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pointed, or his Apoftles, left any Rule in the Sacred Writings
§ XLIV. 2. Whether the Judging and Depofing a Bishop by
OME Time fince, I wrote a Vindication of myself from the Charge of Popery, calt upon me very unjustly by fome of the News-Writers; and tho' I fee no Occafion to add any thing more in my own Vindication against that groundless Afperfion, having there fo fully renounced every Article of the Romish Creed, and fufficiently declar'd my just Abhorrence of the many Corruptions in that Church; and tho' I do not know that any one has fince pretended to renew that falfe Calumny against me, yet I think it may be proper to fay fomething more with regard to the DoEtrines I have there alfo vindicated: Which being ancient Doctrines of the Church, and to which the Practice of the truly Primitive, Catholick and Apoftolick Church was conform and agreeable, cannot be too frequently inculcated into the Minds of the People, in order to restore the like Practice in the prefent Age. And those who have opposed thefe Doctrines as Popish or Javouring
favouring of Popery, according to the Modern Phrafe, do not confider what Service they do to Popery by fuch Suggestions: For if the Doctrine and Practice of the Primitive Church be Popery, then is Popery the true Religion; because, (a) as Tertullian fays, That is Truth which is first: That is falfe which is after. (b) That is the Truer which is former; that is the former which is from the Beginning; that is from the Beginning which is from the Apostles. Agreeable to that of the Prophet, (c) Thus faith the Lord, Stand ye in the Ways, and fee, and ask for the OLD Paths, where is the good Way, and walk therein, and ye shall find Reft for your Souls. If therefore Popery be the Did Path, if it be from the Beginning, if it be from the Apostles, then is it the true Chritianity, and not a moft corrupt Religion, as we have held it to be ever fince the Reformation. We fhould then, for this Reason, take great Care not to give the Name of Popery to that which is Primitive (forafmuch as what is truly Primitive is and must be the Truth, whereas by Popery we understand Corruption and Error) left we give great Advantage to the Emiffaries of Rome, who having proved fome Doctrines, called Popifb, to be indeed Ancient,
(a) Id eft verum quodcunque primum: Id eft adulterum quodcunque pofterius. Tertul. adverf. Prax. prope princip.
(b) Conftar id verius quod prius, id prius quod ab initio, ab initio quod ab Apoftolis. Tertul. adverf. Marcion. Lib. 4. prope princip. (c) Fer. vi. 16.
Catholick and Apoftolical, may thence take Occafion to perfuade those who have not Opportunities and Abilities to examine the Records of the ancient Church (which are much the greatest Number of Men) that even their real Errors and Corruptions are as Ancient, Catholick and Apoftolical as these. Thus, for Inftance, The Independency of the Church upon the State, as to its pure Spiritual Powers, is a DoEtrine which fome have been pleased to charge as Popifb. Now this being (as I truft I shall be able to prove) molt certainly and evidently a true Chriftian Doctrine, may not a Romih Emiffary make great Advantage from fuch an unjuft Charge? You fee here, fays fuch an one to an honeft well-meaning Perfon, how your Teachers impofe upon you, and affright you with a mere Bug-bear Word. They have trained you up to be afraid of the Name Popery, but if you come to examine what they mean by that Word, it is plain they only underftand fomething which they do not like, and 'which therefore they would not have you like; not that the Thing is, in itself, corrupt and ' erroneous, but they have fome Ends to ferve by making you think it is. They tell you, for Inftance, That to believe the Church has any Powers independent on the State, is Popery: Upon which you immediately conclude, that it is an abominable, wicked Doctrine, and reject it without farther Examination. But now I will fhew you that this is the Doctrine
of Chrift, of his Apoftles, and of the whole • Chriftian Church downwards: And accordingly plainly fhews and convinces the Man that the Thing is fo. And having so convinced him, which may very easily be done even from the Scriptures themfelves, he then proceeds and fays, You fee now how your Guides deceive you, they have bred you up from your In'fancy to an Abhorrence of the Name Popery, and now you fee what they call Popery is no other than Christianity itself, the very Doctrine of Chrift and his Apostles. I have shewed 6 you this in one Point, I will now fhew it you
in others.' Then he proceeds to other Points Jately charged as Popifb, and fhews them alfo to be the Doctrine of Chrift, and his Apoftles; and then fays, Will you any longer trust to Guides who have so deceived you?
What fhall a plain honeft Man do in this Case? He finds his own Guides have deceived him, this Romifb Emiffary has undeceived him in feveral Points. He has not Time or Opportunity to examine all the Particulars of the Romish Religion, but confiders that it is not proper to truft those any longer with the Care of his Soul, who have fo evidently impofed upon his Understanding: And that it will be better for him to be guided by the Man that has undeceived him in fo many Particulars. Hereupon he gives himself up to the Guidance of this cunning Emiffary, who, by this Means, draws him in to be reconciled to the Roman Communion, and