Chillingworthi novissima. Or, The sicknesse, heresy, death and buriall of William Chillingworth. (In his own phrase) Clerk of Oxford, and in the conceit of his fellow souldiers, the Queens arch-engineer, and grand-intelligencer. Set forth in a letter to his eminent and learned friends, a relation of his apprehension at Arundell, a discovery of his errours in a briefe catechism, and a shorr [sic] oration at the buriall of his hereticall book. By Francis Cheynell, late fellow of Merton Colledge. Published by authority.
Cheynell, Francis, 1608-1665.

A Prophane Catechisme, collected out of Mr Chillingworths Works. Question.

HOw shall I be able to prove to an Atheist, that there is a God, and that the Books of the Old and New Testa∣ment are the word of God?

Answ. When Protestants affirme against Papists, that Scripture is a perfect rule of Faith; their meaning is not, Page  [unnumbered] that by Scripture all things Absolutely may be proved, which are to be beléeved; for it can never bée proved by Scripture to a gain sayer, that there is a God, or that the Book called Scripture is the word of God—for (as he saith a little before) nothing is proved true by being said or written in a Book, but only by Tradition, which is a Thing credible of it selfe, chap. 1. p. 55. Sect. 8. the first Edition approved at Oxford.

Doubtlesse the Atheists and Papists will give him hearty thanks for this answer, which doth preferre Tradition (which the Atheist vilifies) before Scripture, which the Papists vili∣fie: he hath pleased them both. The Papists will bee well pleased to see this doctrine licensed by the Protestants of the University of Oxford, that Tradition is more credible then Scripture, for Tradition is credible for it selfe; but the Scrip∣ture, when it is to be proved a perfect Rule to us, is credible only by Tradition in Mr Chillingworths conceit, pag. 96. and where shall we meet with this universall Tradition?

2. But I finde another answer, pag. 53. Tradition may be helped out by naturall Reason. Controversies, wherein the Scripture it selfe is the subject of the question, cannot be de∣termined, saith Mr Chillingworth, but by Naturall Reason, the only principle, beside Scripture, which is common to Christians, cap. 2. sect. 3. And in his marginall observations on a passage of Mr Hookers he layes downe this as a Rule; Na∣turall Reason then built on principles common to all men, is the last Resolution, pag. 65. Nay, Reason is in some sort Gods word, see his answer to the Preface, pag. 21. How then (will the Atheist say) is Reason credible for it selfe, since (Mr Chillingworth saith) that Gods word is not credible for it selfe? Surely these answers will never bring a man to divine faith; for to rely upon Tradition, is but to rely upon Hu∣mane testimony; and such as the testimony is, such is the faith: if the testimony, which is the ground of faith, be hu∣mane, then the faith cannot be divine. Againe, naturall Rea∣son is not infallible, nor is it able to judge of truths which are above Reason: now it is cleare, that supernaturall truths are Page  [unnumbered] above naturall Reason. Finally, faith is not grounded upon Reason, but upon Authority.

He gives a third answer, chap. 1. pag. 36. God hath con∣firmed the doctrine of the Scripture by miracles; but then he saith, we have nothing to assure us of the truth of those miracles, but Tradition; and therefore we are not got one steppe nearer faith or Heaven by that shift: and if he flie back to Reason, then consider what he saith, pag. 117. God hath no where commanded men to beleeve all that Reason induceth them to beleeve.

Qu. But if this great point must be tried by Reason, what Reason can you produce, to prove the Scripture to be the word of God?

An. There is as good reason for it, as there is to beléeve other stories or matters of Tradition: He requires men to yeeld just such a kinde or degree of assent to the Gospel of Christ, as they yeeld to other stories or matters of Tradition, chap. 1. pag. 37. for God desires us only to beleeve the con∣clusion as much as the premises deserve, ib. sect. 8. p. 36. And the Chronicle of England, joyned with the generall tradition of our acquaintance, deserves as much credit in Mr Chillingworths conceit, as the Gospel of Christ; for his words are these, chap. 2. sect. 159. p. 116. 117. Wee have, I beleeve, as great reason to beleeve there was such a man as Henry the eighth King of England, as the Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate. The Lord rebuke that spirit of errour, which moved the great men of Oxford to license this blasphemy! What have I no more reason to be∣leeve the three persons in the holy Trinity, speaking in their glorious Gospel to my heart and conscience, then I have to be∣leeve Stowes Chronicle▪ or the generall tradition of my owne acquaintance, or some such other fallible testimony?

Qu. But what if I cannot be assured, that any part of the Scripture is the word of God, may I be saved without beleeving this weighty point?

An. Yes, saith Mr. Chillingworth, chap. 2. sect. 159. if a man should beléeve Christian Religion wholly and entirely, Page  [unnumbered] and live according to it, such a man though he should not know, or not beléeve the Scripture to be a Rule of faith, no nor to be the word of God; my opinion is he may be saved. Ex∣cellent Divinity indeed! what, is not this a principle of Chri∣stianity, that Scripture is the word of God, and rule of faith? and if it be, how then is it possible for a man to beleeve the Christian Religion wholly and entirely, and yet not beleeve this principle? Yes, I may beléeve the Scripture as I doe Augustins works, pag. 114.

Qu. But if I am assured that some Scripture is the word of God, how shall I know what books are Canonicall, and what not?

An. By universall Tradition. I must receive those books for Canonicall, of whose Authority there was never any doubt or question in the Church, pag. 148. I may then, it seems, doubt of the Epistle of James, the second of Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, the Epistle to the He∣brewes, the Epistle of Jude, the book of the Revelation, the books of Job, Esther, Ecclesiastes, &c. He saith, he cannot in reason so undoubtedly beleeve those books to be Canonicall, which have beene questioned, as those which were never que∣stioned. At least I have no warrant to damne any man—that shall deny them now, having the example of Saints in Heaven, either to justifie or excuse such—their deniall, chap. 2. sect. 38. pag. 67. Surely here is a pretty tempting excuse for, if not a justification of those Libertines who question these books, and may upon Mr Chillingworths principles question all the rest, if they acknowledge one of the Gospels, that containes as much as all the rest; Ergo that is sufficient, pag. 93. 101.

But if they beleeve no booke to be Canonicall, and there∣fore will not assent to any book of Scripture, they doe not com∣mit a sinne of derogation from Gods perfect and pure veracity; for he onely gives God the lye, who denies some book or point which he himselfe knowes or beleeves to be revealed by God, chap. 3. sect. 15, 16, 17. Now it is impossible that a man should know one thing to be true, and beleeve the contrary; or know it and Page  [unnumbered] not beleeve it, sect. 18. Whither these and the like principles (which frequently occurre in his writings) tend, let the most sober and charitable men judge. The only Fundamentall Er∣rour in Mr Chillingworths judgement, is to deny something which the party himselfe knowes or beleeves to be revealed by God: and therefore in his judgement none but downe∣right Atheists erre fundamentally, cap. 2. p. 135. 136. Atheisme then, as the Jesuites and Arminians conceive, is the formality of an Heretick, p. 100. for it is down-right Atheisme for any man to deny that to be true, which he acknowledges to be spoken by the God of truth.

Qu. But if I doe beleeve the Scripture to be Gods word, is it necessary to beleeve that controversies are to be decided by that Word?

An. No, saith Mr Chillingworth, this is no Fundamen∣tall point; his words are full. I say that this position (Scrip∣ture alone is the rule whereby they which beleeve it to bee Gods word, are to judge all controversies in faith) is no Fun∣damentall point, chap. 2. pag. 115. His intent is by this asser∣tion to make good a dreame of his, that some controversies in faith need not be judged or determined at all. Mr Chilling∣worth pretends, that he holds the Scripture to be a perfect rule of faith, and yet he saith it is not necessary to judge all controversies (and those no small ones, because they are con∣troversies) in faith by that perfect rule. It is a perfect rule, but we need not be ruled by it in all points of faith.

Qu. But is there then any other way to decide controversies which hath any colour of probability from the Scripture?

An. Yes: nine or ten severall meanes of agreement of∣fered themselves to Mr Chillingworth upon the sudden, (and haply more might have beene thought on if he had had time) and these that are offered, have as much probability from Scrip∣ture, as that which Papists obtrude upon us. And truly he was such a ready blasphemer, that he could vent extemporary blasphemies; yet such as the Licentious men at Oxford appro∣ved chap. 3. pag. 130. 131.

First he saith, we could, if we would, try it by lots, whose Do∣ctrine Page  [unnumbered] is true, and whose false; for which he cites Prov. 16. 33. It may be, this Sophister did cast lots for his Religion, and it was his hard lot to draw Popery first, then Arminianisme, and then his doctrine run lower and lower, till it came almost to the very dregs of Socinianisme.

Secondly, we could referre it to the King, Prov 16. 10. and 21. 1. Mr Chillingworth might make merry with his owne prophane doctrine, but I admire that he should dare to sport himselfe with the Majesty of Scripture, and the Majesty of the King: But truly I am afraid, that some are so indifferent in point of Religion, that they are content not only to referre it to the King, but to the Queene. It were proper for them to vent such Doctrine, who have, as the old Tradition and pro∣verbe hath it, taken an oath to be of the Kings Religion.

Thirdly, to an Assembly of Christians assembled in the name of Christ, Math. 18. 20. Let them not then blame the Par∣liament for consulting an Assembly of learned and pious Chri∣stians, and most of them Ministers of the Gospel, assembled in the name of Christ.

Fourthly, to any Priest, Malach. 2. 7. This makes well of the Queens side.

Fifthly, to any Preacher of the Gospel, Pastour, or Doctour, Math. 28. 20. Sure Mr Chillingworth was more independent then they that are commonly so called.

Sixthly, to any Bishop or Prelate (why not then to the Bi∣shop of Rome?) for it is written, Obey your Prelates, Heb. 13. 17. Mr Chillingworth since his pretended conversion was very apt to be seduced by the vulgar (or Rhemish) translation, or some version received at Saint Omers; but this was a volun∣tary and devised meanes, as he saith in the same page.

Seventhly, to any particular Church of Christians, seeing it is a particular Church, which is called the house of God, a pillar and ground of truth, 1 Tim. 3. 15. and seeing of any particular Church it is written, He that heareth not the Church, let him be unto thee an Heathen, Matth. 18. Mr Chillingworth is sometimes Prelaticall, and sometimes Congregationall.

Eighthly, we might referre it to any man that prayes for Gods Page  [unnumbered] spirit; for it is written, every one that asketh, receives, (this is one steppe beyond the Brownists) Matth. 7. 8. James 1. 5.

Lastly, we might referre it to the Jewes, for without all doubt of them it is written, My spirit that is in thee, &c. Isaiah 59. 21. And why not to the Socinians? they have naturall reason, a very competent Judge in Mr Chillingworths conceit. What wonder is it that so many blasphemies and quibbles for every quibble upon Scripture is a blasphemy) should be licensed by grave and learned Professours of Divinity? what if Papists take liberty to blaspheme and put the Scripture upon the rack to force it to confesse what makes for their turn; must Protestants or such a one who undertakes the common Cause of Protestants (though he was no Protestant) bee permitted to blaspheme by the Licence of an University? Repent deare Doctors, once more repent; and I will proceed.

Qu. But how shall I know the true sense of Scripture, there be∣ing such variety of conceits which passe for Interpretations?

Answ. Here help mee Reason again and Implicit Faith. For, the last Resolution of my Faith in his conceit must be in∣to Reason, page 65. 96. and still he labours to prove that Rea∣son is Judge; and he frequently jeares at Knot for accounting it an absurdity for every man and woman to rely upon their Rea∣son in the interpreting of Scripture p. 98. Reasons drawn out of the circumstances of the Text cannot convince me, unlesse I judge of them by my Reason; and for every man or woman to rely on that—in the interpreting of Scripture, you say is an horrible absurdity. And p. 99. Reason will shew this to be the meaning: yes, if we may use our Reason, and rely upon it. Protestants use their reason, but Socinians rely upon their rea∣son. And he teaches implicit faith all along his book: Prote∣stants, saith he, do agree with an Implicit faith in that sense of the whole Scripture which God intended, whatsoever it was, p 129. 130 cap. 5. sect. 3. a ready way to tempt men to beleeve very little concerning the sense of Scripture: for, men will be apt to say, that the sense of this and the other place of Scripture is not plainly and fully revealed, and Mr Chillingworth doth not Page  [unnumbered] require any thing to be beleeved with an explicit faith which is not plainly and undoubtedly delivered in Scripture. My rea∣son (saith he) is convincing and demonstrative, because no∣thing is necessary to be beleeved, but what is plainly revealed, p. 92. But nothing in his judgement is plainly revealed about any point which is called in question, if there be a seeming con∣flict of Scripture with Scripture, Reason with Reason, Autho∣rity with Authority; in such a case he cannot well understand how it can be truly sayd, that God hath manifestly revealed the truth on either side, chap. 3. sect. 9. p. 136. 137. Well, but ad∣mit that the appearances on my side are answerable, and grant that Scripture, Reason, Authority, are all against me, because on the other side; yet consider the strange power of Education and Prejudices instilled by it, and what Passions I am subject to, and then my errour is unavoydable, and therfore excusable; for though the truth is in it selfe revealed plainly enough, yet to such a one as I am, prepossest with contrary opinions, the truth in that point is not plainly revealed, read page 137. Sure the corruption of our Nature is as unavoydable as prejudices and passions, and therefore he must (according to his principles) conclude that God who knowes whereof we are made, will not en∣ter into judgement with us for those things which (all things con∣sidered) were unavoydable; they are his own words page 137. Nay, besides education, prejudices, and passions, inadvertence may in the fourth place excuse us if we dis-beleeve a plain Re∣velation. Finally, in the fift place, multitude of buisinesse, distractions, hinderances, will excuse us, and hinder God from imputing our errours to us as sinnes. In his answer to the pre∣face p 19. I am verily perswaded that God will not impute er∣rours to them as sinnes, who use such a measure of industry in finding truth, as humane prudence and ordinary discretion (their abilities and opportunities, their distractions and hinderances, and all other things considered) (he will be sure to give liberty enough) shall advise them unto in a matter of such conse∣quence. But certainly humane prudence and ordinary discre∣tion will teach men to plead these excuses, which he hath fra∣med for them, when any point of faith shall be pressed upon Page  [unnumbered] them; they will say, our opportunities are few, our distracti∣ons and hinderances many, our education meane, our abilities weake, our prejudices strong, our passions violent, our inadver∣tence pardonable, and therefore we will content our selves with a modest humble implicite faith; we beleeve the whole Scrip∣ture to be true, in that sense which God intended, whatsoever it was, but we have not time to search or ability to judge what it was: if we beleeve nothing explicitely, or to disbeleeve a clear revelation, that revelation, though cleare in it selfe, is not cleare to us, our errour (the corruption of our nature, our prejudices, contrary opinions, with which we are already prepossest, and all other things considered) is unavoidable, and therefore God will never impute it to us as a sinne. Whither these Principles tend, let the pretended Parliament at Oxford judge.

Qu. But are we not bound to heare what the Church will say to us for our direction in weighty points?

Ans. I must beléeve the Church in every thing she proves, either by Scripture, Reason, or universall Tradition, be it, Fundamentall, or bée it not Fundamentall, pag 149. These disjunctives seem to imply that something fundamentall may be proved by reason, or universall Tradition, which cannot be proved by Scripture. The Licencers may do well to declare what that Fundamentall point is, or how many there are, if there be more then one: I may go to Heathens, I need not go to the Church for any thing which Reason teaches, the Philoso∣phers can sufficiently instruct me; and if what the Church tea∣ches be finally resolved into my owne reason, as he affirmes p. 96. then I do not beléeve either God or the Church, but my own reason: By you (saith Master Chillingworth to Knot) as well as by Protestants, all is finally resolved into your owne reason, Sect. 115. cap. 2. Sure I am then that such Protestants and Jesuites are in their high-way to pure Socinianisme, and therefore it is no marvell if some Jesuites have been such Anti-Trinitarians as Master Chillingworth pleads in his owne defence. Preface and Answer to the directions to N. N. Sect. 16, 17, 18, &c. the Church hath lost the interpretation of obscure places, pag. 56 and plaine places need no exposition at all.

Page  [unnumbered]Qu. But what if the Church erre?

Ans. Then a man may learne of that self same Church (which taught him) to confute the errours of that Church: that is, I may learne to confute the erroneous conclusions of that Church, by those very rules and principles which that Church teaches, Chap 3. sect. 40. p. 150. First then, a private man is pre∣sumed to have more Logicke then that teaching Church. Se∣condly, the Prelates (who call themselves the Church) may give my brethren of the Assembly leave to confute their erro∣neous conclusions, by some rules and principles which they themselves have delivered. Thirdly, a man may learne of the Church how to teach the Church. Principles which lead to these harsh truths, being licenced at Oxford, are an argument to me that they approved this booke before they read it.

Qu. But how shall we doe then to finde out the true Church, and the true Religion?

Ans. For commands to séek the Church I have not yet met with any; and I beleeve (saith he to Knot) you (if you were to shew them) would be your self to seek. Cap. 3. Sect. 41. p. 150. And for Religion, how little paines or care we are to take about it, hath been already shewed.

Q. But which must a man chuse first, his Religion, or his Church?

Ans. Every man is to iudge for himself with the iudgment of discretion, (which he calls humane prudence, and ordinary dis∣cretion, in the place of his Answer to the preface fore-cited, p. 19.) and to chase either his religion first, & then his Church, as Master Chillingworth saith; or as Knot, his Church first, and then his Religion, pag. 57. Every man then is Judge, the Scrip∣ture (for fashions sake) he calls the rule, but he makes every mans naturall reason the rule, to judge whether such a Text be the Word of God, and then what is the sense of that Text; and so all is still finally resolved into our owne reason, into hu∣mane prudence, and ordinary discretion; for Tradition is a principle, not in Christianity, but in Reason; nor proper to Christians, but common to all men, p. 72. cap. 2. sect. 51. Come away then to the Schoole of Socrates, for this is just, sit anima mea cum Philosophis. Read from the 9 to the 100 page. I will Page  [unnumbered] advise with God and that Reason he hath given me, page 158. he adored God and Reason.

Qu. But is it not possible for men to become faithfull without either Church or Scripture?

Ans. Yes, by the works of God without us, and the Law of God written in us by Nature.

Either of these wayes might make some faithfull men with∣out either necessity of Scripture or Church. ch. 2. sect. 124. p. 100

Qu. What is Faith?

Ans. It is the Assent of our Vnderstandings.

Qu. Are not the Essentiall Doctrines of Christianity to bee embraced with our will?

An. The assent of our understandings is required to them, but no obedience from our wills, chap. 4. sect. 2. p. 193.

Qu. What are these Essentiall doctrines of Christianity?

Ans. I do not know.

Qu. Do you not know what ye are to beleeve? Or, cannot the church tell what these necessary Truths called the Essentiall and Fundamentall parts of Christianity are?

Answ. No, there's no such Church that Mr. Chillingworth was ever acquainted with. We are not to learn of the Church what is fundamentall. cap. 3. sect. 39

Qu. What doth Mr Chillingworth think Fundamentall?

Ans. All points which are intrinsecall to the Covenant be∣twéen God and man. page. 193. cap. 4. sect. 3.

Qu. What are these points?

Ans. Repentance from dead works, and faith in Christ Ie∣sus the forme of God, (oh that he would have confessed him to be God) and Saviour of the world: this is all that is simply necessary, pag. 159.

Qu. What is it to beleeve in Christ?

Answ. It is to expect remission of sinnes, and salvation from him upon the performance of the conditions he requires, p. 134. Observe more conditions beside faith required to Iu∣stification 2. No mention made of Christs performance, but ours. 3. No mention of free grace: it runs like a Covenant of works.

Qu. What are these conditions?

Page  [unnumbered]Answ. One is, that we beléeve what God hath revealed, when it is sufficiently declared to have béene revealed by him. You have had the English of that already, read pag. 134.

Qu. Is it simply necessary to salvation to beleeve in Christ?

Ans. It is simply necessary for them to whom faith in Christ is sufficiently propounded, as necessary to salvation, p. 134.

He will wrangle with you if you say faith in Christ is suffi∣ciently propounded to Iewes, Turks, Heathens: for observe that he presently addes in the selfe same page, That may be suf∣ficiently declared to one (all things considered) which (all things considered) to another is not sufficiently declared, and conse∣quently that may be Fundamentall and necessary to one, which to another is not so. In his conceit then it is not necessary for some mens salvation, that they should beleeve in Christ. And it hath beene formerly observed, that some men (as he conceived▪) might be made faithfull men without necessity of Church or Scripture. Finally, in the 133 page he saith expresly, that Cornelius was but a meete Gentile, one that beleeved not in Christ, and knew not but men might be worshipped; and yet we are assured, that his prayers and almes, even whilst he was in that estate, were accepted. Ergo in his judgement a meere Heathen and an Idolater may have accesse to God in prayer, and be accepted without the mediation of our only Mediator the Lord Iesus, God blessed for ever. But the truth is, Cornelius was a Proselyte, instructed in the Iewish Religion, who be∣leeved in the Messiah, and that faith was sufficient for his ac∣ceptance, before the Gospel of Christ was preached unto him. The prayers and almes of idolatrous Heathens (who know not but they may worship men) cannot be accepted without faith in Christ: nor do their prayers and almes please God so well, as that for them or by them they should be promoted to a higher degree of knowledge, the knowledge of Christ, that so they may be saved by Christ: for what is this, but to deserve a Saviour, which is meritum de congruo at least? nay, let the Licensers consider, whether to deserve Christ, be not more then to deserve Heaven. Moreover, he is much mistaken, when he saith, that they who never heard of Christ, may seek God as to please him, Page  [unnumbered] and that they shall be rewarded for their seeking of him with the knowledge of the Gospell▪ or saith in Christ; sor he who doth not seek God in and by Christ our only Mediatour, doth not come to God, but runs quite beside him: to such a carnall seeking▪ God never yet promised such a spirituall reward. Consi∣der that of the Apostle Rom. 9. 30, 31, 32, 33. and the next chap∣ter, the second and third verses. That text Hebr. 11. 6. should be compared with, and expounded by Iohn 14. 6. and then it will be evident that no man can seek so as to finde him, or come to him after an acceptable manner, unlesse he seek God in, and come to him by Iesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life, the true way to eternall life. I hasten to the next question.

Qu. What other Condition is there of the Covenant besides be∣leeving?

Answ. Repentance of sinne, and obedience to Christ; for God is a punisher of them that obstinately offend him; there∣fore repentance of sinne is necessary, and Iesus Christ is the sonne of God and Saviour of the world, by obedience to whom men must look to be saved, p. 101. Mark, he doth not say, by whose obedience men must be justified, and yet this is the fairest confession that I can meet with: I read often of our obedience to Christ, but I never read any thing yet in Mr Chillingworths book, of Christs obedience imputed to us; now it is the imputation of Christs obedience to us, and Gods free pardon of our disobedience, which make the covenant appeare to be a covenant of grace.

Qu. What is repentance?

Answ. An universall sorrow for all those sinnes which we know we have committed, and which we feare we may have committed. Answer to the Preface p. 20. If we have beene betrayed into, or kept in errour by any sin of our will, if that errour be discovered, there must be a particular and explicite repentance of that errour; if it be not discovered, then a gene∣rall and implicite repentance for all sinnes knowne and unknown doth suffice, Ib. p. 21. Observe that he saith nothing of the ha∣tred of sinne, or the forsaking of sinne, in which the life and pow∣er of repentance doth consist. A man may live and die in his sinnes and be saved by an universall sorrow. Men are damned, Page  [unnumbered] saith he, who die in wilfull errours without repentance; but what if they die in thir errours with repentance? Answer to the Pre∣face p. 20. That is a contradiction, saith the Iesuit, and he saith true; but it appeares by that speech, that Master Chillingworth conceived that an universall sorrow for sinne without any hatred of, or turning from sinne, was saving repentance.

Qu. What other condition is required in the Covenant between God and man in Christ?

Answ. Sincere obedience. Answer to the Preface, p. 18. This indeed is the prime condition he meanes, when he saith, p. 134. That to beleeve in Christ, is to expect remission of sinnes from Christ upon the conditions he requires. This is pure Socinianisme, to beleeve that we shall be pardoned upon our obedience, or as the Socinians expresse it, and justified (according to the Cove∣nant) by our owne obedience; not as we say, by the obedience of Christ, and freely pardoned for the al sufficient satisfaction of Christ, made in our stead, and put upon our account. Besides, if a man neglect never so many duties, live in never-so many errors, and commit never so many grosse sinnes, he conceives that an Implicite Faith and a generall Repentance of all sinnes knowne and unknowne, are sufficient Antidotes, and his Obedience shall passe for sincere Obedience; as you may clearly see in those places which have beene already alleadged. If a man be not convinced that Christ is God, (by his principles) an Impli∣cit Faith and generall Repentance will serve the turne, though that truth hath beene sufficiently propounded to him, and it is meerly his own fault that he is not convinced, for in his conceit as long as this man remains (as he saith) unconvinced (but as we say, obstinate) so long he doth not derogate any thing from Gods veracity or truth. His words are these. But if the proposall be only so sufficient, not, that the party (to whom it is made) is convinced, but only that he should, & but for his own fault would have beene convinced of the divine verity of the doctrine pro∣posed. The crime then is not so great, for the beliefe of Gods veracity may well consist with such an errour. Yet a fault I con∣fesse it is, and without Repentance, damnable, if all circum∣stances considered (that is, mens passions, hindrances, &c. consi∣dered Page  [unnumbered] as above said) the proposall be sufficient, p. 18. of his an∣swer to the Preface. Now what he meanes by repentance hath beene shewen, a generall sorrow for all sinnes knowne and un∣knowne; such a repentance as will consist with a mans obstinate deniall of a truth, for he may die in this errour with Master Chil∣lingworths repentance, and neither the errour nor the obstinancie shall be imputed to him, because he is sorry for he knowes not what, and remained unconvinced of his errour, though it was meerly his owne fault that he was not convinced. This is a rea∣dy way to save Iewes, Turkes, Socinians, Papists Infidels, and all; for he doth meerly retaine the names of faith, repentance, sin∣cere obedience, without the substance, life, and power of them. The Faith he talkes of, leaves the will at liberty: he starts at the Apostles phrase, the obedience of faith. You (saith he to Knot) say there is some merit in faith, we some obedience in it, which can hardly have place where there is no possibility of disobedience, as there is not, where the understanding doth all, and the will nothing, p. 329. Sure I am, the Devill hath such a saith, an as∣sent without obedience; his faith is no faith, because grounded meerly upon probabilities; he only saith that the precepts of Christianity are most likely to come from God, p. 36. chap. 1. but the Spirit of God being implored by devout and humble prayer, and sincere obedience, may and will by degrees ad∣vance his servants to an higher certainty, p. 36. 37. But this cer∣tainty is a reward given to beleevers; so then men are beleevers before the Spirit gives them any certainty that the Christian religion did proceed from the fountaine of goodnesse: Now he who only beleeves the Christian religion of all other religions to be most likely to be true, is not very likely to implore the Spi∣rit very earnestly either by prayer or obedience; for who will obey the precepts of Christianity till he be assured that they and the promises are divine? But saith Master Chillingworth, men may talke their pleasure of an absolute and most infallible certainty, but did they generally beleeve that obedience to Christ were the only way (marke that, the onely way) to pre∣sent, and eternall felicity, but as firmly and undoubtedly as that there is such a City as Constantinople, nay but as much as Caesars Page  [unnumbered] Commentaries, or the History of Salust; I beleeve the lives of most men, both Papists and Protestants would be better then they are, chap. 6. pag. 327. Sure Christs obedience for us is the way to happinesse, therefore our obedience is not the only way. 2. It is certaine that all true Protestants do beleeve the Gospel more firmly then (Caesars Commentaries or Salust) pro∣phane Histories. 3. Such a Faith as this will not implore the Spi∣rit by devout and humble prayer, or by sincere obedience. 4. I appeale to all indifferent men what kind of obedience is like to spring from an implicite faith in unsanctified reason; a faith that is a bare assent without obedience, the faith of Devils, not the faith of Christians. 5. The repentance of obstinate men, (I meane in sensu composito, as Master Chillingworth means) a generall sorrow which he cals repentance (that is, humiliation without reformation) repentance of sinnes which I love and live in and damnable errours which I die in, is not that repen∣tance from dead works which Christ requires; sure Heresie in the language of the Apostle is a work of the flesh, and therefore as dead a work as any other; we may then safely conclude (that an implicite faith in unsanctified reason or fallible tradition, and a generall sorrow for I know not what sinnes and errors (though grosse enough for to be known) such sinnes and errours as the party doth love, live, and die in, and never so much as confesse to be sinnes or errours, because he is so obstinate that he will not be convinced of them) I say, safely conclude, that this faith and this sorrow are both unchristian, if not Antichristian. He that hath an implicite faith in his owne unsanctified reason makes himselfe a Pope. Sanctified reason sees but in part, and therefore un∣sanctified reason is spiritually blind, it cannot see any thing which is spiritually discerned. Besides, I feare that he concei∣ved there was some merit of congruity in the lame obedience of this blind beleever, because he saith the sincere obedience of such a beleever doth implore the Spirit. Now whether a man that relies upon his owne reason, and his owne obedience, in stead of relying upon Gods authority and Christs obedience, can be saved by the Covenant of Grace, let all true Christi∣ans judge.

Page  [unnumbered]Qu. What other condition is required of us?

Answ. A true, sincere and cordiall love of God. Answer to the Preface, p. 20.

Qu. How may a man be raised to this love?

Answ. By the consideration of Gods most infinite good∣nesse to us, and our own almost infinite wickednesse against him, Gods Spirit cooperating with us, may raise us to a true, sincere and a cordiall love of God. in the same page.

Qu. Wherein doth this infinite goodnesse of God manifest it selfe?

Answ. 1. In creating us of nothing. 2. In creating us after his own image. 3. In creating all things for our use and be∣nefit. 4. In streaming downe his favours on us every mo∣ment of our lives. 5. In designing us, if we serve him, to infi∣nite and eternall happinesse. 6. In redéeming us with the pre∣tious bloud of his beloved Sonne. 7. By his patience to∣wards us in expecting our conversion. 8. In wooing, alluring, leading, and by all meanes (which his wisdome can suggest unto him, and mans nature is capable of) drawing them to re∣pentance and salvation.

I have picked out the marrow of his notions the best Divini∣ty his works afford, but observe. 1. We are (saith he) design∣ed to eternall happinesse if we serve God; which is perfect Po∣pery, shall I say, or Socinianisme? here is a conditionall de∣cree, and the condition is works. 2. God expects our conver∣sion, I thought he had effected our conversion; if God stay till we will turne off our selves or cooperate with his Spirit in the first act of our conversion, we shall never be converted. Sure I am, this Implicite faith grounded on unsanctified reason, and fallible tradition, will rather resist, then cooperate with▪ the holy Spirit. The Scripture tels us that we do never love God in good earnest till we doe beleeve Gods love to us: compare the 16. and 19. verses of the 1 Iohn 4. And faith is not wrought in us by our cooperation with the Spirit but by the Almighty power of God who quickens us whom he finds dead in trespasses and sinnes unto a lively faith; as is evident in the two first chapters of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

Qu Is it possible for a man that lives and dies a Papist to be saved?

Page  [unnumbered] Ans. Yes very possible in the iudgement of Master Chil∣lingworth. 1, Because the Papists do not erre in Fundamen∣tals chap. 3. Sect. 56. pag. 164. For the only and main rea∣son (saith he) why we beleeve you not to erre in Fundamen∣tals is your holding the Doctrine of Faith in Christ and Re∣pentance. The worst sort of Papists who have means to find the Truth, but will not use them, may be saved if they die with a generall repentance for all their sinnes knowne and un∣knowne, because the Truths which they hold of Faith in Christ, and repentance are as it were an Antidote against their errours, and their negligence in seeking the truth. Especially, seeing by confession of both sides we agree in much more then is simply and indispensably necessary to salvation, Chap. 3. Sect. 12. pag. 133. And truly I doe beleeve if the worst of Papists, and the worst of Protestants did agree in fewer things then they doe, there would be more hope of the salvation of Pa∣pists.

Qu. What is the best way to bring Papists and Protestants into one communion?

Ans. The framing and proposing of a Liturgy which both sides hold lawfull. p. 132. This was perchance the great strata∣gem aimed at in the framing of that Liturgy which was sent in∣to Scotland; and this is a point which deserves the consideration of the pretended Parliament or Assembly at Oxford.

Qu. Is the Spirit absolutely promised to the succession of Bi∣shops?

Answ. No: for many of them have beene notoriously and confessedly wicked men, men of the world: whereas this Spi∣rit is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, be∣cause he seeth him not, neither knowes him, p. 146, 147. Whether this be not as true of some Popish Prelats in En∣gland, as of the Bishops of Rome, let the learned determine.

Qu. What if a Church maintaine an errour contrary to Gods Revelation knowne by that Church to be a divine Revelation?

Ans. The Church that doth so is no longer a Church. p. 137.

Qu. Doth not Master Chillingworth sometimes contradict Page  [unnumbered] himselfe, and call the Roman Church the Catholique Church.

Answ. He seemes to do so, p. 132. His words are these▪ We beléeve the Catholique Church cannot perish, yet that she may, and did erre in points not Fundamentall; and that Pro∣testan were obliged to forsake these errors of her Church, as they did, though not the Church for the errours, for that they did not, but continued still members of the Church. Observe that the question is about forsaking the Church of Rome, and he talkes of the Catholique Church. 1. The Catholique Church did not erre with the Roman; the Greek Church did forsake the errours of the Roman. 2. Those Protestants who did protest against the Church of Rome, were a considerable part of the Catholique Church. 3. Those Protestants did not continue members of the Roman Church but did renounce her communion, because of her errours. 4. His distinction which followes betweene the Catholique and Roman Church makes his former observations non-sence at least. 5. He saith they separated from the Roman Church only in things which they conceived superstitious or impious—and (he saith) they were obliged to doe this under paine of damnation. Not (saith he) as if it were damnable to hold an errour not damna∣ble, p. 132. Did those Protestants rightly conceive the practi∣ses of Rome to be superstitious and impious, or did they not? if they did conceive aright, then superstion and impiety are in Master Chillingworths judgement not damnable; if they did conceive amisse, why doth Master Chillingworth justifie our separation from the Church of Rome? Sure Master Chilling∣worth was no fit man to maintaine the common cause of Pro∣testants against Papists.

Qu. May not a man bee damned by maintaining errours which are not in themselves damnable?

Ans. Yes, because it is damnable outwardly to professe and maintaine, and ioyne with others in the practise of that which inwardly we do not hold: for this is (as he confesses) damna∣ble dissimulation and hypocrisie, p. 132. Men may do well to take notice, that Mr Chillingworth doth account something damnable; and I note this the rather at this time, because Page  [unnumbered] men are so apt to professe one thing in one place, and another thing in another in these dayes of liberty, and to joyne with others in the practise of that which they inwardly dislike. Yet Mr Chillingworth saith, that if in him alone there should have met a confluence of all the errours which all the Protestants in the world have fell into out of humane frailty, he would not be so much afraid of them all, as to ask pardon for them, be∣cause to ask pardon for them, were to imply, that God is angry for them, Answ. to the Preface p. 19.

Qu. May a man goe constantly to Masse, and be saved?

Ans. Yes, if he bée devout at it (for that he meanes by a godly Lay-man) if he bée strongly perswaded that there is no impiety or superstition in the use of the Latine service, Answ. to the Preface p. 9. sect. 7. It seems there is no fault in the Masse, but that it is in Latine.

Qu. What profit might be gained by the Masse-book if it were in English?

Ans. Much devotion, instruction, edification, salvation, in the place forecited. Was not this a stout Champion, chosen by Canterbury on purpose, not to confute, but harden Papists, and seduce Protestants.

Qu. What are the causes of errour?

Ans. Negligence in séeking truth, unwillingnesse to find it, pride, obstinacy, a politique desire that that Religion should be true, which sutes best with my ends, feare of mens ill opinion, or any other worldly feare or worldly hope, these seven betray men to, and kéepe men in damnable errours, p. 158. It is one of the most honest passages in his book. Brethren let us beware of these motives.

Qu. What kinde of man was Knot?

Ans. One that went about to delude his King, and Coun∣trey with strange captions; Sure Mr Chillingworth and hee were both of a make, read 117.

Qu. How may a King usurp an Absolute Lordship and Ty∣ranny over any people?

Ans He néed not put himself to the trouble and difficulty of Page  [unnumbered] abrogating Lawes, made to maintaine common liberty; for he may frustrate their intent, and compasse his own design as well, if he can get the power and authority to interpret them as he pleases, and to adde to them what he pleases, and to have his interpretations and additions stand for lawes; if he can rule his people by his Laws, and his Laws by his Lawyers, p. 51. cap. 2. I think our Iudges followed his directions in the point of Ship-money.

Qu. What weapons of warfare may be justly called carnall?

Ans. Massacres, Treasons, Persecutions, and in a word all meanes either violent or fraudulent. p. 52. God grant that the Irish forces which land daily, doe not make us as well ac∣quainted with this warfare in England, as they are in Ireland.

Qu. What obedience doe we owe to the lawes and judgements of Courts?

Answ. Onely externall obedience, not internall approba∣tion. p. 97.

Qu. If I disapprove the judgement of any Court, am I bound to conceale my owne judgement?

Ans. No, I may lawfully professe my iudgement, and re∣present my reasons to the King or Common-wealth in a Par∣liament, as Sir Thomas Moore did without committing any fault, p. 97 Why then are men so much blam'd for professing their judgement against some things which seeme to be established by Law, and representing their reasons to the Parliament? and why did not Master Chillingworth yeeld externall obedience to the Common-wealth of England in this Parliament? for who can deny that the Common-wealth of England is assem∣bled in this Parliament?

Qu. May not a Court which pretends not to be infallible, be certain enough that they judge aright?

Answ. Yes, our Iudges are not infallible in their iudge∣ments, yet are they certaine enough that they iudge aright, and that they procéed according to the evidence that is given, when they condemne a thiefe or a murtherer to the Gallowes. p. 140.

Page  [unnumbered] Now Reader judge Master Chillingworths workes, my proceedings, and this Treatise according to the evidence given: and thinke an implicite faith in thine owne reason almost as bad as implicite faith in the Church or Pope of Rome.

I conclude all as Doctor Fern concludes his last booke. The God of Power and Wisdome cast out all Counsels, and defeat all Designes that are against the restoring of our Peace, and the continuance of the true Reformed Religion Amen.

Soli Deo gloria.