Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

infallible: Male-Children are called oko činwr the pillars of their families, among the Greek Poets;and Geta;a faithfull servant in Terence, is called Columen Familie, the pillar of the family : For ought I know, if those men would go to Rome, and upon the credit of this word fue out a Writ of priviledge,they might be as infallible as the Pope himseif.

3. This Phrafe, The Church is the Pillar of Truth, may note the Churches dury, not her practice, and what The ought to be, not what she alwaies is. They shall not say this is gratis dictum, I will make it good by parallel instances, wherein they shall see the absurdity of their argument. Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evill,Rom.13.3. If this argument be good, The Church is a Pillar,&c. ihc cannot erre, then this also is good, Thar Rulers cannot be a terror to good works. None but one that comes from Bedlam would affert the latter, & none but one that comes from Rome would conclude the former. Thus our Saviour faith of his Ministers, Ye are the falt of the world, ye are the light of the world, Macth 5. Ergo by this argument, chis Salt could noc loose its favour,and no Minister can be in the dark,but every one must be in fallible. Thus Prov. 10.10. A Tivire sentence is in the lips of the King, his month tranfgreffethnot injudgment;Ergò Kings are infallible. If the Pope had such a Text in the New Testament, The Pope's mouth transgresseto not in judgment, you may easily imagine what triumphs the Alsercors of Infallibility would have made,who can build a towring confidence upon such pictiful foundations : and yet this doth not informe us of the practice of Kings, buç acquaints them with their duty, as Interpreters agree.

4. This Phrase, The pillar and ground of Truth,notes the necessity of the Churches ministry(quord nos)but not the infallibility of her Authority: those are two distinct things, and the one no way consequent upon the other,

The

The umoft which can be squeezed from that phrase is this, that the Church doch support the truth and Gofpel of Christ in the world, and so doch every sincere,zeaTous defender of the truth, and especially the Ministers, and prime champions of the truth, not only when met together in a general Councel, buc also in their single capacities, which I'think will be undeniably proved by this argument. The Church was thespillar and ground of truth for the first chree hundred years after Christ and the Apostles, never did it more deferve chat name, nor did it ever more disi harge that othce; but all that time there was no ecumenical Councel (and chat is the only Councel to whom Infallibility is ascribed by the Papifts) therefore either that pbrate doch not evince in fallibility, or the several pastors of those ages were infallible.

5. The consequence of the argument is falfe and frivolous; The Church is the pillar of truth, Ergo fhe is in, fallible; for the same Church may be a pillar of truchand a seat of Error. For what is it to be a Pillar of the Truch, (if we draw alide the curtain of the Metaphor) but to be a Defender of the Faich? And who knoxs not cbat the same personis may defend the truth, and maintain errors with chem, unlesse he be one that never read the Bible, nor Ecclesiastical History? Who knows not chat the fame persons which defended the truth of Christianicy against Jewes and Pagans, did also maintain the Doctrine of 7eSabel, and the Heresy of the Nicolait ans ? Rev. 2. and thac chofe very men chat owned the foundation, did build the hay and stubble of false doctrines thereupon, I Cor.1, and thar diverse of the stoutelt defenders of che truth of the Gospel among the Fathers had their errors, as Bellarmine acknowledgeth? Elle, if they will stand to the consequence, ic will follow by vercue of is, such a Miniter preachech the truch, Ergo he is infallible, and cannot preach false doctrine. Such a Judg is the Pillar of

Justice

1

Justice in the land, Ergo it is impossible he should make an unjust decree: Proclamations are hanged upon such a pillar, Ergo a Libell cannot be faltned there.

6. Their argument proceeds from a declaration of the Churcbes present state, (for that is all that place afserts, vit that the Church then was a Church and Pillar of truth), to an assurance of its perpetual continuance in that state, which is quite another thing: ) Which kind of argumentation, if it might passe for currant, it would work brave exploits; for then it would follow, The city of Sion was an habitation of righteousniffe, a pillar of truth and justice, Ergo the Prophec Isay was mis-informed when he faid, The faithfull City is become a Harlot, it was full of judgment , righteousness lodged in it, but som murderers, Ila. 1.21. Nay then the Church of England is orthodox in the Roman fence: Probatur : It was the Pillar of truch, viz. when it was the Pope's Asse, Ergo ip is so still, and the Papists slander us, when they say we are fallen away. The Church was a Virgin in the Apoftles dayes, faith Egepippus, Ergo Mhe is not now corrup ted, nor indeed can be : für i must tell you, the Pope can do more then all the Apostles either pretended or did; for they could not even while they lived wholly keep the Church from actual corruption, but the Pope keeps her from all posibility of corruption. Thus the Pope is omnipotent, and it is no marveli he is infallible.

$. 15. The Second place of principal moment alledged for the Infallibility of the Church and Councels is Mat. 18. 17. where all are commanded to bear the Church, and they that hear her not, are to be accounted as Heathens and Publicans. Ergo the Church of Rome is Infallible : for this is the comfort, whatever is in the premises, Romes infallibility is in the conclusion, and the Church of Rome that can dispence with Gods

lawes,

Lawes (a) may well dispense with Syllogistical rules, by which there ought not to be more in the conclusion then in the premises, but that Law was made for Subjects, but not for our Soveraign Lord the Pope. To this may be added another place they vehemently urge, Luk. 10. 16. He that bearerbyou, heareth me, Ergothe Church is infallible.

Anl.1. Whatever these texts prove,what right hath che Church of Rume to her monopoly of the priviledges here conveyed ? or why may not the Greek or English Churches and their Ministers claime the benefit of them? The words have an indifferent aspect to all of them. :

2. The consequence is false, Christians must hear the Church and Ministers. Ergo they are infallible : which I thus prove. Children muit obey their Parencs, and if they do not, they must dy for it, Deut.21. are parents therefore infallible?Subjects must obey their Magistrates, or dye torit, 701.1.18. IVhofcever will not bearken unto thy words, he shall be put to death: it seems then Magistrates are infallible. For this is the Argument by which the Romanists pretend to prove the lofallibility of the Highpriest of the Jewes, because they that would not bear him, were to be put to deach, Deut.17. Nay this very text Luk 10. deltroyes that sense which the Romanists would faften upon it: for seeing it is not che Apostles, but seventy disciples,and they too not as mer in a Councel, but as preaching the Gospel severally, or (at most) by pairs, whom they are under such dreadfull penalcies commanded to hear, if it be conclusive for infallibility, it proves the infallibility of every Minister, or at least of es very pair of them.

(a) Secundùm plenitudinem poteftatis de jure supra jus poflumus di. Speafare' ait Innocent.3. in Decrct, de conces, Prabond.tit.3.c.propo. suit.ex addit Gloflator, am contra Apostolum difpenfat: item contra vetus teftamentum.

3. It is agreed between them and us, that Christ speaks of the Censures of the Church Mat. i 8.and chere fore surely, if it prove the Churches Infallibilicy, in any ching, it must be in the matter there ipoken of viz, in Church-censures: Buc they grant the Church is Fallible in her censures, as depending upon Testimony and matters of fact: And therefore it is ridiculous to infer from thence ber Infallibilicy in other things which are not spoken of in this place.

4. The Church and Ministers are to be heard, not fimply and in all things, but onely in the Lord, and what they speak, according to his word: This is denied by the Papists who positively assert that they are to be heard in all things, and without examination, as we have seen from their own words : It is therefore necessary to say something to overthrow this lawlesse liberty and bounda. leffe authority ascribed by them to the Church, for this is their opätov ev0, or one of their radicall mistakes.

1. That which Christ denies to the Apostles is not to be ascribed to the Church : but Christ denies this abfolute Auchoricy to the Apostles Matt.23.10. Be ye not called mafters, for one is your Master even Christ, where it is not the name, but thing which is probibited, even ma.. gifterium fidei, or the usurpation of an absolute authority in teachers, and the exaction of an univerfall belief and blinde obedience in hearers, which was the errour of the Pharisees here condemned by our Saviour, for so they laid : You are to believe all the sayings of our Rabbines in

their Homilies.no lefle then the Law of Mofes: And again, : All their words are the very words of God are their exprcffions in the Thalmud. It cannot be denied that Christ derogates that authority from the Apostles, which he affcribes to himself; but if che Popish opinion were true, the Apostles had as great authority as Christ himselfe,

for

« PreviousContinue »