1657 RICHARD BAXTER. A Winding-sheet for Popery. Rare Kederminster Published Tract.
1657 RICHARD BAXTER. A Winding-sheet for Popery. Rare Kederminster Published Tract.

1657 RICHARD BAXTER. A Winding-sheet for Popery. Rare Kederminster Published Tract.

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A very rare, locally printed tract by Richard Baxter against the Roman Catholic Church. In it, he posits thirty reasons to suspect Rome's claim to be the Catholic Church and instead claims himself to be of the Catholic Church, i.e. that which allows dissent, liberty of conscience, and the open discussion and exposition of Scripture. This was penned in July of 1657 and printed only once. 

It should be noted that Baxter even notates himself as the author, "Catholick." It's intentionally a bit salty. Baxter uses this term regularly, and insistently throughout his ministry in an effort to wrest it out of the hands of the Roman church and bring it back to its original meaning of "all the variety of expressions of orthodox faithful in Jesus." In this context, it is clearly a jab at the Roman Catholic church. Printed during Baxter's minister at Kederminster.

Baxter, Richard. A Winding-sheet for Popery. London. Printed by Robert White, for Nevil Simmons, Bookseller, in Kederminster, Anno Dom. 1657. 13pp.

"Among all the sects that have troubled the Church of Christ, there is none that have heapt up such a multitude of errours, and made such a vexatious stir for them in the world by subtilty, importunity, flames and blood-shed, as the Papists have done. Where they dare it, they do cruelly torment, and bloodily murder those that are not of their erroneous mind: Yea, it is part of their Religion to force all Christian Princes to destroy us, and if they will not, to absolve their subjects from their allegiance, and delivery up their Countries to a Papist that will destroy us."

"Moreover, the way of Popery is a way of meer delusion, and vain ostentation. They advance the Pope to be the final Judge of Controversies (or a General Council, as others) and when they have done, they are never nearer an end of them. He seeth many hundred Controversies among them, and dare not speak a word to determine them. The Church of Rome is the true expounder of the Scriptures: and yet many hundred differences are known to be among their own Expositors, and many hundred Texts that the people understand not, and yet this Oracle will not speak; and ignorance, and contention, as if we had no Judge."

"And what case do the Papists put the Universal Church into, when our faith and the decision of our doubts must depend upon such a man as abundance of their Popes have been? Many of their own writers call them no better than Apostates, Hereticks, Murderers, Adulterers, Sodomites, Conjurers; and such were the Heads of the Catholick Church, a long time together. I know the silly people are told by their lyars, that all this is lyes: But let them put it to tryal if they dare, whether I will not as fully prove it out of their own writings, as that ever King William was alive in England? And are condemned as Hereticks, and devilish Murderers and Adulterers likely to be the infallible Judges of all Controversies?"

Removed from a larger sammelband at some point; complete as issued. First and only edition. One small chip, sewing fragile. Textually complete and clean. Not reprinted in his theological or practical works.