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In III. P A R T S.
Rule of Faith is Determin’d.
Church of Rome are Confuted.
the Church of England are An-
By THOMAS BENNET, M. A.
Rector of St. James's in Colchester.
The FOURTH EDITION.
KNAPTON at the Crown in St. Paul's
THOSE Books, which have been
written in our own Language to T 3 gainst the Corruptions of the Church
of Rome, are of two forts; viz. such as treat of some one or more particular Disputes, and are wholly
filent concerning the rejt: or such as are of a more comprehensive nature, and take in all the material Differences between the Reformied Churches and the Churab of Rome. ;::.
Those of the first fort are very well stor’d with exis cellent Learning : but the Treatises being single, and consequently very numerous, a good Collection is fcarcely to be found ; nor can they be purchasd at fuch a price, as the generality of Readers are able or willing to bestow upon them. Besides, it is'a matter of some trouble and difficulty to dispose a confoder able quantity of them in a good order, and digeft them into a regular body of Popish Controverfies.
. As for those of the second fort, they are extremely short. The Authors of them have said some geinéa ral things' : and rather proposed their Reasons, than driven them home. Such discourses are fitted for the use of the meanest Readers, who cannot examine the merits of a Cause, or enter far into it : but Men of greater Capacities are willing to go deeper, and understand the force of an Argument.
* Wherefore, tho” the Nation is plentifully furnisbid with Books against Popery, yet I have thought it advisable to publish the following Confutation of it. Because, thở I have omitted fome unneceffary Disputes, feveral others; yet I am persuaded, that these pan pers will give the Reader a full view of all the material Branches of the Popish Controversy.
'Tis true, I have not foewn the Judgment of the Ancient Fathers concerning it : but I think I have determin’d the great question concerning the Rule of Faith with so much plainess, that the Judgment of the ancient Fathers is for that reason fu. perfluous, and the Reader ought not to expect it from me. For 'twill be readily granted, that if the Scriptures do contain all things necessary to Salo vation, as I hope I have prov'd in the first Part ; then, the the Ancient Fathers had really maintaind all the Popish Tenets, yet we may and ought to. reject them. Because I have fewn in the recond Part, that all the particular Doctrines of the
Church of Rome, which are worth disputing, are either absolutely false, or forbidden in Scripture, or not contain'd in it. - Besides, very few Perfons are able to judge of the Opinions of the Ancient Fathers. Nothing is more common, than for each Party to charge the on ther with false or imperfect Quotations.: and 'tis impossible for any Man to tell ipho represents an Author fairly, unless he be skill'd in the Original, and have opportunity of consulting it. But the method I havje usod, will enable even fuch as are not acquainted with the learned Tongues, or cannot have recourse to well-furnifl'd Libraries, throughly to understand the present Disputes between us and our Adversaries. For if I have faithfully renderd fome few Authorities, which I found it necessary to al 'ledge (and for this I dare appeal even to the Popish Priests themselves) then any Perfon, who has an ordinary share of common Sense, and an English Bible, is a competent. Judge of these matters. ;
If it be objected, that these Papers are unseason. able, because we are not now in danger of Popery; I desire the Objectors to consider three things. · First, That tho' the danger of Popery may be vanisb’d away; yet the Popish Controverhe's ought not to be utterly forgotten.". 'Tis true, the Church is now more vigorously att ack'd from other Quarters. There are many pernicious. Doctrines of a quite different nature, which appear barefaced ainong