Licensed, [...] 19. 78.


THE Proselyte of Rome CALL'D BACK TO THE COMMUNION OF THE Church of England.

IN A PRIVATE LETTER, THOUGHT Very fit and seasonable to be made Publick.

To the ROMANS.

Cap. XI. v. 20.22.

Be not high minded, but fear: Otherwise, Thou also shalt be cut off.

Apoc. II. 5.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works.

LONDON. Printed for R. Clavell at the Peacock in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1679.

To the Reverend and Learned Author.


SInce I had the honour and satisfaction of seeing your Papers, I have blamed your delay in the publication of them; especially being designed to recall a Romish Proselyte that was gone from the Communion of our Church, they might (in this un­happy and distracted Juncture) have seasonably help'd to­wards the recovery of others, whose temporal as well as eternal Interests make them as eager and desirous of sa­tisfaction. I know that Modesty is a vertue, and Cau­tion a very commendable thing: but Charity and Love to the Souls of men is much more so. You have lived to see the Church forlorn and desolate, persecuted and seem­ingly forsaken; and after a little respite and the hopes of settlement, to be again threatned and menac'd with a final overthrow.Psal. 137.7. Down with it, down with it even to the ground, cry our Modern Edomites. And when the Church did need the Aids of those who loved her, we know she found your Zeal, and Resolution and Courage in her service: And that now you should flag when you are so well arm'd and prepar'd for Combat, or be backward when her Adversaries are pecking at the very foundations with Axes and Hammers, and striving to undermine her by Artifice or Violence; And you a Champion so try'd and experienc'd, and furnish'd to defend her; I cannot imagine, unless you [Page]are more tender than formerly, and fear taking of harm by being exposed to the open Air. I think I have heard that the time has been,Neh. 4.1. when, like Nehemiah's Builders, you wrought with one hand in the Churches service, and with the other you hold a weapon for her defence and suc­cour. You know the Arguments that mov'd you then; and what hinders but they should now prevail? I am, you see, warm in the Churches cause, nor do I believe that you are less concern'd. But if I seem to reproach or lament your remissness in these seasonable Circumstances to send abroad your useful preparations, let me not be thought rude or un­mannerly, because I hereby not only vindicate you from the common fault of being forward to print, but likewise shew the high value I have for your Person and Papers, and that I believe them to he very useful for the Publick benefit.

As to the Gentleman you design to reduce, I only know him upon this occasion, and therefore can say little of his Learning or Ingenuity, or the Motives that made him de­part from us: But if after all your endeavours to convict him he still remains hard and untractable, and refuseth to hear the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely, he must be let alone in the obstinacy of the deaf Adder, and to our Prayers to soften him, when your Argu­ments cannot alter him; but when the World have seen your Papers, and know that he has done so; They'l strain their Charity to suspect, that something else besides the pre­tended [Page]advantage of Infallibility perswaded him to re­volt; and till he can answer your Arguments, they'l be apt to think, that the exchange of Opinion was not for Faith but Fancy, and that while he dreamed that he left uncertainty, it was to be secure of nothing.

But if you should have that Friendly influence upon him by your pains and endeavours to call him back, hee'l (by that Charity that is more Catholick than the Religion he leaves) be glad, that by his fall so great an advantage has been offer'd to the world, and that others may be reduc'd thereby to the sober enquiry upon what bottom they trust their Salvation, and see upon what slender and fickle grounds their Faith has been fixed; And what those Grounds are, all men will see when they peruse your Tractate. Be­sides, we have reason to thank such men as you for asserting the Churches cause in these Controversies; For who now that is most freakish in folly and Enthusiasm, has a front to say, That the Sons of our Church are warp'd from what is Primitive and truly Orthodox; or Factors for the Romish Interest; or wish well to the promoting that Cause amongst us, &c Let us hear no more such outcries against the Church of England, nor against those who are exact and punctual in the decent performance of Gods publick Worship, and the circumstances of Order and Discipline. For the gaudy Su­perstitions of Rome and Italy are more contemned by such men, than the looser and more careless dress of Amsterdam [Page]and Geneva. And you amongst many others have freed our Church from this whining & unjust imputation, in that you have not only shaken, but everted that fundamental Prin­ciple, upon the fall of which all the superstructure tumbles.

As to your Quotations, they are so proper and peculiarly adapted to every period, that you had very great luck to happen on the choice of them. And for the Translations which your Charity suffer'd to be made of them, for the use of your meaner and more unlearned Reader; they, I perceive, were done by one whose skill in Grammar did exceed his sense in Theologie and Divine Controversies, which may excuse them to the Criticks and men of brisker fancy. However, Tran­slating is a very tedious task, and so long as they are true and literal, they are justifiable enough against the keenest and most snarling Censurers.

I am loth the Messenger should stay, and therefore only wish your Reader may be impartial and considerative, un­prejudic'd and serious, and that your Papers may convince and confirm him, that they may have their design on the Gentleman you'd recall, and advance the interest of Truth and Goodness amongst all men; that they may help to allay that bitterness, and heal those Animosities and wild Conceits that trouble the Christian World, and that all that see them may endeavour after the things that make for Peace. Which is the Prayer of,

Your faithful Servant.

THE RELIGION OF THE Church of England, &c.


SInce I have known you so long, I am sorry I knew you no better. I assure you I intended to treat you as an entire Friend, but you wrest my words to a harsh con­struction. For Mr. S— he was so far from giving any partial account, that he did not so much as positively say, you had left our Communion. I confess upon a vehe­ment suspicion (for which we had other grounds) I took the freedom to tell you (what would fall under every ordinary ap­prehension,) that your departure would unavoidably expose you unto censure. That some would impute it to a hot head, others to a weak Judgment, and a third sort perhaps to discontent, that you were not gratified according to your great merits. Herein, Sir, I only plaid the part of a Rehearsal. For my own part, in [Page 2]imputing what I had heard of you to a fit of the Spleen, I gave an evidence of my Charity, in regard you had formerly com­plain'd of such a fit as had unhing'd your faculties and stifled your Pen into a long silence; and sure, I could never reckon that for a fault in you, which I knew to be your infelicity and affli­ction. Hitherto therefore my carriage was very innocent. And (when I long'd so much to hear from you) if I were a little im­patient at the disappointment, yet a little ingenuity would have given it a better interpretation than the want of common pru­dence; and a fast Friend would have taken it for an argument of a fincere affection. However I must lament my own loss; that what you intended for my information was, by such an unfortu­nate misadventure, cast into the common lot of waste Paper. But whatever the conception was which those Letters miscarried with, these give me an intimation of your present change. And to question whether this were Mutatio dextrae Altissimi, a change wrought by the right hand of the Most High, were, no doubt, in your Judgment to make a breach upon Charity and Prudence both together. Yet seeing you applaud your self (as all such Proselytes use to do) that you have changed Opinion into Faith, and Doubtfulness into Infallibility; give me leave, for once, to enquire into the real advantage, you flatter your self to have purchased by your Separation from us. In order hereto I pray resolve me where the Infallibility is lodged, which you so much boast of; I presume you will not say, you have it in your own bosom; for that would smell a little too rank of arrogance; if you say, 'tis lodged in the person of the Pope, that is rendred very improbable; because it was not long since one of them professed that he was no Theologue, and consequently not fit to determine a point of Faith; and if we may believe some of the Roman Writers (besides Schism) Heresy, Infidelity and Atheism, have been found amongst them. And this Doctrine is so false and scandalous, that Mr. White makes it more criminal and dainnable than destouring of holy Virgins upon the Holy AltarVide T. bulae Suffragia­les..

2. If you place your Infallibility in the diffusive body of the Clergy, or of Christians in general, That will be of no more [Page 3]advantage to the determination of Controversies than the pri­vate Spirit, that is utterly unprofitable and useless; for why may we not find it then, in Bishop Andrews as well as in Bellar­mine, in Bishop Sanderson as well as in Cajetan, and in Dr. Ham­mond as well as in Stapleton?

3. If you lodge it in General Councils, there we are ready to joyn issue with you. For those which are truly such, we have the greater veneration for. And I will give you one instance in matter of Faith, that shall make it evident beyond contra­diction, (for matter of Jurisdiction afterward.) ‘In the Third general Council held at Ephesus, Concil. 3. Generale Ephes. ha­bit. Can. 7. Justell. Codex Canon. Ec­cles. Uni­vers. Can. 177. Decrevit Sauct a Syno­dus no [...] licere cuiquam aliam fidem afferre, vel scribere, vel com ponere praeter cam, quae à Sanctis Patribus Nicaeae Congregatis, in Sancto Spiritu desinita est—&c. The Holy Synod hath de­creed, That it shall not be lawful for any one to bring in or alledge, to write or compose any other Faith besides that which is defined by the Holy Fathers assembled at Nice, with the (assistance of the) Holy Ghost.’ This Canon, which the Church of England observes inviolable, the Church of Rome doth egregiously prevaricate; witness the Faith composed, after the Council of Trent, by Pope Pius the Fourth, which is so­lemnly sworn by all the Clergy in the Church of Rome at this day. If you say, this was not another Faith, nor any addition to the Ancient Creed, but only an explication of it, the very letter of that Symbol will evince the contrary; and to use your own expression, that defence dwindles into more Evasion. Let the Reader judge by the matter of Fact and the Observations following.

The Confession of Faith, by Pope Pius, according to the Council of Trent set forth — 1564.

‘1 A. B. do stedfastly believe and profess, all and singular the Contents of that Symbol of Faith which the holy Roman Church useth; That is to say,’

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord [Page 4]Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, light of light, very God of very God, The Coun­cil of Nice consisted of 318 Bi­shops from all parts of the World, East and West, and was held in the year 325. And of Constan­tine M. the Tenth. The Coun­cil of Trent was not held till the year 1545. and ended not till 1563. wherein were in all, with Le­gates, Car­dinals, Ab­bots and Proctors, but 255. and most of them Italians & the Popes Creatures. Lud. Bail. Sum. Cōcil. Tom 1. p. 600. B. 1. Edit. Paris. 1659. begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, he suffered, and was buried, and rose a­gain the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father; and he shall come again with Glory to judge both the quick and the dead: whose Kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son: who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the World to come. Amen.

[Thus far is the Faith of the Council of Nice, to which the Pope adds these Articles following:]

I do stedfastly admit and embrace Apostolical and Ecclesiastical Traditions, with the rest of the Observations and Constitutions of the same Church. I admit also of the holy Scripture, according to that sense, which hath been held, and is held by the holy Mother the Church whose office it is to judge of the true sense and inter­pretation of the Holy Scriptures: Nor will I ever receive or in­terpret the same, but according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. I profess also, that there are seven Sacraments of the new Law, truly and properly so called, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary to the Salvation of Mankind, though all of them be not necessary for every man; That is to say, Baptism, Con­firmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony: and that they do confer Grace; and amongst these, that Baptism, Confirmation, and Orders, cannot be repeated without Sacriledge. I do also receive and admit all the received and ap­proved Rites of the Catholick Church in the solemn administration of all the aforesaid Sacraments. I do receive and embrace all and [Page 5]singular the things which were defined by the holy Synod of Trent, concerning Original Sin and Justification: I profess likewise, that in the Sacrifice of the Mass there is offer'd unto God a true, proper, and propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and dead; and that in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, there is verily, really and substantially the Body and Bloud, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made (therein) a change of the whole substance of the Bread into his body, and of the whole substance of the Wine into his bloud; which change the Catholick Church calls Transubstantiation. I do also confess, that Christ whole and entire, and the true Sacra­ment is received in either kind alone. I do stedfastly hold, that there is a Purgatory, and that the Souls detained therein are relieved by the Suffrages of the Faithful. Likewise also, that the Saints reigning together with Christ, are to be worshipped and prayed unto; and that they do offer up prayers unto God for us. And that their Reliques are to be had in veneration. I do most stedfastly affirm, that the Images of Christ, of the (Blessed) Virgin, the Mother of God, and of other Saints, are to be had and kept, and a due honour and veneration to be given unto them. Also, that the power of Indulgences was left by Christ unto his Church; and I affirm, that the use of them is very salutary (and beneficial) to Christian people: I acknowledge the holy Catholick and Apostolick Roman Church to be the Mother and Mistress of all Churches. And I promise and swear true obe­dience to the Pope of Rome, successor to B. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and the Vicar of Christ. I do also undoubtedly receive and profess all things else, which are delivered, defined and de­clared by the sacred Canons and general Councils, and especially by the most holy Synod of Trent. And I do likewise condemn, re­ject and anathematize all things that are contrary, and all Here­sies whatsoever, which are condemned, rejected and anathema­tized by the Church. This true Catholick Faith, without which no man can be saved, which at this present I do freely profess and truly hold, by Gods help, I will most constantly to the very last breath of my life, intirely and inviolably hold and confess the [Page 6]same, and take care, as much as in me lies, that the same shall be held, taught and preached by all my Subjects, or all those under my care and charge, in respect of my Function. This I A. B. do promise, vow, and swear. So God be my help, and these his holy Gospels.

This is the Creed of Pope Pius, according to the Council of Trent. Now betwixt these Articles and those of the Church of England there is a vast difference, both 1. In the matter; and 2. In the imposition; and 3. In the end of them.

1. For the Matter of these Articles: Those of the Church of England are not to be believed as Articles of Faith, no further than they can approve themselves to be contained in the holy Scriptures; for thus we are taught in the Sixth of these Articles.

‘Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salva­tion, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved therebyLicet in­terdum à fidelibus ut pium & conducibi­bile ad or­dinem & decorum admitta­tur. In the Mar­gin of that Article., is not to be required of any man, that it should be belived as an Article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.’ But amongst the Articles of Faith enjoyed by Pope Pius, some are quite beside the Holy Scripture, some against it; some are mere speculations of the Schools, and others but probable, and matters of doubtful disputation. For instance; (1) The multiplication of Ad­vocates and Ghostly Patrons: (2) The Sacrifice of the Mass: (3) The Adoration of the Host: (4) The power of Indul­gences; as they are maintained and practised in the Church of Rome. These are, at least besides the Holy Scripture.

(1) The Invocation of Saints, and veneration of Images (as practised generally by the Common people, according to their Books.)

(2) The publick Service of the Church in an unknown Tongue. The administration of the Lords Supper, ordinarily to the people, but in one kind: And that the Church of Rome is the Mother and Mistress of all other Churches. These are against Scripture.

(3) Transubstantiation (whatsoever it signifies more than a Real presence, and the benefits which flow from it) with the unaccountable hypotheses which depend upon it: And Pur­gatory, as it is blown up into Climaerical flames by the School­men; with the means and manner of deliverance out of it, are no better than Scholastical speculations. And many of the rest valued but as probabilities, or matters of doubtful dis­putation.

2. For the imposition of these respective Articles the diffe­rence is vast. For those of Pope Pius we have not only, ‘I receive, admit and embrace (this Faith;) not only, I do affirm and aknowledge, constantly hold and most stedfastly assert it: not only, I do with a stedfast Faith believe and profess it; but under the high and solemn obligation, I do promise, vow, and swear, to hold, teach and preach the same to the very last breath of my life, and to procure all o­thers under my charge to do the like.’ But to the Articles of Religion in the Church of England subscription is only required, without any obligation to teach, profess or assert them, further than they are contained in the Holy Scripture, or may be proved thereby to be Articles of the Faith; or admitted for discipline and good order. And it is moreover to be observed, That his Majesty in his Declaration before these Articles printed 1630, though he forbids the offering violence to the liberal and Grammatical sense of these Articles; yet he seems to allow a modest liberty (without contention) in putting the most favourable construction upon them. The words are these, ‘Though some differences have been ill raised; yet we take comfort in this, that all Clergy-men within our Realm, have always most willingly subscribed to the Articles established; which is an Argument to Us, that they all agree in the true literal meaning of the said Arti­cles: and that even in those curious points, in which the present differences lie, Men of all sorts take the Articles of the Church of England to be for them; which is an Argument, that none of them intend any desertion of the [Page 8]Articles established.’ Where we see his Majesty took notice, that men of all sorts took these Articles to be for them; and he declares, that he took comfort therein. Which argues, that the imposition was not strict and rigid as to the sense and meaning of the Articles. And though in the Synod 1640. Can. 6. an Oath was enjoyned; yet it was with as much modesty and tenderness, as any sober and peaceable Subject can desire: for thus it runs, I A. B. do swear, that I do approve the Doctrine and Discipline, or Government in the Church of England, as containing all things necessary to salvation. Where two things are very observable, (1) The assertion is only this, That I do approve the Doctrine, &c. the (2) Only as containing all things necessary to salvation; for which we are referred to the authority of the Holy Scripture by the Sixth Article, as was observed before.

3. As to the end of these respective Articles; Those of Pope Pius are declared to be necessary to salvation, not only Necessitate praecepti, sed Medii; necessary as well upon the account of a Means as of a Precept: for the Pope declares, Hanc (esse) veram Catholicam fidem, Extra quam nemo salvus esse potest. ‘That this is the true Catholick Faith, without which no man can be saved.’ But the Articles of the Church of England generally are intended for a decorum and order (matters of necessary Faith being herein restrained to the Holy Scriptures) to keep out disputes and vain jangling, and to preserve peace and concord in her Communion. Thus much is intimated in the very Title prefix'd to those Articles; but much more clearly in his Majesties Declaration before men­tioned, where he saith, ‘We hold it most agreeable to our Kingly Office and our own Religious Zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to our charge in the unity of the true Religion, and in the bond of peace, and not to suffer unnecessary Disputations, Alterations, or Questions to be raised, which may nourish Faction both in the Church and Commonwealth. We have therefore thought fit to make this Declaration, That the Articles, &c. do contain [Page 9]the true Doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to Gods word; which we do therefore ratifie and confirm, &c.’ But this is more clear in a Book set forth 1571. called, Liber quorundam Canonum Disciplinae Ecclesiae Anglicanae SS. de Concio­natoribus. Where it is ordered thus: Imprimis vero vide­bunt, &c. ‘Let the Preachers take care, that they teach no­thing in their Sermons, which they would have the People hold and believe as a matter of Religion; but what is con­sonant to the Doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and what the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have ga­thered out of the same. And because those Articles of Christian Religion, which were agreed upon by the Bi­shops, &c. are without doubt collected out of the Sacred Books of the Old and New Testament, and do in all things agree with the heavenly Doctrine contained therein: Also, because the Book of Common Prayers, and the Book of the Inauguration of Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and Deacons, do contain nothing that is contrary to that Doctrine; who­soever shall be sent out to teach the People, shall confirm the authority and belief of those Articles, as well by their subscription as in their Sermons. Qui secus fecerit & contrariâ doctrinâ Populum turbaverit, excommunicabitur; Whosoever shall do otherwise, and disturb the People with any contrary Doctrine shall be excommunicated.’ Here indeed the Clergy are implicitly enjoyned to preach up the belief and authority of these Articles: But withal, (1) The belief and authority of them is required, not as grounded upon the Declaration and Sanction of the Ecclesiastical Governours (though a hearty submission and obedience is due thereto in matters of Religion, Discipline, and Order, upon the account of a Divine precept,) but upon their Congruity with the Holy Scriptures, according to the sense of the Ancient Fa­thers. (2) That such as transgress these Articles are punish'd (for want of good manners) as disturbers of the publick Peace. [Page 10]

Wherefore, though the Author of the Guide in Controver­sies* Disc. 3. cap. 7., hath made it his business to strain every Sentence, Phrase, and word in the Canons as well as the Articles of the Church of England, to make those Articles seem to run parallel in the Charge of a new Imposition of Faith, with those in the Creed of Pope Pius the Fourth aforementioned; yet, by what hath been observed, it is evident, that the Articles of the Church of England were not intended (as those of that Pope clearly were) for an Addition to the Faith declared by the Fathers at Nice, which (with all Christian Churches) we profess as Catholicks; but for information to direct our publick dis­courses generally as occasion serves, in matters of Religion, as we are united in the Communion of the particular Church of England, after a deliberate and sober Reformation; which to attempt and perform, as far as in them lies, no doubt all Bi­shops are as well obliged in duty by Christ's Command, [Apoc. 2 & 3 Cap.] as prescribed to do it orderly, by the 34. of the Apostles CanonsEpisco­pos unius­cujusque gentis nosse oportet eum, qui in eis est primus, & existimare eum ut caput: & nihil facere magni momenti, praeter illius sententiam: illa autem sola facere unumquemque quae ad suam paroeciam pertinent, & pagos qui ei subfunt..

To leave this long, though not unnecessary digression; This Infallibility (in the latitude the Roman party pleads for) is so very improbable, that Mr. Cressey (in his Neophytism) was not able to swallow it till he had shrunk it up into an In­defectibility; wherein we can heartily close with him. And for all that great priviledge, which make so much noise in the world, I do very well observe, that in many cases they are glad to rest satisfied with a probable Conscience. And in spight of that Infallibility, They must stand to the courtesie or ha­zard of a probable Opinion, to secure themselves (according to their practice) from the peril of Idolatry. And this is ac­knowledged by the Jesuite Ant. Terill, our Countryman, in his Tractate de Conscientia Probabili: Edit. Leo­dii, 1668. p. 387, &c. His words are these; Quid magis ad mores, &c. What does more concern man­ners [Page 11]and the strictness of the Law of Nature, than that the worship due to God be not bestowed upon a Creature; and yet it is lawful many times, out of a probable Opinion only, to bestow Divine worship upon the Eucharist, and to adore God when he is but probably latent there. For there is no true certainty; but only a Probability, that this numerical Host is rightly consecrated. First, It is not certain that he who did consecrate was a Priest, both be­cause it is not certain that he was baptized, as also, because it is not certain that he was (lawfully or) validly Ordained by a true Bishop, having an intention requisite to that ef­fect, &c. Secondly, It is not certain that he did pronounce the words of Consecration. If he did duly pronounce them, yet Thirdly, perhaps he had not a due intention. If all these things were (observed) as they should be, It is not certain, in the Fourth place, that a due matter was made use of; for the Bread might not be made of Wheat. Fifth­ly, Although all these things proceeded well and rightly; yet it is not indubitable, that the Officer to whom the custody of the venerable Sacrament belongs, did not ex­pose an Host that was not consecrated, instead of one that was (truly consecrated) to be adored. All these are ge­nerals, to which we may add the malice of mans heart, which is too vigorous in some persons. Upon these heads (saith he) we have known many Cheats too frequently practised in this matter; and they know it much better, who are employed as Judges upon the Tribunal of the Sacred Inquisition.’ Thus far Father Terill.

Now, if they of the Church of Rome have no certainty in their Sacraments, no certainty in their Sacrifice of the Al­tar, no certainty in their Priesthood, no certainty, but they may commit Idolatry every day; if they cannot be certain, but the malice of their Priests may frustrate all the sacred Or­dinances of God to them, and make them absolutely null, though they be never so worthily disposed to receive the bene­fit of them: (And this is the Doctrine and Belief commonly [Page 12]maintained in the Church of Rome.) They should rather blush at such an Infallibility, than boast of any great advantage to be reaped from it. For grant further, that that Infallibility were such as they would have it, yet they can have no secu­rity in it for salvation. 'Tis such as a man may carry into Hell with him (if it proves not a means to lead him thither,) where (for ought I know) the Devils have it as much as he. And Gregory the Seventh was of the same mind; Nam, ut Jacobus frater Domini testatur, fides sine operibus mortua est, qualem & Daemones habere fatetur; Non Ergo minùs est resistendum pertinacibus authenticarum institutionum im­pugnatoribus quam Sacrae fidei violatoribus, cùm & Daemo­nibus assimilentur quicunque institutionem SS. Patrum in fide tantum, & non etiam in conversatione pro viribus asse­ctatur? For as James, the Brother of our Lord, doth te­stisie, Faith without Works is dead, which kind of Faith he doth acknowledge to be in the Devils. We ought there­fore no less to resist such as are obstinate impugners of Au­thentick Institutions (viz. of Piety) than such as do vio­late the Sacred Faith, seeing they that do earnestly follow the instruction of the Holy Fathers in (matter of) Faith only, and not in (a holy) conversation are like unto the Devils.’ For this Infallibility is restrained to matters of Faith, and that Faith is but historical (as they call it) and not sufficient to salvation. ‘To the Essence of a Church, right Doctrines in Practicals are as necessary as in Specula­tives, if mortal Sin excludes from salvation, as well as an erroneous FaithR. H. Disc. of the Ne­cessity of Church Guides. p. 82.; as the Author of the Guide in Contro­versies does acknowledge.’ And this is the Doctrine of the Council of Trent, Sess. 6. de Justificatione: Si quis dixerit, solâ fide justificari, ita ut intelligat nihil aliud requiri quod ad Justificationis gratiam consequendam cooperetur, & nulla ex parte necesse esse cum suae voluntatis motu praeparari atque disponi, Anathema sit, Can. 9. If any man shall say, that Faith alone does Justifie, so that nothing else is required to cooperate towards the attainment of the Grace of Justi­fication, [Page 13]and that it is in no wise necessary that he should be prepared and disposed (to it) by any motion of his own will, let him be accursed. Et Can. 19. Siquis dixerit, nihil praeceptum esse in Evangelio praeter fidem, caetera esse indifferentia, neque praecepta neque prohibita, sed libera; aut Decem Praecepta nihil pertinere ad Christianos, Ana­thema sit. If any man shall say, there is nothing command­ed in the Gospel, but Faith; that all other matters are indifferent, neither commanded nor forbidden, but left free: or that the Ten Commandements do not concern Christians; let him be accursed. Et Can. 21. Si quis di [...]erit Christum Jesum à Deo hominibus datum fuisse, ut Redemptorem, cui fidant, non etiam ut Legislatorem, cui obediant; Anathema sit: that is, If any man shall say, that Christ Jesus was given unto man of God, as a Redeemer in whom they should trust, and not also as a Lawgiver, whom they should obey; let him be accursed.’ (Which Canons we can readily subscribe to:) From which it ap­pears beyond exception, that the Infallibility pretended by the Church of Rome is not to be relied on as sufficient for salvation. ‘The Creeds chiefly comprehending Specula­tives, there must be a great body of Articles also of ne­cessary Faith relating to Practicals; as R. H. C. 1. §. 3. p 4. maintains in his Discourse of the Necessity of Church Guides. But doth this Infallibility extend to all matters of Practical belief, as well as Speculative? Yes, saith R. H. Christ hath left an Infallible Guide for Manners as well as Faith Id. p. 176; and a little after, God hath provided by the same Church Autho­rity to preserve his Church in truth, and to restrain it from sin; giving an equal Commission to teach the ignorant, and to correct the vicious. And that since their Doctrine directs our Manners, as well as Faith; their Infallibility is as ne­cessary for things of Practice, as of Speculation. But if there be such an Infallibility in the Guides of the Church, not o [...]ly in reference to points of Faith, but to Doctrines of Practice also,1 Sam. 15.14. What meaneth then this bleating of the Sheep [Page 14]in mine ears, and this lowing of the Oxen, which I hear? Of the degeneracy of the Church in his time V. Bede writes thus:Apud Meisner de Ecclesia. p. 681, 682, 684. Videt quisque non sine lachrymis, &c. Every one sees not without tears, into what a weak and infirm con­dition the state of the Church does daily dwindle.’ And St. Bernard, in his time; Hodie serpit putida tabes, &c. Now-a-days an infectious and spreading Consumption hath seized the body of the Church, which the further it is dilated the more desperate it grows; and it is so much the more dangerous, by how much the more in­ward.’ And after him the Cardinal, Petrus de Aliaco, in a publick Sermon at the Council of Constans. Manifestum esse, saith he, &c. 'Tis apparent, that the Church hath of a long time been in several respects deformed, and not only hath (in time past) but doth now extreamly want a reformation as well in Faith as Manners.’ The like complaints are made in these our days; not against the corrupt Manners of wicked men only, but against the New Extravagant and pernicious Doctrines, which do lead to, and incourage such ill Manners: witness what was lately written by Macarius Havermans Canon of the Church of St. Michael, Ordinis praemonstratensis, in his Tyrocinium Christianae Moralis Theologiae Printed at Antwerp An. 1674.. Where, in his Epistle Dedicatory to the Abbot, writing of the (unhap­pily) fertile Age into which we are fallen; he saith thus, Quot Theologias Morales non edidit, &c. How many Sy­stems of Moral Divinity hath this Age brought forth, which are as so many whimsical fictions and opinions of Divines, grounded upon philosophical Arguments, swel­ling with curious and exquisite probabilities, and big with humane inventions.’ And in his Preface to the Rea­der he complains of the Arrogance of these new Doctors, in preferring their own Sentiments before the Doctrine of the Ancient Fathers, Councils, and Holy Scriptures: Hinc vix ullum, saith he, &c. Whence it comes to pa [...], that in their Writings you shall scarce find any place of [Page 15]Sacred Scripture, or the Ancient Councils, or Holy Fathers alledged; but they weight every thing in the ballance of their own understanding: And thus for Chri­stian Divinity (whose conclusions concerning God and his Attributes, &c. ought to be deduced from the un­erring and uncontrollable Doctrine of Gods word, and from the most secure Decrees of the Holy Fathers) they set up a Natural Theology or Philosophy grounded up­on the Principles of Aristotle and his Followers, whose Authority they alledge more frequently than that of St. Ambrose, Jerome, Austin, or any other Holy Fa­ther; not to say they do more value them: nay, so de­voted are they to their own Inventions, that a plausible Reason of their own shall be preferr'd before the gravest Sentiments and Maxims of the Holy Fathers.’

Hereupon Caramuel breaks out into that ingenuous ac­knowledgment, ‘I spend not much time, or rather lose it not, in turning over the Writings of the Ancients.’ And gives us his reason elsewhere, Because, saith he, as to ‘Manners the Opinions of the Moderns are to be pre­ferr'd to those of the Ancients. For as a late Writer hath it [in novae libertatis explicatione] the Modern Schoolmen had a greater insight into things, than the for­mer. And have also thought fit to reject whatsoever they approved or looked upon as not improbable: And (saith he) now, who sees not at the first glance, that those exorbitant Tenents are so abhorring from the De­crees of Antiquity, that they need no consutation; but that barely to mention them is to confute them? So that, to speak with St. Austin, I think them fitter to be be­wailed by Believers, than disputed against by me. Their clamours will sooner be drowned by Prayers and Tears, than by the noise of Arguments: And with­out doubt we shall do more advantage for such per­sons, if with our Prayers we endeavour their refor­mation, lest they perish with their great Wits, or [Page 16]ruine others with their damnable presumption. More­over, this slighting of the Holy Fathers is like to be very, pernicious to the Church; for if their Authority be so disesteemed and undervalued in matter of Man­ners, and that by Roman Catholick Writers, who can blame the Hereticks for not valuing their Authority in matters of Faith? for why should they be valued in matters of Faith, more than in matters of Manners? Are not Manners to be directed by the Authority of Divine Tradition, as well as Faith? Are not the Faithful as well Trustees of the Tradition of Manners, as of Faith?’ And a little after he exhorts his Reader thus: Pro para­doxo ergo reputamus, &c. Wherefore let us account that of a late Writer for a mere paradox (viz.) [Tota Theologia Moralis est nova] All Moral Divinity is whol­ly New. For if it be New, then it was not delivered by Christ, nor by his Apostles, nor by the Holy Fa­thers: And consequently, neither Christian, nor Apo­stolical, nor Orthodoxal; and that which is more, nei­ther is it true, nor genuine; but spurious and adul­terate, and for that reason not to be applauded, but condemned, not to be embraced, but banished, not to be alledged, but exploded. Tantum enim à veteri simplicitate, &c. (as it follows a little aftey) For we have so far started from the Primitive simplicity and Obedience, that there is scarce any Law but is rendred useless by the glosses of the Schoolmen, as it may ap­pear, if we please to trace them in some particular Laws: Of what great efficacy (I pray) will that Ec­clesiastical Law be, concerning Anniversary Confession and Communion, if it may be satisfied by a bare ex­ternal, though sacrilegious Communion and Confes­sion? Nevertheless, that a man may satisfie that Precept by such a sacrilegious Communion, many Schoolmen, de facto, do still teach. Again, of what force is that Law about hearing the Sacred Offices on the Lords [Page 17]day, and other Holy-days, if that Command may be sa­tisfied only by an external presence of the body; al­though during the whole time of the Sacrifice a man suffers his mind voluntarily to wander and be distra­cted, and taken up with impure and filthy Cogitations? And yet many Schoolmen teach this Doctrine. The Law for the observation of Fasting, how unprofitable it is rendred, is very notably set forth by Marchantius in the Complaint of (his personated) Sr. Jejunium Querimonia S. Jejunii, by Marchan­tius.. The like may be shewed in other Instances.’ Thus for Havermans. By all which we see the fruits of this great priviledge of Infallibility in the Church of Rome; viz. by their own Confession they have entertain'd a new Mo­ralSee Mon­taltius's Provincial Letters, with Wen­dorchius's Notes upō them. Latinè Co­lon. 1678. (and not the Primitive) for matters of Practice; and in our observation, they have done the like in matters of Faith and Speculation. And when we find so great a variation, we must needs conclude, That either the Ancient Church was not then; or else, That the present Church (which differs so much from it) is not now Infal­lible.

And now the Question may be put, Which particular Church is in the more safe condition? In the Church of England we have The Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, as St. James calls it, (James 2.1.) we have St. Peters [...] (1 Peter 3.15.) his Rationale of the Christian hope. We have St. Paul's Depositum, 1 Tim. 6.20.Quid est Depositū? id est, quod tibi creditum est, non quod à te inventum, Quod ac­ceptisti, non quod excogitasti. Rem non ingenii, sed doctrinae. Non usurpationis privatae, sed publicae traditionis. Rem ad te perductam, non à te prólatam, in qua non Author debes esse, sed Custos; non institutor, sed sectator: non ducens, sed sequens. Vincent. Lirinensis. and form of sound words, 2 Tim. 1.13. And it is undoubtedly St. Judes Faith we contend for, which, as Beza very well notes upon the place, was once, (and at once) so delivered to the Saints, that it ought never to be changed. That Faith which the Fathers of the Council [Page 18]of Nice professed we do very heartily embrace; we keep this Faith whole and undefiled. But from receiving any other, we are deterred by the Sentence of the Synod of Ephesus forementioned; Qui aliam fidem audent com­ponere, &c. Whosoever shall dare to compose, alledge or introduce any other Faith, if he be a Bishop or Cler­gy-man, he shall be degraded; if a Lay-man, excommu­cated.’ If the Faith thus delivered were sufficient for their salvation (in genere fidei) why not for ours? And herein, without all doubt, we are no less Infallible than the Church of Rome. And to the Ancient Fathers in the most Sacred Councils, this was theirLud. Bail. Sum. Con­cil. Tom. 1. in decreto de Symbo­lo. Sess. 3. m. pa. 522. Shield against all Heresies, Quo solo, &c. Through whose attractive power alone they have, in times past, drawn unbelievers to the Faith, resisted and rooted out Hereticks, and confirm'd the Faithful; as the Fathers of the Council of Trent do ac­knowledge. If there be any other points of Faith need­ful to salvation, our ignorance thereof (after a long and diligent search) is both involuntary and invincible, and that will totally excuse us.

For that superfatation of Articles by Pope Pius the Fourth, we were never Baptized into them, nor can we answer for them. The truth is, the Faith of the Church of England the Romanists can never justly reprehend, being more pure, more Primitive, and more Catholick than their own, and was professed intirely by all Christian Churches before some Articles of the present Church of Rome were ever known to have had a being. And for part of this we have a pregnant acknowledgment in the Council of Trent, where they set down this Symbolum fidei totidem verbis, quibus in omnibus Ecclesiis legitur; Lud. Bail. ubi supra. In the same words in which it is read in all Churches: And this they set down as that principle, wherein all that do profess the Faith of Christ do necessarily agree; (and) as that firm and only foun­dation, against which the gates of Hell shall never be able to prevail.

This Faith (I say) we do keep whole and undefiled; but, it seems, it was a foundation too narrow to bear up the Popish superstructures of Hay and Stubble: but yet, being the only foundation (as they confess,) and so firm, that the gates of Hell shall never prevail against it; we do stedfastly rest upon it, building our selves thereon, as St.Epist. Jude v. 20, 21. Jude directs us, in expectation of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to Eternal life. Towards the accomplishment whereof our Charity is so much more Catholick than theirs, that (with some craft and sophistry, though with little reason) they take an Argument from thence to delude the weak, and make them Proselytes to their par­ty.

For our Agenda, or matters of Practice, we have a Li­turgy that is full, solemn and intelligible, we have all Sacraments and Sacramentals that are generally necessary, or of any efficacy to salvation. And (besides all publick Offices) for private devotion and use, we have Institu­tions, and forms of Christian piety, no part of the Chri­stian Church better. Our Priesthood and Government you cannot, with any truth or reason, deny to be Apostolical; and if our Discipline be in some instances collapsed from the severity which it obtained in the practice of the An­cients, that of the Church of Rome is so likewise. And if we reflect upon the many disadvantages and perils, which are in Their Communion, they will warrant the se­curity in ours to be far the greater. Amongst the dis­advantages on that side, I reckon their half Sacraments against the express letter of our Saviours InstitutionMat. 26.26. 1 Cor. 11.23, &c.; and their Service in an unknown Tongue, contrary to the express discourse of the Apostle† 1. Cor. 14.. Amongst the perils, I must account (1) That of Idolatry, in the adoration of the Host. (2) The veneration of Images: (3) And the in­vocation of Saints. Secondly, Such as arise from the abuses in the matter of Confession and Penances, of Indul­gence and Dispensation, with many delusions under pretence [Page 20]of Revelations. Thirdly, Such as arise from several of their Doctrines, viz. That the Sacrament does conferr Grace [ex opere operato] from the Act performed, with­out any worthy or moral disposition in the Receiver. That Attrition, for fear of Hell, is sufficient, without Charity, to obtain Grace and pardon in the Sacrament of Penance. That in a case of Conscience, I may follow a probable opinion, which is more benign and gentle, and reject that which is more safe, if it be more severe and rigid. That a man is not obliged to decline and avoid, Proximam occasionem peccandi, the immediate danger of sinning, though he has had sad experience of his own frailty and recidivation: That the precept of Repentance does not bind presently, but only in the time of sickness, or at the point of death. These Doctrines are taught and pra­ctised, without any the least check of his Infallible Ho­liness.

Nor is the danger small, which ariseth from the per­swasion of their Infallibility. For from thence proceeds a belief, that whatsoever they take upon them to define is as true as Gospel: And what sad work this hath made in the Church of God we may observe from that single in­stance about the Sacrament. In a Council at Rome, under Nicholas the Second,An. Dom. 1059. Berengarius was enjoyned a form of Recautation, wherein he professed and swore, that the Bread and Wine, which are set upon the Altar, after Con­secration, are not only a Sacrament, but also the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And (that the said Body) is not in Sacrament only, but in truth (N. B) Sen­sualiter manibus Sacerdotum tractari, frangi & fidelium dentibus atteri, i. e. sensually handled by the Priest, broken and torn by the teeth of the Faithful. Expressions so gross to unfold an inexplicable mystery, that the Author of the Gloss upon Gratian gives his Reader this sober warning of them,De confect. dist. 2. c. 42. ego Bereng. Haec verba nisi sane intelligas, in majorem incides Haeresin, quam ipse Berengarius habuit: i. e. Unless you [Page 21]understand these words in a sound sense, you will fall into a greater Heresie than Berengarius was guilty of.’ And upon the account of this pretended Infallibility, I might add some Reflections upon those horrid Murthers, Treasons, and Rebellions, which have been encouraged and carried on out of a belief of the Popes Supremacy and Power over Princes, at least in ordine ad Spiritualia, in order to Church-matters; which must needs make a great flaw in their Allegiance. What think you of the Popes Nnncio at the head of the Irish Army.

Sir, if you will give your self the freedom impartially to consider the Answers that are made by the Romish Writers, to excuse what is charged upon them for these, and some other loose Doctrines and practices, you will find it no Fable, That their defences dwindle into mere evasions. I shall now conclude your trouble and my own with a few Animadversions upon the whole mat­ter.

First, That (how hot soever your Zeal may grow for the Church of Rome) you might have done much better service for the Church Catholick, if you had continued in the Communion of that part of it which is established in this Kingdom.

Secondly, To use the word of the Ingenious Author of [The Notion of Schisme,] that for any to desert the Church of England to communicate with that of Rome, is such a framick humor, as for a man to quit the neatest appart­ment and exchange for the most sluttish Rooms in the same House.

Thirdly, That you have given a scandal to your Bre­thren of the Church of England, contrary to that Caveat and Admonition of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10.32.Estius ad locum. And he that gives offence to his Brother, sins against God, whose handy-work he destroys, Rom. 14.20. He sins also against Christ, in destroying him for whom Christ died, Rom. 14.15.

Fourthly and Lastly, That by withdrawing your self from that subjection and obedience, which by the Laws of the Catholick Church you owe to your own Bishop, Primate, or Metropolitan, you run desperately into Schisme, while you are superstitiously solicitous to avoid it. For Schisma est contumax adversus Episcopum rebehio, quâ quis ejus communionem deserit, &c. Schisme is a plain Rebellion against the Bishop, whereby a man forsakes his Communion and endures no fellowship with him in Divine matters; as Christian Lupus hath it upon Ter­tullian Schol. ad cap 6. de praescript. Epist. 65..’ And St. Cyprian in an Epistle ad Rogatianum No­vensem, who had been affronted by his Deacon, saith thus: Haec sunt initia Haereticorum, &c. By these means He­reticks are hatched, and the endeavours of ill-minded Schismaticks promoted; who, that they may gratifie their humorsome whymfies, do supercilionsly contemn him that is set over them: thus men depart from the Church, and set up a prophane Altar (that is a Conven­ticle) without (the Communion of it): Thus they make war upon the Peace left by Christ, and rebel against Unity and the Ordinance of God.’ And Epist. 69. ad Florentium Pupianum, writing in reference to himself, he saith thus: Inde Schismata & Haereses abortae sunt & oriuntur, &c. Hence Heresies and Schismes have their rise; when as the Bishop, who is but one, and presides over the Church, is most presumptuously contemned; and the man dignified with a vocation from God, is thought unwor­thy thereof by men.’ That St. Cyprian writes thus, not in reference to the Bishop of Rome, but to himself and o­ther Bishops of particular Churches, is evinced by Goular­tius in his Annotations, ad Epist. 55. n. 27. against Pa­melius.

With great reason therefore did the Council of Nice decree, Can. 6. Antiqui mores serventur, &c. Let the Ancient customes and priviledges be preserved, That the Bishop of Alexandria may have the Junisdiction and power of them who are in Egypt, Lybia and Pen­tapolis; for so the Bishop of Rome hath customarily had (over his Province.) Likewise also in Antiochia and other Provinces, let their Priviledges be preserved (in­violable) to their (respective) Churches. The Epitome of which Canon runs thus: Super Aegyptum, Lybiam, & Pentapolim, Alexandrinus Episcopus potestatem habeat, & Romanus super Romae subditos. Item Antiochenus alii­que supêr suos: i. e. V. Pandect. à Guil. Be­verege E­dit. in 1. Concil. Nice. Cā. 6. Let the Bishop of Alexandria have Authority over Egypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis, and the Bishop of Rome over the Subjects of Rome. In like manner the Bishop of Antioch, and (all) other Bishops over their Subjects (in their respective Provinces.)’ And Alex. Aristenus hath this Gloss upon it,Ibid. Unumquemque Pa­triarcharum, &c. Every Patriarch ought to be content with his own priviledges, and not to usurp upon any other Province which was not heretofore, and from the beginning, under his power and Jurisdiction; for this is the pride of an (unjust) secular Dominion.’ And in the Second General Council held at Constantinople, Can. 2. it is decreed thus: ‘The Bishop shall not pass the bounds of their own Diocesses, nor confound (the priviledges of) the Churches, but govern themselves according to the Canons: And if we observe the Canon prescribed concerning Diocesses, it is clear that each Province shall be governed by the particular Synod of the same Pro­vince, as it is decreed by the Council of Nice. And Leo the Great had so great a veneration and zeal for the Authority and honour of that Synod, that in an Epistle to Anatolius Bishop of Constantinople, blaming him highly amongst other miscarriages, for invading the priviledges [Page 24]of the Churches of Alexandria and Antioch, he writes thus: ‘I grieve not a little, that you are fallen into so great an Error as to attempt the violation of the most sacred Constitutions of the Canons of Nice. viz. In attempt­ing to invade, after Alexandria and Antioch, the dig­nities and priviledges of all other Metropolitans: And blaming him for endeavouring to wheadle the most Chri­stian Emperour, and the holy Synod (called by his Autho­rity, for the extinguishing of Heresie and the Confirmation of the Catholick Faith) to serve his ambitious designs, he tells him, ‘That the Synod of Nice, consisting of three hundred and eighteen Bishops, was so Sacred, and consecratedTanto divinitùs privilegio Consecra­ta. with so great a priviledge from God, that whatsoever was done by any of their Councils, be they never so numerous, who assembled in them, it should be utterly void and of no Authority,Leo Mag. Epist. 53. inter ope­ra Paris, 1623. if it were dif­fering from what was Ordained by those Holy FathersQuicquid abiliorum fuerit Con­stitutione diversum..’ And in his Epistle to Martianus the Emperour, blaming the Ambition of Anatolius, as aforesaid, he condemns him for this reason; Privilegia enim Ecclesiarum, &c. For the priviledges of the Churches being established by the Canons of the Holy Fathers, and fixed by the Decrees of the venerable Synod of Nice, Let the Pope of Rome con­sider well these weighty Letters of his great Predeces­sors. are not to be changed or shaken by any wicked attempts of Novelty; but to be preserved inviolable: In which business, with Christs help, it is necessary that I exert my utmost endeavours as one instructed with a Dispensation. And it would become my guilt, if the Sacred Constitutions of the Fathers established by the Holy Ghost in the Synod of Nice, for the Government of the whole Church of God, should through my neglect or connivenceLud. Bail. reads it, Te (quod absit) con­nivente: and so applies it to the Emperour. In Sum. Concil. Tom. 1. m. p. 141. B. 2. (which God forbid) be violated or infringed, and the gratifying of one Brothers humor should be of more concern to [Page 25]me than the common benefit of the whole Church of God.’ And in an Epistle to Juvenalis Bishop of Jerusalem, and the rest of the Bishops assembled in the holy Synod of Chalcedon, he writes thus concerning the keeping of the Ordinances of the holy Fathers, which are fixed by invio­lable Decrees in the Synod of Nice. ‘I advise, That the rights of the Church may remain as they were ordained by those three hundred and eighteen Fathers, divinely inspi­rēd. Let not wicked Ambition covet anothers Right, nor let any man seek to augment himself by the lessening of another. For by what assentations soever a vain ela­tion may arm it self, and think to strengthen its inordi­nate desires by the name of Councils, whatsoever shall be disagreeable to the Canons of the foresaid Fathers shall be void and of no validity.’ Thus Leo the Great. And if there were any such thing as Infallibility or Autho­rity, either in this Pope Leo the Great, or in that first General, and most sacred Council of Nice, that Canon of theirs concerning the Jurisdiction and Priviledges of the Churches, is of full force, and ought to be observed in­violably at this day.

Now to apply this to our own case. It is evident out of several Records,See Bedes Histor. and the berty of the Brïtan­nick Ch. by Dr. Ba­sier. Lond. printed for John Mileson. 1661. That the Britannick Church was ever [...], and Independent, subject to no foreign Bishop, but under her own Metropolitan, having her Primacy and Headship, with all priviledge Ecclesiastical, within her self for six hundred years after Christ, till Austin the Monk, transgressing that Canon of Nice, did by force of Arms sub­due and captivate her to the See of Rome. The Popes Usurpation began here in blood, with the slaughter of Twelve hundred innocent and holy Monks, at Bangor; and all attempts to reinforce that Usurpation, are carried on by methods of the like nature, i. e. practices of fraud and vio­lence.W. Beverege Anno. ad Can. 6. Concil. Nicae. p. 58, 59. Nevertheless, as the Learned Beverege hath ob­served, the unjust violation of that Canon, cannot preju­dice [Page 26]the high and perpetual Authority of it. Wherefore though the Bishop of Rome, ever since he sent the afore­said Austin hither, hath exercised the chief Authority in this Nation; yet at last having shaken off his Tyrannical yoak, our Church (through Gods blessing) doth most de­servedly enjoy her Ancient priviledges, by that most worthy Ordinance and Canon, prescribed by the Universal Church, in this matter.

It is manifest then, that the Bishop of Rome can afford you no good Sanctuary against the Authority of that Bishop and Metropolitan, whose Communion you have forsaken. What therefore St. Hierome saith against John of Jerusalem, I may fitly apply to the Pope of Rome, Tu qui regulas quaeris Ecclesiasticas, & Nicaeni Concilii Canonibus uteris, & alienos Clericos & cum suis Episcopis commorantes tibi niteris usurpare; Responde mihi, Ad Alexandrinum Episcopum Pa­lestinam quid pertinet. Thou who seekest for Ecclesiastical Canons, and usest the Constitutions of the Council of Nice, and notwithstanding pretendest to usurp the Government over the Clergy of other Bishops, tell me, what hath the Bishop of Rome to do with Great Britain? Sir, from what hath been suggested it is evident, that the Bishop and Church of Rome have shamefully prevaricated both the Doctrine and Government of the Catholick Church, as it was declared and fix'd by the most Ancient and sacred Ge­neral Councils; The Doctrine, as well in matters of Faith as Manners; And the Government by usurping the Juris­diction and priviledges of other Churches.

And if (as you profess) you have not changed your Loyalty, I am very apt to believe, the wicked Plot now under Examination (with many of the like nature) may be sufficient to make you abhor the Com­munion of that Church, whose Morals can hatch such Monsters, and whose Governours do make it their busi­ness to Lowbel their pliant Creatures into designs of [Page 27]Treason and Assassination, by the help of false Lights, Bulls and Dispensations; and encourage them in the at­tempts by the fond applause of Merit, and a Crown of Red Letters. In short, the scandal hereof is so foul, it may very well become your ingenuity (and without doubt it will tend much to your reputation and inward peace) to take your leave of such Company, with good old Jacobs imprecation, Gen. 49.6. O my Soul, come not thou into their secret: unto their assembly, my Honour, be not thou united. And this is the Advice, which proceeds (though but from the common prudence, yet) from the highest Charity of,

Your most affectionate Friend, and faithful Servant, L. W.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.