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in; and therefore thought it expedient, that men should rather by error hold that necessary and commanded which was only profitable and advised, than by believing, though truly, the non-necessity of it, neglect the use of that, as by experience we see most men do, which was so beneficial. If he thought so of confession, and yet thought it not fit to speak his mind, why might he not think the like of other points, and yet out of discretion and charity hold his peace? and why might not others of his time do so as well as he? and, if so, how shall I be assured, that in the ages before him there was not other men alike minded, who, though they knew and saw errors and corruptions in the church, yet conceiving more danger in the remedy, than harm in the disease, were contented hoc Catone-to let things alone as they were, lest by attempting to pluck the ivy out of the wall, they might pull down the wall itself, with which the ivy was so incorporated?

Sir Edwin Sandys relates, that in his travels he met with divers men, who, though they believed the pope to be antichrist, and his church antichristian, yet thought themselves not bound to separate from the communion of it; nay thought themselves bound not to do so, because the true church was to be the seat of antichrist, from the communion whereof no man might divide himself upon any pretence whatsoever.

And much to this purpose is that which Charron tells us in his third Verite, cap. iv. §. 13. 15. That although all that, which the protestants say falsely of the church of Rome, were true, yet for all this they must not depart from it. And again: Though the pope were antichrist, and the estate of the church

were such (that is, as corrupt both in discipline and doctrine) as they (protestants) pretend, yet they must not go out of it. Both these assertions he proves at large in the above-cited paragraphs, with very many and very plausible reasons; which I believe would prove his intent, had not the corruptions of the Roman church possessed and infected even the public service of God among them, in which their communion was required; and did not the church of Rome require the belief of all her errors, as the condition of her communion. But howsoever, be his reasons conclusive or not conclusive, certainly this was the professed opinion of him and divers others; as, by name, Cassander and Baldwin; who, though they thought as ill of the doctrine of the most prevailing part of the church of Rome, as protestants do, yet thought it their duty not to separate from her communion. And if there were any considerable number of considerable men thus minded (as I know not why any man should think there was not) then it is made not only a most difficult, but even an impossible thing, to know what was the catholic judgment of our fathers in the points of controversy; seeing they might be joined in communion, and yet very far divided in opinion: they might all live in obedience to the pope, and yet some think him head of the church by Divine right; others (as a great part of the French church at this day) by ecclesiastical constitution; others by neither, but by practice and usurpation, wherein yet, because he had prescription of many ages for him, he might not justly be disturbed.

All might go to confession, and yet some only think it necessary, others only profitable. All

might go to mass and the other services of the church, and some both like and approve the language of it, others only tolerate it and wish it altered if it might be without greater inconvenience. All might receive the sacrament, and yet some believe it to be the body and blood of Christ, others only a sacrament of it. Some that the mass was a true and proper sacrifice, others only a commemorative sacrifice or the commemoration of a sacrifice. Some, that it was lawful for the clergy to deny the laity the sacramental cup; others, that it was lawful for them to receive it in one kind only, seeing they could not in both. Some might adore Christ as present there according to his humanity, others as present according to his Divine nature only. Some might pray for the dead, as believing them in purgatory; others, upon no certain ground, but only that they should rather have their prayers and charity, which wanted them not, than that they, which did want them, should not have them. Some might pray to saints, upon a belief that they heard their prayers and knew their hearts; others might pray to them, meaning nothing but to pray by them, that God for their sakes would grant their prayers: others, thirdly, might not pray to them at all, as thinking it unnecessary; others, as fearing it unlawful; yet, because they were not fully resolved, only forbearing it themselves, and not condemning it in others.

Uncle. I pray you then remember also what it is that protestants do commonly taunt and check catholics with; is it not, that they believe traditions?

Nephew. It is a mere calumny, that protestants condemn all kinds of traditions, who subscribe very

willingly to that of Vincentius Lerinensis, that Christian religion is res tradita, non inventa; a matter of tradition, not of man's invention; is what the church received from the apostles (and by consequence what the apostles delivered to the church) and the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God. Chemnitius, in his examen of the council of Trent, hath liberally granted seven sorts of traditions, and protestants find no fault with him for it. Prove therefore any traditions to be apostolic, which is not written; shew that there is some known word of God, which we are commanded to believe, that is not contained in the books of the Old and New Testament, and we shallquickly shew, that we believe God's word, because it is God's, and not because it is written. If there were any thing not written, which had come down to us with as full and universal a tradition, as the unquestioned books of canonical scripture, that thing should I believe as well as the Scripture; but I have long sought for some such thing, and yet I am to seek; nay, I am confident no one point in controversy between papists and protestants can go in upon half so fair cards, for to gain the esteem of an apostolic tradition, as those things, which are now decried on all hands; I mean the opinion of the Chiliasts, and the communicating infants. The latter, by the confession of Cardinal Perron, Moldonate, and Binius, was the custom of the church for 600 years at least it is expressly and in terms vouched by St. Augustine for the doctrine of the church, and an apostolic tradition: it was never instituted by a general council, but in the use of the church, as long before the first general council as St. Cyprian before that council; there is no known author of the

beginning of it all which are the catholic marks of an apostolic tradition; and yet this you say is not so, or, if it be, why have you abolished it? the former lineally derives its pedigree from our Saviour to St. John; from St. John to Papias; from Papias to Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Melito Sardensis, Tertullian, and others of the two first ages; who, as they generally agree in the affirmation of this doctrine, and are not contradicted by any of their predecessors, so some of them at least speak to the point, not as doctors, but as witnesses, and deliver it for the doctrine of the church and apostolic tradition, and condemn the contrary as heresy; and, therefore, if there be any unwritten traditions, these certainly must be admitted first; or, if these which have so fair pretence to it, must yet be rejected, I hope then we shall have the like liberty to put back purgatory and indulgences, and transubstantiation, and the Latin service, and the communion in one kind, &c. none of which is of age enough to be page to either of the forenamed doctrines, especially the opinions of the millenaries.

Uncle. What think you means this word tradition? No other thing certainly, but that we confute all our adversaries by the testimony of the former church; saying unto them, This was the belief of our fathers; thus were we taught by them, and they by others, without stop or stay till you come to Christ

Nephew. We confute our adversaries by saying thus-Truly a very easy confutation. But saying and proving are two men's offices; and therefore, though you be excellent in the former, I fear, when it comes to the trial, you will be found defective in the latter.

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