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In HI. PARTS.
I. The Controversy concerning the
II. The Particular Doctrines of the
III. The Topi/b Objections against
By Thomas Bennet, M. A.
The FOURTH EDITION.
Printed by As. J. and solo! by James
HOSE Books, which have been
written in our own Language a
\ \ ia*Kft the Corruptions of the Church
of Rome, are of two forts; viz.
such as treat of some one or more
j particular Disputes, and are wholly
silent concerning the reji: or such
as are of a more comprehensive nature, and take in
all the material Differences between the Reformed
Churches and the Church of Rome.
Those of the first sort are very well for'd with ex* cellent Learning : but the Treatises being single, and consequently very numerous, a good Collection is scarcely to be found; nor can they be purchased at such a price, as the generality of Readers are able or willing to befiow upon them. Besides, it is a matter of some trouble and difficulty to dispose a considerable quantity of them in a good order, and digefi them into a, regular body of Popish Controversies.
^ /or *£<?/£ 0/ the second sort, they are extremely port. The Authors of them have said some general 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 furnip'd with Books against Popery, yet I have thought it advisable to publish the following Confutation of it. Because, tho' I have omitted some unnecessary Disputes, and spoken very briesty of several others; yet I am persuaded, that these Papers will give the Reader a full view of all the material Branches of the Popish Controversy.
'Tis true, I have not jbewn the Judgment of the Ancient Fathers concerning it: but I think I have determined the great question concerning the Rule of Fgith with so much plainefs, that the Judgment of the ancient Fathers is for that reason superfluous, 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 Salvation, as I hope 1 have proved in the first Part; then, tho' the Ancient Fathers had really maintained all the Popish Tenets, yet we may and ought to. reject them. Because I have jbewn in the second Part, that all the particular Doctrines of the - • Church Church of Rome, which are worth disputing, are either absolutely false, or forbidden in Scripture, or not contained in it. ..- ....>> ■• • » >-V
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Besides; very few Persons are able to judge of the Opinions of the Ancient Fathers. Nothing is more common, than for each Party to charge the o+ ther with false or imperfect Quotations.: And 'tis impossible for any Man to tell who represents an Author fairly, unless he be skill'din the Original, and have opportunity of consulting it. Bat the method I have us*d, will enable even such as are not acquainted with the learned Tongues, or cannot have recourse to well-furniftPd Libraries, throughly to understand the present Disputes between us and our Adversaries. For if 1 have faithfully rendered some few Authorities, which 1 found it necessary So alledge (and for this I dare appeal even to the Popish Priests themselves J then any Person, who has an ordinary share of common Sense, and an English
Bible, is a competent Judge of these matters. % .-•:-,
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If it be objected, that these Papers are unseasonable, because we are not now in danger of Popery; J desire the Objectors to consider three things* .
First, That tho* the danger of Popery may be vanished away -r yet the Popish Controversies ought not to be utterly forgotten. 'Tis true, the Church is now more vigorously attacked from other Quarters. There are many pernicious Doctrines of a quite different* nature, which appear barefaced among