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Christ's Merits bave been apply'd to us, our Popish Adverfaries impiously deride us; holding it for a Doctrine absurd, that (aj the Merits of one shou'd be imputed to another. Yet what they deny to Christ, they attribute to Saints ; that which they will not afcribe to the Son of God, they concede to the Pope. They will by no Means hear that God imputeth to us the Merits and Sufferings of his Son, altho' the Scripture be exprefly for it; and yet they teach, that the Merits and Satistaction of the Saints, may, by the Pope, be apply'd to us; and that they satisfy for our temporal Punishments.
We know the Saints, tho'never so great Sufferers here in their Pilgrimage, are already abundantly rewarded, when taken to Glory, and thai, far above their Desert, as the Apostle witnesseth, (b) “ I reckon that the Suf
ferings of this pre'ent Time are not worthy to be "compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us." And again, (c) “ Our light Affliction, which is but for a Moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal Weight of Glory." Wherefore the Saints Sufferings being so fuperabundantly recompenced already, can be of no Value to help towards the Expiation of the Sins of others. The Roman Church hereby, doth infinitely
wrong the infinite Bounty of our Redeemer, when in Derogation of his all-sufficient Merits, they go about, (as it were) to lengthen them out, by the imaginary Excrescency, and Superabundance of Saints Satisfaction, The Apostle tells us, (d).'
" There is no Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” If no Condemnation, then no Punishment eternal, or temporal; so as to appease God's Justice, already fatisfy'd by that one inestimable Sacrifice on the Cross. And as for Sickness, and other temporal Scourges, wherewith God chastiseth his Children for their Reformation (not for satisfying
(a) Bellarmine de Justificatione. Lib. 2. cap. 7. (b) Rom. 8. 18. (C) 2 Cor. 4. 17. (d) Rom. 8. 1.
his Justice.) All the Pope's Pardons that ever were, art not able to abate one Fit of an Ague, much less to diso charge any Arrears of Punifhment due for Sin in another World, « As the Tree falleth, le it lyeth,” saith holy Writ. And, " There is but one Mediator between God * and Man, even the adorable Jesus Chrift." Whartver therefore they attribute to the Saints in this kind, they detract from our Saviour, " Who will not have " bis Glory given to another.” We acknowledge, with most humble Gratitude and Veneration, his Merits to be a most rich and inexhauftible Freasury, never hut up to any that approach it on his Terms; but to add there. unto, the Sufferings of Merits of any Saints or Martyrs, were no better than to take away Gold seven Times res fin'd, and instead thereof (to fill up the Room not the Sum) to lay a few brass Tokens, and then to endeavour to put off the Whole for current Sterling. This is to embafe the Coin of Heaven, and give it an unlawful Counterfeit Scamp, which is no less than high Tretfon against the King of Kings.
If the Saints Sufferings cou'd any Way expiate out Sins, then might they in fome Sense, be accounted our Redeemers. But this, Thomas of Aquine bin self, blush. ed to affirm, and therefore resolved the quite contrary;. and we with our modern Romanists wou'd be content to acquiesce in the Opinion of that famous Author, whom they so much delight in, and whose words arc these, (a) “ The Sufferings of the Saints profiteth the « Church not by Way ot Redemption, but by Way of « Example."
Were there any fuch Thefaurus Ecclefia, or Treasury of Saints Merits, what peculiar Power hath the Pope to dispose thereof for Remission of Sins ? We have alrcady fufficiently proved, that our Saviour conferr'd the same. Power indifferently on all the Apostles, which he allowed to Peter, under whom alone. the Pope most tallly claims.
(a) Part 3, 9, 48. Art. 2o.
Had the Pope any fuch Stock, and such special Power of granting Indulgences, yet cou'd it not extend to the Souls in Purgatory, according to their most learned Doctor's Opinion: For fo Gerson concludes, " Because * they are not subject to the Pope's Court." Now if the Souls in Purgatory are none of his Subjects, where is his third Kingdom? Why wears he à triple Crown, to denote the Rule he bears in Heaven, Earth, and Purgatory? What Power can he then have to mitigate their Fine, or remit their Mulet, or abate their Fire?
Having set forth the Nature of Indulgences, and shewn how contrary the same are to the holy Scriptures, we come now to reflect 'upon the Policy of the Invention, and shall only take Notice of their Efficacy to draw Money out of Peoples Pockets : For which Purpose, there cou'd not bave been started a more neat Contrivance; and therefore they are most properly stiled by the Romanists themselves, the Treasury of the Church: For indeed they were designed for no other Erd, but (as Mait. Paris in Hen. 3, (peaks) to cram the Coffers of the Romanists. For,
Seeing the Monopoly or fole Power of graaring them was velted in the Pope, who cou'd dispence them as sparingly or liberally as he thought fit: Whenever therefore he had Occasion, or a mind to amals Money, it was a Way no less sure than ready on Pretence of blowing a Trumpet for a War againit Turks, or Hereticks, or even against his proper Sovereign the Emperor, or any Neighbour Prince, or State, with whom his Ho. liness was at odds, to send out into all Kingdoms, and proclaim Markets and Fairs, for vending such bis spiritual small Wares, and propose Sales of these Indulgences upon Terms, that those who wou'd disburse any Sums of Money for the purposes aforesaid, as the Occasion was, shou'd have Pardons and Indulgences tor such a Number of Years, proportionable to the Pence they cou'd deposite. And our antient Historian, Henry de Knighe ton, honestly and plainly tells us, (a) “ There was no Åb
(a) Col. 2671.
“ solution to be had, except they did disburse as much as " their Ability wou'd afford, and according to their “ Means." And therefore as for the Poor, fad and forlorn was their Cafe: For fo the “ Tax of the Apostolical “ Chamber (a Treatise compos'd by the Pope's Authority, fixing the Rates of all kind of Sins, and the precile Sums for which you may have them pardon'd refpectively, not many years ago publish'd in English) roundly lays down for Law; (a) • You are to observe,
or note diligen:ly, that such Graces or Favours, (Ipeak“ ing ot Indulgences, donc.) are not granted to the Poor, « because they have not wherewithal, and therefore can" not be com forced.” 'Tis but fit and reasonable that they who partake of fo great a Benefit, Mou'd extend an helping Hand, (as their crafty Doctors phrase it) for one good Turn deserves another; and a lictle Eale to the Soul, is worth a great Sum of Money.
Now, for those People that were conscious to themfelves of the Guilt of many Sins, and persuaded they shou'd lye frying in Purgatory many Thousands of years, to purge and fit themselves tor Heaven; wou'd they not presently unstring their Purses, and give almost all they were worth in the World for such Advantages? Especially, when if they came up to the Price, they might get not only all their own Sins pardoned, and everlasting Life into the Bargain, but likewise were made capable of delivering the Souls of others out of Torments. But there was no great Regard had, in employing the Money raised by these Indulgences, to the End for which they were pretended to be given; for frequently the same by Way of Anticipation, was assigned to other Purposes; as to carry on the Pope's Revenge, pay his Debts, grati. fy a Friend, enrich a Nephew, marry a Niece, wage War to subdue an Antipope, or the like ; as is teftify'd by the, “ Centum Gravamina Germania, as also, by most Hitories of those Times,
(a) Taxa. Cam. Apoft. Impres. Paris..
But as these Indulgences were often deliver'd and sent abroad by Wholesale, so there were some wary People, that fancy'd it a safer Way, to purchase them, as it were, by Retail
, singly, and by, Name appropriated to themselves: 'Nay, some thought they were not sure enough, without they had them under Hand and Seal, and the Pope's general Warrantee to them. Ot this Sort we have several yet remaining in antient Families in England.
Great Sums undoubtedly were railed by these Indul. gences; for one of the Pope's themselves took an Op. portunity thus profanely and devilishly to boift; " What
a World of Money have we got by this Fable ot Chrift:”. So that, well might Cardinal Cusanus grumble in his Time, as he did, at the unequal Traffick
between Rome, and the Rest of the World, fince Men, as he says,
brought thither Gold and Silver in Abundance, and
carry'd away nothing but Parchment and Lead in * Return." And what other Advantage cou'd those fallacious Trinkets yield to the defrauded Chapmen, except, as Albertus Magnus, said to one newly return'd from Rome, with many Bulls and Dispenfations, and vapouring very much of his Merchandize, “ Thou "mightest, Friend, have gone to Hell before without " Licence, but now you will go thither with Dispen* fation and Authority."
With these lying Fables, and a Belief of such heavenly Advantages, People of all Qualities were continually drawn and enticed to Rome, at their great Charge and Expence. And further, to thew the Pope's Charity and Liberality in these gracious Indulgences, we must know, they were granted to many Churches and Altars, within the Kingdom of England, where, opposite to the Altar, it was wrote upon the Wall, (a) “ H any shall
procure a Mafs to be said at this Altar, he shall have a general Pardon of his Sins, or it it be for a Soul
departed, the same shall be immediately released out “ of Purgatory."
(a) Weaver's Funer. Monu, 121.