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The most generall pretended Traditions of the Ro-
Councels which are so bighly extolled, and opposed
The Church which is finally resolved into the Pope,
wants both Personal and Doctrinall succession, as ap-
peares by several instances and exceptions, both in
matters of Fact, and matters of Faitli
The infallibilitie of the Pope's Judgment, which is
The Church, upon wbich the learned Romanists
M. Browo, Printer, 86, St. Martin's Laine,
RELIGIOUS AND WELL AFFECTED
GENTRY OF THIS KINGDOME.
İF for no other cause, yet for this alone, that the world may knowe, it is no difficult matter for a meane Layman to proove the Ancient Visibilitie of the Protestant profession, I have attempted to send foorth this Essay of my poore endeavours in this cause, being thereunto provoked by a challenge heretofore sent unto mee, by a Jesuite, in these words: (viz.) That Sir Humfrey or his friends should proove out of some good Authors, that the Protestant Church was in all ages visible, especially in the ages before Luther.
It is not my profession, I must confesse, to returne challenges, or publish works of this nature; yet knowing that Truth is justified of her children, I have presumed as a childe of that Mother, to vindicate her cause, and maintaine my owne reputation: and in answer bereunto, I shall present such proofes, as are warranted by certificate and confession, not onely of the most Orthodoxe Fathers, but of the Romish Bishops, Doctors, Cardinalls, and other moderne Writers in the Romane Church.
It is an undoubted truth, and subscribed by both parties, that the faith which Christ and his Apostles
taught in the first Age, had visible professours in all ages. It were therefore sufficient (without any further recitall of succeeding witnesses) to proove, that the now faith of the Church of England, is that faith, which was once delivered to the Saints by Christ and his Apostles. But I rather condescend to meete the Adversarie upon his own ground, and to deale with him at the same weapon, which himselfe hath chosen; wherein on our part the An ient Fathers shall be my Champions, and his owne Romish Bishops, Doctors, Cardinalls, and Schoolemen shall be my Seconds, as beeing Testes reritatis, witnesses of God's Trueth, professed in our Church.
Of what strength and force is truth, shall appeare by this, that as shee extorts a full and ample testimonie from her sworne enemies, to make good the visibilitie of our Church; and denyes Antiquitie and Universalitie to the principall Articles of the new Romane Creed; wherein shee poynts forth that old and true way. And this is acknowledged on both sides to be Via Tuta. The certaine and Safe Way. Upon which ground it is likewise lawful for me, Talionis lege, to frame a counter-challenge, by demanding, By what authoritie of Scriptures, and ancient Fathers, they have imposed nero Articles of beliefe upon Priestes and people? Sure I am those (twelve* ) new coyned Articles, declared by their grand Councell of Trent, and published by Pope Pius the fourth, with streight charge to bee received of all men, upon perill of Salvation, are so farre short from the kňowledge of Antiquity, that as yet they are scarce understood amongst their owne Disciples for Articles of faith. And their best learned Romanists
• For they may be reduced to this number, as some have done. Author of the Preface to B. Jewel's works. Doctor Sharp's Looking-glasse for the Pope, p. 272. (Extra quam nemo salvas esse potest.) Vide Bullam.