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over be proved to be false, and that it was not taken froin them, I think it may be said to be very impertinently and imprudently made use of in this case; and if it farther appear to be so from Mr. Tallent s's own Reasoning upon this very head, it certainly may be thought very unbecoming his Years and Learning thus to trifle with the World, and endeavour to impose upon Men. Now, by its being taken from the Romih Do&tors, he must mean either that our Notion of Schism, or the Opinion that Schism is as heinous a Sin as Murther or Adultery is taken thence, or both. But neither of these is true. For, first, our Notion of Schism is not the same with theirs; ours is as ancient as the Church of Christ, and the fame with the primitive Fathers : Theirs is later, and crept in with the exorbitant Power of the Pope, and is owned by no Christians in the World but those of their own Communion. We acknowledge every true and lawful Bishop to be the Head of Unity, and Representative of Christ within his District, and that Schism ariseth by departing from and setting up against such lawful Authority; but we own no one Head of the Univerfal Church but Chrift Jesus himself: They are for one Universal Vicarial Head by divine Appointment fix'd to the See of Rome, to whom all Bishops in the World must be Underlings and Slaves, and without whose Direction or Allowance they must not dare to Act; which as it can never be proved, so is it intolerable and impracticable. But I need not farther insist on this, because thus far our Accuser himself acquits us. For thus faith he, They (i.e. the Romanists) say none are in the Church, but they that own the Pope, and communicate with the Church of Rome. But the Church of England is far from any such abominable Thought: And few, if any of our great Men, incline to the Papists in this, though several join with
them in the damning of Schismaticks, (p. 13.) It remains therefore to enquire concerning the Opinion, That Schism is as great a Sin as Murther or Adultery, whether we have taken it from the Roman Doctors ? . And if we have not, then there is no truth, as well as no force in his Argument. He might have spared his pains in proving, That the Papifts are of this Opinion ; for I shall readily grant it. But then Mr. Tallents did not fo weil consult the Interest of his Cause, when at the same time he tells us, and brings his proofs for it, That the Roman Doctors have taken this Opinion from the Fathers; and he particularly names Clemens, Cyprian, Optatus, Augustin. Indeed he cannot find a Saint amongst them, though the meanest of his Tribe shall be honoured with the Title. In short, he faith as to Baronius, That he observes, that Chiloftom and hieroin have said the same, and all the Fathers of the Church, (p. 12.) A jolly Company. Now why might not we take this Opinion from the Fathers, as well as the Romanists? Are we more debarred from the Fathers than they? Is there an Inquifition, or any Deleaturs, upon the Fathers among us, as there is among them? Or are the Fathers neglected, and not read by us? I thank God, as poor and mean as I am, I have by me a good parcel of the Fathers, and I think cin read them as well as some others; and I should think my self very unadvised, if I should have recourse to the Romanists for that, which I could much better have from the Fathers themselves, Would any Man, who hath his Senses, leave the pure clear Fountain, to drink at a fulsom muddy Stream? When we have it in our choice, why Thould it be thought, that we would take an Opinion from those, who in all other Matters would be a shame and reproach to us, when we might as easily have it from them, who were the Glory of
the Christian Church, and would be an Honour and Reputation to us? It would tempt one to think,
that Mr. Tallents had condemned the Opinion as to foolih, with a design to beg us all for Fools. Why
could he not be as civil to us, as he is to the Ro-
(6.) As for the Nature and Danger of the Sin of Schism, it will be more properly considered in another place; here I am only concerned with our Author's Reasoning: And from what hath been faid, I think it doth plainly appear, that his Af
sertion is not true; and though it were true, yet it is of no force in this case, as not proving what he brings it for; and so his first Argument is good for nothing : And I need not follow him after all those Authors, which he brings to prove what we do not deny. But because he names one or two, who speak more favourably of Persons involv'd in Schism, I shall return him only this short Answer: That God hath bound us up to the Rules and Laws he hath given us, but hath not limited himself, as to the Dispensation of his Mercies and Favours, out of the common and ordinary way. How far therefore God may be pleased to extend his Mercy to Persons misled into Schism, who are purely under mistake, and otherwise sober and modest, and willing to come to the knowledge of the Truth, it becomes neither me nor any other to determine, whatever we may hope or wish; this is wholly in the good Pleasure of the Almighty : And though Pity and Compassion may move us to hope and say what is most favourable and kind, yet here we have no certain Rule to walk by; nor is it safe for them to trust to such uncertain Charitable Supposals. And therefore this I do say, and will stand by, till I shall be convinced of the contrary, That they are out of the Ordinary Way; and that is the Rule, according to which we ought to make our Fudgment, which way foever our Affe&tions may work.
C H A P.
CH A P. IV. The Opinion, that Schism is as great a Sin as Mur
ther or Adultery, prov'd to be not against Scripture, §. 1. Obječtions answered, 2.
The Text, 1 Cor. 13. 1, 2, 3. explain's and vindicated, 3. Two Texts in St. Luke reconciled, and their meaning set forth, 4. Dr. Sherlock vindicated, 5. What Agreement necessary, 6. Separation from the Authority of the Church, Separation from the Church, 7. The Citations from Mr. Hooker and Dr. Stillingfleet confidered, 8. His Argument retorted, 9. Mr. Dodwell defended, 10, 11. That Schism destroys Charity, 12.' The Author's mother
mistake confuted, 13. (1.) THE Noise of Popery was the Forerunner
to found to Arms, and rouze the Party; but that proving a false Cry, he next endeavours to shelter himself under the Authority in Scripture, to which we are as ready to submit as any Men whatsoever; but first desire to know, whether it be fo or no. For the greater the Authority, the more dangerous a falle Pretence of it. Now his second Argument he lays down in these words: This Horrid Opinion has no ground in Scripture, but is full against it, (p. 19.) if it have no ground in Scripture, I ought not to desire him to shew, what is not; but if it be full against Scripture, I think he is obliged to prove that very clearly, otherwife he will be much to blame for drawing up such a horrible Charge: But this I cannot find that he hath done, or any where to purpose fet about it. But if I do prove, that this Opinion, let him call it as borrid as he pleaseth, hath ground in Scripture, then the Consequence will be, that it is not against it; and then their cry of Scripture,