CHAP. VI. The Religion so violently contended for by the Arch∣bishop of Canterbury and his adherents, is not the true pure Protestant Religion.
I Intend not to transcribe overmuch out of Bishop Moun∣tague, Shelford, Pocklington, Dr. Potter, Mr. Chillingworth, Dr. Dowe, Dr. Heylin, &c. Their Books are com∣monly * sold, and I have given a taste already in the third and fourth Chapters of some of these Authors; ex ungue leonem, as they say; there are a great many passages collected and published already by severall men, so that I am forestalled, and by some happi∣ly prevented; there is a Booke entituled Ladensium〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 closely penned, and never answered, in which their Heresies are filled up by dozens, There will come forth a Booke very shortly, in which the Designe of Reconciling, or rather uni∣ting Rome and Canterbury, (for there was no great quarrell betweene them) will be more fully disco∣vered; for these reasons I may well shorten my journey. Let any man that desires satisfaction, but peruse those Bookes which were Printed in Page 71England betweene 1630. and 1639. and compare them with the Harmony of Confessions of the Reformed Chur∣ches, and then hee may easily judge. Mr. Chillingworth proves undeniably that the Church of Rome is not Infal∣lible, but to what end and purpose? why, that Rome and Canterbury may shake hands, the Pope may abate some∣thing in point of Supremacy, his Primacy being grounded upon his Infallibility; but if the Pope, Cardinals, &c. the Archbishop of Canterbury and his adherents were united, the people would be unwilling to part with their Masse: why for that if they will but yeild thus farre, as to turne their Masse into English, the good men are agreed; for Mr. Chil∣lingworth tels the Papists, that no Godly Lay man (that is, an ignorant Papist that is well conceited of the Masse) who is verily perswaded that there is neither impiety nor superstition in the use of their Latine Service shall be damned as he hopes for being pre∣sent at it; Excellent Divinity! A strong perswasion will * turne superstition and impiety into godlinesse. Yet he saith there is some danger as long as the Service is in Latine, be∣cause the want of that devotion which the frequent hearing the offices understood might happily beget in them, the want of that instruction and edification which it might afford them, may very probably hinder the salvation of many, which otherwise might have beene saved; that is, might have beene saved if the Service had beene in English; this is plaine dealing, the men are likely to agree, the Masse in English may beget such devotion, afford such instruction and edification, as is sufficient for salvation. Can the Pa∣pists desire fairer quarter, or a foller acknowledgement? Is not this doctrine sufficient to effect an Accommodation be∣tweene Rome and Canterbury. I dare say all the Papists in Eng∣land will fight for such a Protestant Religion. Mr. Chillingworth in his Epistle Dedicatory gives his Majesty to understand, That the Papists allow Protestants as much charity as Pro∣testants allow them; and therefore such Protestants and true Papists will easily be reconciled, or indeed are already recon∣ciled. I cannot stand to reckon up Mr. Chillingworths princi∣ples, consider these that follow.
Page 72 1. God is not offended with us for not doing what hee * knowes we cannot doe. Whiles we are unregenerate God knowes we cannot repent and beleeve; is not God of∣fended with us even then, for our impenitence and unbe∣leefe? besides, he conceives that unaffected ignorance joyn∣ed with Implicite faith and generall repentance is not dam∣nable.
2. Mr. Chillingworth is verily perswaded that God will * not impute errours to them as sinnes, who use such a mea∣sure of industry in finding truth, as humane prudence and ordinary discretion (their abilities, and opportunities, their distractions and hinderances, and all other things consi∣dered) shall advise them unto, in a matter of such conse∣quence. Sure God will judge men with more then ordinary discretion, and therefore though we may justifie our selves when our opinions and practises are scanned by humane prudence, yet God may justly condemne us for not atten∣ding upon him without distraction; Such loose principles as these will nurse men up in security and ignorance, or else betray them to indifferency in religions, to that *Armini∣an Libertinisme, which hath been so much admired of late dayes, and cryed up as the only way to maintain peace. For if a man poysoned with this principle be seduced by a Papist, Arminian, Socinian, he need use but ordinary discretion, and therefore take but ordinary care to resist the seducer: Alas his abilities are not great, his distractions not few, and his hinderances many; besides if he have time to consider the Arguments propounded, yet hee wants opportunity, and therefore all things considered he had as good yeeld as stand out, for it is in the eye of humane prudence, a matter of no great consequence: for Mr. Chillingworth saith a Papist may be saved, especially if he have the Masse in English, and So∣cinians are a company of Christians, which though they are erroneous in explicating mysteries and take too great a liber∣ty in Speculative matters, yet they explicate and maintaine the Lawes of Christ with lesse indulgence to the flesh then the Papists.
3. Mr. Chillingworth thinkes it sufficient to beleeve all Page 73 those bookes of Scripture (to be Gods Word) of whose * Authority there was never any doubt made in the Church: hee cannot in reason beleeve the * other bookes so un∣doubtedly as those books which were never questioned, and he hath the example of Saints in heaven to justify or excuse his doubting, nay his denyall. Sect. 38. There is no necessity of conforming our selves to the judgement of any Church concerning the rest that were never questioned, for that also he urges the Authority of some Saints in Hea∣ven; ancient Fathers, whole Churches by their difference about this point, shewed that they knew no necessity of con∣forming themselves herein to the judgement of any Church. Sect. 34. and yet of this controversy whether such or such bookes be Canonicall, the Church is to judge. Sect. 35. And the Churches testimony is, though no demonstrative En∣forcement, yet an highly probable inducement, and so a sufficient ground of faith. What kind of faith this is like to prove, I know not, which is grounded upon a probable te∣stimony, to which no man need to subseribe or conform.
4. It is enough to beleeve by a kind of Implicite faith, that the Scripture is true in Gods own sense and meaning, though you know not what God meant, if you use such industry as ordinary discretion shall advise for the knowing of Gods meaning, of which I have said enough already; this may suffice for a taste. Dr. Potter is very charitable to the Papists, because they receive the Apostles Creed, but whether they receive it in the Apostles sense, is the que∣stion. Whether Mr. Rouse or Dr. Potter hath answered that subtile booke most like a Protestant, let the learned judge. I have said enough of Dr. Potter already, I referre the Reader to Ladens.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
I am even ashamed to repeat what Dr. Pocklington hath printed in his Sermon, Sunday no Sabbath, See the first edition p. 48. 50. We must have an Altar with a Crosse upon it, if we will beleeve Dr. Pocklington, Altare Christianum. cap. 21. pag. 143. We may comply with the Jewes in phrase, and other respects. cap. 22. pag. 147. I hope he doth not mean in Caspar Barlaeus his sense, or as the Socinians mean; he hath Page 70 a vain conceit that the Christian Church of the Iewes had*Altars. I hope they did not bow all, to, or towards the Altar when they met. Act. 15. We must if we will beleeve this Dr. agree with the Iewes in externall Rites & Ceremonies, p. 147. Give me leave to throw away this book; and Dr. Kellet his Tricenium. When the Arch Bishop of Canterbury was to assigne what errours in Doctrine might give just cause of separation, he would not adventure to set them down in par∣ticular, lest in these times of discord, he might be thought to open a doore for Schisme; he knew full well that some who were countenanced by him had brought in errours enough, which gáve just cause of separation. Knot the Je∣suite spoke plaine English to Mr. Chillingworth, when he told him that the Doctrine of the Church of England began to be altered in many things, for which our Progenitours forsooke the Romane Church. For example, it is said that the Pope is not Antichrist, Prayer for the dead is allowed, Limbus Patrum, Pictures; it is maintained that the Church hath Authority in*determining controversies of faith, and to interpret Scripture, about Free-will, Predestination, universall grace; that all our workes are not sinnes, Merit of good workes Inherent Justice, Faith alone doth not justify, Traditions, Commandements possi∣ble to be kept. Your thirty nine Articles are patient, nay ambi∣tious of some sense in which they may seeme Catholique. Calvi∣nisme is accounted Heresy, and little lesse then treason. Men in talke use willingly the once fearfull names of Priests and Al∣tars. What saith Mr. Chillingworth to this bold charge? Why, * some things he excuses, and grants the rest. As for the Popes not being Antichrist, the lawfulnesse of some kinde of pray∣ers for the dead, the Estate of the Fathers soules before Christs Ascension, Free-will, Predestination, universall grace, the possibility of keeping Gods Commandements, and the use of pictures in the Church; these are not things fit to be stood upon, we must not break charity for such matters, these points have been anciently disputed amongst Prote∣stants, if you will beleeve an Arch-Priest Brearley; and so he leaves that point; here is a faire compasse, a long rope for a Papist, Arminian, &c. to dance in. But Mr. ChillingworthPage 71 saith the Protestants have constantly maintained, and doe still maintain, that good workes are not properly meritori∣ous, and that faith alone justifies; but either this is false, or else men that are counted Protestants have changed their Religion. Franciscus de Sancta Clara wil inform him of the ex∣travagancies of some in these points, who passed for such Protestants as England hath been guilty of entertaining of late yeares. I have heard it publikely maintained in Oxford by Mr. Wethereld of Queenes Colledge, that Bona opera sunt*Causae Physicae Vitae Aeternae, he had said before that they were Morall Causes, by that he meant Meritorious, but that expression would not content him. It is well known what Dr. Duncan maintained at Cambridge; what Shelford printed there, what Dr. Dow and Dr. Heylin have since maintained, and to their power justifyed; you may read their words at large in Ladensium〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the fifth Chapter.
The Arch-Bishop of Canterbury hath given us the reason why the Jesuites refused to come to our Churches, (it seems he had invited them) since they themselves acknowledge * that there is no positive errour in our Liturgy, and it is briefly this. Because though our Liturgy had in it nothing ill, yet it wanted a great deale of that which was good, and was in their Service. I can now give at least a probable conjecture why his Grace altered the Service-book which he sent into Scotland: why, surely to please the Jesuites, for he put in some∣thing which the Jesuites counted good, and so in his appre∣hension made up the defect.
Mr. Newcomen in his learned Sermon hath shewen at large how punctuall his Grace was in observing the Je∣suites instructions for the alteration of our Religion. How truth hath been sold at a low rate, by the highest Priests, is clearely discovered by Mr. Hill in his accurate Sermon. Re∣vend Dr. Hakewill hath set forth Dr. Heylin to the life, and therefore I will not presume to adde any thing to his happy observations. The Ministers Remonstrance will give suffi∣cient light to this point, I hope it will be published ere long. There is a Book which passeth from hand to hand as a pre∣tious manuscript called Romano-Catholicus Pacificus, in which Page 76 there are many faire offers made for a Reconciliation be∣tween *Rome and Canterbury, the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury shall enjoy the Cyprian priviledge and be subject to no Pa∣triarch, of which you may read at large in the supplement of the Canterburian selfe-conviction, a passage well worthy the serious consideration of all Statesmen. I might make my book swell if I should but reckon up the tithe of Bishop Mountague his Popish expressions, and therefore I leave men to peruse his writings, there are few points of Popery which you may not find in his bookes or in his Articles at visitation; It seemes our guides were gone so farre that the Papists thought they might accept of all Propositions of Ac∣commodation which were tendered to them by our gentle Reconcilers.
Dr. Featley hath excellently discovered what a good opi∣nion the Romanists conceive of some who professe them∣selves members of the Church of England; Protestants are now counted Heretiques no longer, if you will speak pro∣perly and strictly, saith that Popish Priest, and therefore sure Protestantisme is waxed weary of it selfe, as Knot speaks; you may well know what Protestants this Vertumnus meanes, such as have been cited in this sixth Chapter: Concerning the book called Jesuitica Negotiatio, the Ministers have said enough already. I admire at the impudence of divers men who have thus freely expressed themselves for the encou∣ragement of the Arminian, Socinian and Popish party, and yet are not ashamed to say that they stand for the Protestant reli∣gion. I have seen a letter under Mr. Chillingworths own hand in which he doth excite Dr. Sheldon of All-soules, and Dean*Potter, &c. to stand in defiance of the Parliament, and advi∣ses them to stir up the youth (the young laddes of the University as he calls them) to oppose the Parliament; Now can I or any man beleeve that Mr. Chillingworth doth intend to main∣taine Calvinisme, I mean pure Protestant Religion? I appeale to the conscience of* Dr. Sheldon whether he hath not re∣served more charity for an Infidel then a Calvinist? he hath expressed himselfe very slily in his Sermons, and yet plainly enough to intelligent Auditours, but I will take the counsell Page 77 of his Text, and judge nothing before the time. I remember his observations upon that Text, Good Master what shall I doe that I may inherit eternall life? it is not, saith he, what shall I beleeve, as the Calvinists would have it, (or to that effect) but what shall I doe? Sure the good Dr. forgot the Jaylours cue∣stion, What shall I doe to be saved? and the Apostles answer, Beleeve, &c. Is this the Calvinisme he jerkes at? Knot I be∣leeve had some ground to say that the infection was so ge∣nerall that it had overspread All Soules. I would there had been no need of such discoveries, but since things are grown to this passe, it is folly to complement, we are compelled to speak Plain English in Sober Sadnesse. If our faith will be * lost except it be kept by a controversy, it is an act both of faith and love for Orthodoxe men to undertake the con∣troversy.
Dr. Potter doth acknowledge the Church of Rome to be a member of the Church universall, and saith the Church of Eng∣land hath a true and reall union still with that Church in Faith and Charity: nay pag. 76. We doe not forsake the Communion of the Church of Rome any more then we forsake the Body of Christ, whereof we acknowledge the Church of Rome a member though*corrupted. But it seems in 8. or 9. yeares Dr. Potter had al∣tered his opinion, for in his Sermon preached at the Con∣secration of the Bishop of Carlslie, in the yeare 1628. I find these words; [I am confident were the Fathers now alive they would all side with us in our necessary separation from the abominations, idolatry and tyranny of the papacy, with which no good Christian can hold any union in faith, any communion in Charity.] p. 64, 65. The learned and reverend Bishop Davenant did maintain that the Church of Rome was Apostaticall in his sad determinations; if it be Apostatized from faith as Bishop Davenant saith, and hath no more cha∣rity then Dean Potter saith it hath, how can we (especially since our separation from Rome) be said to have a true and reall union with it still in Faith and Charity? It is in vaine for him now to distinguish between the Church of Rome, and the Court of Rome, though there was once ground for that distinction, for Rome is all Court now; if he will have me use Page 74Charrons similitude, the Church is the apple, and the C•ur the worme, the worme hath eaten up the apple, the Court hath devoured the Church; we distinguish between Fundamen∣talls and superstructions, and some talke as if the Papists were sound in Fundamentalls, but the case is cleare that they have overthrown the old foundation, and all their super∣structions are upon a new foundation, or upon no foundati∣on at all. For if their Churches authority be the foundation of all their faith, and their Churches Authority be built lastly and wholly upon Prudentiall motives; as Mr. Chilling∣worth shewes, cap. 2. pag. 64. Sect. 35. then sure here is a new Foundation, or else their Church is a Castle in the ayre, a Church without foundations. I dare appeale to Master Chillingworth whether the Papists doe not erre grossely (and therefore Fundamentally) in those things which belong to the covenant between God and man in Christ? See whe∣ther my inference be not grounded on his Assertion. pag. 17. the answer to the Preface, Sect. 26. Dr. Potter tells us * that their errours and practises for which they have been forsaken of Protestants are not damnable in themselves to men who beleeve as they professe; but the Arch-Bishop of Can∣terbury is more Orthodoxe, or else the man that gave him this note was more Orthodoxe, (for doubtlesse the materialls of that faire fabrick were brought in by men of different re∣ligions, the principles are so crosse) he saith that errour in points not Fundamentall may be damnable to some men, though they hold it not against their conscience. Sect. 37. Numb. 6. pag. 320. Dr. Potter and some others have a fancy of resting in the profession of such truths as all Christians in the whole world agree upon. Master Chillingworth will put in the Socinians for a company of Christians; I hope Dr. Potter will not joyn with him; but the Arch-Bishop dislikes this plot, as it comes from A. C. or at least shewes the danger of it, and would be better advised in this point. He saith he doth not think it safest in a controverted point of faith to beleeve that only which the dissenting parties agree upon, or which the adverse party confesses; the Arch-Bishop instances in the Doctrine between the Orthodoxe and the Arian; if that rule Page 75 be true which was mentioned before, then saith he 'tis sa∣fest * for a Christian to beleeve that Christ is of like nature with God the Father, and be free from beleefe, that he is Consubstantiall with him, &c. His second instance is about the Resurrection. His third about the unity of the Godhead; if we will rest in the acknowledgement of one God (he meanes, and not confesse the Trinity of Persons in the unity of the Godhead, for his Grace hath not framed his argument right) then Iewes, Turkes and Socinians will be as good Chri∣stians as we are. The fourth instance is about the verity of Christs Godhead. The Arch-bishops Relat. p. 309, 310, &c. You see whither this charitable principle would lead us, we must take in the Socinian first, as a Christian, and then we may turn Turkes with credit. I will conclude all with a part of Dr. Potters prayer; The Lord take out of his Church all dissention and discord, all Heresies, and Schismes, all Abuses and false doctrines, all Idolatry, Superstition and tyranny, and unite all Christians in one holy band of truth and Peace, that so with one minde and one mouth we may all joyne in his service, and for ever glorify the holy name of the most holy and glorious Trinity.