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Roman Catholick Church, you beg the Queftion, and take for granted what is the greatest point of Controverfy between your Church and ours, as much as if you had faid, your Separation from the holy Catholick Church. For if the Roman be either the Catholick, or a Catholick Church, we cannot juftifie our Separation; but we deny it to be either the Catholick, or a Catholick Church: This you know to be the Queftion between us and you, and yet you take it for granted; which among other reafons gave me that occafion to fay without any Paffion, that bad I not been told you were one appointed to manage the Controverfy between your Church and ours, I fhould rather bave thought that your Query, as you call it, had been penned by fome Novice; for one cannot eafily imagine, that a Perfon skilful in Controverfy, if he were ingenuous, would make his Query terminate in fuppofing that to be true, or taking that for granted, which the Refpondent neither could, nor could be thought to grant.
II. 2dly, Had I mistaken the Word Holy for Reman, it had been only a verbal and not a real Miftake, because the Roman Church, according to its own Doctrines and Principles, is the holy Catholick Church, nay the t holy Catholick Apoftolick Church, as I told Mr. Gn, when he begged pardon for his Miftake. And therefore, Sir, could have no defign in making the Miftakę, had it been mine, because it would have been of no Advantage to me, but it is of fome Advantage to you to fuggeft to your Profelyte, as if I had wilfully mistaken it, and therefore you
+ Bulla Pii Papa IV. fuper formâ juramenti profeffionis fidei. Laud against Fifber § 38. n. 26. But 4. C. tells us it is to be learned of the one holy Catholick, Apoftolick, always vifible and infallible Roman Church.
muft give me leave to add, that you have not cleared your felf from the dishonourable Charge of begging the Queftion, which is at common Pra-. Etice among you, and fo there is not an end of that Quarrel, (I use your Words) as you confidently affirmed to your Profelyte there was.
III. IN your XVIL Paragraph you lay another miftake to my Charge, of the Infallibility for the Indefedibility of the Church. But neither was that mistake, if it was one, mine, but Mr. G-n's; who firft defir'd we might have a Conference be fore his Sifter of Tranfubftantiation, and then fome Days after came to tell me, that the Gentleman, as he ftiled you, defired it might be of the Infallibility of the Church. When I told him of this, he could not deny it, nor do I fuppofe he will deny it now. And perhaps he may remember, when he faid the Infallibility of the Church, that I asked him, if it was the Infallibility or Indefectibility of the Church? To which he answered, The Infallibility of the Church. And therefore when I faw the Query you fent me in order to our Proceeding, as Mr. G---- faid in his Letter, I gave it as the firft Reafon in my Anfwer to it, why I thought it drawn up by fome Novitiat, because it was nothing to the purpofe of Infallibility, the Subject in which I thought we were to be engaged. In another part of my Letter there were thefe Words: I confefs the Suppofition relates to the Indefedibility of the Church, but neither that, nor any thing elfe in his Query, as he improperly calls it, relates to the Infallibility of
+ Nectarii Patriarcha Hierofol. confutatio imperii Pape. London MDCCII. p. 63. Atque equidem ex infcriptione prima pagina falfam tuam fuppofitionem confutabo. fcil. eam, quam prius debuifti firme probare, ut confeffam affumpfifti, & nunc, & in fequentibus.
the Church. Methinks thefe Expreffions written with such an appearance of Simplicity, might have obliged you to ask Mr. Gn, what he told me the Subject was to be, upon which you invited me to a Conference, before you had charged me with a wrong Imagination of it, and by Confequence with a very great Impertinence, in fending you fo many Queries relating to a Subject, which was not to be the Matter of Controverfy between us. How this Mistake happened between you and him, you best know, and whether it was defigned or no. But if Infallibility was to be the Subject of Controverfy between us, I think first I had as much Right to fend you thofe Queries relating to it, as you to fend me a Complex Query, which I neither defired nor expected from you; and therefore to use the Words in your XVIII. Paragraph, I am willing that any impartial Man fhould be Fudge between us, whether you or I were lefs acurate, or if you please less impertinent; you, who under the name of one plain Query fent me many, attended with a Suppofition and a Challenge, or I, who fent you many fingle, plain, diftin&t Queries relating to what, I really thought, was to have been the Subject of Controverfy between us. All the Anfwer you think fit to give them is this, We will answer them when we have done with thefe and then you fay, that there are 15 or 16 Points before one Difpute, and feveral of them of very different Natures, and enough to fill whole Volumes. I will not tell you in your own Words, that this is trifling, nor that it is a bard Matter to bring you to the Bar, &c. But you must give me leave to tell you, that all thofe Queries you call Points, are all Points to the Subject of Infallibility, and directly relate in their different Natures to it; and
that they are fo far from requiring Volumes to anfwer them, that you might have made a diftinct Answer to them in as fmall a Compafs as I proposed them. Was it for Inftance fo tedious a Matter to have answered Yes or No, to the Question in which I asked you, whether by the Church's Infallibility you meant, that the Church hath always a living infallible Judge? Or to have told me, whether that living infallible Judge was a fingle Perfon, or a Senate or Council? and if a fingle Perfon, where he was always to be found, where his infallible Chair was? or if the Church knew of any infallible Judge, in the time of Vincentius Lirinenfis? or if it did, how he came to be ignorant of it? Plain fimple Anfwers to fuch plain fimple Questions would not have taken up much Paper, or much of your time, had you been difpofed to make them. And as for my Queftions, I had not propofed them, but that fincerely believing the Infallibility of the Church was to be the Subject of Controverfy between us, I was willing to put you in remembrance by them of the great, and give me leave to tell you, I think, infuperable Difficulties with which that Doctrine is attended; and fhew your Profelyte that the Infallibility of the Church (by which you ftill precariously mean the Church of Rome) is it felf fo far from being certain, that it is one of the greatest Controverfies that ever was among Chriftians, not to be proved by Scripture and Catholick Tradition, or Antiquity, Univerfality, and Confent. You your felf acknowledge, there are 15 or 16 difputable Points in it of different Natures, and enough to fill whole Volumes; How then can a Doctrine fo full of difputable Points be clear and certain, or the Church that pretends to it be the Guide of Faith? For this reafon I defired, that
that your Profelyte might have the deliberate perufal of my anfwer to your Query, thinking that you might have begun with her at that Doctrine which if it could be proved, would be a compendious way of ending all Controverfies in Religion, efpecially thofe between our Church and yours, and the imoft fpeedy and effectual means that can be taken of reducing us to your Fold. This Confideration, methinks, fhould have made you embrace the Oportunity, which the mistake gave you, of preferring the Subject of the Infallibility to that of the Indefectibility of the Church, if you thought it to be a clear Chriftian Verity. But you have promifed to confider it hereafter; and then I will expect a Solution of all the Dif ficulties which lie wrapt up in my Queries, and of all thofe which are expreffed in a Letter of Mr. Chillingworth to Mr. Lewgar, concerning the Church of Rome's being the Guide of Faith, printed with his Book entituled The Religion of Proteftants a fafe way to Salvation, 1687. As alfo in the Preface of a Book published fince I received your Anfwer, which is intituled Certamen Religiofum, printed at Oxford in 80 1704. Perhaps you may know the Man, who began the Difpute, in fix Queries, with the learned Author of that Book. His way of Writing and yours are very much alike in complex and captious Queries, in joining the Socinians and Proteftants together; in charging your Adverfary with Cavils, Contra dictions, and protracted Diftinitions; in undervaluing of him and his Anfwer, in confident Expreffions, and treating of him with uncivil Language. Mr. Chillingworth, in his Letter before mention'd, makes the fame Objection againft Infallibility that I do, from Vincentius Lirinenfis, to which in your answer you make this Reply in your XVIII.