A LETTER TO THE Misrepresenter of Papists. BEING A Vindication of that part of the Protestant Preface to the Wholesome Advices from the Bles­sed Virgin, &c. which concerns the Protestants Charity to Papists, and a Layman's writing it.

IN Answer to what is Objected against it in the 4th Chap­ter of the Second Part of the Papist Misrepresented, &c.

By the same LAYMAN who translated the Wholesome Advices, &c. and made the Preface to them.


Guil. Needham.
Jan. 14. 1686.

London, Printed by J. D. for J. Robinson at the Golden Lion, and Thomas Newborough at the Star in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1687.

A LETTER to the Misrepresenter of PAPISTS.


I Find that the Translation of the Wholsom Advices from the Blessed Virgin, &c. which may have help'd to settle the Minds of others, has something discompos'd yours. For tho you are not, I dare say, pleas'd with the Prote­stant Preface to it, yet however you dissemble your pain. Wise-men say that you bite that Preface for grief of the Tran­slation. I cannot but admire the Art of you Gentlemen of the Church of Rome, in running down Books with bold Con­tempt, which you know not otherwise how to deal with. This Translation and Preface, for some Reasons, is an Eye­sore to you; and chiefly for helping to spoil the new Fashion of maintaining Popery by Representing it. Something there­fore must be done with it; and so a little part of the Preface, which did not belong neither to the main design of the Book, must be singled out and be made an Example. As for all the rest, 'tis sufficiently answer'd by saying, Must I set up for Reader of Anatomy upon all the Pamphlets that come into the World? I am highly obliged to you for the Kindness; but I think the Sca­venger has much the better Office, who his nothing but Dirt and Sinks to deal with, much less offensive, than to be always raking into filthy Calumnies, fulsome Incongruities, and noysom Impertinencies. Which kind of Language one would hardly use, but out of a great desire to be unanswerable one way or other. After this touch upon the whole, you come to touch at some particulars which seem to fall within your Province of Representing; or ra­ther to touch at something, which you were the better provi­ded to touch, because you had in the very same manner touch it before in your fourth Vindication of the First Part. The particular is, That Papists allow no less a possibility of Salvation to Protestants than Protestants do to Papists. Now [Page 4]altho this is all that I am concern'd to oppose; yet I shall of­fer a few words to your Preparatory Discourse, in which you pretend to shew what good reason you have to pronounce a­gainst the Possibility of Salvation amongst us; or rather in the new fashion'd Phrase, that we as Protestants are guilty of Sins inconsistent with Salvation, inasmuch as we are separated from your Communion. The short of what you say is, That after most serious considerations and the weighing of all reasons, the Papist believes the Roman Church in which he is, to be that one only holy Catholick Church, and therefore he does not questi­on, but what is truly affirm'd of the Church of the Apostles and suc­ceeding Ages, and those that fell from it, is most true of the same Church now in being, of which he is a Member, and of all those who separate from it, upon what pretext soever. Now it had been much more to the purpose to have produced those seri­ous Considerations, than to have spent so much time as you did, to prove what none of us make the least question of, viz. That Christ Establish'd a Catholick Church; that he commit­ted the Care of it to the Apostles; that they were inspir'd with the knowledg of Truth; that they left Pastors to go­vern and feed the Flock after their decease; and that the Promise of Salvation is made to Believers, exclusively to Un­believers. This I say is all very true, but not to your pur­pose, unless you had prov'd also, what you do but insinu­ate, That we have separated our selves from the Doctrine and Government of the Church of Christ. Which words I wonder that you were not afraid to use, when they lay so fair to be turn'd upon your selves. For we are no less sure, that ma­ny of your Doctrines are no parts of the Doctrine of that Church; and that Rome's being the Mother and Mistress of all Churches, was not the Government of that Church over which the Apostles were, &c. Overseers for their time, than we are that such a Church was established in the World. And therefore if they who separate themselves from the Doctrine and Government of the Church of Christ, as it was first esta­blish'd, cannot hope for Salvation: Pray look to your selves as to that Point, instead of contending that you are the only, Catholick Church, out of which there is no hope of Salva­tion.

As to what you would insinuate, that there must be in the Church a Succession of Pastors to the Worlds end, who should no more err in teaching, than the Apostles themselves did, and that your Church has that Succession. I must tell you as to the first, that it is by no means prov'd from John 14. v. 16. since what is there promis'd to the Apostles, is not promis'd to the Church of all Ages, so as it was to the Apo­stles. The Spirit of God abode with the Apostles for ever, that is, so long as they liv'd, to guide them into the know­ledg of Truth, and by them to guide the Church in all after-Ages. There are many things in this Discourse of our Sa­viour to his Apostles, which cannot be apply'd to any Age of the Church after theirs. And therefore what is, and what is not limited to them, must be argued out from the Nature of the things themselves which are said. And lastly, tho you will not have this Promise limited to the Persons of the Apostles, but annext to their Function, as in some sense I grant it may be; yet you ought to have taken notice, that the Promise is however limited by a Condition, even in the words foregoing and following the Promise; If ye love me, keep my Commandments, and there the Condition is once ex­prest. For it follows, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth. And now mark once again what follows, Whom the World cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him. Where, if by the World, be meant worldly and wicked Men, as I believe you will grant; you see here is no absolute promise of such a Guidance to a Succession of Pastors, as shall make it at any time of the Church Heresy to contradict whatsoever they teach, or Schism to withdraw from their Obedience. As to the last; If you had prov'd such a Succession of Infallible Tea­chers as you speak of; yet I tell you once more, that the hardest part of your Task would be still behind; which is to prove, That you have had all along, and still have that Succession; which I desire you to do in your next, if you can, if it be but for the Instruction of a Layman that desires to be led into all Truth, necessary, or even profitable for his Sal­vation. And because I would not have you lose your la­bour, I will open my greatest Difficulty against this belief. [Page 6]I am sure you cannot go about this Work without taking Scripture in to furnish out your Argument. Now I desire you to bring me such Scriptures, which shall at least make it as evident, that your Church was always to have a Successi­on of Infallible Teachers, as it is to me from divers other Scriptures evident, that your Pastors have most certainly contradicted the Doctrine of the Scriptures. And when you have done this, you shall hear farther from me. In the mean time, your loose Affirmations concerning the Catholick Church have been so often answered, that you need not wonder that a Layman of our Church can tell what to say to them.

But to come to that wherein I am particularly concern'd. You are disturb'd at my saying, That the Worship, Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome are so extreamly dange­rous, that nothing but Invincible Ignorance, of which God only can judg, can give us any reasonable hopes of their Salvation who live and die in that Communion. Now surely the uncharita­bleness of this does not lie in supposing that Invincible Igno­rance will be pleadable in this Case, for 'tis a Plea which will go a great way amongst those of the Roman Communion: which, I say, with the more confidence, because in the Ro­mish Countries where I have been, the People seem to me to have the fairest claim to the benefit of Ignorance, that can be well imagin'd amongst Christians.

Now since at last you are brought in this Pamphlet of yours to agree with Protestants, that Ignorance will save Men, and that we yield the greatest part of the People have an indisputable right to it; are not the Protestants cha­ritable to a high degree? If this will not please you, I do not know what will. Surely, Sir, you do not expect that Protestants should believe and say, that you, with all your Er­rors about you, are in as safe a way to Salvation, as they themselves who have renounced them? If this could be, what, I pray ye, made our Fore-fathers suffer themselves to be separated from your Communion? or makes us that we cannot join with you? Certainly this was, and is still nothing but want of sound Faith, purity of Doctrines and Worship. And I know nothing else can, or ever was pretended to justi­fy our Separation. And this alone one would think might be [Page 7]sufficient to vindicate my Assertion from being uncharitable. But perhaps I may do it more by and by.

But you'l tell me that nevertheless Protestants are as uncha­ritable as Papists, and come not an Ace behind them. Indeed I should be very sorry this were true. And tho it is, I know, an untoward Question to Papists, yet I must ask, How do you prove this, Sir? Why thus. Protestants only allow Salvation to Papists upon Invincible Ignorance, and Papists do the same to Protestants. I must confess that in this Paper of yours, you grant Salvation to Protestants who live piously, and repent sin­cerely of all offences, and through invincible Ignorance remain in that Communion. Now whatever Truth there is in the Say­ing it self, yet from you we look upon this Concession as a piece of New Popery. The Old Popery was, Protestancy unre­pented of Damns. Neither Invincible Ignorance, nor Piety, nor any Repentance that included not a leaving the Protestants Communion, and joining with the Romish, could Save. But here we take notice, that of this, as well as of all the other unreasonable pieces of Old Popery, you begin at last to be a­sham'd, or at least to think it for the Interest of your design on foot, to deny them, or disguise and soften them, that so they may go the better down with those People who are not so well read in your Controversies, and suspect no Snake in the Grass. But to go on with my Point. Did not the Au­thor of Charity Mistaken and Charity Maintain'd (which pro­duc'd that incomparable Book of Mr. Charity main­tain'd. P. 1. c. 7. Sect. 6. and in divers other pla­ces of that, and Charity Mista­ken. Chillingworth) stifly and boldly assert, That all Roman Catholicks, not one excepted, — Do with unanimous consent believe and profess that Prote­stancy unrepented destroys Salvation? Did not the Jesuite, in his Relation of Bp. Laud's Conference▪ swear upon his Soul, That there was but one saving Faith, and that is the Roman? And now in our Days, has not a Lucilla and Elizabeth. Late Paper endeavour'd to make us as great Schismaticks as the Donatists? And according to you, can Schismaticks, dying such, go to Heaven? And does not that Author force St. Austin to tell us in plain terms, That whosoever is separated from the Catholick Church (by which, against all Modesty and Truth, you always mean your own particular Church) how laudably soever he thinks himself to live, for this only Crime, that he is disjoin'd from the Unity of Christ (that is to say, in your Language, the Pope) he shall [Page 8]not have Life, but the Wrath of God abideth on him. Pray, Sir, be so kind, if not to me, yet to your self, to reconcile these Sayings with what you say, viz. That there is no Papists but what will grant such Protestants hopes of Salvation, who living pi­ously, and repenting sincerely of all Offences, and through invincible Ignorance remain in that Communion. Where's the Truth and Honesty now of your Assertion, That there is No Papist, &c.? When I have already produced three, and perhaps if I pleas'd, could name three hundred. What do you call this amongst you? We call it contradicting one another. Well, how­ever pray observe here's two sorts of Popery. But which must a Man rely on for Orthodox? The Old, or the New Popery. I must confess I am inclin'd to believe the New to be best, but certainly the Old Popery is the true standing Do­ctrine of the Church of Rome. But suppose we stood in need of the New, what should we be the better for't, unless the Concession were stampt with the Fishers Seal? for you that deal it out to the World, are but a private obscure Man, and your Church is no more bound to stand to what you say, than mine is to what I say, unless it be Truth. This that you grant, at best, is but a sign, that you have a better opinion of the Protestant Religion than the Generality of your Wri­ters. But to let this pass. I will now prove this Truth be­yond any possible Reply, viz. That Papists deny Salvation to Protestants remaining such, and that Protestants grant a Possibi­lity of it to Papists remaining such: And therefore by Conse­quence, the first must needs be on the uncharitable, and the last on the charitable side. And this I shall do by shewing, that our Charity is so great to the Papists, and their want of it so apparent to us, that they have abus'd it into an Argument against us. And this is so notoriously true, that the Papists are not asham'd to boast of it in their Writings and Conver­sation; thinking thereby to draw weak Persons, that cannot consider where the Ch [...]at of the Argument lies to be of their Church: And with this deceitful Argument, which they have fram'd from our [...] of [...]rity to them, and their want of it to us, I have heard [...] make a great noise, and tell of the mi [...]hty Feats it [...]. But certainly it was amongst such [...] had thrown away all their Reason and Sense; or else if [...] been no other thing to recommend the Church of [Page 9] England, they would have thought that to be the best and sa­fest Church, which eminently has the very Beauty and Form of Christian Religion, viz. Charity, which the Church of Eng­land so constantly and largely maintains and practises. But the Argument is this,—You Protestants confess Salvation May be had in the Romish Church, but we Papists utterly deny it to yours; therefore by the Confession of both sides, those that are in our Church are safe; but there is great question concerning Protestants, re­maining such, for none but themselves say they can be saved. What think you now, Sir, of the Protestants Charity, and the Papists want of it? Is here any provision made for poor Prote­stants by Invincible Ignorance? If this does not prove that Pre­testants have some Charity for Papists, and they none at all for us Protestants, I do not know what can. And that you could be ignorant of these things, and this Argument so commonly us'd by your Men, when they would deceive the well mean­ing People of our Church, you must excuse me if I cannot be­lieve it. With what Face then, Sir, could you tell the gaping multitude, as you think fit to call the poor honest People, That Papists do not advance the Damnation of Protestants one Ace farther against them, than the Protestants against Papists; and that the Doctrine of Protestants in this affair is the same in refe­rence to each other; and the Protestants are as uncharitable Dam­ers of the Papists as they are made to be of the Protestants? And now the matter being brought to this issue; Pray, Sir, tell me who are the uncharitable Damners, thunderers of Hell and Damnation! who imposes upon the People? who are the injurious Slanderers? And who is it that render the Papists black and odions for their uncharitableness, but the Papists themselves? Cer­tainly, Sir, if your Eye-sight had not been horribly indispos'd with the malignant Influence of Rome, you would have seen, that the unchristian Damners are the Papists only. For shame learn, tho late, to maintain your Cause by Truth and Charity, or let it perish.

But I foresee that you may take it a little ill, that our Cha­rity extends not to the Learned and Judicious, in the number of which I dare say you reckon your self. Now for these Persons we are to consider, whether they know or believe such and such things to be false, which yet for Worldly Ends they maintain for Truths; or after an honest diligent search, [Page 10]cannot by any means discover them to be Errors, hindred by prepossession, Education, &c. For these last Persons I cannot see why Invincible Ignorance will not comprehend them as well as the ordinary and unlearned People: For I cannot tell what Invincible Ignorance is, unless it be this, That after all our best endeavours according to our utmost ability and means, we yet cannot discern which is Error, and which is Truth. But now for the first sort, who maintain known Errors for Truths, a­gainst their Conscience, only for Secular Advantages (in the number of which I pray God you be not) what would you have us believe or say of them? God Almighty Himself has made no Provision, that we know of, for bold, wilful and impenitent Sinners. We judg no Man that hath a Master to stand and fall to. Charity hopeth all things. And I must tell you my Mind freely, for I have vow'd to follow Truth and Charity wherever they lead me: That I think it had been bet­ter, and more like Christians, if no Member of either Church had medled with the Events of things, and leapt into God's Judgment-Seat, and pronounc'd final Sentence upon Souls. That certainly being a Secret and Prerogative peculiar to God, who only is the Searcher of Mens Hearts, knows all things, and has an absolute Dominion over his Creatures, and can do all that his Justice, his Goodness, and his Mercy Wills. Had the Pastors of each Church done no more, but barely and plainly taught the Truths of God, or what they sincerely believ'd to be so, and left the Judgment of Persons to him, that always judgeth right; they had doubtless done their Duty. But 'tis evident the Men of your Church first us'd it to work upon Mens Passions, and what they could not persuade their Un­derstandings to for want of Truth and Reason, they were re­solv'd to do it by frighting of them. For 'tis too apparent, that more are sway'd by Fear than Love; more are drawn by their Affections and Passions, than by their Reason; and some of our Church-men to countermine your Policy, found it ex­pedient to imitate you, as far as Truth and Christian Charity would permit them. And this may suffice also to apologize for my using it in my Preface.

It now remains, Sir, that I speak to another thing which seem'd to disturb you; which is, Whether I am a Lay-man, or a Clergy-man. For I find you wavering about it; and there­fore [Page 11]I'll endeavour to fix you, tho in a doubtful case; Why should not Charity have inclin'd you that brag of so much, to believe me when I profess my self a Lay-man? Well, but I speak so like a Clergy-man, so almost in the very Words and Phra­ses of a Doctor of my Church, and another Doctor mention'd in your Last Reply, that you cannot but take what I say for Church-Sence, dropping through a Lay-Pen. Sir, I must needs thank you for the Honour you do me, in taking me to speak like such great Men; but I have not Vanity enough to believe that I do. Yet thus much I'll confess, that I desire to live no longer than I can, if not speak, yet love and admire the Church-of-England Sence. But is it impossible for a Lay-man to speak like a Clergy-man? Does Holy Orders make such a difference? Or do you imagine I have never read any of our Churches Writers? Why may not then my Mind be tinctured by them? And so what I speak or write, bear some resemblance to them? Is there not many a Son like his Father? And how do you know but I am the Son of a Clergy-man? and so by Blood de­rive something of their way of Writing. But to make an end; I fancy, Sir, that you, or whoever was the Author of the First Part of the Papist Misrepresented, &c. and some o­thers of your Church, have found to your grief and shame, that either of these Doctors you speak of, could if they had pleas'd to have undertaken so mean a work, have writ ano­ther sort of a Preface, than I have done, to the disadvantage of the French Popery now imitated in England. Let the mean­ness of the performance prevail over you, to believe that neither of them made it. But indeed you are Injurious to them, to fancy they would be guilty of such indirect dealing. No, No, Sir, the Divines of the Church of England have a better Cause, they need use no Arts, or Tricks, no feign'd Miracles, no bold Untruths, no malicious Whispers and Slanders to support and defend it, nor put Shams upon the World. This practice is none of theirs; and if you please that may be added, as a mark to prove ours a true Church: And indeed I could easily persuade my self to believe, that your own practice, & that of your Party was in your Thoughts, when this Fancy entred into your Brain. But in a Word, and to put you out of pain about these two Doctors (for I cannot blame you for dreading them) I do assure you that [Page 12]neither of them made that Preface; and once more, that I who now write this Letter to you am a Lay-man, and writ that Preface, such as 'tis. And if I could but be infallibly certain, that the old Popery was alter'd in the point of Malice, Re­venge, and seeking occasion against those who never so little oppose or hinder the designs of Rome, I would give you en­tire satisfaction in this Particular, and not only tell you my Name, but where I live. But because I cannot get out of my Thoughts some late Actions, and that hard usage of the brave Author of Wholsome Advices, &c. I fear lest Old Popery may be practis'd upon me too; and therefore think it but common Prudence to conceal my self: For, to tell you true, I am not yet weary of that little Happiness I enjoy.

But, Sir, you make your Misrepresenter tell the World, that I am dabling out of my Element; by which one would think, that after all, you believ'd I am a Layman. Well, but how out of my Element? May not a Layman tell Truth, and do good to his Neighbour's Soul? Is God's Spirit, is all Knowledg limited to Holy Orders? Because there are some Functions appropriated to Clergy-men, such as Administring the Sacraments, &c. does it therefore follow, that a Layman may neither write nor discourse of any Matters of Religion? Pray, Sir, does that Command, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self, oblige Laymen as well as Clergymen? If it does, and since I may edify my self, why, I beseech you, not ano­ther? And can a Man express his Charity to his Neighbour in a higher manner than in Spiritual Things? But the Argu­ments are infinite which might be us'd in this Case. And therefore I shall only ask you whether Tertullian and Origen, and many other of the Ancient Fathers, writ not about Re­ligion when they were Laymen? Nay, more; did not Pope Adrian and Pope Nicholas, admit Laymen into Councils? And, pray, what was Picus Mirandula, but an Earl, and meer Layman? and Sir Thomas More Lord Chancellor of England? But above all, what was that Prince who wrote against Lu­ther, for which the Pope thought fit to bestow the Title of Defender of the Faith upon him? But indeed why should it seem strange, that you and your Church should find fault with Laymen's medling in Controversies of Religion, especi­ally against you, when you dare totally barr Laymens read­ing [Page 13]the Holy Scriptures, for which they have a Command from God, Search the Scriptures; and perswade them to put out their Eyes, and throw away their Reason, which God and Nature has given them to be their Guide through this de­ceitful World. And yet I dare say, that if a Layman would undertake so knotty a piece of Work, as to write in Defence of your Church, that you would not tell him that he was d [...]ling out of his Element, tho he were no better than a pro­fligate Poet.

I pass over your unhandsom Language, and 'tis below me to return it. But I cannot but stand amaz'd, to find a Mem­ber of the Church of Rome, and a maintainer of the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, make his Misrepresenter say, That the Protestant Teachers know the People they have to deal with—that their discerning Faculties are stupified—that they'l pass over fifty Contradictions, without once stumbling; and that there's no fear of enquiring, How can this be? No, Sir, the Teachers of the Church of England are not guilty of this Tyranny. We are Members of a Church that invites all her Children to the highest attainment of Knowledg, and teaches them that a reasonable Service is the most acceptable to God; and imposes nothing upon them, that either destroys or contradicts their Reason and Senses; that not only allows her Children to read the Holy Scriptures, but beseeches them to do it, provided they do it with a modest dependence on their lawful Teach­ers, for the sense of some Texts; which may not be so clear to Persons who are unacquainted with the Proprieties of the Languages in which the Holy Scriptures were writ, and the Customs and Manners of the People and Countries where they were pen'd. In a word, the Church of England allows a private Liberty of examining all things she propounds, and does not expect that Men should follow her blindfold. She requires indeed Obedience in those few Points which are ab­solutely necessary to Salvation, because they are so plain, that it is impossible for an honest and sound Mind to question them: But for things of an indifferent Nature, she only de­sires that for the sake of Peace and Ʋnity, Order and Decen­cy, that her Children would not dispute about them. In line, she is very sure, that they and they only, are her true Children, her most sincere Members, who are the most obe­dient [Page 14]to Scripture, and most ready to yield to the Evidence of them, and Reason and Sense.

And thus, Sir, I have endeavour'd to restore Peace to your Mind, by shewing that Protestants are not at all uncharitable, but that Papists are; and that I am a Layman, and yet may meddle in Divinity, and not be dabling out of my Element. And now I hope you'l be no longer in a fright of those two Do­ctors you hinted; for, assure your self, that unless there be occasion to defend a poor Layman of their Church, as far as the Truth and the Religion of it are concern'd (for you may possibly hear from me upon some other Point) these two Doctors are better employ'd, than to trouble themselves with you.

But if against this plain Proof, that the Papists are the only uncharitable Persons, you will yet rub your Fore­head, and make Protestants as bad, What Remedy? Truth will be Truth still. And however it fares with us, we have over and above this Satisfaction; and you know the Testi­mony of an Enemy proves much, that to give us our due, you say, we are the most gentile and courtly Damners that can possibly be met with. Now for the Reward of this frank Acknowledgment, I wish with all my Soul, Protestants could say so much of Papists. But the continual sound of Pesti­lent Hereticks, Damn'd Schismaticks, and such rude and un­christian Names every where heard, will not possibly per­mit them.

To conclude all; I shall only desire you, for prevention of more trouble than needs be, (and I have known a great Controversy to arise from a Matter less liable to Mistake) to take notice, that the very Point in Difference, is not, Whether the Religion of Protestants or Papists is the Truest or Safest? For he that believes the second Commandment was given by God, and that it is not lawful to worship any Being but only God, who gave being to all Things, need not be to seek in that: Neither is it, whether the Protestants or Papists are the most uncharitable? But, in Truth, the pre­sent Question is, Whether the Papists are not the only un­charitable Persons? And I think I have fully prov'd that that they are so, even from the Papists themselves.

Sir, I heartily wish you and your Party would, before it be too late, shew so much Charity to your selves and others, to leave off deceiving the poor Souls, and disturbing the Peace of Mankind, tho by succeeding in your Enterprize, you might arrive to the highest Temporal Felicities, and by desisting, suffer the greatest of Humane Miseries.

And I am,
Your very humble Servant.

A POSTSCRIPT by the Author of the Answer to the last Reply of the Representer.

HAving leave to fill up this place, I use it to rectify an Error in the 119th Page of the last Answer to the Re­presenter; where an &c. to Cochleus was omitted without correction, and so he is brought in for the Reporter of those Famous Fictions about Luther's Death; whereas his part in it is the least, the rest being reported by others, particularly by Pontacus, Lindan, and our Countryman W. Reinolds. Coch­leus himself, with the Epistle concerning Luther's latter-end, published by him fol. 298 of his History, tells the manner of his Death otherwise. But Thyraeus a Jesuit was the Man whom I had in my mind, for contradicting those with whom he agreed in the general Design of Defamation. For he says, That day when Luther died, those possessed persons in a Town of Brabant (where there were very many) who expected deliverance by the Patronage of St. Dymna (of which for many years many had experience) were delivered from the Devils, and a little af­ter were again possessed. For the Case was this; that the cruel Spirits again tormenting those miserable persons, being asked where they had bestowed themselves the day before? answered, That by the Command of their Chief they were called forth to the Fune­ral of the New Prophet, and their faithful Fellow-worker, Luther, and had been present at it. Which matter was confirmed by a Servant of Luther, who was with him while he was dying mise­rably; [Page 16]For as he was looking out of the Casement for fresh Air, he was greatly affrighted to see more than once I know not how many black ugly Spirits skipping and dancing not far off. And this also was confirmed by the Crows, which with a fearful noise ac­companied the Body of Luther as it was carried to Wittemberg. Which wise Tale (De Demoniacis par. 1. n. 99.) is also abet­ted by Flor. Rainundus de orig. Haeres. l. 3. p. 40. but does by no means agree with what Reinolds reports in his Calvino-Turcismus, lib. 4. p. 957, that Luther, after a merry Supper, was in the Night suddenly strangled by his Wife. This Business, as they have severally reported it, is a very no­table Instance how early they began the Trade of Misre­presenting matters of Fact. But more of this when there is more occasion.

I shall only add, that the Authority I have for saying that they spread such like lewd Stories of Luther's Death before he was dead, is indeed the Authority of Protestant Writers, and chiefly of Phil. Lonicerus in his Theatrum Historicum, nor could it be expected that we should have any other.


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