Page images


of their Faith and Church, viz. the Popes, fhould have to alienate him from the Popish Religion and these things not foigned by Adverfaries, (as moft of their Calumnies againft Luther and Calvin are) but acknowledged by their own Authors, who have left us a particular account of the feveral forts of their villanies: fo many blafphemers, as Jaba 13. Július 3. &c. fo many Hereticks, as Boniface 8. Juba. 23. fo many Conjurers, as Sylvefter the second, and his Succellors for many fucceffions fo many whoremongers, fo many Sodomites, Poydoners, Incestuous, and what dot 315 Popes (faith Genebrard) rathet Apoftatical then Apoftolical perfons. And yet this tender confcienced man, who knew all thefe things, and could bear with all this, and a thousand more fuch infirmities in the Popes was fo fqueamish that he was not able to endure the fcandals of Luther and Calvin. And another motive he addes, not at all inferior to the former, viz. The 'bloudy commotions of the Calvinists, and the fanguinary Lawes and cruel execution of them upon Catholick Prieffs in England: And this was a great offence to him, who was well acquainted with the Maffa cres of France, of Germany, and the Low Countries, and the English too in Popish times, who knew the Hiftory of the barbarous cruelties of the inquifition torments, who himfelf had been an eye and ear-witneffe of the inhu mane butcheries of above one hundred thousand innocent Proteftants in Ireland. But all this did not move the good man at all he could swallow Camels, but a Gnar hath Chooked bim. O Divelifh Hypocrify? But God will not be mocked, and I hope men that have any fence will not easily be deceived to believe the fincerity of that mans Converfion, which is brought on by ridiculous Motives. But to return,


For a clofe of this great point, I fhall leave three things to the confideration of any difcreet and confcienti


[ocr errors][merged small]

ous Reader, and particularly of our two English Apoftates, with whom I am now treating, if they have any fenfe of Eternity or Confcience, left, watts had a

[ocr errors]

1, That the principal Texts of Scripture, and argue ments urged by them and others for the Infallibility of the Pope, and Councel together, either prove, nothing to their purpose, or prove more then they would have or dare affert, ie they prove either the Pope or Councel to be infallible by themselves, and without any reference to the other, and are accordingly pleaded by each party for their opinion. As for inftance: Thou art Peter, upon this rack &c, I will give unto thee the keyes &c. And Simon-I have prayed, that thy Faith fail not: and the like. If thefe Texts prove any Infallibility, they prove the In fallibility of the Pope,or St Peter's Succeffor,whether with or without a Councel. So on the other fide, the Texts of Scripture pleaded for the Infallibility of Councels from what was faid to or of all the Apostles,: He that heareth gon, beareth me. It feemed good to the holy Ghost and us. Where two or three are gathered together. I am with you to the end of the world: If thefe Texts prove any Infallibili. ty, they Prove the Infallibility of all the Governours of the Church, and Succeffors of the Apostles, at leaft when

* they are affembled together, without any special refe rence to the Pope, who is but one of them. And becaufe it is fufficiently evident, that thefe places do not prove the infallibility of thofe, of whom they are acknowledged primarily and formally to fpeak, (which is fo evident, that we have thousands of the most learned and refolved Papifts confenting to us herein, as is before proved,) it is therefore a strange prefumption to pretend thefe places cogent proofs of the infallibility of them, of whom thefe Texts are confeffed not to fpeak fave onely by implication: and confequently the infallibility of Pope and Coun cel together, (which is the chief retreat of the molt fub

T 3


tile and cautious Papifts) is deftitute of folid proof, and an ungrounded affertion.

2 If all that these men say were granted, that a general Councel confirmed by the Pope were the infallible Judge, yet fince there is now no fuch thing, (nor like to be,) as a general Councel in the Church of Rome, but the Pope ftands upon his own legs, therefore the Church of Rome at this day is not infallible, and hath no infallible Judge, and no way to end their controverfies, nor any advantage above Proteftants therein. If they fay, the Pope hath the affiftance and concurrence of general Councels in their writings and Decrees, I anfwer: The infallible Judge, which they plead for, muft according to their principles be a living Judge, and therefore requires the existence of the Councel, as well as of the Pope. I would aske Mr. Creffy this question: Is the Pope infallible in bis expofition and application of the Decrees, of Coun cels, or no? if he be, then the Pope alone is infallible without a Councel (which himfelf confeffeth is a propofition fo harfh, that Proteftants should not be urged to acknowledge it:) if he be not, then they have no infallible Judge at Rome at this time, e Nižou.

3. Since the present Romanifts have now no Anchorhold but the Pope's Infallibility, (for general Councel there is none,) and by Mr. Crefy's argument, if there be no Infallibility, there is no Authority, and therefore no Unity, and therefore no Faith: I fhall defire the Reader to refiect upon the character of that perfon, who is fo boldly afferted the Supreme Infallible Judge of all controverfies in Religion: I will not take it from Protestants (leaft they fhould be thought partial,) but as it is drawn by a Papift & he too one non è multis, one fo eminent for learning and prudence,and truftiness, that he was imploy. ed by the French Bishops to manage that great affair againit the Jefuites at Rome it is St Amour in that famous & known

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

known book, his Journal concerning the Tranfactions at Rome, relating to the five propofitions controverted be tween the Molinifts and fanfenifts, where it is left upon Record in perpetuam rei memoriam, That when he follicited 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 fur 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 (said he, they are the Popes own words) it is not my profeffion, befides that I ans old, I have never studied 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 controver fies, (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) after be had caufed this matter (viz, the queftion between the Fanfenifts and fefsuites) to be debateà in his prefence fr a long time by the most excellent men, after he had ftudied them himself with very great care, ( jo 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 must infallibly decide all controverfies, that could not decide this, and we (forfooth) must all venture our foules upon his unerring guidance, 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 I 4


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

now Ipeak fomething to the establishing of ours. The rather, 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. Crely 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 testants 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 whatsoever 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 these 2 things will follow: Either that Scripture, Reason, and the concurring 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 fpeak, and yet thefe 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 discarded 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


« PreviousContinue »