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credible the wiser sort of them should believe this their own horrid assertion, that a God of goodness should damn to eternal torments those that love him and love truth, for errors which they fall into through human fraility! but this they must say, otherwise their only great argument from their damning us, and our not being so peremptory in damning them, because we hope unaffected ignorance may excuse them, would be lost: and, therefore, they are engaged to act on this tragical part, to fright the simple and ignorant, as we do little children, by telling them that bites, which we would not have them meddle with. And truly that herein they do but act a part, and know themselves to do so, and deal with us here, as they do with the King of Spain at Rome, whom they accurse and excommunicate for fashionsake on Maundy Thursday, for detaining part of St. Peter's patrimony, and absolve him without satisfaction on Good Friday: methinks their faltering and inconstancy herein makes it very apparent: for though, for the most part, they speak nothing but thunder and lightning to us, and damn us all without mercy or exception; yet sometimes, to serve other purposes, they can be content to speak to us in a milder strain, and tell us, as my adversary does more than once, Text they allow: protestants as much charity as protestants allow them. Neither is this the only contradiction which I have discovered in this uncharitable work ; but have shewed that, by forgetting himself, and retracting most of the principal
grounds he builds upon, he hath saved me the labour of a confutation; which yet I have not in any place found any such labour or difficulty, but that it was undertakable by a man of very mean, that is, of my abilities. And the reason is, because it is truth I plead for; which is so strong an argument for itself, that it needs only light to discover it; whereas it concerns falsehood and error to use disguise and shadowings, and all the fetches of art and sophistry; and, therefore, it stands in need of abler men to give that a colour at least which hath no real body to subsist by. If my endeavours in this kind may contribute any thing to this discovery, and the making plain that truth (which' my charity persuades me the most part of them disaffect, only because it hath not been well represented to them) I have the fruit of my labour, and my wish, who desire to live to no other end, than to do service to God's church, and your most sacred Majesty, in the quality of
oilo Po usb
The repeated complaints in public print, as well as in private conversation, of the very blameable incorrectness of most of the foregoing editions of this work, having made an exact and careful review of the whole absolutely necessary; it is thought proper to give an account, in few words, what has been done to this purpose in the Edition now before the reader.
The book was first published at Oxford in the year 1638 ; and, meeting with an extraordinary reception at its first appearance, was printed some months after at London in the same year. This second impression received some alterations, very probably, from the hand of the Author, he being then alive. The Third Edition, which was published in 1664, seems to be the last that was printed with any degree of care; there being in it some small corrections, which appear to have been made on purpose, and are not improper, though there is no account given upon what authority they were made. The succeeding impressions have no alterations but were made for the worse by the carelessness of the printers.
From the three first, therefore, this Edition has been prepared. The whole has been collated with all possible application, and no pains or industry have been wanting to do justice to a work so truly valuable.
The book of Charity Maintained by Catholics has been also compared with like diligence with the first Edition, published by Mr. Knot himself; it being plain, from the sincere and generous temper of Mr. Chillingworth, that his desire and endeavour was, That his adversary might be used with all candour and fair dealing, and that his arguments might be set in a proper light.
And, lastly, the Sermons and additional Dis, courses are printed from the best Editions of those pieces; the former, from that printed in 1684 ; the latter, from that in 1688, which was the first time these last were made public.
Upon the whole, as it has been entrusted to an experienced and careful hand to correct the sheets from the press, who has used a more than ordinary application on his part, it is hoped that, abating a very few typographical errors, which the best performances from the press are not without, the reader will here meet with what the undertaker proposed--a genuine, correct, and beautiful Edition of the Works of Mr. Chillingworth.
The annexed subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England, added, to Mr. Chillingworth's known reputation for veracity and Christian sincerity, is an abundant evidence, that, upon motives of conscience only, he joined as heartily with our church in disowning the Unitarian principles, as in condemning the errors of the church of Rome.
Extract from the Register of the Church of
Salisbury. Ego GULIELMUS CHILLINGWORTH, Clericus, in Artibus Magister, ad Cancellariatum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Beatæ Mariæ, Sarum, una cum Præbenda de Brinsworth alias Bricklesworth in Comitatu Northampton, Petriburgensis Diæceseñs, in eadem Ecclesia fundata, et eidem Cancellariatui annexa, admittendus et instituendus, omnibus hisce Articulis et singulis in eisdem contentis volens et ex animo subscribo, et consensum meum præbeo, 20° die Julii, 1638.
That is in English; I William CHILLINGWORTH, Clerk, M. A. to be admitted to the Chancellorship of the Cathedral Church of Sarum, &c. do willingly and heartily subscribe these Articles, and every thing contained in them, and do give my consent thereto.