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known book, his Journal concerning the Tranfactions at Rome, relating to the five propofitions controverted be tween the Molinists and fanfenifts, where it is left upon Record in perpetuam rei memoriam, That when he folli cited the Pope (Innocent the Tenth) to decide that controverfy, and to that end prefented a paper to him, defiring him to read it, the Pope (faith my Author) would not receive and read it, because he faid this would engage him fure ther, and oblige him to too great toyles, as he knew the dif cuffion of this matter required, even of fuch as had applyed themselves to that study all th ir time, but much more paines muft it cost him then others; because (faid he, they are the Popes own words) it is not my profession, besides that I am old, I have never ftudied Divinity: Part.3. chap. 12. And yet this is the ground and pillar of Truth,this is the prime fubject of Infallibility, the great Judge of all controverfies, (to whom Scripture, Reafon, Spirit, all muft vaile,) whofe Decifions must be taken for the Oracles of God. And the fame Pope Innocent the Tenth tels this ftory of a predeceffor of his Clement the 8. who (faith he) aften he had caused this matter (viz. the queftion between the Fanfenifts and fefuites) to be debateà in bis prefence fr a long time by the most excellent men, after he had ftudied them himself with very great care, fo that as he remembred, fome tock occafion thereby to fay, that Clemen: the 8. b.gan very old to fudy Divinity,) yet he could not at last decide any thing therein, but was fain to impofe a perpetual filence upon both fides. This is the man that muft infallibly decide all controverfies, that could not decide this, and we (forfooth) must all venture our foules upon his unerring gui dance, that is not convinced of it in himfelf, and our Papifts most impudently affert the Popes infallibility, who modeftly acknowledged his own ignorance and infufficiency. These things I hope may abundantly fuffice for the demolishing of the grounds of their Faith, I muft
now Ipeak fomething to the establishing of ours. The ra ther, because the Captain requires it in his Answerer, not to proceed in the way of Negatives, not to reft in pulling down, but to affert what we fhould eftablish. And Mr. Crefly takes notice of M. Chillingworth and his book, That he was better in pulling down buildings, then raifing new ones, and that he hath managed his Sword much more dexterously then his Buckler; and that Pro teftants do neither own and defend the pofitive grounds which Chillingworth laid, nor provide themfelves of any fafer Defence. Exomolog. fect. 2. chap. 3. num. 4.
To which it might fuffice in general to reply, that if once the grounds of their Faith be demolished, and their great pretenfions of fupreme & infallible Authority fubverted; if it be proved, that neither the Pope, nor Coun. cels, nor Church of Rome be infallible, then the Proteftant Churches at least ftand upon even ground with the Church of Rome, and whatfoever they can reasonably pretend for the stablishing of their Faith, will tend to the fecuring of ours; and if Proteftants have no folid and fufficient foundation for their Beliefe, neither have the Papifts any better: and then one of thefe 2 things will follow: Either that Scripture, Reafon, and the concur ring teftimony of former Ages, and Churches, and Fathers are a firme Bafis for a Chriftians Faith,independently upon the Churches Authority, and Infallibility, (and this is a certain Truth, though utterly deftructive to the Church of Rome,) or elfe which I tremble to speak, and yet these defperate perfons are not afraid to affert,) that the Chriftian Faith hath no folid ground to reft upon, (I mean without the Churches infallible Authority, which is now fuppofed to be difcarded and difproved.) Now here it must be confeffed, that fome Proteftants expreffe themselves too unwarily in the point, whereby they give the Adverfary fome feeming advantage and occafion
Dccafion to reprefent our Doctrine to their ignorant and deluded Profelytes, as diverfified into three or four feverall and contrary opinions, about the judge and rule of Faith, which fome are faid to afcribe to the Scriptures, others to the spirit of God within them, others to reason, and others to univerfall Tradition, whereas indeed all thefe are really agreed, and thefe are not fo many feverall judges or rules, but all in their places and orders do happily correfpond to the constitution of the Proteftant ground of Faith, which I fhall make thus appeare by the help of a threefold distinction.
1, We muft diftinguish between the judge and rule of Faith, which the Papifts cunningly, and fome others inconfiderately confound, for inftance: If I fhould affert the Church to be the Judge, or Reafon to be the judge, yet the Scripture is the rule to which the Judge is tyed,and from which if it fwerve, fo far forth its fentence is null.
2. We muft diftinguish between Judge and Judge, and here we must take notice of a triple Judge according to the triple Court, forum cæli, forum Ecclefia, forum confcientia, the Court of Heaven, the Court of the Church, and the Court of Conicience. Accordingly there are three Judges.
1. The Supreme and-truly Infallible Judge of all controverfies, and that is God and Chrift who appropriates it to himselfe to be the alone Law giver, 7am.4. 12. And this is fo proper to God, that the bleffed Apoftles durst not afcribe it to themselves, (however their fucceffors are grown more hardy) not for that we have dominion over your Faith, 2 Cor. 1.24. This judge is Lord over all both in the Church and in the confcience, which are all fubordinate to him.
2. There is an externall and politicall Judge, placed by. God in the Church, and thefe are the Governors
whom Chrift hath placed in and over the Church: and these are fubordinate to the Supreme Judge, who i they really contradict his foveraigne Sentence and higher Authority, and require things evidently contrary to the will of their and our mafter, muft give their fubjects leave to argue with the Apoftle Peter (and I tell you it was an unhappy accident that St Peter fhould furnish the Proteftants with fuch an Argument, as would puz zle all his Succeffors to Answer) Whether it be right in the fight of God to barken unto you more then unto God judgeye, Acts 4. 19.
3. There is an internall and fecret Judge, placed by God in every particular person, and that you may call Reafon or Confcience; for as God hath made every man a reasonable creature, and capable to judgerof his own actions, fo he hath not given that faculty (no more then the reft) to be for ever fufpended, and wrapt in a Nap kin, but to be duly exercifed, nor would he have men like bruit beafts that have no understanding, but every where calls upon them to judge: I speak to wife men, judge ye what I fay, 1 Cor. 10. 15. And the fervice God requires of every man must be now narecia reasonabl fervice, Rom. 12. 1. And every man must be ready and able to give reafon of the hope that is in him, I Pet. 3. 15.
3. We muft diftinguish between an inftrument and an argument. And here lies the golden mean by which a man may avoid thofe contrary Herefies both equidiftant from the Truth, I mean the Socinian on the one hand, and the Papift on the other, whereof the former would make reafon a foveraign, univerfall Judge to which even Scripture it felf muft vaile: And fome go fo high that I remember one of them faith: If the Scripture fhould fay in expreffe termes That Christ is the most high God, I should not believe it (because utterly
repugnant to reafon ) but feek fome other fence of those words. And the latter (the Romanifts) would quite put reafon out of office, and in terminis fubmit to a blind or implicit obedience without any examination, whereas theruth lies between both. Reafon or Confcience is notan argument (I mean in matters of Faith purely fuch) that is, I do not therefore believe fuch a Doctrine of Faith to be true, becaufe my reason or conscience,in it felf and by vertue of rational and extrafcripturall Arguments tels me it is true (for this were to make my reason the rule and ftandard of Truth) but my reafon or confcience believes fuch a thing to be true, because it reads or hears fuch arguments and evidences from the Scripture as are the undoubted unes of the Truth. And thus reafon is the inftrument by which I apprehend the Ar gument which compels my beliefe: So againe the Spirit of God (as in this controverfy it is taken for the gifts or graces of a believing Soule) or its ordinary fuggeftions in my mind are not the argument by which I am con“ vinced of the Truth of a Doctrine, (for I may be deceived by a falfe fpirit under the Title of Gods, and I am commanded to trie the Spirits and not to believe every Spirit) it is the inftrument (as I may fo fpeak) by which I am enabled to understand the weight and force of those Arguments which are recorded (fuppofe) in the Scriptures, or rather to speak most properly, reafon is the inftrument, and Gods Spirit is the great helper and affiftant by which that inftrument is elevated and fitted to difcerne thofe lineaments of Truth which God hath drawn in Scripture or elsewhere, whence alone the Arguments for proof of the Truth are derived: So now the ftate of the queftion is reduced to a narrow compaffe, and I fhall lay it down in these Propositions,
8. Supreme and infallible Judge upon earth we know none, and I hope from what hath been faid and proved