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suffered to arrive to the common people, but that which hinders, will hinder, until it be taken away: however, we believe and hope in God for remedy.

For although Edom would not let his brother Israel pass into his country, and the Philistines 'would stop the patriarch's wells, and the wicked shepherds of Midian would drive their neighbours' flocks from the watering troughs, and the emissaries of Rome use all arts to keep the people from the use of Scriptures, the wells of salvation, and from entertaining the notices of such things which, from the Scriptures, we teach; yet as God found out a remedy for those of old, so he will also for the misled people of Ireland; and will take away the evil minds, or the opportunities of the adversaries hindering the people from instruction, and make way that the truths we have here taught, may approach to their ears, and sink into their hearts, and make them wise unto salvation. Amen.









Tne questions of difference between our churches and the church of Rome, have been so often disputed, and the evidences on both sides so often produced, that to those, who are strangers to the present constitution of affairs, it may seem very unnecessary to say them over again: and yet it will seem almost impossible to produce any new matter; or if we could, it will not be probable, that what can be newly alleged, can prevail more than all that, which already hath been so often urged in these questions. But we are not deterred from doing our duty by any such considerations; as knowing, that the same medicaments are, with success, applied to a returning or an abiding ulcer; and the preachers of God's word must for ever be ready to put the people in mind of such things, which they already have heard, and, by the same Scriptures, and the same reasons, endeavour to destroy their sin, or prevent their danger; and, by the same word of God, to extirpate those errors, which have had opportunity, in the time of our late disorders, to spring up and grow stronger, not when the keepers of the field slept, but when they were wounded, and their hands cut off, and their mouths stopped, lest they should continue or proceed to do the work of God thoroughly.

A little warm sun, and some indulgent showers of a softer rain, have made many weeds of erroneous doctrine to take root greatly, and to spread themselves widely: and the bigots of the Roman church, by their late importune boldness and indiscreet forwardness in making proselytes, have but too manifestly declared to all the world, that if they were ' rerum potiti,' 'masters of our affairs,' they would suffer nothing to grow but their own colocynths and gourds. And although the natural remedy for this were to take away that impunity, upon the account of which alone they do increase; yet because we shall never be authors of such counsels, but confidently rely upon God, the holy Scriptures, right reason, and the most venerable and prime antiquity, which are the proper defensatives of truth for its support and maintenance; yet we must not conceal from the people committed to our charges, the great evils, to which they are tempted by the Roman emissaries, that while the king and the parliament take care to secure all the public interests by instruments of their own, we also may, by the word of our proper ministry, endeavour to stop the progression of such errors, which we know to be destructive of Christian religion, and, consequently, dangerous to the interest of souls.

In this procedure, although we shall say some things, which have not been always placed before their eyes, and others we shall represent with a fitness to their present necessities, and all with charity too, and zeal for their souls, yet if we were to say nothing, but what hath been often said already, we are still doing the work of God, and repeating his voice, and by the same remedies curing the same diseases, and we only wait for the blessing of God prospering that importunity which is our duty: according to the advice of Solomon, “ In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”

· Eccles, xi. 6.


The Doctrine of the Roman Church, in the controverted

Articles, is neither catholic, apostolic, nor primitive.


It was the challenge of St. Austin to the Donatists, who (as the church of Rome does at this day) enclosed the catholic church within their own circuits: “ Ye say that Christ is heir of no lands, but where Donatus is coheir. Read this to us out of the law and the prophets, out of the Psalms, out of the Gospel itself, or out of the letters of the apostles : read it thence and we believe it:"--plainly directing us to the fountains of our faith, the Old and New Testament, the words of Christ, and the words of the apostles. For nothing else can be the fountain of our faith : whatsoever came in after these, “ foris est,” it belongs not unto Christ b.

To these we also add, not as authors or finishers, but as helpers of our faith, and heirs of the doctrine apostolical, the sentiments and catholic doctrine of the church of God, in the ages next after the apostles. Not that we think them or ourselves bound to every private opinion, even of a primitive bishop and martyr; but that we all acknowledge that the whole church of God kept the faith entire, and transmitted faithfully to the after-ages the whole faith, Tútov didaxñs, “the form of doctrine, and sound words, which was at first delivered to the saints," and was defective in nothing that belonged unto salvation; and we believe that those ages sent millions of saints to the bosom of Christ, and sealed the true faith with their lives and with their deaths, and by both gave testimony unto Jesus, and had from him the testimony of his Spirit.

And this method of procedure we now choose, not only because to them that know well how to use it, to the sober and moderate, the peaceable and the wise, it is the best, the

* De Unit. Eccles. c. 6.

b Ecclesia ex sacris et canonicis Scripturis ostendenda est; quæque ex illis ostendi non potest, eeclesia non est. S. Aug. de Unit. Eccle. c. 4. et C. S. Ibi qnæramus ecclesiam, ibi decernamus causam nostram. VOL. X.


most certain, visible and tangible, most humble and satisfactory; but also because the church of Rome does, with greatest noises, pretend her conformity to antiquity. Indeed the present Roman doctrines, which are in difference, were invisible and unheard of in the first and best antiquity, and with how ill success their quotations are out of the fathers of the three first ages, every inquiring man may easily discern, But the noises, therefore, which they make, are from the writings of the succeeding ages; where secular interest did more prevail, and the writings of the fathers were vast and voluminous, full of controversy and ambiguous senses, fitted to their own times and questions, full of proper opinions, and such variety of sayings, that both sides, eternally and inconfutably, shall bring sayings for themselves respectively. Now although things being thus, it will be impossible for them to conclude from the sayings of a number of fathers, that their doctrine, which they would prove thence, was the catholic doctrine of the church; because any number that is less than all, does not prove a catholic consent: yet the clear sayings of one or two of these fathers, truly alleged by us to the contrary, will certainly prove that what many of them (suppose it) do affirm, and which but two or three as good catholics as the other do .deny, was not then matter of faith, or a doctrine of the church; for if it had, these had been accounted heretics, and not have remained in the communion of the church. But although for the reasonableness of the thing, we have thought fit to take notice of it; yet we shall have no need to make use of it, since, not only in the prime and purest antiquity, we are indubitably more than conquerors, but even in the succeeding ages, we have the advantage both' numero, pondere, et mensurâ,'' in number, weight, and measure.'

We do easily acknowledge, that to dispute these questions from the sayings of the fathers, is not the readiest way to make an end of them; but, therefore, we do wholly rely upon Scriptures, as the foundation and final resort of all our persuasions, and from thence can never be confuted; but we also admit the fathers as admirable helps for the understanding of the Scriptures, and as good testimony of the doctrine delivered from their forefathers down to them, of what the church esteemed the way of salvation : and, there,

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