THE XXXVI. QUESTIONS PROPOƲNDED FOR RESOLUTION OF UNLEARNED PROTESTANTS In matter of Religion, to the Doctors of The Prelaticall pretended Reformed-Church of ENGLAND, RETORTED For Resolution of Unlearned PAPISTS In matter of Religion, to V. H. and V. N. Doctors of the pretended Catholick Church of ROME.

By T. SVVADLIN, D.D.

Religio of [...]o vera, quae Deo honorabilior, quae paci amicabilior, quae Homini favorabilior.

LONDON, Printed by J. G. for the use of the Author, MDCLIX.

THE XXXVI. QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED FOR RESOLUTION OF UNLEARNED PROTESTANTS, &c.

WHether every Christian is not obliged to chuse the safest way, all things considered, Quest. 1 to Salvation?

Yes Questionlesse; Answ. 1 this Question is pi­ous and must receive an affirmative An­swer; If the rest prove no worse, we shall not [...] long at odds.

Whether that way wherein both parties acknowledge, Quest. 2 that unlearned men may have possibility of Salvation, though one of them say it be with difficulty and danger, if they look not well to the Foundation, be not prudently to be judged more safe for the unlearned, then that which is esteemed safe, by one onely patty, and that incompara­bly lesse in Number, but by the other incomparably grea­ter party, which equallizes the less in all respects requisite to gain Credit and Authority, is constantly held to be utterly voide of all possibility of Salvation, even for un­learned persons?

I wish you had not so soon forgot the piety of your first Question; it is not, Answ. 2 it cannot be g [...]nted, that because the incomparably greater party (Authoritatively spo­ken, to take no notice of what follow [...] [...] Salvation to any of the incomparably less number, and that less number acknowledge a possibility of Salvation to [Page 2]the unlearned of the greater party, it is therefore prudent­ly to be judged more safe for the unlearned to make choyce of the greater number, as the safest way to Salva­tion.

For first, the incomparably greater number is a Multi­tude; and therefore not the safest way to follow them.

For secondly, the incomparably greater number, may with the incomparably conceited Crowes, think their own feathers whitest.

For thirdly, your Argument thus retorts upon your self; the incomparably greater number, and the incomparably less number, both confess Scripture to be infallible; but the less deny the Pope to be infallible.

The like is confest of Faith to be a sure rule; Tradition is denyed by one.

The old Creedes both grant, a new one is denyed by us.

To worship God is confest by both; but to worship Images, or God by Images is denyed by us.

To trust in Christs Merits is confest by both; but to trust in Mans own Merits is denyed by us.

To pray to God in Christs Name is confest by both; but to pray to Saints, or to God in the Name of Saints is de­nyed by us.

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist is confest by both, a Sacrifice Commemorative, but a propitiatory Sacrifice is denyed by us.

A reall presence we both grant; but a Carnall we de­ny.

The Body and Blood by Institution, and Primitive Observation we both acknowledge, but an Alienation of the Cup we disclaim.

In the English Liturgy is no error say some of you; in the Roman Missall are many, say all of us; and therefore by this Argument of yours, it is by prudence to be judged more safe for the unlearned to chuse that way to Salvation, which is confest by both, then that which is conceived safe by one party onely, i.e. yours.

I have been somewhat long upon this, and yet must be a little longer, because of your Marginall Note (viz.) Bishop. of Cant. Sect. 35. p. 280. Whom you quote somewhat erroniously; for he bids, Marke, it is but a possibility of Sal­vation, he grants to silly souls in the Romish Church; but a secure way he denies you, and he backs it from St. Augustine, Lib. 1. de Bapt. cont. Don. ca. 3. Who judged it a great sin to prefer, Incerta certis uncertaine, and naked possibilities before an evident and certain course: And there he gives you a taste too from your own Learned Card. Bellar. lib. 5. de, Justif. ca. 7. Tutissimum est, and afterwards layes you, and the Donatists together in this want of Charity amongst you, or Charity mistaken by you, and lastly desires you that you would not make us as malicious (at least as rash) as your selves, in deny­ing Salvation to some ignorant silly souls, whose humble and peaceable obedience makes them safe among any part of men, that profess the Foundation Christ, let him that pleaseth read the whole thirty five Section, and he will soon resolve which is the safer way, yours or ours.

Whether this be not the present Case betwixt Prote­stants, and those of the Church of Rome, Quest. 3 according to the acknowledgment of the latest and learnedest of Prote­stant Authors; Bishop of Cant. ibid. They acknowledge the said possibility of Salvation for unlearned persons in the Roman, and the Roman Doctors denying all possibility to unlearned Protestants, so long as they remaine wilfully in the Protestant Religion.

Let it be the present Case betwixt us, Answ. 3 so you take the Restriction of the latest, and learned'st Protestant Authors, and particularly of that most Reverend Father in God, and now with God, because his Martyr, and summe up your gaines; There is a possibility, and but a possibility of Sal­vation for unlearned Papists in the Church of Rome; which argues our Charity; There is no possibility for Learned or unlearned Protestants, say you, which argues your malice, Cant. p. 285. Yes, which likens, and com­pares you with the Donatists; The words of the same [Page 4]Archbishop: Who galls you thus; whether the Sacra­ment of Baptisme was true in the Catholick Church, or in the part of Donatus; The Donatists exhorted all to be Baptized amongst them; why? Because both parties granted that Baptisme was true amongst the Donatists, which that peevish sect most unjustly denyed the sound part, as St. Augustine, lib. 1. Cont. Don. de Baptist. ca. 3. delivers it. I would aske now (the Archbishops own words) had not the Orthodox true Baptisme among them, because the Donatists denyed it injuriously? Now I say, pray read the Archbishop on, and put the truth into your eyes, and tell the world if you see ere the worse.

Whether all unlearned Protestants, Quest. 4 who are sufficiently informed of what is heresaid are not guilty of a damnable neglect of their Salvation, so long as they remaine Pro­testants, and refuse to be of the Roman Church?

And why not Learned as well as unlearned? Answ. 4 certain [...] they would be in the deeper guilt, if there were any [...] ther; because Vivacity of Understanding striving [...] his own Light, makes more guilty then simplicity of [...] ving can possibly do, so possibility of Salvation for [...] [...] ple man in the Roman Church there is; but for a [...] man, one that knowes the errors of the Church, (and [...] know a great many) there is not, for ought I yet know, so much as a possibility: Yet a little more from that most Re­verend Archbishop whom you have cited twice before; my soul for a simple peaceable believing soul in the Church of England; not so for such an one in the Church of Rome; no more for him or her but a possibility.

Whether a person who is in quiet possession of any Goods, Quest. 5 Tythes, Titles, Rights or Dignities, &c. retaine not the Right to all such Goods, and is wrongfully deprived of them, so long as he neither confesses that he hath no Right to them, nor is condemn'd by the clear sentence of any lawfull or competent Judge of sufficient Authority to de­sine against him, but still maintaines his Cause against his Adversary, and gives at least probable Answers to all that he alleadgeth against him, and pleads to be restored to [Page 5]his ancient possession, taken from him by force and vio­lence, and whether he who thus violently took the pos­session from him, be not obliged in Conscience to restore it to him again? And whether he proceeds not unjustly so long as he retaines it from him?

I shall answer this impertinent Question by retorting it with a simile more verisimilitude like. Answ. 5

Whether if a Bishop, (the Bishop of Rome be the man) do wrongfully deprive the Emperour (Emperour of Ger­many be he) of his-Rights and Dignities, in calling Ge­rall Councils, claiming his Right to that particular, and uncondemn'd by the clear sentence of any lawfull and competent Judge, &c. (pardon that Sir,) I but follow your own example in this very Paragraph) doth not sin egregiously in this detension? Will you have another? Thus, whether if a Thief by force get in possession of your [...] and goods, be not still a Thief, so long as he de­ [...] them; and your self a Fool, if you lay not hold [...] the first opportunity to resume them? This is our [...] though it seemeth yours, your Church the Church [...]. Rome, or rather the Bishop, and Court of Rome had [...]oched, and usurped too far upon the Rights of the Church of England, which was alwaies opposed, but at last regained, though now (for our sins, or by the sins of others) disposed a third way, but it was violent, and I hope will not be lasting.

Whether th [...] hath not been within the last hundred and fifty yeares, and still is, Quest. 6 the proceeding of Protestants against the Roman Church, violently excluding her Bi­shops, Pastors, and People, from the quiet possession of many hundred yeares continuance of their Doctrine, Dig­nities, Titles, Governments, Benefices, Churches, Possessions, and still retaine them, and refusing to restore them, those of the Roman Church still claiming their Right, and never having been condemn'd by any compe­tent, or lawfull Judge, nor acknowledging themselves convinced to have obtained that possession wrongful­ly?

Sir, Answ. 6 part of this is true, and part of this is false; That them whom you call Protestants, (Catholicks I should have called them) have thus dealt with them of the Roman Church for, 150. yeares shall not be denyed by me, nor will it be denyed by you that they did it justly; because the Bishop of Rome had never any universall power, untill an usurping Pope, Boniface by name, from an usurping Emperour Phoras, who murthered his Master Mauritius, gave him the Title of Universall Bishop, and for their robbing the English Church betwixt 600. and 700. yeares, the English Church, and Churchmen with the consent of King and Parlament, have resumed their own; which whether you will acknowledg to be a competent and law­full Judge, and your selves convinced to have obtained your former possessions wrongfully, I shall leave to wi­ser men, then you, or my self to determine.

Whether the quiet possession of many Ages, Quest. 7 both of the Easterne, and Westerne Churches, in their una [...] ­mous consent of Doctrine, and Practise, in most points o [...] Controversie betwixt them and Protestants, be not a suf­ficient proof to justifie the said Doctrine and Practise, till it be convinced clearly, evidently and undeniably, (by Reason, or Authority) or lawfully condemned of Error? So that it belongs to Protestants who are the Aggressors, to convince their Adversaries of Error, and not to those of the Romane, or Grecian Churches, to prove their Te­nents by any other Arguments, then that of their quiet, antient, and universall possession, though Catholicks be upon the Affirmative, and Protestauts upon the Negative; as he who quietly possesses the Name, Title, Armes and Lands, of such, and such a family, hath sufficiently proved, that he hath a Right to them, and that they are truly his, till he either confesse, that the contrary is sufficiently proved, or that it be lawfully determined against him?

It is confest, Answ. 7 that the unanimous consent of Doctrine and Practise of the Easterne and Westerne Churches, in all points of Doctrine betwixt them and Protestants, would prove some thing of sufficiency; but in most points, it [Page 7]riseth not to a sufficient proof; and yet for your most points you leap before you look; for if you look upon the Rites in Baptisme, you agree not with the Eastern Church, we do; nor do you agree with them any more then we do in the point of the Procession of the Holy Ghost, nor do they any more yield to you in the Infallibility, and Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome; so that the consent of the Eastern, or Grecian, and the Western or Roman, is not unanimous in most, much less in all points of Controversies against the Protestants.

Whether is it not a most insolent madness (as St. Quest. 8 Au­gustine termes it) or an insufferable height of pride, for any Christian whatsoever, to call in Question, much more to censure and condemne as erroneous, that which all the visible Churches in the World taught and Practised, and a manifest foolery to follow any Teachers, and give eare and belief to them, who contradict the universall Practise and Doctrine of the whole Christian World?

Sir, Answ. 8 had not these words been spoken in relation to them, whom you call Protestants, and we call Catho­licks (for the Romans and Catholicks are not Termes con­vertible) or had these words been spoken as St. Augustine spake them, in relation to the Donatists, plain Here­ticks, and so condemned, which Protestants were never yet lawfully condemned to be, these words of youre might have passed, and therefore for hereafter good words I pray; else your insolent madnesse, may make mad-men sober; your insufferable height of pride, may make proud-men humble; and your manifest foolery, may make fooles so wise, as not longer o follow such Teachers as your selves, who for many hundred yeares have contra­dicted the universall Practise and Doctrine of the whole Christian World, Eastern and Western; prove you new Rome challenges no more priviledges then old Rome did, a Patriarchat-ship, and no more, prove that Patriarchall power above the Supreme Ecclesiasticall power, a Generall Council, to which Patriarchall was alwaies subject; prove us convinced by either, you say something; till [Page 8]then, I stir not farther in these dirty words.

Whether the first was not done by the first Authors of the Protestant Religion, Quest. 9 and the second done, and still continued by their followers? Or if the first Authors of Protestant Religion, received those points of their Do­ctrine from any visible Church in the whole World, which existed immediately before their relinquishing the Roman Doctrine, let that Church be produced and named.

Sir, Answ. 9 this Question desires another Question for answer; what do you mean, by whether the first was not done by the first Authors of the Protestant Religion? If you mean inso­lent madnesse, insufferable height of pride, for any Christi­an whatsoever, to call in question, much more to censure and condemn as erroneous, that which all the visible Churches in the World taught and Practised? With your good leave, you must name the first Authors, and what it was they censured and condemned, and so you must explain what followes, and the second done, and still continued by their followers: if you meane manifest foolery to follow any Teachers, and to give eare and be­lief to them, who contradict the universall Practise and Doctrine of the whole Christian World; You must name that universall Doctrine and Practise of the whole Chri­stian World, and how we have contradicted it, else you fight with the wind, and say nothing.

For the rest of this ninth Question, to produce and name that visible Church, from whence we have received those points of Doctrine, which existed immediately before we relinquished the Roman Doctrine, the Roman Church it self is named, and named thus,

Antiquam Romam non Anglia, Roma reliquit,
Anglia non Romam Britannes Roma repellit,

Do but return to the old Roman Doctrine in the Primi­tive and Catholick Constitution of it, and we are friends, till then, Farewell.

Seeing Protestants affirm, Quest. 10 that the Roman Church is in­fected [Page 9]with errors in faith, which they pretend to have purged in their Reformation, I demand that it be eviden­ced, when any of those pretended errors began to be pub­lickly taught, and Practised out of some approved Au­thors of any Age, who affirm, that the publick profession of the said errors, begun in, or about their times; for see­ing they were publickly Practised through all Christen­dom, if that publick Practise had ever begun in any Age since the Apostles, it must have been taken notice of, whereby their instances of Consumption of the Lungs, of a beard growing white, &c. are shewed to be nothing to the purpose, because they are either wholly secret, or in­sensible, and no way publick or notorious, as these were; and seeing faith by St. Paul, Eph. 4. v. 1, 3. is said to be one, and reckoned up with the Unity of God and Christ, and so must be perfectly one, how Protestants and those of the Roman Church be properly said to have one Faith, when the one believes, what the other disbelieves? And as opinions contradicting one another cannot be said to be one opinion, how can Faiths contradicting one another be said to be one Faith? Neither is it enough to say, that they are one in that, wherein they agree, for so they will be one onely in part, or partially, and not absolutely and entirely, and as the least difference destroys the per­fect Unity of God and Christ, so will it do that of Faith; and though my opinion agree with that of another in ma­ny things, but disagrees in many other from his; we can never be said absolutely (as it must be in Faith,) to be of the same, and one opinion.

Dolosus versatur [...]i [...]ca universalibus, Answ. 10 your arguing by universalls, and yet requiring particular answers, argues you to be deceiptfull, and to seek for Triumph, more then Truth; yet that people may be undeceived, I shall fol­low your universalls with my particulars; and though I could pay you with your own coyne, in saying while the good man slept, the en [...]ous man sowed Tares, yet I pay you in more current coyne, and say, Protestants affirm not, that the Roman Church is infected with errors in Faith, [Page 10]and yet we say, there are manifest and clear errors in the Roman Church, which we purged, and when some of your Errors (not pretended but reall Errors) begun thus is evidenced. Purgatory was never publickly taught by the whole Christian Church, and never decreed by the Roman Church it self, untill the Elorentine Council, 1439.

Transubstantiation was never publickly taught by the whole Christian Church, nor allowed or decreed by the Roman Church it self, untill the Laterane Council, 1215.

Worshipping of Images was never publickly taught, nor allowed or decreed, untill the second Nicene Coun­cil, 787.

Communion in one kind not above 200. yeares, Supre­macy of the Pope was condemned by St. Gregory himself, lib. 1. Ep. 16. Anno 600. for Antichristian.

For your Consumption in the Lungs, and a Beard grow­ing white, I think with you, they are nothing to the pur­pose, whether yours, or ours; nor is it to my purpose to be satisfied with the colour of your Beard, whether it be blew or yellow.

To your Text of St. Paul, Eph. 4. v. 1, 2. I confesse Faith is said to be one, and believe you believe, that you of the Roman, and we of the English Church, have both but one Faith; whether you take it for the Rule of Faith, the Creed; If you have a new Creed, we leave you; or the end of Faith, Salvation, if you have any other end▪ we leave you; or the meanes of that Faith, and Salvation, Christ; If you have any other means, we leave you still, and for your contradicting opinions, I tell you, it is a lame similitude to bring in thereby contradicting Faith; for though you and I agree but partially in points of opinion, yet we agree entirely in point of Faith.

Whether it be not a great Argument, Quest. 11 to induce any rationall indifferent man to judge that the Protestant Au­thors are put to great straits, and to desperate acknow­ledgments; which being ashamed of the first refuge of [Page 11]their beginners, in dying for the defence of their successi­on to an invisible Church, in alleadging for their Prede­cessors, and continuance of the visibility of their Church, Berengarius, the Waldenses, Albigerses, Wicklifsts, Hussits, and other publickly condemned Hereticks, they confesse now that they have no other means to save their visible Succession, but by acknowledging, that they succeed to the Church of Rome, and other Churches adjoyning with her against them, in all the points of difference betwixt them and her, and all those who are united to her, to be true Churches of Christ, and consequently to hold no fun­damentall Error at all; and consequent to this, to ac­knowledge that their first Authors, and Churches both in England and other Countries, wronged the Church of Rome, and those others insufferably, first, in condem­ning them of Superstition, Idolatry, Antichristianisme, &c. Which are fundamentall Errors in Religion, and de­structive of Salvation.

Secondly, upon this pretext in destroying, burning, and alienating to secular uses, so many thousands of their Churches, Monasteries, Townes, Cities, Castles, Vil­lages.

Thirdly, in Massacrating, and putting to cruell Tor­ments and death so many Priests and Professors of the Ro­man Religion.

Fourthly, in depriving their Bishops and Clergymen of their respective Church-Governments, Dignities, Seas, Benefices and Churches, and setting up others, they get livings in their places.

Fifthly, in making it no less then High-Treason (which is yet in force) either to be Priests, or to communicate with them in many Spirituall Church-Offices and Sacra­ments.

Sixtly, in continuing to this day, in a violent detaining of their Churches, Benefices, Dignities, and Spirituall Functions, from all those of the Ro [...]an profession, and holding them in their own hands; and all this because they maintain certain pretended Errors, which they now [Page 12]confess not to be fundamentall, nor destructive of Salva­tion; and consequently that those of the Roman Church have suffered, and still suffer all these intollerable injuries, for that which even these Modern Authors acknowledg to be no more then a venial and small sin; for if it were mortall, it would destroy Salvation, so long as one wil­fully continues in it, which they affirm it does not.

Further by this Acknowledgement, these modern Pro­testant Authors must confess, that their former Writers, who were of a contrary mind, in charging the Church of Rome, and the rest with her, of Superstition and Idolatry, &c. and all those who then joyned with them, and all their modern Churches and Protestants, both without and within England, who at this day hold it a point of their Faith to accuse the Church of Rome in the same manner [...] erre damnably against Christian Truth, and so conse­quently are no true Churches of Christ; for it cannot be less then a damnable Error, to make it a point of their Faith and Religion to condemn any one, much more all the visible Churches of the West, nay and of the East too, and so of whole Christendom, for nine hundred yeares to­gether of grievous Superstition, when upon better exami­nation, the Doctors of the same Protestant Church, are compelled by force of truth to confess, that those Churches neither are, nor ever were guilty of those horrid Errors, and at most erre onely venially and lightly, which hinder them not either to be a true Church of Christ, or to ob­tain Salvation, (Bishop of Cant. p. 129. num. 3.) Even while they constantly and immoveably maintain them, and accuse all, who wilfully contradict them, and con­demn them as erroneous. And hence also it follows, that seeing these modern Protestant Authors and their party Communicate in Prayer and Sacraments with the Pres­byterians and Calvinists, who accuse the Church of Rome of Idolatry, &c. (and so put it in fundamentall error) and acknowledg themselves to make one Church with them, must be guilty of deadly Schisme by that Commu­nion and acknowledgment; and consequently so long [Page 13]as they continue in that Communion are uncapable of Sal­vation.

Here are many words to small purpose, Answ. 11 a Question might have been couched in five lines, enlarged to five pages; my answer must be answerable.

Know you therefore whosoever you are without a name; Protestants are not put to great straits, nor despe­rate acknowledgments, they are not ashamed of their first beginners. They stand not for the Succession of an invi­sible Church; they acknowledg not for their first begin­ners of a visible Church Berengarius, the Waldenses, Al­bigenses, Wicklifsts, Hussits, (whom yet you cannot truly affirm to have been legally condemned for Hereticks) but we alleadge for our Predecessors Christ and his Apostles, Ignatius, Clemens, Hegesippus, Polycarpus, Irenaeus, Theo­philus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Origan, Methodius, Gregory, Neozes, Constantius Magnus, Eusebius Casarian, La­ctantius, Athanasius, Hilarius, Basilius Magnus, Grego­rius, Nyssenus, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Hieronymus, Epiphanius, Ambrotius, Chrysostomus, Cyrillus, Theodore­tus, Augustinus, with the foure Oecumenicall Councils of Nice, of Constantinople, of Ephesus, of Calcedon, with all the holy company of Saints, and noble Army of Martyrs, untill the seventh Age, against whose positions if we hold any thing, name it, we answer it; prove it, we yeild; and many more Catholicks since, we acknowledge not to succeed the Church of Rome, we were and are as the Church of Rome was of the Catholick Church; we ac­knowledge her to be a true Church, we deny her to be the true Church: she is, and we are parts of the true Church, yet we not so erroneous as she; we acknowledge not to have wronged the Church of Rome, we complain that the Church of Rome, or rather the Bishop of Rome with his Court, hath wronged that Church, this Church, and with both the whole Chatholick Church by Quittance, and by Forfeiture.

1. By Quittance, the Bishop of Rome hath wronged the Church, in assuming to himself the Title of Ʋniversall [Page 14]Bishop, and spirituall Soveraigne, and Monarch of the Church, which is as inconsistent with a Provinciall Patri­archiat-ship (which was never by any, nor shall by me be denyed him) as Humane and Divine Institution.

2. By Forfeiture, for if the Rebellion of an Inferior for­feits by renouncing his Loyalty to his Superiour, then the Bishop of Rome, is notorious in his Rebellion against Ge­nerall Councils, the onely Supreme Ecclesiasticall power; and not onely against a Generall Council, the Representa­tive Church, but also against the Catholick Church, in usurping a Dominion over it.

And not onely by Rebellion, but also by Robbery; who but the Bishop of Rome would have robbed the King of England of his Investitures of Bishops; which Henry the seventh protested against by his Proctour? Who but the Bishop of Rome robbed the King of his Patronages, by Col­lations, Provisions and Expectative Graces? Who but he robbed the King of England of the last Appeales of his Subjects contray to the ancient Lawes of England? I could go on to inferior Robberies committed by the Bi­shop of Rome upon the Nobility and Clergy of England, but I hasten to the rest of your Question.

We have not condemned your Church of Rome of Su­perstition, Idolatry, Antichristianisme, &c. Private men it may be have, the Church of England have not; and if the Church of Rome be guilty of such Errors, let her free her self.

The Church of England hath not destroved, burnt, alie­nated to secular uses, thousands of your Churches, Mona­steries, Townes, Citties, Villages; if any such things have been done, let the Actors be quesstioned, let not the Church of England be blamed.

The Church of England hath not put to cruell Tor­ments and death many Priests and Professors of the Roman Religion, nor deprieved their Bishops and Clergy of their Church-Governments; the Church of England hath onely recovered their own; the Church of England hath not made it High Treason to be Priests; you know, when they [Page 15]are executed, they executed for something else, then for being Priests.

The Church of England continues not in a violent de­taining of Roman Benefices, but in a lawfull possession of their own; and all this, not for certain pretended but reall Errors, which you of the Roman Church do hold, and de­structive to Salvation to such knowing men as your self, though not of the same consequence to simple and well­meaning men amongst you; the distinction of your veni­all Sins, we refer to your selves; every sin we say is mor­tall, so long as a man wilfully continues in it, knowing it to be sin.

Nor do we hold it a point of Faith, to accuse the Church of Rome of Superstition, and Idolatry; but if you are guilty of such Crimes, look you to it; we erre not damnably in saying, Worshipping Images, or God by Images, is Idolatry, and therefore for all this, are true Churches of Christ; we condemn not the visible Churches of the West, nor of the East, much less, whole Christendom for 900. yeares together of Superstition; name but one point, we hold contrary to the Tenents of the Catho­lick Church for 1600. yeares, (I give you a larger time) we yield.

You are come acain to erring venially and lightly, to which you had answer before; onely take this by way of addition to your Quotation of the Bishop of Cant. p. 129. Num. 3. All that that Learned and most Reverend Bishop saies, and grants, is, that the Church of Rome is a true Church in Effence, and this, because she receiveth the Scripture as a Rule of Faith, though as but a partiall and imperfect Rule, and both the Sacraments as Instrumen­tall Causes and Seales of Grace, though they adde more and misuse these: And now what you have got by this Quotation, when you have understood it, you may alter to a better Mode.

To your last which charges us to Communicate in Prayer and Sacraments with the Presbyterians and Calvi­nists, and so are guilty of deadly Schisme, and are thereby [Page 16]consequently uncapable of Salvation, I would and do wish you had not spoke false English, for we Communi­cate neither with Presbyterian or Calvinist, let them be all one, it is all one to me, they are at a greater dinance from us then Rome it self. And I think the poor Church of Eng­land suffers more under one of them, then ever she did under the Church of Rome; and therefore as yet are as capable of Salvation, as you of the Roman Church, be­cause we hold of the Catholick, in which, and which Church onely is Salvation; and from which Church if you have made a Schisme, by giving the cause of separation, let it be your care to return to the Catholick, that we may shake hands and be friends.

Whether it be not a great Argument of security to those who either are of the Roman Church or convert them­selves to it, Quest. 12 that her very Adversaries after so many con­demnations of her to hold most grievous and damnable Errors, dare not now accuse her to hold any Error de­structive of Salvation; so that the belief of her Doctrine in every point, their obedience to all her Command­ments, the exercise of all her Practises, their praying to Saints, reverencing of holy Images, adoring of Christ, as really and naturally present in the Sacrament, &c. consist with Salvation: And though some say, Bishop of Cant. p. 281. though these destroy not Salvation, yet they are dangerous points and Practises, weakning the Foundati­on and endeavouring the destruction of it in continuance of time; yet who sees not that it is more secure to hold a Religion which makes the Foundation onely weak, by their Adversaries concession, then to hold theirs, which the contrary party most constantly affirms to destroy quite, and rase the Foundation of Religion, and to make Salva­tion, not onely hard and in danger, but utterly impossible, till it be deserted.

Security it may be, Answ. 12 not a safe security; for certainly, praying to Saints, which hath neither Pre­cept, Pattern, nor Promise, Reverencing of holy Images, which hath a direct prohibition, if they are not holy, and [Page 17]how they are made holy, you should do well to tell us; adoring Christ as really and naturally present in the Sacra­ment, if by naturally present you understand carnally, which hath a direct negation in the Scriptures, will not consist with salvation, no not with a possibility of Salva­tion; which you might have learnt from the Archbishop of Cant. if you had Quoted him right; for in the 181. p. which you cite, not a word of any such thing. But in the 281. and 282. it is to the purpose, not yours but ours; and there you shall find thus much with much more; a secure way they cannot go, that hold with such Corruptions when they know them; now whether it be wisdom in such a point as Salvation is, to forsake a Church in the which the ground of Salvation is firm, to follow a Church in which it is but possible one may be saved, but very probably he may do worse, if he look not well to the Foundation, judge ye. So the Archbishop, so I, and so you have an answer to your 12. Question.

Whether it be a likely thing, Quest. 13 that the chiefest of the pretended Errors in the Roman Religion, contain any dan­ger of losing Salvation in maintaining them, seeing for this 1000 yeares by the common confession of Protestants themselves, they have been universally believed and Pra­ctised as matters belonging to Christian Faith and Duty, both by the Latine and Greek Church; and in the belief and Practise of them was the common way wherein Christians were saved, which if it were dangerous, what other safe way was there wherein Christians might be sa­ved? and yet certainly there was alwaies a safe way to Heaven. And what likelihood is there that the safe way should be wholly unknown, and unpractised for so many hundred yeares together, and the common known way according to the full belief, and setled perswasion of all the visible Churches of Christendom should be dangerous and unsafe? Or what reason can be given, that the Pro­fessors of the Doctrine of the Roman Church should be in an unsafe and dangerous way, before Protestants began, seeing they had none in those times, to shew them that they were in danger?

Yes, Answ. 13 likely enough, for the chiefest of the Errors (not pretended, but Errors) in the Roman Religion, contain danger of losing Salvation in maintaining them, else why did Bellarmine himself (the greatest and learned'st Cham­pion the Church of Rome ever had, Lib. 5. de Just. c. 7.) say in regard of the uncertainty of our own Righteousness, and of the danger of vaine-glory, it is safest to repose our whole trust in the mercy and goodnesse of God. And I think, and you believe, this is one Error, which contains Error of losing Salvation; for he that stands upon his own Merits totally or partially, is very like to come short of Salvation: Else King David would never have prayed, Enter not into judgement with thy Servant O Lord, for no flesh is righteous in thy sight: Else the Prophet Isaiah would never have said, our Righte­ousnesse is as a filthy cloath: Else Christ would never have Commanded us to confess, when we have done all we can, to say, we are unprofitable Servants.

Seeing for 1000. yeares, by the common consent of Protestants themselves, they have been universally belie­ved and Practised.

It is not long since you said for 900. yeares, now a thousand; but to let that pass, for it is but 100. yeares diffe­rence, and we can well afford it you, since it is said a­gain as before, prove any point that the Church of Eng­land holds was not the universall Doctrine of the Catho­lick Church for 900. yes, 1600. yeares, and then it shall be confest, you have said something, and therefore no dan­ger yet, but Christians were saved in and by the right way, but not in and by the Roman way, as the Roman way is now.

And yet more; you had some that did tell you, that the present Roman way was not, is not a safe way to Salvati­on; what else perswaded St. Bernard to deny praying to Saints? What else before him, put Gelasius to say, taking the Cup from the Laity cannot be done without grand Sacriledge? What else after both, put Gerson to give this sage advice, I see that the Reformation of the Church, will never be effected by a Council, without the [Page 19]Presidence of a well-affected, wise and constant guide? Let the members therefore provide for themselves throughout the Kingdoms and Provinces, when they shall be able, and know how to compass this work.

What else made Robert de Grosteste, write a sharpe Letter to the Pope, exhorting him to reforme some Mon­strous Enormities, which flew from Rome as a poysonous Fountain, and infected the whole Church? And this, and a great deal more does tell you, some in those times there were to shew you, you were in danger.

Whether it hath any shew of probability, Quest. 14 that the said pretended Errors, though they rase not the Foundation of Christian Faith, (as the late Protestants confess, Bishop of Cant. p. 283.) yet they may in time endanger the rasing and destruction of it, as they argue, seeing that after the universall belief of them for 1000. yeares together, the Foundation yet remains undestroyed and entire? For if 1000. years continuance of them hath stood with the in­tegrity of the Foundation, what appearance is there, that they will ever cause or induce the destruction of it?

No, indeed, there is not a shew of probability, Answ. 14 but there is a sound probability of it; and this the Archbishop, p. 285. tells you, such ill luck you have in quoting him, saying, that the Errors of the Roman Church are so many, and some so great (for which he cites Bellarmine; In prae­fat. operibus praefixa) as weaken the Foundation, that it is very hard to go that way to Heaven, especially to them that have had the Truth manifested to them.

And surely, the Foundation once weakned is in some probability of being rased and destroyed, even by the vertue of Gutta cavat Lapidem.

Further concerning this Protestant distinction of Er­rors in Faith, Fundamentall and not Fundamentall, Quest. 15 I de­mand first, what they understand by fundamentall Errors, for if they mean any nicety in speculation, or Theologi­call discourse, it belongs not to the knowledge of the un­learned, either therefore by a fundamentall Error, such an Error in Faith as destroys Salvation, howsoever that [Page 20]comes to pass, or they say nothing to the present purpose: This therefore supposed to be their meaning; I demand secondly a Catalogue and precise number of the funda­mentall Errors in Faith, that is, how many and which are those Errors in Faith which destroy Salvation? For what helps it a Christian to know that there are such destructive and damnable Errors, unless he knew whether he held any such Errors himself or no? And how can he ever be certain of that, so long as he is ignorant, which are funda­mentall Errors, which not? If this Catalogue be refused, I demand at least some evident means or mark, to di­stinguish Errors in Faith, destructive to Salvation or dam­nable, from others consistent with Salvation or veniall, which is neither to deny any of the Articles contained in the three Creeds, (as some Protestants have thought) for one of them puts the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, the denyall of which they neither do, nor can hold to be a fundamentall Error, unless they af­firm the Grecian Church to erre fundamentally, and so de­ny it to be a true Church of Christ; which were quite a­gainst the said Protestants, seeing they maintain the contra­ry: Nor is the Creed of the Apostles alone a sufficient Rule to determine fully, which are fundamentall, which not; both because there are some things in it, which (by reason of the lightness of the matter they containe) come not by far so near the radicall and primary mysteries of Christian Faith, as do many points controverted betwixt Protestants and those of the Roman Church, and there­fore cannot with any shew of Truth be termed funda­mentall by Protestants, such as are the circumstances of Time and Persons, as that our Saviour suffered under Pon­tius Pilate, and no other judge, that he rose the third, and no other day, &c. and because some points necessary to the subsistance of Christian Faith according to Pro­testants, are not expresly defined in that Creed, as, that the Holy Scriptures are the Divine word of God, which is the precise number of the Books of Canonicall Scriprure; whether there is any written word of God or no; or any [Page 21]Sacraments, &c. So that a Christian finds not all funda­mentall points of Faith, set down expresly in the Apostles Creed; neither is the Scripture a sufficient Rule to know which are, which are not fundamentall points, for there are a thousand, nay a million of Truths expressed in Scriptures, which touch not immediately the Foundation of Faith, as Protestants terme it, and no small number of points accor­ding to them fundamentall, which are not exprest in Scrip­ture; as the number of Canonicall Books, the entire in­corrupt purity of the Originall in any Copy or Copies, which is come to the hands of Protestants, &c. which in their principles are such points of Faith, that true Faith and consequently Salvation cannot be obtained without them: For if sole Scripture (as they affirm) be the Rule of Faith, and all that is in Scripture is to be believed, and nothing to be believed but what is in Scripture, or evi­dently deduced from it; seeing Faith is necessary to Salva­tion, the determinate belief of all that is true Scripture, from which onely (they say) the true points of Faith are drawn, must be necessary to Salvation, and so a fundamen­tall point of Faith.

Thirdly, I demand how any Christian can affirm, that the danger of any point of Faith whatsoever, being suffici­ently propounded as such, is consistent with Salvation, seeing all such denialls or disbeliefs, include this dam­nable malice of attributing falsity to that which is revealed by God himself, as all points of Faith are, how small so­ever the matter be which is revealed in them, which ap­peares evidently by this example.

I suppose that this sentence of Scripture, tertia die re­surget, he shall rise again the third day, is sufficiently propounded to any one, as a point and Article of Christi­an Faith, as well according to the substance, resurget, that our Saviour should rise again, (which Protestants grant to be a fundamentall point) as the circumstance of time tertia die, the third day. Now suppose that some Christian to whom this whole sentence of Scripture is sufficiently propounded, should firmly believe the substance of the [Page 22]Resurrection, because he esteems it to be a fundamentall point, but should disbelieve the precise circumstance of time, that it was onely upon the third, and no other day; I demand seeing both the one and the other is propoun­ded equally, as expresly contained in that sentence of Holy Scripture, whether he that disbelieves that the Re­surrection happened upon the third day and dies in that belief, can be saved?

To your distinction of fundamentall and not fundamen­tall, Answ. 15 it is as much yours as ours; and what the late Reve­rend and Learned Archbishop of Cant. answered the Jesuit, or A. L. in that point, the same I give you, and beseech you, as you will answer it to Almighty God, say, whether you do not believe the Jesuit or A. C. was not fully satisfied by the Bishop? If you will have more, thus, Points fundamentall, without believing which, an igno­rant man cannot be saved are set down in the Creed; points fundamentall which a learned man opposing, that is Maliciously, Schismatically, Heretically opposing are many more, even as many as the Scriptures propose, or the Church, the Catholick Church, either Representative in a lawfull Generall Council, or otherwise collected alto­gether, shall determine from the Scripture either Divine­ly or deductively.

For your Catalogue, and precise number of fundamen­tall Errors in Faith, as it came from a cunning brain, so I leave it where I found it.

To your more modest demand, which are destructive of, and which are consistent with Salvation? I answer, impug­ning any Article of Faith, stubbornly and maliciously, is destructive of Salvation, disbelieving what a Church-shall determine, though it consists not with, yet is not destru­ctive of Salvation.

To your Grecian Church erring fundamentally about the Procession of the Holy Ghost, I say no more then what some of your own have said, though they disagree in words, yet they agree in sence, and so erre not funda­mentally, thereby to make it no true Church of Christ, [Page 23]but onely circumstantially, and so remain a true Church of Christ; which if you do not remember, you may take it in this Distick.

Ex Patre & Gnato procedit Spiritus Almus
Quamvis dissideat nomine Graecafides.

An Erroneous Church they may be in this particular, yet a true Church they are, notwithstanding this particular, because they deny not the Consubstantiality of the Per­sons. For your lightness of matter, which the Creed con­taines, as it came in by a Parenthesis, so I wish you had left it out, for fear some whether yours, or ours, I fear both, think lightly in time of all.

The circumstances of Time and Persons, Pontius Pilate, and the Third day, are to be believed as well as the Sub­stance, Christ suffering and his Resurrection, that is, the circumstances being maliciously impugned, not simply dis­believed, will not consist with Salvation.

To your precise number of Canonicall Books of Scripture, though the Creed define them not, yet that doth not ar­gue the Creed not to b [...] in them, or they in the Creed; put both together, and you have a sufficient Rule to know which are, and which are not fundamentall points.

Though the Scriptures do not tell you which are, and which are not Canonicall, yet the Church hath, and for all that the Scripture is the Rule of Faith, not the Church, because the Church is but the Door and Threshold, the Scripture, the house and Foundation.

The incorrupt purity of the Originall, we enjoy in our Translations, because our Translations agree with the Ori­ginall; nor yet doth it follow, that the determinate be­lief of what is true Scripture is necessary to Salvation; that is to all men; to all men fundamentall points are necessary, to some onely all is necessary.

Nor is your Example so evident as you would have it appear; for you begin it with a suppositum, non supponen­dum, make it your own, not another mans case, and deny [Page 24]the Resurrection of Christ upon the Third day, or assign it to another if you dare, I dare not; nor dare I say you may be saved or shall be damned; if you do, such secrets belong not to me, and I wish you not to be too busie with them, lest you scorch your fingers.

I demand farther, Quest. 16 That seeing St. Paul Heb. 11.1. saies, that Faith is [...], the substance or ground (as the Protestants English Bible of Anno 1648. hath it) of things hoped for, and is reckoned up by the same Apostle Heb. 6.1, 2. amongst those which are called by him Basis, the Foundation, one of them being Faith to God, and the Apostle Eph. 2.20. saies, we are built [...], upon the foundation of the Prophets and the Apostles, which now according to the Protestants, can be nothing else save the Writings of the Prophets and Apostles in Holy Scrip­ture, I demand whether to say, that some points of Faith are not fundamental, or belonging to the foundation, be not as contrary to common sense, as to say, that some stone in the foundation of a building belongs not to the foundation, or is not fundamental.

Sir, Answ. 16 whether the Translation be Ground or Substance needs not trouble you, nor shall it me; since the Original will bear either, and Faith to God is one of them which are called Basis or foundation. And we are built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, may signifie the writings of the Prophets and Apostles in holy Scriptures: This, and all this will not bring in your demand, whether to say, that some points of Faith are not fundamental, or belonging to the foundation, be not as contrary to com­mon sense, as to say, that some stone in the foundation of a building belongs not to the foundation, or is not funda­mental? Or if it did, what harm hence to the Church of England, which saies not, any points of Faith are not fun­damental?

Further I demand, Quest. 17 That seeing St. Paul affirms in the forecited place Heb. 6.2. that Laying on of hands, amongst many other points, is the foundation, how Protestants can deny, that (seeing the Laying on of hands is disbelieved [Page 25]and rejected by them in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and by some in the Administration of Holy Orders, as a Popish Superstition) such Protestants differ fundamental­ly from those of the Roman Church? Or if the Laying on of hands belong to the foundation, as St. Paul here affir­med, why Annointing with Oyle, mentioned by St. James, should not also be a fundamental point? Or why Laying on of hands (being onely, as Protestants esteem it, a Cere­mony, not Sacramental) should be here termed the foun­dation and the substance of the Eucharist, which all hold to be Sacramental, and more than a meer Ceremony, should not be fundamental? Or lastly, what reason there is to say, that Laying on of hands hath a neerer connexion to the radical and prime mysteries of our Faith, then ma­ny other points controverted betwixt Protestants and those of the Roman Church?

Whether by Laying on of hands here is intended Confir­mation, which to be a Sacrament, properly so taken, Answ. 17 will be hard for you to prove, but not hard for me to grant, that it is Sacramentale quoddam, and yet not Sacramentum for want of visibile signum invisibilis gratiae, and yet hard again for you to make it a foundation, the use whereof is not disbelieved or rejected by us. No, the disuse of it is lamented, and let them answer it who have caused it. Yes, and Laying on of hands in the Administration of Holy Or­ders is used by all those who are ordained Episcopally; and yet no Sacrament for all that, though we confess it a foun­dation quoad Ecclesiastices, not quoad Ecclesiam.

Why Annointing with Oyle, mentioned by St. James, should not be a fundamental point, you might have told your self without demand from others, because the Epistle of St. James, and some other Books, were not received into the Canon of the Scripture, untill some time after the Foundation was laid.

Nor is Laying on of hands esteemed by Protestants a Ceremony not Sacramentall, nor is it by St. Paul termed the Foundation, and substance of the Eucharist.

We all, you and we hold the Eucharist to be a Sacra­ment, [Page 26]and not onely Sacramentall but Fundamentall, that is, Inadultis: Nor do I remember that I ever read, that Laying on of hands hath a nearer connexion to the radicall and prime Mysteries of our Faith, (unless onely in Eccle­siasticis) then many other points controverted betwixt Protestants, and those of the Roman Church.

It is yet further demanded, Quest. 18 seeing Protestants affirm, that the whole Catholick visible Church may erre in the definition of points of Faith, not fundamentall, and see­ing that they affirm, that the points in difference betwixt us are not fundamentall, and so not necessary to Salvati­on; and lastly seeing they affirm also, that the Scriptures may be obscure in points not necessary to Salvation; by what means can they ever think to convince the Roman Church of Error in these points of difference betwixt them and her?

Sir, Answ. 18 with your favour, Protestants do not affirm that the whole Catholick Church can erre in Doctrines absolutely fundamentall, and necessary to all mens Salvation; for so we should destroy an Article of our Creed. I believe the Holy Catholick Church, which consists of Triumphant souls, as well as Militant men; but that this or that vi­sible Church, or the whole visible Church and Catholick, as limitted to visible, may erre in the definition of points not fundamentall; yes, and fundamentall too Protestants do affirm, and the reason is, because the whole visible Church consists of men; and men when they are at best, are subject to Error.

Nor do Protestants affirm the points in difference be­twixt you and them, to be not fundamentall or unneces­sary to Salvation; for some of them, are so fundamentall, and necessary to Salvation to you, and such learned men as you are, that unless you leave them, you will hardly finde the way to Heaven; take one for all, and let the Merit of your own works be it, and see if your sharing with Christ in earning a part of your Salvation, will not lose you the whole; and so by this, the rest of this Question is an­swered, and the Roman Church convinced of Error in [Page 27]points of difference betwixt them and her.

Seeing also, that every point of Faith is a Divine Truth, Quest. 19 proceeding from the Revelation of God, and to be belie­ved (as I suppose for the present with the common con­sent of Protestants) with an infallible assent of Faith, if the universall visible Church may erre, and the Scripture may be obscure, as is generally affirmed by our Adversaries in points of Faith not fundamentall, how shall such points as are in Controversie betwixt us and are accounted by Protestants not fundamentall, or not necessary to Salva­tion, be discerned to be points of Faith, or how agreed this Modern Protestant Doctrine of no difference betwixt us, in points necessary to Salvation, which that of their beginners, and more antient Predecessors, who taught that the Scriptures were clear onely in all points necessary to Salvation, and upon that pretext both affirmed that our Doctrines against them, were clearly convinced of false­hood by the Authority of sole Scripture, and allowed all Lay-people promiscuously to read them, as being clear to them in all the points controverted betwixt us, for this manifestly supposes, that they were held by those begin­ners, to be points of Faith necessary to Salvation, or fun­damentals: Or what means is there to believe them as points of Faith, seeing they can never be believed infalli­bly upon the Churches Authority, by reason of her pre­tended fallibility in them, nor expresly for the Authority of Scripture, by reason of its obscurity in the delivery of them, according to the principles of Protestants?

That every point of Faith as divine Truth, Answ. 19 proceeding from the Revelation of God, (if you are not equivocall in that expression) is to be believed, is granted, but whe­ther (as you suppose with a common consent of Prote­stants) with an infallible assent of Faith, I cannot say; for if by infallible assent you mean a full assurance, or great confidence, I can tell you Protestants are not so bold, we confess assurance to be the effect of a strong Faith, we affirm it not to be the Essence of all Faith.

If the universall visible Church may erre, and the [Page 28]Scriptures may be obscure as is generally affirmed by out Adversaries in points of Faith not fundamentall, how shall such points as are in Controversie betwixt us, and are accounted by Protestants not fundamentall, or not necessary to Salvation, be discerned to be points of Faith? How the universall visible Church may erre, I told you in the former; and how the Scriptures may be obscure, and to whom, I tell you in this; Protestants do not generally affirm them obscure in points not fundamentall, though if they did, it were nothing to the purpose in points con­troverted betwixt us.

That Scriptures are the Rule of Faith, which is funda­mental, is by Protestants affirmed.

That the Scriptures are easie and plain to all sorts of men, learned and unlearned, which use the means, and are diligent in reading them, is likewise affirmed; when they are obscure to any, they are obscure to them onely who have not eyes enlightned to see into them; they who have humble and diligent souls will soon discern, which be, and which be not, points of Faith.

How our predecessor; and modern Protestants agree, need no further demonstration then what is already given; that the Scriptures are cleer onely in all points necessary to Salvation, is for you to prove.

Pretext we know none, your Doctrines against us are clearly convinced by Authority of Scripture, not alone but of expositors also.

Lay-people allowed by Protestants to read the Scriptures, and so they were by the Primitive Fathers; and so they would by you, if you would follow Primitive and Catho­lick example; we hold them clear in points of Faith ne­cessary to Salvation; which though not believed infalli­bly upon the Churches Authority, by reason of her (not pretended) fallibility, yet are believed expresly for and by the Authority of Scripture; without any obscurity in the delivery of them, not according to the principall of Pro­testants onely, but of the Primitive Fathers also.

I demand further, Quest. 20 if the whole visible Church may erre [Page 29]in the definition of any points whatsoever, that Error must either proceed from ignorance and want of light, or from malice and want of vertue and goodness; not the second, for then the whole visible Church of Christ should not be sancta, Holy, as it is believed to be in our Creed, and de­scribed in the Scriptures, but should become a Harlot, and abominable deceiver of the world, and a seducer of Na­tions, in teaching contrary to the known truth: not the first, for if she could erre out of ignorance, to what pur­pose do Protestants appear to her Determination in a law­ful and general Council, in any of the points of difference betwixt them and those of the Roman Church, seeing she may through ignorance erre in the determination of them, as being not fundamental according to them, neither can it be said, notwithstanding the whole visible Churches fal­libility in points not fundamental, nay, though it should actually erre, and that Error should be evidently discover­ed, yet even those, who had thus evidently discovered the said Errors, were to conforme themselves to those errone­ous definitions of a general Council; for if this confor­mity be understood of an internal conformity in Judg­ment, as it is wholly impossible, seeing that were to judge the same thing to be true and not true at the same time, and to judge against an evident knowledge: and if it be understood of an external conformity and profession onely, it were manifestly impious and high Hypocrisie in resisting the known Truth, revealed by Almighty God, which they evidently know to be a most false Error in Faith.

Secondly, if one were to subscribe and externally to conform himself to the definitions of lawful general Councils, which one perswades himself he evidently knows to be erroneous, till another be assembled to cor­rect them; why did not Protestants afford this external conformity to the definition of the general Councils of Florence, of Lateran, and to the second Council of Nice, (to omit others) till some other lawful general Council came to correct their pretended Errors, they having no [Page 30]other reason to reject the authority of the said Councils, then that they define many things against the Protestant Doctrine?

Thirdly, seeing it was never yet seen, nor can be ever made manifest, that any lawful general Council revoked any definition in matter of Faith of any former lawful ge­neral Council, what hope is there, that they should now begin to do what was never done before them?

Fourthly, if it were supposed that any such revocatory definition should issue from them, that party, whose Do­ctrine should be condemned by such revocations, would accuse the Council of Error, as much as the contrary party accused the former Council of error in defining against them, and so the controversie would remain as indetermi­ned as it was before; neither would it be possible to deter­mine it fully by a general Council, for the party con­demned would still expect another Council to revoke that definition, which seems to him evidently erroneous, and so there would be no end of new determinations and re­vocations in infinitum.

Yet farther, seeing lawfull Generall Councils do not onely oblige, even under pain of Anathema, or being ac­cursed and excommunicated, all Christians to believe and profess the Doctrine which they teach them, not onely to be true and free from Error, but to be divine Truth re­vealed by God himself, if they should erre in any such de­finition, they must make God the Father of Error and untruth, which quite destroys the veracity of God, and consequently overthrowes the main and primary founda­tion of Christian Faith, and therefore must necessarily be held to include a fundamentall Error: So impossible and implicatory a thing it is, for them to erre in matter of Faith, and not to erre fundamentally. For either that erring Council must define some positive Error, or that which God never revealed to be revealed from God, or that some true Revelation from God is an Error. Both which con [...]ine no lesse malice then this, To make God a Lyer.

How the whole visible Church may erre, Answ. 20 you have heard; now whether from Ignorance or Malice you would know; from malice I think not, because then it would not be Sancta, Holy, as you say most rightly; but why not from Ignorance? For they are but men, and men at best know not all things, they know but in part; and yet we appeale to the determination of her, in a law­full Generall Council, because what she knowes in part, and what you know in part, and what we know in part, may amount to more then half the whole; and therein we shall acquiesce untill we know perfectly.

So then, the malicious, erroneous definition of a Gene­rall Council, if lawfully called, being declined, we shall study conformity, both internall in judgement, and ex­ternall in profession, without sinning, either against evi­dent knowledge within, or by high Hypocrisie with­out.

And yet why we conformed not to the definitions of the Generall Councils, (as you call them) of Florence, of Lateran, and the second of Nice, you know, if you would express it as well as we; not so much for defining many things against our, as against the Catholick Doctrine.

Nor thirdly, is all hope taken away from doing what was never done, (as you say, but most untruly) because some Generall Councils have revoked what former Gene­rall Councils lawfully called have determined.

And fourthly, upon supposition, that any such revocatory definition should issue; that either you or our selves, ei­ther of our Doctrines being condemned, should still ex­pect another Council to revoke that definition? For cer­tainly the Catholick Christian will be so modest, as to stand to the definition of that spirituall power, which he acknowledgeth the highest upon Earth, though the Ca­tholick Roman would not unless the Bishop of Rome both called and commanded the Council, and so the In infini­tum, would be yours, not ours.

And farther let it be granted, that lawfull Generall Councils do oblige under pain of Anathema to believe [Page 32]and profess that Doctrine which they teach to be free from Error, and a divine Truth revealed by God himself, so it be not a new Revelation against the old; we would not believe they make God the Author of Error, or a Lyer, you may do it if you please, or dare.

Seeing St. Quest. 21 Paul Eph. 4.14. affirmes that our Saviour had appointed Pastors and Teachers till the day of judge­ment, as a means to preserve Christian people from being carryed about with every wind of Doctrine, cannot be un­derstood disjunctively: For then, if those Pastors preserved them, from being seduced in one onely point of Christian Doctrine, it would not be true, that they preserved them from being carryed about with every wind of Doctrine; but they must be understood Conjunctively, that is, that they preserve them from being carryed away with any wind of Doctrine whatsoever, which should chance to be buzzed into their Eares by false Teachers; now seeing such winds of erroneous Doctrine are raised as well in points which Protestants account not fundamentall, as in fundamentals, the meaning of the Apostle then must be, that by meanes of these Pastors, Christians be preserved from following any Error in Faith, whether it be fundamentall or not fun­damentall, and consequently that they can assuredly di­rect them to eschew all Errors in Faith, which they could not do, if they themselves were subject to teach them any Errors, or seduce them by any winde of Doctrine what­soever.

Seeing also, that St. Paul in the same place Eph. 4.10. tells us that the said Pastors, are to Consummate the Saints, and to build up the Mysticall body of Christ, I de­mand whether the Apostle by these words make not those Pastors able to secure Christian people from Error, not onely in the Foundation (as Protestants terme it) but in superstructures also, for otherwise they would have been instituted by our Saviour onely to found his Mysticall bo­dy the Church, but not to build it up, and to ground and initiate the Saints, but not to Consummate them?

Sir, Answ. 21 whether your exposition of St. Pauls Text, [Page 33] Eph. 4.14. be current or not, is a Question; if it be, why may not the words be undestood disjunctively, as well as conjunctively? Your own Predecessors the Romanists thought so, where they say upon these words, the use of spi­rituall Governors (not all Pastors and Teachers) is to keep us in the Unity and constancy of the Catholick Faith, that we be not carryed away with the blast and wind of every Heresie, (and there are Errors and windes of Doctrine besides Heresies,) which is a proper note of Sects, and new Doctrine which trouble the infirme weak­lings of this Church; as sometimes the Arrians, then the Manichees, then the Nestorians, then the Latherans and Calvinists and such like; so the Rhemists, they might have left the last out, as being yet uncondemned of He­resie; but you will have the words understood Conjun­ctively, That the people be preserved from being carryed away with any wind of Doctrine whatsoever, and if this be gran­ted you, what get you by it more then Turpe est Doctori; for I pray what Pastors or Teachers have carryed about silly people, with such windes and kindes of Doctrine as these?

That Christ descended onely in Limbum Patrum, a high­er part of Hell. That some sinners go into Purgatory, a side part of Hell. That half a Sacrament is enough, contrary to Christs Institution, and the Catholick Churches practise for 1000. years. That the intention of the Priest is of the essence of Baptism. That worship is due to Images. That there is a Transubstantiation; a conversion of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ corporally. I for­bear a new Creed made at the no general or lawful Council of Trent, and many more such winds of Doctrine where­with you have carried about some souls.

To your other Text Eph. 4.10. and your demand upon it, whether the Apostle by these words, To consumniate the Saints, and to build up the Mystical body of Christ, make not those Pastors able to secure Christian people from er­ror, not onely in the foundation, but in the superstructures also? Sure I think not; for the Apostle himself was ena­bled [Page 34]by God, and so are all Pastors that do their duty con­scientiously. The Apostle onely tels the succeeding Pastors their duty, and wo to them if they do it not, he enables them not to do it.

If it should be answered, Quest. 22 that these and such like pro­mises or institutions of Christ are onely conditional, that is, truly intended on his part, but yet may be frustrated by the malice of such as correspond not to his intention; and therefore though he intend that these Pastors should per­form the said Offices in the Church, yet that it involved this condition, if they were not wanting on their parts, but by their failing the institution of Christ is made fru­strate and of no effect.

I answer to this prophane and unchristian Objection, first, that if Christs promises and institutions be thus in­efficacious and conditional, that notwithstanding the pro­mises that Christ hath made for the preservation of his Church, yet by the malice of Christians, or others, the whole Christian Church may utterly fail and come to no­thing. Secondly, that it may erre even in fundamental points, (contrary to the Doctrine of Protestants) and so become a Synagogue of Satan. Thirdly, that the ancient Promises of the coming of the Messias, of the REdempti­on of Mankind, of the saving of some at the last Judge­ment, &c. have no absolute certainty in them, and so by the malice of men might have been, or may be frustra­ted.

Fourthly, that by this there is no certain credit to be given to any Promise or Institution of God or Christ, in the whole Old or New Testament, for a thousand diffe­rent conditions may be invented, which not being perfor­med or put, the prediction failes: Thus one may say (upon the like grounds) that as the promises of benefits and bles­sings may be hindred by the malice and demerits of wick­ed persons, so the threats & thundrings of punishments up­on sinners may be hindred by the vertues and good works of Saints; and because we have no rule to know what pro­portion of goodness or malice is sufficient to frustrate such [Page 35]predictions, we remain wholly uncertain, whether they shall be absolutely verified or no, unless therefore this principle be setled, that all divine Institutions and Predi­ctions are to be held absolute, and never to be frustrated, whensoever it is not evidently apparent, that they are con­ditional, and may be hindred, there can be no certainty that any Institution or prediction in the whole Scripture shall be absolutely fulfilled.

Seeing therefore it is not evident that this institution, Eph. 4. &c. and others of the same nature concerning the Church are conditionall, they are to be supposed to be absolute, and not to be frustrated by any malice of men whatsoever.

Fifthly, no Protestants who hold the whole visible Church cannot perish, nor all the Pastors prove wilfull Seducers, can apply this answer to the Text now cited, viz. Eph. 4. &c. for if it be hindered by the malice of the said Pastors, they must with joynt consent maliciously teach false Doctrine, to be the Doctrine of Christ, which were to teach fundamentall Errors, and to fall off from Christ. If this solution may pass for current, who can be certainly assured, that there is any true Church of Christ, visible or invisible existent now in the world? for all the promises concerning the continuance of it to the worlds end, may be as well said to be as well conditionall and frustrate by the malice of men, as this, Eph. 4, &c. and who knowes that the said malice is not already grown to that height, that it hath deserved, that God should take his true Church quite out of the world, and so that there is now no true Church existent in all the world?

Sir, in this long passage, Answ. 22 you have fought onely with your own wind; instead of a Question, you have sup­posed an Answer, and then given your own Answer to your own Questioning Answer, or Answering Question, both which being full enough of—I leave it as I find it, unless you will have a Syllogisme without a Syllo­gisme, Answer a Question without a Question, and then you shall have it thus.

That which was never Questioned or Answered, ought not now to be Questioned or Answered; but the frustra­ting of Gods predictions (conditionall or absolute,) by mans malice or merits was never Questioned or Answe­ted, therefore now ought not to be Questioned or Answe­red.

Such as these may well come out of a Jesuiticall Court, but never yet came from the Catholick Church: Sir, I must and do tell you, there is little less then Blasphemy in your supposition, and somewhat more then little less in your position; this is beyond, Nihil dictum quod non dictum fuit prius.

Whether it be not evident, Quest. 23 that unlearned Protestants, who cannot determine differences in Religion, either by force of Argument or places of Scripture, but must wholly depend in the choice of their Faith, upon Authority and Credit of Christian Teachers, are not obliged in Con­science to prefer that Authority and credibility of Doctors, which all circumstances considered is absolutely and un­questionably the greater Authority?

No, Answ. 23 it is not yet evident; for unlearned Protestants can determine differences in Religion, if not by force of Ar­gument, yet by places of Scripture; which they of Rome cannot do; and the reason is ready, they deny their Laity, we allow ours to read the Scripture, and therefore need not depend upon their Teachers, but upon the Teacher of us all; nor have you yet proved your Authority, unque­stionably the greater, but unquestionably the least of all Authorities, unless you take it, Sensu Romano non Catholico, what the next produces we shall see.

Whether that Authority of Doctors, Quest. 24 where those of one side are equall at least, if not exceeding them of the contrary party in Learning, Wisdome, Zeal, Sanctity, Vertue, Sincerity and all other Qualities and Perfections, which confer to the accomplishment of complete Au­thority, in Christian Teacher, and with this equality incomparably exceed the Doctors of the other party, in number, is not in all prudence to be judged [Page 37]absolutely, and unquestionably the greatest Authori­ty?

To pass your impertinences of Idem upon Idem, Answ. 24 and your over-weening opinion of exceeding the Protestants party in Learning, Wisdome, Zeal, Sincerity, Virtue, Sanctity; to which adde but the Scripture, and we will acknowledge a complete Authority, and submit to the exposition of that Authority in the sense of the four first Generall Councils, and the Fathers of the first 800. years, or a present lawfully called Generall Council; to which if you will do the like, we shall then praise God, for the fruition of what we yet pray for, the Peace and Unity of Christendom.

Whether this equality at least in all the said perfections, Quest. 25 is not to be found in the Roman Doctors compared with those of the Protestants?

Let the equality at least, Answ. 25 be granted in all the said per­fections, Quoad hominem, though the Comparison sa­vers not well, what you gaine by it, we may see anon.

Whether this forementioned equalizing the Protestant Doctors, those of the Roman Church, Quest. 26 the many yeares of their continuance, and universall extent of their Reli­gion, considered, exceed not incomparably in number those of the Protestants profession?

No; it doth not, Answ. 26 neither incomparably nor yet compa­rably, for the many years of continuance will exceed on our part, so that you divide the years equally from 800. to 800. and then judge your selves, which 800. years comes nearest to the primitive purity in matter of Religion, your 800. or our 800. Name but one general Council, or any number of Fathers for the first 800. exceeding our number, & actum est, the field is yours.

Whether this equality in perfections, Quest. 27 and incomparable excess in number considered, all unlearned Protestants are not obliged, both in Prudence and Conscience to pre­fer the Authority of the Roman Doctors, before that of Protestants, and consequently to follow the Roman and desert the Protestant Doctrine?

No, Answ. 27 not yet, for all this is but Id [...]m per idem still, onely you have now added Conscience to Prudence, adde but Scripture to your Roman Doctors, and that Scripture expounded by the first 800. years, either representatively or successively, or by a present lawfully called general Council, and we shall have conscience, yours and ours, ruled by prudence, and prudence following conscience, and by both Unity restored.

Whether upon the foresaid considerations the Authori­ty of the Protestant Doctors, Quest. 28 in all things wherein they contradict the Romans, is not contemptible, and unable to sway the judgement of any prudent Christian, to frame any moral esteem of it; for though in matters wherein they are seconded, or not contradicted by an Authority incomparably greater than their own, they may deservedly be esteemed for their Naturall Abilities, and Morall Qua­lities worthy of Credit, yet in all things wherein they stand in opposition and contradiction against an Authority incomparably exceeding theirs, they deserve nothing but to be sleighted and contemned, by all those who are to be led by the sole force of Authority: Thus when Pro­testant Doctors affirm, that either the Scriptures or Fathers are for them, and against the Roman Church; what they say in this is not to be regarded, seeing the Authority of the Roman Doctors, absolutely greater then theirs, un­animously affirm the quite contrary; thus when they affirm, that the Roman Church is full of Errors and Su­perstitions, crept in they know neither when, nor how, their accusation is to be sleighted, being clearly and constantly contradicted by a far greater Authority.

Thus when they say, that Protestants may be saved, li­ving and dying wilfully in their Religion, they deserve no Credit at all, for the quite contrary is most constantly defended by the incomparably stronger Authority of the Roman Doctors, & the like is to be affirmed in all points of difference betwixt the two Religions; so that a Protestant is not to consider the Abilities and Authority of his Do­ctors, absolutely or in matters out of Controversie, but as [Page 39]contradicting an Authority incomparably excelling theirs, in which contradiction they deserve neither Credit nor Esteem.

It was once, twice trice before but an equalizing, Answ. 28 but it is now once, twice, thrice, four times an incompa­rably greater Authority, and all this is, Gratis dictum: prove your Authority greater, and but greater without in­comparably then ours, and we yield; in the mean time, you shall give me leave to send you this Syllogisme for an­swer to your Question.

Protestants alleadging Scripture expounded by the Fa­thers for the first 800. yeares, are at least of an equall Au­thority with the Church, and Doctors of Rome, alleadging Scripture without the exposition of those Fathers; but Protestants so alleadge Scripture, and so the Roman Do­ctors alleadge Scripture.

Therefore the Protestants are of an equal Authority at least with the Roman Doctors. You will be forced to confesse more than my modesty challenges, in the mean time I suspect you for an incomparably cholerick proud man, contending more for Triumph than Truth, and till you have incomparably proved your Authority, seek not to Proselitize an unlearned Protestant, to captivate his Faith and Religion to Roman Doctors without Faith or Religion.

I demand farther, Quest. 29 That if the Authority of all the Do­ctors of the whole Body of Protestants be so inconsiderable in comparison with those of the Roman Doctors, how much less will be the Authority of any one Sect or Party of them, and then how minute and scarce perceptible will be the Authority of a Laud, a Hammond, a Chilling-worth, a Ferne, a Bramhall, a Taylor, &c. who now obtain so powerful an ascendant upon the hearts of our modern Lay protestants, seeing they are in a manner nothing in re­spect of the Authority of the Roman Doctors?

Authoritatively supoken of your Roman Doctors, Answ. 29 and mi­nutely spoken of Protestants; but, I pray, whom do you intend by Laud? so you stile him, I knew him Mr. William [Page 40]Land, Dr. William Laud, Lord Bishop William Laud, Lord Archbishop William Laud, and know not you his Conference with Fisher, Mr. Fisher, or Dr. Fisher, if he at­tained so high, be answered Sir.

I can tell you of a Gentleman yet living, who in Con­stantinople, at one bout, heard ten of your Doctors rejoyce much at the Archbishops death, because he was the great, if not the greatest enemy your Roman Church ever had, and this because he laboured for an Unity and Reconcilia­tion of Christendom: answer him when you please or can, and till then let him enjoy peace in his Grave, without your detracting him, as not living to give you his own an­swer.

By Chillingworth, so you, Mr. Chillingworth, so I, is dead too, I pray you when will you answer his Letter to Mr. Le­wiger a brother of your own, and which I have now sent you, till you do, let him be in peace too.

Good Master Lewiger,

THough I am resolved not to be much afflicted for the loss of that which is not in my power to keep, yet I cannot deny but the loss of a friend goes very near to my heart; and by this name of friend I did presume, till of late, I might have called you; because that perhaps for want of power and opportunity, I have done you no good office; yet I have been alwaies willing and ready to do you the best service I could: And therefore I can­not but admire at the affected strangenesse, which in your last letter to me, you seemed to take upon you; renoun­cing in a manner all relation to me, and tacitly excommu­nicating me from all interest in you: The superscription of your letter to me is, to Mr. W. C. and your subscription is, John L. as if you either disdained, or made conscience of styling me your friend, or your self mine: If this pro­ceed from reason, I pray shew it; If it proceed from pas­sion or weakness, I pray mend it: If you think me one of [Page 41]those, to whom St. John forbids you to say, God save you, then you are to think & prove me one of those deceivers, which denyed Jesus Christ to be come in the flesh: If you think me an Heretick, and therefore to be avoided, you must prove me [...], by my own judgement, which I know I cannot, and therefore you cannot: If you say, I do not hear the Church, and therefore am to be esteemed an Heathen or Publican, you are to prove then, that by the Church is meant the Church of Rome: And yet when you have done so, I hope Christians are not forbid­den to shew Humanity and Civility even to Pagans: For Gods sake Mr. L. free your self from this blind zeal at least for a little space; and consider with reason and mo­deration, what strange crime you can charge me with, that I should deserve this strange usage, especially from you.

Is it a crime with all my understanding to endeavour to find your Religion true, and to make my self a believer of it, and not to be able to do so? Is it a crime to employ all my reason upon the justification of the infallibility of the Roman Church, and to find it impossible to be justi­fied? I will call God to witness, who knowes my heart better then you do, that I have evened the scale of my judgement as much as possibly I could, and have not wil­lingly allowed any one graine of worldly motives on either side, but have weighed the reasons for your Religion, and against it, with such indifferencie, as if there were nothing in the world but God and my self: and is it my fault that the scale goes down, which hath the most weight in it? that the building falls which hath a false Foundati­on? Have you such power over your understanding, that you can believe what you please, though you see no rea­son? or that you can suspend your belief when you do see reason? If you have, I pray for our old friendship sake, teach me that trick; and until I have learnt it, I pray blame me not for going the ordinary way; I mean, for believing, or not believing, as I see reason: If you can convince me of wilfull opposition against the known truth, of negli­gence [Page 42]in seeking it, of unwillingness to find it, of prefer­ring temporall respect before it, or of any other fault that is in my power to amend: It is indeed a fault, if I amend it not, be as angry with me as you please: But to impute unto me unvoluntary Errors, or that I do not see what I would see, but cannot, or that I will not profess what I do not be­lieve, certainly this is a far more reasonable Error, then any you can justly charge me withall; for let me tell you, that imputing Socinianisme to me, (whosoever was the Author of it) was a wicked and groundless slander: Perhaps you will say (for this is the usuall song of your side) that Pride is a voluntary fault, and with this I am justly chargeable, for forsaking the Guide, which God hath appointed me to follow; but what if I forsook it, because I thought I had reason to fear it was one of those blind Guides, which whosoever blindly followes, is threatned by our Saviour that both he and his Guide shall fall into the Duch? Th [...] I hope you will grant, it was not Pride but Conscience that moved me so to do; for as it is a wise humiliation to obey those, whom God hath set over me; so it is a sinfull Cre­dulity, to follow every man or every Church, that with­out warrant will take upon them to be my Guides: Shew then some good and evident title which the Church of Rome hath to this office; produce but one reason for it, which upon triall will not finally be resolved and vanish into uncertainties, and if I yield not unto it, say, (if you please) I am as proud as Lucifer: In the meane time, give me leave to think it strange, and not far from a Prodigie, that the Doctrine of the Roman Church, being the Guide of Faith, if it be true Doctrine, should either not be known to the four Evangelists, or if it were known to them, be­ing wise and good men, they should either be so envious of the Churches happiness, or so forgetfull of the work they took in hand (which was to write the whole Gospell of Christ) [...]s not so much as one of them should mention so much as once this so necessary a part of the Gospell, with­out the belief whereof there is no Salvation, and with the belief whereof (unless men be snatcht away by suddain death) there is hardly any Damnation.

It is evident they do all of them with one consent speak very plainly of many things of no importance in compari­son hereof; and is it credible, or indeed possible, that with one Torrent, or rather conspiracy, they should be so deep­ly silent concerning this Unum necessarium?

You may believe it if you can, for my part I cannot, unless I see demonstration for it: For if you say, they send us to the Church, and consequently to [...]he Church of Rome, this is to suppose that which can never be proved, viz. That the Church of Rome is the onely Church, and with­out this supposition upon the division of the Church, I am as far to seek for a guide of my faith as ever; as for Exam­ple, In that great division of the Church, when the whole world wondred (saith St. Hierome) that it was become Arrian, when Liberius Bishop of Rome (as St. Athana­sius, St. Hierome, and St. Hillary testifie) subscribed their Heresie, and joyned in Communion with them: or in the division of the Greek and the Roman Church about the Procession of the Holy Ghost, when either side was the Church unto it self, and each part heretical or schismatical to the other; what direction could I then (an ignorant man) have found from that Text of Scripture, Unless he hear the Church let him be unto thee as an Heathen or a Publicane: or upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?

Again, give me leave to wonder, that neither St. Paul, writing to the Romans, should so much as intimate this their priviledge of Infallibility; but rather the contrary, put them in fear, in the 11. Chapter, because they as well as the Jews were in danger of falling away.

That St. Peter, your pretended Bishop of Rome, wri­ting two Catholick Epistles, mentioning his departure, should not once acquaint the Christians, whom he writes to, what guide they should follow after he was taken from them.

That the Writers of the New Testament should so fre­quently forewarn men of Hereticks, false Christs, false Prophets, and not once arme them against them, with [Page 44]letting them know this onely meanes of avoyding their danger.

That so great a part of the New Testament should be employed against Antichrist, and so little, indeed none at all, about the Vicar of Christ, and the Guide of the Faith­full.

That our Saviour should leave this onely means for the ending of Controversie, and speak so obscurely and ambi­guously, that now our Judge is the greatest controversie, and the greatest hindrance of ending them.

That there should be better evidence in the Scripture to entitle the King to this Office, who disclaims it, than the Pope who pretends it.

That St. Peter should never exercise over the Apostles any one Act of Jurisdiction, nor they ever give him any one title of Authority over them.

That if the Apostles did know that St. Peter was made head of them, when our Saviour said, Thou art Peter, they should still contend who should be the first; and that our Saviour should not tell them, that Peter was the man.

That St. Paul should say, He was in nothing inferior to the very chief Apostles.

That the Catechumeni in the primitive Church should never be taught this foundation of their faith.

That the Fathers, Tertullian, St. Jerome and Optatus, when they flew highest in commendation of the Roman Church, should attribute no more to her than to all o­ther Apostolical Churches.

That in the controversie about Easter, the Bishops and Churches of Asia should be so ill catechiz'd, as not to know this principle of Religion, The necessity of conformity with the Church of Rome.

That they should never be pressed with any such con­formity in all things, but onely with the particular Tra­dition of the Western Churches in that point.

That Fryverus, and many other Bishops (notwithstand­ing, Ad hanc Ecclesiam necesse est omnem convenire Eccle­siam,) should not yet think that a necessary, nor a suffici­ent [Page 45]ground of Excommunication, which the Church of Rome thought to be so.

That St. Cyprian and the Bishops of Africk, should be so ill instructed in their Faith, as not to know this Foun­dation of it.

That they likewise, were never urged with any such ne­cessity of Conformity with the Church of Rome, nor char­ged with Heresie or Error for denying it.

That when Liberius joyned in Communion with the Arrians, and subscribed their Heresie, the Arrians then should not be the Church and Guide of Faith.

That never any Hereticks for five Ages after Christ were pressed with this Argument of the Infallibility of the pre­sent Church of Rome, or charged with the deniall of it, as a detestable Heresie, for that Aeneas Silvius, should have cause to say, Ante tempora Concilii Nicaeni quis (que) sibi vivebat, & parvus respectus habebatur ad Ecclesiam Roma­nam.

That the Ecclesiasticall story of those times mention no Acts of Authority of the Church of Rome over other Churches, as if there should be a Monarchy and Kings for some Ages together, and should exercise no Acts of Ju­risdiction in it.

That to supply this defect, the Decretall Epistles should be so impudently forged, which in a manner speaks nothing but Reges & Monarchas, I mean, The Popes ma­king Lawes for, and exercising Authority over all other Churches.

That the Africane Churches in St. Austins time should be ignorant that the Pope was Head of the Church, and Judge of Appeales, jure divino; and that there was a Ne­cessity of Conformity with the Church of Rome in this, and all other points of Doctrine.

Nay, that the Popes themselves should be so ignorant of the true ground of this their Authority, as to pretend to it, not upon Scripture or universall Tradition, but upon an imaginary no-such Canon of the Council of Nice.

That Vincentius Lyrinensis, seeking for a Guide of his [Page 46] Faith, and a preservation from Heresie, should be igno­rant of this so ready a one, The infallibility of the Church of Rome.

All these things, and many more, are very strange to me, If the infallibility of the Roman Church be in deed, and was alwaies by Christians acknowledged the Foundation of our Faith.

And therefore I beseech you pardon me, if I choose to build mine upon one that is much firmer and safer, and lies open to none of those Objections, which is Scripture and universall Tradition; and if one that is of this Faith may have leave to do so, I will subscribe with hand and heart,

Your very loving and true friend, W. C.

By Bramhall, so you; my Lord Bishop Bramhall, so I: when will you answer him, or rather reply to his An­swer to Mounseir Millitere? he is alive, and while he lives you dare not (I suppose) do it, since he Commands as much Learning and Reason as any of you all, put you al­together.

By Hammond, Ferne, Tayler, so you, Doctor Ham­mond, Doctor Ferne, Doctor Tayler, so I, (nor should I have said less of any of your Roman Doctors, so far have I read my Ethicks) are all living and can answer for them­selves, with whom if you and yours hap to Cope, I am confident, you will fall in the Combate; if you Conquer I will be your Proselite, not for the strength of your Que­stions, or pinning my Faith upon their Learning, Religion, Zeal, Sincerity, Vertue, and Wisdom, (in all which they exceed) but for the strictness of my own Conscience, so that the Combate be decided before equitable, and equall Judges. Quest. 30

All this is demanded, supposing that the Roman Doctors were onely equall to those of Protestants in all the afore­named Qualities, conducing to the perfect Authority of a Master in Christianity.

But now I demand, whether those that have Authority of Teaching in the Roman Church generally speaking in so much as can be prudently deduced by experience from them, are not much excelling the Protestant Ministry in all the said Qualities?

What Councils have they worth the mentioning in comparison of the Generall Councils consenting with the present Roman Church, (even according to their own Confession) as the second of Nice, the Great Council of Lateran, the Councill of Constance, Florence and Trent, wherein such multitudes of Learned men, and holy Patri­archs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, Doctors, Pre­lates, both of the Eastern and Western Churches, unani­mously confirmed the Roman and condemned the Prote­stant Doctrine?

What proofes of Learning have the Protestant Mini­stry, comparable to those of the Roman Doctors, whereof many have written one, no small number two, others three, and foure, others six, eight, ten, twelve, and some twenty, and four and twenty great Tomes in folio, and those re­plenished in the generall repute of Christendom, even a­mongst Protestants also, with profound and high Learning?

Who amongst their Ministry have they, who have ob­tained the universall esteem of Sanctity, as hath our Gre­gory, Beda, Thomas, Bonaventure, Antonine, Dominick, and diverse others?

Where find they amongst theirs that zeal to pass into the heart of so many barbarous and Heathen Nations to plant the Cospel, even with the undergoing of unheard-of Tor­ments, and suffering most cruel Martyrdoms, as many of the Roman Clergy have done within these late years?

Let them name but any sole Minister, who hath suffer­ed Martyrdom for preaching Christian Faith to Pa­gans.

What means have the Protestant Ministery, with their Wives, Goods and Families, to apply themselves to study and devotion, comparable to our single Clergy and retired Religions?

Where is that unanimous consent in all Points of Faith (seeing they are perpetually jarring, not onely one with another, but the same Minister dissenting notoriously now from what they taught twenty years ago) amongst them, compared to the constancy and agreement of our Do­ctors?

What Miracles have any of their Ministery done, in confirmation either of their Doctrine against the Roman Church, or of the Christian Faith against Heathens, as (unless all human Faith be infringed) many of ours have done, both against them and Heathens?

I could instance in many more particulars, but these may suffice for these short demands, whence appears evident­ly, That whosoever professes to be led by the sole Autho­rity of Christian Doctors and Pastors, must either deserve the esteem, I say, not onely of an unchristian, but even of an imprudent man, if he adhere to so undeserving and con­temptible an Autho [...]ity, as is that of the Protestant Mini­stry in comparison of the Roman Doctors, who so incom­parably outstrip them, not onely in multitude, but in all the motives and perfections which give credit to the Authority of a Christian Teacher.

Again, Answ. 30 at your incomparable comparison, and with your addition of an undeserving and contemptible Authority in the Protestant Ministery, outstript in multitude, motives, and in all perfections: If this be your way to get credit to your cause, much good may it do you, but on an ordinary wise man I conceive it will not work. Had you continu­ed your supposition of Equality betwixt the Roman and Protestant Doctors, it would more become you, and might have proved a better way to overcome us; how much you excell us will presently be seen in your demands.

The first whereof is, What Councils have the Protestants worth the mentioning, in comparison with the general Councils consenting with the present Roman Church? and then you name five, the Second of Nice, the great Coun­cil of Lateran, the Council of Constance, Florence and Trent, now I must marke a juggle here; you name not [Page 49]what you name these Councils for, but in the general, the particulars must be guest at, and I shall guess at them.

The second of Nice I conceive you name for Images, or worshiping of God by Images, for untill this Council (which was not called untill the Year 787.) Images, or Worshiping of God by Images was never decreed, and what value this Council is of, I tell you truely from my Books.

There were more unlearned and evil-disposed men in it, than ever were in any before, or almost since: it was cal­led by Irene the Empress, an Heathen borne, converted Christian by Constantinus his Father, to whom she was married, and suffered her son Constantine to lofe his eyes, for withstanding the determinations of this Council, so much natural affection she had.

Called by her, and managed by one Tharisius a Lay­man, a Courtier, and Bishop of one years standing, and John Legate of the East Church, of whom it is said, he was a devout man, but of no great Learning, and the other two that ruled the rost in this Council were Theodosius and Constantinus, of all whom together it hath been said, There were never simpler men for gifts, nor worse-disposed men for attempts.

And now against this Council against us, we oppose four Councils for us against you, The second of Ephesus, the se­cond of Constantinople, that of Eliberis, and the fourth of Carthage.

The great Council of Lateran, I conceive it alledged for the matter of Transubstantiation, and here I note the An­tiquity of this Council; It was called in the Year 1215. so old is Transubstantiation, no older, and against this we op­pose all Councils and Fathers silence before, and before all, the institution of Christ himself, who sayes, The flosh profit­eth no thing, my words are spirit, and the Exposition of this Institution of all Writers until this Council.

The Council of Constance, I conceive it alledged for communion in one kind, against which I need not say more, than what Gelasius Bishop of Rome it self said, Sine grandi [Page 50]Sacrilegio fieri non potest, it was high Sacriledge to do it; unless you will give me leave to adde Christs own Pre­cept, Drink you all of this, all Laity as well as Clergy.

The Council of Florence, I conceive it alleadged for Pur­gatory, called Anno 1438. and if I am right in this Con­tecture, I need not say more then what A [...]phonsus à Castro l. 8. adv. Heres. verbo, Indulgentia, hath said, the mention of Purgatory in ancient writers is almost none at all; and if you will be pleased to name any one Father, save Origen, untill St. Gregory the Great his time, that is direct for Pur­gatory, I shall not much stand upon it, since I think it will not much hinder any mans Salvation, to believe it or dis­believe it: for my part I neither do, nor dare, nor will believe it.

The Council of Trent, called Anno 1563. I conceive it alleadged for all differences whatsoever betwixt the Ro­mans and Protestants; which Council, if you can prove was either lawfull, generall or free, which I yet positively deny in each, I shall sit down; and in this Council I tell you, were not many Holy Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Arch­bishops, Bishops, not one of the Eastern Church, and you know the reason of it too.

For proofes of Learning, if the Church of England be not comparable to you in number, she hath exceeded you in weight, and that this world knowes, and you have felt, and now you by your policy make the Churchmen of Eng­land smart for it.

For your universall esteem of Sanctity, with your Gre­gory, Beda, Thomas, Bonaventure, Antonine, Dominick, to avoide some stories of some of them, The Church of Eng­land can produce as great a Cloud of witnesses by the Verdict of all unbyassed men, in an Andrewes, a Buche­ridge, a Laud, a Montague, a Hall, a Prideaux, and di­verse others before them, a Jewell, a Whitgift, a Cranmer, a Latimer, a Ridley.

Speak not too much of your zelous passing into barba­rous Nations, to convert them, lest the Indean be brought out of Love with Heaven, if the Roman go thi­ther.

And for our Ministry with their Wives, (Goods and Fa­milies, we have little left, thanks to you, or some as bad as you) they can apply themselves to Study, and Devotion, as well and with less sin, then your single Clergy, and re­tired Religions.

Boast not too much of your unanimous consent, untill your Dominicans, and Franciscans be at peace, about the imma­culate Conception of the blessed Virgin, untill your Jesuites, and Dominicans be at peace about the Aids, and Operati­ons of Grace, untill Bannes and Lessius be at peace in the sad point of absolute Reprobation; untill your Doctors of Sorbon and Lovaine be at peace about the Popes Supre­macy; untill Venice and Rome be all at peace about the Popes power; untill the French and Spanish Papists be at peace about an equality of Subjection to the Pope; untill [...] [...]regory the first, and Gregory the seventh be by some [...] your selves reconciled about the Title of Ʋniversalis Episcopus; untill all of you be reconciled about the Popes infallibility; untill all and every one of you tell the world, whether Translation of the Bible by Sextus the first, or Clement the eight be the best; cum multis aliis quae nunc perscribere longum est.

For miracles to confirm our Doctrine against yours, we need none, untill you by a new miracle turne Rome as it is, into Rome as it was; and then we all meet in an in­comparable Authority of one Catholick Church.

Whether hence be not evidently discovered not onely the insufferable Pride of Luther, Quest. 31 and the other Originall beginners, of any Sect in Protestancy in preferring their sole Authority before that of the Prelates and Doctors, of all the visible Churches in Christendom existent, when they begun first to preach their Doctrine, but the extreme madness of all the ignorant Laity, who followed them, upon their sole Authority, and preferred one single per­son upon his bare word, (without any extraordinary signes or manifest proofes from Heaven, attesting his Authority) before all the Doctors, Prelates, Councils, Chur­ches, within the precincts of Christendom; both of that [Page 52]present time, and for 900. years before? And if those were infected with so deep a frensie, how can any man be adjudged deservedly discreet and prudent, who approves of their proceedings in this particular, and sides with them, (at least in some Article of other) in the opposition of the whole Christian world, as all Protestants do, even to this day?

Rarely spoken, Answ. 31 and a fair way to catch birds, The in­sufferable Pride of Luther; if he were guilty of it, let him answer for it, and all other Originall beginners of any Sect in Protestancy; Sir, it is very well known who said, This Sect is every where spoken against, yet for all that, that ve­ry Sect over-spread it self, and conquered the whole world, and this very Sect of Protestancy, hath put a fair beginning to the Conquest of the Roman Doctrine; which though now like that Sect under the ten Persecutio [...] [...] somewhat eclipsed, hath yet so much light left, as to discerne between all the visible Churches in Christendom, all Doctors, Prelates, Councils, Churches, within the pre­cincts of Christendom, and the present Roman, and claim none for our beginners but Christ and his Apostles, the four Generall Councils and the Primitive Fathers, and the Church of Rome it self as it was, when it was Catholick; and therefore think they are to be judged deservedly dis­creet and prudent, who approve our present Doctrines, with the whole Christian world, and desert the present Ro­man.

Hence I farther demand, Quest. 32 That seeing on one side the true Christian Religion, having the divine Wisdom for its Authority, cannot admit of any thing imprudent as pro­perly belonging to it, in the choyce of it; and on the other side, That the Protestant Religion, or any Sect whatsoever sprung from it, or existent in it, cannot be prudently cho­sen by any unlearned person, who is sufficiently informed of the nullity of that Authority, which propounds it, com­pared with the Authority, propounding the Roman Reli­gion; whether, I say, those particulars considered, the Pro­testant Religion in any Sect of it whatsoever can be estee­med the true Christian Religion?

Sir, Answ. 32 I have not yet known the Protestant Religion divi­ded into any Sects; we all believe the same Creeds, we all hold the same foundation and Articles of Faith, we all hold the Scriptures the onely judge of controversies, which be­cause you deny and decline, we think that man imprudent who deserts the Protestant to turn Roman, and him prudent that deserts the Roman to turn Protestant; since there is but a possibility of salvation for an unlearned man in the Roman, because it depends upon human Authority; in the Protestant there is a certainty of salvation for unlearned and learned, because it depends upon divine Authority, and therefore a true christian Church and Religion.

Hence I press further, Quest. 32 Whether the proving that Pro­testant Religion cannot be prudently chosen or retained by any unlearned persons, who are sufficiently informed of the eminent Authority propounding the Roman Religion, is not a sufficient Argument to them, that no Sect amongst them, in any point wherein it differs from the Roman, hath either any solid ground in the Holy Scriptu [...]es, or true relation to Gods Holy Spirit, or coherence with true Religion, seeing a Religion which cannot by them be pru­dently chosen, cannot possibly proceed from any of these three, whatsoever fair shew Protestants (each respectively to his several Sect) make vainly of them?

Sir, all these are but words, Answ. 33 and you do still supponere not supponenda: For that Religion may be prudently cho­sen, whose rule of Faith is certain; but such is the rule of Faith in the Protestant Religion (as being ultimated and determined in and by the Scripture) therefore the Prote­stant Religion may be prudently chosen. Again, that Reli­gion cannot be prudently chosen, whose Authority, pro­posing it, is not sufficient; but such is the Authority, pro­pounding the present Roman Religion (as being human whether Pope or Council) therefore the Roman present Religion cannot prudently be chosen.

Again, that Religion may prudently be chosen, which hath true relation to Gods Holy Spirit, but the Protestant Religion hath such relation, therefore the Protestant Re­ligion [Page 54]may prudently be chosen; for there is a true relation betwixt Gods Holy Spirit and Gods Holy Word, because Gods Holy Spirit is the Author of Gods Holy Word.

I need not speak of the third, because coherence with true reason follows either of the former.

And upon this I demand yet further, Quest. 34 Whether the Roman Doctors have any obligation to urge any other Ar­gument then this, either from Scripture, Fathers or reason, against Protestants, till they have cleared their Religion from the impeachment of imprudence, committed by their followers in the election of it, or persisting in it, as is afore declared?

Sir, Answ. 34 your afore Declaration hath proved little, and your present proves less, though I confess your Roman Doctors have no farther obligation to urge any other Argu­ment then Scripture, Fathers, or Reason, against Prote­stants.

Urge either of them to purpose, and we shall be so far from clearing our Religion from the impeachment of im­prudence, that we will confess, it is the onely prudence in the choyce of Religion, to embrace the Roman.

Till then, I say,

That Religion which hath not hitherto been convinced from Scriptures, Fathers or Reason, ought by the rule of prudence to be embraced; but such is the Protestant Reli­gion, therefore by the rule of prudence, the Protestant Re­ligion ought to be embraced; or if you will have it, per con­traria, take it thus:

It is a part of imprudence to embrace that Religion, which hath been convinced from Scriptures, Fathers, and Reason; but such is the Roman Religion, therefore it is the part of imprudence to embrace the Roman Religion.

Now Sir, to avoid reply, give me leave to tell you, Baptizing as Christ hath Commanded, Praying as Christ hath taught, Believing the Scriptures, Serving and Wor­shipping God without Images, Receiving the Sacrament as Christ Instituted it, have not been convinced by Scrip­tures, Fathers or Reason.

Equalling Tradition to Scripture, Worshiping of Ima­ges, or God by Images, Praying to Saints, Receiving the Sacrament in one kind, believing the Popes infallibili­ty, &c. have been convinced by Scriptures, Fathers and Reason.

On the contrary side, I demand, Quest. 35 whether the Roman Doctors have any obligation in rigour of dispute, to use any other Argument for perswading unlearned persons to desert the Protestant, and embrace the Roman Religion, then this imprudence, in adhering to the Protestant, and of prudence, in uniting themselves to the Roman Church, so long as the said unlearned Protestants per­swade themselves, that they proceed prudently, in pre­ferring their own before the Roman; seeing this erroneous perswasion is the first step which must be redressed in relinquishing the one, and the contrary perswasion the first step which must be fixed in approaching to the other.

Now when unlearned Protestants once confesse that they are convinced in this, and thereupon recede from Protestancy, but object, that the prudentiall Motives to prefer the Roman Religion before the Protestant, as they conceive that the Protestant is wholly improbable, and so to be deserted, so they convince no more, then that the Roman is probable, and so it is great Likelyhood to be the true Religion, but convince not, that it is so much as morally certaine. To Protestants brought thus farre, there is an obligation put upon the Roman Doctors, to prove at least the morall certainty of it, to such as ac­knowledge that it is morally certaine, that the Roman Re-Religion is the sole true saving Religion, but deny not­withstanding that it thereby followes, that it is infallibly certain, rises an Obligation to prove, that it is Infalli­bly certain; and when one is once convinced of this also, but yet doubts, whether this Infallibility be Divine, and so the highest of all Infallibilities, there will be also an Obligation to shew to such as are brought on so far, [Page 56] the most high divine infallibility of the Roman Religion; hence therefore I demand, whether our late Protestants and Socinians proceed not preposterously and unreasona­bly, in pressing Roman Doctors to demonstrate the Divine Infallibility of the truth of the Roman Religion, before they themselves grant, that it is infallible in any degree, or mo­rally certain, or probable, or prudential? for though it be necessary to prove all these particulars in their due cir­cumstances, yet there is no necessity to prove them all at once to every Adversary, but by degrees, the one in order after the other, with correspondence to what of them is denyed, or called in question by those with whom we treat; for thus we proceed orderly and logically, à notiori­bus ad ignotiora, and hold a correspondence with Na­ture, by proceeding ab imperfectioribus ad perfectiora, still observing the step or progress of our Adversary, and still stepping and going along with him; and if this method had been strictly held by our late controver­tists, the Adversaries mouths had been stopped long before this.

Sir, Answ. 35 what would you be at? whither would you go? You have yet gained no imprudence upon the unlearned, either to embrace the Roman, or desert the Protestant Re­ligion, and therefore some obligation lies upon your Ro­man Doctors, without rigor of Dispute, to use some other Argument than this:

But this is an erroneous perswasion in the unlearned Pro­testants; and as the first step must be removed, for relin­quishing their own and embracing your Religion; and then you will use another Argument to convince, that the Prote­stant Religion is wholly improbable, and then you will con­vince, that the Protestant Religion is not so much as morally cortain, but your own is; and then you will prove, that it is the sole true saving Religion, and then that it is infallibly cer­tain, and last of all, that your Roman Religion is the most divine, infallible, certain Religion; and all this to follow Logick and Nature from things known to things unknown, [Page 57]from things imperfect to things perfect: But first of all the poor unlearned Protestant must deny his own Religion to be either prudential, or probable, or morally certain, or infal­libly certain or divine.

Nunc lupum auribus teneo; just so the Wolfe would have dealt with the Lambe, to part with his Protector, and then the innocent Lambe should know that he had no better friend then the Wolfe; I will deal more Lambe­like with you; prove either, or all of these, either Pro, or Con, for the Roman, or against the Protestant, and you will be taken for an excellent Logician, and a good Naturalist, but till then for a poor Divine, since your whole course and discourse hitherto hath been but Petitio principii, and not able to stop your Adversaries mouthes, though you speak aloud, till then I say but this much,

That Religion is most prudently to be chosen which hath probable, Morall, Infallible Divine certainty in it.

But such is the Protestant Religion, because it is Pro­bably, Morally, Infallibly, and Divinely certain by the Authority of Fathers, of the Councils, and of the Scrip­tures.

Therefore the Protestant Religion is most prudently to be chosen, because the Fathers, Councils, and Scrip­tures assert all their Affirmative Tenents.

Seeing these demands are proposed to such as believe, Quest. 36 that without true Christian Faith no man can be saved, and that this saving Faith is one onely, and that this onely Faith is Infallible, and Divine; and moreover see­ing it is already shewed, that every difference in any point of Faith whatsoever, makes a different Faith and Religion, and that amongst all the different Religions and Beliefs now on foot in these parts of Christendom, there is none that can be prudently embraced (by such as are in the number of the unlearned, and yet are suffici­ently informed about the force of the Authority of [Page 58]those who teach them) save the Roman, and that no Religion can be true which cannot be prudently em­braced by such unlearned persons, seeing in a manner the whole multitude of Christians consists of those who are unlearned; and must according to prudence follow the Authority of their Teachers; those things I say, considered, it is finally demanded, whether by proving that the Roman Faith onely can be prudently embra­ced (which is already done) it is not made inevita­bly cleare, that the Roman onely is that Divine, In­fallible, one true Faith, wherein Christians may be sa­ved?

Sir, Answ. 36 those things have been considered, and yet you have not proved, that the Roman Faith onely can be prudently embraced, though you say, it is already done, (for it is already undone) and therefore it is not inevi­tably cleare, that the Roman onely is that Divine, In­fallible one true Faith wherein Christians may be saved. For,

That Faith onely is not Divine, 1 which is built upon Tradition, because Tradition is but Humane, but the Roman Faith is built upon Tradition.

Therefore the Roman Faith onely is not that Divine Faith wherein Christians can be saved.

That Faith onely is not infallible, 2 which is grounded upon the Authority of men, whether Pope or Council, be­cause the Authority of men, whether Pope or Council, is fallible.

But such is the Roman Faith, because Virtually re­solved into the Pope, who cannot erre, say some of the Romanists, and Representatively into a Councill, which cannot erre, say other of the Romanists, but both one and the other erroneously.

Therefore the Roman Faith onely is not that infallible faith wherein Christians may be saved.

That Faith onely is not the One, 3 which hath o­ther Articles added to it, then what the Apostles [Page 59]faith, the Nicene faith, the Athanasian faith containe.

But such is the Roman faith, because the faith of Rome, in the Council of Trent, hath added the Articles of Purgatory, of the Priests intention in Baptism, &c.

Therefore the Roman faith onely is not the one faith wherein Christians may be saved.

That faith is not the true faith, 4 wherein the professors dare not as well dye as live; but such is the Roman faith, because in their Life they rely upon, and preach their owne merits, but at their death rely onely upon the mercies of God in the merits of Jesus Christ; in which divine, infallible, one true faith, that you and all Christians with my self may meet, is the hearty desire of,

Sir,
Your Friend and Servant, T. SWADLIN.
FINIS.

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