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A01005 The Church conquerant ouer humane wit. Or The Churches authority demonstrated by M. VVilliam Chillingvvorth (the proctour for vvit against her) his perpetual contradictions, in his booke entituled, The religion of Protestants a safe vvay to saluation Floyd, John, 1572-1649.; Lacey, William, 1584-1673, attributed name. 1638 (1638) STC 11110; ESTC S102366 121,226 198

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mistresse of all necessary truth euen by essence that she can no more depart from teaching proposing and maintayning all fundamentall Christian doctrine then from her owne being Nor do you onely so affirme the Churches essentiall infallibility in teaching all Fundamentals but also prooue the same by the word of God which proposes the Church of Christ as the pillar and ground of truth as built on the Rocke against which the gates of Hell shal neuer preuaile For these words at least euince as you confesse Cap. 3. n. 70. that there shall still continue a true Church and bring forth children vnto God send soules to Heauē which could not be vnles she did alwayes without fayle teach all necessary truth so be an infallible guide in Fundamentals 4. Now this being a truth infallible that the Church cannot erre in teaching fundamentals let vs proceed to note and number the doctrines which you openly grant and proue to be consequent thereupon which be such as no more could haue byn desired A Sicilian Nobleman when Scipio Praetor of that country offered him one wealthy and talkatiue but of little wit for aduocate of his cause replyed I pray you Sir giue this man for Aduocate to my Aduersary and then I will be content to haue no Aduocate at all So we may say that the cause of Protestants about the Totall of their Religion and Saluation controuerted with the Church of Rome being abandoned by learned Protestants none presuming to appeare against euident truth so cleerely demonstrated by Charity maintayned it was the Roman Churches good luck you should preferre your selfe and be admitted for their Aduocate for you speake so wisely so pertinently so coherently for Protestāts as the Roman Church needs not any other Aduocate in her behalfe No Catholique Patron no learned man howsoeuer well seene in Controuersies of Religion nay the Author of Charity mainteyned himselfe could not haue spoken more fully groūdedly vnanswerably in the defence of the Roman Catholique Church then you haue done while you are perswaded that you plead against her as appeareth by these Conclusions the deduction whereof is confessed and expressed by your selfe 5. First there is euer was and shal be a true Church visible and conspicuous to the world that all men according to the will of God may be saued if they please by the meanes of her preaching ouer the world This you grant in saying that if the Church be an infallible guide in Fundamentals then this knowne infallibility must be setled in some knowne Society of Christians by adhering to which guide men may be guided to belieue aright in all Fundamentals 1. Tim. 2.4 No was the Apostle sayth God will haue all men to be saued and to come to the knowledge of truth and consequently he will haue the meanes which proposeth all the truth of Saluation infallibly guiding men to heauē to be sisible so diffused in the world as all men may come to see her and learne of her and be saued if they will by the grace of Christ Iesus 6. Secondly this Church being an infallible guide in Fundamentals must be likewyse infallible in all her proposals in matter of fayth This sequell according to your good custome you both deny and grant You deny it pag. 177. saying that the Church though she be the ground and rocke of all necessary truth yet not the rocke and ground or infallible teacher of all profitable truth but may erre and mainteyne damnable errour against it But pag. 105. n. 139. you grant the Consequence saying To grant any Church an infallible guide in Fundamentals would be to make it infallible in all things which she proposes and requires to be believed and Cap. 3. n. 36. you say The Church except she be infallible in all things we can belieue her in nothing vpō her word and authority which you proue by this demonstration vnanswerably Because say you an authority subiect to errour can be no firme and stable foundation of my beliefe in any thing And if it were in any thing then this authority being one the same in all proposals I should haue the same reason to belieue all that I haue to belieue one And therefore must do vnreasonably eyther in belieuing any one thing vpon the sole warrant of this authority or else in not belieuing all things aequally warranted by it Behold how earnestly you auerre and forcibly demonstrate what before you did so peremptorily deny that the Church being the pillar and ground of some Truth to wit of Truth necessary to Saluation must of necessity be the pillar ground of all sauing Truth because a Church subiect to errour in some things cannot be the ground and firme foundation of my beleefe in any thing whatsoeuer 7. Thirdly the true Church of Christ the pillar and ground of Truth to which it is essential to propose teach and mayntaine all necessary truth is one Society of Christians notoriously knowne by subordination to one vniuersall visible Head or Pastour This you grant saying that an infallible guide in Fundamentals or which is all one such a Church as shall alwayes without fayle be the pillar ground and teacher of all necessary truth must be one knowne Society of Christians by adhering to which we are sure to be gurded aright to belieue all Fundamentals one certaine Society of men by whome we are certaine they neither do nor can erre in Fundamentals one certayne Society of Christians which may be knowne by adhering to such a Bishop as their Head 8. Fourthly there being such an infallible Church in all her doctrines you suppose that we are not to find out which is the true Church by preexamination of the doctrine controuerted but by euidence of the marke of subordination to one visible Head find the true Church by whose teaching we are lead to all necessary truth if we follow her direction and rest in her Iudgement These foure sequels you teach to be inuolued and contayned in your grant that the Church is alwayes euen by ss●nce the pillar and ground of fayth the infallible teacher and maynteyner of all necessary truth whence we shall in the sixt and seuenth Chapter inferre the totall ouerthrow of your cause and shew saluation to be impossible against the Catholique Roman Church The second Conuiction 9. FOr the totall infallibility of the Catholique Church I propose this Syllogisme out of your sayings In matters of Religion none can be lawfull Iudges but such as are for that office appointed of God nor any fit for it but such as are infallible but the Catholike Church is lawfull Iudge endued with authority to determine controuersies of Religion Ergo she is appoynted of God and made by him fit for that office that is infallible In this Syllogisme as in the former both propositions be your owne the Maior you delyuer pag. 60. n. 21. For the deciding of ciuill controuersies men may appoynt themselues a Iudge But in matters of Religion
profitable to Saluation and yet she may neglect and violate this duty and be in fact the teacher of some errour Thus you giue vs euery where sal infatuatum infatuated salt salt vnsauoury You often set good salt on the table but instātly you corrupt it and the good season and reason thereof by senselesse contradictions That the Church is by office the rocke and pillar of all truth in matter of fayth is good salt hath the fauour and sense of diuine infallible truth but that which followes that she may fayle in this office violate this duty is senselesse and spoken without any salt Do not you say that in Religion none is fit to be Iudge that is fit for the office of iudge but he that is infallible How then can the Iudge in matters of Religion endued with power to determine Controuersies of fayth violate his duety except you can conceaue that he that is infallible may fayle In lyke manner that the Church is by office by duety appointed of God to be the pillar and rocke of all truth both necessary and profitable to saluation is salt doctrine of heauenly fauour and wisedome worthy of God But what you presently add that in fact she may be the teacher of errour is extremely sottish For if the Church be a sure and firme foundatiō of Fayth how can she be fallible and subiect to errour Do not you say pag. 148. n. 36. lin 11. An authority subiect to errour can be not firme or stable foundation of my beli●fe in any thing What is this but that a fallible Church in something and which de facto teacheth errours cannot haue the office of pillar and ground of any truth much lesse of all truth How often doe you teach that God cannot command vs to doe things impossible or command vs to be what is not in our power to be Should God command you to be immortall were not that command vniust For you being by nature mortall according to the body and not able to shake that corruption of how can you be immortall except God take away mortality and bestow the gift of immortality on you Can God appoint that glasse be in office as strong and hard as marble or that sand be as firme and stable as a rocke without taking brittlenes from the one and vnstedfastnes from the other I conclude with this syllogisme wherin both Propositions being your owne you cannot deny the Conclusion God hath appointed the Church to be by office the pillar and ground of all Christian truth a firme and stable Foundation of fayth in all matters of saluation But a Church subiect to errour cannot be a pillar ground or foundation of Christian beleefe in any thing Ergo the Church is an infallible teacher of all truth an infallible guide in fundamentals and consequently in all her proposals That Protesters against the Church of Rome be Schismatiques and Heretiques and cannot be saued without actuall dereliction of their errours CHAP. VI. I SAID in the title Protesters not Protestants for though with you Protestants and Protesters be the same yet it is not so according to the acception of the word Protestant commonly receaued in England You define Protestants to be such as Protest against the corruptions and abuses of the Church of Rome Cap. 2. n. 2. Cap. 6. n. 56. all of them agreeing in this principle that the Bible the Bible and only the Bible is a perfect rule of fayth and action So that all pretended Gospellers and reformed Churches all that infinite diuersity of sects which agree amongst themselues as King Iames sayth in nothing but in vnion against the Pope Caluinists Lutherans Brownists Anabaptists Against Vorstins pag. 65. refermed Eutychiās Arians Sabellians Samostatenians or Socinians Tritheists and others innumerable are by you comprehended vnder the name of Protestants whome you maintayne to be free from damnable errour Preface n. 39. and in a safe way to Saluatson 2. But in England as all men know by the name of Protestants we properly vnderstand that part of the pretended English Reformation which is condistinct from Puritans and opposite against them Hence Protestants with vs be not the whole multitude of Protesting Biblists or of the pretended reformed Churches but only one branch of them the most moderate of all that which doth least exorbitate from the Doctrine and Discipline of the Roman Church Wherfore by Protesters in this discourse we shall alwayes vnderstand them euery one of them that oppose and Protest against any doctrine proposed as matter of fayth by the Catholique Roman Church of what Sect or Religion soeuer they be and that these cannot be saued by ignorance or by repentance without actuall detestation and abandoning of their errours in particular 3. For though they ignorantly iudge that they haue the truth on their side yet this ignorance doth not excuse their erring because it is not simple ignorance but such ignorance as is euer essentially inuolued and contayned in the crime of Heresy to wit the ignorance of Pride and Presumption ignorance wherby they preferre the seeming of their fancy or iudgmēt before Traditions Councells consent of Fathers miracles the plain proper and literall sense of Scripture which stand for the Roman Church and Religion These I say cannot be saued in their errours but are Schismatiques and Heretiques as I shall cleerely demonstrate in this Chapter euen by your owne sayings and Principles and first That they are Schismatiques 4. To proue this we must briefly declare what Schisme is The word Schisme comes originally from 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 which signifies any diuision cutting breaking renting away of any part from an entire whole thing as a bough from a tree a stone from a building any member from mans body By Metaphor the word is applyed to signify breaches and diuisions in any morall Body which is of two kindes Politicall and Mysticall In Politicall Bodyes or Temporall States Schisme happeneth when any part of the States departeth from the Communion and fellowship of others in being subiect to the supreme authority which ruleth gouerneth knitteth and keepeth the whole togeather whether this authority be Monarchicall Aristocraticall or D●mocraticall Mysticall whole Bodies be only one the holy Catholique Church the Body of Christ of which to be a member as it is the sole and only state of Saluation so to be deuided from it is sinfull and damnable Schisme then in this sense may be defined A voluatary choyce whereby a Christian doth deuide and cut away himselfe from the Communion and fellowship of other Christians in the common knot of subiection subordination vnto the supreme Head and Authority of this Body I say voluntary choyce for no man can be made a Schismatique against his will Schisme being a sinne and a most grieuous sinne Euery Schismatique then deuideth himselfe from the Church by his voluntary choyce either direct as when one doth in plaine termes refuse and detest subiection to
definition or declaration of the Church Now you and your Protesters hold the sense of Scripture proposed by the meere in ward euidence of the text onely and alone to be the last and vttermost euidence of credibility a Christian doctrine can haue the rocke and pillar of beliefe Ergo when you accuse ech other of disbelieuing euident and plaine Scripture you accuse ech other of the formall proper crime of heresy so that Protesters are according to S. Paul delinquishers of the Church conuinced and condemned by their owne Iudgement The second Conuiction 10. THey that protest against the pillar ground rocke of that Credit and Authority which doth vp hold propose and expose all truth of Saluation vnto Christian beliefe and make the same worthy of all credit in respect of us erre fundamentally and are damned Heretickes This is manifest by what is prooued in the Preface of this Chapter But you protest against such a Rocke for you protest against the Catholique present Church of euery age since the Apostles Cap. 5. n. ●● circa medium Cap. 5. n. 91. paulo post medium as subiect to fundamentall and damnable errours and euer stayned euen in the second age immediately vpon the death of the Apostles with vniuersall errours whose Catholique externall Communion you haue forsaken because vniuersally polluted with superstitions as you confesse and professe to glory therein Now that the present Catholique vniuersall Church in euery age is the pillar (c) Cap. 5. n. 52. Cap. 3. n. 77. n. 78. ground rocke that is teacher of all Christian truth by duty and office and in fact alwayes the pillar and ground that is the maintayner and teacher of all necessary truth which she could not be vnles she were infallible in all her proposals (d) Pag. 108. n. 139. Cap. 2. n. 139. these things you grant as hath bin shewed at large in the fift Chapter Ergo Protesters are guilty of Heresy as ouer throwers of the rocke pillar last Principle of Christian fayth 11. Moreouer you graunt Tradition vniuersall to be the last Principle of Christian fayth euident of it selfe and so the pillar and ground of all truth fit to be rested on But by making the Church fallible and subiect to errour in deliuering Apostolicall Traditions you destroy this Rocke and make the same no ground to be rested on in any kind of truth For say you an authority subiect (e) Cap. 3. n 36. lin 12. to errour cannot be a firme foundation of my beliefe in any thing and Cap. 5. n. 91. lin 40. expressely to this purpose you say If the Church were obnoxious to corruptions as we pretend who can possibly warrant vs that part of this corruption did not get in and preuaile in the 5. or 4. or 3. or 2. age c. The errour of the Millenaries was you say in the second age vniuersall and what was done in some was possible in others Now seing the authority of the Scripture and of the foure Ghospels and our whole Christian fayth depend vpon the tradition of the primitiue Church you that make the authority of the primitiue Church and Tradition subiect to errour and fallible how do not you erre most fundamentally destroying the last stay and only rocke to be rested on by Christian beliefe Tradition primitiue vniuersall being vncertaine and fallible what certainty can Christians haue of the Scriptures being from God (f) Pag. 63. lin 34. Only by the testimony of the ancient Churches the testimony of the ancient Churches the only meanes of our certainty in this point being vncertaine The third Conuiction 12. IF the Roman Church be the pillar ground rocke that is the teacher both by duty and in deed of all Christian truth then Protesters against the Church of Rome be Heretickes as you graunt and must needes graunt But the Antecedent is true and proued euidently by what you graunt and by what hath been shewed to be consequent of your grants that there must be alwayes a Church of one denomination alwayes in fact euen by essence the teacher of all fundamentall truth visibly discerned from other Christian Societies by this note of Vnity and Subordination to One. Now if there must be alwayes such a one Church the Roman must of necessity be this Church Supra c. 6. conuict 2. This consequence you denied as we noted before which now I make good by this Argument The Church which can must and in fact doth performe the office of guide and directour must be of one denomination subiect to one certain Bishop and also vniuersal Apostolicall one the same euery where for matters of fayth But there is no Church of one denomination in the world noted with these markes but only the Roman Ergo the Roman and only the Roman is that Church of one denomination and obedience Cap. 3. n. 39. lin 18. wherein a knowne infallibility is settled by adhering to which men are guided to belieue aright in all fundamentals The maior proposition of this argument I prooue by what you write pag. 91. (a) Cap. 2. n. 101. where you apply a testimony of S. Austin against vs Euery one may see that you so few in comparison of all those on whose consent we ground our beliefe of Scripture so turbulent that you damne all to the fire and to Hell that any way differ from you c. Lastly so new in many of your doctrines as in the lawfulnes and expedience of debarring the Laity the Sacramentall Cup the lawfulnes expedience of your Latin seruice Transubstantiation Purgatory the Popes infallibility authority ouer Kings c. So new I say in respect of the vndoubted Bookes of Scripture which contayneth or rather is our Religion and the sole and adaequate obiect of our fayth I say euery one may see that you so few so turbulent so new can produce nothing deseruing authority 13. This whole discourse though the last two lines only be sufficient to my purpose I haue produced at large that the Reader might see by this patterne for all your Booke is of the same stile methode and pith what a Kilcow-Disputant you are that is a curst Cow with short hornes yea without hornes at all for your Heart is not so curst and fierce in vttering what you conceaue to the discredit of the Roman Church but your Vnderstanding is as weake and faynt in proouing what you say You haue heaped togeather many doctrines of the Roman Church which you traduce as nouelties but in all your discourse there is not any strength of Argument to shew them to be such So we cannot say of you Cornu ferit ille caueto for you strike vs only with the bare forehead of impudent assertion without proofe yea without offer or proffer of proofe Nor could you prooue them these being for the most part all manifest Christian truths which you would haue taken vpon your bare word to be errours For how can you prooue that
Communion in one kind for Laymen was not practised by our Lord and Sauiour giuen vnto the two (a) Luc. 24.30.31 lay Disciples in Emmaus Was not the Latin seruice euery where in vse during the Primitiue tymes I meane (b) Ang. lib 2 de doctrine Christ. c. 11. in all Countryes of Europe and Africke which did pertayne to the Latin part of the word Was not Purgatory belieued and (c) Machab l. 2. c. 12. prayer for the reliefe of the dead practised by the people of God euen before the Ghospell was written Do not (d) Morton of the Sacramēt lib. 2. c. 1. pag. 91. If the words of Christ be certainly true in proper and literal sense then are we to yield Transubstantiation c. Protestants professe that Transubstantiation is as true and ancient as the Ghospell if the words of our Lord be certainly true in the plaine and proper sense And be not his words true in that sense he spake them though the same be neuer so high obscure to human vnderstanding incomprehensible But your discourse though alwayes without hornes of Conuiction of what you obiect to vs you will be sure it shall neuer be without hornes of stiffe and direct Contradiction against your selfe for euen this short period hath two hornes of this kind First where you say We damne all to Hell fire that any way differ from vs whereas more then fourty times in your booke you say you (e) pag. 404. lin 7. We censure your errours as heauily as you do ours damne vs to Hell as much as we do you and that we grant (f) Pag. 283. n. 74. lin 15. You your selfe affirme that ignorant Protestants dying with contrition may be saued Saluation to Protestants as much as they do to vs. Secondly you say heere that the Scripture is the sole and adaequate obiect of your faith but else where you say often that it is no obiect of your fayth at all but only the meanes of belieuing Cap. 2. n. 32. lin 5. Scripture conteynes all materiall obiects of fayth whereof the Scripture is NONE but ONELY the meanes of conueying them to vs. 14. Now to our purpose I take out of your dunghill this gem of cleere and manifest truth worthy of S. Austin his diuine wit and fayth that the Church which preferreth authority which is euidently credible of it selfe the pillar and ground of truth must not consist of a few but be diffused and spread ouer the world nor of turbulent persons that are full of discord and contention one against another but all agreeing in full vnity about matters of fayth not a new Church founded in after tymes but instituted by the blessed Apostles adorned with an illustrious succession of knowne Bishops to this present which is the very Maior proposition of my Argument which was that the Church which is the pillar and ground that is the teacher alwaies without fayle of all necessary truth must be both of one Denomination and Catholique that is vniuersally Apostolicall by succession of Bishops from them one and the same euery where for matters of faith For if it be not such but a company of a few in one corner of the world deuided into innumerable factions and sectes founded not by the Apostles but only yesterday or within the memory of men it can preferre no authority 15. Now Ecclesia totum poffidet quod a viro accepit in dotem quaecunque congregatio cuiustibet haeresis in angulis sedet concubina est non matrona Augustin l. 4. de symb c. 10. what more euident then the Minor of my former argument No Church of the World but the Roman is adorned with these glorious markes she wing the euident credibility of that Church in which they are For dare you say your Protesting Church is dilated ouer the word Is it not confined to one corner of Europe and reigneth most in the climate which is most North Quod latus mundi nebulae malusque Iupiter vrget Can you say that your Church is one the same euery where and not deuided into turbulent factions and iects Do not you say (a) Pag. 90. lin 12. there is among them infinite variance and King Iames (b) Against D. Vorstius pag. 65. an infinite diuersity of Sects agreeing in nothing but in vnion against the Pope Can you say it is Apostolicall hauing succession from the Apostles Do not you confesse it began but yesterday by deuiding themselues from the externall communion of the Roman and whole Catholique Church 16. On the other side can you deny the Roman to be spread ouer the world to be in Europe Africke Asia America almost in all countries of these foure quaters of the world euery where famously knowne that euery man that will be saued may come to this rocke be built thereon vnto euerlasting saluation For what you say cap. 6. n. 53. That the Roman Church is like the frog in the fable who thoght the ditch he liued in to be all the world is a speach not of truth and reason but of preiudice passion which education hath instilled into you the passion I say and custome of lying and vttering any falshood or scornefull reproach that may disgrace the Roman Church This you do without remorse of Conscience because you say you are sure without doubt Pag. 137. n. 19. God will not enter into Iudgement with you for such passions which custome and education haue made to you vnauoydahle Which I will belieue if you can make me sure that God did not damne to Hell Nero Domitian and such other Monsters for their pride and contempt of God and preiudices against Religion which by education and custome were to them all things considered vnauoydable 17. The Church of Rome is also Apostolicall by a notorious succession of Bishops from S. Peter that we may with S. Austyn (c) Aug. in Psal contra partem Donati say to you Number the Bishops succeeding in the sea of Peter this is the Rocke the proud gates of Hell do not conquer This Church is also the same euery where in all the professours thereof for matters of Fayth This you confesse pag. 129. and very wittily and prettily contradict your selfe within few lines In that pag. 129. n. 4. you speake to vs If you say you do agree in matters of Fayth I say this is ridiculous For you define matters of Fayth to be those things wherein you agree so that to say you agree in all matters of fayth is to say you agree in those things wherein you do agree But you are all agreed that onely those things wherein you agree are matters of Fayth And Protestants if they were wyse would do so to Sure I am they haue reason inough to do so seeing all of them agree with explicite fayth in all those things which are plainely and vndoubtedly deliuered in Scripture Thus you Is not this a wise discourse of a man who
saying of S. Augustine I would not belieue the Gospell vnlesse the Authority of the Church did moue me I would more easely persuade my selfe that I were not to belieue Christ then that I should learne any thing concerning him from any other then them by whom I belieued him this Profession I say though most euident truth cānot without impiety be applyed to any church which is not indefectible and infallible in all her Proposals It is euident truth because the proofe must be to vs more manifest and we surer of the truth there of then the thing proued thereby otherwise it is no proofe as you say Cap. 6 n. 59. in fine But the only proofe the only motiue and reason we haue to belieue Christ that he liued on earth and that his doctrine and Religion is contayned in the Christian Scripture is the Catholique Church and her word and Tradition as you often grant Therefore as S. Cap. 5. n. 64. lin 8. Augustine sayth how can we haue euidence of Christ if we haue not euidence of the Church that she cannot erre in her Proposals And if true Christians be surer of the Tradition of the Church then of Christ then according to reason they may sooner disbelieue Christ then the vniuersall Church But you Protest against the visible Catholique Church that she is not free from damnable errours in fayth and damnable corruptions in practise that Church by whom you haue belieued Christ if you do truely and Christianly belieue in him How then can you be Christians or haue any grounded assurance of fayth concerning him You will say that you haue belieued in Christ not by this present Catholique Church but by the Church of all ages This is vaine because you can haue no assurance of the Church of all former ages and of what they belieued and taught but by the word and testimony of the present Nor do you hold the Church of all ages infallible Cap. 5. n. 91. post medium yea you expressely teach that the same was presently vpon the Apostles death couered with darkenesse and vniuersall Errours how then be you not heretiques and false Christians who belieue Christ and Christianity vpon no other or better ground then your owne fancy The ninth Conuiction 35. PRotesters destroy by their doctrine the being essence of the Catho Christian Church But the doctrine destructiue of the Church or the deniall of the holy Catholique Church is a damnable blasphemous heresy Ergo Protesters be Heretiques of the worser and more damnable sort You deny both Propositions of this Argument yet you teach principles by which they are demonstratiuely cleered against you The maior is proued because you often teach and it is the mayne point of your Religion that the whole Catholique (a) Pag. 291. lin 9. or c. 5. n. 88 in ●edio Church is subiect to errours to damnable errours yea (b) Cap. 5. n. 7. Cap. 3. n. 36. li. 12. to fundamentall errours in some kind But this doctrine doth totally and essentially ouerthrow the being of the Church For you grant that the Church is alwayes by essence the Rocke and ground c that is alwayes the actual Teacher of all necessary truth so that they who take this from her take her essence from her Cap. 5. per to ●ū and essentially destroy her being But he who sayth that the Church is subiect to errours in matter of fayth maketh the Church not to be the pillar and ground of truth for you say An authority subiect to errour cannot be a firme and stable foundation a pillar and ground of beliefe in any thing Ergo they that make the Church fallible and subiect to some errours in some proposalls of fayth destroy her essence Hence your distinction of a true Church and of a pure Church free from errours and that there was euer shall be a true Christian Catholique Church in the world but not a pure vnspotted Church from all errours this distinction I say by you repeated many hundred of times is vayne for I haue demonstrated that impurity in matter of fayth yea possibility to be impure and erroneous in any Proposals of Fayth is against the very essence of the Church The minor also you deny See Edit 6 n. 9. circamed Cap. 2. n. 13. lin 12. If Zelots had held that there was not only no pure visible Church but none at all surely they had said more then they could iustify but yet you do not shew nor can I discouer any such vast absurdity or sacrilegious Blasphemy in this assertion Thus you And this fancy then did so occupy the short capacity of your brayne that the contrary declaratiōs which you make in your Booke were driuen quite out of your mind Pag. 336. lin 25. Into such an heresie which destroyeth essentially Christianity if the Church should fall it might be said more truly to perish then if it fell only into some errours of its owne nature damnable for in that state all the members of it without exception all without mercy must perish for euer Thus you teaching that if the Church perish essentially and remayne Christian not in Truth but only in name that all the members thereof without exception all without mercy perish with it Can any absurdity be more vast and full of horrour then this You teach this immanity to be consequent vpon the totall destruction of the Church and yet say that you cannot discouer any such vast absurdity in that destructiue doctrine So small a matter it seemes to you to grant that all Christians since the dayes of the Apostles perished euerlastingly 36. Is it not sacrilegious blasphemy to make Christ a false Prophet who sayd that the gates of Hell should neuer preuayle against is Which promise doth import as you acknowledge cap. 3. n. 70 that she shall alwayes continue a true Church and bring forth children vnto God and send soules to Heauen Now they who contend that there was for many ages no Church make this promise of our Lord to be false Therefore they are guilty of most sacrilegious Blasphemy as the Maintayner of Charity said and none will deny that hath in him any sparke of Charity towardes Christ The Conclusion 37. ANd now giue me leaue Courteous Reader to make an end For what hath been said may more then abundantly suffice to shew the vanity of this mans enterprize who would cut out a safe way to Saluation through the flint of Heretical obstinacy If any thinke this cannot be performed against such a volume by a Treatise so small as this is for bignesse not comparable vnto his let him examine comparatiuely the strength the pith the arguments of the one with the other and I do not doubt but in this comparison the Prouerbe will also be found true A Cane non magno saepe tenetur aper 38. The Crocodile that vast venemous Serpent of Nilus is conquered and made away by a litle fish tearmed Ichneumon which watching an
intellectum in obsequium Christi head and the Vnicornes horne of his singular Wit in the lappe of her Communion choosing to be rather taken captiue by voluntary subiection to her Truth then shewed a thrall of errour in the chaines of insoluble Contradictions against himselfe 14. In citing his testimonies I haue been exact punctual euen to a line and to set downe formally fully and largely his wordes and whole discourses more perhaps then some may thinke necessary or fitting but I had rather be found faulty for excesse in sincerity then for defect Yea the wordes that were vpon some occasion cited before I haue when in other occasiōs I make vse of the same repeated them againe at large for the Readers greater ease not to bind him to seeke for them in the place of the former citation I haue quoted not the Pages but the Chapter Number line of the number that so the quotations may be common both to the first second Edition which agree in Chapters Numbers and lines but not in Pages Yet sometimes when the numbers are long I haue quoted the page and the line of the first Edition in the text of the second in the margin The Chapters of the booke be these following 1. That Christian fayth is not resolued finally into natural wit and Reason but into the Authority of the Church 2. That Christian fayth is absolutely certaine and infallible 3. That the current of Christian Tradition is incorrupt both in the fountaine and in the streame 4. That the Scripture is not the only Rule 5. That the Church is infallible in all her Proposalls of fayth 6. That all Protesters against the Church of Rome are Schismatiques 7. That they are also Heretiques An Aduertisement to the Reader THis Treatise Good Reader was to the last word and syllable thereof finished reuiewed and ready for the Print longe since euen in April of this yeere 1638. so that it might haue been printed and published and haue come to thy sight in the last Trinity Tearme but for the tempests and stormes of warre which infested vltra-marine Countries neere vnto England and were no where more boisterous then ouer that place where this Treatise should haue been pressed into the light For this thundering noise of Mars frighted workemen and droue them away into other calmer coastes and afterward brought sharpe and longe sickenesse both on the Printer and Authour which hath been the cause it commeth so late vnto publique view I hope this remissnes and tardity will be recompenced and satisfyed by ensuing speed and diligence in deliuering vnto the world other Treatises which haue been also longe since ready for the Print against this cunning and close Vnderminer of Christian Religion whiles he pretendes to be an opposer but of the Catholique Roman The Church conquerant ouer Humane Wit That true Christian fayth is not finally resolued by naturall Wit and Reason but by the Churches Authority CHAP. I. CHRISTIAN resolution about belieuing the mysteries of our fayth Cap. 1 n 8. as you also note standes vpon two Principles The one Whatsoeuer God reueales for true is true or which is the same The word of God is certaine truth The other The articles of our fayth are reuealed of God About the truth of the first Principle we are fully and abundantly resolued by the Authority of God Reuealing who can neither be deceiued himselfe nor deceiue vs. The question is by what meanes may Christians be sure that the articles of their Religion are the word of God Catholiques make their last resolution into the word of God vnwritten deliuered by vniuersall Tradition euidently credible for it selfe or which is all one into the authority of the Church deliuering what by the full consent of Christian Catholique Ancestors she hath receiued frō the Apostles Protestants resolue to rest finally on Scripture which as they pretend by the cleere beames of its owne light sheweth it selfe and the sense they make thereof to be Diuine supernaturall Truth and consequently the word of God You agreeing nether with the one nor the other both reiect resolution by the inward euident certainty of Scripture as a fond conceypt and also banish the infallible authority of the present Church as an intolerable vsurpation so finally you come to rest vpon the iudgment and choyce of naturall Reason pretending that euery man and woman in the choyce of their Religion must at last follow their owne best wit vnderstanding and discourse In which conceit you are not constant you contradict it often yea you are so vncertaine and vnsetled in all your discourses as you say nothing in one place which you do not in some other place vtterly deny The discouery of this your perpetuail iarring and fighting with your selfe is the marke this Treatise aymeth at wherby it will appeare whether you had reason to write as you do in the conclusion of your worke Though the musick I haue made be dull and flat and euen downe right plainesong yet your curious and Criticall cares shall discouer no discord in it Mare c. 7. I hope together with this discourse the fingar of our Sauiour will enter into the deafe cares of your soule opē them to discerne the perpetuall iarring of your voyce with it selfe and also make you see that it will be alwayes so except you giue ouer singing the canticle of our Lord in the high strayne of quauering and wauering diuision from the Church according to the crochets of your owne conceyt and fall to the plaine Gregorian Ecclesiasticall tune humbling your Treble-wit to sing the base in the lowest note of subiection to the Holy Catholique Church The first Conuiction 2. THis Conuiction is groūded on this contradicting your selfe that cap. 2. n. 3. in fine you say The Scripture is the sole iudge of controuersies that is the sole rule to iudge them by those onely excepted wherein the Scripture is the subiect of the question which cannot be determined but by naturall reason the only principle besides Scripture which is common to Christians To the contrary cap. 2. n. 153. you write Vniuersall tradition is the Rule to iudge all controuersies by Preface n. 13. to the Directours assertion That if the true Church may erre in defining Canonicall Scripture then we must receiue Scripture either by the priuate spirit or by naturall wit and iudgment or by preexamination of the doctrine contayned therein you answer Though the present Church may possibly erre in her iudgment touching this matter yet haue we other directions besides either of these three and that is the testimony of the Primitiue Christians Thus you consider what sweet harmony and concent there is betwixt these two sayings Controuersies wherin Scripture it selfe is the subiect of the question cannot be determined but by naturall reason the only principle besides Scripture cōmon to Christians The controuersy which Scripture is canonicall wherin Scripture it selfe is the subiect of the question may
Christians know not how to compose but must expect some Elias to reconcile them Ergo they hold and you professe to hold Tradition as a Principle aboue reason and so high in authority aboue it as it is able to command reason to belieue what to the seeming of reason cannot possibly be true Thus by your owne contradictions the resolution of faith that Scriptures be the word of God is conuinced to rest finally not on Reason but on Tradition a Principle superiour to all human Reason The second Conuiction AS the text of holy Scripture so likewise the sense thereof is proued to be Diuine and true not because congruous and conforme to the rule of natural Reason but because deliuered by Tradition vnwritten This truth I am to make good by your sayings wherein you contradict your selfe leauing the victory to that part of your contradiction which standes for the Catholique side 8. Cap. 2. n. 1. lin 24. you reprehend the Roman Church Because we settle in the minds of men that the sense of Scripture is not that which seemes to mens reason and vnderstanding to be so but that which the Church of Rome declares to be so by tradition vnwritten seeme it neuer so vnreasonable and incongruous Your saying contradictory of this and whereby this may be refuted you deliuer some three pages after to wit Cap. 2. n. 8. (k) Lon. Edit p. 55. in 8. Though a Writing could not be proued to vs to be a perfect rule of faith by its owne saying so for nothing is proued true