« הקודםהמשך »
op wish the may be able effe&tually to clear up her Evidence of being a pure uncorrupt Church of God, in which Salvation may certainly be obtain'd; I should then most gladly continue a Member of it. I shall be desirous to hear your Remarks on this Paper, and in order to it will give you the Trouble of another Visit when my Cousin Bs time will permit him to accompany me. I thank you for your Concern for me, and I pray God to direct me to the true Way, which is but one, to Eternal Life. I am, Sir,
Your assured Friend and Servantă.
After I had read this Letter I immediately reply'd in what follows. MADAM,
December 11. 1709. N the Answer which I received to the Letter
you are not so free as to let me know whether or no you are determin'd either to go over to the Roman Communion, or, by being already reconcil'd, a&tually are gone over to it ; perhaps your Ladyship durft not trust me with the Secret, as others have done, who were as much Strangers to me. However, your saying that you are so good a Daughter and Friend of the Church of England, as to wijh she may be able effe&tually to clear her Evidence of ben ing a pure incorrupt Church of God, in which Salvacion may certainly be obtained, convinces me that if your Ladyship is not determin'd one of those Ways, that nevertheless you are too far gone for me to do you any good : For any true Son of the Church of England may say as much of the Church of Rome as you have faid of her ; and therefore, Madam, I think it to no purpose to have any farther Conference with you. But whereas you say the Author of the Paper will, you believe, vin
dicate it, that, Madam, I desire he would do, and be so kind as to send his Vindication to me. If he proves what he writes in that Paper, I shall quickly follow you into the Church of Rome, but if he doth not he must expect a publick Answer, if God gives Life and Health, from
Tour Ladyship's Friend and Servant
If your Ladyship have read the Book I lent you, I pray you to send it to me. The Book mention'á in this Postscript is the Apologetical Vindication above describ'd.
December 30. 1707.
from you last, the Loss of my eldest son in the Small-Pox, has prevented my not answering yours sooner ; however, I am now desirous of letting you know, that I am not so far remov'd from the Church of England as you imagine me to be; and that I am very desirous to hear and see
your Answer to that Paper I left with you: Yet notwithstanding I beg the favour of the sight of the Copy you took of it, having mislaid the Original, and I will surely return it you again fome time this Week: It will come safe to me by the hand of this Bearer ; which, with begging your Prayers, is all at present from
Your Friend and Servant.
December 31. 1707. Am sorry for your Ladyship’s great Misfortune,
and pray God to comfort you. I have yet made no Answer to the Paper, of which I took a Copy, waiting for another, in which your Ladyship told me the Author would prove the main Point in that of which I have a Copy. I will get my
Copy transcribʼd and collated, and then send it to you in Two or Three Days. I am very glad to understand from your Ladyship, that you are not so far gone from the Church of England as the Expression I mention'd made me fear you were. I am with true Respect and great Concern for you,
After Three Weeks her Ladyship fent' me this Letter.
January 1. 1707.
ing the favour of your Opinion or Answer to that Paper of the Faith once deliver'd to the Saints, for my fatisfa&tion, when your Leisure permits. This is all at present from,
Honoured SIR, your Friend and Servant.
January 23. 1707.
me to let you have my Opinion of the Paper of the Faith once deliver'd to the Saints. In answer to which I refer your Ladyship to the Letter I sent you December the 6t, in which I plainly told your Ladyship my Opinion of that Paper ; and observ'd unto you how many things were affirmed, and supposed in it to be true, which we deny, and of which we require Proof. In your Letter to of December ir.
of December i 1. your Ladyship told me you believ'd the Author of the Paper would vindicate it, or if he could not, you Tould in a great measure quit your good Opinion of the Antiquity, and Universality of their Do&trines. That, Madam, is what I would have him prove, if he can. And if he can prove their Doctrines, that is, the Trent-Doctrines to have been always taught in the Church, as necessary to Salvation, (which I am certain he cannot do) I assure your Ladyship again, as I did in the Letter I sent you December the 11th, that I will quickly follow you into the Church of Rome. But if in the Vindication of his paper, which I desired might be communicated to me, he fails of that Proof, I told your Ladyship he must expect a publick Answer from me, I will now, add, or some other Person, and therefore let him consider well what he writes. T hope the Book I lent your Ladyship hath fully fatisfy'd you, as to your first Objection against the Church of England, upon the account of the numerous Sects and Schisms among us. If your Ladyfhip hath read it I desire you would please to return it to Tour Ladyship's moft humble Servant,
The Lady's ANSWER.
February 2. 170,7 I
I cannot but say 'tis very satisfactory touching the Matter it treats of, and will never conclude that Divisions and Separations are a Mark of an erroneous Church, from which they divide, any more than I can believe the Romißl, Church such, for our dividing from it; For, I think, all allow that to be a part of the holy Catholicķ Church, and that à found part most of the Fathers declare, if this Book I have presumed herewith to send you, quotę them aright. Neither do they seem to favour that Church in matters wherein we agree, but seem to be very express for it in those Doctrines wherein we dissent from them; the Pope's Supremacy, Prayers for the Dead and Transubstantiation : Which again countenance that Paper of the Do&trine once deliver'd to the Saints, I guess by Tradition, thonot mention'd in the Creed, nor so exprelly in Scripture as other Doctrines. What is farther deliver'd, in short, in vindication of that Paper, is contained in the inclos'd ; and seeing ! cannot have easy recourse to the Author, who is at a great distance from hence, shall trouble you no farther about it than to beg your Answer by way of confutation, and the return of my Book at your Leisure, with your Thoughts of it. ' I confess it ftaggers me, tho I am not yet gone over to the Church of Rome, neither would I, may I be well assur'd of equal safety for my Soul in the Church I am in. But what would it Profit me to gain the whole World, and lose my own Soul; therefore I beg your