CHAP. VII. Mr. I. S. his Answers to my Objections, against the Popes Infallibility refuted: his defence of Bellar∣min, of the Council of Constance, and of Coste∣rus, declared to be weak and vain.
OUR Adversary fore-seeing what small as∣sistance he could have from Scripture and reason to maintain his Tenets, emploies his main forces in setting up their ordinary great engine of the Popes Infallibility: and having bestowed the far greater part of his Book upon that subject, turns to it again, beginning the second part of his said Book with reflexions upon some of my Ar∣guments against their pretention: and wanting, it seems, materials to bring his Book to the inten∣ded bulk, repotes much of what he said before: wherein I will not imitate him by repeting my re∣plies, my desire being to abbreviate, as far as may consist with a full satisfaction to all his Obje∣ctions.
He pretends to cast a mist over the case, turn∣ing the usual term of Popes Infallibility, to In∣fallibility of the Church, and by Church he means fraudulently not the Church Universal truly Ca∣tholic and Apostolic, (to which I allow all the priviledges and assistances of the Holy Ghost pro∣mised to it in Scripture, tho he signifies that he doubts of my meaning herein) but his own par∣ticular Church; I do not mean the Diocess of Page 71Rome (as he do's wilfully impose upon me, hap∣pily to gain time, or draw us from the point) but the Congregation subject to the Pope whereso∣ever extant. Defenders of a bad cause do love such confusion and obscurities, as Foxes holes, and thickets; but we must keep him to the Light, and to the ordinary use of terms, taking for Popes Infallibility the same which he, or any of his Communion attributes to their Church depen∣ding upon the Pope, as is declared above in the beginning of the fifth Chapter.
I said I admired that Bellarmin should make it an Argument of the Popes Infallibility, that the high Priest did bear in his Breast-plate two Hebrew words, signifying Doctrine and Truth. I questioned whether he believed all those high Priests, even Caiphas condemning Christ, to be infallible in their judgments. Mr. I. S. to re∣lieve Bellarmin, endeavors to autorize the Af∣firmative, and to that of Caiphas sa•es nothing, and so gives us leave to think that he held him also infallible, according to that rule, qui tacet consentire videtur. By which we have this further notice of Mr. I. S. his singular doctrine, that he finds Caiphas infallible in his judgment passed a∣gainst the life of our Saviour, and taxes me with ignorance for not knowing so much.
I accused them of making the Pope Arbiter and supreme Judg over Gods Laws. So Bel∣larmin, lib. 4. de Rom. Pont. c. 5. sticketh not to say, That if the Pope did command Vices, and prohi∣bit Virtues, the Church would be obliged to believe Vice to be good, and Virtue bad. And the Council of Constance commanded the Decrees of Popes to be Page 72preferr'd before the Institutions of Christ, since having confessed that our Saviour did ordain the Communion under both kinds to the Laity, and that the Apostles did practice it, they command it should be given for the future but in one kind, alledging for reason, that the precedent Popes and Church did practice it so. Which is to ex∣tol the Decrees of Popes, above them of Christ. As, if the Laws of England were not to be under∣stood or practiced in Ireland, but according to the will and declaration of the King of France, certainly the King of France would be deemed of more power in Ireland, then the King of Eng∣land, and the People more his subjects.
To that of Bellarmin you say, he spoke of Vices and Virtues when there is a doubt of their being such; for example, if there should arise a doubt of Usury's being a Vice, and in that case the Pope should command Usury to be practiced, we should be obliged to practice Usury. Here∣in Sir you allow us all that we pretended, and you confess what we condemned in Bellarmin. I could alledg many Texts of Scripture, supposing and affirming Usury to be a Vice. But you spare me that labour, presupposing, that Ʋsury of it self is a Vice of its nature bad, (Per se malum,) and that you all know it to be such; and not∣withstanding that knowledg, and Gods declara∣tion in Scripture, you say if the Pope should command Usury to be practiced, we should be obliged to practice it. And so it is indeed with you both in Usury and other Vices. We know all that Rebellion is a sin, and soodious to God, that in Scripture it is compared to Witchcraft Page 73and Idolatry, 1 Sam. xv. 23. But if the Pope should command you to rebel against your King for Religions sake (forsooth,) then would you be obliged to rebel against him; because (say you, with Bellarmin) in dubious Cases the Church is obliged to obey the Pope. Men are apt to doubt of their duties, and the Devil is ready to stir such doubts in them. Thus he wrought the first Rebellion in Paradise, Cur praecepit vobis Deus, &c. Why hath God said ye shall not eat of eve∣ry tree of the Garden? And if the Pope comes out declaring, that it is lawful and religious to rebel, you must practice accordingly: tho Scri∣pture and reason makes you know, that Rebel∣lion is an heinous vice. This is the great power of the Pope you teach, to metamorphose vice in∣to virtues, and virtues to vices. It is a common boast of your stout Bigots to say, that if the Pope did prohibit them to say the Lords Praier, Our Father, &c. they would not say it, tho Christ did order them to pray so.
To that of the Council of Constarce, you say, it is false, that they alledged no other reason for prohibiting the Cup to the Laity, then the De∣crees of precedent Popes. You affirm, they al∣ledged also for reason, the example of Christ and his Apostles, who gave it in one kind: whereby it appears you did not read the Council. Read the thirteenth Session of it, where this matter is handled, and there you shall find no montion of Christ and his Apostles, to have given the Sa∣crament in one kind; but the contrary is suppo∣sed, as appears by these words of the Decree, Quod licet in Primitiva Ecclesia hujusmodi Sacra∣mentum Page 74reciperetur à fidelibus sub utraque specie, postea à conficientibus sub utraque, & à Laicis tan∣tummodo sub specie panis suscipiatur.
By saying that I may flatter the Lord Lieute∣nant of Ireland, by telling him, he hath more power in this Kingdom then the King his Master, in whose place and name he acts, because I accused you of giving more power to the Pope then to God, by these priviledges of giving to divine Law what sense he pleases, and overthrowing the Ordinances of Christ to set up his own; by this your expression, I say, you are twice criminal in a hainous degree. First, for imagining it should be a way to flatter my Lord Lieutenant of Ire∣land, to say, he had more power in Ireland then Page 75the Kings Majesty, which he could not hear with∣out horror and indignation. Secondly, for the falsehood of your supposition to frame your pa∣rity. When or where did the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland say, that notwithstanding the King of England did ordain this, or that, for the Govern∣ment of Ireland, himself would order the contrary; as your pretended Vicar of Christ said in the Council of Constance now mention'd, that notwithstanding Christ did order the Com∣munion to be given in both kinds to the Laity, he did order himself the contrary? And all this senseless and groundless extravagancy you run upon, only to find occasion of talking to us of a halter, after your wonted grave and modest s••le. But being convinced of a false accusation, you deserve, by the law of retaliation, the punishment due to the crime you do so falsly impose upon us. Certainly that of the ducking-stool will appear in all good judgments both due and necessary to so foul a mouth.
Another Example. I produced of your extol∣ling Papal Laws above the Divine, in the case of Costerus, saying, Its a greater sin in a Priest to mar∣ry, then to keep a Concubine, the former being but a transgression of a Papal Law, the second of a Divine. You answer, p. 173. that tho it be but a Papal Law, that Priests should vow chastity, yet the vow being made, it is a trangression of Divine Law to violate it. Consult your Casuists Sir, and you shall find them all say, that a vow made in any matter opposite to Gods orders, is null or invalid. There is an order of God inti∣mated by St. Paul to the unmarried, that if they Page 76cannot contain, let them marry, 1 Cor 7.9. Pos∣sible it is, that a Priest should find by experience, that he cannot contain. This you will not de∣ny. Then the vow appears to be null, because by it was promised a thing contrary to that order of God intimated by St. Paul: and consequent∣ly the obligation of it ceaseth; only the Popes Law prohibiting Priests to marry urgeth. To it is opposite that other intimated to the unmarri∣ed: if they cannot contain, let them marry. Which of these Laws or Orders must be observed? If you say the Popes Law, as Costerus do's; then follows the Conclusion, that you prefer the Popes Laws to those of God. You may ex∣claim at this; but you see the Premises contain∣ing in them the Conclusion, is inbred undenied doctrine among you.