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Petavius, the Bishop of Meaux told me, difcourfing with him once on this Subject, that in the last Edition he made of his Works, he retra&ted this opinion, which I am willing to believe upon the Authority of that great Man, whose admirable Talents as well as particular Favours challenge a great deal of respect and esteem from me, which I shall always pay him, tho he is an Adversary to the Religion I profess. By this judge what pitiful Shifts your great Goliahs have been reduced to, when they have found themselves opprest by the weight of Truth. Christ's being consubftantial with the Father was believ'd long before the Council of Nice ; 'twas no new Doctrine invented by them, but only declared by them, to be and to have been the belief of the Church. You have hinted at the great Advantages of the Doctrine of Infallibility in order to the suppressing of Schisms and Herefies, but they are only fo in fpeculation. Your Church it self does not think it sufficient for that purpose; or else she is very uncharitable to make use of the severer method of an Inquisition, and upon all occafions to call for the affistance of the temporal Sword, as the furest means to suppress them. No, he that is disposed in mind to receive the decisions of any Church as infallible without judging of them, is much likelier to fall into Heresy, than he who thinks all fuch Determinations must be examined by Scripture and primitive Antiquity; since by this privilege the Pope and his Fa&tion challenge, of interpreting God's Laws without Error, 'tis easy for them to impose what they please, the power of making Laws and the fole Power of interpreting them being much akin. You add one thing more, that no Protestant can deny but that the State of the Church would be much better in being secured from Error in her Decisions, and therefore we can


not think but that Christ who did all thiugs well

, would do that which is best for bis Church. I think it is much safer arguing the contrary way, that Christ has not established any such Power, and that therefore it is not best for the State of the Church. The Ground of your assertion is too presumptuous, that what seems fit to human Reason, should seem fit to the infallible Judgment of God. 'Tis our Duty to be thankful for those means God has left us to work out our Salvation; and not to conclude he hath done that which he hath not done, because, our shallow Capacities judge it fit to be done. But what art thou, O Man, that objectest against God !

Christ has left us such excellent Precepts of Modesty, Humility, Patience, Christian Forbearance, and Charity, that the practice of them would make us much sooner agree than any new method you can propose ; at least if we do not agree, they will inspire us with such a noble temper, as heartily to compassionate one another, to live amicably and friendly together, and not be pulling out one anothers Eyes, because we do not see things the same way. This is that in which I would have always different Parties zealous, for there is nothing wanting very often to extinguish ill will, but an opportunity for Men to converse lovingly together, by which they will quickly perceive they are not fuch Monsters, as they are represented to one another at a distance.

This I endeavour, according to my weakness, to practice my self; this I inculcate into all my Friends; that if we cannot agree in our Opinions, yet to take care that they do not rob us of our Charity and Love of one another, which in the fight of God is of great price.


You see what a long Letter you have drawn upon your self; it would have been disrespectful to you, as well as to Truth, to have neglected an Anfwer, and therefore I don't think my self oblig'd to make any Apology. Tho' if you had known how much I have been surfeited with Controversies upon a melancholy Occasion, you would accept of this small attempt as a favour. I

I am,

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PAP. I. Mr. Herbert Thorndike's Judgment of

the Church of Rome, as it was deliver'd by him in a Paper to a Lady a little before his Death, taken from the printed Copy in the 85th page of a Book intituled, Several Conferences between a Komith Priett, a Fanatick Chaplain, and a Divine of the Church of England, &c. London, printed 1679.

"HE ·

the Scripture is presupposed to the Being of a Church. And therefore cannot depend upon the Autho

rity of it. 2. The Church of Rome maintains the Decrees of the present Church to be infallible, which is false, and yet concerns the Salvation of all that believe it. Therefore no Man can submit to the Autho

rity of it.


3. The

3. The Church of Rome in St. Jerom's time, did not make void the Baptism of those Seats which did not baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoft

But that Baptism is void, and true Baptism ne-

cessary to Salvation.
Therefore the Church of Rome may err in mat-

ters of Salvation.
4. The Church of Rome may err in Schifm, fol-
lowing the wrong cause. If you except only things
necessary to Salvation to be believed. This shews,
that Infallibility only in things necessary to Salva-
tion is not enough. It is destructive to Salvation to
follow the wrong Cause in Schism.
Instance. The Schism with the Greek Church

for Appeals to Rome. For there is evident

Tradition to the contrary.
5. The Church of Rome enjoyns Apocryphal Scrip-
tures to be esteemed Canonical Scriptures.
But this Injunction is contrary to Tradition and

Truth, and concerns the Salvation of all that

receive it.
6. The Church of Rome in St. Ferom's time did
not receive the Epistle to the Hebrews for Cano-
nical Scripture, as now it doth, and as in truth
it is.
Therefore the Church of Rome may err in de-

claring the Authority of Scripture.
7. The Church of Rome doth err in teaching that
attrition is turn'd into contrition by fubmitting to
the Power of the Keys;
But this Error is deftru&tive to the Salvation of

all that believe it.
Therefore it may err in matters neceflàry to Sal-

That it is an Error. Because of the condition
of Remiffion of Sins, which is before the

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