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To the authors already referred to on the subject of this article, Sleidan, Beausobre, Claude, and Milner, may be added; and those who wish to know what has been said on the other side, and in what light the Reformation and Protestantism are view. ed by the members of the Church of Rome, may consult Maimbourg, (refuted by Seckendorf) and the works of the Bishop of Meaux, particularly his Hist. des Variations des Eglises Protestantes. Paris, 1688; or in English in 2 vol. 8vo.
“ It is very remarkable, that a Romanist may turn Protestant without adding any one article to his faith, but a Protestant cannot turn to Rome unless he embrace many new articles; for our doctrines are generally confessed by both sides to be true, but those of the Roman church are rejected by our reformers, as novel additions, and such as have no good foundation in Scripture, nor genuine antiquity; and therefore the Protestant doctrines are the surer and safer, as in which both sides agree:
:-For example, we and they both hold there are two states after this life, heaven and hell; but they add a third, which is purgatory, and this we deny:—We and they both say, that sins are to be remitted by the merits of Christ's death; but they add the merits of the saints, and their own satisfactions, with the merit of their own good works, which we deny to be expiatory, or such as can merit remission for us :—We hold there be two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist; these they confess are the chief, but add five more, to which we affirm the name of sacraments doth not proper
ly belong :-We say that God alone is to be worshipped; they confess he is chiefly to be worshipped: but then they say, the blessed Virgin Mary, angels, and saints, are to be worshipped also ; which additions we deny:-We say, Christ is our only Mediator and Advocate; they confess he is principally so, but add, that saints and angels are so in an inferior manner; which we utterly deny :We say Christ is really present in the sacrament of the altar; this they confess, but add, he is corporally there by the transubstantiation of the bread, &c. and this we deny :-We say the Scriptures are the rule of faith, and they will not absolutely deny it, but add their own traditions, which we reject:We say there are twenty-two books of the Old Testament canonical; and they confess these all to bé so, but they add divers, and call them canonical, which we affirm to be apocryphal. I could give more instances; but these may suffice to shew, that the Protestant doctrines look most like the ancientest, as being received by both parties; but the Roman opinions are novel enlargements added to the old Catholic truths."*
* Dr. Comber's Friendly and Seasonable Advice to the Roman Catholics of England, p. 133, 134, 135, 12mo. 1685.
DOCTRINES AND OPINIONS,
IN REGARD TO
THE OBJECT OF DIVINE WORSHIP,
THE MEANS AND MEASURE OF THE DIVINE FAVOUR,
THE SUBJECT OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.
Though Christianity be now found in its purest state, as to doctrines, worship, and ceremonies, among Protestants, it must notwithstanding be admitted, that some branches of this division of Christians have widely departed from the primitive doctrine, in regard to the object of worship; and also from that primitive form of church-government which universally prevailed in the Christian Church till the era of the Reformation; or, at least, it is evident that Protestants widely differ on these heads, as well as on the subject of the means and measure of the divine favour. And, as reference will often necessarily be made, in the course of this work, to the prevailing opinions on all these points, it will be proper that I give the reader some account of them, before I proceed to consider the
several Protestant Churches and denominations of the present day.
In regard to the Object of Divine Worship, the different opinions which now prevail in the world may be reduced to these four, viz. that
1. Of the Trinitarians and Athanasians;
As to the Means and Measure of the Divine Favour, the prevailing doctrines are these three, viz. that
1. Of the Calvinists;
And, on the subject of Church-Government, three different opinions are now found to be prevalent, viz. that
1. Of the Episcopalians ;
Of all these in their order.
NAMES.—The term Trinitarian is applied to all those that profess to believe the doctrine of the Trinity,* in opposition to Arians and Socinians, who style themselves Unitarians and Anti-Trinitatarians.-A great proportion of the Trinitarians receive the creed that goes under the name of Athanasius; and to these only should the term Athanasian be applied, and not to all Trinitarians, as is sometimes the case.
The Presbyterians in Scotland, and the three classes of Protestant dissenters in England in general, with many others, both at home and abroad, are Trinitarians, but do not receive the Nicene or the Athanasian creeds, although they hold the substance of the doctrine which they contain; they therefore cannot properly be called Athanasians.
* Trinity is not a scriptural term, but was introduced into the church in the ad century, to express the union of the three persons in the Godhead.