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Throne, whom Boniface Owned and Abetted, and was made Universal Bishop for his Reward, in the Beginning of the Seventh Century. Thus the Supremacy now Claimed by Rome was Introduced, and has been Maintained pro Viribus ever since. And, under this. Britain has been subdued, which never was under the Patriarchat of Rome : So much has the Government and Unity of the Church been Altered from what it was in the Apostles time, or in the Firft ages of the Church. And thus has Rome L'surped the Name of the Catholick Church, and placed all its Unity in Submission to her Bishop! Here we see the Degrees by which this Encroachment crept on; the Patriarchat began in the Fifth, and the Universal Supremacy in the Seventh Century. And Britain which held it out against the Patriarchat of Rome, was at last Conquered by the more Apparent Ulurpation of her Universal Supremacy, fo Obtained as I have told.
And yet I have heard some Britains say, That though they thought the Church of Rome the most Corrupt Part of the Christian Church, both as to Doctrine and Worship, and to be a Cage full of Unclean Birds; yet that they must be of her, and enter into that Cage, because she was the Catholick Church. This is like that Desperate Maxim in the Canon Law, I quoted before out of the Decretals, That though the Pope should draw Infinite Numbers of People with bim into Hell, yet we must not find Fault with bim, nor Reprove him, &c.
(29.) And I must observe also here. That though France has thrown off the Pope's Infallibility, and his Deposing Power over Princes, and has Limited his Supremacy, that is indeed taken it wholly away, for no Supremacy (properly so called ) can be Limited, for then it Ceases to be Supreme : Yet France remains still in the Dreggs of the Corruptions of Rome, both as to Doctrine and Worship. The Religion of the People there, is, the Adoration of the Hoft, and of the Cross, Invocation of Saints, Worship of Images, praying Souls out of Purgatory, telling their Beads, and going to Confeßion.
(30.) L. I have heard your self say, that Confession was a good Thing, rightly Used.
G. And so I say still, But not in that Sense it is generally used with you, and is Expressed in your Catechism ad Parochos, de Penitentiæ Sacramento, Sect. 46, 47. That such a Repentance as God will not Accept, nor Pardon for it, is made sufficient by the sacrament of Perance, and all our Sins Remitted by it. And that Paucisfimi, very few can be saved without it. They might have said, None, for they here require in Repentance acceptible to God, a Sense and Sorrow for Sin that shall be fully Equal to the Demerit, Ut cum scelerum Magnitudine Æquari con ferrique poßit, which is Impossible for Mortal Man. And therefore All must be Damned without this Sacrament of Penance. And they H2
fay; It was Necessary that God should Inftitute this Sacrament, as an Easier way for Men to get to Heaven. Quare neceffe fuit ut clementillimus Dominus faciliori ratione communi hominum faluti confuleret. An Easy way in deed ! Confess to a Priest and get Absolution, and this makes up the Defects of your Repentance, and you are faved ex Opere Operato, by the Work wrought the bare Performance of this Sacrament, And the Council of Trent Anathematifes all thofe who say that the very Sacraments of the Gospel do not confer Grace in the same Manner, 'by the bare Performance. Siquis dixerit per ipfa Novæ legis Sacramenta ex Opere Operato non conferri Gratiam Anathema fit. Sesl. 7. Can. 8. It is true that God did Institute His Sacraments as Means of Grace, (for which we Bless His Name Daily in our General Thanksgiving ) but this turns them into Charms, when the very Sacraments themselves, ipfa Sacramenta, confer the Grace, ex Opere Operato, by the bare Performance of the Work.
Let us Exemplify this to our felves by the like Ure made of the Institutions of God under the Law. The Jews had got this Notion of the Opus Operatim, that the bare Performance of the Letter of the Law, in tbeir Sacri. fices, Feafts, Fafts, and other observances was all that was Required of them. Whence theVoices of all the Prophets were against these Infti. tutions, they call them Iniquity, Abomination,
and Hateful to God: Nay, God denies that He did Require Ila, 1, 11, 12,13. 14.
Jer. vii. 22. them, or ever did Institute them. That is, as a dead Carcass without a Soul, and Working like Charms by the bare Opus Operatum. God did never Inftitute such, nor does Require them at our Hands. And may we not say, no more under the Gospel than the Law . For the Gospel introduced a more Pure and Spiritual Worfhip, but the Council of Trent by Naming only the Sacraments of the New Law, applies the Opus Operatum to them also, if not Chiefly.
What else is the Meaning of tying Men to the Repetition of such a percise Number of Ave's and Pater's and Credo's, at such particular Times, whether the Mind goes along with them, or not? For you will see People in the Markets, buying and selling, or Discoursing of Common Business, and droping their Beads all the while, to keep Count if they have Rightly Performed their Task of the Opus Operatum,
But if Prayers and Sacraments, which are Means of Grace of God's own Institution, may be thus Abused, and rendred Hateful to God: What shall we say of those Means of Grace which are of Man's mere Invention ? None can Appoint the Means but he who has the bestowing of the End to be Obtained by those Means : As if I have a Thousand Pounds to Bestow, I may put what Conditions I
think fit, and Appoint the Means for the Obtaining it; and none else can Appoint the Means : Now Grace is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and none can Appoint the Means of Obtaining it, but who has the Bestowing of the Holy Ghost; which it is the Highest Blasphemy for any Creature to Assume to Himself ; hence Christ's fending the Holy Ghost is a sure Proof of His Divinity : But the Church of Rome takes upon her to Appoint Means of Grace, many and various; the whole Ponti. fical is made up of the Forms of Confecration of every thing almost one can think of into Means of Grace, as Bells, Books, Candles, Water, Salt, Oil, Ashes, Palms, Swords, Banners, and Vestments of divers Sorts, even to Chile drens Clouts, besides Croses, Pictures, Images, Agnus Dei's, &c. By the Use of which, in the Manner prescribed, several Graces, both Ghostly and Bodily, are said to be Obtained, as besides the Favour of God, and the Remiffion of Sins, the Saving from Fire, from Difeases, from Storms at Sea, Thunder, Lightning, and Tempest at Land, at which times they Ring their Consecrated Bells, to Allay the Winds, and Chase away the Demons of the Air, who seeing the Sign of the Cross upon such Bells, and hearing their Sound, shall be Frighted and Fly away, as it is Expressed in the Form of Consecration of Bells in the Portifical. Nay ther is Nothing in the World 10 Insignificant, a Rose, or a Feather, which the Pope may not Confecratę into á Means of