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Titus 3.

phets among the Jews, so there should be
false Teachers among the Christians, who should
privily bring in damnable Heresies, even de-

nying the Lord who bought them : and thro' Ver. 3. Covetoufness, with feigned Words, making

Merchandize of Souls. St. Paul also bids 10, 11. Titus to rejeit an Heretick, after the first and

second Admonition, forasmuch as he that is
Juch, is subverted and sinneth, being coule
demned of himself. These are the two prin-
cipal Texts of Scripture that speak of Here-
fy or Hereticks with reference to matters of
Faith ; and I doubt not but it is from these
two Texts, that the common ecclesiastical
Notion of Heresy, as it is distinguished from
Schism, is taken up. But now from these
two Texts we plainly fee, that Heresy is
not so much a Fault of a Man's Understand-
ing, as of his Will. In the Sense of these
two Apostles, he only is an Heretick that
denies some fundamental Truths of Christ's
Religion, thật subverts the Faith, and
teaches Do&rines inconsistent with Christia-
nity; and this out of evil Principles, so that
his own Conscience cannot but accuse him.
But he is not a Heretick, however he may
be mistaken in Matters of Religion, who
holds to the Foundation of the Christian
Faith, and means honestly, and endeavours
to inform himself as well as he can. So that
it is in every Man's Power to avoid the be-
ing a Heretick; and none blit a wicked
Person can be fo. St. Augustin, I am sure,

3

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was of this Opinion, when he said, Errare poflum Hæreticus effe nolo; I may be under Errors or Mistakes, but I will not be an Heretick. Intimating that it was not so much Defect of the Understanding, as Vice and Sin and a corrupt Inclination of Mind, that made a Man to deserve that Name.

The Reflection I make upon what I have now said about Heresy in Matters of Faith, is this: We see from hence how groundlesly, how unreasonably, we Protestants are charged with Heresy by our Adversaries. They make no Scruple of calling us Hereticks, and telling us we shall be damned upon that Account, unless we come over to their Belief. Why, what is it they would have us believe? We believe all that Jesus Christ and his Apostles taught to the World, so far as we have Knowledge of it. We believe all the Holy Scriptures, and not only so, but we make them the Rule of our Faith. We believe all those Articles of Faith into which all Christians in every Country from Christ's Time to this have been baptised, and which by all the Antients have been accounted a perfect Summary of the Christian Faith ; nor do we hold any thing inconfiftent with them. We own both Christ's Sacraments; and we administer them entirely. We renounce all the Heresies that were condemned by the antient general Councils; nay, we are ready to refer ourselves to those

Councils,

B 3

Councils, and to the primitive Fathers who lived at that Time, for the Trial of all the Points which are disputed between us. And lastly, we are sure we are not obstinate in our Errors, if they should prove so; we are sure we have no secular Ends to serve in the maintaining them ; and most of all sure we are, that we are not self-condemned, that our own Conscience doth not accuse us for being of this Way ; (which yet is one of those Things that go to the making of an Heretick): Now if all these Things can be truly said of us, (as I think they may be truly said of the Church of England, and of all the honest Members of it) how is it possible that we can in any Sense be guilty of Heresy ? In the Sense of the Scriptures and of the Fathers I am sure we are Orthodox Christians: And in the Sense of the greatest Divines, even in the Roman Communion, I am sure we are no Hereticks. And if after all that, we must be branded with that

Name, all that we can say is, that after the ACts 24.14 Way which they call Heresy, so worship we

the God of our Fathers.

But, 2dly, there is another Notion of Heresy in the Holy Scriptures, besides that I have now mentioned ; and that is with refpect to ecclesiastical Peace and Communion: As a Man who deserts the Faith is guilty of Heresy, fo is he who causelesly breaks the Communion of the Church, a Heretick also in the Language of the Scripture.

Now

Now in this Sense Heresy is the same Thing with that which we call Schism; and in this Sense 'I do verily believe St. Paul meant it in the Text I am now upon.

That he did so, will appear to any one who will look twó Verses backwards, and observe how the Text comes in. In the 17th Verse of this Chapter St. Paul tells the Corinthians, that he had one Thing to declare to them, for which he was far from praising them : and that was, that they came together not for the better, but for the worse. Now what that was which rendered their Assemblies so unprofitable, or rather so prejudicial_to them, he tells them in the 18th Verse; For, says he, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that there be Divisions among you : [The original Words are, I hear there be golu.T. Schilms among you:] and, says he, I partly believe it ; and then he gives the Reason why he is so inclinable to believe this of them in the Words of my Text, For, says he, there must be Herefies among you,

So that it is evident that what he called Schism's or Divisions in the former Verse, he calls Heresies in the following Verse, and consequently that he meant the same Thing by both those words. It is wholly indifferent to my present Business in which of these two Senses the Words of my Text be interpreted. I shall in what I have further to say have respect to both ; only before I proceed, I would make a Reflection upon this Notion

of Heresy, as I did upon the former. According to the Sense I have now given of the Text, every one who makes Divisions, every one that causeth Schisms, is guilty of Heresy. This is true, and let those who are concerned in it look to it. It must be acknowledged, that as Christianity now stands in the World, nay as it hath stood for several Ages, there have been, and are a great many Divisions and Schisms in the Church. They who are united in one common Faith, are not united in one common Communion, as the primitive Churches were. That is indeed the Infelicity and Misery of Christendom

; and all good Men do sadly Jament it. But Woe be to them by whom this Offence cometh !

There are who call us Schismaticks, because we are now in a State of Separation from the Church of Rome upon account of our Reformation. But we are sure we do not deserve that Name. If indeed it did appear either that that Church was the only Catholick Church, out of which there is no Salvation; or that we had departed farther from that Church, or any Church, than we are convinced they have departed from the primitive Rule of Christ and his Apostles; or that what was done in our Reformation, was done without lawful and sufficient Authority; or that at this Day we refuse Communion with any, or with all the Churches in the World, upon such

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