THE False-Prophets try'd by their Fruits: BEING A SERMON PREACHED At St. JAMES's Westminster, November vth. 1699.

In which it is shewn, That the Principles, and Practices, of the CHURCH of ROME, with relation to Those whom they call HERETICKS; are not only Destru­ctive of Civil Society, but are utterly Irrecon­cileable with the Gospel of Christ.

By WILLIAM WAKE, D. D. and Rector of St. JAMES Westminster.

Publish'd at the Request of the Gentlemen of the VESTRY, and several Others, who Heard it.

LONDON: Printed for Richard Sare, at Gray's-Inn-Gate in Holborn. M D C C.

MAT. vii. 15, 16.

Beware of False Prophets, which come to you in Sheeps-Cloathing, but Inwardly They are Ravening Wolves: Ye shall know them by their Fruits.

THESE Words are a Caution given by our Blessed Saviour to his Disciples, to have a Care what Persons They admit­ted to be their Guides, and Instructors, in things pertaining to Religion. That They should not blindly follow Every One who should pretend to lead Them, but should first diligently prove, and Examine them: And know whether They were indeed the true Ministers of Christ; Or whether they were not rather False-Prophets, whose design was not to instruct, but to deceive; Beware of False-Prophets, which come to you in Sheeps-Cloathing, but inwardly they are Rave­ning Wolves: Ye shall know them by their Fruits.

In my Discourse upon which Words, I shall

I. Endeavour to Give you a clear account of the true Meaning of our Saviour in Them. And having done this, I will pro­ceed,

[Page 4]II. To shew you what Vse We ought to make of them.

(1st.) In General; with Relation to all such as shall at any time pretend to Preach the Gospel of Christ to us.

(2dly.) In particular; As they may be more immediately applied to the Subject, and Solemnity, of this day.

And, I. Let us Enquire, what is the true Meaning of that Caution, which our Sa­viour here Gave to his Disciples: Beware of False-Prophets.

In order whereunto, I shall distinctly con­sider these two Things:

1st. Who They were whom our Saviour in­tended to Represent to them, under the Name, and Character, of False Prophets?

2dly. What those Fruits are, by which He directed them to discover, and to avoid Them.

1st. As for the former of these, The Per­sons whom our Saviour here design'd to Re­present to his Disciples, under the Name, and Character of False Prophets; They may be reduced to these two kinds: Either, 1st, Such as shou [...]d pretend to set up themselves as Men com­missioned by God, in an Extraordinary-Manner to Reveal hi [...] Will to Mankind, tho' indeed They were never Sent by Him: Or, 2dly, Such as [Page 5] should pretend only to teach, and expound the Common Doctrine of Christ; but yet under the colour of that, should deliver their own Imagi­nations; and so Preach Themselves, 2 Cor. iv 5. and not the Lord Jesus.

Of the Former of these, Our Saviour spake to his Disciples Mat. xxiv. 11, 24. When He told Them, That False Christs, and False-Prophets should arise, and should deceive many: Mark xiii. 22. And there­fore warn'd Them not to be Deluded by them.

Of the latter kind are all Those who in the several Ages of the Church, have Preached in the Name, and pretended to deliver only that Pure Doctrine of Christ, which was deliver'd by Him to his Apostles; and by them Communi­cated to the Church; but yet have mingled their Own Errours together with it: And by means thereof have brought in Damnable Here­sies 2 Pet. ii. 1. Scandalous to Christianity, and dangerous to the Souls of all Those who have unhappily suffer'd Themselves to be mis-led by Them.Act. xx. 29.30. 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3.

Now that Those of this latter kind, no less than those of the foregoing, are truly compre­hended under the Name, and Character, of False-Prophets, the language of the New Testament will not suffer Us to doubt. Where to Prophesy, do's commonly denote to Preach the Gospel of Christ: And to be a Prophet, Mat. vii. 22. x. 41. xx.ii. 34. Luk xi. 50. signifies no less to [Page 6] be a Teacher of the Doctrine already Revealed, Rom. xii. 6. 1 Cor. xiii. 2. xiv. 22. &c. than to be a Publisher of such Things as were before unknown; and, for the Confirmation of which, He who did so, was therefore to be, in an Extraordinary manner, both Commissioned, and Inspired by God.

The truth is, tho' the former of these Signi­fications of the Word Prophet, was the more Common under the Old Testament; when such kind of Persons were wont to be frequently sent by God to Mankind; yet this latter seems to be the more proper, and standing import of it, under the New. And the additional Character which is here Given to those of whom our Sa­viour spake, that they should come in Sheeps-Cloathing, that is to say, under the Habit, and Appearance of Disciples; in the Name of Christ, and as Pastors of his Flock; plainly shews that They were not to be the Publishers of any new Doctrine; but to pretend, at least, to Teach that Old-Religion,Heb xiii. 20. 1 Pet. v. 4. which our Blessed Lord, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, once for all, deli­ver'd to the Saints. Jude 3.

So that however then I would not exclude the other signification of the Word Prophet from having been, in part, intended by our Saviour, in the Caution before us; And according to which, it is certainly our duty to Beware of False-Prophets; that is to say, of such as shall Go [Page 7] about to Preach a new Religion, totally different from that of the Gospel; (which was, in Effect,Act. xxi. 28. Joseph. An­tiqu. lib. xx. c. 2. De Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. 30, 38. Orig. Contr. Cels. l. 2. Epiph. adv. Haeres. lib. i. Tom. 2. &c. the Case of some of the most Early Hereticks, in the first Ages after Christ; and of that Great Impostor Mahomet afterwards:) Yet I can­not but look upon the more General Design of our Blessed Lord to have been, to Caution us against those, of whom we have commonly more need to Beware; I mean, The Ordinary Prea­chers of the Gospel. And concerning whom it is without Controversy our Duty, and should be our Care too, to take heed that We do not suffer our selves to be mis-led by Them: Whilst instead of delivering to Us the pure Doctrine of Christ, they teach only their own Inventions; and, by so doing, both corrupt our Faith, and (without Gods Infinite mercy,) Expose Us to E­verlasting Ruine and Destruction.

And this may suffice to shew, who the False-Prophets are, of whom our Lord in the Text, Requires us to Beware. Let us consider,

2dly. By what Marks we may Discover, and so be enabled to Avoid them.

Now the Rule laid down by our Saviour in order hereunto, and again Repeated by him, ver. 20. is this; Ye shall know them by their Fruits. And those may be of two kinds: Either, 1st. The Doctrine which they Preach, and would Im­pose on those to whom they deliver it, for the [Page 8] True Doctrine of Christ; Whether with Re­spect to Faith, or Manners; to what we are to Believe, or what we are to Do, in obedience to his Gospel. Or, 2dly, By their Fruits, we may Understand, the Efficacy of their Doctrine on the Minds, and Consciences, of those who are Guided by Them; and the natural Ten­dency which it has, either to promote that Piety which our Saviour came into the World to teach; or to lead men into any Wickedness contrary thereunto.

These are the Fruits by which we may judge what the Prophet is who comes to us; Whether He be indeed a True-Prophet, and as such to be received by us; Or whether He be only a Woolf in Sheeps-cloathing, and of whom we are therefore to Be­ware. And from all which we may now lay down these Three Rules, as containing the summ of our Saviour's Advice to Us, with relation to this Matter.

First: That whosoever, in Matters of Faith, shall Preach any Doctrine contrary to,Gal. i. 8. or other­wise different from, that Doctrine which was taught by Christ to his Apostles, and by them deliver'd to the Church; (and the Substance of which is fully, and clearly contained, in the Wri­tings of the New Testament;) is a False Prophet; and to be Avoided by Us as such.

[Page 9] Secondly: That Whosoever,Eph. v. 6. Coloss. ii. 18. 1 Tim. iv. 1, &c. 2 Tim. iii. 5. &c. in respect of Man­ners, shall preach any Doctrines which are In­consistent with the Piety of the Gospel; Or o­therwise apt to corrupt the Morality of it; He do's also thereby shew himself to be a Deceiver, and an Impostor; and it is our Duty to Beware of Him as such.

Thirdly; If such a Prophet shall deliver this False-Doctrine, (whether in the business of Faith, or Manners) not of his Own Motion, but as Commission'd by some Church, or Society of Men, calling themselves a Church, so to do; Then that Church, or Society of Men, which do's Com­mission him, must be look'd upon to be a Cor­rupt, and Erroneus Church; and be no less avoyd­ed by Us than He who is so Sent, or Commissio­n'd by it.

And thus have I endeavour'd to give you a clear Account, of the direction of our Blessed Saviour in the Words before Us: I Go on now to the Use I proposed.

II. To make of this Caution; (1st.) In Ge­neral; as it respects All Those who shall, at any time, Pretend to be our Guides in Matters of Religion: And, (2dly.) In parti­cular; As it may be, in a more especial manner, Applied to the Solemnity of this Day.

[Page 10](1st.) Of the General Use we are to make of this Caution; As it respects All Those who shall, at any time, pretend to be our Guides in Mat­ters of Religion.

And here, 1st. If it be Our duty to Beware of False-Prophets; and if the way of Discovering of them be, To Know Them by their Fruits; that is, as I have now shewn, by the Doctrine which They Teach, and the Practises which They allow of; then it must follow, That it is not only lawful for Us, but our Duty, in Obedience to this Command, to Examine the Doctrine which our Spiritual Guides propose to Us; And to Compare it with that of Christ, and his Apo­stles: And either to receive them as true, and lawfull Pastors, if what they Teach be Agree­able thereunto; Or else to reject them as False-Prophets, if it shall appear to be Otherwise. And indeed, However some, the better to maintain their usurped Authority over the Consciences of Men, have set up another Method; and told Us, that the Prophet is to Give Credit and Au­thority to the Doctrine, not the Doctrine to the Prophet; And, in consequence thereof, have for­bidden Men to Examine what is deliver'd by Them, and made them Believe that it is sufficient that They have it from such hands as can nei­ther mistake Themselves, nor Mis-lead Others: Yet not only our Reason directs us to a contrary [Page 11] Procedure, but the Holy Scriptures themselves every where exhort Us to Examine what is pro­posed to Us; And not take any thing, at all Ad­ventures, in a matter of such Vast concern, as it must needs be to Us, to be Guided a-right in those things which regard the Glory of God, and the Salvation of our Immortal Souls.

Hence it is that we are commanded, some­times Not to Believe every Spirit, but to Try the Spirits whether they are of God; Because ma­ny False-Prophets are gone out into the World, Jo. iv. 1. At other times, to Search the Scriptures, Jo. v. 39. And of Our selves to judge the things that are right, Luke xii. 57. And as for what concerns the Authority of any man, or Compa­ny of Men, to the contrary; are told by St. Paul, Gal. 1.9. That tho' They (the Apostles of Christ) Or an Angel from Heaven should preach any other Gospel unto Vs, than that which We have received, They should be Accursed. And if an Angel from Heaven, or an Apostle should he rise from the dead, and preach to Us, must not be received any farther than what He delivers shall appear to be agreeable to the Gospel of Christ; much less ought We not either without all Examinati­on to Receive, or against the plain Authority of Holy Scripture to submit to, the Pretensions of Designing Men; Who the more they set up their Own Infallibility, and decline the Tryal of [Page 12] God's Word, the more ought they to be su­spected by Us; and the more narrowly to be enquired into, that We be not deceived by them.

But, 2dly. Since our Saviour deliver'd the Caution of the Text, not to his Apostles only, but to the whole Company of his Disciples;Mat. v. 1. Luk. vi. 17.20. to all Those who came to him, and offer'd them­selves to be Instructed by Him; it will follow farther, That this Right of Examining what is proposed to Us, in Matters of Religion, is not any special Privilege of the Pastors, or Gover­nours of the Church; but is the Common Right, and Duty, of All Christians whatso­ever: Who as they are All concern'd to be se­cure in what they Believe and Practise, in such Cases as these; so are they All required, in or­der thereunto,11 Thess. v. 21. 11 Jo. iv. 1. to Beware of False Prophets, and to Try them by their Fruits.

And this may serve yet farther to shew the little regard we are to give to their Pretences who tell Us, that the Judgment of these Things belongs only to the Church; that is, as some of them interpret it, to the Pope, as successor of St. Peter, and if (we will believe them) Head of the Church: As others understand it; to the Bishops and Chief Pastours of the Church; And to Them not separately, and alone, but conve­ned together into a Synod; And that, a­gain, [Page 13] not in any Particular Church; but in the Catholick; to Them, or Their Deputies, lawfully met together, in a General Council.

For tho' it is not to be doubted, but that what is fairly debated, and orderly conclu­ded upon, in such an Assembly; (where it is fully Assembled, and permitted freely to judge, and determine, according to the Holy Scriptures;) must needs be of more Authority; and proba­bly may be more sure, than what is resolved by Every single Christian apart: Yet, when all is done, as every particular Person is to Answer to God for his Own Soul, so he must Examine, as far as He is Able, both What He Believes and How He Practises; and upon What Grounds he do's Both; And not follow any Assembly, tho' of never so much Seeming Authority, contra­ry to that which is of much Greater Authority than any Humane Assembly whatsoever can be, I mean, The Word of God. And it may as well be said that all the other Parts of Christian Piety, delivered by our Saviour,Mat. v, vi, vii, in these Chap­ters, belong not to Single Persons, or to Ordi­nary Christians at all, but only to the whole Church, or at least, to the Pastors and Gover­nors of it; as that this Command of taking heed of False Prophets, and of Knowing them by their Fruits, is the Business of Such only, and not the duty of every Private Person.

[Page 14]But, 3dly; and to conclude these General Reflections. If such be the case, that it is not only lawfull for, but the Duty of, every Christi­an to Search the Scriptures, and to Examine what is Proposed to him; and to satisfie himself Whe­ther it be the true Doctrine of Christ or no: Then it will follow farther, That if upon such a Proof of what is tender'd to Us by any Person, or Church, whatsoever, we should chance to be clearly, and evidently convinced, that they have departed Themselves, and would draw away Us, from the pure Faith of Christ, deliver'd to Us in the Holy Scriptures; it is our duty to take heed that we do not follow them in their Apo­stacy; but resolve rather to forsake Them, than to abandon that Gospel, which both They, and We, are commanded to adhere unto.

That it is possible for Men either by Interest to be Corrupted; by Prejudices to be byass'd; or thro' Infirmity to be deceived; and by any, or all of these Means, to fall away from the Purity of the Christian truth; both the Condi­tion of Humane Nature assures us; and the very Caution of the Text, do's evidently sup­pose.

That by a Careful Attention, and diligent Enquiry into the Doctrine deliverd to Us in the Holy Scriptures, we may be able to disco­ver when they do so; and to distinguish be­tween [Page 15] Truth, and Falsehood; Right and Wrong, as to these matters; not only our Saviour's Command to do this; but the plainness where­with most of those things are delivered, which make up the summ of what is necessary for us to Believe, and Do, in order to our salvation, Effectually shew.

But then to what purpose should we trouble our selves to Search the Scriptures, and to Un­derstand our Religion, and to know that we are dealt fraudulently with, by our Guides, in it; if after all, there is no Remedy: But we must follow our Church, and the Pastors of it, whe­ther they teach Us the true doctrine of Christ; or whether they lead Us into Damnable Here­resies, destructive of the very Fundamentals of it.

And yet how Confidently do some Men here also, rise up against Us: And tell Us, that we must Believe them before our Own Reason; nay, and (in effect) before God Himself? That 'tis Schism, and Heresie, and I know not what besides, to doubt of, or differ with them, in any thing that they require us to Believe. And that much better were it for us to shut our eyes altogether, and Go on blindfold under their Conduct; than to follow the clearest Light that Scripture, Reason, or even Sense it self, can Give us, in Opposition to their Errors.

[Page 16]But let them assume what Authority they please to themselves, and raise what Clamours they can against us; When all is done, this Conclusion will remain firm as Heaven, and clear as any first principle of Science; that if the Scriptures be,Rom. xv. 4. 2 Tim. iii. 16. 2 Pet. 1.19 as we all agree that they are, the Word of God; and were written for our Instru­ction; then we must follow the Conduct of Them: And hold fast to the Truth which they deliver, tho' not only a Company of assuming Men, calling Themselves the Church, (but up­on what Grounds, no body could ever learn,) and pretending to Infallibility; (in Despight of the Grossest Errors;) but the whole World should conspire together, to Oppose Us in it.

And thus have I shewn you, what that Gene­ral Vse is, that we ought all of Us to make, of this Command of our Saviour, to Beware of False-Prophets; and, to Know them by their Fruits. I proceed,

(2dly) To that more particular Application which I proposed to make of it, to the Subject of this Days Solemnity.

I shall not need to tell you, that we are now met together to Bless God for those wonderful Deliverances, which He has twice afforded Us of this Nation upon this very Day, from the Designs of Those who are the professed Enemies of our Religion; and who have never Ceased, from the [Page 17] first Beginning of the Reformation among Us, to do what in them lies to subvert That, and to de­stroy Us, upon the account of it.

But of all the measures that were Ever taken by them in order thereunto, never was there any more Remarkable than that which was inten­ded to have been Executed on this Day; had not God, by a miracle of his Providence, discovered, and disappointed it.

A Design it was, so Black, and Horrid, that we find many among Themselves ashamed to own it. And therefore, They either altogether deny that there was ever any such Plot carried on by Those of their Communion: Or else, pretend,Note: Papists Apology, p. 31. (With the Answer) Comp. p. 34. Calendar. Catho­licum, An. 1662. 5th Nov. Hen. Morus, Soc. Jesu Pro­vinciae Anglic. Hist. l. 7. Sect. 19, 21. that it was onely a private attempt of a Few-Desperate Men of their Re­ligion; Censured, and Condemn'd for it, by all the Better, and more sober Members of their Church.

And indeed, far be it from me to charge the whole Body of our English Papists, either with the knowledge of this Conspiracy heretofore, or with the Approving of it since. I am sensible that Several among them have not only decla­red their Abhorrence of the Design its self;See Wid­drington contr. Suarez. pag. 12. & 153. but of the very Principles on which it was founded. But yet when all is done, Certain it is that both the Doctrine on which it was Established; has [Page 18] been Concil. Lateran. 3. Can. 27. Concil. Lateran. 4. Can. 3. Concil. Lugd. 1. Lab. Tom. 11. Col. 640, &c. Concil. Con­stant. Sess. 45. Mart. PP. Bull, &c. p. 259. Tom. 12. Lab. See more below. Confirm'd by those of the Highest Authority in the Roman Church: And that their Greatest Men have not only given their Approbation to such Attempts; As Tesmond & Ger­rard, who were Both con­cern'd in the Powder-Plot. Widdrington contra Schul­ken, p. 151. but have favoured those who were the principal Actors in Them.

Here then let us fix our selves, and try the Cause between Them, and Us. If the Doctrines of the Romish Church with Relation to Those whom they call Hereticks, and their Prac­tices towards Them; be agreeable to the Gospel of Christ; let us allow Them to be, thus far, True Prophets, and approved by their Fruits. But else, if neither their Doctrines nor Practices, in this Case, can be Reconciled with the Spirit of Christianity; We must then Pronounce Them to be False-Teachers, and conclude that they have been justly Rejected by Us as such.

And 1st, As for the Doctrines of Those of the Church of Rome towards such whom they call Hereticks, they are to this Effect.

* That theirs is the Catholick Church, with which all Christians are bound to Communicate; to which alone all the Promises of the Gospel do belong; and out of which there is no Salvation. *Concil. Constant. Sess. 45. Decretal. de Haeret. l. 5. tit. 7. c, 13. That all who differ from them, and forsake their Communion, are Schis­maticks, and Hereticks; Enemies to God; and Apostates from the Church, and Faith of Christ.

[Page 19] **Concil. Lateran. 4. Can. 3. See Foulis Popists Treasons, Book 2. c. 6. Sect. 13. The Bull of P. Paul III. a­gainst K. Henry VIII. Bel­larm de Laicis. l. 3. c. 21. Decretal. de Haeret. lib. 5. tit. 7. c. 13. Vid. Bullam. Coenae Dom. That this Church has, therefore a Right to pronounce a Sentence of Excommu­nication against Them as Such: And that being, by that means, Cut off from the Body of Christ, they are, in the next place, to be Cast out of all Civil Society too; and be put to death, unless They shall Abjure their Heresie, and return again to their Commu­nion.

Sanders. de Visib. Mo­narch. p, 730, 734. Parry's Confession, out of Allen's Book, p. 17. Thuanus's Hist. lib. 135. p. 1206. C.D. Becanus contr. Angl. p. 120. Add; Pope Pius the Fifth's Bull against Qu. Eliz. &c. Decretal. de Haeret. l. 5. tit. 7. c. 13. Concil. Avenionens, An. 1210. Bellarm. Resp, ad Ap [...]log. pro Juram: fidel; p. 9, 10. That this Excommunication the Pope has power to pronounce, not on­ly upon private Persons, but upon whole Cities and Countries, upon Kings and Subjects: And that this being done, They also may be Pro­secuted with the Sword, and be Rooted from off the face of the Earth.

*See this proved at large from their own Authors, by Foulis Hist. of Popish Trea­sons, Book ▪ 2. c. 1, 2, 5, 6. Du Moulin's Answer to Philanx. Anglicus. cap. 4. Bp Barlow's Popish Prin­ciples, pernicious to Prote­stant Princ [...]s; to which, add the Bulls of P. Paul III. against King Henry VIII. Of Pius V. against Q Eliz. Decret. c. 15. qu. 5. cap▪ Nos. Sanctorum. That for the better effecting hereof, his Holiness (as they call him) has power to absolve Princes from their Oaths of Government to their Subjects; and Subjects from their Ob­ligations of Fidelity to their Princes: To dispose of Kingdoms; and trans­fer Them from one State, or Family to another. And that having done this, that Person, or State, to whom [Page 20] the Pope shall have given such an He­retical Kingdom,Card. Allen's Admoni­tion to the Nobility and Peo­ple of England; with his Answer to Stanley's Letter, An. 1587. Becanus Con­trov. Anglic. c. 3. q. 2, 3. Suarez Defens. fid. Cathol. Lib. 3. c. 23. cui titulus: Pontificem summum potesta­te Coercivâ in reges uti posse usque ad depositionem etiam à regno, l. 6. c. 2. Sect. 7. Bellarm. de Rom. Pont. l. 5. c. 6, 8. Idem de potestate summ. Pont. contr. Barclaium: in Prolegomen. has from thence­forth a just Right to enjoy it, and may lawfully Endeavour by any means to make themselves Masters of it.

Jul. Caes. Bullenger. Hist. l. 6. p. 233. speaking of Parry says, De Theo­logis quaerit, an jure Ty­rannus Pontificiis diris de­votus, necari possit? Illi, posse, responderunt See Card. Como's Letter to the same purpose, below. Suarez. De­fens. fid. Cathol. lib. 6. c. 4. Sect. 14, 18. Mariana de Rege & Regis Institut. l. 1. c. 6, 7. Thuan. Hist. l. 111. p. 517, 518, 520. Lastly: That if this cannot be done by open force, and it be for the Interest of their Religion that some other Course should be taken; any King, or Prince, so Excommunicated, as is aforesaid, by the Pope, may law­fully be Kill'd by any private Person; or otherwise, be deposed from his Go­vernment: And another set up to De­fend their Religion, and to Extirpate, what they call Heresie, out of that Country.

This is the Substance of what is taught by Those of the Church of Rome, with Relation to such as they call Hereticks: that is to say, in other Words, to all those who are not of their Perswasion. And

2dly, For their Practices, in Conformity thereunto, tho' you are but too well able of your selves to Recount Them, yet I will call to your Remembrance a few Particulars, that may suffice to Represent Them to you.

[Page 21]I should perhaps be thought to look back too far, should I Relate to you the

See Usserius de Chri­stianarum Eccles. Success. c. 10. Crackanthorp contra Spala­tensem, c. 18. Sect. 19.

Mat. Paris. ad An. 1234. says, The Number that was slain was Infinite.

bar­barous Butcheries committed by them about the xiiith Century, at the Prea­ching of that *Whose Severity the ve­ry Inquisitors themselves boast of. Ludov. à Param. de Orig. & Progress. Inquis. l. 2. c. 2. n. 4. Limburg. Hist. Inqui­sit. l. 1. c. 10. Bloody Monk, their now Glorious St. Dominick: And the greatest of whose merit, seems to have been this, that (as the Histories of those times inform Us,) he Prea­ched above an Hundred Thousand Innocent Men out of their lives. A most Apostolical Preacher no doubt! and wor­thy of the Honour, which in acknowledgment of his Merits they thought fit to confer upon Him; that for the good Service he had done in that Cruel Mission, the Inquisition, then begun by Him, (that most lively Pattern of Hell upon Earth) should be entrusted to the Monks of his Vid. Leg. 1. Fred. II. apud Limburg. Hist. Inquis. c. 12. l. 1. Et Hist. progres, Inquisit. per totum lib. Order; and who, in the management of it, for the most part, do not at all degenerate from the fiery Zeal of their Anti-Christian Founder.

If from those we pass on to the Protestants of France, Thuan. Hist. ad An. 1572. Popliniere Hist. de France. liv. 29. D'Aubigne Hist. Vnivers. part. 2. l. 1. c. 4. &c. Mezeray Hist. Charles IX. &c. Hist. des Martyrs; à Geneve, 1619. l. 7. &c. An. 1557, &c. l. 10. An. 1572. Osiand. Hist. Eccles. ad An. 1557. 1560, 1567, 1568. Lampadius M [...]llific. Hist. par. 3. p. 475, &c. 48 [...]. it is hardly to be said what infinite Numbers of Them, in a very few Years, fell a Sacrifice to the Romish Fury. To which if we add the Persecutions they have since un­dergone, [Page 22] within our own Memories, to the ut­ter Ruine of their Religion in that Country; We shall need no other Evidence to convince Us, what the true Spirit of Popery is; and what we are to expect from it, if ever it should hap­pen to prevail any more among Us.

What Havock has been made of the Evange­lical Churches, in the other Parts of Europe, and that within these few Years, is too fresh in your Memories to need a Repetition, As for our own Country; not only the Laws still Extant shew Us, what severe Acts were pass'd against the Refor­med, ever since the Time of King Henry the Fourth; but our Histories tell Us, with what Rigour they were put in Execution. And the short Period of Queen Mary's Reign, shall I hope be a lasting, as it was a burning, and shining Monument, of what our Fore-Fathers Under­went; and of what we ought to fear, should they ever come to have the same Power in their Hands, that they then had, to Destroy Us.

But to leave these Vulgar Instances of the Ro­mish Cruelties, and come to those of a higher Nature; In which Princes have been concern'd and for whom, if They chance to Oppose their Interest, They have as little Regard as for the meanest of the People.

It would engage me on too large a Subject to speak of the several Emperours, and Kings, [Page 23] who were either murder'd,See K. James's Apology for the Oath of Allegiance; in his Works Fol. p. 272, &c. Becanus Contr. Angl. p. 144. Edit Mogunt. 1613. Foulis Romish Treasons, at large, Books 3, 4, 5, 6. from all sorts of Histories▪ Vid. Platinam in vit. Boni­facii VIII. &c. Bellarm. de potest. P. contr. Barclaium. or depo­sed by the Pope, and his faction, be­fore the time of the Reformation. Let the Histories of Europe speak this to you: Scarce a Country of which is destitute of some Instance or Other of this Nature. I shall only point out to you a few Particulars, of many, since that time; and those Such as are no more to be denied, than they are to be Excused, by Them.

*See Foulis Popish Trea­sons, l. 8. c. 6. Histoire des derniers Troubles de France, An. 1589. Hist. d' Aubigne, An. 1589. Tom. 3. l. 2. c. 22. Thuani Hist. l. 95. Et lib. c. III. p. 520. When that desperate Wretch James Clement, undertook the Mur­der of King Henry the Third of France; not only the Prior of his Convent En­couraged him in it, and gave him the very Knife with which he did it; but when the News of this Horrid Fact was brought to Rome, **See the whole Speech in Foulis Popish Treasons, Book 8. c. 6. Pope Sixtus the Fifth, in an open Consistory approved the Deed, and in very extravagant Terms applauded the Doer of it.

And when, afterwards |See Mezera's Hist. of France, An. 1594. Hi­stoire de Troubles de France, An. 1594. See the Sentence of the Parliament against him, li [...]. at large. Hist. d'Aubigne, To. 3. l. 4. c. 4. Vid. ib. Inscriptiones Pyra­mid. contra Jesuit [...]s sceler [...] Authores. Thuan. Hist. l. III. n. 1594. John Chastell atempted, in like manner, to Assassi­nate King Henry the Fourth, and was justly condemn'd by the Parliament of Paris for it; Their procedure was so heinously Resented at Rome, that [Page 24] they caused their *Titulo, Arrestum con­tra Joannem Castellum: And again; Oratio M An­tonii Arnaldi, &c. Arre­stum contra Joannem Ca­stellum. Sentence to put in­to their Catalogue of Prohibited Books; that is to say, of such as they thought not fit for any Member of their Com­munion to Read.

But I will not look any farther Abroad for the Examples of such Villanies, as our own Hi­story affords Us, but too great a plenty of at Home.

King Henry the Eighth had his private Quar­rels with the Popes of His time. He saw him­self trick'd and abused by Them; And he brave­ly Resolved not to suffer a Foreign Bishop, any longer to Insult it over an English King. And tho' in all other Respects He continued to his dying day a Zealous Papist, yet for this one piece of Rebellion only against that proud Pre­late,See the Bull: Bullar. To. 1. p. 704. was He Excommunicated by Pope Paul the Third; His Subjects were absolved from their Oath of Allegiance; and Commanded to Vse their utmost Endeavours to Depose him, and Expel him out of his Dominions.

What Paul the Third did to King Henry the Eighth, Pope Pius the Fifth renewed against his Daughter,Note: See the whole History re­lated by Sanders de Visibil. Monarch. p. 730. n. 2037. And by Girolamo Catena, in his Life of Pius V. p. 112, &c. Et Append. p. 109, &c. Queen Eliza­beth. He declared her to be an He­retick and a favourer of Hereticks: And therefore, Deprived her of her Crown; Absolved her Subjects from their Allegiance; and [Page 25] forbade them to Obey Her, on pain of Excommunication. And all this He did meerly on the Account of Her Religion. For before that time; (which was the Twelfth year of Her Reign) not One **Nor yet meerly for that, either b [...]fore, or after; King James's Premonition, p. 336. Not 30 Priests in all Q. Elizabeth's Reign suf­fer'd for Treason, and for Religion not One. Sir Edw. Coke's Speech at the Ar­raignment of the Gun-pow­der Conspirators. Papist had suf­fer'd on the account of his Religion: When *Sanders de Visib. Mo­narch. p. 734. Where he makes a Felton a Martyr. Spondan. Contin. Baron. ad An. 1570. Sect. 4. Camb­den. Elizab. An. 1570. Felton for fixing up this Bull against the Bishop of London's Gate, and justifying the Fact, was the first of that Party, Condemn'd, and Exe­cuted for it.

Being thus Encouraged by the Popes Autho­rity, the Romanists of those times were from thenceforth scarce ever out of some Contrivance, or Other,Note: Cambd. Eliz. An. 1585. Cardinal Como's Letter, of Jan. 30. 1584. Le con­cede (the Pope) sua Be­nedictione, plenaria Indul­genza & Remissioni di tutti li peccati, assicurando si che oltre il merito che a havera in cielo, vuole an­co sua Santita constituirsi debitore, &c. And adds, Metta dunque ad Effetto li suoi Santi & Honorati pensieri; i. e. To kill the Queen. to destroy Her. Parry, one of the Chief of Those, who Undertook to Murder Her, had not only the Popes consent so to do; but, in Consideration of it, had his Holiness's Blessing sent from Rome to him; with a plenary Indul­gence for all his Sins; and the Assu­rance of an Extraordinary Crown of Glory in Heaven, for the barba­rous Villany He had Undertook to Commit on Earth.

[Page 26]This Enterprise failing; they next Resolved upon a Forreign Invasion:

Note:

See Fowlis Popish Trea­sons, Book 7. c. 6. Girola­mo Catena Vita di Pio V. In which the Pope was so Zea­lous, that He was for pawn­ing the Plate of the Chu [...]ch, and coming himself in Per­son, if need were, to fur­ther it. p. 117.

Cambd. Eliz. An. 1588. Watson. quodlib. p. 239, 246. Artic. 6, 7.

And the King of Spain was perswaded, by Pope Pius the Fifth, to Engage in it. But that also miscarrying, their pri­vate Attempts were again Renewed: And still some Priest or Other, in eve­ry One of them, to Encourage, and Sanctifie the Assassination.

It would engage Me in too long a Discourse to speak particularly of the Treasons of Arden, Note: See Watson's Important Considerations, &c. Reprinted, Lond. 1675. 4o. Bristow makes them all Martyrs; 15 Motive, p. 72. c. 73. For the Historical Part, see Foulis's Popish Treasons, Book 7. c. 5, 7. Cambd. Eliz. An. 1595, 1598, &c. 1602. and Sommerville; of Hesket, and Lopez; of Cullen and York; of Squire and Babington: Of the Designs of the Duke of Norfolk; the Earl of West­morland, and many Others; who ei­ther by Sword or Poison; by private Attempts, or Publick Insurrections, Endeavoured to deprive Her both of her Crown and Life.

I will only Observe, that what the other Popes had in Vain attempted here in England; Foulis Pop. Treasons, Book 9. c. 3. Cambd. Eliz. An. 1578, 1579, &c. Pope Gregory the xiiith, and Clement the viiith, no less Encouraged in Ireland: By not only abetting the Rebellions which were raised there, but Enga­ging the King of Spain, once more, to Endea­vour her Destruction.

Whilst the Queen of Scots lived, who was a Zealous Papist, Catena. Let­tere de Pio V. p. 329. the pretence for several of these [Page 27] Attempts then was, (See the Pa­pists Apology, (the Edit. with the Answer) 1675. p. 23. as their Excuse has been since) That she had the Better Title to the Crown of England. But that Unfortunate Prin­cess being Gone, and Queen Elizabeth now grown Old; Clement. VIII. See Cambden. Eliz. An. 1600, 1602. Doleman's Confer. about the next Succession to the Crown. Tortur. Torti. p. 188. &c. 197, 278. Thu­anus, l. 135. p. 1205, 1214, A. King James's Apolog. p. 273. Casaubon. Epist. ad Front. Ducaeum. inter Epist. p. 750. Edit. 4o. 1656. Sir Edw. Coke's Plea. Hist Gun-powder Treason. (8o. Lond. 1678.) p. 92, &c. all possible Endeavours were made by those very Persons, (with the Pope at their Head,) to Ex­clude the Son, who would be thought to have had so much Zeal for the Mother.

In this first Attempt the Jesuits seemed unwil­ling to Engage: But then, to do them right,See Watson's Confession: Ca­saub. Epist. ad. Front. Ducaeum. p. 752, 753. I must observe, that it was not out of any Checks of Conscience, any dislike they had to such an Enterprize; but because they had another Design of their own in hand; which, it seems, was this of the Gun-Powder Conspiracy. A Treason of so horrid, and dismal a Complexion, that the tran­scendent Cruelty of it not only stagger'd Some of the Conspirators themselves, but proved the Happy Means of our Deliverance from it. Whilst the desire of One among them to save his friend from that deadly Blow; by the Pro­vidence of God, discovered the whole Design, and saved both the King and the Parliament with Him.

We ought not to wonder, if the better to con­ceal [Page 28] such a Conspiracy as this, but About 20, whereof 5 were Jesuits. See Popish Apol. p. 34 Casaub. Ep. ad Front. Ducaeum. p. 755. Few were ad­mitted to a particular Knowledge of it: K. James's Premonition, p. 291. Tho' it was generally discoursed among the whole Party, that something was in Agitation for the Interest of their Cause; and to which they were to be Ready to lend their Utmost Assistance, as soon as Matters should be Ripe for it. Yet even among those Few who knew of it, Thuanus ingenuously owns this: Hist. Lib. 135. p. 1213. D. And the pub­lick Acts of this Conspiracy u [...]deniably confirm it. See King James's Praemonition, p. 334, 335. Bp. Andrews at large proves it from Gar­net's Own Confession, Tor­tura Torti, p. 281, &c. 285, 286. So does Isaac Casaubon. Epist. ad Front. Ducaeum. p. 757, 761, 773, 774, 775. Add Sir Edw. Coke's Arraignment of Gar­net, p. 168, &c. And the Relation of his Execution, Ib, p. 225. Father Garnet, the Provincial of the Jesuits was One; and that not in Con­fession as some now pretend, but by way of Consultation, as Himself (at last) ingenuously Acknowledged. |Historia Pontifical. Part. 5. l. 1. c. 11. says, That Fawks being in Flanders, Y descubrio s [...] empresa à personas Ecclesiasticas y de su Nacion, para hazer les ayunar y rogar a Dios, que su fin llegasse a efecto. Bulenger confirms it, Hist. l. 12. p. 369. where speaking of Winter and Fawks, Oeno Jesuitae, says he, consilia aperiunt; qui pietatis studium laudat. And p. 370. speaking of three Others, among whom, Garne [...] One; says; Rex, cognito tres Jesuitas—Conjurationis hujus Nefariae flabella fuisse. —Thuan. Hist. p, 1206. E. lib. 135. Gerard the Jesuit gave them the Oath of Secrecy; and the Sacra­ment upon it. Tesmund confirm'd Bates's Conscience in it: Rei merito demonstrato: Ib. p. 1207. C. See Winter's Confession about Owen to the same Effect: King James's Works, p. 232. Add to this, my Lord Stafford's Declaration, at his Trial, to this Effect, p. 53. Mezeray's H [...]st. of France, An. 1605. K. James's Praemonition, p. 291, 335. Bp. Andrew's Tortura Torti, p. 280. Casaub. Epist. ad Front. Ducaeum, p. 755. Sir Edw. Coke's Ar­raignment of the Conspirators, p. 96, 104, 105, 113. His Arraignment of Garnet, p. 166. That several Others of the Society were acquainted with it, may from undoubted Proofs be made appear. Give me leave to add, what *Foulis Popish Treason, Book 10. c. 2. Some have farther Affirm'd; that Fawks himself, the Villain who was to have Executed the Treason was, not long before, at Rome, in Conference with [Page 29] some Considerable Persons there;Bishop An­drews ad Bel­larm Resp. c. 5. p. 113. And had Three Bulls Ready to have been Publish'd, had the Design Succeeded; but that this Failing they were Suppressed.

And here then let us stop, and not proceed to any following Instances of their Cruelty, and Perfidiousness: But from what has been already alledged, both of their Doctrines, and Practices, as to these Matters; Go on, finally to Consider, Whether such Principles, and such Actions, can ever be Reconciled, either with the Spirit, or Rules of Christianity. And,

1st. Let them tell Us, if they can, where in all the Scriptures of the New-Testament, either the Title, or Promises of the Catholick Church, are appropriated to the Roman Church; or indeed to any other Particular Church, or Society of Christians, whatsoever: Or what Reason can be given for that Fundamental Arrogance, on which All the best of their Pretences are built, why They, any more than We, should be Called, or Accounted, Christ's Catholick Church upon Earth?

The Truth is, it is a Contradiction in terms, for either of Us to Assume to our selves such a Character. The Catholick Church, is the Whole Church; of which every Particular Church, (as the Church of England, the Church of Rome, &c.) are Parts. And to say that any One of These, Ex­clusive to All Others, is the Catholick Church; is [Page 30] to say, that a Part is the Whole; which, I think, is as plain a Contradiction as can well be affir­med by Any.

Nay, but what if the Church of Rome be so far from being the Catholick, or Vniversal Church, that it is not so much as A Catholick, that is, any Sound, or Orthodox Part of the Church of Christ? Let me not be thought, to speak any thing with a design to Raise in your Minds a wrong Notion against any: But for the sake of Truth, and out of the Concern which I have for your Im­mortal Souls, I must freely declare; that, after the best Examination I have been able to make into her Principles, and Constitution; I do, in my Conscience, believe the Roman Church, as it is at present Established, in Matters of Faith, Worship, Morals, and Government; to be by far the most Corrupted of any Christian Church, that I know of, in the World; and in which Salvation can the most hardly, if at all, be Ob­tain'd. But

2dly. Were the Church of Rome all that she pretends to be; and Our Church all that ever it has been call'd by it: Yet how comes this to Give them a Civil Authority over Us? Christ med­dled not with Mens Temporal Interests: He taught no Doctrines of Cruelty and Uncharita­bleness. He Founded no Dominion in Grace: Nor ever Pretended to Depose Kings, and Give [Page 31] away Kingdoms. On the contrary, We know, How He would not so much as Arbitrate in a private Controversie: Luke xii. 14. But declared freely, that His Kingdom was not of this World; Jo. xviii. 36. Nor were his Disciples to Expect any thing beyond Other Men, except it were Trou­bles, and Losses, and Persecutions in it. Mat. x. Luke ix. 23. Jo. xv. 20. xvi. 2. &c.

Hence we read that when upon the account of his Adherence to the Temple of Jerusalem, (which was plainly a Religious Concern) a Certain Village of the Samaritans deny'd Him the com­mon Humanity of a Nights Lodging; and some of his Disciples were so Hot upon it, as to De­sire Him to Revenge Himself by Fire from Hea­ven for the Affront; All the Answer They got was this Reproof, which One would have thought might alone have been sufficient to an­swer all these kind of Pretensions for ever, That They knew not what manner of Spirit they were of; Luke ix. 55. For, says He, the Son of Man came not to destroy Mens lives, but to save them. But

3dly. Our Saviour Christ, has not only no where encouraged any Proceedings of this kind, but Has every where delivered such Doctrines, as are utterly Irreconcileable with Them. That We must be Subject to Principalities and Powers, and Obey Magistrates. Tit. iii. 1. That we must do this, not only for Wrath, but also for Conscience [Page 32] sake: Rom. xiii. 5. That We must Love our Ene­mies; Must Bless them that curse Vs; Do Good to them that hate Vs; and Pray for them that de­spightfully use Vs, and Persecute Vs. Mat. v. 44. That We must not Avenge our selves; but leave that to Him, of whom it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will Repay saith the LORD. Rom. xii. 19. That we must not Root up the Tares before the Time, but suffer them to Grow till the Harvest; and that the Separation shall be made by God, and not then by Vs. Mat. xiii. 29, 30. That we must bear with Those who are Weak in the Faith; Must In­struct Them in Meekness; and Endeavour to Con­vert Them from the Error of their Way, that they may be Saved. Rom. xv, 1. Galat. vi. 1. 1 Thess. v. 14. 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25, 26. Jam. v. 19·

These are the Doctrines of the Gospel: And accordingly we know how our Religion Con­quered the World, not by Doing, but by Suf­fering. Not by disturbing Kingdoms, and Over­throwing of Governments; but by patiently Sub­mitting to all the Evil that the Rage of Men, or Malice of the Devil, could bring upon the Professors of it.

And when this is so, what can we conclude but that certainly either the Holy Scriptures have given Us a very wrong Account of the Doctrine of Christ; and that neither the Apo­stles, nor Those who were Instructed by them, [Page 31] Understood their Own Rights, and what Autho­rity their Ecclesiastical Character Gave them over Princes, and Countries; (at least in Order to Reli­gion:) Or that, if they did, then these Men in Teaching, and Acting as they do, in these Mat­ters, must have utterly departed from the Truth of Christianity; and have only the Name of Prophets; the Cloathing of Sheep; whilst in Rea­lity they are Ravening Woolves.

Which being thus Resolved, I do not see what other Conclusion we can draw from these Premises, than that which our Saviour, in the Text, Recommends to Us; which is, To Beware of Them.

And indeed so we have all the Reason in the World to be, whether We consider our Souls, or Bodies; The Interests of this present Life, or the Hope of that which is to come.

For, First, As to the Concern of our Future State; If it be possible for any Errors to destroy Salvation, which are not Expresly Contrary to the Fundamentals of Christianity; tho' in the Na­tural Consequence of them, They do plainly Overthrow the Chiefest of them; Then I am perswaded that the Errors of the Church of Rome, will, of all Others, be found the most likely so to do.

And, for the Other Thing mentioned, our Present Interests; How far they must be affected by the [Page 32] return of Popery again among Us; Both the En­croachments it *⁎*For which, see Sir Ro­ger Twisden's Hist. Vindi­cat. of the Church of Eng­land, &c. which largely shews it, chap. 1, 2. formerly made upon our Civil Rights and Liberties; and the Pretensions it See Card. Bellarm. Apo­log. pro Resp ad Jacob. R [...]g. c. 3. where He affirms the Pope to have a direct Do­minion over the Kingdoms of England and Ireland; Ita ut Rex, tanquam secun­darius Dominus, Holds his Realms of him.—The same is affirmed by Card. Allen. in his Admonition to the Nobility: That without the Pope's Confirmation, No Man can lawfully take the Crown, or be accounted King of England. They Both took it from the Pop [...]'s Own Mouth; who before His Colledge of Cardinals declared. That the King of Eng­land was His Vassal; nay, in truth, His Slave. Mat. Paris, ad Ann. 1253. still keeps on foot against Us, more than against any O­ther Country, or People, besides; not to say any thing of its common Princi­ples of Tyranny and Slavery, Ruinous to Societies, as well as Dangerous to private Persons, and Families; may suffice to convince Us.

Let Us then, upon all these Accounts, hearti­ly Bless God, who (upon this same Day) has twice Delivered Us out of its Hands: And let Us earnestly Beseech him, that He would still con­tinue to defend Us, from ever falling any more under the Power of it. And tho' the Petition has too long been left out of our Liturgy, yet let it never depart out of our Minds, but be of­ten the Subject of our Private Supplications to Almighty God, both for our Religion, and for our Country's sake.

See the First and Second Book of King Edw. VI. in the Litany.From the Tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and his detestable Enormities: Good Lord deliver Us.

FINIS.

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