Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Word perish for being unfound (suppose it could be taken fo ?) For, how could I suppose for true, that the Church of Christ could not grow unfound, to them, who ground their Reformation upon this very reason, that she was corrupted and unfound? Out of all which it appears manifestly, that he had no reason to doubt of the sense of this Word perish.

III. His second Cavil is upon these Words, the Church of Christ: For, says he, they may be taken in two senses; one as large as Christianity; the other for fome part of it greater or less, but not for the universal Church. Here I might pay him in his own Coin, and ask him, What he means by Christianity? whether those Faithful only, that are baptized, as we mean it; or all those that believe in Christ, whether baptized or no? But not intending to wait for his answer, I must tell him, that both these senses are absolutely false. And first, that the Church of Christ is not taken for all Christianity, I prove out of their own Definition of the Church, in the 19th Article of the XXXIX. which says thus; The rvisible Church is a Congregation of Faithful Men, in the which the pure Word of God is preach'd, and the Sacraments be duly ministred. It is but too apparent, that this Definition cannot possibly be applied to innumerable Seets, who neither preach the pure Word of God, nor duly minister the Sacrainents. Therefore 'tis false that the Church of Christ can be taken to signifie all

, Christianity. Besides, fuppose it might be taken in that large sense, yet he had no reason to suspect, but that I took it here for the true Church only, to which the promises of perpetual Duration were given, and for the One, Holy, Catholick, and Apoftolical Church, (which soever it be) not including such pitiful Sečts, as

rise

[ocr errors]

tise and fall in every Age. Therefore it's evident he shut his Eyes here again for fear of seeing the true Sense of the Word. But yet, says he, The Church of Christ may be taken for one or more para ticular Churches, but not the universal Church. Behold, Sir, the disingenuous trifling of this Gentleman, who is resolv'd to

lake the Word in all other Senses but the right one. Suppose I should say, the Kingdom of England is a rich and glorious Nation; see how he would raise Difficulties upon these clear Words, What means he by the Kingdom of England ? Does be mean Somersetíhire alone? Or Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire? Or England, Denmark, and Norway ? Just so, when I had said, the Church of Christ cannot perish; he answers, What means he by the Church of Christ? One, or two, or more particular Churches? Or the Church of Christ and all Herefies besides? As if the most extravagant Herefies were a part of the Church or as if one or two particular Churches were the Church of Christ, and not rather a part of the Church of Christ

. But these Gentlemen are grown such Strangers to Christ's Church, that when it is named they lift up their leads, and know not what it means. Therefore, if he had been so minded, he might easily have known, that by the Church of Christ I mean the holy Catholick Church, which his Creed ought to have put him in mind of.

IV. Now then come we to the Question, which he takes in pieces thus, 1 desire to know (if the Protestant Church be the true one); where it was many Hundreds of years before Luther? This, says he, is not one Question but two.. I refer it to any Man ; there is evidently but one Question. But, says he, an accurate Adversary would have propos d it in two, thus : I desire to know, if the Protestant Church be the true Church? If so, I de

Ć

fire

[ocr errors]

1

[ocr errors]

fire to knowo, where it was many Hundreds of Tear's before Euther?

Had I done fo, I thould have reckoned my felf to have been very formally impértinent. For what Reason had I to make a Õuestion of it, whether he would say the Protestant Church was the true one or no? Things fo clear åre to be fuppofed, not asked, by all who would not multiply Questions without end ; and I do not conceive, why he should be so angry with me for not taking him to be fuch'a Knave, as to be of a Religion which he would not say was the true one. Surely Faults of this Nature may easily find a Pardon. 1. V. His next trifting is his defiring' to know, what I mean by the Protestant Church. For, says he, there be true Protestant Churches, and not true ones. Here, Sir, pray take notice that he has nothing to complain of, but that I gave him too much Liberry; I bid him name any which he will call the Protestant Church, and he has a mind to be confind; so that you fee a small Subje&t serves as to Wrangle about. But I'm content, let himn be confind to the Church of England, and thew me where there was a Church holding tall the Articles of the Church of England for 900.0r Tooo Years before Luther, And since the Word Luther gives Offence, let it be blotted out ; I'm glad he's so much ashamed of the great Captain and Patriarch of the pretended Reformation, The Chariot of Israel and the Horsemen thereof, as fome have been pleased to call him, and a moft excellent Infirument of God, as great Doctors of his own Church have term d him. His Name I put down, only:

because he' marks best the great Epoch of the Protestant Religion, by Reason of his Priority in Time and Fame above others. But since he desires it, let his Name be remov’d, and that of

Cranmer's

Granmer's be put down, or any other whom hie thinks he needs not be ashamed of.

VI. Yer still the finds more Difficulties in underHanding this Phrase, as he calls it, the Protestant Church. For, fays he, it may either signifie the Clergy and People of the Church, or the Faith, Worship, and Polity of it. Why had we not this Difficulty started before, when we had the former Dispute about the Word Church, that we might have done with it once for all? I defy him to give a Reason, except that the Fancy bit now and søt then, or else perchance because he was resolved to have a new Cavil in referve for this place, and when it's done the Difficulty's none. For by the Word Church is properly meant a Congregation of faithful Men, &c. and this by all sides; so it is in the nineteenth Article of his Church, fo it is in all our definitions of the Church, so it is in divers other even heretical definitions of the Church, and I do not remember to have read any where, that Church is taken for the Faith, Worship, and Polity of the Church. And if he have any where read it, yet he ought to reflect that in reason he thould have taken it in that Senfe, which Divines of all sides take it commonly in, in this Dispute of the Church, viz. For a Congregation of faithful Men, &c. and not for the Fairb, &c. of those Men. Thus you may guess, Sir, that it is a harder thing to bring this Gentleman to the Bar, and make him speak out plainly (Guilty or not Guilty, than perchance it would be to convi&t him, after he had once made his Plea.

VII. Now come we to the last Words of iny Paper, which are these, Name your Bishops, Writers, Churches, nay.one Single Congregation or Vilage of Provestants for goo or 1000 lears before

your

C.2

your Separation from the Roman Catholick Church, for thole are my Words, Roman Catholick Church, as is to be seen in the Paper I sent you, and not these, (Holy Catholick Church) as he is pleased to mistake, so there's an end of that Quarrel. Let us now to the purpose.

VIII. THIS Challenge, says he, is fallacious and sophistical, in asking us to Name our Bishops, Writers, and Churches,&c. i. e.Our reformed Bishops, Writers, and Churches before the Reformation. I'm sure this Answer is sophistical, and a great imposition both upon you and me. Have I any such Words, as reform d Bishops, Writers? &c. No, but he puts the Question in his own sophistical Words, because he cannot answer it in mine? What, had they no Bishops or Churches, before they were reforin'd? How did they do then to reform them? For to reform is to give a better Form to fomething, which before was under a worse. I demanded, where his Church was at all, whether reformd or deformd matters not? Cannot he tell me, where her Novenly dirty Face (according to his own Phrase) once was, because ?tis now washed? Or is it sophistical to ask a fick Man where he was, when he was well and lufty? Away, away, * this is too visibly idle. Let the Gentleman know then, that by the Word Protestant I mean Christians professing their Religion; and I cannot imagine what else he could fancy. I meant, except he thought me so foolish, as to take it for People protesting against the Decrees of the Diet of Spire, according to the Original Sense of the Word.

IX. Thus far, forsooth, was it necessary to dispute like Grammarians, concerning the meaning of clear Words : But, because it's so difficult a Thing to draw him to a direct Answer, I will endeavour to gather one from his Words, which

are

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »