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viz. that a Particular is the Universal, and a moft Corrupt a Catholick Church. The like I obferved of your Challenge; and finding your little Paper ambiguous in all the Parts of it, I was willing to think that Ambiguity proceeded rather from want of Art, than an ill use of it; and therefore I faid it looked, as if it was penned by a Novice or fome new Convert; which you in your Letter of April 10th. fay that is like a Fool. But, Sir, is there no difference between being a Fool and a Novice, or a recent in Controverfy? When St. Paul faid, Oportet effe Epifcopum non Neophy tum, a Bishop muft not be a Novice or new Convert, did he mean not a Fool? I fhew'd my Answer to your Query to feveral Men of temper, before I fent it to you, only to have their Opinion, whether there was any thing of provoking or undecent Language in it; and they all were of Opinion, there was nothing of that nature therein: But you cry out of paffion and injurious Language; which I know to be an Art among your Writers, to create Prejudice in your Catechumens againft your Adverfaries, as Men of violent Paffions, who cannot argue fairly, but inftead of Arguments give ill Words, because they find themselves baffled. Nay, they often do fo, when they find themselves like to be worfted, that they may have a Pretence to defift. I knew one who accufed his Antagonist of ill Language, becaufe he faid one of his Propofitions was falfe; and for as little Reafon you accufe me for faying I thought your Query was written by a Novice, who was not skilled in Controverfy. But whether you have not given me provoking, paffionate, and injurious Language in ample Meafure, inconfiftent with your formal Prayer, I appeal to your own Words. I will endeavour (fay you) to pick an E 2
Anfwer out of his Words, by which I may begin to frame an Argument or two, which perhaps he will make it his ftudy not to understand, left if he should underftand them, he may begin to find that he cannot answer them. It's evident be shut his Eyes here again, for fear of feeing the true fenfe of the Word. Let us fee bow he winks, that he may not See the meaning of the Words in the Query. The difingenuous trifling of the Gentleman, who is refolo'd to take the Words in all other fenfes, but the right one. Thofe Gentlemen are grown fuch Stranggers to Chrift's Church, that when it is named they lift up their Heads, and know not what it means. I do not under fland why be fhould be angry with me, for not taking of him to be fuch a Knave, as to be of a Religion he would not fay was the true one. His next Trifling is to know what I mean by the Proteftant Church. I am fure this Anfwer is fophiftical, and a great Impofition both upon you and me. I defy him to give a Reafon, except the Fancy bit now, and not thenHe has refolved to bave a new Cavil in referve for this place. It is a barder thing to bring this Gentleman to the Bar, and make him fpeak out plainly Guilty, than perhaps it would be to convict him, after he had once made bis Plea. Away, away, this is vifibly idle, it's a difficult thing to draw him to a direct Answer: Thus, Sir, you pray and reproach; blefs and perfecute; forgive pretended Injuries, and return them at the fame time. Give me leave to put that Question of St. James to you, doth a Fountain Send out at the fame place Sweet Water and bitter? And let me put you in mind of what the Satyr faid to the Man in the Fable, who blew both hot and cold with the fame Mouth. It was for this Reason, that in my Reply to your Letter of April 2. I pray'd you to write, when
you wrote next, not only with more Care, and
VIII. AMONG other things in it, which I have taken notice of above, give me leave to obferve one more which fhews you to be a Man of Art. The Challenge-part of your little Paper, as you call it, is penn'd in thefe Words, Name your BiShops, Writers, Churches, nay one fingle Congregation or Village of Proteftants for 900 or 1000 lears, before your Separation from the holy (miftaken for Roman) Catholick Church. After I had obferved how you begged the question, I alfo took notice to your Difciple Mr. G----- (for my Answer was written to him) that your Challenge was fallacious and fophiftical, in asking me to E 3
name our Bishops, Writers, and Churches, that is, faid I, our reform'd Bishops, Writers, and Churches, before the Reformation: which is the fame, as if be bad asked me to name our reformed Bishops and Churches, before they were reformed; and as abfurd, as to ask us to fhew the Alteration and Change of any other Society or Thing, before it was fo altered and changed. I farther added, that you might as reafonably have asked me to Name our Proteftant Kings and Courts before Edward VI. to fhew him how captious and tricking your Challenge was. Now in your Reply to this, you fay that my Answer is Sophiftical, and a great impofition upon you and him, becaufe you had no fuch Words, as reform'd Bishops and Writers. Say you, have I any fuch Words as reformed Bishops and Writers? And did I fay you had? No, what I faid was, that to ask me to Name our Bishops, Writers, and Churches before the Reformation, was the fame as to ask me to Name our reformed Bishops, Writers, and Churches before they were reformed. Thefe are not your Words, but as I obferved the obvious and plain import of your Words; for no unreformed Wri ters, Bishops, or Churches can in any propriety of Speech be called Ours. And if you did not defign it for a captious Challenge, why did you not, as I took notice, put it in thefe or the like Terms? Name any Bishops, Writers, or Churches, nay, any one fingle Congregation or Village of Chriflians of your Religion for 900 or 1000 Years before your Separation from the Roman Catholick Church. Had you done fo, you had had a fair and plain Anfwer. But this, as you tell your Convert and her Brother, was putting the que tion (for fo you now call your Challenge) in my own Sophiftical Words, because I could not
anfwer it in yours. But pray, Sir, is there any Sophiftry in the Challenge put in my Words? If there is, why did you not fhew it? For faying is no proving. Why did you not fhew which of the Words are fophiftical? Why did you not fhew their ambiguous and uncertain fignification, which makes them to be fallacious and fophiftical, as I have done by all yours. But it is an evident proof, whatever you pretend, you thought them not fophiftical, because they have forced you, tho' with an ill grace, to explain your Challenge in the plain, certain, and reafonable fenfe, which, in my Words, they offer at the first fight. Let the Gentleman (fay you) know then, that by the Word Proteftant, I mean Chriftians profef fing their Religion. Do you fo, Sir, then the fenfe of your Challenge is plainly this, Name any Bifhops, Writers, Churches, nay one Single Congregation of Chriftians, that profeffed your Religion 900 or 1000 Years before your Separation from the Roman Catholick Church. And here, Sir, I will join iffue with you, and anfwer your Challenge in this fenfe, after I have preinifed two or three things in order to a plain aud clear Anfwer to it.
IX. FIRST then, in cafe I could not name any Bifhops, Writers, Churches, or Chriftian Congregations, that profeffed our Religion 900 or 1000 Years before our Separation from your Church, it ought to be no Argument against the truth of it, if I can fhew that it was profeffed by all faithful Bifhops, Writers, and Churches through all Centuries, from the time of the Apoftles to either of thofe periods. On the contrary, it will be a demonftrable Argument for the truth of it, according to the Rule of Vincen tius Lirinenfis, who afferts that, and that only