An Abstract of the chiefe Points of this booke.
FIrst, That all the Fathers do with general consent attribute all suf∣ficiencie to the Scriptures: ma∣king them the Rule of faith, and the absolute meanes to deter∣mine all doubts and controuersies; prefer∣ring them before the Church, and all other writings of men whatsoeuer: and further, that the Church is no otherwise to be shewed or knowen, but by the Canonicall Scrip∣tures: and that themselues, and their opini∣ons, without the Scriptures, are not to bee beleeued, but reiected. See the Preface: and pag. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 45. 46. 47. 52.
2 That the Scriptures are to be expounded by the Scriptures: and that we are not tied for the exposition thereof to any Father, Councell, or Pope. And that no Papist can shew the consent of the Fathers, that the scriptures are to be expoūded by any Father, Councell, or Pope. See pag. 88. 89. 90. 91.
Page [unnumbered]3 That the Fathers agree with vs, taking the greater part, in approouing those Scrip∣tures, which the Protestants doe, to be Cano∣nicall, and in reiecting those which we do for Apocrypha. See pag. 4. 5.
4 That the Fathers take the word Traditi∣on sometimes for the Scriptures; sometimes for the Customes and Ceremonies of the Church: and the Papists, which vrge them for matter of doctrine vnwritten, and to bee of equall authoritie with the Scriptures, doe depraue the Fathers, making their doctrines contrary one to another, yea, contrary to themselues. See the Preface.
5 That chiefe Papists, and pillars of Pope∣ry, haue confessed, that many and most of the doctrines wherein they varie from vs, are grounded vpon Traditions. And that it is extreame madnesse to thinke, that the whole and entire body of Euangelical doctrine is to bee fetched out of the Apostolike writings, and out of that little Booke of the New Te∣stament. In which doctrine, they goe whol∣ly against the streame of the Fathers, and also discouer their abusing of the simplicity of their followers, when they make them be∣leeue the greatest difference betweene them and vs, is, touching the sense of the Scrip∣tures: Page [unnumbered] whereas by this their confession, this consequent necessarily followeth; That where there is no Text, there needes no In∣terpreter. See the Preface.
6 That the Papists haue vttered open blas∣phemy, in their bookes against the Scrip∣tures, in taxing them of insufficiencie, in tearming them a Nose of waxe, Inkie diui∣nitie, dumbe Iudges, no better than Aesops Fables, without the authority of the Church: That they take their authority from the Church; That sometimes they are to bee expounded one way, sometimes another; That the Scriptures must folow the Church, and not the Church the Scriptures: prefer∣ring the authoritie of the Church aboue and against the Scriptures. All which blasphe∣mies are refuted, not onely by the direct texts of Scripture, but by the generall consent of the Fathers. See the Preface.
7 That the Papists vrge the credit of the Fathers, for the receiuing of Traditions: and though there be many Traditions, which by the Fathers testimony haue the same autho∣ritie to prooue them to be Apostolike, that the others haue: Yet the Papists receiue the one, and reiect the other. See pag. 12. 13.
8 That the Fathers haue held diuers er∣rors: Page [unnumbered] vpon which it necessarily followeth: that if they might erre in one thing, they might erre in another: And that their iudge∣ments are often reiected by the Papists, and therefore may with as great reason be reie∣cted by vs: and consequently are no per∣fite Rule to build our Religion on: which euen the Fathers themselues confesse. See pag. 20. 21. 22 23. 16. 17.
9 That there be many Counterfeits, that haue vsurped the names of auncient Fathers: wherby it is hard to discerne when a true Fa∣ther, and when a false speakes. And though some of these Fathers be censured for coun∣terfeits, euen by the learned Papists them∣selues, and their Vniuersities: yet doe they alleage them against vs in many of their bookes, (especially in the Rhemes Testa∣ment) to giue countenance to Popish errors. See pag. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.
10 That the consent of the Fathers cannot be shewed, (nay, scarce any ancient Father) that all controuersies are to bee determined by the Pope: or, that hee cannot erre: or, that hee must summon Councels: or, that they are of no authoritie, vnlesse they bee confirmed by the Pope. And yet are these doctrines held Catholike by the Papists, and Page [unnumbered] reputed the chiefe pillars of Popery. See pag. 75.
11 That al those places of Scripture, which are brought by the Papists, either to prooue the Popes prerogatiue; or, the authority of the Church; or, that the Church cannot erre, are by the Fathers (writing purposely vpon the same places) expounded according to the Protestants sense giuen; and contrary to the sense which the Papists giue. So farre are the Papists from proouing the generall consent of the Fathers, in expounding these Scrip∣tures, which they commonly obiect against vs, (as, Thou art Peter, and vpon this Rocke will I build my Church: and, the gates of hell shall not preuaile against it: Or, the promises of the holy Ghost to be sent to the Church, to leade it into all trueth: Or, To thee will I giue the keyes of the kingdom of Heauen: Or, The Church is the pillar and ground of Trueth: Or, Tell the Church: Or, if hee heare not the Church, let him be to thee as an heathen, or as a Publicane: Or, whatsoeuer thou bindest in earth, shall be bound in heauen: Or, any other place of Scripture to the sayd purposes) to bee on their side; as namely, that those Texts should be meant of the Pope, Generall Councell, or the Church of Rome. See pag. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70.
Page [unnumbered]12 That Generall Councels haue erred, haue beene contrary one to another, haue been reiected by the Papists themselues; and so are no sure Rule to build our faith on. See pag. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55.
13 That the Popes, whom they would haue to be supreame Iudges in al Controuer∣sies, haue erred iudicially; haue been here∣tikes (as maintaining the heresie of the Mo∣nothelites; subscribing to the Arrian here∣sie; to the Nestorian heresie) haue offered sacrifice to idoles, haue been Necromancers, and Coniurers. See pag. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.
14 That the Pope can be no competent Iudge: and whereunto the Fathers referre vs. See pag. 93, &c.