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jury is bad enough. And now I leave it to your Jadyship to judge who are the prevaricators.
XXXIV. Thus I have largely examined every thing in the letter, that seemed to me any way worthy of answer. What follows in the close, is nothing else but a bundle of specious words, which I know your ladyship to be too wise to be deceived by. Only I cannot but take notice how enthusiastical and perfectly fanatical his discourse is concerning faith and conversion. He tells your ladyship very gravely, that true faith is the immediate gift of God. But a graver apostle assures us, that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; that is, that a man must first have the object of his faith clearly and convincingly propounded to him, and that as declared by the word of God or divine revelation, before he can truly believe, or be obliged so to do. He encourageth your ladyship to expect a conversion no less miraculous than that of St. Paul, and promiseth the contribution of his prayers for the obtaining of so great a favour. It seems he supposeth your ladyship to be at present in a sad estate, like that of St. Paul when he was yet a Saul, in a state of infidelity persecuting the church of God. But your adhesion to the Church of England (wherein, as I have largely proved, the rule of faith and all the fundamental articles of the Christian religion are received, taught, professed, and acknowledged) secures you from infidelity and lieresy; and your known and exemplary piety gives me ground to believe, that you are in the number of those righteous persons (of whom our Saviour speaks, Luke xv. 7.) that need no repentance, that is, no universal change from a state of sin and death to a state of grace and salvation. But if your ladyship’s present estate were as bad as your kind relation represents it, yet he gives you no just ground to expect so miraculous a conversion as that of St. Paul's; and I doubt all his prayers to saints and angels would prove ineffectual for that purpose. But would your ladyship understand the plain English of this fanatic discourse? For all his pretences to the contrary, he is unwilling that your ladyship should consult your serious reason: for then he despairs (and not without reason) that ever you will come off to the church of Rome; but he would have you to wait for some violent, sudden, and unaccountable impulse, that should drive your ladyship (you know not why or wherefore) into the bosom of their church, where he promises “ a delightful and sweet “ repose."
How sweet it will be I know not, but sure I am it will not be very safe. Let me therefore humbly beseech your ladyship to stick to his first advice, “ to consult your serious reason,” and (let me add) those learned divines of our church, that are near you, who are abundantly able to rescue your ladyship from the little trifling arrests of the Roman emissaries; and especially to consult the undoubted oracles of God, the holy Scriptures, which the author of the letter himself tells you, should be our guidance unto true faith and perfection ; and to all to add your daily prayers to Almighty God, that he would lead you into and confirm you in his holy truth, and deliver you from the snares of error, which are with so close and cunning a contrivance every where laid among us; and then I doubt not but you
will continue steadfast in the communion of that church, wherein at present, by the gracious providence of God, you live, and bless God that you are there.
If my weak endeavours may be farther serviceable to your ladyship in this great affair, be pleased freely to command,
Your ladyship’s most truly devoted servant
in all Christian offices,
Suddington in Gloucester
shire, Oct. 18, 1671.
THE CHURCH OF ROME,
IN RELATION TO
RULE OF FAITH, AND FORM OF DIVINE WORSHIP;
IN ANSWER TO
THE BISHOP OF MEAUX'S QUERIES.
THE REVEREND DR. BULL,
LORD BISHOP OF ST. DAVID's.