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And this we shall make out, First, By demonstrating, that in the grand Points in Difference between us and the Papists, the Primitive Church in general, and the best learned Fathers believed as the Protestants do at this Day.
Secondly, We shall refute more particularly and distinct. ly the most notorious Doctrines held by the present Church of Rome, as necessary to Salvation, which in themselves are either new, or ablolutely false, or condemn'd by God's Word.
Thirdly, We shall take a Review of the State of the Roman Church, from their own Testimonies for many hundred Years before the Reformation; By which it will appear, that it was no very difficult Matter in those Days to impose the most notorious Falfhoods upon the credulous and undiscerning World.
Lastly, We shall Mew the just Causes of our Separation from the present Church of Rome, and offer: fome Realons for our persevering in the Protestant Principles.
C H A P. I.
E are now to prove, that in the grand points in
Difference between us and the Papists, the Pri-mitive Church in general, and the best learned Fathers believed, as the Protestants do at this Dav.
This we shall endeavour to do in a molt pain and familiar Method, by shewing, that the Doctrine of our Religion, is agreeable to the Word of God, and the Doctrine delivered in the Writings of the Fathers in the first Ages after Christ; but that the Popish Tenets do flatly contra. dict those Testimonies, which will be abundantly suffi. cient to evince the Truth of the Onc, and Fallity of the Other; because no Article of Faith can be true, which: weakens or subverts the Grounds or Foundation of the
Chriftian Religion; nor no Religion whatsoever can be authentick, which imposes thote Things as necessary to Salvation, which are either absolutely false, or condemned by God's Word.
All Protestants assert, that the Holy Scriptures are the. fafe Means whereby God hath been pleased to reveal unto us his Commands, and the only means whereby we can come to the Knowledge of the Christian Religion, and consequently the only Means whereby we can be enabled to worship God according to his Will, which will, it hath pleased the Goodness and Wisdom of God to deliver to us in those Writings which we call the Holy Scriptures; so that whatever Worship is not according to thele Holy Oracles, is not true, but false and vain : And such our Affertion is particularly witnessed by the Word of God.
(a) “ All Scripture, says St. Paul, is given by the Inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for
Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righ“ teouiness, that the Man of God might be pertect, and
thoroughly furnished unto all good Works.”. Again, (b)“ They are able to make us Wise unto Salvation." Which they could not be able to do, if they contained not a perfect Doctrine, of all such Points of Faith as we are bound to believe, and of the Duties we are required to practise.
And again, (c) “ Though we, or an Angel from Hea'“ ven, preach any other Gospel unto you, than chat ye « have received, let him be accursed. (d) “ Ye Mall not add unto the Word, which I command
neither shall you diminish ought “ from it, that ye may keep the Commandments of the « Lord your God, which I command you. (e)
Turn “ not from it to the Right Hand, or to the Left, that “ thou mayst proper whithersoever thou goeft.
you, saith the
(a) 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. (b) 2 Tim. 3.15. (c) Gal. 1.8 9. (d) Dent.4.2. (e) f0.1.7.
(a) “ Every Word of God is pure, faith the Wifeft of « Men: Add thou not unto his Words left he reprove " thee, and thou be found a Liar.
(b) “ If any Man Mall add unto these Things, God “ fall add unto him the Plagues that are written in this “ Book : And if any Man Mall take away from the Words «s of the Book of this Prophesy, God shall take away his « Part out of the Book of Lite, and out of the holy City, “ and from the Things which are written in tbis 66 Book."
How then shall we say to these Men? or what Manner of Men are they? and how is it we are to call them, which equal their Doctrines, Injunctions, Precepts, and Traditions to the Word of God? Now, that this is the Case of those of the Religion of the present Church of Rome, will be evident to any from these Testimonies. For of their Doctrine, say the Rhemists, (c)
6 What“ foever the lawful Apostles, Pastors, or Priests of God's “ Church, preach in the Unity of the same Church
(meaning the new Church of Rome) is to be taken for 's God's own Word.” To the samePurpose, but more blasphemously speaketh Stapleton, “(d) As the Jews were to ás believe Christ, fo are we simply, and in every Thing “ to believe the Church of Rome) whether it teacheth “ Truth, or Errors.
(e) “ Whatsoever by the Authority of the Church is " comimanded, ought of all Mento be esteemed " as the very Gospel, saith Abbot Trithemius.” Of Popish Precepts: (f) “ He that despiseth the Churches
or her, lawful Paltors Precepts, eac. And of their Traditions; (g) “ He that refuserh Ecclefiaftical. Tradi. « tion, deservech to be thrown out of the Church aniong es the Heathen, as well as he which refuseth the Gospel,
(a) Prov. 30.5,6. () Rev. 22. 18, 19. (c) Toft. Rhem. An. i Thefl. 2. 12. (d) Staple. a Evang. in Luke 10. 16. P. 528. (e) Tract de propriet. Monarch. Cap. 4. (f) Test. Rhem. An. í Thell. 4.8. (g) Stella in. Luk. 10. folo.20.
faith Didacus Stella. !a) “ With like Affection of God“ Jiness and Reverence embrace we and worship the « Books of the Old and New Testament, and Eccle“ fiaftical Traditions, faith the righteous Council of Trent.
Nay, what is horrible to think, in Support of these blafphemous Tenets, the Papists are necessitated to vility, and scornfully and contemptuously to reject the Word of God. Thus Pope Leo the Tenth termed the Holy Gospel, (b) “ A Fable of Christ.” The Holy Scriptures they call, (c) “ A dumb Judge, a black Gospel, Inken Divini“ ty;" and do alledge, “ (d) That if the Scriptures “ were not supported by the Authority of the Church, “ they were of no more Value than Æsop's Fables ; that, the (e) “ Permission of People to read the Bible,
was the Invention of the Devil."
The Popish Trent Convencicle, curses all such as receive not the Books of Maccabees, Eçclefiafticus, Judith, Tobit, &c. for canonical Scripture. But the Protestants re:ain the fame Canon of the Old Testament, which the Apostles held, and received from the Jews, because that (t)" Unto " thein were committed theOracles ot God. (g) He shew« eth his Word unto Jacob, his Statutes and his Judg“ ments unto Israel; he hath not dealt lo with any Nas tion.” Now, the Jews never received these Books which we term Apocryphal into their Canon, as Fofephus (h) witnesseth. Nay, Christ himself divides the Canon into three several Ranks, that is to say, (i) the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms; and the Apocryphal come not within this reckoning
Our present Romanists rob the People of half the Communion, by their denying the Cup to the Laity, which is exprefly against the Institution of our Saviour, who says, (k) “ Drink ye all of it."
(a) Confil. Trident. Seff. 4. (b) Apol. Steph. Fol. 358. (c) Pighius de Hier. Ecclef. (d) Eccius Chemnitii exam. des. Can. p.47. (e) Peres de tradit. affert. 3. (f) Rom. 3.2. (g) Psalm 147. 19, 20. (h) Cont. Apionem. () Luke 24.44. (k) Matth. 26.27.
Our present Romanifts order their Prayers in a Tonguc; that the People do not understand : bút St. Paul bears Witness againft shem, saying, (a) “ It I pray in an “ unkuown Tongue, my Spirit prayeth, but my Un
derstanding is unfruitful: What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the Understanding also.”
Our prefent Romanists prescribe Adoration due to I. mages. What says the Scripture to that? (b) “ Thou “ Malt not make to thy self any graven image, thou “ falt not bow down to it, or worshipit, donc," And again, (c) “ Take ye thereforegood heed unto your selves " left ye corrupt your selves, by making the Similitude “ of any Figure to worship it." oc.
Nay, St. Paul condemned Images, as the lowest Degree of Folly, and the basest Degeneracy that human Nature can fall into; (d) “ Profefling themselves to be “ wise they become tools: And changed the Glory of “ the uncorruptible God, into an Image made like to “ corruptible Man. And changed the Truth of God into
a Lye, and worshiped and served the Creature more than “ the Creator, who is blessed for ever.
The present Romanists tell us of Merit, nay, of Works of Supererogation, wherein a Man does not only compleatly and acceptably discharge his Dury, but lays an Obligation on Heaven, and brings the Almighty in his Debt, which he can transfer to the Advantage of another Man's Soul. Now, What says our Saviour to this Doctrine? (e) “ When we have done all, we are but “ unprofitable Servants.”
St. Paul taught the ancient Romans, that (f) “Our E« lection is of God's free Grace.” Not ex Operibus prævisis, of Works foreseen.
He taught, that (g) “Eternal Life is the Gift of God." And therefore not due to the Merit of Works. (h) That
(a) 1 Cor. 14. 14, 15. (b) Exod. 20.4, 5. (c) Deut.
(d) Rom. 1. 23, 25; (e) Luke 17. 10. (t) Rom. 9. 11. (g) Rom. 3. 28. (h) Rom. 8. 18.