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Rome deny), and then it needed not the Pope's confirmation to make it infallible : Or else a general council is not infallible in its definitions, before they receive the Pope's confirmation; and then the Pope's. confirmation cannot make it so : for that which was not infallibly defined by the council, cannot be made infallible by the Pope's confirmation. But there is another difficulty yet : It is a maxim generally received, and that even in the Roman church, “ That the definitions of a general council, “ confirmed by the Pope, are not obligatory, unless “ they be received by the universal church.” From whence these two great inconveniencies will unavoidably follow. 1. That no man is obliged to believe such definitions, till he certainly know that they are received by the universal church, which how he should certainly, much less infallibly know, I cannot understand ; unless he either speak with all the Christians. in the world, or the representatives of all particular churches return back and meet again in council, to declare that the universal church hath received their ..definitions ; which I think was never yet done. 2. It will follow, that the definitions of a general council confirmed by the Pope, are not infallible, till they be received by the universal church. For if they were infallible without that, they would be obligatory without it ; because an infallible definition, if we know it to be so, lays an obligation to believe it, whether it be received by the universal church, or not. And if such definitions are not infallible, till they be received by the universal church, they cannot become infallible afterwards; because if the definitions were not infallible before, they cannot be received as such by the universal church, nor by the mere reception of them, be made to be infallible definitions, if they were not so before. But if we should pass over all these difficulties, there is a greater, yet behind, and that is, supposing the definitions of general councils confirmed by the Pope to be infallible, particular Christians cannot be . - secured

secured infallibly from error without the knowledge of those definitions. And there are but two waysimaginable of conveying this knowledge to them : Either by the living voice of their particular pastors, whom they are implicitly to believe in these matters; but particular pastors are fallible, (as they themselves grant), and therefore their words can neither be an infallible foundation of faith, or an infallible means of conveying it; and it is unreasonable, they say, for men that own themselves to be fallible, to require an implicit belief to be given to them : or else the knowledge of the definitions of councils must be conveyed to particular Christians by writing, and if so, then there will only be an infallible rule, but no living infallible judge. And if an infallible rule will serve the turn, we have the scriptures, which we are sure are infallible, and therefore at least as good as any other rule. But they say, that the definitions: of councils give us an infallible interpretation of scripture, and therefore are of greater advantage to us. But do not the definitions of councils sometimes also need explication, that we may know the certain sense of them, without which we cannot know the doćtrines defined Yes certainly ; they need explica-tion as much as scripture, if there be any difference about the meaning of them; and there have beens and still are, great differences among those of their own church about the meaning of them. And if the explications of general councils need themselves to be explained, then there is nothing got by them, and we are but where we were before: For differences about the meaning of the definitions of general councils, make as great difficulties and uncertainties in faith, as the differences about the meaning of scripture. Well, but the people have the living voice of their particular pastors, to explain the definitions of councils to them. But this does not help, the matter neither, for these two reasons: 1. Because particular pastors have no authority to explain the definitions of general councils. . The council of Trent hath, by express decree, reserved to

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