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the least Intimation of praying to the Virgin Mary, or making use of her Mediation : And can any Man believe that if this had been our Duty, or the Practice of the Church from the Beginning, our Lord and his Apoftlęs wou'd have been Glent in lo considerable a Circumstance, or rather essential Point of Devotion; or that the Latter wou'd not somewhere have practised it themselves, and recommended it to others ? which they have been 10 far from doing, that in all the Epistles of the Apostles, her Name is not so much as once mentioned. And yet her Wership in the present Church of Rome is become not only a maio Part of their publick Prayers, but almost engrosses their whole private Devotions, insomuch, that for one Prayer they make to Almighty God, they make ten Addresses to the blessed Virgin: For that is the : Proportion observed between Ave Maria's, and Pater Noster's in their Rosaries. He that considers this, and had never read the Bible, wou'd sure be apt to think, that the New Testament did abound from one End to tother, with Precepts and Exhortations to worship her; and yet, when all is done, we challenge the learnedeft Jefuit in the World to produce fo much as one Søntence in the whole: Book of God i hat sounds that Way. Nay, as little there is thereof to be found in Christian Writers of the first three hundred Years after Chrift came into the World :: For the Truth is, this Practice began to creep in, among fome fuperftitious People, about the Middle of the fourth Century, tho'not publickly used till afterwards ; and Epiphanius, who lives about that Time, called it the Heresy of the Women. Nor did the most Learned of the Fathers long after approve it; witness St. Auflin, who, speaking of her, faith, (a) " She was a Virgin, but “ not given us to be adored, doc." Certainly it any Papif be serious in Religion, to reflect upon these Things will put him out of Conceit with such an unwarrantable Superftition.
(a) Epift, 43.
C H A Pi.
THERE is Scarce
any Protestant but has heard of the Church of Rome, but many there are, who underftand very little of the true Meaning thereof; fo that when they happen to fall into Discourse upon that Sub. ject, they are frequently in danger of being impos'd upon by any crafty Prielt, or popish Emissary, who ei. ther conceals, or jultifies his Church's Practices, as it best tuits with his own Convenience, the Juncture of Time, or Humour of the Party he converses with. For if he be ingenuous, then perhaps he will deny that he approves or owns any such things as Indulgences, Pardons, or Dispensations, it. ignorant, then acknowJedges the faine, and by feigned Arguments endeavours to prove the Lawfulness and Utility of such Devices. We shall therefore for the Reader's entire Satisfaction in this Point, eodeavour three Things.
First, faithfully and impartially to set forth, the Sentiments which the Romish Church hath of Indulgences, and imposes on her Children at this Day.
Secondly, We shall thew the Original of such Indulgences, and the Difference between those of antient Times, and those now used, and the Policy of these of later Invention.
Firft then, we have an Indulgence, thus defined by Bellarmine, (a) “ An Indulgence, says he, is properly a
judicial Absolution, having annexed thereunto a Pay"ment and Satisfaction made out of the Treasure of: " the Church
In a popish Treatise of Indulgences, printed in Eng lis, Anno 1617, and said to be trandated out of Italian, for the Benefit of all Catholick People, we find an in dulgencethus defin'd; (b) “ An Indulgence, as it is ordi“ narily taken in the Catholick Church, is a Remiffion
or Forgiveness of Sins, either in Part, or in Whole; " yet not of the mortal Crime or Guilt it felf, (which “ is remitted otherwise in the Sacrament of Penance) “ but of Pain, (not eternal but temporal) due ynto “ Man for his Sins, after they be forgiven by Sacra-“ mental Confeffion. Which Forgiveness does spring " and flow from the infinite Merit, and superabundant: " Satisfaction of Christ, and of the blessed Virgin, “ his Mother, and of other holy Saints and Martyrs,» " which is depofited in a common Treasure; and there“ of the Chureh, that is, the Pope, hath the Disposal, “ and so may at his Pleasure, beltow so much out of the “, same to any Person, as fhall discharge in tull or in
part (as he thinks fit) the Punishment due to his “ Offences, and which he must have otherwise suffered “in Purgatory."
But for clearer Understanding of the Church of Rome's Doctrine herein, we shall briefly transcribe fome Conditions, laid down by the Author of this Treatise of Indulgences, as necessary thereunto.
He comes to tell us, (c) who are the Distributors of this precious Treasure, and afferts, that “ They are either “ unlimitted, or limitted. The un'imitted is only the
Pope himselt; the limitted are his Legates, who by:
“ speciel or general Commission, may grant them in " thole Countries un:o which they are legated; Arch* Bishops and Metropolitans within their own Pro“ vinces, Bishops in their respective Dioceses, as allo “ religious Men, and secular Priests, as far as they are en
trafted by his Holiness with fuch Authority.
(a) “ That Indulgences do extend, as well to the high « Forum or Tribunal of our Saviour Cbrift, as to the “ internal Forum or Court of the holy Church."
That (b) “ To obtain tajs fpecial Treasure, or any “ Part thereof, there is required, a kt Disposition in him " that is to receive the fames that he truly perform*all " and every Precept vhich he that granteth the said In
dulgence shall appoint, or fo much thereof as fhall be
necessary, according to the Intention of the Giver, who " commonly allows the Choice of two, three, or $ more Things to be done, as every Man's Eftate, “ Opportunity, and other Circumftances require, with " out accomplishing whereof, the said Indulgences can« not be obtained."
That" Indulgences do only profit and avail such as so obtain and get them, and not others, fo as we cannot “ procure Indulgence's for another, except the Bull
whereby they are published do exprefly fpecity the fame; which is very feldom, and not without extraordinary Cause.
(c) “ That thefe Indulgences profit the Dead; for, " as the Suffrages of the Living advantage them by “ Way of Impetration, fo Iadulgences avail them by
Way of Satisfaction and Application.
(d) “ But, he tells us, they are given one Way to " the Dead, and another way to the Living: Unto the “ Latter by of Way of Abfolution, as being immediate.
ly subject unto the Pope; unto the Forover by Way “ of Suffrage, inlomuch as the Pope dispensing the spi« ritual Treasures of the Church, for the Debt of Pun
(a) Page 28. (b) Page 29. (c) Page 31. (d) PAA 57:
6 then may
“ nishments due for Sins, fatisfieth God therewith in “ such wise, that he accepteth the same, and this be il. “ luftrates by this Example. Suppose the Pope of his
good Nature and Charity wou'd releale all those, thar
are imprisoned in his City of Rome for Debt, paying“ “ for them so much as every one oweth to his Creditor ;
y he with just Reason, and without any more. 6 to do, lawfully discharge out of Prison those which : “ are his own Subjects, having absolute Jurisdi&tion
over them. But it he have a mind to deliver others, 86 imprison'd for the like Debt, in the Territories of any." “ other Prince of Italy, juridically he cou'd not do it'; “ but by, disbursing the Money, and paying the faid “ Debts, he might intreat such Prince in their Behalt, , " to accept thc Money, and to rekase the Debtors out “ of Prison; and in that Cafe it may be said, that the “ Pope, by Way of Intreaty, delivered them, altho' it ** were in their Prince's Power to accept the fame or
no. Even fo (faith our wife Catholick Author) It “ falleth out in this Dispensation of the Treasure of « Indulgences, :which is, as it were, Money given us s 66 by the Pope, to satisfy the Debts we owe to God for :
our Sins, (and which must one way or other be *
paid before we be released) Now when this is bea * Itowed upon us that are living, and immediately fub-“ject to his Holiness, we thereby are juridically (or “ in due Form of Law) ablolved thereof. But for the “ Dead, secing he payeth for them also, he is to intreat: «. for them by way of Suffage, trusting to the Goodness 6 of God, &C.
He proceeds(a) to fhew the rare Virtues of these Indul. gences, and affirms, that “ A Man having done what
was enjoin'd, for gaining a plenary Indulgence, if at " that Instant he chance to die, he may be assur'd to go “to eternal Glory, without passing ebro' the Fire of “ Purgatory. But when his Confeffor at point of Death
(a) Page 60.