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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

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PlUKCETay. N. J. 

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And sold by J. Parker, Oxford ; Deighton and Sons, Cambridge ; D. Brown, 
Waugh and Innes, and H. S. Baynes and Co. Edinburgh ; Chalmers and' 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; M. Keene, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 






To the Reader ^ iii 

Preface vi 

Our author's preface. And his method 17 

Heathen pleas. General principles 21 

Motive, matter, and method of our author's book 58 

Contests about religion and reformation, schoolmen, &c. 62 

Obscurity of God, &c. 75 

Scripture vindicated • • • 89 

Use of Reason 94 


Jews' objections 98 


Protestant pleas 105 

Scripture; and new principles 112 

Story of religion .•••••• 120 


Reformation • 128 

Popish contradictions • 135 

Mass 139 

Blessed Virgin • 147 

Images • » • l5l 

Latin service • • 157 

CHAP. xvin. 

Communion " 175 

Saints • -•' • • • • • 185 

Purgatory 192 

Pope • . • 199 

Popery 208 


To tlie Reader «.,.....'* ccxiii 

CHAP. I. 429 

Vindication of the first chapter of the Animadversions. The method of Fiat 
Lux. Romanists' doctrine of the merit of good works 249 

A defence of the seco^nd chapter of the Animadversions. Principles of Fiat 
Lux re-examined. Of our receiving the gospel from Rome. Our abode 
with tlifm from whom we received it 256 



Farther vindication of the first chapter of the Animadversions. Church of 
Rome not what she was of old. Her falls and apostacy. Difference be- 
tween idolatry, apostacy, heresy, and schism. Principles of the church 
of Rome condemned by the ancient church, fathers, and councils. Impos- 
ing rites unnecessary. Persecution for conscience. Papal supremacy. 
The branches of it. Papal personal infallibility. Religious veneration of 
images : 264 


Other principles of Fiat Lux re-examined. Things not at quiet in religion, 
before reformation of the first reformers. Departure from Rome no cause 
of divisions. Returnal unto Rome, no means of union • • • • 295 


Farther vindication of the second chapter of the Animadversions. Scripture 
sufficient to settle men in the truth. Instance against it, examined, removed. 
Principles of Protestants and Romanists in reference unto moderation, com- 
pared and discussed • •.- • 302 


Unity of faith, wherein it consists. Principles of Protestants as to the settling 
men in religion and unity of faith, proposed and confirmed 319 


Principles of Papists, whereon they proceed in bringing men to a settlement 
in religion and the unity of faith, examined 349 


Proposals from Protestant principles tending unto moderation and unity • • • • 383 


Farther vindication of the second chapter of the Animadversions ; the remain- 
ing principles of Fiat Lux considered 393 

Judicious readers. Schoolmen the forgers of popery. Nature of the dis- 
course in Fiat Lux 398 


False suppositions, causing false and absurd consequences. Whence we had 
the gospel in England, and by whose means. What is our duty in refer- 
ence unto them by whom we receive the gospel 403 

Faith and charity of Roman Catholics 430 

Of reason. Jews' objections against Christ 438 



Picas of prelate Protestants. Christ the only supreme and Absolute head of 
the church » 444 


The power assigned by Papists and Protestants unto kings in matters ecclesi- 
astical. Their several principles discussed and compared 465 


Scripture. Story of the progress and declension of religion vindicated. 
Papal artifices for the promotion of their power and interest. Advantages 
made by them on the Western empire 484 

Reformation of religion. Papal contradictions. ' Ejice ancillam' 502 


Of preaching the mass: and the sacrifice of it. Transubstantiation. Service 
of the church • 506 


Of the blessed Virgin 524 


Images. Doctrine of the council of Trent. Of the second Nicene. The ar- 
guments for the adoration of images. Doctrine of the ancient church. Of 
the chief doctrine of the Roman church. Practice of the whole. Vain 
foundations of the pretences for image worship examined and disproved • . ibid. 

Of Latin service 562 

Communion 585 

Heroes. Of the ass's head, whose worship was objected to Jews and Cliristians ibid. 










The treatise, entitled ' Fiat Lux,' which thou wilt find 
examined in the ensuing discourse, was lent unto me, 
not long since, by an honourable person, with a request 
to return an answer unto it. It had not been many- 
hours in my hand, before the same desire was seconded 
by others. Having made no engagement unto the 
person of whom I received it, the book, after some few 
days, was remanded; yet, as it fell out, not before I 
had finished my animadversions upon it. But before 
I could send my papers to the press, I heard of a se- 
cond edition of that treatise ; which also occasionally 
coming to my hands, I perceived it had been printed 
some good while before I saw or heard of the first. 
Finding the bulk of the discourse increased, I thought 
it needful to go through it once more, to see if any 
thing of moment were added to that edition which I 
had considered, or any alterations made by the author's 
second thoughts. This somewhat discouraged me, 
that, my first book being gone, I could not compare 
the editions, but must trust to my memory, none of the 
best, as to what was, or was not, in that I had perused. 
But not designing any use in a mere comparing of the 
editions, but only to consider, whether in either of them 
any thing material was remaining, either not heeded 
by me, in my hasty passage through the first, or added 
in the second, undiscussed; I thought it of no great 
concernment to inquire again after the first book. What 
B 2 


of that nature offered itself unto me, I cast my 
thoughts upon, into the margin of what was before 
written, inserting it into the same continued discourse. 
I therefore desire the reader, that he may not suspect 
himself deceived, to taie notice, that whatever quota- 
tions out of that treatise he meets withal, the number of 
pages throughout, answers the first edition of it. 

Of the author of that discourse, and his design 
therein, I have but little to premise. He seems at 
first view to be a Napthali, a hind let loose, and to 
give goodly words. But though the voice we hear 
from him sometimes, be the voice of Jacob ; yet the 
hands that put forth themselves, in his progress, are 
the hands of Esau. Moderation is pretended, but his 
counsels for peace, centre in an advice for the extermi- 
nation of the Ishmael (as he esteems it) of Protestancy. 
We know full well, that the words he begins to flourish 
withal, are not ' Vox ultima Papse.' A discovery of the 
inconsistency of his real and pretended design, is one 
part of our business. Indeed, an attentive reader, can- 
not but quickly discern, that persuasions unto modera- 
tion in different professions of Christian religion, with 
a relinquishment of all others to an embracement of 
popery, be they never so finely smoothed, must needs 
interfere. But yet with words, at such real variance 
among themselves, doth our author hope to impose his 
sentiments in religion, on the minds of noble and in- 
genuous persons, not yet accustomed to those severer 
thoughts and studies, which are needful to form an exact 
judgment in things of this nature. That he should upon 
any obtain both his ends, moderation, and popery, is 
impossible. No two things are more inconsistent. Let 
him cease the pursuit of the latter, and we will follow 
after the former with him, or without him. And if any 
man be so unhappily simple, as to think to come to 
moderation in religion-feuds, by turning Romanist, I 


shall leave him for his conviction to the mistress of 
such wise men. My present business is, as I find, to 
separate between his pleas for the moderation pre- 
tended, and those for popery really aimed at. What 
force there may be in his reasons, for that which he 
would not have, I shall not examine, but shall manifest 
that there is none in them he uses for what he would. 
And, reader, if this hasty attempt for the prevention of 
the application of them find acceptance with thee, I 
shall, it may be, ere long, give thee a full account of 
the new ways and principles, which our author, and 
the men of the same persuasion, have of late years re- 
solved on, for the promotion of their cause and interest. 



Considering the condition of affairs in these nations, 
in reference to the late miscarriages, and present dis- 
tempers of men about religion ; it was no hard conjec- 
ture, that some would improve the advantage, seeming 
so fairly to present itself unto them, unto ends of their 
own: men of prudence, ability, and leisure, engaged 
by all bonds imaginable in the pursuit of any special 
interest, need little minding of the common ways of wis- 
dom for its promotion. They know, that he that would 
fashion iron into the image and likeness which he hath 
fancied, must strike whilst it is hot ; when the adven- 
titious efficacy of the fire it hath admitted, makes it 
pliable to that whereunto in its own nature, it is most 
opposite. Such seems to be, in these days, the temper 
of men in religion, from those flames wherewith some 
have been scorched, others heated, all provoked, and 
made fit to receive new impressions, if wisely hammered. 
Neither was it a difficult prognostication for any one 
to foretell what arguments and mediums would be made 
use of, to animate and enliven the persuasions of men, 
who had either right, or confidence enough, to plead or 
pretend a disinterest in our miscarriages, for an em- 
bracement of their profession. Commonly with men 
that indulge to passion and distempers, as the most of 
men are apt to do, the last provocation blots out the re- 
membrance of preceding crimes no less heinous. And 
whatever to the contrary is pretended, men usually have 
not that indignation against principles which have pro- 
duced evils they have only heard or read of, that they 


have against practices under which they have person- 
ally suffered. Hence it might easily be expected, 
that the Romanists, supposing, at least by the help of 
those paroxyms they discern amongst us, that the mis- 
carriages of some of their adversaries would prove a 
garment large enough to cover and hide their own, 
would, with much confidence, improve them to their 
special advantage. Nor is it otherwise come to pass. 
This persuasion and suitable practice thereon runs 
through all the veins of the discourse we have pro- 
posed to consideration ; making that seem quick and 
sprightly, which otherwise would have been but a 
heap, or a carcase. 

That then this sort of men would not only be an- 
gling in the lesser brooks of our troubled waters, endea- 
vouring to inveigle wandering, loose, and discontented 
individuals, which hath been their constant employ- 
ment; but also come with their nets into our open 
streams ; was the thoughts of all men, who count them- 
selves concerned to think of such things as these. There 
is scarce a forward emissary amongst them, who cries 
not in such a season, 'An ego occasionem mihi osten- 
tatam, tantam, tam bonam, tam optatam, tam inspera- 
tam, amitterem?' What baits and tacklings they would 
principally make use of, was also foreknown. But the 
way and manner which they would fix on for the ma- 
nagement of their design, now displayed in this dis- 
course, lay not, I confess, under an ordinary prospect. 
For, as to what course the wisdom of men will steer 

them, in various alterations, fxavng apiarog oang eiKatu 

KaXwc, ' He is no mean prophet that can but indiffer- 
ently guess.' But yet there wanted not some beams of 
light to guide men in the exercise of their stocastic fa- 
culty, even as to this also. That accommodation of re- 
ligion, and all its concernments unto the "humours, 
fancies, and conversations of men, wherewith some of 


late have pleased themselves, and laid snares for the 
ruin of others, did shrewdly portend, what in this at- 
tempt of the same party we were to expect. Of this 
nature is that poetical strain of devotion so much ap- 
plauded and prevailing in our neighbour-kingdom ; 
whereby men, ignorant of the heavenly power of the 
gospel, not only to resist, but to subdue the strongest 
lusts and most towering imaginations of the sons of 
men, do labour in soft and delicate rhymes, to attem- 
perate religion unto the loose and airy fancies of per- 
sons wholly indulging their minds to vanity and plea- 
sure. A fond attempt of men not knowing how to ma- 
nage the sublime, spiritual, severe truths of the gospel, 
to the ingenerating of faith and devotion in the souls of 
sinners ; but yet that which they suppose is the only 
way left them to prevent the keeping of religion, and 
the most of their party at a perpetual distance. So Ma- 
homet saw it necessary to go to the mountain, when the 
mountain for all his calling would not come to him. 
And of the same sort is the greatest part of the casuis- 
tical divinity of the Jesuits. A mere accommodation 
of the principles of religion to the filthy lusts and 
wicked lives of men, who on no other terms would re- 
sign the conduct of their souls unto them, seems to be 
their main design in it. On these effects of others, he 
that would have pondered what a wise and observing 
person of the same interest with them, might apprehend 
of the present tempers, distempers, humours, interests, 
provocations, fancies, lives of them, with whom he in- 
tends to deal, could not have failed of some advantape 
in his conjectures at the way and manner wherein he 
would proceed in treating of them. It is of the many, 
of whom we speak ; on whose countenances, and in 
whose lives, he that runs may read provocations from 
former miscarriages, supine negligence of spiritual and 
eternal concernments, ignorance of things past Ijiyond 


what they can remember in their own days, sloth 
in the disquisition of the truth, willingness to be ac- 
commodated with a religion pretended secure and un- 
concerned in present disputes, that may save them and 
their sins together without farther trouble, delight in 
quaint language and poetical strains of eloquence, where- 
unto they are accustomed at the stage, with sundry 
other inward accoutrements of mind not unlike to these. 
To this frame and temper of spirit, this composition of 
humours, it was not improbable, but that those who 
should first enter into the lists in this design, would 
accommodate their style and manner of procedure; 
' Nee spem fefellit expectatio.' The treatise under con- 
sideration, hath fully answered whatever was of con- 
jecture in this kind. Frequent repetitions of late pro- 
vocations, with the crimes of the provokers ; confident 
and undue assertions of things past in the days of old; 
large promises of security temporal and eternal, to na- 
tions and all individuals in them ; of facility in coming 
to perfection in religion without more pains of teaching, 
learning, or fear of opposition; all interwoven with tart 
sarcasms, pleasant diversions, pretty stories of himself 
and others, flourished over with a smooth and handsome 
strain of rhetoric, do apparently make up the bulk of 
our author's discourse. Nor is the romance of his con- 
version, much influenced by the tinkling of bells, and 
sweeping of churches, suited unto any other principles : 
a matter, I confess, so much the more admirable, be- 
cause, as I suppose it, in the way mentioned, to have 
been his singular lot and good hap; so it was utterly 
impossible, that for five hundred, I may say a thousand 
years after Christ, any man should on these motives be 
turned to any religion, most of them being not in those 
days ' in rerum natura.' A way of handling religion he 
hath fixed on, which, as I suppose, he will himself ac- 
knowledge, that the first planters of it were ignorant of; 


SO I will promise him, that if he can for a thousand 
years after they have began their work, instance in any 
one book of an approved Catholic author, written with 
the same design that this is, he shall have one proselyte 
to his profession ; which is more, I suppose, than other- 
wise he will obtain by his learned labour. That this is 
no other, but to persuade men, that they can find no 
certainty or establishment for their faith in Scripture, 
but must for it devolve themselves solely on the autho- 
rity of the pope, will afterward be made to appear, nor 
will himself deny it. But it may be, it is unreasonable, 
that when men are eagerly engaged in the pursuit of 
their interest, we should think from former presidents, 
or general rules of sobriety, with that reverence which 
is due to the things of the great and holy God, to im- 
pose upon them the way and manner of their progress. 
The event and end aimed at, is that which we are to 
respect; the management of their business in reference 
to this world and that which is to come, is their own 
concernment. No man, I suppose, who hath any ac- 
quaintance with the things he treats about, can abstain 
from smiling, to observe how dexterously he turns and 
winds himself in his cloak (which is not every ones 
work to dance in), how he gilds over the more comely 
parts of his Amasia, with brave suppositions, presump- 
tions, and stories of things past and present, where he 
has been in his days ; covering her deformities with a 
perpetual silence ; ever and anon bespattering the first 
reformation and reformers in his passage. Yea, their 
contentment must needs proceed to a high degree of 
complacence, in whom compassion for the woful state 
of them whom so able a man judgeth like to be en- 
veigled by such flourishes and pretences, doth not ex- 
cite to other affections. The truth is, if ever there blew 
a wind of doctrine on unwary souls ev KwjSfta tmv avOpio- 

7TI0V, iv navovpy'iq 7r{)oc Tt]v fuBo^Hav Tr}t; TrXavrjg, We have 


an instance of it in this discourse. Such a disposition 
of cogging slights, various crafts in enticing words, is 
rarely met with. Many, I think, are not able to take 
this course in handling the sacred things of God, and 
eternal concernments of men ; and more, I hope, dare 
not. But our author is another man's servant ; I shall 
not judge him, he ' stands or falls to his own master.' 
That which the importunity of some noble friends hath 
compelled me unto is, to offer somewhat to the judg- 
ment of impartial men, that may serve to unmask him 
of his gilded pretences, and to lay open the emptiness 
of those prejudices and presumptions, wherewith he 
makes such a tinkling noise in the ears of unlearned 
and unstable persons. Occasion of serious debate is 
very little administered by him ; that which is the task 
assigned me, I shall as fully discharge as the few hours 
allotted to its performance will allow. 

In my dealing with him, I shall not make it my bu- 
siness to defend the several parties, whereinto the men 
of his contest are distributed by our author as such ; 
not all, not any of them. It is the common Protestant 
cause which, in and by all of them, he seeks to oppose 
so far as they are interested and concerned therein ; 
they fall all of them within the bounds of our present 
defensative. Wherein they differ one from another, or 
any, or all of them do or may swerve from the princi- 
ples of the Protestant religion, I have nothing to do 
with them in this business : and if any be so far ad- 
dicted to their parties, wherein, it may be, they are in 
the wrong, as to choose rather not to be vindicated and 
pleaded for, in that wherein with others I know they 
are in the right, than to be joined in the same plea with 
them from whom in part they differ, I cannot help it. 
I pretend not their commission for what I do ; and they 
may, when they please, disclaim my appearance for 
them. I suppose by this course I shall please very few. 


and I am sure I shall displease some, if not many ; I 
aim at neither, but to profit all. I have sundry reasons 
for not owning or avowing particularly any party in this 
discourse, so as to judge the rest, wherewith I am not 
bound to acquaint the world. One of them I shall, and 
I hope it is such a one, as may suffice ingenuous and 
impartial men, and thereunto some others may be 
added. The gentleman whose discourse I have under- 
taken the consideration of, was pleased to front and 
close it with a part of a speech of my lord chancellor ; 
and his placing of it manifests how he uses it. He sa- 
lutes it in his entrance, and takes his leave also of it, 
never regarding its intendment, until coming to the 
close of his treatise ; to his ' salve' in the beginning, he 
adds an ' seternum vale.' That the mention of such an 
excellent discourse, the best part in both our books, 
might not be lost, I have suited my plea and defensative 
of protestantism, to the spirit and principles and excel- 
lent ratiocinations of it ; behind that shield I lay the 
manner of my proceeding, where, if it be not safe, I care 
not what becomes of it. Besides, it is not for what the 
men of his title page are differenced amongst them- 
selves, that our author blames them ; but for what he 
thinks they agree in too well, in reference to the church 
of Rome ; nor doth he insist on the evils of their con- 
tests to persuade them to peace amongst themselves, or 
to prevail over them to centre in any one persuasion 
about which they contend ; but to lead them all over to 
the pope. And if any of them with whom our author 
deals and sports himself in his treatise, are fallen off 
from the fundamental denominating principles of Pro- 
testant religion, as some of them seem to be, they come 
not within the compass of our plea, seeing, as such, 
they are not dealt with by our author. It is the Pro- 
testant religion in general, which he charges with all 
irregularities, uncertainties, and evils, that he expatiates 


about ; and from the principles of it, doth he endeavour 
to withdraw us. As to the case then under debate with 
him, it is enough, if we manifest that that profession of 
religion is not liable or obnoxious to any of the crimes 
or inconveniences by him objected unto it ; and that 
the remedy of our evils, whether real or imaginary, 
which he would impose upon us, is so far from being 
specifical towards their cure, that it is indeed far worse 
than the disease pretended : to the full as undesirable 
as the cutting of the throat, for the cure of a sore finger. 
There is no reason therefore in this business, wherefore 
I should avow any one persuasion about which Pro- 
testants that consent in general in the same confession 
of faith, may have or actually have difference amongst 
themselves ; especially, if I do also evince there is no 
cogency in them, to cause any of them to renounce the 
truth wherein they all agree. 

Much less shall I undertake to plead for, excuse, or 
palliate the miscarriages of any part or parties of men 
during our late unhappy troubles : nor shall I make 
much use of what offers itself in a way of recrimination. 
Certain it is, that as to this gentleman's pretensions, 
sundry things might be insisted on, that would serve to 
allay the fierceness of his spirit, in his management of 
other men's crimes to his own ends and purposes. The 
sound of our late evils, as it is known to all the world, 
began in Ireland, amongst his good Roman Catholics, 
who were blessed from Rome into rebellion and murder, 
somewhat before any drop of blood was shed in Eng- 
land or Scotland, 

Oculis male lippus inunctis 

Cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutuni 
Quam aut Aquila aut Serpens Epidaurius ? 

Let them that are innocent throw stones at others ; Ro- 
man Catholics are unfit to be employed in that work. 
But it was never judged either a safe or honest way, to 


judge of any religion by the practices of some that have 
professed it. Men by doctrines and principles, not 
doctrines by men, was the trial of old. And if this be 
a rule to guide our thoughts in reference to any reli- 
gion, namely, the principles which it avows and asserts, 
I know none that can vie with the Romanists in laying- 
foundations of, and making provision for, the disturb- 
ance of the civil peace of kingdoms and nations. For 
the present, unto the advantage taken by our author 
from our late unnatural wars and tumults to reflect on 
protestancy, I shall only say, that if the religion of sin- 
ners be to be quitted and forsaken, I doubt that pro- 
fessed by the pope must be cashiered for company. 

Least of all, shall I oppose myself to that modera- 
tion in the pursuit of our religious interests, which he 
pretends to plead for. He that will plead against mu- 
tual forbearance in religion, can be no Christian, at 
least no good one. Much less shall I impeach what he 
declaims against,that abominable principle of disturbing 
the peace of kingdoms and nations, under a pretence 
of defending, reforming, or propagating of our faith and 
opinions. But I know that neither the commendation 
of the former, nor the decrying of the latter, is the pro- 
per work of our author ; for as the present principles 
and past practices of the men of that church and reli- 
gion which he defends, will not allow him to entertain 
such hard thoughts of the latter as he pretends unto ; 
so as to the former, where he has made some progress 
in his work, and either warmed his zeal beyond his first 
intendment for its discovery, or has gotten some confi- 
dence that he hath obtained a better acceptance with 
his reader, than at the entrance of his discourse he could 
lay claim unto, laying aside those counsels of modera- 
tion and forbearance which he had gilded over, he 
plainly declares, that the only way of procuring peace 
amongst us; is by the extermination of protestancy. For 


having compared the Roman Catholic to Isaac, the pro- 
per heir of the house, and Protestants to Ishmael vexing 
him in his own inheritance, the only way to obtain 
peace he tells us, is, * Projice ancillam cum filio suo;' 
'Cast out the handmaid with her son;' that is, in the gloss 
of their former practices, either burn them at home, or 
send them to starve abroad. There is not the least rea- 
son then, why I should trouble myself with his flou- 
rishes and stories, his characters of us and our neigh- 
bour nations, in reference unto moderation and forbear- 
ance in religion ; that is not the thing by him intended ; 
but is only used to give a false alarum to his unwary 
readers, whilst he marches away with a rhetorical per- 
suasive unto popery. In this it is wherein alone I shall 
attend his motions ; and if, in our passage through his 
other discourses, we meet with any thing lying in a di- 
rect tendency unto his main end, though pretended to 
be used to another purpose, it shall not pass without 
some animadversion. 

Also, I shall be far from contending with our au- 
thor in those things wherein his discourse excelleth, 
and that upon the two general reasons of will and abi- 
lity. Neither could I compare with him in them if I 
would, nor would if I could. His quaint rhetoric, biting 
sarcasms, fine stories, smooth expressions of his high 
contempt of them with whom he has to do ; with many 
things of that sort, the repetition of whose names hath 
got the reputation of incivility, are things wherein, as I 
cannot keep pace with him (for ' illud possumus quod 
jure possumus'), so I have no mind to follow him. 




Our author's preface. And his method. 

It is not any disputation, or rational debate, about differ- 
ences in religion, that our author intends ; nor, until towards 
the close of his treatise, doth he at all fix directly on any 
thing in controversy between Romanists and Protestants. 
In the former parts of his discourse, his design is sometimes 
covered, always carried on in the way of a rhetorical decla- 
mation ; so that it is not possible, and is altogether needless, 
to trace all the particular passages and expressions as they 
lie scattered up and down in his discourse, which he judgeth 
of advantage unto him in the management of the work he 
has undertaken. Some suppositions there are which lie at 
the bottom of his whole superstructure, quickening the ora- 
tory and rhetorical part of it (undoubtedly its best), which 
he chose rather to take for granted, than to take upon him- 
self the trouble to prove. These being drawn forth and re- 
moved, whatever he hath built upon them, with all that paint 
and flourish wherewith it is adorned, will of itself fall to the 
ground. I shall then first briefly discuss what he offers as 
to the method of his procedure, and then take this for ray 
own : namely, I shall draw out and examine the fundamental 
principles of his oration, upon whose trial the whole must 
stand or fall, and then pass through the severals of the whole 
treatise, with such animadversions, as what remaineth of it 
may seem to require. 

His method he speaks unto, p. 13. ' My method/ saith 
VOL. xviii. c 


he, ' T do purposely conceal, to keep therein a more hand- 
some decorum : for he that goes about to part a fighting 
fray, cannot observe a method, but must turn himself this 
way and that, as occasion offers ; be it a corporal or mental 
duel. So did good St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, 
which, of all his other epistles, as it hath most of solidity, so 
it hath least of method in the context : the reason is,' &c. 
These are handsome words, of a man that seems to have good 
thoughts of himself and his skill in parting frays. But yet 
I see not how they hang well together, as to any congruity 
of their sense and meaning. Surely, he that useth no me- 
thod, nor can use any, cannot conceal his method ; no, 
though he purpose so to do. No man's purpose to hide, will 
enable him to hide that which is not. If he hath concealed 
his method, he hath used one ; if he hath used none, he hath 
not concealed it : for, that which is wanting cannot be num- 
bered. Nor hath he by this, or any other means, kept any 
' handsome decorum :' not having once spoken the sense, or 
according to the principles of him whom he undertakes to 
personate ; which is such an observance of a decorum as a 
man shall not lightly meet with. Nor hath he discovered 
any mind so to part a fray, as that the contenders might 
hereafter live quietly one by another; his business being 
avowedly to persuade as many as he can to a conjunction in 
one party, for the destruction of all the rest. And whatever 
he saith of * not using a method,' that method of his dis- 
course, with the good words it is set off withal, is the whole 
of his interest in it. He pretends indeed, to pass through 
' loca nullius ante Trita solo ;' yet, setting aside his manage- 
ment of the advantages given him by the late miserable tu- 
mults in these nations ; and the provision he has made for the 
entertainment of his reader, are worts boiled a hundred 
times over, as he knows well enough. And, for the method 
which he would have us Ijelieve not to be, and yet to be con- 
cealed, it is rather fieOodda than fxtOodog ; rather a crafty va- 
rious distribution of enticing words, and plausible pretences 
to inveigle and delude men unlearned and unstable, than any 
decent contexture of, or fair progress in, a rational discourse, 
or regular disposition of nervous topics, to convince or per- 
suade the minds of men, who have their eyes in their heads. 
I shall therefore little trouble myself farther about it, but 


only discover it as occasion shall require ; for the discovery 
of sophistry is its proper confutation. 

However, the course he steers is the same that good St. 
Paul used in his Epistle to the Romans, which hath, as he 
tells us, 'most of solidity and least of method of all his Epis- 
tles.' I confess I knew not before, that his church had de- 
termined which of St. Paul's epistles had ' most of solidity,' 
which least. For I have such good thoughts of him, that, I 
suppose, he would not do it of his own head ; nor do I know 
that he is appointed umpire to determine upon the writings, 
that came all of them by inspiration from God, which is most 
solid. This therefore must needs be the sense of his church, 
which he may be acquainted with twenty ways that I know 
not of. And here his Protestant visor, which by and by he 
will utterly cast off, fell off from him, I presume at unawares. 
That he be no more so entrapped, I wish he would take no- 
tice against the next time he hath occasion to personate a 
Protestant ; that although for method purely adventitious, 
and belonging to the external manner of writing, Protestants 
may affirm, that one epistle is more methodical than another, 
according to those rules of method, which ourselves, or other 
worms of the earth like to ourselves, have invented ; yet, for 
their sohdity, which concerns the matter of them, and effi- 
cacy, for conviction, they affirm them all equal. Nor is he 
more happy in what he intimates of the immethodicalness of 
that epistle to the Romans : for, as it is acknowledged by 
all good expositors, that the apostle useth a most clear, dis- 
tinct, and exact method in that epistle, whence most theolo- 
gical systems are composed by the rule of it ; so our author 
himself assigneth such a design unto him, and the use of 
such ways and means in the prosecution of it, as argues a di- 
ligent observance of a method. I confess he is deceived in 
the occasion and intention of the epistle, by following some 
few late Roman expositors, neglecting the analysis given of 
it by the ancients : but we may pass that by ; because I find 
his aim in mentioning a false scope and design, was not to 
acquaint us with his mistake, but to take an advantage to 
fall upon our ministers ; and, I think, a little too early, for 
one so careful to keep a handsome decorum, for ' culling out 
of this epistle, texts against the Christian doctrine of good 
works done in Christ, by his special grace, out of obedience 


to his command, with a promise of everlasting reward and 
intrinsic acceptability thence accruing.' Thus we see still 

Incceptis gravibus plenmcjue et magna professis 
Purpureus late qui splendeat unus et alter 

Assuitur pannus ; 

Sed nunc non erat his locus. 

Use of disputing has cast him, at the very entrance of his 
discourse, upon, as he supposeth, a particular controversy 
between Protestants and Roman Catholics, quite besides his 
design and purpose; but, instead of obtaining any advan- 
tage, by this transgression of his own rule, he is fallen upon 
a new misadventure ; and that so much the greater, because 
it evidently discovers somewhat in him besides mistake. I 
am sure I have heard as many of our ministers preach as he, 
and read as many of their books as he, yet I can testify, that 
I never heard or read them opposing ' the Christian doctrine 
of good works.' Often I have heard and found them pressing 
a universal obedience to the whole law of God, teaching men 
to abound in good works, pressing the indispensable neces- 
sity of them from the commands of law and gospel, encou- 
raging men unto them by the blessed promises of acceptance 
and reward in Christ, declaring them to be the way of men's 
coming to the kingdom of heaven ; affirming, that all that be- 
lieve are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and for men 
to neglect, to despise them, is wilfully to neglect their own sal- 
vation. But, 'opposing the Christian doctrine of good works;' 
and that with ' sayings culled out of St. Paul's Epistle to the 
Romans,' I never heard, I never read any Protestant minister. 
There is but one expression in that declaration of the doc- 
trine of good works, which, he saith, Protestants oppose, 
used by himself, that they do not own ; and, that is their ' in- 
trinsic acceptability :' which I fear he doth not very well 
miderstand. If he mean by it, that there is in no good works 
an intrinsical worth and value, from their exact answerable- 
ness to the law, and proportion to the reward, so as on rules 
of justice to deserve and merit it; he speaks daggers, and 
doth not himself believe what he says, it being contradic- 
tious; for he lays their acceptability on the account of the 
promise. If he intend, that God having graciously promised 
to accept and receive them in Christ, they become thereupon 
acceptable and rewardable ; this, Protestant ministers teach 


daily. Against the former explication of their acceptability, 
in reference to the justice of God, on their own account, and 
the justification of their persons that perform them, for them ; 
I have often heard them speaking, but never with any au- 
thority, or force of argument, comparable to that used by St. 
Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, to the same purpose. But 
this tale of Protestants opposing the Christian doctrine of 
good works, hath been so often told by the Romanists, that I 
am persuaded, some of them begin to believe it ; however it be 
not only false, but from all circumstances, very incredible. 
And finding our author hugely addicted to approve any thing 
that passeth for current in his party, I will not charge him 
with a studied fraud ; in the finding it so advantageous to 
l)is cause, he took hold of a very remote occasion to work an 
early prejudice in the minds of his readers, against them and 
their doctrine, whom he designeth to oppose. When he 
writes next, I hope he will mind the account we have all to 
make of what we do write and say, and be better advised, 
than to give countenance to such groundless slanders. 


Heathen pleas. General principles. 

We have done with his method, or manner of proceeding ; 
our next view shall be of those general principles and sup- 
positions, which animate the partenetical part of his work, and 
whereon it is solely founded. And here I would entreat him 
not to be offended, if, in the entrance of this discourse I 
make bold to mind him, that the most, if not all, of his pleas, 
have been long since insisted on by a very learned man, in a 
case not much unlike this which we have in hand ; and were 
also long since answered by one as learned as he, or as any 
the world saw in the age wherein he lived, or it may be since, 
to this day, though he died now 1400 years ago. The per- 
son I intend is Celsus the philosopher, who objected the very 
same things, upon the same general grounds, and ordered 
his objections in the same manner, against the Christians of 
old, as our author doth against the Protestants. And the an- 


swer of Origen to his eight books, will save any man the la- 
bour of answering this one, who knows how to make appli- 
cation of general rules and principles, unto particular cases 
that may be regulated by them. Doth our author lay the 
cause of all the troubles, disorders, tumults, wars, wherewith 
the nations of Europe have been for some season, and are 
still, in some places, infested, on the Protestants? So doth 
Celsus charge all the evils, commotions, plagues, and fa- 
mines, wherewith mankind in those days was much wasted, 
upon the Christians. Doth our author charge the Protestants, 
that by their breaking oflf from Rome, with schisms and se- 
ditions, they made way for others, on the same principles to 
break off seditiously from themselves ? So did Celsus charge 
the Jews and Christians ; telling the Jews, that by their se- 
ditious departure from the common worship and religion of 
the world, they made way for the Christians, a branch of 
themselves, to cast off them and their worship in like man- 
ner, and to set up for themselves : and, following on his ob- 
jection, he applies it to the Christians, that they, departing 
from the Jews, had broached principles for others to improve 
into a departure from them ; which is the sum of most that 
is pleaded with any fair pretence, by our author, against 
Protestants. Doth he insist upon the divisions of the Protes- 
tants, and to make it evident that he speaks knowingly, 
boast, that he is acquainted with their persons, and hath 
read the books of all sorts amongst them ? So doth Celsus 
deal with the Christians, reproaching them with their divi- 
sions, discords, mutual animosities, disputes about God and 
his worship ; boasting, that he had debated the matter with 
them, and read their books of all sorts. Hath he gathered a 
rhapsody of insignificant words, at least, as by him put toge- 
ther, out of the books of the Quakers, to reproach Protes- 
tants with their divisions ? So did Celsus, out of the books 
and writings of the Gnostics, Ebionites, and Valentinians. 
Doth he bring in Protestants, pleading against the sects that 
are fallen from them, and these pleading against them, justi- 
fying the Protestants against them, but at length equally re- 
jecting them all ? So dealt Celsus with the Jews, Christians, 
and those that had fallen into singular opinions of their own. 
Doth he manage the arguments of the Jews against Christ, 
to intimate that we cannot well by Scripture prove him to 


be so? The very same thing did Celsus, almost in the very 
words here used. Doth he declaim openly about the obscu- 
rity of divine things, the nature of God, the works of cre- 
ation and providence, that we are not like to be delivered 
from it by books of poems, stories, plain letters ? So doth 
Celsus. Doth he insist on the uncertainty of our knowing 
the Scripture to be from God ; the difficulty of understanding 
it ; its insufficiency to end men's differences about religion 
and the worship of God ? The same doth Celsus at large, 
pleading the cause of paganism, against Christianity. Doth 
our author plead, that where, and from whom, men had their 
religion of old, there and with them they ought to abide, or 
to return unto them? The same doth Celsus, and that with 
pretences far more specious than those of our author. Doth 
he plead the quietness of all things in the world, the peace, 
the plenty, love, union, that were in the days before Protes- 
tants began to trouble all, as he supposeth, about religion? 
The same course steers Celsus, in his contending against 
Christians in general. Is there intimated by our author, a 
decay of devotion and reverence to religious things, temples, 
&c.? Celsus is large on this particular ; the relinquishment 
of temples, discouragement of priests in their daily sacri- 
fices, and heavenly contemplations, with other votaries ; con- 
tempt of holy altars, images, and statues of worthies de- 
ceased, all heaven-bred ceremonies and comely worship by 
the means of Christians, he expatiates upon. Doth he pro- 
fess love and compassion to his countryihen, to draw them off 
from their folly, to have been the cause of his writing? So 
doth Celsus. Doth he deride and scoff at the first reformers, 
with no less witty and biting sarcasms than those wherewith 
Aristophanes jeered Socrates on the stage? Celsus deals no 
otherwise with the first propagators of Christianity. Hath 
he taken pains to palliate and put new glosses and interpre- 
tations upon those opinions and practices in his religion, 
which seem most obnoxious to exception ? The same work 
did Celsus undertake, in reference to his Pagan theology 
and worship. And in sundry other things may the parallel 
be traced ; so that I may truly say, I cannot observe any 
thing of moment or importance of the nature of a general 
head or principle in this whole discourse made use of against 
Protestants, but that the same was used, as by others of old. 


80 in particular by Celsus, against the whole profession of 
Christianity. I will not be so injurious to our author, as 
once to surmise, that he took either aim or assistance in his 
work from so bitter a professed enemy of Christ Jesus, and 
the religion by him revealed ; yet he must give me leave to 
reckon this coincidence of argumentation between them, 
amongst other instances that may be given, where a simili- 
tude of cause hath produced a great likeness, if not identity, 
in the reasonings" of ingenious men. I could not satisfy 
myself without remarking this parallel ; and perhaps, much 
more needs not to be added, to satisfy an unprejudiced 
reader in, or to, our whole business : for if he be one that is 
unwilling to forego his Christianity, when he shall see that 
the arguments that are used to draw him from his protes- 
tancy, are the very same in general, that wise men of old 
made use of to subvert that which he is resolved to cleave 
unto ; he needs not much deliberation with himself what to 
do or say in this case, or be solicitous what he shall answer, 
when he is earnestly entreated to suffer himself to be deceived. 
Of the pretences before mentioned, some with their ge- 
nuine inferences, are the main principles of this whole dis- 
course. And seeing they bear the weight of all the pleas, 
reasonings, and persuasions that are drawn from them, 
which can have no farther real strength and eflficacy, than 
what is from them communicated unto them, I shall present 
them in one view to the reader, that he lose not himself in 
the maze of words, wherewith our author endeavours to lead 
him up and down, still out of his way; and that he may 
make a clear and distinct judgment of what is tendered to 
prevail upon him to desert that profession of religion where- 
in he is engaged. For, as I dare not attempt to deceive any 
man, though in matters incomparably of less moment than 
that treated about; so, I hope, no man can justly be offended, 
if in this I warn him to take heed to himself, that he be not 
deceived. And they are these that follow : 

I. ' That we in these nations first received the Chris- 
tian religion from Rome, by the mission and authority of 
the pope.' 

II. 'That whence, and from whom, we first received our 
religion; there, and with them, we ought to abide, to them 
we must repair for guidance in all our concernments in it, 


and speedily return to their rule and conduct, if we have de- 
parted from them.' 

III. 'That the Roman profession of religion and practice 
in the worship of God, is every way the same as il was when 
we first received our religion from thence ; nor can ever other- 
wise be.' 

IV. 'That all things as to religion were quiet and in peace, 
all men in union and at agreement amongst themselves, in 
the worship of God, according to the mind of Christ, before 
the relinquishment of the Roman see by our forefathers.' 

V. ' That the first reformers were the most of them sorry 
contemptible persons, whose errors were propagated by indi- 
rect means, and entertained for sinister ends.' 

VI. 'That our departure from Rome hath been the cause 
of all our evils, and particularly of all those divisions which 
are at this day found amongst the Protestants, and which 
have been ever since the reformation.' 

VII. ' That we have no remedy of our evils, no means of 
ending our differences, but by a return unto the rule of the 
Roman see.' 

VIII. ' The Scripture upon sundry accounts is insufficient 
to settle us in the truth of religion, or to bring us to an agree- 
ment amongst ourselves; seeing it is, 1. Not to be known 
to be the word of God, but by the testimony of the Roman 
church ; 2. Cannot be well translated into our vulgar lan- 
guage ; 3. Is in itself obscure ; and, 4. We have none to de- 
termine of the sense of it.' 

IX. ' That the pope is a good man, one that seeks nothing 
but our good, that never did us harm, and hath the care and 
inspection of us committed unto him by Christ.' 

X. ' That the devotion of the Catholics far transcends that 
of Protestants, nor is their doctrine or worship liable to any 
just exception.' 

I suppose our author will not deny these to be the prin- 
cipal nerves and sinews of his oration ; nor complain, I have 
done him the least injury in this representation of them ; or 
that any thing of importance unto his advantage by himself 
insisted on, is here omitted. He that runs and reads, if he 
observe any thing that lies before him, besides handsome 
words and ingenious diversions, will consent that here lies 
the substance of what is offered unto him. I shall not need 


then to tire the reader and myself, with transcriptions of 
those many words from the several parts of his discourse, 
wherein these principles are laid down and insinuated, or 
gilded over, as things on all hands granted. Besides, so far 
as they are interwoven with other reasonings, they will fall 
again under our consideration in the several places where 
they are used and improved. If all these principles upon 
examination be found good, true, firm, and stable, it is most 
meet and reasonable that our author should obtain his de- 
sire ; and if, on the other side, they shall appear some of them 
false, some impertinent, and the deductions from them so- 
phistical, some of them destructive to Christian religion in 
general ; none of them singly, nor all of them together able 
to bear the least part of that weight which is laid upon them; 
I suppose he cannot take it ill, if we resolve to be contented 
with our present condition, until some better way of deli- 
verance from it be proposed unto us; which, to tell him the 
truth, for my part, I do not expect from his church or party. 
Let us then consider these principles apart, in the order 
wherein we have laid them down, which is the best I could 
think on upon the sudden, for the advantage of him who 
makes use of them. 

The first is a hinge, upon which many of those which 
follow do in a sort depend ; yea, upon the matter, all of them. 
Our primitive receiving Christian religion from Rome, is 
that which influences all persuasions for a return thither. 
Now if this must be admitted to be true, that we in these 
nations first received the Christian religion from Rome, by 
the mission and authority of the pope, it either must be so, 
because the proposition carries its own evidence in its very 
terms, or because our author, and those consenting with him, 
have had it by revelation, or it hath been testified to them 
by others, who knew it so to be. That the first it doth not, 
is most certain ; for, it is very possible, it might have been 
brought unto us from some other place, from whence it 
came to Rome ; for, as I take it, it had not there its beginning. 
Nor do I suppose, they will plead special revelation, made 
either to themselves, or any others about this matter. I have 
read many of the revelations that are said to be made to 
sundry persons canonized by his church for saints, but 
never met with any thing concerning the place from whence 



England first received the gospel. Nor have I yet heard re- 
lation pleaded to this purpose by any of his co-partners in 
design. It remains, then, that somebody hath told him so, 
or informed him of it, either by writing or by word of mouth. 
Usually, in such cases, the first inquiry is, whether they be 
credible persons who have made the report. Now the pre- 
tended authors of this story, may, I suppose, be justly ques- 
tioned, if on no other, yet on this account, that he who de- 
signs an advantage by their testimony, doth not indeed be- 
lieve what they say. For notwithstanding what he would 
fain have us believe of Christianity coming into Britain from 
Rome, he knows well enough, and tells us elsewhere himself, 
that it came directly by sea from Palestine into France, and 
was thence brought into England by Joseph of Arimathea. 
And what was that faith and worship which he brought along 
with him, we know full well, by that which was the faith 
and worsliip of his teachers and associates, in the work of 
propagating the gospel recorded in the Scripture. So that 
Christianity found a passage to Britain, without so much as 
once visiting Rome by the way. Yea, but one hundred and 
fifty years after, Fugatius and Damianus came from Rome, 
and propagated the gospel here ; and four hundred years 
after them, Austin the monk. Of these stories w^e shall 
speak particularly afterward. But this quite spoils the 
whole market in hand ; this is not a first receiving of the 
gospel, but a second and third at the best; and if that be 
considerable, then so ought the proposition to be laid. 
These nations a second and third time, after the first from 
another place, received the gospel from Rome ; but this will 
not discharge that bill of following items which is laid upon 
it. Whatever then there is considerable in the place or per- 
sons, from whence or whom, a nation or people receive the 
gospel, as far as it concerns us in these kingdoms, it relates 
to Jerusalem and Jews, not Rome and Italians. Indeed, it 
had been very possible, that Christian rehgion might have 
been propagated at first from Rome into Britain, considering 
what in these days was the condition of the one place and 
the other; yet things were so ordered in the providence of 
the Lord, that it fell out otherwise ; and the gospel was 
preached here in England probably before ever St. Paul 
came to Rome, or St. Peter either, if ever he came there. 


But yet, to prevent wrangling about Austin and the Saxons, 
let us suppose that Christian religion was first planted in 
these nations by persons coming from Rome, if you will, men 
sent by the pope, before he was born, for that purpose; what 
then will follow? Was it the pope's religion they taught 
and preached ? Did the pope first find it out and declare it? 
Did they baptize men in the name of the pope ? or, declare 
that the pope was crucified for them? You know whose ar- 
guings these are, to prove men should not lay weight upon, 
or contend about, the first ministerial revealers of the gospel ; 
but rest all in him who is the author of it, Christ Jesus. Did 
any come here and preach in the pope's name, declare a re- 
ligion of his revealing, or resting in him as the fountain and 
source of the whole business they had to do? If you say so, 
you say something which is near to your purpose, but cer- 
tainly very wide from the truth. But because it is most cer- 
tain that God had not promised originally to send the rod 
of Christ's strength out of Rome, I shall take leave to ask. 
Whence the gospel came thither? or, to use the words made 
use of once and again by our author. Came the gospel from 
them, or came it to them only? I suppose they will not say 
so, because they speak to men that have seen the Bible. If 
it came to them from others, what privilege had they at 
Rome, that they should not have the same respect for them 
from whom the gospel came to them, as they claim from 
those unto whom they plead, that it came from themselves? 
The case is clear ; St. Peter coming to Rome, brought his 
chair along with him, after which time that was made the 
head, spring, and fountain of all religion, and no such thing 
could befall those places, where the planters of the gospel 
had no chairs to settle. I think I have read this story in a 
hundred writers, but they were all men of yesterday, in com- 
parison ; who, whatever they pretend, know no more of this 
business than myself. St. Peter speaks not one word of it 
in his writings, nor yet St. Luke, nor St. Paul, nor any one 
who by divine inspiration committed any thing to remem- 
brance of the state of the church, after the resurrection of 
Christ. And not only are they utterly silent of this matter, 
but also Clemens, and Ignatius, and Justin Martyr, and Ter- 
tullian, with the rest of knowing men in those days. I con- 
fess, in after ages, when some began to think it meet, that the 


chiefest apostle should go to the then chiefest city in the world, 
divers began to speak of his going thither, and of his mar- 
tyrdom there, though they agree not in their tales about it. 
But be it so ; as for my part, I will not contend in a matter 
so dark, uncertain, of no moment in religion; this I know, 
that being the apostle of the circumcision, if he did go to 
Rome, it was to convert the Jews that were there, and not to 
found that Gentile church, which in a short space got the 
start of the other: but yet, neither do these writers talk of 
bringing his chair thither, much less is there in them one 
dust of that rope of sand, which men of latter days have en- 
deavoured to twist with inconsistent consequences, and. 
groundless presumptions to draw out from thence the pope's 
prerogative. The case then is absolutely the same as to those 
in respect of the Romans, who received the gospel from 
them, or by their means ; and of the Romans themselves, in 
respect of those from whom they received it. If they would 
win worship to themselves from others, by pretending that 
the gospel came forth from them unto them, let them teach 
them by the example of their devotion towards those from 
whom they received it. I suppose they will not plead that 
they are not now ' in rerum natura,' knowing what will en- 
sue to their disadvantage on that plea. For, if that church 
is utterly failed and gone from whence they first received the 
gospel, that which others received it from, may possibly be 
not in a much better condition. But I find myself, before I 
was aware, fallen into the borders of the second principle or 
presumption mentioned. I shall therefore shut up my con- 
sideration of this first pretence, with this only ; that neither 
is it true that these nations first received Christianity from 
Rome, much less by any mission of the pope ; nor, if they 
had done so, in the exercise of a ministerial work and autho- 
rity, would this make any thing to what is pretended from 
it; nor will it ever be of any use to the present Romanists, 
unless they can prove that the pope was the first author of 
Christian religion, which as yet they have not attempted to 
do, and thence it is evident, what is to be thought of the se- 
cond principle before mentioned ; namely, 

II. ' That whence, and from whom, we first receive our 
religion, there, and with them, we must abide therein, to 


them we must repair for guidance, and return to their rule 
and conduct, if we have departed from them.' 

I have shewed already, that there is no privity of inte- 
rests between us and the Romanists in this matter. But 
suppose, we had been originally instructed in Christianity 
by men sent from Rome to that purpose (for unless we sup- 
pose this, for the present, our talk is at an end), I see not, 
as yet, the verity of this proposition. With the truth 
wherever it be, or with whomsoever, it is most certainly 
our duty to abide. And if those, from whom we first re- 
ceived our Christianity ministerially, abide in the truth, we 
must abide with them; not because they, or their predeces- 
sors, were the instruments of our conversion; but, because 
they abide in the truth. Setting aside this consideration of 
truth, which is the bond of all union, and that which fixeth 
the centre, and limits the bounds of it, one people's, or one 
church's abiding with another in any profession of religion, 
is a thing merely indifferent. When we have received the 
truth from any, the formal reason of our continuance with 
them in that union, which our reception of the truth from 
them gives unto us, is their abiding in the truth, and no 
other. Suppose some persons, or some church or churches, 
do propagate Christianity to another; and in progress of 
time, themselves fall off from some of those truths, which 
they, or their predecessors, had formerly delivered unto 
these instructed by them? If our author shall deny, that 
such a supposition can well be made, because it never did, 
nor can fall out, I shall remove his exception, by scores of 
instances out of antiquity, needless in so evident a matter 
to be here mentioned. What in this case would be their 
duty who received the gospel from them? Must they abide 
with them, follow after them, and embrace the errors they 
are fallen into, because they first received the gospel from 
them ? I trow not. It will be found their duty to abide in 
the truth, and not pin their faith upon the sleeves of them, 
by whom ministerially it was at first communicated unto 
them. But this case, you will say, concerns not the Roman 
church, and Protestants ; for, as these abide not in the 
truth, so they never did, nor can, depart from it. Well, then, 
that we may not displease them at present, let us put the 



case so, as I presume, they will own it. Suppose men, or 
a church, intrusted by Christ authoritatively to preach the 
gospel, do propagate the faith unto others according to their 
duties ; these, being converted by their means, do after- 
ward, through the craft and subtlety of seducers, fall in sun- 
dry things from the truths they were instructed in, and 
wherein their instructors do constantly abide ; yea, say our 
adversaries, this is the true case indeed; I ask then, in this 
case. What is, and ought to be, the formal motive to prevail 
with these persons to return to their former condition from 
whence they were fallen? Either this. That they are departed 
from the truth, which they cannot do, without peril to their 
souls, and whereunto, if they return not, they must perish ; 
or this. That it is their duty to return to them from whom 
they first received the doctrine of Christianity, because they 
so received it from them. St. Paul, who surely had as much 
authority in these matters as either the pope, or church of 
Rome, can with any modesty lay claim unto, had to deal 
with very many in this case. Particularly, after he had 
preached the gospel to the Galatians, and converted them 
to the faith of Christ, there came in some false teachers and 
seducers amongst them, which drew them off from the truth 
wherein they had been instructed, in divers important and 
some fundamental points of it. What course doth the apo- 
stle proceed in, towards them ? Doth he plead with them 
about their falling away from him that first converted them? 
or falling away from the truth whereunto they were con- 
verted ? If any one will take the pains to turn to any chapter 
in that epistle, he may be satisfied as to this inquiry; it is 
their falling away from the gospel, from the truth they had 
received, from the doctrine, in particular, of faith and justi- 
fication by the blood of Christ, that alone he blamed them 
for: yea, and makes doctrines so far the measure and rule 
of judging and censuring of persons, whether they preach 
the word first or last, that he pronounceth a redoubled ana- 
thema, against any creature in heaven or earth, upon a sup- 
position of their teaching any thing contrary unto it, chap, 
i. 8. He pleads not, we preached first unto you, by us you 
were converted, and therefore with us you must abide, from 
whom the faith came forth unto you; but saith, • If we, or 
an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel, let him be 


accursed.' This was the way he chose to insist on ; and it 
may not be judged unreasonable, if we esteem it better than 
that of theirs, who, by false pretending to have been our old, 
would very fain be our new masters. But the mentioned 
maxim lets us know, that the persons, and churches, that 
have received the faith from the Roman church, or by means 
thereof, should abide under the rule and conduct of it, and, 
if departed from it, return speedily to due obedience. I 
think it will be easily granted, that, if we ought to abide 
under its rule and conduct, whither ever it shall please to 
guide us, we ought quickly to return to our duty and task, 
if we should make any elopement from it. It is not meet, 
that those that are born mules to bondage, should ever alter 
their condition. Only we must profess, we know not the 
springs of that unhappy fate, which should render us such 
animals. Unto what is here pretended, I only ask. Whether 
this right of presidency and rule in the Roman church, over 
all persons and churches pretended of old to be converted 
by her means, do belong unto her by virtue of any general 
right that those who convert others, should for ever have 
the conduct of those converted by them, or by virtue of some 
special privilege granted to the church of Rome, above 
others ? If the first, or general title, be insisted on, it is 
most certain, that a very small pittance of jurisdiction, will 
be left unto the Roman see, in comparison of that vast em- 
pire, which now it hath, or layeth claim unto, knowing no 
bounds, but those of the universal nature of things here 
below. For all men know, that the gospel was preached in 
very many places of the world, before its sound reached 
unto Rome, and in most parts of the then known world, 
before any such planting of a church at Rome, as might be 
the foundation of any authoritative mission of any from 
thence for the conversion of others ; and, after that a church 
was planted in that city, for any thing that may be made to 
appear by story, it was as to the first edition of Christianity 
in the Roman empire, as little serviceable in the propagation 
of the gospel, as any other church of name in the world; so 
that, if such principles should be pleaded, as of general 
equity, there could be nothing fixed on more destructive to 
the Romanist's pretences. If they have any special privi- 
lege to found this claim upon, they may do well to produce 


it. In the Scripture, though there be of many believers, yet 
there is no mention made of any church at Rome, but only 
of that little assembly that used to meet at Aquila's house ; 
Rom. xvi. 5. Of any such privilege annexed unto that meet- 
ing, we find nothing ; the first general council, confirming 
power and rule over others in some churches, acknowledges 
indeed, more to have been practised in the Roman church 
than I know how they could prove to be due unto it. But 
yet that very unwarrantable grant, is utterly destructive to 
the present claim and condition of the pope and church of 
Rome. The wings, now pretended to be like those of the 
sun, extending themselves, at once to the ends of the earth, 
were then accounted no longer, than to be able to cover the 
poor believers in the city and suburbs of it, and some few 
adjacent towns and villages. It would be a long story, to 
tell the progress of this claim in after times ; it is sufficiently 
done in some of those books, of which our author says, 
there are enough to fill the Tower of London; where, I pre- 
sume, or into the fire, he could be contented they should be 
for ever disposed of, and therefore we may dismiss this prin- 
ciple also. 

III. That which is the main pillar, bearing the weight of 
all this fine fabric, is the principle we mentioned in the 
third place, viz. ' That the Roman profession of religion, and 
practice in the worship of God, are every way the same, as 
when we first received the gospel from the P9pe, nor can 
they ever otherwise be.' 

This is taken for granted, by our author, throughout his 
discourse. And the truth is, that, if a man hath a mind to 
suppose, and make use of things that are in question be- 
tween him and his adversary, it were a folly not to presume 
on so much as should assuredly serve his turn. To what 
purpose is it to mince the matter, and give opportunity to 
new cavils, and exceptions, by baby- mealy-mouthed peti- 
tions of some small things that there is a strife about, when 
a man may as honestly, all at once, suppose the w^hole truth 
of his side, and proceed without fear of disturbance. And 
so wisely deals our author in this business. That which 
ought to have been his whole work, he takes for granted to 
be already done. If this be granted him, he is safe ; deny 
it, and all his fine oration dwindles into a little sapless so- 
voL. xvni. D 


phistry. But he must get the great number of books that 
he seems to be troubled with, out of the world, and the 
Scripture to boot, before he will persuade considerate and 
unprejudiced men, that there is a word of truth in this sup- 
position. That we in these nations received not the gospel 
originally from the pope (which p. 354. our author tells 
us is his, purely his, whereas we thought before, it had been 
Christ's) hath been declared, and shall, if need be, be farther 
evinced. But let us suppose once again, that we did so ; 
yet we constantly deny the church of Rome to be the same 
in doctrine, worship, and discipline, that she was when it is 
pretended, that by her means we were instituted in the 
knowledge of truth. Our author knows full well, what a 
facile work I have now lying in view; what an easy thing it 
were to go over most of the opinions of the present church 
of Rome, and most, if not all their practices in worship, and 
to manifest their vast distance from the doctrine, practice, 
and principles of that church of old. But, though this were 
really a more serious work, and more useful, and much more 
accommodated to the nature of the whole difference between 
us, more easy and pleasant to myself than the pursuit of 
this odd rambling chase that by following of him I am en- 
gaged in; yet, lest he should pretend, that this would be a 
division into common places, such as he hath purposely 
avoided (and that not unwisely, that he might have advan- 
tage all along to take for granted, that which he knew to be 
principally in question between us), I shall dismiss that bu- 
siness, and only attend unto that great proof of this assertion, 
which himself thought meet to shut up his book withal, as 
that which was fit to pin down the basket, and to keep 
close and safe all the long billed birds, that he hoped to 
limetwig by his preceding rhetoric and sophistry. It is in 
pp. 362, 363. Though I hope I am not contentious, nor 
have any other hatred against popery than what becomes an 
honest man to have against that which he is persuaded to be 
so ill as popery must needs be, if it be ill at all; yet, upon 
his request, I have seriously pondered hife queries (a captious 
way of disputing), and falling now in my way, do return 
this answer unto them. 

1. The supposition on which all his ensuing queries are 
founded, must be rightly stated, its terms freed from ambi- 


guity, and the whole from equivocation; which a word or 
two unto, first, the subject; and then, secondly, the predi- 
cate of the proposition, or what is attributed unto the subject 
spoken of; and, thirdly, the proof of the whole; will suffice 
to do. The thesis laid down is this ; ' The church of Rome 
was once a most pure, excellent, flourishing, and mother 
church : this good St. Paul amply testifies in his epistle to 
them, and is acknowledged by Protestants.' The subject is 
the church of Rome. And this may be taken either for the 
church that was founded in Rome, in the apostles' days, con- 
sisting of believers, with those that had their rule and over- 
sight in the Lord ; or it may be taken for the church of Rome, 
in the sense of latter ages, consisting of the pope its head, 
and cardinals, principal members, with all the jurisdiction 
dependant on them, and way of worship established by them, 
and their authority ; or, that collection of men throughout 
the world that yield obedience to the pope in their several 
places and subordinations, according to the rules by him and 
his authority given unto them. That which is attributed to 
this church is, ' that it was once a most pure, excellent, flou- 
rishing, and mother church;' all, it seems, in the superlative 
degree. I will not contend about the purity, excellency, or 
flourishing of that church ; the boasting of the superlative- 
ness of that purity and excellency, seems to be borrowed 
from that of Rev. iii. 15. But we shall not exagitate that, 
in that church, which it would never have afl[irmed of itself, 
because it is fallen out to be the interest of some men in 
these latter days to talk at such a rate, as primitive humility 
was an utter stranger unto. I somewhat guess at what he 
means by a mother church ; for, though the Scripture knows 
no such thing, but only appropriates that title to ' Jerusalem 
that was above,' which is said to be the ' mother of us all,' 
Gal. iv. 26. which I suppose is not Rome (and I also think 
that no man can have two mothers), nor did purer antiquity 
ever dream of any such mother, yet the vogue of latter days 
hath made this expression not only passable in the world, 
but sacred and unquestionable ; I shall only say, that in the 
sense wherein it is by some understood, the old Roman 
church could lay no more claim unto it, than most other 
churches in the world, and not so good as some others 



Tlie proof of this assertion lies first on the testimony of 
St. Paul, and then on the acknowledgment of Protestants. 
First, ' Good St. Paul,' he says, * amply testifies this in his 
Epistle to the Romans.' This? What, I pray ? That the then 
Roman church was a mother church : not a word in all the 
epistle of any such matter. Nay, as I observed before, 
though he greatly commends the faith and holiness of many 
believers, Jews and Gentiles, that were at Rome, yet he 
makes mention of no church there, but only of a little assem- 
bly that used to meet at Aquila's house ; nor doth St. Paul 
give any testimony at all to the Roman church in the latter 
sense of that expression. Is there any thing in his epistle 
of the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, &c.? any thing of their 
power and rule over other churches, or Christians not living 
at Rome ? Is there any one word in that epistle about that 
which the Papists make the principal ingredient in their 
definition of the church, namely, subjection to the pope? 
What then is the ' this ' that good St. Paul so amply testifies 
unto, in his Epistle to the Romans ? Why this, and this 
only ; that when he wrote this epistle to Rome, there were 
then living in that city sundry good and holy men, believing 
in Christ Jesus according to the gospel, and making pro- 
fession of the faith that is in him ; but, that these men should 
live there to the end of the world, he says not, nor do we find 
that they do. The acknowledgment of Protestants is next 
to as little purpose insisted on. They acknowledge a pure 
and flourishing church to have been once at Rome, as they 
maintain there was at Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Smyrna, 
Laodicea, Alexandria, Babylon, Sec. that in all these places 
such churches do still continue, they deny, and particularly 
at Rome. For that church which then was, they deny it to 
be the same that now is ; at least, any more than Argo was 
the same ship as when first built, after there was not one 
plank or pin of its first structure remaining. That the church 
of Rome, in the latter sense, was ever a pure flourishing 
church, never any Protestant acknowledged ; the most of 
them deny it ever to have been, in that sense, any church at 
all ; and those that grant it, to retain the essential consti- 
tuting principals of a church, yet aver, that as it is, so it 
ever was since it had a being, very far from a pure and flou- 
rishing church. For aught then, that I can perceive, we are 


not at all concerned in the following queries ; the supposition 
they are all built upon, being partly sophistical, and partly 
false. But yet, because he doth so earnestly request us to 
ponder them, we shall not give him cause to complain of us, 
in this particular at least (as he doth in general of all Pro- 
testants), that we deal uncivilly ; and therefore shall pass 
through them ; after which, if he pleaseth, he may deliver 
them to his friend of whom they were borrowed. 

1. Saith he, * This church could not cease to be such, but 
she must fall either by apostacy, heresy, or schism.' But 
who told him so ? Might she not cease to be, and so conse- 
quently to be such ? Might not the persons of whom it con- 
sisted have been destroyed by an earthquake, as it happened 
to Laodicea? or by the sword, as it befell the church of the 
Jews ? or twenty other ways ? Besides, might she not fall by 
idolatry, or false worship, or by profaneness, or licentious- 
ness of conversation, contrary to the whole rule of Christ? 
That then he may know what is to be removed by his que- 
ries, if he should speak anything to the purpose, he may do 
well to take notice, that this is the dogma of Protestants 
concerning the church of Rome ; that the church planted 
there pure, did by degrees, in a long tract of time, fall by 
apostacy, idolatry, heresy, schism, and profaneness of life> 
into that condition wherein now it is. But, says he, 

1. ' Not by apostacy ; for that is not only a renouncing 
of the faith of Christ, but the very name and title of Chris- 
tianity ; and no man will say that the church of Rome had 
ever such a fall, or fell thus.' I tell you truly, sir, your 
church is very much beholden unto men, if they do not 
sometimes say very hard things of her fall. Had it been an 
ordinary slip or so, it might have been passed over; but this 
falling into the mire, and wallowing in it for so many ages, 
as she has done, is in truth a very naughty business. For 
my part, I am resolved to deal as gently with her as possi- 
ble ; and therefore say, that there is a total apostacy from 
Christianity, which she fell not into, or by ; and there is a 
partial apostacy in Christianity from some of the principles 
of it, such as St. Paul charged on the Galatians ; and the 
old fathers on very many that yet retained the name and 
title of Christians, and this, we say plainly, that she fell by ; 
she fell by apostacy from many of the most material princi- 


pies of the gospel, both as to faith, life, and worship. And 
there being no reply made upon this instance, were it not 
upon the ground of pure civility, we need not proceed any 
farther with his queries, the business of them being come to 
an end. 

2. But, upon his entreaty, we will follow him a little far- 
ther. Supposing that he hath dispatched the business of 
apostacy, he comes to heresy, and tells us, ' That it is an 
adhesion to some private or singular opinion or error in 
faith, contrary to the general approved doctrine of the 
church.' That which ought to be subsumed is, that the 
church of Rome did never adhere to any singular opinion or 
error in faith contrary to the general approved doctrine of 
the church ; but our author, to cover his business, changes 
the terms in his proceeding into the Christian world ; to 
clear this to us a little, I desire to know of him what church 
he means, when he speaks of the approved doctrine of the 
church? I am sure he will say the Roman Catholic church; 
and if I ask him. What age it is of that church which he 
intends ? he will also say, That age which is present when 
the opinions mentioned are asserted, contrary to the ap- 
proved doctrine. We have then obtained his meaning, viz. 
the Roman church did never at any time adhere to any opi- 
nion, but what the Roman church at that time adhered unto; 
or taught, or approved, no other doctrine, but what it taught 
and approved. Now, I verily believe this to be true, and he 
must be somewhat besides uncivil that shall deny it. But 
from hence to infer, that the Roman church never fell from 
her first purity by heresy, that is a thing I cannot yet discern 
how it may be made good. This conclusion ariseth out of 
that pitiful definition of heresy he gives us, coined merely 
to serve the Roman interest. The rule of judging heresy is 
made the approved doctrine of the church ; I would know of 
what church : of this or that particular church, or of the 
Catholic? Doubtless the Catholic must be pretended. I ask, 
Of this or that age, or of the first? Of the first certainly. I 
desire then to know, how we may come to discern infallibly 
what was the approved doctrine of the Catholic church of 
old, but only by the Scriptures, which we know it unani- 
mously embraced as given unto it by Christ, for its rule of 
faith and worship. If we should then grant, that the ap- 



proved doctrine of the church were that which a departure 
from, as such, gives formality unto heresy, yet there is no 
way to know that doctrine but by the Scripture. But yet 
neither can or ought this to be granted. The formal reason of* 
heresy, in the usual acceptation of the word, ariseth from its 
deviation from the Scripture as such, which is the rule of the 
church's doctrine, and of the opinions that are contrary unto 
it. Nor yet is every private or singular opinion contrary to 
the Scripture, or the doctrine of the church, presently a he- 
resy. That is not the sense of the word, either in Scripture 
or antiquity. So that the foundation of the queries about 
heresy is not one jot better laid than that was about apos- 
tacy, which went before. This is that which I have heard 
Protestants say, namely. That the church of Rome doth ad- 
here to very many opinions and errors in faith, contrary to 
the main principles of Christian religion delivered in the 
Scripture, and so, consequently, the doctrine approved by 
the Catholic church ; and, if this be to fall by heresy, I add, 
that she is thus fallen also from what she was. But then he 
asks, 1 . * By what general council was she ever condemned?' 
2. 'Which of the fathers ever wrote against her?' 3. 'By 
what authority was she otherwise reproved?' But this is 
all one, as if a thief arraigned for stealing before a judge, 
and the goods that he had stolen found upon him, should 
plead for himself, and say. If ever I stole any thing, then by 
what lawful judge was I ever condemned? What officer of 
the peace did ever formally apprehend me ? By what autho- 
rity were writs issued out against me? Were it not easy 
for the judge to reply, and tell him. Friend, these allegations 
may prove that you were never before condemned, but they 
prove not at all that you never stole ; which is a matter of 
fact that you are now upon your trial for. No more will it 
at all follow, that the church of Rome did never offend, be- 
cause she is not condemned. These things maybe necessary 
that she may be said to be legally convicted, but not at all 
to prove that she is really guilty. Besides, the truth is, that 
many of her doctrines and practices are condemned by ge- 
neral councils, and most of them by the most learned fathers, 
and all of them by the authority of the Scripture. And 
whilst her doctrine and worship is so condemned, I see not 


well how she can escape ; so that this second way also she 
is fallen. 

3. To apostacy and heresy she hath also added the guilt 
of schism in a high degree. For, schisms within herself, and 
her great schism from all the Christian world besides her- 
self, are things well known to all that know her. Her intes- 
tine schisms were the shame of Christendom, her schisms in 
respect of others the ruin of it. And briefly, to answer the 
triple query we are so earnestly invited to the consideration 
of, I shall need to instance only in that one particular of 
making subjection to the pope in all things, the 'tessera' 
and rule of all church communion, whereby she hath left the 
company of all the churches of Christ in the world besides 
herself, is gone forth and departed from all apostolical 
churches, even that of old Rome itself; and the true church, 
which she hath forsaken, abides and is preserved in all the 
societies of Christians throughout the earth, who, attending 
to the Scripture for their only rule and guide, do believe 
what is therein revealed, and worship God accordingly. So 
that notwithstanding any thing here offered to the contrary, 
it is very possible, that the present church of Rome may be 
fallen from her primitive condition by apostacy, heresy, and 
schism, which indeed she is ; and worst of all by idolatry, 
which our author thought meet to pass over in silence. 

IV. It is frequently pleaded by our author (nor is there 
any thing which he more triumphs in), 'That all things as to 
religion were quiet and in peace ; all men in union and 
agreement amongst themselves in the worship of God, be- 
fore the departure made by our forefathers from the Roman 
see.' No man that hath once cast an eye upon the de- 
fensatives written by the ancient Christians, but knows how 
this very consideration was managed and improved against 
them by their Pagan irapugners. That Christians, by their 
introduction of a new way of worshipping God, which their 
forefathers knew not, had disturbed the peace of human 
society, divided the world into seditious factions, broken all 
the ancient bonds of peace and amity, dissolved the whole 
harmony of mankind's agreement amongst themselves, was 
the subject of the declamations of their adversaries. This 
complaint, their books, their schools, the courts and judi- 


catoiies were filled with ; against all which clamours and 
violences that were stirred up against them by their means, 
those blessed souls armed themselves with patience, and the 
testimony of their consciences, that they neither did, nor 
practised any thing that in its own nature had a tendency 
to the least of those evils, which they and their way of wor- 
shipping God, was reproached with. As they had the op- 
portunity indeed, they let their adversaries know, that that 
peace and union they boasted of, in their religion, before 
the entrance of Christianity, was but a conspiracy against 
God, a consent in error and falsehood, and brought upon the 
world by the craft of Satan, maintained through the effectual 
influence of innumerable prejudices upon the innate blind- 
ness and darkness of their hearts, that upon the appearance 
of light, and publishing of the truth, divisions, animosities, 
troubles, and distractions did arise ; they declared to have 
been no proper or necessary effect of the work, but a con- 
sequent, occasional, and accidental, arising from the lusts 
of men, ' who loved darkness more than light, because their 
works were evil ;' which, that it would ensue, their blessed 
Master had long before foretold them, and forewarned 

Though this be enough, yet it is not all that may be re- 
plied unto this old pretence and plea, as managed to the 
purpose of our adversaries. It is part of the motive, which 
the great historian makes Galgacus, the valiant Britain, 
use to his countrymen, to cast off the Roman yoke ; ' Soli- 
tudinem ubi fecerunt, pacem vocant.' It was their way, 
when they had by force and cruelty laid all waste before 
them, to call the remaining solitude and desolation, by the 
goodly name of peace ; neither considered they, whether the 
residue of men had either satisfaction in their minds, or ad- 
vantage by their rule. Nor was the peace of the Roman 
church any other before the reformation. What waste they 
had, by sword and burnings, made in several parts of Europe, 
in almost all the chiefest nations of it, of mankind ; what 
desolation they had brought by violence upon those who 
opposed their rule, or questioned their doctrine ; the blood 
of innumerable poor men, many of them learned, all pious 
and zealous, whom they called Waldenses, Albigenses, Lol- 
lards, WicklifRtes, Hussites, Caliptives, Subutraguians, Pi- 


cards, or what else they pleased (being indeed the faithful 
witnesses of the Lord Christ and his truths), will at the last 
day reveal. Besides, the event declared, how remote the 
minds of millions were from an acquiescency in that con- 
spiracy in the papal sovereignty, which was grown to be the 
bond of communion amongst those who called themselves 
the church, or an approbation of that doctrine and worship 
which they made profession of. For no sooner was a door 
of liberty and light opened unto them, but whole nations 
were at strife who should first enter in at it; whicli un- 
doubtedly, all the nations of Europe had long since done, 
had not the holy wise God, in his good providence, suffered 
in some of them a sword of power and violence to interpose 
itself against their entrance. For, whatever may be pre- 
tended of peace and agreement to this day, take away force 
and violence, prisons and fagots, and in one day the whole 
compages of that stupendous fabric of the papacy, Aviil be 
dissolved ; and the life, which will be maintained in it, 
springing only from secular advantages and inveterate pre- 
judices w^ould, together with them, decay and disappear. 
Neither can any thing, but a confidence of the ignorance of 
men in all things that are past, yea, in what was done al- 
most by their own grandsires, give countenance to a man 
in his own silent thoughts, for such insinuations of quiet- 
ness in the world before the reformation. The wars, se- 
ditions, rebellions, and tumults (to omit private practices), 
that were either raised, occasioned, and countenanced by 
the pope's absolving subjects from their allegiance, kings 
and states from their oaths given mutually for the securing 
of peace between them, all in the pursuit of their own 
worldly interests, do fill up a good part of the stories of 
some ages before the reformation. Whatever then is pre- 
tended, things were not so peaceable and quiet in those days, 
as they are now represented to men that mind only things 
that are present ; nor was their agreement their virtue, but 
their sin and misery ; being centred in blindness and igno- 
rance, and cemented with blood. 

V. 'That the first reformers were most of them sorry, 
contemptible persons, whose errors were propagated by in- 
direct means, and entertained for sinister ends,' is in several 
places of this book alleged, and consequences pretended 


thence to ensue, urged and improved. But the truth is, 
the more contemptible the persons were that begun the 
work, the greater glory and lustre is reflected on the work 
itself; which points out to a higher cause than any ap- 
peared outwardly for the carrying of it on. It is no small 
part of the gospel's glory, that being promulgated by persons 
whom the world looked on with the greatest contempt and 
scorn imaginable, as men utterly destitute of whatever was 
by them esteemed noble or honourable ; it prevailed not- 
withstanding in the minds of men, to eradicate the invete- 
rate prejudices received by tradition from their fathers ; to 
overthrow the ancient and outward glorious w^orship of the 
nations; and to bring them into subjection unto Christ. 
Neither can any thing be written with more contempt and 
scorn, nor with greater undervaluation of the abilities, or 
outward condition of the first reformers, than was spoken 
and written by the greatest and wisest and most learned of 
men of old, concerning the preachers and planters of Chris- 
tianity. Should I but repeat the biting sarcasms, contemp- 
tuous reproaches, and scorns wherewith, with plausible pre- 
tences, the apostles and those that followed them in their 
work of preaching the gospel were entertained by Celsus, 
Lucian, Porphyry, Julian, Hierocles, with many more, men 
learned and wise ; I could easily manifest how short our new 
masters come of them in facetious wit, beguiling eloquence, 
and fair pretences, when they seek by stories, jestings, ca- 
lumnies, and false reports, to expose the first reformers to 
the contempt and scorn of men, who know nothing of them 
but their names, and those as covered with all the dirt they 
can possibly cast upon them. But I intend not to tempt 
the atheistical wits of any, to an approbation of their sin, 
by that compliance which the vain fancies of such men do 
usually aff"ord them, in the contemplation of the wit and in- 
genuity, as they esteem it, of plausible calumnies. The 
Scripture may be heard ; that abundantly testifies, that the 
character given of the first reformers as men, poor, un- 
learned, seeking to advantage themselves by the troubling 
of others, better,^greater, and wiser than they, in their re- 
ligion, was received of the apostles, evangelists, and other 
Christians, in the first budding of Christianity. But the 
truth is, all these are but vain pretences ; those knew of old. 


and these do now, that the persons whom they vilify and 
scorn, were eminently fitted of God for the work that they 
were called unto. 

The ' receiving of their opinions for sinister ends,' reflects 
principally on this kingdom of England ; and must do so, 
whilst the surmises of a few interested friars shall be be- 
lieved by Englishmen, before the solemn protestation of so 
renowned a king, as he was, who first cashiered the pope's 
authority in this nation ; for, what he being alive avowed 
on his royal word, and vowed as in the sight of the Al- 
mighty God, was an effect of light and conscience in him, 
they will needs have to be a consequent of his lust and 
levity. And what honour it is to the royal government of 
this nation, to have those who swayed the sceptre of it, but 
a few years ago, publicly traduced and exposed to obloquy 
by the libellous pens of obscure and unknown persons, 
wise men may be easily able to judge. This I am sure, 
there is little probability that they should have any real re- 
gard or reverence for the present rulers, farther than they 
find, or hope that they shall have their countenance and 
assistance for the furtherance of their private interest, who 
so revile their predecessors, for acting contrary unto it; 
and this loyalty the king's majesty may secure himself 
of, from the most seditious fanatic in the nation ; so 
highly is he beholden to these men, for their duty and 

VI. ' That our departure from Rome hath been the cause 
of all our evils, and particularly of all those divisions, which 
are at this day found amongst Protestants, and which have 
been since the reformation,' is a supposition, that not only 
insinuates itself into the hidden sophistry of our author's 
discourse, but is also everywhere spread over the face of it; 
with as little truth, or advantage to his purpose, as those 
that went before. So the Pagans judged the primitive 
Christians, so also did the Jews, and do to this day. Here 
is no new task lies before us. The answers given of old to 
them, and yet continued to be given, will suflBce to these 
men also. The truth is, our divisions are not the effect of 
our leaving Rome ; but of our being there. In the apos- 
tacy of that church came upon men all that darkness, and 
all those prejudices, which cause many needless divisions 



amongst them. And is it any wonder that men, partly led, 
partly driven out of the right way, and turned a clean con- 
trary course for sundry generations, should, upon liberty 
obtained to return to their old paths, somewhat vary in their 
choice of particular tracts, though they all agree to travel 
towards the same place, and in general, steer their course 
accordingly? Besides, let men say what they please, the 
differences amongst the Protestants that are purely religious, 
are no other but such as ever were, and, take away external 
force, ever will be amongst the best of men, whilst they 
know but in part ; however, they may not be managed with 
that prudence and moderation, which it is our duty to use 
in and about them. Were not the consequences of our 
differences, which arise merely from our folly and sin, of 
more important consideration than our differences them- 
selves, I should very little value the one or the other ; 
knowing that none of them in their own nature are such, 
as to impeach either our present tranquillity, or future hap- 
piness. So that, neither are the divisions that are among 
Protestants in themselves of any importance, nor were they 
occasioned by their departure from Rome. That all men 
are not made perfectly wise, nor do know all things per- 
fectly, is partly a consequence of their condition in this 
world, partly, a fruit of their own lusts and corruptions ; 
neither to be imputed to the religion which they profess, 
nor to the rule that they pretend to follow. Had all those 
who could not continue in the profession of the errors, and 
practice of the worship of the church of Rome, and were 
therefore driven out by violence and blood from amongst 
them, been as happy in attending to the rule that they 
chose for their guidance and direction, as they were wise in 
choosing it ; they had had no other differences among them 
than what necessarily follow their concreated different con- 
stitutions, complexions, and capacities. It is not the work 
of religion in this world wholly to dispel men's darkness ; 
nor absolutely to eradicate their distempers ; somewhat 
must be left for heaven : and that more is than ought to be, 
is the fault of men, and not of the truth they profess. That 
religion which reveals a sufficient rule to guide men into 
peace, union, and all necessary truth, is not to be blamed, 
if men in all things follow not its direction. Nor are the 


differences amongst the Protestants, greater than those 
amongst the members of the Roman church. The imputa- 
tion of the errors and miscarriages of the Socinians and 
Quakers unto protestancy, is of no other nature than that 
of Pagans of old, charging the follies, and abominations of 
the Gnostics and Valentinians on Christianity. For those 
that are truly called Protestants, whose concurrence in the 
same confession of faith, as to all material points, is suffi- 
cient to cast them under one denomination. What evils I 
wonder are to be found amongst them as to divisions, that 
are not conspicuous to all in the papacy? The princes and 
nations of their profession are, or have all been engaged in 
mortal feuds and wars one against another, all the world 
over. Their divines write as stiffly one against another, 
as men can do : mutual accusations of pernicious doctrines 
and practices abound amongst them. I am not able to 
guess what place will hold the books written about their 
intestine differences, as our author doth concerning those 
that are written by Protestants against the papacy ; but 
this I know, all public libraries and private studies of 
learned men abound with them. Their invectives, apolo- 
gies, accusations, charges, underminings of one another, 
are part of the weekly news of these days. Our author 
knows well enough what I mean. Nor are these the ways 
and practices of private men, but of whole societies and 
fraternities ; which, if they are in truth, such as they are by 
each other represented to be ; it would be the interest of 
mankind, to seek the suppression and extermination of some 
of them. I profess, I wonder, whilst their own house is so 
visibly on fire, that they can find leisure to scold at others 
for not quenching theirs. Nor is the remaining agreement 
that they boast of, one jot better, than either their own dis- 
sentions or ours. It is not union or agreement amongst men 
absolutely, that is to be valued. Simeon and Levi never 
did worse, than when they agreed best ; and ' were brethren 
in evil.' The grounds and reasons of men's agreement, with 
the nature of the things wherein they are agreed, are that 
which make it either commendable or desirable. Should I 
lay forth what these are in the papacy, our author I fear 
would count me unmannerly and uncivil ; but yet because 
the matter doth so require, I must needs tell him, that 


many wise men do affirm, that ignorance, inveterate pre- 
judice, secular advantages, and external force, are the chief 
constitutive principles of that union and agreement which 
remains amongst them. But whatever their evils be, it is 
pretended, that they have a remedy at hand for them all. 

VII. * That we have no remedy of our evils, no means of 
ending our differences, but by a returnal to the Roman see.' 
Whether there be any way to end differences among our- 
selves, as far, and as soon, as there is any need they should 
be ended, will be afterward inquired into. This I know, 
that a returnal unto Rome will not do it; unless when we 
come thither, we can learn to behave ourselves better than 
those do who are there already; and there is indeed no party 
of men in the world but can give as good security of ending 
our differences as the Romanists. If we would all turn Qua- 
kers it would end our disputes, and that is all that is pro- 
vided us if we will turn Papists. This is the language of 
every party, and for my part I think they believe what they 
say : Come over to us, and we shall all agree. Only the Ro- 
manists are likely to obtain least credit as to this matter 
among wise men, because they cannot agree among them- 
selves; and are as unfit to umpire the differences of other 
men as Philip of Macedon was to quiet Greece, whilst he, 
his wife, and children, were together by the ears at home. 

But why have not Protestants a remedy for their evils, a 
means of ending and making up their differences ? They 
have the word that is left them for that purpose, which the 
apostles commended unto them, and which the primitive 
church made use of, and no other. That this will not serve 
to prevent, or remove any hurtful differences from amongst 
us, it is not its fault, but ours. And could we prevail with 
Roman Catholics to blame and reprove us, and not to blame 
the religion we profess, we should count ourselves beholden 
to them; and they would have the less to answer for another 
day. But as things are stated, it is fallen out very unhap- 
pily for them ; that finding they cannot hurt us, but that 
their weapons must pass through the Scriptures, that is it 
which they are forced to direct their blows against. The 
Scripture * is dark, obscure, insufficient, cannot be known to 
be the word of God, nor understood,' is the main of their 


plea, when they intend to deal with Protestants. I am per- 
suaded that they are troubled when they are put upon this 
work. It cannot be acceptable to the minds of men to be 
engaged in such undervaluations of the word of God. Sure 
they can have no other mind in this work, than a man would 
have in pulling down his house to find out his enemy. He 
that shall read what the Scripture testifies of itself; that is, 
what God doth of it; and what the ancients speak concern- 
ing it, and shall himself have any acquaintance with the na- 
ture and excellency of it, must needs shrink extremely when 
he comes to see the Romanists discourse about it; indeed, 
against it. For my part, I can truly profess, that no one 
thing doth so alienate my mind from the present Roman reli- 
gion, as this treatment of the word of God. I cannot but 
think that a sad profession of religion, which enforceth men 
to decry the use and excellencyof that, which (let them pre- 
tend what they please) is the only infallible revelation of all 
that truth, by obedience whereunto, we become Christians. 
I do heartily pity learned and ingenious men, when I see 
them enforced by a private corrupt interest, to engage in this 
woful work of undervaluing the work Of God; and so much 
the more, as that I cannot but hope, that it is a very un- 
grateful work to themselves. Did they delight in it, I should 
have other thoughts of them, and conclude, that there are 
more atheists in the world, than those whom our author in- 
forms us, to be lately turned so in England. This then is 
the remedy that Protestants have for their evils; this the 
means of making up all their differences; which they might 
do every day, so far as in this world it is possible that that 
work should be done amongst men, if it were not their own 
fault. That they do not so, blame them still, blame them 
soundly, lay on reproofs till I cry, Hold : but let not, I 
pray, the word of God be blamed any more. Methinks I 
could beg this of a Catholic, especially of my countrymen, 
that whatever they say to Protestants, or however they deal 
with them, they would let the Scripture alone, and not decry 
its worth and usefulness. It is not Protestants' book, it is 
God's; who hath only granted them a use of it, in common 
with the rest of men : and what is spoken in disparagement 
of it, doth not reflect on them, but on him that made it, and 
sent it to them. It is no policy, I confess, to discover our 


secrets to our adversaries, whereby they may prevent their 
own disadvantages for the future. But yet because I look 
not on the Romanists as absolute enemies, I shall let them 
know for once, that when Protestants come to that head of 
their disputes or orations, wherein they contend that the 
Scripture is so and so, obscure and insufficient, they gene- 
rally take great contentment, to find that their religion can- 
not be opposed, without casting down the word of God from 
its excellency, and enthroning somewhat else in the room of 
it. Let them make what use of this they please, I could not 
but tell it them for their good, and I know it to be true. For 
the present it comes too late. For, another main principle 
of our author's discourse is, 

VIII. 'That the Scripture on sundry accounts is insuffi- 
cient to settle us in the truth of religion, or to bring us to 
an agreement amongst ourselves; and that, 1. Because it is 
not to be known to be the word of God, but by the testimony 
of the Roman church. And then, 2. Cannot be well trans- 
lated into any vulgar language. And is also, 3. In itself ob- 
scure. And, 4. We have no way to determine of what is its 
proper sense.' ' Atqui hie est nigra; fumus caliginis, hsec est 
aerugo mera.' I suppose they ;^will not tell a Pagan or a 
Mahometan this story ; at least I heartily wish that men 
would not suffer themselves to be so far transported by their 
private interest, as to forget the general concernments of 
Christianity. We cannot, say they, know the Scripture to 
be the word of God, but by the autliority of the church of 
Rome : and all men may easily assure themselves, that no 
man had ever known there was such a thing as a church, 
much less that it had any authority, but by the Scripture. 
And whither this tends, is easy to guess. But it will not 
enter into my head, that we cannot know or believe the 
Scripture to be the word of God, any otherwise than on the 
authority of the church of Rome. The greatest part of it 
was believed to be so, before there was any church at Rome 
at all ; and all of it is so by millions in the world, who make 
no account of that church at all. Now some say, there is 
such a church. I wish men would leave persuading us, that 
we do not believe what we know we do believe, or that we 
cannot do that which we know we do, and see that millions 
besides ourselves do so too. There are not many nations in 
VOL. xviii. E 


Europe, wherein there are not thousands who are ready to lay 
down their lives to give testimony that the Scripture is the 
word of God, that care not a rush for the authority of the 
present church of Rome ; and what farther evidence they can 
give that they believe so, I know not. And this they do 
upon that innate evidence, that the word of God hath in it- 
self, and gives to itself the testimony of Christ and his apo- 
stles, and the teaching of the church of God in all ages. I 
must needs say, there is not any thing for which Protestants 
are so much beholden to the Roman Catholics as this; That 
they have with so much importunacy cast upon them the 
work of proving the Scripture to be of divine original, or to 
have been given by inspiration from God. It is as good a 
work as a man can well be employed in ; and there is not any 
thing I should more gladly ' en professo' engage in, if the na- 
ture of my present business would bear such a diversion. 
Our author would quickly see what an easy task it were to 
remove those his reproaches of a private spirit, of an inward 
testimony of our own reason, which himself knowing the ad- 
vantage they afford him amongst vulgar unstudied men, tri- 
fles withal. Both Romanists and Protestants, as far as I can 
learn, do acknowledge, that the grace of the Spirit, is neces- 
sary to enable a man to believe savingly the Scripture to be 
the word of God, upon what testimony or authority soever 
that faith is founded or resolved into. Now this with Pro- 
testants is no private whisper, no enthusiasm, no reason of 
their own, no particular testimony, but the most open, noble, 
known that is, or can be in the world ; even the voice of God 
himself, speaking publicly to all, in and by the Scripture, 
evidencing itself by its own divine innate light and excel- 
lency; taught, confirmed, and testified unto, by the church 
in all ages ; especially the first, founded by Christ and his 
apostles. He that looks for better or other testimony, wit- 
ness, or foundation to build his faith upon, may search till 
doomsday without success. He that renounceth this, shakes 
the very root of Christianity, and opens a door to atheism 
and paganism. This was the anchor of Christians of old, 
from which neither the storms of persecution could drive 
them, nor the subtlety of disputations entice them. For men 
to come now in the end of the world, and to tell us that we 
must rest in the authority of the present church of Rome, in 



our receiving the Scripture to be the word of God ; and then 
to tell us, that that church hath all its authority by and from 
the Scripture ; and to know well enough all the while, that no 
man can know there is any church authority but by the 
Scripture, is to speak daggers and swords to us, upon a con- 
fidence that we will suffer ourselves to be befooled, that we 
may have the after pleasure of making others like ourselves. 

Of the translation of the Scripture into vulgar tongues, 
I shall expressly treat afterward, and therefore here pass it 

3. Its obscurity is another thing insisted on, and highly 
exaggerated by our author. And this is not another thing 
that I greatly wonder at; for as wise as these gentlemen 
would be thought to be, he that has but half an eye, may 
discern that they consider not with whom they have to do 
in this matter. The Scripture, I suppose, they will grant to 
be given by inspiration from God ; if they deny it, we are 
ready to prove it at any time. I suppose, also, that they will 
grant that the end why God gave it was, that it might be a 
revelation of himself, so far as it was needful for us to know 
him, and his mind and will, so that we may serve him. If 
this were not the end for which God gave his word unto us, 
I wish they would acquaint us with some other. I think it 
was not that it might be put into a cabinet, and locked up 
in a chest: if this were the end of it, then God intended in 
it to make a revelation of himself, so far as it was necessary 
we should know of him, and his mind and will, that we 
might serve him. For that which is any one end of any thing, 
or matter, that he intends, which is the author of it. Now if 
God intended to make such a revelation of himself, his mind 
and will, in giving of the Scripture, as was said ; he hath ei- 
ther done it plainly, that is, A'ithout any such obscurity, as 
should frustrate him of his end, or he hath not ; and lat be- 
cause either he would not, or he could not. I wish I knew 
which of these it was that the Roman Catholics do fix upon ; 
it would spare me the lalsour of speaking to the other : but 
seeing I do not, that they may have no evasion, I will con- 
sider them both. If they say, it was because he could not 
make any such plain discovery and revelation of himself, 
then this is that they say : That God intending to reveal 
himself, his mind and will, plainly in the Scripture, to the 


sons of men, was not able to do it, and therefore failed in his 
design. This works but little to the glory of his omnipotency 
and omnisciency. But to let that pass, wherein men (so 
they may compass their own ends) seem not to be much con- 
cerned : I desire to know. Whether this plain sufficient re- 
velation of God, be made any other way or no? If no other- 
wise, then, as I confess we are all in the dark; so it is to no 
purpose to blame the Scripture of obscurity, seeing it is as 
lightsome as any thing else is, or can be. If this revelation 
be made some other way, it must be by God himself, or 
somebody else. That any other should be supposed in 
good earnest to do that which God cannot (though I know 
how some canonists have jested about the pope), I think will 
not be pleaded. If God then hath done this another way, I 
desire to know the true reason why he could not do it this 
way; namely, by the Scripture, and therefore desisted from 
his purpose ? But it may be thought God could make a re- 
velation of himself, his mind and will, in and by the Scrip- 
ture, yet he would not do it plainly, but obscurely : let us 
then see what we mean by plainly in this business. We 
intend not, that every text in Scripture is easy to be under- 
stood ; nor that all the matter of it is easy to be apprehend- 
ed : we know that there are things in it hard to be under- 
stood, things to exercise the minds of the best and wisest 
of men unto diligence, and when they have done their ut- 
most, unto reverence. But this is that we mean by ' plainly ;' 
the whole will and mind of God, with whatever is needful 
to be known of him, is revealed in the Scripture, without 
such ambiguity or obscurity, as should hinder the Scripture 
from being a revelation of him, his mind and will ; to the 
end, that we may know him, and live unto him. To say 
that God would not do this, would not make such a revela- 
tion (besides the reflection that it casts on his goodness and 
wisdom), is indeed to say, that he would not do that, which 
■we say he would do. The truth is, all the harangues we 
meet withal about the obscurity of the Scripture, are direct 
arraignments of the wisdom and goodness of God. And if 
I were worthy to advise my Roman Catholic countrymen, I 
would persuade them to desist from this enterprise ; if not 
in piety, at least in policy ; for, I can assure them, as I think 
I have done already, that all their endeavours for the ex- 


tenuation of the worth, excellency, fulness, sufficiency of 
the Scripture, do exceedingly confirm Protestants in the 
truth of their present persuasion; which they see cannot 
be touched, but by such horrible applications as they detest. 
4. But yet they say, ' Scripture is not so clear, but that 
it needs interpretation ; and Protestants have none to inter- 
pret it, so as to make it a means of ending differences.' I 
confess, the interpretation of Scripture is a good and ne- 
cessary work ; and I know, that he who was * dead, and is 
alive for ever,' continues to give gifts unto men, according 
to his promise, to enable them to interpret the Scripture, 
for the edification of his body the church. If there were 
none of these interpreters among the Protestants, I wonder 
whence it is come to pass, that his comments on, and in- 
terpretations of Scripture, who is most hated by Romanists 
of all the Protestants that ever were in the world, are so 
borrowed, and used (that I say not stolen) by so many of 
them. And that indeed what is praiseworthy in any of 
their church, in the way of exposition of Scripture, is either 
borrowed from Protestants, or done in imitation of them. If 
I am called on for instances in this kind, I shall give them, 
I am persuaded, to some men's amazement, who are less con- 
versant in these things. But we are besides the matter. 
' It is of an infallible interpreter, in whose expositions and 
determinations of Scripture sense all Christians are obliged 
to acquiesce, and such a one you have none.' I confess we 
have not, if it be such a one as you intend ; whose exposi- 
tions and interpretations we must acquiesce in : not because 
they are true, but because they are his. We have infallible 
expositions of the Scripture in all necessary truths, as we 
are assured from the Scripture itself. But an infallible ex- 
positor, into whose authority our faith should be resolved, 
besides the Scripture itself, we have none. Nor do I think 
they have any at Rome, whatever they talk of to men that 
were never there ; nor, I suppose, do they believe it them- 
selves : for indeed if they do, I know not how they can be 
freed, from being thought to be strangely distempered, if 
not stark mad. For, not to talk of the Tower of London, 
this I am sure of, that we have whole cart-loads of comments 
and expositions on the Scripture, written by members of the 
church, men of all orders and degrees ; and he that has cast 


an eye upon them, knows, that a great part of their large 
volumes, are spent in confuting the expositions of one an- 
other, and those that went before them. Now what a mad- 
ness is this, or childishness, above that of very children, to 
lie swaggering and contending one with another, before all 
the world, with fallible mediums about the sense of Scrip- 
ture, and giving expositions, which no man is bound to ac- 
quiesce in, any farther than he sees reason ; whilst all this 
while they have one amongst them, who can interpret all ; 
and that with such an authority, as all men are bound to 
rest in, and contend no farther? And the farther mischief 
of it is, that of all the rest, this man is always silent, as to 
exposition of Scripture, who alone is able to part the fray. 
There be two things, which I think verily, if I were a Papist, 
I should never like in the pope ; because methinks they ar- 
gue a great deal of want of good nature. The one is, that 
we treat about, that he can see his children so fiercely 
wrangle about the sense of Scripture, and yet will not give 
out what is the infallible meaning of every place, at least 
that is controverted, and so stint the strife amongst them, 
seeing it seems he can if he would. And the other is, that 
he suffers so many souls to lie in purgatory, when he may 
let them forth if he please ; and, that 1 know of, hath re- 
ceived no order to the contrary. But the truth is, that nei- 
ther the Romanists, nor we, have any infallible livingjudge, 
in whose determination of the sense of Scripture, all men 
should be bound to acquiesce, upon the account of his au- 
thority. This is all the difference ; we openly profess we 
have none such, and betake us to that which we have, which 
is better for us ; they pretending they have, yet acting con- 
stantly as if they had not, and as indeed they have not; 
maintain a perpetual inconsistency, and contradiction be- 
tween their pretensions, and their practice. The Holy 
Ghost, speaking in and by the Scripture, using the ministry 
of men furnished by himself, with gifts and abilities, and 
lawfully called to the work, for the oral declaration, or 
other expositions of his mind, is that which the Protestants 
cleave unto, for the interpreting of the Scripture; which it- 
self discovers, when infallible. And if Papists can tell me 
of a better way, I will quickly embrace it. I suppose I may, 
•upon the considerations we have had of the reasons offered 


to prove the insufficiency of Scripture, to settle us in the 
truth, and to end our differences, conclude their insufficiency 
to any such purpose. We know the Scripture was given 
us to settle us in the truth, and to end our differences ; we 
know it is profitable to that end and purpose, and able to 
make us wise to salvation. If we find not these effects 
wrought in ourselves, it is our own fault ; and I desire that 
for hereafter, we may bear our own blame, without such re- 
flections on the holy word of the infinitely blessed God. 

IX. We are come at length unto the pope, of whom we 
are told. That ' he is a good man, one that seeks nothing 
but our good, that never did us harm, but has the care, and 
inspection of us committed unto him by Christ.' For my 
part, I am glad to hear such news of him, and should be 
more glad to find it to be true. Our forefathers and prede- 
cessors in the faith we profess, found it otherwise. All the 
harm that could be done unto them, by ruining their fami- 
lies, destroying their estates, imprisoning, and torturing 
their persons, and lastly, burning their bodies in fire, they 
received at his hands. If the alteration pretended, be not 
from the shortening of his power, but the change of his 
mind and will, I shall be very glad to hear of it. For the 
present, I confess, I had rather take it for granted, whilst he 
is at this distance, than see him trusted with power, for the 
trial of his will. I never heard of much of his repentance, 
for the blood of those thousands that hath been shed by his 
authority, and in his cause ; which makes me suspect, he may 
be somewhat of the same mind still, as he was. Time was, 
when the very worst of popes exhausted more treasure out 
of this nation, to spend it abroad to their own ends, than 
some are willing to grant to the best of kings, to spend at 
home for their goods. It may be, he is changed, as to this 
design also, but I do not know it; nor is any proof offered 
of it by our author. Let us deal plainly one with another, 
and (without telling us, that ' the pope never did us harm,* 
which is not the way to make us believe, that he will not ; 
because it makes us suspect, that all we have suffered from 
him, is thought no harm) let him tell us how he will assure 
us, that if this good pope get us into his power again, he 
will not burn us, as he did our forefathers, unless we sub- 
mit our consciences unto him in all things ; that he will not 


find out ways to draw the treasure out of the nation, nor ab- 
solve subjects from their allegiance, nor excommunicate, or 
attempt the deposition of our kings, or the giving away of 
their kingdoms, as he has done in former days ? That these 
things he hath done, we know ; that he hath repented of 
them, and changed his mind thereupon, we know not. To 
have any thing to do with him, whilst he continues in such 
distempers, is not only against the principles of religion, but 
of common prudence also. For my part, I cannot but fear, 
until I see security tendered of this change in the pope, that 
all the good words that are given us concerning him, are but 
baits to inveigle us into his power ; and, to tell you the truth, 
' terrent vestigia.' How the pope employs himself in seek- 
ing our good, which our author paints out unto us, I know 
not; when I see the effects of it, I shall be thankful for it. 
In the mean time, being so great a stranger to Rome as I 
am, I must needs say, I know nothing that he does, but seek 
to destroy us, body and soul. Our author pleads indeed, 
that ' the care and inspection of our condition is committed 
to him by Christ ;' but he attempts not to prove it, which I 
somewhat marvel at : for having professedly deserted the old 
way of pleading the Catholic cause and interest (which I 
presume he did, upon conviction of its insufficiency), where- 
as he is an ingenious person, he could not but know, that 
* Pasce oves meas, tu es Petrus, tibi dabo claves,' are as 
weak parts of the old plea as any made use of, belonging 
nothing at all to the thing whereunto they are applied; it 
is somewhat strange, that he would substitute no new proofs 
in their room. But, it seems, it is not every one's hap, with 
him of old, to want opinions sometimes, but no arguments. 
When he has got proofs to his purpose, we will again attend 
unto him : in the mean time, in this case shall only mind 
him, that the taking for granted in disputations, that which 
should principally be proved, has got an ill name amongst 
learned men, being commonly called begging. 

X. The last principle which I have observed, diffusing 
its influences throughout the whole discourse, is. That ' the 
devotion of Catholics, far transcends that of Protestants : 
their preaching also (which 1 forgot to mention before) is 
far to be preferred above that of these : and for their re- 
ligion and worship, it is liable to no just exception.' I 


desire that our author would but a little call to mind that 
parable of our Saviour, about the two men that went up into 
the temple to pray. To me this discourse smells rank of the 
Pharisee, and I wish that we might all rather strive to grow 
in faith, love, charity, self-denial, and universal conformity 
unto our Lord Jesus, than to bristle up and cry, * Stand far- 
ther oif, for I am holier than thou.' In the mean time, for 
the respect I bear him, I entreat our author to speak no more 
of this matter, lest some angry Protestant, or some fanatic 
should take occasion to talk of old matters and rip up old 
sores, or give an account of the present state of things in the 
church of Rome, all which were a great deal better covered. 
If he will not take my advice, he must thank himself for 
that which will assuredly follow. I must also say, by the 
way, that that devotion which consists so much, as our au- 
thor makes it to do, in the sweeping of churches and tink- 
ling of bells, in counting of beads and knocking of breasts, 
is of very little value with Protestants who have obtained an 
experience of the excellency of spiritual communion with 
God in Christ Jesus. Now whether these parts of the pro- 
fession and practice of his church, which he is pleased to 
undertake, not only the vindication, but the adorning of, be 
liable to just exception or no, is the last part of our work to 
consider, and which shall in its proper place be done accord- 

As I before observed, he that shall but cursorily run 
through this discourse, will quickly find that these false 
suppositions, ungrounded presumptions, and unwarrantable 
pretensions, are things which are disposed of to be the foun- 
dations, nerves, and sinews of all the rhetoric that it is co- 
vered and wrought withal, and that the bare drawing of them 
out, leaves all the remaining flourishes in a more scattered 
condition than the Sibyl's leaves ; which no man can gather 
up and put together to make up any significancy at all as to 
the design in hand. I might then well spare all farther la- 
bour, and here put a period to my progress ; and indeed 
would do so, were I secure I had none to deal with but in- 
genious and judicious readers, that have some tolerable ac- 
quaintance at least with the estate of religion of old and at 
present in Europe, and with the concernment of their own 
souls in these things. But that no pretence may be left 


unto any, that we avoided any thing material in our author, 
having passed through his discourse unto the end of it, I 
shall once more return to the beginning, and pass through 
its severals, leaving behind in the way such animadversions 
as are any way needful to rescue such as have not a mind to 
be deceived from the snares and cobwebs of his oratory. 


Motive, matter, and method of our author's book. 

What remains of our author's preface is spent in the pur- 
suit of an easy task in all the branches of it. To condemn 
the late miscarriages in these nations, to decry divisions in 
religion, with their pernicious consequences, to commend 
my lord chancellor's speech, are things that have little dif- 
ficulty in them, to exercise the skill of a man pretending so 
highly as our author doth. He may secure himself, that he 
will find no opposition about these things from any man in 
his right wits. No other man certainly can be so forsaken 
of religion and humanity, as not to deplore the woful under- 
takings and more woful issues of sundry things, whereunto 
the concernments of religion have been pleaded to give 
countenance. The rancour also of men, and wrath against 
one another on the same accounts, with the fruits which they 
bring forth all the world over, are doubtless a burden to the 
minds of all that love truth and peace. To prevent a returnal 
to the former, and remove or at least allay the latter, how 
excellently the speech of that great counsellor, and the things 
proposed in it, are suited ; all sober and ingenious men must 
needs acknowledge. Had this then been the whole design 
of this preface, I had given his book many an amen, before 
I had come to the end. But our author having wholly an- 
other mark in his eye, another business in hand, I should 
have thought it a little uncivil in him, to make my lord chan- 
cellor's speech seemingly subservient to that which he never 
intended, never aimed at, which no word or expression in it 
leads unto ; but that I find him afterward so dealing with 
the words of God himself. His real work in this compass of 
words, is to set up a blind, or give a false alarm, to arrest and 


stay his unwary reader, whilst he prepares hira for an enter- 
tainment which he thought not of. The pretence he flou- 
risheth over both in the preface and sundry other parts of his 
discourse, is, the hatefuhiess of our animosities in and about 
religion, their dismal effects, with the necessity and excel- 
lency of moderation in things of that nature; the real work 
in hand is, a persuasive unto popery, and, unto that end (not 
of moderation, or forbearance) are all his arguments directed. 
Should a man go to him, and say. Sir, I have read your learn- 
ed book, and find that heats and contests about differences 
in religion are things full of evil, and such as tend unto far- 
ther misery ; I am therefore resolved quietly to persist in 
the way of protestancy wherein I am, without ever attempt- 
ing the least violence against others for their dissent from 
me, but only with meekness and quietness defend the truth 
which I profess; I presume, he will not judge his design 
half accomplished towards such a man, if at all. Nay, I dare 
say with some confidence, that in reference to such a one, he 
would say to himself, ' Operam et oleum perdidi,' And there- 
fore doth he wisely tell us, p. 12. that his matter is perceived 
by the prefixed general contents of his chapters ; his design, 
which he calls his method, he confesseth that he doth pur- 
posely conceal. But the truth is, it is easily discoverable, 
there being few pages in the book, that do not display it. 

The reader then must understand, that the plain English 
of all his commendations of moderation, and all his exhorta- 
tions to a relinquishment of those false lights and principles, 
which have led men to a disturbance of the public peace, 
and ensuing calamities, is, that popery is the only religion 
in the world, and that centring therein is the only means to 
put an end to our differences, heats, and troubles. Unless 
this be granted, it will be very hard to find one grain of sin- 
cerity in the whole discourse : and if it be, no less difficult 
to find so much of truth. So that whatever may be esteemed 
suitable to the fancies of any of them whom our author 
courts in his address, those who know any thing of the ho- 
liness of God and the gospel, of that reverence which is due 
to Christ and his word, and wherewith all the concernments 
of religion ought to be managed, will scarcely judge that 
that blessed fountain of light and truth will immix his pure 
beams and blessings, with such crafty, worldly, sophistical 


devices; or such frothy ebullitions of wit and fancy as this 
discourse is stuffed withal. These are things, that may be 
fit to entangle unstable spirits, who being regardless of eter- 
nity, and steering their course according to every blast of 
temptation, that fills their lusts and carnal pleasures, are as 
ready to change their religion (if men can make any change 
in, or of that which in reality they neither leave nor receive, 
but only sport themselves to and fro with the cloud and sha- 
dow of it) as they are their clothes and fashions. Those who 
have had experience of the power and efficacy of that reli- 
gion which they have professed, as to all the ends for which 
religion is of God revealed, will be little moved with the 
stories, pretences and diversions of this discourse. 

Knowing, therefore, our author's design (and which we 
shall have occasion to deal with him about, throughout his 
treatise), which is to take advantage from the late miscar- 
riages amongst us, and the differences that are in the world 
in religion, to persuade men not indeed and ultimately to 
mutual moderation and forbearance, but to a general ac- 
quiescency in the Roman Catholicism, I shall not here far- 
ther speak unto it. The five heads of his matter may be 
briefly run over as he proposeth them, p. 13. with whose 
consideration I shall take my leave of his preface. 

The first is, ' That there is not any colour of reason, or 
just title, to move us to quarrel and judge one another, with 
so much heat about religion.' Indeed there is not, nor can 
there be ; no man was ever so mad as to suppose there could 
be any reason or just title for men to do evil : to quarrel and 
judge one another with heats about religion, is of that na- 
ture. But, if placing himself to keep a decorum amongst 
Protestants, he would insinuate, that we have no reason to 
contend about religion, as having lost all title unto it by our 
departure from Rome, I must take leave unto this general 
head, to put in a general demurrer ; which I shall afterward 
plead to, and vindicate. 

His second is, ' That all things are so obscure, that no 
man in prudence can so far presume of his own knowledge, 
as to set up himself a guide and leader in religion.' I say so 
too ; and suppose the words as they lie, whatever be intended 
in them, are keenly set against the great papal pretension : 
whatever he may pretend, we know, the pope sets up himself 


to be a guide to all men in religion ; and, if he do it not upon 
a presumption of his own knowledge, we know not on what 
better grounds he doth it. And though we wholly condemn 
men's setting up themselves to be guides and leaders to their 
neighbours ; yet, if he intend, that all things are so obscure, 
that we have no means to come to the knowledge of the 
truth concerning God and his mind, so far as it is our duty 
to know it ; and therefore, that no man can teach or instruct 
another in that knowledge ; I say as before, we are not yet 
of his mind : whether we shall be or no, the process of our 
discourse will shew. 

3. He adds, * That no sect hath any advantage at all over 
another, nor all of them together over popery.' Yes ; they 
that have the truth, wherein they have it, have advantage 
against all others that have it not. And so protestancy hath 
advantage over popery. And here the pretext or visor of 
this Protestant begins to turn aside : in the next head, it 
quite falls from him. 

That is, 4. ' That all the several kinds of rehgion here 
in England, are equally innocent to one another; and popery, 
as it stands in opposition to them, is absolutely innocent 
and unblamable to them all.' I am little concerned in the 
former part of these words, concerning the several kinds of 
religion in England, having undertaken the defence of one 
only; namely, protestancy. Those that are departed from 
protestancy so far as to constitute another kind of religion; 
as to any thing from me, shall plead for themselves. How- 
ever I wish, that all parties in England were all equally in- 
nocent to one another, or that they would not be willing to 
make themselves equally nocent. But the latter part of the 
words contain, I promise you, a very high undertaking. 
* Popery is innocent, absolutely innocent and unblamable 
to them all.' I fear we shall scarce find it so, when we 
come to the trial. I confess I do not like this pretence of 
absolute innocency and unblamableness. I suppose, they 
are men that profess popery, and I do know that popery is 
a rehgion or profession of men's finding out; how it should 
come to be so absolutely innocent on a sudden, I cannot 
imagine : but we will leave this until we come to the proof 
of it, taking notice only, that here is a great promise made 


unto his noble and ingenuous readers, that cannot advantage 
his cause, if he be not able to make it good. The close is, 
5. * That as there neither is, nor can be any rational 
motive for disputes and animosities about matters of reli- 
gion ; so is there an indispensable moral cause, obliging us 
to moderation,' &c. But this, as I observed before, though 
upon the first view of the sign hanging up at the door, a 
man would guess to be the whole work that was doing in 
the house, is indeed no part of his business ; and is there- 
fore thrust out at the postern, in two short leaves, the least 
part of ihem in his own words, after the spending of three 
hundred and sixty-four pages in the pursuit of his proper 
design. But, seeing we must look over these things again, 
in the chapters assigned to their adorning, we may take our 
leave of them at present, and of his preface together. 


Contests about religion and reformation, schoolmen, §r. 

Chap. I. The title of this chapter was proposed; the pursuit 
of it now ensues. The first paragraph is a declamation about 
sundry things which have not much blameworthy in them. 
Their common weakness is, that they are common. They 
tend not to the furtherance of any one thing more than an- 
other ; but are such as any party may flourish withal, and 
use to their several ends as they please. That, ' desire of 
honour and applause in the world,' hath influenced the minds 
of men to great and strange undertakings, is certain. That 
it should do so, is not certain, nor true : so, that when we 
treat of religion, if we renounce not the fundamental prin- 
ciple of it in self-denial, this consideration ought to have no 
place. What then was done by emperors and philosophers 
of old, or by the latter schoolmen on this account, we are 
little concerned in. Nor have I either desire or design to 
vellicate any thing spoken by our author, that may have an 
indifferent interpretation put upon it; and be separated from 
the end which he principally pursues. As there is but very 


little spoken in this paragraph, directly tending to the whole 
end aimed at, so there are but three things, that will any 
way serve to leaven the mind of his reader, that he may be 
prepared to be moulded into the form he hath fancied to 
cast him into, which is the work of all these previous 

The first is his insinuation. That the 'reformation of re- 
ligion is a thing pretended by emulous plebeians, not able 
to hope for that supervisorship in religion which they see 
intrusted with others.' How unserviceable this is unto his 
design as applied to the church of England, all men know ; 
for setting aside the consideration of the influence of so- 
vereign royal authority, the first reformers amongst us were 
persons, who, as they enjoyed the right of reputation for the 
excellencies of learning and wisdom ; so also were they fixed 
in those places and conditions in the church, which no re- 
formation could possibly advance them above ; and the at- 
tempt whereof cost them not only their dignities, but their 
lives also. Neither were Hezekiah, Josiah, or Ezra of old, 
'emulous plebeians,' whose lasting glory and renown arose 
from their reformation of religion. They who fancy men in 
all great undertakings to be steered by desire of applause 
and honour, are exceeding incompetent judges of those ac- 
tions which zeal for the glory of God, love to the truth, 
sense of their duty to the Lord Jesus Christ, and compassion 
for the souls of others, do lead men unto, and guide them 
in ; and such will the last day manifest the reformation tra- 
duced to have been. 

The second, is a gallant commendation of the ingenuity, 
charity, candour, and sublime science of the schoolmen. 
I confess, they have deserved good words at his hands. 
These are the men, who, out of a mixture of philosophy, tra- 
ditions, and Scripture, all corrupted and perverted, have 
hammered that faith, which was afterward confirmed under 
so many anathemas at Trent. So that upon the matter, he 
is beholden to them for his religion ; which I find he loves, 
and hath therefore reason to be thankful to its contrivers. 
For my part, I am as far from envying them their commen- 
dation, as I have reason to be; which I am sure is far 
enough. But yet before we admit this testimony, hand over 
head, I could wish he would take a course to stop the 


mouths of some of his own church, and those no small ones 
neither, who have declared them to the world, to be a pack 
of egregious sophisters, neither good philosophers, nor any 
divines at all ; men who seem not to have had the least re- 
verence of God, nor much regard to the truth in any of their 
disputations, but were wholly influenced by a vain reputation 
of subtlety, desire of conquest, of leading and denominating 
parties, and that in a barbarous science, barbarously ex- 
pressed, until they had driven all learning and divinity al- 
most out of the world. But I will not contend about these 
fathers of contention : let every man esteem of them as he 
seems good. 

There is the same respect, in that bitter reflection which 
he makes on those, who have managed differences in reli- 
gion in this last age, the third thing observable. That they 
are the writers, and writings, that have been published 
ao-ainst the papacy which he intends ; he doth more than 
intimate. Their disputes, he tells us, ' are managed with so 
much unseemly behaviour, such unmannerly expressions, 
that discreet sobriety cannot but loathe, and abhor to read 
them;' with very much more to this purpose, I shall not 
much labour to persuade men not to believe what he says 
in this matter; for I know full well, that he believes it not 
himself. He hath seen too many Protestant books, I sup- 
pose, to think this censure will suit them all. This was 
meet to be spoken, for the advantage of the Catholic cause : 
for what there hath been of real oS'ence in this kind amongst 
us, we may say, 'Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra;' 
Romanists are sinners as well as others. And I suppose 
himself knows, that the reviling, and defamations used by 
some of his party, are not to be paralleled in any writings of 
mankind at this day extant. 

About the appellations he shall think meet to make use 
of, in reference to the persons at variance, we will not con- 
tend with him : only I desire to let him know, that the re- 
proach of Galilean from the Pagans, which he appropriates 
to the Papists, was worn out of the world, before that 
popery which he pleads for, came into it. As Roman Ca- 
tholics never tasted of the sufferings wherevk^ith that re- 
proach was attended, so they have no special right to the 
honour that is in its remembrance. As to the sport he is 


pleased to make with his countrymen, in the close of this 
paragraph, about losing their wits in religious contests, with 
the evils thence ensuing, I shall no farther reflect upon; 
but once more to mind the reader, that the many words he 
is pleased to use in the exaggerating the evils of managing 
differences in religion with animosities and tumults, so 
seemingly to persuade men to moderation and peace, I shall 
wholly pass by, as having discovered, that that is not his 
business, nor consequently, at present, mine. 

It is well observed by him in his second paragraph, that 
most of the great contests in the world about perishing 
things, proceed from the unmortified lusts of men. The 
Scripture abounds in testimonies given hereunto: St. James 
expressly, ' From whence come wars and fightings among 
you ? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in 
your members? Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to 
have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have 
not,' chap. iv. 1, 2. Men's lusts put them on endless irregu- 
larities, in unbounded desires, and foolish sinful enterprises 
for their satisfaction. Neither is Satan, the old enemy of 
the welfare of mankind, wanting to excite, provoke, and stir 
up these lusts by mixing himself with them in his tempta- 
tions, thrusting them on, and entangling them in their pur- 
suit. As to the contests about religion, which I know not 
with what mind or intention he terms an ' empty airy busi- 
ness, a ghostly fight, a skirmish of shadows or horsemen iu 
the clouds,' he knows not what principle, cause, or source, 
to ascribe them unto ; that which he is most inclinable 
unto is, 'That there is something invisible above man, 
stronger and more politic than he, that doth this contumely 
to mankind, that casts in these apples of contention amongst 
us, that hisses us to war and battle, as waggish boys do 
dogs in the street.' That which is intended in these words, 
and sundry others of the like quality that follow, is, that this 
ariseth fromthe eaticsmeats aal iaipulsiois of the devil. 
And none can doubt, but that in these works of darkness, 
the prince of darkness hath a great hand. The Scripture 
also assures us, that as the scorpions which vexed the w^orld 
issued out of the bottomless pit, so also that these unclean 
spirits do stir up the powers of the earth to make opposition 
unto the truth of the gospel, and religion of Jesus Christ. 



But yet neither doth this hinder, but that even these reli- 
gious feuds and miscarriages also, proceed principally from 
the ignorance, darkness, and lusts of men. In them lies the 
true cause of all dissensions in and about the things of God. 
The best know but in part, and the most love darkness more 
than light, because their works are evils. A vain conver- 
sation received by tradition from men's fathers, with invete- 
rate prejudices, love of the world, and the customs thereof, 
do all help on this sad work wherein so many are employed. 
That some preach the gospel of God tv TroXXfjJ ayiovt with all 
their strength, in much contention, 'and contend earnestly 
for the faith once delivered unto the saints ;' as it is their 
duty, so it is no cause, but only an accidental occasion, of 
differences amongst men. That the invisible substances our 
author talks of, should be able to sport themselves with us 
as children do with dogs in the street, and that with the 
like impulse from them, as dogs from these, we should rush 
into our contentions, might pass for a pretty notion, but 
only that it overthrows all religion in the world, and the 
whole nature of man. There is evil enough in corrupted 
nature to produce all these evils which are declaimed 
against to the end of this section, were there no demons to 
excite men unto them. The adventitious impressions from 
them, by temptations and suggestions, doubtless promote 
them, and make men precipitate above their natural tem- 
pers in their productions ; but the principal cause of all our 
evils is still to be looked for at home. 

Nee te quiEsiveris extra. 

Sect. 3. page 34. In the next section of this chapter 
whereuntohe prefixes, 'Nullity of Title,' he pursues the per- 
suasive unto peace, moderation, charity, and quietness in 
our several persuasions, with so many reasonings and good 
words, that a man would almost think that he began to be 
in good earnest, and that those were the things which he 
intended for their own sakes to promote. I presume, it can- 
not but at the first view seem strange to some, to find a man 
of the Roman party so ingeniously arguing against the im- 
position of our senses in religion magisterially and with 
violence one upon the other ; it being notoriously known to 
all the world, that they are, if not the only, yet the greatest 


imposers on the minds and consciences of men that ever 
lived in the earth ; and which work they cease not the pro- 
secution of, where they have power, tintil they come to fire 
and fagot. I dare say, there is not any strength in any of 
his queries, collections, and arguings, but an indifferent 
man would think it at the first sight to be pointed against 
the Roman interest and practice. For what have they been 
doing for some ages past, but under a pretence of charity to 
the souls of men, endeavouring to persuade them to their 
opinions and worship, or to impose them on them whether 
they will or no? But let old things pass; it is well if now 
at last they begin to be otherwise minded. What then, if 
we should take this gentleman at his word, and cry, A 
match ; let us strive and contend no more ; keep you your 
religion at Rome to yourselves, and we will do as well as 
we can with ours in England ; we will trouble you no more 
about yours, nor pray do not you meddle with us or ours. 
Let us pray for one another, wait on God for light and direc- 
tion, it being told us, that ' if any one be otherwise minded' 
(than according to the truth) ' God shall reveal that unto him.' 
Let us all strive to promote godliness, obedience to the 
commands of Christ, good works, and peace in the world ; 
but for this contending aboiit opinions, or endeavouring to 
impose our several persuasions upon one another, let us give 
it quite over. I fear he would scarcely close with us, and 
so wind up all our differences upon the bottom of his own 
proposals ; especially, if this law should extend itself to all 
other nations equally concerned with England. He would 
quickly tell us, that this is our mistake ; he intended not 
Roman Catholics, and the differences we have with them in 
this discourse. It is Protestants, Presbyterians, Indepen- 
dents, Anabaptists, Quakers, that he deals withal, and them 
only, and that upon this ground, that none of them have any 
title or pretence of reason to impose on one another, and so 
ought to be quiet, and let one another alone in matters of 
religion. But for the Roman Catholics, they are not con- 
cerned at all in this harangue, having a sufficient title to 
impose upon them all. Now, truly, if this be all, I know 
not what we have to thank you for, ' Tantumne est otii tibi 
abs re tua, aliena ut cures, eaque quae ad te nihil attinent?' 
There are wise and learned men in England, who are con- 
F 2 


cerned in our differences, and do labour to compose them 
or suppress them. That this gentleman should come and 
justle them aside, and impose himself an umpire upon us 
without our choice or desire in matters that belong not unto 
him, how charitable it may seem to be I know not, but it is 
scarcely civil. Would, he would be persuaded to go home 
and try his remedies upon the distempers of his own family, 
before he confidently vend them to us. I know he has no 
salves about him to heal diversities of opinions, that he can 
write ' probatura est' upon, from his Roman church. If he 
have, he is the most uncharitable man in the world to leave 
them at home brawling and together by the ears ; to seek 
out practice where he is neither desired nor welcome, when 
he comes without invitation. I confess, I was afraid at the 
beginning of the section, that I should be forced to change 
the title before I came to the end, and write over it ' Desinit 
in piscem.' The sum of this whole paragraph is, that all 
sorts of Protestants, and others here in England, do ridi- 
culously contend about their several persuasions in religion, 
and put trouble on one another on that account, whereas it 
is the pope only that hath title and right to prescribe a re- 
ligion unto us all j which is not to me unlike the fancy of 
the poor man in bedlam, who smiled with great content- 
ment at their folly, who imagined themselves either Queen 
Elizabeth, or King James, seeing he himself was King Henry 
the Eighth. But, seeing that is the business in hand, let 
us see what is this title that the pope hath which Pro- 
testants can lay no claim unto. It is founded on that of the 
apostle to the Corinthians, ' Did the word of God come forth 
from you, or came it unto you only V This is pretended the 
only rule to determine with whom the pre-eminence of re- 
ligion doth remain : now the word came not out originally 
from Protestants, or Puritans, nor came it to them alone. 
'So that they have no reason to be imposing their concep- 
tions on one another, or own others that differ from them. 
But our author seems here to have fallen upon a great mis- 
adventure ; there is not, as I know of, any one single text 
of Scripture, that doth more fatally cut the throat of papal 
pretensions than this that he hath stumbled on. It is known 
that the pope and his adherents claim a pre-eminence in 
religion, to be the sole judges of all its concernments, and 


the imposers of it in all the world. What men receive from 
them, that is truth ; what they are any otherwise instructed 
in, it is all false and naught. On this pretence it is, that 
this gentleman pleads nullity of title amongst us as to all 
our contests; though we know that truth carries its title 
with it, in whose hands soever it be found. Give me leave 
then to make so bold (at least at this distance) as to ask 
the pope and his adherents * An a vobis verbum Dei pro- 
cessit, an ad vos solos pervenit?' ' Did the gospel first come 
from you, or only unto you,' that you thus exalt yourselves 
above your brethren all the world over? Do we not know 
by whom it first came to you, and from whom? Did it not 
come to very many parts of the world before you ? to the 
whole world as well as to you ? Why do you then boast 
yourselves as though you had been the first revealers of the 
gospel, or that it had come unto you in a way or manner 
peculiar and distinct from that by which it came to other 
places? Would you make us believe that Christ preached 
at Rome, or suffered or rose from the dead there, or gave the 
Holy Ghost first to the apostles there, or first there founded 
his church, or gave order for the empaling it there, when it 
was built? Would we never so fain, we cannot believe such 
prodigious fables. To what purpose then do you talk of 
title to impose your conceits in religion upon us? Did the 
gospel first come forth from you, or came it unto you only? 
Will not Rome, notwithstanding its seven hills, be laid in a 
level with the rest of the world, by virtue of this rule? The 
truth is as to the oral dispensation of the gospel, it came 
forth from Jerusalem, by the personal ministry of the apo- 
stles, and came equally to all the world. That spring being 
long since dried up, it now comes forth to all from the writ- 
ten word; and unto them who receive it in its power and 
truth doth it come, and unto no other. What may farther 
be thought necessary to be discussed, as to the matter of 
of fact, in reference to this rule, the reader may find handled 
under that consideration of the first supposition, which our 
author builds his discourse upon. 

Sect. 4. p. 48. 'Heats and Resolution,' is the title of 
this section; in which, if our author be found blameless, his 
charge on others will be the more significant: the impartial 
reader that will not be imposed on by smooth words, will 


easily know what to guess of his temper. In the mean time, 
though we think it is good to be well resolved in the things 
that we are to believe and practise in the worship of God; 
yet all irregular, and irrational heats, in the prosecution, or 
maintenance of men's different conceptions and apprehen- 
sions in religion, we desire sincerely to avoid and explode. 
Nor is it amiss, that, to further our moderation, we be 
minded of the temper of the Pagans, who in their opinion- 
wars (we are told) used no other weapons but only of pen 
and speech : for our author seems to have forgotten, not 
only innumerable other instances to the contrary, but also 
the renowned battle between Ombos and Tentyra. But this 
forgetfulness was needful, to aggravate the charge on Chris- 
tians, that are not Romanists, for their heat, fury, and fight- 
ings, for the promotion of their opinions ; as being in this 
so much the worse than Pagans, who in religion used an- 
other manner of moderation. And who, I pray, is it that 
manageth this charge ? Whence comes this dove, with an 
olive-branch? this orator of peace? If we may guess from 
whence he came, by seeing whither he is going, we must say 
that it was from Rome. This is their plea, this the persua- 
sion of men of the Roman interest ; this their charge on 
Protestants : to this height the confidence of men's igno- 
rance, inadvertency, and fulness of present things amounts. 
Could ever any one rationally expect, that these gentlemen 
would be public decriers of fury, wars, and tumults for re- 
ligion? May not Protestants say to them, 'Quseregio in ter- 
ris nostri non plena cruoris?' Is there any nation under the 
heavens, whereunto your power extends, wherein our blood 
hath not given testimony to your wrath and fury? After all your 
cursings and attempted depositions of kings and princes, 
translations of title to sovereignty and rule, invasions of na- 
tions, secret conspiracies, prisons, racks, swords, fire, and 
fagot, do you now come and declaim about moderation? We 
see you not yet cease from killing of men, in the pursuit of 
your fancies and groundless opinions ; any where, but either 
where you have not power, or can find no more to kill : so 
that certainly, whatever reproach we deserve to have cast 
upon us in this matter, you are the unfittest men in the world 
to be managers of it. But I still find myself in a mistake 
in this thing : it is only Protestants, and others departed 


from the Roman church, that our author treats of: it is they, 
who are more fierce and disingenuous than the Pagans, in 
their contests amongst themselves, and against the Roman- 
ists, as having the least share of reason of any upon the 
earth. His good church is not concerned, vi^ho as it is not 
led by such fancies and motives as they are, so it hath 
right (where it hath power) to deal with its adversaries as 
seems good unto it. This then, sir, is that which you in- 
tend; that we should agree amongst ourselves, and wait for 
your coming with power to destroy us all. It were well in- 
deed, if we could agree ; it is our fault and misery, if we do 
not, having so absolutely a perfect rule and means of agree- 
ment as we have. But yet, whether we agree, or agree not, 
if there be another party distinct from us all, pretending a 
right to exterminate us from the earth, it behoves us to 
look after their proceedings. And this is the true state of 
all our author's pleas for moderation ; which are built upon 
such principles as tend to the giving us up unarmed and 
naked to the power and will of his masters. 

For the rest of this section, wherein he is pleased to 
sport himself in the miscarriages of men in their coining and 
propagating of their opinions, and to gild over the care and 
success of the church of Rome, in stifling such births of 
pride and darkness, I shall not insist upon it. For as the 
first as generally tossed up and down, concerns none in par- 
ticular, though accompanied with the repetition of such 
words as ought not to be scoffed at; so the latter is nothing 
but what violence and ignorance may any where, and in any 
age produce. There are societies of Christians, not a few, in 
the east, wherein mere darkness and ignorance of the truth, 
hath kept men at peace in errors, without the least distur- 
bance by contrary opinions amongst themselves, for above a 
thousand years; and yet they have wanted the help of out- 
ward force to secure their tranquillity. And is it any won- 
der, that where both these powerful engines are set at work 
for the same end, if in some measure it be compassed and 
effected. And if there be such a thing among the Roman- 
ists (which I have reason to be difficult in admitting the be- 
lief of) as that they can stifle all opinions, as fast as they 
are conceived, or destroy them as soon as they are brought 
forth, I know it must be some device or artifice unknown 


to the apostles and primitive churches ; who notwithstand- 
ing all their authority and care for the truth, could not with 
many compass that end. 

Sect. 5. p. 54. The last section of this chapter, contains 
motives to moderation, three in number; and I suppose, 
that no man doubts but that many more might be added, 
every one in weight outdoing all these three. The first is 
that alone which Protestants are concerned to look unto; not 
that Protestants oppose any motive under moderation ; but 
knowing that in this discourse, moderation is only the pre- 
tence, popery (if I may use the word without incivility) the 
design and aim, it concerns them to examine, which of these 
pretended motives, that any way regards their real principle, 
doth tend unto. Now this motive is, the great ignorance our 
state and condition is involved in, concerning God, his 
works, and providence ; a great motive to moderation, I 
wish all men would well consider it. For I must acknow- 
ledge, that I cannot but suppose them ignorant of the state 
and condition of mortality, and so consequently their own, 
who are ready to destroy and exterminate their neighbours of 
the same flesh and blood with them, and agreeing in the 
main principles of relioion, that may certainly be known, for 
lesser differences, and that by such rules as within a few 
years may possibly reach their nearest relations. Our au- 
thor also lays so much weight on this motive, that he fears 
an anticipation, by men saying, ' That the Scripture reveals 
enough unto us;' which therefore he thinks necessary to re- 
move. For my part, I scarce think he apprehended any real 
danger, that this would be insisted on as an objection against 
his motive to moderation. For to prevent his tending on 
towards that which is indeed his proper end, this obstacle is 
not unseasonably laid, that under a pretence of the igno- 
rance unavoidably attending our state and condition, he 
nnight not prevail upon us to increase and aggravate it, by 
enticing us to give up ourselves by an implicit faith to the 
conduct of the Roman church. A man may easily perceive 
the end he intends, by the objections which he foresees. No 
man is so mad, I think, as to plead the sufficiency of Scrip- 
ture revelation against moderation ; when in the revelation 
of the will of God contained in the Scripture, moderation is 
so much commended unto us, and pressed ui)on us. But 



against the pretended necessity of resigning ourselves to the 
Romanists, for a relief against the unavoidable ignorance of 
our state and condition, besides that we know full well such 
a resignation would yield us no relief at all, this plea of the 
sufficiency of Scripture revelation is full and unanswerable. 
This put our author on a work which 1 have formerly once 
or twice advised him to meddle no more ; being vv'ell assured, 
that it is neither for his reputation, nor his advantage, much 
less for his soul's health. The pretences which he makes 
use of, are the same that we have heard of many and many a 
time ; the abuse of it by some, and the want of an infallible 
interpreter of it as to us all. But the old tale is here anew 
gilded with an intermixture of other pretty stories, and ap- 
plication of all to the present humours of men ; not forgetting 
to set forth the brave estate of our forefathers, that had not 
the use of the Scripture ; which what it was, we know well 
enough, and better than the prejudices of this gentleman 
will give him leave to tell us. But if the lawful and neces- 
sary use of any thing may be decried, because of its abuse, 
we ouglit not only to labour the abolishing of all Christian 
religion in general, and every principle of it in particular out 
of the world, but the blotting out of the sun, and moon, and 
stars, out of the firmament of heaven, and the destruction of 
the greatest and most noble parts, at least, of the whole 
creation : but as the apostles continued in the work of 
preaching the gospel, though by some the grace they taught 
* was turned into lasciviousness ;' so shall we abide to plead 
for the use of the Scripture, whatever abuse of them by the 
wicked lusts of men can be instanced in. Nor is there any 
reason in the world, why food should be kept from all men, 
though some have surfeited, or may yet so do. To have a 
compendious narration of the story and morality of the 
Scripture in the room of the whole, which our author allows 
of, is so jejune, narrow, and empty a conception, so unan- 
swerable to all those divine testimonies given to the excel- 
lency of the word of God, with precepts to abide in the 
meditation and study of it, to grow in the knowledge of it, 
and the mysteries contained it, the commendations of them 
that did so, in the Scripture itself, so blasphemously dero- 
gatory to the goodness, love, and wisdom of God, in granting 


US that inestimable benefit, so contrary to the redoubled 
exhortations of all the ancient fathers, that I wonder any one 
who dares pretend to have read it, or to be a Christian, can 
own and avow such a notion. All the fine stories, allusions, 
and speculations, about madness, that he is pleased to flou- 
rish withal in this matter, are a covering too short and nar- 
row to hide that wretched contempt of the holy word of the 
great God, which in these notions discovers itself. Men 
who by corrupt principles have been scared from the study 
of the Scripture, or by their lusts kept from its serious pe- 
rusal, or attendance unto it, that value not the authority of 
God, of Christ, or his apostles, commanding and requiring 
the diligent study of it, that disregard the glorious mysteries, 
revealed in it on set purpose that we might all come to an 
acquaintance with them, and so, consequently, that have had 
no experience of the excellency or usefulness of it, nor lie 
under any conviction of their own duty to attend unto it, 
may perhaps be glad to have their lusts and unbelief so far 
accommodated, as to suffer themselves to be persuaded, that 
there is no need that they should any farther regard it, than 
hitherto they have done. ' But in vain is the net spread be- 
fore the eye of any thing that hath a wing ;' for them who 
have tasted the sweetness of the good word of God, who 
have attained any acquaintance with its usefulness and ex- 
cellency, who have heard the voice of God in it, making the 
knowledge of his will revealed therein, of indispensable ne- 
cessity to the salvation of their souls ; believe me, sir, all 
your rhetoric and stories, your pretences and flourishes, will 
never prevail with them to cast away their Bibles, and re- 
solve for the future to believe only in the pope. Of the 
interpretation of the Scripture I have spoken before, and 
shewed sufiiciently, that neither are we at any such a loss 
therein, as to bring us to any uncertainty about the princi- 
ples of our religion ; nor, if we were, have we the least rea- 
son to look for any relief from Rome. When I happen upon 
any of these discourses, I cannot but say to myself. What 
do these men intend ? Do they know what they do, or with 
whom they have to deal? Have they ever read the Scrip- 
tures, or tasted any sweetness in it? If they instruct their 
disciples unto such mean thoughts of the holy word of God, 


they undo them for ever. And if I meet with these bold ef- 
forts against the wisdom of God twenty times, I cannot but 
still thus startle at them. 

The two following motives being taken up, as far as I 
can apprehend, to give our author an advantage to make 
sport for himself and others, in canvassing some expressions 
and discourses of our talkative times, and the vulgar brutish 
management of our differences by some weak unknowing 
persons, need not detain us. Did I judge it a business 
worthy of any prudent man's consideration, it were easy 
to return him for his requital, a collection of the pretty 
prayers and devotions of his good Catholics, of their kind 
treatments one of another, or the doughty arguments they 
make use of amongst themselves and against us ; abun- 
dantly enough to repay him his kindness, without being be- 
holden to any of those legends, which they formerly accom- 
modated the people withal, in room both of Scripture and 
preaching ; though of late they begin to be ashamed of 


Obscurity of God, ^c. 

Chap. II. Unto the ensuing whole chapter, wherein our 
author expatiates with a most luxuriant oratory throughout; 
and ofttimes soars with poetical raptures, in setting forth the 
obscurity and darkness of all things, our ignorance and dis- 
ability to attain a right and perfect knowledge of them, cant- 
ing by the way many of those pretty notions, which the 
philosophical discoursive men of our days do use to whet 
their wits upon over a glass of wine, I have not much to offer: 
nor should I once reflect upon that discourse, were it not 
designed to another end than that which it is ushered in by, 
as the thing aimed to be promoted by it. Forbearance of 
one another in our several persuasions on a sense of our in- 
firmity and weakness, and the obscurity of those things 
about which our minds and contemplations are conversant, 
is flourished at the entrance of this harangue : after a small 


progress, the snake begins to hiss in the grass, and in the 
close openly to shew itself, in an enticement unto an em- 
bracing of the Roman religion ; which, it seems, will dis- 
entangle our minds out of that maze about the things of 
God and man, in which, without its guidance, we must of 
necessity wander for ever. As for his philosophical notions, 
I suppose they were only vented to shew his skill in the 
learned talk of this age, and to toll on the gallants whom he 
hath most hope to inveigle, knowing them to be candidates 
for the most part, unto that scepticism which is grown the 
entertainment of tables and taverns. How a man that is 
conversant in his thoughts about religion, and his choice of, 
or settlement therein, should come to have any concernment 
in this discourse I cannot imagine. That God who is infinitely 
wise; holy, good, who perfectly knows all his own excellen- 
cies, hath revealed so much of himself, his mind, and will, in 
reference to the knowledge which he requires of himself, and 
obedience unto him as is sufficient to guide us whilst we are 
here below, to steer our course in our subjection to him, and 
dcpendance on him in a manner acceptable unto him, and to 
bring us to our utmost end and blessedness in the enjoy- 
ment of him. This Protestants think sufficient for them, who 
as they need not, so they desire not to be wise above what 
is vi-ritten ; nor to know more of God than he hath so revealed 
of himself, that they may know it. Those barren, fruitless 
speculations which some curious serpentine wits, casting off 
all reverence of the sovereignty and majesty of God, have 
exercised themselves in and about, even in things too high 
and hard for them, darkening counsel and wisdom by words 
of pretended subtlety, but real folly; are fitter to be exploded 
out of the world, than fomented and cherished in the minds 
of men. 

Nor doth that discourse about God and his essence, 
which lies before us, seem to grow on any other roots 
than ignorance and curiosity; ignorance of what it is that 
God requireth us to know of him, and how; and curiosity 
in prying into and using words about what we do not under- 
stand, nor is it the mind of God that we should. Were poor 
sinners thorouL;hly sensible of their own condition, and what 
acquaintance with God their concernment doth lie in, they 
would little value such vain towering imaginations as some 


men's minds are exercised withal. Come, sir, let us leave 
these vain flourishes, and in deepest abasement of soul, pray 
that we may know how * the Father, whom no man hath 
seen at any time, is revealed by the only begotten Son, who 
is in his bosom.' What he is in his law towards impenitent 
sinners, what in the covenant of his grace to them that fly 
for refuge to the hope that is set before them ; even that the 
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would 
give unto us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 
knowledge of him, that the eyes of our understanding being 
enlightened, we may know what is the hope of his calling, 
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the 
saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power 
towards them that believe, according to the working of the 
might, of his power, which he wrought in Christ when he 
raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand 
in heavenly places ; that our hearts may be comforted, being 
knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assu- 
rance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mys- 
tery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and by whom 
alone we may obtain any saving acquaintance with them; 
who also is come, and hath given us an understanding that 
we may know him that is true. 

This is theport-havenof Protestants, whatever real dark- 
ness may be about them, or whatever mists may be cast on 
them by the sleights of men that lie in wait to deceive ; that 
they need know no more of God, that they may love him, 
fear him, believe in him, and come to the enjoyment of him, 
than what he hath clearly and expressly in Christ revealed 
of himself by his word. Whether the storms of this gentle- 
man's indignation be able to drive them, or the more plea- 
sant gales of his eloquence to entice them from this harbour, 
time will shew. In the mean while, that indeed they ought 
not so to do, nor will do so with a.ny but such as are re- 
solved to steer their course by some secret distempers of 
their own, a few strictures on the most material passages of 
this chapter will discover. 

It is scarce worth while to remark his mistake in the 
foundation of his discourse of the ' Obscurity of God,' as he 
is pleased to state the matter, from that of the prophet, as- 


serting, that ' God is a God who hides himself,' or, as he ren- 
ders it, a 'hidden God.' His own prophet will tell him, that 
it is not concerning the essence of God, but the dispensation 
of his love and favour towards his people, that those words 
were used by the prophet of old, and so are unwillingly 
pressed to serve in the design he hath in hand. Neither are 
we more concerned in the ensuing discourse of the ' Soul's 
cleaving to God by affection,' upon the metaphysical repre- 
sentation of his excellencies and perfections unto it; it be- 
ing purely Platonical, and no way suited to the revelation 
made of God in the gospel, which acquaints us not with any 
such amiableness in God, as to endear the souls of sinners 
unto him, causing them to reach out the wings of their love 
after him, but only as he is in Christ Jesus reconciling the 
world to himself; a consideration that hath no place, nor 
can obtain any in this flourish of words: and the reason is, 
because they are sinners, and therefore without the revela- 
tion of an atonement, can have no other apprehension of the 
infinitely holy and righteous God, but as of a devouring fire, 
with whom no sinner can inhabit. Nor yet in the aggrava- 
tion of the obscurity of God from the restless endeavours of 
mankind in the disquisition of him, who, as he says, ' shew 
their love in seeking him, having at their birth an equal 
right to his favour, which they could nowise demerit before 
they were born,' being directly contrary to the doctrine of 
his own church, in the head of original sin. 

That which first draws up towards the design he is in 
pursuit of, is his determination, ' that the issuing of men's 
perplexities in the investigation of this hidden God, must be 
by some prophet or teacher, sent fpom God unto men ;' but 
the uncertainty of coming into any better condition thereby, 
is so exaggerated by a contempt of those ways and means, 
that such prophets have fixed on to evidence their coming 
forth from God, by miracles, visions, prophecies, a shew of 
sanctity, with a concourse of threats and promises, as that 
means also is cashiered from yielding us any relief. Nei- 
ther is there any thing intimated, or offered, to exempt the 
true prophets of God, nor the Lord Christ himself, from be- 
ing shuffled into the same bag with false pretenders in the 
close, that were brought forth to play their game in this pa- 
geant. Yea, the difficulty put upon this help of the loss we 


are at in the knowledge of God by prophets and prophecies, 
seems especially to respect those of the Scripture, so to ma- 
nifest the necessity of a farther evidence to be given unto 
them, than any they carry about them, or bring with them, 
that they may be useful to this end and purpose : and this 
intention is manifest a little after, where the Scripture is ex- 
pressly reckoned among those things which all men boast 
of, none can come to certainty or assurance by. Thus are 
poor unstable souls ventured to the borders of atheism, 
under a pretence of leading them to the church. Was this 
the method of Christ or his apostles, in drawing men to the 
faith of the gospel ? this the way of the holy men of old, 
that laboured in the conversion of souls from gentilism and 
heresy ? Were ever such bold assaults against the immove- 
able principles of Christianity made by any, before reli- 
gion came to be a matter of carnal interest? Is there no 
way to exalt the pope, but by questioning the authority of 
Christ, and truth of the Scripture? Truly, I am sorry 
that wise and considering men should observe such an irre- 
verence of God and his word to prevail in the spirits of men, 
as to entertain thoughts of persuading them to desert their 
religion, by such presumptuous insinuations of the uncertain- 
ty of all divine revelation. But all this may be made good 
on the consideration of the changes of men after their pro- 
fessions of this or that religion ; namely, that, notwithstand- 
ing their former pretensions, yet indeed they know nothing 
at all, seeing that from God and the truth no man doth 
willingly depart; which if it be universally true, I dare say, 
there is not one word true in the Scripture. How often 
doth God complain in the Old Testament that his people 
forsook him for that which was not God? and how many 
do the apostles shew us in the New, to ' have forsaken the 
truth?' It is true that under the notion of God, the chiefest 
good, and of truth the proper object and rest of the under- 
standing, none can willingly and by choice depart ; but, that 
the minds of men might be so corrupted and perverted by 
their own lusts and temptations of Satan, as willingly and by 
choice to forsake the one or the other, to embrace that which 
in their stead presents itself unto them; is no less true, than, 
that twice two make four. And it is mere weakness and ig- 
norance of the condition of mankind, since the entrance of 


sin, to conclude, that, because men may forsake the truth 
which they have professed, therefore there is no evidence in 
that truth which they so forsake; as though truth and its 
evidence were to be measured and judged by the carriage 
and deportment of corrupt and unstable men towards it. 
Though the sun continue to shine in the firmament, yet there 
be a thousand ways whereby men may become blind, and so 
rendered unable to see it. And there are no fewer ways 
whereby men either wilfully themselves darken the eyes of 
their understanding, or suffer them to be put out by others. 
Shall the truth be thence calumniated, as though it sent 
forth no beams whereby it may be clearly discerned ? Are 
they not rather justly to be supposed blind themselves, who 
can entertain such thoughts of it ? 

We dwell too much on these remote attempts towards the 
special end aimed at. The rhetoric of this discourse is 
wound up, p. 76 — 79. in a persuasive unto popery ; the sub- 
stance whereof is, that the papacy being rejected, there is a 
necessity that all men must become atlieists ; which requires 
a little farther consideration. He says, then, ' That these dis- 
sentions of ours' (he means of Protestants, one of whom he 
most indecently personates) * about the faith in its branches 
so hot, so various, so extravagant, are apt to infer a suspi- 
cion in its very root. Are not a hundred in our own country 
become atheists ah'eady upon that very notion? and these 
men supposing substantial change once made in religion, 
and deliberately admitted, are rather to be commended for 
their wit, than blamed. For they do but that suddenly, 
which all the land will come to by degrees.' This in general, 
in which entrance into his farther application of what he 
had largely, and indeed loosely, before discoursed to his 
present purpose, I wish I could find any thing sound. If 
dissensions about the faith, however extravagantly managed, 
are apt to infer a suspicion in its very root, it is most certain, 
that since the first preaching of it, or within a few years 
after its first revelation, causes of suspicion have been given, 
and will be given, and it is the mind of God should be given, 
who said, there must be heresies, that the approved may be 
tried. And this very argument did Celsus press against 
Christianity almost fifteen hundred years ago, which is wor- 
thily answered by Origen ; nor is there need of adding any 


thing to what that excellent man replied unto one of the 
first coiners of this objection. The truth is, our dissensions 
are evils; our evils, the evils of men that are engaged in 
them. And yet it may be, not all out so evil in themselves 
as is pretended ; they are far enough from meriting the title 
of. Mo here is Christ/ and, Mo there is Christ:' Protestants 
are all of them well enough agreed who is Christ, and where 
alone he is to be found. If they jump not wholly into the 
same conceptions, about some few things of less importance 
in the way and manner of the worship of Christ, it is no more 
but what hath been the lot of the best of men ever since 
Christ was preached on the earth, that were not infallibly 
inspired : such contests ever were; and he that knows what 
men are, will have little cause given him to suspect the 
truth of the foundation of that about which they contend. 
Nor is any ground of such suspicion administered by these 
differences ; men of corrupt minds, may take occasion from 
them to vent the enmity which is in their hearts against the 
faith; ground of suspicion none is given unto them. Nay 
rather, it is a strong evidence of the certainty of the faith in 
general, that all those who contend about the branches of it, 
do everyone of them charge one another with the failure; 
and all agree, that the faith itself about which they contend, 
is certain, sure, and stable. And I hope the gentleman is 
mistaken in the calculation of the numbers that are become 
atheists in our country; or if he have brought them to the 
poll, I do not believe that he hath taken a particular account 
of the occasions and reasons that cast them on that com- 
mendable piece of wit, as he styles it; and so knows not, 
but that they may have been made witty by some of those 
w^ays, whereby, if a learned friar may be believed, there were 
no less than sixty thousand become atheists, and that not of 
Protestants, but good Catholics, in one city in our neigh- 
bouring nation. But this falls out, saith he, by a supposal 
'of a substantial change made in religion, and deliberately 
admitted.' This, indeed, were something; but whoever sup- 
posed so? The religion of Jesus Christ is the same once de- 
livered unto the saints. This is still one and the same, yes- 
terday, to day, and for ever, unalterable as Christ himself. 
Men indeed, who are liars, are changeable worms ; and 
many, as to their profession in religion, alter, change, turn, 



apostatize, with or without deliberation; but he that shall 
thence conclude, that his best course is speedily to be an 
atheist, will not deserve much commendation for his wit, 
less for his wisdom, and for his grace none at all. That the 
land will come to atheism by degrees, is the prognostication 
of our author, calculated from the meridian of Rome. For 
my part, I fear not such kind of prophets. Protestant reli- 
gion hath, by the blessing of God, retrieved the nation from 
the doors of atheism, and kept it safe almost these hundred 
years, notwithstanding the woful miscarriages of some that 
have professed it; why they must now all by degrees turn 
atheists, I know no reason to fear, nor presume doth our au- 
thor, but that he is prompted to like his conjecture, by his 
love to his countrymen, desiring they may follow them who 
are so commended for their wit. 

But we must proceed with the improvement of this con- 
sideration. Page 11. 'If the Papist, or Roman Catholic, 
who first brought the news of Christ and his Christianity 
into the land, as all men must needs know, that have either 
heard or read of Christianity's ingress into England, or 
other countries and kingdoms (for we do no sooner hear 
news of Christianity, than popery, and its crucifixes, monas- 
teries, relics, sacrifice, and the like), I say, if the Papist 
be now become so odious, as we see he is, and if the faith 
he brought and maintained a thousand years together, be 
now rent all asunder by sects and factions, which bandy all 
to the ruin of that mother religion ; if all her practical 
truths, wherein chiefest piety consists, be already aban- 
doned as erroneous; doth not this justify the Pagan whom 
this Catholic Christian displaced to make way for his own 
law ? And must not this be a certain way and means to in- 
troduce atheism, which naturally follows that faith once 
removed, even as a carcase succeeds a living body once de- 
ceased? For, one truth denied, is a fair way to question 
another, which came by the same hand ; and this, a third ; 
till the very authority of the first revealer be at stake, which 
can no more defend himself than he can his law. For the 
same axe and instrument, that cut down the branches, can 
cut up the root too ; and if his reverence, for which all the 
rest was beheved, defend not their truth, it must needs at 
length utterly fail in his own ; for all the authority they had 



was purely from him, and he fails in them before he falls in 
himself: ovdlv vyiig.' That the Papists, or Roman Catho- 
lics, first brought Christ and his Christianity into this land, 
is most untrue ; and I wonder how any one that hath read 
any story of the times that are past, should so often aver 
what he cannot but know to be untrue. The gospel might 
have been brought into England by Romans, and yet not 
by Papists ; for I cannot find, nor can this gentleman shew, 
that the Romans St. Paul wrote unto, were any one of them, 
in any one point. Papists. But neither was it brought hi- 
ther by Romans, but came immediately out of the East ; 
from whence also about the same time it came to Rome. 
Nor is it any jot truer, that we no sooner heard 'news of 
Christianity, than popery, with its crucifixes, monasteries, 
relics, sacrifice (that is, the mass), and the like ;' 'Apage 
nugas !' What, do we talk of t'other-day things, when we 
speak of the first news of Christianity ? The first planting 
and watering of these things was in after ages, and their 
growing up to that consistency, wherein they may justly be 
called popery, a work of many centuries. And yet, I shall 
grant, that most of them got the start in the world, of that 
papal sovereignty, whence popery is peculiarly denomi- 
nated. But the first news we hear of Christianity, is in the 
gospel ; where there is not the least tidings of these trifles, 
nor was there in some ages that next succeeded the pub- 
lication of it. If this gentleman give any farther occasion, 
the particulars shall be evinced to him. For my part, I 
know not how, nor to whom a ' Papist is become odious,' 
which nextly he complains of. I can, and do love their 
persons, pity them in their mistakes, hate only their vices. 
But yet, certain it is, a Papist may be odious, that is, men 
may not love those parts of his religion from whence he is 
so denominated, without the least impeachment of that 
faith that extirpated gentilism in the world. It is for that 
faith which' ruined gentilism, that we contend against Pa- 
pists. Let us have that, and no more, and there is an end 
of all our contests. The things we strive about, sprang up 
since gentilism was buried, the most of them out of its 
grave, some from a deeper place, if there be a deeper place. 
For the * practical truths of the Papists,' which he com- 
plains to be abolished, I was in good hope, he would not 
G 2 


have mentioned them ; their speculations are better than 
their practises, whether he intends their moral divinity, or 
their 'agenda' in worship; I would desire this gentleman to 
mention them no more, lest he hear that of them, which I 
know he is not willing to do. As for the practical truths 
of the gospel, they are maintained and asserted in the 
church of England, and by all Protestants ; and about 
others, we are not solicitous. What tendency then, the 
rejection of popery, which had no hand in supplanting gen- 
tilism, and which is no part of the religion of Christ, hath 
to the leading of men into atheism, is as hard to discover, 
as the quadrature of a circle, or a subterranean passage into 
the Indies. But he gives his reasoijs ; * If one truth be de- 
nied, a fair way is made to question another, which came by 
the same hand ; and this a third ; till the very authority of 
the first revealer be at stake, which can no more defend 
himself than he can his law.' This first revealer, I take to 
be the Lord Christ; he that grants a thing, or doctrine^ to 
be taught and dehvered by him, yet denies it to be true, 
doth indeed deny his authority : however, he will defend 
himself and his law, let men do what they please. But, he 
that denies such a thing to be truth, because it is not re- 
vealed by him, nor consistent-with what is revealed by him, 
doing this out of subjection of soul and conscience to his 
authority, is in no danger of questioning or opposing that 
authority. Nay, be it, that it be indeed a truth which he 
denies : being only denied by him, because he is persuaded 
that it is not of Christ, the first revealer, and therefore not 
true, there is no fear of the danger threatened. But the 
matter is, that all that is brought from Christ by the same 
hand, must be equally received. It is true, if it be brought 
from Christ by the same hand, it must be so; not because 
by the same hand, but because from Christ : they that 
preached Christ, and withal that men must be circumcised, 
had put men into a sad condition, if, in good sooth, they 
had been n'ecessitated to embrace all that they taught; the 
same men teaching Christ to be the Messias, and circum- 
cision to be necessary to life eternal. Amongst those that 
were converted to the gospel by the Jews that were zealous 
of the law, how easy had it been for their teachers to have 
utterly frustrated St. Paul's doctrine of Christian liberty, by 


telling them, that they could not forego circumcision, but 
they must forego Christ also ; for all those things they re- 
ceived by the same hand. If, indeed, a man comes and de- 
livers a system of religion upon his own authority and 
reputation only, he that denies any one point of what he 
delivers, is in a fair way of averting all that he asserts. 
But if he come, as sent from another, and affirm, that this 
other commanded him to declare that which he delivers for 
truth in his name, and produce for that end his commission, 
wherein all the truths that he is to deliver are written; if 
he deliver what he hath not received in commission, that 
may honestly be rejected, without the least impeachment of 
any one truth that was really committed unto him, by him 
that sent him. And this was the way, this the condition of 
them who planted the gospel in the name of Christ, not 
being themselves divinely inspired. So that if in the se- 
cond edition of Christianity, in some parts of this nation by 
Austin and his associates, any thing was taught or practised, 
that was not according to the rule and commission given 
by Christ, it may be rejected, without the least impeach- 
ment to the authority of the first revealer; nay, his autho- 
rity being once received, cannot be preserved entire without 
such rejection. I confess, I do almost mistrust, that by this 
revealer of Christianity, and his authority which he dis- 
courses about, our author intends the pope; which, if so, 
what we have discoursed of Christ, is, I confess, to little 
purpose ; and it were easy to turn our reply that way ; but 
because I have not clear evidence for it, 1 will not charge 
him with so horrid a presumptuous insinuation : when he 
declares his mind, he shall hear more of ours. 

But he farther specifies his meaning in an enumeration 
of doctrines that were preached by the first planters of the 
gospel, in and unto the extirpation of gentilism. * If,' saith 
he, *the institution of monasteries, to the praise and service 
of God, day and night, be thought as it hath been now these 
many years a superstitious folly ; if Christian priests and 
sacrifices be things of high idolatry ; if the seven sacraments 
be deemed vain, most of them ; if it suffice to salvation, only 
to believe, whatever life we lead; if there be no value or 
merit in good works ; if God's laws be impossible to be 
kept ; if Christ be not our law-maker and director of doing 


well, as well as Redeemer from ill ; if there be no sacramental 
tribunal for our reconciliation ordained from by Christ on 
the earth ; if the real body of our Lord be not bequeathed 
unto his spouse in his last will and testament ; if there be 
not under Christ a general head of the church, who is chief 
priest and pastor of all Christians upon earth under God, 
whose vicegerent he is in spiritual affairs ; all which things 
are now held forth by us, manifestly against the doctrine of 
the first preachers of Christianity in this land ; then I say, 
paganism was unjustly displaced by these doctrines, and 
atheism must needs succeed ; for if Christ deceived us, 
upon whom shall we rely ? and if they that brought us the 
first news of Christ, brought along with it so many grand 
lies, why may not the very story of Christ be thought a ro- 

I could wish there had been a little more clearness and 
ingenuity in this enumeration; the mixing of what he 
takes to be truths, with some negatives that he condemns 
in the same series, breeds some confusion in the discourse : 
and I am also compelled to complain of want of candour 
and ingenuity in his representation of the Protestant doc- 
trine in every particular, wherein he takes occasion to men- 
tion it. Let us then separate the things that have no place 
of their own in this argument, than what is ambiguously 
proposed ; after which, what remains may be distinctly con- 

1. What makes that inquiry in our way at this time, 
' If it suffice to salvation, to believe, whatever life we lead V 
Whoever said so, taught so, wrote so, in England? Is this 
the doctrine of the church of England ? or of the Presbyte- 
rians, or Independents? or whose is it? or what makes it 
in this place? If this be the way of gaining Catholics, let 
them that please make use of if. Protestants dislike the 
way as much as the end. 

2. What is the meaning of that which follows, ' If there 
be no value or merit in good works?' Whoever taught that 
there is no value in good works ? that they are not com- 
manded of God, that they are not accepted with him, that 
they are not our duty to be careful in the performance of; 
that God is not honoured, the gospel adorned, the church 
and the world advantaged by them ? Do all these things put 


* no value' on them? For their ' merit/ the expression being 
ambiguous, unscriptural, and, as commonly interpreted, dero- 
gatory to the glory of Christ, and the grace of God, we shall 
let it pass, as proper to his purpose; and much good may it 
do him with all that he gains by it. 

3. ' If,' saith he, ' God's laws be impossible to be kept;' 
but who said so? Protestants teach indeed, that men in 
their own strength cannot keep the laws of God ; that the 
grace received in this life extends not to an absolute sinless 
perfection in their observation, which is inconsistent with 
the covenant of grace, and men's walking with God therein: 
but, that the laws of God were in their own nature 'impossi- 
ble' to be observed by them to whom they were first given, 
or that they are yet impossible to be kept in that way of their 
sincere observation which is required in the gospel, Protes- 
tants teach not that I know of. He proceeds: 

4. ' If Christ be not our law-maker and director of doing- 
well, as well as our Redeemer from ill.' This is a little too 
open and plain: doth he think any man will believe him, 
that Protestants or Presbyterians teach that ' Christ is not 
our law-maker and director of doing well,' Sec. I dare say, 
he believes not one word of it himself, what confidence so- 
ever he hath taken upon him of imposing on the minds of 
weak and unstable men. 

Other things mentioned by him are ambiguous ; as, ' If 
the seven sacraments be deemed vain, most of them,' &c. 
Of the things themselves, which they term sacraments, 
there is scarce any of them by Protestants esteemed vain ; 
that one of unction, which they judge now useless, they 
only say, is an unwarrantable imitation of that which was 
useful: of the rest, which they reject, they reject not the 
things, but those things from being sacraments ; and a 
practice in religion is not presently condemned as vain, 
vi'hich is not esteemed a sacrament. There is no less am- 
biguity in that other supposition, * If the real body of our 
Lord be not bequeathed to his spouse in his last will and 
testament;' which no Protestant ever questioned, though 
there be great contests about the manner of the sacramental 
participation of that real body ; the same may be said of 
some other of his supposals. But I need not go over them 
in particular ; I shall only say in general, that take from 


amongst them, what is acknowledged to be the doctrine of 
the Papists, and, as such, is opposed by the church of 
England, or by Presbyterians (as papal supremacy, sacrifice 
of the mass, monasteries of votaries under special and pe- 
culiar vows and rules, necessity of auricular confession, 
transubstantiation, which are the things gilded over by our 
author), and prove that they were the doctrines, all or any 
of them, whereby and wherewith the first preachers of 
Christianity in this nation, or any where else in the old 
known world, displaced paganism ; and, for my part, I will 
immediately become his proselyte. What then can be bound 
with this rope of sand? * The first preachers of Christianity 
preached the pope's supremacy, the mass, 8tc. By these 
doctrines paganism was displaced ; if these doctrines now 
be decried as lies, why may not Christ himself be esteemed 
a romance?' For neither did the first preachers of Chris- 
tianity preach these doctrines, nor was paganism displaced 
by them ; nor is there any ground to question the authority 
and truth of Christ, in case those that do first preach him, 
do therewithal preach somewhat that is not true, when they 
bring along with them an authentic conviction of their own 
mistakes, as was manifested before, and might be made good 
by innumerable other instances. 

I shall not need to follow him in his declamation to the 
end of this paragraph ; the whole foundation of his many 
flourishes and pretences being totally taken out of the way. 



Scripture vindicated. 

With his three following paragraphs, from page 82. unto 
108. which have only a very remote and almost imperceptible 
tendency unto his purposeinhand,though they take up so long 
a portion of his discourse (seeming to be inserted, either to 
manifest his skill and proficiency in philosophical scepticism, 
or to entertain his readers with such a delightful diversion, 
as that having taken in it a taste of his ingenuity, they may 
have an edge given their appetite unto that which is more 
directly prepared for them), I shall not trouble myself nor 
detain my reader about. If any one a little skilled in the 
discourses of these days, have a mind to vie conjectures and 
notions with him, to vellicate commonly received maxims 
and vulgar opinions, to expatiate on the events of providence 
in all ages, he may quickly compose as many learned leaves; 
only if he would be pleased to take my advice with him, I 
should wish him not to flourish and gild over things uncer- 
tain and unknown, to the disadvantage of things known and 
certain; nor to vent conjectures about other worlds, and the 
nature of the heavenly bodies, derogatory to the love of God 
in sending his Son to be incarnate, and to die for sinners 
that live on this earthly globe. Neither do I think it well 
done, to mix St. Paul and his writings in this scepticism, 
mentioning in one place his fancy, in another his conceit, 
which he seems to oppose ; such is the reverence these men 
bear to the Scripture and holy penmen thereof; so also that 
whole scorn which he calls man's dominion over the crea- 
tures, reflects principally on the beginning of Genesis, and 
the eighth Psalm. 

An unsearchable abyss in many of God's providential dis- 
pensations wherein the infinite sovereignty, wisdom, and 
righteousness of him who giveth no account of his matters, 
are to be adored, we readily acknowledge ; and yet I dare 
freely say, that most of the things instanced in by our author, 
are capable of a clear resolution according to known rules and 
principles of truth revealed in the Scripture ; such are, God's 


suffering the Gentiles to wander so long in the dark, not call- 
ing them to repentance ; with the necessity of Christian re- 
ligion, and yet the punishment of many of the professors of it 
by the power of idolaters and pagans, as the church of the 
Jews was handled of old by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and 
others. Of this sort also, is his newly inserted story of the 
Cirubrians, which it may be was added to give us a cast of 
his skill in the investigation of the original of nations, out of 
Camden ; for if that which himself affirms of them were 
true, namely, * That they v/ere devout adoring the crucifix,' 
which men usually are when they cease to worship aright 
him who was crucified, (the sin mentioned, Rom. i. 25.) we 
need not much admire, that God gave them up to be scourged 
by their pagan adversaries; but not to mention that which 
is not only uncertain whether it be true, but is most probably 
false ; if our author had ever read the stories of those times, 
and the lamentations made for the sins of them, by Gildas, 
Salvianus, and others, he would have found enough to justify 
God in his proceedings and dealing with his Cirubrians, ac- 
cording to the known rules of his word. The like may be 
affirmed concerning the Irish ; whose decay, like a true Eng- 
lishman, he dates from the interest of our kings there, and 
makes the progress of it commensurate to the prevalency of 
their authority; when it is known to all the world, that by that 
means alone they were reclaimed from barbarism, and brought 
into a most flourishing condition, until by their rebellion and 
unparalleled cruelties they precipitated themselves into con- 
fusion and ruin. As for that which is insinuated as the con- 
clusion fit to be made out of all these premises, concerning 
the obscurity of God's nature, and the works of providence, 
viz. that we betake ourselves to the infallible determination 
of the Roman church, I shall only say, that as I know not 
that as yet the pope hath undertaken' pontifically to inter- 
pose his definitive sentence, in reference to these philoso- 
phical digladiations he glanceth on in the most part of his 
discourse, so I have but little reason on the resignation re- 
quired, to expect an illumination from that obscurity about 
the Deity which he insists on ; finding the children, indeed 
the fathers, of that church, of all men in the earth most to 
abound in contradictory disputes and endless quarrels about 
the very nature and [>roperties of God himself. 


But his direct improvement of this long oration that he 
enters on, page 122. may be farther considered. It is, in 
short, this : That by the Scripture no man can c6me to' the 
knowledge of, and settlement in, an assurance of the truth; 
nor is there any hope of relief for us in this sad condition, 
but that living papal oracle, which if we are wise we will ac- 
quiesce in ;' pages 125, 126. To this purpose men are furnish- 
ed with many exceptions against the authority of the Scrip- 
ture, from * the uncertainty of the rise and spring of it, how 
it came to us, how it was authorized, and by whom, the 
doubtfulness of its sense and meaning, the contemptible 
condition of the first penmen of it, seeming a company of men 
imposing their own fancies as oraculous visions upon us ; of 
whom how can we know that they were inspired, seeing they 
say no such thing of themselves, not those especially of the 
New Testament ; besides the many appearing contradic- 
tions, with other human infirmities, seeming unto critics ever 
and anon to occur in them; and why may not illiterate men 
fail as well as,' &c. With much more of the same nature 
and importance ; unto all which, I shall need to say nothing 
but that of Job, * Vain man would be wise, but is like to the 
wild ass's colt.' Never is the folly of men more eminently 
displayed, than when confidence of their wisdom makes them 
bold and daring. I doubt not, but our author thought that 
he had so acquitted himself in this passage, as that his readers 
must need resolve to quit the Scripture, and turn Papists ; 
but there is an evident gulf between these reasonings and 
popery, whereunto they will certainly carry any that shall 
give way to their force and efficacy : this is no other but 
downright atheism ; this the supplying of men with cavils 
against the Scripture its power and authority do directly 
lead unto. Our author would have men to believe these sug- 
gestions, at least so far as not to seek for rest and satisfac- 
tion in the Scriptures, or he would not ; if he would not, to 
what end doth he mention them, and sport himself in shew- 
ing the luxuriancy of his wit and fancy in cavilling at the 
word of God ? Is not this a ready way to make men atheists, 
if only by inducing them to an imitation of that, which by 
his example he commends luito them ? But it will be said, 
he only shews the uncertainties that are about Scripture, that 
men may not expect by or from them deliverance from the 


darkness and ignorance before spoken of? Suppose then 
they come to be persuaded of such an uncertainty, what 
course shall they take? Apply themselves to the Roman 
church, and they are safe. But seeing the being of a church 
(much less the Roman church) hath no foundation in the 
light of nature, and men can never know anything of it, es- 
pecially of its prerogative, but by and from the Scripture, 
whose authority you have taught them to question, and made 
doubtful to them, what remains for rational men but to re- 
nounce both Scripture and church, and betake themselves to 
your commendable piece of witty atheism. This is the old 
lurry, the Scripture cannot be known, believed, understood, 
but by the church ; the church cannot be proved to have 
being, constitution, or authority, but by the Scripture ; and 
then if you doubt of the authority of that proof of the church, 
you must return to the church again ; and so on till all faith 
and reason vanish, or men make shipwreck of their faith, and 
become brutish in their understanding, pretending to believe 
they know neither what nor why. And this employment of 
raising surmises and stirring up jealousies about the word 
of God, its penmen, and their authority, do men put them- 
selves upon, I will not say to gratify the Roman court, but 
I will say, in obedience to their prejudices, lusts, and dark- 
ness, the saddest drudgery that any of the sons of men can 
be exercised withal. And if he would be believed, he pro- 
fesseth himself an anti-scripturist, and in that profession 
which he puts upon himself, an atheist. For my part, I am 
amazed to think how men are able to hold their pens in their 
hands, that a horror of the work they have before them doth 
not make them shake them out, when they are thus traducing 
the holy word of Christ, and exciting evil surmises about it. 
Should they deal with a man of any power and authority, 
they might not expect to escape his indignation ; even to pub- 
lish to all the world that he is indeed an honourable person, 
but yet, if men will question his honour, truth, honesty, 
authority, and affirm him to be a cheat, thief, murderer, adul- 
terer, they cannot see how they can be disproved; at least he 
would have a difficult task in hand, that should endeavour to 
free him from objections of that nature : yet thus men dare 
to deal with the Scripture, that word which God hath mag- 
nified above all his name. If this be the spirit that breathed 


in the apostles, the holy army of martys of old, and all the 
fathers of the primitive church, I am much mistaken ; nay, 
I am greatly so, if with one consent they would not denounce 
an anathema against such a defence of any religion whatever. 
But you will say, the same person defends also the Scripture, 
just as he in the poet did Pelilius: 

Me Capitolinus convictore usus aniicoque 
A puero est, causaque mea permulta rogatiis 
Fecit, et incolurais laetor quod vivit in iirbe ; 
Se'd tamen admiror quo pacto judicium illud 

A defence worse and more bitter than a downright accusa- 
tion. I am not now to observe what prejudice this excuse 
brings to the cause of our author with all intelligent per- 
sons, having noted it once and again before; nor what con- 
tentment Protestants take, to see that the truth they profess 
cannot be shaken without inducing men to question the fun- 
damental principles of Christian religion; and if this course 
be persisted in, for aught that I can understand, the whole 
controversy between us and the Romanists, must needs be 
at last reduced unto this head, whether the Scripture of the 
Old and New Testament, was given by divine inspiration. 
For the present, having in the consideration of the general 
suppositions of this treatise spoken before to this head, I 
shall not need to answer particular exceptions given in 
against its authority ; nor do I think it incumbent on me so 
to do, unless our author own them for his sense, which if 
he be pleased to do, I promise him, if God give me life, to 
give him a distinct answer to every one of them, and all 
that is contained in them. Moreover these things will again 
occur in his fifteenth section, where he expressly takes the 
Scripture to task, as to its pleas forjudging of, and settling 
men in the truth. 

Proceed we to his next section, p. 126. 



Use of Reason. 

Sect. 11. This section is set apart for the cashiering of rea- 
son from having any hand in the business we deal about ; 
and the truth is, if our author can persuade us first to throw 
away our Bibles, and then to lay aside theuseof our reason, 
I suppose there is no doubt but we shall become Roman 
Catholics. This work, it seems, cannot be effected, unless 
men are contented to part with Scripture and reason ; all 
that whereby they are Christians and men. But unless our 
author have emptied Circe's box of ointment, whereby she 
transformed men into swine, he will confess it somewhat a 
difficult task that he hath undertaken. Methinks one of 
these demands might suffice at once. But he presumes he 
hath put his countrymen into a good humour, and knowing 
them free and open-hearted, he plies them whilst they are 

We have indeed, in this section, as fair a flourish of 
words as in any other ; but there can be but little reason in 
the words that men make use of, to plead against reason 
itself. And yet I am persuaded most readers think as well 
of this section as any in the book. To whom the unreason- 
ableness of this is evident, that of the others is so also ; and 
those who willingly imbibe the other parts of his discourse, 
will little strain at this. Nothing is to be trusted unto pre- 
judice ; nor if we will learn are we to think strange of any 
thing. Let us weigh then impartially, what is of reason in 
this discourse against the use of reason. Whatever he pre- 
tends, he knows full well, that he hath no difference with 
any sort of Protestants about 'finding out a religion by rea- 
son,' and adhering only to its dictates in the worship of God. 
All the world of Protestants profess that they receive their 
religion wholly by revelation from God, and no otherwise. 
Nor is it about ascribing a sovereignty to reason to judge of 
the particulars of religion so revealed, to accept or refuse 
them, according as that shall judge them suitable or not to 
its principles and liking. This is the sovereign dictate of 


reason, That whatever God reveals to be believed is true, 
and as such must be embraced, though the bottom of it can- 
not be sounded by reason's line; and that because the rea- 
son of a man is not absolutely reason, but being the reason 
of a man, is variously limited, bounded, and made defective 
in its ratiocinations. An objective truth our reason sup- 
poses ; all that it hath to do is but to judge of what is pro- 
posed to it, according to the best principles that it hath, 
which is all that God in that kind requires of us ; unless in 
that work wherein he intends to make us more than men, 
that is. Christians, he would have us make ourselves less 
than men, even as brutes. That in our whole obedience to 
God we are to use our reason, Protestants say indeed, and 
moreover, that what is not done reasonably, is not obedi- 
ence. The Scripture is the rule of all our obedience, grace 
the principle enabling us to perform it; but the manner of 
its performance must be rational, or it is not the supposition 
of rule or principle that will render any act of a man obe- 
dience. Religion, say Protestants, is revealed in the Scrip- 
ture, proposed to the minds and wills of men for its enter- 
tainment by the ministry of the church ; grace to believe 
and obey is supernaturally from God ; but as to the pro- 
posals of religion from Scripture, they aver that men ought 
to admit and receive them as men, that is, judge of the sense 
and meaning of them, discover their truth, and finding them 
revealed, acquiesce in the authority of him by whom they 
are first revealed. So far as men, in any things of their con- 
cernments that have a moral good or evil in them, do refuse, 
in the choice or refusal of them, to exercise that judging 
and discerning which is the proper work of reason, they 
unman themselves, and invert the order of nature; dethron- 
ing the to -nyifxoviKov of the soul, and causing it to follow 
the faculties that have no light but what they receive by 
and from it. It is true, all our carnal reasonings against 
Scripture mysteries, are to be captivated to the obedience of 
faith; and this is highly reasonable, making only the less, 
particular, defective collections of reason give place to the 
more noble, general, and universal principles of it. Nor is 
the denying of our reason any where required, as to the 
sense and meaning of the words of the Scripture, but as to 
the things and matter signified by them. The former, rea- 



son must judge of, if we are men ; the latter, if, in conjunc- 
tion with unbelief and carnal lusts, it tumultuate against it, 
is to be subdued to the obedience of faith. All that Pro- 
testants in the business of religion ascribe unto men, is but 
this, that in the business of religion they are, and ought to 
be men; that is, judge of the sense and truth of what is 
spoken to them according to that rule which they have re- 
ceived for the measure and guide of their understandings in 
these things. If this may not be allowed, you may make a 
herd of them, but a church never. 

Let us now consider what is offered in this section about 
reason, wherein the concernment of any Protestants may 
lie. As the matter is stated, about any ' one's setting up 
himself to be a new and extraordinary director unto men in 
religion, upon the account of the irrefutable reason he 
brings along with him, which is the spring and source of 
of that religion which he tenders unto them;' I very much 
question, whether any instance can be given of any such 
thing from the foundation of the world. Men have so set 
up indeed sometimes, as that good Catholic Vanine did, not 
long since, in France, to draw men from all religions ; but 
to give a new religion unto men, that this pretension was 
ever solely made use of, I much question. As true religion 
came by inspiration from God, so all authors of that which 
is false, have pretended to revelation. Such were the pre- 
tensions of Minos, Lycurgus, and Numaof old, of Mahomet 
of late, and generally, of the first founders of religious 
orders in the Roman church ; all in imitation of real divine 
revelation, and in answer to indelible impressions on the 
minds of all men, that religion must come from God. To 
what purpose then, the first part of his discourse about the 
'coining of religion from reason,' or the framing of religion 
by reason is, I know not ; unless it be to casta blind before 
his unwary reader whilst he steals away from him his trea- 
sure, that is, his reason; as to its use in its proper place. 
Though therefore there be many things spoken unduly, and, 
because it must be said, untruly also, in this first part of his 
discourse, until toward the end of page 131. which deserve 
to be animadverted on ; yet, because they are such as no 
sort of Protestants hath any concernment in, I shall pass 
them over. That wherein he seems to reflect any thing upon 


our principles, is in a supposed reply to what he had before 
delivered ; whereunto indeed it hath no respect or relation, 
being the assertion of a principle utterly distant from that 
imaginary one, which he had timely setup, and stoutly cast 
down before. It is this, 'That we must take the words from 
Christ and his gospel ; but the proper sense, which the 
words of themselves cannot carry with them, our own reason 
must make out.' If it be the doctrine of Protestants, which 
he intendeth in these words, it is most disadvantageously 
and uncandidly represented, which becomes not an ingeni- 
ous and learned person. This is that which Protestants 
affirm: religion is revealed in the Scripture; that revelation 
is delivered and contained in propositions of truth. Of the 
sense of those words, that carry their sense with them, rea- 
son judgeth and must do so; or we are brutes.- and that 
every one's reason, so far as his concernment lies in what is 
proposed to him. 

Neither doth this at all exclude the ministry or authority 
of the church, both which are entrusted with it by Christ, 
to propose the rules contained in his word unto rational 
creatures, that they may understand, believe, love, and obey 
them. To cast out this use of reason, with pretence of an 
ancient sense of the words, which yet we know they have 
not about them, is as vain as any thing in this section, and 
that is vain enough. If any such ancient sense can be made 
out or produced, that is a meaning of any text that was 
known to be so, from their explication who gave that text, 
it is by reason to be acquiesced in. Neither is this to make 
a man a bishop, much less a chief bishop, to himself. I 
never heard that it was the office of a bishop to know, be- 
lieve, or understand for any man but for himself. It is his 
office, indeed, to instruct and teach men ; but they are to 
learn and understand for themselves, and so to use their rea- 
son in their learning. Nor doth the variableness of men's 
thoughts and reasonings infer any variableness in religion 
to follow ; whose stabihty and sameness depends on its first 
revelation, not our manner of reception. Nor doth any 
thing asserted by Protestants, about the use of reason in 
the business of religion, interfere with the rule of the apo- 
stle about captivating our understandings to the obedience 
of faith, much less to his assertion, that Christians walk by 

VOL. xvm. H 


faith, and not by sight ; seeing that without it we can do 
neither the one nor the other. For I can neither submit to 
the truth of things to be believed, nor live upon them, or 
according unto them, unless I understand the propositions 
wherein they are expressed; which is the work we assign 
to reason. For those who would resolve their faith into 
reason, we confess that they overthrow not only faith, but 
reason itself; there being nothing more irrational, than that 
belief should be the product of reason, being properly an 
assent resolved into authority, which if divine, is so also, I 
shall then desire no more of our author nor his readers, as 
to this section, but only this, that they would believe, that 
no Protestant is at all concerned in it : and so I shall not 
further interpose, as to any contentment they may find in 
its review or perusal. 


Jews' objections. 

The title of this third chapter is, that ' No religion, or sect, 
or way, hath any advantage over another, nor all of them 
over popery.' To this we excepted before in general, that 
that way which hath the truth with it, hath in that wherein 
it hath the truth, the advantage against all others. Truth 
turns the scales in this business, wherever and with whom- 
soever it be found; and if it lie in any way distant from popery, 
it gives all the advantage against it that need be desired 
And with this only inquiry. With whom the truth abides, 
is this disquisition, Wbat ways in religion have advantage 
against others, to be resolved. But this course and pro- 
cedure, for some reasons which he knows, and we may easily 
guess at, our author liked not; and it is now too late for us 
to walk in any path, but what he has trodden before us, 
though it seem rather a maze, than a way for travellers to 
walk in, that would all pass on in their journey. 

His first section is entitled, ' Light and Spirit;' the pre- 
tence whereof, he treats after his manner, and cashiers 


from giving any such advantage as is inquired after. But 
neither yet are we arrived to any concernment of Protes- 
tants. That which they plead as their advantage, is not 
the empty names of light and spirit ; but the truth of Christ 
revealed in the Scripture. I know there are not a few who 
have impertinently used these good words, and Scripture 
expressions, which yet ought no more to be scoffed at by 
others, than abused by them. But that any have made the 
plea here pretended as to their settlement in religion, 1 know 
not. The truth is, if they have, it is no other upon the 
matter, but what our author calls them unto ; to a naked 
' Credo' he would reduce them, and that differs only from 
what seems to be the mind of them that plead light and 
spirit, that he would have them resolve their faith irration- 
ally into the authority of the church, they pretend to do it 
into the Scripture. 

But what he aims to bring men unto, he justifies from 
the examples of Christians in ancient times, ' who had to 
deal with Jews and pagans, whose disputes were rational 
and weighty, and puzzled the wisest of the clergy to answer. 
So that after all their ratiocination ended, whether it sufficed 
or no, they still concluded with this one word, Credo ; 
which in logic and philosophy, was a weak answer, but in 
religion, the best and only one to be made.' What could 
be spoken more untruly, more contumeliously, or more to 
the reproach of Christian religion, I cannot imagine. It is 
true indeed, that as to the resolution, satisfaction, and set- 
tlement of their own souls. Christians always built their 
faith, and resolved it into the authority of God in his word ; 
but that they opposed their naked Credo to the disputes 
of Jews or pagans, or rested in that for a solution of their 
objections, is heavenly-wide; as far from truth, wg ovpavog 
kaT tnro ya'irjg. I wonder any man who hath ever seen, or. 
almost heard of the disputes and discourses of Justin Mar- 
tyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen,Theophilus Antiochenus, 
Athenagoras, Tertullian, Lactantius, Chrysostom, Austin, 
Theodoret, and innumerable others, proving the faith of the 
Christian religion against the Jews from Scripture, and the 
reasonableness of it against the pagans, with the folly and 
foppery of theirs, could on any account be induced to cast 
out such a reproach against them. But it seems 'jacta est 


alea,' and we must go on ; and therefore to carry on the 
design of bringing us all to a naked ' Credo/ resolved into the 
authority of the present church, a thing never heard of, 
spoken of, nor that it appears dreamed of, by any of the an- 
cient Christians. The objections of the Jew^s against the 
Christian religion are brought on the stage, and an inquiry 
made, how they can be satisfactorily answered. His words 
are page 142. * In any age of the Christian church a Jew 
might say thus to the Christians then living ; Your Lord and 
Master was born a Jew, and under the jurisdiction of the 
high priests ; these he opposed, and taught a religion con- 
trary to Moses, (otherwise how comes there to be a faction ?) 
but how could he justly do it? no human power is of force 
against God's, who spake (as you also grant) by Moses and 
the prophets ; and divine power it could not be, for God is 
not contrary to himself. And although your Lord might 
say, as indeed he did, that Moses spake of him as of a pro- 
phet to come, greater than himself; yet, who shall judge 
that such a thing was meant of his person ? For since that 
prophet is neither specified by his name, nor characteristical 
properties (well said, Jew), who could say it was he more 
than any other to come ? And if there were a greater to 
come than Moses were, surely born a Jew, he would, being 
come into the world, rather exalt that law^ to more ample 
glory, than diminish it. And if you will farther contest, 
that such a prophet was to abrogate the first law, and bring 
in a new one, who shall judge in this case? The whole 
church of the Hebrews, who never dreamed of any such 
thing; or one member thereof who was born a subject to 
their judgments. This, saith he, is the great oecumenical 
difficulty, and he that in any age of Christianity could 
either answer it, or find any bulwark to set against it, so 
that it should do no harm, would easily either salve or pre- 
vent all other difficulties,' &c. 

The difficulty, as is evident, lay in this, that the au- 
thority and judgment of the whole church of the Hebrews, 
lay against Christ and the gospel. That church when 
Christ conversed on earth, was a true church of God, the 
only church on earth, and had been so for two thousand 
years without interruption in itself, without competition 
from any other. It had its high priest confessedly instituted 



by God himself in an orderly succession to those days. 
The interpretation of Scripture, it pretended, was trusted 
with it alone ; and traditions they had good store, whose 
original they pleaded from Moses himself, directing them 
in that interpretation. Christ and his apostles, whom they 
looked upon as poor ignorant contemptible persons, came 
and preached a doctrine, which that church determined 
utterly contrary to the Scripture and their traditions. What 
shall now be answered to their authority which was un- 
questionably all that ever was, or shall be, entrusted with 
any church on the earth? Our author tells us, that this 
great * argument of the Jews could not be any way warded 
or put by, but by recourse unto the church's infallibility,' 
p. 146. Which, ' sit verbo venia/ is so ridiculous a pre- 
tence, as I wonder how any block in his way could cause 
him to stumble upon it. What church I pray ? the church 
of Christians ? When that argument was first used by the 
Jews against Christ himself, it was not yet founded ; and if 
an absolute infallibihty be supposed in the church, without 
respect to her adherence to 'the rule of infallibility, I dare 
boldly pronounce that argument indissoluble ; and that all 
Christian religion must be therein discarded. If the Jewish 
church, which had at that day as great church power and 
prerogative as any church hath or can have, were infallible 
in her judgment, that she made of Christ and his doctrine ; 
there remains nothing but that we renounce both him and 
it, and turn either Jews or pagans, as we were of old. Here 
then, by our author's confession, lies a plain judgment and 
definition of the only church of God in the world, against 
Christ and his doctrine ; and it is certainly incumbent on 
us to see how it may be waved. And this, I suppose, we 
cannot better be instructed in, than by considering, what 
was answered unto it by Christ himself, his apostles, and 
those that succeeded them in the profession of the faith of 
the gospel. (1.) For Christ himself; it is certain he pleaded 
his miracles, the works which he wrought, and the doctrine 
that he revealed : but withal, as to the Jews with whom he 
had to do, he pleads the Scriptures, Moses and the pro- 
phets, and offers himself and his doctrine to be tried, to 
stand or fall by their verdict; John v. 39. 46. Matt. xxii. 42. 
Luke xxiv. 27. I say, besides the testimony of his works 


and doctrine, to their authority of the church, he opposeth 
that of the Scripture, which he knew the other ought to 
give place unto. And it is most vainly pretended by our 
author in the behalf of the Jews, that the Messias, or great 
prophet to come, was not in the Scripture specified by 
such characteristical properties, as made it evident that 
Jesus was the Messiah ; all the descriptions given of the 
one, and they innumerable, undeniably centring in the other. 
The same course steered the apostle Peter; Acts ii. 3. 
And expressly in his second epistle, chap. ii. 17 — 19. And 
Paul, Acts xiii. 16, 17, &c. And of ApoUos, who openly 
disputed with the Jews upon this argument, it is said, that 
he mightily ' convinced the Jews, publicly shewing by the 
Scripture, that Jesus is the Christ;' Acts xviii. 28. And 
'Paul persuaded the Jews concerning Jesus at Rome, both 
out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morn- 
ing until evening ;' Acts xxviii. 23. Concerning which la- 
bour and disputation, the censure of our author, p. 149. is 
very remarkable. ' There can be no hope,' saith he, * of sa- 
tisfying a querent, or convincing an opponent, in any point 
of Christianity, unless he will submit to the splendour of 
Christ's authority in his own person, and the church de- 
scended from him : which I take to be the reason why some 
of the Jews in Rome, when St. Paul laboured so much to 
persuade Christ out of Moses and the prophets, believed in 
him, and some did not.' Both the coherence of the words 
and design of the preface, and his whole scope manifest his 
meaning to be, ' That no more believed on him, or that 
some disbelieved,' notwithstanding all the pains he took 
with them. 

And what was the reason of this failure? Why, St. Paul 
fixed on an unsuitable means of persuading them, namely, 
Moses and the prophets, when he should have made use of 
the authority of the church ? Vain and bold man, that dares 
oppose his prejudices to the Spirit and wisdom of Christ in 
that great and holy apostle, and that in a way and work 
wherein he had the express pattern and example of his 
Master! If this be the spirit that rules in the Roman syna- 
gogue, that so puffs up men in their fleshly minds, as to 
make them think themselves wiser than Christ and his apo- 
stles, I doubt not but men will every day find cause to rejoice 


that it is cast out of them; and be watchful that it returns 
to possess them no more. But this is that which galls 
the man; the difficulty which he proposeth as insoluble bv 
any ways but an acquiescing in the authority of the present 
church, he finds assoiled in Scripture on other principles. 
This makes him fall foul on St. Paul, whom he finds most 
frequent in answering it from Scripture ; not considering that 
at the same time he accuseth St. Peter of the like folly, 
though he pretend for him a greater reverence. However, 
this may be said in defence of St. Paul, that by his argu- 
nents'about Christ and the gospel from Moses and the pro- 
phets, many thousands of Jews all the world over were con- 
verted to the faith ; when it is hard to meet with an instance 
of one in an age, that will any way take notice of the autho- 
rity of the Roman church. But to return ; this was the con- 
stant way used by the apostles of answering that great dif- 
ficulty pleaded by our author from the authority of the He- 
brew church. They called the Jews to the Scripture, the 
plain texts and contexts of Moses and the prophets, opposing 
them to all their church's real or pretended authority, and 
all her interpretations pretended to be received by tradition 
from of old ; so fixing this for a perpetual standing rule to 
all generations, that the doctrine of the church is to be ex- 
amined by the Scripture ; and where it is found contradictory 
of it, her authority is of no value at all, it being annexed 
unto her attendance on that rule. But it may be replied, 
that the church in the days of the apostles was not yet settled, 
nor made firm enough to bear the weight that now may be 
laid upon it, as our author affirms, page 149. So that now 
the great resolve of all doubts must be immediately upon 
the authority of the present church ; after that was once well 
cleared, the fathers of old pleaded that only in this case, and 
removed the objections of the Jews by that alone. I am 
persuaded, though our author be a great admirer of the pre- 
sent church, he is not such a stranger to antiquity as to be- 
lieve any such thing. Is the authority of the church pleaded 
by Justin Martyr, in that famous dispute with Trypho the 
Jew, wherein these very objections instanced by our author 
are thoroughly canvassed ? Doth he not throughout his 
whole disputation prove out of the Scriptures, and them 
alone, that Jesus was the Christ, and his doctrine agreeable 


unto them ? Is any such thing pleaded by Origen, Tertul- 
lian, Chrysostom, or any one that had to deal with the Jews? 
Do they not wholly persist in the way traced for them by 
Paul, Peter, and Apollos, mightily convincing the Jews 
out of Scripture ? Let him consult their answers, he will not 
find them such poor empty jejune discourses as that he sup- 
poses they might make use of, page 148. and to the proofs 
whereof, by texts of Scripture, he says, the rabbles could an- 
swer by another interpretation of them. He will find another 
spirit breathing in their writings, another efficacy in their 
arguments, and other evidence in their testimonies, than jt 
seems he is acquainted with, and such as all the rabbles in 
the world are not able to withstand. And I know full well 
that these insinuations, that Christians are not able justifi- 
ably to convince, confute, and stop the mouths of Jews from 
the Scripture, would have been abhorred as the highest piece 
of blasphemy by the whole ancient church of Christ ; and it 
is meet it should be so still by all Christians. 

Is there no way left to deny pretences of light and spirit 
but by proclaiming, to the great scandal of Christianity, 
that we cannot answer the exceptions of Jews unto the per- 
son and doctrine of our Saviour out of the Scriptures ? And 
hath Rome need of these bold sallies against the vitals of 
religion ? Is she no other way capable of a defence ? Better 
she perished ten thousand times, than that any such re- 
proach should be justly cast on the Lord Jesus Christ and 
his gospel. But whatever our author thinks of himself, I 
have very good ground to conjecture that he hath very little 
acquaintance with Judaical antiquity, learning, or.arguments, 
nor very much with the Scripture ; and may possibly deserve 
on that account some excuse, if he thought those exceptions 
insoluble, v/hich more learned men than himself know how 
to answer and remove without any considerable trouble. 

This difficulty was fixed on by our author, that upon it 
there might be stated a certain retreat and assured way of 
establishment against ail of the like nature. This he assigns 
to be the authority of the present church ; Protestants, tlie 
Scripture ; w^herein, as to the instance chosen out as most 
pressing, we have the concurrent suffrage of Christ, his apo- 
stles, and all the ancient Christians ; so that we need not any 
farther to consider the pretended pleas of light and spirit 


which he hath made use of, as tlie orator desired his dialo- 
gist would have insisted on the stories of Cerberus and Co- 
cytus, that he might have shewed his skill and activity in 
their confutation. For what he begs in the way, as to the 
constitution of St. Peter and his successors in the rule of 
the church, as he produceth no other proof for it but that 
doughty one, that. It must needs be so ; so, if it were granted 
him, he may easily perceive by the instance of the Judaical 
church that himself thought good to insist upon, that it will 
not avail him in his plea against the final resolution of our 
faith into the Scripture, as its senses are proposed by the 
ministry of the church, and rationally conceived or under- 


Protestant pleas. 

His sect. 13. p. 155. entitled ' Independent and Presbyterians' 
Pleas,' is a merry one. The whole design of it seems to be, 
to make himself and others sport with the miscarriages of 
men in and about religion. Whether it be a good work or 
no, that day that is coming Vv'ill discover. The Independents 
he divides into two parts, Quakers and Anabaptists. Quakers 
he begins withal, and longer insists upon, being, as he saith, 
well read in their books, and acquainted with their persons. 
Some commendation he gives them, so far as it may serve to 
the disparagement of others, and then falls into a fit of 
quaking, so expressly imitating them in their discourses, 
that I fear he will confirm some in their surmises, that such 
as he both set them on work, and afterward assisted them in 
it. For my part, having undertaken only the defence of 
Protestancy and Protestants, I am altogether unconcerned 
in the entertainment he hath provided for his readers, in this 
personating of a Quaker, which he hath better done, and 
kept a better decorum in, than in his personating of a Pro- 
testant; a thing in the beginning of his discourse he pre- 
tended unto. The Anabaptists, as far as I can perceive, he 
had not meddled with, unless it had been to get an advantage 
of venting his petty answer to an argument against infant 


baptism : but the truth is, if the Anabaptists had no other 
objections against infant baptism, nor Protestants no better 
answers to their objections, than what are mentioned here by 
our author, it were no great matter what become of the con- 
troversy ; but it is merriment, not disputation, that he is de- 
signing, and I shall leave him to the solace of his own 

No otherwise, in the next place, doth he deal with the 
Presbyterians ; in personating of whom, he pours out a long 
senseless rhapsody of words, many insignificant expressions, 
vehement exclamations, and uncouth terms, such, as to do 
them right, I never heard uttered by them in preaching, 
though I have heard many of them ; nor read written by them, 
though, I suppose, I have perused at least as many of their 
books as our author hath done of the Quakers. Any one 
with half an eye may see what it is that galls the man and 
his party ; which, whether he hath done wisely to discover, 
his SevTEpai (ppovri^eg will inform him, that is, the preaching 
of all sorts of Protestants, that he declares himself to be most 
perplexed with, and tlierefore most labours to expose it to 
reproach and obloquy. And herein he deals with us as in 
many of their stories their demoniacs do with their exorcists, 
discover which relic, or which saint's name, or other engine 
in that bustle most afflicts them ; that so they may be paid 
more to the purpose. Somewhat we may learn from hence, 
* Fas est et ab hoste doceri.' But he will make the Presby- 
terians amends for all the scorn he endeavours to expose 
them to, by affirming when he hath assigned a senseless ha- 
rangue of words unto them, that the Protestants are not able 
to answer their objections. Certainly, if the Presbyterians are 
such pitiful souls as not to be able any better to defend 
their cause, than they are represented by him here to do, 
those Protestants are beneath all consideration who are not 
able to deal and grapple with them. And this is as it should 
be ; Roman Catholics are wise, learned, holy, angelical, se- 
raphical persons ; all others, ignorant dolts, that can scarce 
say bo to a goose. These things, considered in themselves 
are unserious trifles, but * seria ducunt.' We shall see pre- 
sently, whither all this lurry tends ; for the sting of this whole 
discourse is fixed in the Scripture. 

Of the same importance is the next section, page 170. 


entitled ' Protestants' Pro and Con,' wherein the differences 
that are amongst many in these nations are notably exagi- 
tated. I presume, in the intention of his mind upon his 
present design, he forgot that by a new change of name, the 
same things may be uttered, the same words used, of and 
concerning Christians in general, ever since almost that 
name was known in the world. Was there any thing more 
frequent among the pagans of old, than to object to Chris- 
tians their differences and endless disputes? I wish our 
author would but consider that which remains of the dis- 
course of Celsus on this subject; particularly his charge 
on them, that at their beginnings, and whilst they were few, 
they agreed well enough ; but after they increased, and were 
dispersed into several nations, they were every where at va- 
riance among themselves, whereas all sorts of men were at 
peace before their pretended reformation of the worship of 
God ; and he will find in it the sum of this and the four 
following sections to the end of this chapter. And if he 
will but add so much to his pains as to peruse the excellent 
answers of Origen, in his third book, he will, if not be per- 
suaded to desist from urging the objections of Celsus, yet 
discern what is expected from hira to reply unto, if he per^ 
sist in his way. But if we may suppose that he hath not 
that respect for the honour of the first Christians, raethinks 
the intestine irreconcileable brawls of his own mother's 
children should somewhat allay his heat and confidence in 
charging endless differences upon Protestants, of whom 
only I speak. Yea, but you will say, they have a certain 
means of ending their controversies, Protestants have none. 
And have they so? the more shame for them to trouble 
themselves and others, from one generation unto another, 
with disputes and controversies, that have such a ready way 
to end them when they please ; and Protestants are the 
more to be pitied, who perhaps are ready, some of them at 
least, as far as they are able, to live at peace. But why 
have not Protestants a sure and safe way to issue all their 
differences? Why, 'Because every one is judge himself, 
and they have no umpire in whose decision they are bound 
to acquiesce.' I pray, who told you so ? Is it not the funda- 
mental principle of protestantism, that the] Scripture deter- 
mines all things necessary unto faith and obedience, and 


that in that determination ought all men to acquiesce? I 
know few Roman Catholics have the prudence or the 
patience to understand what protestancy is. And certain 
it is, that those who take up their knowledge of it from the 
discourses and writings of such gentlemen as our author, 
know very little of it, if any thing at all : and those who do 
at any time get leave to read the books of Protestants, 
seem to be so filled with prejudices against them, and to be 
so biassed by corrupt affections, that they seldom come to 
a true apprehension of their meanings ; for who so blind as 
he that will not see? Protestants tell them that the Scrip- 
ture contains all things necessary to be believed and prac- 
tised in the worship of God ; and those proposed with that 
perspicuity and clearness which became the wisdom of its 
Author, who intended to instruct men by it in the know- 
ledge of them ; and in this word and rule say they, are all 
men to rest and acquiesce. But, says our author, why then 
do they not so? why are they at such feuds and differences 
amongst themselves? Is this in truth his business? Is it 
Protestants he blames, and not protestancy? men's miscar- 
riages, and not their rule's imperfection? If it be so, I crave 
his pardon for having troubled him thus far. To defend 
Protestants for not answering the principles of their profes- 
sion, is a task too hard for me to undertake, nor do I at all 
like the business ; let him lay on blame still until I say 
hold. It may be we shall grow wiser, by his reviling, as 
Monica was cured of her intemperance by the reproach of 
a servant. But I would fain prevail with these gentlemen, 
for their own sakes, not to cast that blame which is due to 
us, upon the holy and perfect v/ord of God. We do not 
say, nor ever did, that whoever acknowledgeth the Scripture 
to be a perfect rule, must upon necessity understand per- 
fectly all that is contained in it 5 that he is presently freed 
from all darkness, prejudices, corrupt affections, and enabled 
to judge perfectly and infallibly of every truth contained in 
it, or deduced from it. These causes of our differences be- 
long to individual persons, not to our common rule : and if, 
because no men are absolutely perfect, and some are very 
perverse and froward, we should throw away our rule, the 
blessed word of God, and run to the pope for rule and guid- 
ance; it is all one as if at noonday, because some are blind 


and miss their way, and some are drunk and stagger out of 
it, and others are variously enticed to leave it, we should 
all conspire to wish the sun out of the firmament, that we 
might follow a will-with-a-wisp. 

I know not what in general needs to be added farther 
to this section. The mistake of it is palpable ; some parti- 
cular passages may be remarked in it before we proceed : 
page 173. he pronounceth a heavy doom on the prelate Pro- 
testants ; making them prevaricators, impostors, reprobates ; 
a hard sentence, but that it is hoped it will prove like the 
flying bird, and curse causeless ! But what is the matter? 
Why, in dealing with the Presbyterians, * They are forced 
to make use of those popish principles which themselves at 
first rejected, and so building them up again, by the apostle's 
rule deserve no better terms.' But what I pray are they? 
Why, the difference betwixt clergy and laity, the efficacy of 
episcopal ordination and the authority of a visible church, 
unto which all men are to obey. There are but two things 
our author needs to prove to make good his charge. First, 
That these are popish principles. Secondly, That as such 
they were at any time cast down and destroyed by prelate 
Protestants. I fear his mind vv^as gone a little astray, or 
that he had been lately among the Quakers, when he ham- 
mered this charge against prelate Protestants. For as these 
have been their constant principles ever since the beginning 
of the reformation, so they have as constantly maintained, 
that in their true and proper sense they are not popish. 
Nor is the difference about these things between any Pro- 
testants whatever any more than verbal. For those terms 
of clergy and laity, because they had been abused in the 
papacy, though anciently used, some have objected against 
them ; but for the things signified by them, namely, that in 
the church there are some teachers, some to be taught, 
bishops and flocks, pastors and people ; no Protestant ever 
questioned. Our author then doth but cut out work fbr 
himself, without order from any Protestant ; when he sets 
up an excuse for this change in them by a relinquishment 
of their first principles, and reassuming popish ones for their 
defence against the Presbyterians. He that set him a work 
may pay him his wages. Protestants only tell him, that 
what was never done, needs never be excused. 


Nor will they give him any more thanks for the plea he 
interposes in the behalf of episcopacy against Presbyterians 
and Independents ; being interwoven with a plea for the 
papacy, and managed by such arguments as end in the ex- 
altation of the Roman see ; and that partly, because they 
know that their adversaries will be easily able to disprove 
the feigned monarchical government of the church under 
one pope ; and to prove that, that fancy really everts the 
true and only monarchical state of the church in reference 
to Christ; knowing that monarchy doth not signify two 
heads but one ; and partly, because they have better argu- 
ments of their own to plead for episcopacy than those that 
he suggests here unto them ; or than any man in the world 
can supply them with, who thinks there is no communica- 
tion of authority from Christ to ahy on the earth, but by 
the hands of the pope. So that upon the whole matter they 
desire him that he would attend his own business, and not 
immix their cause in the least with his, which tends so 
much to their weakening and disadvantage. If this may be 
granted, which is but reasonable ; they will not much be 
troubled about his commendation of the pope, page 178. as 
the substitute of Christ, our only visible pastor, the chief 
bishop of the Catholic church, presiding, ruling, and direct- 
ing, in the place of Christ, and the like eulogiums : being- 
resolved, when he goes about to prove any thing that he 
says, that they will consider of it. But he must be better 
known to them than he is, before they will believe him on 
his bare word in things of such importance; and some sup- 
pose that the more he is known, the less he will be believed. 
But that he may not for the present think himself neglected, 
we will run over the heads of his plea, pretended for epis- 
copacy, really to assert the papal sovereignty. First, He 
pleads, 'That the Christian church was first monarchical 
under one sovereign bishop, when Christ who founded it 
was upon the earth.' True; and so it is still. There is one 
sheepfold, one shepherd and bishop of our souls ; he that 
was then bodily present having promised that presence of 
himself with his church to the end of the world; wherein 
he continues its one sovereign bishop. And although the 
apostles after him had an equality of power in the church 
among themselves, as bishops after them have also, yet this 



doth not denominate the government of the church aristo- 
cratical, no more than the equality of the lords in parlia- 
ment can denominate the government of this kingdom to 
be so. The denomination of any rule is from him or them, 
in whom the sovereignty doth reside, not from any subor- 
dinate rulers. So is the rule of the church monarchical. 
The subversion of this episcopacy, we acknowledge subverts 
the whole polity of the church, and so all her laws and rule, 
with the guilt whereof Protestants charge the Romanists. 
He adds, ' It will not suffice to say, that the church is still 
under its head Christ, who being in heaven, hath his spi- 
ritual influences over it.' It will not indeed ; but yet we 
suppose that his presence with it by his Spirit and laws 
will suffice? Why should it not? * Because the true church 
of Christ must have the very same head she had at first, or 
else she cannot be the same body.' Very good, and so she 
hath ; the very same Christ that was crucified for her, and 
not another. * But that head was Man-God personally pre- 
sent in both his natures here on earth.' But is he not, I 
pray, the same Man-Godstill? the same Christ, though the 
manner of his presence be altered? This is strange, that be- 
ing the same as he was, and being present still, one circum- 
stance of the manner of his presence should hinder him from 
being the same head. I cannot understand the logic, rea- 
son, nor policy of this inference. Suppose we should on 
these trifling instances exclude Jesus Christ, ' who is the 
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' from being the same 
head of his church as he was; will the pope supply his 
room? Is he the same head that Christ was? Is he God- 
man bodily present? or what would you have us to con- 
clude? 'A visible head or bishop if the church hath not 
now over her as at first she had, she is not the same she 
was, and consequently in the way to ruin.' This too much 
alters the question : at first it was, [that she must have the 
same head she had at first, or she is not the same ; now, 
that she must have another head that is not the same ; or 
she is not the same. For the pope is not Jesus Christ. 
These arguings hang together like a rope of sand; and 
what is built on this foundation (which indeed is so weak, 
that I am ashamed farther to contend with it) will of its 
own accord fall to the ground. 



Scripture; and new principles. 

The next paragraph, page 182. is a naughty one. A busi- 
ness it is spent in and about, that I have now often advised 
our author to meddle with no more : if he will not for the 
future take advice I cannot help it ; I have shewed my good 
will towards him : it is his debasing of the Scripture and 
its authority which I intend. This, with the intertexture of 
some other gentle suppositions, is the subject of this and 
the following section. And because I will not tire myself 
and reader, in tracing what seems of concernment in this 
discourse, backward and forward, up and down, as it is by 
him dispersed and disposed to his best advantage in deal- 
ing with unwary men ; I shall draw out the principles of it, 
that he may know them wherever he meets them, though 
never so much masked and disguised, or never so lightly 
touched on, and also what judgment to pass upon them. 
Their foundation being so taken away, these sections, if I 
mistake not, will sink of themselves. 

Some of these principles are coincident with tliose gene- 
ral ones insisted on in the entrance of our discourse ; others 
of them are peculiar to the design of these paragraphs. The 
first I shall only point unto, the latter briefly discuss. 

1. It is supposed in the whole discourse of these sec- 
tions, that ' from the Roman church so stated, as now it is, 
or from the pope, we here in England first received the gos- 
pel, which is the Romanists own religion, and theirs by 
donation from them whom they have here pleased to ac- 
commodate with it.' This animates the whole, and is be- 
sides the special life of almost every sentence. A lifeless 
life ; for that there is not a syllable of truth in it, hath been 
declared before ; nor were it so, that by the ministry of the 
Roman church of old, the faith was first planted in these 
nations, would that one inch promote our author's preten- 
sions, unless he could prove that they did not afterward 
lose or corrupt at least, that which they communicated unto 
us ; which he knows to be the thing in question, and not to 


be granted upon request, though made in never so handsome 
words. To say then, ' That the gospel is the Romanists' 
own religion, from them you had it, you contend about that 
which is none of your own ; hear them whose it is, from 
whom you had it, who have the precedency before you ;' is 
but to set up scarecrows to fright fools and children. Men 
who have any understanding of things past, know that all 
this bluster and noise comes from emptiness of any solid 
matter or substance to be used in the case. 

2. It is also doughtily supposed, ' That whatever is spoken 
of the church in the Scripture, belongs to the Roman 
church, and that alone ;' the privileges, the authority, the 
glory of the church, are all theirs ; as the madman at Athens 
thought all the ships to be his, that came into the harbour. 
I suppose he will not contend, but that if you deny him 
this, all that he hath said besides is to little purpose. And 
I believe he cannot but take it ill, that any of his readers 
should call him to an account, in that which he everywhere 
puts out of question. But this he knew well enough, that 
all Protestants deny; that they grant no one privilege of the 
catholic church, as such, to belong to the Roman. All that 
any of them will allow her, is but to be a putrid corrupt mem- 
ber of it; some say cut off, dead, and rotten. But yet that 
the catholic church, and the Roman are the same, must be 
believed, or you spoil all his market. The church is before 
the gospel, gives testimony unto it, none could know it 
but by her authority, nothing can be accepted as such, but 
what she sets her seals unto ; so that to destroy the church, 
is to destroy the gospel? What then, 1 pray? Suppose all 
this and all the rest of his assertions about the church, 
pp. 199, 200, &.C. to be true, as some of them are most 
blasphemously false; yet, what is all this to his purpose? 
Why this is the Roman church, of which all these things are 
spoken. It may be the Roman church indeed, of which 
much of it is spoken, even all that is sinfully derogatory to 
the glory of Christ and his apostles, upon whom and whose 
authority the church is built, and not their authority on it ; 
Eph. ii. 18 — 20. But what is truly spoken in the Scripture 
of the church, doth no more belong to the Roman, than to 
the least assembly of believers under heaven; wherein the 
essence of a true church is, preserved; if it belongs unto it 



at all. And yet this rude pretence, and palpable artifice, is 
the main engine in this section, applied to the removal of 
men from the basis of the Scripture. The church, the 
church ! the Roman church, the Roman church ! and these, 
forsooth, are supposed to be one and the same ; and the 
pope to have monopolized all the privileges of the church, 
contrary to express statute-law of the gospel. Hence he 
pretends, that if to go out from the catholic be evil, then 
not to come into the Roman is evil; when indeed the most 
ready way to go out of the catholic, is to go into the Roman. 

3. Moreover, it is taken for granted, 'That the Roman 
church is every way what it was, when first planted.' Indeed, 
if it were so, it would deserve as much particular respect as 
any church of any city in the world, and that would be all : 
as it is, the case is altered. But its unalteredness being added 
to the former supposition of its oneliness and Catholicism, it 
is easy to see what sweet work a witty man as our author is, 
may make with this church among good company. Many 
and many a time have the Romanists attempted to prove 
these things; but failing in their attempt, they think it now 
reasonable to take them for granted. The religion they now 
profess must be that which first entered England ; ' and 
there,' saith our author, * it continued in peace for a thou- 
sand years ;' when the truth is, after the entrance of their 
religion, that is, the corruption of Christianity by papal 
usurpations, these nations never passed one age without tu- 
mults, turmoils, contentions, disorders; nor many without 
wars, blood, and devastations ; and those arising from the 
principles of their religion. 

4. To this is added, * that the Bible is the pope's own 
book, which none can lay claim to, but by and from him.' 
This will be found to be a doubtful assertion, and it will be 
ditficult to conclude aright concerning it. He that shall 
consider, what a worthy person the pope is represented to 
be by our author, especially, in his just dealing and merci- 
fulness, so 'that he never did any man wrong;' and shall 
take notice how many he hath caused to be burned to death 
for having and using the Bible without his consent, must 
need suppose, that it is his book. For surely, his heavenly 
mind would not have admitted of a provocation to such se- 
verity, unless they had stolen his goods out of his posses- 


sion. But, on the other side, he that shall weigh aright his 
vilifying and undervaluing of it, his preferring himself and 
church before and above it ; seeing we are all apt to set a high 
price upon that which is our own, may be ready to question 
whether indeed he have such a property in it as is pretended. 
Having somewhat else to do, I shall not interpose myself in 
this difference, nor attempt to determine this difficulty, but 
leave it as I find it, free for every man to think as he seeth 

5. But that which is the chief ingredient of these sec- 
tions, is the plea, that ' we know not the Scripture to be the 
word of God but by the church, that is, the present church 
of Rome ;' which he manageth by urging sundry objections 
against it, and difficulties which men meet withal in their 
inquiry, whether it be so or no. Nor content with that plea 
alone, he interweaves in his discourse many expressions and 
comparisons, tending directly to the slighting and contempt, 
both of its penmen and matter, which is said to be ' laws, 
poems, sermons, histories, letters, visions, several fancies in 
a diversity of composure ; the whole, a book whereby men may 
as well prove their negative in denying the immortality of the 
soul, heaven, or hell, or any other thing, which, by reason of 
many intricacies, are very difficult, if not impossible at all to 
be understood;' see pp. 190— 192, &c. Concerning all which, 
I desire to know, whether our author be in good earnest or 
no; or, whether he thinks as he writes ; or, whether he would 
only have others to believe what he writes, that he may serve 
his turn upon their credulity. If he be in good earnest, in- 
deed, he calls us to an easy, welcome employment ; namely, 
to defend the holy word of God, and the wisdom of God in 
it, from such slight and trivial exceptions as those he lays 
against them. This path is so trodden for us by the ancients, 
in their answers to the more weighty objections of his pre- 
decessors in this work, the pagans, that we cannot well err 
or faint in it : if we are called to this task, namely, to prove 
that we can know and believe the Scripture to be the word 
of God, without any respect to the authority or testimony of 
the present church of Rome ; that no man can believe it to 
be so, with faith divine and supernatural upon that testi- 
mony alone ; that the whole counsel of God in all things to be 
believed or done in order to our last end, is clearly delivered 
I 2 


in it; and that the composure of it is a work of infinite wis- 
dom, suited to the end designed to be accomplished by it; 
that no difficulties in the interpretation of particular places, 
hinder the whole from being a complete and perfect rule of 
faith and obedience, — we shall most willingly undertake it, as 
knowing it to be as honourable a service and employment as 
any of the sons of men can in this world be called unto. If, 
indeed, himself be otherwise minded, and believes not what 
he says, but only intends to entangle men by his sophistry, 
so to render them pliable unto his farther intention, I must 
yet once more persuade him to desist from this course. It 
doth not become an ingenuous man, much less a Christian, 
and one that boasts of so much mortification as he doth, to 
juggle thus with the things of God. In the mean time his 
reader may take notice, that so long as he is able to defend 
the authority, excellency, and usefulness of the Scripture, this 
man had nothing to say to him, as to the change of his reli- 
gion from protestancy to popery. And when men will be 
persuaded to let that go as a thing uncertain, dubious, use- 
less, it matters not much where they go themselves. And 
for our author, methinks, if not for I'everence to Christ, whose 
book we know the Scriptures to be; yet, for the devotion he 
bears the pope, whose book he says it is, he might learn to 
treat it with a little more respect, or at least prevail with 
him to send out a book not liable to so many exceptions, as 
this is pretended to be. However, this I know, that though 
his pretence be to make men Papists, the course he takes is 
the readiest in the world to make them atheists ; and whether 
that will serve his turn or no, as well as the other, I know 

6. We have not yet done with the Scripture. ' That the 
taking it for the only rule of faith, the only determiner of 
differences, is the only cause of all our differences, and which 
keeps us in a condition of having them endless ;' is also pre- 
tended and pleaded. But how shall we know this to be so ? 
Christ and his apostles were absolutely of another mind, and 
so were Moses and the prophets before them. The ancient 
fathers of the primitive church walked in their steps, and um- 
pired all difi'erences in religion by the Scriptures ; opposing, 
confuting, and condemning errors and heresies by them; 
preserving, through their guidance, the unity of the Spirit in 


the bond of peace. In these latter days of the world, which 
surely are none of the best, we have a few unknown persons 
come from Rome would persuade us, that the Scripture, and 
the use of it, is the cause of all our differences, and the means 
of making them endless. But why so, I pray? Doth it 
teach us to differ and contend? Doth it speak contradictions, 
and set us at variance? Is there any spirit of dissension 
breathing in it ? Doth it not deliver what it commands us to 
understand so as it may be understood? Is there any thing 
needful for us to know, in the things of God, but what it re- 
veals ? Who can tell us what that is ? But do we not see, 
' de facto/ what differences there are amongst you who pre- 
tend, all of you, to be guided by Scripture ? Yea, and we see 
also what surfeitings and drunkenness there is in the world, 
but yet do not think bread, meat, and drink to be the causes 
of them, and yet they are to the full as much so, as the Scrip- 
tures are of our differences. Pray, sir, do not think that sober 
men will cast away their food and starve themselves, be- 
cause you tell them that some continually abuse and surfeit 
on that very kind of food which they use. Nor will some 
men's abuse of it prevail with others to cast away the food 
of their souls, if they have any design to live eternally. 

7. The great * safety and security that there is in com- 
mitting ourselves, as to all the concernments of religion, unto 
the guidance, rule, and conduct of the pope,' is another great 
principle of this discourse. And here our author falls into 
a deep admiration of the pope's * dexterity in keeping all his 
subjects in peace and unity, and subjection to him, there 
being no danger to any one for forsaking him, but only that 
of excommunication.' The contest is between the Scripture 
and the pope. Protestants say, the safest way for men, in 
reference to their eternal condition, is to believe the Scrip- 
ture, and rest therein ; the Romanists say the same of the 
pope. Which will prove the best course, methinks, should 
not be hard to determine. All Christians in the world ever 
did agree, that the Scripture is the certain infallible word of 
God, given him on purpose to reveal his mind and will unto 
us. About the pope there were great contests ever since he 
was first taken notice of in the world. Nothing, I confess, 
little or low, is spoken of him. Some say he is the head and 


spouse of the church, the vicar of Christ, the successor of 
Peter, the supreme moderator of Christians, the infallible 
judge of controversies, and the like ; others, again, that he 
is antichrist, the man of sin, a cruel tyrant and persecutor, 
the evil servant characterized. Matt. xxiv. 48 — 51. But all, 
as far as I can gather, agree that he is a man ; I mean, that 
almost all popes have been so ; for about every individual, 
there is not the like consent. Now the question is, whether 
we shall rest in the authority and word of God, or in the au- 
thority and word of a man, as the pope is confessed to be ? 
and whether is like to yield us more security in our affiance ? 
This being such another difficult matter and case as that be- 
fore mentioned, about the Bible being the pope's book, shall 
not be by me decided, but left to the judgment of wiser men. 
In the mean time, for his feat of government, it is partly 
known what it is ; as also what an influence into the effects 
of peace mentioned that gentle means of excommunication 
hath had. I know one that used in the late times to say of 
the excommunication in Scotland, ' he would not care for 
their devil, were it not for his horn ;' and I suppose, had not 
papal excommunication been always attended with wars, 
blood, seditions, conspiracies, depositions and murders of 
kings, fire and fagot, according to the extent of their power, 
it would have been less effectual than our author pretends it 
to have been. Sir, do but give Christians the liberty that 
Christ hath purchased for them, lay down your carnal wea- 
pons, your whips, racks, prisons, halters, swords, fagots, 
with your unchristian subtleties, slanders, and fleshly ma- 
chinations, and we and you shall quickly see what will be- 
come of your papal peace and power. 

These are the goodly principles, the honest suppositions, 
of the discourse which our author ends his third book withal. 
It could not but have been a tedious thing, to take them up 
by pieces, as they lay scattered up and down like the limbs 
of Media's brother, cast in the way to retard her pursuers. 
The reader may now take a view of them together, and 
thence of all that is offered to persuade him to a reUnquish- 
ment of his present profession and religion. For the stories, 
comparison!, jests, sarcasms, that are intermixed with them, 
I suppose he will know how to turn them to another use. 


Some very few particulars need only to be remaiked. As, 

1. 'No man can say what ill popery did in the world 
until Henry the Eighth's days.' Strange ! when it is not only 
openly accused, but proved guilty of almost all the evil that 
was in the Christian world, in those days; particularly of 
corrupting the doctrine and worship of the gospel, and de- 
bauching the lives of Christians. 

2. * With the Roman Catholics unity ever dwelt.' Never ; 
the very name of Roman Catholic, appropriating Catholicism 
to Romanism, is destructive of all gospel unity. 

3. ' Some Protestants say, they love the persons of the 
Romanists, but hate their religion ; the reason is plain, they 
know the one and not the other.' No, they know them both; 
and the pretence that people are kept with, as from knowing 
what the religion of the Romanists is, is vai^i, untrue; and, 
as to what colour can possibly be given unto it, such an in- 
fant in comparison of that vast giant, which of the same 
kind lives in the Romish territories, that it deserves uot to 
be mentioned. 

4. * Protestants are beholden to the Catholics (that is, 
Romanists) for their universities,. benefices, books, pulpits, 
gospel.' For some of them, not all; for the rest, as the 
Israelites were to the Egyptians for the tabernacle they 
built in the wilderness. 

5. 'The pope was anciently believed sole judge and gene- 
ral pastor over all.' Prove it; ask the ancient fathers and 
councils, whether they ever heard of any such thing? they 
will universally return their answer in the negative. 

6. ' The Scripture you received from the pope.' Not at all, 
as hath been proved; but from Christ himself, by the minis- 
try of the first planters of Christianity. 

7. 'You cannot believe the Scriptures to be the word of 
God, but upon the authority of the church.' We can and 
do, upon the authority of God himself; and the influence of 
the church's ministry or authority into our believing, con- 
cerns not the church of Rome. 

8. 'You account them that brought you the Scriptures, as 
liars.' No otherwise than as the Scripture affirms every 
man to be so; not in their ministry, wherein they brought 
the word unto us. 

9. ' The gospel, separate from the church, can prove 


nothing. Yes, itself to be sent of God ; and so doing, is the 
foundation of the church. Sundry other passages of the 
like nature might be remarked, if I could imagine any man 
would judge them worthy of consideration. 


Story of religion. 

The fourth and last part of our author's discourse, is spent 
in two stories : one of religion ; the other of himself. His 
first, of religion, is but a summary of what was diffused 
through the other parts of his treatise, being insinuated 
piecemeal, as he thought he could make any advantage of 
it to his purpose. Two things he aims to make his readers 
believe by it ; first. That we in these nations had our reli- 
gion from Rome ; and, secondly, That it was the same which 
is there now professed. Those whom he tells his tale unto, 
are, as he professeth, such as are ' ignorant of the coming 
into, and progress of religion amongst us ;' wherein he deals 
wisely, and as became him ; seeing he might easily assure 
himself, that those who are acquainted, before his informa- 
tion, with the true state of these things, would give little 
credit to what he nakedly avers upon his own authority. 
For my part, I shall readily acknowledge, that for ought ap- 
pears in this book, he is a better historian than a disputant; 
and hath more reason to trust to his faculty of telling a 
tale, than managing of an argument. I confess also, that 
a slight and superficial view of antiquity, especially, as 
flourished over by some Roman legendaries, is the best ad- 
vantage our adversaries have to work on ; as a thorough 
judicious search of it, is fatal to their pretensions. He, 
that from the Scriptures, and the writings extant of the 
first centuries, shall frame a true idea of the state and doc- 
trine of the first churches, and then observe the adven- 
titious accessions made to religion in the following ages, 
partly by men's own inventions, but chiefly by their borrow- 
ing from, or imitation of, the Jews and pagans, will need 
very little light or help from artificial arguments, to discover 


the defections of the Roman party, and the true means 
whereby that church arrived unto its present condition. 
To pursue this at large is not a work to be undertaken in 
this scambling chase. It hath been done by others, and 
those, who are not unwilling to be at the cost and pains in 
the disquisition of the truth, which it is really worth, may 
easily know where to find it. Our present task is, but to ob- 
serve our author's motions, and to consider whether what he 
offers, hath any efficacy towards that he aims at. 

A triple conversion he assigns to this nation. The first 
by Joseph of Arimathea ; about which, as to matter of fact, 
we have no contest with him. That the gospel was preached 
here in the apostles' days, either by him, or some other evan- 
gelist, is certain, and taken for granted on all hands ; nor 
can our author pretend that it came hither from Rome ; but 
grants it to have come immediately from Palestine. Whe- 
ther this doth not overthrow the main of his plea in his whole 
discourse, concerning our dependance upon Rome for our 
religion, I leave to prudent men to judge. Thus far then 
we are equal. As the gospel came to Rome, so it came to 
England ; to both from the same place, and by the same 
authority, the same ministry. All the question is. Whether 
religion they brought with them? that now professed in 
England, or that of Rome ? If this be determined, the busi- 
ness is at an issue ; we are persuaded Joseph brought no 
other religion with him, than what was taught by Peter and 
Paul, and the rest of the apostles and evangelists, in other 
parts of the world. What religion men taught 'viva voce' 
in any age, is best known by their writings, if they left any 
behind them. No other way have the Romanists themselves, 
nor other do they use, in judging what was the doctrine of 
the fathers in th^ following ages. The writings of the 
apostles are still extant; by them alone can we judge of the 
doctrine that they preached. That doctrine then unques- 
tionably taught Joseph in Britain ; and that doctrine (blessed 
be God) is still owned and professed amongst us. All, and 
only what is contained in their writings, is received with us 
as necessary to salvation. This conversion was wholly ours. 
'Quod antiquissimum id verissimum.' Being the first, it 
was certainly the best. Our author indeed tells us of 
crosses, shrines, oratories, altars, monasteries, vigils, em- 


bers, honouring of saints (you must suppose all in the 
Roman mode), making oblations and orisons for the dead, 
and that this was the religion in those days planted amongst 
us. If this be so, I wonder what we do to keep the Bible, 
which speaks not one word of that religion, which the 
apostles and apostolical men preached. Strange! that in 
all their writings they should not once mention the main 
parts and duties of the doctrines and worship, which they 
taught and propagated ; that Paul, in none of his epistles, 
should in the least give the churches any direction in, or 
concerning, the things and ways wherein their worship 
principally consisted and their devotion was chiefly exer- 
cised ! But how comes our author to know, that these things, 
in the Roman mode, were brought into England at the first 
entrance of Christianity? Would he would give us a little 
information from what writings or monuments of those 
times he acquired his knowledge. I know it is unreason- 
able to put an historian to his oath ; but yet, unless he can 
plead, that he received his acquaintance with things that 
are so long past by inspiration, as Moses wrote the story 
of the creation and ages before the flood, being destitute of 
any other monuments or testimony that might give evi- 
dence to what he says, I hope he will not be offended, if 
we suspend our belief. * Solus enim hoc Ithacus nullo sub 
teste canebat.' This first conversion then, as was said, is 
wholly ours, it neither came from Rome, nor knew any thing 
of that which is the present religion of Rome, wherein they 
differ from us. 

That which is termed our second conversion, is the 
preaching of Damianus and Fugatius, sent hither by Eleu- 
therius bishop of Rome, in the days of king Lucius, in the 
year 190. as our author saith, Beda 156. Nauclerus, Baro- 
nius, 178. Henricus de Erfordia, 1 69. in the days of Aurelius, 
or Commodus. I have many reasons to question this whole 
story. And sundry parts of it, as those about the epistles 
of Lucius and Eleutherius are palpably fictitious. But let 
us grant, that about those days, Fugatius and Damianus 
came hither from Rome, and furthered the preaching of the 
gospel, which had taken footing here so long before, and 
was no doubt preserved amongst many ; we. know God in 
his providence used many various ways for the propagating 


of his gospel ; sometimes he did it by merchants, sometimes 
by soldiers, sometimes by captives ; as a poor maid gave 
occasion to the conversion of a whole province. What 
VfiW hence ensue to the advantage of the pretensions of the 
Romanists? The religion they planted here was, doubtless, 
that (and no other), which was then professed at Rome, 
and in most other places in the world, with some small 
differences in outward observances, wherein each church 
took liberty to follow traditions or prudential reasonings of 
its own. When our author, or any for him, can make it 
appear, that any thing material in that which we call popery, 
was in those days taught, believed, preached, or known 
among the churches of Christ, they will do somewhat to 
the purpose ; but the present flourish about the catholic 
faith, planted here, which no man ever denied, is to none at 
all. It was the old catholic faith we at first received, and 
therefore not the present Romish. 

After those days, wherein this propagation of Chris- 
tianity by the ministry of Fugatius and Damianus in this 
province, is supposed to have fallen out, a sad decay in 
faith and holiness of life, befell professors, not only in this 
nation, but, for the most part, all the world over ; which es- 
pecially took place after God had graciously, in the con- 
version of the emperors to the faith, intrusted them with 
outward peace and prosperity. I desire not to make naked 
their miscarriages, whom I doubt not but in mercy, God 
hath long since pardoned ; but it cannot be denied, that the 
stories of those days are full of nothing more than the op- 
pressions, luxury, and sloth of rulers, the pride, ambition, 
and unseemly scandalous contests for pre-eminence of sees, 
and extent of jurisdiction among bishops, the sensuality 
and ignorance of the most of men. In this season it was 
that the bishop of Rome, advantaged by the prerogative of 
the city, the ancient seat and spring of the empire, began 
gradually to attempt a superintendency over his brethren, 
according as any advantages for that end (which could not 
be wanting in the intestine tumults and seditions where- 
with Christians were turmoiled) offered themselves unto 
him. Wherevej- an opportunity could be spied, he was 
still interposing his umpirt^e and authority amongst them, 
and that sometimes not without sinful artifices and down- 


right forgeries, wherein he was always accepted or refused, 
according as the interest of them required with whom he 
had to do. What the lives of priests and people, what 
their knowledge and profession of the gospel, of the poor 
Britains, especially in those days were, our own countryman 
Gildas doth sufficiently testify and bewail. Salvianus doth 
the same for other parts of the world. And generally, all 
the pious men of those ages ; whilst the priests strove for 
sovereignty and power, the people perished through igno- 
rance and sensuality. Neither can we possibly have a more 
full conviction of what was the state of Christians and 
Christianity in those days in the world, than may be seen 
and read in the horrible judgments of God wherewith he 
punished their wickedness and ingratitude. When he could 
no longer bear the provocations of his people, he stirred up 
those swarms of northern nations, Goths, Vandals, Huns, 
Franks, Longobards, Alans, Saxons, &c. Some few of 
them Arians, the most pagans, and poured them out upon 
the western empire, to the utter ruin of it, and the division 
of the provinces amongst themselves. After a while, these 
fierce, cruel, and barbarous nations, having executed the 
judgments of God against the ungodliness of men, seating 
themselves in the warmer climates of those whom they had 
in part subdued, in part extirpated, as is the manner of all 
persons in transmigration from one country to another, be- 
gan to unlearn their ancient barbarism, and to incline to 
the manners, fashions, and religion of the people, to whom 
they were come, and with whom, after their heats were over 
and lusts satisfied, they began to incorporate and coalesce ; 
together, I say, with their manners, they took up, by various 
ways and means, the religion which they did profess. And 
the bishop of Rome having kept his outward station in 
that famous city during all those turmoils, becoming ve- 
nerable unto them, unto him were many applications made, 
and his authority was first signally advanced by this new 
race of Christians. The religion they thus took up, was 
not a little degenerated from its primitive apostolical pu- 
rity and splendour. And they were among the first who 
felt the effects of their former barbarous inhumanity, in 
their sedulous endeavour to destroy all books uiul learning 
out of the world, which brought that darkness upon man- 


kind wherewith they wrestled for many succeeding gene- 
rations. For having themselves made an intercision of the 
current and progress of studies and learning, they were 
forced to make use in their entertainment of Christianity, 
of men meanly skilled in the knowledge of God or them- 
selves, who, some of them, knew little; more of the gospel, 
than what they had learned in the outward observances and 
practices of the places where they had been educated. 
Towards the beginning of this hurry of the world, this 
shuffling of the nations, was the province of Britain, not 
long before, exhausted of it stores of men and arms, and 
defeated by the Romans, invaded by the Saxons, Picts, 
Angles, and others out of Germany, who, accomplishing the 
will of God, extirpated the greatest part of the British na- 
tion, and drove the remainders of them to shelter them- 
selves in the western mountainous parts of this island. 
These new inhabitants, after they were somewhat civilized 
by the vicinity of the provincials, and had got a little 
breathing from their own intestine feuds, by fixing the limits 
of their leaders' dominions, which they called kingdoms, 
began to be in some preparedness to receive impressions 
of religion, above that rude paganism which they had be- 
fore served Satan in. These were they to whom came 
Austin from Rome; a man, as far as appears by the story, 
little acquainted with the mystery of the gospel ; yet one 
whom it pleased God graciously to use to bring the Scrip- 
ture amongst them, that inexhaustible fountain of light and 
truth ; and by which those to whom he preached might be 
infallibly freed from any mixture of mistakes, that he might 
offer to them. That he brought with him a doctrine of 
observances, not formerly known in Britain, is notorious, 
from the famous story of those many professors of Chris- 
tianity, which he caused to be murdered by pagans, for 
not submitting to his power, and refusing to practise ac- 
cording to his traditions ; whose unwillingness to be slain, 
if they could have otherwise chosen, is that which, I sup- 
pose, our author calls their 'disturbing good St. Austin in 
his pious work.' But yet neither will this conversion of the 
Saxons, began by Austin the monk, at all advantage our 
author as to his pretensions. The religion he taught here, 
as well as he could, was doubtless no other than that which 


at those days was professed at Rome ; mixtures of human 
traditions, worldly policies, observances trenching upon the 
superstitions of the Gentiles, in many things it had then re- 
vived ; but however it was far enough from the present Ro- 
manism, if the writers and chief bishops of those days 
knew what was their religion ; papal supremacy, and in- 
fallibility, trans ubstantiation, religious veneration of images 
in churches, with innumerable other prime fundamentals of 
popery, were as great strangers at Rome in the days of 
Gregory the Great, as they are at this day to the church of 

After these times, the world continuing still in troubles, 
religion began more and more to decline, and fall off from 
its pristine purity. At first, by degrees insensible and al- 
most imperceptible, in the broaching of new opinions and 
inventing new practices in the worship of God. At length, 
by open presumptuous transgressions of its whole rule and 
genius in the usurpation of the pope of Rome, and imposi- 
tions of his authority on the necks of emperors, kings, 
princes, and people of all sorts. By what means this work 
was carried on, what advantages were taken for, what in- 
struments used in it, what opposition by kings and learned 
men was made unto it, what testimony was given against it 
by the blood of thousands of martyrs, others have at large 
declared ; nor will my present design admit rae to insist on 
particulars. What contests, debates, tumults, wars, were 
by papal pretensions raised in these nations, what shameful 
entreating of some of the greatest of our kings, what abso- 
lutions of subjects from their allegiance, with such like ef- 
fluxes of an abundant apostolical piety, this nation in par- 
ticular was exercised with from Rome, all our historians 
sufficiently testify. ' Tantae molis erat Romanam condere 
gentem !' The truth is, when once Romanism began to be 
enthroned and had driven Catholicism out of the world, we 
had very few kings that passed their days in peace and 
quietness from contests with the pope, or such as acted for 
him, or were stirred up by him. The face in the mean time 
of Christianity was sad and deplorable. The body of the 
people being grown dark and profane, or else superstitious, 
the generality of the priests and votaries ignorant and vi- 
cious in their conversations, the oppressions of the Hilde- 


brandine faction intolerable, religion dethroned, from a free 
generous obedience according to the rule of the gospel, and 
thrust into cells, orders, self-invented devotions and forms 
of worship, superstitious, and unknown to Scripture and an- 
tiquity, the whole world groaned under the apostacy it was 
fallen into, when it was almost too late ; the yoke was so 
fastened to their necks, and prejudices so fixed in the minds 
of the multitude. Kings began to repine, princes to re- 
monstrate their grievances, whole nations to murmur, some 
learned men to write and preach against the superstitions 
and oppressions of the church of Rome. Against all which 
complaints and attempts, what means the popes used for the 
safe-guarding their authority, and opinions subservient to 
their carnal worldly interests, deposing some, causing others 
to be murdered that were in supreme power, bandying 
princes and great men one against another, exterminating 
others with fire and sword, is also known unto all who take 
any care to know such things, whatever our author pre- 
tends to the contrary. This was the state, this the peace, 
this the condition of most nations in Europe, and these in 
particular where we live ; when occasion was administered 
in the providence of God, unto that reformation which in 
the next place he gives us the story of. Little cause had he 
to mind us of this story ; little to boast of the primitive ca- 
tholic faith ; little to pretend the Romish religion to have 
been that which was first planted in these nations ; his con- 
cernments lie not in those things, but only in that tyranni- 
cal usurpation of the popes, and irregular devotions of some 
votaries, which latter ages produced. 




The story of the reformation of religion he distributes into 
three parts, and allots to each a particular paragraph ; the 
first is of its occasion and rise in general, the second of its 
entrance into England, the third of its progress amongst us. 
Of the first he gives us this account : ' The pastor of Chris- 
tianity, upon some solicitation of Christian princes, for a 
general compliance to their design, sent forth in the year 
1517. a plenary indulgence in favour of the Cruciata against 
the Turk. Albertus, the archbishop of Mentz, being dele- 
gated by the pope to see it executed, committed the pro- 
mulgation of it to the Dominican friars ; which the hermits 
of St. Augustin in the same place took ill, especially Martin 
Luther, &,c. who, vexed that he was neglected and under- 
valued, fell a writing and preaching first against indulgencies, 
then against the pope,' &c. He that had no other acquaint- 
ance with Christian religion, but what the Scriptures and 
ancient fathers will afford him, could not but be amazed at 
the canting language of this story ; it being impossible for 
him to understand any thing of it aright. He would ad- 
mire who this ' pastor of Christianity' should be, what this 
'plenary indulgence' should mean, what was the 'preaching 
of plenary indulgence by Dominicans,' and what all this 
would avail against the Turk. I cannot but pity such a 
poor man, to think what a loss he would be at, like one taken 
from home and carried blindfold into the midst of a wilder- 
ness, where, when he opens his eyes, every thing scares 
him, nothing gives him guidance or direction. Let him 
turn again to his Bible, and fathers of the first four or five 
hundred years, and I will undertake he shall come off from 
them as wise as to the true understanding of this story, as 
he went unto them. The scene in religion is plainly changed, 
and this appearance of a ' universal pastor, plenary indulg- 
ences, Dominicans and Cruciata's,' all marching against 
the Turk, must needs affright a man accustomed only to 
the Scripture notions of religion, and those embraced by 


the primitive church. And I do know, that if such a man 
could get together two or three of the wisest Romanists in 
the world, which were the likeliest way for him to be re- 
solved in the signification of these hard names, they would 
never well agree to tell him what this 'plenary indulgence' 
is. But for the present, as to our concernment, let us take 
these things according to the best understanding, which 
their framers and founders have been pleased to give us of 
them ; the story intended to be told, was indeed neither so, 
nor so. There was no such solicitation of the pope by 
Christian princes at that time, as is pretended ; no Cruciata 
against the Turk undertaken ; no attempt of that nature 
ensued, not a penny of indulgence-money, laid out to any 
such purpose. But the short of the matter is, that the 
church of Mentz, being not able to pay for the archiepis- 
copal pall of Albertus from Rome, having been much ex- 
hausted by the purchase of one or two for other bishops 
that died suddenly before, the pope grants to Albert a num- 
ber of pardons, of, to say the truth, I knovv^ not what, to be 
sold in Germany, agreeing with him, that one half of the 
gain he would have in his own right, and the other for the 
pall. Now the pope's merchants that used to sell pardons 
for him in former days were the preaching friars, who, upon 
holydays and festivals, were wont to let out their ware to 
the people, and in plain terms to cheat them of their money ; 
and well had it been, if that had been all. What share in 
the dividend came to th6 venders, well I know not : pro- 
bably they had a proportion according to the commodity 
that they put off; which stirred up their zeal to be earnest 
and diligent in their work. Among the rest, one friar 
Tecel was so warm in his employment, and so intent upon 
the main end that they had all in their eye, that preaching 
in or about Wittenberg, it sufficed him not in general, to 
make an offer of the pardon of all sins that any had com- 
mitted, but to take all scruples from their consciences, 
coming to particular instances, carried them up to a cursed 
blasphemous supposition of ravishing the blessed Virgin ; 
so cocksure he made of the forgiveness of any thing be- 
neath it, provided the price were paid that was set upon the 
pardon. Sober men being much amazed and grieved at 



these horrible impieties, one Martin Luther, a professor of 
divinity at Wittenberg, an honest, warm, zealous soul, set 
himself to oppose the friar's blasphemies; wherein his zeal 
was commended by all, his discretion by few, it being the 
joint opinion of most, that the pope would quickly have 
stopped his mouth by breaking his neck. But God, as it 
afterward appeared, had another work to bring about, and 
the time of entering upon it was now fully come. At the 
same time that Luther set himself to oppose the pardons in 
Germany, Zuinglius did the same in Switzerland. And 
both of them, taking occasion from the work they first en- 
gaged in to search the Scriptures, so to find out the truth 
of religion, which they discovered to be horribly abused by 
the pope and his agents, proceeded farther in their dis- 
covery, than at first they were aware of. Many nations, 
princes, and people, multitudes of learned and pious men, 
up and down the world, that had long groaned under the 
bondage of the papal yoke, and grieved for the horrible 
abuse of the worship of God, which they were forced to see 
and endure, hearing that God had stirred up some learned 
men seriously to oppose those corruptions in religion, which 
they saw and mourned under, speedily either countenanced 
them, or joined themselves with them. It fell out, indeedj 
as it was morally impossible it should be otherwise, that 
multitudes of learned men, undertaking, without advising or 
consulting one with another, in several far distant nations, 
the discovery of the papal errors, and the reformation of re- 
ligion, some of them had different apprehensions and per- 
suasions in and about some points of doctrine, and parts of 
worship of no great weight and importance. And he that 
shall seriously consider, what was the state of things when 
they began their work, who they were, how educated, what 
prejudices they had to wrestle with, and remember withal, 
that they were all men ; will have ten thousand times more 
cause to admire at their agreement in all fundamentals, than 
at their difference about some lesser things. However, 
whatever were their personal failings and infirmities, God 
was pleased to give testimony to the uprightness and integ- 
rity of their hearts ; and to bless their endeavours with such 
success, as answered, in some measure, the primitive work of 


planting and propagating the gospel. The small sallies of 
our author upon them in some legends about what Luther 
should say or do, deserve not the least notice from men, who 
will seriously contemplate the hand, power, and wisdom of 
God in the work accomplished by them. 

The next thing undertaken by our author, is the ingress 
of protestancy into England, and its progress there. The 
old story of the love of King Henry the Eighth to Anne 
Bullen, with the divorce of Queen Katharine, told over and 
over long ago by men of the same principle and design with 
himself, is that which he chooseth to flourish withal. I 
shall say no more to the story, but that Englishmen were 
not wont to believe the whispers of an unknown friar or two, 
before the open redoubled protestation of one of the most 
famous kings that ever swayed the sceptre of this land, be- 
fore the union of the crowns of England and Scotland. These 
men, whatever they pretend, shew what reverence they have 
to our present sovereign, by their unworthy defamation of 
his royal predecessors. But let men suppose the worst they 
please of that great heroic person, what are his miscarriages 
unto Protestant religion ; for neither was he the head, leader, 
or author of that religion ; nor did he ever receive it, profess 
it, or embrace it ; but caused men to be burned to death for 
its profession. Should I, by way of retaliation, return unto 
our author, the lives and practices of some, of many, not of 
the great or leading men of his church, but of the popes 
themselves, the head, sum, and, in a manner, whole of their 
religion, at least so far (that without him) they will not ac- 
knowledge any, he knows well enough what double measure 
shaken together, pressed down, and running over, may be 
returned unto him. A work this would be, I confess, no 
way pleasing unto myself; for who can delight in raking 
into such a sink of filth, as the lives of many of them have 
been ; yet, because he seems to talk with a confidence of 
willingness to revive the memory of such ulcers of Chris- 
tianity, if he proceed in the course he hath began, it will be 
necessary to mind him of not boxing up his eyes when he 
looks towards his own home. That poisonings, adulteries, 
incests, conjurations, perjuries, atheism, have been no 
strangers to that see ; if he knows not, he shall be acquainted 
from stories, that he hath no colour to except against. For 
K 2 


the present, I shall only mind him and his friend of the 
comedian's advice : 

Dehinc ut quiescant, porro moneo, et desinant 
Maledicere, malefacta ne noscant sua. 

The declaration made in the days of that king, that he was 
the head of the church of England, intended no more, but 
that there was no other person in the world from whom any 
jurisdiction to be exercised in this church over his subjects 
might be derived, the supreme authority for all exterior go- 
vernment being vested in him alone; that this should be so, 
the word of God, the nature of the kingly office, and the an- 
cient laws of this realm, do require. And I challenge our 
author to produce any one testimony of Scripture, or any 
one word out of any general council, or any one catholic 
father or writer, to give the least countenance to his assertion 
of two heads of the church in his sense; 'a head of influence, 
which is Jesus himself; and a head of government, which is 
the pope, in whom all the sacred hierarchy ends.' This 
taking of one half of Christ's rule and headship out of his 
hand, and giving it to the pope, will not be salved, by that 
expression thrust in by. the way, ' under him ;' for the head- 
ship of interest is distinctly asciibed unto Christ, and that 
of government to the pope ; which evidently asserts, that he 
is not in the same manner, head unto his church in both 
these senses ; but he in one, and the pope in another. 

But whatever was the cause or occasion of the dissention 
between King Heu'-yand the pope, it is certain, protestancy 
came into England by the same way and means that Chris- 
tianity came into the world ; the painful, pious professors and 
teachers of it, sealed its truth with their blood ; and what more 
honourable entrance it could make, I neither know, nor can it 
be declared. Nor did England receive this doctrine from 
others; in the days of Iving Henry it did but revive that light 
which sprung up amongst us long before, and by the fury of 
the pope and his adherents, had been awhile suppressed. And 
it was with the blood of Englishmen, dying patiently and 
gloriously in the flames, that the truth was sealed in the days 
of that king, who lived and died himself, as was said, in the 
profession of the Roman faith. The truth flourished yet 
more in the days of his pious and hopeful son. Some stop, 
our author tells us, was put to it in the days of Queen Mary. 


But what stop ? of what kind ? of no other than that put to 
Christianity by Trajan, Dioclesian, Julian ; a stop by fire and 
sword, and all exquisite cruelties, which was broken through 
by the constant death, and invincible patience and prayers, 
of bishops, ministers, and people aunxberless ; a stop that 
Rome hath cause to blush in the remembrance of, and all 
Protestants to rejoice, having their faith tried in the fire, 
and coming forth more precious than gold. Nor did Queen 
Elizabeth, as is falsely pretended, endeavour to continue 
that stop, but cordially, from the beginning of her reign, 
embraced that faith, wherein she had before been instructed. 
And in the maintenance of it, did God preserve her from all 
the plots, conspiracies, and rebellions of the Papists; curses 
and depositions of the popes ; with invasion of her king- 
doms by his instigation, as also her renowned successor, 
with his whole regal posterity from Iheir contrivance for their 
martyrdom and ruin. During the reign of those royal and 
magnificent princes, had the power and polity of the papal 
world been able to accomplish what the men of this inno- 
cent and quiet religion professedly designed, they had not 
the advantage of the late miscarriages of some professing 
the Protestant religion, in reference to our late king, of glo- 
rious memory, to triumph in ; though they had obtained 
that which would have been very desirable to them, and 
which we have but sorry evidence that they do not yet aim 
at and hope for. As for what he declares in the end of his 
nineteenth paragraph, about the reformation here, that it 
followed wholly neither Luther nor Calvin, which he in- 
termixes with many unseemly taunts and reflections on our 
laws, government, and governors, is, as far as it is true, 
the glory of it. It was not Luther, nor Calvin, but the 
word of God, and the practice of the primitive church, that 
England proposed for her rule and pattern in her reforma- 
tion ; and, where any of the reformers forsook them, she 
counted it her duty, without reflections on them, or their 
ways, to walk in that safe one she had chosen out for herself. 

Nor shall I insist on his next paragraph, destined to the 
advancement of his interest, by a proclamation of the late 
tumults, seditions, and rebellions in these nations, which he 
ascribes to the Puritans. He hath got an advantage, and it 
is not equal we should persuade him to forego it; only I 


desire prudent men to consider what the importance of it is, 
as to this case in hand ; for, as to other considerations of the 
same things, they fall not within the compass of our present 
discourse. It is not of professions, but of persons that he 
treats. The crimes that he insists on, attend not any avowed 
principles, but the men that have professed them. And if 
a rule of choosing or leaving religion, may from thence be 
be gathered, I know not any in the world, that any can 
embrace, much less can they rest in none at all. Professors 
of all religions have, in their seasons, sinfully miscarried 
themselves, and troubled the world with their lusts; and 
those who have possessed none, most of all. And of all that 
is called religion, that of the Romanists might by this rule 
be first cashiered. The abominable bestial lives of very 
many of their chief guides, in whom they believe ; the tu- 
mults, seditions, rebellions, they have raised in the world ; 
the treasons, murders, conspiracies, they have countenanced, 
encouraged, and commended, would take up not a single 
paragraph of a little treatise, but innumerable volumes, 
should they be but briefly reported ; they do so already ; 
and which renders them abominable, whilst there is any in 
the world, that see reason not to submit themselves unto the 
papal sovereignty, their professed principles led them to the 
same courses; and when men are brought to all the bestial 
subjection aimed at, yet pretences will not be wanting to 
set on foot such practices. They were not in former days, 
when they had obtained an uncontrollable oranipotency. 
If our author supposeth this a rational way for the handling 
of differences in religion, that leaving the consideration of 
the doctrines and principles, we should insist on the vices and 
crimes of those who have professed them, I can assure him 
he must expect the least advantage by it to his party, of any 
in the world ; nor need we choose any other scene than 
England to try out our contests by this rule ; I hope, when 
he writes next, he will have better considered this matter, 
and not flatter himself that the crimes of any Protestants, 
do enable him to conclude as he doth, that the only way for 
peace is the extermination of protestancy ; and so his tale 
about religion is ended; he next brings himself on the 



Popish contradiction 

This is our last task; our author's own story of himself, 
and rare observations in the Roman religion, make up the 
close of his discourse, and merit in his thoughts the title of 
discovery. The design of the whole is to manifest his Ca- 
tholic religion to be absolutely unblameable, by wiping off 
some spots and blemishes that are cast upon it ; indeed by 
gilding over, with fair and plausible words, some parts of 
their profession and worship, which he knew to be most 
liable to the exceptions of them with whom he intends to 
deal. His way of managing this design, that he may seem 
to do something new, is, by telling a fair tale of himself, 
and his observations, with the effects they had upon him ; 
which is but the putting of a new tune to an old song, that 
hath been chanted at our doors these hundred years ; and 
some he hopes are so simple, as to like the new tune, though 
they were sick of the old song. His entrance is a blessing 
of the v/orld with some knowledge of himself, his parentage, 
birth, and education, and proficiency in his studies ; as not 
doubting, but that great inquiry must needs be made after 
the meanest concernments of such a hero, as by his achieve- 
ments and travels he hath manifested himself to be. And, 
indeed, he hath so handsomely and delightfully given us 
the romance of himself and popery, that it was pity he should 
so unhappily stumble at the threshold, as he hath done, and 
fall upon a misadventure that to some men will render the 
design of his discourse suspected. For whereas he doth 
elsewhere most confidently aver, that no trouble ever was 
raised amongst us by the Romanists ; here at unawares he 
informs us, that his own grandfather lost both his life and 
his estate, in a rebellion raised in the north on the account 
of that religion. Just as before, attempting to prove that 
we received Christianity originally from Rome, he tells us, 
that the first planters of it came directly from Palestina. It 
is in vain for him to persuade us, that what hath been, can 
never be again, unless he manifest the principles which 


formerly gave it life and being, to be vanished out of the 
vv'orld ; which as to those of the Romanists, tending to the 
disturbance of these kingdoms, I fear he is not able to do. 

There is not any thing else which Protestants are uni- 
versally bound to observe in the course of his life, before he 
went beyond the seas, but only the offence he took at men's 
preaching at London against popery ; not that he was then 
troubled, if we may believe him, that popery was ill re- 
ported of, but the miscarriage of the preachers in bringing 
in the papal church hand over head in their sermons, speak- 
ing all evil and no good of it, and charging it with contra- 
dictions, was that which gave him distaste. He knows 
himself best what it was that troubled him, nor shall I set 
up conjectures against his assertions. The triple evil men- 
tioned, so far as it is evil, I hope he finds now remedied. 
For my part, I never liked of men's importune diversions 
from their texts, to deal with, or confute Papists, which is 
the first part of the evil complained of. I know a far more 
effectual way to preserve men from popery, namely, a solid 
instruction of them in the principles of truth, with an en- 
deavour to plant in their hearts the power of those princi- 
ples, that they may have experience of their worth and 
usefulness. That nothing but evil was spoken of popery 
by Protestants, when they spake of it, I cannot wonder ; 
they account nothing evil in the religion of the Romanists 
but popery ; which is the name of the evil of that religion. 
No Protestants ever denied, but that the Romanists retained 
many good things in the religion which they profess ; but 
those good things, they say, are no part of popery ; so that 
our author should not by right, have been so offended, that 
men spake no good of that, which is the expression of the 
evil of that which in itself is good, as popery is of the Pa- 
pist's Christianity. The last parcel of that which was the 
matter of his trouble and offence, he displays by sundry of 
the contradictions, which Protestants charged popery withal. 
To little purpose; for, either the things he mentions are 
not by any charged on popery, or not in that manner he ex- 
presseth, or the contradiction between them consists not in 
the assertions themselves, but in some additional terms sup- 
plied by himself, to make them appear contradictions. For 
instance (to take those given by himself), if one say, the 


Papists worship stocks and stones, another say, they wor- 
ship a piece of bread, here is no contradiction. Again, if 
one charge them with having their consciences affrighted 
with purgatory and doomsday, and penances for their sins, 
that they never live a quiet life ; another, that they carry 
their top and top -gallant so high, that they will go to 
heaven without Christ, or (as we in the country phrase it), 
trust not to his merits and righteousness alone for salva- 
tion, here may be no contradiction : for all Papists are not, 
we know it well enough, of the same mould and form. 
Some may more imbibe some principles of religion tending 
in appearance to mortification, some those that lead to pride 
and presumption, and so be liable to several charges. But 
neither are these things inconsistent in themselves. Men 
in their greatest consternation of spirit from sense of pu- 
nishment, real or imaginary, wherewith they are disquieted, 
may yet proudly reject the righteousness of Christ; and if 
our author knows not this to be true, he knows nothing of 
the gospel. The next instance is of the same nature. One, 
he saith, affirms, that murders, adulteries, lies, blasphemies, 
and all sin make up the bulk of popery; another, that 
Papists are so wholly given to good works, that they place 
in them excessive confidence. I scarce believe, that he 
ever heard any thus crudely charging them with either part 
of the imagined contradictory proposition, taking popery, 
as the Protestants do, for the exorbitancy of the religion, 
which the Romanists profess ; and considering the product 
of it in the most of mankind, it may be some, by a usual 
hyperbole, have used the words first mentioned ; but, if we 
should charge the Papists for being ' wholly given to good 
works,' we should much wrong both them and ourselves, 
seeing we perfectly know the contrary. The sum of both 
these things brought into one, is but this. That many Papists, 
in the course of a scandalously sinful life, do place much of 
their confidence in good works ; which is indeed a strange 
contradiction in principles, between their speculation and 
practice ; but we know well enough, there is none in the 
charge. Let us consider one more ; one affirmed, that the 
pope and all his Papists fall down to pictures, and commit 
idolatry with them; another, that the pope is so far from 
falling down to any thing, that he exalts himself above all 


that is called God, and is very antichrist. If one had said, 
he falls down to images, another, that he falls not down to 
images, there had been a contradiction indeed ; but our 
author by his own testimony being a civil logician, knows 
well enough that the falling down in the first proposition, 
and that in the second are things of a diverse nature, and so 
are no contradiction. A man may fall down to images, and 
yet refuse to submit himself to the power that God hath set 
over him. And those of whom he speaks, would have told 
him, that a great part of the pope's exalting himself against 
God, consists in his falling down to images, wherein he 
exalts his own will and tradition, against the will and ex- 
press commands of God. The same may be shewed of all 
the following instances, nor can he give any one that shall 
manifest popery to be charged by sober Protestants with 
any other contradictions, than what appears to every eye in 
the inconsistency of some of their principles one with an- 
other, and of most of them with their practice. In the par- 
ticulars by himself enumerated, there is no other shew of 
the charge of contradictory evils in popery, than what by 
his additions and wresting expressions is put upon them. 

Weary of such preaching in England, our author ad- 
dressed himself to travel beyond the seas, where what he 
met withal, what he observed, the weight and strength of 
his own conversion being laid in pretence upon it (indeed 
an apology for the more generally excepted against parts of 
his Roman practice and worship, being intended and pur- 
sued), must be particularly considered and debated. 




Sect. 22. The title our author gives to his first head of ob- 
servation, is ' Messach/ on what account I know not; unless 
it be with respect to a ridiculous Hebrew etymology of the 
word * missa ;' as though it should be the same with HDD a 
word quite of another signification. If this be that which 
his title intends, I wish him better success in his next ety- 
mologizing, for this attempt hath utterly failed him. 'Missa' 
never came out of the east, nor hath any affinity with those 
tongues ; being a word utterly unknown to the Syrians ; 
and Grecians also, by whom all Hebrew words that are used 
in religion came into Europe. He that will trouble himself 
to trace the pedigree of 'missa,' shall find it of no such an- 
cient stock, but a word that, with many others, came into 
use in the destruction of the Roman empire, and the cor- 
ruption of the Latin tongue. But as it is likely our author 
having not been accustomed to feed much upon Hebrew 
roots, might not perceive the insipidness of this pretended 
traduction of the word 'missa,' so also on the other side, it is 
not improbable, but that he might only by an uncouth word 
think to startle his poor countrymen, at the entrance of the 
story of his travels, that they might look upon him as no 
small person who hath the ' Messach,' and such other hard 
names, at his fingers' ends ; as the Gnostics heightened their 
disciples into an admiration of them by * Paldabaoth, Asta- 
phsbum,' and other names of the like hideous noise and 

Of the discourse upon this ' Messach' whatever it is, there 
are sundry parts. That he begins with, is a preference of 
the devotion of the Romanists incomparably above that of 
the Protestants. This was the entrance of his discovery. 
Catholics' bells ring oftener than ours, their churches are 
swept cleaner than ours ; yea, ours in comparison of theirs 
are like stables to a princely palace ; their people are longer 
upon their knees than ours, and upon the whole matter they 
are excellent every way in their worship of Gocl, we every 


way blameworthy and contemptible : unto all which, 1 shall 
only mind him of that good old advice ; ' Let thy neighbour 
praise thee, and not thine own mouth.' And as for us, I 
hope we are not so bad, but that we should rejoice truly to 
hear that others were better. Only we could desire, that 
we might find their excellency to consist in things not either 
indifferent wholly in themselves, or else disapproved by 
God, which are the ways that hypocrisy usually vents itself 
in, and then boast of what it hath Hone. Knowledge of 
God and his will, as revealed in the gospel, real mortifica- 
tion, abiding in spiritual supplications, diligent in universal 
obedience, and fruitfulness in good works, be, as I suppose, 
the things which render our profession beautiful, and ac- 
cording to the mind of God. If our author be able to make 
a right judgment of these things, and find them really 
abounding amongst his party, I hope we shall rejoice with 
him, though we knew the spring of them is not their popery, 
but their Christianity. For the outside-shews he hath as 
yet instanced in, they ought not in the least to have in- 
fluenced his judgment in that disquisition of the truth, 
wherein he pretends he was engaged. He could not of old 
have come amongst the professors and ' mystse' of those false 
relio^ions, which, by the light and power of the gospel, are 
now banished out of the world, where he should not have 
met with the same wizards and appearances of devotion, '^so 
that hitherto we find no great discoveries in his ' Messach.' 
From the worship of the parties compared, he comes to 
their preaching, and finds them as differing as their devotion. 
The preaching of Protestants of all sorts, is sorry pitiful 
stuff. Inconsequent words, senseless notions, or at least 
rhetorical flourishes, make it up 5 the Catholics grave and 
pithy. Still all this belongs to persons, not things. Pro- 
testants preach as well as they can, and if they cannot 
preach so well as his wiser Romanists, it is their unhappi- 
ness, not their fault. But yet I have a little reason to think, 
that our author is not altogether of the mind that here he 
pretends to be of, but that he more hates and fears, than 
despises the preaching of Protestants. He knows well 
enough what mischief it hath wrought his party, though 
prejudice will not suffer him to see what good it hath done 
the world; and therefore doubting, as I suppose, lest he 


should not be able to prevail with his readers to believe him 
in that, winch he would fain, it may be, but cannot believe 
himself, about the excellency of the preaching of his Ca- 
tholics above that of Protestants, he decries the whole work 
as of little or no use or concernm.nt in Christian religion. 
This it had been fair for him to have openly pleaded, and 
not to have made a flourish with that which he knew he 
could make no better work of. Nor is the preaching of the 
Protestants, as is pretended, unlike that of the ancients. 
The best and most famous preacher of the ancient church, 
whose sermons are preserved, was Chrysostom. We know, 
the way of his proceeding in that work was to open the 
words and meaning of his text; to declare the truth con- 
tained and taught in it, to vindicate it from objections, to 
confirm it by other testimonies of Scripture, and to apply 
all unto practice in the close. And as far as I can observe, 
this, in general, is that method used by Protestants, being 
that indeed, which the very nature of the work dictates unto 
them ; wherefore mistrusting lest he should not be able to 
bring men out of love with the preaching of Protestants, in 
comparison of the endeavours of his party in the same kind, 
he turns himself another way, and labours to persuade us, as 
I said, that preaching itself is of httle or no use in Christian 
religion; for so he may serve his own design, he cares not, 
it seems, openly to contradict tlie practice of the church of 
God, ever since there was a church in the world. To avoid 
that charge he tells us, ' That the apostles and apostolical 
churches had no sermons, but all their preaching was merely 
for the conversion of men to the faith, and when this was 
done, there was an end of their preaching,' and for this'he 
instanceth in the sermons mentioned in the Acts, chap, 
ii. iii. V. vii. viii. x. xiii. xiv. xvi. xviii. — xx. xxii. xxiv. 
xxvi. xxviii. I wonder what he thinks of Christ himself, 
whether he preached or no in the temple, or in the syna- 
gogues of the Jews ; and whether the Judaical church, to 
whose members he preached, were not then a true, yea, the 
only church in the world; and whether Christ was not 
anointed and sent to preach the gospel to them? If he know 
not this, he is very ignorant ; if he doth know it, he is some- 
what that deserves a worse name : to labour to exterminate 
that out of the religion of Christ, which was one of the chief 


works of Christ (for we do not read that he went up and 
down singing mass, though I have heard of a friar, that con- 
ceived that to be his employment), is a work unbecoming 
any man, that would count himself wronged not to be es- 
teemed a Christian. But whatever Christ did, it may be, it 
matters not; the apostles and apostolical churches had no 
sermons, but only such as they preached to infidels and Jews 
to convert them ; that is, they did not labour to instruct 
men in the knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel, to 
build them up in their faith, to teach them more and more 
the good knowledge of God, revealing unto them the whole 
counsel of his will. And is it possible that any man who 
hath ever read over the New Testament, or any one of Paul's 
epistles, should be so blinded by prejudices, and made so 
confident in his assertions, as to dare in the face of the sun, 
whilst the Bible is in every one's hand, to utter a matter 
so devoid of truth and all colour or pretence of probability ? 
Methinks men should think it enough to sacrifice their con- 
sciences to their Moloch, without casting wholly away their 
reputation to be consumed in the same flames. It is true, 
the design of the story of the Acts, being to deliver unto us 
the progress of the Christian faith, by the ministry of the 
apostles, insists principally on those sermons which God in 
an especial manner blessed to the conversion of souls, and 
increase of the church thereby; but, is there therefore no 
mention made of preaching in it, to the edification of their 
converts ? or, is there no mention of preaching, unless it be 
said, that such a one preached at such a time, so long, on 
such a text ? When the people abode in the apostle's doc- 
trine. Acts ii. 42. I think the apostle taught them. And 
the ministry of the word, which they gave themselves unto, 
was principally in reference unto tlie church ; chap, vii, 4. 
So Peter and John preached the word to those whom Philip 
had converted at Samaria; chap, xviii. 25. A whole year 
together Paul and Barnabas assembled themselves together 
with the church of Antioch, and taught much people ; chap, 
xi. 26. At Troas Paul preached unto them who came to- 
gether to break bread (that is, the church), until midnight, 
chap. XX. 7. 9. which, why our author calls a dispute, or, 
what need of a dispute there was, when only the church 
was assembled, neitlier I nor he do know. And, ver, 20. 27. 


he declares, that his main work and employment was con- 
stant preaching to the disciples and churches ; giving com- 
mands to the elders of the churches to do the same. And 
what his practice was, during his imprisonment at Rome, 
the close of that book declares. And these not footsteps, 
but express examples of, and precepts concerning, preach- 
ing to the churches themselves, and their disciples, we have 
in that book, purposely designed to declare their first calling 
and planting, not their progress and edification. Should I 
trace the commands given for this work, the commendation 
of it, the qualifications and gifts for it bestowed on men by 
Christ, and his requiring of their exercise, recorded in the 
epistles, the work would be endless, and a good part of most 
of them must be transcribed. In brief, if the Lord Christ 
continue to bestow ministerial gifts upon any, or to call 
them to the office of the ministry ; if they are bound to la- 
bour in the word and doctrine, to be instant in season, and 
out of season in preaching the word to those committed to 
their charge ; if that be one of the directions given them, 
that they may know how to behave themselves in the church, 
the house of God ; if they are bound to trade with the talents 
their master intrusts them with, to attend unto doctrine 
with all diligence; if it be the duty of Christians to labour 
to grow and increase in the knowledge of God and his will, 
and that of indispensable necessity unto salvation, accord- 
ing to the measure of the means God is pleased to afford 
unto them ; if their perishing through ignorance will be as- 
suredly charged on them who are called to the care, and 
freedom, and instructing of them ; this business of preaching, 
is an indispensable duty among Christians. If these things 
be not so indeed, for ought I know, we may do what our 
adversary desires us; even burn our bibles, and that as 
books that have no truth in them. Our author's denial of 
the practice of antiquity, conformable to this of the apostles, 
is of the same nature. But, that it would prove too long a 
diversion from my present work, I could as easily trace 
down the constant sedulous performance of this duty from 
the days of the apostles, until it gave place to that ignorance 
which the world was beholden to the papal apostacy for, as 
I can possibly write so much paper, as the story of it would 
take up. But to what purpose should I do it? Our author. 


I presume, knows it well enough ; and others, I hope, will 
not be too forward in believing his affirmations of what he 
believes not himself. 

The main design of this discourse is, to cry up the sacri- 
fice-that the Catholics have in their churches, but not the 
Protestants. This sacrifice he tells us, was 'the sura of all 
apostolical devotion, which Protestants have abolished.' 
Strange! that in all the writings of the apostles, there 
should not one word be mentioned of that which was the 
sum of their devotion. Things, surely, judged by our au- 
thor of less importance, are at large handled in them. That 
they should not directly, nor indhectly, once intimate that 
which, it seems, was the sum of their devotion, is, I con- 
fess, to me somewhat strange. They must make this con- 
cealment, either by design or oversight. How consistent 
the first is with their goodness, holiness, love to the church ; 
the latter with their wisdom and infallibility, either with 
their office and duty, is easy to judge. Our author tells us, 
' They have a sacrifice after the order of Melchisedec' 
Paul tells us, indeed, that we have a high-priest after the 
order of Melchisedec ; but, as I remember, this is the first 
time that ever I heard of a sacrifice after the order of Mel- 
chisedec; though I have read somewhat that Roman Ca- 
tholics say about Melchisedec's sacrifice. Our priest after 
the order of Melchisedec, offered a sacrifice, that none ever 
had done before, nor can do after him, even himself. If the 
Romanists think to offer him, they must kill him. The 
species of bread and wine are but a thin sacrifice, next door 
to nothing, yea, somewhat worse than nothing, a figment of 
a thin^ impossible, or the shadow of a dream, nor will they 
say they are any. It is true, which our author pleads in 
justification of the sacrifice of his church, that there were 
sacrifices among the Jews, yea, from the beginning of the 
world, after the entrance of sin, and promise of Christ to 
come, made to sinners. For in the state of innocency, there 
was no sacrifice appointed, because there was no need of 
an atonement. But all these sacrifices, properly so called, 
had no other use in religion, than to prefigure and represent 
the great sacrifice of himself to be made, by the Son of God, 
in the fulness of time. That being once performed, all other 
sacrifices were to cease ; I mean, properly so called ; for we 


Lave still sacrifices metaphorical, called so by analogy, 
being parts of God's worship tendered unto him, and ac- 
cepted with him, as were the sacrifices of old. Nor is it at 
all necessary that we should have proper sacrifices, that we 
may have metaphorical. It is enough, that such there have 
been, and that of God's own appointment. And we have 
still that only one real sacrifice, which was the life and 
soul of all them that went before. The substance being 
come, the light shadowing of it, that was before under the 
law, is vanished. The apostle doth expressly place the op- 
position that is between, the sacrifice of the Christian church, 
and that of the Judaical in this, that they were often re- 
peated, this was performed once for all, and is a living 
abiding sacrifice, constant in the church for ever; Heb. x. 
1, 2. So that, by this rule, the repetition of the same, or 
any other sacrifice in the Christian church, can have no 
other foundation, but an apprehension of the imperfection 
of the sacrifice of Christ ; for, saith he, where the sacrifice 
is perfect, and makes them perfect that come to God by it, 
there must be no more sacrifice. This then seems to be the 
real difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics 
in this business of sacrifice. Protestants believing the sa- 
crifice of Christ to be absolutely perfect, so that there is no 
need of any other, and that it is bdog Trpoff^arot." koL t^wtra, ' a 
fresh and living way' of going to God continually, with 
whom, by it, obtaining remission of sin, they know there is 
no more offering for sin ; they content themselves with that 
sacrifice of his, continually in its virtue and efficacy re- 
aiding in the church. Romanists looking on that as imper- 
fect, judge it necessary to institute a new sacrifice of their 
own, to be repeated every day, and that without any the 
least colour or warrant from the word of God, or example of 
the apostles. But our author puts in an exception, and 
tells us those words of Luke, Acts xiii. 2. Xutovq-^ovvtidv 
^e avTtov T(^ Kvpuo, are well and truly rendered by Erasmus, 
* sacrificantibus illis Domino :' which one text, saith he, 
gives double testimony to apostolical sacrifice and priestly 
ordination ; and he strengthens the authority of Erasmus 
with reason also, for the ' word can import nothing but sa- 
crifice, since it was made t(^ Kvpiio : for other inferior mi- 
nisteries of the word and sacraments are not made to God, 



but the people ; but the apostles were XHTovpyovvng t^i" 
Kvpi(J^), administering, liturgying, sacrificing to our Lord/ 
For what he adds of ordination, it belongs not unto this 
discourse. Authority and reason are pleaded to prove, I 
know not what, sacrifice to be intended in these words. 
Erasmus is first pleaded, to whose interpretation, mentioned 
by our author, I shall only add his own annotations in the 
explication of his meaning; XetroupyovjUfivoc, saith he, 'Quod 
proprium est operantium sacris, nullum autem sacrificium 
Deo gratius, quam impartiri doctrinam evangelicam.' So 
that it seems the preaching of the gospel, or taking care 
about it, was the sacrifice that Erasmus thought of in his 
translation and exposition : yea, but the word is truly 
translated ' sacrificantibus.' But who, I pray, told our au- 
thor so ? The original of the word is of a much larger signi- 
fication. Its common use is, to minister in any kind ; it is 
so translated and expounded by all learned impartial men, 
and is never used in the whole New Testament to denote 
sacrificing. Nor is mr ever rendered in the Old Testa- 
ment by the LXX. XnTovpyta or XnTovpyla), but Qvaia, Ov- 
aiaafia, Sv/xa, Ov/xiafia, bXoKavrwfxa, a^ayiov, Ovoj, &c. Nor 
is that word used absolutely in any author, profane or ec- 
clesiastical, to signify, precisely, sacrificing. And I know 
well enough what it is that makes our author say, it is pro- 
perly translated * sacrificing ;' and I know as well that he 
cannot prove what he says ; but he gives a reason for what 
he says, it is said ' to be made to the Lord, whereas other 
inferior ministerial acts are made to the people.' I wish 
heartily he would once leave this scurvy trick of cogging in 
words, to deceive his poor unwary reader ; for what, I pray, 
makes his 'made' here ? What is it that is said to be made 
to the Lord ? It is, 'when they were ministering to the Lord,' 
so the words are rendered ; not when they were making, or 
making sacrifice, or when they made sacrificing unto the 
Lord. This wild gourd, * made,' puts death into his pot. 
And we think here in England, that in all ministerial acts, 
though performed towards the people, and for their good, 
yet men administer to the Lord in them, because performing 
them by his appointment, as a part of that worship which 
he requires at their hands. In the close of our author's 
discourse, he complains of the persecutions of Catholics ; 


which whatever they are, or have been, for my part I neither 
approve nor justify; and do heartily wish they had never 
shewed the world those ways of dealing with them, who 
dissented from them in things concerning religion, whereof 
themselves now complain ; how justly, I know not. But if 
it be for the mass that any of them have felt, or do fear 
suffering, which I pray God avert from them, I hope they 
will at length come to understand how remote it is from 
having any affinity with the devotion of the apostolical 
churches, and so free themselves, if not from suffering, yet 
at least from suffering for that which being not accepted 
with God, will yield them no solid gospel consolation in what 
they may endure or undergo. 


Blessed Virgin. 

Sect. 23. p. 267. The twenty-second paragraph concerning 
the blessed Virgin, is absolutely the weakest and most dis- 
ingenuous in his whole discourse. The work he hath in 
hand is to take off offence from the Roman doctrine and 
practice, in reference unto her. Finding that this could not 
be handsomely gilded over, being so rotten and corrupt, as 
not to bear a new varnish, he turns his pen to the bespatter- 
ing of Protestants, for contempt of her, without the least 
respect to truth or common honesty. Of them it is that he 
says, 'That they vilify and blaspheme her, and cast gibes 
upon her,' which he sets off with a pretty tale of ' a Protes- 
tant bishop and a Catholic boy ;' and lest this should not 
suffice to render them odious, he would have some of them 
thought to • taunt at Christ himself;' one ' of them for ig- 
norance, passion, and too much haste for his breakfast.* 
Boldly to calumniate, that something may cleave, is a prin- 
ciple that too many have observed in their dealings with 
others in the world. But as it contains a renunciation of 
the religion of Jesus Christ, so it hath not always well suc- 
ceeded. The horrid and incredible reproaches that were 
cast by the pagans on the primitive Christians, occasioned 
L 2 


sundry ingenuous persons to search more into their way, 
than otherwise they would have done ; and thereby, their 
conversion. And I am persuaded this rude charge on Pro- 
testants, as remote from truth as any thing that was cast on 
the first Christians by their adversaries, would have the 
same effects on Roman Catholics, might they meet with the 
same ingenuity and candour. That any Protestant should 
be moved or shaken in his principles by such calumnies, is 
impossible. Every one that is so, knows, that as the Pro- 
testants believe every thing that is spoken of the blessed 
Virgin in the Scripture, or creed, or whatever may be law- 
fully deduced from what is so spoken, so they have all 
that honour and respect for her, which God will allow to be 
given to any creature. Surely a confident accusation of 
incivility and blasphemy, for not doing that which they 
know they do, and profess to all the world they do, is more 
like to move men in their patience towards their accusers, 
than to prevail with them to join in the same charge against 
others, whom they know to be innocent as themselves. 
Neither will it relieve our author in point of ingenuity and 
truth, that, it may be, he hath heard it reported of one or 
two brainsick or frantic persons in England, that they have 
cast out blasphemous reproaches against the blessed mother 
of God. It is credibly testified, that pope Leo should, be- 
fore witnesses, profess his rejoicing at the advantages they 
had at Rome, by the fable of Christ. Were it handsome 
now in a Protestant to charge this blasphemy upon all 
Papists, though uttered by their head and guide ; and to 
dispute against them from the confession of the Jews, who 
acknowledge the story of his death and suffering to be true; 
and of the Turks, who have a great honour and veneration 
for him unto this day. Well may men be counted Catho- 
lics, who walk in such paths, but I see no ground or reason 
why we should esteem them Christians. Had our author 
spoken to the purpose, he should have proved the lawful- 
ness ; or if he had spoken to his own purpose, with any 
candour of mind, or consistency of purpose, in the pursuit 
of his design, have gilded over the practice of giving di- 
vine honour to the holy Virgin ; or worshipping her with 
adoration, as Protestants say, due to God alone ; of as- 
cribing all the titles of Christ unto her, turning Lord, in the 


psaims, in most places, into Lady; praying to her, not only 
to entreat, yea, to command her Son to help and save them, 
but to save them herself, as she to whom her Son hath com- 
mitted the administration of mercy, keeping that of justice 
to himself; with many other the like horrid blasphemies, 
which he shall hear more of, if he desire it. But instead of 
this difficult task, he takes up one, which, it seems, he 
looked on as far easier, falsely to accuse Protestants of 
blaspheming her. We usually smile in England at a short 
answer that one is said to have given Bellarmine's works ; 
I hope I may say without offence, that if it were not un- 
civil, it might suffice for an answer to this paragraph. But 
though most men will suppose that our author hath over- 
shot himself, and gone too far in his charge, he himself 
thinks he hath not gone far enough ; as well knowing there 
are some bounds, which when men have passed, their only 
course is to set a good face upon the matter, and to dare on 
still. Wherefore, to convince us of the truth of what he 
had delivered concerning Protestants reviling and blas- 
pheming the blessed Virgin, he tells us, that it is no wonder, 
seeing some of them in foreign parts, have uttered words 
against the very honour of Jesus Christ himself. To make 
this good, Calvin is placed in the van, who is said, *to taunt 
at his ignorance and passion, and too much haste for his 
breakfast, when he cursed the fig-tree, who if, as is pretended, 
he had studied Catholic divines, they would have taught 
him a more modest and pious interpretation.' It is quite 
beside my purpose and nature of the present discourse, to 
recite the words of private men, and to contend about their 
sense and meaning. I shall therefore only desire the 
reader, that thinks himself concerned in this report, to 
consult the place in Calvin pointed unto; and if he finds 
any such taunts, as our author mentions, or any thing de- 
livered concerning our Lord Christ, but what may be con- 
firmed by the judgment of all the ancient fathers, and many 
learned Romanists, I will be content to lose my reputation 
with him, for any skill in judging at the meaning of an 
author. But what thoughts he will think meet to retain 
for this informer, I leave to himself. What Catholic di- 
vines Calvin studied, I know not; but I am sure, if some of 
those whom his adviser accounts so, had not studied him. 


they had never stole so much out of his comments on the 
Scripture, as they have done. The next primitive Protes- 
tants that are brought in, to make good this charge, are 
Servetus, Gibraldus, Lismaninus, and some other antitrinita- 
rian heretics ; in opposition to whose errors, both in their 
first rise, and after progress, under the management of 
Faustus Socinus, and his followers, Protestants all Europe 
over, have laboured far more abundantly, and with far 
greater success, than all his Roman Catholics. It seems 
they must now all pass for primitive Protestants, because 
the interest of the Catholic cause requires it should be 
so. This is a communicable branch of papal omnipotency, 
to make things and persons to be, what they never were. 
From them, a return is made again to Luther, Brentius, 
Calvin, Zuinglius, who are said to nibble at arianism, and 
shoot secret darts at the trinity ; though all impartial men 
must needs confess, that they have asserted and proved the 
doctrine of it, far more solidly than all the schoolmen in the 
world were able to do. But the main weight of the dis- 
course of this paragraph lies upon the pretty tale in the 
close of it, about a Protestant bishop and a Catholic boy; 
which he must be a very Cato that can read without smiling. 
It is a little too long to transcribe, and I cannot tell it over 
again without spoiling of it, having never had that faculty 
in gilding of little stories, wherein our author excelleth. 
The sum is, that the boy being reproved by the bishop for 
saying a prayer to her, boggled at the repetition of her 
name when he came to repeat his creed, and cried, ' My 
Lord, here she is again, what shall I do with her now?' To 
whom the bishop replied, ' You may let her pass in your 
creed, but not in your prayers.' Whereupon our author sub- 
joins, ' as though we might have faith, but neither hope nor 
charity for her.' Certainly, I suppose, my countrymen can- 
not but take it ill, that any man should suppose them such 
stupid blockheads as to be imposed on with sophistry, that 
they may feel through a pair of mittens ; ' Tam vacui capitis 
populum Phseaca putasti V For my part, I can scarce think 
it worth the while to relieve men that will stoop to so naked 
a lure. But that I may pass on, I will cast away one word, 
which nothing but gross stupidity can countenance from 
needlessness. The blessed Virgin is mentioned in the 


creed, as the person of whom our Saviour was born : and 
we have therefore faith for her; that is, we believe that 
Christ was born of her ; but do we therefore believe in her ? 
Certainly no more than we do in Pontius Pilate, concerning 
whom we believe that Christ was crucified under him : a bare 
mention in the creed, with reference to somewhat else be- 
lieved in, is a thing in itself indifferent ; and we see occa- 
sionally befell the best of women, and one of the worst of 
men; and what hope and charity should we thence conclude 
that we ought to have for her? We are past charitable 
hopes that she is for ever blessed in heaven, having full as- 
surance of it. But if by hope for her, he means the placing 
of our hope, trust, and confidence in her, so as to pray unto 
her, as his meaning must be, how well this follows from the 
place she hath in the creed, he is not a man who is not able 
to judge. 



Sect. 24. The next excellency of the Roman church, which, 
so exceedingly delighted our author in his travels, is their 
images. It was well for him that he travelled not in the 
days of the apostles, nor for four or five hundred years after 
their decease. Had he done so, and, in his choice of a reli- 
gion, would have been influenced by images and pictures, 
he had undoubtedly turned pagan (or else a Gnostic ; for 
those pretended Christians, indeed wretches worse than 
pagans, as Epiphanius informs us, had got images of Christ, 
which they said were made in the days of Pontius Pilate, if 
not by him). Their temples being richly furnished and 
adorned with them, whilst Christian oratories were utterly 
destitute of them. To forward also his inclination, he would 
have found them not the representations of ordinary men, 
but of famous heros, renowned throughout the whole world 
for their noble achievements and inventions of things ne- 
cessary to human life ; and those pourtrayed to the life, in 
the performance of those actions which were so useful to 


mankind, and by which they had stirred up just admiration 
of their virtue in all men. Moreover, he would have found 
their learned men, profound philosophers, devout priests and 
virgins, contemning the Christians for want of those helps 
to devotion towards God, which in those images they en- 
joyed; and objecting to them their rashness, fury, and ig- 
norance in demolishing of them. As far as I can perceive 
by his good inclination to this excellency of religion (the 
imagery of it), had he lived in those days, he would have as 
easily bid adieu to Christianity, as he did in these to pro- 

But the excellent thoughts he tells us that such pictures 
and images are apt to cast into the minds of men, makes 
them come to our mount Zion, the city of the living God, 
to celestial Jerusalem and society of angels, and so onward, 
as his translation somewhat uncouthly and improperly ren- 
ders that place of the apostle, Heb. xii. A man indeed dis- 
traught of his wits, might possibly entertain some such 
fancies upon his entering of a house full of fine pictures 
and images; but that a sober man should do so is very un- 
likely. It is a sign how well men understand the apostle's 
words, when they suppose themselves furthered in their 
meditation on them by images and pictures ; and yet it were 
well if this abuse were all the use of them in the Romish 
church : I wish our author would inform us truly, whether 
many of those whom he tells us he saw so devout in their 
churches, did not layout a good part of their devotion upon 
the fine pictures and images he saw them fall down before. 
Images began first in being ignorant people's books, but 
they ended in being their gods or idols : alas, poor souls ! 
they know little of those many curious windings and turn- 
ings of mind, through the meanders of various distinctions, 
which their masters prescribe to preserve them from idolatry, 
in that veneration of images which they teach them; when 
it is easy for them to know, that all they do in this kind is 
contrary to the express will and command of God. But 
that our author may charge home upon his countrymen for 
removing of images out of churches, he tells us, that it is the 
judgment of all men, that the violation of an image re- 
dounds to the prototype. True, provided it be an image 
rightly and duly destined to represent him that is intended 


to be injured. But suppose any man, against the express 
command of a king, should make an image of him, on pur- 
pose to represent him deformed and ridiculous to the people, 
would be interpret it an injury or dishonour done unto him, 
if any one, out of allegiance, should break or tear such an 
image in pieces ? I suppose a wise and just king would look 
on such an action as a rewardable piece of service, and 
would in time take care for the punishment of him that 
made it. The hanging of traitors in effigy, is not to cast a 
dishonour upon the person represented, but a declaration 
of what he doth deserve and is adjudged unto. The psalmist 
indeed complains, that they broke down the mniDD, or 
carved works, in the walls and ceiling of the temple ; but 
that those ' apertiones,' or ' incisurae,' were not pictures and 
images for the people to adore and venerate, or were ap- 
pointed for their instruction, if our author knows not, he 
knows whither to repair to be instructed, viz. to any com- 
ment old or new, extant on that psalm. And it is no small 
confidence to use Scripture out of the Old Testament, for 
the religious use of images, of men's finding out and consti- 
tution, whereas they may find as many testimonies for more 
gods ; enough indeed, wherein the one are denied, and the 
other forbidden. 

Nor will the ensuing contemplation of the means where- 
by we come to learn things we know not, namely, by our 
senses, whence images are suited to do that by the eye, 
which sermons do by the ear, and that more effectually, 
yield him any relief in his devotion for them. There is this 
small difference between them, that the one means of in- 
struction is appointed by God himself; the other, that is 
pretended to be so, absolutely forbidden by him. 

And these fine discourses of the actuosity of the eye 
above the ear, and its faculty of administering to the fancy, 
are but pitiful weak attempts for men that have no less work 
in hand, than to set up their own wisdom in the room of, 
and above, the wisdom of God. 

And our author is utterly mistaken, if he think the sole 
end of preaching the cross and death of Christ is to work 
out such representations to the mind, as oratory may effect 
for the moving of corresponding affections. This may be 
the end of some men's rhetorical declamations about it. If 


he will a little attentively read over the epistles of Paul;, he 
will discern other ends in his preaching Christ, and him 
crucified, wliich the fancies he speaks of have morally little 
affinity withal. 

But what if Catholics having nothing to say for their 
practice in the adoration of images, seeing the Protestants 
have nothing but simple pretences for their removal out of 
churches ; these simple pretences are express reiterate com- 
mands of God : which what value they are of with the Ro- 
manists, when they lay against their ways and practice, is 
evident. The arguments of Protestants when they deal with 
the Romanists, are not directed against this or that part of 
their doctrine or practice about images, but the whole ; that 
is, the making of them, some of God himself, the placing of 
them in churches, and giving them religious adoration ; not 
to speak of the abominable miscarriages of many of their 
devotionists in teaching, or of their people in committing 
with them as gross idolatry as ever any of the ancient hea- 
thens did ; which shall at large be proved, if our author 
desires it. Against this principle and whole practice, one 
of the Protestant's pretences, as they are called, lays in the 
second commandment, wherein the making of all images 
for any such purpose is expressly forbidden : but the ' same 
God,' say they, ' commanded cherubims to be made, and 
placed over the ark.' He did so; but I desire to know, 
what the cherubs were images of; and that they would 
shew he ever appointed them to be adored, or to be the im- 
mediate objects of any veneration, or to be so much as his- 
torical means of instruction, being always shut up from the 
view of the people, and representing nothing that ever had 
a real subsistence ' in rerum natura.' Besides, who appointed 
them to be made ? As I take it, it was God himself, who did 
therein no more contradict himself, than he did when he 
commanded his people to spoil the Egyptians, having yet 
forbid all men to steal. His own special dispensation of a 
law, constitutes no general rule. So that (whoever are 
blind or fools) it is certain, that the making of images for 
religious veneration is expressly forbidden of God unto the 
sons of men. But, alas ! 'they were foreign images, the 
ugly faces of Moloch, Dagon, Ashtaroth ; he forbade not his 
own.' Yea, but thev are images or likenesses of himself. 


that ill the first place, and principally, he forbids them to 
make, and he enforceth his command upon them from hence, 
that when he spake mito them in Horeb, they saw no man- 
ner of similitude; Deut. v. 15. which surely concerned not 
the ugly face of Moloch. And it is a very pretty fancy of 
our author, and inferior to none of the like kind that we 
have met with, that they have in their Catholic churches 
both, 'Thou shalt not make graven images,' and 'Thou 
shalt make graven images ;' because they have the image of 
St. Peter, not of Simon Magus ; of St. Benedict, or good St. 
Francis, not of Luther and Calvin. I desire to know where 
they got that command, ' Thou shalt make images V In the 
original and all the translations, lately published in the 
Biblia Polyglotta, it is, ' Thou shalt not.' So it is in the 
writings of all the ancients ; as for this new command, 
'Thou shalt make graven images,' I cannot guess from 
whence it comes ; and so shall say no more about it. Only 
I shall ask him one question in good earnest, desiring his 
resolution the next time he shall think fit to make the world 
merry with his witty discourses ; and it is this : Suppose 
the Jews had not made the images of Jannes and Jambres, 
their Simon Magus's, but of Moses and Aaron, and had 
placed them in the temple and worshipped them as Papists 
do the images of Peter or the blessed Virgin, whether he 
thinks it would have been approved of God or no? I fear, 
he will be at a stand. But I shall not discourage him by 
telling him beforehand what will befall him, on what side 
soever he determines the question. 

He will not yet have done, but tells us, the precept lies 
in this. That ' men shall not make to themselves :' as if he 
had said, ' When you come into the land among the Gen- 
tiles, let none of you make to himself any of the images he 
shall see there set up by the inhabitants contrary to the law 
of Moses, and the practice of the synagogue, which doth so 
honour her cherubims, that she abominates all idols and 
their sculpture ; and thus if any Catholic should make to 
himself contrary to what is allowed, any peculiar image of 
the planets,' &.c. But that * Nil admirari' relieves me, I 
should be at a great loss in reading these things ; for truly 
a man would think, that he that talks at this rate had read 
the Bible no otherwise than he would have our people to 


do it, that is, not at all. I would I could prevail with him 
for once to read over the book of Deuteronomy. I am per- 
suaded he will not repent him of his pains, if he be a lover 
of truth as he pretends he is. At least, he could not miss 
of the advantage of being delivered from troubling himself 
and others hereafter with such gross mistakes. If he will 
believe the author of the Pentateuch, it was the image of 
the true God that was principally intended in the prohi- 
bition of all images whatever, to be made objects of divine 
adoration, and that without any respect unto the cherubims 
over the ark, everlastingly secluded from the sight of the 
people. And the images of the false gods are but in a se- 
cond place forbidden; the gods themselves being renounced 
in the first commandment. And it is this making unto a 
man's self any image whatever, without the appointment of 
God, that is the very substance of the command. And I 
desire to know of our author, how any image made in his 
church comes to represent him to whom it is assigned, or 
to have any religious relation to him ; for instance, to St. 
Peter, rather than to Simon Magus or Judas, so that the 
honour done unto it, should redound to the one, rather than 
to the other ? It is not from any appointment of God, nor 
from the nature of the thing itself; for the carved piece of 
wood is as fit to represent Judas as Peter; not from any 
influence of virtue and efficacy from Peter into the statua, 
as the heathens pleaded for their image-worship of old. I 
think the whole relation between the image and the pre- 
tended prototype, depends solely on the imagination of him 
that made it, or him that reverenceth it. This creative 
faculty in the imagination, is that which is forbidden to all 
the sons of men in the ' Non facies tibi,' 'Thou shalt not 
make to thyself;' and when all is done, the relation sup- 
posed, which is the pretended ground of adoration, is but 
imaginary and fantastic. A sorry basis for the building 
erected on it. This whimsical termination of the worship 
in the prototype, by virtue of the imagination's creation of 
a relation between it and the image, will not free the Papists 
from downright idolatry in their abuse of images ; much 
'ess will the pretence that it is the true God they intend to 
worship, that true God having declared all images of him- 
self set up without his command, to be abominable idols. 



Latiyi service. 

Sect. 25. p. 250. The next thing he gilds over in the Roman 
practice is, that which he calls their Latin service ; that is, 
their keeping of the word of God and whole worship of the 
church (in which two all the general concernments of 
Christians do lie) from their understanding, in an unknown 
tongue. We find it true, by continual experience, that great 
successes and confidence in their own abilities, do encou- 
rage men to strange attempts ; what else could make them 
persuade themselves, that they should prevail with poor sim- 
ple mortals to believe that they have nothing to do with 
that wherein, indeed, all their chiefest concernments do lie; 
and that contrary to express direction of Scripture, univer- 
sal practice of the churches of old, common sense, and the 
broadest light of that reason, whereby they are men, they 
need not at all understand the things wherein their commu- 
nion with God doth consist, the means whereby they must 
come to know his will and way wherein they must worship 
him ? Nor doth it suffice these gentlemen to suppose, that 
they are able to flourish over their own practice with such 
pretences as may free it from blame ; but they think to ren- 
der it so desirable, as either to get it embraced willingly by 
others, or countenance themselves in imposing it upon them 
whether they will or no. But as they come short of those 
advantages, whereby this matter in former days was brought 
about, or rather come to pass ; so to think at once to cast 
those shackles on men now they are awake, which were in- 
sensibly put upon them when they were asleep, and rejected 
on the first beam of gospel light that shined about them, 
is, I hope, but a pleasing dream. Certain I am, there must 
be other manner of reasonings, than are insisted upon by 
our author, or have been by his masters as yet, that must 
prevail on any who are not on the account of other things 
willing to be deluded in this. That the most of Christians 
need never to read the Scripture, which they are commanded 
by God to meditate in day and night, to read, study, and 


grow in the knowledge of, and which by all the ancient 
fathers of the church they are exhorted unto ; that they need 
not understand those prayers which they are commanded to 
pray with understanding, and wherein lies a principal exer- 
cise of their faith and love towards God, ' are the things 
which are here recommended unto us ;' let us view the ar- 
guments, wherewith, first, the * general custom of the western 
empire, in keeping the mass and Bible in an unknown tongue 
is pleaded.' But what is a general custom of the western 
empire, in opposition to the command of God, and the evi- 
dence of all that reason that lies against it? Have we not 
an express command, not to follow a multitude to do evil ? 
Besides, what is, or ever was, the western empire unto the 
Catholicism of the church of Christ spread over the whole 
world ? Within a hundred years after Christ, the gospel 
was spread to nations, and in places whither the Roman 
power never extended itself, * Romanis inaccessa loca;' 
much less that branch of it, which he calls the western em- 
pire? But neither yet was it the custom of the western em- 
pire to keep the Bible in an unknown tongue, or to perform 
the worship of the church in such a language. Whilst the 
Latin tongue was only used by them, it was generally used 
in other things, and was the vulgar tongue of all the nations 
belonging unto it. Little was there remaining of those 
tongues in use, that were the languages of the provinces of 
it before they became so. So that though they had their 
Bible in the Latin tongue, they had it not in an unknown ; 
no more than the Grecians had, who used it in Greek. And 
when any people received the faith of Christ, who had not 
before received the language of the Romans, good men tran- 
slated the Bible into their own ; as Jerome did for the Dal- 
matians. Whatever then may be said of the Latin, there is 
no pretence of the use of an unknown tongue in the wor- 
ship of the church in the western empire, until it was over- 
run, destroyed, and broken in pieces by the northern nations, 
and possessed by them (most of them pagans), who brought 
in several distinct languages into the provinces where they 
seated themselves. After those tumults ceased, and the 
conquerors began to take up the religion of the people, into 
whose countries they were come, still retaining with some 
mixtures their old dialect; that the Scripture was not in all 


places (for in many it was) translated for their use, was the 
sin and negligence of some, who had other faults besides. 
The primitive use of the Latin tongue in the worship of 
God, and translation of the Bible into it in the western em- 
pire, whilst that language was usually spoken and read, as 
the Greek in the Grecian, is an undeniable argument of 
the judgment of the ancient church, for the use of the Scrip- 
ture and church liturgies in a known tongue. What en- 
sued on ; what was occasioned by that inundation of barba- 
rous nations, that buried the world for some ages in dark- 
ness and ignorance, cannot reasonably be proposed for our 
imitation. I hope we shall not easily be induced either to 
return unto, or embrace the effects of barbarism. But, saith 
our author, secondly, ' Catholics have the sum of Scripture, 
both for history and dogma, delivered them in their own lan- 
guage, so much as may make for their salvation ; good 
orders being set and instituted for their proficiency therein; 
and what needs any more? or why should they be farther 
permitted, either to satisfy curiosity, or to raise doubts, or 
to wrest words and examples there recorded unto their own 
ruin, as we see now by experience men are apt to do ?' 
What Catholics have, or have not, is not our present dispute. 
Whether what they have of story and dogma in their own 
language, be that which Paul calls the whole counsel of 
God, which he declared at Ephesus, I much doubt. But 
the question is, whether they have what God allows them, 
and what he commands them to make use of? We suppose 
God himself, Christ and his apostles, the ancient fathers of 
the church, any of these, or at least when they all agree, 
may be esteemed as wise as our present masters at Rome. 
Their sense is, * That all Scripture given by inspiration from 
God, is profitable for doctrine;' it seems these judge not so, 
and therefore they afford them so much of it as may tend to 
their good. For my part I know whom I am resolved to 
adhere to, let others do as seems good unto them. Nor 
where God hath commanded and commended the use of all, 
do I believe the Romanists are able to make a distribution, 
that so much of it makes for the salvation of men, the rest 
only * serves to satisfy curiosity, to raise doubts, and to oc- 
casion men to wrest words and examples.' Nor, I am sure, 
are they able to satisfy me, why any one part of the Scrip- 


ture should be apt to do this more than others. Nor will 
they say this at all of any part of their mass. Nor is it just 
to charge the fruits of the lusts and darkness of men, on the 
good word of God. Nor is it the taking away from men of 
that alone, which is able to make them good and wise, a 
meet remedy to cure their evils and follies. But these de- 
clamations against the use and study of the Scripture, I 
hope come too late. Men have found too much spiritual 
advantage by it, to be easily driven from it. Itself gives 
light to know its excellency and defend its use by. ' But 
the book is sacred,' he says, ' and therefore not to be sullied 
by every hand; what God hath sanctified, let not man make 
common.' It seems then those parts of the Scripture, which 
they afford to the people, are more useful, but less sacred, 
than those that they keep away. These reasons justle one 
another unhandsomely. Our author should have made 
more room for them ; for they will never lie quietly together. 
But what is it he means by the book? the paper, ink, let- 
ters, and covering ? His master of the schools will tell him 
these are not sacred ; if they are, the printers dedicate them. 
And it is a pretty pleasant sophism that he adds, ' That 
God having sanctified the book, we should not make it 
common.' To what end, I pray, hath God sanctified it? Is 
it that it may be laid up, and be hid from that people which 
Christ hath prayed miglit be sanctified by it ? Is it any 
otherwise sanctified, but as it is appointed for the use of the 
church of all that believe ? Is this to make it common, to 
apply it unto that use whereunto of God it is segregated ? 
Doth the sanctification of the Scripture consist in the lay- 
ing up of the book of the Bible, from our profane utensils ? 
Is this that, which is intended by the author? Would it, do 
him any good to have it granted, or further his purpose? 
Doth the mysteriousness of it lie in the books being locked 
up ? I suppose he understands this sophistry well enough, 
which makes it the worse. 

But we have other things, yet pleaded as the ' example 
of the Hebrew church, who neither in the time of Moses nor 
after, translated the Scripture into the Syriac ; yea, the 
book was privately kept in the ark or tabernacle, not touched 
or looked on by the people, but brought forth at times to 
the priest, who might upon the sabbath day read some part 


of it to the people, and put tliem in mind of their laws, re- 
ligion and duty/ 

I confess, in this passage, I am compelled to suspect 
more of ignorance than fraud ; notwithstanding the flou- 
rishing made in the distribution of the Old Testament, into 
the law, prophets, and hagiography. For first, as to the 
translation of the Scripture by the Jews into the Syriac 
tongue, to what purpose doth he suppose should this be 
done? it could possibly be for no other than that, for which 
his masters keep the Bible in Latin. 1 suppose he knows that 
at least until the captivity, when most of the Scripture was 
written, the Hebrew, and not the Syriac, was the vulgar lan- 
guage of that people. It is true, indeed, that some of the 
oble and chief men that had the transaction of affairs withd 
nneighbour nations, had learned the Syriac language towar 
the end of their monarchy; but the body of the people were 
all ignorant of it, as is expressly declared, 2 Kings xviii. 26. 
To what end then should they translate the Scripture into 
that language, which they knew not, out of that which alone 
they were accustomed to from their infancy, wherein it was 
written ? Had they done so, indeed, it would have been a 
good argument for the Romanists to have kept it in Latin, 
which their people understand almost as well as the Jews 
did Syriac. I thought it would never have been questioned, 
but that the Judaical church had enjoyed the Scripture of 
the Old Testament in their own vulgar language, and that 
without the help of a translation. But we must not be con- 
fident of any thing for the future. For the present this I 
know, that not only the whole Scripture that was given the 
church for its use before the captivity, was written in the 
tongue that they all spake and understood, but that the 
Lord sufficiently manifests, that what he speaks unto any, 
he would have it delivered unto thera in their own language; 
aivd therefore appointing the Jews what they should say 
unto the Chaldean idolaters, he expresseth his mind in the 
Chaldee tongue, Jer. x. 11. where alone, in the Scripture, 
there is any use made of a dialect, distinct from that in vul- 
gar use; and that because the words were to be spoken 
unto them, to whom that dialect was vulgar. And when, 
after the captivity, the people had learned the Chaldee lan- 
guage, some parts of some books then written, are therein 

VOL. xvm, M 


expressed to shew that it is not this or that language, which 
on its own account is to confine the compass of holy writ ; 
but that that, or those, are to be used, which the people, 
who are concerned in it, do understand. But what language 
soever it was in, ' it was kept privately in the ark or taber- 
nacle, not touched, not looked upon by the people, but 
brought forth at times to the priest :' w rav ttoIov ae lirog. 
What book was kept in the ark ? the law, prophets, and ha- 
giography ? Who told you so? A copy of the law, indeed, or 
Pentateuch, was by God's command put in the side of the 
ark, Deut. xxxi. 26. That the prophets, or hagiography, 
were ever placed there, is a great mistake of our author, 
but not so gi'eat as that that follows ; that the book placed 
in the side of the ark, ' was brought forth for the priest to 
read in on the sabbath days ;' when, as all men know, the 
ark was placed in the * sanctum sanctorum' of the tabernacle 
and temple, which only the high-priest entered, and that 
once a year, and that without liberty of bringing any thing 
out which was in it, for any use whatever. And his mis- 
take is grossest of all, in imagining that they had no other 
copies of the law or Scripture, but what was so laid up in 
the side of the ark. The whole people being commanded 
to study in it continually, and the king in special, to write 
out a copy of it with his own hand, Deut, xvii. 18. out of 
an authentic copy; yea, they were to take sentences out of 
it ; to write them on their fringes, and posts of their doors 
and houses, and on their gates; all to bind them to a con- 
stant use of them. So that this instance, on very many ac- 
counts, was unhappily stumbled on by our author, who, as 
it seems, knows very little of these things. He was then 
evidently in haste, or wanted better provision, when on this 
vain surmise, he proceeds to the encomiums of his Catholic 
mother's indulgence to her children, in leaving of the Scrip- 
ture in the hands of all that understand Greek and Latin 
(how little a portion of her family, and to a declamation 
against), the preaching and disputing of men about it, with 
a commendation of that reverential ignorance, which will 
arise in men from whom the means of their better instruc- 
tion is kept at a distance. 

Another discourse we have annexed to prove, that 'the 
Bible cannot be well translated, and that it loseth much of 


its grace aud sweetness, arising from a peculiarity of spirit 
in its writers, by any translation whatever.' I do, for ray 
part, acknowledge, that no translation is able in all things 
universally to exhibit that fulness of sense, and secret virtue, 
to intimate the truth it expresseth to the mind of a believer, 
which is in many passages of Scripture in its original lan- 
guages ; but how this will further the Romanists' pre- 
tensions, who have enthroned a translation for the use of 
their whole church, and that none of the best neither, but 
in many things corrupt and barbarous, I know not : those 
who look on the tongues wherein the Scripture was ori- 
ginally written as their fountains, if at any time they find 
the streams not so clear, or not to give so sweet a relish as 
they expected, are at liberty, if able, to repair to the foun- 
tains themselves. But those who reject the fountains, and 
betake themselves to one only stream, for ought I know, 
must abide by their ov/n inconveniencies without complain- 
ing. To say the Bible cannot be well translated, and yet 
to make use, principally at least, of a translation, with an 
undervaluing of the originals, argues no great consistency 
of judgment, or a prevalency of interest. That which our 
author in this matter sets off with a handsome flourish of 
words, and some very unhandsome similitudes, considering 
what he treats of, he sums up, p. 283. in these words; ' I 
would by all say thus much. The Bible translated out of its 
own sacred phrase into a profane and common one, loseth 
both its propriety and amplitude of meaning, and is likewise 
divested of its peculiar majesty, holiness, and spirit; which 
is reason enough, if no other, why it should be kept invio- 
late in its own style and speech.' So doth our author ad- 
vance his wisdom and judgment above the wisdom and 
judgment of all churches and nations that ever embraced 
the faith of Christ for a thousand years ; all which, not- 
withstanding what there is of truth in any of his insinua- 
tions, judged it their duty to translate the Scripture into 
their mother tongues, very many of v/hich translations are 
extant even to this day. Besides, he concludes with us in 
general ambiguous terms, as all along in other things his 
practice hath been. 

What means he by * the Bible's own sacred phrase,' op- 
posed to a profane and common one? Would not any man 
M 2 


think, that he intended the originals wherein it was written? 
But I dare say, if any one will ask him privately, he will 
give them another account ; and let them know, that it is a 
translation which he adorns with those titles ; so that upon 
the matter, he tells us, that seeing the Bible cannot be 
without all the inconveniences mentioned, it is good for us 
to lay aside the originals, and make use only of a translation, 
or at least prefer a translation before them. What shall we 
do with those men that speak such swords and daggers, 
and are well neither full nor fasting, that like the Scripture 
neither with a translation, nor without it ? Moreover, I fear, 
he knows not well, what he means by its * own sacred phrase,' 
and a 'profane common one;' Is it the syllables and words 
of this or that language, that he intends? How comes one 
to be sacred, another profane and common? The languages 
wherein the Scriptures were originally written, have been 
put to as bad uses as any under heaven ; nor is any lan- 
guage profane or common, so as that the worship of God 
performed in it, should not be accepted with him. That 
there is a frequent loss of propriety and amplitude of mean- 
ing in translations, we grant. That the Scriptures by 
translations, if good, true, and significant, according to the 
capacity and expressiveness of the languages whereinto 
they are translated, are divested of the mojesty, holiness, 
and spirit, is most untrue. The majesty, holiness, and spirit 
of the Scriptures, lie not in words and syllables, but in the 
truths themselves expressed in them : and whilst these are 
incorruptedly declared in any language, the majesty of the 
word is continued. It is much that men, preferring a tran- 
slation before the originals, should be otherwise minded; 
especially, that translation being in some parts, but the 
translation of a translation, and that the most corrupt in 
those parts, which I know extant. And this, with many 
fine words, pretty allusions, and similitudes, is the sum of 
what is pleaded by our author, to persuade men to forego 
the greatest privilege, which from heaven they are made 
partakers of, and the most necessary radical duty that in 
their whole lives is incumbent on them. It is certain, that 
the giving out of the holy Scripture from God, is an effect 
of infinite love and mercy; I suppose it no less certain that 
the end for which he gave it, was, that men by it might be 


instructed in the knowledge of his will, and their obedi- 
ence that they owe unto him, that so at length they may 
come to the enjoyment of him. This itself declares to be 
its end. I think also, that to know God, his mind and 
will, to yield him the obedience that he requires, is the 
bounden duty of every man ; as well as to enjoy him is their 
blessedness. And, can they take it kindly of those who 
would shut up this gift of God from them whether they will 
or no ? or be well pleased with them that go about to per- 
suade them that it is best for them to have it kept by others 
for them ; without their once looking into it? If I know them 
aright, this gentleman will not find his countrymen willing 
to part with their bibles on such easy terms. 

From the Scripture, concerning which he affirmeth, 'That 
it lawfully may, and in reason ought, and in practice ever 
hath been, segregated in a language not common to vulgar 
ears,' all which things are most unduly affirmed, and, because 
we must speak plainly, falsely ; he proceeds to the worship 
of the church, and pleads that that also ought to be per- 
formed in such a language. It were a long and tedious 
business, to follow him in his gilding over this practice of 
his church; we may make short work with him. As he will 
not pretend that this practice hath the least countenance 
from Scripture; so, if he can instance in any church in the 
world, that for five hundred years, at least, after it, set out 
in the use of a worship, the language whereof the people did 
not understand ; I will cease this contest. What he affirms 
of the Hebrew church keeping her rites in a language differ- 
ing from the vulgar, whether he intend before or after the 
captivity, is so untrue, as that I suppose, no ingenuous man 
would affirm it, were he not utterly ignorant of all Judaical 
antiquity, which I had cause to suspect before, that our au- 
thor is. From the days of Moses to the captivity of Ba- 
bylon, there was no language in vulgar use among the 
people, but only that wherein the Scripture was written, 
and their whole worship celebrated. After the captivity, 
though insensibly they admitted corruptions in their lan- 
guage, yet they all generally understood the Hebrew, unless 
it were the Hellenists, for whose sakes they translated the 
Scripture into Greek ; and, for the use of the residue of 
their people, who began to take in a mixture of the Syro- 


Chaldean language with their own, the Targum were found 
out. Besides, to the very utmost period of that church, 
the solemn worship performed in the temple, as to all the 
interest of words in it, was understood by the whole people, 
attending on God therein. And in that language did the 
Bible lie open in their synagogues, as is evident from the 
offer made by them to our Saviour of their books to read in, 
at his first entrance into one at Capernaum. 

These flourishes then of our orator, being not likely to 
have the least effect upon any who mind the apostolical 
advice of taking heed lest they be beguiled with enticing 
words, we shall not need much to insist upon them. This 
custom of performing the worship of God in the congrega- 
tion in a tongue unknown to the assembly, ' renders,' he tells 
lis, * that great act more majestic and venerable ;' but why, 
he declares not. A blind veneration of what men under- 
stand not, because they understand it not, is neither any 
duty of the gospel, nor any part of its worship. St. Paul 
tells us, he would pray ' with the Spirit, and pray with the un- 
derstanding also;' of this majestic shew, and blind venera- 
tion of our author. Scripture, reason, experience of the saints 
of God, custom of the ancient churches, know nothing. 
Neither is it possible to preserve in men a perpetual vene- 
ration of they know not what, nor, if it could be preserved, 
is it a thing that any way belongs to Christian religion. 
Nor can any rational man conceive, wherein consists the 
majesty of a man's pronouncing words, in matters wherein 
his concernment lies, in a tongue that he understands not. 
And I know not wherein this device for procuring venera- 
tion in men, exceeds that of the Gnostics, who fraught 
their sacred administrations with strange uncouth names 
and terms, intended, as far as appears, for no other end but 
to astonish their disciples. But then the church, he saith, 
as * opposite to Babel, had one language all the world over, 
the Latin tongue being stretched as large and as wide as the 
catholic church, and so any priest may serve in several 
countries administering presently in a place by himself or 
others converted, which are conveniencies attending this 
custom and practice.' Pretty things to persuade men to 
worship God they know not how; or to leave that unto 
others to do for tiiem, which is their own duty to perform ; 


and yet neither are they true. The church by this means is 
made rather like to Babel, than opposite unto it : the fatal 
ruining event of the division of the tongues at Babel w^as, 
that by that means they could not undei stand one another 
in what they said, and so were forced to give over that de- 
sign which before they unanimously carried on. And this 
is the true event of some men's performing the worship of 
God in the Latin tongue, which others understand not. 
Their languages are divided as to any use of language 
whatever. I believe on this, as well as on other accounts, 
our author now he is warned, will take heed how he men- 
tions Babel any more. Besides, this is not one to give one 
lip, one language, to the whole church, but in some things 
to confine some of the church unto one language, which in- 
comparably the greatest part of it do not understand. 
This is confusion, not union. Still Babel returns in it. The 
use of a language that the greatest part of men do not un- 
derstand, who are engaged in the same work, whereabout 
it is employed, is right old Babel. Nor can any thing be 
more vain than the pretence, that this ' one is stretched as 
large and as wide as the catholic church ;' far the greatest 
part of it know nothing of this tongue, nor did ever use a 
word of it in their church service ; so that the makino- of 
the use of one tongue necessary in the service of the church 
is perfectly schismatical, and renders the avowers of that 
principle, schismatics, from the greatest part of the churches 
of Christ in the world, which are, or ever were in it, since 
the day of his resurrection from the dead. And as for the 
conveniency of priests ; there where God is pleased to plant 
churches, he will provide those who shall administer in his 
name unto them, according to his mind. And those who 
have not the language of other places, as far as I know, may- 
stay at home, where they may be understood, rather than 
undertake a pilgrimage to cant before strangers, who know 
not what they mean. 

After an annumeration of these conveniences, he men- 
tions that only inconvenience, which, as he says, attends 
the solemnization of the church's worship in a tongue un- 
known, ' namely, that the vulgar people understand not what 
is said.' But as this is not the only inconvenience that 
attends it, so it is one ; if it must be called an inconveni- 


ence, and not rather a mischievous device to render the 
worship of God useless, that hath a womb full of many 
others, more than can easily be numbered ; bvit we must tie 
ourselves to what our author pleaseth to take notice of. 
I desire then to know. What are these vulgar people, of 
whom he talks ? Are they not such as have souls to save 
Are they not incomparably the greatest part of Christians? 
Are they not such as God commands to worship him? Are 
they not such, for whose sakes, benefit, and advantages, all 
the worship of the church is ordained, and all the adminis- 
tration of it appointed? Are they not those, whose good, 
welfare, growth in grace and knowledge, and salvation, the 
priests in their whole offices, are bound to seek and regard ? 
Are they not those that Christ hath purchased with his 
blood ; whose miscarriages he will require severely at the 
hands of those who undertake to be their guides, if sinning 
through a neglect of duty in them ? Are they not the church 
of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost? called to be saints? 
Or, who or what is it you mean by this vulgar people ? 
If they be those described, certainly their understanding of 
what is done in the public worship of God, is a matter of 
importance ; and your driving them from it, seems to me to 
give a * supersedeas' to the whole work itself, as to any ac- 
ceptation with God. For my part, I cannot as yet discern 
what that makes in the church of God, which this vulgar 
people must not understand ; ' but this,' saith he, ' is of no 
moment.' Why so, I pray? to me it seems of great weight. 
No, it is 'of no moment, for three reasons.' Which be 
they? 1. 'They have the scope of all set down in their 
prayer-books, 8cc. whereby they may, if they please, as 
equally conspire, and go along with the priest, as if he spoke 
in their own tongue.' But I pray, sir, tell me why, if this 
be good, that they should know something, and give a guess 
at more ; is it not better tliat they should distinctly know 
and understand it all? This reason plainly cuts the throat, 
not only of some other that went before, about the venerable 
majesty of that which is not understood, but of the whole 
cause itself. If to know what is spoken be good, the clearer 
men understand it, I think, the better. This being the ten- 
dency of this reason, we shall find the last of the three, 
justling it as useless, quite out of doors. Nor yet is there 


truth in this pretence j not one of a thousand of the people, 
do understand one word that the priest speaks distinctly in 
their whole service ; so that this is but an empty flourish. 
He tells us, 2. * Catholic people come together, not for other 
business at the mass, but only with fervour of devotion, to 
adore Christ crucified ; in that rite he is there prefigured as 
crucified before them, and by the mediation of that sacred 
blood, to pour forth their supplications for themselves and 
others ; which being done, and their good purpose of serving 
and pleasing that holy Lord, that shed his blood for us, re- 
newed, they depart in peace : this is the general purpose of 
the mass ; so that eyes and hands to lift up, knees to bow, 
and heart to melt, are there of more use than ears to hear.' 
For his Catholic people's business at mass, I shall not 
much trouble myself. Christ I know is adored by faith 
and love ; that faith and love, in the public worship of the 
church, is exercised by prayer and thanksgiving. For the 
' lifting up of the eyes and hands,' and bowing, and cringing, 
they are things indifferent, that may be used, as they are 
animated by that faith and love, and no otherwise. And I 
desire to know, 'What supplications they come to pour 
forth for themselves and others.' Their private devotions? 
They may do that at home ; the doing of it in the church, 
is contrary to the apostle's rule. Are they the public prayers 
of th«^ church? Alas, the trumpet to them, and of them, 
gives an uncertain sound. They know not how to prepare ' 
themselves to the work. Nor can they rightly say Amen, 
when they understand not what is said. So that, for my 
part, I understand not what is the business of Catholics at 
mass; or how they can perform any part of their duty to 
God in it, or at it. But what if they understand of it no- 
thing at all? He adds, 3. 'There is no need at all for the 
people to hear or understand the priest, when he speaks, or 
prays, and sacrifices to God, on their behalf. Sermons to 
the people must be made in the people's language; but 
prayers that are made to God for them, if they be made in 
a language that God understands, it is well enough.' This 
reason renders the others useless, and especially shuts the 
first out of doors. For certainly it is nothing to the purpose 
that the people understand somewhat; if it be no matter 
whether they understand any thing at all or no. But I de- 


sire to know, what prayers of the priest they are, which it 
matters not whether the people hear or understand? Are 
they his private devotions for them in his closet or cell, 
which may be made for them, as well when they are absent, 
as present, and in some respect better too ? These doubtless 
are not intended. Are they any prayers that concern the 
priest alone, which he is to repeat, though the people be 
present? No, nor these neither; at least not only these. 
But they are the prayers of the church, wherein the whole 
assembly ought to cry jointly unto Almighty God; part of 
that worship, wherein all things are to be done to edifica- 
tion; which they are in this, and the Quakers' silent meet- 
ings, much alike. Strange ! that there is no need that men 
should know or understand that which is their duty to per- 
form ; and which if they do it not, is not that which it pre- 
tends to be ; the worship of the church. Again, if the people 
neither need hear, nor understand what is spoken, I wonder 
what they make there. Can our author find any tradition 
(for, I am sure. Scripture he cannot) for the setting up of 
a dumb show in the church, to edify men by signs and 
gestures, and words insignificant? These are gallant at- 
tempts. I suppose he doth not think it was so of old ; for, 
sure I am, that all the sermons which we have of any of 
the ancients, were preached in that very language wherein 
they celebrated all divine worship ; so that if the people 
understood the sermons, as he says, * they must be made to 
them in a language they understand.' I am sure they both 
heard and understood the worship of the church also : but 
' tempora mutantur;' and if it be enough that God under- 
stands the language used in the church, we full well know 
there is no need to use any language in it at all. 

But to evidence the fertility of his invention, our author 
offers two things to confirm this wild assertion. 1. 'That 
the Jews neither heard, nor saw when their priest went into 
the ' sanctum sanctorum,' to offer prayers for them ; as we 
may learn from the gospel, where the people stood without, 
whilst Zacharias was praying at the altar.' 2. ' St. Paul at 
Corinth desired the prayers of the Romans for him at that 
distance, who also then used a language that was not used 
at Corinth.' These reasons, it seems, are thought of moment; 
let us a little poize them. For the first, our author is still 


the same in his discovery of skill in the rites and customs of 
the Judaical church ; and, being so great, as 1 imagine it is, 
I shall desire him in his next, to inform us who told him 
that Zacharias entered into the ' sanctum sanctorum' to pray, 
when the people were without: but let that pass. By the 
institution and appointment of God himself, the priests in 
their courses, were to burn incense on the altar of incense, 
in a place separated from the people, it being no part of the 
worship of the people, but a typical representation of the 
intercession of Christ in heaven, confined to the performance 
of the priests by God himself; * ergo' under the gospel, there 
is no need that the people should either learn or understand 
those prayers, which God requires by them and amongst 
them. This is civil logic. Besides, I suppose our author 
had forgot that the apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the He- 
brews, doth purposely declare how those Mosaical distances 
are now removed by Christ, a free access being granted to 
believers with their worship, to the throne of grace. But 
there is scarce a prettier fancy in his whole discourse, than 
his application of St. Paul's desiring the Romans to pray 
for him when he was at Corinth, and so consequently the 
praying of all or any of the people of God, for their absent 
friends, or the whole church, to the business in hand; espe- 
cially as it is attended with the enforcement in the close, 
that they used a language not understood at Corinth. But 
because I write not to men who care not whether they hear 
or understand, what is their duty in the greatest concern- 
ments of their souls, I shall not remove it out of the way, 
nor hinder the reader from partaking in the entertainment it 
will afford him. 

But our author foreseeing that even those with whom he 
intends chiefly to deal, might possibly remember, that St. 
Paul had long ago stated this case in 1 Cor. xiv. he finds it 
necessary to cast a blind before them, that if they will but 
fix their eyes upon it, and not be at the pains to turn to their 
bibles, as it may be some will not, he may escape that sword 
which he knows is in the way ready drawn against him ; and 
thereforetellsus, that'if any yet will be obstinate,' and which 
after so many good words spent in this business, he seems 
to marvel that they should, 'and object what the apostle 
there writes against praying and prophesying in an unknown 


tongue,' he hath three answers in readiness for him, whereof 
the first is that doubty one last mentioned ; namely, ' That 
the prayers which the apostle, when he was at Corinth, re- 
quested of the Romans for him, was to be in an unknown 
tongue to them that lived at Corinth ; when the only question 
is, whether they were in an unknown tongue to them that 
lived in Rome, who were desired to join in those supplications. 
Surely this argument, that because we may pray for a man 
when and where he knows not, and in a tongue which he un- 
derstands not, that therefore the worship of a church, all as- 
sembled together in one place, all to join together in it unto 
the edification of that whole society, may be performed in a 
language unknown to them so assembled, is not of such co- 
gency, as so'suddenly to be called over again. Wherefore let- 
ting, that pass, he tells us, the design of the apostle in that 
place is, ' to prevent the abuse of spiritual gifts, which in those 
days men had received, and especially that of tongues, which 
he lets them know, was liable to greater inconveniences than 
the rest there mentioned by him.' But what, I pray, if this 
be the design of the apostle, doth it follow that in the pur- 
suit of this design he teaches nothing concerning the use of 
an unknown tongue in the worship of God ? Could I pro- 
mise myself, that every reader did either retain in his me- 
mory what is there delivered by the apostle, or w^ould be at 
the pains on this occasion to read over the chapter, I should 
have no need to add one word in this case more. For, what 
are the words of a poor weak man to those of the Holy 
Ghost speaking directly to the same purpose? But this 
being not from all to be expected, I shall only mind them 
of some few things there determined by the apostle ; which, 
if it do but occasion him to consider the text itself, 
I shall obtain my purpose. The gift of speaking with 
strano-e tongues, being bestowed on the church of Corinth, 
that they mio^ht be a sign unto them that did not believe, of 
the power and presence of God amongst them ; ver. 22. di- 
vers of them finding, it seems, that the use of these tongues 
gave them esteem and reputation in the church, did usually 
exercise that gift in the assembly, and that with contempt 
and undervaluation of prophesying in a known tongue to the 
edification of the whole church. To prevent this abuse, the 
apostle lays down this for a standing rule, that ' all things 


are to be done in the church unto edifying ;' and that this, 
all men, as to gifts, were to seek for, that they might excel 
to the edifying of the church; that is, the instructing of 
others in knowledge, and the exciting of the grace of God in 
them. And thereupon he shews them, that whatever is 
spoken in an unknown tongue, whether it be in a way of 
prayei', or prophesying in theasserablies, indeed tends nothing 
at all to this purpose ; unless it be so, that after a man hath 
spoken in a tongue unknown, he doth interpret what he hath 
so spoken, in that language which they do understand. For, 
saith he, distribute the church into two parts, he that speaks 
with a tongue (whether he pray or preach), and those that 
hear; he that so prays and preaches, edifies and benefits 
himself; but he doth not benefit them that hear him ; and 
that because they understand not what he says, nor know 
what he means. For, saith he, such words as are not under- 
stood, are of no more use than the indistinct noise of harps, 
or the confused noise of trumpets. The words, it is true, 
have a signification in themselves; but what is that, saith 
he, to them that hear them and understand them not ? They 
can never join with him in what he speaks, nor say Amen, 
or give an intelligent assent to what he hath spoken. And 
therefore he tells them, that, for his part, he had rather 
speak five words, that being understood, might be for their 
profit, than a thousand in an unknown tongue ; which though 
they would manifest the excellency of his gift, yet would 
not at all profit the church, whether he prayed or prophesied ; 
with much more to the same purpose. It is hence evident 
to any impartial reader, that the whole strength of the apo- 
stle's discourse, and reasoning in this case, lies in this, that 
praying or prophesying in the church in a tongue unknown, 
not understood by the whole church, though known and un- 
derstood by him that useth it, is of no use, nor any way tends 
to the benefit of the church ; but is a mere confusion to be 
cast out from among them. The case is no other that lies 
before us. The priest says his prayers in a tongue that, it 
may be, is known to himself, which is no great gift; the 
people understand nothing of what he says. This, if the 
apostle may be believed, is a thing of no use, practised to 
no purpose, wherewith the people that understand not cannot 
join, whereby they are not at all profited, nor can they say 


Amen, or give a rational assent to what he speaks. Now, 
Baith our author, what is all this to the service of the church? 
I say, so much to that service which he pleads for, as that 
it is condemned by it, as altogether useless, unprofitable, 
and not to be longer insisted on; yea, and this is so much 
worse than the case proposed by the apostles, inasmuch as 
those who prayed and prophesied with tongues, received the 
gift and ability of so doing, in a miraculous murner from 
the Holy Ghost ; and therefore might with much colour of 
reason plead for the free liberty of the exercise of those gifts, 
which they had so received; but our readers of the service, 
do with much labour and pains get to read it in Latin, doing 
it by choice, without any intimation for such a practice from, 
any gift, that above others they have received. 

If all this will not do, there is that which brings up the 
rear, that shall make all plain. Namely, ' that whatever is 
pretended, yet indeed Latin is no unknown tongue, being 
the proper language of Christians, united to the Christian 
faith, as a garment to a body;' which he proves by many 
fine illustrations and similitudes ; telling us withal, that ' this 
one language is not spoken in a corner, but runs quite through 
the earth, and is common to all, as they be ranked in the se- 
ries of Christianity, wherein they are trained up by the fa- 
ther of the family, and which, in reference to religion, he 
only speaks himself.' But because, I hope, there is none of 
my countrymen so stupid as not to have the wit of the cynic, 
who when a crafty companion would prove by syllogisms, 
that there is no such thing as motion, returned him no other 
answer, but by rising up and walking; and will be able at 
least to say, that notwithstanding all these fine words, I 
know that Latin to the most of Christians is an unknown 
tono-ue ; I shall not much trouble myself to return any an- 
swer unto this discourse. That there is an abstraction of 
Christian religion, from the persons professing it, which hath 
a language peculiar unto it; that the Latin tongue hath a spe- 
cial relation to religion above any other; that it is any other 
way the trade-language of religion amongst learned men, but 
as religion comes under the notion of the things about which 
some men communicate their minds one to another; that it 
is any way understood by the thousandth part of Christians 
in the world, that constantly attend the worship of God ; and 


SO that it is not absolutely as unknown a tongue to them, 
when it is used in the service of the church, as any other in 
the world whatever, are such monstrous presumptions, as I 
wonder a rational man would make himself guilty of, by 
giving countenance unto them. For him, whom he calls the 
father of the family of Christians; if it be God he intends, 
the only Father of the family, all men know he never, to any 
of the sons of men immediately, nor by any prophet by him 
inspired, communicated his mind in Latin. If it be the pope 
of Rome, whom he ascribeth that title unto, I am sorry for 
the man; not knowing how well he could make himself 
guilty of a higher blasphemy. 



Sect. 26. In the next section, entitled 'Table,' our author 
seems to have lost more of the moderation than he pretends 
unto, and to have put a keener edge upon his spirit, than in 
any of those foregoing ; and thence it is, that he falls out 
into some more open revilings, and flourishes of a kind of a 
dispute, than elsewhere. In the entrance of his discourse, 
speaking of the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper by Protestants, wherein the laity are also made par- 
takers of the blessed cup, according to the institution of our 
Saviour, the practice of the apostles, and the universal primi- 
tive church ; this civil gentleman, who complains of unhand- 
some and unmannerly dealings of others in their writings, 
compares it to a treatment at my lord mayor's feast, adding 
scornfully enough, ' For who would not have drink to their 
meat? and what reason can be given that they should not? 
or that a feast with wine should not' ' cseteris paribus,' 'be 
better than without V If he suppose he shall be able to scoflf 
the institutions of Christ out of the world, and to laugh men 
out of their obedience unto him, I hope he will find himself 
mistaken, which is all I shall at present say unto him ; only 
I would advise him to leave for the future such unseemly 
taunts, lest he should provoke some angry men to return ex- 


pressions of the like contempt and scorn, upon the transub- 
stantiated host, which he not only fancies, but adores. 

From hence he pretends to proceed unto disputing; but 
being accustomed to a loose rhetorical sophistry, he is not 
able to take one smooth step towards the true stating of the 
matter he is to speak unto, though he says, he will argue in 
his ' plain manner,' that is, a manner plainly his, loose, in- 
concluding, sophistical. The plain story is this, Christ in- 
stituting his blessed supper, appointed bread and wine to 
be blessed and delivered unto them that he invites and ad- 
mits unto it. Of the effects of the blessing of these elements 
of bread and wine, whether it be a transubstantiation of 
them into the body and blood of Christ, to be corporeally 
eaten; or a consecration of them into such signs and sym- 
bols, as in and by the use thereof, we are made partakers of 
the body and blood of Christ, feeding really on him by faith, 
is not at all now under dispute. Of the bread and cup so 
blessed, according to the appointment of Christ, the priests 
with the Uomanists only do partake, the people of the bread 
only. This exclusion of the people from a participation of 
the cup, Protestants aver to be contrary to the institution of 
Christ, practice of the apostles, nature of the sacrament, 
constant usage of them in the primitive church, and so con- 
sequently highly injurious to the sheep of Christ, whom he 
hath bought with the price of his blood, exhibited in that 
cup unto them. Instead of arguing plainly, as he promised 
to do, in justification of this practice of the church of Rome, 
he tells us of the wine they give their people after they 
have received the body; which he knows to be in their 
own esteem a little common drink to wash their mouths, 
that no crumbs of their wafer should stick by the way. 
What he adds, of Protestants not believing that the conse- 
crated wine is transubstantiated into the blood of Christ 
(which is not the matter by himself proposed to debate), of the 
priest's using both bread and wine in the sacrifice (though 
he communicates not both unto the people), when the priest's 
delivering of the cup is no part of the sacrifice, but of the 
communion (besides he knows, that he speaks to Protes- 
tants), and so should not have pleaded his fictitious sacrifice, 
which, as distinct from the communion, Paul speaks of. 


1 Cor. xi. neither do they acknowledge, nor can he prove it 
very vain, yet with these empty flourishes, it is incredible 
how he triumphs over Protestants for charging the Roman- 
ists with excluding the people from the use of the cup in 
the sacrament; when yet it is certain, they do so, nor can 
he deny it. Yea, but Protestants should not say so, seeing 
they believe not in transubstantiation. They believe every 
word that Christ or his apostles have delivered, concerning 
the nature and use of the sacrament, and all that the primi- 
tive church taught about it; if this will not enable them to 
say that the Romanists do that, which all the world knows 
they do, and which they will not deny but that they do, un- 
less they believe in transubstantiation also ; they are dealt 
withal on more severe terms than I think our author is au- 
thorized to put upon them. But it seems, the advantage 
lies so much in this matter on the Roman Catholics' side, 
that the Protestants may be for ever silent about it ; and 
why so ? Why Catholics do really partake of the ' animated 
and living body of their Redeemer ; this ought to be done, 
to the end we may have life in us, and yet Protestants do it 
not.' Who told you so ? Protestants partake of his body 
and his blood too, which Papists do not ; and that really 
and truly. Again, ' Catholics have it continually sacrificed 
before their eyes, and the very death and effusion of their 
Lord's blood prefigured and set before them for faith to feed 
upon ; this Protestants have not.' I think the man is mis- 
taken; and that he intended to say the Catholics have not, 
and to place Protestants in the beginning of the sentence ; 
for it is certain, that this is the very doctrine of the Protes- 
tants concerning this sacrament. They have in it the sacra- 
fice of Christ before their eyes, and the death and effusion 
of his blood, figured (for how that should be prefigured which 
is past, I know not) and set forth for faith to feed upon ; this 
they say, this they teach and believe. When I know not how 
Catholics can have any thing figured unto them, nothing 
being the sign of itself; nor is it the feeding of faith, but 
of the mouth, that they are solicitous about. ' But this,' 
saith he, ' they do not ;' though he had not spoken of any 
doing before, which is an old last that we have been now 
well used to ; and * yet this,' saith he, ' ought to be done ; 
for so our Lord commanded, when he said to his apostles, 



• hoc facite \ This do ye, which you have seen me to do, and 
in that manner you see me do it ; exercising before your eye 
my priestly function according to the order of Melchisedec, 
with which power I do also invest you, and appoint you to 
do the like, even unto the consummation of the world, in 
commemoration of my death and passion, exhibiting and 
shewing forth your Lord's death until he come. This Pro- 
testants do not, and we are mad-angry that the Papist does 
what his Redeemer enjoined him,' I fear his readers, which 
shall consider this odd medley, will begin to think, that they 
are not only Protestants who use to be mad-angry. This 
kind of writing argues, I will not say both madness and anger, 
but one of them it doth seem plainly to do. For, setting 
aside a far-fetched false notion or two about Melchisedec, 
and the doctrine of the sacrament here expressed, is that 
which the pope with fire and sword hath laboured to extermi- 
nate out of the world, burning hundreds (1 think) in England 
for believing that our Lord, instituting his blessed supper, 
commanded his apostles to do the same that he then did, and 
in the same manner, even to the consummation of the world, 
in the commemoration of his death and passion, exhibiting 
and shewing forth their Lord's death until he come ; a man 
would suppose that he had taken these words out of the 
Liturgy of the church of England ; for therein are they ex- 
pressly found ; and why then have not Protestants that which 
he speaks of? Yea, but Christ did this in ' the exercise of his 
priestly function, and with the same power of priesthood, ac- 
cording to the order of Melchisedec, invested his apostles.' 
Both these may be granted, and the Protestants' doctrine 
and faith concerning this sacrament not at all impeached ; 
but the truth is, they are both false. The Lord Christ ex- 
ercised indeed his priestly function, when on the cross he 
offered himself to God through the eternal Spirit a sacrifice 
for the sins of the world ; but it was by virtue of his kingly 
and prophetical power that he instituted the sacrament of 
his body and blood, and taught his disciples the use of it, 
commanding its observation in all his churches to the end 
of the world. And as for any others, being ' made priests 
after the order of Melchisedec; besides himself alone, it is a 
figment so expressly contrary to the words and reasoning of 
the apostle, that I wonder any man not mad or angry, could 


once entertain any approving thoughts of it. That our au- 
thor may no more mistake in this matter, I desire he would 
give me leave to inform him, that setting aside his 'proper 
sacrificing' of the Son of God, and his hideous figment of 
transubstantiation, both utter strangers to the Scripture and 
antiquity, there is nothing can by him be named, concerning 
this sacrament as to its honour or efiicacy, but it is all ad- 
mitted by Protestants. 

He pretends, after this loose harangue, to speak to the 
thing itself; and tells us, that the ' consecrated chalice is 
not ordinarily given to people by the priest in private com- 
munion ;' as though in some cases, it were given amongst 
them to the body of the people, or that they had some pub- 
lic communion wherein it was ordinarily so given ; both 
which he knows to be untrue. So impossible it seems for 
him to speak plainly and directly to what he treats on. But 
it is a thing which hath need of these artifices ; if one falsity 
be not covered with another it will quickly reign through all. 
However he tells us, that they ' should do so, is neither ex- 
pedient nor necessary as to any effects of the sacrament.' I 
wish, for his own sake, some course might be found to take 
him off this confidence of setting himself against the apo- 
stles, and the whole primitive church at once; that he 
might apprehend the task too difficult for him to undertake, 
and meddle with it no more. All expediency in the admi- 
nistration of this great ordinance and all the effects of it, 
depend solely on the institution and blessing of Christ ; if 
he have appointed the use of both elements, what are we 
poor worms, that we should come, now in the end of the 
world, and say the use of one of them is not * expedient nor 
necessary to any effects of communion?' Are we wiser than 
he ? Have we more care of his church than he had ? or. Do 
we think that it becomes us thus arbitrarily to choose, and 
refuse in the institutions of our Lord and Master ? What is 
it to us what cavils soever men can lay, that it is not neces- 
sary in the way of Protestants, nor in the way of Catholics ; 
we know it is necessary in the way of Christ. And if either 
Protestants or Catholics leave that way, for me they shall 
walk in their own ways by themselves. But why is it not 
necessary in the way of Protestants ? ' Because they place 
the effect of the communion in the operation of faith, and 
N 2 


therefore, according to them, one kind is enough ; nay, if we 
have neither kind, there is no loss but of a ceremony, which 
may be well enough supplied at our ordinary tables.' This 
is pretty logic, which it seems our author learned out of 
Smith and Seaton. Protestants generally think that men 
see with their eyes ; and yet they think the light of the sun 
necessary to the exercising of their sight ; and though they 
believe, that all saving effects of the sacrament depend on 
the operation of faith (and Catholics do so too, at least I am 
sure they say so), yet they believe also, that the sacrament, 
which Christ appointed and the use of it, as by him ap- 
pointed, is necessary in its own kind for the producing of 
those effects. These things destroy not, but mutually assist 
one another, working effectually in their several kinds to 
the same end and purpose. Nor can there be any operation 
of faith, as to the special end of the sacrament, without the 
administration of it according to the mind and will of Christ. 
Besides, Protestants know that the frequent distinct pro- 
posals in the Scripture of the benefits of the death of Christ, 
as arising sometimes from the suffering of the body, some- 
times from the effusion of the blood of their Saviour, leads 
them to such a distinct acting of faith upon him, and re- 
ceiving of him, as must needs be hindered and disturbed in 
the administration of the sacrament under one kind ; espe- 
cially if that symbol be taken from them, which is peculiarly 
called his Testament, and that blood wherewith his covenant 
with them was sealed ; so that, according to the principles 
of the Protestants, the participation of the cup is of an in- 
dispensable necessity unto them that intend to use that or- 
dinance to their benefit and comfort; and what he adds, 
' about drinking at our ordinary tables,' because we are 
now speaking plainly, I must needs tell him, is a profane 
piece of scurrility, which he may do well to abstain from for 
the future. What is or is not necessary, according to their 
Catholic doctrine, we shall not trouble ourselves, knowing 
that which is so called by him to be very far from being 
truly Catholic ; the Romanists' doctrine of concomitancy, 
being a late figment to countenance their spoiling the peo- 
ple of the legacy of Christ, unknown to antiquity, and con- 
trary to Scripture, and enervating the doctrine of the death 
of Christ, whose most precious blood was truly separated 


fVom his body, the benefit of which separation is exhibited 
unto us in the sacrament by himself appointed to represent 
it ; we neither beHeve nor value. 

As the necessity of it is denied, so also, that there is 
any precept for it; what think you then of ttjete I| avrov 
iravTEQ; ' drink you all of it ;' that is, this cup ; they think 
this to be a precept to be observed towards all those who 
come to this supper. What Christ did, that he commanded 
his apostles to do ; he gives the cup to all that were present 
at his supper, and commands them all to drink of it; why, I 
pray, are they not to do so ? Why is not this part of his 
command as obligatory to them as any others ? Alas, * They 
were the priests that were present, all lay people were ex- 
cluded ;' not one was excluded from the cup that was there 
at any part of the ordinance. What, if they were all priests 
* that were there, as no one of them was, was the supper ad- 
ministered to them as priests or as disciples ? or is there 
any colour or pretence to say, that one kind was given to 
them as priests, another as disciples ; ' Die aliquem, die, 
Quintiliane, colorem.' Was not the whole church of Christ 
represented by them ? Is not the command equal to all ? 
Nay, as if on purpose to obviate this sacrilegous figment, is 
not this word, ' Drink you all of this,' added emphatically, 
above what is spoken of the other kind ? Many strange 
things there are, which these gentlemen would have us be- 
lieve about this sacrament, but none of them of a more in- 
credible nature than this, that when Christ says to all his 
communicants, 'Drink you all of this,' and commands them 
to do the same that he did, his meaning was, that we should 
say, ' Drink you none of this.' They had need, not of a 
* Spatula lingua,' to let such things as these down our 
throats, but a bed-staff to cram them down, or they will 
choke us in the swallowing ; and, I am sure, will not well 
digest when received. He must have an iron stomach, that 
can concoct such crude morsels. 

But if this will not do he would fain have us grant, ' That 
the whole manner of giving the communion unto the laity, 
whether under one or both kinds, is left to the disposition 
of the church;' I tell you truly, I should have thought so 
too, had not Christ and his apostles beforehand determined 
it ; but as the case stands, it is left so much to the disposi- 


tion of the church, whether the blessed cup shall be admi- 
nistered to the people as it is, whether we shall have any 
sacraments or no and not one jot more. And let notour 
author flatter himself, that it was a ' pre-conceived opinion 
of the arbitrariness of this business, that made men scruple 
it no more in former ages, when the cup was first taken from 
them/ They scrupled it until you had roasted some of 
them in the fire, and shed the blood of multitudes by the 
sword, which was the old way of satisfying scruples. 

At length our author ventures on St. Paul, and hopes, if 
he can satisfy him, he shall do well enough ; and tells us, 
* This indifferent use of communion amongst the ancient 
Christians in either kind, sometimes the one, sometimes the 
other, sometimes both, is enough to verify that of St. Paul, 
We are all partakers of one bread and of one cup.' But 
what is this indiflferent use, and who are these ancient 
Christians he tells us of? Neither is the use of one or of 
both indifferent among the Papists, nor did the ancient 
Christians know any thing at all of this business of depriv- 
ing the people of the cup, which is but a by-blow of tran- 
substantiation. He knows they knew nothing of it, what- 
ever he pretends. Neither doth the apostle Paul say nakedly 
and only, that ' We are all partakers of one bread and one 
cup ;' but, instructing the whole church of Corinth in the 
right use of the Lord's supper, he calls to mind what he had 
formerly taught them, as to the celebration of it ; and this 
he tells them was the imitation of the Lord himself, accord- 
ing as he had received it in command from him, to give the 
blessed bread and cup to all the communicants. This he lays 
down as the institution of Christ, this he calls them to the 
right use and practice of, telling the whole church, that as 
often ' as they eat this bread, and drink this cup' (not eat 
the bread without the cup), they * do shew forth the Lord's 
death until he come.' And therefore doth he teach them 
how to perform their duty herein, in a due manner: ver. 28. 
' Let,' saith he, ' a man examine himself, and so let him eat 
of that bread and drink of that cup.' Adding the reason of 
his caution ; ' for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, 
eateth and drinketh,' &c. intimating also, that they might 
miscarry in the use of either element. For, saith he, ' who- 
soever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily.' 


In the administration of the whole supper you may offend, 
unless you give heed in the participation of either element. 
What can possibly be spoken more fully, distinctly, plainly, 
as to institution, precept, practice, and duty upon all, I know 
not ? And if we must yet dispute about this matter, whilst 
we acknowledge the authority of the apostle, I think there 
is small hopes of being quit of disputes whilst this world 
continues. The pitiful cavils of our author against the apo- 
stle's express and often repeated words, deserve not our no- 
tice ; yet for the sake of those whom he intends to deceive, 
I shall briefly shew their insufficiency to invalidate St. Paul's 
authority and reasonings. 

1. He says, ' That we may easily see what was St. Paul's 
opinion from those words. Whosoever shall eat this bread, 
or drink this cup of our Lord unworthily;' and so say I too, 
the meaning of them is before declared ; but, saith he, ' re- 
peating the institution as our Lord delivered, he makes him 
after the consecration of the bread, say absolutely. Do this in 
commemoration of me. But after the chalice, he speaks with 
a limitation. Do this as oft as you shall drink it, in comme- 
moration of me.' What then ? Pray what are the next words ? 
Are they not, ' For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink 
this cup V Is not the same term ' as often' annexed to the one 
as well as to the other ? Is it a limitation of the use of 
either, and not a limitation of that kind of commemoration 
of the Lord's death to the use of both ? From these doughty 
observations, he concludes, ' that the particle * and' in the 
other text, must needs be taken disjunctively; we are all 
partakers of one bread and of one cup. That is, all of us, 
either partake of both, or each one, at least, either of the 
one or other.' A brave exposition ! But what shall we say 
to the other, and in the other texts, so often occurring to 
the same purpose? Are they also to be taken disjunctively? 
This, it seems, is to interpret Scripture according to the 
sense of the Fathers ; to vent idle cavils, which they were 
never so weak or perverse as once to dream of. Had the 
apostle but once used that expression, ' this bread, and this 
cup,' yet adjoining that expression to the institution of 
Christ, commanding the administration of that bread and 
cup, it were temerarious boldness so to disjoint his words 
and render them incongruous to his purpose ? But repeat- 



ing the same expression so often as he doth, still with re- 
spect to the institution of the ordinance whereof he speaks, 
to make us believe that in all those expressions he intended 
quite another thing than what he says, is a wild attempt. 
Miserable error ! what sorry shifts dost thou cast thy pa- 
trons upon ? Who would love such a beast, that so claws 
and tears her embracers ? The trivial instances of the use 
of the particle 'and' or ' et' disjunctively, as in that saying, 
* Mulier est domus salus, et ruina?' which is evidently used 
not of the same individual person, nor of the same actions, 
but only expresses the different actings of several indivi- 
duals of the same species, concern not this business ; whose 
argument is far from being founded alone on the significa- 
tion of that particle (though its use be constant enough to 
found an inference, not to be shaken by a few anomalous in- 
stances), but from the necessary use of it in this place 
arising from the context of the apostle's discourse. 

Our author farther udds, ' that sometimes the whole 
sacred Synaxis is called breaking of bread, without any 
mention of the chalice.' And what then? I pray is not the 
body of Christ sometimes mentioned without speaking of 
the blood, and the blood oftener without speaking of the 
body ; is not the whole supper called the cup, without men- 
tioning of the bread ? 1 Cor. x. 21. all by the same synec- 
doche? I shall not insist on his gross, palpable mistakes, 
from Luke xxiv. 30. Nothing but domineering prejudices 
could ever put men upon such attempts, for the justify ino- 
of their errors. Upon the whole matter, we may easily dis- 
cern what small cause our author hath from such feeble pre- 
mises, to erect his triumphant conclusion of the non-neces- 
sity of participation of the blessed cup by the people in the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper. As little cause hath he to 
mention antiquity and tradition from the apostles, which lie 
universally against him in this matter; and that there is now 
no such custom in the Romish church, it is because they 
have taken up a practice contrary to the command and prac- 
tice of Christ and his apostles, and contrary to the custom 
in obedience thereunto, of all the churches in the whole 




Sect. 27. From the communion we come to saints ; and these 
take up the longest discourse of any one subject in the book. 
Our author found it not an easy task to set this practice of 
his church, in the worship and invocating of saints, right 
and strait in the minds of sober men. Several ways he turns 
himself in his attempt, all, as far I can perceive, to very little 
purpose. In all of them it is evident, that he is ashamed of 
their practice and principles in this matter, which makes 
his undertakings as to Protestants so much the worse, in 
that he invited them to feed upon that which he himself is 
unwilling to taste, lest he should be poisoned. At first, he 
would persuade us, that they had only a 'respectful memory 
and reverence for the saints departed, such as ingenuous 
persons will have for any worthy personages that have for- 
merly ennobled their families.' To this *he adds the consi- 
deration of their example and the patterns they have set us 
in the ways of holiness, to persuade and prevail with us to 
imitate and follow them.' And with sundry arguments doth 
he dispute for his honourable esteem and imitation of the 
saints departed. Herein then, it may be, lies the difference be- 
tween them and Protestants; that they contend, that the true 
saints are to be thus honoured and followed ; Protestants are 
of the mind that neither of them is to be done: true, for 
Luther, Wickliff, and especially Calvin, have interaperately 
opened their mouths against all the saints ; Calvin in special 
against the persons renowned in the Old and New Testament, 
Noah, Abraham, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel, Moses, &c. with 
a great number of others. Naughty man, what hath he 
said of them ? It is certain in general, that he hath said, 
that they were all in their days sinners. Is this to be en- 
dured, that ' Calvin, that holyfaced man,' should say of such 
holy persons, that they had need to be redeemed and saved 
by Jesus Christ? who can bear such intemperate ' theioma- 
chy?' Nay, but he had gone farther, 'and charged them 
every one with sins and miscarriages ;' If he hath spoken 


any thing of their sins and failings, but what God hath left 
upon record on set purpose in his word, that they might be 
examples of human frailty and testimonies of his grace and 
mercy in Christ towards them, for the encouragement of 
others that shall be overtaken in the like temptation, as 
some of them were, let him bear his own burden. If he 
have said no more, but what the Holy Ghost hath recorded 
for him and others to make use of, I envy not their cheer, 
who triumph in falsely accusing of him. But is this in- 
deed the difference between Papists and Protestants about 
the saints? Is this the doctrine of the Papists concerning 
them ? Is their practice confined within the limits of these 
principles ? Are these the things, which in their principles 
and practice are blamed by Protestants ? The truth is, this 
is the very doctrine, the very practice of Protestants. They 
all jointly bear a due respect to the memorial of all the 
saints of God, concerning whom they have assurance that 
they were so indeed. They praise God for them, admire 
his grace in them, rejoice in the fruits of their labours and 
sufferings for Christ, and endeavour to be followers of them 
in all things wherein they were followers of Christ; and 
hope to come to be made partakers with them of that glory 
and joy which they are entered into. Is this the doctrine 
of the council of Trent, or of the harmony of confessions ? 
Doth this represent the practice of Papists or Protestants ? 
It is very seldom you shall hear a sermon of a Protestant, 
wherein the example of one saint or other, is not in one 
thing or other insisted on, and proposed to imitation. If 
this venerable esteem and sedulous imitation of saints, with 
praising God, for his graces in them, his mercy towards 
them, and an endeavour to obtain the crown they have re- 
ceived, be the doctrine and the whole doctrine of the church 
of Rome about the saints departed, why should we contend 
any longer? All parties are agreed. Let us contend no 
more about that which is not ; but if it be otherwise, and 
that neither are these things, all the things that the Papists 
assert and maintain in this matter, nor are these things at 
all opposed by the Protestants, a man may easily understand 
to what end our author makes a flourish with three or four 
leaves of his book ; as though they were in difference be- 
tween us. Such artifices will neither advantage his cause. 


iior his person with sober knowing men. As to his whole 
discourse then, I shall only let him know, that Protestants 
are unconcerned in it. They bear all due reverence to the 
saints departed this life, and strive to follow them in their 
course ; although I must add also, that their example is 
very remote from being the chiefest incentive or rule unto, 
and in the practice of, universal obedience. The example 
of Christ himself, and the revealed will of God in his word, 
are their rule and guide; in attendance whereunto thousands 
amongst them (be it spoken to the praise of his glorous 
grace), do instantly serve God in all good conscience day 
and night, and holding the head, grow up into him, who is 
the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 

To close this discourse, and to come to that which he 
seems to love as a bear doth the stake ; the practice of the 
Romish church, in the invocation and adoration of saints; 
he tells us, to usher it in, two pretty stories out of antiquity : 
the first, of the Jews; and last, of the pagans. 1. For the 
Jews ; 'that they accused the Christians before the Roman 
emperors for three things : that they had changed the sab- 
bath, that they worshipped images of the saints, that they 
brought in a strange God named Jesus Christ.' What if 
they did so ? Was all true that the Jews accused the Chris- 
tians of? Besides, what is here about the invocation of 
saints ? somewhat indeed we have about pictures and images, 
which it seems are contrary to the Judaical law ; not a word 
do we meet with about their invocation of saints. But in- 
deed this is a pretty midnight story, to be told to bring 
children asleep ; as though the Jews durst accuse the Chris- 
tians before pagans for ' having images and pictures,' when 
the pagans were ready every day to destroy those Jews, be- 
cause they would have none ? A likely matter they would 
admit of their complaint against them that had them, or 
that the Jews had no more wit than to disadvantage them- 
selves in their contest by such a complaint ? Besides the 
whole insinuation is false ; neither did the Jews so accuse 
them ; nor had the Christians admitted any religious use of 
pictures or images in those days. And this their defence to 
the accusation of the pagans, that ' they rejected all images/ 
makes as evident as if it were written by the sun-beams to 
this day. Being charged by the pagans with an imageless 


religion, they everywhere acknowledge it, giving their 
reason why they neither did, nor could admit of a religious 
use of any image at all. I presume our author knows this 
to be so, and I know, if he do not, he is a very unfit person 
to talk of antiquity. 

Of the like nature is the story which he tells us of the 
things the pagans laughed at the Christians for. Amongst 
these was 'the worship of an ass's head, which shews,' saith 
he, * the use and respect they had for images. For the Jews 
had defamed Jesus Christ our Lord, whose head and half 
portrait Christians used upon their altars, even as they do 
at this day, amongst other things of his great simplicity and 
ignorance.' So used men to talk, who either know not, or 
care not, what to say. I would gladly impute this story of 
the ass's head, and the Jews' accusation, to our author's 
simplicity and ignorance ; because if I do not so, I shall be 
compelled to do it unto somewhat in him of a worse name ; 
and yet that by-insinuation of the use of ' the head and halt' 
portrait of our Saviour upon altars by the old Christians,* 
before Constantine's days, of whom he speaks, will not allow 
me to lay all the misadventure of this tale upon ignorance. 
Surely he cannot but know that what he suggests is most 
notoriously false, and that he cannot produce one authentic 
testimony, no not one, of any such thing : whereas innu- 
merable lay expressly against it, almost in all the preserved 
writings of those days. For the story of the ass's head ; 
seeing, it seems he knows not what I thought every puny 
scholar to be acquainted with, 1 hope, he will give me leave 
to inform him, that it was an imputation laid upon the Jews, 
not the Christians, and that the Christians were no other* 
wise concerned in the fable, but as they were at any time 
mistaken to be Jews. The figment was invented, long be- 
fore the name of Christians was known in the vv^orld, and di- 
vulged before and after by as great wits as any were in the 
world, as Appian, Tacitus, Trogus, and others. The whole 
rumour arising from their worshipping a golden calf in the 
wilderness, and afterward his imitation progeny at Dan and 
Bethel. The confutation of the lie, by Josephus, is known 
to all learned men ; who tells Appian, that if he had * not 
had the head of an ass, and the face of a dog, he would 
never have given credit unto, or divulged, so loud a lie.' 


Little countenance therefore is our author like to obtain 
from this loud lie, invented against the Jews, to prove the 
worshipping of pictures and images among Christians ; nor is 
that his business in hand, if he be pleased to remember him- 
self, but the invocation of saints, which now at length he is 
resolved (but I see unwillingly) to speak unto. 

Had he intended plain dealing, and to persuade men by 
reason and arguments, he should nakedly and openly have 
laid down the doctrine and practice of his church in this 
matter, and have attempted to justify the one and the 
other. This had been done like a man who liked and ap- 
proved what his interest forced him to defend; and upon 
honest principles sought to draw others to share with him 
in their worth and excellency. But he takes quite another 
course, and bends his design to cover his ware, and to hood- 
wink his chapmen, so to strike up a blind bargain between 

Two things he knows, that in the doctrine of his church 
about the veneration of saints, Protestants are offended at. 

1. 'That we ought religiously to invocate and call upon, 
pray unto them, flying unto them for help and assistance ;' 
which are the very words of the Trent council, the avowed 
doctrine of his church, which whosoever believes not is 

2. * That we may plead for acceptance, grace, and mercy 
with God, for their merits and works,' which our author 
gilds over, but cannot deny. If he will plainly undertake 
the defence of either of these, and endeavour to vindicate 
the first from superstition and the latter from being highly 
derogatory to the mediation of Christ, both, or either, to 
have been known or practised in the first churches, he shall 
be attended unto. To tell us fine stories, and to compare 
their invocation of saints, to the psalmist's apostrophes 
unto the works of the creation to set forth the praise of the 
Lord, which they do in what they are, without doing more, 
and to deny direct praying unto them, is but to abuse him- 
self, his church, his reader, and the truth ; and to proclaim 
to all, that he is indeed ashamed of the doctrine which he 
owns, because it is not good or honest, as the orator charged 
Epicurus. In the practice of his church, very many are the 
things which the Protestants are offended with. Their ca- 


nonization framed perfectly after the manner of the old 
heathen apotheosis; their exalting men into the throne of 
religious worship, some of a dubious existence, others of a 
more dubious saintship ; their dedication of churches, al- 
tars, shrines, days to them. Their composing multitudes 
of prayers for their people to be repeated by them : their 
divulging feigned, ludicrous, ridiculous legends of their 
lives to the dishonour of God, the gospel, the saints them- 
selves, with innumerable other things of the like nature, 
which our author knoweth full well to be commonly prac- 
tised and allowed in his church. These are the things that 
he ought to defend and make good their station, if he 
would invite others to a fellowship and communion with 
him. Instead of this, he tells us, that his Catholics do not 
invocate saints directly ; when I shall undertake (what he 
knows can be performed) to give him a book bigger than 
this of his, of prayers allowed by his church, and practised 
by his Catholics, made unto saints directly, for help, as- 
sistance, yea, grace, mercy, and heaven, or desiring those 
things for their merit, and upon their account; which, as I 
shewed, are the two main parts of their doctrine condemned 
by Protestants. I can quickly send him Bonaventure's 
Psalter, prayers out of the Course of Hours of the Blessed 
Virgin, our Lady's Antiphonies of her sorrows, her Seven 
Corporeal Joys, her Seven Heavenly Joys, out of her Rosary. 
Prayers to St. Paul, St. James, Thomas, Pancratius, George, 
Blase, Christopher, Who not? all made directly to them, 
and that for mercies spiritual and temporal ; and tell him 
how many years of indulgences, yea, thousands of years, his 
popes have granted to the saying of some of the like stamp ; 
and all these not out of musty legends, and the devotion of 
private monks and friars, but the authentic instruments of 
his church's worship and prayers. Let our author try 
whether he can justify any of these opinions or practices, 
from the words of the Lord in Jeremiah, ' Though Moses and 
Samuel should stand before me, yet is not my soul unto 
this people;' declaring his determinate counsel for their de- 
struction, not to be averted by Moses or Samuel, were they 
alive again, who in their days had stood in the gap and 
turned away his wrath, that his whole displeasure should 
not arise ; or from the words of Moses, praying the Lord to 


* remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob his servants ; which 
he immediately expounds, as they are also in a hundred 
other places, by remembering his 'covenant made with them, 
and the oath he sware unto them ;' these are pitiful poor 
pillars to support so vast and tottering a superstruction. 
And yet they are all that our author can get to give any 
countenance to him in his work, which indeed is none at all. 
Neither do we charge the Romanists with the particular 
fancies of their doctors, their ' speculum trinitatis,' and the 
like ; no, nor yet v/ith the grosser part of the people's prac- 
tice in constituting their saints in special presidentships, one 
over hogs, another over sheep, another over cows and cocks, 
like the ruder sort of the ancient heathen, which we know 
our author would soon disavow; but the known doctrine 
and approved practice of his whole church, he must openly 
defend, or be silent in this cause hereafter. This mincing 
of the matter by praying saints, not praying to them, 
praying to them indirectly not directly ; praying them, as 
David calls on sun, moon, and stars to praise the Lord, so 
praying to them, as it is to no purpose, whether they hear us 
or no, is inconsistent with the doctrine and practice of his 
own church to which he seemeth to draw men, and not to 
any private opinion of his own. And a wise piece of busi- 
ness it is indeed, that our author would persuade us that we 
may as well pray to saints in the Roman mode, as Paul de- 
sired the saints that were then alive to pray for him. We 
know it is the duty of living saints to pray for one another; 
we know a certain way to excite them to the performance 
of that duty in reference unto us ; we have rule, president, 
and command in the Scripture to do so, the requests we 
make to them are no illicit acts of religion ; we pray to 
them neither directly nor indirectly ; but desire them by 
virtue of our communion with them, to assist us in their 
prayers, as we might ask an alms, or any other good turn at 
their hands. I wonder wise men are not ashamed thus to 
dally with their own and others eternal concernments. 
After all this, at one breath he blows away all the Protes- 
tants as childish (just as Pyrgopolenices did the legions of 
his enemies), they 'are all childish;' let him shew himself a 
man, and take up any one of them as they are managed by 
any one learned man of the church of England, and answer 


it if he can. If he cannot, this boasting will little avail 
him with considering men. I cannot close this paragraph 
without marking one passage toward the close of it. Lay- 
ing down three principles of the saint's invocation, whereof 
the first itself is true, but nothing to his purpose ; the se- 
cond is true in the substance of it, but false in an addition 
of merit, to the good works of the saints, and not one jot 
more to his purpose than the other; the third is,. That 'God 
cannot dislike the reflections of his divine nature diffused in 
the saints out of the fulness of his beloved Son, when any 
makes use of them the easier to find mercy in his sight.' 
These are good words; and make a very handsome sound. 
Wilt thou reader know the meaning of them, and withal 
discern how thy pretended teacher hath colluded with thee 
in this whole discourse? The plain English of them is this. 
God cannot but approve our pleading the merits of the 
saints for our obtaining mercy with him. A proposition as 
destructive to the whole tenour of the gospel and mediation 
of Jesus Christ, as in so few words could well be stamped 
and divulged. 



Sect. 28. We are at length come to purgatory, which is the 
pope's Indies ; his subterranean treasure house, on the reve- 
nues whereof he maintains a hundred thousand fighting men, 
so that it is not probable he will ever be easily dispossessed 
of it. This is the only root of dirge, though our author 
flourishes, as though it would grow on other stocks. It is 
their prayer for the dead which he so entitles, and in the ex- 
cellency of their devotion in this particular he is so confi- 
dent, that he deals with us as the orator told Q. Ceecilius, 
Hortensius would with him, in the case of Verres, bid him 
take his option and make his choice of what he pleased, and 
it should all turn to his disadvantage ; Hortensius by his 
eloquence would make any thing that he should fix on turn 
to his own end. He bids us on the matter, choose whether 


to think the souls they pray for, to be in heaven, hell, or 
purgatory ; all is one, he will prove praying for them to be 
good and lawful. Suppose they be in heaven. What then? 
What then ? may we not as * well pray for them, as for 
sanctifying the name of God, which will be done whether 
we pray or no.' Suppose they are in hell ; ' yet we know it 
not, and so may shew our charity towards them ;' but sup- 
pose they be in purgatory, * It is the only course we can 
take to help them.' [Of purgatory we shall speak anon.] 
If there be no other receptacle for saints departed, but hea- 
ven and hell, it is but a'flourish of our author, to persuade 
us, that prayers for them in the Roman mode, would be 
either useful or acceptable to God. Suppose them you 
pray for, to be in hell ; the best you can make of your 
prayers, is but a vain babbling against the will and righte- 
ousness of God ; an unreasonable troubling of the judge 
after he hath pronounced his sentence. Yea, but you do 
not know them to be in hell, then neither do you suppose 
them to be there ; which yet is the case you undertake to 
make good ; ' Suppose they be in hell, yet it is well done to 
pray for them,' and to say they may not be there, is to sup- 
pose they are not in hell, not to suppose they are ; unless 
you will say, suppose they are not in hell, you may pray for 
them, suppose they are in hell ; hereunto doth this subtlety 
bring us. But it is not the will of God, that you should 
pray for any in hell ; no not for any in heaven, unless it be 
the will of God, that you should oppose his will in the one, 
and exercise yourselves in things needless and unprofitable 
in the other ; both which are far enough from his mind, and 
that word which I believe, at last will be found the only 
true and infallible rule of worship and devotion. When we 
pray for the sanctifying of God's name, the coming of his 
kingdom, the doing of his will, we still pray for the conti- 
nuance of that which is as to outward manifestation, in an 
alterable condition ; for the name of God may be more or 
less sanctified in the world ; and for that which is future. 
But to pray for them that are in heaven, is to pray for that 
for them, which they are in the unalterable enjoyment of : 
and besides, to do and practice that in the worship of God, 
which we have no precept, no precedent, no rule, no encou- 
ragement for, in the Scripture ; nor the approved examples 
VOL. xviii. o 


of any holy men from the foundation of the world. What- 
ever charity there can be in such prayers, I am sure, faith 
there can be none, seeing there is neither precept for them, 
nor promise of hearing them. 

But it is purgatory that must bear the weight of this 
duty. 'This/ saith our author, ' need not to be so con- 
demned, being taught by pagans and ancient rabbies, and 
so came down from Adam by a popular tradition through all 
nations,' a great many of whose names are reckoned up by 
him, declaring by the way which of them came from Shem, 
which from Ham, which from Japhet, to whom the Hebrews 
are most learnedly assigned. For the pagans, Virgil, Cicero, 
and Lucretius, are quoted as giving testimony to them. 
This testimony is true, in the first especially lies the whole 
doctrine of purgatory. Some Platonic philosophers, whom 
he followed, have been the inventors of it. That some of 
the pagans invented a purgatory, and that Roman Catholics 
have borrowed their seat for their own turn, is granted. 
What our author can prove more by this argument, I know 
not. The names of the old Hebrew rabbins that had taught, 
or did believe it, he was pleased to spare ; and I know his 
reason well enough, though he is not pleased to tell us. 
And it is only this, that there are no such old rabbins, nor 
ever were in the world ; nor was purgatory ever in the creed 
of the Judaical church, nor of any of the ancient rabbins. 
Indeed here and there one of them seemed to have dreamed, 
with Origen, about an end of the pains of Gehenna; and 
some of the latter masters, the cabalists especially, have 
espoused the Pythagorean metempsychosis ; but for the 
purgatory of the pagans and Papists, they know nothing 
of it. 

On these testimonies he tells us, ' that this opinion of 
the soul's immortality, and its detention after death in some 
place ' citra ccelum,' is not any new thing freshly taught, 
either by our Saviour or his apostles, as any pecuUar doc- 
trine of his own, but taken up as granted by the tradition 
of the Hebrews, and supposed and admitted by all sides as 
true, upon which our Lord built much of his institutions.' 
Gallantly ventured however ! I confess, a man shall seldom 
meet with prettier shuffling. 

Purgatory, it seems, is the doctrine of the soul's immor- 


tality, and detention in some place * citra ccelum.' Who 
would ever have once dreamed of this, had not our author 
informed him ? This it is to be learned in the Roman mys- 
tery ; the doctrine of purgatory, is the doctrine of the soul's 
immortality; never was doctrine so foully mistaken as that 
hath been ; but if it be not, yet it is of the ' detention of the 
souls in someplace ' citra ccelum.' It is indeed, but yet our 
author knows, that in these words as bad, if not a worse 
fraud than under the other is couched. It was the opinion 
of many of the ancients, that the souls of the saints that de- 
parted under the Old Testament, enjoyed not the blessed 
presence of God, but were kept in a place of rest until the 
ascension of Christ. And this our author would have us to 
think is the doctrine of purgatory; he himself I hope enjoys 
the contentment of believing the contrary. But he tells us, 
' that our blessed Saviour and his apostles were not the first 
that taught this doctrine,' that is, of purgatory. As though 
they had taught it at all, or had not taught that which is 
inconsistent with it, and destructive of it, which is notori- 
ous that they have ! And for the traditions of the Hebrew 
church ; as that was none of them, so I believe our author 
knows but little what were. But he takes a great deal of 
pains to prove, though very unsuccessfully, that ' the Jews 
did believe, that the souls of those that departed before the 
resurrection of the Messias, did not enter heaven ;' as 
though that was any thing to his purpose in hand ; but he 
is, as I said, marvellous unsuccessful in that attempt also. 
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man, prove only that 
Lazarus's soul was in Abraham's bosom ; that Abraham's 
bosom was not in heaven, it doth not prove. Peter in the 
second of the Acts, proves no more, than that the whole 
person of David, body and soul, was not ascended into hea- 
ven ; the not ascending of his soul alone, being nothing to 
his purpose. But what he cannot evince by testimonies, 
we will win by dint of arguments. ' The Jews,' saith he, 
' could- not believe what God had never promised ; but hea- 
venly bliss was none of the promises of Moses's law, nor 
were they ever put in hope of it, for any good work that 
they should do.' It seems then, that which was promised 
them in Moses's law, was eternal life in some place ' citra 
ccelum,' or ' citra culum,' until the coming of the Messias ; 
o 2 


for this he would fain prove that they believed, and that 
rightly. This, I confess, is a rare notion, and I know not 
whether it be ' de fide,' or no ; but this I am sure, that it is 
the first time that ever I heard of it, though I have been a 
little conversant with some of his great masters. But the 
truth is, our author hath very ill success for the most part, 
when he talks of the Jews ; as most men have, when they 
talk of what they do not understand. Eternal life and ever- 
lasting reward, the enjoyment of God in bliss, was promised 
no less truly in the Old Testament, than under the New, 
though less clearly; and our author grants it, by confessing 
that the estate of the saints in rest ' extra ccelum,' to be ad- 
mitted thither upon the entrance made into it by the Mes- 
sias, was promised to them, and believed by thenfl, though 
any such promise made to them, or any such belief of them, 
as should give us the specification of the reward they ex- 
pected, he is not able to produce. 

' The promise of heaven is made clear under the New 
Testament, yet not so,' he tells us, ' but that in the exe- 
cution of this promise, it is sufficiently insinuated, that if 
any spirit issue out of his body, not absolutely purified, 
himself may indeed by the use of such means of grace, as 
our Lord instituted, be saved, yet so as by fire;' 1 Cor. iii. 
I think I know well enough what he aims at, but the sense 
of his words I do not so well understand. Suppose a spirit 
so to issue forth as he talks ? seeing we must not believe, 
that the blood of Jesus purges us from all our sins ; who, 
or what is it then that he means by himself? Is it the spirit 
after it is departed ? Or is it the person before its depar- 
ture ? If the latter, to what end is the issuing forth of the 
spirit mentioned ? And what is here for purgatory, seeing 
the person is to be saved by the means of grace appointed 
by Christ ? If the former, as the expression is uncouth, so I 
desire to know, whether purgatory be an instituted means 
of grace or no? and, whether it was believed so by Virgil, 
or is by any of the more learned Romanists ? I think it my 
duty a little to retain my reader in this stumbling passage. 
Our author having a mind to beg some countenance for pur- 
gatory from 1 Cor. iii. and knowing full well, that there is 
not one word spoken there about the spirits of men departed, 
but of their trials in this life, was forced to confound that 



living and dead means of grace and punishment, things pre- 
sent and to come, that somewhat might seem to look towards 
purgatory, though he knew not what. Nor doth he find 
any better shelter for his poor purgatory, turned naked out 
of doors, throughout the whole Scripture, as injurious to the 
grace of God, the mediation of Christ, the tenour of the co- 
venant of grace, and contrary to express testimonies ; in 
those words of our Saviour, Matt. v. who speaking of sin- 
ners, dying in an unreconciled condition, having made no 
peace or agreement with God, says, that being ' delivered 
into prison, they should not go forth, until they had paid 
the utmost farthing.' For as the persons, whom he para- 
bolically sets forth, are such as die in an absolute estate of 
enmity of God ; which kind of persons, as I take it, Roman 
Catholics do not believe to go to purgatory ; so I think it 
is certain, that those enemies of God, who are, or shall be, 
cast into hell, shall not depart until they have paid the utter- 
most farthing ; and that the expression, ' until,' doth in Scrip- 
ture always denote a limitaiion of time to expire, and the 
accomplishment afterward of what is denied before ; I sup- 
pose, nay, I know, he will not say. So that their lying in 
prison until they pay the uttermost farthing of their debts 
(which is not God's way of dealing with them whom he 
washes and pardons in the blood of Christ, who are not able 
to pay one farthing of them), is their lying there to eternity. 
And so also the sins of which it is said, they shall ' not be 
forgiven in this world, nor in the world to come,' in one gos- 
pel ; it is said in another, ' that they shall never be forgiven;' 
that is, not really forgiven here, nor declared or manifested to 
be forgiven hereafter. Besides, methinks this should make 
very little for purgatory, however the words should be inter- 
preted ; for they are a great aggravation of the sins spoken 
of, as the highest and most mortal that men may contract 
the guilt of, that can be pardoned, if they can be pardoned. 
That the remission of such sins may be looked for in purga- 
tory, as yet we are not taught : nay, our own author tells us. 
That mortal sins must be remitted, before a man can be ad- 
mitted into purgatory ; so that certainly there is not a more 
useless text in the Bible to his present purpose than this is, 
though they be all useless enough in all conscience. 

But here a matter falls across his thoughts, that doth not 


a little trouble him ; and it is this. That St. Paul, in his 
epistles, never makes use of ' purgatory, directly at least as 
a topic-place, either in his exhortations to virtue, or dissua- 
sions from vice ;' and I promise you, it is a shrewd objec- 
tion. It cannot but seem strange, that St. Paul should 
make no use of it, and his church make use almost of no- 
thing else. Little, surely, did St. Paul think, how many 
monasteries and abbeys this purgatory would found; how 
many monks and friars it would maintain; what revenue it 
would bring into the church, that he passeth it by so slight- 
ly ; but St. Paul's business was to persuade men to virtue, 
and dehort them from vice. And he informs us, that there 
is such a contemperation of heat and cold in purgatory, such 
an equal balance between pains and hopes, good and evil, 
that it is not very meet to be made a topic for these ends 
and purposes; that is, that indeed that is of no use in reli- 
gion. The trouble and comfort of it, are, by a due mixture, 
so allayed, as to their proper qualities, that they can have no 
operation upon the minds of men, to sway them one way or 
other. Had some of our forefathers been so far illuminated, 
all things had not been at the state wherein they are at this 
day in the papacy ; but, it may be, much more is not to be 
expected from it, and therefore it may now otherwise be 
treated than it was yerst-while, when it was made the sum 
and substance of religion. However, the time will come, 
when this Platonical signet that hath no colour from Scrip- 
ture, but is opposite to the clear testimonies of it; repugnant 
to the grace, truth, and mercy of God ; destructive to the 
mediation of Christ ; useless to the souls of men, serving 
only to beget false fears in some few, but desperate pre- 
sumptions, from the thoughts of an after-reserve, and second 
venture after this life is ended ; in the most, abused to in- 
numerable other superstitions, utterly unknown to the first 
churches, and the orthodox bishops of them, having by va- 
rious means and degrees crept into the Roman church 
(which shall be laid open, if called for), shall be utterly ex- 
terminated out of the confines and limits of the church of 
God. In the mean time, I heartily beg of our Romanists, 
that they would no more endeavour to cast men into real 
scorching consuming fire, for refusing to believe that which 
is only imaginary and fantastical. 




Sect. 29. It is not because the pope is forgotten all this 
while, that he is there placed in the rear, after images, 
saints, and purgatory. It is plain, that he hath been borne 
in mind all along ; yea, and so much mentioned, that a man 
would wonder, how he comes to have a special paragraph 
here allotted to him. The whole book seems to be all pope, 
from the very beginning, as to the main design of it ; and 
now to meet, pope, by himself again, in the end, is some- 
what unexpected. But, I suppose, our author thinks he can 
never say enough of him. Therefore, lest any thing fit to be 
insisted on, should have escaped him in his former dis- 
courses, he hath designed this section, to gather up the 
paralipomena, or ornaments he had forgotten before to set 
him forth withal. And indeed, if the pope be the man he 
talks of in this section, I must acknowledge he hath had 
much wrong done him in the world. He is one, it seems, 
that we * are beholden unto for all we have that is worth 
anything;' particularly for the * gospel, which was origmally 
from him ; for kingly authority, and his crown-land with all 
the honour and power in the kingdom ; one, that we had not 
had any thing left us, at this day, either of truth or unity, 
humanly speaking, had not he been set over us. One, in 
whom Christ hath no less shewn his divinity and power, 
than in himself; in whom he is more miraculous, than he 
was in his own person. One, that by the only authority of 
his place and person, defended Christ's being God against 
all the world; without which, humanly speaking, Christ 
had not been taken for any such person as he is believed 
this day.' So as not only we, but Christ himself is be- 
holden to him, that any body believes him to be God. Now 
truly, if things stand thus with him, I think it is high time 
for us to leave our protestancy, and to betake ourselves to 
the Irishman's creed, ' That if Christ had not been Christ 
when he was Christ, St. Patrick (the pope) would have been 
Christ.' Nay, as he is, having the hard fate to come into 
the world, so many ages after the ascension of Christ into 
heaven, I know not what is left for Christ to be, or do. The 


Scripture tells us, that the gospel is Christ's, originally from 
him; now we are told it is the pope's, originally from him; 
that informs us, that by him (the wisdom of God) 'kings 
reign, and princes execute judgment;' now we are taught, 
* That kingly authority, with his crown-land, is from the 
pope^.' That instructs us, to expect the preservation of faith 
and truth in the world, from Christ alone ; the establishment 
of his throne and kingdom for ever and ever ; his building, 
guidance, and protection of his church : but we are now 
taught, that for all these things we are beholden to the pope, 
w^ho, by his only authority, keeps up the faith of the Deity 
of Christ ; who surely is much engaged to him, that he takes 
it not to himself. Besides, what he is, for our better in- 
formation, that we may judge aright concerning him, we 
may consider also what he doth, and hath been doing, it 
seems, a long time ; ' He is one that hath never been known 
to let fall the least word of passion against any, nor move 
any engine for revenge ; onp whose whole life and study is 
to defend innocence,' &c. That by his ' general councils, 
all held under, and by him, especially that of Nice, hath 
done more good than can be expressed ; careful, and more 
than' humanly happy, in all ages, in reconciling Christian 
princes,' &c. ' One who let men talk what they will, if he 
be not an unerring guide in matters of religion and faith, all 
is lost.' But how shall we come to know, and be assured 
of all this ? Other men, as our author knows and complains, 
speak other things of him ; is it meet, that in so doubtful 
and questionable a business, and of so great importance to 
be known, we should believe a stranger upon hi^ word, and 
that against the vehement affirmations at least of so many 
to the contrary : the Scripture speaks never a word that we 
can find of him, nor once mentions him at all. The ancient 
stories of the church are utterly silent of him, as for any 
such person as he is here described, speaking of the bishop 
of Rome, as of other bishops in those days, many of the 
stories of after-ages give us quite another character of him, 
both as to his personal qualifications and employment. I 
mean, of the greatest part of the series of men going under 
that name. Instead of peace-making and reconciliation, 
they tell us of fierce and cruel wars, stirred up and managed 
by them; of the ruin of kings, and kingdoms, by their 


means: and instead of the meekness pretended, their breath- 
ing out threatenings against men that adore them not ; per- 
secuting them with fire and sword, to the utter depopulation 
of some countries, and the defiling of the most of Europe 
with bloody cruelties. What course shall we take in the 
contest of assertions, that we may be able to make a right 
judgment concerning him? I know no better than this, a 
little to examine apart the particulars of his excellency as 
they are given us by our author, especially the most eminent 
of them ; and weigh whether they are given in according to 
truth or no. 

The first that we mentioned was, that ' the gospel was 
originally from him, and to him we are beholden for it.' 
This we cannot readily receive ; it is certainly untrue, and 
fearfully blasphemous to boot. The gospel was originally 
from Christ; and to him alone are we beholden for it, as 
hath been before declared. Another is, that 'kingly au- 
thority amongst us, and his crown-land is from him.' This 
is false and seditious. Kingly authority in general is from 
God, and by his providence was it established in this land, 
before the pope had any thing to do here ; nor doth it lean 
in the least on his warranty, but hath been supported with- 
out the papacy, and against all its oppositions, which have 
not been a few. A third is, that, ' humanly speaking, had 
not he been set over us, we had not had this day either truth 
or unity.' I know not well, what you mean by ' humanly 
speaking ;' but I am sure, so to blaspheme the care and love 
of Christ to his church, and the sufficiency of his word and 
promised Spirit to preserve truth in the world, without the 
pope, whose aid in this work he never once thought of, re- 
quested, appointed, is, if not inhuman and barbarous, yet bold 
and presumptuous. That ' Christ hath no less shewed his di- 
vinity in him than in his own person,' is an expression of the 
same nature, or of a more dreadful, if possible it may be. I . 
speak seriously, I do not think this is the way to make men 
in love with the pope. No sooner is such a word spoken, but 
immediately the wicked bestial lives, the ignorance, atheisms, 
and horrid ends of many of them, present themselves to the 
thoughts of men, and a tremor comes over their hearts, to hear 
men open their mouths with such blasphemies, as to affirm, 
that the Lord Christ did as much manifest his divinity and 


power in such beasts, as in his own person. ' Yea, that 
he is more miraculous in him, than he was in himself:' what 
proof, sir, is there of this? Where is the Scripture, where the 
antiquity, where the reason for it? We tell you truly, we 
cannot believe such monstrous figments upon their bare 
affirmation. Yea, but this is not all, * Christ is beholden 
to him for all the faith of his Deity that is in the world ;' 
Why so? Why, by the ' only authority of his place and per- 
son, he defended it.' When? 'When it was opposed by the 
Arians,' and he called his council of Nice, where he con- 
demned them. Who would not be sick of such trifles? Is 
it possible that any man in his right wits should talk at such 
a rate? Consult the writings of those days, of Alexander of 
Alexandria, of Athanasius, Gregory, Basil, Chrysostom, 
Austin, who not? Go over the volumes of the councils of 
those days ; if he can once find the authority of the pope of 
Rome, and his person, pleaded as the pillar of the faith of 
Christ's Deity, or as any argument for the proof of it, let 
him triumph in his discovery. Vain man that dares to make 
these flourishes, when he knows how those ancient Christian 
heroes, of those days, mightily proved the Deity of Christ 
from the Scriptures, and confounded their adversaries with 
their testimonies, both in their councils, disputes, and 
writings, which remain to this day. Was not the Scripture 
accounted, and pleaded by them all as the bulwark of this 
truth? and did not some of them, Athanasius for instance, 
do and suffer for the maintaining of it, more than all the 
bishops of Rome in those days, or since? and, what a trifling 
is it to tell us of the pope's council at Nice? As though we 
did not know who called that council, who presided in it, 
who bare the weight of the business of it, of whom none 
were popes, nor any sent by popes ; nay, as if we did not 
know, that there was then no such pope in the world, as he 
about whom we contend. Indeed it is not candid and inge- 
nuous for a man to talk of these things in this manner. The 
like must be said of the six first councils mentioned by him; 
in some of which the power of the bishop of Rome was ex- 
pressly limited, as in that of Nice, and that of Chalcedon, 
and in the others ; though he was ready enough to pretend 
to more, yet he had no more power than the bishops of other 
cities, that had a mind to be called patriarchs. We do not 


then, as yet, see any reason to change our former thoughts 
of the pope, for any thing here offered by our author ; and 
we cannot but be far enough from taking up his, if they be 
those which he hath in this discourse expressed, they being 
all of them erroneous, the most of them blasphemous. 

But yet, if we are not pleased with what he is, we may 
be pleased with what he does ; being so excellent a well ac- 
complished person as he is ; for he is one that was never 
* known to let fall a word of passion/ That, for casting off 
his authority should procure thousands to be slain, and 
burned, without stirring up any ' engine of revenge,' these 
are somewhat strange stories. Our author grievously com- 
plains of uncivil carriage toward the pope in England, in all 
sorts, men, women, and children. For my part, I justify no 
reviling accusation in any, against any whatever ; but yet I 
must tell him, that if he thinks to reclaim men from their 
hard thoughts of him (that is, not of the person of this or 
that pope, but of the office as by them managed) it must not 
be by telling him, he is a fine accomplished gentleman, that 
he is ' a prince, a stranger, a great way off, whom it is uncivil 
and unmannerly to speak so hardly of:' but labour to shew, 
that it is not his principle to impose upon the consciences of 
men, his apprehensions in the things of God; that he is not the 
great proclaimer of many false opinions, heresies, and supersti- 
tions, and that with a pretence of an authority, to make them 
receive them whether they will or no ; that he hath not caused 
many of their forefathers to be burned to death, for not sub- 
mitting to his dictates, nor would do so to them, had he them 
once absolutely in his power; that he hath never given away 
this kingdom to strangers, and cursed the -lawful princes of 
it; that he pleads not a sovereignty over them, and their go- 
vernors, inconsistent with the laws of God and the land : 
* Hsec, cedo, admoveant templis, et farre litabo.' For whilst 
the greatest part of men amongst us, do look upon him as 
the antichrist foretold in the Scripture, guilty of the blood 
of innumerable martyrs, and witnesses of the truth of Christ; 
others who think not so hardly of him, yet confess he is so 
like him, that by the marks given of antichrist, he is the 
likeliest person on the earth to be apprehended on sus- 
picion ; all of them think, that if he could get them into his 
power, which he endeavours continually, he would burn them 


to ashes; and that, in the mean time, he is the corrupt foun- 
tain and spring of all the false worship, superstition, and 
idolatry, wherewith the faces of many churches are defiled. 
To suppose he can persuade them to any better respect of 
him than they have, by telling them how ' fine a gallant gen- 
tleman' he is, and what a great way off from them, and the 
like stories, is to suppose, that he is to deal with fools and 
children. For my own part, I approve no man's cursing or 
reviling of him ; let that work be left to himself alone for 
me : I desire men would pray for him, that God would con- 
vert him and all his other enemies to the truth of the gos- 
pel ; and in the mean time to deliver all his from their policy, 
rage, and fury. 

We may easily gather what is to be thought of the other 
encomiums given to him by our author, by what hath been 
observed concerning those we have passed through ; as that 
' his whole life and study is to defend innocency,' &c. It 
must needs be granted, that he hath taken some little time 
to provide for himself in the world; he had surely never ar- 
rived else to that degree of excellency, as to tread on the 
necks of emperors, to have kings hold his stirrup, to kick off 
their crowns, to exceed the rulers of the earth in worldly 
pomp, state, and treasures, which came not to him by inhe- 
ritance from St. Peter ; and whether he hath been such a de- 
fender of innocency and innocents, the day wherein God 
shall make inquisition for blood, will manifest. The great 
work he hath done by his general councils, a summary of 
which is given us by our author, is next pretended. ' All 
this was done by him, yea, all that good that was ever done 
by general councils in the world was done by him ;' for they 
were all his councils, and that which was not his, is none. 
I shall only mind our author of what was said of old, unto 
one talking at that rate that he is pleased here to do: 

' Lahore alieno magnam partam gloriam 
Verbis saepein se transraovet, qui liabet saicni 
Qui in te est.' 

All the glory and renown of the old ancient councils, all 
their labours for the extirpation of heresies and errors, and 
the success that their honest endeavours were blessed withal, 
with the seasoning of one little word 'his,' are turned over 
to the pope. They were ' his councils ;' a thing they never 


once dreamed of; nor any mortal man in the days wherein 
they were celebrated. Convened they were in the name, 
and upon the institution of Christ, and so were * His' coun- 
cils ; were called together, as to their solemn external con- 
vention, by the emperors of those days, and so were, not 
their councils, but councils held by their authority, as to all 
the external concernments of them. This the councils them- 
selves did acknowledge; and so did the bishops of Rome in 
those days, when they joined their petitions with others 
unto the emperors, for the convening of them ; and seldom 
it was, that they could obtain their meetings in any place 
they desired ; though they were many of them wise at an 
after game, and turned their remoteness from them into their 
advantage. As they were called by the emperors, so they 
were composed of bishops and others, with equal suffrages. 
How they come to be the pope's councils, he himself only 
knows, and those to whom he is pleased to impart this secret, 
of other men not one. Indeed some of them may be called 
his councils, if every thing is his, wherein he is any way con- 
cerned ; such was the first council of Nice, as to his pretended 
jurisdiction; such that of Chalcedon, as to his primacy; such 
were sundry famous conventions in Afric, wherein his pre- 
tensions unto authority were excluded, and his unseemly 
frauds discovered. Nay, there is not any thing upon the 
roll of antiquity of greater and more prodigious scandal, than 
the contests of popes in some African councils, for autho- 
rity and jurisdiction. Their claim was such, as that the 
good fathers assembled wrote unto them, that they would 
not introduce secular pride and ambition into the church of 
Christ; and the manner of managing their pretensions, was 
no other but downright forgery, and that of no less than 
canons of the first memorable council of Nice; which to dis- 
cover, the honest African bishops were forced to send to 
Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch, for authentic co- 
pies of those canons; upon the receipt whereof, they molli- 
fied the forgery with much Christian sobriety and prudence 
unto the bishop of Rome himself, and enacted a decree for 
the future, to prevent his pretensions and claims. Besides, 
as the good bishops aver, God himself testified against the 
irregular interposition of the pretended power of the bishop 
of Rome ; for whilst they, being synodically assembled, were 


detained and hindered in their procedure, by the Romanists' 
contests for superiority, Apiarius, the guilty person, being 
convinced in his conscience of his many notorious evils and 
crimes, from a just censure whereof, the Roman interposi- 
tion was used to shelter him, of his own accord cast himself 
at the feet of the assembly, confessing all his wickedness 
and folly. Of the six first councils then there is no more 
reason to call them the pope's, or to ascribe their achieve- 
ments unto him, than there is to call them any other 
bishop's of any city, then famous in the world. In that which 
he calls the ' seventh general council,' indeed a conventicle 
of ignorant, tumultuous, superstitious Iconolaters, con- 
demned afterward by a council held at Frankfort, by the 
authority of Charles the Great, he stickled to some purpose 
for images, which then began to be his darlings ; and though 
we can afford that council to be his, for any concernment 
we have in it, yet the story of it will not allow us to do so ; 
it being neither convened nor ruled by his authority, though 
the brutish monks in it were willing to shelter themselves 
under the splendour and lustre of his see. About those that 
follow, we will not much contend: it matters not whose 
they were, unless they had been better ; especially such as 
laid foundations for, and stirred up princes to shed the in- 
nocent blood of the martyrs of Christ, to some of their per- 
petual ignominy, reproach, and ruin. But yet our author 
knows, or may know what long contests there have been, 
even in latter ages, whether the council should be the pope's 
council, or the pope should be the council's pope; and how 
the pope carried it at last, by having more archbishopricks 
and bishopricks in his disposal than the councils had. And 
so much for the pope's councils. 

Our author adds, that * he hath been more than humanly 
happy in reconciling Christian princes ;' but yet I will ven- 
ture a wager with him, that I will give more instances of his 
setting princes together by the ears, than he shall of recon- 
ciling them; and I will manifest, that he hath got more by 
the first work, than the latter. Let him begin the vie when 
he pleaseth ; if I live, and God will, I will try this matter 
with him before any competent judges; 'Tu die mecum, 
quo pignore V How else to end this matter, I know not. 

I see not then any ground my countrymen have to alter 


their thoughts concerning the pope, for any thing here ten- 
dered unto them by this author; yea, I know they have 
great reason to be confirmed in their former apprehensions 
concerning him. For all that truly honour the Lord Jesus 
Christ, have reason to be moved, when they hear another, if 
not preferred before him, nor set up in competition with 
him, yet openly invested with many of his privileges and 
prerogatives ; especially considering, that not only the per- 
son of Christ, but his word also is debased to make way to 
his exaltation and advancement. Thence it is, that it is 
openly averred, that were it not for his 'infallibility, we 
should all this time have been at a loss for truth and unity.' 
Of so small esteem with some men is the wisdom of Christ, 
who left his word with his church for these ends, and his 
word itself. All is nothing without the pope. If I mistake 
not in the light and temper of my countrymen, this is not 
the way to gain their good opinion of him. Had our au- 
thor kept himself to the general terms of a good prince, a 
universal pastor, a careful guide ; and to general stories of 
his wisdom, care, and circumspection for public good, which 
discourse makes up what remains of this paragraph, he 
might perhaps have got some ground on their affection and 
esteem, who know nothing concerning him to the contrary; 
which in England are very few. But these notes above 
Ela, these transcendant encomiums, have quite marred his 
market. And if there be no medium, but men must believe 
the pope to be either Christ or antichrist, it is evident which 
way the general vogue in England will go, and that at least 
until fire and fagot come; which, blessed be God, we are 
secured from, whilst our present sovereign sways the scep- 
tre of this land ; and hope our posterity may be so, under his 
offspring, for many generations. 




Sect. 30. Our author hopes, it seems, that by this time he 
hath brought his disciples to popery ; that is the title of the 
last paragraph, to his business, not of his book ; for that 
which follows, being a parcel of the excellent speech of my 
lord chancellor, is about a matter wherein his concernment 
lies not: this is his close and farewell. They say, there is 
one, who, when he goes out of any place, leaves a worse sa- 
vour at his departure, than he gave all the time of his abode ; 
and he seems here to be imitated. The disingenuity of this 
paragraph, the want of care, of truth, and of common ho- 
nesty, that appears in it, sends forth a worse savour than 
most of those, if not than any, or all of them, that went be- 
fore. The design of it is to give us a parallel of some popish 
and Protestant doctrines, that the beauty of the one may the 
better be set off by the deformity of the other. To this end 
he hath made no conscience of mangling, defacing, and de- 
filing of the latter. The doctrines he mentions, he calls the 
more plausible parts of popery. Such as he hath laboured 
in his whole discourse to gild and trick up with his rhetoric, 
nor shall I quarrel with him for his doting on them : only I 
cannot but wish it might suffice him to enjoy and proclaim 
the beauty of his church, without open slandering and de- 
faming of ours. This is not handsome, civil, mannerly, 
nor conscientious. A few instances will manifest, whether 
he hath failed in this kind or no. The first plausible piece 
of popery, as he calls it, that he presents us in his antithesis, 
is ' the obligation which all have who believe in Christ to 
attend unto good works, and the merit and benefit of so 
doing ;' in opposition whereunto he says Protestants * teach 
that there be no such things as good works pleasing unto 
God, but all be as menstruous rags, filthy, odious, and 
damnable in the sight of heaven ; that if it were otherwise, 
yet they are not in our power to perform.' Let other men 
do what they please, or are able ; for my part, if this be a 
good work, to believe that a man conscientiously handles 


the things of religion, with a reverence of God, and a re- 
gard to the account he is to make at the last day, who can 
thus openly calumniate, and equivocate; I must confess, I 
do not find it in my )Dower to perform it. It may be, he 
thinks it no great sin to calumniate and falsely accuse here- 
tics ; or, if it be, but a venial one. Such a one as hath no 
respect to heaven or hell, but only purgatory, which hath 
no great influence on the minds of men to keep them from 
vice, or provoke them to virtue. Do Protestants teach, 
* There are no such things as good works pleasing to God,' 
or that ' those that believe, are not obliged to good works V 
In which of their confessions do they so say? In what 
public writing of any of their churches ? What one indi- 
vidual Protestant was ever guilty of thinking or venting 
this folly ? If our author had told this story in Rome or 
Italy, he had wronged himself only in point of morality ; 
but telling it in England, if I mistake not, he is utterly gone 
also as to reputation. But, yet you will say, that if there 
be good works, yet it is not in our power to perform them. 
No more will Papists neither, that know what they say, or 
are in their right wits, that it is so without the help of the 
grace of God ; and the Protestant never lived, that I know 
of, that denied them by that help and assistance to be in 
our power. But they say, they are * all as filthy rags,' &c. 
I am glad he will acknowledge Isaiah to be a Protestant, 
whose words they are concerning all our righteousness, that 
he traduceth ; we shall have him sometime or other denying 
some of the prophets or apostles to be Protestants; and 
yet it is known, that they all agreed in their doctrine and 
faith. Those other Protestants whom he labours principally 
to asperse, will tell him, that although God do indispensably 
require good works of them that do believe, and they by 
the assistance of his grace do perform constantly those good 
works, which both for the matter, and the manner of their 
performance, are acceptable to him in Jesus Christ, accord- 
ing to the tenour of the covenant of grace, and which, as 
the eff'ect of his grace in us, shall be eternally rewarded ; 
yet, that such is the infinite purity and holiness of the great 
God with whom we have to do, in whose sight the heavens 
are not pure, and who charges his angels with folly, that, if 
he should deal with the best of our works, according to the 



exigence and rigour of his justice, they would appear want- 
ing, defective, yea, filthy in his sight ; so that our works 
have need of acceptation in Christ no less than our persons; 
and they add this to their faith in this matter, that they be- 
lieve, that those who deny this, know little of God or them- 
selves. My pen is dull, and the book that was lent me for 
a few days is called for. ' Ex hoc uno ;' by this instance ; 
we may take a measure of all the rest wherein the same in- 
genuity and conscientious care of offending is observed, as 
in this ; that is, neither the one or other is so. The residue 
of his discourse is but a commendation of his religion, and 
the professors of it, whereof I must confess, I begin to grow 
weary ; having had so much of it, and so often repeated, 
and that from one of themselves, and that on principles 
which will not endure the trial and examination : of this 
sort is the suffering for their religion, which he extols in 
them. Not what God calls them unto, or others impose upon 
them in any part of the world ; wherein they are not to be 
compared with Protestants, nor have suffered from all the 
world for their papal religion, the hundredth part of what 
Protestants have suffered from themselves alone, for their 
refusal of it, doth he intend ; but what of their own accord 
they undergo. Not considering, that as outward affliction 
and persecution from the world, have been always the con- 
stant lot of the true worshippers of Christ in all ages ; 
so, voluntary self-macerations have attended the ways of 
false worship among all sorts of men from the foundation of 
the world. 














f 2 


Christian Reader, 

Although our Lord Jesus Christ hath laid blessed 
and stable foundations of unity, peace, and agreement 
in judgment, and affection amongst all his disciples ; 
and given forth command for their attendance unto 
them, that thereby they might glorify him in the world, 
and promote their own spiritual advantage, yet also, 
foreknowing what effect the crafts of Satan, in conjunc- 
tion with the darkness and lusts of men would pro- 
duce; that no offence might thence be taken against 
him, or any of his ways, he hath forewarned all men 
by his Spirit what differences, divisions, schisms, and 
heresies would ensue on the publication of the gospel ; 
and arise even among them that should profess sub- 
jection unto his authority and law. And accordingly 
it speedily came to pass; for what Solomon says that 
he discovered concerning the first creation, namely, 
that 'God made man upright, but he sought out many 
inventions,' or immixed himself in endless questions; 
the same fell out in the new creation or erection of the 
church of Christ. The state of it was by him formed 
upright, and all that belonged unto it, were of one 
heart and one soul. But this harmony and perfection 
of beauty, in answer to his will and institution, lasted 
not long among them ; many who mixed themselves 
with those primitive converts, or succeeded them in 
their profession, quickly seeking out perverse inven- 
tions. Hence, in the days of the Apostles themselves] 


there were not only schisms and divisions made in 
sundry churches of their own planting, with disputes 
about opinions and needless impositions by those of 
the circumcision who believed ; but also opposition 
was made unto the very fundamental doctrines of the 
Deity and incarnation of the Son of God, by the spirit 
of antichrist, then entering into the world, as is evident 
from their writings and epistles. But yet as all this 
while our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his promise, 
preserved the root of love and unity amongst them who 
sincerely believe in him entire (as he doth still, and 
will do to the end), by giving the one and selfsame 
Spirit to guide, sanctify, and unite them all unto him- 
self; so the care and authority of the apostles during 
their abode in the flesh, so far prevailed, that notwith- 
standing some temporary impeachments of love and 
union in or amongst the churches ; yet no signal pre- 
judice of any long continuance befell them. For either 
the miscarriages which they fell into, were quickly re- 
trieved by them, the truth infallibly cleared, and pro- 
vision made for peace, unity, and moderation in and 
about things of less concernment; or else the evil, 
guilt, and danger of them, remained only with and 
upon some particular persons, the notoriety of whose 
wickedness and folly, cast them out by common con- 
sent, from the communion of all the disciples of Christ. 
But no sooner was that sacred society 6 lepog 'Airoaro- 
Awv x'^P"^^ ^^^^ their immediate successors, as Ege- 
sippus speaks in Eusebius, departed unto their rest with 
God, but that the church itself, which until then was 
preserved a pure and uncorrupted virgin, began to be 
vexed with abiding contention, and otherwise to de- 
generate from its primitive original purity. From 
thenceforward, especially after the heat of bloody and 
fiery persecutions began to abate, far the greatest part 
of ecclesiastical records consists in relations of the di- 


visions, differences, schisms, and heresies that fell out 
amongst them who professed themselves the disciples 
of Christ. For those failings, errors, and mistakes 
which were found in men of peaceable minds, the 
church indeed of those days extended her peace and 
unity, if Justin Martyr and others may be believed, to 
such as the seeming warmer zeal, and really colder 
charity of the succeeding ages could not bear withal. 
But yet divisions and disputes were multiplied into 
such an excess, as that the Gentiles fetched advantage 
from them, not only to reproach all Christians withal, 
but to deter others from the profession of Christianity. 
So Celsus, in his third book, deals with them ; for saith 

he, ap-^o/iitvoi fxev oX'iyoi re rtaav, Koi ev erppovovv' eg irXriOoQ 
0£ aTrapevreg avOig av TSfxvovrai koi a-^itovrai Kol araaeig ISiag 
f^Etf e/cacrroi OeXovai' Kai viro Tr\i}Bovg iraXiv ^uaTafxevoi a^ag 
avTovg iXk-yyovaiv' ivog ojg enrsiv, en Koivtovovvreg uye Koivw- 
vovaiv tTi TQV ovofiaTog' ai tovtov jhovov eyKaTaXnreiv b/xojg 
aicryyvovTai. ' At first, when there were but a few, they 
were of one mind, or agreed well enough : but being 
increased, and the multitude of them scattered abroad, 
they were presently divided again and again ; and 
every one would have his own party or division, and, 
as in a divided multitude, opposed and reproved one 
another ; so that they had no communion among them- 
selves, but only in name, which for shame they retain.' 
So doth he for his purpose, as is the manner of men, 
invidiously exaggerate the differences that were in 
those early times amongst Christians ; for he wrote 
about the days of Trajan the emperor. That others of 
them took the same course, is testified by Clemens, 
Stromat. lib, 7. Augustin. lib. de Ovib. cap. 15. and 
sundry others of theantient writers of the church. But 
that no just offence as to the truth, or any of the ways 
of Christ, might hence be taken, we are, as I said before, 
forewarned of all these things by the Lord himself, and 


his apostles ; as also of the use and necessity of such 
events and issues : whence Origen cries out irdw 6av- 
fiaa'iwQ 6 IlauXot' Etjorj/cEvai juot So/ca, ' Most admirable unto 
me seems the saying of Paul,' ' There must be heresies 
amongst you, that those who are approved may be 
manifest.' Nor can any just exception be hence taken 
against the gospel itself. For it doth not belong unto 
the excellency or dignity of any thing to free itself 
from all opposition, but only to preserve itself from 
being prevailed against, and to remain victorious, as 
the sacred truths of Christ have done, and will do unto 
the end. Not a few, indeed, in these evil days wherein 
we live, the ends of the world, and the difficulties with 
which they are attended being come upon us, persons 
ignorant of things past, and regardless of things to 
come, in bondage to their lusts and pleasures, are ready 
to make use of the pretence of divisions and differences 
among Christians, to give up themselves unto atheism, 
and indulge to their pleasures like the beasts that perish. 
' Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die.' 
* Quid aliud inscribi poterat sepulchre bovis !' But 
whatever they pretend to the contrary, it may be easily 
evinced, that it is their personal dislike of that holy 
obedience which the gospel requireth, not the dif- 
ferences that are about the doctrines of it, which alien- 
ates their minds from the truth. They will not some 
of them forego all philosophical inquiries after the na- 
ture and causes of things here below, they know well 
enough that there was never any agreement amongst 
the wisest and severest that at any time have been en- 
gaged in that disquisition, nor is it likely that ever 
there will be so. And herein they can countenance 
themselves with the difficulty, obscurity, and impor- 
tance of the things inquired after- But as for the high 
and heavenly mysteries of the gospel, the least whereof 
is infinitely of more importance than any thing that the 


Utmost reach and comprehension of human wisdom 
can attain unto, they may be neglected and despised 
because there are contentions about them. 

Hie nigras succus loliginis, ha;c est 
^rugo iiiera. 

The truth is, this is so far from any real ground 
for any such conclusion, that it were utterly impos- 
sible that any man should believe the truth of 
Christian religion, if he had not seen, or might not be 
informed, that such contention and differences had en- 
sued in and about 'it; for that they should do so, is 
plainly and frequently foretold in those sacred oracles 
of it,whereof, if any one be found to fail, the veracity 
and authority of the whole may justly be called into 
question. If, therefore, men will have a religion so ab- 
solutely facile and easy, that without laying out of 
their rational abilities, or of exercising the faculties of 
their souls about it, without foregoing of their lusts and 
pleasures, without care of mistakes and miscarriages, 
they may be securely wrapped up in it, as it were, whe- 
ther they will or no: I confess they must seek for some 
other where they can find it, Christianity will yield 
them no relief. God hath not proposed an acquaint- 
ance with the blessed concernments of his glory, 
and of their own eternal condition, unto the sons of 
men, on any such terms, as that they should not 
need, with all diligence, to employ and exercise the fa- 
culties of their souls in the investigation of them, in the 
use of the means by him appointed for that purpose, 
seeing this is the chiefest end for which he hath made 
us those souls. And as for them, who in sincerity give 
up their minds and consciences unto his authority and 
guidance, he hath not left them without an infallible 
direction for such a discharge of their own duty, as is 
sufficient to guide and lead them in the midst of all 
differences, divisions, and oppositions unto rest with 


himself; and the difficulties which are cast upon any 
in their inquiring after truth, by the error and devia- 
tion of other men from it, are all sufficiently recom- 
pensed unto them, by the excellency and sweetness 
which they find in the truth itself, when sought out 
with diligence according to the mind of Christ. And 
one said not amiss of old, iTroifxoi tov kTnp.{KwQ kviZovra 

ToiQ '^piGTiavicFiuLov diptasai (To^wraToi' ^ptfrriavov yiveaOai, ' I 

dare say he is the wisest Christian, who hath most di- 
ligently considered the various differences that are in 
and about Christianity,' as being built in the knowledge 
of the truth upon the best and most stable foundations. 
To this end hath the Lord Jesus given us his holy 
word, a perfect and sure revelation of all that he would 
have us to believe or do in the worship of God. This 
he commands us diligently to attend unto, to study, 
search, and inquire after, that we may know his mind 
and do it. It is true, in their inquiry into it, various 
apprehensions concerning the sense and meaning of 
sundry things revealed therein have befallen some men 
in all ages ; and Origen gives this as one occasion of 
the differences that were in those days amongst Chris- 
tians, TOVTo, saith he, riKoXovOrias, ^ia(j>6pu)g eK^i^afxsvwv Tovg 
oLfxa TTaai TncmvOevTag dvai Buovg Xoyowc to yiviaOai aipeaeigl 

lib. 3. Con. Cel. 1. 'When many were converted unto 
Christianity, some of them variously understanding the 
holy Scripture, which they jointly believed, it came to 
pass that heresy ensued.' For this was the whole rule 
of faith and unity in those days; the means for secur- 
ing of us in them imposed on us of late by the Roman- 
ists, was then not heard of, not thought of in the world. 
But moreover, to obviate all danger that might in this 
matter ensue, from the manifold weakness of our minds 
in apprehending spiritual things, the Lord Jesus hath 
promised his Holy Spirit unto all them that believe in 
him, and ask it of him, to prevent their mistakes and 


miscarriages in the study of his word, and to ' lead 
them into all that truth,' the knowledge whereof is ne- 
cessary, that they may believe in him unto the end, and 
live unto him. And if they who diligently and con- 
scientiously without prejudices, corrupt ends or de- 
signs, in obedience to the command of Christ, shall in- 
quire into the Scriptures, to receive from thence the 
whole object of their faith and rule of their obedience, 
and who believing his promise shall pray for his Spirit, 
and wait to receive him in and by the means appoint- 
ed for that end, may not be, and are not thereby se- 
cured from all such mistakes and errors as may disin- 
terest them in the promises of the gospel, I know not 
how we may be brought unto any certainty or assur- 
ance in the truths of God, or the everlasting consola- 
tion of our own souls. Neither indeed is the nature of 
man capable of any farther satisfaction in or about 
these things, unless God should work continual mira- 
cles, or give continually special revelations unto all in- 
dividuals, which would utterly overthrow the whole 
nature of that faith and obedience which he requires at 
our hands. But once to suppose that such persons, 
through a defect of the means appointed by Christ for 
the instruction and direction before mentioned, may 
everlastingly miscarry, is to cast an unspeakable re- 
proach on the goodness, grace, and faithfulness of God, 
and enough to discourage all men from inquiring after 
the truth. And these things the reader will find 
farther cleared in the ensuing discourse, with a dis- 
covery of the weakness, falseness, and insufficiency of 
those rules and reliefs which are tendered unto us by 
the Romanists, in the lieu of them that are given 
us by God himself. Now if this be the condition 
of things in Christian religion, as to any one that 
hath with sincerity consulted the Scripture, or con- 
sidered the goodness, grace, and wisdom of God, 


it must needs appear to be, it is manifest that men'?* 
startling at it, or being offended upon the account of 
divisions and differences among them that make pro- 
fession thereof, is nothing but a pretence to cloak and 
hide their sloth and supine negligence, with their 
unwillingness to come up unto the indispensable con- 
dition of learning the truth as it is in Jesus, namely, 
obedience unto his whole will, and all his commands, 
so far as he is pleased to reveal them unto us. With 
others they are but incentives unto that diligence and 
watchfulness, which the things themselves, in their na- 
ture high and arduous, and in their importance of 
everlasting moment, require at your hands. Farther, on 
those who by the means forementioned come to the 
knowledge of the truth, it is incumbent, according as 
they are by God's providence called thereunto, and as 
they receive ability from him for that purpose, to con- 
tend earnestly for it. Nor is their so doing any part 
of the evil that attends differences and divisions, but a 
means appointed by God himself for their cure and re- 
moval ; provided, as the apostle speaks, that they 'strive 
or contend lawfully.' The will of God must be done 
in the ways of his own appointment. Outward force 
and violence, corporeal punishments, swords and fagots, 
as to any use in things purely spiritual and religious, 
to impose them on the consciences of men, are con- 
demned in the Scripture, by all the ancient or first 
writers of the church, by sundry edicts and laws of 
the empire, and are contrary to the very light of reason 
whereby we are men, and all the principles of it from 
whence mankind consenteth and coalesceth into civil 
society. Explaining, declaring, proving, and confirming 
the truth, convincing of gainsayers by the evidence of 
common principles on all hands assented unto, and 
right reason, with prayer and supplications for success, 
attended with a conversation becoming the gospel we 


profess, is the way sanctified by God unto the promo- 
tion of the truth, and the recovery of them that are 
gone astray from it. Into this work, according as God 
hath imparted of his gifts and Spirit unto them, some 
in most ages of the church have been engaged ; and 
therein have not contracted any guilt of the evils of the 
contentions and divisions in their days, but cleared 
themselves of them, and faithfully served the interest of 
those in their generation. And this justifies and war- 
rants us in the pursuit of the same work, by the same 
means, in the same days wherein we live. And when 
at any time men sleep in the neglect of their duty, the 
envious one will not be wanting to sow his tares in the 
field of the Lord ; which, as in the times and places 
wherein we live it should quicken the diligence and 
industry of those upon whom the care of the preserva- 
tion of the truth is, by the providence of God, in an 
especial manner devolved, and who have manifold ad- 
vantages for their encouragement in their undertaking ; 
so also it gives countenance even to the meanest endea- 
vours, that in sincerity are employed in the same work by 
others in their more private capacity, amongst which I 
hope the ensuing brief discourse may, with impartial 
readers, find admittance. It is designed in general for 
the defence and vindication of the truth, and that truth 
which is publicly professed in this nation, against the 
solicitation of it, and opposition made unto it with more 
than ordinary vigilancy, and seeming hopes of preva- 
lency, on what grounds I know not. This is done by 
those of the Roman church, who have given in them- 
selves as sad an instance of a degeneracy from the 
truth, as ever the Christian world had experience of, 
from insensible and almost imperceptible entrances into 
deviations from the holy rule of the gospel, counte- 
nanced by specious pretences of piety and devotion, 
but really influenced by the corrupt lusts of ambition, 


love of pre-eminence, and earthly-mindedness, in 
men ignorant or neglective of the mystery and simpli- 
city of the gospel, their apostacy hath been carried on 
by various degrees upon advantages given unto those 
that made the benefit of it unto themselves, by political 
commotions and alterations, until, by sundry artifices 
and sleights of Satan and men, it is grown unto that 
stated opposition to the right ways of God, which we 
behold it come unto at this day. The great Roman his- 
torian desires his reader in the perusal of his discourses 
to consider and observe, ' quae vita, qui mores fuerint, 
per quos viros quibusque artibus domi militieeque et 
partum et auctum imperium sit. Labente deinde pau- 
latim disciplina velut dissidentes primo mores sequatur 
animo ; deinde ut magis magisque lapsi sint, tum ire 
caeperint prsecipites, donee ad hsec tempora, quibus 
nee vitia nostra nee remedia pati possumus, perventum 
est;' ' what was the course of life, what were the manners 
of those men, both at home and abroad, by whom the 
Roman empire was erected and enlarged; as also how 
ancient discipline insensibly decaying, far different 
manners ensued, whose decay more and more increas- 
ing, at length they began violently to decline, until we 
came uulo these days wherein we are able to bear nei- 
ther our vices nor their remedies :' all which may be as 
truly and justly spoken of the present Roman eccle- 
siastical estate. The first rulers and members of that 
church, by their exemplary sanctity and suffering for 
the truth, deservedly obtained great renown and repu- 
tation amongst the other churches in the world ; but 
after awhile the discipline of Christ decaying amongst 
them, and the purity of his doctrine beginning to be 
corrupted, they insensibly fell from their pristine glory, 
until at length they precipitantly tumbled into that 
condition, wherein, because they fear the spiritual re- 
medy would be their temporal ruin, they are resolved 


to abide, be it never so desperate or deplorable. And 
hence also it is, that of all the opposition that ever the 
disciples of Christ had to contend withal, to suffer 
under, or to witness against, that made unto the truth 
by the Roman church, hath proved the longest, and 
been attended with the most dreadful consequents. For 
it is not the work of any age, or of a few persons, to un- 
ravel that web of falsehood and unrighteousness, which 
in a long tract of time hath been cunningly woven, and 
closely compacted together. Besides, the heads of this 
declension have provided ,for their security, by inter- 
mixing their concerns with the polity of many nations, 
and moulding the constitutions of their governments 
unto a subserviency to their interests and ends. But 
he is strong and faithful who, in his own way and time, 
will rescue his truth and worship from being trampled 
on and defiled by them. In the mean time, that which 
renders the errors of the fathers and sons of that church 
most pernicious unto the professors of Christianity, is, 
that whether out of blind zeal, rooted in that obstinacy 
which men are usually given up unto who have refused 
to retain the truth in the love and power of it, or from 
their being necessitated thereunto in their councils for the 
supportment and preservation of their present interests 
and secular advantages, they are not contented to em- 
brace, practise, and adhere unto those crooked paths 
that they have chosen to walk in, and to attempt the 
drawing of others into them by such ways and means 
as the light of nature, right reason, with the Scripture, 
directs to be used in and about the things of religion 
which relate to the minds and souls of men; but also, 
they have pursued an imposition of their conceptions 
and practices on other men by force and violence, until 
the world in many places hath been made a sta'ge of 
oppression, rapine, cruelty, and war, and that which they 
call their church, a very shambles of the slaughtered 


disciples of Christ. So that what the historian said of 
the old Romans, in reference unto the Gauls or Cim- 
brians, ' usque ad nostram memoriam, Romani alia 
omnia virtuti suae prona esse, cum Gallis pro salute non 
pro gloria certari,' we may apply unto them ; it is not 
truth only, but our temporal safety also, that we are en- 
forced to contend with them about. And whom they 
cannot reach with outward violence^ they endeavour to 
lade with curses; and, by precipitate censures and deter- 
mination, to eject them out of the limits of Christianity, 
as to the spiritual and eternal privileges wherewith 
it is attended. And these things make all hopes of re- 
conciliation for the future, and of present moderation, 
languid and weak, as all endeavours after them hitherto 
have been fruitless. For whilst they contend that every 
proposal of their church, every way and mode, in the 
worship of God that is in usage amongst them, is not 
only true, and right, but of necessity to be embraced 
and submitted unto, and therefore impose them by all 
sorts of penalties on the consciences and practices of 
all men; is it not evident that there can be no peace nor 
agreement in the world, but what waste and solitude 
arising from an extermination of persons otherwise 
minded than themselves, will produce ? Some of them, 
I confess, to serve their present supposed advantages, 
have of late declaimed about moderation in matters of 
religion ; and I wish that herein that may be sincerely 
endeavoured by some, which, for sinister ends, is cor^ 
ruptly pretended by others. For mine own part, there 
are no sort of men from whose frame of spirit and ways 
I shall labour a greater distance than theirs, who set 
themselves against that moderation towards persons 
differing from them and others, in the result of their 
thoughts upon an humble, sincere investigation of the 
truth and ways of Christ, which himself and his 
apostles commend unto us ; or that refuse to consent 


unto any way of reconciliation of dissenters, wherein 
violence is not offered unto the commands of God, as 
stated in their consciences. Let the Romanists re- 
nounce their principles about the absolute necessity of 
the subjection of all persons unto the pope, in answer 
unto that groundless and boundless authority which in 
things sacred and civil they assign unto him, with their 
resolution of imposing the dictates of their church 
' per fas et nefas' upon our consciences, and we shall 
endeavour, with all c[uictness and moderation, to plead 
with them about our remaining differences, and to join 
with them in the profession of those important truths 
wherein we are agreed. But whilst they propose no 
other forms of reconcdiation, but our absolute sub- 
mission unto their papal authority, with our assent unto, 
and profession of, those doctrines which we are per- 
suaded are contrary to the Scripture, with the sense of 
catholic antiquity, derogatory to the glory of God, and 
prejudicial to the salvation of those by whom they are 
received, and our concurrence with them in those ways 
of religious worship, which themselves are fallen into 
by degrees they know not how, and which we believe 
dishonourable unto God, and pernicious to the souls of 
men ; I see no ground of any other peace with them, 
but that only which we are bound to follow with all 
men, in abstaining from mutual violences, performing 
all offices of Christian love, and in a special praying 
for their repentance and coming to the acknowledgment 
of the truth. On this account was it, that some while 
since, upon the desire of some friends, I undertook the 
examination of a discourse entitled Fiat Lux ; whose 
author, under a pretence of that moderation, which is 
indeed altogether inconsistent with other principles of 
his profession, endeavoured to insinuate a necessity of 
the reception of popery for the bringing of us to pence 


or agreement here, and the interesting of us in any 
hope of eternal rest and peace hereafter. Whether 
that small labour were seasonable or no, or whether 
any service were done therein to the interest of truth, is 
left to the judgment of men unprejudiced. Not long 
after there was published an epistle, pretending a reply 
unto that discourse, being indeed a mere flourish of 
empty words, and a giving up of the cause wherein the 
author of Fiat Lux was engaged, as desperate and in- 
defensible. However, I thought it not meet to let it 
pass without some consideration ; partly that the design 
of that treatise, with others of the like nature of late 
published amongst us, might be farther manifested, and 
partly that the ends of moderation and peace being 
fixcii between us, I might farther try and examine, 
whose, and what principles are best suited unto their 
pursuit and accomplishment. I have not, therefore, 
confined myself unto an answer unto the epistle of the 
author of Fiat Lux, which indeed it doth not deserve, 
as I suppose, himself being judge ; but have only from 
it taken occasion to discuss those principles and usages 
in religion, wherein the most important differences be- 
tween Papists and Protestants do lie. For whereas the 
whole difference between them and us, is branched 
into two general heads ; the first concerning those 
principles which they and we severally build our pro- 
fession upon, and resolve our faith into ; and the other 
respecting particular instances in doctrines of faith, and 
practice in religious worship, I have laid hold of occa- 
sion to treat of them both ; of the former absolutely, 
and of the latter in things of most weight and concern- 
ment. And because the judgment of antiquity is de- 
servedly of moment in these things, I have not only 
manifested it to lie plain and clear against the Romanist, 
in instances sufliicient to impeach their pretended infal- 


libility, which is enough to dissolve that whole imagi- 
nary fabric that is built upon it, and centres in it ; but 
also, in most of the material controversies that are be- 
tween them and us. These things, Christian reader, I 
thought meet to premise towards the prevention of that 
offence which any may really take, or for corrupt ends 
pretend so to do, at the differences in general that are 
amongst Christians, or those in especial which are be- 
tween us and the Roman church ; as also to give an 
account of the occasion, design, and end, of the ensuing 
consideration of them. 





I HAVE received your epistle, and therein your excuse for 
your long silence, which I willingly admit of, and could have 
been contented it had been longer, so that you had been ad- 
vantaged thereby to have spoken any thing more to the pur- 
pose, than 1 find you have now done: ' Sat cito si sat bene.' 
Things of this nature, are always done soon enough, when 
they are done well enough, or as well as they are capable 
of being done. But it is no small disappointment to find 
avOpaKug avTi tov ^r^aavpov, a fruitless flourish of words, 
where a serious debate of an important cause was expected 
and looked for. Nor is it a justification of any man, when 
he has done a thing amiss, to say he did it speedily, if he 
were no way necessitated so to do. You are engaged in a 
cause, unto whose tolerable defence, ' opus est Zephyris et 
hirundine multa:' though you cannot pretend so short a 
time to be used in it, which will not by many be esteemed 
more than it deserves ; for all time and pains taken to give 
countenance to error is undoubtedly misspent ; ov ^wafxe^d 
tX Kara rfjc aXnOeiag, a\X virlp rfjc aXrjBeiag, saith the great 
apostle ; ' we can do nothing against the truth, but for the 
truth :' which rule had you observed, you might have spared 
your whole time and labour in this business. However, I 
shall be glad to find that you have given me just cause to 
believe what you say, of your not seeing the Animadversions 
on your book before February. As I find you observant of 
truth in your progress, or failing therein, so shall I judge of 
your veracity in this unlikely story; for every man gives 
the best measure of himself. And though I canno Isechow 



possibly a man could spend much time in trussing up such a 
fardle of trifles and quibbles as your epistle is, yet it is some- 
what strange on the other side, that you should not, in eight 
months' space, for so long were the Animadversions made 
public before February, set eye on that, which being your own 
especial concernment, was, to my knowledge, in the hands 
of many of your party. To deal friendly with you, ' nolim 
cseterarum renim te socordem eodem modo.' Yea, I doubt 
not but you use more diligence in your other affairs; though 
in general the matter in debate between us seems to be your 
principal concernment. But now you have seen that dis- 
course, and as you inform me, ' have read it over ;' which I 
believe, and take not only upon the same score of present 
trust, but upon the evidence also which you give unto your 
assertion, by your careful avoiding to take any farther no- 
tice of the things that you found too difficult for you to 
reply unto. For any impartial reader, that shall seriously 
consider the Animadversions with your epistle, will quickly 
find, that the main artifice wherein you confide, is a pretence 
of saying somewhat in general, whilst you pass over the 
things of most importance, and which most press the cause 
you defend, with a perpetual silence : these you turn from, 
and fall upon the person of the author of the Animadver- 
sions. If ever you debated this procedure with yourself, 
had I been present with you when you said with him in the 
poet, ' Dubius sum quid faciam — Tene relinquam an rem,' 
I should have replied with him, * me sodes ;' but you were 
otherwise minded, and are gone before, ' Ego, ut contendere 
durum est.' 

' Cum victore, sequar.' I will follow you with what 
patience I can, and make the best use I am able of what 
offers itself in your discourse. 

Two reasons I confess you add why you chose ' vadi- 
monium deserere,' and not reply to the Animadversions ; 
which, to deal plainly with you, give me very little satisfac- 
tion : the first of them you say is, ' because to do so, would 
be contrary to the very end and design of Fiat Lux,' which 
shall immediately be considered. The other is, 'The threats 
which I have given you, that if you dare to write again, I will 
make you know, what manner of man I am.' Sir, though 
it seems you dare not reply to my book, yet you dare do 


that which is much worse ; you dare write palpable untruths, 
and such as yourself know to be so, as others also who have 
read those papers. By such things as these, with sober and 
ingenuous persons, you cannot but much prejudice the in- 
terest you desire to promote, as well as in yourself you 
wrong your conscience, and ruin your reputation. Besides 
all advantages springing from untruth is fading; neither will 
it admit of any covering, but of its own kind, which can 
never be so increased, but that it will rain through. Only 
I confess thus far you have promoted your design, that you 
have given a new and cogent instance of the evils attending 
controversies in religion, which you declaim about in your 
Fiat; which yet is such, as it had been your duty to avoid. 
What it is that you make use of to give countenance unto 
this fiction (for ' malum semper habitat in alieno fundo'), I 
shall have occasion afterward to consider. For the present 
I leave you to the discipline of your own thoughts : 

Prima est hcec ultio quod se 
Judice, nemo iiocens absolvitur. 

And I the rather mind you of your failure at this entrance 
of our discourse, that I may only remit your thoughts unto 
this stricture, when the like occasion offers itself, which I 
fear it will do not unfrequently. But, sir, it will be no ad- 
vantage unto me, or you, to contend for the truth which we 
profess, if, in the mean time, we are regardless of the ob- 
servance of truth, in our own hearts and spirits. 

Two principal heads, the discourse which you premise 
unto the particular consideration of the Animadversions, is 
reducible unto: the first whereof is, your endeavour to ma- 
nifest, 'that I understood not the design and end of Fiat 
Lux, a discourse' (as you modestly testify), 'hard to deal 
with, and impossible to confute.' The other, your inquiry 
after the author of the Animadversions, with your attempt 
to prove him one in such a condition, as you may possibly 
hope to obtain more advantage from, than you can do by 
endeavouring the refutation of his book. Some other occa- 
sional passages there are in it also, which, as they deserve, 
shall be considered. Unto these two general heads I shall 
give you at present a candid return, and leave you, when 
you are free from flies to make what use of it you please. 

The design of Fiat Lux, I took to be the promotion of 


the papal interest ; and the whole of it, in the relation of 
its parts unto one another, and the general end aimed at in 
it, to be a persuasive induction unto the embracement of the 
present Roman faith and religion. The means insisted on 
for this end, I conceived principally to be these: 1. A de- 
claration of the evils that attend differences in religion, and 
disputes about it ; 2. Of the good of union, peace, love, and 
concord among Christians ; 3. Of the impossibility of ob- 
taining this good by any other ways or means, but only by 
an embracement of the Roman Catholic faith and profession, 
with a submission to the deciding power and authority of 
the pope, or your church ; 4. A defence and illustration of 
some especial parts of the Roman religion, most commonly 
by Protestants excepted against. This was my mistake ; 
unto this mistake I acknowledge my whole discourse was 
suited. In the same mistake are all the persons in England, 
that ever I heard speak any thing of that discourse, of what 
persuasion in religion soever they were. And Aristotle 
thought it worth while to remember out of Hesiod, Moral. 
Nicom. lib. 7. that, 

<J)njU.M S' ov Toi j/E '7ra.ijt.7rav a.Tr6h.f^uTai V,y riva Aasi 
noXXoi •^ifxi^ouj-iv. 

That report which so many consent in, is not altogether 
vain. But yet lest this should not satisfy you, I shall mind 
you of one who is with you, ttoXXwv avrdt,iog aXXwv, of as 
much esteem it may be as all the rest, and that is yourself; 
you are yourself in the same mistake : you know well enough 
that this was your end, this your design, these the means of 
your pursuing it; and you acknowledge them immediately 
so to have been, as we shall see in the consideration of the 
evidence you tender to evince that mistake in me Avhich you 

First you tell me, p. 4. * That I mistake the drift and de- 
sign of Fiat Lux, whilst I take that as absolutely spoken, 
which is only said upon an hypothesis of our i)resent con- 
dition here in England.' This were a grand mistake indeed, 
that I should look on any thing proposed as an expedient 
for the ending of differences about religion, without a sup- 
position of differences about religion. But how do you 
prove that 1 fell into such a mistake ? I plainly and openly 
acknowledge thai such differences there are; oil my dis- 


course proceeds on that supposition. I bewail the evil oi 
them, and labour for moderation about them ; and have long 
since ventured to propose my thoughts unto the world, to 
that purpose. All that you suppose in your discourse on 
this account I suppose also .; yea, and grant it, unless it be 
some such thing as is in controversy between you and Pro- 
testants, which you are somewhat frequent in the supposal 
of unto your advantage ; and thereon would persuade them 
unto a relinquishment of protestancy, and embracement of 
popery, which is the end of your book, and will be thought 
so, if you should deny it a thousand times : for 'quid ego 
verba audiam facta cum video?' your protestation comes 
too late, when the fact hath declared your mind ; neither are 
you now at liberty to coin new designs for your Fiat. But 
this must be my mistake, which no man in his wits could 
possibly fall into ; neither is it an evidence of any great 
sobriety to impute it to any man, v/hom we know not cer- 
tainly to be distracted. But this mistake you tell me, 
caused me ' to judge and censure what you wrote, as imper- 
tinent, impious, frivolous,' &c. No such matter ; my right 
apprehension of your hypothesis, end, or design, occasioned 
me to sliew, that your discourses were incompetent to pre- 
vail with rational and sober persons, to comply with your 

You proceed to the same purpose, p. 15. and to manifest 
my mistake of your design, give an account of it, and tell 
us, that * one thing you suppose, namely, that we are at dif- 
ference.' So did I also, and am not therefore yet fallen 
upon the discovery of my mistake. 2. You 'commend peace;' 
I acknowledge you do, and join with you therein ; neither is 
he worthy the name of a Christian, who is otherwise minded; 
that is one great legacy that Christ bequeathed unto his 
disciples; Etp/jvriv, saith he, a^trjjut vfXiv tlprivi]v tjjv Ifirjv 
giSwjut viMv ; ' Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto 
you.' And he is no disciple of Christ who doth not long for 
it, among all his disciples. This you tell us is the whole 
sum of Fiat Lux in few words. You will tell us otherwise 
immediately; and if you should not, yet we should find it 
otherwise. You add, therefore, ' that to introduce a dispo- 
sition unto peace, you make it your work to demonstrate 
the uselessncss, endlessness, and unprofitableness of quar- 


rels;' yet my mistake appears not; I perceived you did 
speak to this purpose ; and I acknowledge with you, that 
quarrels about religion are useless and unprofitable, any 
otherwise than as we are bound to 'contend earnestly for the 
faith once delivered unto the saints,' and to ' stand fast in our 
liberty, not giving place to seducers/ with labouring by 
* sound doctrine to convince and stop the mouths of gain- 
sayers ;' all which are made necessary unto us by the com- 
mands of Christ, and are not to be called quarrelling. And 
I know that our quarrels are not yet actually ended ; that 
they are endless, I believe not, but hope the contrary. You 
proceed and grant, that 'you labour to persuade your coun- 
trymen of an impossibility of ever bringing our debates unto 
a conclusion, either by light, or spirit, or reason, or Scrip- 
ture, so long as we stand separated from any superior judi- 
cative power, unto which all parties will submit; and there- 
fore, that it is rational and Christian-like, to leave these end- 
less contentions, and resign ourselves to humihty and peace.' 
This matter will now quickly be ended, and that ' ex ore 
tuo ;' give me leave, I pray, to ask you one or two plain 
questions. 1. Whom do you understand by that 'superior 
judicative power,' unto whom you persuade all parties to 
submit ? Have you not told us in your Fiat that it is the 
church or pope of Rome ? or will you deny that to be your 
intention? 2. What do you intend by 'resigning ourselves to 
humility and peace?' Do you not aim at our quiet submis- 
sion to the determinations of the church or pope in all mat- 
ters of religion? Have you not declared yourself unto this 
purpose in your Fiat? And I desire a little farther to know 
of you, whether this be not that which formally constitutes 
a man a member of your church, that he own the judicative 
power of the pope oryour church in all matters of religion, 
and submit himself thereunto? If these things be so, as you 
cannot deny them, I hope I shall easily obtain your pardon, 
for affirming that you yourself believed the same to be the 
design of your book, which I and other men apprehended 
to be so ; for here you directly avow it. If you complain 
any more about this matter, pray let it be in the words of 
him in the comedian, ' Egomet meo judicio raiser quasi sorex 
hodie perii,' this inconvenience you have brought upon your . 
own self. Neither can any man long avoid such misadven- 


tures, who designs to cloud his aims, which yet cannot take 
effect, if not in some measure understood. Naked truth 
managed in sincerity, whatever perplexities it may meet 
withal, will never leave its owners in the briers ; whereas 
the serpentine turnings of error and falsehood, to extricate 
themselves, do but the more entangle their promoters. I 
doubt not, but you hope well, that when all are become 
Papists again, that they shall live at peace, though your 
hope be very groundless, as I have elsewhere demonstrated. 
You have at best but the shadow or shell of peace, and for 
the most part, not that neither. Yea, it may be easily 
shewed, that the peace you boast of, is inconsistent with, 
and destructive of, that peace, which is left by Christ unto 
his disciples. 

But the way you propose to bring us to peace, is, the 
embracement of popery, which is that that was fixed on by 
me as the design of your book, which now acknowledging, 
you have disarmed yourself of that imaginary advantage, 
which you flourish withal, from a capital mistake, as you 
call it in me, in misapprehending your design. You were 
told before, that if by moderation and peace, you intended 
a mutual forbearance of one another, in our several persua- 
sions, waiting patiently until God shall reveal unto us the 
precise truth, in the things about which we differ, you shall 
have all the furtherance that I can contribute unto you; but 
you have another aim, another work in hand, and will not 
allow that any peace is attainable amongst us, but by a re- 
signation of all our apprehensions in matters of religion, to 
the guidance, determination, and decision of the pope, or 
your church; away nowhere prescribed unto us in holy writ, 
nor in the counsels of the primitive church; and besides, 
against all reason, law, and equity, your pope and church in 
our contests being one party litigant; yet, ' in this persua- 
sion,' you say, ' you should abide, were there no other persons 
in tlie world but yourself that did embrace it.' And to let 
you see how unlikely that principle is to produce peace and 
agreement, amongst those multitudes that are at variance 
about these things, I can assure you, that if there were none 
left alive in the earth but you and I, we should not agree in 
this thing one jot better, than did Cain and Abel about the 
sacrifices ; though I should desire you, that we might manage 


our differences with more moderation than ho did, who by 
virtue of his primogeniture, seemed to lay a special claim to 
the priesthood. And indeed, for your part, if your present 
persuasion be as you sometimes pretend it to be, that your 
Fiat Lux is not a persuasive unto popery, you have given 
a sufficient testimony that you can be of an opinion, that no 
man else in the world is of, nor will be, do what you can. 
But the insufficiency of your principles and arguments, to 
accomplish your design, hath been in part already evinced, 
and shall, God willing, in our progress, be farther made 
manifest. This is the sum of what appears in the first part 
of your prefatory discourse, concerning my mistake of your 
design, which, how little it hath tended unto your advantage, 
I hope you begin to understand. 

Your next labour consists in a pacific, charitable inquiry, 
after the author of the Animadversions, with an endeavour, 
by I know not how many reasons, to confirm your surmise, 
that he is a person, that had an interest in the late troubles 
in the nation, or as you phrase it, was ' a part of that dismal 
tempest, which overbore all before it, not only church and 
state, but reason, right, honesty, all true religion, and even 
good nature too.' See what despair of managing an under- 
taking which cannot well be deserted, will drive men unto. 
Are you not sensible that you cry. 

Este boni, quoniam superis aversa voluntas? 

Or like the Jews, who, when they were convinced of their 
errors and wickedness, by our Saviour, began to call him 
Samaritan and devil, and to take up stones to cast at him? 
or as Crescens the Cynic dealt with Justin Martyr, whom, 
because he could not answer, after he had engaged in a dis- 
pute with him, he laboured to bring him into suspicion with 
the emperor and senate of Rome, as a person dangei'ous to 
the commonwealth ? And so also the Arians dealt with 
Athanasius. It were easy to manifest, that the spring of 
all this discourse of yours, is smart, and not loyalty, and 
that it proceeds from a sense of your own disappointment, 
and not zeal for the welfare of others ; but how little it is to 
your purpose, I shall shew you anon, and could quickly 
render it as little to your advantage. For what if I should 
surmise, that you were one of the friars that stirred up the 


Irish to their rebelhon, and unparalleled murders '. Assure 
yourself, I can quickly give as many, and as probable rea- 
sons for my so doing, as you have given, or can give for 
your conjecture, about the author of the Animadversions 
on your Fiat Lux. You little think how much it concerns 
him to look to himself, who undertakes to accuse another; 
and how easy it were to make you repent your accusation, 
as much as ever Crassus did his accusing of Carbo. But I 
was in good hope, you would have left such reflections, as 
are capable of so easy a retortion upon yourself, especially 
being irregular, and no way subservient unto your design, 
and being warned beforehand so to do. Who could imagine, 
that a man of so much piety and mortification, as in your 
Fiat you profess yourself to bn, should have so little regard 
unto common honesty, and civility, which are shrewdly in- 
trenched upon by such uncharitable surmises? I suppose 
you know that the apostle reckons, vnovouig Trovrjpag, where- 
of you have undertaken the management of one, amongst 
the things that are contrary to the doctrine that is accord- 
ing unto godliness ; otherwise suspicion is in your own 
power, nor can any man hinder you from surmising what 
you please. This he knew in Plautus, who cried, 

Ne aHniiftam cnlpam ego meo sum promiis pcctori, 

Suspicio est in pcctore alicnosita. 

Nam nunc ego te si surripuissc suspicer, 

Jovi coronam de capita e Capitolio, 

Quod in culmine astat summo, si non id feceris, ' 

Atque id tamen milii lubeat suspicarier, 

Qui tu id prohibere me potes ne suspicer'? 

And I know that concerning all your dispute and arguino-g 
in these pages, you may say what Lucian doth about his 
true story, ypa<phj roivw irap wv jUJ^t' uSov, fxv]T tTraOov, ixrirt 
Trap oXXwv liTv^6fir\v. ' You write about the things, which 
you have neither seen, nor suffered, heard, nor much in- 
quired after;' such is the force of faction, and sweetness 
of revenge in carnal minds. To deliver you if it may be 
from the like miscarriages for the future, let me inform you, 
that the author of the Animadversions, is a person who never 
had a hand in, nor gave consent unto, the raising of any war 
in these nations, nor unto any political alteration in them, 
no not to any one that was amongst us during our revolu- 
tions ; but he ackuowledgeth that he lived and acted under 


them, the things wherein he thought his duty consisted, and 
challengeth all men to charge him with doing the least per- 
sonal injury unto any, professing himself ready to give sa- 
tisfaction to any one, that can justly claim it. Therefore 
as unto the public affairs in this nation, he is amongst them 
who bless God and the king for the act of oblivion, and that 
because he supposeth that all the inhabitants of the king- 
dom which lived in it, when his majesty was driven out of 
it, have cause so to do ; which some priestfj and friars have, 
and that in reference unto such actings, as he would scorn, 
for the saving of his life, to give the least countenance unto, 
among whom it is not unlikely that you might be one, which 
yet he will not aver, nor give reasons to prove it, because 
he doth not know it so to be. But you have sundry rea- 
sons to justify yourself in your charge, and they are as well 
worthy our consideration, as any thing else you have writ- 
ten in your epistle, and shall therefore not be neglected. 
The first of them you thus express, p. 12. ' You cannot 
abide to hear of moderation; it is with you most wicked, hy- 
pocritical, and devilish, especially as it comes from me; for 
this one thing Fiat Lux suffers more from you, than for all 
the contents of the book put together. My reason is your 
passion, my moderation inflames your wrath, and you are 
therefore stark wild, because 1 utter so much of sobriety.' 
This is your first reason, which you have exactly squared to 
the old rule, * calumniare fortiter, aliquid adhiaerebit:' ' ca- 
lumny will leave a scar;' would you were yourself only con- 
cerned in these things. But among the many woful mis- 
carriages of men professing the religion of Jesus Christ, 
whereby the beauty and glory of it have been stained in the 
world, and itself in a great measure rendered ineffectual unto 
its blessed ends, there is not any thing of more sad consi- 
deration, than the endeavours of men to promote and pro- 
pagate the things which they suppose belong unto it, by 
ways and means directly contrary unto, and destructive of, 
its most known and fundamental principles. For when it is 
once observed and manifest, that the actings of men in the 
promotion of any religion, are forbidden and condemned in 
that religion which they seek to promote, what can ra- 
tionally be concluded, but that they not only disbelieve 
themselves what they outwardly profess, but also esteem it 


a fit mask and cover to carry on other interests of their own, 
which they prefer before it? And what can more evidently 
tend unto its disreputation and disadvantage, is not easy to 
conceive. Such is the course here fixed on by you: it is 
the religion of Christ you pretend to plead for, and to pro- 
mote ; but if there be a word true in it, the way you take for 
that end, namely, by operxly false accusations, is to be abhor- 
red, which manifests what regard unto it you inwardly che- 
rish. And I wish this'were only your personal miscarriage, 
that you were not encouraged unto it, by the principles and 
example of your chiefest masters and leaders : the learned 
person who wrote the letters, discovering the mystery of Je- 
suitism, gives us just cause so to conceive; for he doth not 
only prove, that the Jesuits have publicly maintained, that 
' calumny is but a venial sin,' nay none at all, if used against 
such as you call calumniators, though grounded on abso- 
lute falsities, but hath also given us such pestilent instances 
of their practice, according to that principle, as paganism 
was never acquainted withal. Let. 15. In their steps you 
set out in this your first reason, wherein there is not one 
word of truth. I had formerly told you, that I did not 
think you could yourself believe someof the things that you 
affirmed, at which you take great oiFence ; but I must now 
tell you, that if you proceed in venting such notorious un- 
truths, as here you have heaped together, I shall greatly 
question whether seriously you believe, that Jesus Christ 
will one day judge the world in righteousness; for I do not 
think you can produce a pleadable dispensation, to say 
what you please, be it never so false, of a supposed here- 
tic ; for though it may be you will not keep faith with him, 
surely you ought to observe truth in speaking of him. You 
tell us in your epistle to your Fiat, of your * dark obscurity 
wherein you die daily,' but take heed, sir, lest 

Indulgentem tcnebris imeeque recessu 

Sedis, in aspectos coslo radiisque penates 
Servanteni, tamen assiduis circumvolet alis 
Saeva dies animi, scelerumque in pectore dirfe. 

Your next reason is, ' Because he talks of swords and 
blood, fire and fagot, guns and daggers, which doth more 
than shew, that he hath not let go those hot and furious 


imaginations.' But of what sort, by whom used, to what 
end? Doth he mention any of these, but such as your 
church hath made use of, for the destruction of Protestants? 
If you have not done so, why do you not disprove his asser- 
tions? If you have, why have you practised that in the face 
of the sun, which you cannot endure to be told of? Is it 
equal, think you, that you should kill, burn, and destroy 
men, for the profession of their faith in Christ Jesus, and 
that it should not be lawful for others to say you do so? 
Did not yourself make the calling over of these things ne- 
cessary, by crying out against Protestants, for want of mo- 
deration? 'It is one of the privileges of the pope,' some say, 
'to judge all men, and himself to be judged by none;' but is 
it so also, that no man may say he hath done what all the 
world knows he hath done, and which v/e have just cause 
to fear he would do again had he power to his will? For 
my part I can assure you, so that you will cease from charg- 
ing others with that whose guilt lies heavier upon your- 
selves, than on all the professors of Christianity in the world 
besides, and give any tolerable security against the like 
practices for the future, I shall be well content that all 
which is past, may be put by us poor worms into perpetual 
oblivion, though I know it will be called over another day. 
Until this be done, and you leave off to make your advan- 
tages of other men's miscarriages, pray arm yourself with 
patience, to hear sometimes a little of your own. 

said wise Homer of old; and another to the same purpose, 
'He that speaks what he will, must hear what he would not.' 
Is it actionable with you against a Protestant, that he will 
not take your whole sword into his bowels without com- 
plaining? Sir, the author of the Animadversions doth, and 
ever did, abhor swords and guns, and crusades, in matters of 
religion and conscience, with all violence, that may tanta- 
mount unto their usual effects. He ever thought it ai\ un- 
couth sight, to see men marching with crosses on their 
backs to destroy Christians, as if they had the Alcoran in 
their hearts; and therefore desires your excuse, if he have 
reflected a little upon the miscarriages of your churcli in 


that kind, especially being called thereunto by your present 
contrary pretences. 

Quis tulerit Graculos de seditione querentes? And 
Major tandem parcas insane minori. 

It were well if your ways did no more please you, in the 
previous prospect you take of them, than they seem to do 
in a subsequent reflection upon them : but this is the na- 
ture of evil, it never comes and goes with the same appear- 
ing countenance ; not that itself changeth at any time, for 
that which is morally evil is always so ; but men's apprehen- 
sions, variously influenced by their aflPections, lusts, and in- 
terests, do frequently change and alter. Now what conclu- 
sions can be made from the premises rightly stated, I leave 
to your own judgment, at your better leisure. 

Thirdly, You add, 'Your prophetic assurance so often in- 
culcated, that if you could but once come to whisper me in 
the ear, I would plainly acknowledge, either that I under- 
stand not myself what I say, or if I do, believe it not, gives 
a fair character of these fanatic times, wherein ignorance and 
hypocrisy prevailed over worth and truth, whereof, if your- 
self were any part, it is no wonder you should think, that I 
or any man else should either speak he knows not what, or 
believe not w\at himself speaks.' That is, a man must needs 
be as bad as you can imagine him, if he have not such a 
high opinion of your ability and integrity, as to believe that 
you have written about nothing, but what you perfectly un- 
derstand, nor assert any thing in the pursuit of your design 
and interest, but what you really and in cold blood believe 
to be true. All men, it seems, that were no part of the former 
dismal tempest, have this opinion of you; ' credat apella:' 
if it be so, I confess for my part, I have no relief against being 
concluded to be whatever you please; 'sosia' or not 'sosia,' 
the law is in your own hands, and you may condemn all that 
adore you not into fanaticism at your pleasure ; but as he 
said, ' Obsecro per pacem liceat te alloqui, ut ne vapulem ;' 
if you will but grant a little truce from this severity, I doubt 
not but in a short time to take off" from your keenness, in 
the management of this charge : for I hope you will allow 
that a man may speak the truth, without being a fanatic ; 
tnith may get hatred, I see it hath done so, but it will make 
VOL, xtiii. R 


no man hateful. Without looking back then to your Fiat 
Lux, I shall, out of this very epistle, give you to see, that you 
have certainly failed on the one hand, in writing about things 
which you do not at all understand, and therefore discourse 
concerning them, like a blind man about colours ; and as I 
fear greatly also on the other-; for I cannot suppose you so 
ignorant, as not to know that some things in your discourse, 
are otherwise than by you represented : nay, and we shall 
find you at express contradictions, which pretend what you 
please, I know you cannot at the same time believe. In- 
stances of these things you will be minded of in our progress. 
Now I must needs be very unhappy in discoursing of them, 
if this be logic and law, that for so doing, I must be con- 
cluded a fanatic. 

Fourthly, You add, ' Your pert assertion so oft occurring 
in your book, that there is neither reason, truth, nor honesty 
in my words, is but the overflowings of that former intem- 
perate zeal ;' whereunto may be added, what in the last place 
you insist on to the same purpose, namely, that I ' charge 
you with fraud, ignorance, and wickedness, when in my own 
heart I find you most clear from any such blemish.' I do 
not remember where any of those expressions are used by 
me ; that they are nowhere used thus altogether, I know 
well enough, neither shall 1 make any inquiry after them. 
I shall therefore desire you only to produce the instances, 
whereunto any of the censures intimated are annexed, and 
if I do not prove evidently and plainly, that to be wanting 
in your discourse, which is charged so to be, I will make you 
a public acknowledgment of the wrong I have done you. 
But if no more was by me expressed, than your words as 
used to your purpose did justly deserve, pray be pleased to 
take notice that it is lawful for any man to speak the truth : 
and for my part, eyw wc o KOfXiKog B^rj, ay poitcog ei/zt rrjv o-ko^tjv 
Xeywv, as he said in Lucian, I live in the country where they 
call a spade a spade. And if you can give any one instance, 
where I have charged you with any failure, where there is 
the least probability that I had in my heart other thoughts, 
concerning what you said, I will give up my whole interest 
in this cause unto you; 'mala mens, malus animus.' You 
have manifested your conscience to be no just measure of 


Other men's, who reckon upon their giving an account of 
what they do or say : so that you have but little advanced 
your charge, by these undue insinuations. 

Neither have you any better success, in that which in' 
the next place you insist upon, which yet were it not like the 
most of the rest, destitute of truth, would give more counte- 
nance unto your reflection, than them all. It is, that I * give 
you sharp and frequent menaces, that if you write or speak 
again, you shall hear more, find more, feel more, more to your 
smart, more than you imagine, more than you would, which 
relish much of that insulting humour which the land groaned 
under.' I suppose no man reads this representation of my 
words, with the addition of your own, which makes up th^ 
greatest part of them, but must needs think, that you have 
been sorely threatened with some personal inconveniences, 
which I would caus€ to befall you, did you not surcease 
from writing ; or that I would obtain some course to be taken 
with you to your prejudice. Now this must needs savour of 
the spirit of our late days of trouble and mischief, or at least 
of the former days of the prevalency of popery amongst us, 
when men were not wont, in such cases, to take up at bare 
threats and menaces. If this be so, all men that know the 
author of the Animadversions, and his condition, must needs 
conclude him to be very foolish and wicked; foolish, for 
threatening any with that, which is as far from his power to- 
execute, as the person threatened can possibly desire it to-' 
be ; wicked, for designing that evil unto any individual per- 
son, which he abhors' in hypothesi' to be inflicted on any upon 
the like account. But what if there be nothing of all this 
in the pretended menaces? What if the worst that is in 
them, be only part of a desire, that you would abstain from 
insisting on the personal miscarriages of some that profess 
the Protestant religion, lest he should be necessitated to 
make a diversion of your charge, or to shew the insufiiciency 
of it to your purpose, by recounting the more notorious fail- 
ings of the guides, heads, and leaders of your church ? If 
this be so, as it is in truth the whole intendment of any of 
those expressions that are used by me (for the most part 
of them are your own figments), wherever they occur, what 
conclusion can any rational man make from them? Do they 
not rather intimate a desire of the use of moderation in these 
K 2 


our contests, and an abstinence from things personal (for 
which cause also, fruitlessly as I now perceive, by this your 
new kind of ingenuity and moderation, I prefixed not my 
name to the Animadversions, which you also take notice of), 
than any evil intention or design? This was my threatening 
you ; to which now I shall add, that though I may not say 
of these papers, what Catullus did of his verses on Rufus, 

Verum id non impune faceres, nam te omnia secla 
Noscent, et qui sis fama loquitur auus. 

Yet I shall say, that as many as take notice of this discourse, 
will do no less of your disingenuity and manifold falsehood, 
in your vain attempt to relieve your dying cause, by casting 
odium upon him with whom you have to do ; like the bo- 
nassus that Aristotle informs us of, Hist. Animal, lib. 9. cap. 
24. which being as big as a bull, but having horns turned 
inward and unuseful for fight, when he is pursued, casts out 
his excrements to defile his pursuers, and to stay them in 
their passage. 

But what now is the end in all this heap of things, which 
you would have mistaken for reasons, that you aim at ? it is 
all to shew how unfit I am to defend the Protestant religion, 
and that 1 'am not such a Protestant as I would be thought 
to be.' But why so ? I embrace the doctrine of the church 
of England, as declared in the twenty-nine articles, and other 
approved public writings, of the most famous bishops and 
other divines thereof. I avow her rejection of the pretended 
authority, and real errors of your church, to be her duty and 
justifiable. The same is my judgment in reference unto all 
other Protestant churches in the world, in all things wherein 
they agree among themselves, which is in all things neces- 
sary that God may be acceptably worshipped, and themselves 
saved. And why may I not plead the cause of protestancy, 
against that imputation of demerit which you heap upon it? 
Neither would I be thought to be any thing in religion but 
what I am : neither have I any sentiments therein, but what 
I profess. But it may be you will say, in some things I 
differ from other Protestants : wisely observed ; and if from 
thence you can conclude a man unqualified for the defence 
of protestancy, you have secured yourself from opposition j 
seeing every Protestant doth so, and must do so whilst there 
are differences amongst Protestants : but they are in things 


wherein their protestancy is not concerned. And may I be 
so bold as to ask you, how the case in this instance stands 
with yourself, who certainly would have your competency 
for the defence of your church unquestionable ? Differences 
there are amongst you ; and that as in and about other things, 
so also about the pope himself, the head and spring of the 
religion you profess. Some of you maintain his personal in- 
fallibility, and that not only in matters of faith, but in mat- 
ters of fact also. Others disclaim the former as highly er- 
roneous, and the latter as grossly blasphemous. Pray what 
is your judgment in this matter? for I suppose you are not 
of both these opinions at once, and I am sure they are ir- 
reconcilable. Some of you mount his supremacy above a 
general council, some would bring him into a co-ordination 
with it, and some subject him unto it ; though he hath almost 
carried the cause, by having store of bishopricks to bestow, 
whereas a council has none, which was the reason given of 
old for his prevalency in this contest. May we know what 
you think in this case? Some of you assert him to be 'de 
jure' lord of the whole world in spirituals and temporals ab- 
solutely ; some in spirituals directly, and in temporals only 
' in ordine ad spiritualia/ an abyss from whence you may 
draw out what you please ; and some of you in temporals not 
at all; and you have not as yet given us your thoughts as 
to this difference amongst you. Some of you assert in him 
a power of deposing kings, disposing of kingdoms, trans- 
ferring titles unto dominion, and rule, for and upon such mis- 
carriages as he shall judge to contain disobedience unto the 
see apostolic. Others love not to talk at this haughty rate, 
neither do I know what is your judgment in this matter. 
This, as I said before, I am sure of, you cannot be of all these 
various contradictory judgments at once. Not to trouble 
you with instances that might be multiplied of the like dif- 
ferences amongst you ; if, notwithstanding your adherence 
unto one part of the contradiction in them, you judge 
yourself a competent advocate for your church in general, 
and do busily employ yourself to win over proselytes unto 
her communion, have the patience to think, that one who in 
some few things differs from some other Protestants, is not 
wholly incapacitated thereby, to repel an unjust charge 
against protestancy in general. 


I have done with the two general heads of your prefatory 
discourse, and shall now only mark one or two incident par- 
ticulars that belong not unto them, and then proceed to see 
if we can meet with any thing of more importance, than 
what you have been pleased as yet to communicate unto us. 

Page 5. Upon occasion of a passage in my discourse, 
wherein, upon misinformation, I expressed some trouble, that 
any young men should be entangled with the rhetoric and 
sophistry of your Fiat Lux, you fall into an harangue, not 
inferior unto some others in your epistle, for that candour 
and ingenuity you give yourself unto. 

First, You make a plea for ' gentlemen,' (not once named 
in ray discourse), ' that they must be allowed a sense of reli- 
gion, as well as ministers ; that they have the body, though 
not the cloak of religion, and are masters of their own rea- 
son.' But do you consider Avith yourself, who it is that 
speaks these words, and to whom you speak them? Do you 
indeed desire that ' gentlemen' should have such a sense of 
religion, and make use of your reason in the choice of that, 
which therein they adhere unto, as you pretend ? Is this pre- 
tence consistent with your plea in your Fiat Lux, wherein 
you labour to reduce them to a naked fanatical 'credo?' Or 
is it your interest to court them with fine words, though 
your intenf.ion be far otherwise ? But we in England like 
not such proceedings. 

'^/t^§°? yap /uo( K£ fvoc o/MtS"? ai'Jcto itvKi^iTi.v, 

"Of ;^' 6TEJ0V/M.EV HSuQil IVl (fpES'lV, (XAXo Je (Si^EI. 

Nothing dislikes us more than dissimulation. And to whom 
do you speak ? Did I, doth any Protestant deny, that gen- 
tlemen may have ? Do we not say, they ought to have their 
sense in religion, and their senses exercised therein? Do we 
deny they ought to improve their reason, in being conver- 
sant about it? Are these the principles of the church of 
Rome, or of that of England ? Do we not press them unto 
these things, as their principal duty in this world ? Do we 
disallow or forbid them any means, that may tend to their 
furtherance in the knowledge and profession of religion? 
Where is it, that if they do but look upon a bible, 

Furiarum maxima jnxta 

Accubat, ct nianibus prohibet contingere mcntcs. 

The inquisitor lays hold upon them, and bids them be con- 


tented with a rosary, or our lady's psalter? Do we hinder or 
dissuade them from any studies, or the use of books, that 
may increase their knowledge, and improve their reason? 
And hath not the papacy felt the fruits and effects of these 
principles, in the writings of kings, princes, noblemen, and 
gentlemen, of all sorts? And do not you yourself know all 
this to be true ? And is it ingenuous to insist on contrary 
insinuations? Or do you think that truly generous spirits 
will stoop to so poor a lure? But you proceed : 'This is one 
difference between Catholic countries and ours, that there 
the clergyman is only regarded for his virtue, and the power 
he hath received, or is at least believed to have received 
from God, in the great ministry of our reconciliation ; and if 
he have any addition of learning besides, it is looked upon 
as a good accidental ornament, but not as any essential 
complement of his profession ; so that it often happens 
without any wonderment at all, that the gentleman-patron 
is the learned man, and the priest his chaplain, of little or 
no science in comparison. But here in England our gen- 
tlemen are disparaged by their own black coats, and not 
suffered to use their judgment in any kind of learning, with- 
out a gibe from them. The gentleman is reasonless, and 
the scribbling cassock is the only scholar ; he alone must 
speak all, know all, and only understand.' Sir, if your 
clergy were respected only for their virtue, they would not 
be overburdened with their honour, unless they have much 
mended their manners, since all the world publicly com- 
plained of their lewdness, and which in many places the 
most would do so still, did they not judge the evil remedi- 
less. And if the state of things be in your Catholic coun- 
tries, between the gentry and clergy, as you inform us, I 
fear it is not from the learning of the one, but the ignorance 
of the other. And this you seem to intimate, by rejecting 
learning from being any essential complement of their pro*- 
fession, wherein you do wisely, and what you are necessi- 
tated to do ; for those who are acquainted with them, tell us, 
that if it were, you would have a very thin clergy left you, 
very many of them not understanding the very mass-book, 
which they daily chant, and therefore almost every word in 
your * Missale Romanum' is accented, that they may know 
how aright to pronounce them ; which yet will not deliver 


them from that mistake of him, who, instead of * Introibo ad 
altare Dei,' read constantly, ' Introibo ad tartara Dei/ 
Herein we envy not the condition of your Catholic coun- 
tries ; and though we desire our gentry were more learned 
than they are, yet neither we, nor they, could be contented 
to have our ministers ignorant, so that they might be in ve- 
neration for that office sake, which they are no way able to 
discharge. And to what you affirm concerning England, 
and our usage here, in the close of your discourse, it is so 
utterly devoid of truth and honesty, that I cannot but won- 
der at your open regardlessness of them. Should you have 
written these things in Spain or Italy, (where you have 
made pictures of Catholics put in bears' skins, and torn 
with dogs in England; Eccles. Ang. Troph.) concerning 
England, and the manners of the inhabitants thereof, you 
might have hoped to have met with some, so partially ad- 
dicted unto your faction and interest, as to suppose there 
were some colour of truth in what you aver. But to write 
these things here amongst us, in the face of the sun, where 
every one that casts an eye upon them, will detest your con- 
fidence, and laugh at your folly, is a course of proceeding 
not easy to be paralleled. 

I shall not insist on the particulars, there being not one 
word of truth in the whole, but leave you to the discipline 
of your own thoughts, 

Occulturn quatiente auimo tortore flagellura. 

And so I have done with your prefatory discourse, wherein 
you have n^ade it appear, with what reverence of God, and 
love to the truth, you are conversant in the great concern- 
ments of the souls of men. What in particular you except 
against in the Animadversions, I shall now proceed to the 
consideration of. 


CHAP. 11. 

Vindication of the first chapter of the Animadversions. The method of 
Fiat Lux. Romanists' doctrine of the merit of good works. 

In your exceptions to the first chapter of the Animadversions 
p. 20. I wish I could find any thing agreeable unto truth, 
according unto your own principles. It was ever granted, 
that TToXXa ipivdoviag aoidol ', but always to fail, and feign at 
pleasure, was never allowed so much as to poets. Men 
may oftentimes utter many things untrue, wherein yet some 
principles which they are persuaded to be agreeable unto 
truth, or some more general mistakes from whence their 
particular assertions proceed, may countenance their con- 
sciences from a sense of guilt, and some way shield their 
reputation from the sharpness of censure : but willingly and 
often for a man practically to offend in this kind, when his 
mind and understanding is not imposed upon by any pre- 
vious mistakes, is a miscarriage, which I do not yet per- 
ceive that the subtlest of your casuists have found out an 
excuse for. Two exceptions you lay against this chapter, 
in the first whereof, by not speaking the whole truth, you 
render the whole untruth ; and in the latter you plainly 
affirm that which your eyes told you to be otherwise. First 
you say, I proposed a dilemma unto you for saying you had 
concealed your method ; when, what I spake unto you was 
upon your saying, first, that you had used no method, and 
afterward that you had concealed your method; as you 
also in your next words here confess. Now both these 
being impossible, and severally spoken by you, only to 
serve a present turn, your sorry merriment about the scholar 
and his eggs, will not free yourself from being very ridicu- 
lous. Certainly this using no method, and yet at the same 
time concealing your method, is part of that civil logic you 
have learned no man knows where : you had far better hide 
your weaknesses under a universal silence, as you do to the 
most of them, than expose them afresh unto public con- 
tempt, trimmed up with froth and trifles. But this is but 
one of the least of your escapes ; you proceed to downright 


work in your following words : 'Going on you deny' (say 
you) ' that Protestants ever opposed the merit of good works ; 
which at first I wondered at^ seeing the sound of it hath 
rung so often in my own ears, and so many hundred books 
written in this last age so apparently witness it in all places, 
till I found afterward in my thorough perusal of your book, 
that you neither heed what you say, nor how much you 
deny ; at last giving a distinction of the intrinsic accepta- 
bility of our works, the easier to silence me, you say as I 
say.' Could any man, not acquainted with you, ever ima- 
gine, but that I had denied that ever Protestants opposed 
the merit of good works ? you positively affirm I did so ; 
you pretend to transcribe my own words ; you wonder why 
I should say so ; you produce testimony to disprove what I 
say, and yet all this while you know well enough that I 
never said so : have a little more care, if not of your con- 
science, yet of your reputation ; for seriously, if you proceed 
in this manner, you will lose the common privilege of being 
believed when you speak truth. Your words in your Fiat 
Lux, p. 15. edit. 2. are, that * our ministers cull out various 
texts' (out of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans) ' against the 
Christian doctrine of good works and their merit ;' wherein 
you plainly distinguish between the Christian doctrine of 
good works and their merit, as well you may ; I tell you, 
pp. 25, 26. that no Protestant ever opposed the Christian 
doctrine of good works. Here you repeat my words as you 
pretend, and say, that I deny 'that any Protestant ever op- 
posed the merit of good works ;' and fall into a feigned won- 
derment at me, for saying that which you knew well enough 
I never said : for merit is not the Christian, but rather, as 
by you explained, the antichristian doctrine of good works, 
as being perfectly anti-evangelical. What merit you will 
esteem this good work of yours to have, I know not, and 
have in part intimated what truly it doth deserve. But you 
add, that 'making a distinction of the intrinsic acceptability 
of works, you say as I say.' What is that, I pray ? do I say, 
that Protestants oppose the Christian doctrine of good 
works, as you say in your^Fiat? or, do I say that they never 
opposed the merit of good works, as you feign me to say in 
your epistle ? neither the one nor the other : but I say, that 
Protestants teach the Christian doctrine of good works, as 


revealed in the gospel, and oppose the merit of good works, 
by you invented, and as by you explained, and now avowed. 
And whilst you talk at this rate, as if you were perfectly in- 
nocent, you begin your story as if you had nothing to do but 
to accuse another of fraud, like him that cried, 

Nee si me niiserum fortuna Sinonem 

Finxit, vauum etiam mendaceuique improba fingit. 

when you know what his business was. But the truth is, 
when you talk of the merit of good works, you stand in a 
slippei'y place, and know not well what you would have, 
nor what it is that you would have me believe. Your tri- 
dentine convention hath indeed provided a limber 'cothurnus/ 
to fit, if it were possible, your several statures and postures. 
But general words are nothing but the proportion of a cirque 
or arena for dogmatists to contend within the limits of. 
The ancient ecclesiastical importance of the word 'merit,' 
wherein, as it may be proved by numberless instances, it 
denoted no more than to * obtain,' you have the most of you 
rejected, and do urge it in a strict legal sense, denoting 
working *for a reward,' and performing that which is propor- 
tionable unto it, as the labour of the hireling is to his wages, 
according unto the strict rules of justice. See your Rhem. 
An. 1 Cor. iii. Heb. vi. 10. So is the judgment I think of 
your church explained by Suarez, torn. i. in Thom. 3. d. 41. 
* A supernatural work,' saith he, 'proceeding from grace in 
itself, and in its own nature, hath a proportion unto, and 
condignity of, the reward, and is of sufficient value to be 
worth the same.' And you seem to be of the same opinion 
in owning that description of merit, which Protestants re- 
ject, which I gave in my Animadversions ; namely, ' an in- 
trinsical worth and value in works arising from the exact 
answerableness unto the law, and proportion unto the reward, 
so as on the rules of justice to deserve it.' Of the same 
mind are most of you ; see Andrad. Orthodox. Explic. lib. 6. 
Bagus de Merit. Op. lib. 1. cap. 9. Though I can assure 
you, Paul was not ; Rom. vi. 23. viii. 18. so that you must 
not take it ill, if Protestants oppose this doctrine, with tes- 
timonies out of his Epistle to the Romans, as well as out of 
many other portions of the holy writ; for they look upon it 
as an opinion perfectly destructive of the covenant of grace. 
Nay, I must tell you, that some of your own church and 


way, love not to talk at this high and lofty rate. Ferus 
speaks plain unto you on Matt. xx. ' If you desire to hold 
the grace and favour of God, make no mention of your own 
merits/ Durand sticks not to call the opinion which you 
seem to espouse, 'temerarious,' yea, 'blasphemous,' quest. 2. 
d. 27. In the explication of your distinction of 'congruity' 
and ' condignity,' how wofuUy are you divided ; as also in 
the application of it ? there is no end of your altercations 
about it ; the terms of it being horrid, uncouth, strangers to 
Scripture and the ancient church, of an arbitrary significa- 
tion, about which men may with probabilities contend to 
the world's end, and yet the very soul and life of your doc- 
trine of merit lies in it. Some ascribe merit of congruity 
to works before grace, and of condignity to them done in a 
state of grace ; some, merit of congruity to them done by 
grace, and merit of condignity they utterly exclude : some 
give grace and the promise a place in merit ; some so ex- 
plain it, that they can have no place at all therein. Gene- 
rally in your books of devotion, when you have to do with 
God, you begin to bethink yourselves, and speak much 
more humbly and modestly, than you do when you en- 
deavour to dispute subtly and quell your adversaries. And 
I am not without hope, that many of you do personally be- 
lieve as to your own particular concernments, far better 
than when you doctrinally express yourselves, when you 
contend with us : as when that famous emperor Charles the 
Fifth, after all his bustles in and about religion, came to die 
in his retirement, he expressly renounced all merit of works 
as a proud figment, and gave up himself to the sole grace 
and mercy of God in Jesus Christ, on whose purchase of 
heaven for him, he alone relied. 'Toto pectori in Deum 
revolutus sic ratiocinabatur,' saith the renowned Thuanus, 
Hist. lib. 21. ' se quidem indignum esse qui propriis meritis 
regnum Cselorura obtineret ; sed Dominum Deum suum qui 
illud duplici jure obtinuit, et patris hsereditate, et passionis 
raerito, altero contentura esse, alterum sibi donare, ex cujus 
dono illud sibi merito vindicet, hacque fiducia fretus rninime 
confundatur; neque enim oleum misepcordise, nisi in vase 
fiduciae poni : banc hominis fiduciam esse a se deficientis 
et innitentis Domino suo, alioqui propriis meritis fidere non 
fidei esse, sed perfidise ; peccata remitti per Dei indulgen- 


tiam, ideoque credere nos debere, peccata deleri non posse, 
nisi ab eo, cui soli peccavimus, et in quem peccatum non 
cadit, per quem solum nobis peccata condonantur.' Words 
worthy of a lasting memory, which they will not fail of 
where they are recorded. ' Casting himself,' saith that ex- 
cellent historian, 'with his whole soul upon God,' he thus 
reasoned : ' That for his part he was, on the account of any 
merits of his own, unworthy to obtain the kingdom of 
heaven ; but his Lord and God, who hath a double right 
unto it, one by inheritance of his Father, the other by the 
merit of his own passion, contented himself with the one, 
granted the other unto him ; by whose grant he rightly (or 
deservedly) laid claim thereunto ; and resting in this faith 
or confidence, he was not confounded ; for the oil of mercy 
is not poured but into the vessel of faith : this is the faith 
or confidence of a man fainting or despairing in himself, 
and resting on his Lord ; and otherwise to trust to our own 
merits, is not an act of faith, but of infidelity or perfidious- 
ness ; that sins are forgiven by the mercy of God, and that 
therefore we ought to believe that sins cannot be blotted 
out or forgiven, but by him against whom we have sinned, 
who sinneth not, and by whom alone our sins are pardoned.' 
This, sir, is the faith of Protestants in reference unto the 
merit of works, which that wise and mighty emperor, after 
all his miUtary actings against them, found the only safe 
anchor for his soul in * extremis,' his only relief against crying 
out with Hadrian, 

Animula vagula, blandula, 
Hospes, comesque corporis, 
' Qure nunc abibis in loca? 

Pallidula, frigida, nudula 
Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos. 

The only antidote against despair, the only stay of a soul 
when once entering the lists of eternity. And I am 
persuaded, that many of you fix on the same principles 
as to your hope and expectation of life and immortality. 
And to what purpose, I pray you, do you trouble the world 
with an opinion, wherein you can find no benefit, when, if 
true, you should principally expect to be relieved and sup- 
ported by it. But he that looks to find solid peace and con- 
solation in this world, or a blessed entrance into another, on 
any other grounds than those expressed by that dying em- 


peror, will find himself deceived. Sir, you will one day find, 
that our own works or merits, purgatory, the suffrage of your 
church, or any parts of it, when we are dead, the surplussage 
of the works or merits of other sinners, are pitiful things to 
come into competition with the blood of Christ, and pardon- 
ing mercy in him. I confess the inquisition made a shift to 
destroy Constantino, who was confessor to the emperor, and 
assisted him unto his departure. And king Philip took care 
that his son Charles should not live in the faith wherein his 
father Charles died ; whereby merit, or our own righteousness, 
prevailed at court : but, as I said, I am persuaded that when 
many of you are in cold blood, and think more of God than 
of Protestants, and of your last account than of your present 
arguments, you begin to believe that mercy and the righ- 
teousness of Christ will be a better plea, as to your own par- 
ticular concernments at the last day. Seeing therefore that 
Protestants teach the necessity of good works, upon the co- 
gent principles I minded you of in my Animadversions, I 
suppose it might not be amiss in you to surcease from trou- 
bling them about their merit, which few of you are agreed 
about, and which, as I would willingly hope, none of you 
dare trust unto. You have, 1 suppose, been minded before 
now of the conclusion made in t his matter by your great 
champion Bellarmine, lib. 5. de Justificat. cap. 7. ' Propter,' 
saitli he, ' incertitudinem proprise justitice, et periculum in- 
anis glorise, tutissimum est, fiduciam totam in sola Dei mise- 
ricordia etbenignitate reponere :' 'Because of the uncertainty 
of our own righteousness, and the danger of vain-glory, it is 
the safest course to place all our confidence in the alone 
mercy and benignity of God :' wherein, if I mistake not, he 
disclaimeth all that he had subtly disputed before about the 
merit of works; and he appears to have been in good earnest 
in this conclusion; seeing he made such use of it himself in 
particular, at the close of all his disputes and days ; praying, 
in his last will and testament, that God would deal with him, 
not as * sestimator meriti,' * a judge of his merit;' but 'largitor 
venise' 'a merciful pardoner;' Vit. Bell, per Sylvestur, a Pet. 
San. Impress. Antuerpia}, 1631. And why is this the safest 
course ? certainly it must be, because God hath appointed it 
and revealed it so to be ; for on no other ground can any 
course towards heaven be accounted safe. And if this be 


the way of his appointrnent, that we should trust to his mercy 
alone in Christ Jesus ; let them that will be so minded, not- 
withstanding all persuasions to the contrary, as to trust to 
their own merit, take heed lest they find, when it is too late, 
that they have steei-ed a course not so safe as they expected. 
And so I desire your excuse for this diversion, the design of 
it being only to discover one reason of your failing in mo- 
rality, in affirming me to have said that which you knew well 
enough I did not; which is this. That you stood in a slippery 
place as to the point of faith which you were asserting, be- 
ing not instructed how to speak constantly and evenly unto 
it. And to take you off from that vain confidence, which 
this proud opinion of the merit of works is apt to ingenerate 
in you ; whose first inventors, I fear, did not sufficiently con- 
sider with whom they had to do, before whom sinners ap- 
pearing in their own strength and righteousness will one day 
cry, 'Who amongst us shall dwell with devouring fire? v.'ho 
amongst us shall inhabit with everlasting burnings V nor the 
purity, perfection, and severity of his fiery law, judging, con- 
demning, cursing every sinner for every sin, without the least 
intimation of mercy or compassion. If you would but seriously 
consider how impossible it is for any man to know all his se- 
cret sins, or to make compensation to God for the least of 
them that he doth know, and that the very best of his works 
come short of that universal perfection which is required in 
them, so that he dares not put the issue of his eternal condi- 
tion upon any one of them' singly, though all the rest of his 
life should be put into everlasting oblivion; and withal would 
diligently inquire into the end of God in giving his Son to 
die for sinners, with the mystery of his love and grace there- 
in, the nature of the new covenant, the importance of the 
promises thereof, the weight that is laid in Scripture on the 
righteousness and blood of Christ, with the redemption that 
is purchased thereby; or to the whole work of our salvation, 
and the peremptory exclusion of the merit of our works by 
Paul from our justification before God ; I am persuaded you 
would find another manner of rest and peace unto your soul, 
than all your own works, and your other pretended supple- 
ments of them, or reliefs against their defects, are able to 
supply you withal. And this I hope you will not be offended 
at, that I have thus occasionally minded you of. 



A defence of the second chapter of the Animadversions. Principles of 
Fiat Lux re-examined . Of our receiving the gospel from Rome. Our 
abode with them from whom we received it. 

In the same page you proceed to the consideration of my 
second chapter; and therein of the principles which I 
gathered out of your Fiat Lux ; and which I affirmed, to 
run through and to animate your whole discourse, and to 
be the foundation on which your superstructure is built. 
Concerning them all, you say, p. 21. 'That in the sense 
the words do either naturally make out, or in which I un- 
derstand them, of all the whole you can hardly own any 
one.' Pray, sir, remember that I never pretended to set down 
your words, but to express your sense in my own. And if 
I do not make it appear, that there is no one of the principles 
mentioned, which you have not (in the sense by me declared) 
affirmed and asserted ; I will be contented to be thought to 
have done you some wrong, and myself much more, for want 
of attending unto that rule of truth, which I am compelled 
so often to desire you to give up yourself unto the con- 
duct of. 

The first principle imputed unto your Fiat Lux is, ' that 
we received the gospel first from Rome.' To which you say, 
'We, that is, we Englishmen, received it first from thence.' 
Well then, this is one principle of the ten ; this you own and 
seek to defend. If you do so in reference unto any other, 
what will become of your ' hardly one that you can own V 
You have already one foot over the limits which you have 
newly prescribed yourself; and we shall find you utterly for- 
saking of them by and by. For the present you proceed 
unto the defence of this principle and say, * But against this 
you reply, that we received it not first from Rome, but by 
Joseph of Arimathea from Palestine, as Fiat Lux himself ac- 
knowledgeth. Sir, if Fiat Lux say both these things, he 
cannot mean them in your false contradictory sense, but in 
his own true one. We, that is, we Englishmen, the now ac- 
tual inhabitants of this land, and progeny of the Saxons, re- 
ceived first our gospel and Christendom from Rome, though 


the Britons that inhabited the land before, differing as much 
from us as antipodes, had some of them been christened 
long before us, and yet the Christendom that prevailed and 
lasted among the Britons, even they also, as well as we, had 
it from Rome too ; mark this likewise.' This matter must be 
called over again afterward, and therefore I shall here be the 
more brief upon it. In my first answer, I shewed you not 
only that your position was not true ; but also, that on sup- 
position it were so, it would not in the least advance your 
intention. Here you acknowledge that the Britons at first 
received not the gospel from Rome, but reply two things ; 
first. That belongs not unto us Englishmen or Saxons. To 
which I shall now only say, that if because the Britons have 
been conquered, we who are now the inhabitants of Britain, 
may be thought to have received the gospel from them, from 
whom the Britons at first received it, seeing it was never ut- 
terly extinct in Britain from its first plantation, then much 
less can the present inhabitants of the city of Rome, which 
hath been conquered oftener than Britain, be thought to have 
received the gospel from them by whom it was first delivered 
unto the old Romans. For though I confess that the Saxons, 
Jutes, and Angles made great havoc of the ancient Britons 
in some parts of this island, yet was it not comparable unto 
that which was made at Rome ; which at length Totilas, af- 
ter it had been taken and sacked more than once before, 
marching out of it against Belisarius, left as desolate as a 
wilderness without one living soul to inhabit it. ' Ipse (To- 
tilas) cum suarum copiarum parte progreditur, Romanos qui 
senatorii erant ordinis secum trahens ; alia omni urbanorum 
multitudine vel virilis muliebrisque ; sexus, et pueris in Cam- 
panise agros missis : ita ut Romse nemo hominum restaret, 
sed vasta ibi esset solitudo,' saith Procopius, Hist. Goth. 
1. 3. Concerning which action saith Sigonius de Imper. 
Occid. lib. 19. * Urbs Roraae incolis omnibus amotis, prorsus 
est destituta: memorandum inter pauca exempla humanae 
fortunae ludibrium, ac spectaculum ipsis etiam hostibus, quan- 
quam ab omni humanitate remotissimis, miserandum.* * The 
city of Rome, all its inhabitants being removed, was wholly 
desolate, an unparalleled reproach of human condition, and 
a spectacle of pity to the very enemies, though most remote 
from all humanity !' The next inhabitants of it were a mix- 



ture of Greeks, Thracians, and other nations brought in by 
Belisarius. You may go now and reproach the Britons, if 
you please, with their being conquered by the Saxons; in 
the mean time pray give me a reason, why the present inha- 
bitants of England may not date their reception of Christi- 
anity from the first planting of it in this island, as well as 
you suppose the present inhabitants of Rome may do theirs, 
from the time wherein it was first preached unto the old 
Romans ? But you except again, ' That the Christendom that 
prevailed and lasted among the Britons before the coming 
of the Saxons, came from Rome too ;' you bid me mark that 
likewise. I do consider what you say, and desire you to 
prove it : wherein yet I will not be very urgent, because I 
will not put you upon impossibilities ; and your incompe- 
tency to give at least colour unto this remarkable assertion, 
shall be discovered in our farther progress. For the present, 
I shall only mind you, that the Christianity which prevailed 
in Britain, was that which continued among the Britons in 
Wales, after the conquest of these parts of the island by the 
Saxons ; and that that came not from Rome, is manifest from 
the customs which they observed and insisted on, differing 
from those of Rome, and your refusal to admit those of that 
church, the story whereof you have in Beda, lib. 2. cap. 2. I 
know, it may be rationally replied, that Rome might, after 
the time of the first preaching of the gospel in Britain, have 
invented many new customs, which might be strange unto 
the Britons at the coming of Austin ; for indeed so they have 
done. But this exception will here take no place ; for the cus- 
toms the British church adhered unto, were such as having 
their rise and occasion in the east, were never admitted at 
Rome, and so from thence could not be transmitted hither. 
But there were also other exceptions put in, unto your ap- 
plication of this principle unto your purpose, upon supposition 
that there were any truth in the matter of fact asserted by 
you. For, suppose that those who from beyond seas first 
preached the gospel to the Saxons, came from Rome, yea, 
were sent by the bishop, or if you please the pope of Rome ; 
I ask, whether it was his religion, or the religion of Jesus 
Christ that they brought with them? Did the pope first 
find it out? or did they publish it in the name of the pope? 
You say, * It was the pope's religion, not invented but pro- 


fessed by him, and from him derived unto us by his mis- 
sioners.' Well, and what more ? for all this was before sup- 
posed in my inquiry, and made the foundation of that which 
we sought farther after. I supposed the pope professed the 
religion which he sent; and your courtly expression 'de- 
rived unto us by his missioners,' is but the same in sense and 
meaning with my homely phrase, ' they that preached it 
were sent by him.' On this I inquire, whether it were to be 
esteemed his religion or no ; that is, any more his, than it 
is the religion of every one that professeth it? or did those 
that were sent baptize in his name, or teach us that the pope 
was crucified for us ? You answer, that * he sent them to 
preach.' I see 

Nil optis est te 

Circumagi, quendam volo visere non tibi notura. 

you understand not what I inquire after; but if that be all 
you have to say, as it was before supposed, so what matter 
is it, I pray, who planted, and who watered ? it was the re- 
ligion of Christ that was preached, and God that * gave 
the increase.' Christ liveth still, his w^ord abideth still, 
but the planters and waterers are dead long ago. Again, 
What though we received the gospel from Rome? doth it 
therefore follow, that we received all the doctrines of the 
present church of Rome at the same time ? Pope Gregory 
knew little of the present Roman doctine about the pope of 
Rome. What was broached of it, he condemned in another 
(even John of Constantinople, who fasted for a kind of pope- 
dom), and professed himself an obedient servant to his good 
lord the emperor. Many a good doctrine hath been lost at 
Rome since those old days, and many a new fancy broached, 
and many a tradition of men taught for a doctrine of truth. 

Hippolyte, sic est; Thesei vultiis amo, 
' lUos priores quos tulit quondam puer, 

Quum prima puras barba signaret genas, 
Et ora flavus tenera tingebat rubor. 

We love the church of Rome, as it was in its purity and 
integrity, in the days of her youth and chastity, before she 
was deflowered by false worship ; but what is that to the 
present Roman carnal confederacy ? If then any in this 
nation did receive their religion from Rome, as many of the 
Saxons had Christianity declared unto them, by some sent 
s 2 


from Rome for that purpose ; yet it doth not at all follow, 
that they received the present religion of Rome. 

Hei niihi qualis ? quantum mutatur ab ilia? 

which of old she professed. 

Malta dies variusque labor mutabilis aevi, 
Rettulit in pejus. 

And this sad alteration, declension, and change, we may 
bewail in her, as the prophet did the like apostacy in the 
church of the Jews of old, ' How is the faithful city become 
an harlot? it was full of judgment, righteousness lodged in 
it, but now murderers ; thy silver is become dross, thy wine 
mixed with water.' He admires that it should be so; was 
not ignorant how it became so ; no more are others in re- 
ference unto your apostacy. 

And what if we had received from you, or by your means, 
the religion that is now professed at Rome, I mean the whole 
of it ; yet we might have received that with it, namely, the 
Bible, which would have made it our duty to examine, try, 
and reject any thing in it, for which we saw from thence 
just cause so to do, unless we should be condemned for that, 
for which the Bereans are so highly commended. So that 
neither is your position true, nor if it were so would it at all 
advantage your pretensions. 

I add also, ' Did not the gospel come from another place 
to Rome, as well as to us ; or was it first preached there V 
This you have culled out, as supposing yourself able to say 
something unto it; and what is it? 'Properly speaking, it 
came not so to Rome, as it came to us ; for one of the 
twelve fountains, nay, two of the thirteen, and those the 
largest and greatest, were transferred to Rome, which they 
watered with their blood. We had never any such standing 
fountain of our Christian religion here, but only a stream 
derived unto us from thence.' It is the hard hap it seems of 
England, to claim any privilege or reputation, that may stand 
in the way of some men's designs. No apostle, nor aposto- 
lical person, must be allowed to preach the gospel unto us, 
lest we should perk up into competition with Rome. But 
though Rome it seems must always be excepted, yet I hope 
you do not in general conclude our condition beneath that 
of any place, where the gospel at first was preached, by one 


or two apostles, so as to cry, ' Properly speaking, it came not 
to us at all.' What think you of Jerusalem, where Christ 
himself and his apostles, all of them, preached the gospel? 
Or what think you of Capernaum, that was 'lifted up to 
heaven,' in the privilege of the means of light granted for 
awhile unto them ? Do you think our condition worse than 
theirs ? The two fountains you mentioned were opened at 
Antioch in Syria, as well as at other places, before they con- 
veyed one drop of their treasures to Rome ; which whether 
one of them ever did by his personal presence, is very ques- 
tionable. And by this rule of yours, though England may 
not, yet every place where St. Peter and St. Paul preached 
the gospel, may contend with Rome as to this privilege. 
And what will you then get by your triumphing over us? 
' Non vides id manticae quod a tergo est:' when men are in- 
tent upon a supposed advantage, they oftentimes overlook real 
inconveniences that lie ready to seize upon them, as it befalls 
you more than once. Besides, there is nothing in the world 
more obscure, than by whom, or what means, the gospel was 
first preached at Rome : by St. Paul it is certain it was not; 
for before ever he came thither, there was a great number 
converted to the faith, as appears from his epistle, written 
about the fourteenth year of Claudius, and the fifty-third of 
Christ. Nor yet by Peter ; for not at present to insist on 
the great uncertainty whether ever he was there or no, 
which shall afterward be spoken unto, there is nothing more 
certain, than that about the sixth year of Claudius, and 
forty-fifth of Christ, he was at Antioch, Gal. ii. (Baronius 
makes the third of Claudius, and the forty-fifth of Christ to 
contemporize, but upon a mistake) and some say he abode 
there a good while, sundry years, and that upon as good 
authority, as any is produced for his coming to Rome. But 
it is generally granted, that there was a church founded at 
Rome that year, but by whom, aSjjAov iravTi TrXrjv rj t(^ Oti^ 
(as Socrates said of the preference of the condition of the 
living or dead), ' is known to God alone, of mortal men not 
to any :' ' Jam sumus ergo pares.' For, to confess the truth 
unto you, I know not certainly who first preached the gos- 
pel in Britain ; some say Peter, some Paul, some Simon 
Zelotes, most Joseph of Arimathea, as I have elsewhere 
shewed ; by whom certainly I know not : but some one it 


was or more, whom God sent upon his errand, and with his 
message. No more do you know who preached it first at 
Rome, though in general it appears that some of them at 
least were of the circumcision, whence the very first con- 
verts of that church were variously minded about the ob- 
servation of Mosaical rites and ceremonies. And I doubt 
not but God, in his infinitely holy wisdom and providence, 
left the springs of Christian religion, as to matter of fact, in 
the first introductions of it into the nations of the world, in 
so much darkness, as to the knowledge of aftertimes, to 
obviate those towering thoughts of pre-eminency, which he 
foresaw that some men from external advantages would en- 
tertain, to the no small prejudice of the simplicity of the 
gospel, and ruin of Christian humility. As far as appears 
from story, the gospel was preached in England, before any 
church was founded at Rome. It was so, saith Gildas, 
•Summo tempore Tiberii Caesaris,' that is, ' extremo ;' about 
the end of the reign of Tiberius Csesar, who died in the 
thirty-ninth year of Christ, five or six years at least before 
the foundations of the Roman church were laid 5 koL rauro 
^Iv Srj raiira. These things we must speak unto, because 
you suppose them of importance unto your cause. 

The second assertion ascribed unto your Fiat in the 
Animadversions is, 'That whence and from whom we first 
received our religion, there and with them we must abide 
therein, to them we must repair for guidance ; and return to 
their rule and conduct, if we have departed from them.' 
To which you now say, * This principle as it is never deli- 
vered by Fiat Lux, though you put it upon me, so is it in 
the latitude it carries, and wherein you understand it, ab- 
solutely false, never thought of by me, and indeed impossi- 
ble. For how can we abide with them in any truth, who may 
not perhaps abide in it themselves? Great part of Flanders 
was first converted by Englishmen, and yet are they not 
obliged to accompany the English in our now present ways.' 
I am glad you confess this principle now to be false ; it was 
sufficiently proved so to be in the Animadversions, and 
your whole discourse rendered thereby useless. For to what 
purpose will the preceding assertion so often inculcated by 
you serve, if this be false? For what matter is it from whence 
or whom we receive the profession of religion, if there be 


no obligation upon us to continue in their communion, any 
farther than as we judge them to continue in the truth ? 
And to what purpose do you avoid the consideration of the 
reasons and causes of our not abiding with you, and manage 
all your charge upon the general head of our departure, if 
we may have just cause by your own concession so to do ? 
It is false then by your own acknowledgment, and I am as 
sure, in the sense which I understand it in, that it is yours. 
And you labour with all your art to prove and confirm it, 
both in your Fiat, pp. 44 — 47. and in this very epistle, 
pp. 38 — 41, &c. On the account that the gospel came unto 
us from Rome, you expressly adjudge the pre-eminence 
over us unto Rome, and determine that her we must all hear, 
and obey, and abide with. But if you may say and unsay, 
assert and deny, avow and disclaim at your pleasure, as 
things make for your advantage, and think to evade the 
owning of the whole drift and scope of your discourse, by 
having expressed yourself in a loose flourish of words ; it 
will be to no great purpose farther to talk with you : 

Quo teneara vultus mutantem protea nodo? 

To lay fast hold, and not startle at a new shape, was the 
counsel his daughter gave to Menelaus. And I must needs 
urge you to leave off all thoughts of evading, by such 
changes of your hue, and to abide by what you say. I con- 
fess, I believe you never intended knowingly to assert this 
principle in its whole latitude, because you did not, as it 
should seem, consider how little it would make for your ad- 
vantage, seeing so many would come in for a share in the 
privilege intimated in it with your Roman church, and you 
do not in any thing love competitors. But you would fain 
have the conclusion hold as to your Roman church only ; 
those that have received the gospel from her, must always 
abide in her communion. That this assertion is not built on 
any general foundation of reason or authority, yourself now 
confess. And that you have no special privilege to plead 
in this cause, hath been proved in the Animadversions, 
whereof you are pleased to take no notice. 



Farther vindication of the first chapter of the Animadversions. Church of 
Rome not what she was of old. Her falls and apostacy. Difference 
between idolatry, apostacy, heresy, and schism. Principles of the church 
of Rome condemned hy the ancient church, fathers, and councils. Im- 
posing rites unnecessary. Persecution for conscience. Papal supremacy. 
The branches of it. Papal personal infallibility. Religious veneration 
of images. 

The third assertion which you review is, 'That the Roman 
profession of religion, and practice in the worship of God, 
are every way the same as when first we received the gospel 
from Home, nor can they ever otherwise be.' Whereunto you 
say, * This, indeed, though I do nowhere formally express 
it, yet I suppose it, because I know it hath been demonstra- 
tively proved a hundred times over. You deny it hath been 
proved, why do you not then disprove it? because you de- 
cline, say you, all common-places.' All that I affirmed was, 
that you did suppose this principle, and built many of your 
inferences on the supposition thereof, which you here ac- 
knowledge. And so you have already owned two of the prin- 
ciples, whereof in the foregoing page you affirmed, that you 
could hardly own any one, and that in the sense wherein by 
me they are proposed and understood. But what do you 
mean that you 'nowhere formally express it?' If you mean, 
that you have not set it down in those syllables, wherein 
you find it expressed in the Animadversions, no man ever 
said you did ; you do not use to speak so openly and 
plainly: to do so would bring you out of the corners, which 
somewhat that you pretend unto never lead you into. But 
if you deny, that you asserted and laboured to prove the 
whole and entire matter of it, your following discourse 
wherein you endeavour a vindication of the sophism, where- 
with you pleaded for it in your Fiat, will sufficiently con- 
fute you. And so you have avowed already two, of the 
' hardly any one,' principles ascribed unto you : and this you 
say hath been demonstratively proved a hundred times over, 
and ask me why I do not disprove it, giving a ridiculous 
answer, as from me, unto your inquiry. But pray, sir, talk not 


of demonstrations in this matter ; palpable sophisms, such 
as your masters use in this cause, are far enough from de- 
monstrations. And if you think it enough for you to say, 
that it hath been proved, why is it not a sufficient answer in 
me to remind you that it hath been disproved, and your pre- 
tended proofs all refuted ? And according to what rules of 
logic, do you expect arguments from me to disprove your 
assertion, whilst I was only answering yours that you pro- 
duced in its confirmation? But that you may not complain 
any more, I shall make some addition of the proofs you re- 
quire by way of supererrogation, when we have considered 
your vindicationof your former arguments, for the confirma- 
tion of this assertion, wherewith you closed your discourse in 
your Fiat Lux. This you thus propose again, ' The Roman 
was once a true flourishing church, and if she ever fell, she 
must fall either by apostacy, heresy, or schism.' So you now 
mince the matter; in your Fiat it was * a most pure flourish- 
ing and mother church ;' and you know there are many that 
yet acknowledge her a true church, as a thief is a true man; 
who will not acknowledge her to be a pure church, much 
less 'most pure.' God be merciful to poor worms, this boast- 
ing doth not become us; it is not unlike hers who cried, * I 
sit as a queen and shall see no sorrow;' I wish you begin to 
be sensible and ashamed of it: but yet I fear it is otherwise ; 
for whereas in your Fiat you had proclaimed your Roman 
church and party to be absolutely innocent and unblam- 
able, you tell us, p. 10. of your epistle, that you can 
make it appear that it is far more innocent and amiable than 
you have made it ; more than absolutely innocent it seems, 
a note so high that it sounds harshly. And whereas we 
shall manifest your church to have lost her native beauty, 
we know that no painting of her, which is all you can do, 
will render her truly amiable unto a spiritual eye. She hath 
too often defiled herself, to pretend now to be lovely. But 
to this you say I reply, ' The church that then was in the apo- 
stles' time was indeed true, not the Roman church that now 
is;' and add, 'So, so, then I say that former true church must 
fall sometime or other; when did she fall, and how did she 
fall by apostacy, heresy, or schism ?' Sir, you very lamely 
represent my answer, that you might seem to say something 
unto it, when indeed you say nothing at all. I discover 


unto you the equivocation you use in that expression, ' the 
church of Rome/ and shew you that the thing now so called 
by you, had neither being nor name, neither essence nor af- 
fection in the days of old; its very being is but the ' ter- 
minus ad quem,' of a church's fall. I shewed you also, that 
the church of old that was pure, fell, not whilst it was so, 
but that the men who succeeded in the place, where they 
lived in the profession of religion, gradually fell from the 
purity of that profession, which the church at its first plant- 
ing did enjoy. But all that discourse you pass by, and re- 
peat again your former question, to which you subjoin my 
first answer, which was, it was possible she might fall by an 
earthquake, as did those of Colosse and Laodicea; to which 
you, * We speak not here of any casual or natural downfal, 
or death of mortals, by plague, famine, or earthquake, but a 
moral and voluntary lapse in faith. What do you speak to 
me of earthquakes?' It is well you do so now explain your- 
self; your former inquiry was only in general, how or by 
what means she ceased to be what she had been before, as 
though it were impossible to assign any such ; neither did I 
exclude the sense whereunto you now restrain your words. 
And had I only shewed you, that it was possible she might 
fall, and come to nothing, and yet not by any of the ways or 
means by you mentioned, without proceeding unto the con- 
sideration of them also, yet your special inquiry being re- 
solved into this general one, from whence it is taken, how a 
pure flourishing church may cease to be so, I had rendered 
your inquiry useless unto your present purpose, though I 
had not answered your intention : for certainly that which 
ceaseth to be, ceaseth to be pure, seeing ' non entis nullm 
sunt affectiones.' The church of the Britains in this part of 
the island, now called England, was once as pure a church 
as ever was the church of Rome, yet she ceased to be long 
since, and that neither by apostacy, heresy, nor schism, but 
by the sword of the Saxons. And to tell you the truth, I do 
not think the old church of Rome unconcerned in this in- 
stance, then especially when Rome Vt'as left desolate by To- 
tilas, and without inhabitant; for the church of Rome is 
* urbis,' and not as you vainly imagine, * orbis Ecclesia.' 

Again, I told you she might fall by idolatry, and so nei- 
ther by apostacy, heresy, or schism. To which you reply. 


* Good sir, idolatry is a mixed misdemeanor both in faith and 
manners; I speak of the single one of faith; and he that 
falls by idolatry, if he keep still some parts of Christianity 
entire, he falls by heresy, by apostacy if he keep none.' I 
am persuaded you are the first that ever gave this descrip- 
tion of idolatry, and the last that will do so; * it is a mixed 
misdemeanor in faith and manners.' Manners you speak 
of in contradistinction to faith, and you so explain yourself, 
in which sense they relate only unto moral conversation, 
regulated by the second table. That idolatry hath been and 
is constantly attended with corruption in manners, the apo- 
stle declares, Rom. i. and I willingly grant; but how in it- 
self, or in its own nature, it should come to be ' a mixed misde- 
meanor in faith and in manners,' I know not; neither can 
you tell me which is the fleshy, which is the fishy part of 
this Dagon; what it is in it that is a misdemeanor in faith, 
and what in manners. According to this description of 
yours, an idolater should be an ill-mannered, or an unman- 
nerly heretic. But you speak of the single misdemeanor 
in faith ; but who gave you leave so to restrain your inquiry ? 
I allowed you before to except against one instance, where- 
by many a church hath fallen ; but if you will except ido- 
latry and manners also, your endeavour to provide a shelter 
for your guilt, is shameful and vain. For what you except 
out of your inquiry, if you confess not to have been, yet you 
do that it may be, or might have been. And you do wisely 
to let your adversary know, that he is to strike you only 
where you suppose yourself armed, but by all means must 
let naked parts alone; and doubtless he must needs be very 
wise who will take your advice. The church of Judah was 
once a pure church in the days of David ; how came she 
then to fall? by apostacy, heresy, or schism? I answer, if 
you will give me leave, she fell by idolatry, and corruption 
of manners, against both which the prophets were protes- 
tants ; 2 Kings xvii. 13. nin' !:;>) God protested against 
them by his prophets. Again, the same church reformed in 
the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel, and n^njn nD33 
*wm the men of the great congregation, was a pure church ; 
how did it fall? not by idolatry, as formerly, but by corrup- 
tion of life, unbehef, and rejecting the word of God for su- 
perstitious traditions, until it Ijecarae a den of thieves. You 



see then there are other ways of a church's falling from its 
pristine purity, than those by you insisted on. And if you 
shall inquire how it may fall, you must exclude nothing out 
of your inquiry, whereby it may do so, and whereby some 
churches have done so. And if you will have my thoughts 
in this matter, they are, that the beginning of the fall of 
your church and many others, lay in unbelief, corruption of 
life, conformity to the world, and other sins that were found 
in the most of its members. And it is a fancy to dream of 
the purity of a church, in respect of its outward order, when 
the power and life of godliness is lost in its members ; and a 
wicked device to suppose a church may not be separated 
from Christ by unbelief, whilst it abides in an external pro- 
fession of the doctrine of faith. Such a church, though it 
may have a name to live, yet indeed is dead, and dead things 
are unclean. We speak of its purity and acceptation there- 
on in the sight of God ; neither will men dead in trespasses 
and sins, be terrible unto any, as an army with banners, un- 
less they are like those in Lucilius, who, 

Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia aliena 
Vivere et esse homines ; sic isti omnia ficta 
Vera putant ; credunt signis cor inesse ahenis. 

as Lactantius reports him. But you say, 'If they fall by 
idolatry, and yet keep any parts of Christianity, they fall by 
heresy.' But why so? would you had thought it incumbent 
on you to give a reason of what you say. Are idolatry and 
heresy the same ? Tertullian, who of all the old ecclesiastical 
writers most enlargeth the bounds of idolatry, defines it to 
be * omnis circa omne idolum famulatus et servitus;' ' Any 
worship or service performed in reference to, or about any 
idol.' I do not remember that ever I met with your defini- 
tion of idolatry in any author whatever. Bellarmine seems 
to place it in ' Creaturam aeque colere ac Deum ;' ' to wor- 
ship the creature as much or equally with the Creator:' which 
description of it, though it be vain and groundless, for his 

* aeque' is neither in the Scripture, nor any approved author 
of old, required to the constituting of the worship of any 
creature idolatrous ; yet is not this heresy neither, but that 
which differs from it ' toto genere.' We know it to be 

* cultus religiosus creaturse exhibitus,' 'any religious worship 
of that which by nature is not God :' and so doth your 



Thomas grant it to be. Gregory de Valentia, another of 
your great champions, contends, that ' tanquam Deo/ ' as 
unto God/ is to be added unto the definition : as though re- 
ligious worship could be given unto any thing, and not as 
unto God really and indeed, though not intentionally as to 
the worshipper. Where a man gives religious worship, there 
he doth ' ipso facto' assign a divine eminency, say he what 
he v/ill to the contrary. Neither will his intention of not 
doing it ' as unto God,' any more free him from idolatry, 
than an adulteress will be free by not looking on her adul- 
terer as her husband. I confess he adds afterward a dis- 
tinction that is of great use for you, and indispensably ne- . 
cessary for your defence ; de Idol. lib. 2. cap. 7. St. Peter, 
he tells us, insinuates some ' worship of idols,' ' cultum ali- 
quem simulachrorum,' to wit, that of the holy images to be 
right, or lawful, when he deterreth believers ' ab illicitis 
idolorum cultibus,' ' from the unlawful worship of idols / 
1 Pet. iv. 3. a^eixLToig ddwXoXaTodaig. This were somewhat, 
indeed, if all epithets were distinguishing, none aggravating 
or declarative. When Virgil said * dulcia mella premes/ 
Geor. 4. he did not insinuate that there was any bitter honey. 
Nor is it allowable only for poets, to use explaining and de- 
claring epithets; but Aristotle allows it in the best orators 
also, so they use not fxciKpolg ij aKaipoig tj irvKvolg, long or un- 
seasonable ones, or the same frequently : and the use of this 
here by Peter is free from all those vices. When the Roman 
orator cried out, ' O scelus detestandum,' ' O wickedness to 
be abhorred,' he did not intend to insinuate that there was 
a wickedness not to be abhorred, or to be approved. But 
if it will follow hence that your church is guilty only of law- 
ful idolatry, I shall not much contend about it. Yet I must 
tell you, that as the poor woman when the physicians in her 
sickness told her still that what she complained of was a 
good sign, cried out ot jnoi vir' ajadwv aTroXXvfxi, 'good signs 
have undone me / your lawful idolatry, if you take not better 
heed, will undo you. In the mean time, as to the coincidence 
you imagine between idolatry and heresy, I wish you would 
advise with your angelical doctor, who will shew you how 
they are contradistinct evils, which he therefore weighs in 
his scales, and determines which is the heaviest, 228e q. 94. 
a. ad 4. The church in the wilderness fell by its fxoaxoTroua, 


its ' making and worshipping a golden calf,' as a represen- 
tation of the presence of God. That they kept some parts 
of the doctrine of truth entire, is evident from their procla- 
mation of a feast to Jehovah. Do any men in their wits 
use to say this fall was by heresy, though all agree it was by 
idolatry? so that your church might fall by idolatry and not 
fall formally by heresy, according to the genuine importance 
of the word, the use of it in the Scriptures, or the definition 
given of it by the schoolmen, or any sober writer of what 
sort soever. And here I must desire you to stay a little, if 
you intend to take Protestants along with you : they con- 
stantly return this answer unto you in the first place, and 
tell you, that your church is fallen by idolatry ; it is fallen 
in the worship which you give unto the consecrated host, 
as you call it, wherein, if the Scriptures which call it 'bread,' 
and the fathers who term it the ' figure of the body of Christ,' 
if reason, and all our senses deceive us not, you are as 
plainly idolatrous as the poor wretches which fall down and 
worship a piece of red cloth; so your own Costerus assures 
us, Enchirid. cap. 8. 'Tolerabilior,' saith he, 'est eorum error, 
qui pro Deo colunt statuam auream, aut argenteam, aut al- 
terius materise imaginem, quomodo Gentiles Deos suos ve- 
nerabantur, vel pannum rubrum in hastam elevatum, quod 
narratur de Lappis, vel viva animalia ut quondam JEgyptii, 
quam eorum qui frustum panis colunt.' 'Their error is more 
tolerable who worship a golden or silver statue, or an image 
of any other matter for a God, as the Gentiles worshipped 
their gods, or a rag of red cloth lifted upon a spear, as it is 
reported of the Laplanders, or living creatures, as did the 
Egyptians of old, than theirs who worship a piece of bread.' 
This is that which made Averroes cry out, ' Seeing the Chris- 
tians eat the god whom they worship, let my soul be among 
the philosophers.' You do the same in your worship of the 
cross, which the chiefest among you maintain to be the 
same that is due to Christ himself. And you are in the same 
path still in the religious adoration you give unto the blessed 
Virgin, your prayers to her, and invocations of her, which 
abound in all your books of devotion, and general practice. 
And what need we mention any particular instances, when 
you have begun some of your conciliary actions ; the great- 
est solemnities of Christianity amongst you, with invocation 


of her for help and assistance ? So did your council of La- 
teran, joining with cardinal Cajetan, in their opening of the 
second session, in these words; * Quoniam nihil est quod 
homo de semetipso sine auxilio opeque divina possit polli- 
ceri, ad gloriosam ipsam Virginem Dei matrem primum con- 
vertam orationem meam.' ' Seeing there is nothing that a 
man may promise to himself, as of himself, without divine- 
help and assistance, I will first turn my prayer unto the glo- 
rious Virgin the mother of God.' This was the doctrine, this 
the practice, this the idolatry of our Lateran council. And 
again, in the seventh session, * Deiparae nostras preesidium 
imploremus;' ' Let us pray for the help or protection of our 
blessed mother of God.' And in the tenth session of the 
same council, Stephen, archbishop of Patras, prays, 'Utipsa 
beata Virgo, Angelorum Domina, fons omnium gratiarum, 
qu8B omnes hereses interemit, cujus opera magna reformatio, 
Concordia principum, et vera contra infideles expeditio 
fieri debet opem ferre dignetur.' ' That the blessed Virgin, 
the lady of angels, the fountain of all graces, who destroyeth 
all heresies, by whose assistance the great reformation, the 
agreement of princes, and sincere expedition against the in- 
fidels' (the business of that council), ' ought to be performed, 
would vouchsafe to help him, that he might,' &c. And 
thereupon sings this hymn unto her, recorded in the acts of 
the council; 

Omnium splendor decus et perenne 
Virginum lumen, genetrix superni 
Gloria humaui generis Maria 

unica nostri. 
Sola tn Virgo dominaris astris. 
Sola tu terrzB maris atque coeli 
Lumen, inceptis faveas rogamus 

inclyta nostris. 
Ut queara sacros reserare sensus 
Quilatens chartis nimium severi 
Ingredi et cels£e, duce te benigna 

nisenia terrae. 

* O Mary, the beauty, honour, and everlasting light of all 
virgins, the mother of the Highest, the only glory of man- 
kind ; thou Virgin alone rulest the stars ; thou alone art the 
light of earth, sea, and heaven ; do thou, O glorious lady, we 
entreat, prosper my endeavours ; that I may unfold the sa- 
cred senses which lie hid in the too severe writings' (of the 


Scripture) 'and kindly give me, under thy goodness, to enter 
the walls of the heavenly countries.' I suppose it cannot be 
doubted whence the pattern of this conciliary prayer was 
taken ; it is but an imitation of 

Phoebe, sylvarumqiie potens Diana 
Lucidum coeli decus, O colendi 
Semper et cuiti, date qtiaj precamur 

tempore sacro. 
Alrae Sol curru nitido diem qui 
Prorais et celas aliusque et idem 
Nasceris, possis nihil uibe Roma 

vibere majus. 
Rite matures aperire partus 
Lenis Ilithea, tuere matres 
Sive tu Lucina probas vocari 

seu Genitalis. 

And if this be not plainly to place her in the throne of 
God, I know not what can be imagined so to do. Your wor- 
ship of angels and of saints is of the same importance, con- 
cerning whom you do well to entitle your paragraph, 'Heroes;' 
your doctrine and practice concerning them, being the very 
same with those of the ancient heathen, in reference unto 
their demons and heroes. So your own learned Vives con- 
fesseth of many of you ; in August, de Civit. Dei, lib. 28. 
cap. ult. ' Multi Christiani/ saith he, ' divos divasque non 
aliter venerantur quani Deum ; nee video in multis quod sit 
discrimen inter eorum opinionem de Sanctis, et id quod Gen- 
tiles putabant de suis diis.' ' Many Christians worship he 
and she saints, no .otherwise than they do God; neither do I 
see in many things what difference there is between their 
opinion concerning the saints, and that which the heathen 
thought of their gods.' And it is known what Polydore 
Virgil before him affirmed to the same purpose : your idola- 
try in the worship of images of all sorts shall be afterward 
declared. Be then this a single or mixed misdemeanor it 
matters not, a misdemeanor it is, whereby we affirm that the 
Roman church is fallen from its pristine purity. And this 
we think is a full answer unto your inquiry. We need not, 
you cannot compel us, to go one step farther. But our way 
is plain and invites us. I shall therefore proceed to let you 
see once again that she is fallen by all the ways you thought 
meet to confine your inquiry unto. 

You proceed, ' Finding yourself puzzled, in the third place 


you lay on load, she fell say you, by apostacy, idolatry, 
heresy, schism, licentiousness, and profaneness of life. And 
in this you do not much unlike the drunken youth, who, 
being bid to hit his master's finger with his, when he per- 
ceived he could not do it, he ran his whole fist against it.' 
Seriously, sir, you have the worst success in your attempts 
for a little wit and merriment that ever I met with. If you 
would take my advice, you should not strain your genius for 
that which it will not afford you : you forgot the old rule, 

Tu nihil invita dices faciesve Minerva. 

Any other diversion were better than this, which proves so 
successless: yet I must confess you deserve well of pastime, 
seeing to serve its interests you so often make yourself ridi- 
culous, as you now do in this pitiful story. And I cannot 
tell you whether my answer have touched your finger or no, 
but I am sure, if it be true, it strikes your cause to the 
heart 5 and I am as sure of the truth of it, as I am that I am 
alive. And you see how I am puzzled, even as he was who 
cried, ' inopem me copia fecit.' Your church hath fallen so 
many ways, all so foully and evidently, that it is hard for 
any man to choose what instance to insist upon, who is 
called on to charge her, as you by your inquiry of them, do 
on your Protestant readers. And for my part, I had rather 
you should take your choice, against which of the things 
mentioned you think yourself best able to defend her. And 
may it please you to choose your instance, if I prove not 
your church to have fallen by it, I will promise you to be- 
come a Papist. You proceed to your own particulars, and 
ask, Did she fall by apostacy ? to which you subjoin my 
words, ' by a partial not a total one ;' with your reply, • Good 
sir, in this division apostacy is set to express a total relapse, 
in opposition to heresy which is the partial.' I see you have 
as little mind to be drawn to the consideration of your apos- 
tacy, as of your idolatry ; and would feign post off all to 
heresy, under a corrupt notion of which term, you hope to 
find some shelter for yourself and your church, although in 
vain. But, 

Verte oranes tete in facies, et contrahe quicquid 
Sive animis, sive arte vales. 

You must bear the charge of apostacy also. For why must 
that needs be the notion of these terms in the division you 



made, that you now express ? Is it from the strict sense and 
importance of the words themselves, or from the scriptural 
or ecclesiastical use of them, or whence is it, that it must be 
so, and that it is so ? None of these will give you any relief, 
or the least countenance unto your fancy. Both airoaTama 
and aipeaig, are words Ik tojv juIctwv, in themselves of an 
indifferent signification, denoting things or acts, good or 
evil, according to their accidental limitations and applica- 
tions. It is said of some a7roaTi]aovTai rrig irl(JTi(t)g, 'they 
will depart from the faith;' 1 Tim. iv. 1. And the same 
apostle, speaking of them that name the name of Christ, says, 
' Let every one of them depart from iniquity,' cnrocTTnTO utt' 
adiKiag, 2 Tim. ii. 19. so that the word itself signifies no 
more but a single and bare departure from any thing, way, 
rule, or practice, be it good or bad, wherein a man hath been 
engaged, or which he ought to avoid and fly from. And this 
is the use of it in the best Greek authors ; iroWov cKpiarav- 
T£Q are such in Homer who are far distant, or remote on any 
account from any thing or place. And to. ttXhcttov a^torrjicora 
in Aristotle things very remote. To leave any place, com- 
pany, thing, society, or rule, on any cause, is the common 
use of the word in Thucydides, Plutarch, Lucian, and the 
rest of their companions in the propriety of that language. 
' Apostasia,'by ecclesiastical writers, is restrained unto either 
a backsliding in faith subjective and manners, or a causeless 
relinquishment of any truth before professed. So the Jews 
charge Paul, Acts xxi. 21. cnrotTraaiav ^idarrKug, ' thou 
teachest the apostacy' from Moses's law. Such also is the 
nature of m^tmq, a special * option, choice,' or way in pro- 
fession of any truth or error. So Paul calls pharisaism 
OKptj3£(TTaTr)v atpeffiv rf/c Bpr}aKiiag, Acts xxvi. 5. the most 
'exact heresy' or way of religion among the Jews. And Cle- 
mens Alexandrinus, Strom, lib. 8. calls Christian religion 
a'ipemv apiarriv, the ' best heresy.' And the great Constantine 
in one of his edicts calls it aipeaiv Ka^oXiKnv, 'the catholic' 
or * general heresy;' and aipeaiv ayioraTriv, ' the most holy he- 
resy.' The Latins also constantly used that word in a sense 
indifferent. Cato, saith Cicero, ' est in ea hseresi quse nul- 
lum orationis florem sequitur.' The words therefore them- 
selves you see are of an indifferent signification, having this 
difference between them, that the one for the most part is 


used to signify the relinquishment of that which a man had 
before embraced, and the other a choice or embracing of that 
which a man had not before received or admitted. And 
this difference is constantly observed by all ecclesiastical 
writers, who afterward used these words in the worst or an 
evil sense; so that apostacy, in this appropriation of it, de- 
notes the relinquishment of any important truth or way in 
religion ; and heresy the choice or embracement of any new 
destructive opinion or principle or way in the profession 
thereof. A man then may be an apostate by partial apostacy, 
that is, depart from the profession of some truth he had for- 
merly embraced, or the performance of some duty which he 
was engaged in, without being a heretic, or choosing any 
new opinion which he did not before embrace. Thus you 
signally call a monk that deserts his monastical profession 
an apostate, though he embrace no opinion which is con- 
demned by your church, or which you think heretical. And 
a man may be a heretic, that is, choose and embrace some 
new false opinion, which he may coin out of liis own ima- 
gination, without a direct renunciation of any truth which 
before he uas instructed in. And this is that which I in- 
tended, when I told you that your church is fallen by partial 
apostacy and by heresy. She hath renounced many of the 
important truths which the old Roman church once believed 
and professed, and so is fallen by apostacy. And she hath 
invented or coined many articles pretended to be of faith, 
which the old Roman church never believed, and so is fallen 
by heresy also. Now what say you hereunto ? Why, ' Good 
sir, in this division apostacy is set to express a total relapse 
in opposition to heresy, which is the partial.' But who gave 
you warrant or leave so to set them? It would, it may be, 
somewhat serve your turn, in evading the charge of apostacy, 
that lies against your church; but, 'good sir,' will not prove 
that you may thus confound things for your advantage. 
Idolatry is heresy, and apostacy is heresy, and what not, be- 
cause you suppose you have found a way to escape the im- 
putation of heresy. I say then yet again in answer to your 
inquiry, that your church is fallen by apostacy, in her relin- 
quishment of many important truths, and neglect of many 
necessary duties, which the old Roman church embraced 
and performed. That these may be the more evident unto 
T 2 



you, I shall give you some few instances of your apostacy, 
desiring only that you would grant me, that the primitive 
church of Rome believed and faithfully retained the doctrine 
of truth, wherein from the Scripture it was instructed. 

That church believed expressly, that all they ' who die 
in the Lord do rest from all their labours ;' Rev. xiv. 8. which 
truth you have forsaken, by sending many of them into the 
flames of purgatory. 

It believed, that the ' sufferings of this life are not wor- 
thy of the glory that shall be revealed in us;' Rom. viii. 18. 
Your church is otherwise minded, asserting in our works 
and sufferings a merit of, and condignity unto, the glory that 
shall be received. 

It believed, that ' we were saved freely, by grace, by 
faith, which is not of ourselves, but the gift of God ; not by 
works, lest any one should boast,' Eph. ii. 8. Tit. iii. 5. and 
therefore, 'besought the Lord not to enter into judgment 
with them, because in his sight no flesh could be justified;' 
Psal. cxxx. 4. clxiii. 2. And you are apostatized from this 
part of their faith. 

It believed, that Christ ' was once only offered,' Heb. x. 
12. and that it could not be that ' he should often offer him- 
self, because then he must have often suffered and died ;' 
Heb. ix. 25. Which faith of theirs you are departed from. 

It believed, that 'we have one only mediator and inter- 
cessor with God;' 1 Tim. ii. 5. 1 John ii. 2. Wherein also 
you have renounced their persuasion ; as likewise you have 
done in what it professed, that we may ' invocate onlyhim, 
in whom we do beUeve;' Rom. x. 14. 

It believed, that the 'command to abstain from meats 
and marriage, was the doctrine of devils;' 1 Tim, iv. 1, 2. 
Do you abide in the same faith ? 

It believed, that ' every soul' without exception, ' was to 
be subject to the higher powers;' Rom. xiii. ]. You will 
not walk in the steps of their faith herein. 

It believed, that all 'image-worship was forbidden;' 
Exod. XX. And whether you abide in the same persuasion, 
we shall afterward examine. And many more instances of 
the like kind, you may at any time be minded of. 

You haste to that you would fain be at, which will be 
fo^md as little to your purpose, as those whose considera- 


tion you so carefully avoid. You say, ' Did she fall by he- 
resy in adhering to any error in faith, contrary to the ap- 
proved doctrine of the church? Here you smile seriously, 
and tell me; that, since I take the Roman and catholic 
church to be one, she could not indeed adhere to any thing, 
but what she did adhere unto. Sir, I take them indeed to 
be one: but here I speak, 'ad hominem,' to one that doth 
not take them so. And then, if indeed the Roman church 
had ever swerved in faith, as you say she has, and be herself 
as another ordinary particular church, as you say she is, 
then might you find some one or other more general church, 
if any there were, to judge her; some oecumenical council 
to condemn her ; some fathers, either Greek and Latin, ex- 
pressly to write against her, as Protestants now do ; some 
or other grave authority to censure her ; or at least some 
company of believers, out of whose body she went, and from 
whose faith she fell. None of which, since you are not able 
to assign' (wherein you have spoken more rightly, than you 
were aware of; for, not to be able to assign none of them, 
infers at least an ability to assign some, if not alt of them), 
'my query remains unanswered, and the Roman still as flou- 
rishing a church as ever she was.' 

Alts. 1. You represent my answer lamely. I desire the 
reader to consult it'iA the Animadversions, pp. 66 — 68. [pp. 
38,39.] What you have taken notice of, discovers only your 
fineness, in making heresy an adherence to an error in faith, 
contrary to the doctrine of the church; and yourselves the 
church, whereby you must needs be secured from heresy, 
though you should adhere to the most heretical principles that 
ever were broached in the world. But nothing of all this, as 
I have shewed, will be allowed you. 2. As we have seen some 
of the reasons, why you were so unwilling to try the cause 
of your church, on the heads of idolatry and apostacy; so 
here you discover a sufficient reason, why you have passed 
over your other head of schism, in silence. You avow your- 
self one of the most schismatical principles, that were ever 
adhered unto by any professing the name of Christ. The 
Roman church and the catholic are with you one and the 
same. Is not this Petilianus's, in ' parte Donati;' nay, Basi- 
lides's, iijuac ^(^fJ^^v ol av0pw7roi, oi C£ aXAoi Travrtc Kvveg Koi 
itig. Epiphan. Heres. 4. ' We only aie men, all others are 


dogs and swine.' ' Macte virtute!' If this be not to shew 
moderation, and to pursue reconciliation, at once to shut out 
all men but yourselves from the church here, and conse- 
quently heaven hereafter, what can be thought so to be? In 
earnest, sir, you may talk what you please of moderation, but 
whilst you avow this one wretched schismatical principle, 
you do your endeavour to exclude all true Christian mode- 
ration out of the world. 3. Why do you conclude, that 
your query is not answered? Suppose one question could 
not be answered, doth it necessarily follow that another 
cannot ? I suppose, you take notice that this is another 
question, and not that at first proposed, as I told you before. 
Your first inquiry was about your church crime, this is about 
her conviction and condemnation: and your conclusion hath 
no strength in it, but what is built on this unquestionable 
maxim, that, 'None ever offended, who was not publicly 
judged;' as though there were no harlot in the world but 
those that have been carted. It is enough, sir, that her con- 
dition is ' sub judice/ as it will be, whether you or I will or 
no ; and that there is not evidence wanting for her convic- 
tion, nor ever was since her fall, though it may be it hath 
not at all times been so publicly managed. And yet so vain 
is your triumphant conclusion, that we rest not here, but 
prove also that she hath been of old judged and condemned, 
as you will hear anon. 

And thus I have once more given you an answer to your 
inquiry, how your church fell ; namely, that she hath done 
so by all the ways and means, by which it is possible for a 
church to fall. She failed under the just hand of God, when 
the persons of that Urbic church were extirpated, partly by 
others, but totally byTotilas; as the British church in Eng- 
land fell by the sword of the Saxons. She hath fallen by 
idolatry and corruption of life, as did the church of the 
Jews before the captivity. She hath fallen by her relin- 
quishment of the written word, as the only rule of faith and 
worship, and by adhering to the uncertain traditions of men, 
as did the church of the Jews after their return from cap- 
tivity. She hath fallen by apostacy, in forsaking the pro- 
fession of many important truths of the gospel, as the church 
of the Galatians did for a season, in their relinquishment of 
the doctrine of justification by grace alone. She hath fallen 


by heresy, in coining new articles of faith, and imposing 
them on the consciences of the disciples of Christ, as the 
Montanists did with their new paraclete, and rigid observ- 
ances. She hath fallen by schism in herself, as the Judaical 
church did when divided into Essenes, Sadducees,and Pha- 
risees : setting up pope against pope, and council against 
xjouncii, continuing in her intestine broils for some ages to- 
gether : and from all others, by the wretched principle, but 
now avowed by you, as the Donatists did of old. She hath 
fallen by ambition, in the Hildebrandine principle, asserting 
a sovereignty in the pope over the kings and potentates of 
the earth, whereof I can give you no precedent instance, un- 
less it be of him, who claimed the kingdoms of the world to 
fee his own, and boasted that he disposed of them at his plea- 
sure, Matt. iv. And now I hope you will not take it in ill 
part, that I have given you a plain answer unto your ques- 
tion, which, as I suppose, was proposed unto us for that end 
and purpose. 

But although these things are evident and sufficiently 
proved, yet I see nothing will satisfy you, unless we pro- 
duce testimonies of former times, to manifest that your 
church hath been arraigned, judged, condemned, written 
against by fathers, councils, or other churches. Now though 
this be somewhat an unreasonable expectation in you, and 
that which I am no way bound unto by the law of our dis- 
course to satisfy you in ; yet, to prevent for the future such 
evasions, as yOii have made use of on all occasions in your 
epistle, I shall, in a few pregnant and unquestionable in- 
stances, give you an account both when, how, and by whom, 
the falls of your church have been observed, reproved, con- 
demned, and written against. Only unto what shall be dis- 
coursed unto this purpose, I desire liberty to premise these 
three things, which I suppose will be granted. 

Dab'itur ignis taraen, etsi ab inimici? petara. 

The first is, that. What is by any previously condemned-, 
before the embracing and practice of it, is no less con- 
demned by them, than if the practice had preceded their 
condemnation. Though you should say that your avowing 
of a condemned error, would make it no error; yet you can- 


not say that it will render it not condemned : for that which 
is done, cannot be undone, say you what you will. 

Secondly, that. Where any opinion or practice in reli- 
gion, which is embraced and used by your church, is con- 
demned and written against, that then your church, which so 
embraceth and useth it, is condemned and written against. 
For neither do Protestants write against your church, or 
condemn it, on any other account, but of your opinions and 
practices ; and you require but such a writing and con- 
demnation, as you complain of amongst them. 

Thirdly, I desire you to take notice, that I do not this, 
as though it were necessary to the security and defence of 
the cause which we maintain against you. It is abundantly 
sufficient and satisfactory unto our consciences, in your 
casting us out from your communion, that all the ways 
whereby we say your church is fallen from her pristine pu- 
rity, are judged and condemned in the Scripture, the word 
of truth ; whither we appeal for the last determination of 
the differences between us. These things being premised, 
to prevent such evasions as you have accustomed yourself 
unto, I shall, as briefly as I can, give you somewhat of that, 
which you have now twice called for. 

1. Your principle and practice in imposing upon all per- 
sons and churches a necessity of the observation of our rites 
and ceremonies, customs and traditions, casting them out 
of communion who refuse to submit unto this your great 
principle of all the schisms in Europe, was contradicted, 
written against, condemned by councils and fathers, in the 
very first instance that ever you gave of it. Be pleased to 
consider that this concerns the very life and being of your 
church. For if you may not impose your constitutions, ob- 
servances, and customs upon all others, ' actum est,' there 
is an end of your present church state. Let us see then how 
this was thought of in the days of old: Victor, the bishop of 
Home, An. Dom. 96. condemns and excommunicates the 
churches of Asia, because they would not join with him in 
the celebration of Easter precisely on the Lord's day. Did 
this practice escape uncontrolled ? He was written against 
by the great Irenaus, and reproved that he had cast out of 
communion rac oXac 'EKicXrjaiac tov Qiov, ' whole churches of 


God/ for a trivial cause. His fact also was condemned in 
the justification of those churches, by a council in Palestine, 
where Theophilus presided ; and another in Asia, called to- 
gether for the same purpose by Polycrates ; Euseb. Eccles. 
Hist. lib. 5. cap. 22 — 25. This is an early instance of a 
considerable fall in your church, and an open opposition by 
councils and fathers made unto it. And do not you, sir, 
deceive yourself, as though the fact of Victor were alone 
concerned in this censure of Irenaeus and others. The prin- 
ciple before mentioned, which is the very life and soul of 
your churchy is condemned in it. It was done also in a re- 
petition of the same instance attempted here in England by 
you, when Austin, that came from Rome, would have im- 
posed on the British churches the observation of Easter, ac- 
cording to the custom of the Roman church; the bishops 
and monks of these churches not only rejected your cus- 
tom, but the principle also from whence the attempt to im- 
pose it on them did proceed ; protesting, that they owned 
no subjection to the bishop of Rome, nor other regard, than 
what they did to every good Christian. Concil. Anglican. 
p. 188. 

2. Your doctrine and practice of forcing men by carnal 
weapons, corporeal penalties, tortures, and terrors of death, 
unto the embracement of your profession, and actually de- 
stroying and taking away the lives of them that persist in 
their dissent from you, is condemned by fathers and councils, 
as well as by the Scriptures, and the light of nature itself. 
It is condemned by Tertullian, Apol. cap. 23. ' Videte,'saith 
he, ' ne et hoc ad irreligiositatis elogium concurrat, adimere 
libertatem religionis, et interdicere optionem divinitatis, ut 
non liceat mihi colere quod velim, sed cogar colere quod 
nolim ;' with the like expressions, in twenty other places. 
All this external compulsion he ascribes unto profaneness. 
So doth Clemens Alexand. Stromat. 8. So also did Lactan- 
tius ; all consenting in that maxim of Tertullian, ' Lex nova 
non se vindicat ultore gladio :' 'The law of Christ revengeth 
not itself with a punishing sword.' The council of Sardis, 
Epist. ad Alexand. expressly affirms, that they dissuaded 
the erpperor from interposing his secular power to compel 
them that dissented. And you are fully condemned in a 
canon of a council at Toledo, cap. de Judas, distinc. 45. 


* PraBcipit sancta synodus, nemini deinceps ad credendum 
vim inferre; cui enim vult Deus raiseretur, et quern vult in- 
durat.' ' The holy synod commandeth, that none hereafter 
shall by force be compelled to the faith : for God hath mercy 
on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he harden- 
eth.' Athanasius, in his epistle ad Solitar. falls heavily on 
the Arians, that they began first to compel men to their he- 
resy, by force, prisons, and punishments ; whence he con- 
cludes of their sect, * atque ita seipsam quam non sit pia nee 
Dei cultrix manifestat:' 'it evidently declares itself hereby, 
to be neither pious, nor to have any reverence of God.' In 
a book that is of some credit with you, namely Clemens's 
Constitutions, you have this amongst other things for your 
comfort, TO avrt^ovcnov twv av^^wwiov a^fJKSv IXtv^e^ov, ov 
irpoCTicatjOti) dava.T(j^ ciKa^wv aW iv trepa KaraaraaH \oyo^£TU)V 
avTo. ' Christ left men the power of their wills free' (in this 
matter), ' not punishing them with death temporal, but call- 
ing them to give an account in another world.' And Chry- 
sostom speaks to the same purpose on John vi. 'EpwraXiyoDv, 
M17 KOI vfXHQ diXere inraysiv, oirep Tracrav i]v d(f)aipovvTog /3iav 
KOI dvdjKnv. ' He asked them saying, Will ye also go away? 
which is the question of one rejecting all force and necessity.' 
Epiphanius gives it, as the character of the semi-Arians, 
Toiig Tr]v dXriOeiav diSd(TKOvTag BiwKOvaiv, ovk eti Xojoig j3ouAo- 
fiivoL dvarpiTTtiv, aXXa koL t^^plaig. koX TToXipoig, Koi pa\atpaig 
irapadi^ovTsg tovq op^Mg iriaTivovTag. Xvpriv yap ov pid ttoXh 
KOI Xi^pa lipydcjavTo dXXa TroXXaxg. 'They persecute them 
that teach the truth, not confuting them with words, but 
delivering them that believe aright to hatreds, wars, and 
swords, having now brought destruction, not to one city or 
country alone, but to many.' Neither can yOu relieve your- 
selves, by answering that they were not true believers whom 
they persecuted; you punish heretics and schismatics only, 
for they thought and said the same of themselves, which 
you assert in your own behalf. So Salvian informs us, 
* Hseretici sunt, sed non scientes, denique apud nos sunt 
hseretici, apud se non sunt. Nam in tantum se et catho- 
licos judicant, ut nos ipsos titulo haereticae pravitatis 
infament; quod ergo illi nobis sunt, et hoc nos illis.' 'They 
are heretics, but they know it not; they are heretics unto 
us, but not unto themselves: for they so far judge them- 


selves to be catholic, that they condemn ijs for the guilt of 
heresy : so then, what tliey are to us, that we are to them.* 
Especially was your whole practice in this matter solemnly 
condemned in the case of Priscillianus, recorded by Sulpi- 
tius Severus in the end of his second book, the only instance 
that Bellarmine could fix upon, in all antiquity, for the put- 
ting of any men to death upon the account of religion ; for, 
the other whom he mentions, he confesseth himself to have 
been a magician. Ithacius, with some other bishops his 
associates, procured Maximus the tyrant to put Priscillianus 
a Gnostic, with some others, to death ; and to banish some 
of their followers. What saith the historian thereon? 'Hoc 
modo,' saith he, 'homines luce indignissimi pessimo exemplo 
necati, aut exiliis mulctati ;' ' On this manner, were those un- 
worthy wretches either slain or punished by banishment, by 
a vfery evil precedent.' And what was the success of this 
zeal ? * Non solum,' saith he, ' non repressa est hseresis, sed 
confirmataetlatius propagata :' 'The heresy was so far from 
being repressed by it, that it was the more confirmed and 
propagated.' And what ensued hereupon in the church it- 
self? ' Inter nostros perpetuumdiscordiarum bellum exarsit, 
quod Jam per quindecim annos foedis dissensionibus agita- 
tum nullo modo sopiri poterat. Et nunc cum maxime dis- 
cordiis episcoporum turbari et misceri omnia cernerentur, 
cunctaque per eos odio aut gratia, metu, inconstantia, in- 
vidia, factione, avaritia, arrogantia, somno, desidia essent 
depravata; postremo plures adversum paucos bene consu- 
lentes, insanis consiliis et pertinacibus studiis certabant. 
Inter hsec plebs Dei, et optimus quisque, probro atque lu- 
dibrio habebatur:' with which words he shuts up his eccle- 
siastical story. ' Amongst ours, a lasting war of discord was 
kindled, which, after it hath now for fifteen years been car- 
ried on with shameful contentions, can by no means l^e al- 
layed. And now especially when all things appear to be 
troubled and perverted by the discord of the bishops, and 
that all things are depraved by them through hatred, favour, 
fear, inconstancy, envy, faction, covetousness, pride, sleepi- 
ness, and sloth ; the most with mad counsels and pertina- 
cious endeavours opposing themselves to the few that are 
better advised. Amongst all these things, the people of 
God and every honest man, is become a reproach and scorn.' 


Thus that historian, complaining of the consequents of this 
proceeding. But good men left not the matter so : Marti- 
nus Turonensis presently refuseth all communion with them 
who had any hand in the death or banishment of the persons 
mentioned. So doth Ambrose declare himself to have done, 
Epist. 27. as did the rest of the sober p^odly bishops of those 
days. At length both Ithacius and Idacius,-the promoters 
of this work, were solemnly excommunicated, though one 
of them had before for very shame foregone his bishopric. 
See Prosp. Chron. 389. and Isidore de Viris lUustribus. 
So that here also the judgment and practice of your church 
which she is fallen into, is publicly condemned and wriiteu 
against, thirteen hundred years ago. Should I insist on all 
the testimonies that of this kind might be produced. 

Ante diem clauso compotiet vesper olympo 

than I could make an end of them. I have added this instance 
to the former, as knowing them to be the two great pillars on 
which the tottering fabric of your church is raised ; and 
which if they were removed, the whole of it would quickly 
fall to the ground : and you see how long ago, they were both 
publicly condemned. 

3. Your papal oecumenical supremacy hath two main 
branches: 1. Your pope's spiritual power over all persons 
and churches, in the things of religion. 2. His power over 
emperors, kings, and Protestants, in reference unto religion; 
or, as you speak, *in ordine ad spiritualia.' The first your 
church stumbled into by many degrees, from the days of 
Victor, who made the first notable halt to this purpose. The 
latter you tumbled into in the days of Gregory the Seventh, 
or Hildebrand. It were endless to declare how this fall of 
your church hath been declared, written against, opposed, 
condemned by churches, councils, fathers, princes, and 
learned men in all ages. Some few evidences to this pur- 
pose, to satisfy your request, I shall direct you unto: it was 
written against and condemned by Cyprian, bishop of Car- 
thage, and that in a council at Carthage, An. 258. upon an 
attempt made by Stephen, bishop of Rome, looking in some 
small degree towards that usurped supremacy, which after- 
ward was attained unto. You may, if you please, there see 
him rebuked, and the practice of your church corjdeinned. 
The same Cyprian liad done no less before, in reference unto 



some actings of Cornelius, the predecessor of Stephen, Epist, 
ad Cornel. Though the pretensions of Cornelius and Ste- 
phen were modest in comparison of your present vast claim; 
yet the churches of God in those days could not bear them. 
It is prejudged in the most famous council of Nice, which 
assigned bounds unto the jurisdiction of bishops, giving to 
several of them equal authority ; Can. 6. Ta a^xala KpaTHTh),Ta 
Iv 'AiyvTTTd) Koi Aw/Silrj, Kot nevTairoXfi, loare rov 'AAf^avSpfmc 
iiriciKOTTov iravTuyv tovtwv eX^'*^ '^^^^ l^ovaiav, iTTttS*} koi rw Iv ry 
'Fwfxrj iTTiaKOTTO) Tovro) Gvvtdtg lariv. ofxoiwg tl koX Kara rriv 'Av- 
Tio^ftav, KoX tv Toig aXXaig iirapx^aig ra TrpsajSela (7U)(!,ia^aL ralg 
kKKX^](Tiaig. ' Let the ancient customs be observed, that, as to 
Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, the bishops of Alexandria have 
power over them(or the churches in them), for so is the custom 
of the bishop of Rome' (that is, to have power over theadjoin- 
ing churches); 'likewise about Antioch, and in other pro- 
vinces, that the ancient rights of the churches be preserved.' 
Your great pope, whom you so frequently call 'the pastor of 
Christendom,' was here but b iv nj 'Fwfxy iTriaKoirog, 'The 
bishop in the city or church of Rome,' or of the church in the 
city of Rome. And bounds are assigned unto the authority 
which he claimed by custom, as to his of Alexandria and 
Antioch. It is true, the church of Alexandria hath some 
power assigned, ascribed, or granted unto it, above other 
churches of Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, for a warrantry 
whereof, the usage of the Roman church, in reference unto 
her neighbour churches, is made use of: which, to deal freely 
with you, and to tell you my private thoughts, was a con- 
firmation of a disorder by your example, which you were 
from that day forward seldom wanting to give plenty of. So 
to this purpose, Concil. Antioch. Can. 13, and 15. An. 341. 
Concil. Constantinop. Can, 2. An. 381. But this canon of 
the Nicene fathers, openly condemneth and is perfectly de- 
structive of your present claimed supremacy. Three coun- 
cils together in Africa, within the space of twenty years, 
warned your church of her fall into this heresy, and opposed 
her attempts for the promotion of it. The first at Carthage, 
An. 407. which forbids all appeals unto any beyond the sea ; 
which Rome was to them in Africa, no less than it is unto us 
in England. The next was the second Milevitan, An. 416. 
where the same prohibition is revived with express respect 


unto the see of Rome, as Binius acknowledgeth. The same 
order is again asserted by another council in Africa, wherein 
the pretensions of Boniface unto some kind of superinten- 
dency over other churches, are sorely reproved, and his way 
of prosecuting his attempt by pretended canons of the coun- 
cil of Nice, after great pains taken and charge disbursed in 
the discovery of the forgery, censured and condemned. All 
these testimonies of the condemnation of this fall of yours 
by fathers and councils you have gathered unto your hand in 
the Cod. Can. Cone. Afric. and by Binius, with others. Also 
the substance of all these canons of provincial synods is con- 
firmed, in the fourth chapter of the decree of the third oecume- 
nical council at Ephesus, An. 431. Act. 7. ^ri<pogidoE,i rf) ayitf. 
Koi oiKOUjuevt/cp ctui/oSw, aw^etr^'at tKaorrj eTTap)(ia KaOapa kol 
d(5iacFTa to. avry irpoaoiTa diKaia i^ dpx^^ avwOev, Kara to TraXai 
Kparriaav Wog. ' It seemeth good to the holy and general coun- 
cil, that every province retain its rights, pure and inviolate, 
which, according unto ancient custom, it had from the begin- 
ning.' The decree, I confess, was purposely framed against the 
bishop of Antioch, who had taken on him to ordain bishops in 
Cyprus out of his province ; but i t is built on that general rea- 
son which expressly condemns the Roman pretensions to an 
unlimited supremacy. The great and famous council of Chal- 
cedon. An. 451 . condemned the same heresy, and plainly over- 
threw the whole foundation of your papal plea, Act. 15. Can. 
18. as the canons of that council are collected by Balsaraon 
and Zonaras ; though some of them, with intolerable par- 
tiality, would separate this and some others from the body 
of the canons of that council, giving them a place by them- 
Belves. The decree contains the reasons of the council's as- 
signing privileges next unto, and equally with, the Roman, 
unto the Constantinopolitan church; T(o ^povw, say they, ojc 
TTpza^vripag 'PoOjUrjc, Sta to ^aaikivuv ti]V -koXiv Ikhvt^v, ol irari- 
piQHKOjTwg diro^edioKaai rti 7r|0€o-|3aa. 'The fathers' (our prede- 
cessors) 'granted privileges to the see of ancient Rome, because 
that was the imperial city/ Do you see from whence pro- 
ceeded all the privileges of the Roman throne ? merely from 
the grants and concessions of former bishops; and I wish they 
had been liberal only of what was their own. And what was 
the reason of their so doing ? Because the city was imperial ; 
in which one sentence, both their supremacy and the grounds 


of it are discarded and virtually condemned; for their pre- 
tensions are utterly inconsistent with this synodical deter- 
mination. They proceed : for the same reason, Ta tora Trpecr- 
peta aTTtfizivav no tov tHiq viat; Pwfirig dyiOTaTa) 3'povw, evXoyiog 
KpivavTEQ rrjv [iamXdav aai avyKXrjTU) rifxri^Hcrav ttoXiv, koI twv 
i(T(ov aTToXavovcrav TrpEO-jSe/wv ry 7rp£cr|3i'T£jOa jdamXi^i 'Pwfiy, kuX 
Iv Totg eKKXriaia(TTiKoXg. ' They' (the hundred and fifty bishops) 
* assigned the same orequal privileges unto the holy see of new 
Rome,rightlydeterminingtliatthecity which is honoured with 
the empire and senate, should enjoy equal privileges in things 
ecclesiastical with the ancient queen-Rome,' or Rome-regent 
of old. Is not your present supremacy here sufficiently con- 
demned, and that by as famous a council as ever the Christian 
world enjoyed? And it will not avail you, that you fell into this 
heresy fully afterward, and not before the determination of 
this council ; for he that falls into a heresy after the de- 
termination of a council, is no less condemned therein, than 
he that fell into it before, and gave occasion to the sentence; 
yea, his guilt is the greater of the two, because he despised 
the sentence which he knew, which the other it may be nei- 
ther did nor could foresee. I gave you an instance before, 
how it is condemned and written against by the British 
church here in this island, and many more instances of the 
same nature might be added. 

The Hildebrandine branch of your supremacy, I mean the 
power that you challenge over kings and potentates, 'in 
ordine ad spiritualia,' which having made some progress by- 
insensible degrees, was enthroned by pope Gregory the 
Seventh, hath as little escaped opposition, censure, and con- 
demnation, as any heresy whereinto your church is fallen. 
This Gregory may be accounted the chief father of this he- 
resy, for he licked the unshapen monster into that terrible 
form, wherein it hath since ranged about in the earth. What 
this man's principles and practices were, I shall not desire 
you to learn of cardinal Benno, whom yet I have reason to 
judge the more impartial writer of the two, but of cardinal 
Baronius, who makes it his business to extol him to the 
skies : ' Facit eum apud nos Deum, virtutes narrat,' he makes 
* almost a god of him,' or at least ^hov avdpa, as Socrates 
tells us the Lacedemonians called an excellent man, Plato 
in Menn. The chief kingdoms of Europe, as England and 


Spain, with Sicilia and Sardinia, and sundry other princi- 
palities, he claimed as his own unquestionable fee. The 
empire he accounted his proper care, making the deposing 
of emperors much of his business. The principles he pro- 
ceeded upon, the same cardinal informs us of, in his Annals, 
ad An. 1076. n. 30. And he hath done well to record them, 
that they might be preserved * In perpetuam rei raemoriam,' 
that we might learn what your great father exercised him- 
self about, 

Dum succus pecori et lac subducitur agnis, 

whilst the poor sheep famished for want of knowledge and 
instruction. They are called ' Dictata Papse,' and ' ex tri- 
pode' we may not doubt, being in number twenty-seven, 
whereof I shall mind you of a few. The first is, ' Quod 
Romana Ecclesia a solo Domino sit fundata;' 'That the 
Roman church was founded by the Lord alone.' 2. ' Quod 
solus Romanus pontifex jure vocatur universalis;' 'That 
the Roman bishop is rightfully called universal.' So some 
think indeed, ever since pope Gregory the First taught them, 
that he who assumed that title, was a forerunner of anti- 
christ. 3. ' Quod ille solus possit deponere episcopos, vel 
reconciliare ;' ' That he alone can depose bishops, or restore 
them;' which agrees well with the practice of all the coun- 
cils from that of Antioch, which deposed Paulus Samosate- 
nus. 7. ' Quod illi soli licet, pro temporis necessitate, novas 
leges condere ;' ' That he alone as necessity requires can 
make new laws.' Let him proceed; 8. 'Quod solus possit 
uti imperialibus insigniis ;' ' He alone can use imperial en- 
signs.' It is a great kindness in him doubtless to lend him 
to any of his neighbours, or rather subject kings. 9. ' Quod 
solius papse pedes omnes principes deosculentur ;' ' That it 
is the pope alone whose feet all princes may or ought to 
kiss.' Yea, and it is a kindness if he kick not their crowns 
from their heads with his foot, as one did our king John's ; 
or tread upon their necks, as another did on the emperor 
Frederic's.' 11. ' Quod unicum sit nomen in mundo, papae 
scilicet;' ' That there is only one name in the world, to wit, 
that of the pope ;' no other name it seems given under hea- 
ven. Once more ; 12. ' Quod illi liceat, impeiatores depo- 
nere ;' 'That it is lawful for him to depose emperors.* I 
hope you will not be offended at the calling over these he- 


vesies, because the so doing is not suited to our present de- 
sign. I took them out of your cardinal Baronius, in the 
place above quoted, who hath placed them as on a pillar, 
V. D. P. L. P. ' where they may be easily read by all men.' 
And that you may not think that these were the heresies of 
Gregory alone, the same Baronius affirms that these dictates} 
were confirmed in a synod at Rome, whereby they became 
the heresies of your whole church. Did Peter thus feed 
the sheep of Christ? seeing ' pasce oves meas,' is the great 
pretence for all these exorbitances. Alas, 

Hie alienus oves cuslos bis niulget in hora. 

all this is but the shearing, milking, and slaying of a 
stranger; the shepherds being driven into corners. But 
have these noisome heresies of your church, think you, 
passed without control ? Was she not judged, censured, 
vs^ritten against, and condemned in the person of her chief 
pastor? You must be a very stranger unto all history, if you 
can imagine any such thing. A council assembled by the 
emperor at Worms in Germany, reckons up the miscarriages 
of this Hildebrand, and pronounceth him deposed, with all 
those that adhered unto him. Another synod. An. 1080. at 
Brixia in Bavaria, condemns him also for the same causes. 
All the heroic potentates of Europe, especially the emperors 
of Germany, the kings of England, and France, with whole 
assemblies of their clergy, have always opposed and con- 
demned this branch of your supremacy. And to this pur- 
pose, hundreds of their laws, decrees, edicts, and declara- 
tions, are at this day extant. 

4. Your pope's personal infallibility with the requisite 
qualifications, is another heretical opinion that your church 
hath fallen by. And herein you are avroKarciKpiToi, 'con- 
demned of yourselves,' and we need no farther witness 
against you ; you have been often taken liravTO(pa)p(jf}, *in the 
very fact.' I know there is an opinion, secretly advancing 
amongst some of you, whereby you would cast out of the 
bounds of your defence this personal infallibility of your 
pope; but we have no more reason to esteem that opinion 
the doctrine of your church, than we have to conclude that 
the Jesuits' new position, asserting him infallible in matter 
of fact, is so. And though I know not perfectly what your 
VOL. xviii. u 

290 A VI N Die ATI ox OF THI. 

opinion is in this matter; yet I may take a time to shew 
how utterly unserviceable unto your purpose the new way 
of the explication of infallibility is. For it hath but these 
two general inconveniences attending it. First, That it is 
not the opinion of your church ; Secondly, If that be the 
only infallibility we are to rest on, the whole claim of your 
church, and its interest therein, falls to the ground ; both 
which I hope to have an opportunity to manifest. In the 
mean time, we take that for the doctrine of your church 
which is declared by itself so to be, which is explained and 
defended by her most famous champions. And indeed, you 
in your Fiat assert, as I have shewed, the pope (personally) 
to be an unerring guide, which is that we inquire after. 
Bellarmine tells us, that all Catholics agree in these two 
things: 1 . ' Pontificem, cum generali concilio, non posse 
errare in condendis decretis fidei, vel generalibus prseceptis 
morum ;' ' That the pope with a general council cannot err 
in making decrees of faith, or general precepts concerning 
manners.' 2. ' Pontificem solum, vel cum suo particulari 
concilio, aliquid in re dubia statuentem, sive errare possit 
sive non, esse ab omnibus fidelibus obedienter audiendum ;' 
'All believers must willingly obey the pope, either alone, or 
with his particular council, determining in doubtful matters, 
whether he may err or no.' I confess, if this be so, and he 
must be obeyed, whether he do right or wrong, whether he 
teacheth truly or falsely, it is to no great purpose to talk of 
his infallibility ; for, follow him we must whither ever he 
leads us, though it should be to hell. And the Catholic 
proposition that he asserts himself, is, that, * Summus pon- 
tifex, cum totam ecclesiam docet in his quee ad fidem perti- 
nent, nuUo casu errare potest.' ' The pope when he teacheth 
the whole church, can in no case err in those things which 
appertain unto faith.' De Rom. Pontif. lib. 4. cap. 2, 3. 
What a blind that is, ' of teaching the whole church,' chil- 
dren can see. The pope can no way teach the whole church, 
but as he declares his opinion, or judgment, which may be 
divulged unto many, as those of another man. Let us see 
then, how well they have made good this their infallibility; 
and how well their judgment hath been approved of by the 
church of old, I will not here mind you of the decree 
fathered on Clemens, wherein he determines that 'all things 


among Christians ought to be common ; and among them, 
wives;' because I know it is falsely imposed on him, though 
you may be justly charged with it, who are the authors of 
those forgeries whereof that is a part. Nor shall I take the 
epistles which you ascribe unto divers of the ancient bishops 
of Rome, that are full of ignorance, errors, and pitiful non- 
sense, because they are questionless, pseudopigraphal, 
though you who own them, may be justly charged with their 
follies. Nor will I much insist on the testimony of Tertullian in 
his book against Praxeas, that the bishop of Rome owned the 
prophecies of Montanus, until Praxeas persuaded him to the 
contrary ; because, it may be, you will say, that perhaps Tertul- 
lian spake partially in favour of a sect whereunto he was him- 
self addicted ; though, for aught I know, he is as sufficient a 
witness in matter of fact, as any one man upon the roll of 
antiquity. But what say you to Marcellinus ? Did he not 
sacrifice to idols, which, according unto you, is ' a mixed 
misdemeanor in faith and manners,' (Con. tom. 1. Vita 
Marcell.) and therefore certainly a shrewd impeachment of 
his infallibility; and was he not judged for it? What think 
you of Liberius, did he not subscribe to Arianism? Sozo- 
men tells you expressly that he did so ; lib. 4. cap. 15. And 
so doth Athanasius, Epist. ad Solitarios, giving the reason 
why he did so, namely, out of fear. And so doth Jerome, 
both in Script. Ecclesiast. Fortunat. and in Euseb. Chron. 
Pope Honorius was solemnly condemned for a Monothelite 
heretic in the sixth general council. Act. 12, 13. which 
sentence was afterward ratified by your own darling, the 
second of Nice, Act. 3. 7. and is mentioned in a decretal 
epistle of pope Leo the Second. So infallible was he during 
his life, so infallible was he thought to be when he was 
dead ; whilst he lived he taught heresy, and when he was 
dead, he was condemned for a heretic, and with him the 
principle which is the hinge of your present faith. Neither 
did Vigilius behave himself one jot better in his chair. The 
council of Pisa deposed Gregory the Twelfth, and Benedict 
the Thirteenth, for schismatics and heretics. The council 
of Constance accused John the Twenty-third of abominable 
heresy, Sess. 11. And that of Basil condemned Eugenius, 
as one, ' a fide devium et pertinacem hsereticum,' Sess. 34. 
* an erroneous person and obstinate heretic' Other in- 
u 2 


Stances of the like nature might be called over, manifesting 
that your popes have erred, and been condemned as persons 
erroneous ; and therein the principle of their infallibility. 

I vi^ould be unwilling to tire your patience, yet upon 
your reiterated desire I shall present you with one instance 
more : and I will do it but briefly, because I must deal with 
you again about the same matter. 

5. Your church is fallen by idolatry ; as otherwise, so 
in that religious veneration of images which she useth, 
whereunto you have added heresy in teaching it for a doc- 
trine of truth, and imposing the belief of it by your trideu- 
tine determination, on the consciences of the disciples of 
Christ. I know you would fain mince the matter, and 
spread over the corrupt doctrine of your church about it, 
with priixa<n (Bvcrmvoig ' silken words,' as you do the posts 
that they are made of, with gold ; when, as the prophet 
speaks of your predecessors in that work, you lavish it out 
of the bag for that purpose. But to what purpose? Your 
first council, the second of Nice (which yet was not wholly 
yours neither, for it condemns Honorius, calls Tharasius the 
oecumenical patriarch, and he expounds in it, the rock on 
which the church was built to be Christ and not Peter), your 
last council that of Trent, your angelical doctor Thomas of 
Aquine, your great champions Bellarmine and Baronius, 
Suarez, Vasquez, and the rest of them, with the Catholic 
practice and usage of your church in all places, declare suf- 
ficiently, what is your faith or rather misbelief in this mat- 
ter. Hence Azorius, Institut. lib. 9. cap. 6. tells us, that, 
' Constans est theologorum sententia, imaginem eodetn 
honore et cultu coll, quo colitur id cujus est imago ;' * It is 
the constant judgment of divines, that the image is to be 
worshipped with the same honour and worship, wherewith 
that is worshipped whose image it is.' The Nicene council, 
by the instigation of pope Adrian, anathematizeth every one 
who doth but doubt of the adoration of images. Act. 7. 
Thomas contendeth that the cross is to be worshipped with 
'latria,' p. 3. q. 25. a. 4. which is a word that he and you 
suppose to express religious worship of the highest sort. 
And your council of Trent, in their decree about this matter, 
confirmed the doctrine of that Lestrical convention at Nice, 
whose frauds and impostures were never paralleled in the 


world, but by itself. And do you think that a few ambigu- 
ous flourishing words of you, an unknown person, shall 
make the world believe that they understand not the doc- 
trine and practice of your church, which is proclaimed unto 
them by the fathers and masters of your persuasion herein, 
and expressed in practices under their eyes every day ? Do 
you think it so easy for you, ' Cornicum oculos configere,* 
as Cicero tells us an attorney, one Cn. Flavins, thought to 
do, in going beyond all that the great lawyers had done be- 
fore him, Orat. pro Mursena. We cannot yet be persuaded, 
that you are so great an interpreter of the Roman oracles, 
as to believe you before all the sages before mentioned, to 
whom hundreds may be added. And what do you think of 
this doctrine and practice of your church? Hath it been 
opposed, judged, and condemned, or no ? The first writers 
of Christianity, Justin Martyr, Irenseus, Origen, Tertullian, 
Arnobius, Lactantius, utterly abhorred the use of all images, 
at least * in sacris.' The council held at Eliberis in Spain, 
twelve or thirteen years before the famous assembly at Nice, 
positively forbid all use of pictures in churches. Can. 36. 
* Placuit, picturas in ecclesia esse non debere, ne quod co- 
litur et adoratur in parietibus depingatur ;' 'The council re- 
solved that pictures ought not to be in churches, that that 
which is worshipped and adored, be not painted on walls.' 
Cyprian condemns it, Epist. ad Demetriad. And so gene- 
rally do all the fathers, as may be gathered in the pitiful 
endeavours and forgeries of the second Nicene council, en- 
deavouring to confirm it from them. Epiphanius reckons it 
among the errors of the Gnostics ; and himself brake an 
image that he found hanging in a church, Epist. ad Johan. 
Jierosol. Austin was of the same judgment; see lib. de 
morib. Eccles. Cathol. cap. 34. Your adoration of them 
is expressly condemned by Gregory the Great, in an epistle 
to Serinus, lib. 7. ep. 111. and lib. 9. epist. 9. The Greek 
church condemned it, in a synod at Constantinople, An. 775. 
And, one learned man in those days undertaking its defence 
(and indeed the only man of learning that ever did so, until 
of late), they excommunicated and cursed him. This was 
Damascenus, concerning whom they used those expressions 
repeated in the second Nicene council, Mavcrovprt^ KaKtovv/ii^ 
Koi ^appaKYivotppovL avaSifia. r<^ iiKOVoXarpy koX (f)a\(Toypa<fK^ 


Mavaovp ava^ifia. tm tov Xpiarov v(5pi(TTy kqi £7ri|3ouAw ri'ig^ 
(dacnXda^ Mavaovp, dvaOsfxa. no rrjc; a.(ri[5eiag didatJKaXt^ Km 
TrapepfxriviVTij rrig ^elag ypacjirig Mavtxovp, avaOifxa. 'Unto 
Mansour of an evil name, and in judgment consenting with 
Saracens, anathema ; To Mansour, a worshipper of images 
and writer of falsehood, anathema; To Mansour, contume- 
lious against Christ and traitor to the empire, anathema ; 
To Mansour, a teacher of impiety and perverse interpreter 
of Scripture, anathema :' Synod. Nic. 2. Act. 6. For that 
it was Johannes Damascenus that they intended, the Nicene 
fathers sufficiently manifest in the answer following, read by 
Epiphanius the deacon. And this reward did he meet withal, 
from the seventh council at Constantinople, for his pains 
in asserting the veneration of images ; although he did not, 
in that particular, pervert the Scripture as some of you do ; 
but laid the whole weight of his opinion on tradition, wherein 
he is followed by Vasquez among yourselves. Moreover, the 
western churches, in a great council at Frankfort in Ger- 
many, utterly condemned the Nicene determination, which 
in your Tridentine convention you approve and ratify. An, 
794. It was also condemned here by the church of England, 
and the doctrine of it fully confuted by Albinus ; Hoveden 
Annal. An. 791. Never was any heresy more publicly and 
solemnly condemned, than this, whereby your church is 
fallen from its pristine purity. But hereof more afterward. 

It were no difficult matter to proceed unto all the chief 
ways, whereby your church is fallen ; and to manifest that 
they have been all publicly disclaimed and condemned by 
the better and sounder part of professors. But the instances 
insisted on, may, I hope, prove sufficient for your satisfac- 
tion. I shall therefore proceed to consider what you offer 
unto the remaining principles, which I conceived to animate 
the whole discourse of your Fiat Lux, 



Other principles of Fiat Lux re-examined. Things not at quiet in religion, 
before reformation of the first reformers. Departure from Rome no 
cause of divisions. Returnal unto Rome, no means oftmion. 

You proceed unto the fourth assertion gathered out of your 
Fiat, which you thus lay down. ' It is/ say you, 'frequently 
pleaded by our author that all things, as to religion, were 
ever quiet and in peace, before the Protestants' relinquish- 
ment of the Roman see.' That ' ever' is your own addition, 
but let it pass ; what say you hereunto ? ' This principle you 
pretend is drawn out of Fiat Lux, not because it is there, 
but only to open a door to yourself to expatiate into some 
wide general discourse, about the many wars, distractions, 
alterations, that have been aforetime up and down in the 
world in some several ages of Christianity. And you there- 
fore say, it is frequently pleaded by me, because indeed I 
never spake one word of it, and it is in truth a false and 
fond assertion. Though neither you nor I can deny that 
such as keep unity of faith with the church, can never, so 
long as they hold it, fall out upon that account.' Sir, I take 
you to be the author of Fiat Lux ; and if you are so, I can- 
not but think you were asleep when you talked at this rate. 
'The assertion is false and fond, you speak not one word of 
it.' Pray sir, take a little advice of your son. Fiat, not to 
talk on this manner; and you will wonder yourself, how 
you came to swallow so much confidence as in the face of 
the world to vent such things as these. He tells us from 
you, pp. 234 — 236. chap. 4. edit. 2. that, ' After the conversion 
of this land by the children of blessed St. Bene't, notwith- 
standing the interposition of the Norman conquest, that all 
men lived peaceably together without any the least disturb- 
ance upon the account of religion, until the end of king 
Henry the Eighth's reign, about five hundred years after 
the conquest.' See also what in general you discourse of 
all places to this purpose, pp. 221, 222. And p, 227. you do 
in express terms lay down the position which here you so 
exclaim against as ' false and fond ;' but you may make as 
bold with it as you please, for it is your own. ' Never had 


this land,' say you, 'for so many hundred years as it was 
Catholic upon the account of religion any disturbance at 
all ; whereas, after the exile of the Catholic belief in our 
land, from the period of king Henry the Seventh's reign to 
these days, we have been in actual disquiet or at least in 
fears.' ' Estne haec tunica filii tui ?' Are not these your 
words? Doth not your son Fiat wear this livery? And do 
you not speak to this purpose in twenty other places? Is it 
not one of the main suppositions you proceed upon in your 
whole discourse? You do well now indeed to acknowledge 
that what you spake was 'fond and false,' and you might do 
as much for the most that you have written in that whole 
discourse ; but now openly to deny what you have asserted, 
and that in so many places, that is not so well done of you. 
There are, sir, many ways to free yourself from that damage 
you feel or fear from the Animadversions. When any thing 
is charged on you, or proved against you which you are not 
able to defend, you may ingenuously acknowledge your 
mistake, and that without any dishonour to you at all : 
good men have done so; so may you, or I, when we have 
just occasion. It is none of your tenets, that you are all 
of you infallible, or that your personal mistakes or mis- 
carriages will prejudice your cause. Or you might pass it 
by in silence, as you have done with the things of the most 
importance in the Animadversions, and so keep up your re- 
putation that you could reply to them if you would, or were 
free from flies. And we know ttoXXoTc diroKpitrig 77 o-ttuTTJj 
Tvy\avei ; as Menander speaks. Silence is with many the 
best answer. Or, you might attempt to disprove or answer, 
as the case requires. But this that you have fixed upon, 
of denying your own words, is the very worst course that 
you could have chosen, upon the account either of con- 
science or reputation. However thus much we have ob- 
tained : one of the chief pretences of your Fiat is by your 
own confession, ' false and fond.' It is indeed no wonder 
that it should be so, it was fully proved to be so, in the Ani- 
madversions ; but that you should acknowledge it to be so, 
is somewhat strange ; and it would have been very welcome 
news, had you plainly owned your conviction of it, and not 
renounced your own offspring. But I see you have a mind 
to the benefit you aimed at by it, though you are ashamed 


of the way you used for the obtaining of it ; and therefore 
add, 'That neither you, nor I, can deny that such as keep 
the unity of faith with that church, can never, so long as 
they hold it, fall out on that account.' But this, on the 
first consideration, seems to me no very singular privilege; 
methinks a Turk, a Jew, an Arian, may say the same of 
their societies : it being no more but this, ' So long as you 
agree with us, you shall be sure to agree with us.' They 
must be very unfriendly minded towards you, that will call 
these Kvpiag So^ac into question. Yet there remains still 
one scruple on my mind, in reference unto what you assert : 
I am not satisfied that there is in your church, any such 
unity of faith, as can keep men from falling out, or differing 
in and about the doctrines and opinions they profess. If 
there be, the children of your church are marvellous mo- 
rose, that they have not all this while learned to be quiet; 
but are at this very day w^riting volumes against one an- 
other, and procuring the books of one another to be prohi- 
bited and condemned ; which the writings of one of the most 
learned of you in this nation, have lately not escaped. I 
know you will say sometimes, that though you differ, yet 
you differ not in things belonging unto the unity of faith. 
But I fear, this is but a blind, an apron of fig-leaves. What 
you cannot agree in, be it of never so great importance, you 
will agree to say, that it belongs not unto the unity of faith ; 
when things no way to be compared in weight and use with 
them, so you agree about them, shall be asserted so to do. 
And in what you differ, whilst the scales of interest on the 
part of the combatants hang even, all your differences are 
but in school and disputable points. But if one party pre- 
vail in interest and reputation, and render their antagonists 
inconsiderable as to any outward trouble, those very points 
that before were disputable, shall be made necessary, and 
to belong to the unity of faith ; as it lately happened in the 
case of the Jansenists. And here you are safe again ; the 
unity of the faith is that which you agree in ; and that 
which you cannot agree about belongs not unto it, as you 
tell us, though you talk at another rale among yourselves. 
But we must think, that the unity of faith is bounded by 
the confines of your wrangleraents ; and your agreement is 
the rule of it. This, it may be, you think suits your turn : 


but whether it be so well suited unto the interest of the 
gospel and of truth, you must give men leave to inquire, or 
they will do it 'ingratiis,' whether you will or no. But if by 
the unity of faith you intend the substantial doctrines of the 
gospel, proposed in the Scripture to be believed on neces- 
sity unto salvation ; it is unquestionably among all the 
churches in the world, and might possibly be brought forth 
into some tolerable communion in profession and practice, 
did not your schismatical interest and principles interpose 
themselves to the contrary. 

The fifth supposition in your Fiat, observed in the Ani- 
madversions, is, 'That the first reformers were most of them 
contemptible persons, their means indirect, and their ends 
sinister:' To which you reply, 'Where is it, sir, where is it, 
that I meddle with any men's persons, or say they are con- 
temptible ? What and how many are those persons, and 
where did they live ? But this you add of your own is in a 
vast universal notion, to the end you may bring in the 
apostles and prophets, and some kings into the list of per- 
sons by me surnamed contemptible, and liken my speech 
who never spake any such thing, to the sarcasms of Celsus, 
Lucian, Porphyry, Julian, and other pagans.' So you 
begin; but *ne ssevi, magne Sacerdos !' Have a little pa- 
tience and I will direct you to the places where you display 
in many words that which in a few I represented. They 
are in your Fiat, chap. 4. sect. 18. 2 edit, from p. 239, unto 
sect. 20. p. 251. Had you lost your Fiat, that you make such 
an outcry after that which in a moment he could have sup- 
plied you withal? ' Calvin, and a tailor's widow, Luther and 
Catharine Bore, pleased with a naked unicorn, swarms of 
reformers as thick as grasshoppers, fallen priests and vo- 
taries, ambitious heads, emulating one another, if not the 
worst, yet none of the best that ever were, so eagerly quar- 
relling among themselves, that a sober man would not have 
patience to hear their sermons, or read their books ;' with 
much more to the same purpose you will find in the places, 
which I have now directed you unto. But I see you love 
to say what you please, but not to hear of it again. But 
he that can in no more words more truly express the full 
and genuine sense of your eighteenth and nineteenth chap- 
ter than I have done, in the assertion you so cry out against. 


shall have my thanks for his pains ; only I must mind you 
that you have perverted it, in placing the last words, as if 
they referred unto the reformers you talk of, that they did 
their work for * sinister ends,' when I only said, that ' their 
doctrine, according to their insinuations, was received for 
sinister ends/ wherein I comprised your foul reflections 
upon king Henry the Eighth and queen Elizabeth his 
daughter, not placing them as you now feign among the 
number of them, whom I affirmed to be reported by you as 
a company of contemptible persons. But now upon a con- 
fidence that you have shifted your hands of a necessity to 
reinforce this assertion, which you find, it may be, in your- 
self an incompetency for, you reflect back upon some former 
passages in the Animadversions, wherein the general ob- 
jections that you lay against protestancy, are observed to 
be the same for substance that long ago were by Celsus ob- 
jected unto Christianity : and say, ' So likewise in the very 
beginning of this your second chapter, you spend four leaves 
in a parallel betwixt me and the pagan Celsus, whereof 
there is not any member of it true. Doth Fiat Lux, say 
you, lay the cause of all the troubles, disorders, tumults, 
wars within the nations of Europe upon Protestants ? Doth 
he charge the Protestants that by their schisms and sedi- 
tions, they make a way for other revolts ? Doth he gather a 
rhapsody of insignificant words? Doth he insist upon their 
divisions? Doth he manage the arguments of the Jews 
against Christ, &c. ? so doth Celsus, who is confuted by 
Origen. Where does Fiat Lux, where does, does he, does 
he any such thing? Are you not ashamed to talk at this 
rate ? I give a hint indeed of the divisions that be amongst 
us, and the frequent argumentations that are made to em- 
broil and puzzle one another ; with our much evil and little 
appearance of any good in order unto unity and peace, 
which is the end of my discourse. But must I therefore be 
Celsus? Did Celsus any such thing to such an end? It is 
the end that moralizetb and specifies the action. To di- 
minish Christianity by upbraiding our frailties is paganish : 
to exhort to unity, by representing the inconvenience of 
faction, is a Christian and pious work. When honest Pro- 
testants in the pulpit speak ten times more full and vehe- 
mently against the divisions, wars, and contentions that be 


amongst us, than ever came into my thoughts, must they 
therefore every one of them be a Celsus, a pagan Celsus ? 
What stuff is this? But it is not only my defamation you 
aim at; your own glory comes in the rear. If I be Celsus, 
the pagan Celsus; you then, forsooth, must be Origen that 
wrote against him, honest Origen ; that is the thing. Pray 
sir, it is but a word, let me advise you by the way, that you 
do not forget yourself in your heat, and give your wife oc- 
casion to fall out with you. However you may, yet will not 
your wife like it perhaps so well, that her husband should 
be Origen.' Such trash as this, must he consider, who is 
forced to have to do with you. These, it seems, are the 
meditations you are conversant with in your retirements. 
What little regard you have in them unto truth or honesty, 
shall quickly be discovered unto you. 1. Do I compare 
you with Celsus, or do I make you to be Celsus ? I had cer- 
tainly been very much mistaken, if I had done so, vg ttJv 
'A^rjvai;, to compare a person of so small abilities in litera- 
ture, ^s you discover yourself so to be, with so learned a 
philosopher, had been a great mistake. And I wish you 
give me not occasion to think you as much inferior unto 
him in morals, as I know you are in your intellectuals. But, 
sir, I nowhere compare you unto him; but only shew a 
coincidence of your objections against protestancy, with 
some of his against Christianity, which the likeness of your 
cause and interest cast you upon. 2. I did not say, ' You 
had the same end with him :' I expressed my thoughts to 
the contrary ; nor did compare your act and his, in point of 
morality ; but only shewed, as I said before, a coincidence 
in your reasonings. This you saw and read, and now in an 
open defiance of truth and ingenuity express the contrary. 
Celsus would not have done so. But I must tell you, sir, 
you are mistaken, if you suppose that the end doth so ab- 
solutely moralize an action, that it of itself should render 
it good or evil. Evil it may, but good of itself it cannot. 
For, * Bonum oritur ex integris causis, malum ex quolibet 
defectu.' Rectifying the intention will not secure your mo- 
rality. And yet also, on second thoughts, that I see not 
much difference between the ends that Celsus proposed 
unto himself upon his general principle, and those that you 
propose to yourself upon your own ; as well as the way 


whereby you proceed is the same. But yet upon the ac- 
counts before mentioned, I shall free you from your fears of 
being thought hke him. 3. When Protestants preach 
against our divisions, they charge them upon the persons 
of them that are guilty ; whereas you do it on the princi- 
ples of the religion that they profess; so that although you 
may deal like Celsus, they do not. 4. The scurrilous sar- 
casm wherewith you close your discourse, is not meet for 
any thing but the entertainmentof a friar and his concubine, 
such as in some places formerly men have by public edicts 
forced you to maintain, as the only expedient to preserve 
their families from being defiled by you. 5. Let us now 
pass through the instances that you have culled out of many, 
charged upon you, to be the same with those of Celsus, 
concerning which you make such a trebled outcry; 'does 
he, does he, does he.' The first is, 'Doth Fiat Lux lay the 
cause of all tumults and disorders on Protestants :' ' clames 
licet et mare coelo confundas.' Fiat Lux doth so, chap. 4. 
sect. 17. p. 237. sect. 18. pp. 242, 243. sect. 20. p. 255. and 
in sundry other places. You add, ' Doth he charge Pro- 
testants that by their schisms and seditions they make way 
for other revolts ?' He doth so, and that frequently ; chap. 3. 
sect. 14. p. 187, &c. ' Doth he,' you add, * gather a rhap- 
sody of insignificant words, as did Celsus.' I say he doth, 
in the pretended plea that he insists on for Quakers and for 
Presbyterians also, chap. 3. sect. 13. pp. 172, 173, &c. Again, 
* Doth he manage the arguments of the Jews against Chris- 
tianity as was done by Celsus ?' He doth directly, expressly, 
and at large, chap. 3. sect. 12, pp. 158, &.c. I confess, be- 
cause it may be you know it not, you might have questioned 
the truth of my parallel on the side that concerned Celsus, 
which yet I am ready at any time if you shall so do, to give 
you satisfaction in ; but, that you would question it on your 
own part, when your whole discourse and the most of the 
passages in it, make it so evident, I could not foresee. But 
your whole defence is nothing but a noise or an outcry, to 
deter men from coming nigh you to see how the case stands 
with you. It will not serve your turn, Ipt^S-rj Kv(5og, you 
must abide by what you have done, or fairly retract it. In 
the mean time, I am glad to find you ashamed of that which 
elsewhere you so much boast and glory in. 


With the sixth and seventh principles mentioned by me, 
you deal in like manner. You deny them to be yours ; 
which is plainly to deny yourself to be the author of Fiat 
Lux. And surely every man that hath once looked se- 
riously into that discourse of yours, will be amazed to hear 
you saying that you never asserted, * Our departure from 
Rome to be the cause of the evils among Protestants ;' or 
that, 'There is no remedy for them, but by areturnal thither 
again,' which are the things that now you deny to be spoken 
or intended by you. For my part, I am now so used unto 
this kind of confidence, that nothing you say, or deny, 
seems strange unto me. And whereas unto your denial 
you -add not any thing that may give occasion unto any 
useful discourse, I shall pass it by, and proceed unto that 
which will afford us some better advantage unto that 


Farther vindication of the second chapter of the Animadversions. Scripture 
sufficient to settle men in the truth. Instance against it, examined, re- 
moved. P}-inciples of Protestants and Romanists in reference iinto mo- 
deration, compared and discussed. 

The eighth principle, which way soever it be determined, is 
of great importance, as to the cause under debate. Here 
then we shall stay awhile, and examine the difficulties which 
you labour to entangle that assertion withal, wdiich we ac- 
knowledge to be the great and fundamental principle of our 
profession, and you oppose. The position I laid down as 
yours is. That the * Scripture on sundry accounts is insuffi- 
cient to settle us in the truth of religion, or to bring us to 
an agreement amongst ourselves.' Hereunto I subjoined the 
four heads of reasons, which, in your Fiat, you insisted on to 
make good your assertion. These you thought meet to pass 
by, without reviving them again to your farther disadvantage. 
You are acquainted, it seems, with the old rule. 

Et quae 

Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit. 

The position itself you dare not directly deny, but you seek 


what you can to wave the owning of it. contrary to your ex- 
press discourse, chap. 3. sect. 15, pp. 199, 200, &,c. as also in 
sundry other places, interwoven with expressions exceed- 
ingly derogatory to the authority, excellency, efficacy, and 
fulness of the Scripture, as hath been shewed in the Animad- 
versions. But let us now consider what you plead for 
yourself. Thus then you proceed : * You speak not one 
word to the purpose, or against me at all, if I had delivered 
any such principle. God's word is both the sufficient and 
only necessary means of both our conversion and settlement, 
as well in truth as virtue. But the thing you heed not, and 
unto which I only speak, is this, that the Scripture be in 
two hands, for example, of the Protestant church in England, 
and of the Puritan, who with the Scripture rose up and re- 
belled against her. Can the Scripture alone of itself decide 
the business ? How shall it do it? has it ever done it? Or 
can that written word, now solitary and in private hands, so 
settle any in a way that neither himself nor present adhe- 
rents, nor future generations shall question it, or with as 
much probability dissent from it either totally in part, as 
himself first set it ? This is the case unto which you do nei- 
ther here, nor in your whole book, speak one word. And 
what you speak otherwise of the Scripture's excellency, I 
allow it for good.' 

1. Because you are not the only judge of what I have 
written, nor indeed any competent judge of it at all, I shall 
not concern myself in the censure which your interest com- 
pels you to pass on it. It is left unto the thoughts of those 
who are more impartial. 2. Setting aside your instance 
pitched on ' ad invidiam' only, with some equivocal expres- 
sions, as must needs be thought, fxaXa Ivriy^voig, ' very artifi- 
cially' to be put into the state of a question, and that which 
you deny is this. That ' where any persons or churches are at 
variance or difference about any thing concerning religion or 
the worship of God, the Scripture is not sufficient for the 
umpirage of that difference, so that they may be reconciled 
and centre in the profession of the same truth.' I wish you 
would now tell me, what discrepancy there is between the 
assertion which I ascribed unto you, and that which your- 
self here avow. I suppose they are in substance the same, 
and as such will be owned by every one that understands 


any thing of the mattRrs about whir.h we treat. And this is 
so spoken unto in the Animadversions, that you have no 
mind to undertake the examination of it; but labour to di- 
vert the discourse, unto that which may appear something 
else, but indeed is not so. 3. For your distinction between 
Protestants and Puritans in England, I know not well what 
to make of it. I know no Puritans in England that are not 
Protestants, though all the Protestants in England do not 
absolutely agree in every * punctilio' relating to religion, nor 
in all things relating unto the outward worship of God, no 
more than did the churches in the apostle's days, or than 
your Catholics do. You give us then a distinction like that 
which a man may give between the church of Rome, and the 
Jesuits or Dominicans ; or the sons of St. Bene't, or of St. 
Francis of Assize. A distinction or distribution of the genus 
into the genus and one species comprehended under it; as 
if you should have said that animal, is either animal or 
' homo.' 4. Though I had rather therefore that you had 
placed your instance between the church of Rome and Pro- 
testants, yet because any instance of persons that have dif- 
ferent apprehensions about things belonging to the worship 
of God, will suffice us as to the present purpose, I shall let 
it pass. Only I desire you once more, that when you would 
endeavour to render any thing, way, or acting of men odious ; 
that you would forbear to cast the Scripture into a copart- 
nership therein, which here you seem to do. ' The Puritan,' 
you say, ' with the Scripture rose up and rebelled.' Rebel- 
lion is the name of an outrageous evil, such as the Scripture 
giveth not the least countenance unto. And therefore, when 
you think meet to charge it upon any, you may do well not 
to say, that ' they do it with the Scripture.' It will not be to 
your comfort or advantage so to do. This is but my advice, 
you may do as you see cause. 

Tales casus Cassandra canebat. 

5. The differences you suppose and look upon as undetermi- 
nable by the Scripture, are about things that in themselves 
really and in truth belong unto Christian religion, or such as 
do not so indeed, but are only fancied by some men so to 
do. If they are of this latter sort, as the most of the contro- 
versies which we have with you are, as about your mass, 
purgatory, the pope ; we account that all differences about 


them are sufficiently determined in the Scriptures, because 
they are nowhere mentioned in them. And this must needs 
be so, if the word of God be, as you here grant, ' the suffi- 
cient and only means both of our conversion and settlement 
as well in truth as in virtue.' Sir, I had no sooner written 
these words, in that haste wherein I treat with you, but I 
suspected a necessity of craving your pardon, for supposing 
my inference confirmed by your concession. For whereas 
you had immediately before, set down the assertion supposed 
to be yours about the Scriptures, you add the words now 
mentioned, ' God's word is the sufficient and only means of 
our conversion and settlement in the truth.' I did not in 
the least suspect that you intended any legerdemain in the 
business; but that the Scripture and God's word had been 
only various denominations with you of the same precise 
thing, as they are with us. Only I confess at the first view, 
I wondered how you could reconcile this assertion with the 
known principles of your church ; and besides, I knew it to 
be perfectly destructive of your design in your following in- 
quiry. But now I fear you play hide and seek in the 
ambiguity your church hath put upon that title 'God's word,' 
which it hath applied unto your unwritten traditions, as well 
as unto the written word; as the Jews apply the same term 
unto their oral law. And therefore, as 1 said before, I crave 
your pardon, for supposing my inference confirmed by your 
concession, wherein I fear I was mistaken, and only desire 
you that for the future, you would speak your mind plainly 
and candidly, as it becomes a Christian and lover of truth 
to do. But my assertion I esteem never the worse, though 
it have not the happiness to enjoy your approbation ; espe- 
cially considering that in the particular instances mentioned, 
there are many things delivered in Scripture, inconsistent 
with, and destructive of, your notions about them, sufficient 
to exterminate them from the confines of the city of God. 
6. Suppose the matters in difference do really belong unto 
religion and the worship of God, and that the difference lies 
only in men's various conception of them, you ask, ' Can the 
Scripture alone of itself decide the business?' What do you 
mean by ' alone of itself?' If you mean, without men's ap- 
plication of themselves unto it, and subjecting of their con- 
sciences unto its authoritative decisions; neither it, nor any 


thing else, can do it. The matter itself is perfectly stated in 
the Scripture, whether any men take notice of it or no: but 
their various apprehensions about it, must be regulated by 
their applications unto it, in the way mentioned. On this 
only supposition, that those who are at variance about things 
which really appertain unto the religion of Jesus Christ, will 
refer the determination of them unto the Scripture, and 
bring the conceptions of their minds to be regulated thereby ; 
standing unto its arbitrament, it is able alone and of itself 
to end all their differences, and settle them all in the truth. 
This hath been proved unto you a thousand times, and con- 
firmed by most clear testimonies of the Scripture itself, with 
arguments taken from its nature, perfection, and the end of 
its giving forth unto men; as also from the practice of our 
Lord Jesus and his apostles, with their directions and com- 
mands given unto us for the same purpose; from the prac- 
tice of the first churches, with innumerable testimonies of 
the ancient fathers and doctors. Neither can this be denied 
without that horrible derogation from its perfection and ple- 
nitude, so reverenced by them of old, which is objected 
unto you, for your so doing, Protestants suppose the 
Scripture to be given forth by God, to be unto the church a 
perfect rule of that faith and obedience, which he requires 
at the hands of the sons of men. They suppose that it is 
such a revelation of his mind or will, as is intelligible unto 
all them that are concerned to know it, if they use the means 
by him appointed to come unto a right understanding of it. 
They suppose that what is not taught therein, or not taught 
so clearly, as that men who humbly and heartily seek unto 
him, may know his mind therein, as to what he requireth of 
them, cannot possibly be the necessary and indispensable 
duty of any one to perform. They suppose that it is the duty 
of every man to search the Scriptures with all diligence, by 
the help and assistance of the means that God hath ap- 
pointed in his church, to come to the knowledge of his mind 
and will in all things concerning their faith and obedience, 
and firmly to believe and adhere unto what they find re- 
vealed by him. And they moreover suppose that those who 
deny any of these suppositions, are therein, and so far as 
they do so, injurious to the grace, wisdom, love, and care of 
God towards his church, to the honour and perfection of the 


Scripture, the comfort and establishment of the souls of 
men, leaving them no assured principles to build their faith 
and salvation upon. Now from these suppositions, I hope 
you see that it will unavoidably follow, that the Scripture is 
able every way to effect that, which you deny unto it a suffi- 
ciency for. For where, I pray you, lies its defect? I am 
afraid, from the next part of your question, ' Has it ever 
done it?' that you run upon a great mistake. The defect 
that follows the failings and miscarriages of men, you would 
have imputed unto the want of sufficiency in the Scripture. 
But we cannot allow you herein. The Scripture in its place, 
and in that kind of cause which it is, is as sufficient to set- 
tle men, all men, in the truth, as the sun is to give light to 
all men to see by: but the sun that giveth light doth not 
give eyes also. The Scripture doth its work, as a moral 
rule, which men are not necessitated or compelled to attend 
unto or follow. And if through their neglect of it, or not 
attendance unto it, or disability to discern the mind and will 
of God in it, whether proceeding from their natural impo- 
tency and blindness in their lapsed condition, or some evil 
habit of mind contracted by their giving admission unto cor- 
rupt prejudices and traditional principles, the work be not 
effected; this is no impeachment of the Scripture's sufficiency, 
but a manifestation of their weakness and folly. Besides, 
all that unity in faith that hath been at any time, or is in the 
world, according to the mind of God, every decision that 
hath been made at any time of any difference in or about re- 
ligion in a right way and order, hath been by the Scripture, 
which God hath sanctified unto those ends and purposes. 
And it is impossible that the miscarriages or defects of men 
can reflect the least blame upon it, or make it esteemed in- 
sufficient for the end now inquired after. The pursuit then 
of your inquiry which now you insist upon, is in part vain, 
in part already answered. In vain it is that you inquire 
' whether the written word can settle any man in a way that 
neither himself, nor present adherents, nor future genera- 
tions shall question :' for our inquiry is not after what may 
be, or what shall be, but what ought to be. It is able to 
settle a man in a way, that none ought to question unto the 
world's end : so it settled the first Christians. But to secure 
us that none shall ever question the way whereinto it leads 
X 2 


US that it is not designed for, nor is it either needful or 
p?^>ssible that it should be so: the oral preaching of the Son 
of God, and of his apostles, did not so secure thera whom 
they taught. The way that they professed, was everywhere 
questioned, contradicted, spoken against, and many, after 
the profession of^t, again renounced it: and I wonder what 
feat you have to settle any one in a way that shall never be 
questioned. The authority of your pope and church will 
not doit: themselves are things as highly questioned and 
disputed about, as any thing that was ever named with re- 
ference unto rehgion. If you shall say, But yet they ought 
not to be so questioned, and it is the fault of men that they 
are so: you may well spare me the labour of answering your 
question, seeing you have done it yourself. And whereas 
you add, 'or with as much probability dissent from it either 
totally or in part, as himself first set it,' when the very pre- 
ceding words do not speak of a man's own setting, but of 
the Scriptures settling, the man only embracing that what 
settleth and determineth. It is answered already ; that 
what is so settled by the Scripture, and received as settled, 
cannot justly be questioned by any. And you insinuate a 
most irrational supposition, on which your assertion is built, 
namely, that error may have as much probability as truth. 
For I suppose you will grant, that what is settled by the 
Scripture is true, and therefore that which dissents from it 
must needs be an error; which, that it may be as probable 
indeed as truth (for we speak not of appearances, which 
have all their strength from our weaknesses), is a new notion, 
which may well be added to your many other of the like ra- 
rity and evidence. But, why is not the Scripture able to 
settle men in unquestionable truth? When the people of 
old doubted about the ways of God wherein they ought to 
walk, himself sends them to the law and to the testimony 
for their instruction and settlement ; Isa. viii. 20. And we 
think the council of him, who cannot deceive nor be de- 
ceived, is to be hearkened unto, as well as his command to 
be obeyed. Our Saviour assures us, that if men will not hear 
Moses and the prophets, and take direction from them for 
those ways wherein they may please God, they will not do 
it, whatsoever they pretend from any other means, which 
they rather approve of; Luke xvi. 29. 31. Yea, and when the 


great fundamental of Christian religion, concerning the per- 
son of the Messiah, was in question, he sends men for their 
settlement unto the Scriptures ; John v. 39. And we sup- 
pose that that which is sufficient to settle us in the founda- 
tion, is so, to confirm us also in the whole superstructure. 
Especially considering that it is able * to make the man of 
God perfect, and to be thoroughly furnished unto all good 
works ;' 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. What more is required unto the 
settlement of any one in religion we know not; nor what 
can rationally stand in competition with the Scripture to 
this purpose ; seeing that is expressly commended unto us 
for it by the Holy Ghost, other ways are built on the conjec- 
tures of men. Yea, the assurance which we may have here- 
by is preferred by Peter, before that which any may have by 
an immediate voice from heaven; 2 Pet. i. 19. And is it 
not an unreasonable thing, now for you to come and tell us, 
that the Scripture is not sufficient to give us an unquestion- 
able settlement in religion? Whether it be meet to 'hearken 
unto God or men,' judge you. For our parts, we seek not 
for the foundation of our settlement, in long uncertain dis- 
courses, dubious conclusions and inferences, fallible conjec- 
tures, sophistical reasonings, such as you would call us unto ; 
but in the express direction and command of God. Him 
we can follow, and trust unto, without the least fear of mis- 
carriage. Whither you would lead us we know not, and are 
not willing to make desperate experiments in things of so 
high concernment. But since you have been pleased to 
overlook what hath been discoursed unto this purpose in the 
Animadversions, and with your usual confidence to affirm, 
* that I nowhere at all speak one word to the case that you 
proposed",' I shall, for your farther satisfaction, give you a 
little enlargement of my thoughts, as to the principles on 
which Protestants and Romanists proceed in these matters, 
and compare them together, that it may be seen whether of 
us build on the most stable and adequate foundation, as to 
the superstruction aimed at by us both. 

Two things you profess, if I mistake not, to aim at in your 
Fiat, at least you pretend so to do : 1. Moderation in and 
about our differences whilst they continue; 2. The re- 
duction of all dissenters unto a unity in faith and profession : 
things no doubt great and excellent : he can be no Chris- 


tian that aims not at them, that doth not earnestly desire 
them. You profess to make them your design ; Protestants 
do so also. Now let us consider whether of the two, you or 
they, are fitted with principles according unto the diversity 
of professions wherein you are engaged, for the regular ac- 
complishment and effecting of these ends. And in the con- 
sideration of the latter of them, you will find your present 
case fully and clearly resolved. 

For the first, of moderation, I intend by it, and I think so 
do you also, the mutual forbearance of one another, as to 
any effects of hatred, enmity, or animosities of any kind, at- 
tended with offices of love, charity, kindness, and compas- 
sion, proceeding from a frame of heart or gracious habit of 
mind naturally producing such effects, with a quiet, peace- 
able deportment towards one another, during our present 
differences in or about any thing in religion. Certamly, 
this moderation is a blessed thing; earnestly commended 
unto us by our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles, and as 
necessary to preserve peace among Christians, as the sun in 
the firmament is to give light unto the world. The very 
heathen could say Travrwv fiirpov lipiarov, ' moderation is the 
life of all things,' and nothing is durable but from the in- 
fluence which it receives from it. Now in pressing after 
moderation, Protestants proceed chiefly on two principles, 
which being once admitted, make it a duty indispensable. 
And I can assure you, that no man will long follow after mo- 
deration, but only he that looks upon it as his duty so to 
do : incident provocations will quickly divert them in their 
course, who pursue it for any other ends, or on any other 

The first principle of the Protestants disposing them to 
moderation, and indispensably exacting it of them as their 
duty, is, that amongst all the professors of the name of Christ, 
who are known by their relation unto any church or way of 
note or mark in the world, not actually condemned in the 
primitive or apostolical times, there is so much saving truth 
owned and taught, as being received with faith, and sub- 
mitted unto with sincere obedience, is sufficient to give them 
that profess it an interest in Christ, and in the covenant of 
grace, and love of God, and to secure their salvation. This 
principle hath been openly defended by them, and I profess 


it to be mine. It is true, there are ways whereby the truth 
mentioned may be rendered ineffectual ; but that hinders not, 
but that the principle is true, and that the truth so received 
is sufficient for the producing of those effects in its kind and 
place. And let men pretend what they please, the last day 
will discover, that that faith which purifieth the heart, and 
renders the person in whom it is, accepted with God by Jesus 
Christ, may have its objective truths confined in a very nar- 
row compass ; yet it must embrace all that is indispensably 
necessary to salvation. And it is an unsufferable tyranny 
over the souls and consciences of men, to introduce and as- 
sert a necessity of believing, whatever this or that church, 
any or indeed all churches shall please to propose. For, 
the proposal of all the churches in the world cannot make 
any thing to be necessary to be believed, that was not so 
antecedently unto that proposal. Churches may help the 
faith of believers, they cannot burden it, or exercise any do- 
minion over it. He that believeth that whatever God re- 
veals is true, and that the holy Scripture is a perfect reve- 
lation of his mind and will (wherein almost all Christians 
agree), need not fear that he shall be burdened with multi- 
tudes of particular articles of faith ; provided he do his duty 
in sincerity, to come to an acquaintance with what God hath 
so revealed. Now if men's common interest in Christ their 
head, and their participation of the same Spirit from him, 
with their union in the bond of the covenant of grace, and 
an equal sharing in the love of God the Father, be the prin- 
ciples, and, upon the matter, the only grounds and reasons 
of that special love, without dissimulation, which Christians 
ought to bear one towards another, from whence the mode- 
ration pleaded for must proceed, or it is a thing of no use, 
in our present case, at least no way generally belonging to 
the gospel of Jesus Christ; and if ail these things may be 
obtained by virtue of that truth which is professed in com- 
mon among all known societies of Christians, doth it not 
unavoidably follow, that we ought to exercise moderation 
towards one another, however differing in or about things 
which destroy not the principles of love and union? Cer- 
tainly we ought, unless we will resolvedly stifle the actings 
of that love, which is implanted in all the disciples of Christ, 
smd besides live in an open disobedience unto his commands. 


This then indispensably exacts moderation in Protestants to- 
wards them that differ from them, and that not only within 
the lines of protestancy ; because they believe, that, not- 
withstanding that dissent, they have, or may have for ought 
they know, an interest in those things; which are the only 
reasons of that love which is required in them towards the 
disciples of Christ. There is a moderation proceeding from 
the principles of reason in general, and requisite unto our 
common interest in humanity ; which is good, and an espe- 
cial ornament unto them in whom it is ; especially if they 
are persons exalted above others in place of rule and govern- 
ment. Men fierce, implacable, revengeful, impatient, tread- 
ing down all that they dislike under their feet, are the great- 
est defacers of the image of God in the world, and upon the 
matter the only troublers of human society. But the mo- 
deration which the gospel requireth, ariseth and proceedeth 
from the principles of union with Christ before mentioned ; 
which is that, that proves us disciples of Christ indeed, and 
will confirm the mind in suitable actings, against all the pro- 
vocations to the contrary, which, from the infirmities and 
miscarriages of men, we are sure to meet withal. Neither 
doth this at all hinder but that we may contend earnestly 
for the truth delivered unto us, and labour, by the ways of 
Christ's appointment, to reclaim others from such opinions, 
ways, and practices, in and about the things of religion and 
worship of God, as are injurious unto his glory, and may be 
destructive and pernicious to their own souls. Neither doth 
it in the least put any discouragement upon endeavours, to 
oppose the impiety and profaneness of men in their corrup- 
tion in life and conversation, which certainly and unques- 
tionably are inconsistent with, and destructive of, the pro- 
fession of the gospel, let them on whom they are found, be 
of what party, church, or way of religion they please. And 
if those in whose hearts are the ways of God, however diver- 
sified among themselves by various apprehensions of some 
doctrines and practices, would sincerely, according to their 
duty, set themselves to oppose that profaneness, wickedness 
of life, or open viciousness of conversation, which is breaking 
in like a flood upon the world ; and which, as it hath already 
almost drowned the whole glory of Christian religion, so it 
will undoubtedly, if not prevented, end in the woful calamity 


and final ruin of Christendom, they would have less mind 
and leisure to wrangle fiercely among themselves, and breathe 
out destruction against one another, for their mistakes and 
differences about things, which by their own experience they 
find not to take off from their love to Christ, nor weaken the 
obedience he requires at their hands. But whilst the whole 
power of Christianity is despised, conversion to God and 
separation from the ways of the perishing world are set at 
nought, and men think they have nothing to do in religion, 
but to be zealously addicted to this or that party amongst 
them that profess it, it is no wonderif they think their chief- 
est duty to consist in destroying one another. But for men 
that profess to be leaders and guides of others in Christian 
religion, openly to pursue carnal and worldly interests, great- 
ness, wealth, outward splendour, and pomp, to live in luxury 
and pride, to labour to strengthen and support themselves 
by the adherence of persons of profane and wicked lives, 
that so they may destroy all that in any opinion differ from 
themselves, is vigorously to endeavour to drive out of the 
world that religion which they profess ; and in the mean time 
to render it so uncomely and undesirable, that others must 
needs be discouraged from its embracement. But these 
things cannot spring from the principles of Protestants 
which, as I have manifested, lead them unto other manner of 
actings. And it is to no purpose to ask, why then they are 
not all affected accordingly. For they that are not so, do 
live in an open contradiction to their own avowed principles ; 
which, that it is no news in the world, the vicious lives of 
many, in all places professing Christianity, will not suffer us 
to doubt. For though that religion which they profess, 
teacheth them to 'deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, to 
live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world,' 
if they intend the least benefit by it, yet they hold the pro- 
fession of it on a contrary practice. And for this self-de- 
ceiving, attended with eternal ruin, many men are beholden 
unto such notions as yours about your church, securing sal- 
vation within the pale of its external communion, laying little 
weight on the things which at the last day will only stand 
them in stead. But for Protestants, setting aside their oc- 
casional exasperations, when they begin to bethink them- 
selves, they cannot satisfy their own consciences in a reso- 


lution, not to love them, because of some differences, whom 
they believe that God loves, or may love, notwithstanding 
those differences from them : or to renounce all union with 
them, who they are persuaded are united unto Christ ; or 
not to be moderate towards them in this world, with whom 
they expect to live for ever in another. I speak only of them 
on all sides, who have received into their hearts, and do ex- 
press in their lives, the scriptural power and energy of the 
gospel, who are begotten unto Christ by the word of truth, 
and have received of his Spirit, promised in the covenant of 
grace unto all them that believe on him. For, not to dis- 
semble with you, I believe all others, as to their present state, 
to be in the same condition before God; be they of what 
church or way they will, though they are not all in the same 
condition in respect of the means of their spiritual advantage 
which they enjoy or may do so, they being much more ex- 
cellent in some societies of Christians than others. This 
then, to return, is the principle of Protestants, derived down 
unto them from Christ and his apostles, and hereby are they 
eminently furnished for the exercise of that moderation, 
which you so much, and so deservedly commend. And, 
more fully to tell you my private judgment, which whether 
it be my own only I do not much concern myself to inquire, 
but this it is; any man in the world who receiveth the Scrip- 
ture of the Old and New Testament, as the word of God, and 
on that account assents in general to the whole truth re- 
vealed in them, worshipping God in Christ, and yielding obe- 
dience unto him answerable unto his light and conviction, 
not contradicting his profession by any practice inconsistent 
with true piety, nor owning of any opinion of persuasion de- 
structive to the known fundamentals of Christianity ; though 
he should have the unhappiness to dissent in some things 
from all the churches that are at this day in the world, may 
yet have an internal, supernatural, saving principle of his faith 
and obedience, and be undoubtedly saved. And I am sure, 
it is my duty to exercise moderation towards every man, 
concerning whom I have, or ought to have, that persuasion. 
2. Some Protestants are of that judgment, that external 
force ought to have no place at all in matters of faith; how- 
ever laws may be constituted with penalties for the preser- 
vation of public outward order in a nation; most of them, 


that * haereticidium' or putting men to death for their misap- 
prehensions in the things of God is absolutely unlawful ; 
and all of them, that faith is the gift of God, for the commu- 
nication whereof unto men, he hath appointed certain means 
VA'hereof external force is none. Unto which two last po- 
sitions, not only the greatest Protestant, but the greatest 
potentate in Europe, hath lately in his own words, expres- 
sive of a heavenly benignity towards mankind in their in- 
firmities, declared his royal assent. And I shall somewhat 
question the protestancy of them, whom his authority, 
example, and reason, doth not conclude in these things. 
For my part I desire no better, I can give no greater war- 
rant, to assert them as the principles of Protestants, than 
what I have now acquainted you with. And it is no small 
satisfaction unto me, to contemplate on the heavenly princi- 
ple of gospel peace, planted in the noble soul of royal in- 
genuity and goodness, whence fruit may be expected to the 
great profit and advantage of the whole world. Nor is it 
easy to discover the natural and genuine tendency of these 
principles towards moderation. Indeed, in acting accord- 
ing unto them, and in a regular consistency with them, con- 
sists the moderation'which we treat about. Wherever then 
Protestants use not tliat moderation, towards those that 
dissent from them if otherwise peaceable, which the Lord 
Jesus requires his disciples to exercise towards all them 
that profess the same common hope with them ; the fault is 
solely in the persons so offending ; and is not countenanced 
from any principles which they avow. Whether it be so 
with those of your church, shall now be considered. 

1. You have no one principle that you more perti- 
naciously adhere unto, nor which yields you greater advan- 
tage with weak unstable souls, than that whereby you con- 
fine all Christianity within the bounds of your own com- 
munion. The Roman church and the catholic are with you, 
one and the same. No privilege of the gospel, you suppose, 
belongs unto any soul in the world, who lives not in your 
communion, and in professed subjection unto the pope. 
Union with Christ, saving faith here, with salvation here- 
after, belongs to no other, no not one. This is the mode- 
ration of your church, whereunto your outward actings have 
for the most part been suited. Indeed, by this one princi- 


pie, you are utterly incapacitated to exercise any of that 
moderation towards those that dissent from you which the 
gospel requires. You cannot love them as the disciples of 
Christ, nor act towards them from any such principles. It 
is possible for you to shew moderation towards them as 
men; but to shew any moderation towards them, as those 
partakers of the same precious faith with you, that is im- 
possible for you to do. Yet this is that which we are 
inquiring after : not the moderation that may be amongst 
men as men, but that which ought to be among Christians 
as Christians. This is gospel moderation, the other is com- 
mon unto us with Turks, Jews, and pagans, and not at all of 
our present disquisition. And I wish that this were found 
amongst you as proceeding from the principles of reason, 
with ingenuity and goodness of nature, more than it is. 
For that which proceedeth from, and is regulated by, in- 
terest, is hypocritical, and not thankworthy ; as occasion 
offers itself, it will turn and change, as we have found it to 
do in most kingdoms of Europe. Apparent then it is. that 
this fundamental principle of your profession, ' subesse Ro- 
mano pontifici,' &c. that it is of 'indispensable necessity 
unto salvation unto every soul, to be subject unto the pope 
of Rome,' doth utterly incapacitate you for that moderation 
towards any that are not of you, which Christ requires in 
his disciples towards one another; seeing you judge none 
to be so but yourselves. Yet I assure you withal, that I 
hope, yea, I am verily persuaded, tliat there are many, very 
many amongst you, whose minds and affections are so in- 
fluenced by common ingrafted notions of God and his good- 
ness, with a sense of the frailties of mankind, and weakness 
of the evidence that is rendered unto them, for the eviction 
of that indispensable necessity of subjection to the pope, 
which their masters urge ; as also with the beams of truth 
shining forth in general in the Scriptures, and what they 
know or have heard of the practices of primitive times, as 
that, being seasoned with Christian charity and candour, 
they are not so leavened with the sour prejudice of this 
principle, as to be rendered unmeet for the due exercise of 
moderation; but for this, they are not beholden to your 
church, nor this great principle of your profession. 

2. It is the principle of your church, whereunlo your 


practice hath been suited, that those who dissent from you 
in things determined by yom- church, being heretics, if they 
continue so to do, after the application of the means for 
their reclaiming, which you think meet to use, ought to be 
imprisoned, burned, or one way or other put to death. This 
you cannot deny to be your principle, it being the very 
foundation of your inquisition, the chief corner-stone in 
your ecclesiastical fabric, that couples and holds up the 
whole building together. And it hath been asserted in 
your practice, for sundry ages, in most nations of Europe. 
Your councils, as that of Constance, have determined it ; 
and practised accordingly with John Huss, and Jerome ; 
your doctors dispute for it, your church lives upon it. 
That you are destitute of any colour from antiquity in this 
your way, I have shewed before. Bellarmine, de Laic. cap. 
22. could find no other instance of it, but that of PrisciUia- 
nus, which what entertainment it fouad in the church ofGod, 
I have declared ; with that of one Basilius, out of Gregory's 
Dialogues, lib. i. cap. 4. whom he confesseth to have been a 
magician; and of Bogomilus, in the days of Alexius Comne- 
nus, 1100 years after Christ, whose putting to death notwith- 
standing, was afterward censured and condemned, in a sy- 
nod of more sober persons than those who procured it. 
Instance of your avowing this principle in your dealing with 
the Albigenses of old, the inhabitants of Merindol and 
Chrabiers in France, with the Waldenses in the valleys of 
Piedmont, formerly and of late; of your judiciary proceed- 
ings against multitudes of persons of all sorts, conditions, 
ages, and sexes, in this and most other nations of Europe, 
you are not pleased with the mention of, I shall therefore 
pass them by. Only I desire you would not question whe- 
ther this be the principle of your church or no, seeing you 
have given the world too great assurance that so it is ; and 
yourself, in your Fiat commend the wisdom of Philip king 
of Spain, in his rigour in the pursuit of it; p. 243. These 
things being so, I desire to know, what foundation you 
have to stand upon in pressing for moderation amongst dis- 
senters in religion ; I confess, it is a huge argument of your 
goodnature, that you are so inclinable unto it; but when 
you should come to the real exercise of it, I am afraid you 
would find your hands tied up by these principles of your 


church, and your endeavours thereupon become very faint 
and evanid. Men in such cases may make great pretences. 

At velut in somnis oculos ubi languida pressit 
Nocte quies, iiequicquam avidos extendere cursus 
Vellc videinur, et in niediis conatibus agri 

Being destitute of any real foundation, your attempts are 
but b'KC the fruitless endeavours of men in their sleep, 
wherein great workings of spirits and fancy produce no 
effects. I confess, notwithstanding all this, others may be 
moderate towards you ; I judge it their duty so to be, I de- 
sire they may be so; but how you should exercise modera- 
tion towards others, I cannot so well discern. Only as 
unto the former, so much more am I relieved as unto this 
principle, from the persuasion I have of the candour and in- 
genuity of many individual persons of your profession; 
which will not suffer them to be captivated under the pov.-er 
of such corrupt prejudices as these. And for my part, if I 
could approve of external force in any case in matters of 
religion, it would be against the promoters of the principle 


In mores liominemque. Crcon. 

When men, under pretence of zeal for religion, depose all 
sense of the laws of nature and humanity, some earnestness 
may be justified in unteaching them their untoward cate- 
chisms, which lie indeed not only against the design, spirit, 
principles, and letter of the gospel ; but ' terrarum leges et 
mundi foedera ;' the very foundations of reason, on which 
men coalesce into civil society. But as we observed before, 
out of one of the ancients, ' force hath no place in or about 
the law of Christ,' one way or other. 

That which gave occasion unto this discourse, was your 
insinuation of the Scripture's insufficiency for the settlement 
of men in the unity of faith, the contrary whereof being the 
great principle of protestancy, I was willing a little to en- 
large myself unto the consideration of your principles and 
ours; not only with reference unto the unity of faith, but 
also as unto that moderation which you pretend to plead for, 
and the want whereof you charge on Protestants, premising 
it unto the ensuing discourse, wherein you will meet with a 
full and a direct answer unto your question. 


CHAP. Vll. 

Unity of faith, wherein it consists. Principles of Protestants as to the 
settling men in religion and unity of faith, proposed and confirmed. 

The next thing proposed as a good to be aimed at, is unity 
in faith and settlement, or infallible assurance therein. 
This is a good desirable for itself; whereas the moderation 
treated of, is only a medium of relief against other evils, 
until this may be attained. And therefore, though it be 
upon supposition of our differences, earnestly to be endea- 
voured after; yet it is not to be rested in, as though the ut- 
most of our duty consisted in it, and we had no prospect 
beyond it. It is a catholic unity in faith, which all Chris- 
tians are to aim at, and so both you and we profess to do; 
only we differ both about the nature of it, and the proper 
means of attaining it. For the nature of it, you conceive it 
to consist in the * explicit or implicit belief of all things and 
doctrines determined on, taught, and proposed by your 
church be believed, and nothing else (with faith supernatu- 
ral) but what is so taught and proposed.' But this descrip- 
tion of the unity of faith, we can by no means admit of. 
1 . Because it is novel ; it hath no footstep in any writings of 
the apostles, nor of the first fathers or writers of the church, 
nor in the practice of the disciples of Christ for many ages. 
That the determination of the Roman church, and its pro- 
posal of things or articles to be believed, should be the ade- 
quate rule of faith unto all believers, is a matter as foreign 
unto all antiquity, as that the prophecies of Montanus 
should be so. 2. Because it makes the unity of faith, after 
the full and last revelation of the will of God, flux, alterable, 
and unstable, liable to increase and decrease ; whereas it is 
uniform, constant, always the same in all ages, times, and 
places, since the finishing of the canon of the Scriptures. 
For we know, and all the world knows, that your church 
hath determined many things lately, some ^^Iq koI Tpwriv, 
as it were but yesterday, to be believed, which itself had 
never before determined, and so hath increased the rule of 
faith, moved its centre, and extended its circumference ; and 


wh|it she may farther determine and propose to-morrow, no 
man knows ; and your duty it is to be ready to believe what- 
ever she shall so propose ; whereby you cannot certainly 
know unto your dying day, whether you do believe all 
that may belong to the unity of faith, or no. Nay, 3. Your 
church hath determined and proposed to be believed ex- 
press contradictions, which determinations abiding on re- 
cord, you are not agreed which of them to adhere unto, as 
is manifest in your conciliary decrees about the power 
of the pope and the council, unto which of them the 
pre-eminence is due. Now this is a strange rule of the 
unity of faith, that is not only capable of increase, changes, 
and alterations, so that, that may belong unto it one day, 
which did not belong unto it another, as is evident from 
your tridentine decrees, wherein you made many things ne- 
cessary to be believed which before were esteemed but pro- 
bable, and were the subjects of sophistical altercations in 
your schools; but also compriseth in itself express contra- 
dictions, which cannot at all belong unto faith, because 
both of them may be false, one of them must be so ; nor to 
unity, because contrary and adverse. 4. Whereas holding 
'the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,' or the unity of 
faith is so great and important a duty unto all Christians, 
that they can no way discharge their consciences unto God, 
without a well-grounded satisfaction that they live in the 
performance of it, this description of its nature, renders it 
morally impossible for any man explicitly to know (and 
that only a man knows, which he knows explicitly) that he 
doth answer his duty herein. For 1. The determinations of 
your church of things to be believed, are so many and va- 
rious, that it is not within the compass of an ordinary dili- 
gence and ability to search and find them out. Nor when 
a man hath done his utmost, can he obtain any tolerable 
security, that there have not other determinations been 
made, that he is not as yet come to an acquaintance with 
all, or that he ever shall so do; and how in this case he can 
have any satisfactory persuasion that he keeps the unity of 
faith, is not as yet made evident. 2. In the determinations 
he may meet withal, or by any means come to the know- 
ledge of, he is to receive and believe the things determined 
and proposed unto him, in the sense intended by the church, 


or else he is never the nearer to his end. But what that 
sense is in the most of your church's proposals, your doc- 
tors do so endlessly quarrel among themselves, that it is 
impossible a man should come unto any great certainty in 
his inquiry after it; yet a precise meaning in all her propo- 
sals your church must have, or she hath none at all. What 
shall a man do, when he comes unto one of your great mas- 
ters to be acquainted with the genuine sense of one of your 
church's proposals, this being the way that he takes for his 
satisfaction. First, he speaks unto the article or question 
to be considered in general; then gives the different senses 
of it according to these and those famous masters, the most 
of which he confutes; who yet all of them professed them- 
selves to explain, and to speak according to the sense of 
your church; and lastly, gives his own interpretation of it, 
which it may be within a few months is confuted by an- 
other. 3. Suppose a man have attained a knowledge of all 
that your church hath determined and proposed to be believ- 
ed, and to a right understanding of her precise sense and 
meaning in all her determinations and proposals, which I 
believe never yet man attained unto, yet what assurance can 
he have, if he live in any place remote from Rome, but that 
your church may have made some new determinations in 
matters of faith, whose embracement in the sense which she 
intends, belongs unto his keeping the unity of faith, which 
yet he is not acquainted withal. Is it not simply impossi- 
ble for him to be satisfied at any time, that he believes all 
that is to be believed, or that he holds the unity of faith ? 
Your late pontifical determination in the case of the Janse- 
nists and Molinists, is sufficient to illustrate this instance. 
For I suppose you are equally bound, not to believe what 
your church condemneth as heretical, as you are bound to • 
believe what it proposeth for Catholic doctrine. 4. I desire 
to know when a man who lives here in England, begins to 
be obliged to believe the determinations of your church 
that are made at Rome. It may be he first hears of them in 
a Mercury or weekly news-book ; or it may be he hath notice 
of them by some private letters from some who live near the 
place ; or it may be he hath a knowledge of them by com- 
mon report; or it may be they are printed in some books, 
or that there is a brief of them published somewhere under 



the name of the pope; or they are put into some volume 
written about the councils; or some religious persons on 
whom he much relies, assures him of them. I know you 
believe that your church's proposition is a sufficient means 
of the revelation of any article, to make it necessary to be 
believed; but I desire to know, what is necessary to cause a 
man to receive any dictate or doctrine as your church's pro- 
position ; not only upon this account, that you are not very 
well agreed upon the 'requisita,'unto the making of such a 
proposition, but also because, be you as infallible as you 
please in your proposals, the means and ways you use to 
communicate those proposals you make, unto individuals in 
whom alone the faith whereof we treat exists, are all of them 
fallible. Now that which I desire to know is, What is, or 
what are, those certain means and ways of communicating 
the propositions of your church unto any person, wherein 
he is bound to acquiesce, and upon the application of them 
luito him to believe them, 'fide divina cui non potest sub- 
esse falsum ?' Is it any one thing, or way, or means, that the 
hinge upon which his assent turns ? or is it a complication 
of many things concurring to the same purpose? If it be 
any one thing, way, or medium, that you fix upon, pray let 
us know it, and we shall examine its fitness and sufficiency 
for the use you put it unto. I am sure we shall find it to 
be either infallible or fallible. If you say the former, and 
that that particular upon which the assent of a man's mind 
unto any thing to be the proposal of your church depends, 
must in the testimony it gives, and evidence that it affords, 
be esteemed infallible, then you have as many infallible per- 
sons, things, or writings, as you make use of to acquaint 
one another with the determinations of your church ; that is, 
upon the matter you are all so, though I know in particular 
that you are not. If the latter, notwithstanding the first 
pretended infallible proposition, your faith will be found to 
be resolved immediately into a fallible information. For, 
what will it advantage me, that the proposal of your church 
cannot deceive me, if I may be deceived in the commu- 
nicating of that proposal unto me? And I can with no more 
firmness, certainty, or assurance, believe the thing proposed 
unto me, than I do believe that it is the proposal of the 
church wherein it is made. For you pretend not unto any 


self-evidencing efficacy in your church's propositions, or 
things proposed by it; but all their authority, as to me, 
turns upon the assurance that I have of their relation unto 
your church, or that they are the proposals of your church, 
concerning which I have nothing but very fallible evidence, 
and so cannot possibly believe them with faith divine and 
supernatural. If you shall say that there are many things 
concurring unto this communication of your church's propo- 
sals unto a man, as the notoriety of the fact, suitable pro- 
ceedings upon it, books written to prove it, testimonies of 
g6od men, and the like; I cannot but mind you, that all 
these being ' sigillatim,' every one apart fallible, they cannot 
in their conspiracy improve themselves into an infallibility. 
Strengthen a probability they may, testify infallibly they 
neither do nor can. So that, on this account, it is not only 
impossible for a man to know whether he holds the unity 
of faith or no, but indeed whether he believe any thing at 
all with faith supernatural and divine ; seeing he hath no 
infallible evidence for what is proposed unto him to believe, 
to build his faith upon. 

5. Protestants are not satisfied with your general im- 
plicit assent unto what your church teacheth and deter- 
mineth, which you have invented to solve the difficulties that 
attend your description of the unity of faith. Of what use 
it may be unto other purposes, I do not now dispute, but as 
to this, of the preservation of the unity of faith, it is cer- 
tainly of none at all : the unity of faith consists in all men's 
express believing all, that all men are bound expressly to 
believe, be it what it will : now you would have this pre- 
served by men's not believing what they are bound to be- 
lieve : for what belongs to this keeping the unity of faith 
they are bound to believe expressly, and what they believe 
implicitly, they do indeed no more but not expressly disbe- 
lieve ; for if they do any more than not disbelieve, they pat 
forth some act of their understanding about it, and so far 
expressly beheve it : so that, upon the matter, you would 
have men to keep the unity of faith, by a not believing of 
that, which that they may keep the unity of faith they are 
bound expressly to believe : nor can you do otherwise, whilst 
you make all the propositions of your church of things to 
be believed, to belong to the unity of faith. Lastly, The 
Y 2 


determinations of your church you make to be the next ef- 
ficient cause of your unity ; now these not being absolutely 
infallible, leave it, like Delos, flitting up and down in the 
sea of probabilities only : this we shall manifest unto you 
immediately; at least we shall evidence that you have no 
cogent reasons, nor stable grounds to prove your church in- 
fallible in her determinations. At present, it shall suffice 
to mind you, that she hath determined contradictions, and 
that in as eminent a manner as it is possible for her to 
declare her sense by; namely, by councils confirmed by 
popes; and an infallible determination of contradictions, is 
not a notion of any easy digestion in the thoughts of a man 
in his right wits. We confess then, that we cannot agree 
with you in your rule of the unity of faith, though the thing 
itself we press after as our duty. For, (2.) Protestants do 
not conceive this unity to consist in a precise determination 
of all questions that are or may be raised in or about things 
belonging unto the faith, whether it be made by your church 
or any other way. Your Thomas of Aquine, who without 
question is the best and most sober of all your school doc- 
tors, hath in one book given us five hundred and twenty-two 
articles of religion, which you esteem miraculously stated; 
* Quot articuli, tot miracula,' All these have at least five 
questions one with another stated and determined in expli- 
cation of them ; which amount unto two thousand six hun- 
dred and ten conclusions in matters of religion. Now we 
are far from thinking that all these determinations, or the 
like, belong unto the unity of faith, though much of the re- 
ligion amongst some of you lies in not dissenting from 
them. The questions that your Bellarmine hath determined 
and asserted, the positions in them as of faith, and necessary 
to be believed, are I think near forty times as many as the 
articles of the ancient creed of the church ; and such as it 
is most evident that, if they be of the nature and import- 
ance pretended, it is impossible that any considerable num- 
ber of men should ever be able to discharge their duty in 
this business of holding the unity of faith. That a man be- 
lieve in general that the holy Scripture is given by inspira- 
tion from God, and that all things proposed therein for him 
to believe, are therefore infallibly true, and to be as such 
believed, and that, in particular, he believe every article or 


point of truth, that he hath sufficient means for his instruc- 
tion in, and conviction that it is so revealed, they judge to 
be necessary unto the holding of the unity of faith. And 
this also they know, that this sufficiency of means unto 
every one that enjoys the benefit of the Scriptures, extends 
itself unto all those articles of truth, which are necessary 
for him to believe, so as that he may yield unto God the 
obedience that he requireth, receive the Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise, and be accepted with God. Herein doth that unity 
of faith, which is amongst the disciples of Christ in the 
world, consist ; and ever did, nor can do so in any thing 
else. Nor doth that variety of apprehensions that in many 
things is found among the disciples of Christ, and ever was, 
render this unity, like that you plead for, various and un- 
certain. For the rule and formal reason of it, namely, God's 
revelation in the Scripture, is still one and the same, per- 
fectly unalterable. And the several degrees that men attain 
unto in their apprehensions of it, doth no more reflect a 
charge of variety upon it, than the difference of seeing as to 
the several degrees of the sharpness or obtuseness of our 
bodily eyes, doth upon the light given by the sun. The 
truth is, if there was any common measure of the assents 
of men, either as to the intention of it, as it is subjectively 
in their minds, or extension of it, as it respecteth truths 
revealed that belonged unto the unity of faith, it were im- 
possible there should be any such thing in the world, at 
least that any such thing should be known to be. Only 
this I acknowledge, that it is the duty of all men to come 
up to the full and explicit acknowledgment of all the truths 
revealed in the word of God, wherein the glory of God and 
the Christian's duty are concerned; as also to a joint con- 
sent in faith objective, or propositions of truth revealed; 
at least in things of most importance, though their faith 
subjective, or the internal assent of their minds have, as it 
will have, in several persons, various degrees, yea, in the 
same persons it may be, at different seasons. And in our 
labouring to come up unto this joint-acknowledgment of the 
same sense and intendment of God in all revealed truths, 
consists our endeavour after that perfection in the unity of 
faith which in this life is attainable ; as our moderation doth 
in our walking in peace and love with and towards others, 
according to what we have already attained. We may dis- 


tinguish then between that unity of faith, which an interest 
in gives union with Christ unto them that hold it, and com- 
munion in love with all equally interested therein ; and that 
accomplishment of it, which gives a sameness of profession, 
and consent in all acts of outward communion in the wor- 
ship of God. The first is found in, and amongst, all the 
disciples of Christ in the world wherever they are ; the latter 
is that which moreover it is your duty to press after. The 
former consists in an assent in general unto all the truths of 
God revealed in the Scripture, and in particular unto them 
that we have sufficient means to evidence them unto us to 
be so revealed. The latter may come under a double con- 
sideration ; for either there may be required unto it in them 
who hold it, the joint perception of, and assent unto every 
truth revealed in the Scripture, with an equal degree of cer- 
tainty in adherence and evidence in perception, and it is not 
in this life, wherein the best of us know but in part, attain- 
able ; or only such a concurrence in an assent unto the ne- 
cessary propositions of truth, as may enable them to hold 
together that outward communion in the worship of God 
which we before mentioned. And this is certainly attain- 
able, by the ways and means that shall immediately be laid 
down : and where this is, there is the unity of faith, in that 
completeness which we are bound to labour for the attain- 
ment of. This the apostolical churches enjoyed of old; and 
unto the recovery whereof, there is nothing more prejudicial 
than your new stating of it upon the account of your church's 

This unity of faith we judge good and necessary, and 
that it is our duty to press after it ; so also in general do 
you. It remains then, that we consider, what is the way, 
what are the means and principles, that Protestants propose 
and insist upon for the attainment of it ; that is, in answer to 
your question, ' What it is that can settle any man in the truth 
of religion, and unite all men therein.' And then because 
you object this unto us, as if we were at some loss and un- 
certainty therein, and yourselves very secure, I shall consi- 
der what are the grounds and principles that you proceed 
upon for the same ends and purposes ; namely, to 'settle any 
man in the truth of religion, and to bring all men to a har- 
mony and consent therein.' 

Now I shall herein manifest unto you these two things : 


1. That the principles which the Protestants proceed upon, 
in the improvement whereof they obtain themselves assured 
and infallible settlement in the truth, and labour to reduce 
others unto the unity of faith, are such as are both suited 
unto, and sufficient for, the end and work which they desiga 
to effect by them, and also in themselves of such unques- 
tionable truth, certainty, and evidence, that either they are 
all granted by yourselves, or cannot be denied without shak- 
ing the very foundations of Christianity. 2. That those 
which you proceed upon, are some of them untrue, and 
most of them dubious and questionable, none of them able 
to bear the weight that you lay upon them ; and some of 
them such as the admission of, would give just cause to 
question the whole truth of Christian religion. And both 
these, sir, I crave leave to manifest unto you, whereby you 
may the better judge whether the Scripture or your church 
be the best way to bring men unto settlement in religion, 
which is the thing inquired after. 

1 . Protestants lay down this as the ri apx^ '"'ic vtroaTatJsog 
Kot onoXoyiac, as ' the very beginning and first principle of 
their confidence and confession,' that all Scripture is given 
by inspiration of God, as the Holy Ghost teacheth them, 
2 Tim. iii. 16. That is, that the books of the Old and New 
Testament were all of them written by the immediate guid- 
ance, direction, and inspiration of God ; ' the hand of the 
Lord,' as David speaks, 1 Chron. xxviii. 19. being upon the 
peamen thereof in writing ; and his Spirit, as Peter informs 
us, speaking in them, 1 Pet. i. 11. So that whatever is con- 
tained and delivered in them, is given out from God, and is 
received on his authority. This principle I suppose you 
grant to be true; do you not? if you will deny it say so, and 
we will proceed no farther, until we have proved it. I know 
you have various ways laboured to undermine the avTOTnaria 
of the Holy Scriptures ; many queries you put unto men. 
How they can know it to be from God, to be true, from 
heaven, and not of men? many scruples you endeavour to 
possess them with, against its authority; it is not my pre- 
sent business to remove them : it is sufficient unto me, 
1. That you yourselves, who differ from us in other things, 
and with whom our contest about the best way of coming 
to settlement in the truth alone is, do acknowledge thi^ 


principle we proceed upon to be true. And, 2. That ye can- 
not oppose it without setting yourselves to dig up the very 
foundations of Christian religion, and to open a way to let 
in an inundation of atheism on the world. So our first step 
is fixed on the grand fundamental principle of all the reli- 
gion and acceptable worship of God that is in the world. 

2. They affirm that this Scripture evidenceth itself by 
many infallible reKfiripia, to be so given by inspiration from 
God ; and besides is witnessed so to be, by the testimony 
of the church of God from the days of Moses, wherein it 
began to be written, to the days wherein we live ; our Lord 
Christ and his apostles asserting and confirming the same 
testimony ; which testimony is conveyed unto us by unin- 
terrupted Catholic tradition. The first part of this position, 
I confess, some of you deny; and the latter part of it you 
generally all of you pervert, confining the testimony men- 
tioned unto that of your present church, which is a very in- 
considerable part of it, if any part at all. But how ground- 
lessly, how prejudicially, to the verity and honour of Chris- 
tian religion in general you do these things, I shall briefly 
shew you. 

Some of you, I say, deny the first part of this assertion; 
so doth Andradius, Defens. Concil. Trident, lib. 3, * Neque 
enim,' saith he, ' in ipsis libris quibus sacra mysteria con- 
scripta sunt, quicquam inest divinitatis, quod nos ad cre- 
dendum queeillis continentur, religione aliqua constringat:' 
' neither is there in the books themselves, wherein the holy 
mysteries are written, any thing of divinity, that should 
constrain us by virtue of any religious respect thereunto, to 
believe the things that are contained in them.' Hence 
Cocleus, lib. 2. de Authoritate Eccles. et Script, gathers up 
a many instances out of the book of the Scripture, which he 
declares to be altogether incredible, were it not for the au- 
thority of the church. I need not mention any more of 
your leaders, concurring with them ; you know who is of 
the same mind with them, if the author of Fiat Lux be not 
unknown to you. Your resolving universal tradition into 
the authority of your present church, to which end there is 
a book written not long since by a Jesuit under the name of 
Vincentius Severinus, is no less notorious. Some of you, I 
confess, are more modest, and otherwise minded, as to both 


parts of our assertion. See Malderus, Episcop. Antwerp, 
de Object. Fidei, qu. 1. Vaselius Groningen. de Potestat. 
Eccles. et Epist. ad Jacob. Hock. Alliacens. in lib. 1. Sen- 
tent. Artie. 3. Gerson Exam. doc. part. 2. Consid. 1. torn. 1. 
fol. 105. and in twenty other places. But when you come 
to deal with Protestants, and consider well the tendency of 
this assertion, you use I confess a hundred tergiversations, 
and are most unwilling to come to the acknowledgment of 
it; and rather than suffer from it, deny it downright ; and 
that with scurrilous reflections and comparisons, likening 
it, as to any characters of God's truth and holiness upon 
it, unto Livy's story, yea, -^sop's Fables, or a piece of 
poetry. And when you have done so, you apply yourselves 
to the canvassing of stories in the Old Testament, and to 
find out appearing contradictions, and tell us of the uncer- 
tainty of the authors of some particular books ; that the 
whole is of itself a dead letter which can prove nothing at 
all ; inquiring. Who told us that the penmen of it were 
divinely inspired, seeing they testify no such things of them- 
selves ? and if they should, yet others may do, and have 
done so, who notwithstanding were not so inspired, and ask 
us. Why we receive the gospel of Luke who was not an apo- 
stle, and reject that of Thomas who was one ? with many 
the like cavilling exceptions. 

But, (1.) That must needs be a bad cause which stands 
in need of such a defence. Is this the voice of Jacob, or 
Esau? Are these the expressions of Christians, or pagans? 
From whose quiver are these arrows taken? Is this fair, 
sober, candid Christian dealing? Have you noway to de- 
fend the authority of your church, but by questioning the 
authority of the Scripture ? Did ever any of the fathers of 
old, or any in the world before yourselves, take this course 
to plead their interests in any thing they professed ? Is this 
practice catholic, or like many [of your principles ; singular, 
your own, donatistical? Is it any great sign that you have 
an interest in that living child, when you are so ready he 
should be destroyed, rather than you would be cast in your 
contest with Protestants? (2.) Do you think that this 
course of proclaiming to atheists, Turks, and pagans, that 
the Scripture, which all Christians maintain against them 
to be the word of the living God, given by inspiration from 


him, and on which the faith of all the martyrs who have 
suffered from their opposition, rage, and cruelty, and of all 
others that truly believe in Jesus Christ, was and is founded, 
and whereinto it is resolved, hath no arguments of its divine 
original implanted on it, no lines of the excellencies and 
perfections of its author drawn on it, no power or efficacy 
towards the consciences of men, evidencing its authority 
over them, no ability of itself to comfort and support them 
in their trials and sufferings with the hope of things that 
are not seen? Is this, think you, an acceptable service unto 
the Lord Christ, who will one day judge the secrets of all 
hearts according unto that word? or, Is it not really to ex- 
pose Christian religion to scorn and contempt? And do 
you find so much sweetness in, ' dolus an virtus? quis in 
hoste requirat,' as to cast off all reverence of God and his 
word, in the pursuit of the supposed adversaries of your 
earthly interests? (3.) If your arguments and objections 
are effectual and prevalent unto the end for w^hich you in- 
tend them, will not your direct issue be the utter overthrow 
of the very foundation of the whole profession of Christians 
in the world? And are you, like Sampson, content to pull 
down the house that must fall upon yourselves also, so that 
you may stifle Protestants with its fall ? It may be, it were 
well you should do so ; were it a house of Dagon, a temple 
dedicated unto idols : but, to deal so with that wherein 
dwells the majesty of the living God, is not so justifiable. 
It is true, evert this principle, and you overthrow the 
foundation on which the faith of Protestants is built ; but 
it is no less true, that you do the same to the foundation of 
the Christian faith in general, wherein we hope your own 
concernment also lies. And this is the thing that I am 
declaring unto you ; namely, that either you acknowledge 
the principles on which Protestants build their faith and 
profession, or by denying them you open a door unto 
atheism, at least to the extirpation of Christian religion out 
of the world. I confess you pretend a relief against the 
present instance, in the authority of your church, sufficient 
as you say to give a credibility unto the Scriptures, though 
its own self-evidencing power and efficacy, with the con- 
firmation of it by catholic tradition, exclusive to your 
present suffrage, be rejected. Now I suppose you will 


grant, that the prop you supply men withal upon your cast- 
ing down the foundations on which they have laid the 
weight of their eternal salvation, had need be firm and 
immoveable. And remember that you have to do with 
them, who though they may be otherwise inclineable unto 

Non tamen ignorant quid distent sera lupinis j 

and must use their own judgment in the consideration of 
what you tender unto them. And they ask you, 1. What 
will you do if it be as you say with them who absolutely re- 
ject the authority of your church, which is the condition of 
more than a moiety of the inhabitants of the world, to speak 
sufficiently within compass ? and, 2. What will you advise 
us to say to innumerable other persons that are pious and 
rational, who, upon the mere consideration of the lives of 
many, of the most, of the guides of your church, your 
bloody inhuman practices, your pursuit of worldly carnal 
designs, your visible secular interest wherein you are com- 
bined and united, cannot persuade themselves, that the 
testimony of your church in and about things that are in- 
visible, spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, is at all valuable, 
much less that it is sufficient to bear the weight you would 
lay upon it. 3. Was not this the way and method of Va- 
ninus for the introduction of his atheism; first to question, 
sleight, and sophistically except against the old approved 
arguments, and evidences manifesting the being and exist- 
ence of a divine self-subsisting power, substituting in their 
room, for the confirmation of it, his own sophisms, which 
himself knew might be easily discussed and disproved? 
Do you deal any better with us in decrying the Scripture's 
self-evidencing efficacy, with the testimony given unto it by 
God himself, substituting nothing in the room thereof but 
the authority of your church ? A man certainly can take up 
nothing upon the sole authority of your church, until, con- 
trary to the pretensions, reasons, and arguments of far a 
greater number of Christians than yourselves, he acknow- 
ledge you to be a true church at least; if not the only 
church in the world. Now, how I pray will you bring him 
into that state and condition that he may rationally make 
any such judgment? How will you prove unto him that 
there is any such thing as a church in the world ; that a 


church hath any authority, that its testimony can make any 
thing credible, or meet to be believed? You must prove 
these things to him, or whatever assent he gives unto what 
you say, is from fanatical credulity. To suppose that he 
should believe you upon your word, because you are the 
church, is to suppose that he believes that, which you are 
yet but attempting to induce him to believe. If you persist 
to press him without other proof, not only to believe what 
you first said unto him, but also even this, that whatever 
you shall say to him hereafter that he must believe it, be- 
cause you say it; Will not any rational man nauseate at 
your unreasonable importunity? and tell you that men who 
have a mind to be befooled, may meet with such alchy- 
mistical pretenders all the world over. Will you persuade 
him that you are the church, and that the church is fur- 
nished with the authority mentioned, by rational arguments ? 
I wish you would inform me of any one that you can make 
use of, that doth not include a supposition of something 
unproved by you, and which can never be proved but by 
your own authority, which is the thing in question, or the 
immediate authority of God which you reject. A number 
indeed of pretences, or, it may be, probabilities you may 
heap together, which yet upon examination will not be 
found so much neither, unless a man will swallow amongst 
them that which is destitute of all probability ; but what is 
included in the evidence given unto it by divine revelation 
which is not yet pleaded unto him. It may be then you 
will work miracles to confirm your assertions. Let us see 
them. For although very many things are requisite to ma- 
nifest any works of wonder that may be wrought in the 
world to be real miracles, and good caution be required to 
judge unto what end miracles are wrought ; yet if we may 
have any tolerable evidence of your working miracles in 
confirmation of this assertion, that you are the true and 
only church of God, with the other inferences depending 
thereon, which we are in the consideration of, you will find 
us very easy to be treated withal. But herein also you 
fail. You have then no way to deal with such a man as we 
first supposed, but as you do with us ; and produce testi- 
monies of Scripture to prove and confirm the authority of 
your church ; and then you will quickly find where you are. 


and what snares you have cast yourselves into. Will not a 
man who hears you proving the authority of your church by 
the Scripture, ask you. And whence hath this Scripture its 
authority? yea, that is supposed to be the thing in question, 
which denying unto it an amoinaTia, you yet produce to 
confirm the authority of that, by whose authority alone, 
itself is evidenced to have any authority at all. Rest in the 
authority of God manifesting itself in the Scripture, wit- 
nessed unto by the catholic tradition of all ages, you will 
not. But you will prove the Scripture to be the word of 
God by the testimony of your church ; and you will prove 
your church to be enabled sufficiently to testify the Scrip- 
tures to be of God, by the testimonies of the Scripture. 
Would you know where to begin and where to end ? But 
you are indeed in a circle which hath neither beginning nor 
ending; I know not when we shall be enabled to say, 

Invenfus, Chrysippe, tui finitor acervi. 

Now do you think it reasonable that we should leave our 
stable and immoveable firm foundations, to run round with 
you in this endless circle, until through giddiness we fall 
into unbelief or atheism ? This is that which I told you be- 
fore, you must either acknowledge our principle in this 
matter to be firm and certain, or open a door to atheism, 
and the contempt of Christian religion ; seeing you are not 
able to substitute any thing in the room thereof, that is 
able to bear the weight that must be laid upon it, if we be- 
lieve. For how should you do so ; shall man be like unto 
God, or equal unto him? The testimony we rest in is di- 
vine, fortified from all objections by the strongest human 
testimony possible, namely catholic tradition. That which 
you would supply us with, is merely human and no more. 
And, 4. Your importunity in opposing this principle, is so 
much the more marvellous unto us, because therein you 
openly oppose yourselves to express testimonies of Scrip- 
ture and the full suffrage of the ancient church. I wish 
you would a little weigh what is affirmed, 2 Pet. i. 19, 20. 
Psal. cxix. 152. John v. 34—36. 39. 1 Thess. ii. 13. Acts 
xvii. 11. 1 John v. 6. 10. ii. 20. Heb. xi. 1 Tim. i. 15. 
Acts xxvi. 22. And will you take with you the consent of 
the ancients? Clemens Alexand. Strom. 7. speaks fully to 


our purpose, as he doth also, lib. 4. where he plainly affirms 
that the church proved the Scripture by itself; and other 
things, as the unity of the Deity, by the Scripture. But 
his own words in the former place are worth the recital, 
"E-)(o/uisv, saith he, r/jv ap-xr)v rrig TriaTewg, tov Kvpiov, ^la te 
TU)v TTjOo^rjTwv, dio. T£ TOV evayytXiov, kol diet rwv fiaKapioiv 
' AiroiyroXdyv TToXurpoTTWc Koi TroXv/xepCJg i% o.p^]g elg reXog 
■nyov/LLevov rijg jvwaewg. n)v ap)(riv S' eirig kripov SeitT^ai 
UTToXajSoi, ovKtT av 6vT(j)g ap-)(ri (^vXayQur]. ' For the begin- 
ning of faith, or principle of what we teach, we have the 
Lord ; who in sundry manners, and by divers parts, by the 
prophets, gospel, and holy apostles, leads us to knowledge. 
And if any one suppose, that a principle stands in need of 
another (to prove it), he destroys the nature of a principle ; 
or, it is no longer preserved a principle.' This is that we 
say : the Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the 
principle of our faith. This is proved by itself, to be of the 
Lord who is its author ; and if we cause it to depend on 
any thing else, it is no longer the principle of our faith and 
profession. And a little after, where he hath shewed that a 
principle ought not to be disputed, nor to be the to Kpivo- 
jufvov of any debate, he adds, 'EtKorwc roivvv viaTei TrepiXa- 
(dovrag avairoSsiKTOv rriv ap^rjvsh: Trtpiov<xiag koi rag aTroddB,£ig 
Trap' avrrig, Trig f*^p\r\g Xa^ovTsg, (pwvy Kvpiov TraiSevopeOa irpbg 
TTiv iiriyvuxTiv Trig aXr^Beiag : ' It is meet then, that receiving 
by faith the most absolute principle without other demon- 
stration and taking demonstrations of the principle from 
the principle itself, that we be instructed by the voice of 
the Lord unto the knowledge of the truth.' That is, we 
believe the Scripture for its own sake, and the testimony 
that God gives unto it, in it and by it ; and do prove every 
thing else by it, and so are confirmed in the faith or know- 
ledge of the truth. So he farther explains himself, ov yap 
ottAwc aiTO(l>aivofiivoig av^pwiroig TTpoaixojxiv, big kclL avTairo- 
^aiverr^ai lir' 'laiig e'^ecttov. ' For we do not simply or abso- 
lutely attend or give heed unto men determining or defining, 
against whom it is equal that we may define or declare our 
judgments.' So it is, whilst the authority of man, or men, 
any society of men in the world, is pleaded, the authority of 
others may by as good reason be objected against it ; as 
whilst you plead your church and its definitions, others 


may on as good gi-ounds oppose theirs unto you therein. 
And therefore Clemens proceeds ; El 8' ovk apKU fiovov 
ttTrXwc drniv to ^6L,av, tiWa TTKTTtvaacF^ai Set to Aex^ev, ov tyjv 
£^ av^pwTTwv avafjiivofxyv fxapTvpiiiv, aXAa rjj tov Kuptou ^ovy 
TTLOTOvfic^a TO ^iirovjufi-ov, 7} iraaivv a-rro^H^oyv txeyjvMTepa, 
fxaXXov S' 17 fxovT) cnrodu^ig ovaa TVjxavEi. Ka9' rjv ETTfcrT/jjUrjv 
01 aTToyevdafievoi /lIovov tCov ypatpCJv, tticftoI. ' For if it be 
not sufficient merely to declare or assert that which appears 
to be truth, but also to make that credible or fit to be be- 
lieved which is spoken, we seek not after the testimony that 
is given by men, but we confirm that which is proposed, or 
inquired about with the voice of the Lord, which is more full 
than any demonstration, or rather is itself the only demon- 
stration ; according to the knowledge whereof they that have 
tasted of the Scriptures, are believers.' Into the voice, the 
word of God alone, the church then resolved their faith, this 
only they built upon, acknowledging all human testimony to 
be too weak and infirm to be made a foundation for it; and 
this voice of God in the Scripture evidencing itself so to be, is 
the only demonstration of faith which they rested in ; where- 
upon, a little after, he adds, ovtojq ovv koI -Yifxtig air' uvtCov twv 
ypa(j)iov TaXeiwg cnro^HKVvvTeg Ik TriaTiwg TruOofXiBa cnrodiiKTi- 
Kiog; 'so we having perfect demonstrations out of the Scrip- 
tures, are by faith demonstratively assured or persuaded of 
the truth of the things proposed.' This was the profession of 
the church of old ; this the resolution of their faith ; this is 
that which Protestants in this case adhere unto. They 
proved the Scripture to be from God, as he elsewhere speaks, 
£^ avOevTiiag iravTOKfiaTopiKrig, as we also do. Strom. 4. To 
this purpose speaks Salvianus de Gub. lib. 3. 'Alia omnia 
(id est humana dicta) argumentis et testibus egent ; Dei au- 
tem Sermo ipse sibi testis est, quia necesse est ut quicquid 
incorrupta Veritas loquitur, incorruptum sit testimonum ve- 
ritatis :' * All other sayings stand in need of arguments and 
witnesses to confirm them, the word of God is witness to 
itself ; for whatever the truth incorrupted speaks, must of 
necessity be an incorrupted testimony of truth ;' and although 
some of them allowed the testimony of the church as a mo- 
tive unto believing the gospel or things preached from it, 
yet as to the belief of the Scripture with faith divine and 
supernatural to be the word of God, they required but these 


two things : 1. That self-evidence in the Scripture itself 
which is needful for an indemonstrable principle ; from 
which, and by which, all other things are to be demonstrated : 
and that self-evidence Clemens puts in the place of all de- 
monstrations. 2. The efficacy of the Spirit in the heart, to 
enable it to give a saving assent unto the truth proposed 
unto it. Thus Austin, in his Confessions, lib. 6. cap. 5. ' Per- 
suasisti mihi, o Domine Deus, non eos qui crederent libris 
tuis quos tanta in omnibus fere Gentibus authoritate fun- 
dasti esse culpandos ; sed eos qui non crederent, nee audien- 
dos esse, siqui mihi forte dicerent, Unde scis, illos libros 
unius veracissimi Dei Spiritu esse, humano generi minis- 
tratos ; id ipsum enim maxime credendum erat.' 'O Lord 
God, thou hast persuaded me, that not they who believe thy 
books, which with so great authority thou hast settled al- 
most in all nations, were to be blamed ; but those who be- 
lieve them not, and that I should not hearken unto any of 
them who might chance say unto me. Whence dost thou 
know those books to be given out unto mankind from the 
Spirit of the true God? for that is the thing which princi- 
pally was to be believed.' In which words, the holy man 
hath given us full direction what to say when you come upon 
us with that question, which some used it seems in his days. A 
great testimony of the antiquity of yourprinciples. Addhere- 
unto what he writes in the eleventh book and third chapter 
of the same treatise, and we have the sum of the resolution 
and principle of his faith : ' Audiam,' saith he, * et intelligam, 
quomodo fecisti coelum et terram : Scripsit hoc Moses, scrip- 
sit ct abiit, transivit hinc ad Te. Neque enim nunc ante me 
est : nam si esset, tenerem eum, et rogarem eum, et per Te 
obsecrarem ut mihi ista panderet, et preeberem aures corpo- 
ris mei, sonis erumpentibus ex ore ejus. At si Hebraea voce 
loqueretur, frustra pulsaret sensum meum, nee inde mentem 
meam tangeret : si autem Latine, scirem quid diceret; sed, 
Unde scirem an verum diceret? quod siet hoc scirem, num 
et ab illo scirem? Intus utique mihi, intus in domicilio co- 
gitationis, nee Hebraea, nee Grseca, nee Latina, nee bar- 
bara Veritas sine oris et linguse organis, sine strepitu sylla- 
barum diceret, verum dicit; etego statiin certus confidentur 
illi homini tuo dicerem, Verum dicis. Cum ergo ilium in- 
terrogare non possim, Te, quo plenus vera dixit, Veritas, 


Togo Te Deus mens, rogo, parce peccatis meis, et qui illi 
servo tuo dedisti hsec dicere,daet mihi hsec intelligere.' 'I 
would hear and understand, O Lord, how thou hast made 
the heavens and the earth : Moses wrote this, he wrote it 
and is gone, and he is gone to thee. For now he is not 
present with me; if he were, I would lay hold on him, and 
ask him, and beseech him for thy sake, that he would unfold 
these things unto me, and I would cause the ears of my body 
to attend unto the words of his mouth. But if he should 
speak in the Hebrew tongue, he would only in vain strike 
upon my outward sense, and my mind within would not be 
affected with it. If he speak in Latin, I should know what 
he said ; but whence should I know that he spake the truth? 
should I know this also from him? The truth, that is nei- 
ther Hebrew, Greek, Latin, nor expressed in any barbarous 
language, would say unto me inwardly in the dwelling-place 
of my thoughts, without the organs of mouth or tongue, or 
noiseof syllables. He speaks the truth; and I with confidence 
should say unto him thy servant, Thou speakest the truth. 
Seeing therefore I cannot inquire of him, I beseech thee that 
art truth, with whom he being filled speak the truth, I be- 
seech thee, O my God, pardon my sins, and thou who gavest 
unto him thy servant to speak these things, grant unto me 
to understand them.' Thus this holy man ascribes his as- 
sent unto the unquestionable principle of the Scripture, as 
to the effecting of it in himself, to the work of God's Spirit 
in his heart. As Basil also doth on Psal. cxv. mang rj virep 
Tcig XoyiKag fxeOo^ovg rrjv ipv)(rfv dg avyKaTa^acnv tXKOVcra ; 17 
TTiaTig ov")^ f] yewfieTpiKolg avajKaig, aXX ri raXg rov Trvtvfxarog 
ivspyiaig iyyivofxivn : ' Faith, which draws the soul unto consent 
above the efficacy of all ways or methods of persuasion ; faith, 
that is wrought and begotten in us not by geometrical enforce- 
ments or demonstrations, but by the effectual operations of 
the Spirit.' And boththese principles are excellently ex- 
pressed by one amongst yourselves, even Baptista Mantu- 
anus, lib. de Patientia, cap. 32, 33. ' Sapenuaiero,' saith he, 
" mecum cogitavi, unde tarn suadibilis esset ista Scriptura, 
ut tam potenter influat in animos auditorum ; unde tantum 
habeat energise, ut non ad opinandum sed ad solide creden- 
dum omnes inflectat.' ' I have often thought with myself 
whence the Scripture is so persuasive, whence it doth so 
VOL. xviii. z 


powerfully influence the minds of the hearers; whence it 
hath so much efficacy, that it should incline and bow all 
men, not to think as probable, but solidly to believe, the 
things it proposeth.' ' Non,' saith he, ' est hoc imputandum 
rationum evidentise quas non adducit, non artis industriae et 
verbis suavibus et ad persuadendum accommodatis quibus 
non utitur.' ' It is not to be ascribed unto the evidence of 
reasons, which it bringeth not, neither to the excellency of 
art, sweet words, and accommodated unto persuasion, which 
it makes no use of.' ' Sed vide an id in causa sit quod per- 
suasi sumus earn a prima veiitate fluxisse.' ' But see if this 
be not the cause of it, that we are persuaded that it proceeds 
from the prime verity.' He proceeds, ' Sed unde sumus ila 
persuasi nisi ab ipsa, quasi ad ei credendum non sua ipsim 
trahat authoritas. Sed unde quseso banc sibi authorita- 
tem, vindicavit? Neque enim vidimus nos Deum conscio- 
nantem, scribentem, docentem ; tamen ac si vidissemus, 
credimus et tenemus a Spiritu Sancto fluxisse quod legimus : 
Forsitan fuerit hac ratio firmiter adhserendi, quod in ea Ve- 
ritas sit solidior quamvis non clarior. Habet enim omnis 
Veritas vim inclinativam, et major majorem, maxima maxi- 
mam. Sed cur ergo omnes non credunt Evangelio ? Re- 
spondeo quod non omnes trahuntur a Deo.' And again, 
' Inest ergo Scripturis sacris nescio quid natura sublimius, 
* id est inspiratio facta divinitus et divinse irradiationis in- 
fluxus certus.' * But whence are we persuaded, that it is from 
the first verity, but from itself? its own authority draws us 
to believe it. But whence obtains it this authority ? we see 
not God preaching, writing, teaching ; but yet, as if we had 
seen him, we believe and firmly hold that which we read to 
have come from the Holy Ghost. It may be that this is a 
reason of our firm adhering unto it, that the truth in it is 
more solid, though not more clear' (than in any other way 
of proposal), ' and all truth hath a power to incline unto belief; 
the greater the truth the greater its power^ and the greatest 
truth must have the greatest power so to incline us. But, 
why then do not all believe the gospel? I answer. Because 
all are not drawn of God. There is then in the holy 
Scripture somewhat more sublime than nature, that is, the 
divine inspiration from whence it is, and the divine irradia- 
tion wherewith it is accompanied.' This is the principle of 


Protestants. The sacred Scripture is credible as proceeding 
from the first verity : this it manifests by its own light and 
efficacy; and we are enabled to believe it by the effectual 
working of the Spirit of God in our hearts. Whence our 
Saviour asks the Jews, John v. * If you beheve not the writ- 
ing of Moses, how will you believe my words?' They who 
will not believe the written word of the Scripture, upon the 
authority that it hath in itself, would not believe if Christ 
should personally speak unto them. So saith Theophylact 
on the place ; ov inaT^viTi. roig jejpaixfjiivoig ; koX Trwg Trio-rcu- 
aere tolq tuoTg ajpa(f>oig p{]pLaai1 

3. Protestants believe and profess that the end wherefore 
God gave forth his word by inspiration, was that it might be 
a stable infallible revelation of his mind and will, as to that 
knowledge which he would have mankind entertain of him, 
with that worship and obedience which he requireth of them, 
that so they may please him in this world, and come unto the 
fruition of him unto all eternity. God who is the formal ob- 
ject, is also the prime cause of all religious worship. What 
is due unto him as the first cause, last end, and sovereign 
Lord of all, as to the substance of it, and what he farther 
appoints himself, as to the manner of its performance, suited 
unto his own holiness, and the condition wherein in reference 
unto our last end we stand and are, making up the whole of 
it- That he hath given his word to reveal these things unto 
us, to be our rule, guide, and direction in our ways, walk- 
ings, and universal deportment before him, is, as I take it, a 
fundamental principle of our Christian profession. Neither 
do I know that this is denied by your church ; although you 
startle at the inferences that are justly made from it. I shall 
not need, therefore, to add any thing in its confirmation, but 
only mind you again, that the calling of it into question, is 
directly against the very heart of all religion, and the una- 
nimous consent of all that in the world are called Christians, 
or ever were so. Yea, and it must be granted, or the whole 
Scripture esteemed a fable, because it frequently declares, 
that it is given unto us of God for this end and purpose. 
And hence do Protestants infer two other conclusions, on 
which they build their persuasion concerning the unity of 
faith, and the proper means of their settlement therein. 

1. That therefore the Scripture is perfect and every way 


complete; namely, with respect unto that end whereunto 
of God it is designed. A perfect and complete revelation of 
the will of God as to his worship, and our obedience. And 
we cannot but wonder that any who profess themselves to 
beUeve that it was given for the end mentioned, should not 
have that sacred reverence for the wisdom, goodness, and 
love of its author unto mankind, as freely to assent unto this 
inference and conclusion, 'He is our rock, and his work is per- 
fect ' And lest any men should please themselves in the 
imagination of contributing any thing towards the effecting 
of the end of his word, by a supply unto it, he hath strictly 
forbidden them any such addition; Deut. iv. 2. xii. 12. 
Prov. XXX. 6. Which if it were not complete in reference 
unto its proper end, would hold no great correspondency 
with that love and goodness which the same word every- 
where declares to be in him. I suppose, you know with how 
many express testimonies of Scripture itself, this truth is 
confirmed, which, added unto that light and evidence, which 
as a deduction fiom the former fundamental truth it hath in 
itself, is very sufficient to render it unquestionable. You 
may at your leisure, besides those forenamed, consult Psal. 
xix. 8. Isa. viii. 20. Ezek. xxviii. 18. Matt. xv. 6. Luke i. 
3, 4. xvi. 29. 31. xxiv. 25. 27. John v. 39. xx. 10. Acts i. 
11. xvii. 2, 3. XX. 27. xxvi. 22. Horn. x. 17. xv. 4. 1 Cor. 
iv. 6. Gal. i. 8. Eph. ii. 19, 20. 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. Heb. i. 1. 
2 Pet. i. 19. Hev. xxii. 18. For though texts of Scripture 
are not appointed for us to ' throw at one another's heads,* as 
vou talk in your Fiat, yet they are for us to use and insist 
on in the confirmation of the truth ; if we may take the ex- 
ample of Christ and all his apostles, for our warrant. And 
it were endless to recite the full and plain testimonies of 
the ancient fathers and councils to this purpose. Neither 
is that my present design ; though I did somewhat occa- 
sionally that way, upon the former principle. It shall suf- 
fice me to shew, that the denial of this assertion also, as it 
is inferred from the foregoing principle, is prejudicial, if not 
pernicious to Christian religion in general. The whole of 
our faith and profession is resolved into the known excel- 
lencies and perfections of the nature of God. Amongst 
these, there are none that have a more immediate and quick- 
ening influence into them, than his wisdom, goodness, grace. 


care, and love towards them unto whom he is pleased to re- 
veal himself. Nor is there any property of his nature that in 
his word he more frequently gives testimony unto. And 
all of them doth he declare himself to have exalted and glo- 
rified in a signal manner, in that revelation which he hath 
made of himself, his mind and will therein. I suppose, this 
cannot be denied by any, who hath the least sense of the 
importance of the things revealed. Now, if the revelation 
made for the end before proposed be not perfect and com- 
plete, that is, sufficient to enable a man to know so much of 
God, his mind and will, and to direct him so in his worship 
and obedience unto him, as that he may please him here, and 
come to the fruition of him hereafter; it must needs become 
an evident means of deceiving him, and ruining him, and 
that to all eternity. And the least fear of any such event, 
overthrows all the notions which he had before entertained 
of those blessed properties of the divine nature, and so conse- 
quently disposeth him unto atheism. Eor if a man hath 
once received the Scripture as the word of God, and that 
given unto him to be his guide unto heaven, by God him- 
self; if one shall come to him and tell him, Yea, but it is not 
a perfect guide, but though you should attend sincerely 
to all the directions that it gives you, yet you may come 
short of your duty and expectation ; you may neither please 
God here, nor come to the fruition of him hereafter: in case 
he should assent unto this suggestion, can he entertain any 
other thoughts of God, but such as our first parents did, 
when, by attendance unto the false insinuations of the old 
serpent, they cast off his sovereignty, and their dependance 
on him ? Neither can you relieve him against such thoughts 
by your pretended traditional supply ; seeing it will still be 
impossible for him to look on this revelation of the will of 
God, as imperfect and insufficient for the end, for which it 
plainly professeth itself to be given forth by him, without 
some intrenchment on those notions of his nature which he 
had before received. For it will presently occur unto him, 
that seeing this way of revealing himself for the ends men- 
tioned, is good and approved of himself so to be, if he hath 
not made it complete for that end, it was either because he 
could not, — and where then is his wisdom? or because he 
would not, — and where then is iiis love, care, and goodness? 


and seeino-, he saith he hath done,what you would have him 
to believe that he hath not done, — where is his truth and ve- 
racity ? Certainly a man that seriously ponders what he hath 
to do, and knows the vanity of an irrational fanatical • credo/ 
will conclude, that either the Scripture is to be received as 
perfect, or not to be received at all. 

2. Protestants conclude hence, That the Scripture 
given of God for this purpose is intelligible unto men, using 
the means by God appointed to come to the understanding 
of his mind and will therein. I know many of your way are 
pleased grievously to mistake our intention in this inference 
and conclusion. Sometimes they would impose upon us to 
say, that all places of Scripture, all words and sentences in 
it are plain, and of an obvious sense, and easy to be under- 
stood. And yet this you know, or may know if you please, 
and I am sure ought to know, before you talk of these things 
with us, that we absolutely deny. It is one thing to say, 
that all necessary truth is plainly and clearly revealed in the 
Scripture, which we do say ; and another, that every text 
and passage in the Scripture is plain and easy to be under- 
stood, which we do not say; nor ever thought, as confessing 
that to say so, were to contradict our own experience, and 
that of the disciples of Christ in all ages. Sometimes you 
feign, as though we asserted all the things that are revealed 
in the Scripture, to be plain and obvious to every man's un- 
derstanding ; whereas we acknowledge, that the things them- 
selves revealed are many of them mysterious, surpassing the 
comprehension of any man in this world ; and only maintain 
that the propositions wherein the revelation of them is made, 
are plain and intelligible unto them that use the means ap- 
pointed of God to come to a right understanding of them. 
And sometimes you would commit this with another princi- 
ple of ours ; whereby we assert that the supernatural light of 
grace to be wrought in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, is ne- 
cessary to give unto us a saving perception and understand- 
ing of the mind of God in the Scripture ; for what needs 
such special assistance in so plain a matter ? as though the 
asserting of the perspicuity in the object, made ability to 
discern in the subject altogether unnecessary : or, that lie 
who affirms the sun to give light, doth at the same time 
affirm also, that men have no need of eyes to see it withal. 



Besides, we know there is a vast difference between a no- 
tional speculative apprehension, and perception of the mean- 
ing and truth of the propositions contained in the Scripture, 
which we acknowledge that every reasonable unprejudiced 
person may attain unto ; and a gracious, saving, spiritual 
perception of them, and assent unto them with faith divine 
and supernatural; and this we say is the especial work of 
the Holy Ghost in the hearts of the elect. And I know not 
how many other exceptions you make to keep yourselves 
from a right understanding of our intention in this inference ; 
but, as yourself elsewhere learnedly observes, ' Who so blind 
as he that will not see V I shall therefore once more, that v/e 
may proceed, declare unto you what it is that we intend in 
this assertion. It is, namely; that the things, w^ich are re- 
vealed in the Scripture, to the end that by their belief of 
them, and obedience unto them, we may please God, are so 
proposed and declared, that a man, any man, free from pre- 
judices and temptations, in and by the use of the means ap- 
pointed him of God for that purpose, may come to the under- 
standing (and that infallibly) of all that God would have him 
know or do in religion ; there being no defect or hinderance 
in the Scripture, or manner of its revealing things necessary, 
that should obstruct him therein. What are the means ap- 
pointed of God for this purpose, we do not now inquire, but 
shall anon declare. What defect, blindness, or darkness, 
there is, may be, in and upon the minds of men in their de- 
praved lapsed condition ; what disadvantages they may be 
cast under by their prejudices, traditions, negligences, sins, 
and profaneness, belongs not unto our present disquisition. 
That which we assert concerns merely the manner of the pro- 
posal of the truths to be believed, which are revealed in the 
Scripture; and this we say, is such, as that there is no im- 
possibility, no nor great difficulty, but that a man may come 
to the right understanding of them ; not as to the compre- 
hension of the things themselves, but the perception of the 
sense of the propositions wherein they are expressed. And 
this assertion of ours, is, as the former, grounded on the 
Scripture itself. See if you please, Deut. xxx. II. Psal. 
xix. 9. cxix. 105. Prov. vi. 22. 2 Cor. iv. 3. 2 Pet. i. 19. 
And to deny it, is to pluck up all religion by the roots, 
and to turn men loose unto scepticism, libertinism, and 


atheism ; and that with such a horrid reproach unto God 
himself, as that nothing more abominable can be invented. 
The devil of old, being not able to give out certain answers 
unto them that came to inquire about their concernments at 
his oracles, put them off a long time with dubious, enig- 
matical, unintelligible sophisms. But when once the world 
had by experience, study, and observation, improved itself 
into a wisdom beyond the pitch of its first rudeness, men 
began generally to despise what they saw could not be cer- 
tainly understood. This made the devil pluck in his horns, 
as not finding it for the interest of his kingdom to expose 
himself to be scoffed at by them, with whose follies and fa- 
natical credulity in esteeming highly of that which could 
not be understood, he had for many generations sported him- 
self. And do they not blasphemously expose the oracles of 
the true, holy, and living God, to no less contempt, who, for 
their own sinister ends, would frighten men from them with 
the ugly scarecrow of obscurity, or their not being intel- 
lio-ible unto every man by the use of means, so far as he is 
concerned to know them, and the mind of God in them. 
And herein also Protestants stand as firmly as the funda- 
mentals of Christianity will bear them. 

4. Protestants believe, that it is the duty of all men who 
desire to know the will of God, and to worship him accord- 
ing unto his mind, to use diligence in the improvement of 
the means appointed for that end, to come unto a right and 
full understanding of all things in the Scripture, wherein 
their faith and obedience are concerned. This necessarily 
follows from the principles before laid down. Nor is it pos- 
sible it should be otherwise. It is doubtless incumbent on 
every man to study and know his duty ; that cannot be a 
man's duty which he is not bound to know, especially not 
such a duty as whereon his eternal welfare should depend : 
and I suppose a man can take no better course to come to 
the knowledge of his duty, than that which God hath ap- 
pointed for that purpose. His commands and exhortations 
which we have given us in the Scripture for our diligence in 
in this matter, with the explications and improvements of 
them in the writings of the fathers, are so obvious, trite, and 
known, that it were mere loss of time to insist on the repe- 
tition of them. I suppose, I should speak within compass, 


if I should say, that one Chrysostoin doth in a hundred 
places exhort Christians of all sorts, to the diligent study 
and search of the Scriptures, and especially of the epistles 
of Paul, not the most plain and easy part of them. I know 
the practice of your church lies to the contrary, and what 
you plead in the justification of that practice; but I am 
sorry both for her and you ; both for the contrivers of, and 
consenters unto, this abomination: and I fear what your ac- 
count will be as to this matter, at the last day. God having 
granted the inestimable benefit of his word unto mankind, 
revealing therein unto them the only way by which they 
may attain unto a blessed eternity ; is it not the greatest in- 
gratitude that any man can possibly contract the guilt of,to 
neglect the use of it? What then is your condition, who, 
upon slight and trivial pretences, set up your own wisdoni 
and authority, against the wisdom and authority of God ; 
advising and commanding men, upon the pain of your dis- 
pleasure in this world, not to attend unto that which God 
commands them to attend unto, on pain of his displeasure 
in the world to come ? So that though I confess that you 
deny this principle, yet I cannot see but that you do so, not 
only upon the hazard of your own souls, and the souls of 
them that attend unto you, seeing, that *if the blind lead the 
blind, both must fall into the ditch;' but also, that you do 
it to the great prejudice of Christian religion in the very 
foundations of it. For what can a man rationally conclude, 
that shall see you driving all persons, and that on no small 
penalties, excepting yourselves who are concerned in the 
conspiracy, and some few others whom you suppose suffi- 
ciently initiated in your mysteries, from the reading and study 
of those books, wherein the world knows, and yourselves 
confess, that the arcana of Christian religion are contained; 
but that there are some things in them like the hidden 
'sacra' of the old pagan hierophants, which may not be dis- 
closed, because, however countenanced by a remote venera- 
tion, yet are indeed 'turpia' or 'ridicula,' things to be ashamed 
of, or scorned ? And the truth is, some of your doctors 
have spoken very suspiciously this way ; whilst they justify 
your practice in driving the people from the study of the 
Scripture, by intimations of things and expressions, not so 
pure and chaste as to be fit for the knowledge of the promis- 


cuous multitude; when in the mean time themselves or their 
associates do publish unto all the world, in their rules and 
directions for confession, such abominable filth and ribaldry, 
as I think was never by any other means vented amongst 

5. Protestants say that the Lord Christ hath instituted 
his church, and therein appointed a ministry, to preside over 
the rest of his disciples in his name, and to unfold unto 
them his mind and will as recorded in his word ; for which 
end he hath promised his presence with them by his Spirit 
unto the end of the world, to enable them in an humble de- 
pendance on his assistance, to find out and declare his com- 
mands and appointments unto their brethren. This position, 
I suppose, you will not contend with us about ; although 1 
know that you put another sense upon most of the terms of 
it, than the Scripture will allow, or we can admit of. 

These are the principles of Protestants ; this is the pro- 
gress of their faith in coming unto settlement and assurance. 
These are the foundations, which are as unquestionable as 
any thing in Christianity; the most of them, yourselves 
being judges. And from them, one of these two things will 
necessarily follow ; either that all men, unto whom the word 
of God doth come, will come to an agreement in the truth, 
or the unity of faith ; or, secondly, That it is their own fault 
if they do not so do : for what, upon these principles, should 
hinder them from so doing? All saving truth is revealed by 
God in the Scripture, unto the end that men may come to 
the knowledge of it. It is so revealed by him, that it is pos- 
sible, and, with his assistance, easy for men to know aright, 
his mind and will about these things so revealed: and he 
hath appointed regular ways and means for men to wait upon 
him in and by, for the obtaining of his assistance. Now 
pray revive your question that gave occasion unto this dis- 
course; however men may differ in religion, why is not the 
Scripture sufficient to bring them unto an agreement and 
settlement? Take heed that in your answer, you deny not 
some principle that will involve the whole interest of Chris- 
tianity in its ruin. Where is the defect? where the hinder- 
ance, why all men upon these principles, however differing 
at present, may not come to a full settlement and agreement? 
I hope, you will find none but what are in themselves, and 


for them, * ipsi viderint;' the Scripture is blameless. Here 
is certainty of revelation from God, fulness of that revela- 
tion as to our duty, clearness and perspicuity for our under- 
standing of it, means appointed and sanctified for that end ; 
what, I pray, is wanting ? All truths wherein it is the duty 
of men to agree are fixed and stated, so that it can never be 
lawful for any man, in any generation, to call any of them 
into question ; plain and evident, that no man can mistake 
the mind of God in them in things wherein his duty is con- 
cerned, without his own crime and guilt. You will say then, 
it may be. But why then do not men agree? why do you not 
agree among yourselves? But I would hope, that it is scarcely 
possible for any man to be so ignorant of the condition of 
mankind, and amongst them of the best of men, as seriously 
to ask this question. Are not all men naturally blind in the 
things of God ? Do not the best of men know only in part ? 
have not the different tempers, constitutions, and educations 
of men, a great influence upon their understandings and 
judgments ? Besides, do not lust, corruptions, carnal inter- 
ests, and respect unto worldly things, bear sway in the minds 
of many that profess Christian religion ? Are not many pre- 
possessed with prejudices, traditions, customs, and usages 
against the truth ? And are not these things and the like, 
sufficient to keep up variance in the world, without the least 
suspicion of any disability in the Scripture to bring them to a 
holy agreement and immoveable settlement? Neither is there 
any other way for men to come unto settlement and agree- 
ment in religion according to the mind of God, but that only 
which hath been now proposed, and this they will come unto, 
when all men shall be persuaded to captivate their under- 
standings to the obedience of faith. I deny not that by out- 
ward force and compulsion, by supine negligence of their 
own concernments, by refusing to bethink themselves, and 
such other ways and means, some men may come to some 
agreement amongst themselves in the things of relioion. 
But this agreement, we say, is not of God, it is not built 
upon the To^f^/xiXiov tj)c irhTtwg etti Otov, 'the foundation of 
faith towards God,' and so is of no esteem with him. That 
such is all the unity which on your principles you are able 
to bring men unto, we shall manifest in our next discourse. 


For the present, I dare challenge you, or any man in the 
world, to question or oppose any one of the principles be- 
fore laid down ; and which, whilst they stand firm, it is evi- 
dent unto all, how the Scripture is able to settle men unques- 
tionably in the truth, and that for ever; oirep tdu Ssi'^at. I 
shall close this discourse with a passage out of Chrysostom, 
which fully confirms all that I have asserted ; it is in Homil. 
33. in Acts Apost. chap. xv. Ttouy. saith he, dv HTrofiev Trpbg 
TOvg"E\\rivag ; Ip^^trat "EXXj^v, koi \ijei on jSovXojuai ytvia^ai 
■^(^pi'rriavoQ, aW ovk olda t'lvl TTjooaOw/^iai. ' What shall we say 
unto the Gentiles ? A Gentile cometh and saith, I would be 
a Christian, but I know not unto whom amongst you I should 
adhere.' Let us hear the reasons of his hesitation ; saith he, 
MaY)) Trap vfxiv ttoXXj; Koi crraCTif-, 7roXi»(,- 2ropuj3oc- ttoTov tXofiai 
dojfia ; Ti alpi]aofxai ; EKOcrroe \ijH on oXrjS'fvw. rivi ireia^w ; 
jurjStv oXwc fiSwc iv toXq ypa^aic. ' There are many conten- 
tions, seditions, and tumults amongst you : what opinion to 
choose I know not: every one says, I am in the truth ; and 
I am utterly ignorant of what is in the Scripture about these 
things.' Do you know whose objections these are, and by 
whom they have been lately managed? Will you hear what 
Chrysostom answers ? Saith he, Ylaw jt tovto vwtp {^juiov. tl 
fxlv yao \oyi<TiioTg IXeyofxev TTiidsrr^ai, ukotoq e^opvjSov. eZSe rate 
ypa(baig Xiyofxev Triareveiv, avrm St cnrXai koi aXr]^e7g, evKoXov 
(TOt TO KOivofin'OV. ti ng iKtivaig avfi(l>(ji)VH. ovrog ;>(jOtoTmvoc. ti 
ng uctYETOt, ovTog TTopptx) Tov KCLvovog TovTov. 'This makes 
wholly for us; for if we should say, that we believe on pro- 
bable reasonings, thou mayest justly be troubled : but see- 
ing we profess that we believe in the Scriptures, which are 
plain and true, it is easy for thee to judge and determine. 
He that yields his consent unto them, he is a Christian ; and 
he that contends against them, is far from the rule of Chris- 
tianity.' And in the process of his discourse, which is well 
worth the perusal before you write any more familiar epistles, 
he requires no more of a man to settle him in the truth, but 
that he receive the Scripture, and have vovvKoi Kpiaiv, 'a mind 
and judgment,' to use in the consideration of it. 

It remaineth now that we consider what it is that you 
propose unto men to bring them unto a settlement in reli- 
gion, and all Christians to the unity of faith, with the prin- 


ciples that you proceed upon to that purpose : which, because 
I would not too far lengthen out this discourse, I shall refer 
to the next chapter. 


Principles of Papists, whereon they proceed in bringing men to a settlement 
in religion and the unity of faith, examined. 

Your plea to this purpose is blended with a double pretence 
of pope and church. Sometimes you tell us of the pope and 
his succession to St. Peter ; and sometimes of the church and 
its authority. Sometimes you speak as if both these were 
one and the same ; and sometimes you seem to distino-uish 
them. Some of you, lay most weight upon the papal suc- 
cession and infallibility; and some on the church's jurisdic- 
tion and authority, I shall crave leave to take your pleas 
asunder: and first to consider what force they have in them 
as unto the end whereunto they are applied, severally and 
apart; and then see what in their joint concurrence they can 
contribute thereunto. And whatever you think of it, I sup- 
pose this course of proceeding will please ingenuous per- 
sons, and lovers of truth ; because it enables them to take a 
distinct view of the things whereon they are to give judg- 
ment. Whereas in your handling of them, something- you 
suppose, something you insinuate, something you openly 
aver, yet so confound them with other heterogeneous dis- 
courses, that it can hardly be discerned what grounds you 
build upon. Away of proceeding, which as it argues a se- 
cret guilt and fear of bringing forth your principles to light, 
so a gross kind of sophistry, exploded by all masters of rea- 
son whatsoever. They would not have us 'fumum ex ful- 
gore, sed ex fumo dare lucem,' darken things clear and per- 
spicuous in themselves ; but to make things dark and con- 
fused, perspicuous. And the orator tells us, that Epicurus's 
discourse was ambiguous, because his 'sententia' was 'inho- 
nesta,' 'his opinion shameful.' And to what purpose should 
any one contend with you about such general ambiguous ex- 
pressions ; Mffirep ev vvKTOfxayia 1 I shall then begin with 
the pope and his infallibility, because you seem to lay most 


weight thereon and tell us plainly, p. 379. of your Fiat, edit. 
2nd. ' That if the pope be not an unerring guide in affairs of 
religion, all is lost ;' and that, ' a man once rid of his autho- 
rity, may as easily deride, and as solidly confute the incar- 
nation, as the sprinkling of holy water ;' so resolving our faith 
of the incarnation of Christ into his authority or testimony. 
Yea, and in the same page ; 'That if it had not been for the 
pope, Christ himself had not been taken in the world for any 
such person, as he is believed this day :' and p. 378. to the 
same purpose, * The first great fundamental of Christian re- 
ligion, which is the truth and divinity of Christ, had it not 
been for him, had failed long ago in the world ;' with much 
more to the same purpose. Hence it is evident, that in your 
judgment, all truth and certainty in religion depends on the 
pope's authority and infallibility ; or, as you express it, 'his 
unerring guidance.' This is your principle, this you pro- 
pose as the only medium to bring us unto that settlement in 
religion, which you suppose the Scripture is not able to do. 
What course should we now take ? would you have us be- 
lieve you at the first word without farther trial or exami- 
nation? would you have a man to do so, who never be- 
fore heard of pope or church? We are commanded to 'try 
all things, and to hold fast that which is good ;' to try pre- 
tending spirits : and the Bereans are commended for ex- 
amining by the Scripture, what Paul himself preached unto 
them : an implicit credulity given up to such dictates, is the 
height of fanaticism. Have we not reason then to call you 
and your copartners in this design to an account, how you 
prove that which you so strenuously assert and suppose; 
and to examine the principles of that authority whereunto 
you resolve all your faith and religion? If, upon mature 
consideration, these prove solid, and the inferences you make 
from them cogent, it is good reason that you should be at- 
tended unto. If they prove otherwise ; if the first be false, 
and the latter sophistical; you cannot justly take it ill of 
him that shall advise you to take heed, that whilst you are 
gloriously displaying your colours, the ground that you stand 
upon do not sink under your feet. And here you are forced 
to go many a step backward to fix your first footing (until 
you leave your pope quite out of sight), from whence you 
advance towards him by several degrees, and so arrive at his 


supremacy and infallibility; and so we shall have, 'redi- 
tum Diomedis ab interitii Meleagri,' 

I. Your first principle to this purpose is, ' That Peter was 
the prince of the apostles, and that in him the Lord Jesus 
founded a monarchy in his church.' So p. 360. you call 
him, ' the head and pr?Vice of the whole congregation.' 
Now this we think no meet principle for any one to begin 
withal, in asserting the foundation of faith and religion : 
nor do we think that if it were meet so to be used, that it is 
any way subservient unto your design and purpose. 

1. A principle, fundamental, or first entrance into any 
way of settlement in faith or religion, it cannot possibly be ; 
because it presupposeth the knowledge of, and assent unto, 
many other great fundamental articles of Christian religion ; 
yea, upon the matter all that are so : for before you can 
rationally talk with a man about Peter's principality, and 
the monarchical state of the church hereon depending, you 
must suppose that he believes the Scripture to be the word 
of God, and all things that are taught therein concerning 
Jesus Christ, his person, nature, offices, work, and gospel, to 
be certainly and infallibly true : for they are all supposed in 
your assertion ; which without the knowledge of them is 
uncouth, horrid, insignificant, and foreign to all notions that 
a man can rationally entertain of God or religion. Nay, no at- 
tempt of proof or confirmation can be given unto it, but by and 
from Scripture, whereby you fall directly into the principle 
which you seek so carefully to avoid : namely, that the 
Scripture is the only way and means of settling us in the 
truth; since you cannot settle any man in the very first 
proposition which you make to lead him into another way 
but by the Scripture : so powerful is truth, that those who 
will not follow it willingly, it will lead them captive in 
triumph, whether they will or no. 

2. It is unmeet for any purpose, because it is not true. 
No one word from the Scripture can you produce in its 
confirmation : where yet if it be not revealed, it must pass 
as a very uncertain and frivolous conjecture. You can 
produce no suffrage of the ancient church unto your pur- 
pose ; which yet if you could, would not presently render 
any assertion so confirmed infallibly certain, much less 
fundamental. Some indeed of the fourth century call Peter, 


' Principem apostolorum :' but explain themselves to intend 
thereby ror irpioTov, 'the first' or leader, not tov apxovra ' the 
prince,' or ruler. And when the ambiguity of that word 
began to be abused unto pretensions of pre-eminence, the 
council of Carthage expressly condemned it, allowing none 
to be termed * Princeps sacerdotum/ Many in those days 
thought Peter to be among the apostles like the ' Princeps 
senatus,' or* Princeps civitatis/ the chief in their assemblies, 
or principal in dignity, how truly I know not; but that he 
should be amongst them and over them, a prince in office, 
a monarch as to rule and power, is a thing that they never 
once dreamed of; and the asseveration of it is an open 
untruth. The apostles were equal in their call, office, 
place, dignity, employments : all the difference between 
them was in their labours, sufferings, and success; wherein 
Paul seems to have had the pre-eminence ; who as Peter, 
and all the rest of the apostles, every one singly and for 
himself, had the care of all the churches committed unto 
him ; though it may be for the better discharge of their 
duty, ordinarily they divided their work, as they found 
it necessary for them to apply themselves unto it in particu- 
lar. See 2 Cor. xi. and this equality between the apostles is 
more than once insinuated by Paul, and that with special 
reference unto Peter, 1 Cor. i. Gal. i. 18, 19. ii. 9. And 
is it not wonderful, that if this assertion should not only 
be true, but such a truth as on which the whole faith of the 
church was to be built, that the Scripture should be utterly 
silent of it, that it should give us no rules about it, no 
directions to use and improve it, afford us no one instance of 
the exercise of the power and authority intimated ; no not 
one ? but, that on the contrary, it should lay down principles 
exclusive of it? Matt. xxii. 25, 26. Luke xxii. 26. and when 
it comes to make an enumeration of all the offices appointed 
by Christ in his church, Eph. iv. 11. should pass over the 
prince and his office in silence, on which all the rest were 
to depend? You see what a foundation you begin to build 
upon, a mere imagination, and groundless presumption, 
which hath not the least countenance given unto it by 
Scripture or antiquity. What a perplexed condition must 
you needs cast men into, if they shall attend unto your 
persuasions to rest on the pope's unerring guidance for all 


their certainty in religion, when the first motive you propose 
unto them to gain their assent, is a proposition so far desti- 
tute of any cogent evidence of its truth or innate credibihty, 
,that it is apparently false, and easily manifested so to be. 

3. Where it never so true, as it is notoriously false, yet it 
would not one jot promote your design : it is about Peter 
the apostle, and not the pope of Rome, that we are dis- 
coursing. Do you think a man can easily commence 'per 
saitum,' from the imaginary principality of Peter unto the 
infallibility of the present pope of Rome ? ' Quid papse cum 
Petro?,' what relation is there between the one and other? 
Suppose a man have so good a mind unto your company, as 
to be willing to set out with you in this ominous stumbling 
at the threshold, what will you next lead him unto ? You 

II. ' That St. Peter, besides his apostolical power and 
office (wherein setting aside the prerogative of his prince- 
dom before-mentioned, the rest of the apostles were partakers 
with him), had also an oecumenical episcopal power invested 
in him, which was to be transmitted unto others after him.' 
His office purely apostolical, you have no mind to lay claim 
unto. It may be, you despair of being able to prove, that 
your pope is immediately called and sent by Christ : that 
he is furnished with a power of working miracles, and such 
other things as concurred to the constitution of the office 
apostolical : and perhaps himself hath but little mind to be 
exercised in the discharge of that office, by travelling up 
and down, poor, despised, persecuted, to preach the gospel : 
monarchy, rule, supremacy, authority, jurisdiction, infalli- 
bility, are words that better please him : and therefore have 
you mounted this notion of Peter's episcopacy, whereunto 
you would have us think that all the fine things you so love 
and dote upon, are annexed. Poor, labouring, persecuted 
Peter the apostle, may die and be forgotten ; but Peter the 
bishop, harnessed with power, principality, sovereignty and 
vicarship of Christ, this is the man you inquire after : but 
you will have very hard work to find him in the Scripture, 
or antiquity, yea, the least footstep of him. And do you 
think indeed that this episcopacy of Peter, distinct from his 
apostleship, is a meet stone to be laid in the foundation 
of faith? It is a thing that plainly overthrows his apostle- 



ship ; for if he were a bishop, properly and distinctly, he 
was no apostle : if an apostle, not such a bishop : that is, if 
his care were confined unto any one church, and his residence 
required therein, as the case is with a proper bishop, how 
could the care of all the churches be upon him? How, could 
he be obhged to pass up and down the world in pursuit of 
his commission of preaching the gospel unto all nations? 
or to travel up and down as the necessity of the churches 
did require ? But you will say, that he was not bishop of 
this or that particular, but of the church universal : but I 
supposed you had thought him bishop of the church of 
Rome, and that you will plead him afterward so to have 
been : and I must assure you that he that thinks the church 
of Rome in the days of Peter and Paul was the same with 
the church catholic, and not looked on as particular a 
church as that of Jerusalem, or Ephesus, or Corinth; is a 
person with whom I will have as little to do as I can in this 
matter. For to what purpose should any one spend time to 
debate things, with men absurd and unreasonable, and who 
will affirm that it is midnight at noonday? I know, the 
apostolical office did include in it the power of all other 
offices in the church whatever, as the less are included in the 
greater : but that he who was an apostle should formally 
also be a bishop, though an apostle might exercise the whole 
power and office of a bishop, is Ik tCov adwarwv, somewhat 
allied unto impossibilities. Do you see w^hat a quagmire 
you are building upon? I know, if a man will let you alone 
you will raise a structure, which after you have painted, and 
gilded, you may prevail with many harbourless creatures to 
accept of an habitation therein : for when you have laid your 
foundation out of sight, you will pretend that all your build- 
ing is on a rock ; whereas, indeed, you have nothing but the 
rotten posts of such suppositions as these, to support it 
withal. But suppose that Peter was thus a prince, monarch, 
apostle, bishop, that is, a catholic, particular officer, what 
is that to you? Why 

III. ' This Peter came and preached the gospel at Rome.' 
Though you can by no means prove this assertion, so as to 
make it * de fide,' or necessarily to be believed of any one 
man in the world, much less to become meet to enjoy a place 
among those fundamentals that are tendered unto us to 


bring us unto settlement in religion ; yet, being a matter 
very uncertain, and of little importance, I shall not much 
contend with you about it Witnesses merely human and 
faUible you have for it a great many ; and exceptions almost 
without number may be put in against your testimonies, 
and those of great weight and moment. Now although 
that which you aflfirm might be granted you, without any 
real advantage unto your cause, or the enabling of you to 
draw any lawful inferences to uphold your papal claim by, 
yet, to let you see on what sorry uncertain presumptions 
you build your faith and profession, and that in and about 
things which you make of indispensable necessity unto sal- 
vation ; I shall in our passage remind you of some few of 
them, which I profess seriously unto you, make it not only 
questionable unto me whether or no, but also somewhat 
improbable, that ever Peter came to Rome. 1 . Though those 
that follow and give their assents unto this story are many, 
yet it was taken up upon the credit and report of one or two 
persons, as Eusebius manifests, lib. 2. cap. 25. Whether 
Dionysius Corinthius, or Papias, first began the story, I 
know not; but I know certainly that both of them mani- 
fested themselves in other things, to be a little too credu- 
lous. 2. That which maay of them built their credulity 
upon, is very uncertain, if not certainly false ; namely, that 
Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, which he calls Ba- 
bylon in the subscription of it. But wherefore he should 
then so call it, no man can tell. The Apocalypse of John, 
who prophesied what Rome should be in after-ages, and 
thereon what name should be accommodated unto it for its 
false worship and persecution, was not yet written. Nor 
was there any thing yet spoken of or known among the 
disciples, whence they might conjecture Rome to be in- 
tended by that appellation. , So that according unto this 
supposition, St. Peter intending to acquaint them unto 
whom he wrote, where he was, when he wrote unto them, 
and to present them with the respects of the church in that 
place, had, by an enigmatical expression, rather amused than 
informed them. Besides, he had before this, agreed with 
and solemnly engaged himself unto Paul to take care of 
the circumcision ; unto whom, after he had preached awhile 
in Palestine, it is more than probable that he betook himself 
2 A 2 


unto Babylon in Assyria, the principal seat of their resi- 
dence in their first and most populous dispersion, from 
whence he wrote unto all their colonies scattered abroad in 
the neighbouring nations. So that although I will not, 
because of the consent of many of the ancients, deny that 
Peter went to Rome and preached there, yet I am fully sa- 
tisfied that this foundation of the story told by them, is a 
perfect mistake, consisting in an unwarrantable causeless 
wresting of a plain expression unto a mystical sense and 
meaning. 3. Your witnesses agree not at all in their story ; 
neither as to the time of his going to Rome, nor as to the 
occasion of it, nor as to the season of his abode there. 
Many of them assign unto him twenty-five years for his re- 
sidence there, which is evidently false, and easily disproved. 
This computation is ascribed to Eusebius in Chron. lib. 1. 
but it is evidently an addition of Jerome's, in whose days the 
tradition was increased ; for there is no such thing in the 
original Greek copy of Eusebius, nor doth it agree with 
what he had elsewhere written concerning him. And it is 
very well worth while to consider how Onuphrius Panvinus, 
a very learned antiquary of your own party, makes up these 
twenty-five years of Peter's episcopacy at Rome, Annotat. 
in Plat, in Vit. B. Petr. * Ex novem primis annis,' saith 
he, ' post Christi mortem usque ad initium secundi anni 
Imperii Claudii, Petrum Judsea nunquam excessisse, ex 
Actis apostolorum, et PauliEpistola ad Galatas, apertissirae 
constat. Si igitur, ut inter omnes authores convenit, eo 
tempore Romam venit, illud certe necessariura videtur eum 
ante ad urbem adventum Antiochios septem annis non se- 
disse ; sed lianc ejus Antiochenam cathedram alio tempore 
fuisse. Quam rem ex vetustissimorum authorum testimonio 
sic constitui. Secundo Imperii Claudii anno Romam venit, 
a quo tempore usque ad illius obitum, anni plus minus vi- 
ginti quinque intersunt, quibus etsi eum Romee sedisse Ve- 
teres scribunt, non tamen prseterea sequitur, ipsum semper 
in urbe commoratum esse. Nam, quarto anno ejus ad urbem 
adventus, Hierusolymam reversus est, et ibi Concilio Aposto- 
lorum interfuit; inde Antiochiam profectus septem ibidem 
annis usque ad Neronis Imperium permansit, cujus initio 
Romam reversus Romanam dilabentem reparavit ecclesiam. 
Peregrinatione inde per universam fere Europam suscepta 


Rotnam rediens novissimo Neronis Imperii anno, martyrium 
crucis passus est.' 

* For the first nine years after the death of Christ, unto 
the beginning of the second year of Claudius, it is most evi- 
dent from the Acts, and Epistle- to the Galatians, that Peter 
went not out of Palestine. If therefore, as all agree, he 
came at that time to Rome, it is certain that he had not 
abode at Antioch seven years before his coming thither 
(which yet all the witnesses agree in), but this his Antio- 
chian chair fell out at some other time. Wherefore I thus 
order the whole matter from the testimony of most ancient 
authors' (not that any one before him ever wrote any such 
thing, but this he supposeth may be said to reconcile their 
contradictions) : 'in the second year of Claudius he came to 
Rome. From thence unto his death were twenty-five years 
more or less : which space of time, although the ancients 
write that he sat at Rome, yet it doth not follow thence, 
that he always abode in the city ; for in the fourth year 
after his coming, he returned unto Jerusalem to be present 
at the council of the apostles; thence going unto Antioch, 
he continued there seven years, unto the reign of Nero. In 
the beginning of his reign, he returned unto Rome, to repair 
the decaying church there; from thence passing almost 
through all Europe, he returned again to Rome in the last 
year of Nero, and underwent martyrdom by the cross.' You 
may easily discern the uncertainty at least of that story, 
which this learned man can give no countenance unto, but 
by multiplying improbable imaginations to shelter one an- 
other. For, 1. Who ever said that Peter came from Rome 
to come up to the council at Jerusalem ; when it is most 
manifest, from the story of the Acts, that he had never be- 
fore departed out of Judea? and this council being granted 
to have been in the sixth year of Claudius, as here it is by 
Onuphrius, quite overthrows the tradition of his going to 
Rome in his second. 2. The abode of twenty-five years at 
Rome, as thus disposed, is no abode indeed ; for he con- 
tinued almost twice as long at Antioch as he did at Rome. 
3. Here is no time at all allowed unto him for preaching the 
gospel -in Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bythinia, which 
certainly are not provinces of Europe; in which places Euse- 
bius. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 1. Origen, and all the ancients agree 


that he did attend unto his apostleship towards the Jews ; 
and his epistles make it evident. 4. Nor is there any- 
time left for him to be at Babylon, where yet we know he 
was; so that this fancy can have no countenance given it, 
without a full rejection of all that we know to be true in 
the story. 

4. The Scripture is utterly silent of any such thing as 
Peter's going to Rome. Other journeyings of his it re- 
cords, as to Samaria, Lydda, Joppa, Cesarea, Antioch, 
Now it was no way material that his coming unto any of 
these places should be known, but only in reference unto 
the things done there by him ; and yet they are recorded. 
But this his going to Rome, which is supposed to be of 
such huge importance in Christian religion, and that ac- 
cording to Onuphrius falling out in the midst of his other 
journeyings, as it must do if ever it fell out, is utterly passed 
by in silence. If it had been to have such an influence 
into the very being of Christianity as now is pretended, 
some men will be apt to think, that the mention of it would 
not have been omitted. 5. Paul, in his Epistle to the Ro- 
mans, written a good while after this imaginary going of 
Peter to Rome, makes no mention of him, when yet he sa- 
luted by name those of chief note and dignity in the church 
there. So that undoubtedly he was not then come thither. 
6. The same apostle being at Rome, in the reign of Nero, 
in the midst of the time allotted unto the abode of Peter 
there, never once mentions him in any of the epistles which 
from thence he wrote unto the churches and his fellow-la- 
bourers; though he doth remember very many others that 
were with him in the city. 7. He asserts that in one of his 
epistles from thence, which as I think sufficiently proves 
that Peter was not then there ; for he says plainly that in 
his trial he was forsaken by all men, that no man stood by 
him, which he mentions as their sin, and prays for pardon 
for them. Now no man can reasonably think, that Peter 
was amongst the number of them whom he c6mplained of. 
8. The story is not consistent with what is expressly written 
of Peter by Luke in the Acts, and Paul in his Epistle to the 
Galatians. Paul was converted unto the faith about the 
thirty-eighth year of Christ, or fifth after his ascension. 
After this he continued three years preaching the gospel 



about Damascus, and in Arabia. In the fortieth or forty- 
first year of Christ he came to Jerusalem, to confer with 
Peter, Gal. i. which was the first of Claudius. As yet, 
therefore, Peter was not removed out of Judea : fourteen 
years after, that is, either after his first going up to Jeru- 
salem, or rather fourteen years after his first conversion, he 
went up again to Jerusalem, and found Peter still there, 
which was in the fifty-second year of Christ, and the 
thirteenth of Claudius. Or if you should take the date of 
the fourteen years mentioned by him shorter by five or six 
years, and reckon their beginning from the passion and re- 
surrection of Christ, which is not improbable; then this 
going up of Paul to Jerusalem, will be found to be the same 
with his going up to the council from Antioch, about the 
sixth or rather seventh year of Claudius. Peter was then 
yet certainly at Jerusalem ; that is, about the forty-sixth 
year of Christ ; some while after you would have the church 
to be founded by him at Rome. After this, when Paul had 
taken a long progress through many countries, wherein he 
must needs spend some years, returning unto Antioch, Acts 
xviii. 22. he there again met with Peter, Gal. ii. 11. Peter 
being yet still in the east towards the end of the reign of 
Claudius. At Antioch, where Paul found him, if any of 
your witnesses may be believed, he abode seven years. Be- 
sides, he was now very old, and ready to lay down his mor- 
tality, as our Lord had shewed him ; and in all probability 
after his remove from Antioch, spent the residue of his days 
in the eastern dispersion of the Jews. For, ninthly, much 
of the apostle's work in Palestine among the Jews was now 
drawing to an end; the elect being gathered in, troubles 
were growing upon the nation ; and Peter had, as we ob- 
served before, agreed with Paul to take the care of the cir- 
cumcision, of whom the greatest number by far, excepting 
only Judea itself, was in Babylon and the eastern nations 
about it. Now whether these and the like observations out 
of thq Scripture concerning the course of St. Peter's life, 
be not sufficient to outbalance the testimony of your dis- 
agreeing witnesses, impartial and unprejudiced men may 
judge. For my part, I do not intend to conclude peremp- 
torily from them, that Peter was never at Rome, or never 
preached the gospel there ; but that your assertion of it is 


improbable, and built upon very questionable grounds, that 
I suppose I may safely conclude. And God forbid, that we 
should once imagine the present faith of Christians, or their 
profession of Christian religion, to be built upon such un- 
certain conjectures, or to be concerned in them whether 
they be true, or false. Nothing can be spoken with more 
reproach unto it, than to say, that it stands in need of such 
supportment. And yet, if this one supposition fail you, all 
your building falls to the ground in a moment. Never was 
so stupendous a fabric raised on such imaginary founda- 
tions. But that we may proceed, let us suppose this also, 
that Peter was at Rome, and preached the gospel there, 
What will thence follow unto your advantage ? What to- 
wards the settlement of any man in religion, or bringing us 
unto the unity of faith, the things inquired after? He was 
at, he preached the gospel at, Jerusalem, Samaria, Joppa, 
Antioch, Babylon, and sundry other places, and yet we 
find no such consequences pleaded from thence, as you 
urge from his coming to Rome. Wherefore you add, 

IV. • That St. Peter was bishop of the Roman church ; 
that he fixed his seat there, and there he died.' In gather- 
ing up your principles I follow the footsteps of Bellarmine, 
Baronius, and other great champions of your church ; so 
that you cannot except against the method of our proposals 
of them. Now this conclusion is built on these three sup- 
positions: 1. That Peter had an episcopal office distinct 
from his apostolical ; 2. That he was at Rome ; 3. That he 
fixed his episcopal see there ; whereof the second is very 
questionable, the first and last are absolutely false. So 
that the conclusion itself must needs be a notable funda- 
mental principle of faith. It is true, and I shewed it before, 
that the apostles, when they came into any church, did exer- 
cise all the power of bishops in and over that church, but 
not as bishops but as apostles. As a king may in any of 
the cities of his dominions where he comes, exercise all the 
authority of the mayor, or particular governor of that place 
where he is, which yet doth not make him become the 
mayor of the place ; which would be a diminution of his 
royal dignity. No more did the apostles become, local 
bishops, because of their exercising episcopal power in any 
particular church, by virtue of their authority apostolical. 


^vherein that other was included, as hath been declared. 
And 'cui bono?' to what purpose serves this fictitious 
episcopacy? All the privileges that you contend for the 
assignation of unto Peter, were bestowed upon him as an 
apostle, or as a believing disciple of Christ. As such he 
had those peculiar grants made unto him. The keys of the 
kingdom of heaven were given unto him as an apostle (or, 
according to St. Austin, as a believer), as such was he com- 
manded to feed the sheep of Christ. It was unto him as 
an apostle, or a professing believer, that Christ promised to 
build the church, on the faith that he had professed. You 
reckon all these things among the privileges of Peter the 
apostle, who as such is said to be 6 Trpwroc, or first in order. 
As an apostle he had the care of all churches committed 
unto him ; as an apostle he was divinely inspired and en- 
abled infallibly to reveal the mind of Christ. All these 
things belonged unto him as an apostle ; and what privilege 
he could have besides as a bishop neither you nor I can 
tell ; no more than you can when, how, or by whom he was 
called and ordained unto any such office ; all which we 
know well enough concerning his apostleship. If you will 
then have any to succeed him in the enjoyment of any, or 
of all these privileges, you must bespeak him to succeed 
him in his apostleship, and not in his bishopric. Besides, 
as I said before, this imaginary episcopacy which limits and 
confines him unto a particular church, as it doth if it be an 
episcopacy properly so called, is destructive of his aposto- 
lical office, and of his duty in answering the commission 
given him of preaching the gospel to every creature, fol- 
lowing the guidance of God's providence, and conduct o 
the Holy Ghost in his way. Many of the ancients, I con 
fess, affirm that Peter sat bishop of the church of Rome 
but'they all evidently use the word in a large sense, to impk 
that during his abode there (for that there he was, they dil 
suppose), he took upon him the especial care of that churcl. 
For the same persons constantly affirm that Paul also wis 
bishop of the same church, at the same time ; which cannot 
be otherwise understood than in the large sense mentioned. 
And Ruffinus, Praefat. Recog. Clement, ad Gaudent. un- 
riddles the mystery : ' Linus,' saith he, ' et Cletus fuerunt 
ante Clementem episcopi in urbe Roma, sed superstite 



Petro; videlicet, ut illi episcopatus curam gererent, iste 
vero apostoiatus impleret ofRciiim.' ' Linus and Cletus 
were bishops in the city of Rome before Clemens, but 
whilst Peter was yet alive ; they performing the duty of 
bishops, Peter attending unto his office apostolical.' And 
hereby doth he utterly discard the present new plea of the 
foundation of your faith. For though he assert that Peter- 
the apostle was at Rome, yet he denies that he ever sat 
bishop there, but names two others that ruled that church 
at Rome jointly during his time, either in one assembly, or 
in two, the one of the circumcision, the other of the Gentile 
converts. And if Peter were thus bishop of Rome, and 
entered as you say upon his episcopacy at his first coming 
thither, whence is it that you are forced to confess that he 
was so long absent from his charge ? Five years, saith Bel- 
larmine, but that will by no means salve the difficulty. 
Seven, saith Onuphrius, at once, and abiding at one place ; 
the most part of his time besides being spent in other places, 
land yet allowing him no time at all for those places where 
|lie certainly was. Eighteen, saith Cortefius ; strange that 
ihe should be so long absent from his especial cure, and 
tnever write one word to them, for their instruction or con- 
solation; whereas in the mean time he wrote two epistles 
unto them, who it seems did not in any special manner be- 
long unto his charge. I wish we could once find our way 
out of this maze of uncertainties. This is but a sad dis- 
quisition after principles of faith, to settle men in religion 
by them : and yet, if we should suppose this also, we are far 
3nough from our journey's end. The present bishop of 
Rome is as yet behind the curtain, neither can he appear 
|ipon the stage, until he be ushered in by one pretence 
jflore of the same nature with them that went before. And 
bis is, 

V. * That some one must needs succeed Peter in his epis- 
copacy.' But why so I why was it not needful that one should 
succeed him in his apostleship ? Wliy was it not needful, that 
Paul should have a successor as well as Peter? and John as 
well as either of them ? Because, you say, that was necessary 
for the church, not so these. But who told you so? where is 
the proof of what you aver? who made you judges of what is 
necessary and what is not necessary for the church of Christ, 


when himself is silent? And why is not the succession of an 
apostle necessary, as well as of such a bishop as you fancy? 
had it not been better to have had one still residing in the 
church, of whose infallibility there could have been no doubt 
or question? One that had the power of working miracles, 
that should have no need to scare the people, by shaking 
fire out of his sleeve, as your pope Gregory the Seventh was 
wont to do, if cardinal Benno may be belie.ved. But you 
have now carried us quite off from the Scripture and story, 
and probable conjectures, to attend unto you whilst you 
give the Lord Jesus prudential advice, about what is neces- 
sary for his church ; it must needs be so, it is meet it should 
be so, is the best of your proof in this matter: only your 
' fratres Walenburgici' add, ' that never any man ordained 
the government of a community more weakly, than Christ 
must be supposed to have done the government of his 
church, if he have not appointed such a successor to Peter 
as you imagine.' But it is easy for you to assert what you 
please of this nature, and as easy for any one to reject what 
you so assert if he please. These things are without the 
verge of Christian religion ; chimeras, towers and palaces 
in the air: but what must St. Peter be succeeded in? his 
episcopacy ; and what therewithal ? his authority, power, 
jurisdiction over all churches in the world, with an un- 
erring judgment in matters of faith. But all these belonged 
unto Peter, as far as ever they belonged unto him, as he 
was an apostle, long before you fancy him to have been a 
bishop; as then his episcopacy came without these things, 
so, for aught you know, it might go without it. This is a 
matter of huge importance in that system of principles, 
which you tender unto us,to bring us unto settlement in reli- 
gion, and the unity of faith ; would you would consider a lit- 
tle, how you may give some tolerable appearance of proof unto 
that wdiich the Scripture is so utterly silent in ; yea, which 
lies against the whole economy of the Lord Jesus Christ in 
his ordering of his church, as delivered unto us therein ; 
* die aliquem die, Quintiliane, colorem.' But we come now 
to the pope, whom here we first find 'latentem post prin- 
cipia,' and coming forth furd ^oXXijc (jyavraaiag with his 
claim. For you say, 

VL 'That the bishop of Rome, is the man that thus 


succeeds Peter in his episcopacy, which, though it were 
settled at Rome, was over the whole catholic church.' So 
you say, and so you profess yourselves to believe. And we 
desire that you would not take it amiss if we desire to know 
upon what grounds you do so; being unwilling to cast away 
all consideration, that we may embrace a fanatical ' credo' in 
this unlikely business. We desire therefore to know, who 
appointed that there should be any such succession; who, 
that the bishop of Rome should be this successor. Did 
Jesus Christ do it? we may justly expect you should say. 
He did : but if you do, we desire to know when, where, how ; 
seeing the Scripture is utterly silent of any such thing. 
Did St. Peter himself do it? Pray, manifest unto us that 
by the appointment of Jesus Christ, he had power so to do ; 
and that, secondly, he actually did so: neither of these can 
you prove, or produce any testimony worth crediting in con- 
firmation of it. Did it necessarily follow from hence, be- 
cause that was the place were Peter died ? but this was ac- 
cidental, a thing that Peter thought not of: for you say, 
that a few days before his death, he was leaving that place. 
Besides, according to this insinuation, why did not every 
apostle leave a successor behind him, in the place where he 
died, and that by virtue of his dyhig in that place? or pro- 
duce you any patent granted to Peter in especial, that where 
he died, there he should leave a successor behind him? 
But it seems the whole weight of your faith is laid upon a 
matter of fact accidentally fallen out, yea, and that very un- 
certain, whether ever it fell out or no. Shew us any thing 
of the will and institution of Christ in this matter; as, that 
Peter should go to Rome, that he should fix his seat there, 
that he should die there, that he should have a successor, 
that the bishop of Rome should be his successor, that unto 
this successor, I know not what, nor how many privileges 
should be conveyed; all these are arbitrary kvp{]fxaTa, inven- 
tions that men may multiply ' in infinitum' at their pleasure: 
for what should set bounds to the imaginations of men, 
when once they cast off all reverence of Christ and his truth? 
Once more; Why did not Peter fix a seat and leave a suc- 
cessor at Antioch, and in other places where he abode, and 
preached, and exercised episcopal power without all ques- 
tion? Was it because he died at Rome ? This is to acknow- 



ledge, that the whole papacy is built, as was said, upon an 
accidental matter of fact; and that supposed, not proved. 
Farther, if he must be supposed to succeed Peter, I desire 
to know what that succession is, and wherein he doth 
succeed him. Doth he succeed him in all that he had and 
was, in reference unto the church of God? Doth he suc- 
ceed him in the manner of his call to his office? Peter was 
called immediately by Christ in his own person; the pope 
is chosen by the conclave of cardinals, concerning whom, 
their office, privileges, power, right to choose the successor 
of Peter, there is not one iota in the Scripture, or any monu- 
ments of the best antiquity; and how in their election of 
popes, they have been influenced by the interest of power- 
ful strumpets, your own Baronius will inform you. Doth he 
succeed him in the way and manner of his personal dis- 
charge of his office and employment? Not in the least; 
Peter, in the pursuit of his commission, and in obedience 
unto the command of his Lord and Master, travelled up and 
down the world, preaching the gospel, planting and water- 
ing the churches of Christ, in patience, self-denial, humility, 
zeal, temperance, meekness. The pope reigns at Rome in 
ease, exalting himself above the kings of the earth, without 
taking the least pains in his own person for the conversion 
of sinners, or edification of the disciples of Christ. Doth 
he succeed him in his personal qualifications, which were 
of such extraordinary advantage unto the church of God in 
his days; his faith, love, holiness, light, and knowledge? 
you will not say so. Many of your popes, by your own con- 
fession, have been ignorant and stupid ; many of them 
flagitiously wicked, to say no more. Doth he succeed him in 
the way and manner of his exercising his care and authority 
towards the churches of Christ? as little as the rest; Peter 
did it by his prayers for the churches, personal visitation, 
and instruction of them, writing by inspiration for their di- 
rection and guidance according to the will of God. The 
pope by bulls, and consistorial determinations, executed by 
intricate legal processes, and officers unknown not only to 
Peter, but all antiquity: whose ways, practices, orders, 
terras, St. Peter himself, were he upon the earth again, 
would very little understand. Doth he succeed him in his 
personal infallibility? agree among yourselves if you can. 


and give an answer unto this inquiry. Doth he succeed him 
in his power of working miracles ? you do not so much as 
pretend thereunto. Doth he succeed him in the doctrine 
that he taught? it hath been proved unto you a thousand 
times, that he doth not; and we are still ready to prove it 
again, if you call us thereunto. Wherein then doth this 
succession consist, that you talk of? In his power, authority, 
jurisdiction, supremacy, monarchy, with the secular advan- 
tages of riches, honour, and pomp that attend them; things 
sweet and desirable unto carnal minds. This is the succes- 
sion you pretend to plead for; and are you not therein to 
be commended for your wisdom? In the things that Peter 
really enjoyed, and which were of singula!- spiritual advan- 
tage unto the church of God, you disclaim any succession 
unto him; and fix it on things wherein he was no way con- 
cerned, that make for your own secular advantage and in- 
terest. You have certainly laid your design very well, if 
these things would hold good to eternity. For, hence it is 
that you draw out the monarchy of your pope, direct and 
absolute in ecclesiastical things over the whole church; in- 
direct at least, and ' in ordine ad spiritualia,' over the whole 
world. This is the Diana in making of shrines, for whom 
your occupation consists, and it brings no small gains unto 
you. Hence you wire-draw his cathedral infallibility, legis- 
lative authority, freedom from the judgment of any, where- 
by you hope to secure him and yourselves from all oppo- 
sition, endeavouring to terrify them with this Medusa's 
head, that approach unto you. Hence are his titles, ' The 
Vicar of Christ, Head and Spouse of his Church, Vice Deus, 
Deus alter in Terris,' and the like, whereby you keep up 
popular veneration, and preserve his majestic distance from 
the poor disciples of Christ. Hence you warrant his prac- 
tices, suited unto these pretensions and titles, in the de- 
posing of kings, transposing of titles unto dominion and 
rule, giving away of kingdoms, stirring up and waging 
mighty wars, causing and commanding them that dissent 
from him, or refuse to yield obedience unto him, to be de- 
stroyed with fire and sword. And who can now question 
but that you have very wisely stated your succession? 

This is the way, this the progress, whereby you pretend 
to bring us unto the unity of faith. If we will submit unto 


the pope, and acquiesce in his cleterminations (whereunto 
to induce us, we have the cogent reasons now considered), 
the work will be efFected. This is the way that God hath, 
as you pretend, appointed to bring- us unto settlement in 
religion. These things you have told us so often, and witli 
so much confidence, that you take it ill we should question 
the truth of any thing you aver in the whole matter ; and 
look jipon us as very ignorant or unreasonable for our so 
doing. Yea, he that believes it safer for him to trust the 
everlasting concernments of his soul unto the goodness, 
grace, and faithfulness of God in his word, than unto these 
principles of yours, is rejected by you out of the limits of 
the catholic church, that is, of Christianity ; for they are 
the same. To make good your judginent and censure then, 
you vent endless cavils against the authority, perfection, 
and perspicuity of the Scriptures, pretending to despise and 
scorn whatever is offered in their vindication. This rope of 
sand, composed of false suppositions, groundless presump- 
tions, inconsequent inferences, in all which, there is not one 
word of infallible truth, at least that you can any way make 
appear so to be, is the great bond you use to gird men 
withal into the unity of faith. In brief, you tell us, that if 
we will all submit to the pope, we shall be sure all to agree. 
But this is no more, but, as I have before told you, what 
every party of men in the world, tender us upon the same or 
the like condition. It is not a mere agreement we aim at, but 
an agreement in the truth; not a mere unity, but a unity 
of faith ; and faith must be built on principles infallible, or 
it will prove in the close to have been fancy, not faith; 
carnal imagination, not Christian belief: otherwise we may 
agree in Turcism, or Judaism, or Paganism, as well as in 
Christianity, and to as good purpose. Now what of this 
kind do you tender unto us? Would you have us to leave 
the sure word of prophecy, more sure than a voice from hea- 
ven, the light shining in the dark places of this world, which 
we are commanded to attend unto by God himself, the holy 
Scripture given by inspiration, which ' is able to make us 
wise unto salvation,' the word that is perfect, sure, right, 
converting the soul, ' enlightening the eyes, making wise the 
simple,' whose observation is attended with great reward, to 
give heed, yea, to give up all our spiritual and eternal con- 


cernments, to the credit of old groundless uncertain stories, 
inevident presumptions, fables invented for and openly im- 
proved unto carnal, secular, and wicked ends? Is your re- 
quest reasonable? Would we could prevail with you to 
cease your importunity in this matter; especially consider- 
ing the dangerous consequence of the admission of these 
your principles unto Christianity in general. For, if it be 
so, that St. Peter had such an episcopacy as you talk of, 
and that a continuance of it in a succession by the bishops 
of Rome, be of that indispensable necessity, unto the pre- 
servation of Christian religion as is pretended, many men, 
considering the nature and quality of that succession, how 
the means of its continuation have been arbitrarily and oc- 
casionally changed, what place formerly popular suffrage 
and the imperial authority have had in it, how it came to be 
devolved on a conclave of cardinals, what violence and tu- 
mults have attended one way, what briberies and filthy 
respects unto the lusts of unclean persons, the other; what 
interruptions the succession itself hath had by vacancies, 
schisms, and contests for the place, and uncertainty of the 
person that had the best right unto the popedom according 
to the customs of the days wherein he lived, and that many 
of the persons who have had a place in the pretended suc- 
cession, have been plainly men of the world, such as cannot 
receive the Spirit of Christ, yea, open enemies unto his 
cross; would find just cause to suspect that Christianity 
were utterly failed many ages ago in the world, which cer- 
tainly would not much promote the settlement in truth and 
unity of faith, that we are inquiring after. And this is the 
first way that you propose, to supply that defect which you 
charge upon the Scripture, that it is insufficient to reconcile 
men that are at variance about religion, and settle them in 
the truth. And if you are able by so many uncertainties 
and untruths to bring men unto a certainty and settlement 
in the truth, you need not despair of compassing any thing, 
that you shall have a mind to attempt. 

But you have yet another plea, which you make no less 
use of than of the former, which must therefore be also (now 
you have engaged us in this work,) a little examined. This 
is the church, its authority, and infallibility. The truth is, 
when you come to make a practical application of this plea 


unto your own use, you resolve it into, and confound it with, 
that foregoing of the pope, in whom solely many of you 
would have this authority and infallibility of the church to 
reside. Yet because in your management of it, you pro- 
ceed on other principles than those before-mentioned, this 
pretence also shall be apart considered. And here you 
tell us, 

I. ' That the church was before the Scripture, and giveth 
authority unto it.' By the Scriptures you know that we 
understand the word of God, with this one adjunct of its 
being written by his command and appointment. We do 
not say that it belongs unto the essence of the word of 
God that it be written; whatever is spoken by God we admit 
as his word, when we are infallibly assured that by him it 
was spoken ; and that we should do so before, himself doth 
not require at our hands ; for he would have us use our 
utmost diligence not to be imposed upon by any in his name. 
Therefore we grant that the v/ord of God was given out for 
the rule of men in his worship, two thousand years before 
it was written ; but it was su given forth, as that they unto 
whom it came, had infallible assurance that from kirn it 
came and his word it was. And if you, or any man else, 
can give us such assurance, that any thing is, or hath been 
spoken by him, besides what we have now written in the 
Scripture, we shall receive it with the same faith and obe- 
dience, wherewith we receive the Scripture itself. Whereas 
therefore you say, * That the church was before the Scrip- 
ture,' if you intend no more but that there was a church in 
the world, before the word of God was written, we grant it 
true ; but not at all to your purpose. If you intend that 
the church is before the word of God, which at an appointed 
time was written, it may possibly be wrested unto your pur- 
pose, but is far from being true ; seeing the church is a so- 
ciety of men, called to the knowledge and worship of God 
by his word. They become a church by ^the call of that 
word, which it seems you would have not given until they 
are a church ; so effects produce their causes, children be- 
get their parents, light brings forth the sun, and heat the 
fire. So are the prophets and apostles built upon the foun- 
dation of the church, whereof the pope is the cornerstone; 
so was the Judaical church before the law of its constitution, 



and the Christian before the word of promise whereon it 
was founded, and the word of command by which it was 
edified. In brief; from the day wherein man was first 
created upon the earth, to the days wherein we live, never 
did a person or church yield any obedience, or perform any 
acceptable worship unto God, but what was founded on, 
and regulated by, his word, given unto them antecedently 
unto their obedience and worship, to be the sole foundation 
and rule of it. That you have no concernment in what is 
or may be truly spoken of the church, we shall afterward 
shew ; but it is not for the interest of truth, that we should 
suffer you without control, to impose such absurd notions 
on the minds of men ; especially when you pretend to direct 
them unto a settlement in religion. Alike true is it, that 
the church gives authority unto the Scripture. Every true 
church indeed gives witness or testimony unto it, and it is 
its duty so to do ; it holds it forth, declares, and manifests 
it, so that it may be considered and taken notice of by all ; 
which is one main end of the institution of the church in 
this world. But the church no luuie gives authority to the 
Scripture than it gives authority to God himself: he re- 
quires of men the discharge of that duty which he hath as- 
signed unto them, but stands not in need of their suffrage 
to confirm his authority. It was not so indeed with the 
idols of old, of whom Tertullian said rightly, ' Si Deus 
homini non placuerit, Deus non erit.' The reputation of 
their deity depended on the testimony of men ; as, you say, 
that of Christ's doth on the authority of the pope. But I 
shall not farther insist upon the disprovement of this vanity, 
having shewed already, that the Scripture hath all its au- 
thority both in itself, and in reference unto us, from him 
whose word it is ; and we have also made it appear, that 
your assertions to the contrary, are meet for nothing but to 
open a door unto all irreligiousness, profaneness, and 
atheism; so that there is ovdev vyieg 'nothing sound or 
savoury,' nothing which a heart careful to preserve its 
loyalty unto God, will not nauseate at, nothing not suited 
to oppugn the fundamentals of Christian religion in this 
your position. This ground well fixed you tell us, 

II. 'That the church is infallible, or cannot err in what 
she teacheth to be believed.' And we ask you what church 


you mean, and how far you intend that it is infallible? The 
only known church which was then in the world, was in the 
wilderness when Moses was in the mount. Was it infallible 
when it made the golden calf, and danced about it pro- 
claiming a feast unto Jehovah before the calf? was the 
same church afterward infallible in the days of the judges, 
when it worshipped Baalim and Ashtaroth ? or in the days 
of Jeroboam, when it sacrificed before the calves at Dan and 
Bethel? or in the other branch of it in the days of Ahaz, 
when the high-priest set up an altar in the temple for the 
king to offer sacrifice unto the gods of Damascus ? or in 
the days of Jehojakim and Zedekiah, when the high-priest 
with the rest of the priests, imprisoned and would have 
slain Jeremiah for preaching the word of God? or when 
they preferred the worship of the queen of heaven before 
that of the God of Abraham? Or was it infallible when the 
high-priest, with the whole council or sanedrim of the 
church, judicially condemned as far as in them lay their own 
Messias, and rejected the gospel that was preached unto 
them ? You must inform us what other church was then in 
the world, or you will quickly perceive how ungrounded 
your general maxim is, of the church's absolute infallibility. 
As far indeed as it attends unto the infallible rule given 
unto it, it is so; but not one jot farther. Moreover, we 
desire to know, what church you mean in your assertion, 
or rather. What is it that you mean by the church? Do you 
intend the mystical church, or the whole number of God's 
elect in all ages, or in any age, militant on the earth, which 
principally is the church of God? Eph. v. 26. Or, do you 
intend the whole diffused body of the disciples of Christ in 
the world, separated to God by baptism and the profession 
of saving truth, which is the church catholic visible ? Or, 
do you mean any particular church as the Roman, or Con- 
stantinopolitan, the French, Dutch, or English church ? If 
you intend the first of these, or the church in the first sense ; 
we acknowledge that it is thus far infallible, that no true 
member of it shall ever totally and finally renounce, lose, or 
forsake that faith, without which they cannot please God 
and be saved. This the Scripture teacheth, this Austin 
confirmeth in a hundred places. If you intend the church 
in the second sense, we grant that also so far unerring and 
2 B 2 


infallible, as that there ever was, and ever shall be in the 
world, a number of men making profession of the saving 
truth of the gospel, and yielding professed subjection unto 
our Lord Jesus Christ according unto it, wherein consists 
his visible kingdom in this world ; that never was, that 
never can be, utterly overthrown. If you speak of a church 
in the last sense, then we tell you, That no such church is, 
by virtue of any promise of our Lord Jesus Christ, freed 
from erring, yea, so far as to deny the fundamentals of Chris- 
tianity, and thereby to lose the very being of a church. 
Whilst it continues a church, it cannot err fundamentally; 
because such errors destroy the very being of a church ; 
but those who were once a church, by their failing in the 
truth, may cease to be so any longer. And a church as 
such may so fail, though every person in it do not so ; for 
the individual members of it, that are so also of the mystical 
church, shall be preserved in its apostacy. And so the 
mystical church, and the catholic church of professors may 
be continued, though all particular churches should fail. So 
that no person, the church in no sense is absolutely freed 
in this world from the danger of all errors ; that is the con- 
dition we shall attain in heaven ; here, where we know but 
in part, we are incapable of it. The church of the elect, and 
every member of it, shall eventually be preserved by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, from any such error as would 
utterly destroy their communion with Christ in grace here, 
or prevent their fruition of him in glory hereafter; or, as 
the apostle speaks, they shall assuredly be ' kept by the 
power of God through faith unto salvation.' The general 
church of visible professors, shall be always so far pre- 
served in the world, as that there shall never want some, 
in some place or other of it, that shall profess all needful 
saving truths of the gospel, in the belief whereof and obe- 
dience whereunto a man may be saved. But for particular 
churches as such, they have no security but what lies in 
their diligent attendance unto that infallible rule, which will 
preserve them from all hurtful errors, if through their own 
default they neglect not to keep closs unto it. And your 
flattering yourselves with an imagination of any other pri- 
vilege, is that which hath wrought your ruin. You are de- 
ceived if in this matter you are of Menander's mind, who 


said, avTOfxara to. rrpay/xar^ evri to (TVfX(p(pov fnl, kuv KauevSi]cnj, 
that, ' all will of its own accord fall out well with you though 
you sleep securely/ As for all other churches in the world 
besides your own, we have your concession not only that 
they were and are fallible, but that they have actually erred 
long since ; and the same hath been proved against yours 
a thousand times ; and your best reserve against particular 
charges of error lies in this impertinent general pretence, 
that you cannot err. It may be you will ask, for you use 
so to do, and it is the design of your Fiat to promote the 
inquiry. If the church be fallible, that is to propose unto us 
the things and doctrines that we are to believe, how can we 
with faith infallible beheve her proposals ? And I tell you 
truly I know not how we can, if we believe them only upon 
her authority, or she propose them to be believed solely 
upon that account ; but when she proposeth them unto us 
to be believed on the authority of God speaking in the 
Scriptures, we both can, and do believe what she teacheth 
and proposeth, and that with faith infallible, resolved into 
the veracity of God in his word : and we grant every church 
to be so far infallible as it attends unto the only infallible 
rule amongst men. When you prove that any one church 
is, by any promise of Christ, any grant of privilege expressed 
or intimated in the Scripture, placed in an unerring condi- 
tiouj any farther than as in the use of the means appointed 
she attends unto the only rule of her preservation, or that 
any church shall be necessitated to attend unto that rule 
whether she will or no, whereby she may be preserved, or 
can give us an instance of any church since the foundation 
of the world, that hath been actually preserved, and abso- 
lutely, from all error (other than that of your own, which 
you know we cannot admit of), as you will do, juiya koI 
irepi^orjTov tpyov, ' a great and memorable work,' so we shall 
grant as much as you can reasonably desire of us, upon the 
account of the assertion under consideration. But until 
you do some one, or all of these, your crying out. The 
church, the church, the church cannot err, makes no other 
noise in our ears, than that of the Jews, 'The temple of the 
Lord, the temple of the Lord, the law shall not fail,' did in 
the ears of the prophets of old. Neither do we speak this 
of the church, or any church, as though we were concerned 


to questioner deny any just privileges belonging unto it, 
thereby to secure ourselves from any pretensions of yours; 
but merely for the sake of truth. For we shall manifest 
anon unto you, that you are as little concerned in the pri- 
vileges of the church, be they what they will, more or less, 
as any society of the professors of Christianity in the world, 
if so be that you are concerned in them at all. So that if 
the truth would permit us to agree with you in all things 
that you assign unto the church, yet the difference between 
you and us were never the nearer to an end ; for we should 
still differ with you about your share and interest therein; 
and for ever abhor your frowardness in appropriating of 
them all unto yourselves. And herein, as I said, hath lain 
a great part of your ruin; whilst you have been sweetly 
dreaming of an infallibility, you have really plunged your- 
selves into errors innumerable : and when any one hath 
jogged you to awake you out of your fatal sleep, by minding 
you of your particular errors, your dream hath left such an 
impression upon your imagination, as that you think them 
no errors, upon this only ground, because you cannot err. 
I am persuaded, had it not been for this one error, you had 
been freed from many others. But this perfectly disenables 
you for any candid inquisition after the truth. For why 
should he once look about him, or indeed so much as take 
care to keep his eyes open, who is sure that he can never 
be out of his way? Hence you inquire not at all, whether 
what you profess be truth or not, but to learn what your 
church teacheth and defend it, is all that you have to do 
about religion in this world. And whatever absurdities or 
inconveniences you find yourselves driven unto in the 
handling of particular points, all is one, they must be right 
though you cannot defend them, because your church which 
cannot err hath so declared them to be. And if you should 
chance to be convinced of any truth in particular that is 
contrary to the determination of your church, you know not 
how to embrace it, but must shut your eyes against its light 
and evidence, and cast it out of your minds, or wander up 
and down with a various assent between contradictions. 
Well said he of old, 

To voeTv jM.5V oa-a Set, |wn <fiv\a,rTia-bat S(a Sef. 


This is flat folly, namely, for a man to live in rebellion unto 
his own light. But you add, 

III. 'That yourselves, that is, the pope with those who 
in matters of religion adhere unto him, and live in sub- 
jection unto him, are this church; in an assent unto whose 
infallible teachings and determinations, the unity of faith 
doth consist.' Could you prove this assertion I confess it 
would stand you in good stead. But before we inquire 
after that, we shall endeavour a little to come unto a right 
understanding of what you say. When you affirm that the 
Roman church, is the church of Christ, you intend either 
that it is the only church of Christ, all the church of Christ, 
and so consequently the catholic church; or you mean that 
it is a church of Christ, which hath an especial prerogative, 
enabling it to require obedience of all the disciples of 
Christ. If you say the former, we desire to know, (1.) When 
it became so to be. It was not so when all the church was 
together at Jerusalem, and no foundation of any church at 
all laid at Rome, Acts i. 1 — 5. It was not so when the first 
church of the Gentiles was gathered at Antioch, and the 
disciples first began to be called Christians; for as yet we 
have no tidings of any church at Rome. It was not so 
when Paul wrote his epistles, for he makes express mention 
of many other churches in other places, which had no re- 
lation unto any church at Rome, more than they had one 
to another, in their common profession of the same faith, 
and therein enjoyed equal gifts and privileges with it. It 
was not so in the days of the primitive fathers, of the first 
three hundred years, who all of them, not one excepted, 
took the Roman to be a local particular church, and the 
bishop of Rome to be such a bishop, as they esteemed of 
all other churches and bishops. Their persuasion in this 
matter, is expressed in the beginning of the epistle of Cle- 
mens, or church of Rome, unto the church of Corinth, 'H Ik- 
KXrjffta TOv deov i) irapoiKOvaa VMfxrjv, ry iKicXijata tov Owv na- 
poiKovay KojOtv^ov, * The church that is at Rome, to the 
church that is at Corinth;' both local churches, both equal. 
And such is the language of all the writers of those times. 
It was not so in the days of the fathers and councils of the 
next three centuries, who still accounted it a particular 
church; diocesan or patriarchal; but all of them particular 


never calling it catholic, but upon the account of its hold- 
ing the catholic faith, as they called all other churches that 
did so, in opposition to the errors, heresies, and schisms of 
any in their days. We desire then to know, when it be- 
came the only or absolutely catholic church of Christ? As 
also, (secondly), by what means it became so to be? It did 
not do so by virtue of any institution, warrant, or command 
of Christ; you were never able to produce the least intima- 
tion of any such warrant, out of any writing of divine in- 
spiration, nor approved Catholic writer of the first ages after 
Christ, though it hugely concern you so to do, if it were 
possible to be done; but they all expressly teach, that which 
is inconsistent with such pretences. It did not do so by 
any decree of the first general councils, which are all of 
them silent as to any such thing, and some of them, as those 
of Nice, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, expressly declare and de- 
termine the contrary, at least that which is contrary there- 
unto. We can find no other way or means, whereby it can 
pretend unto this vast privilege, unless it be the grant of 
Phocas unto Boniface, that he should be called the uni- 
versal bishop, who, to serve his own ends, was very liberal 
of that which was not at all in his power to bestow : and yet 
neither is this, though it be a means that you have more 
reason to be ashamed than to boast of, sufficient to found 
your present claim, considering how that name, was in those 
days no more than a name, a mere airy ambitious title, that 
carried along with it no real power; and, ' stet magni nomi- 
nis umbra.' 

Secondly, We cannot give our assent unto this claim of 
yours, because we should thereby be necessitated to cut off 
from the church, and consequently all hope of salvation, 
far the greatest number of men in the world, who in this and 
all foregoing ages have called, and do ' call upon the name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ,' their Lord and ours. This we 
dare not do, especially considering, that many of them have 
spent, and do spend their days in great affliction, for their 
testimony unto Christ and his gospel, and many of them 
every day seal their testimony with their blood, so belong- 
ing as we believe unto that holy army of martyrs, which 
continually praiseth God. Now as herein we dare not con- 
cur with you, considering the charge given unto Timothy 


by Paul, fxi) kolvwvh ajuapTiai^ aXXorpiaig, ' be not partaker 
of other men's sins,' so indeed we are persuaded that your 
opinion, or rather presumption in this matter, is extremely 
injurious to the grace of Christ, the love and goodness of 
God, as also to the truth of the gospel. And therefore. 

Thirdly, We suppose this the most schismatical princi- 
ple, that ever was broached under the sun, since there was 
a church upon the earth: and that because, 1. It is the 
mostgroundless ; 2. The most uncharitable that ever was ; 
and, 3. Of the most pernicious consequence, as having a 
principal influence into the present irreconcilableness of 
differences among Christians in the world ; which will one 
day be charged on the authors and abettors of it. For it will 
one day appear, that it is not the various conceptions of the 
minds of peaceable men about the things of God, nor the 
various degrees of knowledge and faith, that are found 
amongst them, but groundless impositions of things as ne- 
cessary to be believed and practised, beyond Scripture 
warrant, that are the springs and causes of all, or at least 
the most blameable and sinful differences among Christians. 

Fourthly, We know this pretence, should it take place, 
would prove extremely hazardous unto the truth of the pro- 
mises of Christ, given unto the catholic church. For, sup- 
pose that to be one and the same with the Roman, and 
whatever mishap may befall the one, must be thought to be- 
fall the other; for on our supposition, the yare not only like 
Hippocrates's twins, that being born together, wept and 
joyed together, and together died; but like Hippocrates 
himself, as the same individual person or thing, being both 
the same; one church, that hath two names; Catholic and 
Roman, that is universal particular; no otherwise two, than 
as Julius Caisar was, when by his overawing his colleague 
from the execution of his office, they dated their acts at 
Rome, 'Julio et Caesare consulibus.' For, as they said, 

Non Bibulo quicquam iiuper seel Cicsare factum est; 
Nam Bibulo fieri consule nil meraini. 

Now, besides the failings which we know your church to 
have been subject unto, in point of faith, manners, and wor- 
ship; it hath also been at least in danger of destruction, in 
the time of the prevalency of the Goths, Vandals, Huns, 


and Longobards ; especially when Rome itself was left deso- 
late and without inhabitant by Totilas. And what yet far- 
ther may befall it before the end of the world, ^tov Iv 
yovvaari KtiTai. Only this I know, that many are in expecta- 
tion of a sad catastrophe to be given unto it, and that on 
grounds no't to be despised. Now God forbid, that the 
church unto which the promises are made, should be once 
thought to be subject unto all the dangers and hazards that 
you wilfully expose yourselves unto. So that as this is a 
very groundless presumption in itself, so it is a very great ag- 
gravation of your iniscarriages also, whilst you seek to entitle 
the catholic church of Christ unto them, which can neither 
contract any such guilt as you have done, nor be liable to 
any such misery or punishment as you are. 

Fifthly, We see not the promises, made unto the catho- 
lic church, fulfilled unto you ; as we see that to have be- 
fallen your church, which is contrary unto the promises that 
ever it should befall the catholic. The conclusion then will 
necessarily on both instances follow, that either you are not 
the catholic church, or that the promises of Christ have 
failed and been of none effect. And you may easily guess, 
which part of the conclusion it is best and most safe for us 
to give assent unto. I shall give you one or two instances 
unto this last head. Christ hath promised his Spirit unto 
his church, that is, his catholic church, to ' abide with it 
for ever;' John xiv. 16. But this promise hath not been 
made good unto your church at all times; because it hath 
not been so unto the head of it. Many a time the head of 
your church hath not received the Spirit of Christ ; for our 
Saviour tells us in the next words, that ' the world cannot 
receive him;' that is, men of the world, carnally minded 
men cannot do so : for he is the peculiar inheritance of those 
that are called, sanctified, and do believe. Now if ever 
there was any world in the world, any of the world in the 
earth, some, many of your popes, have been so; and there- 
fore by the testimony of Christ, could not receive the Spi- 
rit that he promised unto his church. Again, it is pro- 
mised unto the church mystical or catholic, in the first and 
chiefest notion of it, * that all her children shall be holy, all 
taught of God,' and all that are so taught, as our Saviour 


informs us, ' come to him' by saving faith ; you will not, I 
am sure, for shame affirm, that this promise hath been made 
good to all, either children or fathers of your church. In- 
numerable other promises, made to the catholic church, 
may be instanced in, which you can no better or otherwise 
apply unto your church, than one of your popes did tl/at of 
the psalmist to himself, 'Thou shalt tread on the lion and 
the basilisk,' when he set his foot on the neck of Frederic 
the emperor. But the arguments are endless, whereby the 
vanity of this pretence may be disproved. I shall only add. 
Sixthly, That it is contrary to all story, reason, and com- 
mon sense; for it is notorious that far the greatest part of 
Christians, that belong to the catholic church of Christ, or 
have done so from the days that Christianity first entered 
the world, successively in all ages, never thought themselves 
any otherwise concerned in the Roman church, than in any 
other particular church of name in the world : and is it not 
a madness, to exclude them all from being Christians, or 
belonging to the catholic church, because they belonged 
not to the Roman? This I could easily demonstrate, through- 
out all ages of the church successively. But we need not 
insist longer on the disproving of that assertion, which im- 
plies a flat contradiction in the very terms of it. If any 
church be the catholic, it cannot therefore be the Roman ; 
and if it be the Roman properly, it cannot therefore be the 

2. If you shall say, that you mean only that you are a 
particular church of Christ, but yet that or such a particu- 
lar church, as hath the great privileges of infallibility, and 
universal authority annexed unto it, which makes it of ne- 
cessity for all men to submit unto it, and to acquiesce in 
its determinations : I answer, 1. I fear you will not say so, 
you will not, I fear, renounce your claim unto Catholicism. 
I have already observed, that yourself in particular, affirm 
the Roman and catholic church to be one and the same. 
It is not enough for you, that you belong any way to the 
church of Christ, but you plead that none do so but your- 
selves. 2. Indeed you do not own yourselves in this very 
assertion, to be a particular church ; your claim of univer- 
sal authority and jurisdiction, which you still carry along 



with you, is inconsistent with any such concession. 3. To 
make the best of it that we can; what ground have you to 
give us this difference between the churches of Christ, that 
one is fallible, another infallible; that one hath power over 
all the rest, that one depends on Christ, all the rest on that 
one? where is the least intimation given of any such thing 
in the Scripture? where or by whom is it expressly asserted 
amongst the ancient writers of the church? Was this prin- 
ciple pleaded or once asserted in any of the ancient councils? 
Some ambiguous expressions of particular persons, most of 
them bishops of Rome in the declining days of the church, 
you produce indeed unto this purpose: but can any rational 
man think them a sufficient foundation of that stupen- 
dous fabric, which you endeavour to erect upon them? I 
suppose, you will not find any such persons hasty in their 
so doing: those who are already engaged, will not be easily 
recovered ; for new proselytes unto these principles, you 
have small ground to expect any, unless it be of persons 
whose lives are either tainted with sensuality, which they 
would gladly have a refuge for, against the accusations of 
their consciences, or whose minds are entangled with world- 
ly secular advantages, suited to their conditions, tempers, 
and inclinations. 

Thus I have, with what briefness I could, shewed you 
the uncertainty, indeed falseness of those general principles, 
from which you educe all your other pleas and reasonings, 
into which they must be resolved. And now, I pray, con- 
sider the ground-work you lay, for the bringing of men unto 
a settlement in the truth, and unto the unity of faith, in op- 
position to the Scripture, which you reject as insufficient 
unto this purpose. The sum of it is, an acquiescency in the 
proposals and determinations of your church, as to all 
things that concern faith and the worship of God ; the 
two main principles that concur unto it, we have apart 
considered, and have found them every way insufficient for 
the end proposed. Neither have they one jot more of 
strength, when they are complicated and blended together, 
as they usually are by you, than they have in and of them- 
selves as they stand singly on their own bottoms. A thou- 
sand falsehoods put together, will be far enough from 


making one truth. A multiplication of them may increase a 
sophism, but not add the least weight or strength to an ar- 
gument. An army of cripples, will not make one sound 
man. And can you think it reasonable, that we should re- 
nounce our sure and firm word of prophecy, to attend unto 
you in this chase of uncertain conjectures, and palpable un- 
truths? Suppose this were a way that would bring you and 
us to an agreement, and take away the evil of our differ- 
ences ; I can name you twenty, that would do it as effectually ; 
and they should none of them have any evil in them, but 
only that which yours also is openly guilty of, namely, the 
relinquishment of our duty towards God, and care of our own 
souls, to come to some peace amongst ourselves in this 
world, which would be nothing else, but a plain conspiracy 
against Jesus Christ, and rejection of his authority. At 
present, I shall say no more, but that he who is led into 
the truth by so many errors, and is brought unto establish- 
ment by so many uncertainties, hath singular success, and 
such as no other man hath reason to look for. Or he is like 
Robert, duke of Normandy, who, when he caused the Sara- 
cens to carry him into Jerusalem, sent word unto his friends 
in Europe, that he was ' carried into heaven on the backs 
of devils.' 

It may also in particular be easily made to appear, how 
vuisuited your means of bringing men unto the unity of faith, 
are unto that supposition of the present differences in re- 
ligion between you and us, which you proceed upon. For, 
suppose a man be convinced that many things taught by 
your church are false, and contrary to the mind of God, as 
you know the case to be between you and us; what course 
would you take with him to reduce him unto the unity of 
faith? Would you tell him that your church cannot err ? or 
would you endeavour to persuade him that the particulars 
which he instanceth in as errors, are not so indeed, but real 
truths and necessarily by him to be believed? The former, 
if you would speak it out, downright and openly, as be- 
cometh men who distrust not the truth of their principles 
(for he that is persuaded of the truth never fears its strength), 
would soon appear to be a very wise course indeed. You 
would persuade a man in general that you cannot err, whilst 
he gives you instances that you have actually erred. Do 


not think you have any sophisms against motion in general, 
that will prevail with any man to assent unto you, whilst 
he is able to rise and walk to and fro. Besides, he that is 
convinced of any thing wherein you err, believes the oppo- 
site unto it to be true, and that on grounds unto him suffi- 
ciently cogent to require his assent : if you could now 
persuade him that you cannot err, whilst he actually be- 
lieves things to be true, which he knows to be contrary to 
your determination, what a sweet condition should you 
bring him into ? Can you enable him to believe contradic- 
tions at the same time? Or, when a man, on particular 
grounds and evidences, is come to a settled firm persuasion 
that any doctrine of your church, suppose that of transub- 
stantiation, is false and contradictory unto Scripture and 
right reason; if you should, abstracting from particulars, in 
general puzzle him with sophisms and pretences for your 
church's infallibility, do you think it is an easy thing for 
him immediately to forego that persuasion in particular, 
which his mind, upon cogent and to him unavoidable grounds 
and arguments, was possessed withal, without a rational re- 
moval of those grounds and arguments? Men's belief of 
things never pierces deeper into their souls than their ima- 
gination, who can take it up and lay it down at their 
pleasure. I am persuaded, therefore, you Avould take the 
latter course, and strive to convince him of his mistakes in 
the things that he judgeth erroneous in the doctrine of your 
church. And what way would you proceed by for his con- 
viction? Would you not produce testimonies of Scripture, 
with arguments drawn from them, and the suffrage of the 
fathers to the same purpose? Nay, would you not do so, if 
the error he charge you withal, be that of the authority and 
infallibility of your church ? I am sure, all your controversy 
writers of note take this course. And do you not see then, 
that you are brought, whether you will or no, unto the use 
of that way and means for the reducing of men unto the 
unity of faith, which you before rejected, which Protestants 
avow as sufficient to that purpose ? 



Proposals from Protestant 'principles tending- unto moderation and unity. 

You may, from what hath been spoken, perceive how upon 
your own principles you are utterly disenabled to exercise 
any true moderation towards dissenters from you : and that 
which you do so exercise, we are beholden for it, as Gicero 
said of the honesty of some of the epicureans, to the good- 
ness of their nature, which the illness of their opinions can- 
not corrupt. Neither are you any way enabled by them to 
reduce men unto the unity of faith, so that you are not 
more happy in your proposing of good ends unto yourself, 
than you are unhappy in choosing mediums for the effecting 
of them. It may be, for your own skill, you are able like 
Archimedes to remove the earthly ball of our contentions 5 
but you are like him again, that you have nowhere to stand 
whilst you go about your work. However we thank you 
for your good intentions ; ' In magnis voluisse,' is no small 
commendation. Protestants on the other side, you see, are 
furnished with firm, stable principles and rules in the pursuit 
both of moderation and unity : and there are some things in 
themselves very practicable, and naturally deducible from 
the principl<?s of Protestants, wherein the complete exercise 
of moderation may be obtained, and a better progress made 
towards unity than is likely to be by a rigid contending to 
impose different principles on one another ; or by impe- 
tuous clamours of ' Lo here and lo there,' which at present 
most men are taken up withal. Some few of them I shall 
name unto you, as a pacific Coronis to the preceding critical 
discourse ; and 

-Si quid novisti rectius istis 

Candidas imperii ; si non, liis utere mecum. 

And they are these : 

I. Whereas our Saviour hath determined that our happi- 
ness consisteth not in the knowing the things of the gos- 
pel, but in doing of them ; and seeing that no man can ex- 
pect any benefit or advantage from or by Christ Jesus, but 
only they that yield obedience unto him, to whom alone he 
is a ' captain of salvation ;' the first thing wherein all that 


profess Christianity ought to agree and consent together is, 
jointly to obey the commands of Christ,/ to live godly, 
righteously, and soberly in this present world,' following 
after 'holiness without which no man shall see God :' until 
we all agree in this, and make it our business, and fix it as 
our end, in vain shall we attempt to agree in notional and 
speculative truths ; nor would it be much to our advantage 
so to do. For as I remember I have told you before, so I 
now on this occasion tell you again, it will at the last day 
appear, that it is all one to any man what party or way in 
Christian religion he hath been of, if he have not personally 
been born again, and upon mixing the promises of Christ 
with faith, have thereupon yielded obedience unto him unto 
the end. I confess men may have many advantages in one 
way that they may not have in another : they may have bet- 
ter means of instruction, and better examples for imitation ; 
but as to the event, it will be one and the same with all un- 
believers, all unrighteous and ungodly persons ; and men 
may be very zealous believers in a party, who are in the 
sight of God unbelievers as to the whole design of the gos- 
pel. This is a principle wherein as 1 take it all Christians 
agree, namely, that the profession of Christianity will do no 
man the least good as to his eternal concernments, that lives 
not up to the power of it ; yea, it will be an aggravation of 
his condemnation : and the want hereof, is that which hath 
lost all the lustre and splendour of the religion taught by 
Jesus Christ in the world. Would Christians of all parties 
make it their business to retrieve its reputation, wherein 
also their own bliss and happiness is involved, by a uni- 
versal obedience unto the precepts of it, it would insensibly 
sink a thousand of their differences under ground. Were 
this attended unto, the world would quickly say with ad- 

Magnus ab infegro seclorum nascitur ordo : 
Jam nova progenies Coelo deiuittitur alto. 

The old glorious beautiful face of Christianity would be re- 
stored unto it again, which many deform more and more 
every day by painting a dead carcase instead of the living 
spouse of Christ. And if ever we intend to take one step 
towards any agreement or unity, it must be by fixing this 
principle in the minds of all men, that it is of no advantage 


to any man whatever church or way in Christian religion 
he be of, unless he personally believe the promises, and live 
in obedience unto all the precepts of Christ, And that for 
him who doth so, that it is a trampling of the whole gospel 
under foot, to say that his salvation could be endangered by 
his not being of this or that church or way ; especially con- 
sidering how much of the world hath immixed itself into all 
the known ways that are in it. Were this once well fixed 
on the minds of men, and did they practically believe that 
men shall not be dealt withal at the last day by gross, as of 
this or that party or church, but that every individual person 
must stand upon his own bottom, live by his own faith, or 
perish for want of it, as if there had been no other persons 
in the world but himself; we should quickly find their 
keenness in promoting and contending for their several 
parties taken off, their heat allayed, and they will begin to 
find their business and concernment in religion to be ut- 
terly another matter than they thought of. For the present, 
some Protestants think, that when the Roman power is by 
one means or other broken, which they expect, that then we 
shall agree and have peace ; Romanists, on the other side, 
look for, and desire the extirpation of all that they call he- 
resy or heretics by one way or other : some, pretending 
highly to moderation on both sides, especially among the 
Protestants, hope that it may be attained by mutual con- 
descension of the parties at variance, contemperation of 
opinions and practices unto the present distant apprehen- 
sions and interests of the chief leaders of either side ; what 
issue and event their desires, hopes, and attempts, will have, 
time will shew to all the world. For my part, until by a 
fresh pouring out of the Spirit of God from on high, I see 
Christians in profession agreeing in pursuing the end of 
Christianity, endeavouring to be followers of Jesus Christ 
in a conversation becoming the gospel, without trusting to 
the parties wherein they are engaged; I shall have very 
little hopes to see any unity amongst us, that shall be one 
jot better than our present differences: to see this, if any 
thing, would make me say 

O mihi tarn longe maneat pars ultima vitje. 

The present face of Christianity makes the world a weari- 

VOL. XVIII. 2 c 


some wilderness : nor should I think any thing a more ne- 
cessary duty, than it would be for persons of piety and 
ability to apologize for the religion of Jesus Christ ; and to 
shew how unconcerned it is in the ways and practices of the 
most that profess it ; and how utterly another thing it is, 
from what in the world it is represented to be, so to put a 
stop unto that atheism which is breaking in upon us from 
the contempt that men have of that idea of Christian re- 
ligion which they have taken from the manner of its pro- 
fession, and lives of its professors ; were it not that I suppose 
it more immediately incumbent on them and us all, to do 
the same work in a real expression of its power and excel- 
lency, in such a kind of goodness, holiness, righteousness, 
and heavenliness of conversation, as the world is only as yet 
in secret acquainted withal. When this is done, the way 
for a farther agreement will be open and facile ; and, until it 
be so, men will fight on, 

Ipsique, nepotesque 
Et nati natoruui, et qui nascentur ab illis. 

We shall have no end of our quarrels. Could I see a he- 
roic temper fall on the minds of men of the several parties 
at variance, to bid adieu to the world, its customs, manners, 
and fashions, which are all vain and perishing, not in a local 
corporeal retirement from the men and lawful businesses of 
it, or a relinquishment of the necessary callings and em- 
ployments in it, but in their spirits and affections ; could I 
see them taking up the cross of Christ, not on their backs 
in its figure, but on their hearts in its power, and in their 
whole conversation conforming themselves unto his blessed 
example, so teaching all others of their parties what it is 
that they build upon for a blessed eternity, that they may 
not please and deceive themselves with their conceited or- 
thodoxy in the trifling diff'erences which they have with 
other Christians, I should hope the very name of perse- 
cution, and every thing that is contrary to Christian mode- 
ration, would quickly be driven out of Christendom ; and that 
error, and whatever is contrary to the unity of faith, would 
not be long lived after them. But wliilst these things are 
far from us, let us not flatter ourselves, as though a windy 
flourish of words had any efficacy in it to bring us to mode- 
ration and unity. At variance we are, and at variance we 


must be content to be j that being but one of the evils that 
at this day triumph in the world over conquered Christianity. 
This being supposed, 

II. Whereas the doctrine of God is a mystery, in the 
knowledge whereof men attain unto wisdom, according to 
that measure of light and grace, which the Spirit, who di- 
vides unto every man as he will, is pleased to communicate 
unto them, if men would not frame any other rule or standard 
unto that wisdom, and the various degrees of it, but only 
that which God himself hath assigned thereunto, the fuel 
would upon the matter be wholly taken away from the fire 
of our contentions. All men have not, nor let men pretend 
what they please to the contrary, ever had, nor ever will 
have the same light, the same knowledge, the same spi- 
ritual wisdom and understanding, the same degree of as- 
surance, the same measure of comprehension in the things 
of God. But whilst they have the same rule, the same 
objective revelation, the use of the same means to grow 
spiritually wise in the knowledge of it, they have all the 
agreement that God hath appointed for them, or calls them 
unto. To frame for them all in rigid confessions, or systems 
of supposed credible propositions a Procrustes' bed to stretch 
them upon, or crop them unto the size of, so to reduce them 
to the same opinion in all things, is a vain and fruitless 
attempt that men have for many generations wearied them- 
selves about, and yet continue so to do. Remove out of 
the way anathemas upon propositions arbitrarily composed 
and expressed, philosophical conclusions, rules of faith of a 
mere human composure, or use them no otherwise but only 
to testify the voluntary consent of men's minds, in express- 
ing to their own satisfaction the things which they do be- 
lieve, and let men be esteemed to believe and to have at- 
tained degrees in the faith according as they are taught of 
God, with an allowance for every one's measure of means, 
light, grace, gifts, which are not things in our own power, 
and we shall be nearer unto quietness than most men ima- 
gine. When Christians had any unity in the world, the 
Bible alone was thought to contain their religion, and every 
one endeavoured to learn the mind of God out of it, both 
by their own endeavours, and as they were instructed 
therein by their guides ; neither did they pursue this work 


with any other end, but only that they might be strength- 
ened in their faith and hope, and learn to serve God and 
obey him, that so they might come to the blessed enjoy- 
ment of him. Nor will there ever, I fear, be again any 
unity among them, until things are reduced to the same 
state and condition. But among all the vanities that the 
minds of men are exercised v/ith in this world, there is none 
to be compared unto that, of their hoping and endeavouring 
to bring all persons that profess the religion of Jesus Christ, 
to acquiesce in the same opinions about all particulars, 
which are any way determined to belong thereunto ; espe- 
cially considering how endlessly they are multiplied and 
branched into instances, such for aught appears the first 
churches took little or no notice of; nay, neither knew nor 
understood any thing of them, in the sense and terms 
wherein they are now proposed as a ' tessera' of communion 
among Christians. In a word ; leave Christian religion 
unto its 'primitive liberty, wherein it was believed to be re- 
vealed of God, and that revelation of it to be contained in 
the Scripture, which men searched and studied ; to become 
themselves, and to teach others to be wise in the knowledge 
of God, and living unto him, and the most of the contests 
that are in the world, will quickly vanish and disappear. 
But whilst every one hath a confession, a way, a church, and 
its authority, which must be imposed on all others, or else 
he cries to his nearest relations 

Lupis et agnis quanta sortito obtigit 
Tecum iinlii discordia est. 

We may look for peace, moderation, and unity, when we 
are here no more, and not sooner. So that, 

III. If those theological determinations that make up at 
this day amongst some men the greatest part of those asser- 
tions, positions, or propositions, which are called articles of 
faith, or truth, which are not delivered in the words that 
the Spirit of God teacheth, but in terms of art, and in an- 
swer unto rules and notions, which the world might happily 
without any great disadvantage been unacquainted withal 
unto this day, had not Aristotle found them out, or stum- 
bled on them, might be eliminated from the city of God, and 
communion of Christians, and left for men to exercise their 
wits about who have nothing else to do, and the doctrine of 


truth which is according unto godliness, left unto that noble, 
heavenly, spiritual, generous amplitude, wherein it was de- 
livered in the Scripture and believed in the first churches, 
innumerable causes of strife and contentions would be taken 
away; but, ' ferri video mea gaudia ventis,' small hopes 
have I to see any such impression and consent to befall the 
minds of concerned men ; and yet, I must confess, I have 
not one jot more, of the reuniting the disciples of Christ in 
iove and concord. But most men that profess any thing of 
divinity, have learned it as an art, or human science ; out 
of the road, compass, and track whereof, they know nothing 
oftheraind of God; nay, many scarce know the things in 
themselves, and as they are to be believed, which they are 
passing skilful in, as they are expressed in their arbitrary 
terms of art, which none almost understand but themselves. 
And is it likely that such men, who are not a few m the 
world, will let go their skill and knowledge, and with them 
their reputation and advantage, and to sacrifice' them all to 
the peace and agreement that we are seeking after ? Some 
learn their divinity out of the late and modern schools, both 
in the reformed and papal church ; in both which a science 
is proposed under that name, consisting in a farrago of cre- 
dible propositions, asserted in terms suited unto that phi- 
losophy that is variously predominant in them. What a 
kind of theology this hath produced in the papacy, Agricola, 
Erasmus, Vives, Jansenius, with innumerable other learned 
men of your own, have sufficiently declared. And that it 
hath any better success in the reformed churches, many 
things which I shall not now instance in, give me cause to 
doubt. Some boast themselves to learn their divinity from 
the fathers, and say, they depart not from their sense and 
idiom of expression in what they believe and profess. But 
we find by experience, that what for want of wisdom and 
judgment in themselves, what for such reasons taken from 
the writings which they make their oracles, which I shall 
not insist upon, much of the divinity of some of these men 
consists in that, which to avoid provocation, I shall not ex- 
press. Whilst men are thus pre-engaged, it will be very 
hard to prevail with them to think, that the greatest part of 
their divinity is such, that Christian religion, either as to 
the matter, or at least as to that mode wherein alone they 


have imbibed it, is little or not at all concerned in ; nor 
will it be easy to persuade them that it is a mystery laid up 
in the Scripture ; and all true divinity a wisdom in the 
knowledge of that mystery ; and skill to live unto God ac- 
cordingly ; without which, as I said before, we shall have no 
peace or agreement in this world. * Nobis curiositate opus 
non est post Jesum Christum, nee inquisitione post evan- 
gelium,' says Tertullian. ' Curiosity after the doctrine of 
Christ, and philosophical inquisitions' (in religion) 'after the 
gospel belong not unto us.' As we are, 

IV. It were well, if Christians would but seriously con- 
sider, what and how many things they are wherein their pre- 
sent apprehensions of the mind and will of God do centre 
and agree ; I mean as to the substance of them, their nature 
and importance, and how far they will lead men in the ways 
of pleasing God, and coming to the enjoyment of him. 
Were not an endeavour to this purpose impeded by many 
men's importunate cries of all or none, as good nothing at 
all, as not every thing, and that in this or that way, mode, 
or fashion ; it might not a little conduce to the peace of 
Christendom. And I must acknowledge unto you, that I 
think it is prejudice, carnal interest, love of power, and pre- 
sent enjoyments, with other secular advantages, joined with 
pride, self-will and contempt of others, that keep the pro- 
fessors of Christianity from conspiring to improve this con- 
sideration. But God help us, we are all for parties, and 
our own exact being in the right, and therein the only 
church of Christ in the earth ; at least that others are so, 
only so far as they agree with us, we being ourselves the 
rule and standard of all gospel church state, laying weight 
upon what we differ from others in, for the most part ex- 
ceedingly above what it doth deserve. Were 'the same 
mind in us that was in Christ Jesus,' the same frame of spirit 
that was in his blessed apostles, we should be willing to try 
the effects of his love and care towards all that profess his 
name, by a sedate consideration at least, how far he hath 
instructed them in the knowledge of his will, and what ef- 
fects this learning of him may produce. And to tell you 
truly, I do not think there is a more horrid monster in the 
earth than that opinion is, which in the great diversity that 
there is among Christians in the world, includes happiness 


and salvation within the limits and precincts of any party 
of them ; as though Christ, and the gospel, their own faith, 
obedience, and sufferings, could not possibly do them any 
good in their station and condition. This is that Alecto, 

Cai tristia bella 
Iraque insidisque et criinina iioxia cordi, 
Odit et ipse pater Pluton, odere sorores 
Tartareaj monstrum : Tot sese vertit in ora. 
Tain sa2va3 facias, tot pullulat atra colubris. 

Wherever this opinion takes place, which indeed bids defi- 
ance to the goodness of God, and the blood of Christ with 
a gigantic boldness, for men to talk of moderation, unity, 
and peace, is to mock others and to befool themselves in 
things of the greatest importance in the world : ' Altera 
manu ostentant panem, altera lapidera ferunt.' For my own 
part, I have not any firmer persuasion in and about these 
things, nor that yields more satisfaction and contentment 
unto my mind in reflections upon it, than this ; that if a 
man sincerely believe all that, and only that, wherein all 
Christians in the world agree, and yield obedience unto 
God according to the guidance of what he doth so believe, 
not neglecting or refusing the knowledge of any one truth 
that he hath sufficient means to be instructed in, he need 
not go unto any church in the world to secure his salvation. 
' Hie murus aheneus esto.' It is true, it is the duty of such 
a man to join himself unto some church of Christ or other, 
which walks in professed subjection unto his institutions, 
and in the observation of his appointments. But to think 
that his not being of, or joining with this or that society, 
should cut him off from all hopes of a blessed eternity, is 
but to entertain a viper in our minds, or to act suitably to 
the principles of the old serpent, and to put forth the venom 
of his poison. Some of the ancients indeed tell us, that out 
of the catholic church there is no salvation. And so say I 
also, but withal, that the belief mentioned of the truths ge- 
nerally embraced by Christians in their present divisions in 
the world (I still speak of the most famous and numerous 
societies of them), and its profession, do so constitute a man 
a member of the catholic church, that whilst he walks an- 
swerably to his profession, it is not in the povv^er of this or 
that, no not of all the churches in the world, to divest him 
of that privilege. Nor can all these cries that are in the 


world. We are the church, and we are the church ; you are 
not the church, and you are not the church, persuade me 
but that as every assembly in the general notion of it is a 
church, so every assembly of Christians that ordinarily meet 
to worship God in Christ according to his appointment, is 
a church of Christ, 

Haec mi pater 
Te dicere requum fuit et id defeiidere. 

When you talked of moderation and unity, such principles 
as these had better become you, than those which you either 
privately couched in your discourse, or openly insisted on. 
Men that think of reducing unity among Christians, upon 
the precise terms of that truth which they suppose them- 
selves 'insolidum' possessors of, ' Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt,' 
do but entertain themselves with pleasant dreams, which a 
little consideration may awake them from charity, conde- 
scension, a retrenchment of opinions with a rejection of 
secular interests, and a design for the pursuit of general 
obedience, without any such respect to the particular en- 
closures which diversity of opinions and different measures 
of light and knowledge have made in the field of the Lord, 
as should confine the effects of any duty towards the dis- 
ciples of Christ, unto those within them, with the like act- 
ings of minds suited unto the example of Jesus Christ, must 
introduce the desired unity, or we shall expect it in vain. 

These are some of my hasty thoughts upon the princi- 
ples of Protestants before-mentioned, which you and others, 
may make use of, as you and they please. In the mean time 
I shall pray that we may, amidst all our differences, love one 
another, pray for one another, wait patiently for the commu- 
nication of farther light unto one another, leave evil sur- 
mises, and much more the condemning and seeking the ruin 
of those that dissent from us, which men usually do on 
various pretences, most of them false and coined for the 
present purpose. And when we can arrive thereunto, I 
shall hope that from such general principles as before-men- 
tioned, somewhat may be advanced towards the peace of 
Christians ; and that there will be so, when the whole con- 
cernment of religion shall in the providence of God be un- 
ravelled from that worldly and secular interest, wherewith 
it hath been wound up and entangled for sundry ages ; and 


when men shall not be engaged from their cradles to their 
graves in a precipitate zeal for any church, or way of pro- 
fession, by outward advantages inseparably mixed and 
blended with it before they came into the world. In the 
mean time, to expect unity in profession, by the reduction 
of all men to a precise agreement in all the doctrines that 
have been and are ventilated among Christians, and in all 
acts and ways of worship ; is to refer the supreme and last 
determination of things evangelical to the sword of secular 
power and violence ; and to inscribe ' vox ultima Christi,' 
upon great guns and other engines of war ; seeing otherwise 
it will not be effected, and what may be done this way I 
know not. 

Sponte tonat coeunt ipsse sine flamine nubes. 


Farther vindication of the second chapter of the Animadversions ; the 
remaining' principles of Fiat Lux considered. 

It is time to return, and put an end unto our review of those 
principles, which I observed your discourse to be built upon. 
The next, as laid down in the Animadversions, p. 103. [p. 55.] 
is, ' That the pope is a good man, one that seeks nothing 
but our good, that never did us harm, but hath the care and 
inspection of us committed unto him by Christ.' In the 
repetition hereof you leave out all the last part, and express 
no more, but ' the pope is a good man, and seeks nothing 
but our good ;' and therein aim at a double advantage unto 
yourself. First, That you may with some colour of truth, 
though really without it, deny the assertion to be yours, 
when as the latter part of it, which upon the matter, is that 
which gives the sense, and determines the meaning of the 
whole, is expressly contended for by you, and that fre- 
quently, and at large. Secondly, That you may vent an 
empty cavil against that expression, * seeks nothing but 
our good ;' whereas, had you added the next words, ' and 
never did us harm,' every one would have perceived in what 
sense the former were spoken, and so have prevented the 



frivolous exception. Your words are, ' This also I nowhere 
aver, for I never saw him, nor have any such acquaintance 
with him as to know whether he be a good man, or no : 
though in charity I do not use to judge hardly of any body ; 
much less could say, that he whom I know to have a ge- 
neral solicitude for all churches, seeks nothing but our 
good. Sir, if I had pondered my words in Fiat Lux no better 
than you heed yours in your Animadversions upon it, they 
might even go together both of them to lay up pepper and 
spices, or some yet more vile employment.' 

For what you have said of the pope, I desire the reader 
to consult your paragraph so entitled : and if he find not 
that you have said ten times more inthe commendation of him 
than I intimated in the words laid down for your principle, 
I am content to be esteemed to have done you wrong. You 
have indeed not only set him out as a good man, but have 
made him much more than a man, and have ascribed that 
unto him, which is not lawful to be ascribed unto any man 
whatever. Some of your expressions I have again reminded 
you of, and many others of the same nature might be in- 
stanced in : and what you can say more of him than you have 
done, unless you would 'exalt him above all that is called 
God, and worshipped ;' unless you should set him ' in the tem- 
ple of God, and shew him that he is God,' I know not. Let 
the reader, if he please, consult your expressions, where you 
have placed them ; I shall stain paper with them no more. 
And you do but trifle with us, when you tell us that 'you 
know not the pope, nor have any such acquaintance with 
him, as to know whether he be a good man or no.' As 
though your personal acquaintance with this or that pope, 
belonged at all to our question. Although I must needs 
say, that it seems very strange unto me, that you should 
hang the weight of religion, and the salvation of your own 
soul, upon one of whom you know not so much as whether 
he be a good man, or no. For my part, I am persuaded there 
is no such hardship in Christian religion, as that we should 
be bound to believe, that all the safety of our faith and sal- 
vation depends on a man, and he such a one as concerning 
whom we know not whether he be a good man or no. The 
apostle lays the foundation of our hope in better ground, 
Heb. i. 1 — 3. And yet whatever opinion you may have of 


your present pope, you are forced to be at this indifFerency 
about his honesty, because you are not able to deny but that 
very many of his predecessors, on whose shoulders the weight 
of all your religion lay, no less than you suppose it doth on 
his who now sways the papal sceptre, were very brutes, so far 
from being good men, as that they may be reckoned amongst 
the worst in the world. Protestants, as I said, are persuaded 
that their faith is laid up in better hands. With the latter 
part of my words, as by you set down, you play sophisti- 
cally, that you might say something to them (as to my 
knowledge, I never observed any man so hard put to it, to 
say somewhat, were it right or wrong), which seems to be 
the utmost of your design. You feign the sense of my words 
to be, 'that the pope doth no other thing in the world but 
seek our good :' and confute me by saying, 'that he hath a 
general solicitude for all churches.' But, sir, I said not, 'he 
doth nothing but seek our good ;' but only, 'he seeks nothing 
but our good, and never did us harm.' And you may quickly 
see how causelessly you fall into a contemplation of your 
accuracy in your Fiat, and of the looseness of my expres- 
sions in the Animadversions. For although I acknowledge 
that discourse to have been written in greater haste than 
perhaps the severer judgments of learned men might well 
allow of, as is also this return unto your epistle, being both 
of them proportioned rather unto ihe merit of your discourse, 
than that of the cause in agitation between us ; yet I cannot 
see that you or any man else, hath any just cause to except 
against this expression of my intention, which yet is the 
only one, that in that kind, falls under your censure. For 
whereas I say, that the pope seeks nothing but our good, 
and that he never did us harm, would any man living but 
yourself, understand these words any otherwise, but with 
reference unto them of whom I speak ? that is, as to us, he 
seeks nothing but our good, whatever he doth in the world 
besides. And is it not a wild interpretation, that you make 
of my words, whilst you suppose me to intimate, that ' abso- 
lutely the pope doth nothing in the world,' or hath no other 
business at all that he concerns himself in, but only the seek- 
ing of our good in particular ? If you cannot allow the books 
that you read the common civility of interpreting things in- 
definitely expressed in them, with the limitations that the 


subject matter whereof they treat requires, you had better 
employ your time in any thing than study, as being not able 
to understand many lines in any author you shall read. Nor 
are such expressions to be avoided in our common discourse. 
If a man, talking of your Fiat, should say, that you do nothing 
but seek the good of your countrymen, would you interpret 
his words, as though he denied that you say mass, and hear 
confessions, or to intimate that you do nothing but write 
Fiats? and you know with whom lies both ' jus et norma 

The tenth and last principle is, 'That the devotion of Ca- 
tholics far transcends that of Protestants ;' so you now ex- 
press it : what you mention being but one part of three, that 
the Animadversions speak unto. Hereunto you reply, ' But, 
sir, I never made in Fiat Lux any comparisons between your 
devotions ; nor can I say how much the one is, or how little 
the other: but you are the maddest commentator that I have 
ever seen : you first make the text, and then Animadversions 
upon it.' Pray, sir, have a little patience, and learn from this 
instance not to be too confident upon your memory for the 
future. I shall rather think that fails you at present, than 
your conscience ; but a failure I am sure there is, and you 
shall take the liberty to charge it where you please, which 
is more than every one would allow you. I would indeed 
desirously free myself from the labour of transcribing aught 
that you have written to this purpose in your Fiat; and only 
refer you to the places which you seem to have forgotten. 
But because this is the last instance of this kind that we are 
to treat about, and you have by degrees raised your confi- 
dence, in denying your own words to that height, as to ac- 
cuse them of madness who do but remind you of them; I 
shall represent unto once again you what you have written 
to this purpose ; and I am persuaded upon your review of it, 
you will like it so well, as to be sorry that ever you disowned 
it. I shall instance only in one place, which is sect. 22. pp. 
270, 271. where your words are these, ' When 1 beheld' (in the 
Catholic countries) * the deep reverence and earnest devotion 
of the people, the majesty of their service, the gravity of their 
altars, the decency of their priests ; certainly, said I within 
myself, this is the house of God, the gate of heaven. Alas, 
our churches in England as they be now, be as short of 


those, either for decency, use, or piety, as stables to a princely 
palace. There they be upon their knees all the week long 
at their prayers, many of them constantly an hour together 
in the morning, and half an hour he that is least; and my 
house, said God, is the house of prayer; but our churches 
are either shut up all the week, or, if they be open, are wholly 
taken up with boys shouting, running, and gambolling all 
about. On Sundays indeed our people sit quiet, and de- 
cently dressed, but to bow the knee is quite ouj; of fashion; 
and if any one chance to do it, as it is rare to behold, so he 
is very nimble at it, and as soon up as down, as if he made a 
courtship with his knees, and only tried if his nerves and 
sinews were as good to bow as to stand upright, and our 
whole religious work here, is to sit quietly whilst the minister 

speaks upon a text, and that we spend all our days, ever 

learning and teaching,' &c. If this discourse must be es- 
teemed text, I pray tell me whose it is, yours or mine ; or 
whether it doth not contain a comparison between the de- 
votion of your Catholics and Protestants; and whether that 
that of the former be not preferred above the other : and 
when you have done so, pray also tell me whether you sup- 
pose it an honest and candid way of hanging matters of this 
importance, or indeed of any sort whatever, for a man to say 
and unsay at his pleasure, according unto what he appre- 
hends to be for his present advantage. And whether a man 
may believe you, that you so accurately pondered the words 
of your Fiat, as you seem to pretend; seeing you dare not 
abide by what you have written, but disclaim it; and yet I 
confess this may fall out, if your design in the weighino- of 
your words, was so to place them, as to deceive us by them • 
which indeed it seems to have been. But it is your happi- 
ness, that your words are brought unto other men's scales 
after they had so fairly passed your own. For the devotioii 
itself (by the way) of Catholics, which you here paint forth 
unto us, it looks very suspiciously to be painted. The piety 
of your churches wherein they exceed ours, I confess I un- 
derstand not ; and your people's frequenting public places 
to perform their private devotions, leans much to the old 
Pharisaism, which our Saviour himself hath branded to all 
eternity for hypocritical, and carried on with little attend- 
ance unto his precept of making the closet, and that with 


the door shut upon the devotionists, the most proper seat of 
private supplications. Besides, if their prayers consist, as 
for the most part they do, in going over by tale a set num- 
ber of sayings which they little understand, you may do 
well to commend your devotion to them that understand not 
one word of gospel, for those that do will not attend unto 
it. And so I have once more passed through the principles 
of your work, with a fresh discussion of some of them, which 
I tell you again I suppose sufficient to satisfy judicious and 
ingenuous persons, in the sophistry and inconclusiveness of 
the whole : my farther procedure being intended for the sa- 
tisfaction of yourself, and such others as have imbibed the 
prejudices which you endeavour to forestall your minds 
withal, and thereby have given no small impeachment unto 
your judgment and ingenuity. 


Judicious readers. Schoolmen the forgers of popery. Nature of the 
discourse in Fiat Lux. 

Your ensuing discourses are such as might well be passed 
by, as containing nothing serious or worth a review. 

An passim sequerercorvum ? 

Ludicrous similitudes, with trifling exceptions to some words 
in the Animadversions, cut off from that coherence wherein 
they are placed, are the chief ingredients of it. With these 
you aim with your wonted success to make sport : 

Venite in ignem 

Pleni ruris et inficetiarum ' 
Annales Volusi 

I wish we had agreed beforehand, 

Ut faceres tu quod velles, nee non ego possem, 
Indulgere mihi. 

That I might have been freed from the consideration of such 
trifles : as the case stands, I shall make my passage through 
them with what speed I can. 

First, You except against the close of the considera- 
tion of your principles, namely, ' That I would do so to ray 
book also, if I had none to deal with, but ingenuous and ju- 
dicious readers.' And tell me, that ' it seems what follows is 


for readers neither judicious, nor ingenuous.' But why so, I 
pray ? That which is written for the information of them who 
want either judgment or ingenuity, may be also written for 
their use who have both. Neither did I speak absolutely of 
them that were ingenuous and judicious, but added also, that 
they were such as had an acquaintance with the state of reli- 
gion of old, and at this day in Europe, with the concernment of 
their own souls in these things. With such as these, I sup- 
posed then, and do still, that a discovery of the sophistry of 
your discourse, and the falseness of the principles you pro- 
ceeded on, was sufficient to give them satisfaction as to the 
usefulness of the whole without a particular ventilating of 
the flourishes that you made upon your sandy foundations. 
But because I know there were some, that might by the 
commendation of your friends light upon your discourse, 
that either being prepossessed by prejudices might want 
the ingenuity to examine particularly your assertions and 
inferences, or through unacquaintedness with the stories of 
some things, that you referred unto, might be disenabled to 
make a right judgment of what you averred, I was willing to 
take some farther pains also for your satisfaction. And 
what was herein done, or spoken amiss, as yet I cannot dis- 
cern. But I am persuaded, that if you had not supposed 
that you had some of little judgment and less ingenuity to 
give satisfaction unto, you would never have pleased yourself, 
with the writing of such empty trifles, in a business wherein 
you pretend so great a concernment. 

Page 31. You observe that I say, 'The schoolmen were 
the hammerers and forgers of popery :' and add, ' Alas, sir, I 
see that anger spoils your memory ; for the twelfth and thir- 
teenth chapter you make popery to be hammered and forged 
not a few hundreds of years before any schoolmen were ex- 
tant : and therefore tell me that I hate the schoolmen as the 
Frenchmen do Talbot, for having been frightened with them 
formerly ; 

Sed risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.' 

I confess the language of your schoolmen is so corrupt and 
barbarous, many of the things they sweat about so vain, 
curious, unprofitable, their way of handling things, and ex- 
pressing the notions of their minds so perplexed, dark, ob- 
scure, and oftentimes unintellisrible, divers of their assertions 


and suppositions so horrid and monstrous ; the whole sys- 
tem of their pretended divinity so alien and foreign unto 
the mystery of the gospel, that I know no great reason that 
any man hath much to delight in them. These things have 
made them the sport and scorn of the learnedest men that 
ever lived in the communion of your own church. What one 
said of old of others, may be well applied unto them. 

Statum lacessnnt omnipotentis Dei 

Calumniosis litibus. 
Fidera minutis dissecant ambagibns 

Ut quisque est linguar neqiiior. 
Solvimt ligantque quEestionum vincula 

Per Syllogisraos plectiles. 

Indeed to see them come forth harnessed with syllogisms 
and sophisms, attended with obs and sols, speaking part the 
language of the Jews, and part the language of Ashdod, 
fighting and contending among themselves, as if they had 
sprung from the teeth of Cadmus' serpent, subjecting all the 
properties, decrees, and actions of the holy God to your pro- 
fane babblings, might perhaps beget some fear in the minds 
of men not much guilty of want of constancy, as the sight 
of the Harpies did of old to ^nseas and his companions, of 
whom they gave that account, 

Tristiiis baud illis monstrum nee savior uUa 
Pestis, et ira Deuni, Stygiis sese extulit undis. 
Vidimus, et subita gelidus foniiidine sanguis 
Diriguit, cecidere anirai. 

But the truth is, there is no real cause of fear of them : 
they are not like to do mischief to any, unless they are re- 
solved aforehand to give up their faith in the things of God 
to the authority of this or that philosopher, and forego all 
solid rational consideration of things, to betake themselves 
to sophistical canting, and the winding up of subtlety into 
plain nonsense; which oftentimes befalls the best of them; 
whence Melchior Canus, one of yourselves, says of some of 
your learned disputes, * Puderet me dicere non intelligere, 
si ipsi intelligerent qui tractarunt.' ' I should be ashamed 
to say I did not understand them, but that they understood 
not themselves,' Others may be entangled by them, who 
if they cannot untie your knots, they may break your webs, 
especially when they find the conclusions, as oftentimes 
they are, directly contrary to Scripture, right reason, and na- 
tural sense itself. For they are the genuine offspring of the old 
sophisters whom Lucian talks of in his Menippus, or vtKpofxav- 


ria, and tells us that in hearing the disputations, to navTiov 
oeivbjv (tTOTToraTOv, on TTzgi nov tvavTuoTciTiov eKaarog avTiov 
\iywv o-^oSjOa veKovvrag koX m^avovg \6yovg fTropt^tro, wore 
jUTjre Tw ^epfiov to avTO TTpajfxa XeyovTi, ju/jt£ ti^ ipv)(^pbv 
avTiXijeiv t'x^'^' '^^^ Tavra tiSora (TiKJxog ojg ouk av ttote 3'fp/xov 
Ti tiT) Koi ipv)(^pov Iv TavTw xpovM. ' That/ saith he, * which 
seemed the most absurd of all, was, that when they disputed 
of things absolutely contrary, they j^et brought invincible 
and persuasive reasons to prove what they said : so that I 
durst not speak a word against him that affirmed hot and 
cold to be the same, although I knew well enough that the 
same thing could not be hot and cold at the same time.' 
And therefore he tells, us that in hearing of them he did 
like a man half asleep, sometimes nod one way, and some- 
times another, which is certainly the deportment of the 
generality of them who are conversant in the wrangles of 
your schoolmen. But whatever I said of them, or your 
church, is perfectly consistent with itself, and the truth. 
I grant that before the schoolmen set forth in the world, 
many unsound opinions were broached in, and many su- 
perstitious practices admitted into your church : and a 
great pretence raised unto a superintendency over other 
churches, which were parts of that mass out of which your 
popery is formed. But before the schoolmen took it in 
hand, it was 'rudis indigestaque moles,' a heap, not a house. 
As rabbi Juda Hakkadosh gathered the passant traditions 
of his own time among the Jews into a body or system, 
which is called the Mishna or duplicate of their law, 
Vt^herein he composed a new religion for them, sufficiently 
distant from that which was professed by their forefathers ; 
so have your schoolmen done also. Out of the passant 
traditions of the days wherein they lived, blended with so- 
phistical corrupted notions of their own, countenanced and 
gilded with the sayings of some ancient writers of the 
church, for the most part wrested or misunderstood, they 
have hammered out that system of philosophical traditional 
divinity, which is now enstamped with the authority of the 
tridentine council, being as far distant from the divinity of 
the New Testament, as the farrago of traditions collected 
by Rabbi Juda, and improved in the Talmud s, is from that 
of the old. 

VOL, xviii. 2d 


Page 33 — 35. Having nothing else to say, you fall 
again upon my pretended mistake, of considering that as 
* spoken absolutely by you, which you spake only upon sup- 
position ;' and talk of ' metaphysical speculations in your 
Fiat, which you conceive me very unmeet to deal withal ; 
and direct me to Bellarmine's catechism, as better suiting 
my inclination and capacity.' But, sir, we are not wont 
here in England to account cloudy, dark, sophistical decla- 
mations to be metaphysical speculations ; nor every feigned 
supposition to be a philosophical abstraction. I wish you 
would be persuaded that there is not the least tincture of 
any solid metaphysics in your whole discourse. It may be 
indeed you would be angry with them that should undeceive 
you ; and cry out, 

Pol rae occidistis amici, 

Non servastis, 

As he did, 

Cui demptus per vira mentis gratissimus error. 

You may perhaps please yourself with conceits of your me- 
taphysical achievements ; but your friends cannot but pity 
you to see your vanity. The least youth in our universities 
will tell you, that to make a general supposition true or 
false, and to flourish upon it with words of a seeming pro- 
bability, without any cogency or proof, belongs to rhetoric, 
and not at all to metaphysics. And this is the very nature 
of your discourse. Nor do I mistake your aim in it, as you 
pretend : I grant in the place you would be thought to 
reply unto, though you speak not one word to the purpose, 
that your inquiry is after a means of settling men in the 
truth, upon supposition that they are not yet attained 
thereunto ; and you labour to shew the difficulty that there 
is in that attainment, upon the account of the insufficiency 
of many mediums that may be pretended to be used for that 
end. In answer unto your inquiry, I tell you directly, that 
the only means of settling men in the truth of religion, is 
divine revelation ; and that this revelation is entirely and 
perfectly contained in the Scripture, which therefore is a 
sufficient means of settling all men in the truth. Suppose 
them 'rasae tabula;,' suppose them utterly ignorant of truth ; 
suppose them prejudiced against itj suppose them divided 


amongst themselves about it ; the only safe, rational, secure 
way of bringing them all to settlement is their belief of the 
revelation of God contained in the Scripture. This I ma- 
nifested unto you in the Animadversions, whereunto you 
reply by a commendation of your own metaphysical abilities 
with the excellencies of your discourse; without taking the 
least notice of my answer, or the reasons given you against 
that fanatical groundless 'credo,' which you would now again 
impose upon us. 


False suppositions, causing false and absurd consequences. Whence we 
had the gospel in England, and by whose means. What is our duty in 
reference unto them by whom we receive the gospel. 

Page 36. You insist upon somewhat in particular that 
looks towards your purpose, which shall therefore be dis- 
cussed; for I shall not willingly miss any opportunity that 
you will afford me, of examining whatever you have to 
tender in the behalf of your dying cause. You mind me 
therefore of my answer unto that discourse of yours ; * If 
the Papist or Roman Catholic who first brought us the 
news of Christianity, be now become so odious; then may 
likewise the whole story of Christianity be thought a ro- 
mance. You speak with the like extravagancy, and mind 
not my hypothetics at all, to speak directly to my inference 
as it became a man of art to do : but neglecting my conse- 
quence, which in that discourse is principally and solely 
intended ; you seem to deny my supposition : which if my 
discourse had been drawn into a syllogism, would have 
been the minor of it. And it consists of two categories : 
First, That the Papist is now become odious ; Secondly, 
That the Papist delivered us the first news of Christianity. 
The first of these you little heed: the second you deny. 
That the Papist, say you, or Roman Catholic first brought 
Christ and his Christianity into this land, is most untrue : 
I wonder, Sec. And your reason is, because if any Romans 
came hither, they were not Papists, and indeed our Chris- 
2 D 2 


tianity came from the east. And this is all you say to my 
hypothetic, or conditional ratiocination, as if I had said 
nothing at all, but that one absolute category, which being 
delivered before, I now only suppose. You used to call me 
a civil logician; but I fear a natural one as you are, will 
hardly be able to justify this notion of yours as artificial. 
A conditional hath a verity of its own, so far differing from 
the supposed category, that this being false, that may yet 
be true. For example, if I should say thus, A nian who 
hath wings as an eagle, or if a man had wings of an eagle, 
he might fly in the air as well as another bird ; and such an 
assertion is not to be confuted by proving that a man hath 
not the wings of an eagle.' 

The substance of this whole discourse, is no more but 
this, That because the inference upon a supposition may 
be a consequence logically true, though the supposition be 
false, or feigned ; therefore the consequent, or thing in- 
ferred also is really true, and a man must fly in the air, as 
you say, like another bird. But, sir, though every conse- 
quence be true logically, that is lawfully inferred from its 
premises, be they true or false ; and so must in disputation 
be allowed ; yet, where the consequent is the thing in 
question, to suppose that if the consequence be lawfully 
educed from the premises, that it also must be true, is a 
fond surmise. And therefore they know 'qui nondum acre 
laventur,' that the way to disappoint the conclusion of an 
hypothetic syllogism, is to disprove the category included 
in the supposition, when reduced into an assumption from 
whence it is to be inferred. For instance, if the thing in 
question be. Whether a man can fly in the air (as you say) 
like another bird ; and to prove it, you should say, if he 
lias wings he can do so : the way I think to stop your pro- 
gress, is to deny that he hath wings. And if you should 
continue to wrangle that your inference is good, if he hath 
wings, he may fly like another bird, you would but make 
yourself ridiculous. But if you may be allowed to make 
false and absurd suppositions, and must have them taken 
for granted, you are very much to blame if you infer not 
conclusions unto your own purpose. And this in general 
is your constant way of dealing : unless we will allow you 
to suppose yourselves to be the church, and that all the ex- 


cellent things which are spoken of the church belong unto 
you alone, with the like groundless presumptions, you are 
instantly mute, as if there had appeared unto you 

Harpocrates digito qui significat St. 

But if in the case in agitation between us, I should permit 
you without control to make what suppositions you please, 
and to make inferences from them, which must be admitted 
for truth, because logically following upon your supposi- 
tions, what man of art I might have appeared unto you, I 
know not: I fear with others, I should scarcely have pre- 
served the reputation of common sense or understanding. 
And I must acknowledge unto you, that I am ignorant of 
that logic which teacheth men to suffer their adversaries to 
proceed and infer upon absurdities and false suppositions, 
to oppose the truth which they maintain. And yet I know 
well enough what Aristotle hath taught us concerning to 
Xa/ijSavEtv TO Iv «PXP' "^"^ '''^ o^vairiov wg a'lTiov riQivai, in 
which part of his logic, you seem to have been most con- 

But let us once again consider your ratiocination as 
here you endeavour to reinforce, it. Your supposition you 
say 'includes these two categories : First, That the Papists 
are become odious unto us ; Secondly, That the Papists 
delivered us the first news of Christianity.' Well, both these 
propositions I deny. Papists are not become odious unto 
us, though we love not their popery : Papists did not bring 
us the first news of Christianity. This I have proved unto 
you already, and shall yet do it farther. Will you now be 
angry and talk of logic, because I grant not the consequent 
of these false pretensions to be true ? as if every syllogism 
must of necessity be true materially, v/hich is so in form. 
But yet farther, to discover your mistake, I was so willing 
to hear you out unto the utmost of what you had to say, 
that in the Animadversions after the discovery of the falsity 
of the assertions that it arose from, I suffered your supposi- 
tion to pass, and shewed you the weakness of your inference 
upon it. And the reason of my so doing, was this ; that 
because though the Papists brought not the gospel first 
into England, yet I do not judge it impossible but that they 
may be the means of communicating it unto some other 


place or people ; and I would be loath to grant, that they 
who receive it from them, must either always embrace their 
popery, or renounce the gospel. I confess a great en- 
tanglement would be put on the thoughts and minds of 
such persons, by the principle of the infallibility of them 
that sent your teachers, whereinto it may be also they 
would labour to resolve your belief. But yet if withal 
you shall communicate unto them the gospel itself, as the 
great repository of the mysteries of that religion wherein 
you instruct them, there is a sufficient foundation laid 
for their reception of Christianity, and the rejection of 
your popery. For when once the gospel hath evidenced 
itself unto their consciences that it is from God, as it 
will do if it be received unto any benefit or advantage 
at all, they will, or may easily discern, that those who 
brought it unto them, were themselves in many things de- 
ceived in their apprehensions of the mind of God therein 
revealed ; especially as to your pretence of the infallibility 
of any man, or men, any farther than his conceptions agree 
with what is revealed in that gospel which they have re- 
ceived, and now for its own sake believe to be from God. 
And once to imagine, that when the Scripture is received by 
faith, and hath brought the soul into subjection to the au- 
thority of God, exerting itself in it, and by it, that it will 
not warrant them in the rejection of any respect unto men 
■whatever, is, *to err not knowing the Scripture, nor the 
power of God.' In this condition of things, men will bless 
God for any means which he was pleased to use in the com- 
municating the gospel unto them ; and if those who were em- 
ployed in that work shall persist in obtruding upon their faith 
and worship, things that are not revealed, they will quickly 
discover such a contradiction in their principles, as that it is 
utterly impossible that they should rationally assent unto, and 
embrace them all, but either they must renounce the gospel 
which they have brought them, or reject those other prin- 
ciples which they would impose upon them that are contrary 
thereunto. And whether of those they will do, upon a sup- 
position that the gospel hath now obtained that authority 
over their consciences and minds, which it claims in and 
over all that receive it, it is no hard matter to determine. 
Men, then, who have themselves mixed the doctrine of the 


gospel with many abominable errors of their own, may in 
the providence of God be made instrumental to convey the 
gospel unto others. At the first tender of it they may for 
the truth's sake which they are convinced of, receive also the 
errors that are tendered unto them, as being as yet not able 
to discern the chaff from the wheat. But when once the 
gospel is rooted in their minds, and they begin to have their 
senses exercised therein to discern between good and evil, 
and their faith of the truth they receive is resolved into the 
authority of God himself, the author of the gospel, they have 
their warrant for the rejection of the errors which they had 
before imbibed, according as they shall be discovered unto 
them. For though they may first consider the gospel on 
the proposition of them that first bring them the tidings of 
it, as the Samaritans came to our Saviour upon the informa- 
tion of the woman ; yet, when they come to experience them- 
selves its power and efficacy, they believe it for its own sake, 
as those did also in our Lord Jesus Christ upon his own ac- 
count; when this is done, they will be enabled to distin- 
guish, as the prophet speaks, ' between a dream and a pro- 
phecy, between chaff and wheat,' between error and truth. 
And thus if we should grant that the first news of Christi- 
anity was brought into England by Papists, yet it doth not 
at all follow, that if we reject popery, we must also reject 
the gospel or esteem it a romance. For if we should have 
received pcpery, we should have received it only upon the 
credit and authority of them that brought it : but the truth 
of Christianity we should have received on the authority of 
the gospel, which was brought unto us ; so that our enter- 
tainment of popery and Christianity standing not on the same 
bottom or foot of account, we might well reject the one and 
retain the other. But this consideration as to us, is need- 
less; they were not Papists which brought Christianity first 
into this land. Wherefore, well knowing that the whole 
strength of their reasoning depends on the supposition that 
they were so, you proceed to confirm it in your manner, that 
is, by saying it over again. But we will hear you speaking 
your own words. 

'We had not our Christianity immediately from the east, 
nor from Joseph of Arimathea, we Englishmen had not. For 
as he delivered his Christianity unto some Britons, when 



our land was not called England, but Albion, or Brittany, 
and the inhabitants were not Englishmen but Britons or 
Cimbrians ; so likewise did that Christianity, and the whole 
news of it quite vanish, being suddenly overwhelmed by the 
ancient deluge of paganism; nor did it ever come from thera 
to us : nay, the Britons themselves had so forgot and lost it, 
that they also needed a second conversion, which they re- 
ceived from pope Eleutherius : and that was the only news 
of Christianity which prevailed and lasted even amongst the 
very Britons, which seems to me a great secret of divine 
providence in planting and governing his church, as if he 
would have nothing to stand firm and lasting, but what was 
immediately fixed by, and seated upon, that rock : for all 
other conversions have variety, and the very seats of the 
other apostles failed, that all might the better cement in the 
unity of one head : nay, the tables which God wrote with 
his own hand were broken, but the other written by Moses 
remained ; that we might learn to give a due respect unto 
him, whom God hath set over us as our head and ruler under 
him, and none exalt himself against him. I know you will 
laugh at this my observation ; but I cannot but tell you what 
I think. Where I speak then of the news of Christianity 
first brought to this land, I mean not that which was first 
brought upon the earth or soil of this land, and spoken to 
any body then dwelling here, but which was delivered to 
the forefathers of the now present inhabitants, who were 
Saxons or Englishmen. And I say that we, the now pre- 
sent inhabitants of England, offspring of the Saxons or Eng- 
lish, had the first news of our Christianity immediately from 
Rome, and from pope Gregorius, the Roman patriarch, by 
the hands of his missioner St. Austin. Since then the cate- 
goric assertions are both clear, namely, that the Papists first 
brought us the news of Christianity ; and, secondly, That the 
Papist is now become odious unto us ; what say you to my 
consequent? that the whole story of Christianity may as 
well be deemed a romance, as any part of that Christianity 
we at first received, is now judged to be a part of a romance. 
This consequence of mine, it behoved a man of those great 
parts you would be thought to have, to heed attentively, and 
yet you never minded it.' 

Some few observations upon this discourse of yours, will 


farther manifest the absurdity of that consequence, which 
you feign not to have been taken notice of in the Animadver- 
sions, for which you had no cause, but that you might easily 
discern that it did not deserve it. 1. Then you grant that 
the gospel came out of the East into this land. So' then we 
did not first receive the gospel from Rome, much less by the 
means of Papists. But the land was then called Albion, or 
Brittany, and the people Britons or Cirabrians, not English- 
men. What then, though the names of places or people are 
changed, the gospel, wherever it is, is still the same. But 
the Britons lost the gospel until they had a new conversion 
from Rome by the means of Eleutherius. But you fail, sir, 
and are either ignorant in the story of those times, or else 
wilfully pervert the truth. All the fathers and favourers 
of that story, agree, that Christianity was well rooted and 
known in Britain, when Lucius, as is pretended, sent to Eleu- 
therius for assistance in its propagation. Your own Baro- 
nius will assure you no less, ad An. 183. n. 3, 4. Gildas de 
Excid. will do it more fully. Virunnius tells us, that the 
Britons were then * strengthened in the faith,' not that they 
then i-eceived it : strengthened in what they had, not newly 
converted, though some, as it is said, were so. And the days 
of Lucius are assigned by Sabellicus, as the time wherein 
the whole province received the name of Christ, * publicitus 
cum ordinatione,' 'by public decree:' that it was received 
there before, and abode there, as in other places of the world 
under persecution, all men agree. In this interval of time 
did the British church bring forth Claudia, Ruffina, Elvanus, 
and Meduinus, whose names amongst others are yet pre- 
served. And to this space of time do the testimonies of 
Tertullian ad Judge, and of Origen. Hom. 4. in Ezek, con- 
cerning Christianity in Briton belong. Besides, if the only 
prevalent religion in Brittany were, as you fancy, that which 
came from Rome, how came the observation of Easter both 
amongst the Britons, as Beda manifests, and the Scots, as 
Petrus Cluniacensis declares to be answerable to the cus- 
toms of the eastern church, and contrary to those of the 
Roman ? Did those that came from Rome teach them to do 
that which they judged their duty not to do? But what need 
we stay in the confutation of this figment? The very epistle 
of Eleutherius manifests it abundantly so to be. If there 


be any thing of truth in that rescript, it doth not appear that 
Lucius wrote any thing unto him about Christian reUgion, 
but about the imperial laws to govern his kingdom by ; and 
Eleutherius, in his answer, plainly intimates that the Scrip- 
ture was received amongst the Britons, and the gospel much 
dispersed over the whole nation. And yet this figment of 
your own you make the bottom of a most strange contem- 
plation ; namely, that God in his 'providence would have all 
that Christianity fail which came not from Rome.' That is 
the meaning of those expressions, ' he would have nothing 
stand firm or lasting, but what was immediately fixed by, 
and seated on, that rock ; for all other conversions have va- 
nished.' Really, sir, I am sorry for you, to see what woful 
shelves your prejudicate opinions do cast you upon, who in 
yourself seem to be a well-meaning good-natured man. Do 
you think indeed that those conversions that were wrought 
in the world by the means of any persons not coming from 
Rome, which were Christ himself and all his apostles, were 
not fixed on the rock ? Can such a blasphemous thought enter 
into your heart ? If those primitive converts that were called 
unto the faith by persons coming out of the east, were not 
built on the rock, they all perished everlastingly, every soul 
of them ; and if the other churches planted by them, were 
not immediately fixed and seated on the rock, they went all 
to hell, the gates of it prevailed against them. Do you 
think indeed that God suffered all the churches in the world 
to come to nothing, that all Christians might be brought 
into subjection to your pope, which you call 'cementing in 
a unity of one head V If you do so, you think wickedly, that 
he is altogether like unto yourself; but he will reprove you, 
and set your faults in order before your eyes. Such hor- 
rible dismal thoughts do men allow themselves to be con- 
versant withal, who are resolved to sacrifice truth, reason, 
and charity, unto their prejudices and interest. Take heed, 
sir, lest the rock that you boast of, prove not seven hills 
and deceive you. In the pursuit of the same consideration, 
you tell me, ' that I will laugh at your observation, that the 
tables written by God's own hand were broken, but those 
written by Moses remained, that we may learn to give a due 
respect to him whom God hath set over us.' But you do 
not well to say so ; I do not laugh at your observation, but 


I really pity you that make it. Pray, sir, what were those 
tables that were written by Moses, when those written by 
God were broken ? Such mistakes as these you ever and 
anon fall into, and I fear for want of being conversant in 
holy writ, which it seems your principles prompt you unto a 
neglect of. Sir, the tables prepared by Moses were no less 
written with the finger of God, than those were which he 
first prepared himself; Exod. xxiv. 28. Deut. x. 1, 2.4. And 
if you had laid a good ground for your notion, that the 
tables prepared by God were broken, and those hewed by 
Moses preserved: and would have only added what you 
ought to have done, that there was nothing in the tables de- 
livered unto the people by Moses, but what was written by 
the finger of God, I should have commended both it, and the 
inference you make from it. As it is built by you on the 
sand, it would fall with its own weight, were it no heavier 
than a feather. But you lay great stress 1 suppose on that 
which follows : namely, ' that the Britons being expelled by 
the Saxons, the Saxons first received their Christianity from 
Rome. You may remember what hath been told you al- 
ready in answer to this case, about Rome's being left with- 
out inhabitants by Totilas. Besides, if we that are now in- 
habitants of England must be thought to have first received 
the gospel, then when it was first preached unto our own 
progenitors in a direct line ascending, this will be found a 
matter so dubious and uncertain, as not possibly to be a 
thing of any concernment in Christian religion ; and more- 
over will exempt most of the chief families of England from 
your enclosure, seeing one way or other they derive them- 
selves from the ancient Britons. Such pitiful trifles are 
you forced to make use of, to give countenance unto your 
cause. But let it be granted that Christianity was first com- 
municated unto the Saxons from Rome in the days of pope 
Gregory, which yet indeed is not true neither : for queen 
Berta, with her bishop Luidhardus, had both practised the 
worship of Christ in England before his coming, and so pre- 
pared the people, that Gregory says in one of his epistles, 
' Anglorum gentem voluisse fieri Christianam.' What will 
thence ensue ? why plainly, that we must be all Papists or 
atheists, and esteem the whole gospel a romance. But why 


SO, I pray? Why, the categoric assertions are both clear; 
namely, that the Papists first brought us the news of Chris- 
tianity ; and that Papists are now odious. But how 
comes this about? we were talking of Gregory, and some 
that came from Rome in his days. And if you take them 
for Papists, you are much deceived. Prove that there was 
one Papist at Rome in the days of that Gregory, and I will 
be another ; 1 mean such a Papist as your present pope is, or 
as yourself are. Do you think that Gregory believed the 
Catholic supremacy and infallibility of the pope? the doing 
whereof in an especial manner constitutes a man a Papist. 
If you have any such thoughts, you are an utter stranger to 
the state of things in those days, as also to the writings of 
Gregory himself. For your better information, you may do 
well to consult him, lib. 4. epist. 32. 3(3. 38. And sundry 
other instances may be given out of his own writings, how 
remote he was from your present popery. Irregularities and 
superstitious observations were, not a few in his days crept 
into the church of Rome, which you still pertinaciously ad- 
here unto, as you have the happiness to adhere firmly unto 
any thing that you once irregularly embrace. But that the 
main doctrines, principles, practices, and modes of worship 
which constitute popery, were known, admitted, practised, 
or received at Rome in the days of Gregory, I know full 
well that you are not able to prove. And by this you may see 
the truth of your first assertion, that ' Papists brought us the 
first news of Christianity :' which you do not in the least en- 
deavour to prove ; but take it hand over head, to be the same 
with this, that some from Rome preached the gospel to the 
Saxons in the days of Gregory, which it hath no manner of 
affinity withal. Your second true assertion is, that the ' Pa- 
pist is now become odious unto us ;' but yet neither will this 
be granted you. Popery we dislike, but that the Papists 
are become odious unto us, we absolutely deny. Though 
we like not the popery they have admitted, yet we love them 
for the Christianity which they have retained. And must 
not that needs be a doubty consequence that is educed out 
of principles wherein there is not a word of truth ? Besides, 
I have already in part manifested unto you, that supposing 
both of them to be true, as neither of them is ; yet your con- 


sequence is altogether inconsequent, and will by no means 
follow upon them. And this will yet more fully appear in 
an examination of your ensuing discourse. 

That which you fix upon to except against, is towards 
the close of my discourse to this purpose in these words as 
set down by you, p. 40. 'Many things delivered us at first 
with the first news of Christianity, may be afterward re- 
jected for the love of Christ, and by the commission of 
Christ.' The truth of this assertion I have nSwly proved 
again unto you, and have exemplified it in the instance of 
Papists bringing the first news of Christianity to any place, 
which is not impossible but they may do, though to this 
nation they did not. I had also before confirmed it with 
such reasons as you judged it best to take no notice of; 
which is your way with things that are too hard for you to 
grapple withal. I must, I see, drive these things through 
the thick obstacles of your prejudices with more instances, 
or you will not be sensible of them. What think you then 
of those who received the first news of Christianity by be- 
lievers of the circumcision, who at the same time taught 
them the necessity of being circumcised, and of keeping 
Moses's law ? were they not bound afterward upon the dis- 
covery of the mistake of their teachers to retain the gospel, 
and the truth thereof taught by them, and to reject the ob- 
servation of Mosaical rites and observations? or were they 
free upon the discovery of their mistake to esteem the whole 
gospel a romance? What think you of those that were con- 
verted by Arians, which were great multitudes, and some 
wjiole nations ? were not those nations bound for the love 
of Christ, by his word, to retain their Christianity, and re- 
ject their Arianism ; or must they needs account the whole 
gospel a fable, when they were convinced of the error of 
their first teachers, denying Christ Jesus in his divine nature 
to be of the same substance with his Father, or essentially 
God ? To give you an instance that it may be will please you 
better; there are very many Indians in New England or 
elsewhere converted unto Christianity by Protestants, with- 
out whose instruction they had never received the least 
rumour or report of it. Tell me your judgment, if you were 
now amongst them, would you not endeavour to persuade 
them that Christian religion indeed was true, but that their 


first instructors in it had deceived them as to many parti- 
culars of it, which you would undeceive them in, and yet 
keep them close to their Christianity? And do you not 
know that many who have in former days been by heretics 
converted to Christianity from paganism, have afterward 
from the principles of their Christianity been convinced of 
their heresy, and retaining the one, have rejected the other? 
It is not for your advantage to maintain an opposition 
against so evident a truth, and exemplified by so many in- 
stances in all ages. I know well enough the ground of 
your pertinaciousness in your mistake, it is that men who 
receive the gospel, do resolve their faith into the authority 
of them that first preach it unto them. Now this supposi- 
tion is openly false, and universally, as to all persons what- 
ever not divinely inspired, yea, as to the apostles themselves, 
but only with respect unto their working of miracles, which 
gave testimony unto the doctrine that they taught. Other- 
wise God's revelation contained in the Scriptures is that 
which the faith of men is formally and ultimately resolved 
into ; so that whatever propositions that are made unto 
them, they may reject, unless they do it with a ' non ob- 
stante' for its supposed revelation, the whole revelation 
abides unshaken, and their faith founded thereon. But as 
to the persons who first bring unto any the tidings of the 
gospel, seeing the faith of them that receive it, is not re- 
solved into their authority or infallibility, they may, they 
ought to examine their proposals by that unerring word 
which they ultimately rest upon, as did the Bereans, and 
receive or reject them at first or afterward as they see cause, 
and this without the least impeachment of the truth or au- 
thority of the gospel itself, which under this formal consi- 
deration as revealed of God, they absolutely believe. Let 
us now see what you except hereunto. First you ask, 
• What love of Christ's dictates, what commission of Christ 
allows you to choose and reject at your own pleasure?' 
Atis. None ; nor was that at all in question, nor do you 
speak Hke a man that durst look upon the true state of the 
controversy between us. You proclaim your cause des- 
perate by this perpetual tergiversation. The question is, 
whether when men preach the gospel unto others, as a re- 
velation from God, and bring along the Scripture with them 


wherein they say that revelation is comprised, when that is 
received as such, and hath its authority confirmed in the 
minds of them that receive it, whether are they not bound 
to try all the teaching in particular of them that first bring 
it unto them, or afterward continue the preaching of it, 
whether it be consonant to that rule or word, wherein they 
believe the whole revelation of the will of God relating to 
the gospel declared unto them to be contained, and to em- 
brace what is suitable thereunto, and to reject any thing 
that in particular may be by the mistakes of the teachers 
imposed upon them ? Instead of believing what the Scrip- 
ture teacheth, and rejecting what it condemns, you substi- 
tute choosing or rejecting at your own pleasure, a thing 
wherein our discourse is not at all concerned. You add, 
' What heretic was ever so much a fool as not to pretend 
the love of Christ, and commission of Christ for what he 
did?' What then, I pray ! may not others do a thing really 
upon such grounds as some pretend to do them on falsely? 
may not a judge have his commission from the king, be- 
cause some have counterfeited the great seal ? May not you 
sincerely seek the good and peace of your country upon the 
principles of your religion, though some pretending the 
same principles have sought its disturbance and ruin ? If 
there be any force in this exception, it overthrows the au- 
thority and efficacy of every thing that any man may falsely 
pretend unto, which is to shut out all order, rule, govern- 
ment, and virtue out of the world. You proceed, ' How 
shall any one know you do it out of any such love or com- 
mission, since those who delivered the articles of faith now 
rejected, pretended equal love to Christ and commission of 
Christ for the delivery of them as any other V I wonder you 
should proceed with such impertinent inquiries. How can 
any man manifest that he doth any thing by the commission 
of another, but by his producing and manifesting his com- 
mission to be his ? and how can he prove that he doth it 
out of love to him, but by his diligence, care, and conscience 
in the discharge of his duty? as our Saviour tells us, saying, 
'If ye love me, keep my commandments,' which is the 
proper effect of love unto him, and open evidence or mani- 
festation of it. Now how should a man prove that he doth 
any thing by the commission of Christ, but by producing 



that commission? that is, in the things about which we 
treat, by declaring and evidencing that the things he pro- 
poseth to be believed, are revealed by his Spirit in his word, 
and that the things which he rejects are contrary thereunto. 
And whatever men may pretend, Christ gives out no adverse 
commissions; his word is every way and everywhere the 
same, at perfect harmony and consistency with itself; so 
that if it come to that, that several persons do teach con- 
trary doctrines either before or after one another, or together 
under the same pretence of receiving them from Christ, as 
was the case between the Pharisees of old that believed, 
and the apostles, they that attend unto them, have a perfect 
guide to direct them in their choice, a perfect rule to judge 
of the things proposed. As in the church of the Jews the 
Pharisees had taught the people many things as from God, 
for their traditions or oral law they pretended to be from 
God. Our Saviour comes, really a teacher from God, and he 
disproves their false doctrines which they had prepossessed 
the people withal, and all this he doth by the Scripture, the 
word of truth which they had before received. And this 
example hath he left unto his church unto the end of the 
world. But you yet proceed ; ' Why may we not at length 
reject all the rest for love of something else, when this love 
of Christ which is now crept into the very outside of our 
lips is slipped off from thence ? Do you think men cannot 
find a cavil against him as well as his law delivered unto us 
with the first news of him, and as easily dig up the root as 
cut up the branches V You are the pleasantest man at a dis- 
putation that ever 1 met withal, 'baud ulli veterum virtute 
secundus;' you outgo your masters in palpable sophistry. 
If we may, and ought for the love of Christ, reject errors 
and untruths taught by infallible men, then we may reject 
him also for the love of other things. Who doubts it, but 
men may if they will, if they have a mind to do so? they 
may do so physically, but may they do so morally ? may 
they do so upon the same or as good grounds and reasons 
as they reject errors and false worship for the sake of 
Christ? With such kind of arguing is the Roman cause 
supported. Again, you suppose the law of Christ to be re- 
jected, and therefore say that his person may be so also. 
But this contains an application of the general thesis unto 


your particular case, and thereupon the begging of the thing 
in question. Our inquiry was general. Whether things at 
first delivered by any persons that preach the gospel may 
not be rejected, without any impeachment of the authority 
of the gospel itself? Here, that you may insinuate that to 
be the case between you and us, you suppose the things 
rejected to be the law of Christ, when indeed they are things 
rejected because they are contrary to the law of Christ, and 
so affirmed in the assertion, which you seek to oppose. For 
nothing maybe rejected by the commission of Christ, but 
what is contrary to his law. The truth is, he that rejects 
the law of Christ as it is his, needs no other inducement to 
reject his person ; for he hath done it already in the rejection 
of his law ; but yet it may not be granted, though it belong 
not unto your present discourse, that every one that rejects 
any part of the law of Christ, must therefore be in a pro- 
pensity to reject Christ himself, provided that he do it only 
because he doth not believe it to be any part of his law. 
For whilst a man abides firm and constant in his faith in 
Christ and love unto him, with a resolution to submit him- 
self to his whole word, law, and institutions, his misappre- 
hensions of this or that particular in them, is no impeach- 
ment of his faith, or love. Of the same importance is that 
which you add, namely, ' Did not the Jews, by pretence of 
their love to the immortal God, whom their forefathers 
served, reject the whole gospel at once ? and why may not 
we possibly by piecemeal V You do only cavil at the ex- 
pression I used, of doing the thing mentioned for the love 
of Christ, but I used it not alone, as knowing how easy a 
thing it was to pretend it, and how unwarrantable a ground 
of any actings in religion such a pretence would prove ; 
wherefore I added unto it, his commission, that is his word. 
And so I desire to know of you whether the Jews, out of 
love to God and by the direction of his word, did reject the 
gospel or no. This you must assert if you intend by this 
instance to oppose my assertion. Besides indeed the Jews 
did scarce pretend to reject the gospel out of love to God, 
but to their old church-state and traditions, on which very 
account yourselves at this day reject many important truths 
of it. But it is one thing vainly to pretend the love of 
God, another so to love him indeed as to keep his command- 



ments, and in so doing to cleave unto the truth, and to reject 
that which is conti'ary thereunto. You add as the issue of 
these inquiries, ' Let us leave cavils, grant my supposition 
which you cannot deny ; then speak to my consequence, 
which I deem most strong and good, to infer a conclusion 
which neither you nor I can grant.' Ans. I wish you had 
thought before of leaving cavils, that we might have been 
eased of the consideration of the foregoing queries, which 
are nothing else, and those very trivial. Your supposition, 
which is, that ' Papists first brought the gospel into Eng- 
land, you say I cannot deny ; but sir, I do deny it, and chal- 
lenge you or any man in the world to make it good, or to 
give any colour of truth unto it. Then your consequence 
you say you ' deem strong and good ;' I doubt not but you 
do so ; so did SufFenus of his poems, but another was not of 
the same mind, who says of him. 

Qui modo scurra 
Aut si quid hac retritius (or hoc re tritius) videbatur. 
Idem inficeto est inficetior rure, 
Simul poemata atligit, neque idem unquam 
^que est beatus ac poeraa cum scribit, 
Tam gaudet in se, taraque se ipse miratur. 

You may for aught I know have a good faculty at some 
other things ; but you very unhappily please yourself in 
drawing of consequences ; which for the most part are very 
infirm and naught, as in particular I have abundantly mani- 
fested that to be, which you now speak of. But you con- 
clude ; ' I tell you plainly and without tergiversation, before 
God and all his holy angels, what I should think if I de- 
scended unto any conclusion in this aflTair. And it is this, 
Either the Papist, who holds at this day all these articles of 
faith which were delivered at the first conversion of this 
land by St. Austin, is unjustly become odious amongst us, 
or else my honest parsons, throw off your cassocks, and re- 
sign your benefices and glebe-lands into the hands of your 
neighbours, whose they were aforetime. My consequence 
is irrefragable.' And I tell you plainly that I greatly pity 
you for your discourse, and that on many accounts. First, 
That in the same breath wherein you so solemnly protest 
before God and his holy angels, you should so openly pre- 
varicate, as to intimate that you descend unto no conclusions 
in this affair, wherein notwithstanding your pretences you 


really dogmatise, and that with as much confidence as it is 
possible I think for any man to do. And, 2. That you cast 
before God and his holy angels the light froth of your 
scoffing expressions, * my honest parsons,' &c. a sign with 
what conscience you are conversant in these things. And, 
3. That undertaking to write and declare your mind in 
things of the nature and importance that these are of, you 
should have no more judgment in them or about them, 
than so solemnly to entitle such a trifling sophism by the 
name of 'irrefragable consequence.' As also, 4. That in the 
solemnity of your protestation you forgot to express your 
mind in sober sense; for aiming to make a disjunctive con- 
clusion you make the parts of it not at all disparate, but 
coincident as to your intention, the one of them bring the 
direct consequent of the other. 5. That you so much make 
naked your desires after benefices and glebe-lands, as though 
they were the great matter in contest amongst us, which 
reflects no small shame and stain on Christian religion and 
all the professors of it. 6. Your irrefragable consequence 
is a most pitiful piece of sophistry, built upon I know not 
how many false suppositions ; as, 1 . That ' Papists are become 
odious unto us,' whereas we only reject your popery, love 
your persons, and approve of your Christianity. 2. That 
' Papists brought us the first tidings of the gospel,' which 
hath been sufficiently before disproved. 3. That 'Papists 
hold all things in religion that they did,' and as they did, 
who first brought us the news of Christianity, which we 
have also manifested to be otherwise in the signal instance 
of the opinion of pope Gregory about your papal power and 
titles. 4. That we have no occasion of exception against 
Papists, but only their holding the things that those did, 
who first preached the gospel here ; when that is no cause 
at all of our exceptions, but their multitude of pretended 
articles of faith, and idolatrous superstitious practices in 
worship, superadded by them since that time, are the things 
they stand charged withal. Now your consequent being 
built on all these suppositions, fit to hold a principal place 
in Lucian's ' vera historia,' must needs be irrefragable. 

What you add farther on this subject, is but a repetition 
in other words of what you had said before, with an appli- 
cation of your false and groundless supposition unto our 
2 K 2 


present differences : but yet, lest you should flatter your- 
self, or your disciples deceive themselves with thoughts 
that there is any thing of weight or moment in it, it shall 
also be considered. You add then, ' that if any part, much 
more if any parts, great substantial parts of religion brought 
into the land with the first news of Christianity be once re- 
jected (as they are now amongst us) as Romish or Romanical, 
and that rejection or reformation be permitted, then may 
other parts and all parts, if the gap be not stopped, be looked 
upon at length as points of no better a condition.' 

I have given you sundry instances already, undeniably 
evincing that some opinions of them who first bring the 
news of Christian religion unto any, may be afterward re- 
jected without the least impeachment of the truth of the 
whole, or of our faith therein. Yea, men may be necessi- 
tated so to reject them, to keep entire the truth of the whole. 
But the rejection supposed, is of men's opinions that bring 
Christian religion, and not of any parts of Christian religion 
itself. For the mistakes of any men whatever, whether in 
speculation or practice about religion, are no parts of re- 
ligion, much less substantial parts of it. Such was the 
opinion of the necessity of the observation of Mosaical rites 
taught with a suitable practice, by many believers of the 
circusacision, who first preached the gospel in sundry places 
in the world. And such were the rites and opinions brought 
into England by Austin that are rejected by Protestants, 
if any such there were, which as yet you have not made to 
appear. There is no such affinity between truth and error, 
however any men may endeavour to blend them together, 
but that others may separate between them, and reject the 
one without any prejudice unto the other; 'male sarta 
gratia nequaquam coit.' Yea, the truth and light of the 
gospel is of that nature, as that if it be once sincerely re- 
ceived in the mind and embraced, it will work out all those 
false notions, which by any means together with it may be 
instilled: as 'rectum' is 'index sui et obliqui.' Whilst 
then we know and are persuaded that in any system of re- 
ligion which is proposed unto us, it is only error which we 
reject, having an infallible rule for the guidance of our 
judgment therein, there is no danger of weakening our as- 
sent unto the truth which we retain. Truth and falsehood 


can never stand upon the same bottom, nor have the same 
evidence, though they may be proposed at the same time 
vinto us, and by the same persons. So that there is no 
difficulty in apprehending how the one ma.j be received, 
and the other rejected. Nor may it be granted (though 
their concernment lie not therein at all), that if a man reject 
or disbelieve any point of truth that is delivered unto him 
in an entire system of truths, that he is thereby made in- 
clinable to reject the rest also, or disenabled to give a firm 
assent unto them, unless he reject or disbelieve it upon a 
notion that is common to them all. For instance ; he that 
rejects any truth revealed in the Scripture on this ground, 
that the Scripture is not an infallible revelation of divine 
and supernatural truth, cannot but in the pursuit of that 
apprehension of his, reject also all other truths therein re- 
vealed, at least so far as they are knowable only by that 
revelation. But he that shall disbelieve any truth revealed 
in the Scripture, because it is not manifest unto him to be 
so revealed, and is in a readiness to receive it when it shall 
be so manifest, upon the authority of the author of the 
whole, is not in the least danger to be induced by that dis- 
belief to question any thing of that which he is convinced 
so to be revealed. But, as I said, your concernment lies not 
therein, who are not able to prove that Protestants have 
rejected any one part, much less substantial part of reli- 
gion ; and your conclusion upon a supposition of the re- 
jection of errors and practices of the contrary to the gospel 
or principles of religion, is very infirm. The ground of all 
your sophistry lies in this, that men who receive Christian 
religion, are bound to resolve their faith into the authority 
of them that preach it first unto them: whereupon it being 
impossible for them to question any thing they teach with- 
out an impeachment of their absolute infallibility, and so 
far the authority which they are to rest upon, they have no 
firm foundation left for their assent unto the things which 
as yet they do not question, and consequently in process of 
time may easily be induced so to do. But this presumption 
is perfectly destructive to all the certainty of Christian re- 
ligion. For whereas it proposeth the subject matter of it 
to be believed with divine faith and supernatural, it leaves 
no formal reason or cause of any such faith, no foundation 


for it to be built upon, or principle to be resolved into. 
For how can divine faith arise out of human authority? 
For acts being specificated by their objects, such as is the 
authority on which a man believes, such is his faith; human 
if that be human, divine if it be divine. But resolving as 
we ought all our faith into the authority of God revealing 
things to be believed, and knowing that revelation to be 
entirely contained in the Scriptures, by which we are to 
examine and try whatever is by any man or men proposed 
unto us as an object of our faith, they proposing it only 
upon this consideration, that it is a part of that which is re- 
vealed by God in the Scripture for us to believe, without 
which they have no ground nor warrant to propose any 
thing at all unto us in that kind, we may reject any of their 
proposals which we find and discern not to be so revealed, 
or not to be agreeable to what is so revealed, without the 
least weakening of our assent unto what is revealed indeed, 
or making way for any man so to do. For whilst the 
formal reason of faith remains absolutely unimpeached, dif- 
ferent apprehensions about particular things to be believed, 
have no efficacy to weaken faith itself, as we shall farther 
see in the examination of your ensuing discourse. 

* The same way and means that lopped off some branches, 
will do the like to others, and root too' (but the errors 
and mistakes of men are not branches growing from the 
root of the gospel). ' A vilification of that church wherein 
they find themselves who have a mind to prevaricate upon 
pretence of Scripture and power of interpreting it, light. 
Spirit, or reason, adjoined with a personal obstinacy that 
will not submit, will do it roundly and to effect. This first 
brought off the Protestants from the Roman Catholic 
church ; this lately separated the Presbyterians from the 
English Protestant church, the Independent from the Pres- 
byterian, and the Quakers from the other Independent. And 
this left good, maintains nothing of Christian religion but 
the moral part, which indeed and truth is but honest 
paganism. This speech is worthy of all serious considera- 

That which this discourse seems to amount unto, is, 
that if a man question or reject any thing that is taught by 
the church whereof he is a member, there remains no way 


for him to come unto any certainty in the remaining parts 
of religion, but that he may on as good grounds question 
and reject all things as any. As you phrase the matter, by 
'men's vilifying a church which a mind to prevaricate upon 
pretence of Scripture,' &c. though there is no consequence 
in what you say, yet no man can be so mad as to plead in 
justification of such a proceeding. For it is not much to 
be doubted, but that he who layeth such a foundation, and 
makes such a beginning of a separation from any church, 
will make a progress suitable thereunto. But if you will 
speak unto your own purpose, and so as they may have any 
concernment in what you say with whom you deal, you 
must otherwise frame your hypothesis. Suppose a man 
to be a member of any church, or to find himself in any 
church state with others, and that he doth at any time by 
the light and direction of the Scripture, discover any thing 
or things to be taught or practised in that church whereof 
he is s-o a member, which he cannot assent unto, unless he 
will contradict the revelation that God hath made of him- 
self, his mind and will, in that complete rule of all that re- 
ligion and worship which are pleasing unto him, and there- 
fore doth suspend his assent thereunto, and therein dissent 
from the determination of that church ; then you are to 
assert, for the promotion of your design, that all the conse- 
quents will follow which you expatiate upon. But this 
supposition fixes immoveably upon the penalty of forfeiting 
their interest in all saving truth, all Christians whatever, 
Greeks, Abyssines, Armenians, Protestants in the churches 
wherein they find themselves, and so makes frustrate all 
their attempts for their reconciliation to the church of Rome. 
For do you think they will attend unto you, when you per- 
suade them to a relinquishment of the communion of that 
church wherein they find themselves to join with you, 
when the first thing you tell them is, that if they do so, 
they are undone, and that for ever ? And yet this is the sum 
of all that you can plead with them, if there be any sense 
in the argument you make use of against our relinquishment 
of the opinions and practices of the church of Rome, be- 
cause we or our forefathers were at any time members 
thereof, or lived in its communion. But you would have 
this the special privilege of your church alone. Any other 


church a man may leave, yea, all other churches besides ; 
he may relinquish the principles wherein he hath been in- 
structed, yea, it is his duty to renounce their communion ; 
only your church of Rome is wholly sacred ; a man that 
hath once been a member of it must be so for ever ; and he 
that questions any thing taught therein, may on the same 
grounds question all the articles of faith in the Christian 
religion. And who gave you leave to suppose the only 
thing in question between us, and to use it as a medium 
to educe your conclusion from ? Is it your business to 
take care, 

Bullatis ut tibi nugis 
Pagina turgescat, dare pondus idonea fomo 1 

We know the condition of your Roman church to be no 
other than that of other churches, if it be not worse than 
that of any of them. And therefore, on what terms and rea- 
sons soever a man may relinquish the opinions and re- 
nounce the communion of any other church, upon the same 
may he renounce the communion and relinquish the opinions 
of yours. And if there be no reasons sufficiently cogent 
so to deal with any church whatever, I pray on what 
grounds do you proceed to persuade others to such a course, 
that they may join with you? 

-Dicisque facisque quod ipse 

Non sani esse hominis non sanus juret Orestes. 

To disentangle you out of this labyrinth whereinto you have 
cast yourself, I shall desire you to observe, that if the Lord 
Christ by his word be the supreme revealer of all divine 
truth; and the church, that is any church whatever, be only 
the ministerial proposer of it, under and from him, being to 
be regulated in all its propositions by his revelation ; if it 
shall chance to propose that for truth, which is not by him 
revealed, as it may do, seeing it hath no security of being 
preserved from such failures, but only in its attendance imto 
that rule, which it may neglect or corrupt: a man in such 
a case cannot discharge his duty to the supreme Revealer, 
without dissenting from the ministerial proposer. Nay, if 
it be a truth which is proposed, and a man dissent from it, 
because he is not convinced that it is revealed, he is in no 
danger to be induced to question other propositions, which 
he knows to be so revealed, his faith being built upon, and 


resolved into, that revelation alone. All that remains of 
your discourse lies with its whole weight on this presump- 
tion, because some men may either wilfully prevaricate from 
the truth, or be mistaken in their apprehensions of it, and 
so dissent from a church that teacheth the truth, and 
wherein she so teacheth it, without cause; therefore no man 
may or ought to relinquish the errors of a church, which he 
is really and truly convinced by Scripture and solid reason 
suitable thereunto, so to be. An inference so wild and so 
destructive of all assurance in every thing that is knowable 
in the world, that I wonder how your interest could induce 
you to give any countenance unto it. For if no man can 
certainly and infallibly know any thing by anyway or means 
wherein some or other are ignorantly or wilfully mistaken^ 
we must bid adieu for ever to the certain knowledge of any 
thing in this world. And how slightly soever you are 
pleased to speak of Scripture, light. Spirit, and reason, they 
are the proper names of the ways and helps that God hath 
graciously given to the sons of men, to come to the know- 
ledge of himself. And if the Scripture, by the assistance of 
the Spirit of God, and the light into it communicated unto 
men by him, be not sufficient to lead them in the use and 
improvement of their reason unto the saving knowledge of 
the will of God, and that assurance therein which may be a 
firm foundation of acceptable obedience unto him, they 
must be content to go without it; for other ways and means 
of it, there are none. But this is your manner of dealing 
with us. All other churches must be slighted and relin- 
quished, the means appointed and sanctified by God himself 
to bring us unto the knowledge of, and settlement in, the 
truth must be rejected, that all men may be brought to a 
fanatical unreasonable resignation of their faith to you and 
your church ; if this be not done, men may with as good 
reason renounce truth as error ; and after they liave rejected 
one error, be inclined to cast off" all that truth, for the sake 
whereof that error was rejected by them. And I know not 
what other inconveniences and mischiefs will follow. It 
must needs be well for you, that you are, ' 

Gallinse filius albse. 

Seeing all others are, 

Viles pul!i nati infelicibus ovis. 


Your only misadventure is, that you are fallen into some- 
what an unhappy age, wherein men are hardhearted, and 
will not give away their faith and reason to every one that 
can take the confidence to beg them at their hands. 

But you will now prove by instances, that if a man deny 
any thing that your church proposeth, he may with as good 
reason deny every truth whatever. I shall follow you 
through them, and consider what in your matter or manner 
of proposal is worthy that serious perusal of them which 
you so much desire. To begin, ' See if the Quakers deny 
not as resolutely the regenerating power of baptism, as you 
the eflBcacy of absolution. See if the Presbyterians do not 
with as much reason evacuate the prelacy of Protestants, as 
they the papacy.' All things it seems are alike, truth and 
error, and may with the same reason be opposed and re- 
jected. And because some men renounce errors, others 
may on as good grounds renounce the truth, and oppose it 
with as solid and cogent reasons. The Scripture it seems is 
of no use to direct, guide, or settle men in these things that 
relate to the worship and knowledge of God. What a 
strange dream hath the church of God been in from the days 
of Moses, if this be so ! Hitherto it hath been thought that 
what the Scripture teacheth in these things turned the scales, 
and made the embracement of it reasonable, as the rejection 
of them the contrary. As the woman said to Joab, ' They 
were wont to speak in old time, saying. They shall surely 
ask counsel at Abel, and so they ended the matter.' They 
said in old time concerning these things, * To the law and 
the testimonies, search the Scriptures,' and so they ended 
the matter. But it seems * tempora mutantur,' and that now 
truth and falsehood are equally probable, having the same 
grounds, the same evidences. ' Quis leget hsec, min, tu 
istud ais.' Do you think to be believed in these incredible 
ficrments, fit to bear a part in the stories of Ulysses unto 
Alcinous ? Yet you proceed, ' See if the Socinian arguments 
against the Trinity, be not as strong as yours against the 
Eucharist.' But where did you ever read any arguments of 
ours against the Eucharist ? Have you a dispensation to 
say what you please for the promotion of the Catholic cause? 
Are not the arguments you intend, indeed rather for the 
Eucharist than against it? Arguments to vindicate the 


nature of that holy eucharistical ordinance, and to preserve 
it from the manifold abuses that you and your church do 
put upon it. That is, they are arguments against yourtran- 
substantiation and proper sacrifice that you intend. And 
will you now say, that the arguments of the Socinians 
against the Trinity, the great fundamental article of our pro- 
fession plainly taught in the Scripture, and constantly be- 
lieved by the church of all ages, are of equal force and 
validity, with those used against your transubstantiation, 
and sacrifice of the mass, things never mentioned, no not 
once in the whole Scripture, never heard of nor believed by 
the church of old, and destructive in your reception unto all 
that reason and sense, whereby we are, and know that we 
are men and live? But suppose your prejudice and partial 
addiction unto your way and faction, may be allowed to 
countenance you in this monstrous comparing and coupling 
of things together like his, who 

Mortua jungebat corpora vivis ; 

is your inference from your inquiry any other but this, that 
the Scripture, setting aside the authority of your church, is 
of no use to instruct men in the truth, but that all things 
are alike uncertain unto all? And this you farther manifest 
to be your meaning in your following inquiries. ' See,' say 
you, ' if the Jew do not with as much plausibility deride 
Christ, as you his church.' And would you could see what 
it is to be a zealot in a faction, or would learn to deal can- 
didly and honestly in things wherein your own and the souls 
of other men are concerned. Who is it amongst us that 
derides the church of Christ? Did Elijah deride the temple 
at Jerusalem, when he opposed the priests of Baal ? or must 
every one presently be judged to deride the church of 
Christ, who opposeth the corruptions that the Roman ifac- 
tion have endeavoured to bring into that part of it, wherein 
for some ages they have prevailed ? What plausibility you 
have found out in the Jews' derision of Christ, I know not. 
I know some that are as conversant in their writings at 
least, as you seem to have been, who affirm that your ar- 
guings and revilings are utterly destitute of all plausibility 
and tolerable pretence. But men must have leave to say 
what they please, when they will be talking of they know 
not what; as is the case with you, when by any chance you 
stumble on the Jews or their concernments. This is that 


which for the present you would persuade men unto ; that 
the arguments of the Jews against Christ, are as good as 
those of Protestants against your church, ' credat Apella.' 
Of the same nature with these is the remainder of your in- 
stances and queries. You suppose that a man may have as 
good reasons for the denial of hell, as purgatory; of God's 
providence and the soul's immortality, as of any piece of 
popery; and then may not want appearing incongruities, 
tautologies, improbabilities to disenable all holy writ at 
once. This is the condition of the man who disbelieves 
any thing proposed by your church, nor in that state is he 
capable of any relief. Fluctuate he must in all uncertainties. 
Truth and error are all one unto him ; and he hath as good 
grounds for the one as the other. But, sir, pray what serves 
the Scripture for all this while? Will it afford a man no 
light, no guidance, no direction? Was this quite out of your 
mind ? or did you presume your reader would not once cast 
his thoughts towards it for his relief in that maze of uncer- 
tainties which you endeavour to cast him into ? or dare you 
manage such an impeachment of the wisdom and goodness 
of God, as to aflSrm that that revelation of himself which he 
hath graciously afforded unto men to teach them the know- 
ledge of himself, and to bring them to settlement and assur- 
ance therein, is of no use or validity to any such purpose ? 
The Holy Ghost tells us, that ' the Scripture is profitable 
for doctrine and instruction, able to make the man of God 
perfect, and us all wise unto salvation, that the sure word of 
prophecy, whereunto he commands us to attend, is a light 
shining in a dark place ;' directs us to search into it, that 
we may come to the acknowledgment of the truth ; sending 
us unto it for our settlement, affirming that they who speak 
not according * to the law and the testimonies have no light 
in them.' He assures us that the word of God ' is a light unto 
our feet, and his law perfect, converting the soul.' That it 
is able ' to build us up, and to give us an inheritance among 
all them that are san-ctified :' that the things in it are written 
' that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of 
God, and that believing we may have life through his name.' 
See also Luke xvi. 29. 31. Psal. xix. 18. 2 Pet. i. 19. John 
v. 39. Rom. XV. 4. Heb. iv. 12. Is there no truth in all 
this, and much more that is affirmed to the same purpose ? 
or are you surprised with this mention of it, as Csesar Borgia 


was with his sickness at the death of his father pope 
Alexander, which spoiled all his designs, and made him cry, 
that he had never thought of it, and so had not provided 
against it? Do you not know that a volume might be filled 
with testimonies of ancient fathers, bearing witness to the 
sufficiency and efficacy of the Scripture for the settlement 
of the minds of men in the knowledge of God and his wor- 
ship ? Doth not the experience of all ages, of all places in 
the world, render your sophistry contemptible ? Are' there not, 
were there not millions of Christians always, who either 
knew not, or regarded not, or openly rejected the authority 
of your church, and disbelieved many of her present pro- 
posals, who yet were, and are, steadfast and immoveable in 
the faith of Christ, and willingly seal the truth of it with 
their dearest blood ? But if neither the testimony of God 
himself in the Scriptures, nor the concurrent suffrage of the 
ancient church, nor the experience of so many thousands of 
the disciples of Christ, is of any moment with you, I hope 
you will not take it amiss if I look upon you as one giving 
in yourself as signal an instance of the power of prejudice, 
and partial addiction to a party and interest, as a man can 
well meet withal in the world. This discourse you tell me 
in your close, you have bestowed upon me in a way of su- 
pererogation, wherein you deal with us as you do with God 
himself. The duties he expressly by his commands re- 
quireth at your hands, you pass by without so much as 
taking notice of some of them ; and others, as those of the 
second command, you openly reject, offering him somewhat 
of your own that he doth not require, by the way, as you 
barbarously call it of supererogation ; and so here you have 
passed over in silence that which was incumbent on you to 
have replied unto, if you had not a mind * vadimonium 
deserere,' to give over the defence of that cause you had 
undertaken; and in the room thereof substitute this need- 
less and useless diversion, by the way as you say of superero- 
gation. But yet, because you were so free of your charity 
before you had paid your debts, as to bestow it upon me, I 
was not unwilling to requite your kindness, and have there- 
fore sent it you back again, with that acknowledgment of 
your favour wherewith it is now attended. 



Faith and charity of Roman Catholics. 

YouK following discourse, pp. 44, 45. is spent partly in 
the commendation of your Fiat Lux, and the metaphysical 
abstracted discourses of it ; partly in a repetition in other 
words of what you had before insisted on. The former I 
shall no farther endeavour to disturb your contentment in. 
It is a common error 

-Neque est quisquatn 

Quern noa in aliqua re videre Suffeuum 

I am not your rival in the admiration of it, and shall there- 
fore leave you quietly in the embracements of your darling. 
And for the latter, we have had enough of it already, and so 
by this time I hope you think also. The close only of your 
discourse is considerable, and therefore I shall transcribe it 
for your second thoughts. And it is this ; 

' But sir, what you say here, and so often up and down your 
book, of Papists contempt of the Scripture, I beseech you 
will please to abstain from it for the time to come. I have 
conversed with the Roman Catholics of France, Flanders, 
and Germany ; I have read more of your books both histo- 
ries, contemplative, and scholastical divines, than I believe 
you have ever seen or heard of. I have seen the colleges 
of sacred priests and religious houses, I have communed 
with all sort of people, and perused their counsels. And 
after all this I tell you, and out of my love I tell you, that 
their respect to Scripture is real, absolute, and cordial, even 
to admiration. Others may talk of it, but they act it, and 
would be ready to stone that man that should diminish holy 
writ. Let us not wrong the innocent. The Scripture is 
theirs, and Je^sus Christ is theirs, who also will plead their 
cause when he sees time.' 

What you mention of your own diligence and achieve- 
ments, what you have done, where you have been, what you 
have seen and discoursed, I shall not trouble you about. It 
may be as to your soul's health 

Tutior, poteras esse doiiii. 


But yet for all the report that you are pleased to make of 
yourself, it is not hard to discern that you and I 

Nee pondera rerum 

Nee momenta sumus. 

And notwithstanding your writings, it would have been very 
difficult for any man to have guessed at your great reading, 
had you not satisfied us by this your own information of it. 
It may be if you had spared some of the time which you have 
spent in the reading of your Catholic books unto the study 
of the Scripture, it had not been unto your disadvantage. 
In the mean time there is an hyperbole in your confidence a 
little too evident. For it is possible that I may, and true 
that I have seen more of yowr authors in half an hour, than 
you can read I think in a hundred years ; unless you intend 
always to give no other account of your reading, than you 
have done in your Fiat and Epistola : but we are weary of 
this wsptavToXoyia, 

Quin tu alium quseras quoi centones farcias. 

But to pass by this boasting, there are two parts of your dis- 
course, the one concerning the faith, the other expressing 
the charity of the Roman Catholics. The first contains what 
respect you would be thought to have for the Scripture, the 
latter what you really have for all other Christians besides 
yourselves. As to the former you tell me, that I speak of 
the Papists' contempt of the Scripture, and desire me to ab- 
stain from it for the time to come. Whether I have used 
that expression any where of contempt of the Scripture, well 
I know not. But whereas I look upon you as my friend, at 
least for the good advice I have frequently given you, I have 
deserved that you should be so, and therefore shall not deny 
you any thing that I can reasonably grant ; and whereas I 
cannot readily comply with you in your present request, as 
to the alteration of my mind in reference unto the respect 
that Papists bear unto the Scriptures, I esteem myself 
obliged to give you some account of the reasons why I per- 
sist in my former thoughts, which I hope, as is usual in such 
cases, you will be pleased to take in friendly part. For be- 
sides, sir, that you back your request with nothing but some 
over-confident asseverations, subscribed with * teste meipso,' 
I have many reasons taken from the practice and doctrine of 
your church, that strongly induce me to abide in my former 


persuasion. As, 1. You know that in these and the neigh- 
bouring nations. Papists have publicly burned the Scrip- 
tures, and destroyed more copies of them than ever Antio- 
chus Epiphanes did of the Jev^^ish law. And if you should 
go about to prove unto me that Protestants have no great re- 
gard to the sacred images that have been worshipped, be- 
cause in these and the neighbouring nations they brake and 
burned a great number of them, I should not readily know 
what to answer you. Nor can I entertain any such confi- 
dence of your abilities, as to expect from you a satisfactory 
answer unto my instance of the very same nature, manifest- 
ino- what respect Papists bear unto the Scriptures. 2. You 
know that they have imprisoned and burned sundry persons for 
keeping the Scripture in their houses, or some parts of them, 
and reading them for their instruction and comfort. Nor is 
this any great sign of respect unto them, no more than it is 
of men's respect to treason or murder, because they hang 
them up who are guilty of them. And, 3. Your church pro- 
hibiteth the reading of them unto laymen, unless in some 
special cases, some few of them be licensed by you so to do ; 
and you study and sweat for arguments to prove the reading 
of them needless and dangerous, putting them as translated, 
into the catalogue of books prohibited. Now this is the 
very mark and stamp that your church sets upon these books 
which she disapproves, and discountenanceth as pernicious 
to the faithful. 4. Your council of Trent hath decreed that 
your unwritten traditions are to be received with the same 
faith and veneration as the Scripture, constituting them to 
be one part of the word of God, and the Scriptures another, 
than which nothing could be spoken more in contempt of it, 
or in reproach unto it. For I must assure you, Protestants 
think you cannot possibly contract a greater guilt by any 
contempt of the Scripture than you do, by reducing it into 
order with your unwritten traditions. 5. You have added 
books not only written with a human and fallible spirit, 
but farced with actual mistakes and falsehoods unto the 
canon of the Scripture, giving just occasion unto them who 
receive it from you only, to question the authority of the 
whole. And, 6. You teach the authority of the Scripture at 
least in respect of us (which is all it hath, for authority is 
£K TU)V TTpoc; tI, and must regard some in relation unto whom 


it doth consist) depends on the authority of your church ; 
the readiest way in the world to bring it into contemjDt with 
them that know what your church is, and what it hath been. 
And, 7. You plead that it is very obscure and unintelligible 
of itself, and that in things of the greatest moment, and of 
most indispensable necessity unto salvation ; whereby you 
render it perfectly useless, according to the old rule, * quod 
non potest intelligi, debet negligi ;' it is fit 'that should be 
neglected, which cannot be understood.' And, 8. There is a 
book lately written by one of your party, after- you have 
been frequently warned and told of these things, entitled 
Fiat Lux, giving countenance unto many other hard reflec- 
tions upon it, as hath been manifested in the Animadversions 
written on that book. 9. Your great masters in their writ- 
ings have spoken very contemptuously of it : whereof I shall 
give you a few instances. The council of Trent which is 
properly yours, determines as I told you, that their traditions 
are to be received and venerated ' pari pietatis affectu et re- 
verentia,' with an equal affection of piety and reverence, as 
the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament : which is a 
setting up of the altar of Damascus with that of God him- 
self in the same temple. Sess. 4. Dec. 1. And Andradius, 
no small part of that convention, in his defence of that de- 
cree tells us that, 'cum Christus fragilitati memoriae evan- 
gelio scripto succurrendura putavit, ita breve compendium 
libris tradi voluit, ut pars maxima tanquam magni precii the- 
saurus traditionibus intimis ecclesiaj visceribus infixis re- 
licta fuerit.' '.As our Lord Christ thought meet to relieve 
the frailty of memory by the written gospel, so he would 
have a short compendium or abridgment committed unto 
books, that the greatest part as a most precious treasure 
might be left unto traditions fixed in the very inward bowels 
of the church.' This is that cordial and absolute respect, 
even unto admiration, that your Catholics bear unto the 
Scripture. And he that doth not admire it, seems to me to 
be very stupid. It contains some small part of the mys- 
teries of Christian religion, the great treasure of them lying 
in your traditions ; and thereupon he concludes, ' Canonem 
seu regulam fidei exactissimam non esse Scripturara, sed 
ecclesise judicium;' 'that the canon or most exact rule of 
faith is not the Scripture, but the judgment of the church; 
VOL. xvni. 2 F 


Much to the same purpose as you plead in your Fiat and 
Epistola. Pighius, another champion of your church, Ec- 
clesiast. Hierarch. lib. 1. cap. 4. after he hath given many 
reasons to prove the obscurity of the Scripture, with its flexi- 
bility to every man's sense, as you know who also hath done, 
and referred all things to be determined by the church, con- 
cludes, * Si hujus doctrinse memores fuissemus, hsereticos 
scilicet non esse informandos, vel convincendos ex Scrip- 
turis, meliore sane loco essent res nostras ; sed dum osten- 
tandi ingenii et eruditionis gratia cum Luthero in certamen 
descenditur Scripturarum, excitatum est hoc quod, proh 
dolor, nunc videmus incendium.' 'Had we been mindful of 
this doctrine, that heretics are not to be instructed, nor con- 
vinced out of the Scriptures, our affairs had been in abetter 
condition than now they are : but whilst some, to shew their 
wit and learning, would needs contend with Luther out of 
the Scriptures, the fire which we now with grief behold, was 
kindled and stirred up. And it may be you remember who 
it was that called the Scripture ' Evangelium nigrum,' and 
* Theologiam atramentariam,' seeing he was one of the most 
famous champions of your church and cause. But before 
we quite leave your council of Trent, we may do well to re- 
member the advice which the fathers of it, who upon the 
stirs in Germany removed unto Bononia, gave to the pope, 
Julius the Third, which one that was then amongst them 
afterward published. ' Denique,' say they in their letters to 
him, ' quod inter omnia consilia quae nos hoc tempore dare 
possumus omnium gravissimum ad extremum reservavimus. 
Oculihic aperiendi sunt, omnibus nervis adnitendum erit ut 
quam minimum evangelii poterit (prsesertim vulgari lingua) 
in iis legatur civitatibus, quoB sub tua ditione et potestate 
sunt,sufficiatque tantillum illud quod inmissa legi solet, nee 
eo amphus cuiquam mortalium legere liceat. Quamdiu 
enim pauculo illo homines contenti fuerunt, tamdiu res tuae 
ex sententia successere, caBderaque in contrarium labi caB- 
perunt ex quo ulterius legi vulgo usurpatum est. Hie ille 
(in summa) est liber qui praeter caeteros hasce nobis tempes- 
tates ac turbines concihavit quibus prope abrepti sumus. Et 
sane siquis ilium diligenter expendat, deinde quae in nostris 
fieri ecclesiis consueverunt, singula ordinc contempletur, 
videbis plurimum inter se dissidere, et banc doctrinam nos- 


tram ab ilia prorsus diversam esse ac soepe contrarium etiam. 
Quod simul atque homines intelligant, a docto scilicet ali- 
quo adversariorum stimulati, non ante clamandi finem faci- 
unt, quam rem plane omnem divulgaverint, nosque invisos 
omnibus reddiderint. Quare occultandae pauculse illae char- 
tulse sed abhibita quadam cautione et diligentia, ne ea res 
majores nobis turbas ac tumultus excitet.' ' Last of all, that 
which is the most weighty of all the advices which at this 
time we shall give unto you, we have reserved for the close 
of all. Your eyes are here to be opened ; you are to endea- 
vour with the utmost of your power, that as little as may be 
of the gospel (especially in any vulgar tongue) be read in 
those cities which are under your government and authority ; 
but let that little suffice them which is wont to be read in 
the mass' (of which mind you also know who is) 'neither let 
it be lawful for any man to read any more of it. For as long 
as men were contented with that little, your affairs were as 
prosperous as heart could desire, and began immediately to 
decline upon the custom of reading any more of it. This is 
in brief that book which above all others hath procured unto 
us those tempests and storms wherewith we are almost car- 
ried away headlong. And the truth is, if any one shall di- 
ligently consider it, and then seriously ponder on all the 
things that are accustomed to be done in our chuches, he 
will find them to be very different the one from the other, 
and our doctrine to be diverse from the doctrine thereof, yea, 
and oftentimes plainly contrary unto it. Now this, when, 
men begin to understand, being stirred up by some learned 
men or other amongst the adversaries, they make no end of 
clamouring until they have divulged the whole matter, and 
rendered us hateful unto all. Wherefore those few sheets 
of paper are to be hid but with caution and diligence, lest 
their concealment should stir us up greater troubles.* This 
is fair and open ; being a brief summary of that admiration 
of the Scriptures which so abounds in Catholic countries. 
That Hermannus, one of some account in your church, af- 
firmed that the Scriptures could be of no more authority 
than ^sop's Fables, were they not confirmed by the tes- 
timony of your church, we are informed by one Brentius, 
and we believe the information . to be true, because the 
saying is defended by Hosius de Authoritat, Script, lib. 3. 
'2 F 2 


who adds unto it of his own ; ' Revera nisi nos authontas 
ecclesiee doceret hanc Scripturam esse canonicam, perexi- 
guum apud nos pondus haberet:' 'The truth is, if the autho- 
rity of the church did not teach us that this Scripture is 
canonical, it would be of very light weight unto us.' Such 
cordial respects do you bear unto it. And the foremen- 
tioned Andradius Defens. Con.Trid. lib. 2. to the same pur- 
pose ; ' Neque enim in ipsis libris qui bus sacra mysteria con- 
scripta sunt, quicquam in est divinitatis quse nos ad creden- 
dum quse in illis continentur religione aliqua constringat ; 
sed ecclesiee, quee codices illos sacros esse docet, et anti- 
quorum patrum fidem et pietatem commendat, tanta inest 
vis et araplitudo, ut illis nemo sine gravissima impietatis 
nota possit repugnare :' 'Neither is there in those books 
wherein the divine mysteries are written, any thing or any 
character of divinity or divine original which should, on a 
religious account, oblige us to believe the things that are 
contained in them. But yet such is the force and authority 
of the church which teacheth those books to be sacred, and 
commendeth the faith and piety of the ancient fathers, that 
no man can oppose them without a grievous mark of impiety.' 
How, by what means, from whom, should we learn the sense 
of your church, if not from your council of Trent, and such 
mighty champions of it? Do you think it equitable, thatwc 
should listen to suggestions of every obscure friar, and en- 
tertain thoughts from them about the sense of your church, 
contrary to the plain assertion of your councils and great 
rabbies 1 And if this be the respect that in Catholic coun- 
tries is given to the Scripture, Ihope you will not find many 
of your countrymen rivals with them therein. It is all but hail 
and crucify ; we respect the Scriptures, but there is another 
part of God's word besides them ; we respect the Scriptures, 
but traditions contain more of the doctrine of truth ; we re- 
spect the Scriptures, but think it not meet that Christians 
be suffered to read them ; we respect the Scripture, but do 
not think that it hath any character in it of its own divine 
original for which we should believe it ; we respect the Scrip- 
ture, but yet we would not believe, were it not commended 
unto us by our church ; we respect the Scripture, but it is 
dark, obscure, not intelligible but by the interpretation of 
our church. Pray sir, keep your respects at home, they are 


despised by the Scripture itself, which gives testimony unto 
its own authority, perfection, sufficiency, to guide us to God, 
perspicuity and certainty without any respect unto your 
church, or its authority : and we know its testimony to be 
true. And for our parts we fear that whilst these Joab's 
kisses of respect are upon your lips, you have a sword in 
your right hands to let out the vitals of divine truth and re- 
ligion. Do you think your general expressions of respect, 
and that unto admiration, are a covering long and broad 
enough to hide all this contempt and reproach that you 
continually pour upon the Scriptures ? Deal thus with your 
ruler, and see whether he will accept your person. Give 
him some good words in general, but let your particular ex- 
pressions of your esteem of him come short of what his state 
and regal dignity do require, will it be well taken at your 
hands ? Expressions of the same nature with these instanced 
in, might be collected of your chiefest authors sufficient to 
fill a volume, and yet I never read nor heard that any of 
them were ever stoned in your Catholic countries, whatever 
you intimate of the boiling up of your zeal into a rage against 
those that should go about to diminish it. Indeed, what- 
ever you pretend, this is your faith about the Scripture ; and 
therefore I desire that you would accept of this account why 
I cannot comply with your wish, and not speak any more 
of Papists slighting the Scripture, seeing I know they do so 
in the sense and way by me expressed, and other ways I 
never said they did so. 

From the account of your faith, we may proceed to your 
charity, wherewith you close this discourse. Speaking of 
your Roman Catholics, you say, 'The Scripture is theirs, and 
Jesus Christ is theirs, who will one day plead their cause.' 
What do you mean, sir, by 'theirs?' Do you intend it exclu- 
sively to all others ; so theirs as not to be the right and por- 
tion of any other ? It is evident that this is your sense, not 
only because unless it be so, the words have neither sense 
nor emphasis in them ; but also because suitably unto this 
sense, you elsewhere declare that the Roman and the catho- 
lic church are with you one and the same. This is your 
charity, fit to accompany and to be the fruit of the faith be- 
fore discoursed of. This is your Catholicism, the impaling 
of Christ, Scripture, the church, and consequently all ac- 


ceptable religion to the Roman party and faction \ down- 
right donatism, the wretchedest schism that ever rent the 
church of God, which makes the wounds of Christendom in- 
curable, and all hope of coalition in love desperate. 

Saint Paul, directing one of his epistles unto all that in 
every place 'call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 
that no countenance from that expression of our Lord Jesus 
Christ might be given unto any surmise of his appropriating 
unto himself and those with him a peculiar interest in Jesus 
Christ, he adds immediately, 'both their Lord and ours ;' the 
Lord of all that in every place call upon his name, 1 Cor. i. 
This was the old Catholicism, which the new hath as much 
affinity unto as darkness hath to light, and not one jot more. 
The Scripture is ours, and Christ is ours, and what have any 
else to do with them ? what though in other places, you 
call on the name of Jesus Christ, yet he is our Lord, not 
yours. This I say is that wretched schism, which, clothed 
wfth the name of Catholicism (which after it had slain, it 
robbed of its name and garments), the world for some ages 
hath groaned under, and is like to do so, whilst it is sup> 
ported by so many secular advantages and interests, as are 
subservient unto it at this day. 


Of reason. Jews* objections against Christ. 

Page 27. You proceed to vindicate your unreasonable pa- 
ragraph about reason, or rather against it. What reason we 
are to expect in a dispute against the use of reason in and 
about the things which are the highest and most proper 
object of it, is easy for any one to imagine. For by reason 
in religion we understand not merely the ratiocination of a 
man, upon and according to the inbred principles of his na- 
ture, but every acting of the understanding of a man about 
the things of God, proceeding from such principles, or guided 
by any such rule, as no way impeach its rationality. To 
vindicate your discourse in your Fiat upon this subject, you 
make use of two mediums : (1.) You pretend that to be the 
whole subject of your discourse about reason, which is but 
a part of it; and, (2.) You deny that to be the design and 


aim of yolir book which yourself know, and all other men 
acknowledge so to be. 

On the first head you tell me that your discourse con- 
cerned 'reason to be excluded from the employment of fram- 
ing articles of religion.' It is true, you talk somewhat to 
that purpose ; and you were told that Protestants were no 
way concerned in that discourse. And it is no less true, 
that you dispute against the use and exercise of reason in 
our choice of, or adhering unto, any religion, or any way or 
practice in religion ; that is the liberty of a man's rational 
judgment in determining what is right, and what is wrong, 
what true, what false, in the things that are proposed unto 
him, as belonging unto religion, guided, bounded, and de- 
termined by the only rule, measure, and last umpire in and 
about such things. This you oppose and that directly, and 
that to this end, to shew unto Protestants that they can come 
unto no certainty in religion by this exercise of their reason, 
in and about the things of God. That men should by the 
use of reason endeavour to find out and frame a religion, is 
fond to imagine. They who ever attempted any such thing, 
knew it was not religion, but a pretence to some other end, 
that they were coining. To make the reason of a man pro- 
ceeding and acting upon it its own light and inbred princi- 
ples, the absolute and sovereign judge of the things that are 
proposed to be believed or practised in religion, so as that it 
should be free for him to receive or reject them according as 
they answer and are suited thereunto, is no less absurd and 
foolish ; and whoever will assert it must build his assertion 
on this supposition, that a man is capable of comprehending 
fully and clearly, whatsoever God can reveal of himself; 
which is contrary to the prime dictates of reason in reference 
unto the simplicity and infiniteness of God's being, and so 
would imply a contradiction in its first admission. It is no 
less untrue, that a man in the lapsed depraved condition of 
nature, can by the light thereof and the utmost improvement 
of his reason, come to a saving, sanctifying perception of 
the things themselves, that God hath revealed concerning 
himself, his will, and worship, which is the peculiar effect of 
the Spirit and grace of Christ. But to say, that a man is not 
to use his reason in finding out the sense and meaning of 
the propositions wherein the truths of religion are repre- 


sented unto him, and in judging of their truth and falsehood 
by the rule of them, which is the Scripture, is to deny that 
indeed we are men, and to put a reproach upon our mortality, 
by intimating, that men do not, cannot, nor ought to do, that 
which they not only know they do, but also that they cannot 
but do. For they do but vainly deceive themselves who 
suppose, or rather dream, that they make any determination 
of what is true or false in religion, without the use and ex- 
ercise of their reason ; it is to say they do it as beasts, and 
not as men ; than which nothing can be spoken more to the 
dishonour of religion, nor more effectual to deter men from 
the entertainment of it. For our parts, we rejoice in this, 
that we dare avow the religion which we profess to be highly 
rational, and that the most mysterious articles of it are pro- 
posed unto our belief on grounds of the most unquestionable 
reason, and such as cannot be rejected without a contradic- 
tion to the most sovereign dictates of that intellectual na- 
ture wherewith of God we are endued. And it is not a few 
trifling instances of some men's abuse of their reason in its 
prejudicate exercise about the things of God, that shall 
make us ungrateful to God that he hath made us men, or to 
neglect the laying out of the best that he hath intrusted us 
with by nature, in his service in the work of grace. And 
what course do you yourself proceed in? When any thing- 
is proposed unto