HOME > Library > Books > A Brief Confutation of the Errors of the Church of Rome Extracted from Archbishop Secker's Five Sermons Against Popery; and Published for the use of the Diocese of Chester, by the Rev. Beilby Porteus, D.D. Bishop of Chester. [Sermons] (1785 Edition, Dublin)
A Brief Confutation of the Errors of the Church of Rome
Extracted from Archbishop Secker's Five Sermons Against Popery;
and Published for the use of the Diocese of Chester, by the Rev. Beilby Porteus, D.D. Bishop of Chester.
by Beilby Porteus, D.D.
(Bishop of Chester)
1785 Edition, Dublin
HAIL & FIRE REPRINTS 2009
TO THE CLERGY, AND OTHER INHABITANTS OF THE DIOCESE OF CHESTER, MORE ESPECIALLY OF THOSE PARTS WHERE THE PAPISTS ARE MOST NUMEROUS, THE FOLLOWING SHORT TRACT AGAINST POPERY, DETACHED FROM THE WORKS OF A MOST PIOUS AND LEARNED PRELATE, AND A MOST ABLE DEFENDER OF THE PROTESTANT FAITH, IS WITH GREAT REGARD INSCRIBED, AND WITH MUCH EARNESTNESS RECOMMENDED, BY THEIR FAITHFUL AND AFFECTIONATE FRIEND AND SERVANT,
The happiness of all creatures depends entirely on their obedience to his will whose sovereign power created and rules the world. Now the will of God is made known to us in part by natural reason; and they who have no other law shall be judged by that alone. But as reason was unable to teach mankind a great number of things very important to be known, and in fact did teach most of them but a small part of what it might have done; God was mercifully pleased to superadd the light of revelation to it, and place us under the conduct of both jointly. Such an additional provision, it might have been hoped, had cleared up all doubts; but partly the weakness, partly the wickedness of men, hath turned even this light into darkness, and made it multiply disputes instead of ending them. Still we have no reason to be discouraged; for every upright and considerate person may, after all, with due care, very easily see his way before him, clearly enough to walk in it. But we have great reason to use this care, and make such enquiry amidst the different paths, which different persons point out to us, as will give us cause to be satisfied we choose the right. Now of all the different opinions which have risen concerning the Christian religion, there have been few so remarkable as that which divides this part of the world into Popish and Protestant. Those of the former communion, it seems, think us of the latter quite out of the way to salvation, and accordingly are unwearied in persuading, as they have opportunity, the members of our church, especially the lower and more ignorant part of them, to quit it for theirs. The necessity of doing this, they insist upon sometimes with so much plausibility, and always with so much confidence, that I hope you will not think a few pages ill employed on a subject of such very great importance, both to our private satisfaction and public security, in refuting the arguments they usually bring against us, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand (1 Peter 5:12). To proceed regularly in this matter, I shall,
I. Enquire what is the rule of Christian faith and life: and
II. Examine by this rule the peculiar doctrines and practices of the Romish church.
As Jesus Christ is the sole Author of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2), those things, and those alone, which he taught himself, and commissioned his disciples to teach, are parts of our faith. What his doctrine was we find in no less than four accounts of his life and preaching given in the Gospels. To what belief his disciples converted men, we find in the Acts. What they taught men after their conversion, we read in the Epistles. These several books, which make up the New Testament, all Christians allow to contain an original, and undoubtedly true account of our religion. The only possible question is, Whether they contain a full and clear account. Now such a one they without question intended to give, for what could induce them designedly to give any other? Besides, St. Luke, in the very beginning of his gospel, tells us, that having a perfect understanding of those things which were believed among Christians, he had taken in his hand to set forth a declaration of them, that those he wrote to might know the certainty of what they had been instructed in. And St. John, in the conclusion of his, tells us, that though our Saviour did, and doubtless said also, many things that were not written in that book; yet these, says he, are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, are that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:30-31). ...
"Should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:19-20