c-, A



i The Liberty of Prophe[ ying.

;,- SHEWl~G



of prefcribing to other mens Faith, and the

Iniquity of perfecuting differing opinions.

LON D- 0 1'()

Printed for R. Roy s TON, at the Angel ; in Ivie-lane. 1647.

'By I E R: T A Y LOR, 'D. 'D. Chaplaine in Ordinarie to His M A j EST I E.




To the Right Honourable

CHRISTOPHER Lord HATTON, Baron HA T TON of l(jrhy, Cornptroler of His MajeHies Houfhold, and one

of His Majefties mof] Honourable

Privie Councell.

My Lord,

,N this great Storm which hath dafhr i the VefIeII of the Church all in pieces, I have been call upon the Coaf] of Wales, and in a litrle Boat thought ~~~~'I\g~" to have enjoyed that ref] and quier. ncflc, which in Engllind in a greater I could not hope for: Here I call Anchor, and thinking to ride fafeJy, the Storm followed me with fa impetuous Violence, that it broke a Cable, and I lof] my Anchor : And here again I was expofed co the mercy of the Sea, and the gentleneffe of an Element that could neither dillinguifh things nor perfons. And but that he who Ililleth the raging 'of the Sea, and the noife of his Waves , and the madneffe of his

a people,

The Epzjlte Dedicatory.

~"'-p-e-o-p-lc-,~tlad provided a Plank for me) I had been 10{\ to all the opportunities of content or fiudy, But I know not whether I have been more prefer. vcd by the courtelies of my friend; , or the gentlencfle and mercies of a noble Enemy: 'OJ ~ {Jd.I'<teg, 'X'apiix~v a if 7UXISO?:.I' ~/l\dJI;J-p:.>mdJ' ,iv.'/v, elvd.,t!W7e, ,Jp '.fLlpdl' 06'" (,~A.dbQ~::O ?J'lJ!/rt; J~p.;', J,ri ;;. ~ia~ if ~;~~7U ~ J,:J..\ '11 ..J.Jx@'~ And now Iincc I have come afhcar , I have been gather II1(T a few {licks to warm me, a few books to

~ .

enrcrram my thoughts, and divert them from the

pcrpcrnall Mcditation of my private Troubles, and the publkc Djfcra/y, but thofe which I could obtain were 10 few and (0 imper tineur, and unufefull to any srcat purpofes , that I began to be fad upon a new nock, and full of apprchenfion that I fhould live unprofitably, and die obfcurely, and be forgotten, and my bones thrown into fame common charnell houfe, without any name or note to dillinguifh me from rhofe who only Iervcd their Generation by iilling the number of Citizens, and who could pretend to 110 thanks or reward from the Publike, beyond a jus trium liberorum. Whilc I was troubled with thefe thoughts, and bufie to find our an opportunity of doina fome good in my final! proportion, niH the' cilr~s of the publike did Io intervene, that it was as impoilible to (epa rate my defign ~rom relating to the prefcnt , as to exempt my felfe from rhe participation of the common calamity; frill halfe my thoughts was (in defpite of all my diverlions and arts of avocatic n ) fixt upon and mingled with the prefcnt concernments: fo that befides them I could


--_-_-_-_-_-_-;:;l1:b~e~E~'_:::_p-;-ijl-·:;-;i~e:D~e~d-l-c~a-t-o-r-'Y~.~:_~_"~_."-_ .. _~_~-_~_ -_-3-~

not goe. Now becaufe (he great Q!!.et'tion is concerning Religion, and ill that alfo my Scene Iies , I reIolved here to fix my confideranons, efpecially when I obferved the waycs of promoting the feverall opinions which now are bufie, to be fuch, as betides that they were moil troublefome to me, and filch as I could by no meanes be friends withall , they were alfo Inch as to my underflanding, did the rnofl apparently differve their ends whofe deligl~ in advancing their own opinions was pretended for Religion:

For as cOlHrary as cruelty is to mercy, as tyranny to charity, fo is warre and bloodfhed to the meckncflc and genrleneffe of Chrifiian Religion: And however that there are fome exterminating [pides who think God [0 delight in humane facrifices, as if that Oracle_Kd y"'~<t~,,', :iJ'n '!l ~ ,",J~I ",0p..,.7. ~iJno, had COllie from the Father of Spirits, yet if they were capable of ecole and tame Homilies, or would hear men of other opinions give a quiet account without invincible refolurions never to alter their perfwafions, I am very much perf waded it would not be vely hard to difpurc fuch men into mercies and compliances, and Tolerations muruall, fuch I fay, who are zealous for Jefus Chrill; then whore Doctrine never was any thing more merctfull and humane) whole leffons were fofrer then Nard, or the juice of the Candian Olive: Upon the liril apprehenlion, I delign'd a Difcourfe to this purpofe l with as much greedineffs as if I had thought it poflible with my Arguments to have perfwaded the rough and hard handed Souldiers to have disbanded prefendy: For

a 2 I

1 he EpiJlle Dedicatory.


. ----1 had often thought of the Prophecy that in the Go-

fpel, our [words fhould be turned into p!ow{bal'es, and our S peares into pmning, book, ; I knew that no tittle fpokcn by Gods Spirit could return unperforrn'd and ineffectuall, and I was certain, that fuch was the excellency of Chr ift's Doctrine, that if men would obey it, Chriflians Ihould never warre one againfi another; in the mean time I conlidered not, that it was pr£dlfito confi11i,nrm e'lJentus,till I {;w; what men were now doing, and ever had done fince the heats and primitive fervours did coole, and the love of inrercfls Iwcld higher then the love of C hriflianiry , but then on the other fide, I began to fear that whatever I could Cay would be as ineffeCtuall, as it could be reaConable: For if rhofe excellent words which our blefled Maller [pake, could not charm the tumult of our Cpirits,l had little reafon to hope that one of the meanefi and moll ignorant of his fervants could advance the end of that which he cals his great, and his old, and his new Commandernent, [0 well as the excellency of his own Spirit and difcourfes could. And yet [ince he who knew every event of things, and the [ucccfle and efficacy of every Doctr inc, and that very much of ic to moll: men, and all 01 it to fome men would be ineffcduall, yet was pleafed to confign our duty that it might bee a direction to them that would, and a conviction and a Telhmony againfi them that would not obey, I thought it might not misbecornc my duty and cndevour s to plead for peace and charity, and forgivendle and pcrrniflious mutuall, although I had rcalon to belichve

t iat

Jrhe ~piflle LJedicatory.


that fuch is the iniquity of men, and they fo inditpofed to receive Iuch impreffes , that I had as good plow the Sands, or till the Aire, as pcrfwade fuch Doctrines, which dellroy mens interefls, and ferve 110 end but the great end of a happy eternity, and what is in order to it. But becaufe the events of things are in Gods difpofirion, and I knew them not, and bccaule if I had known my good purpores would be totally ineffecluall as to others, yet my own defignarion and purpofcs would be of advantage to Illy fclfe, who might from Gods ,mercy ~x_peCt the retribution which he is pleafed to prornife to all pious intendments; I refolved to encounter with all Objections, and to doe Iornerhing to which I 1110111d be determined by the confideration of the prefent diflemperarutes and neceffities , by my own thoughts, by the Q,:leftions and Scruples, the SeCts and names, the inrerefls and animclirics which at this day, and for rome years paf] have exercifcd and difquiered Chril1endome.

Thus farre I difcourf] my [elfe into imploymenr, and having come thus farre, I knew not how to get farther, for I had beard of a great expericllce, how difficult it was to make Brick without Straw, and here I had even feene my delign blafled in the bud, and I defpaired in the Calends of doing what I purpoled ill the Ides before: For I had no Books of my own here, nor any in the voifinagc, and but that I remernbred the refult of Come of thofe excellent Difcourfes , I had heard your Lordfhip make when I was [0 happy as in private to gather up what your

. ~ 3 rem pcr~n,e

The Epiflle Dedicatory.


temperance and modefly, forbids to be publick , 1

had come in pr.elia inermu , and like enough might have far'd accordingly. I had this only advantage befides , that I have chofen a Subjed , in which.jif my own reafon does not abufe me, I needed no other book> or aides, then what a man carries with him 011 hade. back , I meane the common principles of Chriflianiry , and rhofe d~"Jf':t7<t which men ufe in the traufadions of the ordinary occurrences of civil! fociery ; and upon the fl:rength of them and fame other collateral! affifiances I have run through it utcunque,and the fum of the following Difcourfes, is nothing but the fenfe of rhefe words of


That Iiuce we k..now In part, and propheJy in part, and that noW we fee through a glaj!,e darkly, wee fhould not dcJjife or contemn perFolls no~ fo kllo~ving as our felves, but him that u rreak tn the fJ,lth m: /hould reoeite , but not to doubtful! difputatuJnJ';

Therefore certainly to charity, and not to vexati- 0115 not to rhofe which are the idle effeds of impertinent wranglings. And pr~vided they k~ep clofe to the foundation which is F alth and Obedience, let them bultd upon :hu [oundatiml m.au.er: more or leffe preciotlJ, yet if the foundation be mnre, tllCY {hattb,e fu"Ved wIth or without !oJle. And fince we profefi~ our felves [ervanrs of fo meek a Maflcr , and DifcipJes of (0 charitable an Inflitute , Let us walk..

worthy of the "Vocation wherew_ith we are caqed llltb all 10 w!in eJle and meek..neJle, rr:ub long fujferzng,jorbearing one another in (o'~e ; for this is the befi ~n.


r Cor- Ij.

Rom, Xi.


The BpijUe Dedicatory.


dC,fl?Of~ring to k.eep the unity of the Spirit, when it is fall eyed in the hond of peace. And although

o be a duty of Chrfflianiry , that we all [pe>lk.. the I Cor.r.rc, jame thmg, that there be no drvijonJ' among us, but

that we he perfeClly jOJned together in the fame mind,

and In tbefame}l~dgement, yet this uniry is to bee

cfiimated according to the unity of faith, ill things

ncce!l.lrY , in matters of Creed, and Articlcs fimdamentalJ; for as for other thing~, it is more to

he Iyifhed c.hen to be hoped for; there arc fame

duubtfull Difputationj, and in fuch the Scribe, the Rom,tq, Wife, the Dlfputer of thiJ world, arc rnof] common-

ly very farre from ccrtainry , and many rimes fro:n

rrurh : There arc diverfiry of perfivafions in Butters adiaphorous, as meats and drink.r,and hoty dayer,O·c.

and both parties, the aflirrnativc and the negative>

affirm and deny with innocence cl1ollgh, for the obfer-

7.,cr and he that oGfer1lcj nat; intend both to God; and

God is our common Mailer, we all fellow Iervanrs ,

and not tbe judge of each other,il1l11a trers of confcience

01' dOUbtful! Di;putation: And every man that hath

faith mufl ha'l?e it to himfelfo lefore God, but 110 man

llJuf\: either in fuch matters judge hiJ hrother or jet

!JIm at nought; but let IU follow after the things which

ma~ for peace, and things wherewitb one may edifie

,1nother: And the way to doc that is not by know-

1cdg~, bL1~ by charity, for kJlowledge pUffeth up, but 1 Cor. 8.10 ,:haruy edifieth; and tillce there is not in every man V"Cr.

the fame k.now/edge, but the cO'l1/cience offome are,

weak_; as my liherry muJl not bejudged of an other I Cer.IO;,;>; mans weak.. oonfaence, fo I11Uft not I pleafe my Ielfe fo

- much



The Epijlle Dedicatory,

much in my right opini~n, but I muf] ~lfo take order rhs t his weak. confclCnce be not offended or deffifed, for 110 man mull [eel; his own but omy man anotlers we.dth: And although wc mit(! contend ear· neJlly for the faitl;, yet above all things WI! mufl put on cbarity which is the bond ofperfeRnefJe : And rherc. fore this e011tclltion mull be with arms fit for the Chrijlian warfare, tbe [word of the Spirit, and th foield of Fait!;, and preparation of the Go/ptf oj pe~ce injlead of(booes .and a helmet of [ .. h:ution, but not with other armcs , for a Church-man rnuf] not be ""Ilx;lxl" a. j/rlk.er, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal! but fplrituatl, and the perfons tha; life them ought. to be gentle, andeafy to be tntr(ated,and we muJfgZ1le an account of our faith to tbem that ask. us with meek.nefJe and humility, for /0 ij tbe wilt of God, that ~vitlJ welt doing ye may pllt to fi/ence de ignoranee of foolifo men. Thefe and rhoufands more to the Dune purpofe arc the Doctrines of Chl'ifliani£y, whore Ienfc and intendment I have profecutcd in the following Difcourfe.being very much difpleafed that fo many opinions and new dodrines are comrncnc'd among us, but more troubled that every man that hath an opinion thinks his 0'.1.'11 and other mens [,1· varion is concern'd in its maintenance, but molt of all that men 1110uld be perfecured and affliCted for dillgreeing in fiich opinions which ehey cannot with fufficient grounds obtrude llpon others need. farily, becaufe they cannot propound them infallibly, and becaufe they have no warrant from Scrip. cure fo to doe: for if! fhall tie other mcn to believe


T!Jc Bpijl/e Dedicatory.

my opinion, becaufe I think I have a place of Scripcure, which feems to warrant it to my underfianding, why may he not ferve up another difh to me in the [arne dreffe, and exact the fame task of me to believe the contradictory: And then fince all the Hereticks in the world have offered to prove their Articles by the fame meanes by which true believers propound theirs, it is neceffary that fome feparation either of Doctrine or of perfons be clearly made, that all pre~ rences may not he admitted, nor any jull Allegations he rejeded , and yec that in fome other ~efiions whether they be truly or faHly pretended if not evidently or dcmonflrarively, there may be confiderarions had to the perfons of men and to the Laws of charity more then to the triumphing in any opini- 011 or doctrine not fimply neceflary, Now becaufe fome doctrines are clearly not necelfary,and fome are abfolurely neceffary, why may not the firLl: feparation be made upon this difference, and Articles neceflarj be only urg'd as neceffary , and the reLl: left to men indifferently,as they were by the Scripture Indererminately. And it were well if men would as much confider themlelves as the Doctrines, and think that they may as well be deceiv'd by their own weaknefle, as perfwaded by the Arguments of a Docerine which other men, as wife, call inevidenr, For it is a hard cafe that we {hall think all Papifls and Anabaprifls and Sacramentaries to be fooles and wicked per. fons, certainly among all thefe Sects there ~re very many wife men and good men, a, well as crrtng; and although feme zeales are fo hot, and their eyes fo

b inflamed

I '


The EplJl/e Dedicatory.

inflamed with their ardors, that they doe not think their Adverfaries look like other men, yet certainly we find by the refulrs of their difcourfes , and the tranf.1Ctiom of their affaires ofcivill Iociety , that they are men that fpeak and make fyllogifines, and life realon, and read Scripture, and although they do no more underHand all of it, then we doe, yet they endeavour to underfland as much as concerns them, even all that [hey can, even all that concerns repen. ranee from dead works, and faith in our Lord Jefns Chri!l: : And therefore me thinks this alfo fhould be another confideration diflinguifhing the perfons, for if the perf oris be Chriflians in their Jives, and Chriflians in their profeflionj. if they acknowledge the Eternal! Sonne of God for their Mailer and their Lord. and live in all relations AS becomes 'perfons making fuch profeflions , why then f110uJd I hate fuch perfons whom God loves, and who love God, who arc partakers of Chrlfl, and Chrifl hath a title to them, who dwell in Chrif], and Chrif] in them, becaufe their underflandings have not been brought up like mine, have not had the fame Mailers, they have not met with the fame books, nor the fame company, or have not the fame inrerefl, or are not fa Wife, or eire are wifer, (that is, for rome realon or other which I neither doc underfland, nor ought to blame) have not the fame opinions that I have, and do not determine their Schoole ~efiions to the renee of my SeCt or inrerefl.

But now I know before hand, that rhofe men who !\'Ht endure .noue but their 0I-VII SeCt, \Vi!l make all

The Epijlle DedIcatory.

manner of attemps againfi rhete purpofcs of chao rity and compliance, and fay I,or doe I what. I c.an, will tell all their Profelytes that I preach indiffercncy of Religion, that I fay it is no matter how we believe, nor what they profefie : But. that they i113Y comply with all SeCts !I and doe vlOl~n~e to their own conlciences, that they may be ~av d ~n all Relizicns and fo make way for a co/lu'Oles of Herefie~, a~d by confequence deftro~ all Religion. Nay, they will fay w~rfe then all this, and but that I am not ufed to their phrafes and formes of declamation , I am perfwaded I might. reprefent fine Trasedies before hand. And this will be fuch an obj:Ction, that although I am moll confident 1 fhall make apparent to be as falfe and fcan?alou~ as the Objectors rhemfelves are ze~IOl~s and. unpauenr,yet befides that.I believe the Objection will come where my anfwers will not come, or not be u~derfl~od; I am alfo confident that in defiance and incurioufnetre of all that I fhall fay, fome men will perfif] pertinacioufly in the accufJtiOll, and deny my con .. clufion in defpite of mee : well, but however I will try.

And 6dl I anfwer, that wharfoever is againfi the

foundation of Faith, or contrary to good life and the lawes of obedience, or defirnCtivc toht1ma~e fociety, and the pubIick and jufi inrerefls '?f bodies

Politick is OUt of the limits of my ~e{ho 11, and , I . So does not pretend to complyance or to eranon :

that I allow no inditferency, nor any countenance to thofe Religions whore principles deflroy Govern-

b 2 merit,

The BpiJlle Dedicatory.

menr, nor ~o thofe Religions (if--;here be any fuch) that teach til life, nor doe I think that any rhinz will now excufe from beliefe of a fundamental! At": tide, except flupidity or forrifhneffe and naturall inhability. This alone is fufficienr anfwer to this vanity, but 1 have much more to fay.

Secondly, The intendment of my Difcourfe is ~hat per~illions fhould be in ~eflions fpeculativ;' indererminable , curious, and uuneceffary, and that men would not make more necefliries then God made, which indeed a.e not many. The fault 1 find and reek to fC,medy !s, th~t men are fo dogmatical! and refo~ute 111. the~r opmions , and impatient of others dlfagree1l1gs 1Il thofe thinzs wherein is no fufficient meanes of union and d~termination) but tha~ men fhould let opinions and problemes keep their own forms, and not be obtruded as axiomes nor ,q~le,llions in the v~fl collection of the fyflem~ ofD,lvwny,be adopted into the family of Faith : And I think I have reafon to defire this.

Thirdly, It is hard to fay, that he who would not have lI~en p~t\.to death, or punifhed corporally ~or jucl~ thlll.gs) for whicl~ no humane Authority IS fufficienr either for eogl11fance or determination or ~o~petent for infli6l:ion, that he perfwades t~ an lIldlffer~nc~, w hen he referres to another Judi. eatery, which 15 competent, fufficient infallible juf] and highly fevere. No man or compa~y of me~; ca~ juc.i~e or punilh our. thoughts) or fecree purpofes whilef] they fo rername , and yet ir w ill be unequall to fay, that he who owns this Doctrine preaches it


The Epijlle Dedicatory.

Iawfull to men to think or purpofe what they will. And fo it is ill matters of do lib rfull difpurarion (fuch as arc the difiinguifhing Articles ofmofl of the Sects of Chrifiendome:) So it is in matters inrellectua ll (which are not eognofcible by a fecular power) in matters fpirimall (which are to be difcerned by fpiriruall Authority, which cannot make corporall inflictions) and in ~eftions. indeterminate, (which are doubtfully propounded or obfcurely, and therefore may be in utramque partem difpured or believed;) for God alone mufl be Judge of thefe matters, who alone is Maller of our fouls, and hath a dominion over humane underfianding, and he that fayes this, does not fay that indifferency is perf waded, becaufe God alone is Judge of erring perfons.

Fourthly, No part of this Dlfcourfe teaches or en. courages variety of Sects, and coneradidion in opinions.but fuppofes them already in being, and therefore Iiuce there are) and ever were, and ever will be variety of opinions, hecaule there is variety of humane underllandings,and uncertainty in things, no man fhould be too forward in determining all ~e· flions, nor fo forward in prefcribing to others, nor invade that liberty which God hath left to us intire by propounding many things obfcurely , and by exempung our fouls and undedtallding> from all power externally compu!fory: So that the relhainr is laid upon mens ryranny) but 110 licente given to mens opinions, they are not confidered in any of the Conelufions, but in the prernifes only as an Argl1ment to exhon to' charity. So that it I perfwade a licente

b of

. 3

The Bpiflle Dedicatory.

of difcrediting any shing which God hath commanded liS to believe, and allow a liberty where God hath nor allowed it, let it be fhewn, and let the Objection prefle as hard as it can; but to fay that men arc too forward in condemning where God hath declared no fenrence nor prelcribed any rule; is to diffwade from tyranny, not to encourage licenrioufnefle, is to take away a licenfe of judging, not to give a Iicenfe of dogmatizing what every olle pleafe , or as may befl Ierve his turn. And for the other part of the Objection ,

Fifthly,This Difcourfe is fo farre from giving leave to men to profefle any .ihing though they believe the contrary, that it takes order that no man {hall bee pUt to it, for I earnefily contend that another mans opinion {hall be no rule to mine, and that my opinion fhall be no fnare and prejudice to my felfe, that men ufe one another fo charitably and fo gently, that no errour or violence tempt men to hypocrify, this very' thing being one of the Arguments I life to perfwade permifiions, len compulfion introduce hypocrify, and make fincerity rroublefome and unfafe.

Sixthly, If men would not call all opinions by the name of Religion, and fuperflrudures by the name of fundamenrall Articles, and all fancies by the glorious appellative of Faith , this objection would have no pretence or footing, fo that it is the difeafe of the men, not aoy caufe that is minifired by fuch precepts of charity that makes- them perpetually clamorous : And it would be hard to fay


----------- --- -

The Epij/fe Dedicatory.


that fuch Phyfirians are incurious of their Patients, and neglectful! of their health, who Ipeak again!l the unreafonablenelfe of fuch Empericks that would cut off a mans head if they fee but a Wart upon his cheek, or a dimple upon his chin, or any lines in his face to difiinguilh him from another man; the cafe is altogether the fame, and we may as well decree a Wart to be morrall as a various opinion in re alioiJui non necefJari£ to be capitall and damnable.

For I confider, that there are but few Doctrines of Chrifiianity, that were ordered -to be preached to all the world, to every lingle perfon , and made a necelfary Article of his explicire beliefe : Other Doctrines which arc all of them not limply neceflary, arc either fuch as arc not clearly revealed, or fuch as are: If they be c1earely revealed, and that I know fo too, or may, but for my own fault, I am not to be excufed , but for this 1 am to be left to Gods judgement, unlefle my fault be externally fuch as to be cognofcible and punifhable in humane judicatory : But then, if it be not fo revealed but that wife men and good men differ in their opinions, it is a clear cafe, it is not inter dogmata ne~e.uaria /impltciter, and then it is certain I may therefore rafely disbelieve it, becaufe I may be Iafely ignorant of it : For if I may with innocence be ignorant, then to know it or believe it, is not 11mply obligatory ; ignorance is abfolurely inconfiflenr wit~ fuchan obligation, becaule it is ddlruCti.vc

- and


The Bpiflle Dedi,atory.

and a plaine negative to its performance, and if I doe my honefi endeavour to underfland it, and yet doe not attain it, it is certain that is not obliga. tory to me fo much as by accident, for no obliga_ tion can prefle the perfon of a man if it be impof. Iible, no .man is bound to doe more then his befl, no man IS bound [0 have an excellent underfrand. ing, or to be infallible, or to be wifer then he can, for thefe are things that are not in his choyec, and therefore not a matter of a Law) nor fubject to reo ward and punifhmene , fo that where ignorance of the Article is not a {in, there disbelieving it in the right fenfe , or believing it in the wrong, is not breaeh of any duty, effentially or accidentally neceffary, neither in the thing it felfe, nor to the per. fon; that is, he is neither bound to the Article'


nor to any endeavours or antecedent acts of volirl-

on and choyce , and that man who may Cafely bee ignorant of the prepofition , is not tyed at all to fearch it out, and if not at all to fearch it, then certainly not to find it : All the obligation we are ca.pa?le o~, is 110t. to be malicio.lIs or voluntarily criminall In any kind , and then If by accident we find out a truth, we are obliged to believe it; and fo will every wife or good man doe; indeed he cannot doe otherwife . But if he disbelieves an Article without malice, or defign, or involuntarily or un. knowingly, it is contradiction to fay it is a Gnne to him who might tot~llly have been ignorant of j~ ; for that he believes it in the wrong fenCe, it is his


The Bpijlle Dedicatol'Y.


ignorance, and it is irnpoffible that where hee hath heartily endeavoured to finde OUt a truth, that this endeavour fhould make him guilty of a Iione , which would never have been laid to his charge, if he had taken no paines at all:

His ignorance in this cafe is not a fault at all; pollibly it might, if there had been no endeavourto .h.we cur'd it.

So that there is wholly a mifiake in this propofition : For true it is, there arc fame pro. POUtiOIlS, which if a man never heare of ,they will~ not be required of him; and they who cannot read might fafely be ignorant, that Mel. cbiz,edeck.. was King ofS a/em ~ but he who reads it in the Scripture, may not fafely contradict it, although before that knowledge did arrive to him, he might fafely have been ignorant of it: But this although it be true, is not perrinent to our Qg_ellion; For in {en(u di11ifo this is true , that which at-one time a man may be ignorant of, at ferne other time he may not disbelieve -Bue in fenfu conjunC1() it is falfe; For at what time, and in what circurnflance fa. ever it is no finne to be ignorant, at that time and in that conjuncture, it is 110 finne to disbelieve; and fiich is the nature ofal! Quefiions dilputable, which are therefore not required of us to bee believed in anyone particular fcnfe, becaufe the nature of the thing is fuchas not to be neceflary to be known at. all fimply,and

c abfolutely,

The Bpijl/e Dedicatory.

abfolurely, and filch is the ambiguity and cloud of Irs face and reprefentmeut as not to be nc. ceflary fo much as by accident, and therefore not to the particular fence of anyone perfon,

And yet fuch is the iniquity of men, that they fuck in opinions as wild Affes doe the wind, without dillinguilhing the wholefomefrom the corrupted ayre, and then live upon it at a ven, ture, and when all their confidence is built upon zeale and millake, yet therefore becaufe they arc zealous and rniflaken , they are impatient of contradidiou,

But betides that againf] this I have laid prejudice enough from the dictates of holy Scripture, it is obfervable that this with its appendant degrees, I meane reflraine of Prophefying, impoling upon other mens nnderflauding, being mailers of their confciences, and lording it over their Faith, came in with the retinue and traine of Antichrill, that is, they came as other abufes and corruptions of the Church did, by realon of the iniquity of rimes, and the cooling of the firll heats of Chriflianiry , and the encreafe of intereft , and the abatements of Chrillian limplicity, when the Churches fortune $rcw better, and her Sonnes grew worfe, an d fame: of her Fathers worfi of all; For in the firll three hundred years there was no fign of perfecuring any mall for his opinion, though at that time


The EplJ7Ie Dedicatory.

there were very horrid opinions commenced,

and fuch which were exemplary and parallel

enough [0 determine this G.!lcfiion; for they

then were aflaulred by new Sects which deflroyed

the common principles of nature, of Chrifiia-

niry, of innocence and publike fociery, and they

who ufed all the meanes Chrifiian and Splrieu-

all for their difimprovement and conviction.

tllOllght not of ufing corporall force. otherwife

then by blaming Iuch proceedings: And there-

fore I doe not only urge their not doing it as

an Argument of the unlawfulnefle of fuch procecding.bue their defying it and [peaking againfi

fuch practifes, as unreafonable and deflructive of Chrlflianiry : For fo Tel'tultian is expreffe, Hu- ;\d S"puiar. mani juriJ & natura/if pot (jlalif ,un;cuique quod

puta-verit co/ere, Jed nee ,.ebgionlf ejl cogere re;

figionem, qUa! Jufcipi debet j}oi1te non vi: The

fame is the Do drine of S. Cyprzan, LailantiUl,

S. Hilary, Minutius Felix, Sutpit£ur SelJerUI,

s. Chryfoflome, S.Hierom, S. Aujlin, Damafcen, Theopby/ail, Socrates Scho/aflicus, and S.Ber-

nard, as they are feverally referr'd to and urg'd

upon occalion ill the following Difcourfe,

To which I adde , that all wife Princes till they were overborn with faction or follicited by peevirh perfons, gave Toleration to differing Sects, whofe opinions did not difiurb the publike interefi : But at tirft, there were Ierne hereucall perfons that were alfo impatient of an

c l AdverfafY

--~~-~<---- 1 be EpiJIle Dedicatory.

The Epijrle J)edicator),.


Princes, and have [0 all Ages a precious me. mory, and the reputation of a great piety; but they were fo farre from doing what Nej/orius had fuggefled , that they refirained him from his violence and immaniry , and TheodojiuI did highly commend the good Bifhop Produ; for his Iweemefle of deportment towards erring perfons, far above the cruelty of his Predeceflor 4U;CUI: And the experience which Chriflendom hath had in this laf] Age is Argument enough, that Toleration of differing. opinions is fo Iarre from diflurbing the publick peace, or dellroy. ing : the iarerefl: of Princes and CommonWealths, that it does advantage to the publrck, it fecures peace, becaufe there is not Io much as. the pretence of Religion left· to fochperfcns to contend for it, being already indulged to them. When France fought, againil the Hu~ gu~nots, the fpilling of her own blood was argument enough of the' imprudence of that way of promoting Religion; but Iince {he' hath given permiflion to them, the world is wit, neffe how profperous {he hath been ever fince :

But the great inflance is in the differing ternper, Government and fucceffe which Margaret of Parma, and the Duke of Alva had: . The clemency of the·,fjrll had almofl exringuifhed the flame; but when 111e was removed, D'A/va fueceeded and managed the matter of Religion with fire and f~ord";be made the flame fo.gr.:at.

c 3 that

· Tbe EpiJlle Dedjc~tory.

-.------.-.... "----~--_:_-------

that his Religion and his Prince too hath both

been a\moil quite t\\H\ed OUt of the COlmttey. Pelli if media f~pientiam > ljul)ties "Vi res agitur, f.lid Ennita , and rhercfore the bef of men, and the moet gloriolls of Princes were alwayes readvro give Toleration, but never to make cxecunons for matters difputable: Eufebius in his fecund Book of the life of Con{lantine reports there words of the Emperour) Par em cum fidelibus ii qui errant) paci! & quieti! fruit;onem gaudenw acciplimt : IpJ4 (iIJllidem communictlttonis & [oeieuiis rejlitutil) ~d reflam etiam '&1:. ritatis »iam perducerejotejl. Nemo cuiquam mo(~j1IU fit ) 'Juif'Jue 'Juo animo d!j1inat boo etiam faciat.

And indeed there is great reafon for Princes to give Toleration to difagreeing perfons, whole opinions by faire meanes cannot be alrered'; for jf the perfons be confident, they will ferveGod according vro their per {waGons; and if they be publikely prohibited, they will privately convene, and then all rhofe Inconveniences and mifchiefes which are Argumellts againl1l the permiffion of Conventicles,are Arguments for the publick permiflions of differing Religions, becaule the denying of the publick worfhip will certainly produce private Convcnticles, againf] which all wife Princes and.Common-Vv ealrhs have upon great reaions made Ed iets and fevere SanCtions, ~icquid e~im agiwr


---- -:---,::---:--:- ------------------ --- ----

The Epijl/e Dedicatory.

abfente rege , In caput ejtu plerun~ue redundat , fa,! the Politicks : For the face of a man is as t};c face of a Lion, and [carters all bare machilJatiOllS wl1ich breath not but in the C;ark : It is a proverbiall faymg , quod nim;a ftlmiliaritas {erlJOrum eft confpiratio ad1Jer(uI DOIIZinum, and they who for their Iecuriry runne into grots and cellars, and retirements, think that they being upon the defenfive, thofe Princes and chafe Lawes that drive them to it are their Enemies, and therefore they cannot be fecure, unleffe the power of the one, and the obligation of the other be leffened and refcinded , 'and then the being reflrained and made miferable , endeares the difconrented perfons mutually) and makes more hearty and dangerous Confederations. King lames of blefled memory, ill his Letters to the States of the United Provinces, dated 6Marcb.I6I3' Thus wrote" - '!Vlagu autem e re tore ft [opiantur authorit.ate publica, ita ut prohibeatis MinijlroJ' 1Jejlro! ne ear difputatinnes in fuggejlum aut ad plebem fer ant , ac dijlriEllJ impereti4 ut pacem colant [e in1Jicem Tolersndo in ijlil opinionum ac jententrarum d,(crepalltiti: ..•.• BoqS14 juftitis 'Videmur 'z;()bir. hocipfum fuadere deb ere quod neutram comperimur ade» delJiam us non poJ!int & cum fidei chrtjlia- 11£ lJeritate, & cum animarum JII/ute conftjlere,&c_ The like Councellin the di'Vifions·of Germany, at the firfi Reformation was thought



The Bpij/!e Dedicatory.


rcafonable by the Empcrour Ferdinand, and hi;

excellent Sonne Maxlmlltan; For they had obferved that violence did exafperare , was unblefled , unfuccefleful! and unreafonablc , and therefore rheymade Decrees of Toleration, aud appointed tempers and exped ients to be drawn up by dilcrcet perfons, and George CajTander was defign'd to this great work, and did [ornething towards it: And Emanuel Phi/Zhert, Dvof Sa'tJoy repenting of his warre undertaken fer Religion againfi the Pedemont ans, promiled them Toleration, and was as good as his word: As much i; done by the Nobility of p(I/onia. So that the belt Princes and the bef] Bifhops gave Toleration and lmpuniries , but it is known that the iidl PerCecutions of difagreeing per~ Ions were by the Arrians, by the C/rcumcellj. ans and Donatijl.r, and from them, they of the Church took examples, who in fmall numbers did fometime perfwade it, fornerime praCtife ir. And among the Greeks it became a publick and authorized pradife, till the Q!eHion of Images grew hot and high; for then [he Worfhippers of Images having taken their example from the Emprefle irene, who put her Sonnes: eyes out for making an EdiCl: againll Images, began to be as cruell as they were deceived, efpecially be, ing encouraged by the Popes of Rome ,who then blew the coales tofome purpofe,

And that 1 may upon this occafion give account

~ount of this affaire in rile Church of Rome


it is re'l11arkable that till the time of Illj/lnian the Empel'our,A.D'525' the Catholicks and NolM!;anS had Churches indifferently permitted even in ~fime it {elIe, but the Bifhops of Rome whofe inrcref] was mueh concerned in it Ipoke much ag,lj'di it, and laboured the eradicatiotl of the NolJatians, and at laft when they got pOlVer into their hands they ferved them accordingly, but it is obferved by S.?crates [hat when the fid1 Perfecurion was made againH them at Rome hy Pope innocent I , at the fame intrant the Garber invaded ltaly, and became Lor~s of all, it hc i. g jna in God to bring a Perfccuriou upon them for true beliefe, who with an incompetent Authority and infufficlenr grounds doe perfecute an errour leffc rnateriall, in perfons _ agreeing with them in the pro· feffion of the lame common faith. And I have heard it obferv'd as a blefliug upon S. Aujlin (who was to mercifull to erring pcrfons as the greateH: part of his life in all feules, even when he had twice chang'd his mind, yet to Tolerate them, and never to endure they fhculd be given over- to the feculae power to be kild) that the very night the Vandals fet down before his City of HIppo to beficge it, he dyed and went to God, being (as a reward of hi, merciful! Doctrine) taken from the miferies to come, and yet that velY thing wasallo apar-

t! cicular


The Ep'jlle Dedicatory.

cular iflue of the Divine Providence upon that City, who not long before had altered their profeffion into truth by force, and now were falling into their power, who afterward by a greater force turned them to be ATria,,'.'

But in the Church of Rome, the Popes were the lirit Preachers of force and violence in matters of opi~ion, and that. Io zealouf1y, that Pope Vigi/ius fuffered himfelfe to be imprifoned and handled roughly by the Ernperour lujlinian, rather then he wo-uld confene to the reflituri. on and peace of certain di[lgreeing perfons, but as yet it came not (0 farce as death. The fira that preached that Dochillc wa5Dom-inic~, the Founder of the Begging Orders of Priers, the Friers Preachers; in memory of which the Inquilition is intrufied only to the Friers of his Order; and if there be any force in dreams, or truth in Legends (~S there is not much in either) this very thing might be lignified by his Mothers dreame, who the night before Dominic~ was born, dream'd (he, was brought to Bed of a huge Dog with a fire-brand in hi& m-outh : -Sure enough, however his difciples expound the dreame, it was a better fign that he fhould prove a rabid, furious Incendiary, then any,thing elfe , whatever he- might be in the other parts of his life, in this Doctrine he VIas not much better, as appears in his deportment toward the,dI6ig~nfes, ag<l.inil whom hee fo.

- - -, ,- prcac~e~


The Byij1le DedIcatory.


~hed ,adeo .'1uidem ut ce.ntumh"reti()or~m millia ab oCl() mlll,bur Catholzc()rumJufa & InterfeCla fuiffe perhibeantur, Iaith one of him; and of thofe who were taken, 180 were burnt to death becaule they would not abjure their Doadne': This was the tirR example of putting erring perfons to death, that I find in the

Roman Church ~ For about 17(3 years before, B.Bru~o Be.

J • • • • "th rengananos

Berengarius fell mro oplOlon concernmg t, e c fua diDceu

blefled Sacrament which they cald Herefy, and expu~it.non

d d azai morn aue fup-

recanted, and relapfcd , an recame. agame, pliciis ccrpo-

and fell again tWO or three times, -faith Gerfon r~libus rradiwriting againfi Romant of the Roft, and yet .he dir,

died (Jr.-a morte his own naturall death, and with

hope of Heaven, and yet HIldebrand ~as once

his judge which fhewes that at that time Rome

was not ~otl1e to [0 great heigths of blood-

Ihed- In England, although the Pope had as

great power here as any where, y~t .there were

no Executions for matter of opmlOn known

[ill the time of Henry the Fourth, who (becaufe

he Ufurped the Crown) was willing by all means

to endeare the Clergy by defiroying their Ene-

mies, that fo .he might be fure of them to all

his purpofes. And indeed, it may become the~l

well enough, who are wi~er jl1~heirgenerat1.

ons then the children of lighe., It may poffibly

ferve the pollicies of evil! per(olls, 'but neverthe

pure and cbafie defigns.of ChrHHanitr, .wh!ch

admits no blood but Chrifls, and the rmnaung

d :I blood

, I

1 ht: Epijlle Dt:dicatory.

blood of Martyrs, but knowes nothing how to fervc her ends, by pel'(ecutina any of her errin§'; children. ~ ~

By rbis time I hope it will not be thought r~a(()nabk to fay, he that teaches mercy to cr. rIll,g .per(ons, reaches indifferency in Religion, unlcflc h) many Parhers , and fa many Churches and the ben of Ernperour s , and all the world ~:~;,! they ;~~re abn{~:d, ~Y Tyranny, Popery, and I,a,tton) ',la reach inciiflerency for 1 have fhewn tU.H. Chr!fi~anlt~ .d,oc> not punifh corporally, Ple, 10m ,~r,·1tJg IpIt',ltllaIly, but ill deed Popery doe~:. I he Von,1tijls, and Circumcefttans and Arruns, and the Itaciani,they of old did'; In the middle Ages , the Patrons of Imazes did

I h 1) 'ft I' . '::> '

ana I e apl s at t 115 day doc, and have done

ever I1nce they were taught it by their S. Dommlc"-.

~eventhly, And yet after allrhis, I have Iometiling more to exempt my feIfe from the clamour of this Objection : For let allerrours be as much an~ aszealoufly fuppreffed as may be, (the DoCtnne of the following Difcourfe contradicts not 'that) bll~lct, ir be d~nc by fuch meanes as are proper. mflrtlll1Cl1,tIi of their fuppreffion , by lFreachlng and .Dlfputatlon (fo that neither ot them br¢ed~iHurbanc~! by charity and [weer!1.effe, by ho·lHleffe (jfhfe, afliduity ofexhorranon, by the word of God and prayer.

For thefe wayes are moll naturall.mofl prudent, molt

Jrhe ~pifile l>edicatory.

molt peaceable, and effeetuall. Only let not men be hafly in calling every diflik'd opinion by the name of Here(y, and when they have re_' folved . that they will call it fo , let them ufe [he erring per[ol; like a brother, not beat him like a dog, or convince him with a gibbet, or vex him out of his llt1derfianding and perfwa-


And now if men will aill (ay, 1 per[wade to

indHferency, there is no help for me, for I have given [cafons againll ir, I muf] bcare it as well as I call, I am not yet without remedy as they are, for patience will help me, and reafon will not cure them, let them take their courfe, and

lie take mine:

Only I will take leave to confider this (and

they would doe well to doe [0 too) that l1nleffe Faith be kept within its own latitude, and ~10;: cald out to patrocinarc every leffe neceflary opinion, and the i,nterctl of,every ~efl, or pecVit11 perfoo , and if d,am.natlol1 be pronoullce~l againll Chri{\ians believing the Creed, and h~ 'ling good lives, be~au(e. they are deceived, at are laid to be deceived in [o me OplnlOIlS lcifc neceflary , there is no way in the world _to f~risfie unlearned perfons 111 the cho. .ce ot. th~lr Religion, or to appea[e the t'llqulctneHe ot a fcrupulous con(cience : 1;01' fuppofe an honer.. Citizen whofe impioyment and parts wlll,noe enable him to ; udae the difputes and arguIng s

- ., d 3 of

The Bpijlle Dedicatory.

of great Clerks, fees factions commenced and managed with much birternefle by perfons who l~ight on either hand be fie enough to guide him 5 when ·if he follows either, he is difquieted and pronounced damned by rhe other (who al.lo i.f ~e he the moll unrcafol1.able ~n his opitHoll.wIlI perhaps he more furious 11l his fen. renee) what fhall this man doe', where (hall he ref] the fole of his foot? Upon the DoCl:dne of the Church where he lives? Well! but that he heares declaimed againH perpetually, and other Churches claime highly and pretend faircly for truth, and condemne his Church: If I tell him that he mufi live a good life, and believe the Creed, and not trouble himfelfe with their difputes or interefling himfe1fe in SeCl:s and Factions, I fpeak reafon : Becaufe 110 Jaw of God ties him to believe more then what is of effenriall necefliey, and whatfoever he Ihall come to know to be rcveal'd hyGod : Now if he be. Jieves his Creed, he believes all that is nece{fary to all, or of it felfe , and if he doe his morall endeavour betide, he can doe no more toward finding out all the ref], and then he is fecnred, but then if this will fecure him, why doe mel; preffe further and pretend every opinion as necetra~y,. and that in fo high degree that if they all faid rrue , or any two indeed of them in 500 Sects which are in the world (and for oll~hc I know there maybe 50(;)0) it is 500 to one

, Due

The Bpijlle Dedicatory.

but that every man is darnn'd , for every SeCl: damnes all but it felfe, and that is damn'd of 499, and it is excellent fortune thcn. if that c[cape; and there is the fame reafon 10 every one of them, that is, it is exrreme.unreafonablenefle in all of them to pronounce damnation againLi filch perfons againf] whom clearely and dogmatically holy Scripture hath not 5. In odl(}jir Ijuod minimum eft fequimtU', injavorI61U' qUlJd eft max;mum~ fai~h the Law, and therefore we fhould fay any thing , or make any excufo that is in any degree reafonable,rather then con' demn all the world to HeIl,efpecially if we COIlIider there tWO things, that we our [elves are as apt to be deceived as allY are, and ~hat they who are deceived, when they ufed their morall lnduflry that they might not be deceived, if they perifh for this, they perifh fo.r what they could not help.

But however, if the ben fecuriry in the world be not in neg.JeCl:ing all Sects , and ~ubdivilions ofmen and fixing our felves on POllltS neceflary and ~Iain, and on honefi and piol~s. endeavours, according.ito our feverall capac!Ucs an.d opportunities for all thereft, if I'f.ay all this be not through the mercies of God, the beft fecurity to all unlearned perfous , and learned too where fhall we fix, where {hall we either hay; peace "Or feenrity? If you bid me 'follow

'Yo.~r R~C\~!ne, you m\l~t~l1. me WhYl .andt:ac;:



I Ii

. 'I




The Epij1tc Dedicatory.

h~[;~~~hc~ YO;1 have I am not able to judge, or if I be as able as other people are) yet when I have judged, I may be deceived too, and fa may YOLl, or any man elfe YOll bid me follow, fo that I am no whit the nearer truth or peace.

And then if we look abroad, and confider how there is fcarce any Church, but is highlycharg'd by many Adverfaries in many things, poffibly we m;IY fcc a rcalon to charge everyone of them in forne things; And what {hall we do then? The Church of Rome hath {pots enough, and all the world is inquifirive cnough to find OUt more ~ and to reprefenr rhefc to her grearetl difadvantage. The Greek Church denies the proceffion of the holy Ghof] from the Son; If that be falfc Doctrine, 111c is highly too blame, if it be not, then all the Wefiern Churches arc roo blame for jjying the contrary: And there is no Church chat is in profperiry , bur alters her Dotl:rinc every Age, either by bringing in new Do drines, or by contradiCting her old, which fhewes that none are Iarisficd with thernfelves, or with their OWH confetlions: And (ince all Churches helieve rhemfclves fallible, that on'y excepted wh 'eh all ather Churches fay is moti of all deceived, it were fil'ange jf in fo many Articles which make up their fevcrall bodies of Confeflions , they had not miflaken everyone of them in fomething or other: The Lutheran Churches mainraine Confubflantlaeion , tbe

, Zui;:glian5



-~. ~:n;;=EpiJlI;15~dl (;awi··"~-~ ,-q""~'"~'~ii'~-

Zumgtlans are Sacra;;;~~tarie;~ ihe C alvinijJ,are ---- ,--- - .. ~~ fierce in the matters of abr~lute Predete~mll1a.

rion, and all rhefe reieel: Epifcopacy, which the Primitive,ChLUch would have made no doubt

to have called Herefy , The Socimanr profeffc a

portentous number of firange op_in!o,.ns ~ they,

deny the holy Trinity, and tile Iarisfadien of

our blcfled Saviour: The AnaGapttjlr Jaugh at

Pzdo-baptlfin i The Ethiopian Churches are N e·

jlurian: where then [hall we fix our confidence,

or joyn Communion? t~ pit.ch lIpO~ anyone

of rhefe is to throw the dice,' If falvation be to

be.had only in one of them, and .that every. e~·

rour that by chance hath made a SeCt) and. IS

difiinguifhed by a name, be damnab~e.

If this confiderarlon does not deceive me, we have no other help in the midf] of rhefe difir~ai. ons and difunions, but all of us to be united in that common terme , which as it does conIlirute the Church in its being fuch.fo it is the medium of the Communion of Saints, and chat

is the Creed of the Apofiles, and in all other • Ckm.A]c,_ thillgS an honef] endeavour to find Ollt -ll what I1rO,"OI.I. ~i, truths we can, and a charitable and mutual! ~~~Ir~f~rh!~~ permiffion to others that d.ifagree fr?lU us and pradhntilli •. our opinions. I am Iure this may fatJ>fic: us, for ~,~~~;~I;I~f"l. it will fecure us, but 1 know not any rhing clfe perfpicaerrer

ftligcndis do!;"

, . S A um Polame Alex·narin". he primus phifofopho,us cii, ue are

mans omruum ecrar rvt '. l.: If':l.... fcrl '" ~ , Co( it ,xiLacnius in Proemio,unde cogneminatus ell, iKMr,ap.;,cr, ,Cl. '7" CSf'~ 17" r, .

~;.~. "·If~n .. '.




-- .. ~~-~--- .. ----.-------------

that wiII, and' no man can be reatonaOly per" fwaded , or [arisfied in any thing elfe, unlefle he rhrowes himfelfe upon chance, or abfolure predefrinarion , or his own confidence, in eve· ry one of which it is two to one at leaf] but he may mifcarry,

Thus farre I thought I had realon on my fide, and I fuppofe I have made it good upon its proper grounds, in the pages following. But then if the refiilt be, that men mull be permitted in their opinions, and that Chriflians muf] not Pcrfccute Chrillialls; I have alfo as much reafon to reprove all thofe oblique Arcs which are not direCt Perfecutio ns of mens perfons, but they are indirect proceedings, ungentle anti unchr ifsian , fervanrs of faction and intercf J provocations to zeal and animofiries e and deftructive of learning and ingenuity. And thefe are fupprefling all the monuments of their Adverfaries, forCing them to recant, and burninG their Books.

For it is a firange induflry , and an importune diligcnce that was ufed by our fore-farhers, of all rhofe Herefies which gave them battle and imploymenr, we have abfoJu [ely no Record 0; Monument, but what thernfelves who were Adverfaries have tranfinitted to us, and we knew that Adverfaries , efpecially Iuch who obferv'd all opportunities to difcredit both the perfons and doctrines of the Enemy.are not alwayes the

_. . belt

bed records or wimdfes of filch tr3llfitaions. vVe fee it now in this v(:ry Age~ ill the prdent dil1cmpl!'r:ltIlres, that parties are no good RegiUers of the aclions of the adverfe fide: And if we cannot be confident of the truth of a fio. ry now, now I fay that it is poffible for any man, and likely that the inrerefled adverfary will di[cover the impoflure, it is fane more unlikely, that after Ages fhould know any other rruthy but fuch as ferves the ends of the rcprefenrers. I am fure fuch things Were never taught us by Chrifl and his Apofllcs, and if we were fure that our, felves fpoke truth, or that truth were able to jufiifie her felfe, it were better if to prcferve a Doctrine wee did not dellroy a Cornmandement '. and out of zcale pretending to Chriflian Religion) loofe the glories and rewards of ingenuity and Chritlian fimpliciry.

Of the ['lme confiderariou is mending of Authors, not to their own mind but to ours, that is, to mend them fo as to {poile them; for. bidding the publication of Books, in which there is nothing impious, or againil: the publick inlerell, leaving OUt claufes ill Tranllarions , dif. gracing mens PCr{OllS, charging difavowed Dochins upon men, and the pcrfous of the men with the confcquenrs of their Doctrine, which they deny either to be true or to be confequenr, falre reporting of Difpurations and Conferences, Durning Books by the hand of the hang-man,

C 2 ana

I' i

and ali filch Arts, which ilsew that we either diih,uft God for the mainrenancc of his mnh, or [hilt we dillruf] the. caufc, or ditlruf] our [elves and.our abilities: I will f.1Y no more of thefe , I)la only concerning the jail, I {hall traulcr ibe '.1 paffagc out of Tacitus in the life of iu/wid!~ricul;l, who gives this account of it, Veniam- 1)011 pctljtem nlJ; incur(aturzu. tam {.eva & wfe,fia lJil'tWlbl!J temp,)ra. Legimtu cum dru/eM RuJhco Petus Tbraji:a, Herennia Senecioni Pnjct/J' [-MlnditlS [audau efent, capitale fuij]i:,neque :It Ip/OJ modo autbores , (ed in fibrtJs quoque eorum l~f/)Jttflm delega!!) Triumviri! minifierio ut manitmenta clart)iimomm ingeniarum in.comitio acforo urerent ur ; feil. ilk, igne 'Voce!:'. p()puh Rom. e_9" ltbertatem Senuus <::}' ctJnjcientl:am generis {)I tmsni abo/ert- arburabantur, expuljis m(uper j"a~'entie projej]oribu.f, at que amni bon,; arte m e'Kili. am aaJ, ne quid uftjuam hon~ffumoccurrel'et. It is bur an illiterate Policv to think that (uch indireCt 3ndllnillgcnuou5 proceedingscan amongfi ,;life and free-men difgracethe Aurhors.cud difrepute their Difcourfes , And I have feen that the price hath been trebled upon a forbidden or a condernn'd 13ook,;lnd {orne men in policy have S.ot 3 prohibition that their imprclIionmighc be d1C; more certainly vendible, and the Author himfclfe thought confiderable,

The belt way is to leave rricks and dell-ices, .nd co fall upon that way which the heft Ages of

The Epijlfc D,dlwol'Y.


of the Church did ufe ; With the flrengrh of

Argument, and Allegiitions of Scripture, and modefly of deportment, and meeknefle, and chao riry to the perfons of men, they converted mifbelievers, (lopped the mo urhes of Advcrfaries, aflerted truth, and difcounrenanced crrour ; and thofe other flratagems and Arts of fupport and maintenance to DoCtrines, were the iflucs of herericall braines , the old Catholieks had no' thing to fecure rhernfelves but the ~v !l~)I< of truth and plaine dealing.


Fidem minuti4 dlJfecant ambagi6us

ut qt~jfqu~ lingua eJf nequior. 5:ofvunt Ilgantquc qu£jiiotlum Vincula Per fJ/logi{mos plefldes.-

V£ captiofis Sycophantarumjlrophis, Ve "rJer(£pelli aJluti.e.

Nodos tenaoes r~fJa rumpit r(~Ura lnfcjia dtfcm.1ntiGus :

idelreo mundi Jlulta debgit Deus Ut concidant StJpbijlica.

Pr-'_;\~\';'t. 'l;'()4 elwell. ~~~'iO ~~, I ~'lfiJd

And to my underflanding , it is a plain Arcand defign of the Devill, to make us fa in love with our own opinions, as to call rheru.Fairh and Reo. ligion, that we may be proud in our under!landing; and betides, that by our zeale in our opinions, we grow coole in our piety and pra·· C1icaH duties, he alfo by.ehis earnef contention

e 3 does,

The BriJlle DeJied'ory.

does dircttly deflroy good Jife, by engagement of Zealots to de any rhing ramer then be osercome, and loofe (heir beloved 'propofrtions:

But,l would faine know why is nor any virions habit as bad or worfe then a falfc opinion? VV hy are we fo zealous againH thofe we call Hereticks, and yet great friends with drunkards, ~I,ld fornicawrs,&, {wearers, and intemperate and idle pcdons? Is re becaufe we are commanded by the Apoftle to rejea a Heretick after tWO admonitions, and not [0 bid fuch a one God Ipee d z I t i~ a good reafon why we fhould be zealous againfl fuch perfons, provided We miflake them not,. For chofe of whom there Apo. Illes [peak, are fuch as deny Chrif] to be come in the flefh, fueh as deny an Article of Creed; and in {lith odious things, it is not fafe nor charitable to extend the gravamen and punifhment beyond the inflances the ApoHles make, or their exact parallels. Bur then alfo.ie would be rernembred that the Apoflles {peak as fiercely againll: communion with fornicators, and all diforders practicall.as again.1t communion with Herericks, if any man t!Jat tJ called a brother be a Forniouor.or Co'))etous,or an idolater,ora Railer or a Drunk"ard, or an Extortioner, with [ucb a on~ no not to est : I am certain that a Drunkard is as contrary to .G,o~, a.nd lives as contrary to the Lawes of Chrifhanity ,as a Hcrerick , and I am al[o fure that I know what drunkeunefle is, but


The BpiJ1k D6dic.tltDry.

I am not fine that [uch an opinion is Herefy neit~er would other men?e fo Iure as they think for If they did confider It aright, and obfervc the !nfin~te deception~ , and caufes of deccprions In wife men, and 1I1 man things, and in all doubtful! Qg_eaions, and that they did not !1lil1ak~ confidence for certain ty.

Bur Indeed, I could not but fmile at rhofe jolly Fryers, two FrancrJeans offered thernfelves co the fire to prove Sa'))ollaro/a to be a Here.

tick, but a cerraine lacobine offered himfclfe co CO:l1<11in. 1,8. the fire to prove that S a"IJonarofa had true Reo <'(9' velarions, and was no Hercrick , in the meane

time Sa-vonaro/a preachr , but made no fuch

confident offer.nor durfl he venture at that new

:dnd of fire Ordeal; and put cafe all four had paft

throngh the fire, and dyed in the flames, what

would that have proved? Had he been a Here-

tick or no Herctick , the more or [he lefle for

the confidence of there Zealous Ideots z If we

mark it ~ a great many Arguments whereon rna-

ny,$cCls rely, are no better probation then this

comes to, Confidence is the firft, and the fe-

cond, and the third part of a very great many

of their propofitions,

But now if men would a little mrn the Tables, and be as zealous for a good life, and all ~he firiCtell precepts of Chrifhanity (which is a Religion the moll holy, the moil reafonable , and the moIl confiunmare that ever was rauzht

• I:)



~ .... ~_"",_rr"_.' __ C~~_~

to ~l\an) . as ;~y are for [uel! pr~p-~Ji;i~ns'i~ which neither the life, nor the ornament of Chriflianity is concerned, we 1110uld find, that as a conlequent of this piety, men would be as careful! 3, they could, to find out all rr nrhs and the. Ieufe of all revelations which Illay cOIl'cern their duty; and where men were miferable aile could no~, yet .otbers tha t liv'd good lives too would alia be Io charitable, as not to adde af. fliCtion ~o this mifery , and both of them are parts of good life, to be compaffionare, and to help to beare one anothers burdens, not to dei1roy the weak, but to entertain him meekly tha~s a precept of charity, and ro endeavou~ to hnd OUt the whole will of God, that alfo is a part of the ob.edicllcc, the choyce and the excellency of Pairh , and hee Jives not a good life, that does not doe both there,

But men think they have more reafon tobee zealous againfi: Hercfy then againfi a vice in manners,becal1(~ H.cre(y is infectious and dangerous, and the priuciplc of mllc~ evj~l: Indeed if by a Herefy we mean that which IS againll an Article of Creed, and breaks part of the Covenant made between God and man by the mediation of. Jefus Ch:ifl, I grant it to be a very grievous cnrne, a c~llll1g Gods veracity into queflion, and a deHruthon alfo of good life, becaufe upon the Articles of Creed, obedience is built aad it lives or dies, as the effeCt does by its' proper


The EpijUe Dedicatory,

caufe; for Faith is the morall caufe of obedience: ~lU then Herefy , that is, fuch as this, is alfo a vice,and the perfon criminall,and fothe finis tobe efieem'd in its degrees ofmalignity, and let men be as zealous againfi it as they can, and imploy the whole arfenall of the Ipirituall armour againfi it, (uch as this, is worfe then adultery or murrher , in as much as the foule is more noble then the body.and a falfe doCtrine is of greater diifeminatiol1 and extent then a fingleaCt of violence or impurity, Adultery or murder is a duell, but Herefy (truly and indeed Iuch) is an unlawful! warre, it flayes rhoufandsr The loafing of Faith is like digging down a foundation; all the fupedlruCtures of hope, and patience, and charity fall with it: And betides this,Herefy of all crimes is the rnofi inexcufable and of leafi temptation; for true faith is mofl commonlykept with the leaf] trouble of any grace in the world; and Herefy of it [elfe hath not only no pleafure in it, but is a very punifhmentj becaufe faith as it oppofes hereticall or falfe opinions, and difiinguifhcs from charity, conflits in meare aCts of believing, which becaufe they are of true propofidons, arc naturall and proportionable to the underfianding, and more honourable the II falfe.But then concerning thofe things which men now adayescall Herely, tbey cannot be fo formidable as they are repre[cnted) and if we confider that drunkenl1eife -is

f certainty

The Bpljile Dedicatory.

certainly a damnable fin, and that there are m~re Drunkards then Hererlcks.aud that drunkennelfe is parent of a ehoufand vices, it may better bee faid of this vice then of moll of thofe.oninions which we call Herefies , it Is infectious and dan. gerous, and the principle of much evill , and therefore as fit an object for a pious zeale to conrefl againfi, as is any of.rhofe opinions which trouble mens eafe or reputation, for that is the greatell of their malignity.

But if we confider that Sects are made and opinions are called Heretics upon Interef], and the grounds of emolument, we fhall fee that a good life would cure much of this mlfchiefe. For nril, the Church of Rome which is the great diCtatrix of dogmaricall refolutions, and the de. clarer of Herely, and calls Heretick more then all the world betides, hath made that the rule of Herefy, which is the confervatory of iarerefl, and the ends of men. For to recede from the Doctrine of the Church, with them makes Herefy, that is, to difrepure their Authority and not to obey them, not to be their fubjcCts, not to give them the Empire of our confcience, is the great 1ip{j~plO' of Hercfy.

So that with them) Herefy is to be eaeemed clearely by humane ends, not by Divine Rules; that is formalI Herefy which does mao terially diflerve them, 'and it would make.3 fufpicious man a Iiule Inquifitive into thellP


particular Dotlrins, and when hee nnds that Indulgences, and Jubilies,and Purgatories, and Ma!fes, and Offices for rhe dead, are very pro· firable, that the Doctrine of primacy, of infallibility, of fcperiorlry over Councels , of indio rect power in temporals, are great infiruments of lecular honour; would be apt enough to think that if the Church of Rome would learn to lay her honour at the feet of the Crucifix, and clef pife the world, and preferre leruJafem before Rome, and Heaven above the Lateran) that there opinions would not have in them any native firength to fuppon them, againfi the perpetual! aflaulrs of their Adverfaries, that fpeak fo much reafon and Scripture againfi them. I have in. flanced in the Roman Religion) but 1 wifh it may be confidered alfo how farre mens Doctrines in other Sects ferve mens tempo rail ends, fo farre that it would not bee unreafonable or unneceffary to attempt to cure feme of their diftem~ peratures or mifperfwafions by the falurary preeeprs of fanCtity and holy life: Sure enough, if it did not more concern their reputation and their lafiing interefi to be counted true believers rather then good livers, they would rather endeavour to live well, then to bee accounted of a right opinion in things betide the Creed.

For my own particular I cannot but expect, that God in his Jufiice fhould enlarge the bounds of the Turkifh Empire, or fome other way pu-

f 2, nifh

I I·

----- The Epipe Dcdic~-;;;y~-~----


Book, and examined it with all tile fcvcriry I have,

and if after all this I be deceiv'd, this confirms me in my firf] opinion, and becomes a new Argument to me, that I have fpoken reafou , for it furnifhcs me with a new in fiance, that it is ncceflary , there fhould bee a muruall complyance and Toleration, becaule even then WhCl1 a man thinks he hath moll reafon to bee confident, hee may eafily bee. deceived.

ForI am fure,I have no other deGgn but clie profecurion and advantage of truth, and I may truly ufe the words of Grel,ory NJ;z:.ian;z:.cn, NOli fludemus paei in detnmemum 1Jer.c dailrme, .•.. ut fiui/i· tatu & man{uetudinis famam coU1stlmus :But 1 have writ this becaufe 1 tho light it wasnecelrary and. feafonable , and chancable..and agreeable to the great precepts and delign of Chriflian icy, confonant to the pra6life of the Apoflles , and of the bell:

Ages of the Church, mof] agreeable to Scripture and realon , to revelation and the nature of the thing; and it is fuch a Doctrine , that if there be variety in humane affaires, if the event of things be, not fenled in a durable confificnce, but is changeable, everyone of us all may have need of it : I fhall only therefore ·deUre that the.y who will reade. it may come to the reading it with as much .Iirnplicity of purpofes and unmixed defires of (tilth, as Ldidro the writing it, and rhat no man trouble hirilfelfe with me or my difcourfe, that thinks before hand that his opinion cannot be reafonahly altered-. If he thinks me to be miilaken before he rries , let.

. f3 hlm

1 he BpijI/e Dedicatory.


nifh Chriflians by reafon of their pertinacious difputing about thing.s unnecelfary,undeccrminable , and, unprofitable, and fo~ their hating andperfecming their brethren which fhould be as dear to them as their own lives, for not confenting to one anorhcrs follies, and fenfelelfe vanities: How many volumnes have been writ about Angels, .about immaculate conception, about. originalllin , when that all that is folid reafon or clear Revelation, in all thefe three Ar. ricles, may be reafonably enough comprized in fourry Iines !Andin rhefe trifles and Impertinencies, mel) are curioufly bufie while they neg. lea rhofe gloriolls precepts of Chri£lianity and holy life, which are the glories of our Religion, and would enable us to a happy eternity.

My Lord, Thus farre my thoughts have carried me, and then I thought 1 had reafon to .goe further, and to examine the proper grounds upon which rhefe perfwafions might rely and fianq firme, in cafe any body fhould conrefl againfi them: For poffibly men may, be.angry at rue and my delign; for I doe all them great diCpleafure,who think no end is then well ferved , when their inreref], is differved , and but that I have writ fo untowardly and heavily, that I am not worth a confutation, poffibly Ierne or other might be writing againfi me. But then I 1m.lfi tell them I am prepared of an anfwer before I~an.d : For Ithink Ihave fpoken reafon in my


I :1 , , 'I

'1 !

f\.,Hloj.'!l~ in ?l·\~o.

! i

The EpiJlle DetiicIJtory.

him .'1;[0 think that hee may be miflaken too, and that he who juqges before he heares , is millaken though he gives a right fenrence r

'0" 'J5?Md~"v.o& (!.<Z, ",,'Y ctv ,..J.~{,

Was good counfell : But at a venture, Lfhall leave this feurence of Solomon to his confiderarion , A wIfe man fearelh, and departeth from elY ill , but" foote ragelb and is confident) fl,ir7d. ,1J'I'~1 ~/!.\J5 '!! J'li'~pl<:~, i, a [rick of boyes and bold young fellowes, [ayes Anj/otle ; but they who either know rhemfelves , or things, or perfons , G!e;S'lIJ:<ttm d .. ' .,: ~""r, '!:I 'I'~ Ttix~' Peradventure yea, peradventure no, is very often the wifell determination of a O!.lefiion : For there arc W'egJ '!J ""'ctIJi"7CI (H%m! (as the Apofile notes) foolifh and unlearned ~efiions, and it were better to flop the current of Inch fopperies by Iilence , then by difpnring them convey them to Pofler iry. And many things there arc of more profit which yet are of 110 more certainty, and therefore boldnelfe of ,,!fenian (except it be in matters of Faith and clearefl Revelation) is an Argument of the: vanity of the rnan , never of the truth of ,he !'l'0POfition; for to Iuch matters the raying of Xtnc-phdl1U in Varra , . is p~rtil1cl1t and applicable, HommiJ eft h£c op,nan, DCI [eire ; God only knowes them, and we conjecture.

• M,MIS rielS'@- ~fli eill.J(fl li!t~;;I.

And although I be as defirous to know what I fhould, and what I 1110uld nor, as any of my Brethren the Sons of Adam; yet I find that the more I fearch, the further I am from being farisfied, and make but


_ ... _.......,."""------- ---- .-----~-------- .. -.

The Epijl/c Dcdiwor)'.



few difcoveries.Iave of my own ignorance.and there-

fore I am delirous to follow the example of a vety wife Perronage, lulius Agricola, of whom Tacilu.f gave this refhrnony , Reunait que (quod eJI dtfllci{ltmum) sx fcientia. madum, or that I Illay rake my precedent from within the pale of the Church) it was the faying of S. Aufkn, M;.3//em tjuidem eorum qu.e a me 'lu.eji."IJifii habere [ctcntiam quam ignilranriam, red qui~ td nondum potui, magis ellgo caut an: igllo. rantiam confllcr;, quam fa{f04m [ctentiam projiteri; And there words doe very much expreffe my Ienfe, But if there be any man (0 confident as Luiber femetimes was, who {aid that hec could expound all Scripture, or [0 vaiue as Eckjuf who ill his Chryfopa.Jfur ventur'd upon the higheft and moil myfleri. OLiS Q::,efiion of Predeflination , ut in ea ju"Veni{es pojJit ca/ore. cxerccre. fuch per ions as thcfe , or any that is furious in his opinion, will [corn me and my Difcourfe , but I fhall not bee much mov'd at it, only I fhall will} that I had as much knowledge as they think me to want ~ and they as much as they believe rhemfelvcs to have, In the meane time, Modefly were better for us both, and indeed for all men: For when men indeed are knowing, amongfs other things they are able to feparare certainties from uncertainties; If they be not knowing, it is pity that their ignorance 1110uld bee triumphant, or difcompofe the publike peace, or private confidence.

And now (my Lord) that I have infcrib'd this

BOok to your Lcrdfhip ,although it be a delign. of

. doing

~- - "~~- - - - - _. - - -

48 Th, Epijlle D~dicatorJ'

~----~~~-7~~~~~ doing honour to my felfe, that 1 have marktit with

fo honour'd and beloved a Name, might pollibly need as much excufe as it does pardon, "but that your Lordfhip k.l1o~es your ?WI1; for out~your Mines 1 have dlgg d rhe Minerall , only I ha.ve flarnpt it with my own image, as you may perceIve by the deformities which are in it. Bur YOl!r great Name in letters will adde fo much value to It, as to make itobtaine its pardon amongO: all them that know how to value you, and all your relatives and dependants by the proportion ot relation. For others I (hall be incurious, becaufe the number of them that honour you is the fame with them that honour Learning and Piety, and they a~e the bell Theatre and the bell j lldges ; amongft which the world mufl needs take notice of my ambition, to be a~crtbed by o:y publike pretence to be what I am In all heartinefle of Devotion l and for all the reafon of the world,

My Honour'd Lord,

r our Lordfhipt mojl faithfull and mojl aflefiionatefir'Vant,

J. T A Y LoR.


OF the Nature of Faith, and that its dUly is compleated in heljeving the Arti~/es of the Apofiles Creed. Pag.j , SEC T. II.

0/ HerefJ iJnd the nature of ie, and that it uta he accounted according to the firiff capacity o/thrifiian. Faith aNd not in Opinions [plculative, nor eVlr to pious pe,.: fons. p.1g. IS.


0/ the diffi(ult1 (l1Id uncertaint, of Araumentt fram Scripttm, II. ftJeftions not fimply neceJlarJ~ not lie~ra/ly determined. pag.59.


Of the difficult, of Expounding Striplure; pag.n.


Of the in[ufjicimcJ and uncertaitJtJ of Tradition "til

g . - - expound_

the Contents.


l.~ ... __ .• _ ..... _

expotmd Scripture,or determine J2!!eftions.


O! the uncertainty and inJuj~ciencJ of Cormcels Ee-

cleJiaHjc.~lt to the Jame purpoJe. pag. 10 r.


Of the fallibilitJ of the Pope, and the. uncertailJty of bi5 Expounding scripture, and refolvmg J£Ee./iions. pag.us·


Of the difahility of Fat/JefS, or Writers EaleJiafticall, to determine our £!!cftioN>, with certainty ~nd Trtlth. pag.ISJ·



Of the incompetency of the churd, ill its diffuJive ;apttciey to he ludge of controverjies , and the impertinency of that pretence of tbe Spirit. pag.161.


Of the authority of ReaIon,and that it, proceeding upon

the heft grounds, is theheJr judge. pag.I65·

SEC T. X 1.

Of fbme cauJes of Errour is th, exercifo of Rea.ron~

W'Jich are inculpate in ,hemfelve5. pag.17I•


Of the inno&'l!c) of E.~rou~ in 0li,.ion in a pio#s

p:rfon. pag.IS4o



. Of the deportment to he tlfed towards per(ons difa ree: tnt, and the rtafons why they are not to he p i,gfl. d

wtth death, &c. tint ae


SE CT. X Ll H.

. Of I~e praEJice of Chriftian Churches towards er ON

difagreemg)and when Per'ecurionjirf1. _ p fi S

J' J' came tn, pag.:l03'


HO~ [arrt the Church or Governours may "a to the rtflwnmg falfe or differing opinions.



whether it /;e lawfull for II Pril3ce to i I .

tJ [everall Religions. g ve to eratson

pag.2 J 3,


• , Of c~'!Ipliance with di[agreeing perfons or :;Peak con-

lctences In generall. '



A particular conjidepat;on of the 0Finions

v1nahaptifts. if the



, I

The Conrenrs,

I' i I


How fsrr« the Religifln of the Church of Rome is

To/,raNe., pag.24te

51> C T. X X I.

@fthe duty of particular Churches in allowing Com.

munion, pag.:a6z.


ThAt particulAr men may commllnicate with Churches of different perfwiljiom, .nd how fiJrre the) may doe it, pag.264·







T 1-1 ELI BE R T y~ OF


aHe infinite variety of Opinions in matters of Religion, as they have troubled Chriflendome, with inrcrefls , faCtions, and parrialuies , fo have they caufed great divifions of the heart • and variety of thoughts and delignes amongll: pious and prudent men. F or they all feeing the inconveniences which the difunion of perfwafions and Opinions have produced dircctry Of accidentally, have thought rhem.elves obliged ,to flop this inundation of mikhiefes , and !,ave made arremprsaccordingly, But "it hath hapned to molt of them as to a mitiaken l'hyillian. who gives excellent phyfick but mif applies it, and fo mifles of his cure; Io have [~.e:e men, their attempts have therefore been ineffeCluall ; [or. they put their help to a wrong pan, or they have endeavoured [.0 cu,e. the ,Jympwmes, and have lee the direate == rill ir feemd incurable, SOl11e have endeavoured to re-umre there

A fratHom


, ,


',.1 .

The Liberty of Prophefjing.

frat1iolls by propoullding fuch a Guide which they were all bound to follow; hoping that the Unity of a Guide, would have per. fwadedunity ofm!ndes;buc who this Guide (houldbe at latl became fueh a ~llion, that it was made paIt of the fire that was to be quenched; fo farre was it from extlnguifhing any part or the flame. Others thought ofa Rule, and this mutt be the meanes of Union, or nothing co~ld doe it. But. fuppoiing all the World had been agreed of this Rule, yet the interpretation of it was 10 full of variety, that this allo became part of the dileafe , for which the cure was pretended. All men reColv'd npon this, that rhough they yet had not hit upon the right, yet forne way muft be thonght upon to reconcile differences in Opinion, thinking fo long as this variety Ihould laft, Chrifls King. dome was not advanced, and the work of the Gofpel went on but flowly: Few men in the mean time coniidered,that fo long as men had fuch variety of principles, fuch feverall conflirurionr, educations, tempers, and ditlempers, hopes, imeretls, and weaknefles, dq~rees of light, and degrees of under!landing , it was impoffible all fl10uld be of one minde, And what is impoffible to be done, is not neceffary it Ihould be done: And therefore, although variety of 0 pinions was impoffible to be cured (and they who attempted it, did like him who claps his fhoulder to the ground to Hop an earth-quake) yet the inconveniences arinng from ir might poffibly be cured. not by uniting their be. liefes, thar was to be ditpaird of, but by curing that which caui'd thefe miCcfriefes, and accidenrall inconveniences of their dir· agreeings. For although thefe inconveniences which every man fees and feeles were coniequent to this diver6ty of perl\valions, yet it was but accidentally and by chance, in as much as Vlee lee that in many things, and they of great concernment. men alow to rhemfelves and to each other a liberty of difagreeing. and no hurt neither.: And c~~ta~nely .ifdiverfity of Opinions, were of it felfe the caufe of mlichletes it would be fo ever, [hac is, regularly and nniverfally (but that we fee it is not:) For there are difpures in ChriHendome concerning matters of grealeI' concernment then mall of thoCe Opini1lns chat diainguilh Sed~, and make faaions; and yet ~cauie men are permitted to qi[or in thol~ great mauers , fuci1 evills are !lot cOIlll:quent to

. - .- -- _. __ .- - .. - .... -.. ,-.~ ... -- - . -.- fucll

TN L;~ertJ of prlJphe!ytng.

~~==~~~~~~~~~ ~_.3

fuch ditfert;nces ~ ·as are to the uncharitable managing of fmaller

and ~ore ~o~derable Cl!!e~ionJ. It is of greater conCeqUffice

to believe light III the Ql!.elhon of the Validity or invalidity of

a death- bed repcnt211ce, then to believe aright in (he ~Hiol1

of P~rga.tory; and the confequences of the Dochine of PredetermlOatlOn, are of deeper and more material! confideration then

(h~ produCls of the beliefe of the l;rwfulnelfe or unlawfulnefl"e of

pnvate Maffes ; and ye.t there great concernments where a li-

berty ofProph~y.mg III thefe ~!lions hath been permitted,

hath made no dlttmCt Communion, no fects of Chriltians and

(he others bave~and Co have thefe too in thofe places wher~ they

have peremptorily been getermmd on either fide. Since then if

men are qure~ and cha!ltable in Iome dif-agreeings , that then

and there the IOconveo,lence ceaies , If they were 10 in all others

where lawfully rhey mighc (a~d t~ey may in moH.) Cbriflen-

dome Il;ould be no longer rem 10 pieces , but would be redinre-

!jrated 10 a nc.w ~e~tecolt, and although the Spirit of God did

relt upon us III divided tong~e5, yet 10 long as thofe tongue,

were of fire not to kindle firife , but to warme our affeCtions

and. ~flam~ o~r charities, we Ihould finde that this variety ot'

Opinions 10 1~verall perfons would be lookt upon as an areu-

menr only of diverfity of ?perations, while the Spirit is the ra~e;

and that another man believes not fo well as I,is onely an argu-

ment that I have a better and a clearer illumination than he

that I have a bener. gi~ than he, received a fpeciall grace and

!avour , and excell him In this, and am perhaps excelled by him

in many mor~. And if we all impartially endeavour to finde a

truth, fince this endeavour and fearch only is in our power, that

wee £hall finde It beiog J, extra, a sift and an affillance extrin-

fecall, I can fee no rcafon why this pious endeavour to finde

OUt tr~th fhall not be of more force to unite US in the bonds

of chamy, then his mifery in miffing it Ihall be to dir.unite us

.So that fince a union of perfwaiion is impoffible to be attain'd,

I~ we would attempt the ~ure by fuch remedies as are apt to en-

kindle and encreate chamy> I am confident wee might fee a

bdlelfed peace would bee the reward and crown of filch en-


:But mm axe now adayeJ iDd indeed alwayes have been, !inee

.A ~ .. the

The Liberty of Prophefyi'Jg,

the expiration of the firll bleiTed Ages of Chn[iianity, fo in love with their own Fancies and Opinions, as to think Faith anj all Chriliendome is concernd in their fupport and maintenance, and whoever is not fo fond and does not dandle them like them(elves, it growes up to a quarrell, which becaule it is in "Mte,ia theolooie is made a cuarrell in Religion. and God is entitled to it; a;d then if you are once thought an enemy ro God, it is our duty to perfecute you even (Q death, we doe God good fervice in it; when if we Ihould examine the matrer rightly, the Cl.!!.e. :lion is either in l'I!:ltel"i!i no" reuelar«, or mimJl evident;, or non neNj[4riJ., either it is not revealed, or not (0 clearely , but that wife and honeH men may be of different minds, or elfe it is 1Il0t of the foundationof faith, but a remote fuper-Hrufture , or elfe of meere [peculation, or perhaps when all comes to all, it is a talfe Opinion, or a matter of humane inrerefl, that we have 10 zealoufly contended for; for to one of rhefe heads molt of the {DiljlUres of Chrittendome may be reduc'd , fa that I believe the prelcnt fraCtions (ar the molt) are from the lame caufe which St 'Paul obferved in the Carinthia .. Schi!ine, when there are J.jvifio1ll amo"g JOlt, are ye I10t carnnll ] It is not the differing Opinions elm is the Clute of'rhe prelent ruptures , but want of charity; it is not the variety of underHandings , but the dirunion-of wills and atfe8ions ; it is not the feverall principles,but the Ieverall ends that cauie our mileries : our Opinions commence, and are upheld according as our rums are ferv'd and OUI inrerefls are preferv'd, and there is 110 cure for us.but Piety and Charity. A holy lite will make our belief holy, if we conlul; nor humanity and its imperfedioas in the choyce of our Religion, but fearch for truth without delignes, fave only of acquiring heaven.and then be as carefull to prelerve Charity, as we were to get a point of Faith; ,1 am much perfwaded weIhould finde out more truths bythis meanes , or however (which is the maine of all) we fhall be Iecured though we mifle rhem ; and then we are well enough,

For if it be evinced that one heaven fhall hold men of [eve' rall Opinions , if the unity of Faith be not derlroyed by that which men call differing Religions, and if an unity of Charity iYi, the duty of !IS, all even towards perfcnsnhar are not perl'l\'a-


t:r.-- The Liberty of Prophe{y;;Zi.-------·--,---ded of every propofirion we believe, then I wculdfaine lmo',v

to what purpofe ~re all thoie llir_res, and gr~at noy!es in Chri-

rlendome, rhofe names of faCtIOn, the ieverall Names of

Churches not diflinguifh'd by the divifion of Kinzdomes ut

eccltJi~ !eqrMt"" Imp.riu1II, which was the PrimitiveL: Rule and ' 0pl,<II". 3. Canon, but diflinguii11'd by Names olSeas and men' rhefe are

all become inflrumenrs of hatred, thence COme Schilmes and

parting n: Communions, and thenperfecutions, and then warres

2nd. R~bellion , and th:~ t.he dillolutions of all Friendlhips and

SOCIetIeS, All thefe milchiefes proceed not from this that all

men are not of one minde, ,f~r that is neither llcceaary nor

pol1ible, but that every OpInion IS made an Article of Faith

eVJry Article is. a~rou~d of a quarrell , every quarrel! makes ~

f.JlOn, e~ery t~Ct!On IS zealous, and all zeale pretends tor God,

and whauoever IS for God cann?t be too much; we by this rime

ace come to that paffe , we think we love not God except we

hat~ our Brother, and w: .have not the venue of Religion, un-

~e!le we perfecure all Religions bur our own ; for luke-warrnnetle

IS 10 odIOUS t<;> God and Man " [hat we proceeding furi611{]Y

~pon thefe miflakes, by _fuppohngwe prcierve the. body, we

cei~ro~ the [ouleofRehglO~, or by bemg zealous tor faith, or

which IS all one.for that which we miliake for faith, weare cold

in charity, and fa loofe (he reward of both.

All thefe errors and miiehiefes muft be difcovered and cured,

and that's the purpofeof this Dil~ourte. '


. Of ~he, nature of ~aith, and that its duty 1$ complealed zn beltevmg the Article: of the Apoft les Creed,

r: !ril: then ir !S .of greae concernmenr to know the nature and .lI. mregnty <;>1 faith : For. there begins our fira and great mi~ake; [or Faith a}r~ough it be of great excellency, yet when it IS rakenfor a habit intellecluall , it hath fo little roome.and Io

~~r!Ow a .capadty, tharir cannot lodge rhoutands of tho!e ODi.

mons which pretend. [0 be ofher Family. •

A 3 For

6 T/Je Libert?_oJ_Propbefy!!zg. §~

lVMtJb.a'-.---F-o-r-a-I"":t1-10-u-g7'h-:i-t be necclTadry fodr U; [0 believe wdhat(oebverbwe know to be revealed of G~ "an 10 every man oes! [at elievcs there is a God: yet It IS not necetTary, con;:er~lDg many things, [0 know that God hath revealed them, thac IS. we n:ay be ignorant ot: or doubt eoncernmg the propoficions , a:ld indifferently maintaine e!ther part, when rhe <l!!,efiJon. IS not concerning Gods ~erac~ty, buc whether G~d hath [aid fo ~r 110: That which IS of the foundation of Faith , [hat only 1l neceflary ; al~~ [h~ k~ow!ng .or not knowin~_of ~hat, the beIievino or dit-believing It, IS that only WhIch 10 gen~re C~'tdmdo~J!m, is in immediate and neceflary order to falvation

or damnation.

Now all the rea fan and demonHration of the world convinces us, that [his foundation of Fa!th, or the great a~eq~at,e. objeCt of the Faith that la,ves us, IS dl~t gr~at myll:en?ulnelle of ChriHianity which ChXlfi taught with 10 much diligence, for the credibility of which he wrought fo many miracl~s; for the ce(timony of which the Apo~les endured perfecutions j that which was a folly co the Gentiles, and a. f~andall ~o the jewe, this is that which is [be obJed. of a Chriilians Faith : All other things are implicitely in the beliefe of the Articles o~ G?dl veracity, and are not nece!Tary In rerpe~ ?f the Conflitution of faith to be drawn out, but may there lie In the bowels of the great Articles without d~nger to any thing or any perf on, unlelle lome other accident or clrcum!lance makes them neceffary : Now the ereat objeCt which I Ipeak of, is ]efus Chrift crticified; (en. jl1lu7 enim apud vas nihtl flirt pr.cur Jeff/In Chrijlu,,: & hi'"., crucifi:,:um; fo faid S. P~ut ~o the ~hurc~ of (o;l1Ith: Tb~s is the Article upon the Conteflion ot which Chrifl built hll

Church oi«, only upon S. PeterJ Creed, which was no more but this' (imple enunciat~on. w,' 6e/;we ""d are for~ that '?OH art Chriff the Sonne oj the [lVl1Ig God: And to this falvarion particulul; is promifed, ~s in th~ cafe of <.Marth,,'s Creed. MJ.ll.'l7. To this the SCrIpture g1VC!S the greatefl: Tetiimony, and to all them thatcomeAl: it; ior If/", [Pi,.;, that cORfiffiliJ thM 1,[111 Chrift is CO"" ill thtftejh it Dfqo~: .And who ev'~ co.I"ff'eth that Iefus Ghrifrit the SDlIne of God ,GDd d>l?ellelh In

hj~, find h, in GQJ; The believing this1utiele is the end of wrItIng

The Libert) of Prophefying.

~.r •


writing rhe foure Gofpels: For 111/ theft thil'l? lire wrine», that 1,11,'0,3 t. " might believe, that IefNs ;, ,hI Chrill th, Sonne of God, and

then rhat chis is fufficien[ followes, and that 6~/i,vj'1g, viz. this

Article (for this was only intlanced in) JII might hilVI lifo

tbr8!lgh hiS "am.: This ischat great Articlewhieh ingellirecre-

amdorum, is liIfficiem difpofition [0 prepare a C"'techum!1I to

Baprilin, a. appeares in the cafe of [he ethidpiA" Eunuch, whofe

Creed was only this, [ believe thllt lefor Christ ;J the S.nne

ofGo.l" and upon this Confeflion (faith the Ilory ) they both

went into the water, and the Etbiop was wathed an i became

as white as fnolv.

In there particular infiances, there is no variety of Articles, 'lX.'<I.w6'4~

[ave only rhac in the annexes of the feverall exprefiions, fuca -

thin es are exprelled , as betides that ChriH is come, they celt

froni' whence, and to what purpote . And wharfoever is ex-

preffed, or is to there purpoles implyed, is made articulate and explicate, in the Ihon and admirable mytlerious Creed of

S,'Paul, Rom.lo.g. ru, is the wDrd of fait!' which IV: prl!.tch,

tlw if thou jh:t[t confe/Te )vith thJ moulh the Lord I.[ur, an<l

]halt belief)e in thine he:1,.t, that Goa hath r,'ifod him [r» n t"~

dead, thou /h.1[: ~te fovea: This is the great and intire com-

plexion of a Chrlllian's faith, and fince falvation is promifed to

the belicfe of this Creed, either a lime is laid for us , with a

purpofe to decei ve us, or eUe nothing is .of prime and origi-

naIl necetfity to be believed, but this, lefot Chrift our Reds«»

mer; and all that which is theneceffrry pam, meanes, or maine

acl:iom of working this redemption tor us, a~d the hOl1?uC

for him is in the bowels and fold of the great Arrkle.and claims

an explicite belief by the Came reafon that binds us to the belief

of its fitt!: complexion> without which neither the thing could

be a61ed, nor the propofition underllood,

For the a6t of believing propofitions , is not for ic fel,ie, 1{.um6. 5, but in orderto certaine ends; as Sermons are to good lite

and obedience; for ~ excepting that it acknowledges iGods. ve-

racity, andfo is a direCt acl of Religion) believing a revea-

led propofirion, hath no excellency in. it [elfe, but ~n order to

that end for which we are inltru.9:ed In Iuch revelations. N<:.v

Gods great purpofe beina to bring us to him by Jerus Chrt1~,

,'- l:I ", _' ChIlH




--.-----'rl;~-Liberty ofPropbefying. l.T.

-Cb~iH-i:t:J'l;~I~l~di~~t~ God, obdience i~le mediL;m to

Chrit! and Faith tile medium to obedience, and therefore is to have i;, eilimare in proportion ~o, its proper end, an.l t~O!~ thinus are neccflary, which neceflarily promote the ,11(1, withc ut ~hicb obedience cannot be encouraged or prudently enjo)n'd : So [har, [hole Articles are nece,!lary , th~t is, tho'e a:~ fundrmcntall points, upon which, we build Ol~l' o_oecllence; ana ;:, [he influence of the Article IS to the pertwaucn or engage. mc nt or' ohcdience , Io they have their degrees ofneCt,llit)', t<ow all that Chrill , when he preach'd, raughc us to be.icve , and all that the Apoll lcs in their Sermons propo~.ll1d, all aime ;i~ this, that wee 1110uld acknowledge Chril] lor Ol!r LJw, e iver and our Saviour; 10 that nothing can be nec~fbry b~ 1. rr:mc neccflity ro be _ bclicv'd cxplicitel«, but fiichthings lV,hl(h are therefore ram 01 rhe great Arricle , becaufe they e,l:h~, encouracc our len' ices or oblige them, inch as declare Chritls gr(':ane!fe in hil11:dl(~: or his goodnelTe to us: S? that at: rl.ouau we mui] neither deny nor doubt of any tblng, wlucrr we CnolY our sreat MaHer hath taught us: yet talvation is in lpe':iall and bl'~lan;e annexed to, the beliefe of thole Areiclc cnly , which have in [hem the indearerncnrs ?~ o~r Iervices, rr the rupport ot our. confiderce , or the (ms,aC1,IO,n of out l.cenCl .uch a, arc; Jelus Chrifl the Sonne of the hong God, r',~ Crncifxion and Re.urrection of Iefus, forgivenefie or (nnes bv his bleed, Returrection of the dead, and life erernall, becaule lillie pWFOiitions qualifie Chriti for ?l1r Saviou; and au:

Vi'.; -Giler, the one to cngat;e our lervices, the otner to end,:aH! .lu m , for (0 much is neceffary as will make us [0 be his icrv;;ms, and his Dhciples i .~nd what can ,b~ required more] "1 11,s 0111l'. Salvauon1s prolI,lll d [0 [he explt~lte belief 01 ~hole Art ic.cs, and therefore thole only are necetlary, and rhofe ~re li.:fJicient; but.rhus , to.us in [he rormality of Chrifiians, which is a formality Iuper.added to .a former capacity, we before we ore ChriHians are reaionable creatures. and capable of a b!effed eterniry , and th~re, is a Cre~d,lVhich is tb~ ~e~ltiles_ C~eed which is 10 luppoled 111 the Cluillian Creed, as it IS lUl'po!ed In a Chri!lian 1O be a man , and that 1S, oportee accedmt<madD,- 1111) credo» 'DUlm tf/e, & rjJ'e rmlllli:r~{Ortm 'F·(rer.tiHTlJ {lIItJ,!.

. t

Tie Li~erty of frophefying.

If any man will urge farther, that whauoever is deducible from thele Articles by neceflary contequence , is neceflary to be believed explicuely . I Anlwer. It is true, if he lecscbe de~ duclicn and conerence of the pans; but it is nor certain that every man (hall be able to deduce whanoever is either immediately, or certainly deducible from there premires . and then lince ialvation is prornit'd to the explicite belief of the!e ,I iec nor how any man can juHifie the making the way to heaven narrower then JClus Chrifl hath made it, it being- ~!;eady 1<:' narrow, [hat there are few that rinde it.

In the purti.ance of [his grear truth, rhe Apoflles or the ho- Numb.,:

Iy men, their Contemporaries and 0 i .ciples.compcfed a Creed, to ' .~ pol ccntr. be a Rule 01 Faith to all Chririians. as aprears in Irenesu, a Ttr. G_llt,c.47,. d. IUl/lau,· S. Cypriiln, c S. /!tlftm, d RIIJJi~U!, and diver. c others; vel.ind, "'g. w~ich C ree.i unlefle i: had conra_in'd all rhe intire obje8 of ~,r.ln 'Xl'""t. Faun, and the, foundaricn of Religion, it ,cannot be imagin'd to S)"I"bX ' what purpofe It Ihould lerve_; and that 1C was 10 etleem d by c Serrn. $, de the whole Church of God 111 all Ages, appears in this, thar tc,lIl'ur:,cap.'. Ii~ce Faith is a neceflary pre-difpotirion to Bapti.m in all PCl'- d I:; c!yn bolo rons capable of the ute of reafon, all c ~tech"menJ in [he Larine apu ) l'rUfi .• Church camming to Bapriirn, were iarerrogated concerning e Oiuncs ar-. their Faith, and gave iatisfaciion in tile reciration of this Creed. rhcdcr i 1'3- And in the Eat] they profeifed exa.tly the lame Faith, lome- nos amrm311t thin~ diifering in words, but of the fame marrer.reaicn.derian, ~hmb~IIJ<;;l,b andconleql1enCe; and 10 [hey did at lilm1",m, 10 at cAa~i- ~~~jitll~~ o.is

I ' Thi h"" 0 ." ,. ..' ~ ,-

eM. IS was t at a~3'H 1t:l ct!-!'~'f.(·mif5 mS7:)~IJl'i1~p Y.tif:';";?c--J IJ ct~l~ ~ Scxt.f:;u}'ozJ!~,

t; "::,G~.\I~I) ~ a:'"ZlI';S"C~,~t} £1.,x'\/ln::t. xi}' ~ii~:t 7f~;:a~ X"-IVI7p.~V J~. tib, 1., r!ibl.,.z)!dc ~"i"ViI' '[bell: Articles were 7rJ.' V";J a)bp d",c,ch"P >0 T r.,T .GelJebr, I.,. de EI'.e-i'(J), tld~l¥V7"'JI e, nc;', &)f:!u e!l1 ~;'iO,lJdd.I' ;,1"cl'j[JJ.t.;cI., L.5' Ird~l_

{od, de S.'Tr.me,& fid, Cath, Cum rell», Now iitlce the Apo-

HIes and Apollojicall men and Churches: in rhere their Sym-

boIs, did recite particular Articles to a confiderable number.

and were 10 rrunute in their recitation, as [Q delcend [0 cir-

cumllances, it is more then .probable [hat they omitted nothing

?t necellity; and that there Articles are not generall principles,

111 the boiome of which many more Articles equally neceflary to

be believed explicircly and more parricular, are infolded; bur

""or ;t is as minute an explication of (hore prim:; 'cmJ,ibtlia

. B 1

i i


The Liberty Df PropheBing.

10 '[he Liberty of Propbefying.

--------~------~-- --~--------

I before reckoned, as is neceflary [Q falvation,

And therefore Tmul!ifw calls the Creed "egdam fidd, 11);2

[alva & form:l ejtu Itw,ey.t~ ill [uo ardint '. p~/Jlt in ScripttJ.',t tYilami (:7- inqttir] ji ql!ii -uideter vel amb/gUitalc pendere vsl otfc:Jt'ittlte o!Jflm!JYllrl" Cordi! figw1Cfdtt?iJ. G~ ~/J/l"'JJ mtlitlt2 Su.cr:t .. mci.t um, S. v1murofo calls ir , MI. 3.dc vellwdll virgiil. Compre. Imii; f:b >1o/:,..c a: :r, prrjJUo, by S. Atljlin.Sei1l1. g I e, Conj<jJiJ, z.\·oojith, regrJI fide:; generally by the Ancicntsr The proteif:~11 of this Creed. WJS the cxpolirion ofthar iaylng OrS,Pallf', t:U1.C1h:cr~'(; d;:1,':i:G ·s l1!?,j.nJ!J.d.. (j'; (Is)" ~ Tb~ anfiv~(' of '"~ geod cC"jcience /olv;trd, God. For ol the rccitarion and profd1ion 0:' this Creed in Bapti.m , it is that 'Tertrdlien de r'fitr. c:lr:::~. :ayes, v-tr.if1MIWJ lotionc ; f:d reJ'iJonjioite [snciter, And at till. was the prayer of Hil!.,,} , lib. 12. de T'rinit, (ol1ftr":!.) h;l1J" ~o,1fcieiJti.e ms« uscem ut qJtod i» rt'g_encYdtioni! me e Sl,JniJo/(J .E,I;tiz.,.1tm iii Pntre, nu«, Spiro S. prolciTw [un:; fen~Pfr o{;t"'t.~IiJ. And accordirg to the Rule and Re.ai~lJ ot thiS. Difcourre (thJt it m~y "ppear tba~ the Creed h~tb 1111~ all i\rtlcl~. prtmo c: P" /e, primcly and univerlally necellary) me Creed IS jul] Iirch an explication of that Faith which the Ap?IHe~ preached, :""" .the Creed which S. PiIt/! recites as conraines 111 It all d101e thIngs which entitle Chrifi to us i~ the capaciries of om Law-Giver and our Saviour, Iiich as enable him to the great work of'redcmption , according to the predictions concerning him, and ~uch as engage and encourage our fervices, For, raking O~t the Article of Chrills de{cent into Hell (which was not 111 We old Creed, as appeares in [orne of the Copj~s 1 before re~erd ro, in Tertlillian, Ruff"''', and Ireruns ; and indeed was omitted tn. all the Confeffions of the Ealiern Churches ,m the Church 01 Rome, and in the N,cme Creed, which by adoption came to be the Creed of the Catholike Church) 311 other Articles are filcb as dire8:ly coniliture the paltS and wor!( of our reden;ption, filch as clearly derive the honour to Clmit> and enab'e him with rhe capacities of au! Saviour and Lord. The reH engage our Cervices by propofition of fuch Articles which are r~th~r prcmites then propolicions j and the whole Creed, take It In :ll1y of the old Forms, is but an Analyfis of that which S.P<l1I1 cal. rhe word of Ialvarion, whereby we fhall be Javed, til ... that we

'"'. . .-' .. confelfe

(on:eDe ]e{us to be Lord, and tl.ar God railed him [[(.m d:c dead: bv the firf! whereof he became am Law-Giver and our Guardian j by the lecond he was om Savir.ur : the oiher tiling, arc but parts and maine 2tlions of rhofe two, Now what reaIDn there is in the world rhar can inwrap any thing elic Ivithiil the foundaticn, char is. in the whole body of Articles (mply 81~d in'eparably necetlary, or ill the prime originall neccfliry of' Pairh , 1 cannot poO;bly imilgil1C. There doe the work, md therefore nothing can upon the true grClll~ds of rcafon enlarge die I1(C(fi1ty [0 rhe inclo.ure of ether Articles.

Now if more were neccfiary than the Articles of the Creed, IVtf,~~~. 9; I (Errand why was it made the' Characlcritiick note of a

Cbriiiian from a Heretick, or a [ew, or an Infidell? or to what· Vide Tro,)o! purpo'e was it ccmpo!ed_? Or itthis IV.as intended as lufliciem, dcE":ri:c~,c, did rlc Apofiles or tho:e Churches which they ioundcd, knew ~ : ,'. ca'T-'" 2ny (bing elie co be necetlary > If they did nor, then eithr.r 110- n~':':~;;~~' u)~'~· . rhino more is neceflary ( I {peak of matters of mcer beliefc ) c. ;0. "vcrL or t1~ey did 110( know all the will of the Lord , and fa were Ve",,,,.F, r.in unfit Ditpenfers of the myrleries of the Kingdom ;or.ifthey F."". 5"""0 (lid how more was ncccflary, and yet would not infert It, they Fcu';;'denr. iii

b ,_ d . 1 - 1 lrcn.Iic.r.c.e,

did all act of pu like notice, ana conlJgn' It to al Ages ot [ ie

Church to no purpote , Clnlefle to beguile credulous people by

ruakim~ them believe their fsith was iilflicient, havil1g trycd

it by ~bae much-none AFollolicall, wl.cn there was 110 Iuch


Bur if this was {ilffcicnt to bring men to Leaven then, why 1'Iml.6. !c.~ not now? 1[', he Apo!lJes acmirred all ro their Communion that

believed [his Creed. why Ihall wee excil:ce any that preferve

rhetame i.uire ? why is not our faith ofrbe.c Articles of as much

cifc,cy for bril1oil1g us to heaven, ,,5 ir was in the Churches

Apo{lolicalI? wlfo bad guides more infallible thar mig[l[ with-

cut errour bare taught them iiipcrtiruciures enough, iftp;ey

~ad been necetfary : and Io they did; nt~t that they did !lor l_n-

rerr them into the Creed. when they tmght hare dr.ne It WIth

as much certainty, as thefe Articles, makes it clear to my un-

derfiandil1g, that other things were not neceflary , but there

were j thar whatever profit and advanreges might ceme fr(~n

other Articles, yet thefe were [uflicient, and however certain

13 z perlone

'1 he L iGerty of prophefyinJ;'.


! I

, I

----p;r[;;;~-;~ight Jc~i~l~~alll' ll~-oblil~~d t; believe mucl;~~~~:

yet this was the one and onely foundation of Fairn uponwbic!l all perlons were to build their hopes of" heaven, [his was therefore neccflary to be taught [0 all, bccauie of necefliry to be be, liev'd by all: So that auuough other pcrfons might commit a delinquency i11 aenere mort.rn , if they did not know or did not' believe much m~re, becaufe they were oblig'd to further dil(]ltl. firioos in order to other ends, ) et none of thele who held the Creed intire, could perin, for want nf neceflary faith, though pollibly he mieht for tupine negli~~.:nce or atfe6\ed ignorance, or lome otbe~ fault which bad influence upon his opinions, and his underfianding, he ba~ing a new fupervening obligation ex accidents to know and believe more.

J'{Jl'ltJb, _iI, Neither are wecblig'd to make rhefe vrtklos more particular

and minute then the Creed, For (ince the ApolUes and indeed our blefled Lord himfelte promifed heaven [0 them who believe him [0 be the Cbrifl that was (0 come into the world, and that he who believes in him, fhould be partaker of the relbrrea ion and life eternall , be will be as good as bis word: yer becaule this Article was very generall, and a complexion rather then a fingle proPC:lltion ; the .~~of!les and others our Fathw" l,n, Chriti did make ir mo-e explicire, and though they have laid no more then what lay entire and ready forrn'd in the boiome of rhe great Article, yet they made their extracts, to great purpofe , and abfolure fuAiciel1cy, and therefore there needs no more deductions or remoter confequences from the firll great Article, than the C reed of the A pottles, For although whatfoever is certainly deduced, from any of thefe Artic!es made already fo explicire.i: as certainly true, and as much robe believed as the Article it telfe , becauie es: veri! poffunt nil "~i 'Vera fe'lui, yet becaule it is not certain that our dedntTions from them are certain, and what one calls evident, is 10 obli:ure [0 another, tbat. he believes it falfe , it is the befl and only fafe courfe to rell in that explication the Apofiles have made, be~aufe if any of thete Apotlciicall deductions were not demon· !hable evidently to follow from that steat Article [0 which fall'Jation is promifed , yet the authority of them who compij'd she Symboll, [he plaine defcription of the Anicles from the

" words


The Liberty of Prophefying.


words of Scriptures, the evidence of reafon demonHraring thefe to b" the whole foundation, are fufficient upon great grounds of reafon to aicertaine US ; but if we goe rarther , betides the ea(,netl'e of being deceived, we relying upon om OWl1 ditcourfes, (which though they may be Hue and [hen binde us to fo1l01 .... rhem.bnt yet no more then when tbey only feem truelt,) yer they cannot make the thing cerraine to another. much lefle neceflary in it Ielfe, And (ince God would not binde us upon paine of finne anJ punifhment, to make deductions our felvee, much letle would he binde us to follow another man's Losick as an Article of our Paith ; I ray much lefle another mans;" for' our own integrity (for we will certainly be true to our felves, and doe our own bufinefle heartily) is as fit and proper to be imployed as another mans ability, He cannot fecure me that' hi~ ability is abfolure and the grearefi, but 1 can be more cer; wile that my own purpofes and fidelity to my felfe is Iirch, And fince it is neceffary to ref! fomewhere , lell: we Iliould run to an infinity, it is belt to refl there whererhc Apoflles and the Churches Apof!olicaU refled , when nor only tbey who are able' [0 judge, but others who are not, are equally atcertained cfrhe certainty and of the (ufficiency of that explication.

This I ray, not that I believe it unlawfull or untafe for .he'l'{umbdl., Church or any of the eAntiJliter religioni; , or any wile man to

extend his own Creed to any tbing may cerrainely follow from'

:anyone of the Articles; but I lay .• tim no fuch deduction is

fit to be prefi on others as an Article cf Faith; and that every

dedudion which is fo made, unletle it be iuch a thing as is ar

alit evident [0 all , is but fufficiem' to make a humane Faith,

nor can it amount to a divine, much lefle can be obligatory to

binde a penon of a differing per.wafion to fubfcribe under paine

ofloofing his Faith, or being a Heretick, For it is a demontlra-

lion, that nothing can be nece!fary [0 be believed under paine

of damnation, bur {ueh proporirions of which it is cerraine that'

God hath -poken and taughrchem [0 us, and of which it is,

cerraine that this is their ienre and purpofe : for if the

fenre be uncertain. we can no more be obliged to believe it in'

a certain ieme , then we are to believe it at all, if it were not'

certaine tbat God delivered it. But if it be onely certaine th1c'

. B3 G~

C()r;t:~llXl(!r. ~'.:lP}5:&.'


C;;;CJi)]\;c it , 'lnjl~ot-cert~i~~~-~~h;t [enl;::-~~Fai;h of it j, to be as indeterminate as its Jell Ie, and it can be no Other ill the nature of the [billg, nor is it confonant to Gods juHice to believe of him that be can or will require more. And this isof the nature of rhofe proporirions which Ariflotle calls Oi7!I{, [0 which without any further probation.all wife men will give aflent at its {jrll publication. And rherrore deductions inevldenc.ficm the evi. dcnr and plain letrcr of Faith , are as great rcceflions from the obli. garion.as they are from the (implicity .and certainty of [he Arricic. And this I alfo anirm, although the Church of any one denomination, or reprc.cnred in a Councell, (hall make the deduction or declaration.For unleflc Chritl had promifed his Spirit [0 prored ercry particu'ar Church from all errors leffe mareriall, unlefle he had promiled an ablohuc univerfall infallibility rtian» in miMI. tioribu«, unlcfle Iuper-Iiructures be of rhe fame necetlity with the fcundarion, and that Gods Spirit doth not only preterve his Church ill the being of a Church, but in a cerrainty of not laying any thing thar is Idle cerrain; and that whether they will or no too; we may be bound to peace and obedience, to (ilence, and [0 charity, but have not a new Article of faith made; and a new propotition though conlequent (as 'tis [aid) from an Article of Faith becomes not therefore a part of rhe Faith, nor of abiolure necefJity,Q!!id (J"'luam alid Ecclejia COl1cilimlltJ decreti: e.if1 eft , niJi lIt qllod snte« jimp/iciter credeblltllr, hoc idem p8ft(,1 diltgftili,'t' crederetl1r, faid Vllleln/ifl! Li;-il1f"(iI, whatfoever was of necetlary beliefe before is fo fiill, and hath a new degree added by realon of" a new light or a clear explication; but no profirions can be adopted .nro the foundation. The Church hath power to intend our Faith, but not to ex rend it; to make cut helicfe more evident, but not more large and ccmprehenfive. For Chritt and his Apollles concealed nothing tim was neceflary to the integrity of Chriflian Faith, or falvatioo of our iouls , Chrifl declared all the will of his Father, and the Apoiiles were Stewards and Difpenfers of the fame Mylleries, and were faithful! ill all the houle , and therefore conceald notbing, but taught the whole Doctrine ofChriH; 10 they laid themfelves, And indeed if they did not teach all the Doctrine of Faith, an Angel or a man might have tallgh[ us other things



~.I_:___ The Li/;err, of prophefyz'ilg. l5

rhen what they taught, without def~~vj~:-;-A~3ehemJ-bnt no. -.'-~--IY!t!10ur deferving a b!(ffing. for makirfg up that Fairl] imir;;

w[a~h the Ap~flle.s lefi: I:r'perietl:. NO\v .if tbe~ t?ught all the

whole body ot Fa~th, either the Church 111 the iol1owing Age»

Jot! pa;t of t.he Fauh (a~d then \V~ere IVa! their infallibility, and

the died?! t.l;oCe glorious promifes to which fhe pretend. anC:

~H,I.I cerram 11.rle; . for Ole may as we!1 introduce a f21i110od 3J

;0o,e a truth, It being ~s much promiled to her tim the HOn'

'y Gbo.H fhall lead her rnto all trurh , as that Ihe i1Ja!1 be pre ..

!crvet! trom all error. as appears, Iob, r6.l'.) Or ifi}o rerainc'

all d:e Faith which Chrilt and his Apoflle.~onfan'd a'lId r;u:I;."

I' A b d I ' . b. b -,

[-,en no ,ge call. y ec armg any poinr , make that be an Af"

;,:de of Faltb wb!ch was not ~o in all. i'ges of Chrillianiry be.

,?re Inch declaration, And Indeed It the • Church by dccls- ' Vi"" 1,1"";" II111_; all Arcicle call make that [0 be neceflsry, which betore IVlS Aim"". in ". net nc~enaty, I doe not Ice I~o,v it ~all Iland with the charity of SC~t, :i. ,". the Church (0 ro doe (e!pccI2:1Y,alrer 10 IOi]g experience GlC::~ ,8: :JlJC.ch:b J hath had that all men will not believe ever'! lid] deciiion or C". ,.t'jt '.~' ,,0,

l' ion) Co b c doina tl 1 J 1.\ (JUC)'. nu: 1 V"-

? icanon ror Y;o 01l1g Inc maxes the narrow w~y to heaven ri"s ~ll' c;.

narrow~r, and chalks OUt one prth more co the Devill then I:e thuli'-l to; "> ludbetoreand vet the way wasbroad enonzh when ir war at the proh:tioJJc,

" J b' 0' , '" ,_ r 'c

narrowett, For efore , ditterin<> pertons rniehr be f:ved in di- .cc.eu.c '~l

vee"t f C Ii d "'- t.: dOl"'" c a .

J1 yo. p~rlwa IOns, an n01yattert:m eclararion if they can- !'7;,:L l'S';,:"

~or, there n no other alrer~tl~n m.aae, bu.t tfla= lome fhall be lJi!,., i.q.Vil,C. damned who before ~vel1 111 .tile lame ditpofirions and beliefc r.:'q. u;.J,_;d;l 11101l~d have b~en bear.Ifi~d perfcn s, For tberelore, it is well for j,iC<,,'.

rh~ Fathers ot the Primitive Church that their errors were ncr

dl:covered, _fi?r if they had been contened ( for that would h;vf;

been, cald dl~covery enough) vet errores emmdaj[ent, '1Je! a!> ce- IUlJr.de he:: ';'Jia IJeff, jffijfmt: Bur it is better as it was, they went to hea- 1.;:C,20. §,od lei! by thar good fortune, whereas otherwite they micht have l''''".1Jn cc.v- 30ne to the.Devill. And yet there were [orne erro;s,bpartiCtl~ nrmar.onem, larly tha; .of S. CJpr;an that was difcovered , and be went ro

~eaven, lIS thoUBht; poffibly they mighr 10 too for all this pre-

cerxe ", But hI: 'po;e It true , yet whether that declaration of

111 Article. of which with rarery we either might have doubted

th beene Ignorant, does more good, then the damnins of

[ Qle ~any foules occaiiolJally > but, yet cerrainely and < ~re-

!,nol"/ illg!y



7be Liberty of Prop/~efy~g_. _:_~_.r,


j,l1uwinp,1y does burt, lleav~ i~ to all wile and. good men to de-

termine. And vet betides this.it cannot enter !Oton1y thougbts, that ir can poi1ihly conlill: with Gods.goodneffe., to put it imo the power of man [0 palpabl~ and ('p~nly co ~lter the paths and in-Icts to heaven, and to Hrelghten his mercies , unlelle he had Iurnifhed there men wilh an infallible judgememand an infallible pm.\ence, and a never failing c!mitl': rhat they fhould nev~r dee Jt but with greatneceffity , and With great truth, and withou; ends and humane defignes , of which I think no Arguments can make us cerraine, what the Primitive Church hath done in this cate : I Ihall afterwards confider and give an account of ir , bur for the p erent, there is no infecurity in ending there where the A potlles ended, in building \'I.here t~ey buil!: in reHing where they left .us , nnlefle .the ta~e infallibility which they had, ha? Hill conrinued , which I clunk I Ihall hereafter make evident It did not: And therefore thole extenfions of Creed which were made in the firll: Ages of the Church, although for the matter they were molt true; ye~ becaufe it was not cett.a~n that they Ihould be lo, and they mIght have been otherwite , therefore they could not be ill the fame order of Faith , nor in the [arne decrees of necefliry to be believ'd with the Articles A pot! 01 ical1; and therefore whether they did well or no in laying the fame weight lI~on them, or whether they did lay the fame weight or no, we Will afterwards confider.

But to rerum. I confider that a foundation of Faith cannot alter, unleffe a new building be to be made, the foundation is the G,me Hill; and this foundation is no other but thar which Chritl and his Apotlles laid, 1'1 hich Doctrine is like himielfe, ycllcrday and t~ day, and the fame for ever: So that th.e Anic1es ofneceifary beliefe to all (which are the only foundation) they cannot be leverall in teverall Ages, and to Ieverall perfons, Nay, the ientence & declaration of the Church,cannotlay this foundation, or make any thing of the foundation, becauie the Chunh cannot lay her ow n foundation; we mull Iuppole her to be a building, and that Ole relies upon the foundation, which is therefore fuppoled to be laid before, bccaufe Ihe is built upon it, or (to make it more explicate) bccaufe a cloud may ariie from the Allegory of building and fQuucla[ion,it is plainly thus; The lhu!ch

., .. .. .... bemg

f. t, The LiGerty of FroplJeJjil'Jg.

~ -a-co-. m-pa-n-y-o-f-m-en-o-b-ligedto tl~eduries()(Fai{b:r11dObe-~djen~e the duty and obligation being of the faculties of will anc. underi~al1ding to adhere to Iuch an object, mult. pre-filppofe the objetl: mac~ ready for them; for as the obJetl: IS be(o~e the act in order of nuure, and therefore not to be produc d or encrealed by the faculty (which is receptive , cannot be attire lipan its prcper object i ) S? the objeCt of the Churches Faith is in order of nature before the Church, or before the acl: and habite of Faith, and therefore catlno~ be enlarged by the Church any more then the atl: of the vifive faculty can adde viiibjlity'to the. object, . So that if ~ve have fou~1d out IV hat foundation Chrifl and his ApoHles did lay, rhat IS what body

and f),Heme of Articles limply neceflary they raughr and,recuir'd of US to bet eve , we need nor, we cannot goe any furtber for foundation, we cannot enlarge that fyileme or collecii-

on. Now rhen , although all that they laid is rrue , and nothina of it to be doubted or dif-believed , yet as all that ~hey

faid "is neither written nor delivered (became ail was not nece!f~ry) to we know that !'~ rhofe things which are ~vrit.t<n~ forne rhinss are as farre ofr from the foundation as thOle thIngs which we~e omirted , and therefore although now accidentally

they mull be beliv'd by all that know them, yet it is not necetfary all 010uldkno:v them; a?d t1;at all jhould know [bern

in the tame tenfe and IDterpreratlon, 15 neither probable a:or ob.igaroryj . but therefore f:nce rhefe things are to be ditlinguiihed by feme differences or nece~aIY ~~d not n.ecelfary, whc,

rher or no is not the declaration ot Chritis and his Apotlles affixing talvarion to the beliefe of fome g~eat comprehcnf ~e Articles and the a~l: of the Apofllcs rendring them as expli-

cite as :hey thought con_venie?[, al~d .conGgning [hat Creed made 10 explicire.as a tc!le!a of a Chr.l!tlan,. ~s a ~omprehenGo~

of the Articles of his beliete.as a lllfliclCnt dilpofirionand an ex-, prene ofthe Faith ofa (,ateclmmen i~ .order to B~ptl!m: \Vh~_-

titer or no I Jay, all this be not [u~cl~m pro.ballon that the.e

only are of ab.olute neceffity, that this IS iuificienc for.meer be-

Iiee in order to heaven, and that therefore whoroever believes

thcie Articles heartily and explicitely , 8,), ,,:1''' CY .Jm;, as

S. lob" s expreflion is, God dWc/lcth In h,m, I leave It [0 be

J C conlider'd


the Liberty of PropbefYing.

'------~Olll'id;;:'d 8~d jnds'dcl'fr;;;;;-"the premiles : O;ly thi"if the oil DQctors bad been made Judges in there O!:!_eHions, they would have paiTed rheir affirmative; tor to inilance in one for all, or lL:"d"d:n,t. this it \\,,,, raid by Tertellian, Reglll.J tjftid"m fid~; tin:! omnino eft \"," 10£.1 hm",,/;ilts G'" irrefurm .• bi!t6 o», Hac lege fidei man.nt. cerere j,;m dJjCip/ina & c()J1vcrfi1tio1Jis admitt!lnt novitatcm correffrolJiJ,

"pm.nt. Fil. & p'r0f!~ic>Jtc.llfi in fincm gratia 'Dei. This Symbol IS the one illfhcletlt Immoveable unalterable and unchange. able rule of Faith, that admits no increment or decrement; but if rhe integrity and unity of this be preferv'd , in all adler rhings men may take a liberry of enlarging their knowledoes and prophciyings, according as ther are aililled by the gr~ce of Col.

S.EC'f. II.

Of HerefY and the nature of it, and that it is to be accounted according to the [tria capacity of chriftiar. l'aitb, and not in Opinions Jpeculative, nor ever to pious perfons.

A Nd thus r have repreCenred a [horr draught of the Obje~i kf...l\ of Faith, and its foundation; the next contideration in or. der to our maine delign, is [0 confider what was .and what ought (0 be the judgement of the Apoflles concerning Herefy: For although there are more kinds of vices, than there are of venues; yer the number of them is to be taken by accounting the tran{greflions of their venues, and by the limier of Faith ; we may alfo reckon the Analogy and proportions of Herety , that as VIC have teen who was called faithfull by rile ApoHolicall men, wee may alio perceive who were lifted by rbem in the Catalogue of Hereticks, that we in our judgements

may proceed accordingly.

And IirH the word Herefy is ufed in Scripture indifferentiy, in a good renfe for a Sect or Divifion of Opinion, and men foilowing it, or fomedmes in a bad Ienfe , for a falle Opinion fignally condemned; but rhete kinde of people were then cald Ami:

t·!_·_- __ T!~!:i6erty of Prophe(jhlg. 19

Anri.chril15 sed falfe P;q;h~t;-~err:~q~~e;;ly th-;nH~~;;~icks---"" and then there were many of them in die world. But Ir is ob:

lerl'ea ble rhar no Herefies are noted {tgmmtel' in Scripture, but

inch as are great errors praclicall i" mater'; pittatir, {uch whofe

doelr'n, s taught impiety, or fuch who denycd the commins

ofChriJ! direCTly or by confequeece.nor remote or wiJedrawll"

but prime and immediate: And therefore inrhe Code d6S.Trj~

?liMe <7 fide C_mholic_',. h.erefy is called d",P')f ~;" , 'fJ "'&~f1"e-

liJ'Wdl""-, a wicked Op1l11On and an ungodly dOCTrine.

The 6rH :illfe doctrine we finde condemned by II)e ApoHIes

was the cpiuion of Simon Magus, who tboughc the Holy (Sholl: NIJm/;. j; \\'a' to be bcughr with money; he [hougbt very difbonourably

to the blefled Spirit; but yet his followers arc rather noted 01 a

vice, neither refiing in the underllanding I nor derived frem it

bur wloly praclicall : Tis {imony, not herefy, though in Sima;

it was a Ialte opinion proceeding from a low account of God,

and promoted by his own ends of pride and coveroufnefle : The

sreaL hereiy that troubled them was the doctrine of the necefliry

01 kee ping the Law of M.feJ,tne neceflity ofCircumcilion;againll:

which dochine they were rherfore zealous.becaufe it I'\' as a direct

overthrow to the very end and excellency of Chrifls comming.

And this was an opinion molt petinaciollily and obHinately

maintain'd by the Jewes, and had made a Sea among

tbe qalathillns , and this was indeed wholy in opinion; and

againrt it the Apo!lJes oppoted tWO Articles of the Creed,

wh~ch (ery'd at fevera!l times according ~s the Jewes chang-d

tbeir opllllon, and left lome degrees of their error, I IHlicve in

J'fof (,hrift, «nd 1 believe the holy Catholik._e Church; For they

therefore prefl'd the necefiity of t5Ilofel Law, becaufe tlley

were unwilling to forgoe the glorious appellative of being Gods

own rccu,iJr per.ple.and that Uvation was ofthe jewes.and that

the reti ot tI.e world were capable of that grace, no orherwife

but by adoption into their Religicn, and becomming Pro.elyrcs.

But thiswas 10 ill a doSl:rine, as that it overt brew the great be-

nefits 01 Chrifi's comming; for if they !vtrc circtlllicij'd, Clmft

profi.red them ".,hiHg, meaning this , that Chrifl will not be a

SavIour to them who dee not ecknowledse him for their Law-

Giver) and they neither contefle him their Law-Giver n?t

, C:I rheir

,.,. ._-._ ... _------_ ....... _---------- -~-----

'I/JeLi/;mJ sf Pyopbejjing.


_._-_ ,heir s~ri;;;lr, that leak ;0 b-;;juflifi;d-by the Lawcl-~" and obiervJlion of lcgall rites; 10 that thi, doctrine was a di: rea enemy [0 the foundation, and therefore the ApoiHeswcr. 10 zealous agaifllt it. Now then that other opinion, which th~ Apoilles met at }mljllfem to refolve , was bur a piece of chat opinion; for the lewes and Profelytes were drawn off frcm their lees and {ediment, by degrees, Hep by fiep, At firt], they would not endure any Ihould be raved bur rhemtelves, and their Proielytcs. Being wrought off from this heigth by Miracles andpreaching of the 'Apoltles, they admitted the Gentiles to; poflibility of lakation,but yet 10 as to hope for it by Mofcs Law. From which foolery, when they were with much adce di(fwaded , an~ told that talvation was by Faith in Ch:i!t, not by works of the Law, yet they refolvd to plow With an Oxe and an Afle Ilill , and jayne Mofcl with Chriii ; not as lhadolV and .!llbHance, but in anequall confederation. Chriil Ihould fave the Gentiles if he was helpt by rJI[ofc .. but alone Chriflianiry could not doe it. Asainft this the ApoHies aflembled at Jemj4lem, and made a decition of the Q_sellion, [yill" fome of the Gentiles ( iud1 only who were blended by the rgIVes in ~ommlli1ipatria) to obfervation of fuch Rites which the Iewes had derived by rradiriontrom 'N.J.,h, intending by this to {a. [idle the lewes as farre as might be with a reafonable compliance and condefcenlion j the other Gentiles who were unmixr, in sbemeane while, remaining free as appeares. in the liberty S. Paul gave the Church of Corinth of eating Idoll Sacrifice; (exprefly agauiri the Decree at JerufRlem) fa it were without Ji:andall. And yet for all this care and curious dilcretion, a little of the leaven Hill remain'd : All this they thought did 10 concern (he Gentiles, that it was totally impertinent to the Iewes ; !till they had a diHin6lion to tarisfie- the letter of the

Etlfcb.],4: i\poftles Decree, and yet to perfitl in their old opinion; and

:fecler. bUr; this [0 continued that fifteene Chriflian Bifhops in. fuccelliGn

0;. $. were circumciied, even umill-the deH,uCtion of Jlruj41em, under o,AdriAn, as EHfebili1 reports •.

'){u~. 4' FirH, By-the way let me obfervejthar never any matter of

Q.!!eHion in the Chrifiian Church was derermin d with greater Ielennity, or JIlOre.fi.ill· authority-of the Church then this ~. • -' ." - _. [liOll


7'be Lihut, Df PTDpbefpng •

-.-- -:---::::--:------------

Ilion concerning Circumcifion: No le fle than thewbo1eColledge----------

of the Apollles, and Elders at Jeru[alcm, ani tInt with a

Decree of {he highefl: [ancHon, Viftlm efE [piri/ttt flmiJo G'

nobis, Secondly, Either the cafe of the Hebrewes in parti- 2.

cular was omitted, and no determination concerning them, whether it were neceflary or lawfull for them to be circumcilea,or·dle it was involv'd in rhe Decree, and intended to

oblige the jewes.: If it was omitted tince the ~eltion was

d, Ie ntceJJaria (for dic~'voEi .• I 'Paul lay untoyou,if ye be circumcifd. Chrif/ /halt profit 1011 nothillg) it is very remarkable

how the Apoftles to gaine the lewes, and 'to comply wido!

{heir violent prejudice in bchalfe of c.Jl1ofc, Law, did for a

time Tolerate their ditlent eliar» in re a/iaqr!in nfceJJari!i,

which 1 doubt not but was intended as a precedent for the Church to imitate for ever after: But if it was not omitted,

either all the multitude of the lewes (which S. JanJet then Mbr.'CI. their Bithop exprefled by .."Cd l-'ufi"J',~ j Thou pcft hOlV 11:.tn,

myriads of Jewes tbat believe and J't are ::;,elots fi.the Law;

and Ettfohills (peaking orJu/1us fayes,he was one e» i.fillil:! mel- U'l>.E~chr. titydine eorym qlt; £.'r circllmcijione in Je[um credeb.i»: ,) I fay Hil1.

all rhefe did perifh , and their believing in Chrif] (erv'd rhem

to no other ends, but in the infinity of their torments to up.'

braid them with lrypocrifie and herefie , or if they were lav'd,

it is apparent how merciful! God was and pitiful! to humane

infirmities, {hat in a point of [0 great concernment did pity

their weaknefle , and pardon their errors, and love their good

minde , fince their prejudice was little Ieffe than infiiperable,

and had faire probabilities, at leall , it was {uch as might abute

a wife and good man (and [0 it did many) they did bono III irnl

errere; And if I mitlake nor, this confideration S. P e el r , Tim.I. urg'd as a reafon why God forgave him who was a Perfecuror

?f the Saints. becaufe he did it ignorantly in unbelief, that

IS, he was not eonvinc'din his underflanding, of the truth of

the way which he perfecnted , he in the meane while remain-

mg in that incredulity not out of malice or ill ends. but the

miflakes of humanity and a pious zeale, therefore God h"d

":tny M him: And [0 it was in this great Q!:_eition of circum-

;;:IGon. here only -was. the difference, we invincibility .:if

. . C 3 S.PIIUt'S

2 '<I -------Th--;I;ihertj-~f p~ophelYing~__ ?~.

~-------s~-p r.::I'~errm,-;;;d-;he h~~-;flY· ~f his heart cauf~d ~od to. to

pardon him as to bring him to the knowledge of Chrilt , which God therefore did becaufe it was neoeffary, HecejJillite medII; 110 Ialvarion was confifient with the aCtual! remanency of that error ; but in the Q£_eflion of Circumcifion . ~ithough .they by confequence did overt brow the end of.Chnll s co~m1tl~: ye; becauie it was fuch a confequence, whichthey bemg hindred by a prejudice not impious did not perc~lVe, God. tolerated them in rheir error till time and a continual! droppmg of the Ieffons and dictates Apofiolicall did weare it our , and t1:en [he doctrine pm on it's apparell , and became cloathed wldl.ne. lleffity; they in the mesne time fo kept to the foundation, that is, Iefiis Chriii crucified and rifen againe, that although [!111 did make a violent concuflion of it. yet they held _fait wah their heart, what they ignorantly defiroyed with their tongue, (which S aut before his converfion did llOt) that G~d u~on other Titles, then an actuall derelidion of their error did brmg them (0 j~ation.

And in the defcent of fo many years, I finde not anYone

Nllmb,'J' Anathema 'pall by the Apoltles or the!r Succeffors up?n any of the Eif110p, of Jerllfl11.,." or [he Believers of [he CIrcumcifion, and yet ir was a poin~ as cle~r1y determined , and of as great neceflity as any of thole Q£elhons that at this day vex and crucifie ChriHendome.

b Eelides this QQ_efiion, and that of the Refiirre . .9io!l' com-

Nm» ,6. menc'd in the Church of Corinth , and promoted with tome variety of lenti! by Hymen£1U and Phileru. in .Aft", who [aid that the Refurredion was pall: already. I doe nor remember any other berefy nam'd in Scripture, but fueh as we.e errours of impiety .. «dumones ;1J mater;" praElic'?', fuch a. wa~ particularly, forbidding to marry, and the herelY of the 'If!co/'''tans, a doctrine that taught the neceflity of luLt and frequent fornicaricn.

Numb.7' But in all the Animadverfions againfl: errours made by [he

ApoHIe! in [he New Teflament no pious penon was condcrr-n'd, no man that did invincib'y erre, or iJOlra m"Jt~; but fomcchinz that IV;\S amitle i'1 genere mornm, was [hat winch [he Apollles did redargue, And it is very comiderable, that even


§.Z. . __ The Liherty of prophefyifJg:-._·_· 2::_3

they of the Ci!'CllU1ci(,on who in _fo great numbers .did heanily

believe in Chritl and yet moll VIOlently reraine Clfcumci[ioll

and wirhour Q_!!ettion went [0 H,earn in great numbers; yet of

[he number or there very men, tiley came deeply under cenfiire,

when to their errour they added impiety: So long as it Hood

with charity and without humane ends and Jecular interells. 10

long it was either innocent or conniv'd at j but when they

grew covetous , and for filthy lucres fake taught the fame

doctrine which others .did in the limplicity of their heans,

then they turn'd Hereticks , then they were term'd Seducers;

and Tit:11 was commanded to look to the-n , and to lilence

thern , for there are mflHJ that are imracra6/e and 'IMine ""Merl,

Scdemrs of mi"dl, tJPecill!fJ they of the Circumcijio". who [educe

lVh.le hOllfol, tcachi"g ,hings that thcy ot1[,hl not,for filthy lscres

f1kc. Thefe indeed were not to be indur'd, bur to be liienced,

by the conviction of found dodrine , and to be rebuked Iharn,

Jy, and avoided. '

For herefy is not all errour of the underflanding , but an er- Nr;m~.fJ, rour of the will. And this is clearly intinuated in Scripture,

in the aile whereof Faith and a good life are made one duty,

and vice is called oppofJc:e to Faith, and herety oppo.ed to ho.

linelfe and fanCtity. So in S. Paul, for (Iilith he) the end of I TIm. r~ th« Caml1J4ndemenl i. ch4rity Oltt of ... pur« heart, and a good con-

[amee, and faith Hnfained; .; qNi!JUs qlJJd ab~rr{/rlJnt 'luidam ,

from which charity, and purity, and goodnelle, anJ Iinccrity,

beceu.e fome have wandred , dejle.wI'IJnt ad vanUoquiftm. And immediately after, be reckons the oppotitious to faith and Iound

doctrine , and inflances only in vices that ilaine the lives of"

Chril~iam, the Un}':!f. the ~nc!e,,~e, th« uncbaritable, the fJer. tbe • Qyid igit,," per}"r d perfo" d,. if 1fm at,.·! qUI [al1ft doarm4 adverfiwr; thefe creduJita, yeA are the enemies of the true dotl:rine. And therefore S. Peter fides? opinor hal.'ing" civen in charge, to adde to our venue patience, tern- fiJdit<r honfi,l-

L L.' Ld· h lik . hi f c 'f nern elm 0

pel.nee, C!lanty. ,,;1 tel e: grves t IS or a reaion , for 1 credere id cll-

the Ie things be in you and abound. yee fhall be truitfilJI in the fiddem' ~,o • k!iorvledge of our Lord JdUf Cb. iff. So that knowledge and dre, hoc cfr, fai~h is i"tty P'·';cefta f"~rr't», is part of a good We ; • And fiddi~er Dci Salm PaNI cals Faith or the forme of icund words •. ,,,-1' man,,";. S ~er_' _ IUo;,e'/4V Jli":r~,,(,i,,y, the doCtrine that is according to god- ~:re. ~ a VI:

lineffe .

· I:

The Li/lerty of prophejjillg.



...... __ .. _--_ .. -._---

The Lihert, of Prophefying.

------ ------------_

t :1,,,,,,,), .r}} Iineffe, 1 y';m,6". t And veritllti credere, and ;n inj,;ji;: ;'5'."'"",0;, :Jpll- tia jibi compi:,me , are .by ~he fame Apome ?ppofed; and inti. ""ff,,; nat's o:are, th~t~IeIY and fa1th IS all.o~e tllln~; faith mutt be U)I;' 4 our l\clig.on, d,W'p.&, inure and holy too.or It IS not right. It was the here!y 0" Faith, tbe ofthe Qno,1ick.!, ~hat it was, no ~atrer how :men liv'd , fa they who lc manner did but believe 3nghr: WhICh wicked doctrine Y"lial1U4 a learc r Iletvdilli'" ned Chritiian did 10 detelt , that he fell into a quite contrary Lie< .c, c)"",· N rt d '4 .r: d'd d I iI'.1 Tvrnit, & ,011 CH- curnn ut» qUI qU'.JC)HC ere .a , t tan/11m curen lim eft

fld, C,l//;oJ, quod qtJi/que fi,ciat; And thence came the Se.st e"craliw:

Both there herefies fprang .Irom the too nice ditlinguifhino the faith frr m the piety and good life of a Chrifiian : They are both but one duty. ' However, they may be diliinguifhed , if we Jpeak like Philofophers , they cannotbe diHingui!hed, when we ipeak like Chrithans, For to believe what God hath commanded, is in order to a good life; and to live well is the produ ~ of that believing> and as proper emanation from it, as from its proper principle, and as heat is from the fire. And therefore in Scripture, they are ufed promifcuoufly in fenfe , and in ex: p.cffion, as not only being [ubj~cted in the (arne perton, but alliJ in tbe Iame faculty; faith is as truly feared in the will as in the nndertlanding, and a good li'e as meerly derives from the un. derlh~ding_as the ~iil. Both of them are matters of choyce and or election, neither of rhem an eff'e.sT narurall and invincib!e or neccflary antecedenrly (ntcej{ari{l lit jiant, nO>J n(aj{:lYIo i.Cfa.) And indeed if we remernber rhat S.'P(!ul reckons hereJy2mongit the works of the flefh, and ranks it with all manner 01: practical! impieties, we DIal! eafily perceive that if a man l~l!ngJes not a vice with his opinion, if he be innocent in his hie, though deceiv'd ill his doctrine, his errour is his mi!ery' not his crime ;,it makes him an argument of weaknefle and- a~ object of pity, but not a perfon iealed up to ruine and reprobation. -

NlJm{,. 9' ~orhas the nature of faith is,ro is the nature of herefy, con-

tranes aVlI1g the fame proportion and commenfurarion, Now faith, !f it be taken for an act.of the underllanding meerly, is to ~arre from being that excellent grace that juliifies us , that it IS 110t good at all, in any kinde bat in /!:"'tre nntur.e, and makes , the underf ~r.djfJg better in it felle, or p1eafing to God, ;uH as



!lrength doth the arme, or beauty the face, or health the body; rhefe ~re ~aturall perfeqtions indeed> and fo knowledge and a true beh>(e IS to the underflanding. But this makes us not at all mor ... acceptable [0 God; for then the unlearned were cenainly in a damnable condirion , and all good Scholars fhould be laved, (where.as I am afraid too much of the contrary is 'true.) But un,~lTe fa~th be ~ade morall by the mi~tures of choyce, and charity , It IS 110t~t~g bur a natnrall perfection , nor a grace or a venue; and this IS demonllrably prov'd in this that by the confefTion of al! m~n ?f ~ll interefls and perfi.vaGons, in matter~ of meet. belief, invincible Ignorance is our excufe if we b~ dec~lved, which could not be, but that neither to believe aright IS commendable, nor to believe amiffe is reprovable ': but where both one and the other is voluntary and cho[el~ antecedently or confequemly, by prime e1e~ion or e.vpoft !a[fq. ana f~ comes to ):Ie c~nfid~r d 111 mo!a!Jt~ -. and is part of ;0, good,lIfe or a ba? .!tfe re£peC1a·ely. J ull (o It IS 111 here(y, if it be

a debgn of amb:tlon '. a~~ making of a Sed: ,(10 Er{lfm!,f ex- "'.

pounds S.·'Pliul "'I,m«'? .ct'2p~""v, fef14~um' authsytm) If-it be : 1 .. ~en'[l!llt forfi,lt~y Iucres f~keas It was 111 fome, that wereofrhe circumci- ~ vc rrtate qUI fion.ific be of pride and love ofpreheminence,as it was 'In DI'a- fe cbarrnanc

h n.ulrirudine,

mp ,ef 3 ~II\O'.'l''''?iJ( .. " or out of pevifhneife and indociblenefle "JrJ'fl.

of dllpolitlon, or of a contentious Ipirit > that is that their

~eet are not fhod with the p:eparatioll of the Go!p~l of peace j

I~ all there cafe: the errour IS )ult [0 damnable, as is its pris-

~Iple, but therefore d~mllabJe not of it {elfe, but by reaion of

us adherencie, And If any Ihall fay any otherwife, it is to fay

tha,t lom,e men !hall be damned when they cannot help it>

pentb without their own fault, and be miferable for ever be-

caufe ,o.f their unhappineffe t? be deceived through their~\v11l

limplrcI~y and natural! or _accidenrall, but inculpable infirmity e .

For It cannot Iiand WIth the goodnelfe of God who does Numb. It';

fo kno,lV ?ur infirmities, that he pardons many tbinge in which ..

~ur w~lls mdeed. have rhe.lea(t (hare (b~t Come -they have) but

de ov~rl:or? with the v~olellc~ of an Impetuous temptation:

I fay, It IS inconf.Iicnt With hIS goodnetle to condemn'tlioie who erre where the error hath nothing of the; will in it who therefore cannot repent of their errcur , becat!1e they be,ieve

D . it

The Liberty of' ProplJej)ing.


,o~--~-~-~~ue, who therefore cannot mak.: compenfarion becaufe they know not that they are ryed to dereliction of it. And alchough all Hereticks are in this condition, that is. they belie ve their errous to be true; yet there.is a vall difference be. tween them who believe [0 out of limplicity , and them who are given over to believe a lie. as a punifhmene or an effed; of rome other wickedneffe or impiety. For all have a concomitant affent to the truth of what tbey believe; and no man can at rhe.fame time believe what be does not believe, but shis aflent of the undertlanding in Herericke is caufed not by force of Argument, but the Argument is made forcible. by fomething that is amiffe in his will; and although a Heretick may peradventure have a Ilronger Argumcm for his errour ahen fome true Believer for his right perfwafion; yet it .is not eonfiderable how llrong his Argument is (becau 'e in a weak undertlandiag ;« [mall motive will produce a great perfwafioo, like gentle phylick ill a weak body) but that which here is contiderable, is, what it is that made his Argument forcible. If his. invincible and harmleffe prejudice, ifhis weaknefle , if his education, if his mifl:aking piety, if any thing that hath 110 venome.nor a Ring in it, there the neartinefle of his perllvaGon is no lin, but his miiery and his excufe : bur if any thing that 1S ev ill ;N gmerc mom", did incline his undentanding , if his opinion did commence upon pride, or is nourifhed by coveccuf-' neffe, or continues through fiupid carelefheffe, or increafes by jpertinacy, or is confirmed by obtlinacy, then the innocency of (he errour is disbanded, hi, mifery is changed into a crime, and begins its own punithment. But by the way I mull: obferve, that when I reckond DpftiHa~1 amongft thole things which make a falie opinion criminall, it is to be underflood with rome difcretion and diHinCtion. For there is an obllinacy of witl wbi.h il indeed highly guilty of mitdemeanour , and when the Schoole makes pe rtinacy or obtiinacy to be the formality of herefy, they fay not true at all, unlefle it be meant the ob· ~it1acy of the will and choyce; and if they doe, they {peak lmpel'fecHy and inartificially,this being but one of the caules that makes errour become herefy; the adequate and perfea: forma~ity of herefy is whauoever makes the erronr voluntary and vi-

- .. .. dous,

~.z. The Lihmy of Propbefjillg.


rious , as is cleare in Scripture, ~rec~~:>ning covecouflleffe, and -----~ pride. and lull, and wharioever IS VltIOUS to be its caufes· (and

in habits, or morall changes and productions, whatever' alters

the effence of a h~bite.or gives it a new formality , is not to be

reckoned the efficient but the forme) but there is alfo an obfli.

nacy (you may call it) but indeed, is nothing but a refolurion

and confirmation of underflanding.whieh is not in a mans power

honellly to alter. and it i.l.not all the commands of humanity,

that can be Argumem fufficienr to make a man lea ve believing

that for which he thinks he hath reafon, and for which he bath

fueh Arguments as heartily convince him. Now the perti-

Iling in an opinion finally, and againfl all the confidence and imperioufllelfe vf humane commands, that makes not this cri-

minall obflinacy, if the erring perfon have fo much humility of

will as to Iubmir [0 whatever God (ayes, and that 110 vice in

his will hinders him from believing it. So that we mull:

carefully dillinguifh continuance in opinion from obltinacy,

confidence of underflanding from peevifhneffe of affection, ~

not being convinced fro~. a relol~ti?n never t? be conviec'd, up.

on humane ends and VltlOUS princlples r SelmNI quofdlflfl qN,d Lib.~.Epifu. flmtl imbi{,erint nolle depoNtre ,"Ie propo[itllln fou", faCile tNutllre,

fld falvo inur colle gill pacil dJ' conc:oreii£ vinculo Iju<td"m propria

qH£ apud ft [cme! fi"t "forpltta reti'ltre; i2!Y i1J re nee lin vim

'UiqIl4", facimuI, aflt legem damNS, faith S.9pr;"I1. And he

bimfelfe was iuch a one; for hee perfitled in his opinion of re-

baptization untill death, and yet his obflinacy was not called

criminall, or his errour turned to herefy. But to return.

In this fenfe, it is that a Hererick is tiu7.u."""P/7~ • felfe con- N*m{, l!I"

demn'd, not by an immediate expreffe fentence of underfland, • ! ~.

ing. but by his own aa or fault brought into condemnation. As

it is in the Canon Law, Notorilll percujJor Clerici is ipfo jure excommunicate, not per leNlentiam latam ab hom;"e, but a jure.

r\o man hath paffed fenrence pro Iri/JUntzli, but Law hath de-

creed it pro ediElo: So it is in the cafe of a Heretick, The un,

derilanding which is judge, condemns him 1I0t by an expreife

fenrencej fer he erres with as much firnpliciry in the refulc J as

h~had malice in the principle: But there iSftl.ll1JliA latil P, jure,

his will which is his lawJ Lhat hath condemn'd him. And this

-._ . D 2 .-. i:

The Liberty of ProphefJing. Q.z~


- Is gathered-from that faying ors. P,ml, 2 Til1",.I3. But e'IJlil

men (lnd flducers {halt WAX worft "lid w.r[e, deceiving lind being deceived: Pirfl , they are evil! men; malice and peevHhnelle is in their wills; then they rum Herericks and [educe others, and while they groN worfe and worie, the errour is-matter of their underflanding, they are deceiv'd rhemfelves , give" .ver II be. litve a lie, faith the Apofile: They fira play the knave, and then pl~y the foole , they fira {ell themfelves [0 the purchale of vaine-glory or ill ends, and then they become poffeffed with a lying fpirit, and believe thofe things heartily , which if they were honefi, they 1110uld with God. Grace difcover and dil· claime, So rhat now we fee that b011il fiduin f~lfo IIrt;cII19, a hearty perfwafion in a fa~re article does norclwayes make the errour to be elleemed involuntary; but then only when It is as innocent in the principle as it is confident in the pretent perfwalion, And fiich perfons who by their ill lives and vitious aCtions, or manifell defignes (for by their fruits yee 111a11 know them) give te(limony_ of filch criminall indifpofi. [ions, fo as competent jLldges by humane and prudent efiimare may 10 judge them, then they are to be declared Hereticks, and avoided. And if this were not true, it were vaine that the Apoflle commands us to avoid an Hererick : For no externall aCt can paffe upon a man for a crime that is not eognofcible. _

'){.um~. !:I. Now every man that erres,though in a matter of confequerce,

10 long as the foundation is intire, cannot be furpeCted juftly guilty of a crime to give his error a formality of herely: for we tee many a good man miferably deceiv'd (as we fhall make it appeare afterwards) and h: ~bat is th.e bell- amongH men, certainely bath (0 much humility to ~hl~k he may. be eafily de: ceiv'd , and twenty to one but he It in fame thing or other; yet if hi. error be not voluntary, and part of an ill life, then becaufe he lives a good life, he is a good man, and therefore no Heretick : No man is a Heretick again a his will. And if it be pretellded rhat every man that is deceived, is therefore proud , becaufe he does not fub~ithis llndeEH~nding to the au' ~horiry of God or Man refpeCtlveIy, and fo hIS errour becomes :1 here[y: To this I anfwer. That there is no Chriflian11lan

- . . ~

The Lihertyof Prophefjing.

out will fubmit his underHanding to God, and believes what. foever he hath [aid; but aIwayes provided, he knowes that God harh faid fo, elfe he mull doe his duty by a readinefle to obey when he fhall know it. Butforobedience or humility of rhe nn, derf!anding towards men, that is a thing of another comideration , and it muf] fira- be: made evident that his underflanding mull be fubmitted to men, and who thofe men are, muft allo be certaine, before it will be adjudg'd a Linne not to rub. mit. But if I miHake not Chrifis faying [calt 110 man rtJaf.er lipan tilrth] is fo great a prejudice agaiuil: this pretence as I doubt it will goe neere wholy to make it invalid. S~ that as [he 1V0rthipping of Angels is a humi.iry indeed, but it is voluntary and a will-worfhip to an ill fence, not to be excufed by the excellency of humility, nor the venue of Religion : fo is the relying upon the judgement of man, an humility roo, but [uch as comes not under that ,;".« .. "l m,-e",r, that obedience of Faith which is the duty of every Chrifiian , but intrenches upon that duty which we owe to Chrill as an acknowledgemen: that he is our great MaHer, and the Prince of the Catholike Church. But whether it be or be 110tl, if that be the Qll_dtion whether the difagreeing perfon be to be determined by the dictates of men, I am Cure the didates of men mull not determine -him in that C2!.!_efiion, but it muli be (etded by lome higher principle: So that if of that ~aion the -dil~ agreeing penon does opine, or believe, or erre 60/1!i fide, he is not therefore to be judg'd a Heretick , becauie he fubmirs not his underflanding , becaufetill it bee.fcfficiently made cerraine t? him that hee is bound co Iubznir , he may innecently and ploufly difasree, and this not fubmitting is therefore not a crime (and 10 cannot make a herefy) becaufe without a clime he may lawfully doubt whether he be bound to fubmit or no, for ~hat's the Qaeftion. And if in fuch Q!!.eltion5 which have inlluence upon a whole fyHemeofTheology, a man may doubt lawfully if he doubts heartily, becaufe the authority of men being the thing ill Q.!!.eil:ion, cannot bee the judge of this ~Hipn, and therefore beingrejeCled, or ( which is all one) being quetlioned , that is', not believed, cannot render "he doubtil1S perron guilty of pride, and by confequence

D 3 !!Oll

'[he Liherty of prophefy!_~~ __ ?2, not of here[y, much more may particular queflions be doub~~ of and the authority of men examined, and yet the doubting pe;[cn be humble enough. and therefore no Heretick for all this pretence. And it woul? be. confidered tha.t hu~Il1ty IS a duo ty in great ones as well as In I~lOtS. And as Ill.fenou!s ~u.rt not difaaree without reaton, [0 neither mufl fuperiours pretcribe to othgrs without [ufliciem authority, evidence and neceflity (00:

And if rebellion be pride, [0 is tyranny; and it being in millleri;; intel!d/uaIj, both may be guilry of pride of'underftaoding, tomerimes the one in imp.oli!1g, Iometirnes the other 111 a caufelefle difaareeine . but in the inferiours it 19 then Dilly the want of bun';'ility, t>\~hen the guides impofe or prefcribe \Vba.t God hath alia tauaht and then it is the dirobeying Gods dictates, DO[ mans th~t makes the Iinne. But then this conti deration wi!! aho i:uervene, that as no diEtate of God obliges men to beliere ir, unleflc I know it to be luch: So neither will any of the dictates of my {uperiours, engage my faith, unlefle 1 alfo know, or have no rca (on to dif believe, but that they are warranted LO teach them to me> therefore, becaufe God hath! taught [be lame to them which if I once know. or have no rea (on to think the codrrary, if I difagree, my (inne is not in refilling humane authority, but divine. And therefore the whole b~,G. netle of tubmirting our underHanding to humane authority, comes to nsthing ; for either it re!blves into rhe direct duty of fubrni[ting to God, or if it be fpoken of abHrattedly" it ii no duty at all.

But this pretence of a necefllry of humbling the underfianding, is none of the meaneti arts whereby. Iome perlo.t;S have invaded, and ufurpt a power over mens faith and coniciences, and therefore we Iliall examine the pretence afterwards, and try if God hath invetied any Man or company o~ Me~ wJ[h tuch a power. In the meane time, he that j.ubmlts ~IS underlT2nding to all that be howes God hath Iaid, and IS rcady to Iubmir to all that he hath faid if he but know it, deny· jng his OWIl affections and ends, and interefis and humane per·, fwations, Jaying them all down at the foot ofbis great. M~fler Je[us <;hriil:, that man hath brought his underHand~ng Int~ !t1b)ccholJ, and every proud tbought unto the obedlel1Ce ?


-------:-~~---------- .. - .. ,-.------.--

The Libert, of Prophe[ying.

(hrill, and [his is .;""".,,) "":,,~;, the obedience of Faith \~hkh

i; the dmy of a ChriHian. '

But [0 proceed: Betides there herefies noted in Scripture N. [, r . the age. of the Apoflles , and that which followed, was in: IJIIJ. 4· fefled wI.til ?cher .hereties; but (ucn as bad the i2~ne formality 3ndmllIglllty WIth the precedent, all of them either lilch as

taught practicall impieties, or denyed an Article of the Creed.

EgchpiJI in EufcbiHt reckons reven only prime heretics that

Ji:lUgnr to defloure the purity of the Church: That of Simon,

that of Th,bHttl, of etc.bius,of Dojitheus, of G.,·thms, of A14~

bothws; I Iuppofe C.ril1thm to have been the Ieventh mall,

tbough he exprelfe him !lOt: But of tnefe,except the lall:, we .....

know no particulars; but that EgcftFpm [ayes, they were falit

Chritls , and chat their do&rine was directly againH God an.I

his blefled Sonne. U'f{.lIandcr alfo was the firH of a Sect, bur

be bewitched the people with his Sorceries. C.rinth:u hi:

doctrine pretended Enthuliafm or a new Revelation, and ended

in lull: and impious theorems in matter of uncleannefle, The' fl •• vu fNlr vioHlW denyed Chrifl to be the Sonne of God, and affirmed lib.r , de br," him ";ll.l. J:.!';pr.!'7fa •• begot by narurall generation, (by ceca-

lion of which and the importunity of {he v.1ftan Bifhops ,

s. John writ his Gofpel) and [aught the obfervation of .Mofts

Law. B4itidel caught it lawfull [0 renounce the faith, and

take {aile oaths in time ,.. Peuecuricn, CArpocram was a

very bedlam, halfe-witch , and quite mad-man; and practizd

luff, which he cald rhe Jeerer operations to overcome the Po.

rcntates of the world. Some more there were, but of the

fame nature and pelt, not of a nicety in dirpute, not a quefiion

J Jeerer Philolophy, not of aromes , and undifcernable propo-

!itiOllS, belt open defiances of all faith, of all fobriety, and cf

all fanCHty, excepting only the doctrine of the Millenaries,

which in the belt Ages was efleemed no here[y, but tree

Catholike Doctrine, though fince it hath judice done to ir,

and hath fuffered a jutl condemnation.

Hitherto, and in rhefe inilances, the Church dia efleeme NIlf1J6. l! S, and judge of herefies, in proportion to the rules and charadere

of Fait h, For faith beillg a Doctrine of piety as welJ as truth.

that which was either deHrucHv~ of fundamenrall verity, or

. cf

.The Liberty of Prophefyi!!g" §.2,

____ _:..___

of Chriflian fanetity was againll: Faith, and if it made a SeC! was herefy i if not, it ended in perfonall impiety and wentn~ farther. But rhofe who as S.Paul Iayes, not only did fueh thi)]"s bur had pleafure in the_m thar do~ them, a~d therefore taugh{ o.thers todo what they impioullydid dogmatlze,they were Here. ricks both in matter and form, in dothine and deponmem towards God, and towards man.and judicable in both tribunals.'

But the. Sc!!~[lJr~ an~ Apoll?licall Sermons, having expret: fed mofi high indignnion agalOlt thefe matters of impious Seas, leaving them under prodigious characters , and horrid rcprelentments , as calling. them men of cormp' minds, reprobates c&;;cerning the faith, given over to jlrong de/lljion! to the bd"fe of" Ip, falfo e/fpoj/!u, f;t/fo Prophett, men AI· r;'lijJ c)ndemned, I1II4 t~at bJ themftlves, .Anti.chriflt. en,mill ':' God; and her~{y It lelfe, til 1V0rk.. of the fi,{h! o.:cIHding from tbe k!.ngd~me of heaven; left fiich impreffions 10 the minds of 21 [heir Iuccetlours, and [0 much zeal aaainH filch SeCls that if any opinion ccmrnenc'd in the Churd;', not heard of before . it oftentimes had this ill luck [0 run the fame fortune witl; .2~ old. herety. For becaufe (he Hereticks.did bring in new opi, !'lIOnS lD .mauers of great concernment , every opinion de novo brought 10 wa~ l~abl~ to rhc lame exception j and becauie the .degree of malignity In every errour was oftentimes undircernable, and moil: commonly indemon'rable, their zeale was alike Gga1l1H ,all; ~nd thole Ages being full of. piety, were fi.red 10 be abuled with an overactive zeale as wife perfons and Iearnei are with a too much indifferency. '

But it came to pafle , that the further rhe filcceffion went from the Apoflles, [he more forward men were in numbrira herefies, and that ~po~ flighrer and more .uncertain jjroundf. Some foor-tieps ot this wee fhall finde If we confider the SeCts that are Iaid to have {pnll18 in the firfi three hundred years, and they were pretty and quick in their (prings and ~alls; fourefcore and teven of them are reckoned. They were indeed reckoned afterward, ~nd though when they were alive, [hey were not condemn'd wah as much rorwardnetle, as aim th.ey I'Vc.r~ dead; ,yet el',en then, confidence began to mingle wah opunons le!1e neceflar; I end mif.akes-in judgement were


~.I. The Li~erty of prophefJing'33

~r-2-nd-:--m-o-re-p-'ub""l-ik-e-t""h-en they Ihould have been. Bu~'if----[hey were fo_~ard in [heir cenfures (as fome times fome of

them w:re) It IS no great wonder they were deceiv'd, For

what principle or 1</1/7"f/0' had they then to judge of herefies

or condemn [hem. befides the lingle di<5\ates o~ decrerals of

private Bi!hops? . for Scriptllr~ was indifferently pretended by

all; and concermng the meamng of It, was the Q£eHion : now

there was no generall Councell a!l that while, no opportunity

[or the Church to convene j and If we fearch the communica-

!(:ry letters of the Bifhops and Martyrs in thofe daycs , w~

Olal! fin~e but few Ientences de~r;tory concer.ning any CllLelH.

all of Fmh , or new {plUng opinIOn. And III thole that did

f~r ouguc appeares, the per Ions were mif-reporred, or their opi~

mons miflaken , or at rnoll , the fenrence of condemnation

was no more but this j Such a Bifhop who hath bad the aood

fortune by potlerity to be reputed a Catholike, did cotl!emn

Iuch a man or filch an opinion, and yet him{elfe err'd in as

c?nG?!!ra\Jle matrers , but t1le~ting with ~etter neighbours in

his hie nme, and a more charitable potleriry, hath his memo-

ry preferv'd in honour. It appears plain enough in the cafeof

Nicholas the Deacon of !Antioch, upon a miliake of his words

whereby he [aught 'iT<tp";>s,,~ 7; caix, to abule the fldh, vi~;by

a0s of autlerity and telte denyall, and mortification; fome

wicked peop'e that were glad to be miflaken and abuted into

a p)eahng crime, pretended that be taught them to abu[e the

flefh by filthy commixtures and pollutions : This mitlake was

tranfinitted [0 pufierity with a full cry, andacts afterwards

found out [0 jutlifie an ill opinion of him. For by S.lller.rne's

time it grew out of QQeHion, but that he was the vilet] of

men, and the worfl of Hereticks , N,cofam Antiochentu, om- Ad ·CreL'liJ.

ni~m immlmditillrllm condi:or chero« dllxit f.t.min(or. And a- . ,

game,. ~1. NlCoiaHI 'DiAcon~. ita immll~d~1 e xtitit lit et!am in Spill. de F~· ' p"fp' Dom,m n<fat ptrpetr""t: Accutations that while the b.ano l'l'hl good man liv'd were never thought of: for his daughters were

Virbins, and his Sons Iiv'd in hoiy coelibate all their lives , .and

himteite Iiv'd ill chafl Wedlock; and yet his memory had

rotted in Ferpetuall infamy, bad not l;od (in whofe light, the

memory of the Saints is precious) preterv'd it by.the telti-

E mOPl



it;~-'~"~-~---'--T-';;LibertJ 6f Pfophefying. ~.2.

;Z~,St'o:;~ mony of' Clement c.Ale>.:andrinm , and from him of t Ellfevms and NicephorrlJ. But III the Catalogue of Herericks made

t _ t. 3,0':;, by P hil41rius he {lands markt with a black character as guil.

Illn, ty of many hereties : By which one teHimony we may. !lue{fe what rrult is to be given to thole Catalogues: Well, This good man had ill luck to fall into unskilfull hands at firf!:; but Ire. )1,Ult,}tljlifJ UY[flrlr, La8:antius, (to name no more) had bet. ter fortune; for it being Hill extant in their writings thac !hey were of che Millenary opinion, Papias before, and Nep'l after were cenfiired hardly, and the opinion put into the catalogue of herefies. and yet thefe men never fufpecled as guilty, buc like the children of the Captivity walkt in the mid{l of the flame, and not (0 mcuh as the Irnell of fire pa!Ted on them. Bur the uncertainty of there things is very memorable, in the Story of 8ujlathius Bi!bop of eAnliocb conrefting with EUfeVlU1 P IImphiflis .. 8uftathiul accu'ed EU[ebiliS for going about to corrupt the Nicenc Creed, of which Dander he then ae.

:L'!.C~'l' quirred himfelfe (faith Socrates) and yet he is not cleared by pofleriry , for {till he is {urpe6led, and his fame not clearer However t'fI[e6iul then [cap'd well, but to be quit with hi, Adverfary, he recriminates and accufes him to bea favourer of Sa{;e/fJUI, rllther the« of the Njcene Cllnonl; an Imperfect accularion, God knowes, when the crime was a finpirion, proveable only by actions capable of divers conf!:ructions,. and at the molt, made but (orne degrees of probability, and the faa it felfe did not confif!: in indivifibili, and therefore was to Hand or faJ!, to be improv'd or leflend according to the will of the Jlldges, whom in this caure EUftiltbifis by his ill fortune and a potent Adverfary found harfh towards him, in (0 much that he was for berely depofed in the Synod of Antiocb; and though this was layd open ill the eye of the world as being molt ready at hand, with the greareti eare charged upon every man, and with greatef!: difficulty acquitted by any man; yet there were orher lulpicions raited upon him privately, or at leatl ralkt of n: poft f"Ci~, and pretended as caufes of his deprivation, lealt the . fentence Ihould feem too hard for the fidl. offence. And yet what they were no man could tell, faith the !lory. But it is Dbfervable what Sor;rlfW faith, as in excure of fueh proceedings,

.. Th.


The Libert) of Propbefj'ing.


T;t, ~ 69.i raJ-'TU, ~lI'~o:J ;rtf x~nufltl"iJ'~J' 1:C/£1, t:i t"-rJqjI(l'iJ'CI, L. r , C'. Z4.

Ktt1H71''i1~1H (t ~~ dO'!.G» h'~'I1HtTd,:) dt}td.' rf tt'(fI(3dd., ~ ~i"l:m.'· It

" is the manner among tbe Bifhops , when they accute them

" that are depofed, they call them wicked, bur they publifh

<. not the actions of their impiety. It might poffibly be that

the Bi!bop; did it in tendernefle of their reputation, but yet

hardly; for to punifh a perfon publikely and bigbly ,is a cer-

rain declaring the penon pnnifhed guilty of a high crime, and

[hen to conceale the fault upon pretence to prelervehis repu'

tation, leaves every man at liberty, to ccnjecture what he

pleafeth .who p0!fibly, will believe it V'!orfe than it is, in as

much as they think hIS judges .10 ,cham~ble as there~ore- to

conceale the fault, leaH the pubhflllng of It fhould be his grea.

telT punifhment, a~d the fc~nd.all greate,r lh,en his dfprivati.. . .. ". on .• However this courfe, If It were Jull In any, was untafe SIl"r~ICltC.. ,. iah db' ld t' d pnrcat vmum in all; fo: It ~I g t un oe more t. en It cou pre erve, an. t"m r,ffe pufil-

therefore IS of more danger, then It can be of cbam~. It IS IUOl, Qu('d retherefore roo probable that the matter was .not very faire , for guur majus

in publike fenrence the acts ought to be publike ; but that they credirur efle rather pretend herefy to bring their ends about, Ihewes how m;lulll,Mar.: eafie it is to impute that c!ime , alld, how forward they were to tta ,

doe it: And that they might and did then as eaiily call Her~.

tick as afrerward, when Vtgilim was condemned of he~e(y tor

faying there were 4Antipodu; o~ as the Fryars of late. did, who

ftl!peCfed Greek and Hebrew ot herefy , and cald then Protef-

lars Hereticks - and bad like to have put T erenc« and E emoft-

h,xes into th: lnde:t' Exp"rgato,im; Iure enough they raiJd at

them pr6 concjQne, therefore becaufe they underjiood them nor,

and had reafon to believe they would accidentally be enemies

10 their reputation among the peopl~,

By this inflance which was a while after the 'N.jcme Conn- NNIJiV.tR; cell, where the aCts of the Church were regular, judiciall andor-

dcrly, we may guefle at rhe Iemences pailed upon herefy , at

iuch times and in fuch caies, when their prccetle was more

private, and their acts more rumultuary, their information Idle

certaine, and therefore their miflakes more eafie and frequent •

.. lInd it is remarkable in the ca.e of the herdy of Mont.lfNI, the

1i:ene of whole bere(y lay within tIle nrH rhree.hundred yeares •

E - z rhcngh

'The Liherty sf Prophefying.

~--------------~~~~~~~~~--~---[hough it was reprefented i.n t~e ~aralogues afterwards, and

poflibly the mitlake concerning It, IS to be put upon the fcore ot Epipbanim, by whom UltmWtUl and his Followers were put into the Ca'~l?BUe of Here ticks for c~mma~ding ~blo1inence from meats, as If they \'V~re unclean, on.J ot t~emlelyes [Inlawfirll. Now the truth was. c.5}{.ntanUI faid no luch tiling. but commanded Ireouent abflinence , enjoy ned dry diet. and ,n aicetick Table.n'ot for con'cience lake, but tor Difcipline , and yet b.caule he did rhis with tOO much rigour and Hricinefle of mandate. the Primitive Church miflik'd it in him, as being 100 necre their errour, who by a Judaicall fuperHitian abflain'd from mears as [rom uncleanneffe. This by the way will much concern them who place too much fanElity in fuch Rites and AEls of Difcipline , for it is an ~ternall Rule and of never fail: in" truth, that iuch abflinences If they be obtruded as AEls ot orfoinall immediate duty and fimctiry, are unlawful! and JuperitiO~lS; if they be for Diiciplinc they may be good,. but of no v.ery"reat profit; it is that d~"J'f" .n, a<;'!-,,,,1@- which S. Paul fayes "profitethbllC little; and jufl: in the fame degree the Primitive Church efleem'd them; for they therefore reprehended c.5}{olltilHlIS, for urging u.lch ablline.n_c.es with roo much earneflnefle, rhoush but in the way of Dilcipline , for that It was no more, T.:'tull;"'I, who was himfelfe a t.J,{onM"ijf, and knew belt the opinions of his own Seer, reflifies , and yet EpiphtliJ!111 reporting the errours of U!1ontan1'l1 ,comL"?ends thac. w.h~ch MOI1MnU! truly and really taught, and which the Prirnirive Church condernrrd in him, and therefore reprefenrs that here I)' to another fen!e. and affixes that to Montanm, which EpiphaPlim beliv'd a herety , and yet which c.}'I;[ont""Ht did not teach. And this alio among many other things leilens my opinion very much of the integrity or dilcreticn of the old Catalogues of Herericks., and much abates my confidence towards memo

'\1. 6 And now that I have. mentioned themcafualiy ill palling C'.,,_~m • )9· by, I {ball give a fhorr account of them; for men are much mitlaken , lome in their opinions concerning the truth ?f them, as believing them to be all true. rome concerning rheir purpofe as thinking them fufficiellt not onlyto condemnh ~~l

t o.e



The Lil;erty of Prophef!ing.


thofe opinions. there called herericall , but to be a preccdenr to all Ages of the Church to be free and forward in calling Hererick. But he that confiders the Caraiogues thcmfelvcs , as [hey are collected by &'pipb .. "iul. Phila(frilll, and S . .Au/lin,fllall finde that many are reckoned for Hereticks lor opinions in matters dilputable , and undererrnin'd.and of no conlequenccj and that In rhefe Catalogues of Hereticks there are men numbred for Hereticks , which by every fide reJpe&ively are acquilted; fo that there is no company of men in the world that admit there Catalogues as good Records, or fufficient fen. rcnces of condemnation. For the Churches of the- Reformation, I am certain, [hey acquit Aiirilif tor denying prayer for the dead, and the Eujlathianl for denying invocation of Saints, And I am partly of opinion that [he Church of Rom~ is. not w illi!1g [0. ca.ll the C.llyridiaHI Hereticks for offerinJ a ,Cake (0 the Vlrgm_UlfarJ' unlefle Ihe a110 will runne (he hazard of (he fame ientence for olfering Candies [0 her : And that they

will be glad with S . ./lu(Ji" (1.6. de 1Jd!~ff. C. 86.) to excu.e " D.'[l;c'!J.l, the • Tertull;anifll for picturing God in a vifible corporail r~:ltr,g(Jl'.C, reprefentrnenr, And yet the!e SeCts ale put in the black ,_,

book by Eptphaniut and S. &AuRin, and lfidorc refpectively,

1 remember alfo that the OJTen, are cald Herericks , be-

caule they refuied to worfhip toward the Eafl ; and yet in

dl~t diflenr , I finde not [he malignity of a' herefy , nor any'

~hmg againil: an Article of Faith or good manners; and it be-

I~g only in circumflance, it were hard, if they were otberwile

pIOUS men and rtue believers , to lend them to Hell tor filch'

a trifle. The Parermeneutll. refufed to follow other mens di.9ates'

jik.e l1eep, but would expound Scripture according to the bdt'

evidence themlelves could finde and yet were caUed Herericks· Enth),Ill.·

.. vherh h d d ' The " P Iici . r b part.t i nr.c r ,

:' er t ey expoun e true or no, . e . . ~H lCIam [or e- El'jl,hall.b.trci~

tng offended at croifes, [he l'roclMHf for faymg 10 a regenerate 6 ••

min all his finneswere~not quite dead, but only curbed and

aJl\Vaged, were called Hereticks, and 10 condemned; tor ought

! knew for affirming that which all pious men reele in them-

lelves to be too true. And he that will confider how numerous'

the .Caralogues are, and to what a volumn they ,are come in

'lhelI laHcolleClions, to no je(~e then five hundred .and twenty

. E3 ~.

-- S8 ~"-'-------'-The Liberty of PropbefJing.

(i~-aom~~h-~~eli~i and Hereticks are reckoned by Prllieo/«;) may tbink thar if a re-rrenchmenr were jultly made of truths, and all impertinencies, and alJ opinions, either fEll diipurable, or lefle conliderable , the number would much decreate , aad therefore thar the Caalogues are much amitfe , and the name Herecick is made a terrimlam";/fl11I to affright people frem their belie fe, or to dilcounrenance the perfons of men, and difrepute them , that their Schooles may be empty and their Di.

fciples few.

So that r (11al1 not neede to inllance how that fome men

were called Herericks by I'bi/ajlriHI for rejeCting the rranflation of the Lxx. and following the Bible of AqNi/a, wherein the !jreat faults mentioned by Phi/a/frills, are that he tranflares XP''''' Eli., not Chrijlu11I, but ,m[f;uWJ Dei, and in Head of Emanuel w rites Deus "obl'''l1I. But this mof!: concerns them of the Primitive Church with whom the rranflation of .AquilA was in great repurarion.zr e>Jim vcluti plul A qHibHfda", ••••• intelle:.:iJ!e /""d.lI,.r. It was fuppofed he was a greater Clerk and underfiocd more then ordinary; it may be fo he did. But whether yea or no, yet Iince the other Tranilators by the Confeflion of Pbtla!lriuf, 'lfl"dlltn prd)termiftJfe "ece[frtMe tn· gente ugerer.tur, if Iome wife men or unwire did follolV a Tranflarour who underflood the Original! well (for fo v1. 'luilll had learn t amongH the J ewes) it was hard [0 call men Herericks for following his Tranflarion , efpecially (ince the orber Bibles (which were thought to have in them ccntradi.ctories , and. it ~as confeffed , bad omitted [orne things) were excufed by necefliry, and the others necet1ity of following vfquit«, when they had no better was not at all confidered, nora

~ P;,iL,Dr 99' letle crime [hen herely laid upon their {core ". Such another <0; inrer h:r , was the herely of the ~rfodtcimani; for the E<tjferliJ'gl were ieucos . n~lt1;e.. al1 proclaimed Hereticks for keeping Eatier after the manner ~:'~lI~":il~lfi~~ of the EaH; and as S.muu and '1-{jc'phorHI report, the Bifhcp Iibro Gcnef.ir:« of Rome was very forward to Excommunicate all the Bilhops of rcrprcrantur the Jell,r _A/a lor obterving the Featt according to the Tradi:',:;:,'~::,',n 8:0~~:, cion of their Ancetlors , though they did it modeHly, quietly, pctic,sg,oti,m and wirhour faClion; and althougb they prerendedand were as :ipiri:u,(antti. well able (0 prove their Tradition from S.John,of (0 obi erving




§.1. The Li/;ert10f prophe/jing.---· -~--

it, as the Well ern Church could prove their Tradition deri-

vative frem S.Pmrand ~.PaTl/. If fuch things ~s tbele make lip

the Catalogues of Hereticks (as we fee they did) their accounts

differ frem the Precedents they ought to have followed that is

rhe cenfiires Apoltolicall,and therefore are un{afe Preced~nts fo;

~s; and unleffe they took the Ii berry of uling the word herery,

in a lower fenCe, tlJ~n the world now doth. (ince the Councels

have ~ee.n forward III pro~oun.cl1lg Anathema, and took it only

[or a dllhnCl: fenle, and a differing periwallOn III matters of opi.

Ilion and minute. Article~, we cannot ~xcufe the perlons of

the .men. '. But If they intended the CC1me of herery againfi

thole o.pllllons a.s they ~ald :hem down ill their Catalogues,

that crime (I lay) which IS a work of the Relli, which ex.

eludes from the Kingdome of Heaven all that I {hall lay

againfl: [~em, is, that the cauflefle curr~ fuall return empty, and

no man IS damn'd the fooner, becaufe his e.nemy cryes ;:, ""Up"",

acd they that were the Judges and Accufers might erre as well

as the perions accufed, and might need a, charirable confiruCtoll

of their opinions and practices as the ocher. And of this we

ace f~re they ha~ no war~al?t from ~ny rule of Scripture or

practice A~oHollcall, for driving fo (u:loufly and hallily in Iirch

decretory Ienrences, But I am WIllrng rather to believe their

[enie 01 the word here!l was more gentle then with us it is

and for that they might have warrant fi:om Scripture.: '

But ~y the way, I ob'erve that altho~ghthe[eCatalogues are Nflm!;, ~:, ~ great :nHance to Ihew that tbey whole Age and {pirits were

rarre d!llant from the .A poIHes, had alia other Judgements

:ollcermng F~ltb andherety , then the .Apoll:les had, and the

Ages A~ofio!JcaJl! yet there Catalogues although they are re-

porn 01 hereties 10 the fecond and third Ages, are not to be

put upon the account of thofe Ages, nor to be reckoned as an

mllance of their judgement, which although it was in lome

degrees more culpable then that of their Predeceffors , yer in

relpea of the follow!llg .Ages it was innocent and modefl, But

there Catalogues I Ipc:ak of, were fet down according to the

{~~(e o~ the. then pretenr ages, in which as they in ail proba-

bJ!l~y did differ from the apprehenfions of the former Cen-

!'lCIts, [0 it is certain, .there were difiering le~ming5,' other


! l

,40 ~ T_he Liherty of Prophefying.

fancies, divers reprefemments and judgements of men depending upon circumllances which the firH Ages knew, and the 101- lowing Ages did not; and th~refore, the Catalogues \\er,e drawn with lome truth, but Idle cerraimy, as appears 111 their differing about the Authours of fame herelics ; feverall opimOIlS imputed to the fame, and fome put I~ the roll ?f Herericks by one, which the other lefr our; which to me IS an A~~ eumcnt that the Colle6tors were derermll1\j , ":Ot by the fen.e ~d fentenccs 0" the three firH Ages.bm by themlelve~, andlo~e circurnflances about them.which to reckon for ~eretlcks, which nor. And that they thcmielves were th,e p!!me Judges, or perhaps lome in their own Age tog,erher with them; but time was not any lil!lieient exr~IDall )udlClt.ory competent. to declare berely that by any publike <;r fi.lflielfl1t !enten~e or a~s of Co rt had liuni!11ed them with warrant for their Catalogues, And therefore they are no Argument fuflicient that ~he firll Ages of the Church, which certainly were the ~ell, dl~ much recede from that which I [hewed to be the ienfe ot the Scripture, and the pra6iile of the Apoilles ; rhey all contenred rhemfelres with the Apotlles Creed as t~e rul~ of rhe Falth;o and therefo~e were not forward to judge of here.y.buc by analogy to their rue of Faith : And thole Cata]oguesmade after rhere Ages are.not iullicienr Arguments th~t they did _othe!\,:i~e ; but rat~er ot the weakncfle of Ierne perions , or ot ~he fP:!lt and gen,llis of the Aoe in which the Compilers livd , In which the device of calli;g all differing opinions by the name of herefies , might gro\V to be a detien to Icrve ends, and to prom?te II1t~re!ls, .as ofien as an act o?zeale and jllfJ: indignation agalllH eVI!1 pertons de-

tlrovers of the Faith and corrupters of manners. , ,

T t: For whatever private mens cp,ini.ons, were, yet til! the Nle:"!

Jlillmv, .2· , he Auorll C d'lld

Councell, the rule ofFaitb was inure 111 t e Aport es ree, ,- f

provided they retained that" ~a(ily t~ey broke not, the Ul1lty ? Faith, however differing opilltOl1S mIght po!li~ly commence h? [[Ich rhinos in which a tibeny were bet~er lufl-ered t~en ~ro Ihired wit]\ a breach of charity. And this appears exactly lDathe Q!!eliion between S. CjpYi4n of0a:tha,ge, and Stepha" £1 lOp of Rome in which one inHanee It 15 eane to lee what was lawfull and fafefor a wile and good man, andyetbow other, b~~,ae~

~,2. The Li6my olp-;~phiiYl;;i-· --~-----.--- -4~~

~~en the~ to be abured by rha t temptation, IV hich fince hath invaded all Chriflendorne, S .Cypru» reo baptized Herericks, and thoughr he was bound io to doe; calls a Synod in <Alrieh as being Metr<;politan, and confirms his opinion by the con':fenr ol his Suffragans and Brethren, but flill with 10 much 010- deHy that if any man was of another cpinicn , he judg'd him not, but gave him that liberty that he defired himfdf; Stephen Bil1~op of Rome growes a_ngr¥, Excommunicates the Bilhops of tApa and AfY'CA, that In divers Synods had contented to rebaptizarion, and without peace, and without charity, condemns them tor Herericks, Indeed here was the melt mixture and comunction of unlikelihoods that I have obierved, Here was errcur of opinion with much modefiy and lweemeffe of tern. per on one i.de , and on the other, anover-active and impetuous zeal to arteli a truth. it u.es flat to be ro , for errour u[ually is iiipported with confidence.and truth lupprdled and difcounten.nc".; 01 indifferency. But that it might appear that the errcur 1""\ rhe ;:one bur tile unchan.ablenefle , Stephan

was 'C,uC' 'j a zea'ous vnd Iur icu- perion , and S. * Cjprian 'Vid,S,AlIg,!: ti~oljg'~ ccc.-iv'd , yet a very good man, and of great fan6tity. ,.C.6,dc,uJpt>l. Ft., ,,:,hough every crrour is ro be oppofcd , yec according [0 ccnna Domr., ti;c.J,iery of errours, 10 ;, there varier), ot proceediogs, Hit

be agolDlt Faith, that is, a deriruclion orany part of the foun-

dation it is with zeal to be refilted, and we have lor it an

ApoilolicaH warrant, contend ""y".sUlfor the f,t;,/,; but then

as there things recede farther hom {he foundation. our cer-

rainty is the leffe, and their necetliry not 10 much, and rhere ,

fore it were very fir, thar our confidence Ihouid be accQrd:ng

to our evidence, and our zeal according to our confidence,

, and our ccnndence Ihould then be the Rule ofour Communion; and the lighmene of an Article lhould be confide red wir]: the weight of a precept of charity. And therefore, [here arc Iom, errours to be reproved, rather by a private friend then a pubiike cenfure , and rue perlons of the men not avoided but admonifhed, and their Doctrine rejected, nor their Communion ; fcw. opinions are of thar malignity which are to be re)ected wirh [he fame exterminating tpirir , and confidence of averrauon, with which [he firlt Teachers of Chritiianiry con-

, F demn\.!

4Z The Liberty of Prophefying. f.2.

----- demn'dEbi;~, Mane." and Cerinthm; and in rhe condcmmrion ofHereticl,s the pertonall iniquity is more confidcracle r1~e:l1he obliq uity of t,ile de/trine, not lor the rejection of the Arri;:!c, but for ccntunng th_e perions , and therefore it is the piety of the t:J3? rhat exculcd S.Cypri;;" which is a certain Araumenc that It IS not the opinion. but the impiety that conllc~nl and

~\~~v, 1~;_')'.:': ~1.a!(~S th~ l-fere[lc~. And [his was it which Vi~,e"tlrlS' Lirj.'l6njir :,1" laid In this very care ot ::,,(lpri"",Vnitu & t}ufdem opitJ;olliJ {mi. rum VIde" pm;]) jlJdic:tmllS IIlIthores c.,:ho"co;,0~ [eqlMCes I;~re. t;'o" ~,wufomu, ~[4.~//frO!, (7 ~ondmmfllmu 'J_'holilJlicos. 9!!}, jCYII[e,unt /J6rOf,flmt h"red<f ~,()]/J" 'l.lIorN,,! Mrorum defenfo"s detrtJd,,~lItr ad ':f<11111m. Wnlc~ raying, If.we confront again!l the (aying of "alvliln ccndemninz the firH Authors of the Arr!,w Sea ~ ,and acquitting the F~llowers, we are taught by thefe two wue men that an errour is not it that fends a man to f,lell, but. he that begin; rhe nerefy, and is the authour of the ~e~, he IS the man mark'd out [0 ruine j and his Followers Icsp d, ~I.len the H.~e(il1rch commenc d the errour upon pride and ambition .and!u_s Followers went after him in limp;iciry of rheir heart; and Io it was molt commonly: bur on the can. t~ary • when. the lidl man in (be opinion was honeflly and in. vJn~,blr dece!~ed, as S.Cyprl.3n was, and that his Scholars to maimame rheir credit, or their ends , mainraind the opinion, not for the excellency of the reaton perfwadiog , but for the be. ~eli~ and accrumh ems, or peevifhneffe, .as did ~he DOIMfips l qui

~ y~rtalJt alit orstat« ;;6. carnallfer 6111ndlllntur , as S. Attjlin faid 01 rhem , the~ the Scholars are the Herericks , and the Maller 15 a Catholike, For his errour is not the hercfy for· ~all'y, and an errmg perlon may be a Catholike. A wicked per. ion In his errour becomes hererick , when the good man in [he fame er~our fhall have all the rewards of Faith. For whatc:ver an .W man believes, if he therefore believe it becauie it ierves bl~ own ends , be his belief true or falfe , the man bath ?D heretical! minoe , for co ierve his own ends, his minde JS prepared '? believe a lie. But a eood man that believer what a,:cordmg ro h!s light> and "upon the tile of his moral] mduJtry he thinks true whether he hits upon the nght or no, bee.ute he hath a i'ninde defirous of truth, and



The Liberty of Propbefjing.

--. -- -~-

prepared ro believe every truth , is therefore a~-Z~~ble to Cod, bccsufe nothing hindred him from it , but what bee could not help , his miiery and his weaknefie , which being in.pertet1icns meerly naturall, which God never punifhes , be [londs raire tor a bleHi[lg of hi~ morality, which God alwayes accepts. So that now if Stephen had roilowed the example of God Almighty, or retained but the lame peaceable Ipirit which his Brother ot' Ca:hllge did ,he .mlght with Il_lore advantage to rruth, and reputanon both ot w iidcme and pIety have done his duty in atreiling what he believ'd to be true; for we are as much bound [0 be zealous purluers of r-ean: as earneti conrenders for the Faith. I am lure more earnetl we ought to be for the p-ace of the ( burch, then tor an Article which i, nor. of the Faith, as this Q.!.:dlion of re-baptization was nct; tor S, (yprj"" died in beliere aga,nlt it , and )"L was a Carholike,

and a Martyr for the Chriuian Faith. '

Tie Iumme is rhis 5.C;prian did right in a wrong caufe (as 1{!Jm6.2"

it hath been fincc ju,<g(d) and Sttph,n did ill in a good caure e -

as Iar.e then as piety and charity is to be preferr'd before ~

true opinion, to Iarre is S. (_ J/,rj4~'s practife a better precedent

for us, and an example ofprimiti\'e Ianctiry, then the zeale and indncretion of Sr<phen: s. eyp'''''' had not learn'd to forbid

to a!l}' one a liberty. of propherying or interpretation, it hee trar,I~ldled not rhe toundarion of Faith and the Creed of the


Well rhus it W2S, and thus it ought to be in the firll Ages, NmnG. 21· the Faith of Chririendcmc relied Hill llpon the fame roundati-

on, and the )ucg'1TllDts 0: herefies VI ere accordingly, or were

amine; rut the filH great violation cf this truth was, when

Ger.erall Councels came in and the SymbolS were enlarged, and

nevv Articies were made as much of r.~cd1i[y to be believed as

tr.e CIted of the A pollles, and damnation threamed to them

that did diflenr, and at laft the Creeds multiplyed in number ,

and in Articles, and ihe.Jibcrry of prophefying b"gan to be

{omething reHrained.

AId this was of fo much the more force and efficacy be- Numb, zs; ~,u{e it began llpon great reaton , and in the lirH inllance, with

luccelft good enough, for I am much pleated with me en.

f 2 . larging




The Liberty of Prophefjing.

·lar-gi~-~-the Creed~ which theCo~nceiJcl=Ni~~·-;;;~ caule they enlarged it to my [wle; but I am not Cure that others are {atidied with it; While we look upon the Article they did determine, we fee all rhings well enough; but there are rome wife perfonages confider it in all circumtiances , and think the Church bad been more happy if {he had not been in rome (ente contirain'd to alter the (impliciry of her faith, and make it more curious and articulate, (0 much that he had need be a liJhtk man to underrland the very words of the new de· terminations.

For the nrH .Alexander Bifhop of Ale\'a"drill, in the prefence of his Clergy, entreats Iomewhar more curioufly of the Iecrer of the mytierious Trinity> and Unity, io curioufly, that tA>iul ( who was a SophiHer too Iubtle as it afierward appear' d' milimderliood him, and thought he intended to bring in the herefy of Sah,lIiu;. For while he taught the Uniry of the Trinity, either be did it [0 inarrificially , or 10 intricarely, that Ariuf thought he did not diHinguiCh the pertons , when the Bithop intended only the unity of nature. Againl1 this .Arius furioufly drives, and to confute Sah.li,uf, anJ in him (as be thought) the Bifhop .ditlinguifhes the natures too, and to to tecure the Article of the Trinity , detiroycs the Unity. It was the lirH time the Q!!.eilion was difpured in the world, and in fuch myHerious niceties, poll;bly every wife man may underfland fomething, but few can underiland all, and therefore [u1rea what they nnderfland not, and are furioufly zealous for that part of it which they doe perceive. Well, it hapned in there as alwayes in tuch cates , in things men underfiand not they are mofi impetuous; and becauie Jilipition is a rhinz icfinite in degrees, for it hath nothing to determine it, a J~fpi[ious perton is ever moil violent; for his feares are worre then [he thing [eared, becauie the thing is limited, bur his feares are not; (0 that upon this. grew ccnrenrions on both fides, and tumults, rayling and reviling each other; and then the Laity were drawn into partS, and the Metetianl abetted the wrong parr, and the right part fearing to be overborn , did any th:ng that was next at hand to fecure it felfe. Now then they that lived in that Age, that underfiood the men.that faw how quiet

. the.

§.~. The Liberty of ProphelyT,;i.---- 45

theChurch was before this Hirre, how miferably rent now, what

little benefit from the Qll.eflion, what I(;biline about it, gave

erher cenfiires of the bufinefle , then we Iince have doae , who

only look upon the Article determind with truth and appro·

bation of tbt Church generally, fince that time. But the Epi-

file of {onjlal1tinero Alexander- and Aria), tells rhe trurh.and C'l'·1· chides them both for commencing the Q£_eflion, Ale.~·a"dtr- lor broaching it, .A-illS for taking it up; and although this be

true, [hat it had been better for the Church it never had be-

guo, yet being begun, what is to be done in it? of this allo

in that admirable Epiflle, we have the Emperours judgement (Ifuppofe not without the advife and privity of H.ftlls Bifhop

of Cordub«, whom the Emperour lov'd and rrulled much, and imployed in the delivery of the Letters') e, For lirlt he calls it

a certain vain piece of a Q£dlion , ill bef,un and more unad- "

vi[edly publifhed , a Q!!.eHion which no Law or EccleliaHicall ec

Canon defineth, a fruitleffe contention, the product of idle"

brs-nes, a matter fa nice, 10 obicure , fo intricate that it was"

neither to be explicated by the Clergy,. no~ lInd~rHood by IC

the people, a dirpute of words, a doCtnne inexplicable , but"

molt dangerous when taught leaH it introduce ditcord or blaf- I'

phemy, and rherefore.rhe Objector was rafh.and rh~ aniwerer ,e umdvifed: for it concernd not the jubilance of Faith, or the 'C wonhip df God, nor any c~eiie commandment ~~ Scripture, ::

and therefore, why 1110uld It be the matter of difcord i' For .

rhouah the matter be "rave; yet becaufe neither neceflary, "

nor ~xplicable, the cogrention is trifling and toyifh. A?9:; therefore as the Philo(ophers of the lame Sea, though dit-

feting in' explication of an opinion, yet more love lor rhe lJ~i- ::

ty of their ProfefIion, then ditagree for the difference of OpI-

nion j So Ihould Chriliians believing in (he fame God, 'c reraining the fame Faith, havlng the (arne ~opes,. ?ppo[ed by::

the fame enemies.not fall at variance upon fuch difputcs, con-

fiderine our underliandinus ate not all al.ke j and therefore, "

neithe~ can our opinions i~ Inch myHerious Articles: 10 that"

~fle matter being of no great importance, but vaine, and. a to.y ::

10 rerped of the excellent blefIings ot peace and charity, It ..

W ere good that Alexlllld,r- and drius Ihould.leave contending,

keep "~

! :'

- -----------~----The LibeHY (;0 Pr0'Pher.yino. (1.1,

46 'J ;)) 6

~~-----;;-keep-i-hei~~pinions to th:mJelves,~sk. e~cb other forgiVt_ncfTe, " and give mutuall rolerarion, ThIs IS the jubIlance ot Con. j/amine's letter , and it contains in it much reafon, if he did not undervalue the <l!!._e£lion; but it feems it was nor then tiJonght a Q£_cition of Fairb, but of nicety of difpute , they both did believe one God, and ihe holy Trinity. Now then that be af· rcrward called the N""" Councell, it was upon occafion ofrhe vilenefle of the men of the AYi"n part, their erernall dilcord and pertinacious wrangling, and to bring peace Into rhe Church; that was the necef1lry; and in order to it was the dererminarion of the Article, But lor the Article it leW:, rhe Letter declares what opinion be had of that, and this Letter was by Socr.uer called a lVondcr(Hllc,-.:hortrltion,fi1lt of grac< and [over csuncds ; and fuch as Hajills himtelf, who was the mer. lenger, preffed with all eametineffe , with all ,the skill and I.u. thoriry he had.

lI.'i:mv. 27, 1 know the opinion the world had of the Article afterward

is quite di!Fering from this cemiire given of it before; and therefore they have put it into the Creed (lfuppole) to bring the world to unity, and to prevent Sedition in this ~Hion, and the accidenrall b'afphemies, which were occafioned by their curious ralkings of Iuch fecret myHcries, and by their illiterate relolutions, But although [he Article was determin'd with an excellent Ipirit , and we all with much rear on profelfe to believe it; yet it is another confideration, whether or no it might noc have been better detcrmurd, if wid] more (imp.iciry ; and another yet, whether or no lince many of the Bif1lOps who did believe this thing, yet did not like the nicety and curio/icy of expretfing it, it had not been more agreeable to the pratlile of the Apotiles to have made a determination of the Article by way of Expofirion of the Apotlles Creed, and to have JelL this in a retcripr, for record to all poHerilY J and not to have enlar.sed the Creed with it; for tince it was an Explication of an Article of the Creed of the Apofl.es, as Sermons are of places or' Scripture, ir was thought by Ierne, rhac Scripture migbr with good profit, and great truth be expounded, and yet rhe expolirions not put into the Canon,or goe for Scripture, bu: that left Hill ill the naked OriginlllI fimpliciry , and [0 much the



rather fince that Explication was further from the fOUIJ(htiu). ~llj chougl: mort certainly true, yet nor penn d by 10 inta!ii. b:e a Cpirit, as was that of [he Apolllesj and therefore not wail 10 much evidence, as certainty. An~f they had pleated, they :nioht have made ufe of an admi~ precedent to this and ;na~y other great and good ';,utpoles ~no Iefle t~e~ of the bl~£~ Jed Apotlles, whofe Syt1;t~,tbey mighr have imirared , WIth as much fimplicity as they did the Exprefiions of Scripture, when they fit'lt compofed it. For it is molt contiderable, that althouoh in reafon, every claufe in the Creed i110Llld be clear, and 10 inopportune and unapt to variety of inrerprerarion, thar there micht be no place left tor Ieverall renfes or variety of Expofirion;; yet wben they tb~l1gbt fit to infeft fom~ u:yfleries ~ntO the Creed, wh.ch in Scripture were exprefled m 10 mytiericuc words thar the lafl and moll: explicire Ienfe would {!ill be latenr,' yet they who (if ever any did) underliood all the fenb and Iecrets of ir, thought it no: fit to =. any 1Y0rds ~ut the words of Scripture, particula~ly III the Articles of [Chritis de .. icending into Hell, and finmg at the ngl?t hand of God) tel !bell' us that thofe Creeds are belt which keep the vcry words ot' Scripture; and that Faith is befl which hath great,clt fmplicity, and that it !s better in ~Il cates humbly to lubm:,t, then curioufly to enqulre,3t?d pry I.ntO th: myfiery under me cloud and to hazard our Faith by improving our knowledge', If th~ Nicme Fathers had done 10 tOO, po!l~bly the Church would never have repented ir,

And indeed the experience, the Church bad afrerwards; Nf1IIIP," S, t11ewed that the Bifhops and P riells were not lilt~sfied in all circumtiances, nor the {chilin appealed, nor the perions agreed.

nor the Canons accepted, nor the Arricle ul1der~tood, nor ~ny

thing right, but when they were overborn with ,Aurh_oI1:y,

which Authority when [he leaks turned, did the fame 1eIVIce

and promotion to [be contrary. . .

But it is conliderable , that it was not the Arricle or the NumP. 29, ' thing it tel.e [hat troubled the di!agreeit?g pertons , but til'::,

manner of repreferning it. For ihe five Drtlenters, Enj<!J1IeJ' ot

Nia.,mdi", Theog'JlJ. Moris, .t h.OMS, and Sccundu<. bcieved

ChLift to.be very God of very God, but the claufe of '.,a'd'.J.


48 the Liberty of Prophefying. '- .. '- .. --§~;:


th~y derid::d as being perfl'!aded by rbeir Logick , that he Was neither ot the Iubfiarce ot the ,Father, by divifion as a piece of a lump, nor derivanon as children frem their Parents not by production as buds fi:~m trees, and no body could tell them 21?Y other way at ~h~ [ t1ple, and that made the fire to burn Ilill, And [hat was It 1 .rald; if the Article hod been with mo:e 1i':l~ltCl[y , and 1e11~ nlcery determin'd , charity would have gam d more, and faith would have loft nothing. And we (hall finde the wil~H of them all, for (0 Eufe6i1u P""'philul IVa;

VUe 5010. efieem'd, publifhed a Creed or Confeflion in the Synod and

n.cn. hb". ~hough he and all the :efl believed thar great myHery of Lod-

,'.18. ' linctle, God m.lJi[,jled In the flejh, yet he was not fully iarisfied, ,:or, fo [o~ne of rheclauie 01 one fo6ft,,:-ce, till he had done a Im.e. vlo.~nce to hIS own underflanding j for even when he had lub[~nbed co the ciaule of one fo6fl"nce, he does it with a proteJllatlon, that heretofore he never had veen ilcqtllli"ted, r,or fiCClljt ow(d ~lmfe!f8 to f~ch [peecheJ, And the {enfe of the word was Clth_er 10 ambiguous , or their meaning to uncertain

~~I~~:~: lib, I. rhar AndreOls r riaas does With Iome probability di.pure that the '}{jcene Father; by 0l-"'~'@-' did rneane 'Perris ji,."llIudi. netn, non 'f!t:>lti,~ tlnilate"!, ,1)!-va'4-c.J. And it was to well undeflood by pertonages difinterefied , that when Arllll and Eu; >:._oiflf had confefled Chritt co be 'De~1 ver/;lIfYJ, without inferung the c1aul.e ot ,one jIlGj1ance, the Emperour by bis letter aPP!ov'd of IlIS Faith ,and refior'd him to his Countrey and

• N'JJI impru- Olhce , and the Ccmmunion 0:: the Church. And alons ,kill" dix.r, time after a'tbo, ugh the Article was bcl.eved with • nicdY"

qui curiof.e c x- h 1 I dd d

plicarioru hu enoug. yet IV le!1 t ley a c more word, 11 ill to the myIie-

jus myHcrii ry, andbrougbt In the. word ,-""t"!'-~'(' laying there were three dictum Alina- hypoliafes In the holy r rtn'ty; It was 10 Iun" before it could nis I'lilofaplli be underHo~d, tha~ ~t was ~eli~v"d th,reror~, becauie they

j"FPI:cu,[, H,I, wou.d not cppofe tneir Superiours, or diliurb ihe peace ol'Lhe

eborus mgel t.h r I ' hi I 'h I L h

11 "alJiIIs iu " U C I, In t In8S IV 1lC tley t:'OUg rr could not be underlicod.

Ill~[lll' ptllga: In lo much that S. Hterom wru to 'lJam.tjUf, in there words:

IrI:hn.t,QlllIll Vicel'''t ji p/aw, obfecro, non tlme60 tre s hJpofta[ts d,eere,Ji al~tum t~mur Juvetu; and agamE, Ob/e!lor /;eatitlldinem ttl,.", Fer emeth,t'Hm, & ccuuuuuu- mUlldi ralllle" p " 71' h -, . r . ' tuj'l"tfocat. t dJ" ji" 'ir OP-d"glOV hrlnlllllm?, Nt mi ,i I:.p'flobr tms,}l1Je

, ece» arum IT)e aice» «rio» 'lpoft •• feon dC/Nr f1H1hwiIM.


The Liberty of prophefying.


But without all Qy_efliol1, the Fathers determin'd the Q!!..e- Numb. 3c~ ilion with much truth, though I cannnot fay, the Arguments

upon which they built their Decrees, were fa good as the con-

dUllon it felfe was certain! But that which in this cafe ir

:onGderable, is whether or 110 they did well in putting a curfe

ro the foot of their Decree, and the Decree it felfe into the

Svmbol, as if it had been of the lame neceffity? For the curfe,

e;iftbilu Pampbillls could hardly finde in his heart to fllb:c,ibe,

at la{l be did; bur with this claule that he fubfcribed it be-

eallfe the forme of curfe did only forbid men to fI"'jllilint them-

[<lvu lVith forra_i,gn JP~ecbu and !Imvritten langudget,' whereb,Y

contitlion and ditcord IS brought Into the Church. So that ic

was not 10 much a magiHeriall high aflertion of the Article,

al an endeavour to fecure the peace of the Church. And [0 the

fame purpoie for onght I know , the Fathers compofed a Form

of Confeffion, not as a prefcript Rule of Faith to build the

hopes of our i~lvation on, bur as a urfera of that C,ommunion

which by publike Authority was therefore eftabhihed upon

chore Articles becaule the Articles were true, though not of

prime neceff ty, and becauie that aniry of confeflion was

judg'd, as things then Hood, the befl preierver of me umry of


But I [hall obferve this, that although the iVieme Fatbers1{mn[;, 3!'" in that care at that time, and in that conjuncture of circum.

fiances did well (and yet their approbation is made by after

Aoes e» p.ft [aa.) yet if this precedent had been followed by

ali" Councels (and certainly tbey had equall power, if they had

thought it equally reafonable) and that they had put all their

Decrees into the Creed, as rome have done (ince, to what _a

volume had the Creed by this rime Iwclld P and all the hallie

had run into foundarion, nothing left for fi.per- !iru8:lHCs. But

thar tbey did not, ir appear~s lthar,fillee they thought all R.

their Decrees true, yet they did not think then: all neceflary,

at leaH not in that degree, and [hat they publiihed !l~ch D~·

crees, they did it dfcl<frando, not imp,rando, as Doctors ~I? their Chaires not mailers of other mens faith and coniClenCes.

• And yet there is {orne more modetly, or warinelle.or necef- :r:.

lity (what {hall I call it?) then this comes tOO : for why are

G . tlO~


Q. r,

Tbe Libert) of ProphefJing. Q.z.

llot-~\i~~~;;~~~;fi~--dtrer;~~d· ?---b;; ~~'en IV h~I~Gen~~11

Alfemblies of Prelates have been, fome conrroverfies that have been very vexatious, have been pretermitted, ani others of leue confcquence have been dctermind i Why did never allY Generall Councell condemn in expretle Icnrence the. PelJgialJ hercfy , that grear peti , that fubrle infection of Crillendomel and rer divers Generall Counceils did aflemble while the hereli' was 111 the world, Born rheie cates in. Ieverall decrees 'eave men ~n their liberty of believing and propnefying. "The latter prcclairnes that all controverfies cannotbe derermind [Q fur. ficient purpotes , and rhe firH declares that thote that are are not all of [hem matters of Faith, and thernfelves are not 10 fe. cure, but they may bee deceived; and therefore pollibly it were better it were let alone; for if che latter leaves them divided in their opinions, yet their Communions and there, fore probably their charitiesare not divided; but tbeformerdi~ vides their. Comfl.1unions , and hinder:s t~eir inrerelt ; and yet for oughr IS certain, the accufed penon IS the better Catha. like. ~nd yet after all (his, it is ~oc {afet>': enough to fay, let the C~Jl111cel1 or Pr~lates det7rml11c Articles warily, lei. dome, with great caution, and wah much fweetne(fe and mo. defly. For thougb this be better then to doe it rafhly fre. t:_luently and furioul1y ; yet if. we. once, cranfgre!fe the b~unds jet us by the Apoliles In _ their Creed, and not onely preach other truths, but determine them pro tribunali as well as pro ~atbedra, although there be no. errour in the fubject mana (as ID NlCe_ there was none) yec I! the next Ages fay they will determine another Article WIth. as much care and caution, and pretend as great a neceflity , there is no hindrms them bu.t by giving rea(0l!s againtl it ; _ and fa like enough they mIgh_c have dOi1~ agamfl the decreeing the .Article at Nice; yet that 16 not fufl1clenr; for lince t~e Authority of the NICINI Co~ncell .hath; .grown to the heJgt~ of a mounrainous pre. judice agamfi him chat Ihould fay It was ill done the lame {caron and the fame neceffiiy may be pretended by any Aae and in any Councell, and, they thmk themfelves warranted by [~e great preced~nt at Nice, to proceed as peremptorily as they ~i.d; but rhenif _any O~bCI Alfewbly of learned men may


poflibly be deceiv'd , were it not better they fhould fpare the labour, then that they Ihould with Io great pomp and (olennities fq:?~e mens perlwations , ar ,1 determine an Article wh!ch after Ages mutt refcind 1 for iherelore ~oll certainly in rheir own Age, the pOlnt with fafety of faith and falvacion might have been ditpured and disbelieved : And chat many mens £tiths have been ryed up by Ads and Decrees ot Coun, celsfor rhoie Articles in which the next Age did lee a liber., ry had better beene preterved , becaure an errour was derermined , wee {hall afterward receive a more certaine account.

And ther~fore the C~uncel1 of '1{jce did well,. and Co«: 'l:{pHb. 3 Z,' ~antJn .• ple did well, 10 did Eph,fos and Cha/cedan; bnr it is

becaule the Anicles were truly derermirrd (for that is part

ot my belie(e;) but who is lure it Ihould be fo before hand.

and whetber the points there derermin'd were neceffary or no

to be believ'd or to be derermin'd, if peace had been concern'd

in it through the faction anddivilion otrhe parries, I luppo(e

the judgement at Conft~ntil1e the Emperour and the famous Ha-

jiUI of (,ord,.b" is ~ufficieflt to ~n~rL~ct us, \yh()fe authority I ra-

ther urge then rea.ons , became It IS a prejudice and not a rea-

ion I am to contend againtl,

.So that iu~fJ determinations ~nd publilhil1g of. Confeffions Numb'33' !'11th Authority of Prince and Bifhop , are Iomerimes of very

good u fe for the peace of the Church, and they are good alto

to determine the judgement ofinditferent penons, whofe rea-

fon~?f either fide, are' ~ot too great co weigh down the pro-

babilityof that Authonty: Buc for perfons of confident and

imperious underfiandings, they on whore fide the determination

is, are armed with a prejudice againfi the other, and with a

weapon to affront them, but with no more co convince rhem:

and they againll: whom the decifion is, doe the more readily

betake themlelves ,to the defenfive, and are ensaged upon con-

!e!latlo~ !lnd publike enrmres, for filch Articles which either

'?lIght lately have been unkuown , or with much charitydi-

jputed. Therefore the N,ctn. Councell , although it have the

advantage of an acquir'd and prefcribing Authority, yet it muIr

not become a precedent t~ others, leafi the inconveniences 'of

G :3 - multiplyilJg

The Liberty ~f Propbefying.


",m\[iplyiilg more Ankles upon as great P' ctence of reJfO!l as inen , make the act of the Nictl,e Fatber, ill i!raiglltl1ing Pro. phefying , and enl"rging the Creed, become accidentally an illccnvenience. The firlt retlrainr , although if it bad been com. plaind of, might pofJIbly have been better confider'd ofj yet [he inconvenience is not virible, till it comes by way of F~~cedent to ufher in more. It is like an Arbitrary power, which :lhhough by the lame reafon it rake fix pence from the {ubjetl it may take a hundred pound, and then a thoufand , and the~ all, yet 10 long as it is within the firH bounds. the inconve. nience is not fo great; but .when it comes to be a precedent or argument for more , then the lirll: may jufily be complaind of, as having in it that reafon in the principle, which brought the inconvenience in the fequell; and we have feen very ill confequents from innocent beginnings.

'.N,!lm{;, 34· And [be inconveniences which might polIibly ari.e from

this precedenc , thofe wife Pertonages alto did fore. fee, and therefore althongh they took liberty in Nic~, La adde fome Articles, or at leafl more explicitely [0 declare the firl! Creed, yet they then would have all the world to rell: upon that and goe no farther, as believing that to be fufficienr. S. Athan~fu:

JEpiil ad Epicr. declares their opinion, "~ e~ ~'v7~ '<J''2:;.' ~"}J ""i/ip"" V' Til :}&~a., ,~tl'PJ~:J O(.tOAo,}nfuioa. d~u, d.vntPHJI~ 6:.-t @)'g.. dpat5o",,~ iZ' ~dc/I~ daw.!2~-/~i' (]t)~~(nv J ~ 'J.,a;.ee.~a~ l" XFIS~ wt)lI'4Y• Thar Faith which rhofe Fathers there confeffed, was fufficiellt lor [he refutation of all impiety, and the eHabljQlm~nt of all Faith

~ in Chril] and true Religion. And therefore there was a fa. "'1I~~r.I·3·c.14· mous Epilllewrirren by Zmo rbe Emperour, called [he 'Elt/d, or rhe EpiHle of recorxiliation , ill which all dilagreeing interetls , are entreated [0 agree in the Nicene Symbol, and a promlie made upon thar condicion to communicate with all other Sects , adding withall, that the Church Ihould never reo ceive any other Symbol then that which was compofd by the N'cenc Patherz, And however Hosaries was condemnd lor 1 tJlIonothettfe; yet in one of the EpiHIes which the lixth Synod alledged againfl- hill'. (vi~. the fecond) he gave them couniell "hat would have done the Church as much iervice as the de,~rmillarion of the Article did; for he adviied them not [0 be


---------- --~- ----------_

The Li6erty of Propbef1ing.


curious in their dilpmil1gs, nor dogmJti:a!l in their dererminations sbout (hat QlleHion ; and becaute the Church was nat u'ed to dirpure in that ~ltion, it were better ~o prcrerve the fimplicity of Faith, then to enfhare mens confcicnccs by ,3 new Article. And when the Emperour Conjtil.tiuJ was by Jus Faction engaged. in a contrary practile, the inconvenience and unreafonablenefle was [0 great, that a prudent Heathen obferved and noted it in this character of Confiol."tira, Cbrifli«: mun 1"eligionem ahfolf4WI) & ji"'plicel1J LN.B.) anili foP(rfiitio~e conjtJdit. In qua [cYfiMnd/i perple.viHs q"am in componwda gr4- lii!f, 1:I:cifll'lllt diJlidul 'fH£ progrt}Ja fu/,u: aluit conctrtalion~ verb.rum dum rmf1H olnmll'J ad [mlln trslur« oonattsr ar. bitrium.

And yet men are more lead by Example then either by N. b "" Reston or by Precept; for in the Councell of COllfiantiuople one . 11m • ;JJ~ Article de nWD & integra was added. \:iz. I 6elieve one Baptifo~

.f,r tb~ remiJlion of fmlN; and then agame they were fo .co~li·

dent, that that Confeffion of Faith was Co abfolutely mnre ,

and that no man ever after Ihould neece to adde any thing ro

the integtity of Faith, that the Fathers of the Councell cf

ephe[Hf pronounced Anathema [Q all rhofe that [hould adde

any thing to the Creed of (onjl~nt""pb. And yet for aI:

this, the Church of Rome in a Synod at qentil/y added the clauic

of Filioque, to the Article of the proceffion of the holy Ghoft,

and what they have done rince, all the world knowes, E.wmp/,'

OOn '"'1ifiunt,pd 'fflllmvis in tenuem reec/ta Iramitem,t4IiJlim~

Ivaga"di fihi !ofciunt pote/lawn.· All men were penwaded rhat

it was moll: reafonable [he limits of Faith Ihould be no more

enlarged; but yet they enlarged it themfelves, and bound others

from doing it, like an intemperate Father, who becaute he

knowes he does ill himfelfe, enjoyns temperance to his Son, bus

continues to be intemperate hi..m[e1fe.

But now if! Ihould be quetlioned concerning the Symbol of NHI}J~. ~6, Athanafiltt (for we fee the Nicene Symbol was the Pather of

many more, [orne twelve or thirteen Symbols in the fpace of

a hundred years) I confeffe I cannot fee that moderate le'_1tence

and gentlenelTe of charity in his Preface and Conc!uhon as

[here was in the Nicem Creed. Nothing there but damnarion

G 3 anc


and perifhing everlaflingly, unlefle the An icle of the ~ri~ity be believed as it is there with cunoruy and minute parllCUlanUtS e~plaind'. Indeed eAtban4ifls bad been (oundly vexe~ o~ one fide, Gild much cryed up on the other; and therefore it ,IS n~t 10 milch wonder tor him to be (0 dec.reto.ry a!ld jever~ In hIS

cniurc. for norhinz could more afcerrain hIS friends (Q him, and dil: rep~te his enen~es, then the, beliete of.that damnatory ;,,\p_ pendix , but that docs not jutiifie the thmg.For the Articles [hemielves, I am molt heartily perfwaded of .the truth ofrhem, and yet I dare not (ay all that are no,: (0. are Irrevocably damnd, became citra hoc Symbolism, (he Fal~h of tl;e ApoiHes Creed is intire , and he that believeth and, IS baptIZed 0all b~_ {ave?, that is, he that believeth fuch a beliefe as IS fufl1cIe~t dlfp_o~([. (,11 to be baptized, that Faith with the Sacrament IS fufuclent for heaven. Now the Apotlles Creed ~oes one; why therefore

~ Vd, HOCU'll doe not both intitle us to the prcmife ? Befides , If It were de author. S conridered concerning Yith4naJius Creed, how m~ny .people unSCl'il:,I.lo}'.53. derfiand itnor , how contrary to na~urall.real:m It 1eems,.ho~v

~ C;,rdull. little the > Scripture tayes of thote curlOlines. of Explicari-

Huuil.cum. on, and how Tradition was not cleare on hIS (ide for the

'J om I. CO!.. r: h fi 6 d e

rrov.r. Je ver- Article it felfe , much lefle lor toe ormes an mmut s

bo Dei,c'p.!9. (. how himtelfe is put EO make an anfwer, and excufe for [he

t Fathers {peal,ang In favour of the oAr• Vide Grerfcr, & Tanner.in coloq.Ra- yi.t11! at leaf+ 10 teemingly, that the Ar:i,bcn. Eufcbiulll ("Jilo Arl'bllUln ri"",' appeald to them for tryall , a~d rhe aie Perron. lib, 3· cap. centre J,: Roy offer was declind ) and after all [hIS that Iaqucs, Idem 'itOrigir.,clllllcg,[Jc D,: the 'Nicen« Creed it [elte went not to

vlnitarem 6111 & Sptr,:i.I,.,c,7,cle Euchar, .~

contra. Dup lcflif idem cap.l.obfclV.~: lime neither in Article, nor Anathema oj" Irenaiurn ralia dixitlc 'lUX'llll hodlc nor Explication, it had not been arnifle diccrcr plO Arriano lep .rarcrur, "de ifthe finall judgement had been left to euam '{"Iher. m rcfp n d 91, Q!r.u",lt, Jefus Chrirl- for he is appointed Judge of

I ' ' l'cg & El 'ph,", 111 ",:t, .6). , d L

'CO)!, • all the World, and he {hall Ju ge rne peo-

le righreoufly , for be knowes every truth, the degree of eve-

~y neccflity, and all excufes that doe letfen , C?r take away the nature or malice of a crime; all which I think 0thanajiHI though a very good man, did not know {o well as to warrant fuch a fenrence. And puc cafe the herefy there condemnd ~e damnable, (as it is damnable enough) yet a man may m.mta~~

§.:. The Lite't] of Propbefjing. 55

an opinion rhar is in ir ;e;'~ damnablej and yet l.e not Knowing

it 10, and being invincibly lead into ir may goe to heaven;

1,;$ opinion !hall burn, and himfelre be faved. But however,

I lin de no opinions in Scripture cald damnable, but what arc

imnious in matma praWca , or directly detiruciive of the Faith

orthe body of Chrillianity, fuch of which S. Peter {peaks

[brinzi"t in d~ml1(1bte here fie!, even dnlyin,g the LOYd that bOflght : Pc""" ,h,m, thefe aYe the fill!e Prophett who out of covetoufi,,!fe tnak! merchandtfo of y~u through coz:,ening word«, J Such as tbelt:

are truly herefies, and filch as thefe are cerrainly damnable.

Bur becaufe there are no degrees either of truth or {ailhcod,

every true propo/ition being alike true; thar an errour is more

or tcife damnable I is not told us in Scripture, but is determind

by the man and his manners, by circumfiance and accidents; and

therefore the cenfirre in the Preface and end, are Arguments of

his zeal and firength of his penwarion , but they are exrrinfe-

call and accidental! to the Articles, and might as well have been

Ipared. And indeed to me it items veli' hard to pur uncharira-

blene{f'e into the Creed. and fo to make it become as an Ar-

ticle of Faith, [hough perhaps this ,'ery thing was no Faith c'-

Ath~n"JiUf who if we may believe ~qttil1f/1, made this mani-.

fellation of Faitth, n~l1 per tnodum Symboli,fed per modum do- D, rho.,,". Eirin>£, thar is, if I underfiood him right, not with 3 purpofe 'l,r.1O[jc.I. J,( , to impofe it upon others, but with confidence to declare his own ;lIm.

beliefe ; and [hat it was preicrib'd to others as a Creed, was

the aet of the Bilhops of Rom.; [0 he raid, nay, po!Iibly it was

none of his : Sofaid Ihe Patriarch of C.P. UWefetiu! about one

hundred and thirty years ,,(inee ,in his EpiHle to John DOli:::'".

IlAth""a{io j.slfo adftriplum Sl'Nbo/umcNIN PMtpcflm R~,". ap~

pendice ilia IldHlteratHm, Iflce lucidiNf contejl"mur, And it is

more then probable tbat he {aid true , becaufe this Creed was

written originally in Larine. which in all reafon Ath4Ntt/iu! did

not, and it was rranflated into Greek, it being apparent rhar

the Larine Copy is but one, but the Greek is various, there

being three Editions or Tranl1ations rather, exprefled by Gene.

6rard,M.~,de Trinit; But in this particular, who lilt, may

better tarisfie himfelfe in a ditpuration de Symb.lo Athanafii,

prin'ed at Wm;c,6fjrg 15~o fuppoJedro be written by, S(rr"riNt

er Clmlhmll. And


The Liherty of Pyophefying.

'Njm;b,37' ,And, yet I muft obferve that this Symbol of. At!umajiH;' ;nd

tim otncr of'l"f.Jce, offer ~ot .at an% new Arricles , they only pr~~e,nd. [0 a lu;ther Expllc~tlOn ot the Articles Apoflolicall, W!11~i1 IS a certain confirmation that they did not believe more Arrides [Q be ~f b.ehe.f neceflary to falvation : ifrhey intended the!.e furd:er F.xp!tca~lOm to be as neceflary as the dogmatbl1 Articles of the Apotiles Creed, I know not holY [0 an liver ail that may be objected againH that; bur the advanrase that I fhall gather from their 1I0t proceeding to new matt~s is laid

dv f . h d <> ,

out rca y ior me 111 r e wor s of Athanafus, raying of this

Creed [tl;i: is the Cdlholll« FllilhJ and if his authority bee good. or his laying true, cr he the Authour , then 110 man can j~y. of any other Article, rhat it is a part of the Catholike Faith, or thai the Catholike Faith can be enlarced beyond the

Dull, Piic,\l~l' con!e~ltS ,of that Sym?ol; and therefore it is ~ Hrange bold. ~,:i'l'I\1 f.r"Il netie III tnc Church oillome firH to adde twelve new Articles Jil·.:"'""'~, ['ro· and then to adde the Appendix of Athanajill! to the end at' !'IJ~m;. ",.Iei, them, 7 !Jis is ib« cathot'~ Faith, lvithouf which "0 man can be r~-~~'i ~l~I:~~O'l'~ [aucd,

Nllln!', 3 S. . But f? gre~t an example of _Co excellent a man, bath been either miuaken or followed with too much greedicefie , all L,he world in factions, all damning one another, each parry damnd by all the rcll , and there is no dilagreeing in opinion from any man rhar is in love with his own opinion, bLH damnati- 011 prel~mly to all that dilagree. A Ceremony and a Rite bath canted leverall Churches to Excommunicate each other, as in the matter, .o~ the ,Saturday Fari , and keeping Eatler, But what the Ipirns of men are when they are exatperared in a Q;_d1icn and difference of Religion, as they call it thouef the th1tJ8 it lellc may be moll: inconliderable, is very evidenr in that requeti of I'ope Innoccn: the Third, defiring of ihe Greeks (but re.ucnabty a man would think) that they wculd not [0 much hare the Roman manner of confecrating in unleavened bread, as [Q wafh, and .crape, and pare! he Altars after a Roman P riel! had contccrared. Nothing more furious than J miliaken zeal, and the aclions of a rcrupulous and abuled con.cience, When men rbink every thing to be their Faith and their Religion, com' mcnly they are 10 bulie ill trifles and Iuch impertinellcies ill

. which


~.2. The Li/;erty of Propbefjing.


·which the fcene of their miflake lies, that th~y nesletl:the

greater things of ~h~ Law, chari~y. and cOl1?P!ianc:es, and the

gentleneffe of Chnlhan Communion, for thIS IS the great prin-

ciple of mifchiefe, and yet is not more pernicious then unrea-


Fo~ I demand: Can ~ny man fay and jullifie that the Apo-· N' ,

III d d d C h beli d . III11IT. 390

es 1 eny ommunton to any man [at elieve the Ape-

Illes Creed. : and liv.'d.~ good life? And dare any man raxe

that p!oceedIllg of remiflenefle , and inditferency in Religion?

And nnce our bldfed Saviour promifed talvarion to him thar

be/ilverh (and the .Apoflles when they gave this word the

greatef extent. enlarged it not beyond the borders of the

Creed) bow can any man ~arrant the condemning ofany man

to the flames of Hell that 15 ready to die in auetlarion of this

~aith, 10 e~pounded and mad: explicite. by the ApoHIes, and

lives ac~<?rdlngly ~ . And to this purpofe: It was excellently faid

by a WIle and a pIOUS Prelate, S.Hilary, Non per d;fficiler 1m L.lo.deT,i~, DiIIl lid belltllm viram tjN£jlioml voc~t, (j:c. In "lIfo/uIO nobil & ad Enem, f-cill eft £urllittll; ].fum [u[citatum a mortllh,per Deso» credere,

d' ipfi'ln eJTe Dominu", confiteTi, &c. There are the: Articles

which Vie mutt believe, which are the fuflicient and adequate

object of that Faith which is required of us in order [0 Sal-

vation. And therefore it was, char when the Bitbopsof Iflri« Concil, rom.a, deferred the Communion of Pope PC/Ilgius,in caulk tr;UIn CII- Edit. PJlir. t, pitH/arum,he gives them a~accoun~ of his Faith by recitation of 47"

the Creed, and by anefling the four Generall Councels , and

is confident upon this that de fidei firmitate nul/" pot'Tit eJTe

9u~j/i ": vel fu!flcio generari; let the Apoflles Creed, efpecialll roexplicaied.be butfecured, and al~ Faith is fecured, and yet tim

explication [00, was leffe neceflary [hen [he Anicles them-

felves; for the explication was but accidentall, but the Art·ides

even before the Explication were accounted a fufliciem inlet

to the Kingdome of heaven.

And that there was fecurity enough, in the fimple believing N.,.mnb. 4"'; the IirH Articles. iavery certain amongf!: them, and by their

Principles who allow ~ot an implicite faith to ferve mof!: perfons

to the greatefi purpofes; for if the Creed did contain in it the

whole Faith. and that other Articles were in it impiicitCly,

. . Ii . . (fo:


1 ,I


The Li~"ty of propbefjillg.


'1\.J:!.'].I~~1 10. <S~ra

The Li~erty of Propb,fying.

(for fuch is the doC1:rine of the Scheele, and particularly of ~q~i?at) the~ he that expli~itely believes all the Creed, does !mphwely believe all. the Articles conrain'd in it, and ,then it IS b~tte~ the Imphc~tlon Ihould Iiill coetinue, then that by any explication (whIch IS limply unnecefTary) the Church DlOUld be troubled with quefiions, and uncerrain determinations and fachons enkindled, and animolities fet on foot, andmens foules endangerd who before were feeur'd by the explicite beliefe of all that the Apoflles requir'd as neceflary , which beliefe aho did fecurcthcm ~or all th.e rell,becaufe i~ implied the belief of wharfoever was virtually In the Brll Articles, jf fuch beliefe lhould by chance be neceflary,

The Iumme of this difcour{e is this, if we take an eflimate ~f the natu.re of Faith fro,? the di&a.tes and promifes EvangeIicall .. and trol!' the practice ApoitohcalI, the nature of Faith and ItS !ntegnty comifis in fuch propolirions which make the foundacion of hope and charity, that which is fufficient to make us to dee honour (0 Chrili, and to obey him and to encourage us in both; a.nd this is compleated in the' ApoHIes Creed. !,nd lince. contranes are of the tame extent, herefy is to be )udg'd b~ m. prop?rtion and analogy to faith, and that is l1erely only which IS ag~Infi Faiths Now becanfe Faith is not only a pre~ept of Doctrines, but of manners and holy life, wharfoever rs either oppofire [Q an Article of -Creed or reaches ill life, ahat's bereJy; but all thofe propofitions which are exrrinfecall to thefe twC? confiderarions, be they true or be they falfe, make mot herety, nor th~ man an Heretick; and therefore however ~e _may be .an emng penon, yet he is to be ufed accordingly, pitried ~n~ mHrutted, not condemned or Excommunicated; ~nd this IS the .refult of tile nrH ground. the confideration of ene nature of huh and perefy.


SE e T. II I.

Of the 1ifJiculty ~nd uncertainty of .Argument! from scripture, tn ~efltons n.ot fimply neceJfory, not Ilteral,,determined.

GOd who difpofes of alI things Iiveetly and according to the Numb n' nature and capacity of tbings and perfons, had made thofe • ! only neceffary , which be had taken care lhonld be fufficiently

proRounded to all perfons of whom he required the explicire

beliefe, And therefore all the Articles of Faith are cleerely and

plainly fet down in Scripture, and the @o{pel is not hid "iji

pm~ntlbllS faith S,Ptllli; ",d(J)1< ')dp dp~7'iif 'lI"pdXMI~I" '!! ._,..i", Onhod,lidci, 'd",dlm, "l"""~' c.. du7d.1~ 'Vfb,I'£V, faith 'D11r1J,1!cIll, and that lib,4,C.18.

fo maniti:fily that no man can be ignorant of th.e _foundation • Super Pfcl. ofFai[h without his own apparent fault. And this IS acknow- 8~.& de util, ledoed by all wife and good men, and is evident, betides the cred,c .6. realonabJeneffe of the thing, in the teflimonies of Saints' Au/in. b Super Ifa, h Hierom~, c Chryfo/lome, dFIIlgentiul,c Hug~ de San~o Vi,!or~. ~;.9 8< mP[.l. f 1heodoret, g LIIClantiHf, h Th~ophilll1 Antloch<nHI, l~qUtnal, c Hounl, 3. iI'l

and the latter Schoole-men. And God hath done more; Thdr.Ep .z ,

for many things which are only profitable, are alfo {et down d S<r?,.· de fo plainly. that (as S. AHjlm fayes) nema ",de halmr. non poJlit, con~e~, .

'J h . d d ' " d (b 'ft d 'I e Mllccl,I,Lr.

(i m.ao a IIlIr"" mn ,.vote ac r«, tleu .<It ". j upya e Hit,' tiq6.

cred,c.6.) but of fuch things there IS. no Qg_efhon comme~c d f III GOH. ~r: in Chrifiendome and if there were, It cannot but be a cnme S"u,h p.8r. and humane int~reH. that are the Authors of {uch dilputes, g C.6. c.rr, and therefore rhefe cannot be fimple errours, but alwayes here- ]b Ad Amitch.

fi b . h .. 1 f h • fi 11 Ji ·'·P·918•

ies, ecauie t e prmcrp eo t em IS a per '?IIa inne, iPar,!.q.T :m,.

But befidesrhefe things which ar.e f<;> plaml¥ fet down.fome 'l-{,UI!'I!J:2, ..

for dochine as S. Paliltayes, that IS, tor Arucles and founda- -

tion of Faith, Come for inHruttiol1, fome for reproofe, Iomc for

comforr, that is, in matterspraBicaJ1 and fpecularive of Ieverall

tempers and conftitutions , there are IIlnul!lerable places con-

taining in them great myHeries, but yet either fa e~wrapped

with a cloud, or to darkned with umbrages, or heigthened

with expreffions, or 10 covered IV ith allegories and garments. of

H :3 Rheto!ick


The Liberty 8f Prophefying.

Rhetorick, [0 profound. in the matt~r • or fo. altered or made intricate in the manner, In the clothing and in the drefling, that God may feeme [Q have left the,m as tryal!, of o?r induflry, and Arguments of our imperfedions , and tn~enuvesto, the lonainas after heaven, and the dearell revelations of eternity, anl as"occalions and opportunities of our mutuall charity and toleration to each other, and humility in our felves , rather then the repofitories ofFaith, and furniture of Creeds, and Ar~icles of beliefe.·

For wherever rhe word of God is kept, whether in Scrip-, ture alone, or alto in Tradition,he that confiders that. the meanins of the one and the truth or certainty of the other are thi~gs of great '~eltion, will fee a neceffiry in tbefe. things, (which are the fubJea matter of moA: of the Q_g,efhoDiof Chriflendcme ) that men Ihould hope to be excuied ~y an implicite faith in Cod Almighty. Forwhen th~re are in the Explications of Scripture (0 many Comme~tatles, fo many, (enCes. and Interpretations, fo many Volumncs In. all Ag~s,; and all, like )nens faces, exactly none like another, either t~1lS. dtffer~nc,e and Inconvenience is abtolurely no fault at .all, or If It be, I: IS exc)lfable, by a minde prepar'd (0 confenc ~n ~hat truth \~hlC.h Gpd intended. And this I callan implic.ite ~a~th 111 ~o.d, which is certainly of a. great excellencyas an implkitc.Faith inany ~an or company of men.· Becaute they .who doe reqUl(e an implicire Faith in the Church for Articles Iefle neceffary, 3?d excufe the want of explicite Faith by the implicit~, doe req~ue an.implicite Faith in the Church, became they believe that <;i0d hath required of them to . have a minde prepared to believe whatever the Church fayes; which becaufe it is.a pr?poGti~n of no abfolute certainty, whereever does!n readinefle ?fmmde. believe all rhar God fpake, does alfo believe that fufficle_ntly, If it be fitting to be believ'd, that is ,if it be true. and I~ G~d harh.faid [OJ forhehath the Iame obedience of underflanding in this as in (he other. Bot becaufe it is not [0 certain God hath tyedhim in all things to believe that whichis called the Church, and that it iJ certain we mull believe God in all dungs, and yet neither know all that either God hath revealed or the Church raughr, it is benet to take the certain then the uncertain, to

. believe

The Liherty of Prop'Jef'}'ing.


believe God rather then men, efpecially fince if'Codharh bound us [0 believe men, our abfolute fubmiffion to God does-involve that, and there is no inconvenience in the world this way, but that we implicitely believe one Article more, ot«; the Churches Authority or infallibility, which may well be pardone~, becaufe it fecures our beliefe of all the reli, and we are Cure If we believe all that God {aid explicitely or implicirely , .we alfo believe the Church irnplicirely in cafe we are bound to It j but we are not certain, that if we believe any company of men whom we call the Church. that we therefore obey God and believe !",har he hath {aid, But however, if this will not help us, there IS no help for us, but good fortane or abfolute ~re~ellinatio~; for by choyce and indullry, no man can fecure himfelfe that 111 allthe mylteties of Religion taught in Scripture he !hall . ce~tatnly underlland and explicitely believe that [en[e. that G~d mtended. For to this purpole there are many. confiderations. .

I. There are (0 many thoufands of Copies that we:e wnr NlIlNb ... ,

by perfons of feverall inrerefls and. p~r[lVafi?~s.' fuch differcnr '

underflandings and tempers, filch. dlHmCt abilities and weaknef-

fes, that it is 1'l0 wonder there 15 fo great vanety of readings

both in the Old Teflament and in the New. In the Old Te·-

Ilamenr, the Jewes pretend that the Chrillians nave corrupted

many places, on purpofe to make fymph?ny between both the Teliaments, On the-other fide, the Chriftians have-bad fo much'

rea Con to lufpea the Jewes, that when Aquila had tranflated

the Bible in their Schooles and had been taught by them, they

rejected the Edition many' of themyand lome of them called it"

here[y to follow it. AndJIIj1iTJ VUilrlJ~ juHified·it to TrJpholl"

that the Jewes had defalk'd manr-faYlngs .from the·. Books ol

the old Prophets and amongfl the rett, he inflances m that of

the Pfalm Dicit: i" ,,"tio1fibUt <Jui" DDminllO regna'f,lit li ligno.

The lail ~ords they have cut off. and prevail'd 10 farre in ir ,

that to this day none of our Bibles hav~ it; but if t~e~ ought

not to have it, then JlIffin 0J!4rtJrl Bible had more m It the.n

it fhould have .fer there it was; (0 that a fault there was ei-

ther under or dyer. But however; there are infinite Readings

in the New Tetlament (for in that r will inflance) [ODl~ whole

Vetfe; in- one that are nor in another. and there was 1Il lome'

H 3 Copies

The Li/;ere1of Prophe[ying.

The Liherty of Prophe[ying. ~.3.

----,-C-o-:pic--es-o-:fc--S-. c...u.- ark.! Cofpel i~-~he laft _ Chapter a-w-h-o-Ie-v-e~rfe,-;' Chapter it was anciently called, that is not found in our Bibles, as S.Hierom. lId H,di/Jiltm, q'3' notes, The words he repeats, Lib.2. contra Polygamot. Et if/; falltjacielJII"t diCtnlef,foculll1l; iStud iniqllilalif o- increalliitalit fl!J/fanlill eft·, 'lila non jinit per imm1411dof fPi~illlf 'IIeram Dei apprehendi 'IIirlfitem, it/circo j4", nun~ reuet« ,ujliliam III"m. Thefe words are thought by fame, to iavour of UW411lchaijme, and for ought I can finde were therefore reje~ed out of many Greek Copies, and at laB: ,?ut o~ the Larine. Now fuppofe that a 0J{lInich:e in di· Ipuration fhould urge this place, having found it in his Bi, ble, if a Catholike lhould anfwer him by faying it is Apo. cryphall, and not found in divers Greek Copies, might not the Manichee ask how it came in J if it was not the word of God, and if ir was, how came it out? and at laB: take the lame libertJ: of r~jecH~g any other Authority which {hall be alledged agalOf! hIm; It he can finde any Copy that may favour hlm~ however that favour be procured; and did not the chianileJ rejeCt all the Epifiles of S. Palll upon pretence he was an ene~y [0 [he Law ofUf,lofosl indeed it was boldly and molt unreafonably done; but if one title or one Chapter of S. UWKrt_be.calJed Apocryphall, for. beine fufpecled of MA~Iichtijme, It IS a plea that will too much julHfy others in [heir raking and chuting what [hey lilt. But I will not urae it fo lime; but is not there as much reafon fo! [he fierce Lr~'hmtnf [0 reject the Epiiile of S. James for favouring juttification by works, or the Epif!le to the Hc/;rmm, upon pretence that the !!xtb ~nd tenth C11a~ters doe favour N,v<ltianijme; efpeciaJly Iince It was by rome ramous Churches at firlt not accepted.even by the Church of Rome her felle? The Parable of the woman !aken in a~uJtery, which is now in Joh.s. f,,!e!Jius tayes was not in any ~Olpe1, but the Gofpel [ecltJJdll'n H.!Jr.os ,and S. Hierom makes It doubrfulJ, a_nd fo does s. ChrJfofl.mc and Euthimiul, rhe fid! not vouchfafing to explicate it in Homilies upon S.}ohn, the other affirming it not to be found in the exader Copies. I (hail no] neede to urge that there are Iome words fa neer !n found, [bat the Scribes might ealily miliake , There. is

.. one fa mous one of !\vf;(J J"MJ,P'i£, I which yet feme COPl(S se-ad

read "~rp!, h~,u,,7H, the {enfe is very unlike though the words be neer , and there needs {omt> lirrle luxation to Hraine this latter reading to a good fenfe; r'hat famous precept of S.P""I that the women mutt pray with a covering on their head tl~' 't~1 d"ll'i~.{, becaufe of the Angels, hath brought into the Church an opinion that Al'lgels are prefem in Churches, and are Spectators of our devotion and deportment. Such an opiIlion if it Ihould meet with peevilb oppotires on one fide, and confident Hyperafpitts on the other, might polJibly make it SeCt and here were a cleer ground for the affirmative, and yet whd knowes but that it might have been a miflake of the Tranfcribers to double the y? tor if it were read J'.J. .,..~ .;"~.,, that the Jenfe be. women in publike Aflemblies mull: weare a vaile, by reaion of the Companies of the young men there prefenr , it would be no ill exchange for the lotTe of a letter, to make fo probable fo cleare a fenCe of rhe place. But the infiances in this kinde, are tOO many. as appears in the variety of readings in feverall Copies proceeding from the negligence or ignorance

of the Trankribers , or the malicious' endeavour of Herericks, • G,,,,cico:" or the inferring MarginaU Notes into the Text, or the neere- ruperunr no. nefle of (everall words. Indeed there is fo much evidence of rhis VUIll refla· pmicula~, tIm it hath encouraged the fervams of the Vulgar n:;,t~:"T~:t5:

Tranllauon (for fo tome are 110W adayes) to preferre that Tran, J 5 adv M '. flation before the Originall ; for although they have attempted c·;o·n.Eufeb.l.'r. that propofition with very ill fuccefleyer that they could think it Hill. c. ulr, I. poffible to be provo d. is an Argument there is much variety £<)]",.1.1. 1"9" and alterations in divers Texts; for if they were not, it were fi\l"t:rcr.Cl·e· impudence to pretend a Tranflation , and that none of the belt. ~~nr;m;u~~t"

Ihould be berter then the Originall. But fo it is that this va- .

riety of reading is not of flight contiderarion j for although it

be demonHrably true, that all things necelfary to Faith and

good manners are preferv-d from alteration and corruption, be-

caufe they are of things necetfary, and they could not be ne-

ceflary, unlefle they were delivered [0 us, God inhis goodnelf~

and his jllHice having oblig'd himfelf [0 preferve that which he

hath bound us to obferve and keep; yet in other things which

G?d hath not oblig'd himCelfe fo punctually to preierve, in thefe

~hlngs firu;~ .va~iety of reading is I;rept in, every reading rakes



64 The LibfrtJ of Prophefying. ~'3


away a degree of certainty from any propoiition derivative from

thole places fa read: Alld if lome Copies (e(pecially if they be publike and notable) emit a verfe or tide, every argument from fIlch a title or verfe lofes much of its llrellgth and reputation; and we finde it in a great illfiallce, For when in probation of the my fiery of the glorious Unity in Trinity, we al. ledge thatfaying of S.John [thtl' art three whi~h hear r<itnef{e ill h.Aven, tb« Father, the W.rd a~d th, Spirit, IlI1d th,ft thm are one:] the Antitri"jtArianl think rhey have anfwered the A rgument by faying the Syrian T ranflation, and divers Greek Copies have not that verfe ill them. and therefore being of doubt fitll Authority, cannot conclude with certainty in a O!!_e. Ilion of Faith, Alld there is all intlance on the Catholike parr. For when the Arria,)J urge the faying of our Saviour, LN. man (now., th~t da) (fl1d hourt(viz. orjudgemenr ) n. 11./ the S01me, bm tb. Fath'T o"ly]. to prove that .the Sonne knowes not all things, and therefore cannot.be God in rhe proper {enle; S. eArn",,!. thinks he hath anfwered the Argument 6y raying, thole words [no 110/ the SO""'J was thruil into the Text by the fraud ofrhe Arriens, So that here we have one objeCtion, which mull lielt be cleared and made infallible, before we can be alcerrain'd in any Iiich Q£.eilioll as to cal! them Hereticks that ditlenr,

NfilnG. 5. 2. J confider that there are very many fenfes and defignsof

expounding Scripture. and when the Grammatical! [ell[e is found cue, we ale many tillles never the neerer, it is not that which was intended; for there is ill very many Scriptures a double fenle, a literal! and a Spiritual! (toe the Scripture is a B.o~ .. rito, lVithin aHd lvilhoHt ( ./ipoc. 5') And both thefe {enfes are fub- divided. For the lirerall Iente is either natural! or figura. rive. And the Spiritual! is fometimes allegorieall , fometimes anogogicall,nay, fometlmes there are divers Iiterall Ienfes in

• us.», (on. the fame len.tenee, as ~. A_ujlin excell~ntly. proves in divers fir cav- 'f * places, and It appears in divers quoranons 111 the New TeihI~lb.l / de Ci- .ment, .where the Apollles and Divine Writers bring the farne vit.[),i.c.I, .. Tellimol1Y to divers purpofes; andparricularly.S. P .. ul'smaking L!.l.de deCl,,-. thar {ayino of the Pfalme , Tho~ art my Sann«, this day havI I ~a Chrl\.cop. hgmm thtel to be an Argument of Chritls RcfurreClion, and

-7· . . . . -. .. .. a

a defignatioD or ordination to his Pontificate is an inllance ve:" rf farnous in his I. and $. chapter to the H.h"wu. But now there being [ueh variety of fenCes in Scripture, and but few places [0 mark'd out, as not to be capable of divers fenfes if men will write Commentaries, as Htrodemade Orations'",,,

.. ,;.In, ~«,1«';",. what infallible "PO",." will be left wbereby

10 judge of the certain dogmaticall refolute fenre of fuel! places which nave been the matter of~efiion? For put cafe a <l!.!,.ellion were comn:'e~c' d concerning the degrees of glory in heaven , as there IS III the Scbooles a noted one, To [hew all illequality of reward, Chrilis Parable is brought of the reward

of ten Cities, and of five according to the divers improvemenrof the Talenrs , this fenfe is myflicall, and yet very probable, and underflood by men for ought I know. [Q this vety fenfe. And the refult ofrhe Argument is made good by S.P",.!,

as on. filmediffirethfrom a"oth,ringIorJ; (0 fhall it be in tlie refulrection of the dead. Now fuppofe another {hould take the fame liberty of Expounding another Parable to a myflieall fenfe and Interpretation, as all Parables mull be expounded 3 then the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. and though differing in labour, yet having an equal! reward. [Q any man. underHanding may feem very firongly to prove the contrary. and as if it were of purpofe, and that it were prim,.", intl"tum ofrhe Parable, the Lord of rheVineyard derermin'd the point refoJurely up 011 the mutiny and repining of them that had born the bunhen and heat of the day, 1 wil! givt ,."t9 this /1Ij1 'vttJ(I$

to thee; which to my Ienfe feems to determine the <l!.!,.eHion

of degrees; They that work but little, and they that work long, thall not be diHingui!hed in the reward, though accidenraJly they were in the work: And if this opinion could but anfwer

S, Paut, words, it Hands as faire, and perhaps fairer then the other, Now if we look well upon the words ofS. PR,,!,we!halI find~ be (peaks nothing at all of diverfity of degrees of glory in beatified bodies, but the differences of glory ill bodies heaven-

ly and earthly. Ther# 1171 (fayes he) b.ditl ,,,rt"", IIlid rhtle

aT< heavenly. b.di,t: c.A "d one is the gilT} of thUlirthly, IIJlDther th, glor} of tb« heavenly; DHe f,l.TJ of th. S"",an'th.r .of

the c..Moont, e», S9 /hull it G. ill the Rer"rrcf/i_IJ; f.r it it

I jil'ltJc

Hieron.Jn :M.~rth.I3.

The Libelty of Prophefjing.

---"_- "------------

fOI;ne ill corruption, i~ if r~ifld in in~orrupti.". Plainly thus, our bodies in the Returrection {ball differ as much from our boo dies here in the Hate ofcorruption, as one Starre does from ana. zher. And now fuppofe a SeCt fhould be commenc d upon this QJ:!_eflion (upon lighter and vainer many have been) either fide mull: refolve to anfwer the others Arguments, whether they can or no, and to deny to each other a liberty of expounding the parable to Iuch a Ienfe, and yet thernfelves mutt ute it or want an Argument. But men ute to be unjut] in their own cales; And were it not better to leave each other to their liberty,and leek to preferve their own charity? For when the words are capable of a myflicall or a divers J(nte, I know not why mens fancies or underHandings Ihould be more bound to be like one another then their faces: And either in all filch places of Scrip. ture, a liberty mull: be indulg d to ~very honeli ·and peaceable wile man.or elfe all ,Argument from Inch places mufl be wholy declin'd. Now although I intlanc d in a Q!!efiion, which by good fortune never ~ame [0 open defiance, .yet there have been Seth fram'd UpOD lIghter grounds, more rnconfiderable QJ!_e. Iiions, which have been diipured all either fide with Argumena letfe rnareriall and lefle pertinent, S. eAllflin laugbt at the <J)OHlltij}s,for bringing that laying of the Spoule in the Canticlll to prove their Schirm, IndICa mtbi 116i. Fllfoal, ubi cliber in'11(_ ridie. For. from thence they. concluded the refidence of the Church was only in the South part of the world. only in AfriGa. It was but a weak way of Argument , yet the Fathers were free enough to ute fuch mediums, to prove myfieries of great concernment j but %et againe. when they (peak either againl! an A dverJary , or with confiderarion, they deny rhar iuch my' iticall Jenks can Jufficienrly confirm a Q!_ettioll of Faith. But I Ihall inHance in tbe great Qz(licn of Rtbaptizarion of Hereticks, which many Saints,a~d Martyrs, and Confeflors , and divers Councells; and almofi all .Ajia and .Africa did once believe and pratiiJe. Their grounds for rhe invalidity cf the baptilin by a Heretick, were Iuch my Hicall words as thefe,O/eHrJJ peccatsrlf nan impingutt caput m<llm T f. J 40. And Q!!! baptiz,g· , Sur" mortu~ , quid profitit I"v~tio 'JH6? ECc!"!'H" And lib IIqn,l

1I1imA IIbllinttt, Prov, 5' And DrHJ p''C(ltores 11.01) exalJd't;

... Joli.g.

The Liherty 8[ prophefytiIg.

Joh.9. And h, that is lJot with me u againft me, Ltt~Il. I am not Cure the other part had Arguments fo good. For the great one of lina fides, lI1iN", bilplt!ma , did not conclude it to their underflandings who were of rhe other opinion, and men famous III tbeir generanons ; for it was no Argument that they who had been baptized by Johns baptiiin Ihould not be baptized in the name of Jef~s, becauie unm '])tllf unum b>lptifma. and as it is fiiH one Faith which a man c~nfelreth feverali rimes. and one Sacrament of the Eucharifi , thoazh a man ofren .c~mm[jnicates; 10 it 1!1ig[lt be = baptiJm though oft~~ minitired, And the unl~y. of b.apufm might not be denv d fro.n~ theynlty o_f the mllllllrano!l, but frem the uniry ef the Rell!?lon Into which they are baptized; rhouah baptized a thoufaud times, yet becauie it was Hill in the" name of the holy Trinity, Hill into the death of Chrifi, it might be ""um h.1p'ifin_". ~hether S. Cyprian, Firmi/ian ,and their ColJegues had this ditcourfe or no (I know not) I am lure they might have had much better to have evacuated the force of that Argumen.t '. alrhough 1 believe they bad the wrong caute in hand. But this is It rhat I fay, that when a Q!!eHion is [0 underermin'd in Scriprure , that the Argun'ems rely only upon fuch mjfticall places. whencerhe bet! rancies can draw rbe grearcfi vanety, and fuch which perhaps were never intended by the ho, ly GhoH, it were good the rivers cid not {l,velJ bieber then the founraine, and .the confidence higher then the Argument and evidence , for in this cafe there could not any thing be fo -,erraillly proved, as [hat the difagreeing patry fhould deferve to be condemn'd by a (emence of Excommunication tor difbelieving it • and yet they were; which I wonder at 10 much !ge more, becaute they ~ I"!~o as it was fince judg'd) had the light caufe, had not any lufliclenr Argument from Scripture, not f~ ~lIch as {uch myq,i,fall Arguments, but did fly to the Tra. dillon of [be Church, m which alfo I {ball afterward {.hew, tbey had not bing that was abfolutely certaine,

,~. !~ confider that [here are divers places of Scripture con- 'lI{,lIm~. 6, talOlIlg 111 them my Reries and ClE>Hions of great concernment

and yet the fabrick and confli tution is tuch, that there is n~

certain mark to determine whether the fenfe of them fhould

- I2' ~

TIlt Li6erty of P1ophefying.

The Li6ertyof Prophefyi;;g.-----'---6'9------



beIiterall or figurative; I fpeak not here concerning extrinfecall meanes of determination, as tradirive Interpretation, Councels, Fathers, Popes, and the like; I [hall confider them afterward in their feverall places; but here the fubje6t matter being can. cerning Scripture in its own capacity, I fay there is nothing ill the nature of the thing to determine the fenfe and meaning, but it mull be gotten out as it can j and that therefore it is unrealonable, that what of it [elfe is ambiguous Ihould be underrlood in it! own prime fenfe and intention, under the paine ofeirher a finne or an Anathema; I in Hance in that famous place from whence hath tPfLUlg that Q!.!.eHion of Tranfubilantiation, Hoc eft corpri! mum;, The words are plain and clear. apt to be underflood in the literall tenfe and yet this fenCe is fo hard as it does violence to reafon , and therefore it is the Qg_eHion whether or no it be not a figurative fpeech. Bat here what Ihall we have to determine it? What mean foever we take, and to what [enre foever you will expound it, you {hall be put [0 give an account why you expound other places of Scripture in the iiur.e cafe to quite contrary fentes, For if you expound it literally, then betides that it feerns [0 intrench up· on. the words of our blefled Saviour, The word,that I /PM~ th'J are Spirit and th'J are'life, that is, to be fpiritually underHood (and it is a miferable thing 10 fee what wretched lhifis are "Ired to reconcile the literall fenfe (Q thefe words, and yet to diHinguilh it from the Capernairicall fancy) but betides this, why are not thole other fayings of Chrifl expounded literal- 1~ J I am a Vine., I am the D'oore , I am a Rock." Why doe we flie to a figure 111 rhofe parallel words? This ;s the COVln~1fI which I m,,~e Imween me and lOH; and yet that Covenant was but the lign of the Covenant; and why doe we fly to a figure 1D a precept, as well as in myflerj and a prcpofirion ? If thJ rr;ght h""d.offelld the. cut it off; and yet ~bave figures eriou8h to fave a limb, If it be faid becaufe reafon tells us thefe are not [Q be expounded according [0 the letter; This will be no plea for :them who retaine [he literal! expofirion of the other inHance againH all. reafon, againfl al! Philofophy, ag.ainf.! all fenfe, and againfl two or three fciences. But if you expound ,here words figuratively, betides that you are to CODIeil againH

- - .. a

70 _!_~e__I-_ihertJ Of Prop~0_g. ~.3.

---d-oe-fr-o-m~hence baptize Infants, tbough with a Iefle opinion of irs abtolute necefliry, And yec rhe fame manner of precept in rhe Came forme of words, in the {arne manner of tbrearnino by an exc'ufive negative, [hall nor enjoyn us to ccmmu~i~ate In.anrs , rhOl1gh damnation (ar leall: in forme of words) be exaCl-ly and p,r omni" alike appendant co the neglect of holy Ilaprilm and the ~'e!1erable Euchari!~. If [ni,r, 'Juit re'Jatllf] {lull conclude againi] rhe Anablpl1ft, for necefliry of bapriz ing Infants (as Iiire enough we ray, ir does) why Ihal; not an equaf: [niji' com;d"'ilit J bring_ Jn~ams to the Iholy Comm~. 1110n? The Primitive Cburch tor Ierne two whole Ages did !ollow their own principles, where ever they lead them; and fee. in" that upon the lame ground equall refults mull: follo\v, tb~y did Communicate Infants as loon as they had baptized rhem. And why the Church of Rome fhould nor do~ (o teo, being Ole expounds [ IIiji com:dmw] of orall manducation , I can!l?~ yet learn a rear on. And for orhers that expound ir of a lpirituali manducarion , why chey 01a1l not allow the dilagreeing pare the lame liberty of expounding [n!fi 'lui; renrltUI J too, I by no mcanes can underHand. And m thefe cafes no e},rerna!l determiner can bee pretended 10 anlwer, For wharfoever IS exrrin.ecall ro the words, as Councels, Tradition, Church Authority, and Fathers, either hare laid 1'1othing at all, .0r. have concluded by their praclife contrary to the prefenr opirnon. as is Fldine in their communicating Infams by vel rue of [>1i,1 co-


s- I (hall nor need to urge the myfleriou'heffe of {orne

points in Scripture, which e» natura rei are hard to be under!tood though very plainly reprefenred, For there are (ome [ecrct« Tb(o!ogi~, which are only to be underftood by perlo:lS very holy and {pirituail., w~l!ch are rather to be felc then Mcourted of, and therefore II peradventure they be _offered [Q publike confideration , they will therefore be .oppol~d becaufe rhey runne the {arne forruoe with many other Q£_efhons_, th~t is not co be underilood, and 10 much the rather becaule their u~de!Handing, that is, rhe feeling fiich fecrers of the Kiogdome, are not rhe refults of Logick and Philofophy , nor yet ofp.ub. like revelation, bur of the publike {pirit privately working,

- and

Numb. 8.

Tbe Liberty of Prophefjing.


and in no man is a c'my. bur in all rhat hare it, is a reward,al~c1 is not neceffary (or all, bur given to Iome, producing its operations, not reeularly. bur upon occafions, perionall necel!itics and new emergencies. Of this nature are the {pirit of obiignation, beliefe of particular falvation, fpeciall influences and comforts comming from a len Ie of the {pirit of adoption, a :luall fervour- and grear complacencies in devotion Ipirituall joye" which are little drawings afide of the curraines of peace and eternity, and anrepafis of' immortality. Bur the not underHandit·g the per.ect conltirucion and temper of thefe mytlerics (aod IC is hard lor any man 10 to underttand , as [0 make others doe fo too that reete them nor) is caufe that ill many Q!!_eHions ot Jeerer Theo!ogy , by being very apc and cary co be rnillaken , there is a necetiiry in forbearing one another; and this confideration would have been of good ule in the Qul!llion between SOlO and C .. tharimll, both tor the prelervation of their cnarity and expiicarion of the mytiery,

6. Bur here it will nor be unfeafonable ro confider, rhar NtIi'!1I!.~, all fytlems and principles of Icience are expreifed 10 char either

by reaion of the Llniverialiry of the rermes and fubje8: matter

or the infinite variety of humane undedlandings,and rhefe per.

adventure fwayed by inreret+, or derermin'd by thillgs accidenrall

and cxtrinfecall, they teem ro divers men, nay to the fame

men uron divers occaiions to !peak[hing~ extremly. diiparare

and fomerimes contrary, but very often ot grear vartety. And

this very thing happens alto in Scripture; that ific were nor

inre f.rcra & fln,l, it were excellent fport to obterve how

the fame place of Scripture (erves Ieverall rums upon cccatiou;

and they at chat rime believe che words round nothirg elle,

whereas in the liberty of their judgement and abltrJCting from

char occafion, their Commentaries underftand them wholy to a

differing feme, It is a wonder of what excellent ufe to the

Church of Rome, is [tzbi d,,/;o claucs : J It was rpoken co Peter and

none el{e (fometimes) and therefore i~ conc~rns him and h!s_

Succeifors only lthe' rel] are to derive from 111m. And yet It

you ~ellion rhem for their Sacramento! Penance, and Prie(tly

Ablolution. then tib; da60 clavtl comes in, and tbat was 'poken

:0 S.Puer, and in him to the whole Colledgecf the Aroilles!


Bdlar. Eb.~. .J:: p(lmit~c.3. § rcfpondco 1':"JU1Ut

rl)e Liherty of Prophe[ying. ~'3.

a-;di;;tEe~-rotbe whole Hierard;y~-if-you q~~ftion whY th-;

Pope pretends to free fouIes from Purgatory. lihi dabo cI~'!", is his warrant; but if you tell him the Keyes are only for bind. ing and looling on Earth dire6Hy, and in Heaven conlequenrly, and that Purgarory is a part of Hell, or rather neither Earth nor Heave? Il?l" Hell! and [0 the ~eyes Ieem to have nothing to doe IY ith ir.then his Comm ffion IS to be enlarged by a lupplero. ry ot reafon andconlequences.and his Keyes Ihall unlock this dit: ficulry ; tor It IS clavi! fiimtiot as weJJ as Iluthoritali!. And there Key.es (hall e~able him to expound Scriptures infallibly, to determine Q!!.elhons, to pretide in Councels, to dictate to ail the World MagiHerialJy. ro rule the Church, ro diipence with Oaths, to abrogate Lawes : And if his Key of knowledze will nor, the Key of Authority Ihall , and Ii!;; dabo c/~vel (h~ll an. fiver tor all. We b~ve an mHance in the lingle fancy of one man, what rare vanety of matter is afforded from thofeplain words of[. Oreui pr~ Ie Petre J LII~ 22. for that place Iajes Bellilrmll1e, IS otherwJfe to be underfioodof Peter, otherwife of the _Popes, and otherwile of the Church of Rome. And [pro Ie] Iign_I1ic! that Chnit prayed that Peter might neither erre perlona'Iy nor judicially, and thar Peters Succeflors if they did errc Ferlon~lly, might not erre judicially, and that the Roman ~hurch might not erre penonally, All this variety of fcore 13 pretended by. the fancy of one man> to be in a few words w hich are as plain and fimple as are any words in Scripture. And whar then in thofe thoutsnds that are intricate? So is done with pafte ova which a man would rhink were a com. ,?i~ion as inn~ce~t and guilrletre of defigns, as the !beep in the 101a5 ar~. Bur If.lt be asked why the Bifhop of Rome calls him[elfe Univerfall BI(hOP, p"fie oues is his warrant> Why he pretends to a power of depoJing Princes P "fcc aues {aid Chriti to 'Peur, the Jecond time .. ~f it be de~anded why alfo he pretends to a po.wer ot a~th0.r'zl11g his fubjeas to kill him, P"fie "£"01 [aid Chnj~ the thud time.' And pafte is dsce, and p"fie is Imper«, and pafie IS O(C:df. Now If others fhould rake the fame (unreafonablel:e{~e I IV III n~t . lay J bur. the lime) liberty in expounding ~erlp;lI:cJ_ cr_ If J( be nor licence taken, but that the Scripture 1L Ielfe IS 10 lull and redundanc in (ellles quite conrrary , what


e·4· The Lihert) of Prophe(yblg. 73

;;;a~[oever, o;-;ha;-~mpany of ni;;;J"o-e'-le-r-a-]-a-U-U-re -chis- ---principle, will cert.ainly finde fuch _rare productions {rem teve-

r~1l p'aces , that either: the unrealo?abknen~ of rhe tbing will

diicover the errour of the p.oceed'lJo, or elre rl.cre will be a

necefliry of permitting a great lihwy of judsernenr where

is fo i~finite .variety without Iimir or mark or 'necetlary deter-

mmanon. If the I1rH, then becaute an crrour is 10 obvious and

rc.dy (o.cllr ldyes, it will be we_at imprudence or lyr .. nny to

be bally 111 Judglllg others; but It the larter it is it that I con-

tend to:- '. for it is. molt unreafonable , when' either the thing it

Iehe minitlers variety, or that we take licence 10 cur ldves in

variety of inrerprerarions , or proc'aime to aJJ the world our

great wea~n.etre, by our aCluol.ly be_ing ceceived, (hat we fhould

eitl.er .prelcl~be to others .magl£1enally when we are in errcur,

or IUnIt their undertiandings when the thing it [elfe affordsli-

berry and variety.


Of the dIfficulty of Expounding Scripture.

T Hefe confiderarions are taken from the nature of Scripture ir [elte j bur then if we confider that we have no certain wayes of determining places of difficulty and ~ettion, .infal-

lib;y and certainly, but that we mutt hope to be 13V'd in the be-

liere of things plaine , neceffary and fundamenrall, and our pi-

ous endeavour [Q finde out Gods meaning iR Iiich places which

he ha.h left under a cloud for other great ends relerved to

his own knowledge> we thall (ee a very great neceffity in al-

lowing a liberty in Prophelying without pre.cribirg aurhorira-

Lively to other rr ens coniciences , and b.comming Lords and

Mailers of their Faith., Now the meanes of expoundiogvcrip-

ture are either exterriall, or inrernall, For theexternall, as

Church Authority, 1 radition, Fathers. Councels and Decrees

of Biihops, they are of a diftinCl: conrideration , and to!;ow,

afrer in their order. But here we willlirll confider the inva-

Edity and uncertainty of all thole meanes of expounding

K Scripture

--;4-'-~~'---~'--~--'lhe Uhmy of Prophefying.


Scripture which are more proper and internal! to the nature of the thing. The great Mailers of Commentaries, feme whereof have undertaken to know all myfleries, have propounded many wayes to expound Scripture, which indeed are excellent helps but not infallible affiHances. both becaufe rhemlelves are bu; moral! infirumenrs which force not truth e« ab[condito. as allo becaufe they are not infallibly ufed and applyed. T. Sometime the, ienre is dra\~n forth by the context and connexion of parts:

It IS well when it can be to But when there is two or three antecedents, and fLlbjeets rpoken ofwhat man or what rule 111all afcer~ain m~ ~hat I make my reiere,nee true by d:dWlng the relation to Iuch an antecedent, to which I have a rninde to ap. ply it, another bath not. For. in a contexture where one part does not alwayes depend upon another , Where rhinos of differi~g. mrures intervene and interrupt the firll: intenti~m, [here,lt IS = alwa~es very probable to e,xpound Scripture, rake its meaning by IrS propornon to the nelghbourina words. But who defires ratislaction in this, may read the oblerl'ation verified in S. qr~!,orJ's moralls upon Job,1ib.5c. '9, and rbe in. Rances he ~here_ brings are excellent proofe , ,that _this way of Inrerprerarion does not warrant any man to rmpole his Expo. fitions upon the beliefe and undenlanding of other men roo

confidently and magiHerially.

3. Another great pretence of medium is the conference of

places, which dt)ric(1f calls iN!,'''! rmudfum & feliciffim:rm expojitionem fimEt~ flr1plur,,; and indeed 10 it is it well and temperacely ured; but then we are beholdino to them that doe 10 j, for there is 110 rule rhar can contlrain them to it; for compa!l~B ~f places is of 10 indefinite capacity, that it' there be ambIgu.uy of ,words, variety of (en:e , alteration of circum. Hances, or difference of Hile amonell Divine Writers then there is nothing !hac m~y be more ~buted by \\il!ull people, or mly m.ore eafily deceive the unwary. or that may arnu.e d~ molt mt~lhge~lt Obferv,er. The Anabaptills rake advanrabe ~nough 1Il this proceeding, (and indeed II) may anyone that,l~lt) and when we pretend againt] them the nccefliry of bJPtlzrng all, by authority of ".iii 'l"'" renat es f,..ri, e» aqtllt & lltrllff, they hare a parallel lor It, and tell us that Chr,lr

. - will

The Li6erty of rropheJjing.


will bllptht U1 with tbe holy q hoft (lnd with fir~. and chat one place expounds the ~tber; an~ becaufe by fire is not meant an Eleme~lr 6,." any t111n~ that IS narurall , but _an Allegory and £gurauve expreflion ot [he fame thing , [0 alio by water may ~e rnea,nt the figure (t~nify!ng the effeCt or manner of operanon ot the holy Spirit. FIre Il1 one place, and water in the other, doe but reprefenr to us that Chritis bapti.m is norhins elfe but the cleanting and pUliiying us by the holy Ghofl , Bu~ that which I here note as of grearell: concernment, and which in all reafon ought to be an utter overthrow to this topique , is an univerfali abufe of it among rhoie rhar ure it rnolt , and when two places teem co have the fame expreffion , or if a word have a double fignifiea[i~Jl1, becauie in chis place ir may have Iuch a tente , thererore l[ muli , becaule in one of the places rhe knfe is to their purpote, they conclude that there. fore it mut] be fo in the other roo. All inflance I give in the great Q!_c::flion between tbe Jocillian, and [he Catholikes, It any pla-ce be urg'd in which our blefled Saviour is called God, they {hew. you two or three where the word God is taken in a depretled fenle, far a quufl Dei« , as when God laid [Q tJi,t"fo', Cor.(fttui te Dei,'", Pha,".,,,,; and: hence they arG!1e, becaule I can thew the word is u.ed for a '])'141 [JEtHr, therefore no Argumen~ is iufficiem to prm'e Chriti [0 be Veue verlif from the appellative of D&II1. And might not another argue to the exact comrary, and as well urge that M.fos is D'H! ueres, becaufe in lome places [he word '])"'f is uted pro De» eterna : Both wayes the Argument concludes impioully and unreatonably. It is a fallacy a poffi ad efJe 4fir".allve; becauie breaking of bread is (ometirnes uied lot an Eucharitiicall maudocation in Scripture; therefore I {hall not from any tertimony of Scripture affirming the firH ChrilHans to have broken bread togetber, cor-elude that they liv'd hofpitably and in common rcciery. Becauie it may poffibly be eluded, therefore it does not tignifie any rhing, And this is the great way of anfwering all the A rgumencs that can be brought againtt any thing that any man bath a mind (0 defend; and any man thac reads any conrroverfies of any fide. Ihall finde as many inllanccsofthis vanity almofias he finds _ Arguments from Scrip-

K 2 mre,

76 the Liherty of P,ophefjing~ ('4.

-----' ture j this fault was of old noted by S.AujJm,for then they bad

De <Jon r ', got the trick, and he is angry at it, mch en;m "utar~ d"bo""f

Chri.uan, ,J[e pr£jc;'iptum, ut quod tn ali,!"' loco res alitllJl& p,r ji."ili.

J,b·3· fNdwcm (g>lific.v,rit, hoc etiam flmpe .. Jigntfic~re c'~d4mU!,

't-{jlmG. 3' 3' Oftentimes Scriptures are pretended ro be expounded by

J proportion and Analogy of reaton, And this is as the other, it' it be well, its well. But unlerle there were lome intel/diu! !t/tiverJ~lit filrniihe,l with infallible propoitions , by referriog to which every man might argue iniallibly, this logick may deceive as well as any or the reii , For it is with reafon as with mens taties ; aJtlJo~'gh there are lome generall principles which are reatonable to all men, yet erery man is O'Jt able to draw out all its coniequences , nor to underliand them when they are drawn forth .nor to believe when he does underftand them. There is a preceprof S. Paul directed ro the .rh'/f.<loniwbe. fore they were garher'd into a body of a Church, 2 Th'[.1' 6. To withdrmv from e1J~ry Groth,r t/Jllt wllI'<1th diflrderfJ. But if this precept were !lOW obferved , I would faine know whether we fhould not fall into thatinconvenience which S.PaN/ fought to avoyd in giving the fame comrnandement to the Church of (ormth, I Cor.). 9' [wrote to JO!J tbat p~ jhould /tot t:DI1JP~'J with fornielltors; And JU not allogether with the f'0rnic4Im of thit w.rld ,for then lee mu(f goe '!It of tb~ warld : And there. foee he reHraim it to a quitting the fociery iof ChriHians li, ving iii Ii ves. But now that all the world hath been Chritiisns, if we fhould lin in keeping company with virions Cl1riliians, mut! we not alfo goe out of this world? Is not the precept made null, becau.e the reafon is altered, and things are come abour.and that the ., '1i~M" are the brethren "J""~" '"1-'.(01''''' called brerhren.as S, Pault phrafe is? And yet either this never was comidered, or not yet believed; for it is generally taken [0 be obligatory, though (I think) ieldomepracliled But when we come to expound Scriptures to a cerraine lenfe by Argu· ments drawn from prudenriall motives, then we are in a va(t plain without any fultJcienr guide, and we iliall have fv many fenCes, as th~re,ar.::bumane prudences. But rhat which goes further then tn,S, IS a parity or reafon from a plain place of Scripture 10 anoblcure, from thac which is plainlyfet down in a Tm

- .'. ---, -- .. [0

The Liherty of Prophefyif)g~


----~-~--.-.-.- .. '-.------~~. --

to another that is more remote from it. And thus is that place in S. v";{"llhew forced, !f thy I>rqther refufo to I>e IImmded, J)ie "cleji£. Hence tome of the Roman Doctors argue, If Ch61l: command, to tell the Church in cate of adultery or private ,injury, then much more _in care of befery. "Yell, ruppo'e this to be a good Inrerpretaricn , Why muti I Iray here? Why may nor I alto adde by a parity of reafon, If the Church mufi be [Old of herety, much more of treaion . And why may not I reduce all ilnnes to the cognizance of a Church rribunall, as lome men doe indire+ly , and S"tc"nut does heartily and plainly? If a mans principles be good, and h~s deductions Cer~ rain he need not care whether they carry him. But when an Authority is intrufied to a perfon , and the extent of his power exprefled in his commilTion, it will not be jaf~ty to meddte beyond his commitlion upon confid~nc~ of a panty ot. reafon, To inliance once more; When ClmH in paJe. oVel or t» N Petrus, gave power ro the Pope to govern th~ Church (tor to that lenJe the Church of Rome expound! tholcAutnorlClcs) by a certain confequence of real on, lay they, be gave ~11 things nece!fary for exercife of this jurifJittion. and therefore in pufc~ ova] he gave him an indirect power over tempo~alJs. for t!13t is neceflary that he may doe hIS duty r WeI!, hrving g?ne tnus farre, we will s= further upO,n, [h~ panty of realon , were!ore he hath given the Pope the gIlt ot tongues, and he hath gIven him power co give it; for how elfe fhall X~vierconvert the [11- dwu? He harh given him alfo powe.r to ~om~and t~e Seas and tile winds, that they fhould obey him, for this alfo IS very necdrary in lame cares, And 10 p .. [c« oues is accip« d.nuT» /i,:s,,,,rum, and Imper« -uenti«, &- d'fi'o'" reg"m di4d,matll, &- 1>l1C_0- rum pr<taia, and I?IjltI'MIIIJ ca:/i (00, and, wharfoever the panty of reafon wili judge equally m:ce!ia,ry 1Il order to p~fc" aves; when a man does {peak reafon , It IS but reaton he fl10uld be heard; but Ihm·gh be may have rhe good fortune, or rhe great abiities to doc it, yet he bath not a certainty, 110 regular i~. fallible all,H.nce J no inipi.ation of Arguments ,and deducti- 0111 ; and if he had. yecbecauCe it m~tt be rea ion that ~ult judge of reafon, unlefle other mens unaerflaodlDgs were ot the i.;\: .yre, the lame coniiinuion and ability, rhey cann_Ot. ~f!

.. .-, K 3 prefcrib d.

The Libert) of prophejjing.

----:------p~;;~~;b'd unto, by an~ther mans r~al~n; efpecial,ly becauie luen

\ rcaronings as U!i131;y are!n exp!tC3non of pameula~ plac~s. of Scripture, depend upon mrnure :trcumflance_s and paru:ularmes, in which it is fo earv to be deceived, and 10 hard [0 ipeak reaion rq';lllJrly and alwayes, that it is Ihe greater wonder if we be not deceived.

Nf'iwb. + 4' Otl.ers pretend to cxrOl~nd Scrip~ure, .by the analogy ?f

faith and that is the moil Jure and infallible way (as It II dWllg~'t:) Bur upon flrider .tllfl·ey it, is bsr a Chimera , a tbir'" in IIIJ/Jt!JfI! which varies like the rlgOt hand and left hand of /Pillar and ar toe belt is bur like 1i1~ Co Jan of a Country [0 a Traveller cut or' his \Vay; It may ~ring him to his jourI1cyc~ en~ thoJJp.b rwenry mile ab_out! it ,n:ay k~ep h:m trom flllm:ng 1I1lO the Sea, and frcl11lTIIHaklllg ,/i:Ilver ,0: dry bnd,; bur whether this little path or tile other be the nghr \Vay It (ells nor. So is tbe analogy ofFairh, that is , if I un,derlt,drJd it ljolJe, the rule of Faith, that IS the Creed. Now were ir not a 1';nc device to gee to expound all the Scripture. by the Creed, there be;J1" in ir Io many rboufand places whIch have no more relation" to allY Arrick in the Creed, thtn they bare ro Tit)Te t u partll,?' Indeed if a man retolves to keep tile al'a:o~y of Faith, that is to expound Scriprure , 1'0 25 not co coe ~l1y violence ro .any Iimdsmenral) A~ric1e, be f11all he iure however be CITes yet nor to dettroy Fairb , he !hall ~Ot pedl, in his Expolition. And that was the precept gll'Ctl by S,'Plltll, tim all Prophefyings [liould be ellimared xd,_' .i'~A,)t"V ,,;,,tv,, Raw.cr2. and to this very purpofe, S • .Auf1i/J 111 his lxpcfiticn of qmc(if, by way of Pref.ce le~s dow~ tile Arric.ee of Faith, with this ddigt1 and proreflation ot It, tim 11 he {~yes nothirg a~ainfl thole Art ides , though he mille tile parricular lenfe of tile place, there 15 110, da~ger, or Iinne In hIS Expcfirion j but how that analogy of Fat~h nl~ll!d have any orber ipflu{nce in e~FoLlndillg fuch places In which thoie Arric.cs of' Faith are neither exprelfed, nor involvd, 1 uncerliand IIGr. Bur then if you extend the analogy of Fait!l further then that which is proper to rhe rul~ or Symbol of Pairh, the,n {very man expounds Scripture according t? ~he analogy 01 Fmh; but I,hat? Hi. own Faith: which F311h If t[ be quelilonedJI am 110


,-_:_,---:-~-- -----_._----_._-- -

The Li6ert) of PlopbefJing. 79



more bound to expound according to the analogy of allot/:e:,

mans Faith, then he ro expound accordlllg to rhe at1alogy 0,

mine. And this is ic that is complain'd on of a!1 fdes that

overvalue their OWD opinions, Scripture feems fo dearly to

Ipeak what tbey believe, chat they wonder all ,the world

does not fee it as clear as tbey doe; bur they ~atlslie the!Il-

felves with faY'ina thar it is becaufe they come WIth prejudice,

t> b '" I ' hei I ld

whereas if they had the true elr~I~, t iat IS, I eirs , t:~ey wou:

eau:y fee what they fee. And this 15 \'ery true : ! or It they did believe as others believe, they would expound Scriptures t.o t1_ltlr lenie; bur if this be e~poundi~li according ro the am!ogy of Faith, it ligt1ifies no more then rim, Be you of my mind ~n,d then , my Arguments will ieem concluding and 111:( A~.Hb.onties a~ Allegations prelling al_ld pewnem.: And ~!11S WIll ierve on ~Il fides and therefore WIll doe but little Iervice to the derermi; natio~ of <l!!_;lIions, or pretCribing to other mens conlciences on any fide.

Latily , Cornuhing the Orisinals is t,ho~ght a. great l11at~er NflmG. )' to Jmerpretarion of ~criptures. But this IS to 1ma!1 purpo,e:

F'Jr indeed it will expound the Hebrew and the Greek, and re-:tifie Tranflarions. But I hl10W no man that Iayes that the Scriptures in Hebrew and Greek ~re eafie and certa!nc to ,b: ur.de:llood, and that they are hard 111 Larine and Enghf11 : The ~illiculry is in the tbing bc:w,ever it be exprefled , the leJi{ is 111 tile language. If the Onglt1JII Languages were our mother ton~u'~ Scripture is not much the caner to us ~ and a narnrall

b , . 0' I

Greek or a jew, can with no more rea.on, nor .~':t amy 00-

trudc his Interpretations UpOll other ~lens COt1IC,lesce~,~ then. a nun or another Nation, AJJC to this thar the inpect ron o~ the Orieinall is no more certain way of Interprct ation or

", h'Fh JI)'"

Scripture now then it was to tear. ers an l~ll~Ill\'C

Age, of the Church; and yet he that ob'erves \V~la~ !Ohmre, variety ot Tranll.tions of the Bible were III the lir1:, ... ges at the Church (as S,H,"'om obferves) and never a .one like another; will think tbat we Ihall differ as much 111 our ll_lterpretJlions ::5 thEY did, and char the ~ediom 15 zs unCWJII1 to us as it wis to thcm; and to it is; witnefle rhe grear nurnher of4t, Tranflarions and [be infinite number ofCommenrar~es,

' '. ~hKh


The Li6erty of Pyophe[ying.

'1X.!Jlnb. 7.

which are [00 pregnant an Argument that; wee neither a-. gree in the lInderJl~nding, of the words nor ofrhe fe1!!~' ,

The truth is. all chele wayes o, Interpreting ot SWpn:re which of thernlelves are good help" are made either by de[jon, or by our inlirmirrs. wayes'of intricating and involring S~riptures 'in greater diHict11ty, becaute men doe nor learn [heir doctrines from Scripture, but come to the ullJcr!~~Il.iing of Scripture with preconceptions and id,ea's of doctn~t'S ?f their OW11, and then no wonder that Scriptures look Iil«, PIBures, wherein every man in the roome_ believes tbey look on him only, and that wherefoever he Hands, or how olte-nuner he changes his il2!ion, So thar now whac was intended for a remedy, becomes the promoter of our difeale.' and nu', meat becomes the matter of Iicknelies : And the mifchiere IS, the wit of man cannot lind a remedy for it; for there is no rule, 110 limir, no certain principle, by which all men nIIy be guided co a certain and 10 infallible an Jnrerpreration , that he cau with ally equity pre.cribe to others to believe his Interpretations in places of controverly or ambiguity. A man would think [hat the memorable Prophely ofJilCob, that the Scepter fhonld not depart (rom JUd.lh till Jhi!oh come, [hould have been 10 clear a decermination of rhe time of the cM~ffiaf , that a jew Ihould never have doubted it to have been verified in Jeiils of JVa:umtb; and yet tor this to clear vat'cinarir.n , they have no Iefle chen c\Veney lix Anrwers. S, P,:u/ and S.J~I1J<I teem to ipeak a little diverfly concerning [ufiification by Faith and Works, and yet [0 my underHanding it is very eary [0 reconcile rhern . but all men are nor of my mind; for Ujiandrr in his confination of the book which /Wd.mch/o;, wrote againft him, oblerves, that there are twenty ieverall opini. ns concerning Iuftificacion, al! drawn from tile Scriptures, by the men only of the v:!fJgIJ{!Ill1 Conf ilion. There are fixreen teverall o~iniol1s concerning original! (inne , and as many definitions of rhe Sac:amenrs as there are Seas of men thar di.agree about them.

And now what help is entre for us in the midll: of there llDceminrics? If we follow any one Tranflation , or aCY,one mans Commentary, whac rule {hall we have to chule the rIght by?

T"~ Li"~rtJ sf prQphefJing.


by? or is there ~ny one man, that ~arh rranflated perfeCtly, or expounded infalhbly? No Traoflation challeages iuch a prerooatil'e as to be authentick, but the Vulgar Larine j and yet fee ~ith what geod fucceffe: For when it was declared authentick by the Councell of Trent , Si:t'tul put forth a Copy much mended of what it was, and tyed all men ,to follow rhar , b~t rhat did not fatisfie; for Pope C/cmellt reviews and corrects It in many places.and Hill the Decre~ rem~ines in a changed fub#t, And iecondly , that Trarflation Will be veryunapr to fatisfie in which one of their own men ljido~e C/drml a Monk of B;(f'i~, found and mended eight thoufand faults, berides innumerable others which he Iayes he pretermitted. And then thirdly, to 111ew how linle themfelves were fatisfied with it J divers learned men amongll: them did new tranflate t~e r:lbl~ , and thougbt they did, God and the Church good Iervice In It. Sothat if you take this for your precedent, you are fure [0 be mitlaken infinitely: 1£you rake any other, the Authors rhem[elves doe not promile you any lecurity. If you refolve to follow anyone as farre only as you lee caufe , then y?U only doe wrong or right by chanc;; for you hav~- cer,ta,lI:_Jty Jutt. proporuoaable to your own skill, to your ?wn ll1falhbllay. 1£ you reiolve to fo:Iow anyone, whether ioever he leads, we (hall ofientimes come thither, where we Iball fee our ielves become ridiculous, as it happened in the cal~ of SpirtdisII BiIhop of 9pYUi) wbo fo refolv'd to [01l0\V hIS old book, [h~t when an eloquent Bifi10P who was de/ired to Preach" read his Text TuaHttm toile robUe tNNf» & "",bul,,; Spmd"n was my ~ngry with him) becaufe in his book it was toile !,llN", IllIIm, and thought it arrogance in the preacher, to, fpeak berr~r Larine then his Tranflarour had done: And 1£ It be thus In Traoflarions , it is lime worfe in Expoficions , L~a feil. S"'pllIYam fl'YIlm pro tpfo fHi Illtitudme n~n 11110 eodem9J fenfo

,mnes accipilltit, ut pme qrtat homill~s tot i(lie !mttnt'~ crul pofo , _ 'IIideal1tur , laid VIIICt:lIt, Urinen(is] 111 whlc~ ever~ man knows ltI Cornrnonit, what innumerable wayes there arc: of being ml~akenJ God

having in things not limply necefiary left fu~h _a difficulty up.

on tbole parts of Scripture which are the lubJett matters or

conrroveny ad ~domdfJt'"m I,,6are j;,per6iam, & 'lltelletlum ,.

L fa/Ndie

The Lihertj ~f Prophefying.

fiiflidia revocandu1» (as S. AHftin gives a rea fan ) rhar all ro.t Lib.,.de <loch· erre bonerlly, are therefore to be piryed , and tolerated, beChri!l;i.!!l. c.o, caule it is or may be the condition of every man at one time or other.

The fumme is this: Since holy Scripture is the repofitory

of divine truths, and the great rule of Faith, to which alJ Sects of Chril1ial13 doe appeale for probation of their feverall opinions, ann (iuce all agree in the Arricles of the Creed as things clearly and plainly fer down, and as conraining all that which is of limple and prime neceffiry ; and (ince on the other fide there

are in Scripture many other myfleries , and matters of Q£ellion upon which there is a vaile; (ince there are fo many Copies with infinite varieties of reading; Iince a various Inrerpundion, a parenthefis, a letter, an accent may much alter the !enfe; (ince lome places have divers literal! fenfes, many have fpiritu:J1I, myHicall and Allegoricall meanings; !ince there are 10 many tropes, metonymies, ironies, hyperboles, proprieties and improprieties of language, \lVhofe underHanding depends upon lucn circumfiances that it is almoH imporlible to know its proper Interprerarion ; :now that the knowledge offuch circcmtiances aad parrrcular Hories is irrevocably loll: : fince there are feme mytieries which at the ben advantage of expreflion, are not ealy !o be apprehended, and whole explication, by reafon of our imperfections.mur! needs be dark, (omerimes weak fomctimes !l~inreIli~le; and lal1Iy, ~nce rhofe .ordinary meanes' of expoundJl1f!; Scnptur~ as fearcbmg the O:Jginalls, conference 01 places, panty of rearon, and analogy ofFarth, are all dubious, uocertain,.and very fal1ible, he that is the wildl: and by con.eqnence the l!kelye~ to expound trueti in all probability of rca.on will be very farre tro~ coafidence, bccaufe everyone. of there and rnai1~ more are like. fo many degrees of improbability and incerramty,.aIl deprelIi~g our certainty of finding out truth in liid] ~yaenes and amidf] (0 many difficulcies. And [/lcrd()r~ a wife man that confiders thi~, would not willing I.'! be prefc.ib'd ~o by others ; and therefore if he alto be a jua m .. n, he will nor impofe upon orbers j for it is belt every man fhould hi! Jd~ ill !1m liberty ti:~m which no man can juHly take him, ur;lcfle he could fecure him from .errour ; So that here allo there is a

'.. necc{f:ty

9.,. T_h_e_L_i/;_e_r_t_' _of_p_r....:op_h_~(j~il1....:~~. 8 3~

neceffity to conferve the liberty of Prophelying, and Inter.

preting Scripture; • necellity deriv'd from the comiderati-

on of the difficulty of Scripture in Q!!.eHions controverted,

and the uncertainty of any internall .medium • of Jnterpre-



Oftbe i1lJufficiency and unmt4inty of Traditio,; to Expound Scrtpture, or determme !2!Jeflions.

IN the next place) ~e muli confider t~o.re extri~call meal_leg N,,",~. L of Jnrerpreriag Scripture. and determining O!!eLllOns , which

Ibey molt of all confide in that refiraine Prophe!yiog with the

grcatell Tyranny. The lirLl and prin~ipall is Tradirion, whieh

is pretended not only to expound Scripture (Nect'f{' enlm eff Vjn~cnr. Lil" proptet' tantos t4m vllr;; e,.rtr;t IftJ/raEfm, fit PrtJphmcd! 6' ~ - nNI: In_ Com poffo/ied! ;'lterpret4tiqnitliHea ft'",!l1dtmJ E ccleJi.1jl;ci I:jr Clftho/ici mo.uro: flnfo! normam dirigiltHr) bur allo to propou~d ArtIcles .upon a

diHin6l ll:ock ,[uch Articles whereof there IS no mennon and

propofirion in Scripture. And !n thi.s ropiek, nor only the di-

!tina Articles are clear and plain, like as the fundamentals of

Faith exprelfed in Scriptu;e, but a!fo it pretends to expound

Scripture, and [0 determine qy.elhons with 10 much c1aruy

and certainty, as there Ihall ,?~Ithe~ beerrour nor doubt re-

maining, and therefore 4"10 ditagreeing 15 here to be endured.

And indeed it is molt true if Tradition can performe rhefe

pretemions, and reach us plainly; and. allure us int~lJibly. of all

truths, which they require US [0 believe, we can 111 rhis cafe

have no reafon to disbelieve them. and therefore are certainly

Hereticks if we doe, becauie without a crime, w.rhour lome

humane inrerefl or collateral! defign, we cannotdisbelieve tra-

ditive Doctrine or rraditive Interpretation, if ir be infallibly

prov'd to us that tradition is an infallible guide. .

But here I lirlt confider that rradition is no repofitory of Nfl"". 1.

Articles of Faith, and rhe.erore the not following it is no

L l Ar-

···i~-·· 1 he L iheTty Df P rophrfJing • C')'

'to _~~. ~.~~

-----Argumel1t of here!y ; for befides that I nave l'I~ew~d ScriptUre in it, plain exprefles to be an abundant rule of Faith and man. ners, Tradition is a topick a~ fallible as any otb.er j 10 fallible that it cannot be fufliClent evidence to any man 10 a matter of Faith or Qll.eHion of herefy.

Nmnb.). For I. I find that the Fathers were infinitely deceived in

their account and enumeration of Traditions, lomerimes they did call fome Traditions, fuch, not which they knew [Q be fo,but by Arguments and pretumptions they concluded them fo, Such

Epin, I 18, ~" as was .rhar of'S, A1Jftin,M Cju.t! uniflcrfo1iJ tmet cccle(ja nee a ('onIanrar, ciliif injhtut4 reperiHntNr, credibil« eft 411 Afoftoloy"rn tyad,tiolle De bapr.conrr. defc<ndiJJe. Now fuppofe this rule probable, that's the molt, yet DonH.lill,4· it is not cerraine j It might come by cuflome, whole Original! !:.~.-t' was not knowne, but yet could not derive from -an Apollolicall

principle. Now when they conclude of particular Traditions by a generall rule. and that general! rule not certain, but at the molt probable in anything. and certainly falfe in lome rhiags , it is wonder if the productions • that is, their judgements, and pretence faile fo often. And if I fhould bur inllance in all the particulars. in which Tradition was pretended falJ1y 01" uncertainly in the firit Ages, I Ihould multiply them to a rroubiefome variety j for it was then accounted fo glorious a tbing co have Ipoken with the perfons of the Apoilles, that if any man could with any colour pretend to. it, he might abufe the whole Church, and obtrude whar he lifted under the fpeeious tirle of Apoflolicall Tradition, and it is very notorious to every man that will but read rnd obterve the Recogairions or Ilromara of Clemen, ~le."t:.rndri"uI > where there isenougb of fuch falfe wares fhewed in every book, and pretended to be no lefle then from- the Apofiles. In the finl Age after the ApoHIes, P4pi.u pretended he received-a Tradition (rom the Apoltles, that Chrifl before the day ofJlIdgement {hou!d rdgn a thouland yeares upon Earth , and his Saints with bim in temporal] felicities; and this thing proceeding from 10 great an Authority as the teflirnony of PaptM,drew after it aJlormoHof the Chrittians in the firH three hundred years. For be fides, that the Millenary opinion is exprefly [aught by P~pi.u, JHjNn MA~tJr. JrellltHI, Origtn,Llfctll.lltiUI, SeverNf1 V,[lori/1l14, Apollinartr,



The Liberty of Prophejjing.

'N..'POf, and divers others famous in [heir time, Jujim UJ,{"",,, in his Dialogue illSainfl T>"Jpholl fayes, it was tne: bcliefe of all Chriftial1S exactly Orthodox, '!1 OJ' "li'H .... ; Xl' 'I1Ii,.,.. ip:}o"}rd/AO" '·i~ Xp/SlII.V<I, and yet there was DO tuch Tradition, but a millake in l'ilpiM j but I find it nowhere rpoke agairfi, till Dl0"ljr,·HI of AleXANdria confined Nep§'s Book, and converted Corecto» the l'g.1ptilln from the opinion. Now if a Tradition whore begin. ning of being called 10 began IV ith a Scholar of the ApollJes (for [0 was Papial) and then continued for fome Ages upon the meer Authority of 10 famous a man,did yet deceive the Church: much more fallible is the pretence, when two or three hundred years afier, it but commences, and then by fome learned man is firll: called a Tradition ApoHolicall. And fo it hapned in the cafe of [he Arrilln berefy, which the 'J.(j_cene Fathers did confute

by obje~ing a contrary Tradition ApoHolicall, as Theodore: re- Lib.I.hifi. c.8. ports; and yet if they had not had beuer Arguments fiom Scrip-

ture then from Tradition.they would have Iaild much in 10 good

a caufe ; for this very pretence the viTTi"n! themielves made,

and defired to be tryed by the Fathers of the firfl three hundred

years, which was a confutation fufficient to them who preren- V;,;e l'mv.;"" ded a clear Tradition> becaufe it was unimaginable that the ~pji,h.her. 69. Tradition fh~uld leap 10 as not .[0 come from the .firfi to t~e • >b '}"dp hoi Jail by the middle. But that this tryall was fome.ime decli, ';;1""' ;:; ~;MI ned by that excellent man S. tAthllnaji'!" although at other ihl)Or ft.W ~ urnes confidently and [ruly pretended, It was an Argument lil-',7ip' )'im the Tradition was not [0 > clear, but both fides might with ~~h.')orM" fome fairneffe pretend to it. And therefore one of the prime d.u1;v xp.;iv Founders of their herefy, the Heretick t .A.rwnon having ob- ~, .1,3pOJ<W" ferved the advantage might be taken by any SeCt that Would ., ~ Ii ~.'_ pretend Tradition. becaute the medium WJS plaufible and con_:J ;,.; .. ~Il· fr: . hat i . d b d d 'ZI4IV ,,"/-,Iro, Ilnmg 0 ,0 many paniculars, t at It was bar to e re argue , <t·"'01"IV'I-"V9J,

pretended a Tradition from the Apoflles , that ChrW: was Zi; " uwniB,. {IA9- dv3pIl!"7I"9-. and that the Tradition did defcend by a p."J~ -/Ie <1.9 conl!al1t fuccellion in the Church of Rome to Pope Vlaaraime <r"'''O{ """:

. I (. d . h h d i d r 1". d 7<1. 1'-" J·o~,,' Inc U Ively, an till Zr:p er;nll4 a mterrupte tne ieries an cor. "" ~o, .. ,

d h .0. • hi h . .. h did r: VI· 1"01.',

rupre me Doctrine ; w rc pretence It It a not ra lome I uJ1in M,n.

appearance of truth, [0 as pollibly to abufe the Church. had dial ad fryph. tlOt been wonh), of confutation, which yet W3i with care un- Iud.,

.. . - -. L 3 denaken 1 cult,l.r.c.uk,.


The Liberty of prophefJing. Q. 5,


:"f. de b:1[riftu, C(JIHr. Donaz.c. =3~

dertaken by an old Writer, out ?f whom EI'lfibiHS rranfcribe, a large paflage to reprove the vanity of the pretender. Bur Job. ferve from11ence, that it was uliiall to pretend to Tradition,and that it was cafier pretended [hen confined, and I doubt not but oftner done then ditcovered. A great Qg_eJEon arofe in ~fric~ concerning [he Bapcilin of Hereticks , whether it were valid or no. S. CJprinn and his parry appealed to Scripture; Suphen Bifhop of HOlm and hi, parry, would be judged by cuHome and Tradition Ecclefiaflicall, See how much the nearer the Qsel!ion was to a determination, either tha r probation was nor accounted by S.(jpritl)J, and [he Bifhops both of ~fl;z and ~1fric~, to be a good Argument, and Iuflicient to determine them , or there was no certain Tradition againH them; (or unletle one of shete twO doe it, nothieg could excute them from oppofing a known truth, anlefle peradventure, S.CypriAn, Firmilia», the Bifhops of Gil{alilf, Cllppadocill, and alrnoH two parts of [he World were ignorant of fuch a Tradition. for they knew of none (uch, and lome of them exprefly dcnyed it, And the fixth general! Synod approves of the Canon made in the t ouncell of ( .. rthllge under Cyprian upon this "ery groend, becaule ill pr,edm.rum fY"'fo1um /ods & folum fi,m,d,m) trdditam eiJ cOIJuetlldil1em j<rvllws eft; they had 2 particular Tradition lor Rebaptization , and therefore there could be no Tradition tlnivertall againfl: it, or if there were they knew not of it. but much for the contrary; and then it would be remcmbrcd that a ccnceal'd Tradition was like a {i. lent Thunder,or a Law not promulgated; it neither was known, nor was obligatOry. And I [hall obferve this [00, that [his very Tradition was 10 obfcurc, and was Io obfcurely delivered, tilently proclaimed, [hat S. c,j Ill/in 1'1' bo difputcd againH the DO;)IItljls upcn [his very Qg_eflion was not able to prove it, bur by a confequcnce which he rhocghc probale and credible, as appears in his difcourfe againii the Don",ij'lr. The Ap~fll:s, faith S. :/;1<jill1, prcfcrib'd II.thll'lg in thil ptlrticular: Bm tbis cuflome which U c.l1Ir~rJ to (;pria>1 01<ghl 10 6~ velieved to hrve come from tl'eir Trnduio», tit '''''''y olber Ihingl which tb« {alhof/e . Cburcb olferves. That'S all the ground and all the reaion, nay the Church did waver concerning that Q!;_eaionJ~md before the


The Li/;my ofProphefying.

deci{ion ofa COllncel!, Cyprian and others mishr ditlcnr with.

~Ut ~reach of charity. J t was plain then there w~s 110 clear Tradi- L:b r. d," bop_ nan 111 the <l!!.e!lion, pollibly there mighc be a cufiome in lome t.,m.<.la. Church~spoftnlfte to the times of the lIpo.itles but nothinz rhar

was oblrg~tory, no Tradition Apoflolicall. Bur 'this was a lii'pple.

[Ory deVIce ready at hand when ever they needed ir; and D,:rccc" cr is, Ai'4jtmconfuted the Pel,;.g;'ms" in the Q)!_eHion ~.lf OriginaJl g'n:,].I"'~:l;. Enne , ~y ~~e cuflome of exorciljne and infufllarion , which ~. ",'" 1:dO,;_ S,du,rmfald c~me from t!le Apotiles by Tradirion, which yet ",C".c,:,

was the.?, and IS now (0 Impoffible to be prov'd, rhar Lle that

Ihall affirm rr , Ihall game only [he repuration of a bold m311

and a confident.

, 2. ~ con(ider if the report of Traditions in the Primitive Nfl/Itt" ~; thmes 0 ne~re the Ages ApoHolicaI! was (0 uncerrain , thar

t ey were fain to aym at them by conjettures and grope as ill

the dark, the uncertai~ty is much encrealed iit~ce. bec3ule there

are many fa~ous Writers whOle works are loll which}'C! if

the~ bad C011tlllued , they might have been ooocl'record$ to tIS

as Ct(m(~~ Rom4n;u. Ege/ippm ~ Nepol, t'oracioll , <])iol1/1i,,;

Areopaglt., of Alexllndr.a,of Cormth, Fii'miliiln andminy more:

And Jince we fee pretences have been made without reaion i ~ thofe Ages IVn~re. they might better have been confuted; rhe~ now they can, It IS greater prudence to !u(petl: any later pre. renee" nnce (0 ~al1y Seas have been, [0 many wanes, fa ~any corrup[Io~S III Authors, (0 !TI1ny Authors lott, 10 much ;~~orahce hath Inten'en~d, al1~ [0 many interetls have been Ie,'.

',r at 1l0~ the rule IS to oe altered; and whereas it was of O~d time credible , thar thar was Apofiolical! whole beeinninr:h? knew nor, n~~v quit,e contrary we cannot 0fel/,belie\'~ ~n to be A.pol1o.]cal! un'etle we doe know their beeinninsbOb,av~ been trol~ the Apofllee, For this confifling ~f pro~ d: limes a~d particulan, which put together make up a rnorail

mO,nflrattOn > the Argument which I now urce hath been

OlOlVlIlg thefe fifte 1-. d . d if ," C

t en nun red years; an I anciently there wa.

,0 ~uch as to evacuate the Aurhority of Tradirion much more"

lS tLlere be I . ,

hi ,- .now a <0 nrely to deftroy 1[, when all the particulars

IV ICI] orne ad' fi ' . f h . '

ffi 11 In nne Vdctecy 0 umme accidents have been

,rna IDg [Qg~t~er, axe now ccecentred , and are united "by


... . I

l·:\ll. 19_ {IC

If"r. SlilO:Oc

'l'{fimb. G.

Contra ] .. L1r ..



The Lib"t) of Prophejjing. §.;.

____ ---'--..:._

way of conHipation. Becaufe every Age a.t1'd every great chanae and every berefy, and every interefl .harh increaied the difficulty'

of finding out true Traditions, '

3. There are very many Traditions which are lofl , and yet [hey are concerning matters ,:,f a, great confequence as moti of thole ~efiions for the determination whereof Traditions are pretended: It is more then probable, that as in Baptifm and [be EuchariH the very formes oi miniftration are rranfinirted to us, to alfo in confirmation and ordination, and [bat [here ~vere Ipeci~ll dire~ions f~r .vilira[ion of the lick, and explicite interpreranons or thole difficult places of S. P.lUi which S. Ps; ter affirmed [0 be fo difficult that the ignorant doe wrefl them to their own damnation, and yet no Church hath conferved rhefe or [hoti: many more which S.B"fl affirms to be [0 many that 6m/l':-!-1I ,:t<optt 7" "]~d.~d, .f e.r.~;H""t~ p.v~{,put. J'm"Jf"I"'; the day would f.iJe him in rhe very limple enumeration of all Traditions Ecdetiafiicall, And if rhe Church hath fail'd in keeping the great variety of Traditions, it will hardly be t~ol!ght a faulr in a .private perfon to negleCt Tradition, \'Vhich either the whole Church hath very much neglected inculpably, or el!e the whole Church is very much too blame. And who can afcerrain us that Ihe hath not entertained tome which are no Traditio", as well as loll: thouiands that are? That fhe did entertain lome fai(e Traditions, I have already p.ov-d, but it ii alto as probable that fame of rhofe which there Ages did pro. pound tor Traditions, are not [0, as it is certain that lome which rhe firH Ages cald Traditions, were nothing leflC-.

4. There are rome opinions which when they began to be pllbji~(ely received , began to be accounted prime Traditions, and to became luch not by a native title, but by adoption; and nothing is more ufuall then for the F arhers to colour their popular ~pin.ion w,ith (0 great an appellative. S. A~jfjH cald the COmm1ll11Catmg or Infants an ApoHolicali Trad.rion , and yet we doe not praCtiCe ir, becaufe we disbelieve the Allegation. And chat every cuHome which at firil introduction was but a private fancy or lingular practife, grew afierwards into a publike rite' and went for a Tradition after a while continuance, appears by TertHllhm who teems [Q juftifie it, No,~ mim e,'t:ijfitlW I~


Q.5. The Liberty of rrophefJing.

--------------- ----------~

lieilUI» fife cHicuni,jiddi conlimer, quod 'De» plMere illi vi/11m De eorup; Ilitrit, ad IJ'ifeiplinam & [<11f/tem. And againe, .A qua&lIni, rnilir .c, jo&4. tradllore cenf<tn7, nrc allthorem t'eJPiciM fld amhoritatun. And A I E( b S.Hterome moil plainly, 'Precept« maJorum e.;IIpoJlolica1 Tr"di- !.r.~.'l'1~lj, . ones qn1'h Ixi!1imllt. And when Ir6>1d;UI had obferved that great

variety in [he keeping of Lent, which yet to be a fourry dayes

Fait is pretended to detcend from Tradition Apoliolicall , [orne

falling but one day before Eafler, lome two, lome fourry , and

this even long before lr(ntern time, he gives this realon, r"YielM

i/", j:jl'.nti ClEfit apt:d c.Majores tloftro1 qui tlOIf accurate con[ne-

tlldmem eOYHm "lui vel jimplicitllrc quad"m veL privlltit authoriG

we in pofierum aliquld (iatHI./fent, ob{.rvarant [ex trllHjl.ltionl! Chri(19phorfoni :] And there are yet lome points of good con-

ceremenr, which ifany man Ihould Qlli;H:ion in a high manner,

tbey would prove indeterminable by Scripture, or lu!ncicnt rea-

fon, and yet I doubc DOt their confident Defenders would lay

they are opinions of the Church, and quickly pretend a Tra-

dition (rom the very ApoltJes,and believe rhemlelves [0 Iecure

that they could not be difcovered, becaufe the ~fiion never

having been ditpured, gives them occation to lay that which

had no beginning known, was certainly from the ApoHles. For

why Ihould not Divines doe in the Q!!.eHion of reconfirmation

a. in that of rebaprization ? Are not the grounds equal! from

an indelible character in one as in the ocher? and if ic hap-

pen Iiich a Q!:..eftion as this after conretiarion Ihould be deter-

min'd not by any politive decree, bur by the ceffion of one

part, and the aurhority and reputation of the other, does not

the next Age Hand taire to be abuted with a pretence of

Tradition, in the matter of reconfirmation, which never yet

came to a Ierious Ql.1_eHion,? For [0 it was in the ~(1ion of

rebaprizari..n for which there was then no mo:e evident Tradi-

tion then rt.erc is now in the O,£eHion of reconfirmation , I!~

I proved torrnerly, but yet ii was carried upon that Title.

~. There is great variety in the probation of Tradition, [0 Nlllnb. '7. that whatever is proved to be Tradiricn , is not equally and

alike credible, 10;' n'")ti;ing but univenail Tradirion is of it {elfe

credible; other Tradi.icns in .heir Jult proportion as they par-

take of the degrees 01 lin, vcr.a'iry. Now rhat a Tradition be

M univcrlall,

, i

L,».c. 39' Oml1cs·Scaio. E:¢3 tcH:UitW' qui in t\ {l.l ap~td lO~1:lnnUl1 Di!CipLllll'1 Dorni ni cc nvcierunt ill ip[ll.ll [rod,· dill;' ci- 10. h:lnncnl)&c & 1..1t1i alios Ap·.)~ flolos videruuc hre c cadc.o ab ipfis nudierunt, &. r et\:an tur de ej"'nlodi relatione.

SaII1H·Nn. d·'!I,ut.jl, in l\OIll.

The Liberty of PropbefJing. (')'


univerfall , or which is all one that it be a credible Tetiimony,

S. Irsneus reg uires that Tradition Iliould derive from all the Churches Apoil:olical!. And therefore according to this rule there was no (uAiciem medium [0 determine the ~eHion about Earler , becaufe the Ealiern and Weflern Churches had feverall Traditions refpeclivcly , and both pretended from the ApoHles. Clemens v'11e.~wld,·i~UJ jayes, it was a Iecret Tradition from the ApoHIes that Chrifl preached but one year: But Irenei« (ayes it did derive from Hereticks , and fayes that he by Tradition lirH from S. Jofm, and then from his Dilciples received another Tradition, that Chrilt was alrnoli fifty years old when he dyed,and 10 by conlequence preached almofl twenty years; both of them were deceived, and 10 had all that had belie. ved rhe report of either pretending Tradition Apotlolicall, Thus the cudome in the Larine Church of tatting on Saturday was ngainH that Tradition which the Greeks had from the Ap:,[lles; and therefore by this divifion and want of'confent, Which was the true Tradition was 10 abiolutely indeterminable, that borh muft need. lore much of their reputation, Bur bow then when not only particular Churches but fingle perter» are all the proofe we have for a Tradition? And this Often aaoned , I think S.Auflit! is the chiefe Argument an] Authorit. \'i~have for the Affumption ofehe Virgin r...M<lr)'; t11" Bapurn cfInfants is called a Tradition by Origw alone a! fira , "",.1 .rorn him by others, The procetlicn ot the ho'y Ghoic lrom the S,onne, which is an Article the Greek Church dilavowes, defives from the Tradition Apoflolicall , as it is prerend-d ; and yetbefore S. v'1!fJli/l we hcare nothing of it very c1eerly or :.:ertaInly,. for as n:ucb as that whole myflery cOll.:erni:1g the blefled Spirit was 10 little explicated in Scriprure , and to lude derived to them by Tradition, tim [ill the Councell of Nice, you thaI! hardly find any form of worihip or perlona.l a.ldrefle of devotion to ~he holy Sp:rit,<l. ErafmuobCcrves, and i think the. cOl1[r~ry IV.lll very hardly be verified. And for uris parricu!ar 111 ,WhlCh I tn~allce, wharfover is in Scripture conceming ir, 15 againt] that which the Church of Rome calls .radicion , waich makes the Greeks Io confident as they are of tile point, HOl IS an Arlj;ument.of the vaniry of fomethings which for no


~.5. The Lihmyof Propbefjing.

gr~~~ realon are c~lkd Tr~ditions. but b'-e-c-au-rc-e-o-n-e-m-a-n-h-at-h laid to.and that they can be proved by no better Argumenr to be nne. Now in this care wherein Tradition defcend, upon us with unequall certain.lY_, it would be very unequal! to require or L1S <Ill abrolure beliefe of every thing not written, for Ieare we be accoun.ed to flight Tradition Apollolicall. And fince no thing can require ~ur . iuprerne af~e~t, but t~~[ which is. truly Calhol1ke aud Apoflolike, and to lucn a Tradition lS reouir'd as irc>:<"t1J 1:'),0, the content of all rhofe Churches which tI~e ApoflIes planted. and where they did prefide, this ropick will be of 10 lirtle ule in judging herefies that (betides what is depofired in Scriprure ) it cannot be proved in allY thing but in the Canon of Scripture it [elfe, and as it is now received, even in that there is feme variety.

And therefore there is wholy a millake in this bufineffe , for when the Fathers appeal to Tradition, and with much earnetlneile , and feme clamour they call upon Herericks rocontoim to or.~ be rryed by Traditicn, it is iuch a Tradition as delivers the fundamentall POlntS of ChriHianity, which were alro recorded in Scripture. B ut becauie the Canon was not yet per~eCt1y c011fignd, they call'd to t~~t teHimonr they had, which was the tefiimony of the Churches Apofl:olIcall, whole Bitheps and Priefis being the .Ami/liw religion;I, did believe a_nd preach, Chriflian Religion and conserve all its great myfieries according as they had been taught. Irenee: calls this a Tra, dirion ApoHolicall, ChrifluM dccepi./!e cl'llicem , 0' di~'rffi fo1;~ guinem fuum eJJe, & d~cuifJe Kovam oulatlman »ou! Tejla. mentl, qUIl1» €cc!ejia per cApoflolos accipims offert per totllm ml",dfJm. ADd the Fathers in rheie Ages confine Herericks by Ecclefiafiicall Tradition, that is , they confront againH their impious and blafpemous doctrines that Religion which the ApeIlles having raughr to the Churches where they did prefide , their Succetlors did Hill preach, and for a long while together fLitrered not the enemy to fow tares amongit their wheat. A~d yet rhefe doctrines which they called Traditions, were notblDg but luea fundament all truths which were in Scripture, ",01,,,, ""/4"VCl. Ta'il. '){"~"'I, as /ren.tflJ in E'ufohiul oblerver , 'ill (he imlance of P,l]cllrpul, and it is manifefr by confideriog

M:z what

Nllli.b. S,


, I

Vid IrenX'.· J.) &: ii.CUll[ :,:J::;Cr,

~"----'--The Liberty 6f Propbtfying.

what herefies they fought againfl , the heretics of Ebio1J, Cs; r.mbur, NicolaitllHI, VII/mtl11iRN!. C"rpocrlltianJ. perfons Iha, denyed the == of God , th~ Unity of the God·l~ead, tbat preached impuriry , rhar praclifed Sorcery and WHch-crafr. And now that they did rather urge Tradition againll: them then Scripture, was, becauie the publike Doctrine of all the A. poflolicall Churches was at fir{! more known and famous then manv pam of the Scripture, and becaufe fome Hereticks denyeri S.L~~es Gofpel. fome received none but S. AfatthtwI, {orne reo jeded all S.Pllult Epiflles.and it was a long time before the whole Canon was confignd by univerfill Tetiimony , fome Churches bavil1g one part lome anothcr , Rome her felre had nor all, 10 [hat in this caie the Argument from Tradition was the molt f~mous, rhe molt certain, and the mofl prudent. And now according to [his rule they bad m-ire Traditions then we have, and Traditions did by degrees lell~n as they came to be writ. ten, and their necefliry was lefle , as the knowledge of them was afcerained to us by a berrer Keeper of Divine TrU[~. All that great mytlerioufhefle of Chritis Priefi-hood , the unity of his Sacrifice, Chritls Advocation and Inrerceffion for us in Heaven, and many other excellent Doctrines might \'ery well be accounted Traditions before S. Pault Epiftle to the Hs- 6mvnvas publifh'd to all the World; but now they are written truths; and if they had not, poffibJy we might either have 10ft them quite, or doubted of them as we doe of many other Traditions, by realon of the iniufficiency of the propounder. And therefore it was that S.Pettr took order that the Cofpel [hould be Writ, lor he had promifed that he would doe lomething which after his deceafe 1110uld have rhete rhings in remembrance. He knew it was !JOt fafe trulling the report of men where the fountain might quickly run dry, or be corrupted 10 infenlibly , that no cure could be found for it, nor any juH notice taken of it rill it were incurable. And indeed [here is icarce any thing but what is written in Scripture, tbat can with any confidence of Argument pretend to derive from zhe Apoflles , except ritualis , and manners of miniliration r Out no doctrines or rpeculative myHeries are (0 rran.miued to us by 10 deer a current, [hat we may fee a vilibJe channell,


rh, LihrtJ of Prophlf1ing. '3

and trace it to the Primitive founraines, It is faid to be a ----Tradition Apofiolicall, that no Priefl fhould baptize without

chrifin and the command of the Bil1lOp : Suppote it were. yet

we cannot be oblig'd [0 believe it with much confidence,

becaate we have but lirrle proofe for it, fcarce any thingbut the

fingle teHimony of S. Hieram. And yet if it were, this is but Dialog. aJv. a riruall, of which in paning by, I (hall give that account: That, Luciler, fuppole this and many more ritualls did derive clearly from

Tradirion ApoHolicall (which yet but very few doe) yet it is

hard that any Church fhould be charged with crime for not ob-

ferving fuch rirualls, becaufe we fee (orne of [hem which cer-

tainly did derive from the Apo{!les, are expird and gone out

in a deluetude ; fuch as are abHinence from blood, and from

things flrangted , [he ccenobitick life of fecular perions , the

COlledge of widowes, to worfhip Handing upon the Lords day J

[@ give milk and hom:y to the newly baptized, and many more

of the like nature; now there having been no mark to dil1ingtiilh

rhe neceilhy of one from the indiflerency of the other, they are all

alike neceflary, or alike indifferent; ir'the former, why does no

Church obferve them? if the later.why does the Church of Rome

charge upon others the fhame of novelty, (or leaving of fome

Rites and Ceremonies which by her own practice we arc

taugbt to have no obligation in them, but to be adiaphorous "

s. Pau[ gave order. that a Bifhop 1110uld be the husband of

one wife; The Church of Rome w ill not allow (0 much; other

Churches allow more: The Apollles commarded Chriliians ro

Falt on Wednefday and Friday, as appeares in their Canons;

The Church of Rome Palis Friday and Saturday, and not on

Wednefday, The ApolUes had their Agapa': or love FeaHs, we

Ihould believe them Icandaloas : They uied a kilfe of charity in

ordinary addretfes , [he Church of R.m~ keeps it only in their

Mane, other Churches quire omit it: The ApoHles permitted

Prietls and Deacons to live in conjugal! Society as appears in

the ).ean. of the ApoHles (which to them is an Argument

who believe them -uch ) and yet the Church of Rome, b~ no

memes will endure it; nay more, t.Mu:hllei Mediru. glve~

Teltimony that of 84 Canons A~oHoJicall w1licn (tement col- ~~~~;;,;~0Il1. !e~ed, Icarce fix or eight are obferved by the Larine Church, Ii 5,C.11I,.

- M~, and


The Liberty of Prophefying.

------:-an=-:d"PerejiHf gives this acc~f~lniIlM cont;;',,; tHlllta ql~~ temporum c,rYllpliolfe ItO" plme o/;foTvamur, aliis pro temporit & msteri« 9"./irat. "IJt .Miuratis J aut tOtlllt Eccleftg magiffuio a6r.g4tiJ. Now it were good that they which take a liberty to rhernrelves, (hou'd alfo allow the fame to ochers. So thac for one thing or other, all Tradirions excepting rhofe very felY

rhar are abiolurely univcrtall , will lofe all their obligation, and become 110 competent medium to confine mens pra.:tiies, or limit their faiths, or determine their pertivaiions, Either for the difliculry of their being provd , the incompetency of the teltimony thar rranlmirs them, or rhe indifl:erency of the thino rrantinirted, aU Traditions both riruall and doctrinal! are di[~

abled front determining our conieiences either to a necelrary believing or obeying.

6. To which I adde by way of confirmation, that there are

Jome things called Traditions, and are offered ro be proved to liS by a Tellimony, which is either falte or not extant. ct,. mens of AI" ... ,,,dria pretended it a Tradition that the ApcIlles preached to chern that dyed in infidelity, even afcer their death and then rail~d them to lire, bur he pr~lVed it only by th~ Tellimony at the Book of H:rmn ; he affirmed ir ro be a Tradition Apoliolicall , that the Greekswcre raved by their Philolophy, bur he had no other Authority tor it bur the Apocryphall Books of Peler and P,."I. 7 ertul/ian and S.Ba(i1 pretend l[ an Apoflolicall Tradition, to iign in the aire with the hen of the Croile, but this was only conJign'd to rhem in the G~. fpel of Nie,d,rmll. But to inllance once for all in rhe Epillie of 01~rcd/"J to the Bifhop of Antioch, where he affirrnes tim It IS the Canon of the Apoitles, preter [cIJttJJti<ll1J Rom.m; 'Pamifi,clJ, non foffi ('oneili" c,I,6rllfi. And yet there is no ruch Canon extanr , nor ever was for oughr appears in any Record we hav~; and yet the Colleclicn of the Canons is to intire, that tho~gh It hath ~omethin8 more then whar was Apo(lolicall, yet It hath nothIng lefle, And now tim I am cafiially tall~n upon an inltance from the Canons of the A potlles , I con. rider that there cannot Il1 the world a oreater inrlance be eiven how eaty jr is ro be abuied in the "believing of Tradi~ons. For I. to the firl! 50. wbich many did admit for ApollQlicall,!s


De Tlo,Jir. pnrr.t.c. de Aut!\f;r.C:lIl. IIpAl.

The Liberty of Propbe/jT;;g-. ---

more were added, which moll: men now COl1m fpurious, ail men call dubious, and fome of them univerfally condemned by peremptory fenrence, even by them who are grearetl admirers or' that Collection, as 65. 67. and 8-~ Can am. For the firlt <;0, it is evident that there are fame things fo mixt with [hem, and no mark of difference left, that the credit of

all is much impared , infomueh that ljidor of S,vill fayes, th" A"uJ Gratian, were Afocryphall, made bJ Hemick;, .tnd pltbfifhed u~d.r tl'e .iil.l6. c.L'~ till, At0fto/ical!, but neither the Fatherr nor tbe Church of n incs.

Romedidgiv, a/Ttnt to them. And yet they have prevail'd fo Lib .

farre amongl! fome, that 'lJ~mafc'" is of opinion tbey 1110uid ~,;i:'~ ~ ~ .. de be received equally with the Canonicallwritings of the Apo- .. 0 ."" flies. One thing only I obferve (and we Ihall find it true in

molt writings, whore Authority is urged in Q£.eHions ofTh.o-

laxy) that tile Authority of the Tradition is not it which

moves the affent , but the nature of the thing; and becaufe

filch a Canon is delivered. they doe not therefore believe the

Janel ion or proporirion fo delivered, but di-believe the Traditi-

on, if they doe not like the matter, and to doe nor judge at

the matter by the Tradition, but of the Tradition by the mat-

ter. And thus the Church of Rom. rejeCls the 84 or 8) Canon of

the Apofiles, not becanfe it is delivered with lefle Authority,

then the lafl 3, are. but becaufe ir reckons the Canon of

Scripture orhcrwi.e then it is at Rom», Thus alfo the ,filCh Canon

among(! the firH 50, becaufe ir approves the marriage of Prietls

and Deacons docs not periwade them to approve of it too, but

it (elfe becomes (u{peCted for app,.)ving it: So that either they

accule rhemfelves orpalpable comempr of the Apollolicall Au-

rhoriry , or elte that the reputation of Jl:eh Traditicns is kept

llP to ferve their OWIl ends, and therefore when they encounter

them, they are more to be up'ield , which what elfe is it but

to teach aJl the world to contemn fuch pretences and under-

value Traditions, and to fllpply to others a reatcn why they

{hnuld doe rhar, which to them that give the occation is molt

unrea(onable ?

7· The TeHimony of the Ancient Church being the only 7'l.!m;/;. r:>, meanes of proving Tradition, and Iometimes their dictates and

doClrine bei.ng the Tradition pretended of necelli ty to be




·ViJ.Cor.!. p(;It'(;ll.lcnrc au Sieur Calaubon,

The Liler!) of prophef1ing.

imitated, it is confiderable that men in their eHimate ofir • take their rile from ieverall Ages and diiferil1g Tellimonies, and are not agreed about the ccmpetercy of their TeHimony; and the reafons rhar on each £ice make them difFer, are fueh as make the Authority it {elre the lelfe authenrick and more repudiable. Some w ill allow only of the three lirit Ages, as being mot] pure, moll: penecured.and therefore moll holy ,leaH interetled .ferving fewer detigns, having fewet] faCtions, and therefore more likelv to Jreak the truth for Gods Jake and its own, as bell: compiyillg with their grear end of acquiring Heaven in recompence of lo~ng their lives: Others: lay. that t~ofe Ages being perfecuted minded the prefent Doctrines proportionable to their purpo'es and _ conHitL~tion of. the Ages! and make little or nothing of thote Q_gd-lt0115 which at this day "ex C hritlendome : And both {peak true: The firlt Ages tpeak grearetl truth, but Ieal~ pertinently. The next Ages, rhe Ages of the foure genera]] Councels ipake tomerning, not much more pertinently to the prcfenr ~Hions, bur were not fo likely to tpeak true, by rcaion of their dirpofirions contrary [0 the capacity and circumtiance of the firlt Ages; and if they fpeak wifely as Doctors, XCt not certainly as witnetles of fuch propofitions which [he IIrfl: Ages noted not; and yet unlelfe they had noted could not poffibly be Traditions. And therefore either Ot them will be Idle ulelefle as to our prcfent affaires. For indeed the Q1!.e· Hions which now are the publike trouble. were nor confidered or th?~gbt upon. for many hundred years, and therefore prime T radition there IS none as to Our purpoie , and it w ill be an infufficient medium to be uied or pretended in the determina. d.on; a~d to di!put~ concerning the truth or necdiity of ~ra. d!tlons, In the Q!:dllOn5 of out times. is as if Hiiiorians difputlllg a~cut a ~eHion in the Englilh Story, Ihould fallon wrar gling whether L,vle or Plutarch were the bell Writers:

And the earnefi difputes about" Traditions are to no better pur: pole. For no Church at this day admits the one halfe of rhote things, which certainly by the Fathers were called Traditio!! Apollolicall, and no Tcrlimony of ancient Writers dees ccnCgn the one haltc of the pretenr O!!_efiions, to be or not to be Tr.diricns, So that rheywhoadmit only the Dodrineand TdLmocy_


~ T_h_e_L~i_6e~r.t_)_if~r~~~fl._~~_1_m_~_. 97

of the fitH: Ages cannot be determined in molt of their doubt s

which now trouble us , becaufe their Writings are of matters

wholy differing from the pretent dilpures, and they which would

bring in after Ages to the Authority of a competent judge 0:

witnetie, lay the lame thing; for they plainly conteffe [10.( the

fir Ii Ages tpake little or nothing to the prefent Q!!..e!lion, O!:

at leal] nothing to their- [ente of them; for therefore I hey call ill

. aid from the following Ages, and make them tuppletcry and auxiliary [0 their defigns, and therefore there are 110 Tradition: co our purpotes. And they who would wiliitlgiy have it otherwife, yee have taken no courie it fhould be orherwife ; fe,t they when they had opportunity in the Coi.ncels of the Joa /,geL to determine what they had a mind to, yer they never nam'd the number, ncr exprefled rhe particular Traditions which th':: would taine have the world believe to he Apcflolicatl. Dut rhey hare kept the bridle 111 their own hands, and made a refervc of their own power , that if need be, they may make tn-, prcrcnficns , or not be put to it to jllHific the old by t~;e engagement of a conciliary declaration.

. La~lly, We are acquitted by rhe TeHiI?on~ of the Primi-. N:.IiJ[..lii.

ave Fathers, from any other neceffity ot believing , then ot .

fuciJ Articles as are recorded in Scripture: And this IS done by

them, whole Authority is pretended [be greatefl: Argument for

Tr~dilioll, ~s 5lepears la!gely in lrcil£~s, who .dilputes profdfed- L).:,:. :OlJ,' , ly for the iufliciency of Scnpture agalllll: certain Herericks , who h,Crl r.·

allirm lome neceffary truths not to be written, Ir was an excel-

lent laying of S.Bajil and will never be wipe out with ail [be

e.oquence of Perron [in his Serm, de fide. 011:4ni!ejftfd e/l fidei

lalftIJ, & l''lwidtim f'perbi., vltillW uel rdPllfr/! aliqUId (ort<m

qn;; Scripter« h'lba, vel itJdflcere quic'l'J. m quod [Cri;t»M 1:01:

(ft.] And it is but a poore device to lilY that every particular

Tradition is con(igned in Scripture by thole places which give

f.mhority to Tradition; and 10 the imroducing of Tradition is

not a !i.lper·jnducing any thing over or bcfides Scripture.becaufe

Tradition is like a MeHenger,and [he Scripture is like his Let-

ters of Credence, and therefore Authorizes whatfoever Tradi.

rion Ipeaketh. Fer fuppoflng Scripture does coniign the Autho-

rity o:' Tradition ( which it migbt doe before all [he whole

N Iallrument

"--9-8 --~"--"-"-----'-'[h:-e-L-t:-;-'be-r-tJ-o-;;f-:-P-ro-'Ph;-e--;:fj-:-if.-~g-.----(:--.-;.

-----.~---~ . ~- -- .-~--~-----------.--

Inllruruent of Scripture it (dfwas conlign'd ,and then afcerwards there miehr be 110 need of Tradition) yet fuppofing it, it will follow d~at all thole Traditions which are truly prime and ApoHolicall, are to .be ~ntercai.n·d according to_~he, i~[entioo of the Deliverers, which indeed Isla realonableof it ielre, thar we need not Script me to pertwade us to it j it {dfe is aut!~el1!ick as Scripture is, ific derives from _the iame fountain j .and a word is never the more the Word or God tor being wntten , nor the letle tor not being wrirren , but it will not follow lh~,t

wharloever is pretended tc· be Tradition. is fa, neither is the c.edic or" the particular inflances conj~gl1'd in Scripture j G" dol'ful ver/'lIJr lit ~,<<ntr'Il.tU'-, but that this craft is too palpable. And if a gen~rail and indefinite confisnation of Tradition be ful11cienr we warrant el'ery p"' ricuiar that pretends [0 be Tradition.then ~.Ba(Jl had Jpoken to no purpofe by laying it is Pride & Apol1afy from the Faith,toDring in what is nOI wrinen. For if either any man brings in what is written or what he fayes is delivered, then the litH being exprefle Scripture, and [he fecond being confign'dia Scripture.no man can be charged with fuperincueing what is not written. he hath his Anlwer ready; And [ben thefe are zealous words abfolurcly [0 no purpofe] but if tuch generall cor,(,gnation does not warrant every (bing that pretend; to Tradition. but only filch as are truly proved [0 be A pctiolicall , then Scripture i~ uldefii: as to this parricular., for fuch Tradition gives teHiroony to Scripture, and therefore is of ir iel.e hrft, and more credible, lor it is credible of ir fe!tej and therefore unk{fe S.Ba}! thought that all the will of God ill matters of Faith end Doctrine were written, I fee not what end nor what {cnle he could have in thete words: For no man in the world except Ellthujiajil and mad-men ever obtruded a Doctrine upon "the Church '" but he pretended Scripture 'or it or Tradn ion , and therefore no I!1an could be prerled by thefe words no man confuted" no man m!tructed, no not e"lhN ,ajh or }vlo>J"""Jh. For {uppole either of them 1110uld lily" that rince in ScdFI ure the holy GhoH is promited to abide with the Church for ever, to teach, whatev, r [hey pretend the Spirii in any Age hath tau&hr them, IS not to ruper-induce any thmg beyond what 15 writtl!~1 b~caui~~he truth.or' !he Spirit, hi~ veracity I and his perl~



Tbe Li!;ertJ of Pyopbtfjing.

peruill reaching being p~omifed and attefie~ in Scripture, S~r!p. tare hath jufl: to confign d all fuch Revelations as Perron taith it hath all fuch Traditions. But I will trouble my felfe 110 more with Araumenrs from any humane Authorities; but he ibar is furprized with the beliefe .of fu~h huthor~tie~, and ~ ill but confider the very many Tefiirnonies of Annquuy to this pur-

pore, as of' Confta1itine, b S.Hierom, • S. r,A~Jlin, d S: .A1~a •• Orar.ad N,naJiI/I, e S. HIIarJ' f S.epiphalliltf, and divers others, allifeaklllg Wi.PP. apud, words [0 [he fame rente, with that faying of S. gPaHI, JVemo Thcodorv l,r, follliilt It/per quod fori£tnm eft, will. fee [hat there is rear on , .that ~·r,~ M2ttb,1.4; Jince no ma':1 is marertally. a I:1erel!C~, but he th~t erre.s In a C"3, & in Agpoint of Faith, and all Faith 1S fufficlenly recorded III ,Scnpture, g3!UIll. , the judgement of Faith: and Herefy is t? be, denyed _from c Dc bono VI_ thence and no man is to be condemned tor diffenting In an d,It:,l: c.r,

, - bati T diti I' d d I Orot. comr,

Article for whole pro anon. ra l~lOn on y IS preten e : on y gent.

accordins to the degree of Its evidence, let everyone deter- C [ll pral.1 p. mine hi~[elre , but of this evidence we mutt not Judge for f L.2.C0J1tla. others: for unleffe it be in things of Pairh.andablolure certain- hcref.rom.j; ties, e~idence is a word of relat~on" and (0 fup~ofes two terms, hXI:~~'L4'

the objeCl: and the faculty; and It IS an imperfect {peec~ t~ fay g t

a thine is evident in it relfe (unleffe we fpeak of lirH prIl1clpl~s

or c1e~re!l: revelations) for that may be evident to,one that IS

not to to another, by reafcn of the pregnancy of lome appre.

henfions, and the immanniry of others.

This Difcourfe hath its intention in Traditions DGcirina11 and Ritnall, that is fuch Traditions which propofe Articles .n~w ill mmriA; but now if Scripture be the repofirory of all Dlvl,ne Truths iufficiem for us, Tradition rnuft be conlidered as Its inilrumenr, to convey its peat myHerioll(ne{fe to, our underfiandings; it is laid there are tradit~ve Interpretations as ~ell as rradiiive propotitions but there bav~ not muc~ dti~IDCI; coniideration in them both becaufe their uncertainty IS as great as the :other lIPO~ the former confiderations ; as. a.lfo becaufe in very deed, there are no fuch ~blflgS a, tradlUye Interpretations univerfall : For as for particulars, they figmfie no more but that they are not {ufficienr determinations of QE.eIlions Theologicall, therefore becaute they are particular, contingent,and ~hnfinite variety, and ,they are no more Argu-

N ~ mem




Tht Liberty 8f Prophefjing.

ment then the particular authority of there men whore Commcnrarics tbey are. and therefore mutt be conlidered witi! them.

I'll;r;:{'. r z , The (ummc is this: Since the Fathers who are (he belt

Wirnefles ofTrad:tiom, yet were infinirely deceived in their account, (IKe (ometimes they gueH at them and conjc:iured by way of Hille and Difcourie, and not of their knowiedoc not by evidence of the tIling; rince many are called Tra.l[;i~ am which were not 10, mmy are uncerraine whether tiley wel:e, or no. yet confidently prct.cn?cd; and th~s un~eminty wllle·;1 at fir(t was great enough, IS increaied bv infinite caules and accidents in the lu:cef1ion or 1600 yeares: iincc the Cuu.ch bath been either f) careletle or Jo abuled that alee could InC, 0, would nor pre.erve Traditions with carefulncGe 'loci trll:h; Iince it was ordinary for rhe old Writers to let Out their own iancies , and the Rites of their Church which had been Ancient under the Ipecious Title of Apoflolicall Ttldirions , Iince lome Traditions rely but upon lingle Tcflimolly at firlt, and yet defcending upon others, come to be attefied by mm}" whole Tefiimony though conjunct, yet in va'uc is but tlngle, becaule it rcliesupon the firf! lingle Relator, and 10 can have no greater autbority,orcenainty,then they derive from the lingleperloll; Iince rhe firll Ages who were moil: competent to conlign Tradition, yet did conl1gn Iuch Traditions as be or a nature wholy diicrepant from the prefenr ~nions , and Ipeak il1ori:ing at all or very imperfectly to our purpofes , and the IollOWing Ages are llO fit wimefles of that which was nor rranfinitted to the~) becauie (hey could not know it at all ) but by {uch cranlrl1lflion and prior configl13tion; Iince what at ErH was a Tradition, came afterwards to be written and (0 :ealcd it. being :a Tradition; yet the credit of Traditions commeacd upon the certainty and reputation of rhoie truths fila delivered by word, afterward conlign'd by wliting; fince what was certainly Tradition ApoHolicall, as many Rituals were, 9rt. rejected by me Church in teverail A_ges, and are gOl1e or:t. 1;1[0 a defuetude • and laHly, lince, betide the no necetliry or Traditions, there being abundantly enough in Scripture, there ,;l"C n;lany things called Traditions by the Fathers, which they

... . .. .. them-

The Li/;erty of Pyophefring.




thel~leh:es either proved by no Authors, or by Apocrypball

and 'purious and Heretical', the matter of Tradition will in ,"cry muci; be 10 uncertain, (0 falte, 10 ii.trpi(ious, 10 conrrauiCtory, {o Improbable, 10 unproved, that it a Qg_eftion be contefled and be o fie red to be proved only by Tradition, it will be \'er}' hard to irnpole {Ilch a propofirion to the belieie of 3Il men with any imperiouineffe or reiolvcd determination, bur it will be neceffary men (hould preterve the liberty of belie,·jog and yrophelying, and not pm with it, Ilpon a worte mcrchandite and exchange then EfilH made for his birth. light.


Or the uncertainty and in[ufflciel'Jty of Councels Ertle. ft4ficall to the [ame ftlYfo[e. "

BUt {ince we are all this while in uncertainty, it is neceflarv lJ"mxu ••• that we fhould addreffe our J(:ivcs iomewhere , where we

may ceLt the foale of our foot : Aed nature, Scripture, and ex-

penence teach [be world in matters of Q£..e!lion to lubmit to

fome finall fenrence. For it is not rearon that controverlics

ihould continue till the erring perfon (hall be willing to con-

demn hmlelfe j and the Spirit of God hath direded us by (hat

grear precedent at JeiuP.l~m, [Q addrctle our felves to (be

Church , thar ill a plenary Councell and Aflernbly , fhee mav

fynodically determine Controvcrfies, So (bat if a General;

Councell have derermin'd a Q:!;.liion, or expounded Scripture,

IV.e ll1ly no more disbelieve the Dccree , then the Spiri t of God

hlm(elre who ipe;:ks in rhem, And in.ieed, if all Aflembfies of

~:i~lOpS were like thar firll:, and all Bifhops were of (he lame

lF~nt of which the Apoflles were , I 01011td obey their Decree

;vlln (he fame Religion as I doe them who:e preface was

V:fum eft Spiritr4i Sanao & n~bif" And I doubt not but our

blel1ed Saviour intended that the Affemblies of the Church

QlOl!ld be Judges of Comroverlics, and guides of our periwa-

... -_. ~ 3 .. ~om

---~. --- .,-.--

J02 The Lih,,!] ofPropbtfJil1g. §.6.

~----'--'~Ii;l~~i;;~~of difficul(y-:-~ he aHa int~~dedtheylhou!d proceed according [0 his will which he had revealed, and thore precedents which be had made authentick by the immediate afIiHance of his holy Spirit: He hath done his pare, but we doe not doe curs. And if any private perfon in [he limplicity and purity of his [?ule ?e0rcs .to find 011[_ a o.u_th of which he is in (earch and inquitition, If he prayes lor wifedome , we have a promife be (hall be heard and aalwered liberally, and therefore much more, when the reprefentarivcs of the Catholike Church doe meet, becaute i every penon there hath in i>:dividlloa title to the promife , and auother title as he is a govern our and a guide of loules , and 1111 of them together have anorher tide in their united capacity, erpecially, if in that union they pray, and proceed with firnpliciry and purity; 10 that there is 110 difpuring againH the pretence and promifes , and authority of Generall Councels. For if anyone man can hope to be guided by Gods Spirit in the tearch , the pious and irnpartiall and unprejudicarc tearch of truth, then much more maya General! Councell, It no private man can hope for it, then truth is not neceflary to be tound , nor we are not oblig'd [0 iearch for ir, or elfe we are iav'd by chance; But if private men can by venue at' a promife , upon certain condirions be aflured of finding Out ii.,Hiciem truth, much more Ihall a Generall Councell, So that 1 confider thus: There are many promites pretended to belong to Generall Aflemblies in the Church; But I know not any ground, nor any pretence, that rhey Ihall be abtolurely .[filled; without any condition on their 01'11'1 parts, and whether they will or n01: Faith is a venue as well as charity, and therefore contilis in liberty and choyce , and hath nothing in it of necefliry . 1 here is no Q:..dtion but that they are obliged ro proceed according to fome rule; for they expect no aflitlance by way of EnthuJiajiJ'ie; if they 1110uld, I know 110 warrant for that, neither did any General! Councell ever offer a Decree which rhey did not think luiliciemly prov'd by ScI .pture, Rea. ion, or Tradition, as appears in the A."1s of (be Councels : now then, if tbey be tyed to conditions, it is their duy to obterve [bern; but whether it be cerraine [hat they IV 111 oJlerve them, that they will doe aU their duty. that they will not lin



- -.-.--.~------.--- ----

The LiGe;ty of Prophejjillg.

e~;i~-ranicu!ar in the neglect of their duty, that's the coniidcrarion. So tll;!t if ony m-in queliions the Title and Au. rhoriry of Generall Councels , and whether or no great promiles appertain to them, I (uppok hi.n [0 be much miHaken; bur he alo that thinks all 01 rhem hive proceeded according (0 rule and reaton , and that none of r.iem were deceived, bc~ caute [ollibly the}' mighr have been truly directed, is a. (hanger to the HiHory of rhe Cl-urch , and to the perpetual! inllances and experiments or the I:wl!s and failings of humanity. It is a famous laying at'S. Grego:! thdt he bad the foure firll Coun: eels in efleern and vener .uon next to the Ioure Evangehlisj~ 1 fuppoie it was becaute ne did believe th.m co have proceeded according to Rule, ar: [0 have judgedrighreous judgemenr, but why had not he the tame opinion of other Councels too which were celebrated before his death , for he lived after the fifth Cenerall> not becauie they 'had not the fame Authority; for that which is warrant (or one is warrant for all ; but b.cau Ie be was nO[1[o confident tim they did their duty nor proceeded 10 without "ioterdl: as the firt]; toure had done, and the lo:Jowing Councels did never get that reputation which all [h~ Catholike Church acknowledged due to the firH foure, And 10 the next Order were toe three following gcncralls; (or ~be Greeks and Larines did never joyntly acknowledge but (even gen~ralls to have been authentick in any renfe, becaufe they were I:l no :enfe agreed that any mere then Ieven had proceeded reo gularly and done their duty : So that no~,: [be Qll.elhon 1~ not wnerher GeneralJ Conncels have a promue that the holyGhott will a[fia them ; For every private man bath that promue, that if be does his duty he {hall be alfiHed Inffciently j~ order t? that end to which he needs a[filiance; and therefore mum ruore [hall Gcnerall Ccnncels in order co th rt end tor which they convene, and to which they need at1ifiallce, that is.' in order LO the confervation of the Faith, for the doctrtnall. rules of good life, and all that concerns the el~et~tiall duty ol

3 (hrill ian , but nor in deciding Qll.eHions [0 tatisfie col1te~tious or cur :OUI or prefumpruous [~ltlts. Bur DOW can the BI· iliops 10 cenvcn'd be ractious , can [bey be abuled wuh preludice, 01 rran.poned wit.h interefis , can they Icult the, holy

- - . ..'_ ~hofto

The Lihlf!y of P,opbeJjil1g_~ 9.6.

---- ._----:_

~----··-···{i~;;~ in marrcrs of difficul,y. Bue he arro intendedtheylhould

proceed according to his will which he had revealed, and [hare precedents which he had made aurhenrick by the immediate affiRance of his holy Spirit: He hath done his part, but we doe not doe curs. And if any private perfon in the limplicity and purity of his r?ule ?C0rcs . ~o find out. a tl.u.lh of which be is in tearch and inquifition, It he prayes lor wiiedome , we have a prorniie he (hall be heard and anfwered liberally, and therefore much more, when rhe repreferiratives of the Catholike Clurch doe meer , becaufe revery pericn there hath in i>:divid"oa title (0 the promiie , and another title as he is a gO\'ernour and a cuide of ioules, and l!11 of them together have another title ~l their united capacity, erpecially, if in that union they pray, and proceed with Iimpliciry and purity; fo tbat there is no dilputing agJinH the pretence and promifcs • and authority of General! Councels, For if anyone man can hope to be guided by Gods Spirit in the tearch , the pious and irnparriall and unprejudicate tearch of truth, then much more maya General! Councell, It no private man can hope for it, then rnuh is not neceflary to be tound , nor we are not oblig'd to Iearch for ir, or el:e we are iav'd by chance: But if private men can by venue of a prornife , upon certain conditions be allured of finding om iutticicm truth, much more (hall a Generall Ccuncell, So that 1 confider thus: There are many promiles pretended ro belong to General! Aflemblies in the Church , Bu t I know nor any ground, nor any pretence, rhar they fhall be abiolutcly alrilled, without any condition on their own parts, and whether rhey will or nol: Faith is a venue as well as charity, and therefore coniitis in liberty and choyce, and hath nothing ill it of neceiliry , "1 here is no Q:.:_eition but that they are obliged to proceed according to lome rule; for they expect no alTi11ance by way of Entlm/i.y!};e; if they 1110uld, I know no warrant for that, neither did any Generall Councell ever offer a Decree which they did nor think lufliciemly prov'd by Scripture, Rea. Ion, or Tradition, as appears in the A,"1s of rhe COllDCeiS; 1101V rhen, if they be ryed to conditions, it is their dny to obierve them , but whether it be certaine that they IV rll oJlerVe them, thar tbey will doe 3:1 rbeir duty, that they will not (;n



-------- - - __ .. -.- .. ~ .. _-- .. ~.


The Li/;e'ty at PropbeJjillg.

even in this rarticu!ar in (he neglect of their oury , that's the contidcration. So that if <iny man queiiions the Tide and Au> rhoriry of Generall Councels , and whether or no grear pro. mih s appertain to them. Iluppole him to be much miilaken , bur he allo thar thinks all 01 rhem luve proceeded accor.iing to rule and reaton , and that none of r.iem were deceived, be~ csule :,olTib:y the)' might have been truly dire3ed, is a. Hrangcr [0 the Hiltory of the Church. and to the perpetual! iniiances end experiments 01 the tauhs and tailings of humanity. It is a famous laying of S. Grego'}' that he had the foure firit Couneels in efleern and veneration next to the ioure EvangeliHs,; I fuppore it was becaute he did believe rh.m [0 have proceeded according to Rule. and to have judged righteous judgement; but why had not he the lame opinion of other Councels too which were celebrated before his death, for he lived alter the fifth Cenerail> not became tbey'had not the lame Authority ; for thar which is warrant [or one is warrant for all j but b.caure he was nonfo confident that they did their duty nor proceeded ro wirhour"interelt as the firl! roure had done, and the lo!lowing Councels did never get that reputation which all th~ Catholike Church acknowledged due to the firH foure. And III the next Order were the three following generalis; lor ~he Greeks and Latines did never joynrly acknowledge but Ieven gen:ralls to have been authentick in any ten fe, becauie they were 1;1 no !enfe agreed that any mere then feven had proceeded regu!arlyand done their duty : So that no~,: the QE_eHlon I~ not wherher General1 Conncels have a promne that the holy Gho!t will alTiR them; For every private man bath that promiie, that ifhe does his duty be iliall be alfiHed Infficiendy in order to that end to which he needs allillance; and therefore milch !TIore 111all General! Cermcels in order to rh.r end tor which thty convene , and to which they need alliHance, that is_, in order to the contervarion of the Faith, for the doctrinal] rules of eood life and all that concerns the eflenriall duty of

a Chrill i~n, bur 'not in deciding Q!!e!tions to tatisfie conre~tious or curious or prefumpruous [pims. Bur aow can the HI!hops 10 c()mcn'd be tattious, can they be abuted with prejudice) or rr • n.poned with interefls , can they lelrlt [he, boly

- . . .... .... ~boH,



;,~ '~\~;~~~l, ~.;.~~:;:

!',:Ull.l. Ib:tl .. vin, in ru: .. dcm. &. ~'" ;\c1' ~:dt.ln l-'_:;,1.I.

Expel: "

__ , _ _!!:_!i~e~'t)_ of !~'op~efyi'!_g.,___ Q.6;

Chon:, =. they c);tingllilh the Spirit, can they flo-p- their cares, and ,!erve rhemfelves uponthe h?ly ~p;rit and the pre~ence Of his aIliHa~ces, and ceaie [0 Ierve him upon themielvcs , \lY captl\'~tl1lg their lI11de,rHandings to his dictates, and their wills to ,h,IS pr~cepts? Is It necetlary they (liould per!oIm ~ny c~l1dI[J,?n ? IS there aI!~ one duty for them to perform 111 thee Ali~mb'lcs, a duty which they have power to doe O~ nor cae? H _l?, the:1 they may [aile of ir, and nor doe their duty: A!,d It the atllllartCe of rhe holy Spirit be condirionill then we ha ve no more al1urance that rhey are allilied then til a; they doe their duty and doe not (lnne. ' . _ Now! l,cr us !ilFPole what this duty is: Certainly, if the GoJpd be hid, It IS h.d to them [hat are 10ft; and all rhat come to tl:e LI1;:vledge of, ~hc rruth , mull come ro it by {'ICi! mcar'cs l'nJ'Ci1 are ipiriuull and holy di'potuior» ill Ol',JC" to a holy and. Ji)irir~?l~ ='. Tbey mUf.l be [hod \:itlI [b~ preprmrm or rue Gol?eI ot peace, that IS, they mufl have peace?b!~ and, dccible dhpoiirions, nO.thing with them that is vic'cnr, ,tl1U r~ioiL;le to er.counrer thole gentle and Jivec( 2flif-bllces: and the Ru'e they arc to Iollow , is rhe Ru'e wLich the holy ~Pllll bath cc,]lign'd to the Catholike Church, that is the ho, ly Scnpture , either • il1ti~,'!y or at leaH for rhe grearer part of the Rule,' . So rhar now If the Biil.ops bee iilttious and prepotlelt WIth perfwafior:s depending upon interell , it is cenzin ~hcy may judEc crniile , and if they recede from the Rule ir IS certain they doe judge amitle : And this I fay upon thtir groun~s wl:o molt advance the authority of General! Counccls : lor Jt 3 Cencrall Councell may erre if a Pope confirm i: nor J ,then n.otl ccnainly if in any thing it recede from Scrip. ture, It does alro crre , becaute that they are to e1pel:t tile ~cpes cOnfinml!Cn they offer to prove frcm Scripture: now it "de] P,ores conhrmat.on be required by authority of Srripturc, a,llu ,mat rherelore the l~erail!arce of ir does evacuate the Au. ~(jomy 01 die CO"1:ce11, then alia are [lie CCt1I~CelS Decrees invalid , ,if they recede from any other parr of Scripture : Sc ~llJt ~cfJPtll!·e IS the Rule they are tofollow , and a man would nave thouglll !t bad been needletlc tv have proved it, but that we are rauen nuo /I gcs ill which no limb is cerraiee, 110 realon


The Liberty of Prophefjing.


concluding, Dar is there any thing that can convince Come

men, ~or St'pletolf w,ith extreme ~ldne{fe againH the piety

of ChriHe1'ldome, agamH the pnbltke ienfe of the ancient RclcCl. con(hurch, and thepra¢1i[e of all pious A{fembJies of Bilhopsaf- UOV.4.q.l.a.~ firmes the Decrees of a Councell to be binding, .tiamji nOlI

co.fir"!.tHr ne probaklli teflimoHio &riptHYofYHlJ')l hay. though it

be qUlle extra ScriptHrflm, but all wife and good men have

ever faid thac Ienfe which S.HilarJ expreffed in there words •

f2!!! extra &v.1I1gebum fHnt 11m defmd"m; This was it which r., 1, ad Ceatile good Emperour Conjllllltine propounded -to the Fathers flanc,

met at NI(e,libn eflangeliei, orllcH!a ~p.jlolorum,& veterum ApudThtodor. ·Pr.phetllrum cl~r;' nss inftruullt quid flnttendHrn ;nDi'lJinis, J ',<,7.

and this is con felled by a fober man of the Roman Church it

Jeife, the Cardinall of CII{a, 0 porm quod omn;" 'alia qll<£ le- Concord. Cager, d~btnt, contilleAlltHT in AHlhGritatibHI [acTarum S";plura- ihol, 1.>.C,10. rult) : Now then all the advantage 1 !hall rake from hence, is

this, That if the Apoflles commended them who examined

their Sermons by their conformity to the Law and the Prophets,

and the men of BerM were accounted noble for fearching the

Scriptures whether rhote things which they taught were 10 or

DO; I fuppofe it will not be denyed , but the i.ouncels De.

crees, may alto be rryed whether they be conform to Scripture

yea or no; and although no man can take cogni[anceand judge

the Decrees of a Councell pro Authorilllte pHblica, yet pro ill-

_formation, privllta they may j [he Authority of a councellis

not greater then the Authority of the Apo!Ues, nor their di-

elms more Iacred or autbenrick. Now then put cafe a Councell

fhould recede fiom Scripture; wherher or no were we bound

ro believe its Decrees? I only aske the Qy_efiion: For it were

bard to be bound to believe what to our underllanding teems

contrary rothat which we know to be the Word of God : But

if we may lawfully recede from the Councels Decrees, in cafe

they be conrrarianc to scripture. it is all that I require in

this QQ_eHion. For if they be tyed to a Rule, then they are to

be examined and under Hood according to the Rule, an~ the?

we are to give our Ielves that liberty of judgement wnlchl£

requuire to diHinguilh us from bealts , and to put us into -a

capacity of reafonable people, following reajonable guides, But

o how


---~~-~ ._---------

The Li6erty of Prgpbefying.

however if it be cerraine that the Councells are to follow Scripture. then if it be notorious that they doe recede from Scripture , we are fure we mull obey God rather [ben men. and then we are well enough. For unlelfe we are bound [0 (hut eur eyes J and not to look upon [he Sunne , if we may give our felves hberry to believe what feemes moil plaine, and unIe(fe [h~ Authority of a Councel! be fo great a prejudice at to make us to doe violence [0 our underilanding, fo as not to disbelieve the Decree, becaufe it feemes contrary to Scrip. ture, but to believe it agrees with Scripture, though we knolV not how, therefore becaufe the Councell bath decreed it, unIeffe I fay we be bound in duty to be fo obediently blind, and fottifh, we are fure that there are fome Councels which are pre. tended Generall, that have retired from the publike notorious words and fence of Scripture. For what wit of man can reo corxile the Decree of the thirteenth Seffion of the Councell of C?njl4nce with Scripture, in which Seffion the halfe Com. mUl110n was decreed. in defiance of Scripture, and with a non obFflll1tc to Chrilts imlirution, For in the Preface of the Decree, Chri{js inilitution and the practife of'the Primitive Church is expre!fed, all? then with a non obfta"te, Communion in one lolKils ~flablllbt. Now then firppofe the n01J oGftantc in the for~ o~ w?rds relates to the Primitive I'caCl:ife; yet tince Chrifls Inltltution was taken notice of in the firll: words of the Decree, and the Decree made quire contrary to ic.ler tne non ob/llln:c relate whither it will. the Decree (not ro call it a defiance) IS a plaine receffion from [be inrlitution of Chrill, and therefore the no" o"/fame will referre [0 that without any lenlible error j and in,~eed fQr all the excutes to the contrary.ihe Decree was nor to dllcreerly fram'd but that in the very fonn of words, the defiance and the "on oGjlllnte is too plainly relative to th~ lirH words. For what fenre can there be in she firll liett die? /"'ct Chrijlflsin fIIr":h /pcllie, and !tcet Eccle/i>f 'Primiti'I){/~ eYc. 14mm hoc "0" o6jhmte, (fre. the fidl /;eet being are- 1.3[Jve terme, as weJJ as the fecond lim, mult be hounded with tome corre/pondent. But it matters not much. let them whom :t c?ncerne~ eni~y ~he benefic . of all excu.es they can imagine,

:;.c IS certarne Chrrits mlhcutlon and the €onncels limtlion



are as contrary as light and darknefle. Is it Fofiiblefor any man to contrive a way to make the Decree of ibe Councell of Trellt, cOll1mallding the publike Offices of the Church to be inl.arine, friends with the fourteenth chapter of the Corinthi""J? It is not amlfle to obferve howthe HyperafpiHs of that Councell Iweat to anfwer the Allegarions of S. P lIul, and the wi(efi of them doe it (0 exrremly pcore , that it proclaimes to all the \Vorid that the ll:rongell man, that is, cannot eat Iron or fwal. Iowa Rock. Now [hen J would it act be an unfpeakable Tyranny to all wife perfons , (who as much hale to have their foules enflaved as their bodies. imprifoned) to command them to believe that thefe Decrees are agreeable to the word of God? Upon whofe llDderilanding foever the Ie are impofed, they may at the next Seflion reconcile them to a crime, and make any finne (acred, or perf wade him to believe propoiitions conrradido-, ry to a Marhematicall demonflrarion, All the Arguments in the world that can be brought to prove the infallibility of Councels, can not make it 10 certain thai: they are infallible, at there tWO infiancel doe prove infallibly thar rhefe were deceived, and if ever we may fafely make ufe of our reafon anill conlider whether Councels have erred or no, we cannot by any reafon be more aflured, that they have or have not, then we have in thefe particulars : fo [hat either our reafon is of no manner of ufe, in the diiCuffion of this Qu.efiion, and the thing

it ielfe is not at all to be dilputed, or ifit be, we are certain that; thefe actually were cdecei,v~d, and w,e mull: never hope ~or a clearer evidence in any diipure, And If there be, others might have been, if they di.d as thefe did, that is, depart from [heir Rule. And it was Wifely faid of CHfoIlUI: Not4nd_ eft expe-

,IT'. L •• ,c.r~,COfl~

rimmtD rerflm u",verfole CDlIcilium p,»e deficere: Theexpe- cord.C~thGl.

rience of it is notorious, that Counce Is have erred : And all

rhe Arguments againil experience are but .plaiA fophiflry.

And therefore 1 make no fcruple to {hght the Decrees of Nflm6. 3; fuch Couecels , wherein [he proceedings were as prejudicare

and unreafonahle, as in the Councell wherein tAilIlil4rdHI was condemned, where the preiidenrs havine pronounced D41JP"4_

mill, they at the lower end being awaked at [he noire, heard the

Iatter part of it, and concurred as time as M,,,,,,,uI went, and

o 2 (hu

I", , 'I

The LihertJ of Prophefying.


168 The Lihl!¥tJ ofProphefying. Q.6'

"'_ ~~~-~--;--:-:-~::-:=~~I::::I::::Ii::== -.'

that was as good as Dflmn4mUI , for if they had been awake at

the pronouncing the whole w?rd, they would have given lenrenee aCGordingly. But by this meanes S. Bernard numbred the major part of voices again!! his Adverfary Avail"rdm; And as farre as there men did doe their duty, the duty of Prietls and [udges, and wiie men; fo we may prefiime them to be alliiled:

But" no further. But I am com em this (beeau/e but a private Affembly ) !11aIl pafle for no inllance: But what fhall we fay of all the Arrian Councels celebrated with {o great fancy, and Juch numerous Affemblies ] we all fay that tbey erred. And it will not be lufficient to fay they were not Iawtiill Counce's:

For they were conven'd by that Authority which all the world knowes did at that time convocate Councels , and by which (as it is • confefled and is notorious ) the firit eight Generalis did meet, that is by the Authority of the Ernperour all were called, and as many and more did come to them, then came to

the mof! famous Councell of Nice; So that the Councels were Jawfull, and iirhey did not proceed lawfully, and therefore did erre, this.is to fay that Councels are then not deceiv'd , when they doe their duty, whenthey judge impartially, whrn they decline inrerefi , when they follow their Rule; bur this [ayes alfo that it is not infallibly cerra:n that they will doe fo; {orchei\: did not, and therefore the others may be deceiv'd as well ,s thefe were. But another thing is in the 1'1' ind; for Counceh not confirmed by the Pope" have no warrant-that they (hail not erre , and they not being confirmed, therefore taild, But whether is the Popes confirmation afier the Decree or before? It cannot be fuppoted before; for there is nothing to be confirmed till the Decree be made, and the Article competed. But if it be after, tbenpoffibly the Popes Decree may be requitire ill fokmniry of Law. and to make [be Authority popular, publike ana humane; but the Decree is true or falfe before the Popes confirmation. and is not at all altered by the fupervening Decree, whichbeing pofbuzte to the Decree, alters not whar wcnr.befbre , 1'1Nnqutlm mim ,reftlt e).: pofifarto prd!feriti 4h· maf/o, is the voyce both of Law and reafon. So that it can., lOOt. make it divine, and neceflary to be heartily believed. It may, makt;; .it.lawfulJ, not make it rrue.that is"it may pollibly"

. .,""., . by

Epifl, Mailar· d"d He1ill~ conjugcm,

<) Gllf:UlUS).t. ,,?,'S. COil. ~ord_.

by (ueh meanes become a law but n~[ a truth. I I~eak now upon luppofition the Popes confirmation were nece£lary.> an.d requir'd to the making of conciliary and neceffar~ lan~1t. OIlS. But if it were. the cafe were very h~rd : ~or tuppole a herefy fhould invade, and po~effe the eh,me ot Rome, what remedy can the Church have 111 that cafe, If a GC~lerall s:oun. cell be of no AUthority withou~ the ~op'e ,:onfir~ It? WIll the Pope confirm a Councell agatn!!: himtelfe , will, he eondtn:n

his own here[y? That the Pope may be a Hererick app~ars. In 'D{tao.C:n. the' Canon Law. which fayes ~e n~ay fa!" herefy be depo'ed, fi [','[,,1.

and therefore by a Councell which In chis caFe hath plenary

Authoritv without the Pope. And therefore In the Synod at

Rome held under Pope AdriAn the Second, t~le Cenfiire ~f

the Sixth Synod againH H~l1oriUJ who wa.s eo~vl~t of l~ere!y: ~s

approved with this Appendix , that In [hIS. care tne e~~e cf ':~-

reiy , mil10ru pDjJint de mtlJoYl6us jud,c:lr s , And ,the,.Jore 11 a

Pope were above a Councell, yet when the Q:!,eillOn IS,concer_.

ning herefy, the cafe i.s altered; .the. Pope m~y be iudg. d by !-~lS

inieriours who in this cafe which IS the maine cale . or all, be-

come his'SuperioIlIS. And it is linle better then Impudence

to pretend that aU Counc~lls Iyere confi:n:ed by ~be _Pope, or

that there is a ncceffity in rClpca of divine obligaticn, [hac

any {bould be confirmed by him, more thet: ~y ~no[her of th_e

Patriarchs. For the Councell ot Chatcadon It lelle one of t\~ole

foure which S,Gregorl did reve.re ~ext to t~efoure EVJnge;llls,

is rejected by Pope u«, who I~ hl~ S3 EpI!tle [? ~l"atc.t:'f,

and in his 54tO <Martian, and 111 hll. ~ 5 to 'Pu!ciJerta,accu[es !c

of ambition and inconfiderate tementy , ~,!d therefore no ~jt

Affembly for the habitation of the holy Spinr , and CJ_el4i11S I~

his Tome de vincu!o~"athematJJ, affirm! that the Counc~llls

;11 part to be receiv'd, in part to be rejected, and ~omrar~s It to

hereticall books of a mixt matter, and proves his atiertion bY'

rhe place of S. Paul, Omn;" prov"te, quod b.num elf retsnet«,

And Bdl"rmin,fayes the tame; 11J Cqllcilia Chal,edonmji. q~d!dam- D, l iicis, L ~. fiM /;on" (pud,.m mal" ~qU$d4m ''''pimatt, qIJ£.d.t.mreJ'clend~; c: 20,·~ "~J v.; ita & in i;/;rio h£retic4r~m, and ifany thing be fa!!e, ~!Jen all is u.c. ~aionable,and judicable and ditcernable.and not infallible ante-

sedenrly, And however that Councellhath (1: pcjlf.fllc,and by roe.

. J 0 :I voluntary

ii I'

:1 ';'

The Liberty of ProphefJing.



EVJgr·1iI·.3· CJ('·3C•

The Libert) of Propht[ying. ~.6.

-v-o-Iu-n-ta-r-y-c-o-nfenri~g of arrer Ages ohrai~ed great reputa~ion-. yet they that lived immediately afrer it, {bat obferved all th~ circumflance, of the thing. and the qifabilities of (he perfons,and the uDc~rraimy of the truth of its decrees , by reafon of the UBconcludmg~lle of the Arguments brought to anelt it, were of another mind, 0!3d "lItelH tid C DllciliulH C h4lcedone"fo Atlinet illud :d. t~mpDril('I3I::'. eAlIlIftAjii Imp.) n~ palam i.N Eccleji; f4nflijJmSlf prd!dlC4t11m fai«, ncIJ., 4b ,mni/;m rejeElHIII,nJlIH (iNgNli E_cc/e(i.trum ~r<tjides pro flo flr6itrJltil ;n etl re .gerMnt. And ,fo d~d all men in [~e wo~ld that were not matier'd with prejud.lCes a~d undone UJ t?elr underllanding with accidentali imper, unenCles;. ~hey Judg d upon rhofe grounds which they had and la.w, and lulfered not themfelves to be bound ts the imperious dictates of other men, who are as uncertain in their determinations as other in theirQ!!.eHions, And it is an evidence that there is lome deception, and nstable errour either in toe thinz or in the manner of their proceeding, wben the Decrees of ~ Councell Ihall haven? authority from the Compilers, nor no fire.ngth from the reafonablenefle of the deciiion, bur from the accidenrall approbation of Pollerity : And if Potleriry had pleafed,or{gm had believed well and been an Orthodox per. 1011. And It was pretty fporr to fee that Papitll was right for ~wo Ages rogerher , and wrong ever fince j and ju(l fo it was 10 Councels, pa!ticularly in this of Chtllcedon, that had a fate alterable accordmg [Q the Age, and accordins to the Climate which to m~ underRanding is nothine elfe bUt an Argumen~ that t,he buhnelfe of infallibility is ablater device, and COIDmenc d .£0 rerve ftlch ends as cannot be juflified by true and 111bl1an[l~1l grounds , and that the Pope lhould confirm it as of necenlty, IS a fit cover for the fame dial.

1n tfue lixth ~enerall Couneell, lIonorilil Pope of Rome was c?ndemoed; did that Councell Ray for toe Popes Confirmanon before they {ene forth their Decree? Certainly they did no~ think It fo needf~ll, as thar they would have fnlpended or callated the Decree, 111 cafe the Pope had then difavowed it:

For beftdel the condemnation of Pope 1I0no';HI for herely, the 13 th and 55th Canons of rha; Councell are exprelfely again(t the cuHome oftbe Church of RQme. But tkis particslar is in-



volved in to at new Cl!!,.eflion, whether the Pope be above a CouncelJ. Now fince the Contellarion of this Q.!!_eHiof!, {here was never any free or lawfull Councell that determined for the

Pope,ic is not likely any fhould.and is it likely that any Pope will • Vid. pcilr~ confirm a Councell that does not? For the Councell of Btlji/ is dcC"ndl.~n· therefore condemo'd by the laH Lateran which was an Alfem- \~lIano. §,6. bly in the Popes own Palace, and the Councell of Conf/flnce is N.9•

of no value in this Q$Hion, ard flighted in a jull: proportion,

as that Article is disbelieved. But I will not much trouble the

<:l!!,.ellion with a Ion" contideration of this particular; the pre-

tence is {en[elelfe and illiterate. againH reafon and experience,

and already derermin'd by S. Auf/in fufficiently as to this par. Epill,161.0<1., ticular , Ecce pumnm illas 8pifcopos qui ROW/Ill judicwverullt n6H Glcriun-, 60>101 judiCe! fllif{e, Ref/"allllt tldhuc plellarilllH Ecc!ejilll H/I'Ver!£

(onci/ium ubi etitlm CUIII ipfit ;udicilJlM ,,,ufo poJlit "lit",;, Ht (i

",.Ie jHdicttjJe conviEli e/!mt> eorm» {eHlenti£ fo!verentur. For

fince Popes may be parries, may be Simoniacks , Schilmacicks.

Herericks, it is againH: reston that in their own caufes, they

(hould be judges, or that in any caules they Ihould be fuperior

(0 their judges. And as it is againH reafon , [0 is it againH all

experience toO i for the Councell Sillv,jJamlw ( a's it faid) was

conven'd to take Cognifsnce of Pope tMamllmuf; and divers

Councels were held at Rom« to give judgement in the caufes

of'Dllmttfitl, Sh,tul the 111, Symmnchuf, and Leo III and IV,

as is to be teen in Platimf, and the Tomes of [be Councels, And

it is 110 aafwer to this and the like allegations to fay il3 mat ~

rers of fad and humane conllirution, [he Pope may be judg'd

by a Councell , but in matters of Fait» all the world muf}

(land to the Popes determination and authoritative decifion :

For if the Pope can by any colour pretend to any thing, it is to a Juprem Judicature in matters Ecclefiatiicall , poflrive and of fact; and if he fai·les in this pretence, he will hardly hold up his head for any thing eIfe; for the ancient Biiliopsderiv'd their Faith from the fountaine ; and held that in [he higheH tenure, even from Chrifl their Head; but by reafon of the

Imperiall * City it became the principal! Seat, and he Iurpriz'd .• .

the higetl: Judicature, partly by the conceffion of. others .' pa.rtly • IVide ~,v~ed:. by his 01'1'11 accidearall ad',antages,and yet even m. thele thll1g' C.Jak~J ""J ,.

.. altho';lgh



The LihertJ of propheJjil1g.

although he was major fingtllil, yet he was mit1oru~h'erjit: And

M\'ulr.c3n.> {. this is no more then what was decreed of the eighrh Gene. rail Synod; which if it be fenie, _is pertinent to this 9l!.-eflionj for General! Councels are appoinred to take Cognrzance of Ol..lt!{\ions and differences about the Bifhop of Ro,,!~, non t"m~1i audAffer in emil Jerre fo>l.tet;'tillm: By lI~dafflr, as IS ~Ilppo[ed.' IS meant fr<fcipitilllter halhly and lInr~a{onabl):';. but If to give fenrcnce azainfl him bee wholy forbidden, It 15 non '[enre, ror to what purpofe is an Authority of taking. Cognizance, if they have no power of gIVing [e~ten~e, lI~lefie It were to oeferre it to a Iuperiour Judge, wluch. 10 this cafe.cannot be fup: pored] for either the Pope himfelfe IS to Judge hIS own callf~at. rer their examination of him, or the Generall Councell IS to ~dge him: So [hat although the Councell is by that Decree enJoy n'd to proceed mo_deHly and warily, r~t they may ~ro· ceed to renrence , or elfe the Decree IS ridiculous and ,1m.

pertinent. . .• .

But to deare all I will inflance 10 matters of Qu.e!hon and

.opinion : For not o'nly lome Councels have made their Decrees without or agail1fl the Pope, but Iome Counce Is have had ~~e Popes confirmation , an? yet have not been th~ more legirimare or obligatory, but are known to be heretl~all, F or (he . Canons of the fixth Synod although [orne. ot them were made againtl: the Popes, and the cutlome ot the Church of R.'1m, a Pope a while after did confirm the Councell, and yet the Canons are impious and hereticall , and [0 efleem'd by the Chuich of Rome her (elte. I inHance in the Iecond Canon which approves of (hat Syl1C'Jd of Cilrlh"g~ under CJpr!,:'1 for rebaptization of Hereticks , and (he 7" Canon that diflolves marriage between perlons of differing pefi'wa{ion in matters ot Chrillian Religion , and yet rhere Canons were approved b.y Pope O/Jdr;.,:: 1. who ill his EpiHle to Th.,rajilll, which rs ill [he Iecond action of the fevemh Synod, calls them CR.' Hones divine & "glillter predicsto), And tbete Canons were uled by Pope N,d;ofas I. in his EpiHle ad ,hichat/cm, and by Innocent III. c. fl muftis, extra. de era, ordmandoTum. So that now ((hat wee may apply this) (here are Ieven G~.

.nerali Councels which by the Church of Rome are condemn d Qf


of errour. The " Councell of AlltiDch, A.D, 34f· ;in which ~V'J S 11 S. Athlll:Afilll was condemn'd: The Councell of t7vlil~lJi~~ C.5~ &,~~:~~: .A,'D. H4,ofabove JOO Bifhops : The ~ouncel1 of eArl"". l,j.e,5.

~lIm confifling of 600 Bifhops : The fecond Coancell ofEphe- .

Jus ~.D. 449' in which the ElIlJchi4" herefy was confirmed, ~rcgor.,"Re_

and'tlle Patriarch FI"via>luJ kild by the fa6tion ofDi'.ft07111 : The g~fi·cl,.3.caul.(7.

nd au, . oncr 1Un.! Councell of ConftalZt;nopltf under LeI! lfourul , A.D·730: A· Numidia! c:r-

another at Conflantinop" 35 years after: And lamy, the Coun- ro[e. Concili, eel at Pif4 154 yea:s fince •. Now that thefe Generall Coun- u~ Aq~i:gra: eels are condemn'd, IS a fufficient Argument that Ccuncels may OJ man, ••. Ce

-. . fi 'd b h ra ptore cc

erre , andit isnoanfwer to fay tbey were not con rm y t e upl~di(l •• o.

Pope; tor the Popes coatirmation I h~ve {hewn not co be neceffa- can.de hbelhs, ry, or it it were, yet even chat alfo IS ~n Argumen.t that Gene. ill 1l1olT&,

rall Councels may become invalid , el~her by t~elr own fa~I[,

or by fame extrinfecall fupervenmg accidenc , el.ther o~ which

evacuates their Authority; and whether all that IS requ!red te

the legitimation of a Councell, was a6l:ually obferv'd 1~ any

CouncelI, is fa hard to determine. that no ~an can be l~~allt-

bly Cure that fiich a Councell is authentick and fufficlenc


2. And that is the fecond thing I t'hall obferve , There are Num(,.6. fo many QEs:!lioilS concerning the efficient. the forme, the

matter of Generall Councells, and their manner of proceeding •

and their finall (ancHon, rhat after a ~llion is derermin'd

by a Conciliary Affembly, there are pe!haps twenty m?re~-

!Hons to be difpuced before we can wlth.confidence clth~r be-

lieve the Councell upon its meere Authority. or obtrude It up-

on others. And upon this ground, how ealy it is to elude the

preflure of an Argumel'lt drawn from the Autbo!icy of a Ge-

nerall Councell , is very remarkable in the ~lhon about the

Popes or the Councels SlIperiorit):" wbicb Q!leHion although

ir be defin'd for the Councell agall1H the Pope by five Gene-

rall Coancels the Councell of FloreNce, of {, onj/ance, of Ba{tl,

of Pifo, and one of the L.tter<m'"yet the Jefitites to this day,

account this Q!lcHion pro '119n defimt!t. and have. rare pre-

tences for their eteape , as firH, It is true,a C~)lJncelJ!s a?ove a r.

Pope, in care there be no Pope, or he lInCertall?; which IS Btl/Armme's anfwer, never ccofidering whether he ipa~e ienre or no,

. . p ~


:IIel13r, de 'tonc.l.Lc.8.

The ,Liherty of Pfopbefying.

nor yet remembring that [he Conncellof Bafi/eepofed ellgtlliHl who was a [rue Pope and (0 acknowledg'd. Secondly,fometimes rhe Pope did not confirm thefe Councels, that's their Anfwer: ( And althoush it was an exception [hat the Fathers never rhougbt ot: ::hen they were pretfed with the Authority of the Councell of Arimillu19Jor.S,rmillm, or any other ~rrian Con~ v ention ; ) yet the. Councell of Baft! was conven'd by Pope M~rti,. V. then, in its Iixteenth Seflion, declar'd by eHg~lIiUJ the IV, to be lawfully continued and confirmed exprefly in lome of its Decrees by Pope NIcholas, and [0 Hood till it was at 1all: rejected by L CQ X. very many years after; but that came too late, and with roo vitible an interefi ; and this Conncell did decree fide Cathy/tea tenendum C ollcltifSm eJ[e flpr" P"P4l'l: : But if one Pope confirms ir, and another rejects it, as it happened in this cafe and in many more, does it not dellroy the com. p~[ency of the Authoriry? and we fee it by this intlance, that it [0 rerves the WInS of men, that it is good in rome cafes, that is, when it makes for them, and invalid when it .. makes againl! them. Thirdly, but it is .a little more ridiculous in the caie of the Councell of Conjlance, whole Decrees were confirm'd by UUi1rtin V. But that this m~y be no Argum~m againH them, Be/!""mille tells YOll he only confirm'd thofe things qft£ faEl~ fuerant Conci/iariler.1'6 diltgenter ~KallJin"t/i, of which there being no mark, nor any certain Rule to judge it, it is a devic: that may evacuate any thing. we have a mind to, it was not done Conci/i"rit'er, that is, om: according to our mind; for Con. ci/illriter is a fine new nothing, that may. fignifie what you pleafe, Fobrthly, but other devices yet more pretty they have:

As, Whether the Councell of Lateran was a General! Councell or no, rheyJcnow not , (no,nor will n.n know) which is a wife and pla ine refervation of their own advantages, to make it GeneraJl or not Generall, as lhall ferve their turns. Fifthly, as for the Gouncell of Florence, they arenot lure, whether it bath de,hn'd the <l!!.~Hionj:ltjJ apertf; apme .hey will gram, if you wllI"allolY them aor folit apert~. Sixthly and JaH:l y I the Councell of Ptf.1 is ne~ "p;rabaIHm >IIi reprobalum, which is the fireatelt folly of all and moll: prodigious vanity; [0 that by ~omething Df other, . either they were &jOt convea'd lawfully, or

._- ---_ -.- ... - - - - -. -_ ' ... " .. _. __ .. _-_. ~hey


The Libmy 6/ Propbefjiltg.

they did not proceed Co"cili"riter , or 'tis not certain that the Councell was Generall Of 110,) Of whether the Counce!! were Approbllllim) or repro~.",mJ. or elfe it is partim eonjit1lJlltlim pArlir» rt;reblllllrN, or elfe it is "uh tlpprOblttH>1J nei re;rotlltum; By one of rhefe wayes or a device like to tnefe, all Councels and all Decrees Ihall be made to lignifie nothing I and to have no Authority.

3. There is DO General! . Councell that hath determined Numb, 7. that a Geaerall Counsell is infallible: No S~rijJture hath re-

corded it; no Tradition univer{all hath tranfrnitted to us any

fuch propofition; So that we mull receive [he AuthOrity at a

lowerrate , and upon a Idfc probability then the things con-

Iigned by that Authority. And it is Itr~lJge th~t th~ Decrees

of Councels Ihould be efleerrrd authentick and infallible , and

yet it is not infaHiblx cerrain , that the Councels th~mfe!v~s

are infallible, becaule the beliefe of the Ccuncels infallibi-

lity is not prov'd to us by any medium ,but fuch as may de-

ceive us.

4· But the belt inflance that Councels are fome and may NII11;".:t; all be deceived, is the contradiction of one Councell to -anotherj

for in [hat cafe both cannot be true. ana which of them is

true, mult belong to another judgement, which is le£l_'e then

the Iolennity of a Generall Councell, and the determination

of [his matter can be of no greater certainty .~fter it. is ~o~.

eluded, then when it was propounded as a Q£_elhon, being It IS

to be determin'd by the fame AUthority or by a Idle [ben it

{elfe. But for this allegation, we cannot want inflances; The

Couneell of Trent allowes piCiuring of God [he Father; The SdT",.. Councell of Nteealtogether difallowes it; The [a~~ Ni~m~

Councell, which was the Ieventh Generall, allows of plc'turrng A3. t.

ChriH in the form of a Lamb; But the fixth Synod by no

meaoes will endure it, as Car"""",,, affirms: The Councell of

Ntoc"farea confirm'd by LeQ IV,dijl.2o, de lIbeOil, andapprov'd Can, S'.

by the filll: '1X!.cene Councell as it is laid in the ,reventh Se,llion of

the Councell of Ptormce, forbids fecond Marriages, and impores

Penances en them [bat are married [he fecond time, forbidding

Prieils to be prelent at fuch Marriage FeaHs: Betides , ,:hat

ibis is exprefly aeainfl the Dodrine of S. P"H/~ it is alto agllntl:

p pz ~

i I

XIii The Liherty ofProphefJing. e.6.


Cap, I. the Dsetjpe of the: CouncelJ of L",diCla which took off (uch

Penances, and pronounced Ieceed Marriages to be free and law full : Nothing is more dilcrepant then the third Councell of Carthlflt and the Ceuneell of LilOdic,.c, about affignarion of the Canon of Scripture, and yet the lixth GeneraU Syaod approves both: And I would faine know if all General! Counceh are of the fame mind with the Fathers of the Councell of C~r-

thagl , who reckon into the Canon five Books of Saloma". I am hIre 5. Allft;,. reckoned but three, and I think all Chrirlendome belide are of the fame opinion. And if we look into the title of the Law 4e CONc;liis , called CO'1CDrd~nti" diflQrd(n.

tiarlltrn, we fhall find inflances enough to confirm that the De. crees of'fome Councels are contradictory to others and that no wit can reconcile them: .And whether they did ~r no that they might difagree, and former Councelsbe correded by la. rer, was the beliefe of the Dodors in thofe Ages in which the beH and moll famous Councels were conven'd, as appears in that. t~mous {'ayiD!? of S. Auf/in fpeaking concerning the reo baptizing of Herericks ; and how much the cA!,.icllnr were de. cei ved in that Q!:!_efiion, he anfwers the Allegation of the Bi-

(hops Letters, and thOle National! Councels which confirmed S.CyprillN! opinion by faying that they were no nnaH determination. For Epiflopmll11 'iter~ ","nd,.ri FDffill1t 4 CONci/iio 1M. tiofllll;llIIl, Cuncilia "IItiO"AliII a plenariil, ;pfoi plenaria prim:

dt}offcr~ori6NI emend",;. Not only the occalion of the Q.:!.e· fl·lDn being a matter not of faa, bur of Faith as being infl~nc'd in the Q!!,efiioD of rebaptization : but alfo the very fa. brick and a:conomy of the words, put by all the anlwers of thofe me,n who think t~emJelves pre lied with the Authority of S.v!ujhn. For as Nationall Councels may correCt the Bifhops Letters, and Generall Couneels may correce Narionall , 10 the later General! may correct the former, {hac is, have contrary and better Decrees of manners. and better determinations ill rnaw;rs of faith. ~nd from hence hath rifcn a Q!!eHion whe[her IS to be received toe former or the later Councels, in cafe they conrradiCt: each other. The former are nearer the fountaines Apollolicall, the later are of greater conJideration ; The.firft, have more Authority, the later more reafon The

:lir!!, ~~t?0£~ !ene~a~!e ~ !4~ !a~e~~lo~~ ~n'.ll1iJ!!i~~ and

L.t7,dc cul. Dd:,c.'to.

L.t.de b~rt. Jl)onat.c.~.


The Liherty of ProphefJing.

And now what rule (hall we have to determine our beliefes, whether to Authority, or Reafon, the Reafon and the Authority both of them not being the highetl in their kinde, both of them being repudiable, and at moll but probable P And here it is that this great uncertainty is fuch as not to determine any body, but fit to ferve every body j and it is fport ro fee that

B,1I4rmillll will by all meanes have the Councell of CaTthA_'(1I [.,2. de Cone. preferr'd before the Councell of Laodie4., beeaufe it is later, and e. 8. § refpon, yet he preferres the fecond .NifeN4 * Councel! before the Coun- ~e() ,in primi s, cell of F,",,/ifNrt, becaufe 1t IS elder: S. vluftill would have c IJJrti§ de [he former Generals to be mendedby the later j but ljid6rll in [C~:Cl 10 augMt;an [ayes when Councels doe dIffer .f}andum tffi "ntiquisri· Dill ac.Can, blu, the elder muO: carry it : And indeed rhete probables are Domino San. buskins (0 ferve every foot, and they are like mlfgllilm & par'll"m, ao.

they have nothing of their own , all that they have is in com-

pariion of others; [0 thefe topicks have nothing of refolure and

dogmatical! truth, but in relation to Iiich ends as an interefled

penon bath a mind [0 ferve upon them.

5" There are many COUflCelS corrupted, a_nd many preten, Nu",G. 9, ded and alledged, when there were no fuch things, both which

make the topick of the. Authority of Councels ~o b~ little and inconliderable : There IS a Councell brought to light 111 the edi,

rion of Councels by Bini,", viz. Sinvej[anup», pretended to be

kept in the year ;03, but it was fo private till to en , that we

find no mention of it in any ancient Record: Neither EufihiU!,

nor Run:"u!,S Hiersm, nor SocraUI, So:r..omm, nor 1"htodortt ,

1J' " d k o' f'i d I Id 11. • Pro [ cum

nor eH!T~p'lIf! n_or Be e new any t I~ 0 It, ~n t ie e en effcr h boll',

allegation of It IS by Pope 'NJchol~j I, ll_l toe nlI~th Centur¥. Per(arum] Ie. And he thadhall ccntiderthat 300 BIfilOPS 10 the midii of horrid gi volnnr! cum Perfecutions (for fo then they were) are prel.ended to. have con- ret'elti~s eflet i: ven'd, will need no greater Argument to fUlpea: t?e Impoflur~; ~~~~.IE~~~t beGdes, be that was the framer of the eneme did nor lay hIS ChYo~i /,,~ ends together handfomely , for it is (aid that the depofition of Binill~o i~v~:. Mofrccllinm by (be Synod was told to 'lJioc!et;an. when he was tir a1 Coneil. in the !'u{iJln Warre, when as it is known before that time he sjnllc,7;mu~. had retum'd to Rome, and triumph'd for his Perf." Conquefl as Tom.l.con"l.

E r. • hi Ch . I d hi ." " 0 Jj" 1& Baron. An« uftoillJlo 15 rOnIC e reports: An t IS IS d'D plaID t at. ,mUd! nal, rom, J.

and.Bilronillf pretend the Text to be corrupte ,& to go t? men .. A.D.30;.II11P,.,o .c,

'.' ... - ... l' 3 It Itl;.

: i

lls---------rhe LihertJ of Prophefying.



-~··-·------'--itbytuch an emendation a~ is a plain cont.radi~ion to the

!en!e, and that fo un-clerk-like, 'lJi~. by pUUIDB rn two words and leaving out one, which whether it may be allowed them

1.1,101" J4. by any licence leffe then Poeticall ler Criticks judge. S.GY1lory

",I Nail,,,,, faith that the Con{la1Jth,opolit,,"s had corrupted tbe Synod of Chalctdon, and that he fufpetted the fame concerning the EphrJil1t Councell : And ill the fifth Synod there was a noterious prevarisarion, for there were falfe EpilHes of Pope P"igililu and c.}I{t,ma the Patriarch of ConjPllnti110plt! infected, and fo they pafled for authentick till they were difcovered in the lixth General! Synod, Actions the I J. and r 4: And not only falii:

Decrees and Attions may creep into the Codes of Councels, but fometimes the authority of a learned man may abure the Church with pretended Decrees, of which there is no CORY or

('omnj(nt.iJl~ filidow in the Code it [eIte: And thus Thomas ~'qHinal iayei [ .. lob". that the EpiHle 10 the Hebrllwes was reckoned in the Canon by the 1XJcm~ Councell , no fhadow of which appears in thofe Copies we now have of it ; and this pretence and the repuration of the man prevail'd [0 farre with M~/chi()f' (allus theIearned Bifhop of CIIl1l1riu, that he believ'd it upon this ground. Vir [ttnElII! ran adto g'a'lltm 11011 aflrNeret, NiJi cfJmpertum habllij{tt; and there are many things which have prevail'd upon lefle reafon and a more flight Authority. And chat very Councell

, Con. Ca· of Nice, hath not only been pretended by .ACjlli11lu, but velY !h'gS!. '"1"9' much abufed by others, and its Authority and great reputation b C"n.AI, iCJIl. hath made it more lyable to the fraud and pretences of idle c Ibid, c.icr, people : For whereas the Nicene Fathers made but twenty ~ L~~.{~·E'cl. C~nons,{or (0 many andno n:ore were received by' (tcililltl?t Iliil.c.o. (arthag~, that was at Nice 1Il the Councell; by S. bAllftln, e 111 princ, and aco .African Biiliopnvith him, by S. c (]rili OIAle:l:~~drill, Con,dcSYIJ(Jd. by d eAttiClI1 of (()11j1a1ltifJople, by R"ffillllS, e ljidoreand Theo.

Prine. dor.t ; as f Baror.iH! wirnefles , yet there are fourfcore lately

f narodus, ~ d out i l Mid . b

[om.lA.D. found Out In an AY(/oian • S. and publifhe in Larine y

3'5.n•156. Tllrritlli and eA/fonful o(Pifa Jefuitcs furely , and like to be

Tom.j. cd mafiers of the mint. And not only the Canons, but the very

A,D·3t,.n.6l ACts of the ?o(jt'tne Councell are lalfe and llllUious, and are 10 fl· confefled by Baroninr j though how be and;', lir/danus will be g Panopl.l.z, recoacil'd upcn the poinr, lneitber know well nor much care. td. Now

Th, Li/;m10f PropT,,/jing.


Now if one Councell be corrupted, we fee by the in Hance of s. qrtgory, that another may be fufpe8ed and fo all; beeaure he 'found the Councell of Cha/cedon corrupted, he fufFe8ed al(o the EphtJj,te, and another might have fufpetled more, for the N,.me was tampered fouly with, and fo three ofrhe foure Generals were fullied and made fufpicious, and therefore we could not be fecure of any; If falfe Acts be interred in cne Counce!!, who can trult the attions of any, unlelfe he had the keeping the Records himfelfe , or durlt f\vear .fonhe Reg!He~ :

And if a very learned man (as Thomlll A'l'1tHaS was,) did eriher wilfully deceive us, or was himfelfe ignorantly abated in Allegation of a Canon which was not, it is but a ~ery fallible Topick at the bell:, and the molt holy man that IS, may be' .bufed himlelfe, and the wifefr may deceive others.

6. AndlaHly, To all this and rorhe former inHances,by way of Nllm". 10

Corollary, I adde fome more parriculars in which it is nororicm- •

that Counsels Qienerall, and Nationall, that is, fuc'] as were ei-

ther General! by Originall, or by adoption into the Canon ofrhe

Catholike Church did errejand were attually deceived. The firlt

Councell of Toltd, admits to the Communion him that hath a

Concubine fo he have no wife belides, and this Councell is

approved by Pope Leo in the 92 Epitlle to Ru[tieYJ Bifhop of

N~rbQna: qrlltian fayes that the Councell meanes by a Con- Dill.;:. (~I1, cubine , a wife married .Jilte dote 6' filtl1t1itatc; but this is ouuu! ~" dawning with untemperd mortar. For though it was a cu-

!lome amongfi the jewes [0 dillinguiill Wives (rom their <!:oncubines, by Dowry and legal! Solenniries, yet rbe Chri.

llian diflinguifhed then: no othen~ile! then as law full. and

unl.wfull, then as Cbafiity and Fomication, And befides, Ifby

a Concubine is meant a lawfull wife withouc a Dowry', [0

what purpofe fhould the, CouncelJ make a Law [hat (iich a one

might be admitted to the Communion> for I fuppofe it was

never tbought to be a Law of Chriflianiry, that a man Ol'luld

have a Portion w.itb his Wife, nor he that married a poore

Virgin fhould deierve to be Excommunicare, So that qr41i~n

and his Followers are prefl fo with this Canon, that to aVOId

the impiety of it, they expound it to a !ignificalion 'withcur

fellf~ .or purpo(e~ ~ut the butineffe ~heo was, that Adultery




-~,- .. -, .. ,.-.~~-.' --.-----~--~-----

120 __ ----------T-~~L-'-~e~r~~-1~pr-D~ph~~~~t~ng=.~ __ --~§~.~ was [0 publike and notorious a practife that the Councell did thu[e rather [0 endure fimple Fornication, that by filch per. million of a lefle , [hey might flacken the publike cufiome of a 0reater, jua as at Rome they permit Stewes to prevent unnaturall finnes; But that by a publike fan6tion Fornicators, habitually and eororioufly fueh, fhould be admitted to the holy G:ommuni. on was an aa of Priefls, fo unfit for Priefls , that no excufe can make it white or deane. The Councell of Wormtl does authorize a foperflirious cufiome at that time tOO much ufed , of

dilcovcring Iloln goods by the holy Sacrament, which • A. qUlnllS juHly condemns for Superliition. The b fixth Synodfe, parates perlons lawfully married upon an accufacion and crime of hereiy : The Roman Counce11 under c Pope Nkh'/lfs II. defin'd that not only the Sacrament ofChriits body, but the very body it felle of our blefied Saviour is handled and broke by the hands of the P riefl , and chewed by the teeth of the

Communicants, which is a manifel] errour derogatory from the truth of Chrills beatificall Re(urreetion, and glorification in the Heavens, and difavowed by [he Church of Rome it [elfe:

But Br/{armillf that aniwers al1 the Arguments in the world, whither it be poflible or not pollible, would faine make the matter faire, and the Decree tolerable, for fayes he, the Decree

meanes that the body is broken not in it fc:lfe but in the fign, and yet the Decree fayes that not only the Sacrament (whieh if any thing be, is certainly the fign) but [he very body it (eire is broken and champed with hands and teeth reljleCl:ively; \V hich indeed was nothing but a plaine over- aCting the Article in contradiction to BerclIgariHf. And the anlwer of Bellar· mine is not Ienfe , for he denies that the body it {elfe is broken in it felfe ([hat was the errour we charg'd upon the Roman Synod) and the {j~n abflra6l:ing from the body is not broken, (lor that was the opinion that CounceJl condemn'd in DereN. garltls) but Iayes n,l/armiNf, the body ill the fign ; What'! that? for neither the fign, nor the body, nor both together are broken: For if either of them diflill6tly , they either rulh upon the errour which the R?man Synod condemn'd in B~. rengariNf, or upon that which they would fain exeu(e In Pope N/~holi1l; but if both are broken then 'tis true to affir~

. I.

" 1'"t.l.'1 So; :>.6. ad 3m.

b Cal1.7!.

,< Can e~o Bercngar, de cor.fccr:lt.Ji{l.

1:b ••. c.s.de Concil,



it of eith~r" and t~en [he C?ullcell is blafphemous in f~yjng that Chnfi 5 .glorrfi~d body IS pallible and frongib!e by narurail manducation . So t~a[ it _is ~nd it is not, it is not this way, and yet It :s 1)0 wayelle~hut lt IS fome way, and [hey know not ~ow , and the Councell i~oke blafphl:my. bur it mull be made lOllcce~t ; and.tberefore, It was requi{ite a cloud of a diainai~ on Ihou.d be raifed , that [he unwary Reader migbt be amufed, and theD~,crt'e tcape untouchr, but the truth is, they that undertake to ;ul'l,fie ,aU rhar other men fay, mult be more tubtle then they that !;:,d 1[; ~nd tr.urt 'l'e ti.ch diitinctiora which pollibly [be fir!* Authors did not ~N!crHan~. B .. t I will multiply no more I~ltances. for. wh~t Int~.lfJC,:: Ioever J !hall bring, lome or

otb~r WIll be all~l\'erlDg It, which ~bing is 10 farre from fnicfyil1g • '

me In the parriculan , [hat I[ increafes the diff.culty in the " lib ,kmw>I

11 d f. 'fi ' CIS I'Id.II""·

gellera ,an .:tIS es me In my fidl beliere . For' if no De- cJa~ & C~Il;

crees o~ CO~flcels can make ag~jDit them though they fecme cdia quo" in never to plain agalnft [hem, then let others be allowed the run tiiam f,fame liberty, (and there is all the rea ton in the world they ciunr ; rchqua fhould) and no Decree Ihall conclude againfi any Doctrine.rhar r:~~ plum

h h I d . 'd b . ) xl'l.mnt

~ ey ave a re.a y entertain ; and y this meanes the Church quam C011VCi!-

IS no liner inlirument to Decree Controvenies then the tum WIlier. ~crip[U[e it lelfe, there being as much obicuriry and dilpu[ing c~l.J:U'~ i,". In the Ienfe, and the manner, ancil the dearee and the compe- C,XtJl:l.1 hi

t d h bli . f h l:> .' .hcnnl,.Lu,/J ency , an teo l~a[Ion 0 t e Decree of a Councell as of (" . '.'~'

I f Scri ~ , l,m,lIISc-o//; ~ pace 0 ~crlpture. A~d whar are we the nearer for a Decree, 1'&"0. Allg d~

If any Soph~tter fhall think his elufion enough to conteti againH Civil. u c/o t~e Authority ?f a Cou~cel1? y~t this they doe, that pretend C ~,.

~Ighe.£l for their Authoruy, which confideration or lome like

it might pollibly make Grl!liiln preferre S HierollJ's finale 36~ q, t. c. r1z• TeHimony before a whole Councell , beGau(e hee had ScriP. CUlt.

ture ,of hIS ~de ; which fayes, that the Authority of Coun-

'eels IS .Ilo~ <turom,@-, and t~at Councels may pollibly recede

frcm their Rule. from Scriptnre ; and in that cafe , a (inele

pel~on proceeding acqmdi?g to Rule is a better Argumem i

which indeed was the'[~yIDg of 'P""srmitall, ill cOllcernmti;Hf 'P~rt.r. de de. ftde~ .~tl"lfJ diEhm) flnjHs privllti rJJu dtao Pap~ aNt tot,fll ~:on, Et clcci, Concillt pr'£fer~l1dflm, pille rmverttur meJiorWHt e.4r<rn. ? tefi~ C3p. m~l1tis. 0"- ugm ncaJt~

, ,

! !J


----.~.--._~_-_ .. _-----------_

The Libuoty of Prophefjing.

Nltmb. I I. I end this. Dif~our[e. with reprefendng the words of q-;;g;;; Arbauat.lib.de ]Vaz,jaH:(.etI In hIS Epifile to Procopllil; Ego Ii oer« fcrJbtr~ ~~"uJ. Fruth oportet: itll animo "/fifl11t fum, Ht omniA Epi[coporum COllci!ia Jglt~l' CHcUm- fi'JIJin11), 'luonillm ,mlljflt C§ncilii jinem 1£l(11) fauftuma vidi curhranrcs 6 ir: ,. . Ii: <J' p,.:l!texunt 0& nee quod d'pu~tomm "'lilOr,."! potlNJ quam "CC~JjIOl1em & ;l1cre_

ridcm fe Syno- mmtllm habmrit : But I will not be [0 revere and dogmatical! des puiluhte, againfl: them: For I believe many Councels to have been cald cum {itOi.-inl with illfficient Authority, to have been managed with lingular SC~,ptU,.a om- piety and prudence, and to have been finifhed with admirable ;;~r~ts puten_ Iuccefie and truth. And where we find Iuch Councels , he

tbar will nor with all veneration believe their Decrees, and receive their {ancEons, underitand_s not that great duty he owes to them who have the care of our Joules, whofe faith we

Uc!\IJ'7' are bONnd to follow (faith s. P'lItl) that is Io long as they fol-

low Chrifi, and certainly many Councels have done fo ; But thi~ was then when the publike inrereti of Chrillendome wac better conferv'd in determining a true Article, then in finding a difcreer temper, or a wife expedient to Iarisfie difagreeing perfons, (As the Fathers at Trent did; and the Lutheranr and C(llvinijiJ did at Sendomir in Talonia; and the Sub!lZp[ariAn~ and Supralap[ari.w did at Dort t ; It was in Ages when the fumme of Religion did not conlia in maintaining the qYiIn_ de:('>:'11 of the Papacy , where there was no order of men with a fourth Vow upon them to advance S. Peters Chaire , when there was no man, nor any company of men, chat efleem'd themfelves infallible, and therefore they Iearched for truth as if they meant to find it, and would believe it if they could fee it prov'd , not rerolv'd to prove it becaufe they had upon chance or iatereli believ'd it; then they had rather have {poken a rrurh , [hen upheld their reputation, but only in order to rruth. This was done fometimes, and when it was done God's Spirit never fail'd them , but gave them Inch affiHances ~s were' fufficiem [0 that good end for which they were Afiembled, and did implore his aid: And therefore it is that the foure 1i.eneraIl Councels (o called by way of eminency l have gained io great a reputation above all others, nor becaule rhey had

<:I better promife, or more fpeciall afliiiances , but bwmfe [hey proceeded better according to the Rule, with Icfle



The Liberty of prophefjing.


fa~ioD, without ambition and rernporall ends.

And yet thole very Alfemblies of Bilhops had no Autho, 'N:...um~ I2.

rity by their Decrees to make a Divine Faith, or to conHiture •

new objeClsof necelfary Credence; they made nothing true rim

was not fo before, and therefore they are to be apprehended in

the nature of excellent Guides, and whofe Decrees ate moti

certainly [0 determine all thofe who have no Argument to the

contrary of greater force and efficacy then the Authority or

reaf?ns ot: the Councell, A~d there is . a duty owing to every

Panlh P riel], and to every Dioecefan Bilhop; thefe are appoin-

ted over us and [0 anfwer for our Ioules, and are therefore mo-

rally to guide us. as reaionable Creatures are to be guided, that

is, by reaton and difcourfe: For in things of judgement and underHanding • they are but in Forme next above Beafls , that

are to be ruled by the imperioufnefle and abfolutenefle of Au-

thoriry, unlefle the Aurhoriry be Divine, that is, infallible.

Now then in a juficr height J but Hill in its true proportion. Aflemblies of Bifhops are to guide us with a higber Aurho,

rity, becaufe in reaf n it is (uppoii:d they will doe it better

with more Argument and certainty, and with Decrees, whid;

hare the advantage by being the refulrs of many difcour(es

of very wife and good men: But that the Authority of ge-

nerall Councels , was never etleem'd abfolute, infallible and

unlimired , appears in this, that before they were obliging, it

was neceflary that each particular Church relpectively Ihould

accept them. Concurrente univerf1!; totius Eccle;."1i ilnfonfu,&c. Vid. S.At:gurl. in decl<lrlltiol1c verit(ltHf1I 'lH" cred .. ,d~ I,mt &c. That's the way ~.). c. 18. de of making the Decrees of Councels become authentik, and dP~,c[o"tr.

be turn'd into a Law as Gerfdn obierves , and till they did, their 0 a. Decrees were but a dead letter (and therefore it is that rhete

later l-opes have fo labour'd, that [he Councell of Trem fhould • S d'd ! > b . d i F dOl· me

e receive III renee j an Carolul c...7Yfolll1euJ a great Lawyer, third Eflare of

and of [he Roman Communion, difpured • again!t the rccep- FMice In the ~Ion.) and this is a known condition in the Canon Law, but CeO, enuon of It proves p!ainly that the Decrees of Ceuncels have their Au. rl.: rh.ee E. th . fi h j Ji:.1.. 'Ii ' I . I Ch b fta.e , under

omy rom t evo untary uvmli 101l0t me particu ar . urc ,esJ L . zs rhe 131

nor from the prime Iancticn and confiiruuon of the Councell, e'~~'iljy '():,~ And there is great ~rearo.Ll it fhould , for as the reprcientarive [end "gainfi Jr,

Q..!. body



7;he Liberty ofPropb~fjing.e.l}.

---, -------.~ - .. ~

body of the Church derives all power fr?m the diffufiv~ ~q, which is -reprefenred.vfo It re[?!ves !nCO It, and though It may have all the legall power, yet It hath nor .all the naturall , lor more able men may be unfenr.tlien lent; and they who are Cent may be wrought upon by rlratagem , which cannot happen to the whole diffuf ve Church i it is therefore moll fit that !inee the legal! power, that is, the external! was pafled over to the body reprelernativc , yet the efficacy of it, and the internal! Ihculd 10 flill rernaine in the diffufive, as to have power to conlider whether {heir reprefcntatives did their dUly yea or no, and fa to proceed accordingly : For unleffe it be in matters of juflice, in which the inrereil of a third perfon is concern'd, 110 man w ill. or can be fuppofed [0 pafle away all power from him. [cite of doing him!e;fe right, in matters perfonall.proper, and of fo high concernmenr : It is moHlll1naturall and unrealonable. But betides, that they are excel.enc illHrume.ts of peace, the bed humane J udicarories in the world, rare Sermons for [he dererminiog a poiot in Controverfj.and the greareR probability from h11lrlane Authority, betides thefe advantages (l fay) ] know nothing greater diat generall Councels can pretend [0 with reafon and Argument lufficie[lt to liuisfie any wife mall: And as there was never any Counsell [0 generall , but itmight have been ~or~ generall j for in. relped: of the whole Church, even Ni'6 it !elfe was but a [mall Affembly; (0 there is no Decree [0 well conilituted, bur it may be prov'd by an Argument higher then the Authority of the Councell: And therefore generall Councels, and Nationall, and Provinciall,and Dioecefan in their feverall degrees, are excellent Guides for the Prophets and directions and inHruCliol15 for their Pro. pheii'iDg!, but nor of weight and Authority to reflraine their Liberty 10 wnoly, but that rhey may ditlem when they fee a reafoa thong enough fo to penwade them, as to be willing up. on [he confidence of [hat reafon and their own fillcerity, to lln[wer to God for fuch their modeHy,and peaceable, but (:.l$ ~hey believe) their 1lI:~efiary diragreeing e ,


;; i

The Li/;ert) of ProphefJing.


Of the !altf./;ility of the' Pope, and tle amertailJt) of his Expounding Scriptrere, lind refoivil'Jg JiLueftions.

BUt fince rhe <l!!_efiion between the Councelland rhe Pope NII11JG • .ij'~ grew high, there have not wanted abettors fo confident on

the Popes behalfe, as to believe Geaerai! Counce:!s to be no-

thing but Pomper and Solennities of [be Catholike Church,

and that all- the Anthoricy of determining Controverfies is

f()rmally and eiletinalJy in the Pope. And therefore [0 appeale

from the Pope [0 a futureCounceli is a her~fy, yeayand Trea-

{on too [aid Pope PiNI II, and therefore It concerns us now Epi,lt,ad t!ilI~' to be wife and wary. But before I proceed, I muH needs re- rUlIDerg. member chat Pope PiNS II, while he was the wife a?d learned Parrum & :I"' V£ne~f S,ivi1U, was very confident for the preheminence of a vorum no-

C II d ,. h Cl k e e for Ilrorem rern«-

ounce ,an gave a merry rea on wymore er s w r ' I .

h [ h b lore paucr au.

the Popes then the Councell , tough rue trut was on t e d.bant dicere

other fide, even becaufe the Pope gives Bifhopricks and Ab- Paparn elfe beys, but Councels give .none; and yet as Coone as he was Iupra Conci~. made Pope ~5 if he had been infpired, his eyes were open (0 h~:n.I·"1;

r: th ' . i1 d f Ch . hi h bef h g~I·IS cencil,

lee e great pnv e ges a S.Pererf atre s . w .1C .ore e Ba[i/.

could not fee, being amufed with the truth; or elfe with the reputation of a General! Councell, But however! there a~e many that hope to make it good, that the Pope IS the LlniveriaU and the infallible Dodor , that he breathes Decrees as Oraclesthat to diffenr trom any of his Calhedrall.dete.rmil1a~

tions is ablolute herefy , the Rule of Faith being nothing el(e

but conformity to the Chaire of Pew·, So that here we have

met a refiraint of Prophecy indeed; but yet to make amends,

1 hope we !hall have an infallible .Guide, and when ~ man rs

ill Heaven, he will never ccmplaine thac his choyce ~ taken

from him and that he is conan'd to love and [0 admire, Iince,

his love a;d his admiration is fixt, upOn (hat which makes.

him happy, even upon God himfelfe, And in the C;hu~ch of

~0111~ there is in a lower degree, but in a true propo.moo: as

ltttle caltli:·[o be. troubied 1 .that we art confin'd [Q believe Jut\

--. Q...3 [0,

The Lihert, of ProphefjiNg.

fo, and no choice left us for our nnderltal'ldillgs to difcover or our \'Vilis to cbute, becaufe though we be limited, yet we are pointed out where we ought to reli , we are confin'd to our «enter, and there where our underflandings will be fatisfied and therefore will be quiet, and where after ail our !hivings; {ludies and endeavours we defire to come, that is, to truth, for there we are fecur'd to find it, becaufe we have a Guide that is infallible: If this prove true, we are well enough. But if it be (alfe or uncerrain , it were better we had Hill kept our liberty, then be cozened out of it with gay pretences. This then we muR conlider.

'l'{jm'Jb. 2. And here we thaJl be oppreffed with a cloud of Witnelfes:

For what more plaine then the CommilFon given to Peter! Tbo« art Peter, and upon this Rock. Ivil! I uNild my Church. And to thee will I give the Keyts. And agaill, for thee have I prayed Ihat thy faith fllile not; bllt thou when thlu art con'll"ted cm(jrm thy bretbren ; And again, If thOH 10ve)1 me feed m) jhttp : 'Now nothing of this being jpoken to any of the other Apofiles, by one of thefe places S. Peter mull needs be appointed Foundation or Head of the Church , and by confequence he is to rule and govern all. By fome other of there places he is made [he (iipreme Paiior, and he is to reach and determine all, and inabled with an infallible power fo to doe; And in a right llncierltandillg of rhe(e Authorities, the Fathers fpeak great things of the Chaire of Pew' ; for we are as much bound [0 be-

, Irenz , con- lieve that all this was jpoken to Peter« Succetfors ," as to his m.lmtr. 1.3· Perfon , that ITIuLl by all meanes be firppoled, and [0 did the !.3i.n,br. de old Doctors, who had as much certainty of it as we have, and o'iim Salpi,& no more; but yet let'shear what they have faid, a To thil chflrch I. I. EI'.~' ad by ret/Jon of itl more powerfull principali'l, it i& nf~JJ4'J all Imp.Cypr. Ep. Churcbn round ,,/mit jhould Convene: ., ••• In thit, Tradition ~lC E v1poflolicallllb~ay(l 11''''S o6for'llcd, (mdthertfore to c~mlJ1Itnicatc add!r~},n. Ivit/) this Btjhop with tbis • Chllrch, wal to !J .. in Commltl1iolJ e S.AuOin, in with the Cinrcb Catholik!: •..• b To this Church errasr or Pial, contra, perfidioltpJfJTe ca11not hU'IIe acceffi: •••• C .Againjl thi< Sell the 1'",,('",,1)OJl31 • .(lIto of Hell cennot prtvaile ..•••• d For we !'!'DW fhit Cbnrch ~ Hi:r~. Fp. to 6e I"'ift lipan II Roclz,: •••• .And whoevlr ellff the bm6 !,;;;,~" ''''''- not H'ilh;n tbi: H01ljt, if prophrmc; he thaI· il ,lit i~ t/1# Ar~. of


Th, Liherty of PrQphefying.

Noal<! perifon in the ;1I*n«al;l111 of w.aters. If" thllt gllth,,.s net with this BI{hep h, fo(mer!; and h, that be/ongeth tlDI til Chrift. mllft needs belong to .Anlich,.ij!. And that'S nis fi~all Ienrence :

But if you wouid have all this prov'd by an infallible Argu-

menr, e Opt4tuS of UJ{i/efJit in Africa fuppJies it to us from c r .. ~.contr3: the very name of Peter : For therefore Chrifl gave him the Parmrnian, cooncminatiQn of Cephall-d .f "'0"";;" [0 thew that S. PeW'

\V~ the vilible Head of the Catholike Church. Dif.l1l11» pat,lIa

operculum! This long harangue muA: needs be full of tra-

gedy to all them that rake liberty to themfelves to follow

Scripture and their bell Guides, if it happens in that liberty

that they depart from the perfwafions or the Communion of

Rome: But indeed, if with the peace of the Bilhops of Rome

I may fay ir , this Scene is the mofl unhandfomely laid, and

the worLl carried of any of thofe pretences that have lately

abufed Chritiendome,

J. Againlt the Allegations of Scripture, I Ihalllay no grea- Nm~;'. :,' ter prejudice then this, that if a perf on dif .. imereHed IllOulcl

fee [hem, and conlider what the produds of them might pof-

6bly be, the lalt thing that he would think of. would be how

rhat any of thefe places [hould ferve the ends or pretences of

the Church of Rome: For to inflance in one of [he particulars,

[hat ITIan had need have a Hrong fancy who imagines that be-

caufe Chrifi pray'd for S. 'Paer , that (being he had de{jgn'd

him to be one of thofe upon whofe preaching and Dcctrioe he

did meane to, conliirure a Cburch) th"t /:;il f .. ,ith might .not

f~ilr, (for it was neceflary that no bitrernefle or HoppIng

Ihould be in one of the firli Iprings, leaf] the current be either

fpoil'd or obHrutled) that therefore the faith of Pope AlexAII-

der VI, or Gregor} • or Cltm,nt 1500 years after> Ihould be

be preierved by venue of that prayer, w~ich the forme of

words, the rime the occation, the manner or [be addrerle, [he

effed it felfe, and all the circumflances of the act ion and per-

fon did determine to be perfonall : And when it was more then "X,q~; a. $. perfonall, S.Peter did not reprefenr his Succeflors at Rome, but ar,6.ad 3m• the whole Carholike Church, fayes "9uiflli.f and the Divine,

of the Univcrlity of Paris, Volemt enim »ro fo!a Becleli/! eJTe L.l• ~e Ro- , Qratllm,{~yesBQllflrm;'IQof them, and the glolfe upon the Canon man.lo~""3'

Law ~ ),

I 28 T_h_c_L_'_·4e_l'ty Of Prop~eJyj~g' _:_§..!_'7'

Law plainly denies the effeCt of this prayer at all to apperrain io Cauf. 110 up. the Pope; ~re de 'lila Eeclejia ilmll,t'll 'l~od Hoc d,cttur quod a recta. '1. I. IIDn poJ!it errere , ji de ipfo Papa "I"i Eee/efta diei/uy 'i IJ emum ~9.dln. Ana. eft ~Nqd P .. ~a errer« potejf ••• : Re(pondeo jpJA {~"grega!io ftaCl1l5.60.dift. fideitHm bic d'Cltllr EecleJi'" 6' IIf/1! ecclefa nDn pDtefl nbn eft, fi 1'.11'" 'Iff") tpfo ']Jomin,,; ar<'lt 11'0 e ccleji!J, c5- 'i)'olTmtate /,,6jol'um [110.

rum non fr4l1da6ilur. But 'there is a little danger in this Atgument when we well confider it j. but ir is likely to redound on the head of them whofe turns It lhould ferve : For it may be remembred that for all this prayer of Cliria for S.Pttcr, the good man fell fouly, and denyed his Mafier thamefully: And {hall Chrifls prayer be of greater efficacy for his Succeflors, (or whom ic was made but indiredly and by confequence, then for himfelfe, for whom it was dire&ly and in rhe hrll intention? An~ if not, then f~r all ~his Argument , the Popes may deny Chritl as well as their cheife and Deceffor Peter, Bur it wouk:! noe be forgotten how the Roman Doctors will by no meaner allow (hat S.Pa,r was thea the chiefe Bifhop or Pope when he denyed his Malter. But (hen much lefle was he ~hofen chiefe Bifhop, when the prayer was made for him, becaufe the praye r was made before hi, falJ; that is, before thar time in which it is confefled, he was not as yet made Pope: And how then the whole SuccelTion of the Papacy ihould be inti tied to !t, pafles the lengrh of my hand to fpan. But then alfo if It be ftlppofed and allowed, that thefe words thall intaile infallibility upon the Chaire of Rome, why fuall not alia all [re ApoHolicall Sees bee infilIJibJe as well as RIme? why (ball not ()nfla1l/iNop/e or BJ,,"flnti{lm where S.Andrew fate? why fhall not Epht[tu where S. John rare > or Jlrufo/em where S.]a;lUf fate? for Chrilt prayed for (hem ~1J. Nt Pilter fol1[/ift~ curet eos [e« v<ritau, Joh. T7'

Nllmb. 4' 2. For [/;6i dllbo e.'avCl, J was it perfonalJ arnot? If it

w~~e, (hen [he Bllnops of Rome have no hing (0 doe with it.:

It It were not, the~ by what Argument will it be made eVIdent tint S.P tt~ .. , In the promije reprefenred only his Sue' ce~jors, ami not ~~e whole Co!ledge of ApoHles, and the whole Hierareby P FO!J:S.F~!~rwaschi~fc of the Apotiles.and Head or the Churcb,helmght tarre enough be the reprefentarive of (he


The Lib,rty of PTopb,fjing.

whole Colledge, and receive it in their right as well as hi~ own : which alfo is' certain that it was fo, for (he fame promite ofbinding and loafing; (which certainly was all rhar the keyes ·were given for) was made afterward to all the Apoflles, UJ{at. 18. and the power of remitting and retaining which in reafoe and according to the Rile of the Church is the fame thing in other words, was aciually given to all the ApoHles, and unleHe that was the performing the firlt and Iecond promife, we find it net recorded in scripture how or when or whether yet or no, the promi.c be performed: That promife I fiiy which did nor perraine lO Pete1' principally and by origination, and to the reft by Communication, .Iociery and adherence ,but that promife which was made to Peter firfl, btu not for himlelte , but for all the Colledge.and for all their Succeflors, and then made the fecond time: (0 them all. without reprefemarion.but in diffufion, and perform d (0 all alike in pretence except S. Th~mlli. And if he went to S. Pet« r to derive it trom him, I know not ;1 find no record for that, hut that ChriH convey'd (he promiie 10 him by the lame Commiffion, the Church yet never doubted, 110r had fhe any reafon, But this matter if roo notorious:

I lay no more to it, bur repeat the words and Argument of

s . .du/lin,:::;' hoc Fetro tll>;t"". dill«", eft, nonf.n:it hoc E~c/ef": T'3.50. ". If the Keyes were only given and fo promiied to S!Pmr, that Ioanu,

the Church hath not the Keyes, thea the Church can neither

bind nor looie , remit nor reraine, which God forbid; if any

man fhould endevour to anlwer this Argument, I leave him

and S.t..A "fli" to contefl it.

,. For pafo, fVtJ there is little in thac Allegation. betides NlfflIb. s' the boldneffe of (he Ohje8:ors; for were not all the Apo!tlel

bound to feed Chrifl's lheep? had theyncr all the Commiflion

from Chrifr, and Chritl's Spirit immediately? S. PIIlIl had cer-

tainly ; did not S. Peter himielfe lay to all the Bifhops OfPD»-

fIJI, qal.ali ... C"ppadOCIII, vlft", and Bithini .. , that they Ihould

feed the flock of God; and the great Bifhop and Shepheard

Ihould give them an immarcefcible Crownj plainly implying,

chat from whence they derived their Authority, from him they

were fure of a reward: In purraance.of which S. CJpria» laid

his Argument uPOI1 this balls, Nllm cNm ftllt"tum pnmnwul L'.I.li.pifi."

. R mb;s

,<, I

"--<~~.-<-< ---------------_

The Lihert) ef Propbe!ji»g.


IID!Jil,&C. & jingMlirllljllJri/JlIs pmkgregil,&".Did tlOtS.P~ to the Bifhops of Ephefiu to feed the flock of God , of which [he holy 6hoft hach made them Bifhops or Over-Ieersz and [hat tbis very Commifllon was {poken to Ptter not in a perfclllall, but a publikecapacity, and in him (peke to all the Apoftles we fee at-

l): ~gone celled by S, Vllljlm, and S. A",hvfo and gooecally by all AnChrilli.c·3°· tiquity; and it 10 concern'd even every PrieR: that DII","fo, was ~i11ing enough t? have: S.H"'·o~ explicate many queHioDs for him. Al'Id LlberlUl wnres an EplfiJe to v./tblln"jiur with Jl'jn,ndAth~- much modeHy requiring his advice in a Q!;.eHion of Faith,

!\af. apud ~l'd. x.a,J f8i'l1~/~' (; aIJctxpE7m" ~' ii, .~tol~ XEA£I!t.,p ""'. ~t~:n;f.;c~; Tbar I alfo may he per{waded without all doubting of thofe 'fif. (l 4 ' .- things which you {hall be pleafed ro commaad me. Now Lt,

_., < "erillr needed not to have troubled himfelfe to have writ into

the Ealt to AlhA""(iIlI; fOJ: if he had but feared himfelfe in his Chaire , and made the dictate, the refult of his pen and inke WORld certainly have taught himand all rhe Church' but that the good Pope Waf ignorant that either pafte ,,//,; was his own Charter. and Prerogative. or d13unyother words of Scripture had made him [0 be in&lIible, or if he was not ignorant of ir , be did very ill to complement himfelti: out of it. So did all chofe Biihops<>f R~ that in that tmublefome and unprofitable QaeHion<Jf Ea8er. beillg un1irisfied in the fl1pplu8eiouof the EgJPtM"',andthe. de1illitians of the Mathematical; Biihops oLvlk:.:a"Jrill, did yet require and intrea[

1,1~J:~pill.S3; S.Arn6rofetoceUthem his opi~ioD,ashe himli:lti: wiuJeffes; 1£ lilifu ,O'1les belongs only [0 the Pope by primary title, in tbefe cafesrhe fheep came to feed the Shepherd. which though it was well enough in lhe thing. is <veil}' ill for the precmlions of the Roman Biihops; and ifweconGderhow little m:my of rlle Popes have done toward feedwgtbe lheepof Cbrill, we iJ;a11 hardly derermiae which. i. the gr~ater pret'aricatioD, thllt the Popeili()Illd claime the whole Commiffion to be grante-d to hiro, or tha t the execurionof the COD'lmiH'lOD ihould be w~oJ!y pan-ed. over to other,; and it may be were is 3 my' 11ery dJlllt. {.bat [UlCe S. THw {em a Bifhop with hi, dafti: (0 raile upa DiICiple:cfhis frGM tbe dead. "bo W8) :afrcrward Wi,lhop of T ritrs_.~he Popes ilfR«1I.~. IXl1Cll weare .a Pa!wraJl

.. ~~


The Li6my Qf p~Q,hm;ng. '31

--~~~~~ .~~~=-~=---~~

fiaffe except it ~'il1 thae Di~lfe (f~ycs'~,~illlfl) for greee

rearoD tha~ he who dee. nat .dee the office,lhould not beare the M.".Senl,dil. 'Symbol; but a man WOQld think that the Popes Mailer of the li. Ceremonies was ill advifed no~ to alligne a Pailorall flaKe to

him. who pretend~ the Cotllmiffion of pAfo6 rrm [0 belong

[0 him by prime right and originatioa. But this is not a buli.

nefle [0 be merry in.

But the great fupp<U't is expeCl:ed from Till " P,ttlll' & filllr N,""". I. <h.IIC PHr •• ~fi, .. 60 Ecd,j.,.. e!r,. Now there hein,; fe, great

difference in ehe expofition of thero word" by perfons dif-imer-

relfec!,who, if any, might be allowed te judge in this <l.!!.e(tion,

it is certain that neither one lenfe nor other can be oberuded f()l

ID Article of faith, much leffe as a Cathelicon iafiead of all, by

(ontlituting an Allehochy which Ihould guide us in 1111 Faith, and

determine us in all Qll,eftioDs: For if the Church was not built

upon the perfon of Pm,., then his Sueeeffors I:3n cballenge no-

thing from this inHanee; now that it was the '''DfeffioD of p",~

upon which the Church was to rely for ever, we bavewir- a Ad Ph'l _ nelfes veryecedible,a S.lglllltiUI,S.bB41, • S.HiliV'l, d S.qr.gorJ delph. I a < N,f!ell. e S.G"g") the GrC!at, i S.ANjI;~ s s. eJl'ill of A/ex- b :'clcuc.erat; ~Ndri", h lfidart.! P~hlft~,and very many more. A~d although all :5. . Ihefe witnetfos concuIIlngcanno[ make a propolltIOD to be trill:, .1.,. de Tfl~ yet tbey are !,ufiicient witne!les, that it war n~[ the Univerfall ~ltD. Trini_ beliefe of Chnf!endome that the Church was bUIlt upon. S.P'!~~1 tate advcrf; perfon. Cardinali Pe,ru hath a fine ~ancy to e!u?et!m vanet), Iudaos, . of Expo fit ion. and the coofequent1 of It j For ( faIth he) rhere e L.3,Ep; H· ~xpolitions are not contrary or exciuliyc of each othor. bur I~~~.:;.I~~h. inclufive and confeqllent to each other: For the Chgrch IS s t)e Tr inir; founded cauralIy<upon the confeffion of S/Pem, formally upon 1.4.

the mininry of his perfon, and this w~s a reward or a confe- h L.I.Ep'''3~· queDt of the former: So that thc:ie Expolitlons are both

true, but they are conjoyn'd as mediate ama immediate, di-

rect and collaterall, literall and morall , originall and perperuall,

accC!ifory and temportll, the one confign'd at the begin~ing,

the other innoduc'd I:lpon occafion I For before the !prl11g of

ihe oAi'yiAn berely , the llathcflexpollndeJ rhetewords cf the

perfon of Peur , hut alter thetAr~i"nl troubled them ; the

Pathen findillg great ,Authrui,y • and tru1-g} in this confi:tIinn

R ~ of

" Epj(t, ad Philodelph. In C.IG. Mat. ilra:i.r.

Thl! L ibtrty of P ropbe{ying.

of 'Peter for the eHabli(hmen~ of the natural] filiation of the Son of God, to advance [he reputation of [hele words and [he force of the Argu~ent, gave themielves lienee to expound there werds to [he pre.enr advantage, and to make the contellion of Peter ro be the toundation of the Church, that if [me Arriant fi10uld encounter this Authority, thcy might with more pre. judice to their perfons declaime againf] their cauie by tayina they overthrew the toundarion of [he Church. Befides [h.~ this anfwer does much diJhonour [he reputation of the Fathers integrity, and makes their iaterpretaticm lelfe credible as being made not of knowledge or reaton but of neceffity and [0 ferve a.f:;retenc. rU.rn, it _is aIr? lillie: . For' fgnatilU expounds it In a Ipirituall Ienle, which al:o the Liturgy anibuted to S}arnu cals 0iJ m7f~ ,;. ";;u,: Aud Origm expounds it myilically to a third purpoie, but exc1ufively to this: And all there were before the ArrianControverfy. But ifi.e be lawfullw make luch unproved oblervarions, it would have been ttl better purpole , and more reaton to have ob'erved it thus: The Fathers [0 long as the ~i(hop of Rom~kept bimfelfe te the.Iimirs preicrib'd him lily Chriti , and indulged to him. by the Conllirurion or concellion of the Church, were unwary and apt to expound this place of the perf on of Peur; but when tbeCburcb began to fD!arge her phylacterie5 by the favour of Princes, and the Sun. nllne of a pr?(perous fortune, and the Pope by the advantage of the Impenall Seat, and other. accidents began to invade upon the other Bifh.ops and Patriarchs, .then that he might have l!IQ colour from Scripture for Juch new pretenfiens, they did mOlt generally turn the {!:ream of their expofitions from the penon to the confe/lion of Pm,. and declar'd that to be the foundation of the Church, And thlls I have requited fancy with !ancy 1 but for the maine point, that thele two Expofirions are JndLilue of. each other, I lind no warrant. fur thcuzh d.c" may I:onfifl: together well enough, if Cbrill' had [0 igtendd tuemj yea unlelTe it could be !hown by {orne circumtiance of the Text, OI [orne other exrrinlecall Argument that they mutt be. [0, and chat both lenfe~ were attullly intended, it is ?ut grlltll dlaH", and a beggu_lg of the QllelHon, to fay ["at gh\,y areJo, .iU1Q the fancy 10 Dew, that when S. ,Agjhn had

. '. expoLlDded .

The Liberty of Prophefying.

expounded this place of the. perf on of Peter, he revie~es ~t 30aine, and in his Retractations leaves every man to his Itb~rcy, which to take; as having nothing cer.t~ine in this .Article: which had been altogether needleffe If he had believed them to be indutively in each other, neither of them bad need to have beene retracted, both were r.like [rue, both of them might have been believed: But I laj,d [he fancy was new, 'and I had reafon ; for it was [0 unknown till yetterd~y, that even the late Writers of his own fide, expound [he

words of the confeffion of S. Pft.r exclufively to his penon or a Derear. Pl~ any thing elre, as is co be teen in' c..Mllrpllll', b PurNJ de Ali~cQ cis p.m.!,c.,8. and the glotfc upon Dijf.19.CAN.;(4 'Dominlll, § Ht [ltpr,,! which b llecollimer.d. al(o was the Interpretation of Phavorinul CAm"1 their own facr.Scnpt, Bifhop, from whom they learnt the refemblance of the word

n.p@- and ",,~;let, of which they have made fo many gay die-

courtes , .. ipet ~f,<l m ""1,,, tippet,,;;, x"ff. 111-';;;V In~. xl'~' .;~

.iJ.oJ"I-',lv"","Xii, e" ~ J~.""JIX¥ ,s.'l-'i~l~ """'~fl'f~I'i-'tv". "T. ~

~. But upon condition I may have Ieave at another time to --J,m. I' recede from fo great and numerous TeHimony of Fathers, I am

willing to believe that it was not the confellion ofS.Pmr, but

his perfon upon which Chrift [aid he would build his Church,

or that there Expofitions are conCifient with and confequent to

each other. that this conte!lie)U was the objective foundation of

Faith, asd Chriti and his ApoHles tlte fubjective ,·Chrilt prin-

cipally, and S. 'Peter infhumenrally ; and yet I underlland not

any advanrase will hence accrue to the Sea of ROlne : For upon

S.p,ter it ;a. built, but not alone, for it 'l'l'M WpON the fqNlrJati-

D~ of tb« APDft/U ImJ Praphets, ]'fiu Chrijf htmfolfe he;,:g th:

chit/eoTner flo",; and when S.P.rulreckoned the Oecoaomy of

Hierarchy, he reckons not Peter firti:, and then the ApoHles,

lIut lirH Ap~!tles~ [econdar~ly Prorhets, &c. And wh~tj6~ver is

firlt, either 1$ before all thmgs elle, or at lealt nOthmg IS be-

fore it: So that at leaH S. Peter is DOt before all the rert of tho

ApoHles. which alio S. P,:eul exprefly averres , / em en "."thing

infir,our to the ",Tl c,;ilfeff of the !!.Ap.!tltS, no not ID the.

·very being a Rock and a foundation; and it was ofthe Church

of l:,hefHI, [hat S. PIlMllaid in particular it was ,c~/Ml1Jna e: firmAmeNtHfJI fltri/llril ~ rharChureh wal, llot excludmg others!

R:3 fo!:

Vid.Socrar. I. 1.,,19,''', Sn:.om, 1.1, e 14·Nicep[,. J.'4,C.jO.

1:{.tlmb. 8·

Vid.Carncra, 'e"l:~, V"fr ert,

'for they alfo were as much as file; for [owe. keep clofe: a~d be united to the corner Hone, although fome he ,,?afier budders, ret all may build and we have knowl'l whole NatlQ»s cflnvmed by Lay.men and' women, who have been builders 10 time as to bring them to the corner Ilone.

6. But fuppofe all thefe things concern S,& 'Pettt' in all the capacities can be with any ~olour, preteaded , ye~ ~hat have the Bithops of Ram, to doe with dlls? For how Will n appear tbat thete piomifes and Commitli~s did relate to. him a! a panicular Bifhop, and not as a publike ApoHle? Siece rhis later IS fa much the more likely, became the great pretence of all Ieemes in reafen more proportionable t~ the jou~ding of a Church, then its continuance : And yet If they did relate [Q him as a particular Bilhop (which yet i~ a fllrtber degree of impr~ability. removed further frc~ ce~talflty) yet wby ilia!! S. (iemeNt or Linus rather fueceed In tb,t Bccat olfi~e of head. 111ip then S. John or any of the ApoHles that. furvived Pettr:

It is no way likely a private perf on fheuld skiP over the bead of an Apollle j or wby lhall bis Succeflors at R,m, more en· joy the benefit 01 it then his Succeflors at AIlJi§cb, f1~£e that he was at v1nliQcb and preached there, we have a DIVine Au~ rhoriry, but that he did 10 at ROrH' at moll we have buta hu .. mane; and if it be replyed that betaufe he dyed at RO?"I, l~ w~, Argument enough that there his Su~c~ffors were .to inherit hiS priviledge, this belices that at moffit I,S but one little degree of prcbabniry.and fo not of flrength fufl1clI:nt to, fuppon an Article of faith j ir makes that the great Divine Right of B:01NI, and the Apotlolicall prefidency was fo contingent and falhble as to depend upon the decree of Nm; and if be had [en~ bim to ,;.ri>.'tiDCh there [0 have Cuffered Manyrdome, the BllhopJ ~f that Town had been heads of the Carnolike Church. And rhis thing prefles the harder.becsuie it is .held ~y no meane perfons in the Church of Rom«, that the BI!11llpnek of R~w' and tbe Pap::cy . are things re~arable : And the Pll~ m~y quit that Sea and fit 11'1 another, which to my underlland~g IS an Ar~umenr, thar be that fucceeded Plt6r at .Anti~"h. IS as much iupream by Divine Right ashe that Gts at R_o",,; both alike , that is, neither by Divine O'rdina.oce : For If the Roman BdllOpJ by

. Chrill's

-----~-:-:---'- --_._-_.

~'7. The Libert) of Proph'hing.



ehrin's intention were robe Head of the Chueh , then by

the fame inrenrion • the Succeffion rnult be continued in that Sea. and then let the Pope goe whether he will, the Bilhop of Rumemuli be the Head ,which they themfelves deny. and the Pope him(elfe did not believe, when in a fchifme he fare at cAvignon ; and that it was to be continued in the Sea of R~me, it is Out offered to us upon conjedure, upon an aCl: or providence, as they fancy it, [0 ordering it by vifion, and this proved by an Author which themfelves call fabulous and Apocry, phall, under the name of LiHlI4, in Btbll8th, pp, de pflJ!i9ne Pt. In & P{I,,/i .. A goedly building which relies npon an event that was accidentall , whofe purpofe was but infinuared, the meaning of it but conjeclur'd at, and this eonjeeture Co uncertain, that it was an imperfe6t aime at the purpofe of an event, which whether it was true or no, was [0 uncertain. that it is ten toone there was no fuch matter. And yet again, another degree of uncertainty is, to whom the Bilhops of RDme doe fucceed , For S, PattI was as much Bifhop of Rome, as S. Peter was; there he prefided , there he preach'd , and he it was tbat was the Doctor of the lincircumcifion and of'tbe Gentiles, S. Peter of tne Cireumcition, and of rhe Jewesonlyj and therefore the converred jewes at Rowe, mighrwirh better reafon claim the priviledge of S.Plter, then the Romans and the Churches ill her Communion, who doe not derive from ]ewiib Parents. ,

7' If the words were never 10 appropriate to Pmr, or alfo N tI~G. f), communicated [Q his Succeflors , yet of what value will the

eonfequem; be? what prerogative is entail'd upon the Chaire of

Rome? For that S. Pmr was the Mini!leriall Head of the

Church, is the moA: that is .defir'd to be prov'd by thole and

all other words brou!!ht for the fame purpotes , and interefls of

that Sea: Now let vthe Miniflerall Head have what Dignity

ca; be imagined, let him be the firH (and in all Communities

tou are regular, and orderly mere muft lie fomerhing chat is

lirlt , upon certain occafions where an equal! power cannot be

exercifed, and made pompous or ceremoniall.) But will this

Mioilleriall Headfhip inferre an infallibility? will it inferre

anore then, the Headlhip ofrhe Jewiib Synagogue, where clear.

Jy the High Pridl was Jilprcmein many len{es , yet ~ no ~enfe

. infallible > .'

The Li~ertJ of PyopheJjing. ~.7.

infallible? will-it-i;:;r~~~~;:-the~it did amongH t~ Apoflles > among!]: whom !f for orders fake. S, Peter was the fidl, yet he b29 no _compullory power over the Apotlles j there was no Iiich rhing Ipoke of, nor any fuch thing put in practite. And .thac th~ Otll~t Apollles were by ~ perfonall priviledge 3S l~ra!~I~le as himfelfe , IS no reafon to hinder the exercife of jurL~ldlOn or any . c~mplll[ory p.olVer over them; for though in ~a'th tbey were infallible, yet III manners and matter of fad as likely ,co en~ as S.Ptte".hitllfd!ewas, and certainly there migbt have lomerhmg ha~ned 10 t~e whole Colledge, that might have been a R~c51rd .o! hIS Aurb.o:'ty , by rranfmining an example of the exercile 01 l_ome ] udiciall power over fome one of them. I~he .113d.but withfiood any of them to their faces. as S. Payl did bll1?, !t h~d been more then yet is iaid in his behalfe. Will the MlI:1l1en~1! HeJ~ihip inferre any more then when [be Church In.a ~.ommunl[y or.a publike capacity. Ihould doe any ~a: of MI.ntttery ECitleliaHlca!1. he fhali be firfl: in Order? S~ppoJe this to be a dignity.w prefide in Councels, which yet was. ~ot alwayes granted him , Suprofl! it. to be a power of raking cognuance of the .Major Cau.es of lIIfi10pS when COUll' cels, cannot be called j. Sl;lppofe it a dcuble voyce or [he hi! decifive, or the negatlve!n .the cautes exteriour , Suppofe it to, be what) ou WIll of dIWllty?c externall .regiment, which wnel~ all Churches were United 111 Communion, and neither the II1terell:. of Stares , nor the engagement of opinions bad made dllun!on" might better have been acted then now it can; yet this ~IIl t~l1 infinitely fhorc of a power to de.ermine Comroverfies InfallIbly, and [0 prefcribe to all mens faith and contciences, A Minifieriall Headfhip or the prime Mini!ler cannot m any capa~uy become the foundation of the Church to. a~y" [hch pur~le. And therefore men are cauflefiely amufed W!l~ iuc .. pr. mifes , and are afraid of inch Conclniions which \VI never f?110W from th~ . admiffion ofany ~n(e of rhefe wordi that can with any probabl}Uy be pretended,

8. I confider chat rhefe Argumenu from Scripture. are too weak to (uppore lu.eh al! A~thority which pretends to give Oracle.s, and to amwer infallibly in ~eHiolls of Faith bec.ufe there Ii greater reafon to believe the Popes of RD:ne have



The Li6,yty of prophefJillg. IS?

----------~- ~~~~~---------

erred,' and greater certainry o~ demonll!ation J' ehen th~fe places can be that they are infalhble, as will appear by the InHances and perpetuall experiment of their being deceived, of which there is no <l!!_ellion, but of the (en(e of thefe places there is : And indeed, if I had as clear Scdpture for the It infallibility, as I have againH their balle C;oJ:?lmunioD,againH tbe!r Service in an unknown tongue, worfhippieg of Images. and divers otber Articles, I would make no Icraple of believing, but limit and conform my underllanding [0 all their DiCtates, and believe it reafonable all Prcphecying fheuld be rc:llrain'd: But till then I have leave to ditcouf(e, and to yfe my reafon; And eo my r~a(on, it feemes not li~elr that neither Chr~~ nor any of his ApoHies. S. Pm." himrelfe, not S.P,,"l.wfltlng £0 the Church or RDme, Ihould Ipeak the leall word or tittle of. the infallibility of their Bifhops, .for it was certainly as eonvemenr 'to tell us of a remedy, as to foretell that certainly there mull: needs be herefies, and need of a remedy. And it had been a certain determination of the Qutllion, if when fo fare an opportunity was miniHred in the <l.!!.eflion about Circumcifion that they ihould have fenc [0 Peter , who for his infallibility in ordinary. and his power of Headlhlp would ~ot onl,y WIth r~afon enough as being infallibly a.fIill~d, but alio for hIS Auc?~f1(y have bell: determin'd the <l!!...efhon, If at leaH: the firl!: Chriltians had known (0 profitable and [0 excellent a feeret; and although we have but little Recerd, that the firH Councell at 'jerufolml did much ob(er~e the folennitiesofLa.w> and the forms of ConcilialY proceedlllgs. and the CeremoDlals : yet fo much of it as is recorded, if againlt them; 5. James and not S.Ptler gave the finall fencence , and although S. 'Peter determin'd the ~Ition prllli!mtAt8. yet S. James made the Decree. and the A{fumentum tOO, and &ave Jenten~e they lhould abllaine from fome things th~re mentioned, ~blch by way of

temper he judg'd moll: expedlenr '. And (0 It. palfed •. ~nd, ~,Chr}roft. S. Peter fhewed no fign of a SupenouI" AutborIty, ~othmg. of hOlll·,l.ill. ad. Superieur juriCdiB:ion, "oe;-. ~ ".7'~ f$ KOIV'" ..,,.,1,,,· .,.;"'711 Ap,;lt.

'''1M!' ,J'i~ d.u~e,1Iw, ~I' r:p~~,. . . .

,. So ~hat if this Q!!_eHion be to be determlD'dby SCflpture~ It N_. u·

JIlull either be end~dby plaine places or by obfcure; plame

. S places

13S The Liberty ofProphefjing. e.?

places there are n~ne, and tbefe-~b~~. are with-g~~~fan!i prete.nded!are expounded by AntlqU!ty to contrary purpoJes. But.lf o~Jcme places be all the .tvJ-£Y7i". by what meanes {hall we mfal.hbly find the fen~e of them ? The Popes interpretation [_ho~g? In all o.tbe~ cafes It might be pretended, in this cannot; tor l~ IS .the tbl~g m Qqelhon, and therefore cannot determine for. It lelfe; either therefore we have alto another infallible guide befides (he Pope, and fo we have tW6 Foundations and two Heads ((or ~hi.s as well as the other upon the fame reafon) or elJ~ (w~,ch IS indeed the truth) there is no infallible way (0 be mtalhbly affured that the Pope.is infallible. Now it bein~ againfi the common condition of men, above the ererences of ali other Governours Ecclefiaflical! • again!1 the AnJIogy of Scrip. rure, and the deportment of the other Apotiles, aaainti the Oeconomy of the Churcn.ard S.Pneysown enrerrain~em the prerumprion lies againH him, and thefe places are to be leCt to their prime intentions and not put upon the r~ck to force then)

to confeffe what they never rhouzhr. ' . .

~lm6. f2.. But now for Antiquity, iftbafbe depofed in this Q£~l1io:l, there are fo many circumriances to be comidered [0 reconcile their words and their actions, that tbe proceffe is more troubleIome.then the Argument <;an be concluding, or the matter con' fiderable . But} Ihall a little confider it 10 farre at leal! as to ~lew eit~er ~ll.tiq uity. raid no iirch tbi~g as is pretended, or If t?ey did, It IS but 11~t1e confiderable , becau.e rbey did not believe rhemfelves j rheir praciiie was the areareft evidence in the world agaimi the pretence of their wards. Bur I am much eafed of a long d!fquiJirion in this particular ( for I love not }.O prove a. Qqefhon by :Arguments whore Authority is in it Ielfe as fallible, and by circumriances madeas uncertain as the Q£eHion) ,by the raying of vt;'''''1 SY/ViHf. that before the Ntcm~ Councell every man Iiv'd to himfelfe , and fmall reipcCt was had .[0 the Church oiR071J6, which pracliJe could not well confiH With the Doctrine of'rheir Bifhops infallibility, and by contequence Jupreme. Judgement and laft refolurlon in matters

f~~.~:l';t~c~t. of Faltb; ~ut efpeCl~lly by ,the inlir.mation and comequenr cunda Ienrer» scknowledgemem {Jf; liellarmme ,t?at for lOGO years together

r: '. tne fathers knew ~9t of the Do~nne of ~h~Po'pes inta!1ibiJiry~

. - . . foi:

Th, Li6erty of PropheJj;ng.

for 'NJ_/UI, qer[on • .Alemain, the Divines of Peris, eAlph,,,for de Caftro,and Pope Adri .. "VI.perJans wholiv'd 1-1-ooafrerChrifi, affirm, that infallibility i, not feared in the Popes perfon, tbarhe may we and fomerimes actuaJJy bath, which is a .clear demonfiration . that the 'Church knew no fuch Doctrine as thi'; there had been no Decree nor Tradition, nor generallopinion of the Fathers) or of any age before rhem , and therefore this opinion 'A hich Bellarmin~ would faine blaf] if he could, yet in his Conc1ulion he fayes it is not Jropri~ hitrltica. A device, and an expreflion of his own without fenfe or precedent. But if the Fathers had fpoken of it and believed it , why may not aciiJagreei.l1g perfon as well rejec] cheirAutbority when it is in behalf of Rome, as they of Rom~ without fctuple call them oft' when rbey Ipeak againfi it? For as Bel/armme being preffed with rhe Authority of N./UJ Bi!hop of The.ffizlonica and other Fathers, he fayes that the Pope acknowledges no Fathers but they are all his children, and therefore they cannot: depofe againLl him j and if that be true, why fhall we take their Tettimonies for him? for if Scones depofe in their Fathers behalfe, it is twenty to one, but the advcrle party will be calr, and therefore at [be belt it is butfoheCfum'IeJltmonittm. But in, deed this dircourfe fignifies nothing. but a perpetuall uncerrainry in fuch ropicks, and that where a violent prejudice, or a concerning interet! is engagd , men by not regarding what any man (ayes, proclaim to all the world that nothing is certainjbut Divine Authority.

But I will not take advantage of what Bell"rmin~ fayes, nor Numb. II~;

what Siap/mn, or anyone of them all,.[ay, for that will bee .

but to preffe upon perfonall perfwafions , or to urge a ge-

nerall <l!!_eHion with a particular defaillance , and [he Qll_eHion

is never the nearer to an end, for if Bel!ar",i"e fayes any [bing

that is not to another mans purpore or perfwalion, that man

l'Iili berryed by his own Argument, not by anotbers , [And fo

would every man doe rhat loves his liberty. as all wife mendoe,

and therefore retain it by open violence, or private eva lions :

But to return.

Am Author!ty fr.o!? jrenttNr in this Q,!!.efiioa, and on behalr!X.~mb. 14'

of the Popes mfalltbIlity, or the Authonty of the Sea~ of $.gme, -

S 2 or

rh, Li6erly 'f Prophefjing.

or of [he neceflity of communicating with them is very fallible; for befides that there are almol] a dozen an fivers to {he words of the Allegation, as is to be teen in thofe that [rouble them. felves in this Q:!_eHion with tbe Allegation, and anfwering fuch Authorities. yet if they fhould make for the affirmative of this <l.!$ilion , it is pr.ttjlAlio eomr« f.-£1Nm. For lrm~IU bad no lllCh great opinion of Pope PiCtm infallibity, that he believed things in the fame degree of neceflity that the Pope did, for therefore he chides him for Excommunicating the eAji,," Bifhops d3p'IlI, all at a blow in the Q!!.eltion concerning Eafler day; and in a Q.u.eflion of Faith he exprefly rlifagreed from the doctrine of R01m; for Irout« was of the Millenary opinion, and. believed it to be a Tradition Apotlolicall: now if the Church of R,me was of that opinion. then why is fhe nor mow? where h the fuccelIion of her doCl:rine ? But if the wat mot of that opinion then, and irm£NI was. where was his be. liefe of that Churches infallibility? The fame I urge concerming S.C,pri.-n who was the head of a Sed in oppofition to the Church of Rome, in the ~llion of rebaptization, and he and ehe aberrors, Firmili411 and the other Bifhops of C"pp4Jocill,and rhe vcifinage fpoke harfh words. of Stephen, and fuch as become [hem not to fpeak to an infallible Dodor, and (he fupreme Head of the Church. j will urge none of them to the ditadval1tage of that Sea, blat only note the Satyrs of Fm"lli"" againH him, becaufe it is of good ute, [0 fhew that it is potJible for them in their ill carriage to blatt the reputation and efficacy of a great Authority: For he fayes that that Church did pretend the Au-

;lpHl.'Firmili. rhority of the Apollles, ,"m in mliltu fotrAflmltil divin£ rei, J ~rul cadre pr;ncipill di{crepet.& ,,[, etC/ejiff Hierofo']11Jitffllli., & def4met Pe· p~ifr,l:~jd y~. tTII", cr PAil/it" tan'!u"", /tNt"orU. And a little after jllft!: ~mEp.Cyj,~i~. deJig"Dr (fayes he) "p,rt"m & mlfni!,n"", ftul~iti"m Stephil. ",i ad Pompei: n;. per '111"1» 'tIer;'''1 Chrift;~ntl petr£ "b,fetNr, which words fay MJlh. .. plainly that for all the goodly pretence of ApoltolicaJl Autho-

rity, the Church of Rome did then in many thingsofReJigio:J ditagree from Divine Jnllirudon (and from the Chnrch of Je· ,.lIfo/,DJ, which they had as great eHeeme of for Religion fake~ as of Rome for its principality) and tblt flill in pretending to S.Pmr. and ,fj.PtfNJ they dilhonoured th~[e bletf~d .Apollks, and

.. deftroyed

The Li6ert) of Proph'!1ing.,

detlroyed the honour of their pretence by their untoward prevarication; which words I confetfe pafle my skill to reconcile rhem to an opinion of infallibility; and although they were

fpoken by an angry perfon, yet they declare that in .Afric4 they . .

were not then pertwaded , as now they were at Rome .. Nllm Cy?"~.n "ria. nee PetrNf '1.em primurn Dominll4 tlegit fJendicllvit jibi alifjuid ~d QUUltUIl1 info/mter /tilt ffrr'g.-nter 4fumpjit, Ht Jielret fo primatu11J Wltre: ratrem,

That was their belief then, and how the contrary hath grown

up to chat heigth where now it is all the world is wimetle :

And now I Iball not need to note concerning S.Hier~me, rhar he gave a complement to DII",4/NI, that he would ~ot I~a\'e giren co Liber;lIl, 0!J, ttcllm HON CD/tigit !parg;t : For ir m!ghr be true enough of'lJ4m"/Ms who was a good Bifhop and a fight believer; but if LiberiNl's name had been put inllead of Dn",.{u/, the cafe bad been altered with the name; for S.Hlerom did believe and write it fo, that Liberilll had fubfcrib'd co At··

run;!",. And if either he or any of the rect had believ'd thl! Dc Script, Pope could not bea Heretick nor his Faith [aile, but be fo Eccltf.hlFo>

tunatiano •. good and of Jo competent Authority as to be a R~e ro Chrillen,

dome; Why did they not appeale to the Pope In the Arnan

Conrroverfy ? why was the Bifhop of Rome made a Pacey and a

concurrent a, other good Bifhops were. and not a Judge and

an Arbitrator in the <l!!,.efiioD? Why did the Fathers prefcribe

[0 many Rules and cautions and provifoes for the ditcovery of

herefy? Why were the Emperours at fo much charge. and

the Church at fo much. trouble as to call. and convene In

Councels refpettively , toditpute fo frequently, to write fo:fe-

dulouflYt to obferve all advantages againH their Adverfarie£,

and for the truth; and never o[fered to call. for the Pope

to determine the Q!!.eHion in his Chaire? Certaindly no

way coud have been fo expedite, none fo concluding and pe-

remptory, none could have convinc'd fo certainly, Clone could

have rriumph'd fo openly over all difcrepanrs as this, if they had

known of any fuch thing. as his being infallible\ or rhar he hail

been appointed by Chnll to be the Judge 01 Controverfies,

And therefore I will Dot trouble this difcourfeto excufe any

more words either pretended or really (aid to this purpofe of

the Pope, fortbey'\vould but make books fwell and the . <l!!efiion

. . 53 enr;\leHe, .. ,

.. :The Li/;my of Pr6pbefying• -.:.._§o_:__7o


end Idle, I lhall only to this purpore obferve that the Old Writers were 10 I:me from believing the infallibility of rhe Roman Church or Bifhop , that many Bithops and many Churches did aBually live and continue out ofrhe Roman Communion;

• vbi ill.1 Au. particularly * S.eAejJi>J, who with 2I 7 BiOlOPS and their Suc~ g ufi iu & re- cellars lor I co years together !lood Ieparare frem that Church, hJu0r~l:n PHI, if we Imy believe their own Records: So did Ign4fill" ~:~';·~r~[~~.~sf_ os' (a>JjlrmlilJoplc, s. ChrJfo(lome, S. Crpri<l'J j .Firmifian, ii:Jim~ igno, rhofe BilllOpS ~f vi/ill th~t· reparared !n the Q£.et!io~ of ,,,nria: illam Ealier , and thole of ~frica In the QgeflIon of rebaptlzatlon; ~JCUll HI t.ir But betides this, moll: of them had opinions wbicb the Church I:<.;an:"AI/'.,. of Rom~ dilavowes now ; and rherefore did 10 then, or elfe file

trw", "II. h h i d i h D.Q.· I . h L h i b 11:

Cop.m,log,p.7C, at Illnoyate In er_ o~<flne~ w uc rnoug .It e mo tree

77. Vid~ clialll and notorIOUS, I am lure ale WIll never confdlt:. Bur no ex/Jolli/le. II. E· cufe can be made for S. Allfli,,! di[agreeing, and contelting in pi/;.adEII!a'il!tI1 the Q!!ell:io!1 of appeales co Rgl1J~, the n~cefficy of Commu- 1..c·tldrmt~n. nicating :n!anrs, rbe abfolure damnation of Infanrs to the paines 1iO;~;~i::;~)~J.'· o''f Hell, if they die before Baptifm: and divers other particu, in fine. S,,'mc. Ius. I t was a famous act of the Blfhops of LiglJria and 1ftria ,.,!Tom.I,. who feeing the Pope of R~m: con[enting co the fifth Synod ill ~1,,{i.5S. ~ad dilparat;ement of the famous Councell of Cha/c:don, which for Canomm.s,.'/J·. their own interefis they did not like of they renounced [ub. (:~" ~~ ~./tU;~ jection co his Patriarchate, and erected ; Patriarch at AqlliMtI :~1o:~~L~·;;'~;' .. who was afterwards eranflated to Venic~, where his name reo ':!O;h.lO • .1.V. maines to this day. It is alfo notorious that moll: of the Fa. 8r~. rhers were of opinion that the foules of the faithfull did not

enjoy the beatifick ViGon before Doomefday , wbether Rome was then of that opinion or no, I know not, I am Cure now they are not; witnefle roe Councels of Ftorenu and T .. ent; but of this I (hall give a more full account afterwards. But if to all this which is already noted, we adde rbar great variety of Opl. nions amcngtl the Fathers and Councels in alIignation of the Canon, they not con{ulting with the Bifliop of Rom:, nor any of them thinkillg themfelves bound to follow his Rule in enumeration of the books of Scripture, I think no more need to be laid as to this particular.

NIII'lJb. I_I'. 8. But now if'afier all this, there be feme Popes which were

notorious Herecicks,and Preachers of falie Doctrine, lome that

. - m~

---._ .. _-- -_--- __ . -._-.-_ ---_ ... ----~

The Li6crt) 0/ ProphefJ'ing. 14i

made impious Decrees. both i? rairh a~d m~nners; rome that have derermin'd Q.u.ell:lons with egregIOus Ignorance and fb-

pidity, fame with apparent So~hi[lry, and ~anr ~'? rerve rh~i_r

own ends moll: openly, I (irppole then the mfal!Jbdlty WIll ?ll-

band and we may doe to him as to other good Bifhcps, believe

him when there is caufe , but if there be none, then to u'e . .

our Coniciences Non enim fllvat ChrijJi41111m quod POn/ifo,: fra,e;; de In.

" .a: '.11 t:d ' d terul". Com-

conjanter aJJirmat pr<tceptll11J filum tJJ:';Ul'fJm, Jt. oparre» I .. t! pof. a Theel,

t.'(~minar;, & fo jfJxta ntfJ!a1H foperifJl datllm .dir/gere:· I would Vener.prcp, not inftance and repeat the errours of dead Bifhops , If the ex - IJ.

Heme boldneifeofthe prerence did nor make ir necefjarv : Bur . d.

if we may believe TertN!!ian, Pope ZtpherblfJI approv'd the .;,b. auvc.;

b . d 1 raxcam,

Prophecies of UlfOl1tllnru, and upon that appro anon grame

peaceto the Churches of Alia and PhlJgia, till <Pra:rear pe:--

iivaded him to revoke hIS act : But let this relt upon the credit

orT~rtllllilcn, whether Ztpherinn: w:ere a 0l£ontanifl 01' no; Vid. liberal. lome Iiich thing there was for certain. Pope Pigt/tII! denyed in breviario, t'NO natures in Chrill:, and in his Epi!!Ie to Theod~ra the E~. c~p.". prefle anathemariz'd all ~hem that fa~d he ha~ two n~tures 111 ~)urJnd'4o one penon j S.Gregory hlm(elfe perrnirred PrIel!.s co give con. udl.7.q.j, firmation , which is all one as if he f110111d permit Deacons to

con(ecrate, they being by Divine Ordinance annevr co the higher

orders; and upon this very ground· Adrianll! affirms that the

Pope may erre in defil1;mdu d.gm,ltIb,u fidei. And that \~e Q!'x. de co"," ffi3Y not teare we [liall wane inttances , we may to Iecure It (irm.are, ur, ral<e their own conferfo», N;lm W!t/{J] fmt dteret.1!es h<treti;.e

layes Occham as he is cited by .AhiM;iJ, 0~ firm,ter hoc credo 3.diG•lof. (fayes he for his own particular) fld nO>J fiat dogmathare 0(1- q. unrc a, po filum qnmiam funt determilJat£. So char w~ may as well. f~e

that it is certain that Popes may be Herericks , as that IUS dlngerous to lay fo; and therefore there are ~o ~e\~ rhat tea~b

it; All the Patriarchs and the Bil1lOp of Rome hlmleUe ~ublcrtb d

10 Arria"i[m (as Beroni)« confeifes j ) and.' qratianatnrms that A.D,!f7.n.4< Pope Ana/fajilUthe Second was ll:rllcken of GO? fo: commu- • D.l~. [9.C.~, !liming with the Heretick photinHf. I know 1C will bemade L. of. ,"p.~. !ight of thar qre!,DrJ the Seventh faith,. the very exorcuis cf

tbe Roman Church are Superieur to Princes, ~!.lt what Ihall

we (binR of that decrerall of Gr~gorJ the Third, who wrote

.... to

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