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fo alfo is the Proteftants opinion concerning the Infalli ble authority of the Scripture true in it felf, and certitu dine objecti, as the not defperate Papifts do grant, Stapleton, and Bellarmine, and all. The Scripture (fay they) is Divine, and true, and certain in it felf, but not quoad nos: therefore hitherto there is no difference: now to proceed. If it be a fufficient foundation for a Romanist, that he hath Much probable evidence of this doctrine of the Churches Infallibility, why should it not be as fufficient a foundation for a Proteftant, that he hath fuch (nay infinitely more) probable evidence of the doctrine of the Scriptures Infallibility? fince the evidence of the latter is granted by the Papifts themfelves; and the evidence of the former not onely denyed and difputed down by the Proteftants, but alfo queftioned by their own Authors, as I have fhewed at large. This question I challenge the whole club of Jefuites, (which happily contributed to this Epiftle folidly to anfwer. But now on the other fide, if they will retire to the other part of the Dilemma, and fay, That a fubjective Infallibility is neceffary for particular Chriftians, then every Papift in England not onely hath a Pope in his belly, but hath got his Crown alfo upon his head, and communicates with him in that great Prerogative of Infallibility and truly 1 muft do them juftice; without doubt every Papift in England is as infallible as the Pope himfelf.
4. But if nothing will fatisfie but Infallibility; let us a little enquire into it, what it is, and where it lies, and what infallible and irrefiftible demonftratiohs the Roma-nifts have for this grand principle, for which a man muft put out the eye of his reafon, & forfake the conduct of the Scripture, and depofe the Holy Spirit from his Royalty. Certainly it is madneffe in the highest to put us off with conjectures, and fuppofitions and imagined probabilities in fo important an affaire, upon which all the reft depends,
and to which all muft ftrike faile fo then the que ftion will be this, whether this pretence Infallibility be not a gratis dictum, a crude and bold affection, or rather, whether it be evidenced with fuch itrength and clearnelle, as to compell the affent of ail reasonable perfons: And here I fhall do the Captain and the Popills cause this right, as to confider it in its most advantageous notion. If there be any Inallibility, most certain it is, that it is in the Pope and general Councel together, which is the most plaufible and received opinion of the Church of Rome. And here it is that our English Apoftate, Mr Creffy, in the laft Edition of his Book; centers, and here alfo the Captain cafts anchor: The Prelates of the Church (faith he) though as men they are fallible, yet when allembled in a general Councel with their fupreme Paftor, they are still made infallible by the affiftance of the fame holy Ghost, who was as well promised to them as to the Apostles.
Now for this notion, I might refer the Captaine and the Reader to what I have faid and proved in the fore. going Treatife, which when he, or any of his Fathers fhall folidly anfwer, it will be time enough then to confider it. But because this is the fole foundation upon which the Papifts build all the reft,and Mr. Crefy adjures all Prote ftants, that omitting or deferring all particular difputes with Catholicks, they would examine this point, Seft.2. Chap. 19. and because I am refolved by God's help to fearch and try where the ftrength of this Sampfen lies, (if there be any in it) I shall a little farther confider it and if I find his arguments proportionable to his confidence, and that he is as folid in proving it, as he is daring in afferting it, furely he will do the Chriftian world an inex preffible favour, and infinitely oblige all Proteftants, and he will find us far from the madneffe of fighting a gainft God and our own foules But fince all is not Gold that
that glifters, and our Saviour hath commanded us to try the Spirits, and to prove all things, and not to believe men, faying, Lo here is Chrift, or Lo there is Christ, they must not take it amiffe, if, after such evident discovery of their manifold impostures, we dare not take all things upon truft from them,nor fwallow down fo great a mor fell without chewing,and enquiring into it.
It feems to be granted on both fides, and the nature of the thing requires it, That this being a grand principle fhould have the greatest evidence, which things of that nature can bear: and such indeed they pretend for it. So Mr Crefly tells us, That as this controverfy was of infinite importance, Providence hath fuitably furnished us with means of fatisfaction infinitely more copious, evident," and powerful,then in any other befides. Exomolog. fect. 2. chap. 18. And again: That which I undertake to make evident to I. P. is, that the Church speaking by a general Councel,con› firmed by the Pope, is an infallible guide, (and that minh more evidence then he can produce for the Scripture it felf.) Appendix to his Exomolog fis chap 4. num.9. It is well that Saying and Doing are two things, or elfe the Proteftant caufe had been quite in the dult. If M Crefy make this good, his work is done, if not, it will concern him to remember from whence he is fallen, and repent of his Apoftacy. So now we are come to the point, whether the Churches Infallibility be so evidently proved, as they pretend? They affirm, and I deny it: and the grounds of my denial have been a principal part of the foregoing difcourfe. I fhall forbear repetitions, as much as is poffible, and shall here only give two arguments to fhew, That this pretended evidence of the doctrine of Infal libility is but one of their una oppurta, and a piece of their ufual artifice, to give us confident affirmations ia ftead of evident proofs.
My first reafon is taken from the inevidence ofthis
doctrine to themselves,and many of their own Brethren What a defperate affertion is it, to afcribe greater evidence to the Churches Infallibility, (which is denied by many of their own Authors,) then to the Divinity of the Scripture? (whofe evidence is fo great, that both Prote 2 ftants and Papifts univerfally acquiefce In it) I have al ready reprefented the differences and diffatisfactions of their own Authors in this, fuppofed to be, moft evidenc point. And certainly, it can be nothing but want of evidence, which hinders the affent of thofe, whofe intereft fo powerfully obligeth them to it. Particularly I have fhewed the vanity of that pretence of agreement be tween their divided Authors in the Infallibility of the Pope and a Councel together, and that the feveral Par tifans howsoever they put them both together in name and fhew, yet in truth they afcribe the Infallibility ens tirely to the one or other, either to the Pope alone, or to the Councel alone, and to the other onely in dependance thereupon. Infallibility is not partly in the Rope, and partly in the Councel, but wholly in the Pope (day, the Jefuites,) and from him communicated to the Councel, who are infallible no farther then they have his confent and concurrence. And on the other fide it is wholly in The Councel, and in the Pope onely by participation from them, (fay the Gallican Papifts,and Anti-Jefuitical party, and of this mind were thofe Councels that undertook the cenfuring and removing of Popes themselves.) And confequently, the Infallibility of Councels not being evident to the Jefuites and their party, and the Infallibility of the Pope not being evident to the French Papifts, and many others, if follows, that there is no evidence at all in either, nor in both together, their own Authors being Judges. For if I can prove to a Jéfuite, That the Pope in Cathedra is not infallible, he will (and by his principles muft) grant, That the addition of a Councel doth not $ 30
make him infallible. And ifI can prove to a French Pas pift,that a general Councel rightly called and conftituted is not infallible, he will (and by his principles muft) ac knowledge the Popes confent cannot render them infallible fo that indeed if either be difproved, both are difproved.
Nor doth any thing render this evidence more darke, and the Romish caufe more contemptible, then the confideration of thofe poor Fig. leaves wherewith Mr. Cressy feeks to cover his Mothers nakedneffe in this particular. For when Mr. Chillingworth urged this very argument against their infallible Judge, that themfelves were divi ded about it, who it was, whether Pope or Councel. all that Mr. Crefy anfwers ad rem, is this; That thefe different Authors of theirs are all agreed in that decifion of the Councel of Trent, It belongs to the Church to be Fudg of the true fenfe of the Holy Scripture: an anfwer fo defperate, that it fhewes that man, who could acquiefce in it, to be, if not a Papift by intereft rather then Confcience, yet at least one given up by God to thofe ftrong deInfions, threatned to the Followers of Antichrift, 2 Thef. 2 among whom he hath now lifted himself. And dorh this indeed end the differences? doth he offer that for an Antwer, which his Adverfary before had acknowledged? and is this all the relief they have towards the ending of all differences, and the fatisfaction of their confciences? When Alexander was asked, To whom he would leave his Empire? and he anfwered, To the beft: fince he did not at all determine, who this beft was, I think no man in his wits will fay, this was a likely or effectual way to end the differences among the Græcians: It is true the Captains were all agreed in genere, that it fhould be left to the beft, but fome thought one beft, others another, and fo the diffenfions continued among them,and were not at all healed by that general agreement. In the very fame