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copies, ler any man look into them as he finds them colle: cted in the late Polyglotte Bible, and his own eyes shall cwicnesse, chac howsoever the differences of Readings are
numerous, yet they are not of any moment, and indeed the differences in lesser matters are a considerable evis, dence of the Scriptures uncorruptednesse in greater , wherein the copies do wonderfully consent,
2. If the Scriptures not evidencing its own incorruption, binder its being a rule, then neither can the Scrip rure be so much as a part of our Rule, (which yec is granted by che most infolent of our Adversaries ) for so the argument will carry it, if there be any strength in it, nor was che Decalogue a rule of life to the following ge nerations of the Jsraelites, nor can the old and unrepealed Acts of Parliament be a Rule co England, nor yet tan Tradition be a Rule to the Papists; for the Papists not onely confesse its insufficiency to evince its own uncorrupcednesfe , but acknowledge its actual corruption in severall points,(as hath been thewed before:)nor can the Decrees of Popes and Councels be a rule, which being writings, muit needs be lyable to the same imperfections and corruptions, that the Scriptures because writings are faid to be subject to : and consequently there is no rule neither for Papifts nor Protestants, but every one may do that which seems right in his own eyes.
4. He pretends it is necessary to Salvation to understand which is the true sense of Scriptures, when it is to be taken literally, when myftically, and this (saith he) cannot be underitood from fole Scripture.
Ans. Here also both Propositions are remarkably false; 1. It is not necessary to Salvation to a Christian to understand the true sense of every Scripture : if it were; what shall become of those Legions of poor deluded Papists, into whole devotion ignorance is so considerable an ingredient? who neither understand the sense, nor are permitted to read the words of the Scripture 2. The Iense of Scripture in fundamental points is clear and intel: ligible, and chat from Scripcare, which is its own belt Interpreter. And if we conlult the best Expofitors, cicher Popith or Protestant, we shall find they never fo well unfold Scripture riddles, (if i may fo fpeak, as when they plow with the Scriptures Heifer. Every puny knows the colla. tion of parallell, or seemingly repugnant places, and the observacion of che scope and cohærence, and the like, are che beit Keyes to find out che crue fence of the Scripcare, and sufficient to discover it, unlesse the readers igno rance or negligence, pride or prejudice Itand in his way. I will take an instance from the Captain bimself of thote Scriptures which contute the Arriars: Joh. 10.30. I and my father are one : but (saich che Captain) the Arrian will say, this is meant of Onenesse in affection, as Job: 17. 21. And here my Captain is gravelled, and balfe made an Arrian, and because he could nor answer the Arrian, be concludes again,no body else can: But wiser men would have cold bim, That this Arrian glofse is confured out of the Scripcure, bocb out of the present chapter, (the Captain and Arrian being more blind then the Jewes, who underitood Christs meaning better, viz. That he made himlelf God; 7.33.)and from other places of Scrip cure, where Chrilt is exprefly called God, Joh. 1.1. the true Gud, 1 Joh. 5.20. and thought it no robbery to be equal with God, Phil. 2.6. And indeed the Councel of Nice (as I thewed in the foregoing discourse) did confute the Arriax Heresy out of the Scripcures, chey saw no need of going fürcher,
5. He alledgech the number of fundamentall poiors, which (faich he) the Scripture determines not
.. Anf. This is most falfe. The Scripture doth sufficiently decermine fundamental points: I must not here run ingo another controversy concerning the number of fun
| damentals This may suffice at present, That the Scrip.
cure doch not presse all Truths with equal vehemency: thac there are some points, wherein the Seripture doth though not approve of, yet dispence with differing opinions in Christians: such as those were concerning dayes, and meats, and ceremonies in Religion: and there are os ther points, which it orgeth upon us with highest penalties; such as that in Joh.8.24. If ye believe not that I am he, ju fball dye in your fins. To me this is a rule: That to which God promisech or annexeth salvation, is surely sufficient for salvation; I care not one straw for all the Romane Thunder.claps of Damnation, where I have one promise from God for my salvation. I am assured by God chat to fear God, and keep his commandements, is the whole duty of man, Eccles. 12.13, That he that feareth God, and morkethrighteousness is accepted of him, Att. 10.35. That this is life eternal , so, krom tbee to be the onely irwe God and Jesus Christ whom thun bast fint: Joh. 17.3. and consequently if I know him, and believe in hini, his perfon, and office, and work, I may humbly put in my claime for eternal life, and have not so much reason to fear their cursing of me, (knowing that the curse causeleffe Shall not come) as they have to fear the curse of Cod, and an addition to their plagues for adding to God's word, Rev. 22.18. In a word, the fundamentals or lubftantials of Religion do apparently lie in two chings, the Law,and the Gospel: che Scripture tels me, char love is the fulfilling of the law, Rom. 13.10. that he that loveth Christ shalt be loved of his father, Joh. 14. 21. that bersbywe know that we are paled from death to life, because we love the brea thren, 17o6.3.14.It tels mealso, Thar faith in Christ is the fulfilling of che Gospel: ye believe in God,believe also in me, Job. 14. 1. and those things are written, that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ the son of God, and that believing yo might havelife in his name, Joh29,31, Christ bath assured us; (it seems he should have asked his Vicars Jeave for it,) He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Joh. 3: 30. For my part I am not afraid to venture my sal. vacion upon this promise : and for Popish comminacions and curles, I fall only say with the Psalmist, Let them curse, but blefl e'thou, Plal. 109.28.
By these things we see the Scripture fufficiently informes us of fundamentals. To which I might adde the common sense of Gods Church, and the learned Ministers in all ages, it having been acknowledged by the most és minenc Doctors, both antient and modern, boch Popish and Protestant, (as may be seen at large in Dr. Pótters want of Charity charged upon Romanists, and M Chilling. worths Defence of it,) That che Creed,commonly called the Apostles Creed, doth contain in it a compleac body of the fundamentals of salvacion for the Credenda, and all the Articles of the Creed are sufficiently evidenced from the Scriprures, as I could with great facilicy demonstrate, but I study brevity.
But you must know, the Church of Rome bath another notion of Fundamentals, a rare notion I tell you, for you shall not find the like either in Scripture, or any ancient Author. They make the Churches definition the rule of Fundamentals: That is a Fundamental Truth,and de fide, which the Church determines and decrees, though never fo inconsiderable, and thac is no Fundamental, nor de fide, which the Churches hath not determined, though it be ne ver fo material. Thus to fast in Lent,and on Fridajes if the Church command ic, is now become a Fundamental, and if any man obstinarely refuse it, God will assuredly condemne such a perfon, faith an English Apostate, Crilly left. 2.06.13.02. though he there confeffeph it is but an a&tion little more then circumstancial: yet on the other side it is no Fundamental to hold, That all men(except Chrilt) are conceived in sin, because the Church (forsooth) hacha
hot determined the Question of the Blessed Virgin. Thus with the Romanis's it is a fundamento doctrine to believe that Paul left his Cloak at Troas, (namely if the Church injoya you to believe it, for there is the knack, it is not Fundamental, because S.Paul asserts it, 2 Tim. 4.13. buc because S. Peters successor or the Church injoyns you to believe it:) but it is no Fundamental, that Christ is God, if the Church doch not oblige you to believe it. Did I say it was not a Fundamental? I do them wrongin not speaking the whole truth; for so far are they from owning it for a Fundamental Article, that they will not allow it to be an article or object of our Faith, without such confirmation and injunction from the Church, as I shews ed in the beginning of the foregoing Discourfe
. But this is so grosse a cheat, and such a groundlesse imposture, wholly destitute of all appearance of proof, chat it is a vanity to spend time in the confuting of ir. ifany Papift think otherwise , let bim give us folid proofs , That the Pope of Councel have such dominion over our Faith, That Fundamentals are all at their mercy; though me. thinks the very mention of such a conceit is abundant confutacion, nor can any thing be more ablurd, then to fay, Thaç it is no Fundamental to believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, (unlesse the Churches Auchority command us to believe ir, and that it is a Fundamental to believe that (which so many of the Ancients did not believe, )viz, the falsehood ofche Millenary opinion, or of the admission of departed Saints to the Beatifical Vision before the day of Judge« ment, (because these are determined by the Church:) And there is nothing which more effentially overthrowes the Popish conceit of Fundamentals, then the confideration of the Pillar upon which they build it, which is the Churches Infallible authority, as che Answerer of Bishop Land Discoursesh,whole great argument is shis: whollen