These prayers have principal relation to the judgment of the great day, and do respect the escaping of the unquenchable fire of Gehenna, not the temporal flames of any imaginary purgatory, is plain, both by these kinds of prosopopoeias, which they attribute to the deceased: “Supplicate with tears unto Christ, who is to judge my poor soul, that he would deliver me from that fire which is unquenchable.”
It is for him to fear death, that is not willing to go unto Christ : it is for him to be unwilling to go unto Christ, who doth not believe that he beginneth to reign with Christ. For it is written, that the just doth live by faith. If thou be just, and livest by faith, if thou dost truly believe in God, why, being to be with Christ, and being secure of the Lord’s promise, dost not thou embrace the message whereby thou art called unto Christ, and rejoicest that thou shalt be rid of the devil? Simeon said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
Man did not properly remit sin, but did declare and certify that it was remitted by God. So that the absolution received from man is nothing else than if he should say, Behold, my son, I certify thee that thy sins are forgiven thee; I pronounce unto thee that thou hast God favourable unto thee; and whatsoever Christ in baptism and in his Gospel hath promised unto us, he doth now declare and promise unto thee by me. Of this shalt thou have nie to be a witness: go in peace and in quiet of conscience.
Be it therefore known unto him, that no kind of Confession, either public or private, is disallowed by us, that is any way requisite for the due execution of that ancient power of the keys which Christ bestowed upon his Church. The thing which we reject is that new picklock of sacramental Confession, obtruded upon men’s consciences, as a matter necessary to salvation, by the canons of the late Conventicle of Trent, where those good Fathers put their curse upon every one that either shall “Many that sacramental Confession was ordained by divine right, and is by the same right necessary to salvation;”
That which he bid them all drink of is that which he said was his blood. But our Saviour could mean nothing but the wine when he said, Drink ye all of it; because this sentence was uttered by him before the words of consecration, at which time our adversaries themselves do confess that there was nothing in the cup but wine, or wine and water at the most. It was wine, therefore, which he said was his blood, even the fruit of the vine, as he himself termeth it. For as in the delivery of the other cup before the institution of the Sacrament, St Luke, who alone maketh mention of that part of the history, telleth us that he said unto his disciples, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come;” (Luke 22:18)
Traditions of men should be obtruded unto us for articles of religion, and admitted for parts of God’s worship; or that any Traditions should be accepted for parcels of God’s word, beside the holy Scriptures and such doctrines as are either expressly therein contained, or by sound inference may be deduced from thence; I think we have reason to gainsay, as long as for the first we have this direct sentence from God himself, Matthew 15: In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men
To uphold the religion which at this day is maintained in the Church of Rome, and to discredit the truth which we profess, three things are here urged, by one who hath undertaken to make good the Papists cause against all gainsayers. The first concerneth the original of the errors wherewith that part standeth charged; the author and time whereof he requireth us to shew. The other two respect the testimony, both of the primitive Church, and of the sacred Scriptures; which, in the points wherein we vary, if this man may be believed, maketh wholly for them and against us.
True it is, that in our Church this kind of Presbyterial government has been long disused, yet seeing it still professes, that every Pastor has a right to rule the Church (from when the name of Rector also was given at first unto him) and to administer the Discipline of Christ, as well as to dispense the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the restraint of the exercise of that right proceeds only from the custom now received in this Realm, no man can doubt but by another Law of the Land this Hindrance may be well removed.