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The Avrhor of


The Poor Man's Catechism.


Published by his FRIENDS

Be always ready to give an Account of your Faith.


Printed in the Year M.DCCLX

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TN this small treatise, called the Poor Man's Con1 troversy, I have endeavoured to lay the matter open in the plainest and lowest style, that it may be understood by the meanest capacities, and have the better effect upon their understandings and morals.

It contains, in short, the chief points controverted between Catholics and their adversaries, and 'unfolds all misrepresentations and slanders of the doctrine and practice of the former ; so that in equity none can pretend to cavil any longer about thein : for who are the best Judges of our Faith but ourselves, who know, believe, and profess it, and expose ourselves to persecution for it? Is not the publick more likely to learn it from ourselves, than from those who are the most ignorant of what we hold, or wilfully mistake our belief?

It is an easy thing to blacken others by assertions without proof: And very often prejudice of education brings on great blindness in searching out the truth of others tenets.

What I have wrote is without malice or ill-will wishing my adversaries the same good as, I do my own soul, Truth and Virtue : It is rather an apology for ourselves, than an Invective against them ; fo hope it may be taken in good part. I only wish they would speak the truth in all they alledge against us, which they certainly do not in their capital accusations, making us Idolaters, drowned in damnable Errors and Superstition ; by which they have signed not only our damnation, but that of all

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their Catholic ancestors, and the first founders and A postles of the English Church, even Pope Gregory the Great and Saint Augustin, sent by him, who by his preaching and miracles, converted the Saxon Inhabitants of this once blessed Isand from Paganism. They should not at least any longer condemn our Creed of Uncharitableness in teaching, that out of the true Church there is no salvation.

Let them observe three words, and it must make a great conversion among them: Veni, Vidi, Vici : Let them first Come, and seriously examine our de

fence : Let thein See the truth we hold, and upon - what grounds: And this will Overcome Blindness, Ignorance, Prejudice, Malice, and conduct them to the truth which remains for ever. The Truth of God remains for ever, (Pf. cxvi. 2.)


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| C H A P. I. On the Authority of the Holy Catholick


If he will not hear the Church let him be unto thee as a Heathen Man and a Publican, Matth. xviii. 17.

2. U THAT is the root and foundation of

W our Juftification ?
A. Faith.
2. What do you mean by Faith?

À. I mean á firm belief of all that God has taught and revealed for man's falvation,

2. What are the grounds for such a Faith?

Ă. No less than the authority of God: I believe the myfteries of Faith, purely because God has revealed them all.

2How Thall I know with certainty that God has revealed them ?

A. By the authority and testimony of the Holy Catholick Church, which he appointed to teach them.

2. Is not this trusting to a human authority ?

À. No: It is a divine authority established by Christ, and upheld by his divine power : As the authority of the Apostles and the Church in theic.


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