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unmistakeable, and “brings down faith clad in such “ plain matters of fact, that the most stupid man living “ (much less the Greeks, that were the flower of man
kind) could not possibly be ignorant of it,” P:53. 54.; nay, “it exceeds all the power of nature, to blot know“ ledge, thus fixed, out of the foul of one single belie
ibid. [much more out of so valt a church]. And “ fince no man can hold contrary to his knowledge, or “ doubt of what he holds, nor change and innovate with" out knowing he did so, it is a manifest impoflibility a “ whole church should in any age fall into an absurdity • fo inconsistent with the nature of one single man,' p.78. And since “ it is natural for every man to speak
truth, and grace is to perfect nature in whatever is
good in it, it follows, that one truly Christian heart " is far more fixed to veracity, than others not imbued “ with those heavenly tenets; and consequently that a “s multitude of such must incomparably exceed, in point “ of testifying, the same number of others unfortified by “ Christ's doctrine,” p.86. And since “ such a thought
cannot enter into the most depraved nature, as to “ harm another without any good to himself; and yet " this must be, if we put Chriitian fathers misteaching or their children unreceived doctrines for received, [and " I hope, for the same reason, received doctrines for un
received], contrary to their knowledge. For suppo« fing fanctity in the [Greek] church, (and why may
not we as well as in the Latin?], that is, that multi« tudes in it make heaven their first love, and look on
spiritual goods as their main concern, &c. it follows, so that had the fathers [of that church), in any age, “ consented to mislead their posterity from what thein" felves (not only] conceited [but knew] to be true, 6c they should do the most extreme harm imaginable to “ others, without any the least good to themselves ; 66 which is perhaps impossible in one single man, more 65 in few, but infinitely in a multitude, especially of
good men,” p. 89.
§ 5. Thus I might apply the rest of his ranting rhetoric (but that I am weary of transcribing it), concerning so the natural love of parents to their children,” p. 90. 91. (unless we suppose the Greek church destitute of it),
which must needs engage them to use the proper means to bring them to heaven, and save them from hell: as also concerning
66 the natural care men have of not lo“sing their credit, by telling pernicious lies.” And, not to omit the best part of his demonstrations, p.93. (which was therefore prudently reserved to the lat place), I must likewise shew, how the principles of each science, arithmetic, geometry, logic, nature, morality, historical prudence, politics, metaphysics, divinity, and, last of all, the new science of controversy, (as he calls it), or the blessed art of eternal wrangling and disputing, the first principle whereof he tells us, is, “ That tradition is cer- tain,” do all contribute to shew the certainty of tradition; that is, the impossibility that any part of Christ's doctrine should fail in the Greek church, any more than in the Latin. And surely arithmetic, geometry, logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, &c. will all stand up for the Greek church in this quarrel; for considering that Greece was the place where the arts and fciences were born and bred, it is not to be imagined, that they should be so disingenuous and unnatural, as not to contribute their best affiítance to the service of their country.
$ 6. But it may be the Greeks cannot so justly pretend tó oral tradition as the Latins. What if St Peter, the head of the apostles, thought fit to share scripture and tradition between these two churches, and laying his left hand on the Greek church, and his right on the Latin, was pleased to confer the great blessing of oral tradition upon the Latin church? which being to be the feat of infallibility, it was but fitting that the should be furnished with this infallible way of conveying the Chrisian doctrine. And therefore it may be, that as the scriptures of the New Teitament were left in Greek, so oral tradition was delivered down only in Latin. This, I confess, is not altogether without some thew of reason. Mr S. may do well to take the matter into his deeper consideration; he hath in his time improved as weak probabi. lities as these into lusty demonstrations. And if he could but demonitrate this, it would very much weaken the force of this instance of the Greek church : Otherwise (for ought I fee) this instance will hold good against him:
and whatever he can say for the impossibility of tradition's failing in the Latin church, may all be said of the Greek church; if he will but grant that the Apokles preached the same doétrine to them both; that the arguments of hope and fear which this doctrine contains in it, were applied as strongly to the Greeks as to the Latins. And yet, notwithstanding all this, tradition hath plainly failed in the Greek church. Let him now aflign the age wherein so vast a number of men conspired to leave out. the article of the procession of the Holy Ghost, and Thew, how it was poflible a whole age could conspire together to damn their posterity, or how the faith of immediate forefathers might be altered, without any such conspiracy; and we are ready to satisfy him how the doctrine of the Latin church might be corrupted and altered, and to tell him punctually in what age it was done. And until he do this, I would intreat him to trouble us no more with those canting questions, (wherein yet the whole force of his demonstration lies), How is it possible a whole. age should conspire to change the doctrine of their forefathers ? and, In what age was this done ? For if it be reasonable to demand of us, in order to the overthrowing of his demonitration, to align the particular age where in the Latin church conspired to change the ancient doctrine; with the faine reason we require of him, in order to the maintaining of his demonstration, to name the particular age wherein the Greek church conspired to alter the doctrine of Christ, (which was undoubtedly in the first age truly delivered to them by the Apotles) ; and also to dhew, from the rational force and strength of tradition, how it is more impoffible for the whole church to have failed in transmitting the doctrine of Christ down to us, or to have conspired to the altering of it, than for such a multitude of Christians as is the vast body of the. Greek church. If Mr S. or Mr White shew this, they do something; otherwise I must tell them, that unless they can manage these pretty things they call demonfration's better, they must shortly either quit their reason, or their religion, or else return to the honest old Mumpfimus, of the infallibility of the church from an extraordinary and immediate alliitance of the Holy Ghost : or (to inake the business short, and stop all gaps with one bulh) come VOL.III,
over to the Jesuits, and acknowledge the Pope's infalli-; bility both in matters of faith and fact; by which means they may reconcile themselves to him, and prevent that direful stroke which threatens them from Rome, and is ready to cut them off from the body of the traditionary church. And thus I have done with his first demonftration; and I take it for a good sign that the Popish cause is at a very low ebb, when such stuff as this must be called demonstration.
SECT. VI. Nr Si's demonsiration à posteriori. $1. Come now to his demonstration à pofteriori :
which although it falls of itself if the demonstration à priori fail, yet because it hath some pecu. liar absurdities of its own, I shall consider it by itself, as well as with relation to the other.
§ 2. Before he comes to lay it down, with the grounds of it, according to his usual fashion, he premiseth something as yielded by Proteftants, which, in his fenfe, no Protestant ever granted. Just so he dealt with us before concerning the scriptures, laying, that by them the Protestants “ muft inean unfensed letters and characters." But let us see what it is, p. 76. That “ this demonstra“ tion à pofteriori feems a needless endeavour against the " Protestants, who yield, that those points in which we agree, as the Trinity, incarnation, &c. came down
of tradition; and this (he faith) no Prorestant ever denied.” And then he asks, “ Whether " the same virtue of tradition would not have been as “ powerful to bring down other points in which we do
not agree, had any such been ?” Now, if he speak any thing to his own purpose, he must fuppose Protestants to yield, that all those points wherein we are agreed were conveyed down to us solely by oral tradition without writing : but this all Protestants deny. So that that only which would avail his cause against us, is, to shew, that those points wherein we differ, have not only come down to us by oral teaching, but that they are likewise contained in scripture, without which, we say, we can have no sufficient certainty and assurance at this
distance, that they were the doctrine of Christ, and that they were not either totally innovated, or elle corrupted in the conveyance, from what they were at firit. And if he can fhew this concerning any point in difference, I promise to yield it to him.
§ 3. I come to his demonstration, which I shall fet down in his own words, with the principles upon which it relies, P:77.78. “ The effect then we will pitch up“ on, and avow to be the proper one of such a cause, is, “ the present persuasion of traditionary Christiar.s, (or
Catholics), that their faith hath descended from Chrilt “ and his Apostles uninterruptedly, which we find most “ firmly rooted in their heart: and the existence of this “ perfuafion we affirın to be impoffible, without the “ existence of tradition's ever indeficiency to beget it. “ To prove this, I lay this first principle, That age “ which holds her faith thus delivered from the Apostles, os neither can itself have changed any thing in it, nor “ know or doubt that any age since the Apostles hai “ changed or innovated therein. The second principle
shall be this, No age could innovate any thing, and " withal deliver that very thing to posterity as received “ from Christ by continual succession.” The sum of which is this, That because a present multitude of Christians (viz. the Roman church) are persuaded, that Christ's doctrine hath defcended to them solely by an uninterrupted oral tradition; therefore this perfuafion is an effect which cannot be attributed to any other cause, but the indeficiency of oral tradition. For if neither the present age, nor any age before, could make any change or innovation, then the persuasion of the present age is a plain demonftration, that this doctrine was always the fame, and consequently that tradition cannot fail.
$ 4. In answer to this, I shall endeavour to make good these four things.
1. That these principles wholly rely upon the truth, of the grounds of his demonstration à priori.
2. That these principles are not fulficiently proved by him.
3. Thạt doctrines and practices, which must be acknowledged to have been innovated, have made the fame pretence to uninterrupted tradition.
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