CELT document E670001-002

A Seasonable Caveat Against Popery


To the English Protestant Reader.

We hope it may not be too late to militate for Truth against the dark Suggestions of Papal Superstition: Nor can we think that it should be esteem'd Hetrodox, for a dissenting Protestant (whilst almost gasping for his own Liberty) to vindicate that of Reformations, from the quaintest Strategems, and most unwearied endeavours of Romish Emissaries, to put both it and us into their Inquisition.

We know they have so far master'd their ancient fierceness, and mask'd their sanguine looks, with those more modest and familiar; that though we need not more reason then before, we need more skill and caution, or else we may too fatally experience the force of that vulgar Proverb: Laugh in thy face, and cut thy Throat.

They are grown so Complisant, as none seem more exasperated at Persecution then themselves, (whilst the very Fathers of it) decrying the fierceness of some Countries (whose Incendiaries they were, and still are) and imputing all the Blood of poor Protestants to some unwarrantable civil score (therein abusing the Civil Magistrate with the Execution of their own Conspiracies) nay, for all their venerable esteem of the Popes infallibility, they have not stuck to Censure his roaring Bulls (though procur'ss by their own means) and all that might express their new tenderness; that many unacquainted with their Practices, are ready to believe them what they say themselves to be, whose moral is to have two strings to their Bow, to be ambo-dexter, and furnish'd with meanings to suit the compass of all occasions.


In short, I premise three things: First that I cordially believe a great number of Romanists may be abused Zealots, through the idle voluminous Traditions of their Church, whom I rather pity then dare to wrong.

Secondly, That I Design nothing less then incensing of the Civil Magistrate against them (were such a thing possible) for I profess myself a Friend to an universal Tolleration of Faith and Worship.

Thirdly, That the Pamphlet answered, being but one Sheet, I confine my Examination to a narrow compass: and the rather, because a more considerable discourse is under my present inquiry; which, if Providence so order it, may speedily be made publique.

However, let this go for Preface, to that larger Tract, in which the Romanists may see both their ignorance in the marks of a true Church, and their little share or Interest in those they attribute to her as such.

Pen, Buckinghamshire, the 23d of the 11th Moneth, 1670. W. P.

William Penn


A Seasonable Caveat against Popery.

Though to argue against a Tribe of men, that esteem all Reason, Carnal, and Scriptures, imperfect, might rightly be judged a meer beating of the Air, and a task only to be enterpris'd by such as are desirous of no Success; yet to prevent those who may be deceived, and if possible to reclaim such as are; and lastly, to clear mine own Conscience, most of all in mine eye, I shall descend to consider the unsound, as well as untrue Confessions of the Romanists, in the Pamphlet under Examination.

1. Of the Scriptures.

PAP(IST). We believe the holy Scriptures to be of Divine Inspiration, and Infallible Authority; and whatsoever is therein contained to be the Word of God, pag. 1.

Answ. Certainly these Men must either think we are wholly ignorant of their Principles, or we must needs conclude they have forsaken them. It is so manifest that they have rob'd the Scriptures of their Authority, that the Pope has all; and they have then only any, when he is pleased to stamp his probatum est upon them. That this is true, how frequent do we find the Romanists, in their reflections upon the Protestants in this occasion, That they had not known the Scriptures to be such; nay, they might have been as an idle Tale to them, had they not been receiv'd, believ'd and deliver'd down, as Divine Writ, by their Church; as if the ground of believing this to be true, and that to be false, had been as much that of true Faith, as we know it, by sad experience, to be the cause of that stupid Superstition, and battish Zeal which reign amongst the abus'd Romanists. Besides, if the Scriptures be infallible,  p.6 as they confess; why are those Doctrines and Practices retain'd in the Romish Church, which most expressly oppose the sence of Scripture, upon the single Edicts of the Pope; as that of prohibiting Priests to Marry, and Flesh to be eaten upon certain dayes, of which the truly Catholical Apostle gives this definitive Judgement, they are the Doctrine of Devils: Nor are their Practices, in lieu thereof, less Diabolical, since their Fasts are most usually kept with excessive treats of Wine and Sweet-Meats; and their Priests are notoriously allow'd to frequent Stews, or to keep as many Strumpets as their Purse, or Lust shall please; though it be a most Cardinal offence, by marrying, to have one honest woman. But those who travel Italy are not unacquainted with the Popes gain or taxes on such Places, for which they have his Broad Seal, or open Licence.

Perhaps some will say, These are by Minute Matters (however good old Paul might zealously stile them Doctrines of Devils) and therefore we will Instance in something more important, What think the Papists of their Images? Tis true, that they say, they don't adore them now, but we know what esteem their first Erectors put upon them, and the high Value the Romish Church places upon the Inventors; and 'tis as impossible we should give our Eyes the Lye, when we behold them Mascerating their Breasts and Knees before those Unsensible Stocks and Stones, as Romanists are wont to think us most absurd in crediting our senses, as if that Proverb were of no moment, Seeing is believing, or rather Convincing.

Alas, their Popes, Cardinals, Friars, Nunneries, Holy-dayes, with other Points more Doctrinal yet to be examin'd; Whence came they? What Scripture ever Authorized such Practices in the Christian Church? Paul told the Churches. He had not been wanting to declare the whole Council of God unto them; and yet were they wholly ignorant of these things, and that for above three Hundred Years after.

Therefore we infer, that since there is that manifest jar betwixt this piece of their Profession, and their present Practice, as well as Doctrine, they have either relinquisht their former Faith, or play the wretched Impostors with the People; I wish the first, but fear the last


Pap. But since in the Scripture there are some things hard to be understood, which the unstable wrest to their own destruction; We therefore profess for the ending of Controversies, to submit our Iudgments to that of the Church in a Free General Council.

Answ. A poor shift to invalidate Scriptures, and entitle their own Traditions to the honor of a Rule, and as what most aptly should decide all Controversies Peters words imploy'd, to render this pretence more plausible, are miserably misapplyed. The Apostle only says, That Paul had writ to them concerning the long-suffering of God, that it was Salvation; the present Subject handled by Peter; and that in those Epistles Paul had some things hard to be understood; But what were those things? not those in controversie betwixt us and the Papists, nothing being more notorious: And who were they that wrested them but the unlearned and unstable, not in the wisdom of this World I that being Science, falsly so called! but Wicked and Ungodly men, as the profuse Atheist of the times in his frequent abuse of the Scripture by his scurrilous misinterpretation of it; for as the wise men said, To fear God, is Wisdom (or true Learning) and to depart from Iniquity, that is a a (sic) good Understanding; and as Jesus Christ said, They that do my will shall know of my Doctrine: How then can the Papists infer from hence, that the Scriptures are imperfect in the more Fundamental points of Faith and Worship? Is it a Divine, Authoritative, Infallible, and Imperfect Scripture too? Can it be the Word of God, and yet wanting of sufficiency.

A Free General Council is a Monster in the Romish Church; How dare they talk such Language here in England, who know the Severity of the Jesuites and Popish Faction against it beyond the Seas? What meant those ill resentments against White and Serjeant of England, and Welsh of Ireland in Rome? If this Latitudinarian, or new kind of Popery had not disgusted: Nor can I take it for an instance of their return; but as the next best step to the exorbitancy of Popish infallibility.

What should a Council be call'd for? that Principles should be received or disowned; then must a General Council give Faith  p.8 and Understanding, or else men must be concluded to believe against their belief, by plurality of Votes; a thing ridiculous, with half-witted people. If Gods Grace, and the Scripture Record be not sufficient; Reason and Experience tell us, that Generall Councils are much more insufficient: Besides, this were to usher in all kind of impiety; for whatever Interest in the General Council (as that of Trent) concludes, as requisite to be received or done, that must indispensibly be obey'd; so that the moral or doctrinal Good or Evil of an Act, or Principle (in, and from a mans own judgment) shall not be oblieging; but he must be bound against his own Sense, Reason and Faith.

The Sense of Antiquity and their own Authors.

Their pretence of using Tradition, for a necessary Supply to the Defects of the Scripture, is a meer juggle: since they only evade the clearness of the one, to shrowd their defective Doctrines under the abus'd Antiquity of the other. For it is well known, that by their Expurgatory Indices, they have endeavor'd to purge the works of the first Fathers of such matters as might make to the overthrow of their superstitious Doctrines. This is evident out of Junius, in the case of Bertram, elder then Thophilect, Oecumenius, &c. Bellarmine himself sticks not to allow it, but shifts it off to an Arrian.

This may be farther seen, in the Collection Binius made of the Fathers, pag. 28. 2 Edict. An. 1611. In short, whose Sentences are put out, and whole Sentences put in: much might be said of this, but in my other Discourse I shall enlarge.

And what they mean by a Free General Council we may read in the Council of Trent, whose Symony and Cheat out-do all Presedents: Besides, these men little dream of one Turrecrementa, that in so many words tells us, the Pope is the Foundation, Rule and Principle of Faith (which is Gods Gift) for to him it belongs, says that Doctor, to be the Measure, Rule, and Science of things that are to be believed, and of things which are necessary  p.9 to be believed unto Life Eternal, Turrecrem, Lib. 2. cap. 107. this is the Sting. Consider the Popes Interest, and what that is, such will be his Impositions: horrible Slavery, and most unpardonable Idolatry! For as he can make a new Creed or Symbal (sic) of Faith, so he can multiply new Articles, one upon another, says Aug. Triumphus extravag. de Urb: Qu. 59 Art. 2. Salmeron Prolog. in Com. in Epist. ad Rom. part 3. pag. 176.

2. Of the B. Trinity, of Prayer to Saints and Angels.

PApist, We humbly believe the sacred Mystery of the blessed Trinity, one Eternal Almighty and incomprehensible God, whom only we Adore and Worship, as alone having soveraign Dominion over all things, to whom only we acknowledge, as due from Men and Angels, all Glory, and Service, and Obedience, abhorring from our hearts (as a most detestable Sacriledge) to give our Creators Honour to any Creature whatsoever.

Answ. These fine words look newly stampt out of the Jesuits Mint: were they as plain, as they are filled with Equivocation, the Romanist would deceive us all in our Opinion of him, concerning the Point in controversie, Observe his Cunning.

His words of the Trinity are modest, neither highly Athenasian, nor yet Socinian, as some Phrase it, but calculated to both Meridians: Yet, how men can own God, and deny the express Rules of his Spirit, as most precisely mention'd in the Scriptures of Truth, is to me a Paradox. But how much the Progenitors of the Romanists have been injurious to the Christian Faith, by their multiplied obscure Phrases about the Trinity, is not unknown to some.

He thinks to clear himself of Imagery, but plainly ketches himself in his own Reservations: What Honour does he give to God?  p.10  18 God? That which is due to him, as having soveraign Dominion over all things: he does not say that none is due to Saints or Angels. They abhor to give their Creator's Honour to any Creature; but do they deny to give any divine Honour to Images, or the Representations of Saints and Angels: Of this they are Silent, but we know they do.

Pap. And therefore we solemnly protest, that by the Prayers we address to Angels and Saints, we intend no other then humbly to sollicite their assistance before the Throne of Grace: not that we hope any thing from them as original Authors, but from God through Jesus Christ our only Mediator and Redeemer.

Answ. 'Twere endless to bring the Contradictions of their own Authors, to the sence these words seem to import, and yet they are so laid as to admit of various Constructions; an Art they are greatly Masters of.

First, What ground have they to believe that such Sollicitations have such effects; the Scriptures are silent in the Case; nor was it the Practise of several Ages after that of the Apostles; so that it is neither warrantable by the Scripture, nor the most unspotted Tradition.

Nor do we say that the Papists ever held those Images to have any vertue simply from within themselves, but that God was the original Author: Yet their own words imply, they may be mediate Author of benefit to us.

And what is it but to contradict themselves, to say, they own but one Mediator Christ Jesus? And yet to allow a Mediating Power to Saints and Angels, at the Throne of Grace. If People will be Phras'd out of their Religion, they may; but such deserve to be Papists who have so mean an Opinion of their own Understandings, as to embrace these crossing Confessions for sincere Articles of Faith.

The Sense of Antiquity

Images of old were not admitted to be in Churches (so called) Simon Magus being their most notorious Founder, and by whose  p.10 19 Example they were first reverenced. The Gnosticks, and Carpocrations, are charg'd with this Popish Veneration, as Hereticks in Theodoret lib. 1. August. Hæret. Fabul __ Iræneus de Haref. lib. 1. cap. 23. It is forbidden to us to use that deceitful Art (said Clement Alexandrius more then 1300. Years ago) lib. 6. Strom. The Pictures of what was Worshipped were prohibited to be painted on the Walls, or that there should be any Images (in Churches so called) Thus in the Council of Eliberis, “Placuit Picturas in Ecclesia esse, non debere, ne quod collitur, aut adoratur in parietibus depingatur,” Con. 36. So August. de Morib. Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 24.

3. III. Of Justification, of Merits.

Pap. We firmly believe that no force of Nature, nor dignity of our best Works, can merit Justification; but we are justifi'd freely by Grace through the Redemption that is Christ Jesus.

Answ. The Roman Catholick is so far from firmly believing what he says, that upon his own avow'd Principles he believes nothing less firmly. Can any sober Person think, that to be justified for the sake of Works is to be justified by Grace? If so, Contradictions are most Reconcilable, Darkness may not unaptly be tearm'd Light: this is the very Case that Paul of old strenuously argu'd against the Meritorians of his time, If of Grace then not of Works; if of Works, then not of Grace.

It is to mock the World to say, That Romanists expect to be justified by Grace, who have for Ages impleaded that Doctrine, as Dangerous and Heritical: Bellarmine in his Discourse of this Point is most plain, and more modern Authors follow his steps; But they say.

Pap. All other Merits (according tour sense of that word) signifies no more then Actions done by the assistance of God's Grace, to which he has promised a Reward —— thus we believe the Merit or Rewardableness  p.11 12 of holy living (both which signifie the same with us) arises not from the self value even of our best actions, as they are ours, but from the Grace and Bounty of God.

Answ. Methinks these men are run to a narrow straight, who venture to reconcile Merits and Grace: They cannot wholly be divorced from Merits, and yet would they fain espouse Grace; & by seeking to wed both, they do not a little manifest their own palliated Designs: for either they must confess themselves, and all their Ancestors most ignorant Persons, that they could never find any distinction betwixt Merit and Grace before; or else they would retain the force of their Meritorious Opinion, under their more general Concession of Gods Grace; a way of evading, they are not a little skilled at.

Nor is there less difference betwixt Merit and Rewardableness, as they phrase it, then betwixt the Middle and the End: Grace and Merit, as stated by Calvinists and Papists, are taken, For Faith without Works, and Works without Faith, like the two Poles; Doctrines the most opposit; now Rewardableness is neither, but something in the middle, and indeed the most true; for, Grace is a free Gift, requiring nothing: Merit, is a Work proportioned to the wages: Rewardableness is a Work without which God will not bestow his favour, and yet not the meritorious cause; for that there is no proportion betwixt the Work that is finite and temporary, and the Reward which is infinite and eternal; in which sense both the Creature obeys the Commands of God, and does not merit, but obtain only; and God rewards the Creature, and yet so as that he gives too. But the Papists are very far from this medium, and their shuffling this Doctrine of Merit, betwixt Grace and Rewardableness, only shews how unwilling they are to venture it in the plain Field, and not that any thing of resemblance is betwixt it and them, they being of three distinct Natures and Significations.

Besides, 'tis wretched to think by what wayes the abused Romanists fancy to merit Justification; not by keeping the moral Law, as we shall shew anon; not by fulfilling the evangelical Precepts, but by their vain Repetitions of their Ave-Marias, Beads, Fasts, Feates, Holy-dayes, Adoration of Images, Frequenting of Masses, Praying  p.12  13 to the Dead; Invoking the Virgin Mary, for her Intercession; Signing themselves with the Cross; abstaining from Flesh; and Priests from Marriage; by perpetrating some notorious Fact, for the good of their Church, whether by killing a Prince or blowing up a State. These, and the like practices (strange and exotick to the Primative and Christian Faith and Worship) are the grand motives of Justification, and sometimes they have gone so high, as to deserve a canonizing at Rome it self. Thus briefly have I given an account of their Merits and Justification.

4. Of the H. Eucharist.

PAP. In the holy Eucharist, or most Venerable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord; we acknowledge that there are, as in all other Sacraments, Two things: the Visible Sign, which is the Forms of Bread and Wine, to which no Catholique may or doth direct his Worship; there is also Invisible Grace signified, the Body of our Lord, whom being present we worship with all possible Reverence, for so great a Blessing warranted herein by our blessed Lord himself in two of the Gospels.

Answ. Above all other Instances, this is the most pregnant, for defence of our Assertion; namely, That either these men have relinquished their old Doctrine, or else they go about to put the Trick upon us: We hear no word at all of Transubstantiation herein, the most sacred of their mysterious Absurdities; but what we are at great pains to observe and collect, perhaps they are ashamed of it, and willing it should pass under some more general Phrase, and less offensive: How ever by that Expression of the Body of our Lord, whom being present we Adore; we guess their meaning, but how incohærent with their own words, as well as Reason, may easily appear. First, They acknowledge that it is a Sacrament, or Sign. If so, it is impossible that it should be at the same time, both the Sign, and the thing signified; for if the very Body of Christ be present,  p.13  22 corporally, (as they use to assert) it cannot be Sacramentally so, but Really and Corporally there; which is destructive of the nature of a Sacrament, which is but the Representative, or Image of something Mystical, thereby resembled and signified.

Secondly, If this Doctrine were true, their Lord would be made by their Priest; for till he says the words, there is no real Presence; and so the Creature (and sometimes a sad one too) makes his Creator, which is nothing short of wretched Blasphemy.

Thirdly, The Lord, they Adore, and Reverence, they Eat; and he that made Heaven and Earth, is comprehended of the Creature.

Fourthly, I know but of one Gospel, perhaps they know of two, because they seem to own Principles so contrary to the true one, but let that be accurst. If they would have us understand by their Expression, two of the Evangelists, then tis not unlikely but we may ken their meaning, and what they referr to, must be Christs benediction of the Bread and Wine, and the giving them both to his Disciples, saying, Take, this is my Body; and take, this is my Blood. But what then? Can any think that Christ gave his Body with his Body? That it was the Giver and the Gift? That it was the body Blessing, and the body Blest? Did the same Body hold the same Body in its own fingers? And was it eaten by the Disciples, and yet without them? And was it no bigger then a small piece of bread, and yet of the proportion of a Man? And was it insesible, and broken with their Mouths, and yet whole and sensible out of them; and all at the same instant of time.

Lastly, Could every one of the Twelve eat, the very whole body, and yet be that very body which was visible with them? and all this while one and the same Body? But methinks I hear Ecchoing from some Popish Zealot no small Anathema, for offering to affront so sacred a Mystery, with so many carnal Cavils, and vain Interrogatories.

To whom I shall answer, once for all, in this point; that I stand amazed, how any man of sence can be a Papist, when the only demonstration of his Religion, must be his not understanding it. Many  p.14  23 fond Absurdities unmentioned (for brevity) might have been observed: For, Reason never triumphed more over any Opinion, then this senseless one of Transubstantiation; which may be one very good Argument why so much Persecution has ever attended the disbelief of it.

The Sence of Antiquity, and their own Authors.

Antiquity knows it not; For eight hundred years after Christ it was never heard of, and when started, with great disgusts entertained.

The Council of Lateran, was the first that undertook to impose it; and the Decrees, as to this point, were wholly abortive; for they are not to be found, as concilliary; this was above twelve hundred years after Christ.

Tertullian against Marcion lib. 4. cap. 40. Just. Mart. against Triphon the Jew Greg. Nazianz. Orat. 2. in Pass. And Pope Gelasius himself, renounced and disclaimed it, attributing only to it, the nature of a bare figure, as retaining the substance and nature of Bread and Wine, And many of their Doctors, Scotus, Bellar. Biel, &c. assure us of its novelty.

But how far are such from the spirituality of the Mystery & Knowledge of the true Heavenly Bread and Wine that descend from above (the Anti-Type) who ignorantly affirm the certainty of such a Transubstantiation, as render that very visible Elementary Bread and Wine at the same time, the very invisible, spiritual, and glorified Body of Christ? by which they make him a Glorified, Crucified, Visible, Invisible, Spiritual, Elementary Christ, all at the same time: But more of this in my larger Tract.

 p.15 16

5. Of Communion in one Kind

PAP. We humbly confess, that from the beginning of Christianity the holy Communion was administered frequently in both, and sometimes in each Kind, according to several Circumstances.

Answ. We may know him to be a Papist by his frequent Confessions; and methinks it should not only prevent People of being seduced by them, but reduce those of their own way, to an utter abhorrence of so much allowed Apostacy.

How many times has he confessed this, that, and the other thing, not to be of Primitive Practice and Institution. If the antient Christians did Commune in both kinds, upon what better reasons or motives, was it so severely prohibited by Romanists? Is the Blood of less vertue then the Body? Even that which the Scripture frequently commemorates, after this manner, the Blood of cleansing, and saved by Faith in his Blood. But they proceed further, and say.

Pap. Hence the holy Church following the Piety of Christians, who insensibly became accustomed to receive it almost universally in one Kind, upon great Motives did afterwards ordain to have it in one, as now administered, though the receiving of it so is not matter of Faith.

Answ. Three things, are very observable from this part of their Confession.

1. That because it was sometimes received in one Kind, according to Circumstances, it insensibly became received by holy Church, but in one Kind: More Nonsence and Falshood, could not well be in so many words. (Nonsence) For what consequence can the latter words be to the former; if in each kind, then not any one more then the other, or why not Blood, and not Bread, as well as Bread, and  p.16  17 not Blood: But among the Papists, the People only pertake of the Wafer, (Falshood) for they neither have, nor can they give one Instance of that slippery or heedless way of receiving it, as in each kind; but when ever it was taken, for Three Hundred Years together, it was in both kinds.

And what were those Circumstances, that we can hear of none of them? Horrible Cheats and Idle Imposters! To delude the Unlearned and Unstable: Nor is it less Impudence for them to say, That the Church received it in but one Kind upon any such score: the Conclusion can never be right, where the Premisses are false.

2d That upon great Motives, it was afterwards ordained to be received but in one kind, which great Motives they keep to themselves; either they must think us such Fools as to credit them, hand over head, and so needed not to mention them, or else, they doubting their great Motives, to be down-right Disswasives with all sober and intelligent People, chose rather to be silent, then more particular.

3d That the so reverencing of it is no matter of Faith, which is so notorious an Untruth, as their own Annals expresly tell us, that Boniface the 8th, and John 22th (if I mistake not; for I was, when I met the Pamphet (sic), destitute of such Books) highly contradicted one another, One threatning the Priests to turn them out, if they did not administer it in both Kinds; and the Other, to Excommunicate them, if not Burn them, in case they did; which as it shews the Eagerness of the Popes, so there is a choice piece of Infallabillity to be observed: Two infallable Popes accusing each other of gross Fallabillity.

Pap. Neither do we believe, religious Communicants are hereby bereaved of any benefit in obeying the Church's Order, since our Belief instructs us, that our blessed Lord is equally present in one kind, as in both.

Answ. To say that religious Communicants are not bereaved of any benefit by receiving it in one kind, would imply, that of irreligious Communicants, the Receivers of both Kinds, have the advantage; is so, methinks it is natural to believe, that  p.17  18 religious Communicants, in both Kinds, have the most benefit: But what Church is it that gives those Orders? A free general Council of Christians, where men may speak without being in danger of their lives? No, but a Cabal of Persons, pickt, with a Probatum est stampt upon them, out of the Popes Closset, or conclave of Cardinals, before they be admitted into the Assembly of Judges; as most of the Council of Trent notoriously were (often cited by the Author of this Pamphlet) so that in plain terms, the Church is what the Pope and his Cardinals will have it; to whose Interest most Councils have sacrificed their Priviledges, and thereby brought universal Bondage upon whole Kingdoms, and States.

That belief whish instructs them, that Christ is equally present, and therefore no need of receiving in both kinds, must needs be built upon the Sandy Foundation of Papal Tradition; not that of Scripture, Reason, or Antiquity; for if that very specifical and numerical Vertue, which is in the Bread, be in the Wine, then Christ is implicitly charg'd by the Romanists, of an innecessary matter: But if there be some Vertue signified by the Wine, more then by the Bread, it is horrid sacriledge to rob the Sign, much more the thing signified: It is a Supper, and at Supper there should be to Drink, as well as to Eat. There can be no Body without Blood, and the drinking of his Blood, shews a shedding of his Blood for the World, and a participation of it.

Besides, the Sign is incompleat, and the end of that Sacrament or Sign not fully answered, but plainly maimed, and what God hath put together, they have put asunder; so that the falsness and Unscriptural Practice of these men; are very manifest.

The Sense of Antiquity, and their own Authors.

Of their dismembring the Sign or Rigure, their own Council of Constance is very plain, That whereas some presume to affirm, that Christian People ought to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist, under both kinds, of Bread and Wine &c.  p.18  19 (Hence the Council decrees against this Error) And that though Christ did so administer it, and although in the primitive Church it was so received (Confessions very large of the Author, and Example) we command under Excommunication, that no Priest communicate to the People under both kings of Bread and Wine, C. C. Sess. 13. So says Aquin. Com. In 6 John Lect. 7.

And said Pope Gelasius, Let them receive in both kinds, or neither: Thus Popes against Councils, and Doctor against Doctor; yet will be foolish Romanists (to say no more) vaunt of the unity and infallibility of both.

6. Of the Sacrifice of the Altar.

PAP. The holy Sacrifice, indeed of the Altar, we clearly believe ought to be celebrated in both kinds; as now it is, according to the divine institution, as being done in commemoration of the Lords blessed Passion on the Cross, wherein the Body and Blood were separated.

Answ. Whether it be fair for the Papists, to Sacrifice at the Altar in both kinds, and refer to Christ words Luke 21.9. as a divine institution, and yet deny both kinds to the people, as no matter of Faith, or eminent regard; Let the Sober judge. Is the Passage of divine Institution for the Sacrifice, and not for the Sacrament? But it plainly manifests the exorbitant power they ascribe to their Church above the Scriptures, since with them an Order of hers, may, and out to break, what themselves call a divine Institution.

Pap. Whatsoever therefore propitiatory power, our holy Religion attributes to this commemorative sacrifice; it is by vertue of the Sacrifice of the Cross, as being by this applied to us: So that we still humbly acknowledge the Ground of our Salvation to be derived from our Lords blessed Passion.


 20 Answ. Their Affront to God, and Juggle with men, in this very matter, are most detestable; for notwithstanding the Scriptures expressly tell us, that we have an High Priest, that needs not Sacrifice once a Year, but who hath offered one Sacrifice; and that by the Will of God, we are Sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all; and that by ONE Offering he perfected them that are Sanctified, Heb. 10, 10, 11, 14. Yet do they daily sacrifice him afresh, as if his first were insufficient, or their daily Sins required a new one. But what man endued with the least share of common Sense, can be so stupid, as to imagine, that Christ is sacrificed by every Popish Priest, when he offers up a Blood-less Flesh-less Wafer. What greater Irreverence can be shown to the bitter Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, making such a May-game of his most dreadful Agony and cruel Death, as the Jews did with a crucified Child.

This is so much worse, they the Aronical Priest-hood, as that was before Christ, and so tipical of his coming, and of divine Authority. And this after his coming, whose own words and Apostles (whom these Men pretend to Saint, and own) bear Record, That ONCE for all, and by that ONE Offering of Himself, &c. And consequently void of all Commission, as well as Presedent.

The Cheat they put upon men is plainly this, That whilst with fine words they seem originally to ground their Salvation upon Christs Sacrifice of the Cross, they craftily attribute to their daily Sacrifices of him, no small share of Merit, as so many mediate and Secondary Causes, which must needs be obvious to every unbyast Reader. Their curious Epithites seem only to serve the place of so many Covers, for the malignity of their Sophistical Doctrines.

 p.20 21

7. Of Prayer in Latine.

PAP. We freely acknowledge that it is no wayes commanded by the Church, that the people should pray in a Language they understand not.

Answ. I perceive the Man is still upon his free acknowledgements; certainly if what he so often confesses not to have been the practice of the Primitive Church, and to be unwarrantable from her Example, were but abstracted, there would remain a very abrupt and narrow Faith for the Romanists to explain.

But he is too equivocal upon the word Church: If by it he would have us understand, the ancient Christian Church; it is true, that no Prayers were made in an unknown Tongue; for the Scriptures, of Divine Authority with her, expressly condemn it, as irregular, and unprofitable.

Let such keep silent said the Apostle Paul, I Cor. 14. 28. and Peter never contradicted him. But if by the Church, he understands the Roman, he is either careless of his own reputation (that whilst he makes the moral Law, the ninth head of his Confession, commits so great an error against it, as to obtrude a Lye) or else he trusts to our ignorance of her present practice; for that she is guilty in this particular, and the point defended too, I recommend the Reader to the following Authorities.

Pap. Nay, there is given them all possible incouragements, to encrease their Devotions, by ordaining and publishing most excellent Prayers, in vulgar Languages for their use. There is an express Command of our holy Mother the Church, in the Council of Trent, that Pastors in the time of Divine Service, should expound to the Peoples capacities, &c.

Answ. I shall return my Answer, in these four particulars.  p.21  22 First, that all possible encouragement is not given where more may: but that more may, view Spain, France, and Italy, where Prayers are in Latine, unknown to many millions of Souls; and let us remark it, for a more infallible Truth, than any the Popes Chair can afford us, That the great Depth of the Policy and Security of that Religion, lies in the ignorance and stupidity of the people.

2dly No thanks to the Romanists, that the people have any where so much priviledge, as at any time to understand what they say: For this is only owing to the Light of Reformation; for that having given a discovery of the gross darkness of Popish Practices, they were necessitated to move somewhat from their ancient Customs, which is no better then a lame excuse, made by a Thief caught in the Fact. Had their been no Luthers in Germany, nor Zwingleuffes in Switzerland, we could not expect, nor ever believe, that the Council of Trent would have allowed of that Liberty; when to cloud the people, and to lock up their understandings in the Popes Arcanum, is the Dianian project of his Conclave.

3dly Its worth our Observation, that those very Books of Devotion are never doctrinal; I mean explanatory of their Principles (those they hide) but filled with elegant Phrases, and rare Cuts of Imagry, suited to the affectionate Passions, and voluntary Humilities, of a sort of people, whose Judgment goes alwayes in the rear of their affections, and that make their Religion of Shews and Complements.

4ly But I deny that they have the Nature of Prayer in them, and therefore the People are almost as much to seek in their own Language, as a strange one. Prayer is the Gift of God; no man can be said to pray, who has not 1st A deep sence of his own Wants: 2d Of the Reasonableness of the Thing prayed for: 3d Enough of Faith to obtain: 4th A due Reverence of that God, to whom he makes his supplication; For the Prayers of the Wicked are an Abomination to the Lord, says the Divine Writ (or are no Prayers at all in a religious sence) But if these Books of Devotion were Prayers, then might the Wicked as well pray as the Righteous; for the Prayer is equally exposed to the use of both. 'Tis not words make the Prayer; wherefore said the Apostle, I will pray with the Spirit (there is the most essential part of Prayer, but  p.22  23 this he might do to none but himself;) and I will pray with Understanding also (by this he meant not in an unknown Tongue). It was the Subject of his Discourse in his fourteenth chapter in his first Epistle to the Corrinthians, But the Church of Rome has otherwise learnt, then had that good Apostle.

In short, We need the less wonder, at the unparrell'd villany, which reigns throughout the Papacy, when we consider how Cardinal a Practice it is, for the People not to understand how to be better: Their late Proselites forgot, or else never heard, how criminal it was to have an English Testament about One Hundred and Fifty Years since. But rather then not, the Papists will turn Half-Protestants, to fetch back Protestants to be whole Papists again. But such might deserve to be beg'd, had they but as much of Religion, as sometimes Fools use to have of Estate. What shall I say? They are fit to believe any thing, whose Debaucheries have hardened them against any belief: when Sin has banisht all Fear of God, Interest steps in its place; and that Religion, which most promotes it, must with such be the best, wherein the Papist, has only the advantage of all others upon Earth.

The Report of Antiquity, and their own Practice.

However in Protestant Countries, they are willing to bring their devotion into vulgar Languages; yet that its matter of necessity, and not of choice, view Italy, France, Spain &c. where they retain their Latine Service, as beneficial to the people, which is a Language that generally they understand not.

Origen was against it, lib. 8. cont. Cels. so Chrisost. Hom. I. in 8. Johan. August. de doct. Christi cap. 5. Ambross upon I Cor. 14. Thus also their own Doctors; Aquin. in I Cor 14. Cassander Liturg. cap. 18. so that they err from Scripture, Fathers, and their own Doctors.

 p.23 24

8. Of Prayer for the Dead.

PAP. Our Faith teaches us to Exercise Christian Charity, by humbling our selves before the divine Throne of Gods Mercy, to beg Forgiveness of the Debts and Trespasses of those middle sort of Christians (as Austine, and the Council of Florence call them) who had not brought forth sufficient Fruits of Repentance, dying in the Communion of the Faithful; which indigent condition of theirs, relievable by the Churches, or the Prayers of the Faithful surviving, speaks what the Ancient call Purgatory.

Answ. How much the Romish Faith, teacheth the holders of it, to exercise Christian Charity, the Martyrologies of these thousand years may testifie. But they would have you know, they don't intend such Persons as were active in those bloody Massacres: for the single merit of their horrid murders is superarogatory, or more then sufficient to deliver them from the fiery Furnace of a clensing Purgatory: they took a shorter cut to Heaven; for instead of travelling the main Continent, They (blown with the fresh gale of their own cruelty) sayld through the main Sea of Protestant-Blood.

But what Authorities have these men for their Assertion? First, St Austin; and secondly, The Council of Florence. To these I will speak in the close of this Head. Are these all? No, for says he,

Pap. (We are) Warranted herein, by the practice under the Law, recorded in the Maccabees, Which being in no sort reprehended by our Lord, or his Apostles, amongst the rest of the Jews unlawful practices, was and is justly presumed to have been allowed by him, as many of the Fathers understood him in the Mount, and by them, as is hinted by St. Paul; whereupon it hath been continued ever since, as even Grave-Stones, and all other Christian Monuments do witness.


 25 Answ. I must confess I do not wonder that so little reason should induce a Romanist to believe, then which, nothing scares him more. But I cannot otherwise then admire, that any Protestant should make such poor Instances a ground of his return to Popery.

1st, His Story of the Maccabees is not cited, nor does he very plainly refer us.

2d, He knows the Protestants deny it the credit due to other Scriptures, and the Papists cannot but be conscious to themselves of insufficiency to prove its Canon.

3d, 'Tis preposterously silly to say, that because Christ did not particularly condemn the practice of praying for the Dead, (suggested to have been used by the Maccabees) therefore it was a laudable Custom; since I may with equal reason argue, that because Christ never mentioned the Maccabees, nor did particularly own the Canon of their Writings, Therefore there was no such people, and their Writings (if any) of no Authority.

4th, The Fathers sense (if theirs) of these Scirptures, Matt. 5. 29. I Cor 15. 29. must needs be Non-sence in the abstract, with all but Papists, who notoriously deny themselves the use of Sense; although I am of Opinion, the Fathers are much abused by the Author of this Confession, or else we should have had their Names in Capitals; however, we will compare these Passages with this Opinion.

First, If thy Right-Eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for its profitable for thee, that one of they Members should perish, and not that thy whole Body should be Cast into Hell Fire, Matt. 5. 29.

Ergo what? that there is a Purgatory after this Life (says the Romanist) O! Stupendious Folly & Weakness: Is there any thing plainer, then that Christ preacht a present practical Doctrine? as that which stood every man upon in this World, viz. The denial of his Lasts, and circumcision of his Corruptions. In short, Since Christ was in the World, when he spake it, since it was to people in the World, and a work then to be set about; it is most evident the  p.25  26 passage has no relation to a state after this life ( I mean for purgation) Nay, the strongest Argument that is well conceivable for the Contrary, may easily be deduced from hence. For if such as pluck not out their eyes here, (that is, purge not themselves of their iniquities, by unfeigned repentance) shall be cast into Hell Fire, then there is no middle state called Purgatory; but that such persons as pluck not out their right eyes (that is) mortifie not their members of corruption here are to be cast into Hell Fire.

The Text proves; therefore there is no middle state; the contrary of Heaven may be affirmed, for Contrariorum eadem est ratio.

2d, Else, what shall they do that are baptized for the Dead? if the Dead rise not at all; why are they then baptized for the Dead? I Cor. 15. 29.

This Scripture is as much to his purpose as the former; and were I not used so frequently to meet with the like incoherences, 'twould amaze me to read such disjoynted matter, and unnatural consequences; Things in their own nature so remote and opposite: what relation has the Resurrection, to the Souls entering Purgatory, or that Popish middle state? Why are they that are baptized? And who those for whom they were baptized? And how have either any relation to Prayers for the dead men and Souls in Purgatory? But the Romanist thinks however, that God is not offended at this charitable Practice: hear what he says.

Pap. Neither can we discern, how possibly this may be conceived offensive to God; whose Justice herein we hope, and do humbly appease, by an exercise of brotherly compassion.

Answ. It is no wonder at all that blind men do not see, and such as Error has hood winkt for Generations, we can't think should discern Truth, till they dare trust their Eyes, Ears and Understandings, to answer the end for which God gave them.

There can be nothing conceived more offensive to God, as well as unreasonable with men; then that a mortal Creature (indebted himself, more then ever he can discharge) should be able to appease, the displeased Justice of an infinite God. The arrogancy of this saying, only fits the size and measure of a meritorious Papist.  p.26  27 But the man fearing this retort, would anticipate its force by an half confession, and solution thus.

Pap. There is no Law of God which assures us in rigour of Justice of Gods Acceptance of the Acts of another man for my sins; yet this hinders not but that they may prevail by way of sufferage and impetration for our pardon.

Answ. If he could have given but one place of Scripture, it would have helpt the matter: But we take leave to say, we will not be wise (in this case) above what is written, and quod non lego, non credo. I shall return this short answer to this evasion. It is a poor shift from the force of the Objection; for not only in the strictest, but largest sence too, God only, out of his free Gift and Mercy in Christ Jesus is Author of our Remission, and Forgiveness. Since there can scarcely be a more absurd position, then that a man unable to relieve himself, should be the occasion of relief to others, in the same condition, whether by appeasing Divine Justice, or by sufferage only; (a word incongruous, and inapplicable in this place.)

Besides, what need is there for praying for Souls in Purgatory? that they should be saved; that is held for granted before they go thither. Is it, they should be delivered thence? that is the consequence of the Opinion. Or would they, that God should forbear his hand, and mitigate his rigour? which seems the most natural consequence of their opinion.

If so, they are their greatest Enemies; for their holding that the end of the Chastizements of Purgatory is to prepare them for Heaven; by how much the less they are chastized by those fiery Afflictions, by so much the less they are purged, and consequently the more unfit for Heaven. So that since Heaven is soonest attainable, as their Souls came to be the soonest, and most effectually purg'd, they in charity ought to pray, that God would men his Fire, add Fuel to his Flames, and double his fiery Tortures, that they may be the sooner purg'd and more refined for Heaven.

Thus whilst the Romanists are arguing for Purgatory, they confute themselves by not understanding it.

 p.27 28

I shall conclude my sence of this Point, with the Authority of Scripture, Reason, and Antiquity.

First, Then shall the Dust return to the Earth, as it was, and the Spirit unto God who gave it, Eccles. 12.7. Gen. 3. 9. (then not to Purgatory.)

Secondly, For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the Grave, whither thou goest, Eccles. 9. 10. (then none in Purgatory.)

Fourthly, And they stoned Stephen, Calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Acts 7. 59. (no Purgatory still, but a certain immutable state.)

That it is against all Reason, I offer these Considerations.

1st, No man can merit for another; nor is it possible a poor indebted man, should pay anothers Debt (it may be greater then his own) and not be able to pay his own.

2d, The Repentance ought to be, where the sin is; but the sin is here, therefore should the repentance be here also.

3d, Where there is a cessation from sinning, there is a cessation from repentance; but there is a cessation from sinning, therefore is there a cessation from repentance.

4th, What ever attends the Soul after separation from this mortal life, is Immortal and Eternal; this none can deny; but Purgatory is a state that attends the Soul after mortal life, and therefore say I, it is an Immortal and Eternal state. And if it be, it is either for something, or nothing; if for nothing, God makes things in vain: If for the Souls of men and women; then they are never to be ransomed thence. But since the Romanist holds a redemption from thence, their confession of the temporariness of that State, proves it a meer fiction; for when the Soul is withdrawn from this visible mortal life, which stands in time, it is centred in an invisible and immortal state, beyond the wings and reach of time.

In short, this World is the Stage, on which all men do act for Eternity; and every venture of theirs, brings its true weight of eternal life or death. Death is the consummation of all, and when  p.28  29 we cease to work, we enter upon reward. But is Purgatory were in being; the greatest work were to be done there; which, because it is absurd to affirm, we conclude that after Death we cease from all our labours, and enter upon our Recompence of everlasting Happiness or Misery.

I shall subjoyn some Authorities from Antiquity.

The Sense of Antiquity, and their own Authors.

This Doctrine of praying for the Dead, we know was too old a practice, yet not so old as the Apostle. But how? as for Souls in a third place (for that these Romanists mean by their Purgatory, however modest they seem by their half expressions) nothing less! however the Superstition of the Papists, has driven them into so foul and apprehension. But the Ancients believing there would be a general Day of Judgment, prayed that God would shew Such Mercy in that Day. Gregory the first is said to be its Father: certain we are, that Superstition was both its Mother, and its Nurse: for that this fond Purgatorian opinion is altogether new, read both their own Authors, and the Fathers. Polyd. cap. 1. D. Inven. rerum. Alphons. a Castro lib. 8. verb. indul. lib. 12. lil. Purgat. so Sextus Sensis, Medina, Cassander, and Bellarmine himself.

That the Fathers disown'd it, in the sense asserted by the Romanists; and particularly their great Saint August. Let them peruse these places, Just. Martyr, Resp. ad quest. 75. Cyprian ad Demetrian. Sect. 16, 22. and in Serm. de lapsis. Greg. Nazian. Orat. 15. in plag. grandinis. August. Enchyrid. cap. 68, 69. Again de Dogmat. Eccles. 6. cap. 79. But above all, that the Romans should pray for those, to whom they pray to intercede for them, is most absurd; yet this is frequent. But for this time enough.

 p.29 30

9. Of the Moral Law, of Obedience to Civil Magistrates.

Pap. We further do firmly believe, and highly Reverence the moral Law, being so solemnly delivered to Moses upon the Mount, so expresly confirm'd by our Saviour, in the Gospel, and containing in it self so perfect an Abridgment of our whole Duty both to God and Man.

Answ. We may take his Belief to be as hearty, as his Confessions are sincere; I know not what to say more truly, then that his whole Discourse is an Irony; we are to measure it by contraries, especially when the Fruits give the Tree the Lye.

How far the Roman-Catholicks reverence the moral Law, is best seen by considering, how many Laws they have made to destroy it.

1st, That of Images. For though God did espresly injoyn Moses, That the Israelites should not make to themselves, the likeness of anything in Heaven or in Earth (whence the primitive Christians abhorred painture) or when they had so done, that they should not bow down unto it: yet, how many Edicts are there in being, that require them to be set up in their Churches, as Laymens Calenders, to whom daily homage is performed; they are the Splendid Ensigns of Popish-Pageantry-Religion.

2d, In not only dispensing with disobedience in Children, but in exciting them to it, if they apprehend some service to their Church, be it to make a Fryer, &c.

3d, In those frequent Bulls for Massacres, that can no more be denied, then light at Noon-day, by which People have been stirred up, upon the promise of forgiveness of sins; redemption from Purgatory; and eternal Salvation; or dreadfull denounciation of eternal Damnation, to enterprize that work of murdering many hundred thousands of men, women; and Children, without any legal Presentment, Tryal or Conviction.  p.30  31 But the consideration of these things, is too much out of fashion in England; since many embrace them upon their present disguises, and not in their true sanguinary appearances.

4th, The breach of the moral Law is signally manifest in their dispensations of publick Stews, especially at Rome; where the Popes Revenue is not a little greatned by the ungodly Licenses. And it is too fatally known that by such immoral Courses, they have crept into the most Cabinet Counsels of Princes; and not only rendred themselves Masters of their secrets, but insinuated their projects by the force of effeminate temptations; which, if deny'd, might easily be prov'd in the case of Hen. the fourth of France, and others.

5th, That Religion hath proved the greatest Thief in nature: Its Popes, Cardinals, Arch-bishops, Bishops, Deans, Chapters, and whole Orders of Fryars, have near engrossed the greatest share of the Wealth of Europe, I mean of those Countries, where yet they are Regent. Before Constantine, how mean and meek were Christian Ministers? but in his time, and a few Ages after, to what a strange degree of exorbitant Pride and Avarice did the Clergy mount, when it could dare entitle Peters-Chair to the whole World; Kingdoms and Empires must be given and taken with a WE WILL, OR WE GRANT &c.

View those Countries, and the universal poverty of them impute to those Swarmes of Locusts and Caterpillars, who both corrupt and beggar them: This is a Theft, though less sharking, yet more Criminal.

6ly They notoriously break the Moral Law, in that great Command, Thou shalt not bear False-witness against thy Neighbour; which comprehend; all Truth-speaking.

For as no witness is bound to answer further then by Interrogatories he is provok'd, so is it utterly impossible, that ever Truth should be told, or men sin in Lying (whilst one of the greatest Sins) if the Romish Maxims were but once practiced: Some of which I shall touch upon in the Sequel of this Chapter.

As to that part of their Confession, which may relate to their Keeping of Promise, and Paying Subjection to the civil Magistrates of what Religion soever, and much more to those under whom they live: I purposely over lookt because it is well known, that they  p.31  32 have been so far from yielding obedience to the Magistrates of any Religion, that they have not stuck to Assassinate those of their own, to whose Power they owed their Civil and Religious Protection. And truly, if such Double Cords of Duty cannot tie the hands of men from Murdering their Natural and Religious Princes (as Henry the 3d and 4th of France, both Kings of their Country, and therein of their Religion; because a little refractory to the sinister designs of an insolent Clergy man or two) I think it needless to give their plainer English of Obedience, who so excellently render in the Paraphrase of their life.

I speak not of this to incense the Powers against them; for it is my real belief, that neither are all of them such, nor would I take the Burden off my own Shoulder, to lay it on theirs (being a profest Abettor of an universal Tolleration). But this being matter of fact, as they cannot deny it, so should I gladly hear of their confession of these impieties; and that they disown the like practices, not by fine gloffes, but an Amendment of life, and Reformation of Doctrine; which would really entitle them to that verity, they do but hitherto fictitiously attribute to themselves.

The Sense and Opinion of their own Authors.

First, Vasquez teacheth, that not only an Image of God, but any Creature in the World, reasonable or unreasonable, may without danger be worshipped with God, as his Image. That we ought to adore the Reliques of Saints, though under the form of Worms, De Adorat. lib, 3. disp. I. cap. 2.

Secondly, They teach, That Children may disobey their Parents, in being Nuns or Fryers: And this Girls may do at twelve, and Boys at fourteen years of Age. But the Council of Trent enlarged the Parents Authority to sixteen. This wretched Doctrine was taught and decreed by Pope Clement the third, Th. Aquin. and after him his Schollers taught the same, cap. cum virum de regular. Aquin. 2.2. qu. 88. art. 9. lib. I. cap. 101. also in case the Parents were Hereticks.

 p.32 33

Thirdly, If a Noble-Man be set upon (says Cardinal Tollet) and may escape by going away, he is not obliged to do it; but may kill him that intends to strike him with a stick, Instruct. Sacerd. Lib. 5. Cap. 6. Num. 15.

Fourthly, If a man be beastly drunk, and then commits Fornication, it is no sin, Lib. 14. Cap. 13. N. 4. Also, That a man may lie with women, to satisfie his carnal desire, or for his health sake, Lib. 5. Cap. 10, 13. A man may bed with his intended wife; nay, it is good to do so if the Marriage be deferred, says Emmanuel Sa. Aphor. tit. debitum conjugale 6.

Fifthly, They instrust how to be an honest Thief. It is lawfull to deceive or rob a Brother, when to do so is necessary, to preserve a good name. For no man is bound to restore stolen goods, thus Navar. Cardinal Cajetan, and Tolet; who further add, That this is a Doctrine taught by many, and which may be followed with a safe Conscience, Tolet. Instruct. Sacred. Lib. 5. Cap. 2. Manual. Cap. 18. N. 7.

Sixthly, How just they may be to their Promises, how subject to the Supream Magistracy, and of how eminent service to humane Societies, may best appear out of these following Maxims.

If a man swear he will take A. C. to wife, he may secretly mean (if hereafter she pleases me) Instruct. Sacred. lib. 4. cap. 21, 22.

If a man swear he will give a Thief twenty Crowns, he may secretly say, (if I please to do it) and then he is not bound. Of this rare invention Vasquez vaunts not a little, as being gathered out of August. and Aquin. In. 3. Tom. 4. qu. 93. art. 5. dub. 13.

There are two distinct Tribunals (says Becanus) and the Ecclesiastical is the Superiour: And therefore, if a secular Prince gives his Subjects a safe conduct; he cannot extend it to the Superiour Tribunal, nor by any security given, hinder the Bishop, or the Pope to exercise their Jurisdiction, Theol. Schola. That this is so, let us call to mind, that the Pope, and other of his Ecclesiasticks, did prevail at Constance, for the Burning of their Prisoners, J. Huss, &c. to whom safe conduct was given.

In short, If a man have taken an Oath of a thing lawfull and honest, and in his power; yet, if he hinders him from doing a greater good, the Pope can dispense with it, thus Canus Bishop of the Canaries, relict. de poenitent.

 p.33 34

The Popes Denunciation against an Excommunicated Prince, dis-ingages his Subjects from their Obedience; this was once our Case, as in Henry the eighth's time, Concer. Eccl. in Angl. fol. 336.

Nay, even before the Sentence be denounced, though the Subjects are not bound to it, yet lawfully they may deny obedience to an heretical Prince, thus Greg. de Valentia. Tom. 3. Disp. I. Qu. 12. punct. 2.

To conclude, the ingenuity of Panormitan and Mosconius out-does all.

The first affirming, That the Pope hath power to dispence in all the Laws of God, Cap. proposui de concess. prebende, N. 20.

The second, with as much zeal asserting, That the Pope can dispense above Law, and against Law; for the Popes Tribunal and Gods is but one: And I therefore every reasonable Creature is subject to the Popes Empire; as may be seen in his Discourse of the Majesty of the Church Militant, et in lib. I. de summo Pontif.

10. Of Ecclesiastical Hierarchy.

PAP. We firmly believe, that according to Divine Ordination in the Catholick Church, there is a Hierarchy, consisting of Bishops, Priests, and Ministers. He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and other Evangelists, and other Pastors and Doctors, to the consummation of the Saints, unto the Work of the Ministry, unto the Edifying of the Body of Christ, until we all meet in the Unity of Faith, and the Knowledge of the Son of God &c.

Its a great truth, that Bishops, Pastors, Teachers &c. were given by Christ Jesus, for the work of the Ministry; but what then? Can Romanists make use of this to justifie their most injurious and tyrannical Hierarchy? Do the Scriptures of Truth tell us, that ever God gave lordly, proud, and voluptuous Popes, Cardinals, Primates, Arch-bishops, Deans, Chapters, Fryars, Nuns &c. for the  p.34  35 edifying of the Church, and Body of Christ? The primitive Bishops were to be blameless, not living in all manner of uncleanness; gentle, no Strikers, no Brawlers, nor Persecuters of their Brethren, as are the Popes of Rome; apt to teach, not by roaring Bulls to Excommunicate; to eat and drink such things as are set before them; not racking and grinding the Faces of the Poor, the Widows, and the Fatherless, and extorting their labours, to greaten their Revenues, to live in Idleness, Pomp and Lust. The Husband but of one Wife, not Condemners of marrying of one honest Woman, and Dispensers with as many Whores as lust may Require; Cardinal and eminent Points and Practices among the Romanists.

In short the Romish Hierarchy is so far from being suited within the Order of the Gospel, by them quoted in their Confession; that the whole design of their lordly Popes, Cardinals, Arch bishops, Bishops, Jesuits, and other Fryars of many forts, (esteem'd of the Religious Tribe) is but to over-ballance the civil Power, and render themselves Masters of the Swords and Purses of Princes, and Common-wealths, to maintain them in ease, idleness, plenty, and pleasure; and to blind the understandings of them they abuse, that they may use them as the Philistines did Sampson, when they had put out his eyes, to answer their own wicked ends, with the greater security.

To conclude, If we could not receive a Thief, until he has repented: let Papist first recant his voluminous Errors (not known in Scripture, nor ever heard of for Three Hundred Years together after Christ.)

But above all, let us have good Testimony of his hearty sorrow, for that Sea of Blood, shed in England, France, Holland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Savoy, Switzerland, and Germany, of many Hundred Thousands of poor Protestants, that for pure Conscience could not conform to their most exorbitant Practices, as well as new Doctrines, imposed upon them: Such inhumane and barbarous Inventions and Cruelties, as no Age could ever paralel; and are the only Demonstrations of their wicked Wits, that liv'd in that; and that not only upon the Parties themselves, but their poor, little, innocent Babes: For that English Protestants,  p.35  36 should so far neglect these weighty Considerations, as to be gull'd and cheated out of the Religion purchas'd them, by their Martyr'd Ancestors; and perswaded to embrace that Old, Bloody, Apostatiz'd Church again, with all her slavish, as well as ridiculous Superstition, is a Crime so offensive to God, and intollerable to Men, as the time hastens, That the very Stones of the Streets will rise up in Judgment against them.

Thus while some Protestants (and those chiefly concerned in these Affairs) are mostly busied in Persecuting Dissenters; I hope it will not be ill resented, that one of them, has, in the mean time, under-took (though with much brevity) an Enervation of the Romans Faith, at least a detection of their Craft, their horrid Cousenage, and present way of insinuation amongst the People.

But we must once more declare, it is not our purpose to bring them under Persecution; but to present the People with such an Information, as may prevent them from ever having power to persecute others.

 p.36 37

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Title (uniform): A Seasonable Caveat Against Popery

Author: William Penn

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Electronic edition transcribed by: Ruth Canning

Edited at CELT and proof-read by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, Cork, School of History and Irish Research Council, New Foundations Scheme

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1. First draft.

Extent: 13710 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland —http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2017

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E670001-002

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

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  • See below.

Selection of further reading

  1. My Irish Diary, 1669–1670 by William Penn. Edited by Isabel Grubb with an Introduction by Henry J. Cadbury (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1952).
  2. William Penn, A letter of love to the young convinced (Cork: William Smith 1670).
  3. Thomas Holme and Abraham Fuller, A brief relation of some part of the sufferings of the true Christians, the people of God (in scorn called Quakers) in Ireland (1672).
  4. Samuel Fuller and Thomas Holme, A compendious view of some extraordinary sufferings of the people call'd Quakers, both in person and substance, in the kingdom of Ireland (Dublin, 1731).
  5. John Rutty, History of the Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers in Ireland from the Year 1653 to 1700 (1751).
  6. A. C. Meyers, Immigration of Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682–1750, with their early history in Ireland (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 1902).
  7. Robert Murray, Ireland, 1603–1714 (London 1920).
  8. Isabel Grubb, Quakers in Ireland, 1654–1900 (London 1927).
  9. R. B. McDowell, 'The problem of religious dissent in Ireland, 1660–1740,' Bulletin, Irish Committee of Historical Sciences 40 (1945).
  10. Henry J. Cadbury, 'Intercepted correspondence of William Penn, 1670', The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 70 (1946) 349–72.
  11. Mary Penington and Henry J. Cadbury, 'More Penn Correspondence, Ireland, 1669–1670', The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 73 (1949) 9–15.
  12. Thomas E. Drake, (Review) 'My Irish Journal, 1669–1670 by William Penn; Isabel Grubb', The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 77 (1953) 112–114.
  13. Mary Maples Dunn and Richard S. Dunn, The papers of William Penn (5 vols, Philadelphia 1981–87).
  14. Mary Maples Dunn and Richard S. Dunn, The world of William Penn (Philadelphia 1986).
  15. J. G. Simms, War and politics in Ireland: 1649–1730; edited by D.W. Hayton and Gerard O'Brien (London 1986).
  16. Helen Hatton, The largest amount of good, Quaker relief in Ireland, 1654–1921 (Montreal 1993).
  17. Phil Kilroy, Protestant dissent and controversy in Ireland, 1660–1714 (Cork 1994).
  18. W. K. Sessions, 'William Penn's tract printing in Cork in 1670' in idem, Further Irish studies in early printing history (York: Ebor Press 1994).
  19. Robert L. Greaves, God's other children: Protestant nonconformists and the emergence of denominational churches in Ireland, 1660–1700 (Stanford CA, 1997).
  20. Robert L. Greaves, Merchant-Quaker: Anthony Sharp and the community of Friends, 1643–1707 (Stanford CA, 1998).
  21. Andrew Murphy (ed.), The political writings of William Penn (Indianapolis 2002).

Concise Penn Bibliography, compiled by Ruth Canning [There is some overlap with the above list]

  1. "List of Penn Manuscripts," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 28, No. 2 (1904), pp. 155-168.
  2. Penn, William. A Memoir of William Penn (Philadelphia, 1870).
  3. Bernet, Claus. "Marc Swanner (1639-1713): The Man Behind Fox and Penn," Quaker History, Vol. 99, No. 2 (2010), pp. 20-36.
  4. Brailsford, Mabel. The Making of William Penn (New York: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1930).
  5. Braithwaite, William C. The Beginnings of Quakerism (London: Macmillan, 1912).
  6. Braithwaite, William C. The Second Period of Quakerism (London, 1919).
  7. Broghill, Mary Pennington and Henry J. Cadbury (eds.). "More Penn Correspondence, Ireland, 1669-1670," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 73, No. 1 (1949), pp. 9-15.
  8. Buckley, Eila. "William Penn in Dublin," Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 6, No. 3 (1944), pp. 81-90.
  9. Buranelli, Vincent. The King and the Quaker (Philadelphia, 1962).
  10. Cadbury, Henry J. "Intercepted Correspondence of William Penn, 1670," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 70, No. 4 (1946), pp. 349-372.
  11. Calvert, Jane E. Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
  12. Davies, Adrian. The Quakers in English Society, 1655-1725 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  13. De Krey. "Rethinking the restoration: Dissenting Cases of Conscience, 1667-1672," Historical Journal, 38 (1995), pp. 53-83.
  14. Dunn, Richard S. and Dunn, Mary Maples (eds.). The World of William Penn (Pennsylvania, 1986).
  15. Dunn, Richard S. and Dunn, Mary Maples (eds.). The Papers of William Penn (Philadelphia, 1981-).
  16. Dunn, Mary Maples. William Penn: Politics and Conscience (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967).
  17. Dunn, Mary Maples. "The Personality of William Penn," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 127, No. 5 (1983), pp. 316-321.
  18. Endy, Melvin B. Jr. William Penn and Early Quakerism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973).
  19. Fisher, Sydney George. The True William Penn (Philadelphia, 1899).
  20. Ford, Linda. "William Penn's Views on Women: Subjects of Friendship," Quaker History, Vol. 72, No. 2 (1983), pp. 75-102.
  21. Geiter, Mary. "William Penn and Jacobitism: A Smoking Gun?" Historical Research, Vol. 73:181 (2000), pp. 213-218.
  22. Greaves, Richard L. Enemies Under His Feet: Radicals and Nonconformists in Britain, 1664-1667 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990).
  23. Hodges, George. William Penn (Cambridge, 1901).
  24. Holland, Rupert. William Penn (New York, 1915).
  25. Hughs, Mary. The life of William Penn (Philadelphia, 1828).
  26. Horle, Craig. The Quakers and the English Legal System 1660-1688 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988).
  27. Ingle, H. Larry. First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
  28. Janney, Samuel Mcpherson. The Life of William Penn: with selections from his correspondence and autobiography (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, 1853).
  29. Leach, M Atherton. "Gulielma Maria Springett, First Wife of William Penn," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 57, No. 2 (1933), pp. 97-116.
  30. Lockhart, Audrey. "The Quakers and Emigration From Ireland to the North American Colonies," Quaker History, Vol. 77, No. 2 (1988), pp. 67-92.
  31. Maloyed, Christie N. "A liberal Civil Religion: William Penn's Holy Experiment," Journal of Church and State, Vol. 55, No. 4 (2013), pp. 669-711.
  32. Morgan, Edmund S. "The World of William Penn," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 127, No. 5 (1983), pp. 291-315.
  33. Moore, Rosemary. The Light of their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain, 1646-1666 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000).
  34. Murphy, Andrew R. "The Emergence of William Penn, 1668-1671," Journal of Church and State, Vol. 57, No. 2 (2014), pp. 333-359.
  35. Murphy, Andrew R. "Trial Transcripts as Political Theory: Principles and Performance in the Penn-Mead Case," Political Theory, Vol. 41 (2013), pp. 775-808.
  36. Murphy, Andrew R. "The Limits and Promise of Political Theorizing: William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania,"History of Political Thought, Vol. 34 (2013), pp. 639-668.
  37. Nash, Gary B. Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1681-1726, (Princeton, 1968).
  38. Neill, Desmond. "The Quakers in Ireland," North Irish Roots, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1995), pp. 9-11.
  39. Newman, Paul Douglas. "'Good Will to all men ... from the King on the throne to the beggar on the dunghill': William Penn, the Roman Catholics, and Religious Toleration," Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol. 61, No. 4 (1994), pp. 457-479.
  40. Peare, Catherine O. William Penn (Philadelphia, 1957).
  41. Penn, Granville. Memorials of the professional life and times of Sir William Penn, 2 Vols., From 1644-1670 (London: 1833).
  42. Penn, William. A Collection of the Works of William Penn. 2 Vols. (London: 1726) The book can be found on www.archive.org and contains a list of further publications by Penn: https://archive.org/stream/collectionofwork01penn#page/n18/mode/1up.
  43. Pincus, Steve. 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009).
  44. Robbins, Caroline. "The Papers of William Penn," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 93, No. 1 (1969), pp. 3-12.
  45. Schwartz, Sally. "William Penn and Toleration: Foundations of Colonial Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol. 50, No. 4 (1983), pp. 284-312.
  46. Sutto, Antoinette. The borders of Absolutism: William Penn, Chalres Calvert, and the Limits of Royal Authority, 1680-1685," Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol. 76, No. 3 (2009), pp. 276-300.
  47. Vann, Richard. The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655-1755 (Cambridge, Mass., 1969).
  48. Wainwright, Nicholas B. "The Penn Collection," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 87, No. 4 (1963), pp. 393-419.
  49. Wight, Thomas. A History of the Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers in Ireland (1811).
  50. Young Kunze, Bonnelyn. "Religious Authority and Social Status in Seventeenth-Century England: The Friendship of Margaret Fell, George Fox, and William Penn," Church History, Vol. 57, No. 2 (1988), pp. 170-186.

The edition used in the digital edition

Penn, William (1670). A Seasonable Caveat against Popery or a Pamphlet, entitled, an Explanation of the Roman-Catholic Belief, briefly examined‍. 1st ed. 34 pages. London: William Smith.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  title 	 = {A Seasonable Caveat against Popery or a Pamphlet, entitled, an Explanation of the Roman-Catholic Belief, briefly examined},
  author 	 = {William Penn},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {34 pages},
  publisher 	 = {William Smith},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1670}


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Creation: By William Penn (1644–1718)

Date: 1670

Language usage

  • The text is in seventeenth-century English. (en)
  • Some words are in Latin. (la)

Keywords: prose; tract; papism; popery; protestantism; religion; 17c; Quakers

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2017-01-12: SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2017-01-11: Concise Penn Bibliography supplied. (ed. Ruth Canning)
  3. 2017-01-11: File proofed (1); TEI header created using material from the companion file. File parsed and validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2017-01-09: File converted to XML, encoding modified accordingly. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2016-12: Text transcribed from hardcopy to Word file. (data capture Ruth Canning)

A Questionary Postscript.

I Here subjoyn these few following Queries, which if the Romanists will franckly answer, and with that grave sincerity that becomes so weighty an Affair; we may easily know where abouts they are.

1st Whether we ought to believe and accept any Principle, as fundamentally True and Orthodox, that is not laid down, and avoucht to be such by evident Scripture, and the most pure and primitive Tradition?

If they say, we ought, let them tell us out of what Scripture we may read it; but if we ought not ——Then.

2dly Whether the Doctrine of papal infallibility of Transubstantiation; of the Sacrifice of the Mass; of Images; of Auricular Confessions; of Indulgences; of Prayers for the Dead; of Purgatory; of Prayers in Latine; of their whole Ecclesiastical Government, and pretended Religious Orders, be allowed or recommended as Matter of Christian Faith, and Discipline by Scripture and Antiquity?

If they are not to be found there, why should any be so absurd as to receive them? If they are taken thence, let them assign us the places both in Scripture and primative Antiquity; for the first three hundred years after Christ (and in some particulars much more) are wholly silent in the matter, any farther then to furnish us with pregnant Instances against those idle Dotages, and gross Superstitions But,

3dly Whether in case they could not be conformed to, they would allow a Tolleration (were they powerful)?

 p.37 38

4thly Whether in case they should say YES, we ought to believe them? Since its one of their most sacred Maxims, Not to keep Faith with Hereticks; as was seen in the case of those of the Alpine Valleys, J. Hus. &c. and in that they have in all Ages brought so great Deluge of Blood upon the European World.

5thly Whether it be the Interest of the English Nation to subject her self to a Popish Yoak? Considering the incomparable Bloody Massacres of that sort of men in several Reigns, with the spiritual Tyranny she would bring upon her self, which must end in the drayning of her People to enrich the Papacy, who makes it a fundamental Maxim, That the Enriching of the Church (or rather the impovering of the people) is the Securing of it: For seculars being impoverisht, as of old, the Church Party will have the Treasury, and consequently the tryumphing Power in her hands, which brings to the antient Arrogancy of Popes, viz. Setting their Feet upon the Necks of Princes.

6thly and Lastly, Whether the Design of Popery be not an utter destruction of all true and sollid Religion, and the introduction of Formality and Superstition, to the insecuring of civil Authority, and putting the Peoples Judgment into the Priests Inquisition? Since the most ignorant and carless, or the most vitious and prophane, are generally found to be their Proselites; Their Religion (by reason of its latitude in point of Indulgence) being an open Sanctuary to refuge all loose and deboist Livers.


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