A compend of the controversies of religion wherin the trueth is confirmed, and errour convinced, by authoritie of Scripture, witnessing of antiquitie, and confession of partie. Most necessary for all, in this backe-slyding age. By W.G. minister of God's word.
Guild, William, 1586-1657.


§. 1. That there is no man perfectlie san∣ctified in this lyfe, or in-abled so to liue heere, vvith-out transgressing God's Commandements.

1. Authoritie of Scripture.

1. KIngs 8.46.If they sinne against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not.)

Note then,Page  117 That Salomon denyeth, that anie man in the world is so perfectlie sanctifyed, but hee sinneth.

Prov. 20.9.Who can say, I haue made mine heart cleane, I am pure from sinne?

A Papist will say, that sundrie can say this.

Prov. 24.16.For a just man falleth seaven tymes, and ryseth againe: but the Wicked shall fall in∣to mischiefe.

Note then, That hee showeth, that the most godlie sinneth oft-tymes; and that this is the difference betweene them and the wicked, not, but that both doe sinne, but the godlie ryseth againe by repen∣tance, and the other lye still in sinne con∣tinuallie, while punishment or mischiefe light vpon him.

Iob 9.20.If I justifie my selfe, mine owne mouth shall con∣demne mee: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also proue mee perverse.

Remarke then, If such a commended man as Iob was, was not perfect, who other may say, that hee is so?

Rom. 7.23.But I see another Law in my Members, vvarring Page  118 against the law of my minde, and bringing mee into captivitie to the law of sinne, which is in my mem∣bers.

Philip. 3.12.Not as tho I had alreadie attained, either were alreadie perfect.

Note then, If such a rare Sainct as Paul, denyed, that hee was perfect, and complained of his oft sinning: who is he now, that of him-selfe, without blas∣phemie, dare affirme the contrarie?

1. Iohn 1.8.If wee say then, that wee haue no sinne, wee deceiue our selues, and the trueth is not in vs.

Iam. 3.2.For in manie things wee offend all.

Remarke, How the Apostles exclude not them-selues, and who then can ex∣cept him-selfe?

Luke 11.4.And forgiue vs our sinnes.

Note then, That Christ hath taught all God's Children, who call him their Fa∣ther, to beg daylie forgiuenesse, as well as daylie bread. And therefore none can exeeme him-selfe from daylie sinning: els Page  119 it were needlesse to beg daylie pardon. And this Christ hath taught vs to say (sayth Ierome) non humilitatis mendacio, not thorow humilitie to lie, as the Pela∣gians expounded it: but thorow the feare of humane frailty, dreading our own con∣science. Hieron. lib. 3. advers. Pelagianos.

2. Witnessing of Antiquitie.

ALl these examples I runne over, (saith Ierome) to show, that the Law was never yet fulfilled by anie man. lib. 2. contra Pelagianos. For this is the privi∣ledge of Christ, and if hee bee without sinne, (sayeth hee) and I also without sinne, what is the difference betweene mee and God? Hieron. lib. 3. adv. Pela∣gianos. Heere-vnto accordeth like-wise Bernard, serm. 50. in Cantica.

3. Confession of Partie.

IT is impossible (sayeth Aquinas) to fulfill the whole Law, &c. and never any could keepe yet the Law as it is com∣manded. Aquin. in 3. Galat. Lect. 4.

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§. 2. That no man can doe works of grea∣ter perfection, or more, than God hath commanded, which the Papists call workes of supererogation. Bellar. l. 2. de Monachis, c. 13.

1. Authoritie of Scripture.

TO convince this prowde errour, it might suffice what is formerlie pro∣ven, to wit, if no man can obey the verie Law perfectlie, how much lesse is hee able to obey it, and more? yet let the Canon of Scripture batter this prowde Towre of ambitious Babell.

Iohn 6.38.For I came downe from Heaven, not to doe mine owne vvill, but the vvill of him that sent mee.

Note then, If the full perfection of Christ consisted in doing of God's will onlie, what blasphemous pryde is it, to say, That they doe more than God's will? for if it bee his will, then he hath commanded it: and if they doe their owne will, how dare they say, That their will is perfecter than the will of God?

Psal. 103.20.Blesse yee the Page  121 Lord, his Angels, that excell in strength, that doe his commande∣ment, hearkening to the voyce of his Word.

Remarke againe, That the perfection of Angels is placed heere-in, that they doe what by his word the Lord comman∣deth them. Therefore, what Luciferian pryde is it in man, to stretch his per∣fection further than the Angels?

Psal. 19.7.The Law of the Lord is perfect.

But if there bee rules of perfection aboue the Law, then it will follow, that the Law is an imperfect rule of holinesse.

Matth. 22.37.Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God, vvith all thine heart, and vvith all thy soule, and vvith all thy mynde.

Now what perfection can possiblie bee beyond that, which is commanded? seeing all the heart, all the soule, and all the mynde is required: and the Law it selfe is made heere the modell of all per∣fection, inward and outward.

Philip. 4.8.Finallie, Brethren, vvhat-so-ever thinges are true, vvhat-so-ever thinges are honest, Page  122 vvhat-so-ever things are just, what-so-ever things are pure, vvhat-so-ever things are loue-worthie, vvhat-so-ever things are of good report, if there bee anie vertue, and if there bee anie praise, thinke on those things.

Remarke then, That there is nothing that one can doe which is good, but may bee redacted to one of the fore-na∣med properties: and therefore there is no good thing that one can doe, but it is expresselie commanded. But indeed it is to be granted, that the popish works of Supererogation, are no-where comman∣ded, to wit, to eate the bread of ylde∣nesse, and liue an impure single lyfe, in their monkish Cloisters: in respect the one is injust, and the other impure, and both to bee hated, against the fore-na∣med properties.

2. Witnessing of Antiquitie.

FOr the remission of the sinnes of their brethren (saith Augustine) the blood of no Martyre was ever shed, which Christ onelie hath done for vs: not that wee should imitate him there-in, but congratulate for that which hee hath be∣stowed on vs. Aug. tract. 84. in Iohan.

3. Confession of Partie.

BEllarmine showeth, that not onelie Page  123 sundrie recent Divines of theirs, but also the Divines of Lovane, did teach, that the sufferings of the Saincts are no satisfactions, but that Christ's satisfa∣ction is onlie that vnto vs. Bell. lib. 1. de indulg. cap. 4.