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'HE Introduction THE
Chap. I. p. 4: Demonstrates, that in the grand Points in difference between
the Protestants and Papists, the primitive Church in ge-neral, and the best learned Fathers believed as the Proteftants do at this Day.
Chap. II. P. 28.
Chap. III. p. 44.
Chap. IV. p. 50.
Against the Mass.
Chap. V. p. 58.
Chap. VI. p. 66. Against the Abuse of the Sacrament, bry denying the Cup to the Laity.
Chap. VII. p. 711
T has been a Complaint, even from the
Times of the Patriarchs and Prophets, and 1 confirmed by the Writings al d Teltimon es
of every Age, that Truth has met with
many Enemies and Slanderers, because Me was not known.At the first opening of the Gospel by our Lord himself, the Jews try'd various. Methods to hinder the Success of his Preaching. They firft derid d bim as a Man of no Family, or Fortune, as one whose Education and Circumstanc s could promise little. And when these were found insufficient, and He yet was confessed to “ Speak as never Man ipake;". They then accused Him of Immorality, of being
A Friend to Pub“ licans and Sinners;” and at the lalt they went fo: high, as even to brand Him wich Blaspheiny and: Impiety it felf.
The Men of God who first embrac'd the Truth of the Gospel, and were conten:ed to be called Christians, every where met with the like Adverfàries, there being no other way of afrightning the People from man bracing the Truth, and following the Son of God: but: by disfiguring Him and His Followers to the Mulsiive. But this did not weaken the Force of their Divine Precepts. On the contrary, such Influence had they cn the:
Minds of Men, that, under all these Discouragements, and notwithstanding the last Instance of their Malice, against our blessed Saviour, which they thought bad effectually destroy'd the farther Propagation of his Doctrine, we find his Disciples preaching with such undaunted Courage in Support of what they afferted, that the Minds of their Hearers were immediately convinced, and The Sound of the Heavenly Evangelists “ and Apostles went out into all Lands, and their « Words into the Ends of the Earth. *" So that they who derived their Ignorance from their Ancestors, being freed from their cruel Masters, and ealed from their jieavy Burthens, by the Power of Christ, and the Preaching and Miracles of his Disciples, did, with Scorn, reject the Multitude of gods brought in by Devils, and acknowledged One only God, Maker of All Things, and Him they worshipped, agreeable to that Holy and Reasonable Religion, which our Saviour had instituted: and taught to Mankind.
Thus the Doctrine of Christ and His Apostles wasreceived and obeyed by the Primitive Chriftians: Buc by Degrees in a few Ages the Simplicity of the Gof. pel both in Faith and Worship was corrupted, and more especially by the Church of Rome; which almost in every Age encreased her Errors and Tyranny ; And foreseeing that a Reformation wou'd soon change the Face of Re'igion, and ciearly discover and lay open her most Anticliristian Artifices, fer in Motion all the Springs of her refined Politicks to maintain the Errors and Abuses from which she drew such vast Gains; and to exiinguin a Light that was likely to prove to destructive of her Grandeur. She spared neither her Bulls, nor Anathem as, to render the pious Reformers odious to all the World. She raised against them all the different Bodies of her Clergy, whose miserable Ignorance and Corruption they so briskly attack'. She branded them with the dete table Name of Hertticks and Schilmaticks, as having forfaken the Faith and diffoly'd the
* Palm 16.4
Unity of the Christian Church. She alledged that they neither had any Regard to the Worship of God, nor any Christian Discipline among them. In short, she influenced the Multitude to believe, that a Man cou'd not profess himself a Protestant without being tainted with ail Sorts of Errors and Crimes. But the Reformation was too necessary, plain, and just not to find Numbers of good People dispos'd to embrace it. They who had long groand under the intolerable Yoke of the Superftitions and Tyrannies of the Church of Rome, were rejoiced to receive the pure Light of the Gospel, and those who preach'd it with such forcible Evidence against her Corruptions, as well in Points of Doctrine and Worfhip, as Manners and Discipline. So that without any Worldly Aid, it has not oniy spread itself into many countries, but is the establimed Religion of many Kingdoms in a very few Years Time. This happy Reformation has proved, that the Churches in those Days, and doth tellus, and will inform our Posterity, that in every Kingdom, State and Principality, which hath thus renounced the Superstition and Antichristian Religion of the present Church of Rome, and embraced the pure Gospel of Christ, the Primitive and Apoftolical Days of the Church are again in great Meafure restored.
The better therefore to convince our malicious Adversaries that they ought not to persilt in their Calumnies, and to prevent the bad Influence they may possibly have on some weak Minds of our own Coininunion, we shall vindicate the Protestant Religion from all the Aspersions that the Enemies of the Reformation wou'd fix upon: it, by clearly shtwing, that in our Separation from the present Church of Rome, we have acted without Regard to any other Interelt than our Duty towards God; that what we reject, the Goipel of Christ rejects, or never approved of, and that we only chuse to adhere to the Faith and Practice of Christ and his Apostles, and of the true Primitive Christians, rather than to continue in those wicked and pernicious Errors, which we charge them with, and thall directly proye upon them.