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of antichrist; and having sét down a catalogue of our doctrines, they conclude, that for them we shall after the general resurrection be damned to unquenchable fire.
5.“ But yet, lest any man should flatter himself with our charitable mitigations, and thereby wax careless in search of the true church, we desire him to read the conclusion of the Second Part, where this matter is more explained.
6. “And because we cannot determine what judgment may be esteemed rash, or prudent, except by weighing the reasons upon which it is grounded, we will here, under one aspect, present a summary of those principles, from which we infer, that protestancy in itself unrepented destroys salvation; intending afterwards to prove the truth of every one of the grounds, till, by a concatenation of sequels, we fall upon the conclusion, for which we are charged with want of charity.
7. “ Now this is our gradation of reasons: Almighty God having ordained mankind to a supernatural end of eternal felicity, hath, in his holy providence, settled competent and convenient means whereby that end may be attained. The universal grand origin of all such means, is the incarnation and death of our blessed Saviour, whereby he merited internal grace for us; and founded an external visible church provided and stored with all those helps, which might be necessary for salvation. From hence it followeth, that in this church, among other advantages, there must be some effectual means to beget and conserve faith, to maintain unity, to discover and condemn heresies, to appease and reduce schisms, and to determine all controversies in religion. For without
such means the church should not be furnished with helps sufficient to salvation, nor God afford sufficient means to attain that end to which himself or: dained mankind. This means to decide controversies in faith and religion (whether it should be the Holy Scripture or whatsoever else) must be endued with an universal infallibility, in whatsoever it propoundeth for a Divine truth; that is, as revealed, spoken, or testified by Almighty God, whether the matter of its nature be great or small. For, if it were subject to error in any one thing, we could not in any other yield it infallible assent'; because we might with good reason doubt whether it chanced not to err in that particular.
8. “ Thus far all must agree to what we have said, unless they have a mind to reduce faith to opinion. And even out of these grounds alone, without further proceeding, it undeniably follows, that of two men dissenting in matters of faith, great or small, few or many, the one cannot be saved without repentance, unless ignorance acci, dentally may in some particular person plead ex
For, in that case of contrary belief, one must of necessity be held to oppose God's word or revelation sufficiently represented to his understanding by an infallible propounder ; which opposition to the testimony of God is undoubtedly a damnable sin, whether otherwise, the thing so testified, be in itself great or small. And thus we have already made good what was promised in the argument of this chapter, that amongst men of different religions, one only is capable of being saved.
Nevertheless, to the end that men may know in particular what is the said infallible means upon which we are to rely in all things con
cérning faith, and accordingly may be able to judge in what safety or danger, more or less, they live; and because D. Potter descendeth to divers particulars about Scriptures and the church, &c. we will go forward, and prove, that although Scripture be in itself most sacred, infallible and Divine, yet it alone cannot be to us a rule, or judge, fit and able to end all doubts and debates emergent in matters of religion; but that there must be some external, visible, public, living judge, to whom alt sorts of persons, both learned and unlearned, may without danger of error have recourse ; and in whose judgment they may rest for the interpreting and propounding of God's word or revelation. And this living judge we will most evidently prove to be no other, but that holy catholic, apostolic, and visible church, which our Saviour purchased with the effusion of his most precious blood. : 10.“ If once therefore it be granted, that the church is that means which God hath left for the deciding all controversies in faith, it manifestly will follow, that she must be infallible in all her determinations, whether the matters of themselves be great or small; because, as we said above, it must be agreed, on all sides, that if that means which God hath left to determine controversies were not infallible in all things proposed by it, it could not settle in our minds a firm and infallible ' belief of any one.
11. “ From this universal infallibility of God's church, it followeth, that whosoever wittingly denieth any one point proposed by her, as revealed by God, is injurious to his Divine Majesty, as if he could either deceive, or be deceived, in what he
testifieth : the averring whereof were not only a fundamental error, but would' overthrow the very foundation of all fundamental points; and, therefore, without repentance, could not possibly stand with salvation.
12. “ Out of these grounds we will shew, that although the distinction of points fundamental and not fundamental be good and useful, as it is delivered and applied by catholic divines, to teach what principal articles of faith Christians are obliged explicitly to believe ; yet, that it is impertinent to the present purpose of excusing any man from grievous sin, who knowingly disbelieves, that is, believes the contrary of that which God's church proposeth as Divine truth. For it is one thing, not to know explicitly something testified by God; and another, positively to oppose what we know he hath testified. The former may often be excused from sin, but never the latter, which only is the case in question.
13. “ In the same manner shall be demonstrated, that to allege the Creed, as containing all articles of faith, necessary to be explicitly believed, is not pertinent to free from sin the voluntary denial of any other point known to be defined by God's church.' And this was sufficient to overthrow all that D. Potter allegeth concerning the Creed; though yet, by way of supererogation, we will prove, that there are divers important matters of faith which are not mentioned at all in the Creed.
14. “ From the aforesaid main principle, that God hath always had, and always will have, on earth, a church visible, within whose communion salvation must be hoped; and infallible, whose
definitions we ought to believe; we will prove, that Luther, Calvin, and all other, who continue the division in communion, or faith, from that visible church, which at and before Luther's appearance was spread over the world, cannot be excused from schism and heresy, although they opposed her faith but in one only point; whereas it is manifest, they dissent from her in many and weighty matters, concerning as well belief as practice.
15. “ To these reasons drawn from the virtue of faith, we will add one other taken from charitas propria, the virtue of charity, as it obligeth us, not to expose our soul to hazard of perdition, when we can put ourselves in a way much more secure, as we will prove that of the Roman catholics to be.
16. “We are then to prove these points: First, That the infallible means to determine controversies, in matters of faith, is the visible church of Christ. Secondly, That the distinction of points fundamental and not fundamental maketh nothing to our present question. Thirdly, That to say the Creed contains all fundamental points of faith, is neither pertinent nor true. Fourthly, That both Luther and all them who, after him, persist in division from the communion and faith of the Roman church, cannot be excused from schism. Fifthly, Nor from heresy. Sixthly and lastly, That in regard of the precept of charity towards one's self, protestants be in a state of sin, as long as they remain divided from the Roman church. And these six points shall be several arguments for so many ensuing chapters.
17.“ Only I will here observe, that it seemeth