to me a convincing Argument, that you do not believe your [Page 204] selves, but deceive poor silly people a­gainst your Consciences: For else you might be assured the Pope would never come into Purgatory; for you say he can keep himself out, and no man doubts of his will to do it. Besides, your Doctrine usurps upon God's Prerogative. I had thought it was only my Father in Heaven to whom I should have prayed, Forgive us our Trespasses: Now it seems we must pray so to one of these Padre's upon earth. You make Subjects the supream Judges of all Offences committed against their Sove­raign, and your Priests sit as Umpires be­tween God and the Sinner, and determine what Satisfaction God shall have, and what Penance the Sinner shall undergo. Methinks they are brave fellows; and I now see it was not without ground that Father Cotton bragged, That he could do any thing when he had his God in his hand, (that was the Sacrament) and his King upon his knees (in Confession.) I think you will bring Christ upon his knees too, for it seems you have resolved, that he shall stand to your Priests Arbitration.

I might add to this, that you leave the souls of people to endless perplexities; you confess, that Indulgences profit not, If a man be not in the state of grace a, [Page 205] (which you say a man cannot certainly know) or if a man have not made a free and full Confession after sufficient examinati­on *and who knows when he hath done these things sufficiently?) or if the Priest do not intend to pardon him (and who knows another mans intentions?) and yet you would have me so desperate to venture my soul upon such sandy foundations, that your selves are afraid and ashamed of. But, to leave this, I perceive that this, and divers of your other Doctrines are grounded upon that of the merit of good works, which because I judge a very pernicious and dangerous Doctrine; let me hear what you can say for it: but first, let me understand your Do­ctrine: for I have heard some of you cry out, that our Divines slandered them, and profess that they did not hold Merit strictly, but cast the honour of all upon Christ and the grace of God; therefore I pray you inform me.

Pop.

I will be plain and candid with you, I do not like such Artifices; The Council of Trent in plain terms affirms, That our good works do truly merit increase of grace and eternal lifea; and our famous [Page 206] Bellarmiue disputes, and proves, That good works do not only merit in respect of Gods gracious Covenant, but in regard of the worthiness of the works themselves, and that eternal life is not only due from Gods liberality, but from his just judg­ment b.

Prot.

I pray you tell me, hath Bellarmin such expressions as these, That because God would honour his children, he would have them to get Heaven by their merits, which is more honourable to them, than to receive it ly Gods free gift?

Pop.

Bellarmine doth say so c.

Prot.

I see he was a man of a brave spirit, and much a Gentleman: but in my poor opinion, he should have taken a little care for the honour of God, as well as of the Saints. But I have heard of many other strange expressions ascribed to your Authors. I hear your Tapperus saith, Far be it from them, that righteous men should expect eternal life as a beggar doth an alms. It is much more glorious that they should receive it as Conquerours and Tri­umphers, and possess it as a reward due to their labours d; I see also this was a man [Page 207] of honour: And again, That our good works deserve the reward from God as from a just Iudge, and are able to abide the severe judgement of God, though he weigh all Cir­cumstances c. I am told that your re­nowned Vasquez saith, That Eternal life is due to the works of good men, without any Co­venant, or the favour of God d. And your learned Cajetan and Dominicus à Scoto say as much, as I hear Bellarmine reportse. And that Vasquez again saith, The merits or Person of Christ adds no worth to the works of good men f. This man was resolved so far to tread in Abraham's steps; as Abraham would not receive from the King of Sodom, so he would not receive from Christ, from a thread to a shoe­latchet, lest it should be said Christ had made him rich. Are these things true?

Pop.

It is so.

Prot.

Then sure I am, our Religion is the safest way; If we do err, it is in gi­ving too much to God; but if you err, it is no less than the worst kind of sacri­ledge to rob God of so much of his glory and the honour of your Salvation. Yet, if [Page 208] you can prove this, I will receive it. Pro­duce your strongest Arguments.

Pop.

First then, I prove it hence, That Eternal life is called a reward, Mat. 5. 12. and given to Labourers in the Vineyard, Mat. 20.

Prot.

We must compare Scripture with Scripture: other places tell us, it is an In­heritance, Gal. 4. 7. Rom. 8. 17. The same Estate cannot be mine both by inheri­tance and purchase.

Pop.

Yes it may, I will prove it by an instance. The glory which Christ had was his by inheritance (for he was heir of all things) and yet by purchase, Philip. 2. 8, 9.

Prot.

I thank you for this objection: I have scarce had any thing from you like a solid Argument but this: It deserves an Answer; First then, this will not reach our case: The great hinderance of me­rit in our works is, that the best of them are imperfect, and a debt we owe to God before hand; but Christs works are of another kind, they are compleat and perfect, and in part no debt; for though when Christ was made Man, he was a debtor to God, and bound as a creature to fulfill the Law, yet this was a voluntary act, and no debt to God, that he would [Page 209] become Man, and so put himself under the Law. Besides, the dignity of his Person made his works proportionable unto all the glory he received; whereas all our sufferings are not worthy to be com­pared with our glory, Rom. 8. 18. Second­ly, It might be both an Inheritance and Parchase in Christ in divers respects; because he had two natures; as he was God, or the Son of God, it was his Inhe­ritance, and belonged to his Manhood on­ly as united with the Godhead; as he was Man, he might purchase it, by what he did and suffered in the flesh: But in us there are not two natures, nor any of these pretences to merit. Moreover Scri­pture speaks of two kinds of Rewards, the one of Grace, the other of Debt, and withal affirms, that the reward which God gives to good men is meerly of grace, (as we profess) and not of debt (as you pretend) Rom. 4. 4.

Pop.

Possibly it may be of both, as Bel­larmin saith *.

Prot.

No, the Apostle forbids that, Rom. 11. 6. If by grace, it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace, but if it be of works, then it is no more grace, [Page 210] otherwise work is no more work, and this reward is not given to him that worketh, but believeth, Rom 4. 5. No Protestant could speak our Doctrine more fully.

Pop.

But God gives this reward to men for working in his Vineyard, Mat. 20.

Prot.

It is true; but still the reward ap­pears to be of grace, because it is alike to him that came at the last hour, as to them that had born the heat and burden of the day, vers. 12. but that Heaven is a reward of Justice, and a due debt, (as you profess) this Text proves not, and other Scriptures plainly contradict.

Pop.

But God is said to reward men ac­cording to their works, that is according to the proportion of them, and that implies merit.

Prot.

Not so neither; for since God is pleased to reward in us, his own gifts and graces, not our merits, as S. Bernard speaks, he may still keep the proportion, and to them to whom he gives more grace here, he may give more glory hereafter; and yet there is no more merit in this addi­tional reward than in the rest. Again, I may as well conclude, that the blind men merited their sight, because Christ saith, Be it unto you according to your faith, Matth. 9. 29. as you gather merit from [Page 211] this phrase, according to your work; there­fore let me hear if you have any other Argument.

Pop.

Our works are mentioned as the causes for which God gives eternal life, Mat. 25. Come ye blessed, for I was hungry and you fed me, and other like places.

Prot.

S. Paul did not think this a good Argument; for though he knew that it was said of Abraham, Because thou hast done this, I will bless thee, Gen. 22. 16, 17. yet he positively denies the merit of Abraham's works, Rom. 4. & Gal. 3. And he saith of himself, I obtained mercy, be­cause I did it ignorantly, 1 Tim. 1. 13. yet I hope you do not think his ignorance merited mercy: The King saith, I for­give thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me, Mat. 18. 32. Did his asking deserve it? Besides all this, if God did reward them for their good works, this will not prove merit; if God reward men infi­nitely more than their good works de­serve (as God indeed doth) and Bellar­mine acknowledgeth so much.*

Pop.

But good men are said to be worthy, Rev. 3. 4.

Prot.
[Page 212]

They are so comparatively to o­ther men, and also by Gods gracious ac­ceptation in and through Christ, but o­therwise the holiest Saints of God have ever judged themselves unworthy of the least of Gods mercies (so far were they from thinking they were worthy of eter­nal life) Gen. 32. 10. Mat. 8 8. And since it is Gods grace which gives them all their worth and meetness for Heaven, Coloss. 1. 12. it is impudence to pretend to merit from God by it. If yet you will boast of your own worth and merit, an­swer the Apostles question at your lea­sure, 1 Cor. 4. 7. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? If you can baffle your conscience now, you will find it an hard question to answer at the last day.

Pop.

But eternal life is given them by Gods justice, 2 Thess. 4. 6. 1 Tim. 4. 7, 8.

Prot.

This word also doth not prove any merit, for Gods Justice is oft-times taken improperly, I read 1 Iohn 1. 9. If we confess our sins he is just and faithful to forgive them, yet justification is not merited as you confess, but is an act of [Page 213] meer grace, being justified freely by his grace, &c. Rom. 3. 24, 28. thus, 2 Pet. 1. 1. we are said to obtain precious faith through the righteousness of God; and yet faith is the gift of God, and you con­fess that is given without merit (for you grant none but justified persons can me­rit) therefore, in such places, justice is ta­ken either for equity and the congruity of it with Gods nature or word, or for the faithfulness of God, or the like.

Pop.

Since you despise my arguments, let me hear if you have better against the merit of good works.

Prot.

You shall, and methinks that one place, Luke 17. 10. should convince you, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say we are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do.

Pop.

Christ doth not affirm they are un­profitable, but only bids them say they are unprofitable, and teaches them to be hum­ble. a

Prot.

Very well: then you think Christ taught them to think one thing, and say another, that is, he taught them the art of lying, and that to God.

Pop.
[Page 214]

I answer further, that without Gods grace men are unprofitable, they only can merit that are in the state of grace as our Church holds.

Prot.

Doth not your Conscience tell you the Apostles, whom Christ commands to say thus, were in the state of grace?

Pop.

Though a man cannot profit God, he may profit himself.

Prot.

If he cannot profit God, he cannot properly merit any thing from God, for that implies a proportion between giving and receiving.

Pop.

It is true we are unprofitable by our selves in regard of Gods absolute Soveraignty, but not unprofitable in regard of Gods gracious Covenant.

Prot.

It is ridiculous to say, that is me­rit properly which depends on Gods meer grace, and besides the Pharisees themselves, whose errour Christ there strikes at, were never so vain or absurd to think, that they could be profitable to God, in any other sense than what you affirm.

Pop.

Let me hear your other Argu­ment.

Prot.

The nature of merit shews the impossibility of it in men: It is evident that to merit, these amongst other ingre­dients, are required.

[Page 215] First, that the work be not due al­ready: doth any man deserve an estate for that money whereby he payes an old debt?

Secondly, That the work be our own; you do not think a noble mans Almo­ner, merits by distributing his Masters Alms.

Thirdly, that it be profitable to him of whom he merits.

Fourthly, That the work be perfect; for that action which needs a pardon, cer­tainly cannot deserve a reward.

Fifthly, That it be suitable to the re­ward; if I present my Prince with an Horse, and he requites me with a Lord­ship, who but a Horse would pretend this was merited?

Pop.

I must acknowledge most of these things are true, but this doth not concern our works.

Prot.

That we will now examine, and first, all the works now we can do for God are deserved by him: It fills me with horrour to hear men pretending to merit of that God, who (as they profess) crea­ted them, and every day upholds their souls in life, and redeemed them, and is so infinitely before hand with them every way; Tell me, dare you say that God doth [Page 216] not deserve, that you should do the ut­most you can, for his service and glo­ry?

Pop.

I will not say so.

Prot.

Then it is impudence to pretend merit from God; besides, the good works we do, are not properly our own, but Gods; Faith is the gift of G [...]d, Ephes. 2. 8. Phil. 1. 29. So is Repentance, Acts 11. 18. & 5. 31. and in general, every good and perfect gift is from God, Jam. 1. 17.

Pop.

The first grace is from God, but that I use it right, that is from my self, and there­by it is that I merit.

Prot.

St. Paul was not of your mind; what good work is there but it lies either in willing or doing? yet both these God works in us, Phil. 2. 13. not only the power of believing, but the act too, (and suffering also) is the gift of God, Phil. 1. 29. and St. Pauls abundant labours in the Gospel, which certainly amounted to merit, if there were ever such a thing in the world, and which, if any thing, was his own act, yet he dare not take to him­self, I laboured, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, 1 Cor. 15. 10. No less evident is it, that our works can­not profit God, Psal. 16. 4. Iob 22. 3. & 35. 7, as also our best works are so [Page 217] far from meriting, that they need a par­don for the infirmities accompanying them, by reason of which the best of Saints have been afraid of the severe judg­ments of God even upon their best works; so was Iob a and David b and Paul cAnd lastly, it is so evident that our works are not proportionable to the re­ward, that Bellarmin hath a Chapter upon this head, to prove that good works are re­warded above their desert; d and there­fore it is an intollerable arrogance to af­firm that divers of the Saints have not only merit enough to purchase eternal life, but a great deal to spare for the re­lief of others.

To let this point pass, now I would wil­lingly be informed of two things, which concern us Lay-people in an especial manner;

First, Why you defraud us of the Cup.

Secondly, Why you order Prayer to be made in a language that many, nay, most of us do not understand: For the first, you rob us of one half of the Sacra­ment, [Page 218] viz. of the Cup; what can you say to acquit your selves from sa­criledge?

Pop.

Let me hear what right you have to it.

Prot.

First, I remember you disputed for Transubstantiation out of Iohn 6. which, you said, spoke of the Sacrament; now if you say true, there is a passage in it, verse 53, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; if this be spoken of the Sa­crament (as you say it is) and the wine be really his blood, then you do no less than murder all your people, by robbing them of that which is necessary to their life.

Pop.

Not so, (for as I shall shew you) you have the blood in the body (or bread.)

Prot.

If it be so, yet my taking it in that manner cannot be called a drinking it, unless you will say that every man that eats rawish meat, may be said to drink the blood which he eats in it; but further, I think we have as great right to the cup as your Priests, we have Christs do this, and you pretend no more; in short, we have both the legacy and command of Christ fortified with this strong reason, this cup is the new Testament in my blood which is [Page 219] shed for many for the remission of sins; where­by it sufficiently appears, that the signe belongs to all that have interest in the thing, and are capable of discerning the Lords body; and this command of Christ is express and positive, Mat. 26. Drink ye ALL of it, it is remarkable that he doth not say, eat ye all (though they were to do so) but drink ye all of it, as fore­seeing the sacriledge of your Church; what can you say to this?

Pop.

First I say here is no command but an institution only.

Prot.

I understand no subtilties; but if you say, this was no command of drink­ing, then it was no command of eating, to say, take, eat, and so the Sacrament is not commanded: but people may receive or refuse it as they please, and Christs do this is no more than do as you list; for my part I shall never know when Christ commands any thing, if this be not a com­mand, for no command can run in more express words.

Pop.

If this be a command, it concerns only Priests, for such the Apostles were, and they only were present.

Prot.

Since it is evident, that eating and drinking belong to the same persons, if the one be restrained to the Apostles; [Page 220] so is the other, and because you confess the eating belongs to the people by ver­tue of this precept. [Eat of it] by the same reason also doth the drinking reach to them also by vertue of that precept, [Drink of it.] Besides the Apostles though they were Ministers, yet in this act they were in the peoples stead, and Christ was the Minister or dispenser of the Sacra­ment, and they only the receivers of it at this time.

Besides, as they were Ministers he bad them do this, that is, take and distribute bread and wine to the people as he had to them; If Ministers be under any com­mand of administring and giving the Sa­crament, certainly it is here (for no command can be more express) and if they are commanded to give the bread to the people, they are commanded to give the wine also, for here is no difference at all.

Adde to this that St. Paul hath put this out of doubt, and he expounds this of, and applies it to the people, for thus he writes to all the Corinthians, Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that Cup, 1 Cor. 11. 28. in four verses together, viz. 26, 27, 28, 29. eating and drinking are insepara­bly [Page 221] joyned together, which you have so wickedly divided: If it be a Command, Let a man examine himself, (which none will deny) then it is a Command (which immediately follows) so let him eat this Bread, and drink this Cup.

Pop.

It doth not appear, that there is an absolute command of drinking, but only that as oft as they do drink it, they should drink it in remembrance of Christ.

Prot.

If this be so, then here is no com­mand for the Priest, either to Consecrate the Cup, or to Receive it. And further, then here is no command for his Conse­crating or receiving the Bread neither; for there is no more than a Do this, and that is for the Wine as well as for the Bread.

Pop.

Here is a difference, for he saith of the Body simply, Do this in remembrance of me; but of the Cup, This do ye as oft as you drink it.

Prot.

If you lay any stress upon these words, as oft as you do it, I be­seech you make use of your eyes, and you shall read that it is said of the Bread as well as of the Cup, Vers. 26. For as oft as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup. Well, I am sorry to see that you dare oppose such plain Scripture upon [Page 222] such pitiful pretences. But I pray you let me ask you, I have been told that your fa­mous Council of Censtance, in their Canon, for the receiving the Sacrament in one kind, have these expressions; Although Christ did Minister this Sacrament und [...]r the forms of Bread and Wine—And although in the Primitive Church this—Sacrament was received by the faithful under both kinds—Yet they make a Canon that it shall be re­ceived under one kinde only. Is this so?

Pop.

It is true; they are the very words of the Council.

Prot.

This was a wise Council indeed, wiser than Christ and all his Apostles; but I should think we are on the safest side, having Christ and all the Primitive Churches for our patterns: and by this I see what to judge of your glorious pre­tences, that yours is the Antient and Apostolical Faith, and ours (forsooth) but a new Religion. But I pray let me hear what you have to say for this fact of yours in taking away the Cup? I see Scripture is against you, and the Antient Church, at least so far that for 1400. years together the people might drink of the Cup, (if they would) as I am told your Be­canus confesseth*.

Pop.
[Page 223]

You are greatly mistaken, we have Scripture for us, we have examples there, of receiving the Sacrament in one kind, Acts 2. 42. They continued in the Apo­stles Doctrine, and breaking of Bread; and Acts 20. 17. They came together to break Bread.

Prot.

It is usual to express an whole Feast by this one thing, Christ went in­to the Pharisees house to eat bread, Luk. 14. 2. I suppose, you think it was not a dry feast; Ioseph's Brethren sat to eat, Gen. 37. 25. so Act. 27. 35. Paul (and the rest) took bread and eat it, yet none doubts but they had drink with it. Besides, here is as much said of the People, as of the Ministers drinking of the Cup, that is, neither is here mentioned; and if the silence concerning the Cup be a good Argument, it proves that neither did partake of it: if it be not, then both might partake of it: But what have you more to say?

Pop.

You need not be troubled so much at the loss of the Cup, since the blood is con­tained in the Bread, that is, in the Body, by concomitancy.

Prot.

This is in effect to tell Christ the Cup was a superfluous device: Be­sides, we are commanded to drink the [Page 224] Cup: If I should dip bread in drink and eat it, no man will say I drink the bread. Again, this destroys the main end of the Sacrament, which is to shew forth Christs death, and the shed­ding of his blood; and this was the reason why Christ appointed the Bread and Wine apart, as the fittest means to bring to our memories, the pouring of his blood out of his body for us; and as God would have us to remember the thing, so he commanded us to use this sign of drinking the Cup.

Pop.

But there are many weighty rea­sons why it is not fit you should partake of the Cup.

Prot.

I dare not forsake plain Scrip­ture for any subtil pretences of Humane Reason; but let me hear them.

Pop.

1. In some Countries Wine is not to be had. 2. Some there are who have an anti­pathy against Wine, and cannot drink any. 3. There is great danger of spilling the Wine, which is the Blood of Christ.

Prot.

Are these your weighty Rea­sons; I see the Reason and Religion of Rome are both of a Complexion. But I pray you how came it to pass, that Christ and his Apostles, and all the Pri­mitive Christians for so many hundreds [Page 225] of years should prescribe and use the Cup, notwithstanding those reasons? surely if these reasons are strong now, they were so 1660. years ago: Wine was as scarce then (as now it is) in some Countries; abstemious persons were then as well as now; the Wine might be spil­led then as much as now. But they feared none of these things; either they were all stupid that did not see these things, or your Church is audacious, that dare in effect teach Christ and his Apostles, what they should have done. It might peradventure be added, that in such places where Wine cannot be had, or for some persons who cannot drink Wine, some other thing proportionable to it may be allowed; but if it might not, or if in such special cases they were confined to one kind, I am sure it is a ridiculous consequence, that because they must be content with the Bread that cannot drink of the Cup, therefore they that can, shall go without it; and because it may be omitted where it can­not be had, therefore it shall be omitted where it may be enjoyed. And for the danger of spilling of the Wine, there is also danger in dropping some of the Bread, and so that should be denied: [Page 226] By this Argument also the Priest should not meddle with the Wine, for he may spill it; but indeed such phantastical Reasons as these deserve no Answer; they make me almost sick to hear them.

There is only one point more, I would be informed in, what you can pre­tend for it, and that is, That your Pub­lick Prayers are performed in a Language unknown to most of your people.

Pop.

What have you to say against it?

Prot.

What can be said more plainly and fully against it by us, than what S. Paul saith, 1 Cor. 14. there I find some, who having the Gift of speaking with divers Languages, did use it with­out interpreting them in the Publick As­sembly; those the Apostle informs, that there is a better gift and more desira­ble than that of Tongues, namely Pro­phesie, and he useth divers reasons, which are so many undeniable Arguments against your Latine Prayers: He tells them it is their duty to manage Publick Worship, so as the Church may be edi­fied, verse. 4, 5, 12. I hope you will not deny this.

Pop.

None can deny that.

Prot.

Well; then he tells us that what is spoken in an unknown Language doth [Page 227] not edifie the Church, vers. 4, 11, 12, 14. 2. Yet again, the Apostle commands that if any do speak in an unknown Tongue it must be interpreted, vers. 27. you disobey this command. 3. He argues that Pub­lick Prayers are so to be made by the Mi­nister that the People may say Amen, v. 16. And he also tells us that no man can say Amen to that which he doth not under­stand, vers. 15. so the Apostle stops all your starting holes.

Pop.

The very word▪ men is Hebrew.

Prot.

You dispute not only against me, but against the Apostle himself; but Amen, though an Hebrew word, is by common use sufficiently known to us all, to express our consent to his Prayers, and confidence that God will hear them. 4. Yet again, he argues that strange Tongues are design­ed only for the Conviction of Unbelie­vers, not to be used be Believers amongst themselves, unless interpreted, v. 22. What can, or dare you say against such clear places?

Pop.

S. Paul speaks not of the ordinary service of the Church, but of extraordinary Hymnes and Songs.

Prot.

That is false; he speaks of the ordinary service of the Church, though at that time there was something ex­traordinary [Page 228] in it; and besides, his reasons reach to all times and services, ordinary or extraordinary; must we not look to the Edification of the Church in the one as well as the other? Must not the people say Amen in one as well as the other? Let me hear therefore what you have to say for your selves.

Pop.

Preaching ought to be in a known language; for the end of that is the peo­ples Edification, but Prayers are made to God.

Prot.

Though they are made to God, yet they are made by the Church, who are to joyn in those Prayers, and to sig­nifie their consent by saying Amen, which requires their understanding: And more­over, that Chapter speaks as expresly of Praying as it doth of Prophesying in the Church. Surely the people went not to Church to sit there like senseless Images, but to offer up a reasonable service, and to tender their Prayers and Praises unto God by the mouth of the Minister, as they did, Act. 4. 24, They lift up their voice with one accord. And if we pray with you, we must understand; else we can­not pray in faith (as it is our duty to do) and we shall fall into their error to ask we know not what.

Pop.
[Page 229]

You need not concern your self about that; you may rely upon the wisdom and fide­lity of the Church, who takes care that your prayers be right.

Prot.

I confess there is this great en­couragement for it, that your Church, it seems, is wiser than St. Paul: but as a friend I advise you to give this Counsel of rely­ing upon your Church to the Indians, or some remote places, for they that know her will never trust her. For my part, my Saviours words make me cautious, If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. If I had no other argument of your Churches Fallibility and Apostacy; this one point were a sufficient evidence of them both. But what have you more to say?

Pop.

I will give you then a Scripture in­stance; The Priests prayed in the Temple when the People waited without, Luke 1. 21.

Prot.

What is this to the purpose? I do not read, that the Priest prayed at all, but only went in to offer Incense; but if he did pray, he did it alone, not with and be­fore the people, as your prayers are; you might as well plead thu; Those Priests said nothing at all, and therefore your Priests need only make a dumb shew, and [Page 230] may serve their Latin (as well as their Eng­lish) which may be good counsel for many of them, that have so little to spare.

But seriously can you, or any rational man think, these reasons of sufficient weight to oppose against that great Scrip­ture rule of Edification, and the express words and plain arguments of St. Paul; God deliver me from such a besotting Religion.

Besides what I have said, I shall leave this with you at parting, that you do not only oppose Scripture, but also that Anti­ent Church which you pretend to reve­rence, and to follow her steps, and your practice is contrary to the Church in all antient times.

The Prayers of the Iews in publick, were alwayes made in the Hebrew tongue, and in that Tongue God gave them those forms of Prayer and blessing which were then used, Numb. 6. 10.

God gave the gift of Languages to that end, that the Apostles might establish the Worship of God in every Nation in their own Language: And I am told, that Origen reports this, to be the practice of the Church in this time (as well as his own Judgment) That every one did pray to God in his own dialect, Greeks in Greek, and La­tines [Page 231] in Latin, &c.a Besides, I am told, that your own Authors, Lyra, Aquinas, and Harding, and others confess, this was the practice of the antient Church, and that one of your own Councils, that of Lateran in the year 1215. did make this order, that Whereas in many places there were mixed people of divers Languages and customs, the Bishops should take care to provide fit men, that should perform divine Service amongst them, according to this difference of Rites and Lan­guages. bMoreover, that your great Car­dinal Cajetan confesseth, that Prayers ought to be in a known tongue. c Are these things so?

Pop.
[Page 232]

I cannot deny it. Their Books are extant.

Prot.

Then by this, I see, how far your Church is, not only from Infallibility, but from common honesty, that dare pretend they hold nothing But what hath been by constant Tradition conveyed to them from the Apostles times until this day. And by this I shall judge of all your other brags of Antiquity in your Doctrine. So I see you are obstinate and incorrigible, and therefore I shall trouble my self no fur­ther to talk with you.

FINIS.

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