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Queen of heaven, lady of the world, and gate of heaven? That she is, therefore, to have her proper service and her Ave-Marias?
(9.) Of the Church, the place of worship.-That Bells are to be baptized, incantations used, altars set up with candles, holy water and holy ashes sprinkled, and such like trumperies?
All these, their differences, with many others, are human inventions without warrant of Scripture-let them shew, then, that any of thees three sorts of Martyrs believed and professed them; and, if they cannot, the conclusion is good, that they were not their martyrs by these differences, but, in common, still our martyrs as well as theirs.
3rdly. If these differences are but a patchery of Heresies, Judaism, and Paganism, then, in respect thereof they cannot be their martyrs; for, martyrs suffered for none of these things, but, in detestation thereof, were grievously persecuted by Jews, Pagans and Heretics.
But the antecedent is most true, as our own learned men have plainly shewn-for heresies, Bishop Morton,* Dr. Whitaker,+ G. Powel, and Dr. Willet,§;-for Judaism, Dr. Reynolds,|| who shews something also on Paganism; but, for this latter read Dr. Middleton's letter from Rome, a book called "Papatus" by T. Moresin, M. D. and G. Powell on the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans; and upon all three points see a book entitled “The three conformities." In respect, therefore, of these differences being heretical, Jewish and Pagan, these martyrs are none of their martyrs, neither did their sufferings make good any whit of the present Romish religion.
4thly. If these differences from our religion offer violence to the three offices of Christ, and render their public worship in many things blasphemous and idolatrous, then, in respect of such differences the martyrs cannot be theirs.
The antecedent of which is true, and therefore the consequent. The antecedent is fully proved in his “ Trisagion," by Dr. Fownes, who confirms it from the Romish missals, breviaries, rosaries, liturgies,psalters, primers, and manuals of prayer; to these originals, or to the induction therefrom alluded to, the reader is referred for satisfaction, while we conclude that by virtue of such differences the blessed martyrs could be none of theirs.
5thly. If many of these differences be not only beside Scripture, and without warrant from thence, (as before shewn,) but also flatly contradictory to Scripture, and against the common tenets agreed on between them and us -then, in respect of these differences, they are not their martyrs. For the martyrs suffered not for things against Scripture, and the common tenets of Christianity wherein we and our adversaries agree, (which if they dare affirm let them produce instances to prove.)
But, many of these their differences are against Scripture, and the common tenets of Christianity in which we both agree; which being so, these their differences can be no part of Christianity—the consequence, therefore, is true, that the martyrs are not theirs in respect of these differences. And that such differences do exist, contradictory to the Word of God, will appear from the following particulars :—
They say of the Holy Scriptures-that they are imperfect, contrary to Ps. xix. 7. and 1 Tim. iii. 16; that they are a dumb judge, contrary to Heb. iv. 12. 2 Cor, iv. 4.; and that there is an unwritten portion thereof called tradition to be added thereto, contrary to Deut. iv, 2. Prov. xxx. 6. and Rev. xxi. 8; that the testimony
* De Eccles. p. 308. † Apol. Catho, cap. 66. Lib. de Antichrist. c. 24. § In his 2d pillar of popery. || Against Hart. cap. 8. div. 4,
of the Church is superior to the witness of the Scriptures, and to be believed before them, contrary to 1 John v. 9. and John v. 47.
That the Invisible God may be pictured to the senses, contrary to Deut. iv. 15. Acts xvii. 29. Isaiah xl. 18. and Rom. i. 23.
That Images may be made for worship, contrary to Deut. xxvii. 15. Ex. xx. 4. 1 Kings xii. 30. and 1 John v. 21: and that they tend to instruction contrary to Hab. ii. 18. Ps. cxv. 4-8. Zec, x. 2.
That Prayers may be made to the Virgin Mary and other departed Saints, contrary to Mat. vi. 9; that prayers may be offered through them, contrary to 1 Tim. ii. 5. and John xiv. 6, 13; that praying by stated numbers and upon beads, is efficacious and pleasing to God, contrary to Mat. vi. 7.; that prayers should be used in an unknown tongue, and even in public service, contrary to 1 Cor. xiv. 13— 19. That therein, a general good intent is sufficient, and acceptable to God, though the mind be barren of sound knowledge, contrary to Prov. xix. 2. and 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
That the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is to be administered and received in one sort, contrary to Mat. xxvi. 27. 1 Cor. x. 16, and xi. 23-25. That Jesus Christ is there corporally present in the place of the bread transubstantiated, contrary to Acts iii. 21. and Col. iii. 1. ; that it is very God, contrary to Hos. viii. 5; that it is offered a sacrifice propitiatory, as if the one offering made by Christ were imperfect and insufficient, contrary to Heb. x. 10. 14; that the sacrifice made is available to the pardon and purification of the dead, contrary to the entire current and stream of Scripture.
That the law may be fulfilled, and a man thereby be justified before God, contrary to Rom. vii. 19.; iii. 20 ; iv. 2. and 1 Cor. iv. 4.
That a man may merit by his works, contrary to Tit. iii. 5. Eph. ii. 8. 10. and Rom. vi. 23. That he may be able to do more than he is required by duty, contrary to Rom. vii. 19. Luke xvii. 10. Ps. xx. 9. Ecc. vii. 20. Isaiah Ixiv. 6. Ps. cxxx. 3.
That the Bishop of Rome may dispense with and modify God's law, contrary to 1 Sam. ii. 25. Prov. viii. 33; Job ix. 33, and xxxiv. 29.
That there are sins not prohibited by God's law, contrary to 1 John iii. 4. Rom. iv. 15. and vii. 8 ; that some sins are venial and deserve not death, contrary to Rom. iv, 23. James i. 15, and Gen. ii. 17; that original concupiscence is no sin in the regenerate, contrary to Rom. vii, 19. and Ps. 51.
That marriage is not honourable in all men, in the Clergy for instance, contrary to the example of married Priests under the law, contrary also to Scripture in Heb. xiii, 4. 1 Cor. vii. 9. 1 Tim. iii. 3, 2, 5. and v. 14.
That Holiness stands in the observation of days, contrary to Col. ii. 18; of meats contrary to Rom. xiv. 14. 1 Cor. viii. 8. Mat. xv. 20. and 1 Tim. iv. 4; making men thereby to lose their Christian liberty, contrary to the injunction in Gal. v. 1, That many who die justified in Christ yet rest not after death, contrary to Rev. xiv. 13. ; but have to make temporal satisfaction, in a place called purgatory not heard of for 600 years after Christ, when sins, though already pardoned, yet let them not go to heaven when taken hence, contrary to Luke xxiii. 43, where the repentant is promised immediate entrance to paradise, which (2 ('or, xii. 4.) is heaven.
That the power of the Bishop of Rome is kingly, that he may use the temporal sword, depose kings, and dispose of their kingdoms, being himself subject to none, contrary to Luke xxii. 25. Mat. xx. 26. Rom. xiii. 1. Tit. iii. 1. 1 Peter ii. 13; that whoso gets the Pope's dispensation sins not in what he does, though it be against God's law, contrary to Mat. v. 19. Deut. xxvii. 26. Jer. xi. 3. ; that he is the Vicar of Christ, and yet may intermeddle with the earthly and temporal kingdoms of
this world, contrary to Christ's own practice, Luke xii. 14. and the very nature of His Kingdom, John xviii. 36. and against the character of such weapons as God gave to His Apostles, 2 Cor. x. 4. 5.; that his Clergy are exempt from civil jurisdiction contrary to Christ's commandment, Mat. xxii. 21. to his practice, Mat. xvii. 27. to St. Peter's teaching, 1 Peter ii. 13. and to that of St. Paul, Rom, xiii. 1. 7. Tit. iii. 1.
6thly, and lastly if none of these Martyrs were Romanists, (or, Roman Catholics as they please to style themselves,) then could they not be their martyrs; and, that none of them were Romanists is evident, for they held not those distinguishing points whereby a man becomes a Romanist, or Roman Catholic, and without which the Church of Rome will not approve him as a member or admit him to her communion. For, let a man hold every point of Christianity as fully and plainly as they please yet if he acknowledge not the Pope has authority as Christ's Vicar upon earth; that the Church of Rome is the mother and mistress of all Churches, and that she alone is the guardian and true interpreter of Scripture; that her traditions are of one and the same authority with Scripture, that there are, therefore, (because she says so,) seven sacraments; that the bread after consecration is transubstantiated ; (though as bread it afterwards becomes corrupt; that Christ being then corporally present, the forms of the bread and wine are to be divinely adored; that the laity must not receive the cup; that in the mass a propitiary sacrifice is daily offered, as available for the sins of both living and dead; that service is to be said every where in the Latin tongue; that images are to be set up in Churches and worshipped, Saints departed to be prayed to, and their relics to be retained and adored; that the existence of a penal Purgatory, after death, is to be believed in, works to be trusted in as obtaining merit before God, auricular confession to be made to Priests, and so forth, all comprised in the CREED OF POPE PIUS, IV; such, and such like, new-coined articles, whosoever does not hold, is judged to be no Roman Catholic, but under an anathema; but none of these differences did the martyrs hold, much less suffer persecution for; for, not one of these Trentine articles was held during the time of these three sorts of martyrs who suffered within 600 years after Christ, nor was there, during that space, any who might be called a Romanist according to the present definition of the Council of Trent; and thus we see that by these differences they cannot claim the martyrs. Now our differences from them are all grounded upon Scripture, and warranted by such truths of Christianity as they and we are fully agreed in ; not one of our differences is either heresy, judaism, or paganism, nor ever received condemnation by a general Council during the space of the 600 years during which these martyrs lived. True, our adversaries call us heretics, but without just ground, or Scripture proof; they lay heresies to our charge, but falsely, as our learned Whittaker, Bishop Morton, and others, shew, to the full, in answering the calumnies of Bellarmine; our differences, therefore, and the truths of the Christian religion taught by the Apostles and succeeding pastors, and believed in by the Church, being parts of that faith and religion for which these martyrs suffered, we conclude, that both respecting truths wherein we and our adversaries agree, and also those differences wherein we disagree from the now Church of Rome, the martyrs were our martyrs and none of theirs,
IV. “ Martyrs” are those who suffered by, and amongst our adversaries themselves, as the Berengarians, Waldenses Albigenses, Lollards and followers of Wickliffe in England, John Huss, and Jerome of Prague at Constance, and many more in Bohemia up to Luther's time, as also afterwards multitudes burnt and put to sundry deaths for our religion; they standing out against our adversaries for those differences at present in question between the Church of Rome and ourselves, these, therefore, were our martyrs; but, our adversaries will call them no martyrs at all,
but condemned heretics; now, that they were martyrs and no heretics is clear; for St. John calls those saints and martyrs of Jesus (Rev. xvii. 5) which should suffer for the Word of God, for refusing to worship the beast and his image, (Rev. xx. 4.) for not receiving his mark, for keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; who, thus dying in the Lord, (Rev. xiv. 12.) should rest from their labours and be accounted blessed; but such were our martyrs, who suffered for holding the commandments and faith of Jesus, for refusing to worship the beast, to drink of the cup of the abominations of Rome-of the woman drunk with the blood of saints; and therefore, were they blessed martyrs and no heretics.
They will say, agaiu, that these held divers errors, and were not in all things wholly with us but,
(1.) They were martyred for those self-same things, wherein, with us, they witnessed against the Church of Rome.
(2.) Many errors are wilily ascribed to them which they never held at all, as the learned Usher (in his Treatise de Continuit and Statu Ecclesia) fully shews.
(3.) Though in some things they should have differed from us, that makes them not to be of any other religion than ours: for, if on account of lighter differences of opinion, men should be held of contrary religions, (if our adversaries will thus conclude,) then are not the Romanists, now dispersed in different countries, of one and the same religion with that now professed at Rome; for, one of them differs from another much in many things-how comes it, for instance, that Councils received in one country are rejected in another, in whole, or in part? what becomes of the Gallican liberties? has the Pope, or has he not, an indirect power over temporalities, by means of his spiritual jurisdiction? why is not the seat of infallibility universally recognized to be the same? why are not the relative authorities of Pope and Council duly defined and universally acknowledged? why are not the opinions concerning predetermination and the immaculate conception, and others which have racked the Church, set at rest? these, and such like instances, shew that in our adversaries' estimation, a variance on points not fundamental is consistent with keeping an unity of faith; why, then, do they, for unimportant differences, sever the connexion between Protestant Churches, differing as they thus do, at the present day amongst themselves, and differing yet more, as a Church from the religion of the primitive fathers, and upon more numerous and more essential points ?
These martyrs, therefore, however differing from us in some things, (for the light shined not then so clearly as now it does,) were our martyrs, and thus all the martyrs from the beginning being ours, our adversaries have none at all which may properly be called theirs for the first 600 years; if they claim the first three sorts, 'tis but as they agree with us, for in their differences from us, the martyrs are none of theirs; and the fourth sort are clearly our own, being martyrs in respect of our differences from them. While for their differences from us they have no martyrs of Jesus; for, His martyrs suffer for His sake, for God's Word, faith and commandments, and their differences are of man's contrivance, and not of God's word, faith, and commandments, neither suffered Papists, in these countries, for religion at all, but for disloyalty, rebellion, treason, and denial of lawful authority-and, therefore, by this Second Argument, we conclude that, it having been our religion which was witnessed by the martyrs, that Religion was before Luther's time,
"YE ALSO AS LIVELY STONES."
1 Pet: ii. 5.
Upon the first reading of these words what an absurdity do they appear to contain; can any thing be more dull and inanimate than a stone, or can there be any thing into which it is more improbable that life should be infused, and yet the Apostle speaks here of "lively stones," of stones no longer lying dead and useless, but in a state of life and activity. Such is the condition of the renewed Christian; once he was a dead and inanimate stone, but Christ came, and, with a word, brought forth living waters out of the flinty rock, as it is said in St. John, chap. vii. v. 38. "He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water;" his powerful voice gives to the dead stone, life; to the inactive, motion; to the hard, softness and flexibility; to the barren, fruitfulness. The Christian is a lively stone; faith working in him by love, he no longer does his own will, but the will of him that sent him; as far as opportunity offers, he goes about doing good, and in all things endeavouring to promote the glory of God; but if debarred from active duties, by poverty, sickness, or sorrow, the liveliness of his faith does not less appear in patient endurance and long-suffering; it is indeed through affliction's cloud that his faith shines brightest, and, like the moon, whose borrowed rays cast a chaste and a sober light around, making bright those objects which were else obscured; so does the light of Christian grace reflected from the Sun of Righteousness, shed its holy influence over the believer's path; bursting through the cloud of sorrow with more than usual lustre. But the Christian is not a solitary, disunited stone; no, he is part of Christ's spiritual house; he is joined in a heavenly communion with the other stones of that sacred building. These all have one hope, one faith, one father; their motive one, their end one, their inheritance one. Oh what a close and eternal cement must these form, and how beautous the temple reared by the master hand of the great architect; not the holy temple at Jerusalem more splendid, though a type of this, and adorned with costly ornaments, and furnished with most precious vessels, neither can human hands, no, nor the united powers of darkness, remove one stone of this temple; indissoluble the union, impregnable the fortress; time the destroyer makes no impression here, or rather I should say, renders closer and firmer the union, happy is he who is one of the chosen stones; one would imagine that the thoughts of such an election would so completely raise his soul to heaven, that no earthly cares would annoy, no earthly sorrows disturb him; but sometimes does his faith fail, and he whose privilege it is to go on his way rejoicing, is often compelled to cry with tears, "help thou mine unbelief." These lively stones are chosen to offer up spiritual sacrifices; the willing sacrifice of soul and body unto the glory of him by whom they are chosen; how different from the cold and lifeless lip-religion of the Pharisee of our day, for that sect, though called by other names, is still in existence, and may be found of every denomination of pro