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VII. I would know, whether that Council cannot be an infallible Judge, without the Call and Presidency of that Person? If so, then,

VIII. I would know of him, if it should fo happeni, that the whole, Council or the great majority of it ihould determine one way, and he alone or but with a little minority another, which would be in the right?

Sir, I could ask many more important Questions rélating to this Subjedt of the Church’s Infallibility ; .as ift, Whether the same spiritual Judges, if the matter in Controversy were sent to them in Circular Letters, would not be as Infallible in their Determinations, out of a Council, as in one? 2dly, Whether the resolutions of those who cannot come, but send their Opinions upon the Question in Controverfit to the Council, ought not to be regarded in every respect, as if they were present? Sir, There are many more difficult Questions relating to this Subject, but I will bút trouble him with one or two more, occafion'd by the Writings of a learned Father of great Autho rity in the Latin Church, I mean Vincentius Li-' rinenfis, in his admirable Book entituled Comemonitoria duo adverfus profanas Herefewo Novationes. He flourished in the Year of God 434. almoft Thirteen hundred Years since. And the design of his Book [in thofe times] sais to Thew a certain way to determine all Controverfies about Faith which [in his judgment] was * The Authority of Scripture, and the Tradition of the Catholick Church, which he makes to confift in | Antiquity, Univerfality, and Confeat. )

* Cap. I. XLII,


This he propofes both to private Men and Councils, as the only sure way of coming to truth in all Controversies of Faith † without doubt or fcruple. He, nor the Fathers who wrote * 'before him, ever so much as mention, much less diret, to any living infallible Judge ; but to Scripture expounded by Antiquity, Univerfality, and Consent :: and therefore I desire the Gentleman, upon reading that little Book, to tell me, if the Church knew of any living infallible Judge in his Time ; or if it did, how he came to be ignorant of it? Or if, as he writes in that Book, Scripture expounded by Catholick Tradition, be a fure and certain Rule, whereby to determine all Controversies, then how can there be any need of an infallible living Judge? 'i

To Catholick Tradition, as fet forth and explained by him, we appeal, viz. to Antiquity, Univerfality, and Confent.

I appeal to it in this very Controversy of the Church's Infallibility, and will be concluded by it. And from this Rule, we shall see whether our Church or yours is Innovator in the things, that are in Controversy between them, and which is in the right, and which in the wrong. I join with you in your Prayer, That God would strengthen

and assist those with his Holy Spirit, who plead ' his Cause, and bring those to Confufion, who fight against him with subtilty and fophistry. I.

I desire, Sir, that your Sifter may liave the deliberate perusal of this Letter by herself, as long and as often as the thinks fit. And if the Gentleman hath a mind to proceed farther upon the subject of Infallibility, I desire it may be in an Oral Conference before your Sifter, you only be

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ing present on one side, and my very worthy Friend and Neighbour Mr. Nelson, whom you know, on the other.

I find I am not able to write so much, as a Paper-Controversy upon this Question will require, having, as the World knows, much' * Work of another nature to do. This is the reason that I defire what


propofed, that if the Gentleman think fit to go on, it may be in an Oral Conference, in some place where we may have proper Books.

You pretend, Sir, to be very much in haste for fear

your Sifter should die ; she is, God be praised, - very well, and such. Conferences must not be huda led up

in haste for that reafon, no more than in former Ages they were wont to precipitate the Inftru£tion of the Catechumens. De vita bominis nulla eft Cun&atio longa. : I am,


Your humble Servant,

Geo. Hickes.

* Lingg. Vett. Septentr. Thesaurus, &c. in two Books, three Volumes fol. Printed at Oxford, 1705.



The REPLY to Dr. Hickes's Answer,

sent by the Author of it to Mr. G-r--n,
and transmitted by Mr. G---- to the

March 13. 1704

I. HEN at your entreaty I sent you a short

Query, concerning the true Church of Christ, to be proposed to a learned Do&or for an Answer; I could not have imagined that there had been in it, either so much ambiguity as to render it incapable of an Answer, or much less any thing to provoke any Man to Paffion and injurious Language ; but such has been the fate of that little Paper. As to the ill Language it is by me unanswerable

, only by praying God Almighty to beftov upon him all the true Blesings he can desire, and that it may be my Mare always to receive, rather than to give in that kind. But as to the fault he finds with the Question, I design to shew you in short, that had there been as much halte in him to answer, as there is plainness in the Query, he would not have spent a Sheet of Paper so little to the purpose. And when I have done this, I will endeavour to pick an Answer out of his Words, by which I may begin to frame an. Argument or two, towards the ending of the Question ; which perchance he will make his study not to understand, lest if he should understand thein, he may begin to find that he cannot answer 'em. But first, let us see how he pinks, that he may not see the meaning of the Words set down in the Query

II. His

II. His firft difficulties are against the ground of my Query, which stands thus; Supposing this for true, that the Church of Christ can never perish. I appeal here to any Divine, whether the Words of this Propofition be not clear? Yet here he finds two difficulties. First, he defires to know, what the Word perish means; I answer, To perish is to cease to be, to lose the Essence the thing had before it perished. A Man perishes when he dies, because he ceases to be a Man: So the Church of Christ should be said to perish, when it should cease to be the Church of Christ. This is the evident, common, obvious ineaning of the Word. But, fays he, perish may be taken in a moral sense, to mean (for example) that the Church perishes, when it ceases to be a found, well conflituted Church. I, Suppose this were true, it's nothing to his purpose; for Words are to be taken always in their propereft signification, unless there be fome good reason to the contrary. adly, It's absolutely false, that the Church may be said to perish, whilft it retains everything efTential to the Constitution of a true Church, tho' at the fame tiine it remains unfound in some part of it; any more than a Man can be said to perish when he lofes a Finger, or falls Sick, or when his Face grows dirty, according to his own phrase. And when he will allow, that every Man perishes that falls into a Puddle, and dirties himself; then I will allow this Exception of his to be pertinent. In the mean time, let him reflect, that in cafe the Church had been unfound, that doth not amount to perishing, but only to being depraved ; nor in such case had the lost her felf, (which is to perifh) but only her Beauty, of her found Conftitution. Besides, what imagina. ble reason had he to think that I should take the


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