THE Present State OF THE CONTROVERSIE BETWEEN THE Church of ENGLAND AND THE Church of ROME; OR, An Account of the Books written on both sides. In a LETTER to a Friend.


Guil. Needham,

LONDON: Printed for Tho. Basset, James Adamson, and Tho. Newborough, 1687.

THE Present State OF THE CONTROVERSIE BETWEEN THE Church of ENGLAND AND THE Church of ROME, &c. In a LETTER to a Friend.


IN pursuance of my promise made to you, to send you such an account as you desire, of what has been lately published here, with reference to the Points in Controversie between us and the Church of Rome; I now give you the trouble of this Address.

It was you know the design of the Clergy of this City some years since, to reduce the matters in debate with the Dissenting Party, to a certain number of [Page 4] Cases, and in the plainest and most inoffensive manner that they could, to shew them how little cause they had to separate from our Communion upon any of those pretences, which were said to be the cause of Separation. I need not tell you what their Performan­ces were, for you have read their Tracts, and are therefore able to judg, from your own knowledg, concerning them. As to the Success which they have had, we that live here, have not only observed that our Churches have been more charged since, but do also know, that several for whose sake those Discour­ses were principally intended, have declared them­selves abundantly satisfied, both with the strength and temper that appear'd in them.

When this first undertaking was finished, their next resolution was to run through the principal Points of difference between the Papists and us after the same manner, that those who had not the liesure or oppor­tunity to consult longer Books, might here in short be led to a true knowledg of the Controversie, and stand the firmer in the truth, by being better acquaint­ed with the grounds of it. It was also hoped, that many who had hitherto been detained in their Errors for want not so much of a Will to embrace the Truth, as of Light to discern it by, might possibly take this op­portunity of seeing with their own eyes, and disco­ver that way of Error in which their ignorance or their prejudices had so long detained them.

But before they had finished this their second un­dertaking, the sudden and unexpected Death of our late Royal Sovereign broke their measures, and from thenceforth they thought fit to be of the Defensive side, and for some time published no more Discourses of this kind, but waited to see whether the Gentle­men [Page 5] of the Roman Communion would make any At­taques upon us, or be contented that the Controver­sie shoud rest as it was.

But because you desire an Account of all that has been done of this nature, I will let you know how far they advanced in their design, and give you a Catalogue of their Tracts, tho not just in the order as they came out, yet in that order which seems to have been design'd, and is most natural for you to peruse them. And in the first place, as a prepara­tory to all the rest, there is a little Tract intituled,

I. A Perswasive to an ingenuous Trial of Opinions in Religion, &c.

and which they who know the unreasonable preju­dices of those of the Roman Communion, as to any free enquiry, cannot doubt to have been exceeding necessary. To which I must add,

II. The difference of the Case between the sepa­ration of Protestants from the Church of Rome, and the separation of Dissenters from the Church of England.

For both these Tracts, as you may easily discern, were design'd to remove such Mistakes and Prejudices as are common to Papists and to Dissenters, and were therefore thought to be a proper transition from the first undertaking to the second.

Then follow those Treatises that relate to the Que­stions about the Church, and for which our Adver­saries of late seem the most concern'd.

[Page 6] III. A Discourse of the Unity of the Catholick Church maintain'd in the Church of England.

IV. A Discourse about the Charge of Novelty upon the Reformed Church of England, made by the Papists, asking of us the Question, Where was our Religion before Luther?

V. The Protestant Resolution of Faith, being an Answer to three Questions,

  • 1. How far we must depend on the Authority of the Church for the true sense of Scripture?
  • 2. Whether a Visible Succession from Christ to this day, makes a Church which has this Visible Suc­cession, an infallible Interpreter of Scripture?
  • 3. Whether the Church of England can make out such a Visible Succession?

VI, VII. Two Discourses concerning the necessity of Reformation, with respect to the Errors and Corruptions of the Church of Rome.

Another sort of general Questions necessary to have been premised to the particular Disputes, do refer to the principle on which we are to proceed in the management of them.

And to this purpose there were published the two following Tracts,

[Page 7] VIII. A Discourse about Tradition, shewing what is meant by it, and what Tradition is to be re­ceived, and what Tradition is to be rejected.

IX. A Discourse concerning a Guide in matters of Faith, with respect especially to the Ro­mish pretence of such a one as is infallible.

Thus far they proceeded upon general Points, and no farther, tho more were design'd to be debated, as one may see by the dividing and managing of the Arguments which they finished, and as I my self have been told by some that were best able to inform me.

But as these general Discourses were coming a­broad into the World; the particular Disputes were prepared, and those that follow were published.

X. A Discourse concerning the Object of Reli­gious Worship; or, a Scripture Proof of the unlawfulness of giving any Religious Worship to any other Being besides the Supreme God.

XI. A Discourse concerning the Devotions of the Church of Rome, especially as compared with those of the Church of England, in which it is shewn, that whatsoever the Romanists pre­tend, there is not so true Devotion among them, nor such rational provision for it, nor encouragement to it, as in the Church establish­ed by Law amongst us.

[Page 8] XII. A Discourse concerning the Invocation of Saints.

XIII. Of Prayer in an unknown Tongue.

XIV. Of Auricular Confession, as it is prescribed by the Council of Trent.

XV. A Discourse against Transubstantiation.

XVI. Of the Adoration of the Host.

These are the Tracts that were published in pur­suance of that Design I mention'd before, since which time, our Divines have kept themselves, as I told you, upon the Defensive Part, their whole Work ha­ving been little else than to answer such printed Books, or Papers scatter'd about in writing, as the Romanists have from time to time sent abroad.

I need not tell you that at length we were surpri­sed with a Book published by some Romanist, which has made no little noise all over the Kingdom, and has been the occasion of many more: But that which surprised us was this, that there was not the least notice taken in it, of those Discourses now men­tioned, and not long before published in behalf of the Church of England against the Church of Rome.

The discreet Persons of that Communion acknow­ledged they were above Contempt; and it was the general perswasion of our Communion, that they would not admit of any just and reasonable Answer; and for this very reason, some appearance of an Answer [Page 9] was generally expected to save, if it might be, the reputation of the Roman Cause, or at least of the Ability of our Adversaries to maintain it, unless they should think fit to let the Controversie lye still, which if they had done, I believe our Divines had thought themselves obliged by the example, not to publish new Books upon it, but to content them­selves with that diligence in their Parochial Stations, that might be sufficient to countermine any secret endeavours to draw People from the Communion of this Church: But it seems our Adversaries thought fit to begin a Dispute, and that without taking the least notice of what had been so lately done on our side: Which tho we wondred at, at first, yet we have given over wondering at it now that we are something used to their way of Controversie. For some of them (as the Representer knows) can with­out blushing for the matter, drop the Defence of Arguments, and the maintaining of Disputes begun by themselves; and yet they write on still, as if the Cause went for them, and they had not made one false step in the management of it.

But I must now give you a particular account how these Gentlemen began, and in what manner they carried on that Assault, of which it is possible they may have had some cause to repent them since.

The first that led the way, was one that calls him­self R. L. with a Book full of Cunning and Dissimu­lation, intituled▪

A Papist Misrepresented and Represented.

In which he runs through most of the Points in Con­troversie between us in a two-fold Character; in [Page 10] one of which he pretends to shew that which Pa­pists are commonly misunderstood to be; in the other, that which, as he says, they really are.

The real design of this Method, you must know is this. Popery in its proper colours is so unlike Catho­lick Christianity, that it is in vain ever to hope to pro­mote it, if it appear in its own shape. It is necessary therefore, that the Religion, like the Prophet, should come to us in Sheeps cloathing, and the Heresie to be made look as Orthodox as is possible. Some things are denied, others mollified, all disguised, and a double benefit thereby obtaind: Popery is to be received as a very innocent, harmless thing; and the Protestants, especially the Ministers and first Reformers represent­ed to the World, as a sort of People that have sup­ported themselves by Calumnies and Lies, and made a noise about Errors and Corruptions, which are no where to be found, but in their own Brains or Books, but which the Church of Rome detests no less than We.

But this Trick was quickly discovered, and the design laid open by an excellent hand, in a Treatise which he called

I. The Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome truly represented; in answer to a Book intituled, A Papist Misrepresented and Repre­sented, &c.

In which the Author passes through every Point of his Characters, and truly states the Question between us, and gives a short, yet sufficient account of our Reasons against their Tenets.

[Page 11] I shall not need enlarge my self to give you any ac­count of this Controversie which has been lately sum­med up, to satisfie the World, that this Author has taken as little care to defend his Characters, as he shew'd Sincerity in the first drawing of them. The Books themselves that have passed on both sides are these.

Reflections upon the Answer to the Papist Misre­presented, &c.
II. A Papist not Misrepresented by Protestants, being a Reply to the Reflections, &c.

Papists protesting against Protestant Popery; in Answer to a Discourse intituled, A Papist not Misrepresented by Protestants.

III. An Answer to a Discourse intituled, Papists protesting against Protestant Popery, contain­ing a particular Examination of Monsieur de Meaux late Bishop of Condom's Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of Rome, in the Articles of the Invocation of Saints, and Wor­ship of Images.

An Amicable Accommodation of the difference be­tween the Representer and the Answerer, in re­turn to his last reply.

[Page 12] IV. An Answer to the Amicable Accom­modation of the Difference between the Representer and the Answerer.

A Reply to the Answer to the amicable Accommodation.

To which has lately been returned,

V. A View of the whole Controversie between the Representer and the An­swerer, with an Answer to the Re­presenters last Reply.

This is in short the Sum of what has hitherto pass'd in this Dispute, the Misrepresenter not having yet taken any notice of this new Antagonist, who it's thought by some, has summ'd up this Controversie so effectually, as to put an end to it. As for his second Part which he acted afterward under the Character of the Catholick Representer, I shall have occasion to give you some farther account of it when I come to those Pieces of our own Divines that have either been the occasion of, or the Answers to his Sheets and half Sheets.

[Page 13] The next that appeared upon the Stage, was the famous Bishop of Condom, the great Abettor, if not Founder of this new Sect of Expositors of their Re­ligion, and the occasion of his appearance this. Our Misrepresenter being answer'd the first time, as has been said by the Learned Author of the Doctrines and Pra­ctices of the Church of Rome truly represented. The new Method of Expounding and Representing, i. e. Dis­sembling the good Old Doctrine of the Church began to sink; and the People who were principally de­sign'd to be seduced by it, generally discovered the Snare that had been laid for them. It was now too late to recede into the old Popery again. The Misrepresenter had not only forsaken, but in good measure Anathematiz'd that, and profess'd that they abhorr'd it no less than we; and therefore to own it now, was in effect to confess that we had reason to reform those Errors which themselves were once ashamed to abet: So that what remained, was to put a good face upon the matter, and see if the Original Pattern, the pompous Exposition of this Bishop, with the long Relation of an Advertise­ment, and the glorious Trains of Briefs and Ap­probations before and behind, might not possibly support the undertaking, and keep up the credit of their new Popery, which must otherwise neces­sarily fall.

Such was the occasion, or rather the necessity of publishing this Bishpps Book, which you have seen under the Title of,

[Page 14] The Exposition of the Doctrine of the Catholick Church in matters of Controversie.

To which there have been two Answers made, of one of which there has been no notice taken by the other Party: 'Tis called

I. An Answer to the Bishop of Con­dom's Exposition, &c. with Refle­tions on his Pastoral Letter.

The only Excuse I can think of for the other Par­ties not replying to this Answer, was because an­other came out before it, which is yet but a lame pretence, since the Book is not only a direct and full Answer to all that was offered by the Bishop of Condom, either in the way of Exposition or Argu­ment, but has also a considerable variety of useful Reflections, which perhaps made it more advisable to let it alone, than to go about to consult it. The other is,

II. An Exposition of the Doctrine of [Page 15] the Church of England, in the several Articles proposed by the Bishop of Condom, in his Ex­position of the Doctrine of the Ca­tholick Faith

This Answer was so exquisite in all its parts, that it could not fail of gaining a general esteem; but the suddenness in which it was dispatch'd, rais'd the admiration of all. And that which made it yet more taken notice of, was the preface prefix'd to it, in which the worthy Author (who had the advantage of informing himself of these matters, by living some time in France) gives a large account of this Bi­shops Exposition, and of a suppress'd Edition, which it seems had carried the Trick a little too far, and therefore was not permitted to see the Light, toge­ther with some other matters of Fact that very much laid open the Design.

But to those particulars wherewith you are al­ready well acquainted, I beg leave to add another piece of History which I have learn'd concerning this matter.

You must understand then the project of Con­verting the French-Protestants, which has been more or less carried on ever since Henry the Fourth's time, was more especially agitated at the conclusion of the [Page 16] Pyrenean Treaty almost 30 years since: The Spaniards being apprehensive of the French Power, and willing to divert it by an undertaking, which they thought might find them work at home, and not leave them at leisure to disturb their Neighbours. It was re­solved there, at the same time that the Civil Power began to oppress them, the Church should offer some Terms of a Reunion to them, and all possible en­deavours be used to encline them to accept it: To this end Money was secretly given to several of the Ministers, to favour this Project; but the Design be­ing discover'd by a Minister of Bas-Languedoc, the Sy­nod of Nismes, Ann. 1662. and that of Cevennes being assembled not long after, appeard so vigorously against it, that they were forc'd to lay aside the Design for some time. About Ten years after it broke out again; but the Ministers of Languedoc and the Sy­nod of the Isle of France opposing it, as those of Nismes and Cevennes had done before, it came to nothing.

Now this second attempt was dated precisely at the same time that the Bishop of Condom's Ex­position began to see the Light: And that which convinces me that it was purposely contriv'd for the advancing this Design is this, that the Marshal de Turene, who was this Bishops Convert, and the principal Defender of this Exposition, was al­so at the same time the great Undertaker for this Project. 'Tis well known how to this end he sent a Person through the several Provinces of France, with private Instructions to those Ministers, which he thought he could most influence to close with it: [Page 17] And in effect he did obtain several of their Subscri­ptions, whom when the Protestant Synods would afterwards have censur'd for their so doing, the Kings Commissioners took their parts, and would not suffer them to do it.

And here I ought not to forget one particular which may be worth your knowledg, and that is this. Among others to whom the Marshal sent, one was the famous Monsieur le Blanc, he was at that time Prisoner at Sedan, and the moderation that he shewed in stating the Controversies of Grace, Free-Will, Predestination, &c. gave them great hopes that he might easily be drawn in to the favouring their Project of an Accomodation with the Church of Rome, by meeting one another half way. The Agent brought him a Letter from Monsieur de Turene to this purpose, but was mighti­ly surprized, when instead of what he expected, hee found him stiff and inflexible, and absolutely resolved not to relax any thing. Indeed the very attempt that was made upon him, so disturbed him, that he could not be satisfied with his private re­sentmeut of it, but in the year 1673. published a Disputation to them, that the re-union which they had attempted with the Lutherans made nothing to one with the Papists, which he there shews to be impossible.

This with what you have read in the Preface to the Tract, which has occasiond this Digression, may seem to satisfie you, what the Quality of the Bishop of Condom's Exposition is, and what intreague [Page 18] it was designed to serve. You have the Politiques of the Clergy of France, in which Book you may see the very Propositions that were made for this Accommodation, and which are a pure Original of New Popery, and so conformable to the French Expositor, and our English Misrepresenter, that you cannot doubt but that they all designed to carry on the same Design.

For the little value that is to be set upon the Approbations prefix'd to it: The Author of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of En­gland, has I think said enough to satifie you: To which you may add, that in the late Divisions be­tween the Jansenists and their Opposers in France, the Books on both sides have been very solemnly approved, and the Jansenists above any. And in the present Case, either the Approbations of the Bishop of Condom's Exposition signifie nothing, or those heretofore prefix'd to Cardinal Bellarmines Works, and their other learned Controvertists are become super-annuated; for all these cannot possi­bly stand together.

But I run too far from my business, and must re­turn to our Expositor, who was not long without an Answer, entituled

[Page 19] IV. A Vindication of the Bishop of Condom's Exposition, with a Let­ter from the said Bishop.

I will not tire you with giving my own sense of the Performances of any whose Titles I send you, and whose Books I leave you to judg of when you read them. I will only observe to you, that we are very much beholding to the Bishop, with confessing the particulars wich his Adversary had charged him with, and which there are many that before did hardly believe. And for his Excuses which he makes, the truth is, they are so little to the pur­pose, that he has gain'd but little credit even a­mong his Friends by them. And if this be as they say, the first notice he ever took of any Adversa­ry that appeared against him, he would do very well to have a care of setting out Vindications of his Works, at which he appears to be so horribly unlucky.

But for all this you may recur to the Reply that has been made by the same Author who wrote the Exposition of our Doctrine in his second under­taking, alled

V. A Defence of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of [Page 20] England, against the Exceptions of the Bishop of Condom and his Vindicator.

In which besides an Answer to the Bishops Let­ter, and a particular review of all the several Ar­ticles in debate, you will find in the Appendix some Pieces that will gratifie your Curiosity, relating to the Point of the Invocation of Saints. And in the close of all, the Epistle of S. Chrysostome to Caesarius, which had been indeed very basely suppress'd by by them, but is now happily recovered, to the ever­lasting reproach of those who have so often and confidently urged the Authority of that Father for to support their new Heresie of Transubstantiation, and which he here in as plain words speaks against, as if Peter Martyr had not only first produced, but as some of them have said, had written the Epistle for him.

And thus far this Controversie has proceeded, which at present stops here, though the Reverend Father who writ the Vindication, had prepar'd us to expect that it should not long do so, But we now begin to think, that both the Vindicator and the Representer, are sensible that their design will not bear being driven on any further.

[Page 21] But tho we have done with the business of the Expo­sition, yet we must not so soon part with the Bishop. For since the Publication of that, these new Popery­men, have favour'd the World with two other of his Pieces, the
  • 1. A Pastoral Letter to the New-Converts of his Diocess. The
  • 2. A Treatise of Communion under one kind.

The latter of these which had drawn in French an admirable Answer heretofore, from that exact Histori­an, Monsieur Larroque; which 'tis said, the Bishop him­self thought too strong to be answer'd with any advan­tage; has also not long since produced us a Treatise ve­ry worthy your perusing in our own Language, intitu­led

A Discourse of the Communion in one Kind, in Answer to a Treatise of the Bishop of Meaux, of Communion, &c.

And in the two Discourses, I mean the Bishops and the Answer, you may expect to find whatever Artifice and Insincerity can do on one side, or Truth and Learn­ing reply on the other.

For what concerns his Pastoral Letter, I have seen se­veral Answers to it in French, and one particularly very accurately done, called Reponse à Monsr. L'Eveque de Meaux sur sa lettre Pastorale; which if you think fit, I will send you: I do not know that any one has particu­larly undertaken it here, any farther than what was done [Page 22] by the Author of the second Answer to his Exposition, who made some Reflections upon the Pastoral Letter too.

In this Letter, there is one notable passage; and the account of which, because you may not perhaps meet with elsewhere, I will run the hazard of another Di­gression to offer it you here. In the 3d page, there is set in Capital Letters, this notable Declaration, Not one of you hath suffer'd Violence, either in his Person or Goods. And page 4. So far, says he, have you been from suffer­ing Torments, that you have not so much as heard them mentioned; I hear other Bishops affirm the same: You are returned peaceably to us, you know it.

I doubt not but this Passage a little surprised you, as it did all the World that ever read it; being so contrary to all the Accounts that have come from thence. Indeed His M [...]j [...]sties Brief alone may serve for a Confutation to so shameful an Assertion, and shew us how little we can rely upon those Gentlemen, when they talk to us of things that were done 12. or 14. years ago, that make no scruple of dealing thus with us in a matter of Fact, in the sight of the World, before whose Eyes these things are acted: Nay, to tell the very Protestants themselves, that they had suffer'd no Violence, that they knew it, when the contrary was as evident to them, as that their Host is not the Body of a Man; and no doubt the Bishop might as easily be able to prove the one, as with all his fine Words perswade the other.

But I will open to you the Mytery of this. You must know then, That, as far as I can learn, the Dragoons were not lodged in the Bishoprick of Meaux; but yet they came up to the very Gates of the City. Being thus in sight of their Danger, and expecting every mi­nute when it would fall upon them, the Bishop thought [Page 23] that certainly now, if ever, they would be disposed to compliance.

With this advantage he invites them to a Conference, appears more moderate than even his own Exposition; and desires very little more of them than what any one might venture to subscribe. Such advances backt with so good an Authority as the Dragoons at the Gates, could not but prevail upon them; they subscribed as he desired, and so the Dragoons were dismissed without doing them any farther mischief.

In this state, they continued for about three months, when the Bishop began to Visit his Diocess, and espe­cially, those parts in which there were the most Prote­stants. His carriage upon this review was very diffe­rent from what it had been before. He was now no longer the free, relaxing, good natur'd Bishop of Meaux, that held the Conference with them, but rigid as any little Emissary. He threatned those, who refused to go to Mass, and assist at the other Offices of the Church; and tho several told him that this was not what he had promised them, yet he took but little notice of it. Mons. de Soguier, Lord of Charmoi, and Cousin to the late Chancellor Soguier, and several others more obstinate than the rest, both had the Dragoons quar­ter'd upon them in his Diocess, and are at this day Pri­soners upon this Account. This I have read in some late French Pieces, which have taken notice of it; but the main of what I send you, is an extract of a Letter, which was written to a Friend of mine out of France; and who being himself not long since there, confirm'd to me several of those Particulars, as to this Bishops Diocess.

I presume you have heard how this Bishop, who in his Pastoral Letter dated March 24. denies, as you see, [Page 24] that there has been any thing of violence used to the Protestants in France, did in another Letter to a Per­son of Quality that had escaped thence, and whom he desired to draw back if possible to his Country, and his Church, both own and justifie the Persecution. This Letter was dated but Apr. 4. after the other. This Honourable person had such indignation against him for his double dealing, that he has permitted the Bi­shops Letter to him, to be printed; and which agrees as well with his Pastoral Letter, as his Exposition does with Cardinal Bellarmine's Controversies; the Old Po­pery from whence we reformed, with the New by which they would now seduce us.

A third subject there has been for a more important Controversie than either of the foregoing, occasioned by the Papers left by His Majesty concerning the Autho­rity of the Catholick Church; and the Method of which lies thus:

The two Papers written by the late King Charles the Second.

1. The Answer intituled, An Answer to some Papers lately printed concerning the Au­thority of the Catholick Church in mat­ters of Faith, and the Reformation of the Church of England.

To these there came out almost at the same time two Replies.

A Defence of the Papers written by the late King of Blessed Memory.

[Page 25] In which there is little remarkable besides the un­handsome levity of the stile, and the ungrateful drolls in a matter of so much seriousness.

A Reply to the Answer made upon the Three Royal Papers.

This is much more to be commended both for its strength and decency; and they would perhaps much more have served the interest of their Cause, and shewn their respect to His late Majesty, had they suffer'd no other to appear.

But to both of them the same worthy Author who wrote the former Reply, has very lately publisht a most Learned and Excellent Answer, and which I would very much recommend to your careful consideration, Enti­tuled,

2 A Vindication of the Answer to some late Papers concerning the Ʋnity and Authority of the Catholick Church, and the Reforma­tion of the Church of England.

A Discourse so Learnedly and clearly written, that we ought to thank our Adversaries for their importu­nity that has produced us so excellent a Treatise in a Point of such importance.

I think I have now set down all the Disputes that have proceeded to any length this last year: For the rest, they are either such as you may call Occasional Treatises only, or such as are not advanced into any set and regular debates.

I. Of the former kind I understand these following:

[Page 26] First, concerning St. Peter's Supremacy, a Discourse Intituled,

A Sermon preacht upon Saint Peter's Day, printed at the desire of some that heard it, with some Enlargements.

The Occasion of which was this: Dr. Godden had the last year published a Sermon on this Subject which he preacht in the Q. Dowagers Chappel; whereupon the Reverend Author of this Discourse having likewise preacht on the same day, and upon the same Text, was prevailed with to print his too.

Another Subject that has Occasionally produced us two or three very good Treatises, is, The Worship of Saints: Our late Misrepresenter and the Bishop of Meaux's Exposition having been pleased very much to palliate the Doctrine and Practice of the Church of Rome as to this matter; and pretending that what they now do is no more than what was done even in the Fourth Age of the Church; it was necessary some par­ticular discovery should be made of this Artifice, and it has accordingly been done very effectually in the following Tracts.

2 Speculum B. Virginis; A Discourse of the due Praise and Honour of the Virg. Mary.

In which is clearly set forth what we allow, and what the bold extravagancy of the Church of Rome has car­ri'd them to do in the Worship of the Blessed Virgin.

3 A Discourse of the Worship of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, with an account of [Page 27] the beginning and rise of it among Christi­ans, in Answer to Monsieur de Meaux's Appeal to the Fourth Age in his Expositi­on and Pastoral Letter.
4 Wholsome Advices from the Blessed Virgin to Her indiscreet Worshippers.

This last is but a Translation: It was written origi­nally by a Papist, one Mr. Widenfelt, a Person of good Esteem and Reputation in his Country; who being Scandalized at the extravagant Practices of his Church in this matter, wrote this little Treatise to awaken their Consideration, and if possible, reduce the People from their usual extravagance, to the Temper and Moderation of the present Advocates for their Cause, as to this matter. But alas! He found them too fond of their Old Popery, to leave it so easily: Instead of doing any good upon them, his Book was censured in a very extraor­dinary manner, and the Honour of the Blessed Virgin vindicated against these new Hereticks, by her faithful Champion Father Crasset the Jesuit: A short Specimen of whose Book you may see at the end of the Defence of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England; or if you had rather have it from their own Pens, as in­deed none can better expose their Extravagancies of this kind, than they have done themselves, you may then consult a late Popish Book called,

Contemplations on the life and glory of Holy Mary the Mother of Jesus; With a daily Office agreeing to each Mystery thereof. By [Page 28] J. C. D. D. To which he has since added, An Apology for his Contemplations, &c.

But of all this, you will find a particular account in an excellent Preface prefixt to these Advices by the Translator of it; who professes himself to be a Lay­man of our Church, and has the character of a very worthy, as he has sufficiently shewn himself to be a ve­ry ingenious Gentleman.

It may be proper here to remark, that this Preface has been attacked by the Catholick Representer; or the Misrepresenter transformed: in his 4th Chapter of his Second part; and to which he has returned a smart Re­ply, called,

5. A Letter to the Misrepresenter of Papists.

Another occasional Treatise came forth not long since, intituled,

6. A Discourse concerning a Judg of Contro­versies in matters of Religion; With an Address to wavering Protestants, shewing what little Reason they have to think of any change of their Religion.

It was written in Answer to some Papers that had been sent to the Learned Author, by a Person of Qua­lity, asserting the necessity of such a Judg. If I should tell you from whose Pen this Treatise came, you would need no other inducement carefully to read it. And to encourage you to it, I will only say thus much, that it has been generally received with great Applause [Page 29] here, and do's certainly as well deserve it, as any thing that has hitherto been publish'd among us.

Here has been published likewise a short Tract con­cerning the nature of the Catholick Church, and the Authority of it.

It is not level'd against any particular Author; but design'd to answer the little captious Arguments now much in vogue; and therefore, necessary to have been thus prevented: The chief points handled in it, are these three. 1. What is the Nature of the Catholick Church. 2. That the Church of Rome is not the Catholick Church. 3. That the Holy Scriptures, and not the Church, are the Rule of Faith. The Title of this Treatise, is this,

7. A plain and Familiar Discourse by way of Dialogue, betwixt a Minister and his Pa­rishioner concerning the Catholick Church.

To these I may add a Treatise, concerning the defe­ction of the Church of Rome from what it once was. It is an Answer to a Popish Paper, which the Author has Printed at the beginning of his Book, given about it seems by those of that party, and sent by way of Letter to a Gentleman: It is called,

8. An Answer to a late Paper given about by some of the Church of Rome.

Another Subject that has occasionally been handled, is, concerning Schism and Heresy: It is an Answer to some things in a Popish Pamphlet, called, Why, are you a Catho­lick? The Author treats of the Nature of these two, and enquires to which Church it is that they really do [Page 30] belong: In short, Whether the Papists or we, are Schis­maticks and Hereticks? The Title is this,

9. A Vindication of the Church of England from the foul Aspersions of Schism and He­resy, unjustly cast upon Her by the Church of Rome. In two Parts.

The last Subject that has occasionally, but yet more copiously been handled, and which upon that Account, I reserved to this place, is concerning the Worship of Images, &c. It began by this means. A Reverend Di­vine of our Church, took occasion from the late Preten­ces of our Misrepresenting the Opinions of the Papists, to set forth an excellent Catechism, called

10. A Catechism truly representing the Do­ctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome, with an Answer unto them.

It is not to be wonder'd that such a Book as this should be thought proper to be set forth; When the whole business of those of the other Communion, was to palliate by any means the true Doctrines and Pra­ctices of their Church; it certainly became us to repre­sent them to the World, as indeed they are. This has here been done from their own Authors, and with great Sincerity. But notwithstanding this, the Misre­presenter that then was, in one of his Answers to the first great Controversy I have mentioned, took him to task for it: In the close of a new Edition of this Cate­chism, an answer was made to his Exceptions. Not long after this, the Misrepresenter began a new under­taking, [Page 31] to oblige the World with a Sheet a week, first; called the Second Part of the Papist Represented and Misrepresented; and after, of half a Sheet, which he has continued to the number of sixteen Chapters, under the new Character of the Catholick Representer. In his 1st, 2d, 5th and 6th Sheets or Chapters, he falls upon the Author of this Catechism, with reference to the Point of the Worship of Images, and of the Cross; which has produced us three short, but yet excellent Answers, called

  • 1. The Papists Represented and not Mis­represented, in Answer to the first Sheet of the Second part.
  • 2. The like to the Second. And
  • 3. To the Fifth and Sixth.

The business of all which is the same, viz. to shew what the true Doctrine of the Church of Rome is in the Points hefore mention'd, Of the Worship of Images, and of the Cross.

For the other sort of Tracts that have been written,

II. More immediatly in Answer to some of their set Discourses.

They have also been on different Subjects: Such as these.

(1.) Concerning Transubstantiation.

Upon which their late Attempts, either to set up that, or to ruin the other Mysteries of the Gospel, but especi­ally, that of the Trinity, have occasioned several short, but accurate Discourses: I shall send you the Titles of them.

[Page 32] 1. The Answer to the Popish Dialogue between a new Catholick Convert and a Protestant, to prove the Mystery of the Trinity to be as absurd a D [...]ctrine as Transubstantiation: By way of short Notes upon the said Dialogue.

2. The Doctrine of the Trinity and Transubstantiation compared, as to Scripture, Reason, and Tradition: In Answer to the same, and in two Parts.

To which I will add for the Affinity of the Subject, two other Treatises, viz.

3. A Paraphrase with Notes, and a Preface upon the 6th Chapter of St. John, shewing that there is neither good Reason, nor sufficient Authority to suppose that the Eucharist is discoursed of in that Chapter, much less to infer the Doctrine of Tran­substantiation from it.

4. An Historical Treatise of Transubstantiation, writ­ten by an Author of the Communion of the Church of Rome: Wherein is made appear, that according to the Principles of that Church, this Doctrine cannot be an Article of Faith.

To these Discourses upon this subject, we cannot more fitly add any thing, than what has lately been done on another relating to the Holy Eucharist, viz.

(2.) Concerning the Real Presence, and Adoration of the Host.

You ought to know very well what gave occasion to this Controversie; viz. the two Discourses set out by Mr. W—at Oxford on this Subject. As for the An­swer to them, it was sent you into the Country, and bears this Title:

[Page 33] 5. A Discourse of the Holy Eucharist in the two great Points of the Real Presence, and of the Adoration of the Host; in Answer to the two Discourses set forth at Oxford on the same Subject.

It was I believe expected that this Controversie would have either exposed our Church, had we own'd the ex­travagant notion of the Real Presence Mr. W—would put upon us, and which is indeed Cousin Ger­man to Transubstantiation; or have raised, it may be, a Civil War amongst us, if we did not. But I believe both their expectations will fail them; for certainly whate­ver some particular persons may have believed them­selves, yet the Doctrine of the Church of England is plainly as the Answerer has represented it; and as we expect it will be farther proved in the other Reply which we are told is preparing at Oxford by an Eminent Person there to the same Book.

There is prefixt to this extant, a very large Preface, which has properly enough retorted Mr. W's—Argu­ment; and shewn the World that if other Divines (as he pretends) have believed a Substantial Presence of Christ's Natural Body in the Holy Eucharist, 'tis more than many of the most Eminent of theirs have done, who are here plainly discover'd not to have believed Transubstantiation.

A third Subject that has given occasion to another Answer, is what they have called a Protestants plea for a Socinian. The design was to prove, that in interpre­ting Scripture by Reason, and not submitting to the In­fallible Interpretation of what they call the Church, we make an Apology for the Socinians, and all other Hereticks whatsoever. The falseness of this Pretence has been at large shewn in the Answer which an Eminent person of our Church has lately put out to it, called,

[Page 34] 6. The Difference between the Protestant and Soci­nian Methods, in Answer to a Book, Entituled, A Protestants Plea for a Socinian.

In which besides a full account of this matter, you will find many other Curiosities relating to the Method and Principles of the Socinians, which you have never it may be elswhere met with.

To these I may add the Answers that have been set forth by way of Notes on some Papers called, Lucilla and Elizabeth, or the Donatist and Protestant Schisms parallel'd. And, A Request to Protestants to produce plain Scripture directly authorizing certain Tenets, which he there subjoins. The Answers are called,

7. A Protestant of the Church of England no Do­natist.
8. An Answer to the Request to Protestants, &c.

Which last Answer has had a Reply called, Protestan­cy destitute of Scripture-proof, against which there is, I am told, a Defence of the Answer now in the Press.

There are some other little things which I ought not to forget, because they have done a great deal of good.

As, The plain mans Reply to the Catholick Missio­naries.
And An Answer to the Eighth Chapter of the Representers second Part in the first Dialogue between him and his Lay-friend.

Published by the Lay-man of whom I have spoken above. As for the Conference at the D. of P. which you [Page 35] have heard of, one Mr▪ G. who maintained the Roman side, tried to resolve the Infallibility of the Church in­to Oral Tradition, and afterwards boasted so unmeasu­rably of the Advantages he had made of the Controver­sie, that he drew upon himself a just rebuke in a Prin­ted Paper called,

A Letter to Mr. G. concerning the Conference at the D. of P.

Which having produced two Letters from the other side, there presently came forth,

A second Letter to Mr. G. in Answer to Two Letters lately published concerning the Conference at the D. of P.

There is also lately published a Discourse by an Inge­nious and worthy Gentleman, concerning the Authority of Councils, &c. to which is added a short but an effe­ctual Answer to the Eighth Theses, by which Mr. W.— in his Part V. of Church-Government pretends to try the English Reformation. The Title is,

Of the Authority of Councils, and the Rule of Faith. By a Person of Quality. With an Answer to the Eight Theses laid down for the Trial of the English Reforma­tion, in the Book that came last Week from Oxford.

After which there came forth a Discourse which is here exceedingly well received, and the Design whereof is sufficiently explained by the Title, Viz.

An Apologetical Vindication of the Church of Eng­land, in Answer to those who reproach her with the Eng­lish Heresies and Schisms, or suspect her not to be a Ca­tholick Church upon their account.

[Page 36] I ought not to conceal the Answer to that Libel up­on the Reformation which you have seen, called Pax Vobis; though it is not a just Answer to the Book, but a Preface rather to more that is to follow. The Title is

Some Dialogues between Mr. G. and others, with Re­flexions upon a Book called Pax Vobis.

When the Answerer has finished his design, you may have what remains, as I am told under the same Title.

I shall conclude your Trouble at present with telling you of a Sett of Discourses concerning the Notes of the Church, as they are laid down by Bellarmine. Thus far the Design has proceeded already.

  • 1. A Brief Discourse concerning the Notes of the Church, with some Reflexions on Cardinal Bellarmine's Notes.
  • 2. Bellarmine's first Note of the Church, concerning the Name of Catholick examined.
  • 3. The 2d Note of the Church examined, viz. Antiquity.
  • 4. The 3d Note of the Church examined, viz. Duration.

I perceive we may expect the rest in Order. I am Sir,

Yours, &c.

Imprimatur, Liber cui Titulus, [An Answer to the Representer's Reflections upon the View of the Controversie, with a Reply to the Vindi­cator's Full Answer.]

H. Maurice, Rmo. in Christo P. D. Wilhelmo Archiep. Cant. a Sacris.

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