TO ALL Well-meaning Protestants, Who desire and resolve to hold fast their Profession; Especi∣ally those, who are least able to Dispute Controversies.
I Marvel not, if you think your selves well grounded in your Religion, whiles you are able to give a Reason of the hope that is in you, by proving the Articles of your Faith out of Scripture. For in this perswasion you are of 〈◊〉 same mind with me, whoever you are. However, I must admonish you, that what pleases you and me, doth not satisfie all. For there are still (as of late have been;) such Page [unnumbered] as will ask you, How you are able to prove Scripture to be the word of God, and the only Rule of Faith? Therefore it concerns you, and me too, (as the times are) to bethink our selves what to Answer, when we shall be put to the Question. And that you may have some what to reply, I have in this ensuing Discourse given you some of those thoughts, which I have taken up by occasion of this Question, that may be put to us.
I know well, That divers Learned (both English and Outlandish) Divines have bestowed their pains, to prove the authority of Scripture such, as we account it, and that it is the only Rule of Faith. But the la∣bours of those Learned men are such (either for language, or somewhat else) as they would be to you (if you had them by you) as the word of a Book that is sealed. I have therefore composed, this Discourse Page [unnumbered] in a plain English style and phrase, and of no great price, to ease your purses, that you may have by you somewhat to answer your Adversa∣ries. In it I use and urge Scripture very little, or nothing at all in a manner, because I will cut off occa∣sion from our Adversaries, who will else say, I prove my Conclusion, by that which is the thing in Question.
How necessary it is for you to be well informed in this Case, and to be fortified against the assaults of such as lie in wait to undermine you, and turn up the foundations of your Faith, I must leave you to be Judges. For our Adversaries, I am resolved never to draw the Saw against them; partly, because of mine insufficiency many wayes to enter the Lists with such Giant-like men; and especially, because there are so many worthies on our side, whose great abilities and advantages (such as I want) Page [unnumbered] cannot but encourage them to what I dare not undertake. All my de∣sign is to instruct the ignorant, whose desire is to learn. And to such I offer these weak endeavours of mine, in hope they may suggest somewhat that may serve to stay and uphold the weak, till they be further established by the help of some more able hand. And if this be, I have all my design, so as God may have all the glory.