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Proof as the Articles of the old Creed, in which all Churches agree. No less degree of Evidence will conviące Nine parts of Ten in Christendom, which are not united in Communion with the Church of Rome under her supreme Vicar, that they are in fo fatal and woful a Mistake, as they must bes if your definition of the Catholick Church; and the Do&rines which flow from it, are true. Therefore, Sir, before you undertake this Proof, let me advise you to consider,
First, How it came to pass, that of all the Writers before Canisius and Bellarmine, who defined or described the Holy Catholick Church, and expounded the ixth Article in the Creed, none ever made Union with the Church of Rome under her supreme Pastor, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the essential difference in their Definitions or Descriptions, or declared the Roman Church and the Holy Catholick Church to be convertible Terms ?
Secondly, How that definition of the Holý cao tholick Church could agree with it, before there was a Church or Bishop at Rome?
Thirdly, How it came to pass that fo great a part of the Christian World were ignorart of this necessary Doctrine, and rejected it as utterly falfeg when it was proposed to them?
Fourtbly, How the Greek Church, which hath now adopted your Doctrine of Transubstantiation, yet cannot endure this Doctrine, which their Writers declare is invented to uphold the Papal Tyranoy and Usurpation, and give all the Churches of Christendom just cause to refuse Communion with the Roman Church?
Fifthly, How this Doctrine can be reconciled with the Treatment which the Catholick Bishops a jointly and severally gave Pope Stepheng accusing
• Concil. Carth, de Bapt. Hærer. Cyprian. Epift. ad Pomp, Firmil. Epist. ad Gyptianum
him of Tyranny, Obstinacy, Perversness, Ignorance, Indiscretion, Inhumanity, Boldness, and wicked Deeds?
Sixthly, How it agrees with their calling the Bishop of Rome no otherwise than as they did one another, Fratrem, Collegam, Coepiscopum ? &c.
Seventhly, How it came to pass that no General Council ever gave the Title of Universal Church to the Roman Church? or the Title of Catholick in any other Sense, than as it was given to other faithful Churches, or Churches so reputed ?
Eightly, How it came to pass that Pope Gregory the Great abhorred and condemned the Title of Universal Bishop ?
Ninthly, How it came to pass, that in ancient Times there were so many diroxépanol, or independent Chạrches, as the Church of Cyprus, and the old Britannick Church, not subject to the Bishop of Rome, or any other Bishop as ordinary Superior, but only to their own Bishops ?
Tenthly, Whether by consequence from your definition of the Holy Catholick Church, it be not all one, as the Greek Writers have observed, to say, I believe the Roman Church, and I believe the Holy Catholick Church?
Eleventhly, Supposing all the National Churches, and Churches in Nations, should fall off from the Church of Rome and her supreme Pastor, as many have already done ;. whether according to your definition, the Orbicariany or as it may happen the fingle Diocesan Church of Rome, which had no Churches left to infufei: Universality into, would be the Holy Catholick Church?
In the Twelfth place, Let me ask you, whether of old, in a vacancy of the single Church of Rome, the whole Catholick Church look'd upon her self as vacant; which she must have done, if she believed the Bishop of Rome to be her supreme Paitor, the universal Bishop, and Vicar of Jesus Christ?
Lastly, Let me ask you upon supposition, St. Peter had said the Words of St. Paul, 2 Cor. xi. 28. Besides those things that are without, that which comerh upon me daily, the CARE OF ALL THE CHURCHÉS; I say, upon supposition St. Pé
Pe ter had said those Words of himself, tell me if they had not been a more plausible Argument for the Bishop of Rome's supreme and universal Pastorship, than all the other Texts of the New Testament, which your Writers are wont to produce for it? What, said one, would the Papists give that St. Peter had spoken those words.
Sir, I humbly lay these Considerations before you, and pray you to think well on them before you begin your Answer to my new Challenge ; and then begin as soon as you please.
I am now come to my conclusion, in which I protest to you, that what I have written in this Answer to your Paper, I have written without any ill Will to your Church, which I wish with all my Heart were a pure, and found part of the Holy Catholick Church. As we say of our immoral Friends, that we have no ill to their Perfons but to their Vices; fo I have not the least ill Will to your Church, but to its great Errors and Corruptions in Doctrine, Worship, and Government ; from which I verily believe it would soon and easily reform, were it not with-held from so good and necessary a Work by the Pride, and Policy of the Court of Rome. And as I have no ill Will to your Church, fo have I none to any Person in her Communion; not to you, Sir, in particular, though your new Definition of the Catholick Church gives me just reason to think that you are one of her Court-Writers, for whom I wish I could have more respect. You would have been in no danger, if you would have come with the Lady to the free Conferences, to which I invited her; but to which, 1 presume, you would not, because you
durst not let her come. I desire you, and my formier Adversary, and all other Persons of your Religion to believe, that I understand and practise my Christianity better, than to think that a Protestant is discharged from any of the relative Duties of it to a Papist ; and I wish every Papist thought the fame with respect to Protestants, as I believe those who have not drank of the Cup of the Court of Rome's Enchantment, generally do. I think an Husband, or Father's, or Master's, or King's departing from the true Religion, ought not in the least to abate the conjugal Duty of the Wife, the filial Duty of the Children, the Subjection and Obedience of the Servants, or the Fidelity and Loyalty of the Subjects, or any Duties of Humanity; particularly of Justice or Charity to our Neighbours, Faithfulness to our Friends, or Gratitude to our Benefactors. And therefore, Sir, as far as I differ from you in Religion, do not after this declaration think, or treat me, which Some Roman Catholicks have done, as an Enemy upon that account. For I call God to witness, I would turn Roman Catholick (for so you call your selves) with all my Heart, if I could; and if I may be judge of my felf, I think I could chearfully lay down my Life upon condition, that the Church of
, Rome were such a Church as all other Churches, could safely hold Communion with : But alas, that is not to be done upon the Principles and Terms of truly Catholick Communion ; it is not to be done without forsaking the ancient Catholick Church and her truly Catholick Faith, Worship, and Government; in which all the niore Primitive Churches, and that of Rome among the rest, for many Ages agreed. It is not to be done without the violation of them all, and by consequence without running a very dangerous risque of eternal Damnation, and partaking of her Plagues, as well as her Sins. Such a dangerous change do they make, who change our for your Religion: And such a fad account, without Repentance, must you, Sir, make unto God, whose business is to go to and fro, and pervert our People from ours and the Primitive Catholick Church, to yours; which differ as much in Purity of Faith and Worship from the Catholick Church of Old, even from the ancient Roman Chureh, as the old Commonwealth of Rome after six Hundred Years, did from it self in Purity of Morals, when the á Historian said of it, Labente deinde paulatim disciplina, donec ad hæc tempora, quibus nec vitia nostra, nec remedia pari possumus, perventum eft.