Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ever, and Kings 12.7.--they will be thy servants for every and principally because in Itrictest propriety of fpeech the spirit of God did and doth for ever abide in the perfons of the Apostles. As God betroths every one of his people to him for ever, Hof,3. 19. and is their portion for ever, Psal.73 26. and the water chat. Christ gives to his people (which he himself expounds of the Spirit, fob. 7 38,39.) is in them for ever. foh.4.14.

3. If this promise of teading into all truth, be underitood of the Apostles and their Succeffors in the same manner, that is so as to make chem both infallible, then as the Apostles severally considered were infallible, and not only when combined in Councels, so allo are their Successors each of them infallible. (which all Papifts deny) It is a Itrange way of arguing which Bellarmine asech. The Apostles severally considered were infallible by vertue of this promise: And their Successors are comprehended in this promise: And their Succeflors are noc infallible in their single Capacities, (as the Apostles were:) Ergo,chey are infallible when they are gathered together: This is that I told you before and here you see ic exemplified, chough Fallibility be in the premises, yet you Thall be sure to meet with Infallibility in the Conclusion.

4. If this promise of the Spiric did contain infallibility, and did extend beyond the Apostles, yet certainly it is a most unreasonabe thing not only to communicate but appropriate this promise of the Spiric to such as have not the Spirit : such are all ungodly men fude verse 19. enfuali, not having the spirit. Yea, in chat very place which the Papists urge for che perpetuall residence of Gods Spiric in Popes and Bishops foh. 14. there is a poritiue exclusion of all ungodly men from any share there. in' verf. 17. The Spirit of Truth whom she World cannot rective, because it seeth him mot, neither knorreth him. A Character ascribed by God himselfe to all wicked men,

[ocr errors]

17oh. 3.6 Whosoever finneth (be he Christian, Minister, or Pope) hath not seen him, neither known him.So in this Argument they run upon a double abiurdity. 1. That they deny the promised guidance of the Spirit unto cbofe Efe&t, Holy and humble Christians who are the only perfons that in Scripture account have the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit, and walk after the Spirit. 2. That they challenge the infallible guidance of the Spirit to thole chac have not so much as the generall condud of the Spirit which is common to all Chriftians..

5. That you may see the desperatenesse of the Popish caule, you may observe that 'Belarmire himselfe ellewhere denies the conclusion which in this place he strives to obtrude upon us : For here he inferres the Infallibility of Councels, but elsewhere he laies down this position. That a generall Councell may erre, and is not Infallible, except the Pope confirme them that is to say, The Councell in it felfe is Fallible, the Pope only is. Infallible, of which more by and by : And thus according to BelLarmines opinion, the Bishops neither severally nor conjunctly are infallible, but in truch the Pope only is infallible. And io Bellarmine bath not only shuffled the Pope into the Text, but indeed juftled out all others, and destroyed that infallibility of Councels which he pretended to assert; as became the Popes fa ishtull servant to do. And so this is Bellarmines Argument from these words, God hach promised infallibiy to lead all the Apostles, and all their Successors into all crach: . There fore none of the Apostles Suçcessors are infallible , save St Peters only.

S 17. A fourth place for the Infallibility of Couna cels is Afts 15:28. For is seemed good unto the Holy Gbost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden then these necesary things, whence they thus argue : This Councell had the infallible direction of the Holy Ghoft and

confequently all other Councels have it.

Aním. 1. If the Conclusion be universally true (which if it be not, it will do the Church of Rome no service ) then the Arrian Councels were infallibie: But if they say that only the Orthodox Councels are infallible, that alters the quellion, and the Church of Rome must first prove her Orchodoxy, and then her Infallibility; and to speak truch, she may prove the one as soon as che oiher.

2. The utmost importance of this phrase is, that they made this decree by the direction of the Holy Ghost d. It seemed good to us by the direction of the Holy Ghost. And for this there is no need to devise a new phænomenon of infallible atiistance, to be afforded co all Councels (of whichi chere is not one syilable in the whole Chapter) feeing there are other wares, mentioned in that place, in Telped whereof chey had tie Holy Gholts direction, and mighe say it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, and by which the Holy Ghoit did give its Testimony to their decree directed against those that urged the necessi. (y of Circumcifion upon the Genciles: 1. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost inasmuch as when the Gospell was preached to the Gentiles by Prtig-God bare them witaels giving them the Holy Gboft,fven as he did unto us,v. 8.to making no difference between the Circumcision and Uncircumcision. . 2. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost who in che Scripture had foretold the conversion of the Uncircumcised Gentile to the Faith and their reception into the Church :: And for as much as it is exceeding piaine that che controversię was debated in that Councel pripcipally if not folely by Scripture Arguments, and the conclusion d duced from Seriprure evidence, they might very well say it seemed good co the Holy Ghost, it conformable to the Scripcure, there being nothing more familiar chen chis that what is said in Scripture is afcribed to the Holy Ghostz as Alt, I. 26. The Holy Ghost Spake by

was

the mouth of David. Heb. 3. 7. Wherefire as the Holy Ghoeft faith, to day if ye will hear his voice.

3. If that phrase doch imply Infallibility, yee the code fequence doth not hold from Apostles to Bishops: I apo peale to any Papist (whose candour is not gone with his confcience) whecher tbis follow : A Councell wherin were severall persons, even in their single capacities Infallible, had infallible direction when they were met together; Ergo, Those Councels wherin there is not one person, but is confessed in his single capacity to be [allible, are Infallible: If any or every Apostle had singly faid, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to me, would this have inferred the Infallibility of every single Bishop! They say no: Then let them shew a reafon why the Argument proceeds not as well from single Apostles to single Bishops as from Apostles con joyned in Councel to Bishops conjoyned.

4. There is also another inconfequence: The Apostles and Councell had the Direction of the Holy Ghost in a conclusion regulated by Scripture and collected from it. Ergo, All following Councels have the direction of the Holy Ghost, and cannot erre in all their conclusions whatsoever: Is not this a gondly Argument ?. This Councell did not erre: Ergo, No other Councell can erre: The words are only affertive of a present case, vi?.. of the direction of this Councell in that point, 4104 at all promiffive of any thing for the future, and clierefore can give us no security at alt for the Infallibility of Councels for the future. it would make fine work if every assertion were turned into promise: I might as well argue. David was guided by the Spirit of Godin the ordering of Gods house (as you read, i Cbron, 28.12, 19..) Therefore all succeeding Kings of Indah were infallible : Moses was faithful in Gods house , Heb 3.5. Engo, None of Moses's Successors could be unlaichfuil :

H 3

Nothing

Nothing can be replied, but this ; That David and Muses had a speciall aslistance not communicated to all their Succeslors : And the fame may as truly be said of this Councell and the Apostles here assembled ; But (faith Bellarmine) Infallibility being granted to this Councell as being necessary for the conservation of the Church against Hem resies, the same reason and necessity continuing the fame Infallibility must consequently be granted to following, generall Councels (a); i answer,

1. If this Councell by reason of the Apostles was Infallible, yet this Infallibility was purely accidentall (because persons indued with Infallibility for other ends were chere present) and not conferred upon them for the decision of the present controversy: and the reason why, Infallibility was bestowed upon the Apostles was not common to all buc particular to thar age and season, viz, because they were to lay a solid foundation for, and to give a fure rule to all the Churches in after

ages,

and therefore Infallibility was their peculiar priviledge. It is but a lame inference, Infallibility was necessary in the first founders of Christianity for the Plantation and constitution of the Gospell Church : Ergo, It was necessary for the constant and perpetuall government of the Church in all after ages: Upon the same warrant a man may argue thus : Miracles were necessary in the first erecting and laying the foundation of the Church: Ergo they were necessary for the edificacion of the Church in all suceeslive ages: In both cases the consequence is repugnant to common sence and reason, and confuced by experience; For

2. That such generall Councels and their Infallibility are not so neceffary as the Papists would perswade us

(a) De Conciliis lib.2.cap.2.

« PreviousContinue »