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That the distinction of points fundamental and not fundamental, is neither pertinent, nor true in our present controversy: and that the catholic visible church cannot err, in either kind of the said points


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Wherein is maintained, That the distinction between points fundamental and not fundamental, is in this present controversy good and pertinent: and that the catholic church may err in the latter kind of the said points



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MR. William Chillingworth was son of William Chillingworth, citizen, and afterwards mayor of Oxford, and was born in St. Martin's parish in that city, in October 1602, and on the last of that month received baptism there.* William Laud, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, and then fellow of St. John's College, and master of arts,† was his godfather. He became a scholar of Trinity College, under the tuition of Mr. Robert Skinner, on the 2d of June, 1618, being then about two years standing in the University.§ June the 28th, 1620, he took the degree of bachelor of arts; and March the 16th, 1623-4, that of master; and June the 10th, 1628, became fel

* Wood, Athen. Oxon. vol. ii. col. 40. 2d edit. Lond. 1721. Diary of Archbishop Laud, published by Mr. H. Wharton, p. 1, 2.

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low of his college.* He was then," says Mr. Wood,† "observed to be no drudge to his study; but, being a man of great parts, would do much in a little time when he settled to it." He did not confine his studies to divinity, but applied himself with great success to mathematics; and, what shews the extent of his genius, he was esteemed likewise a good poet, in which capacity he is mentioned by Sir John Suckling, in his Sessions of the Poets. His intimate friends were Sir Lucius Cary, afterwards Lord Viscount Falkland; Mr. John Hales, of Eton, &c. but more particularly Mr. Gilbert Sheldon, who succeeded Dr. Juxon in the see of Canterbury. The study and conversation of the University scholars at that time. turned chiefly upon the controversies between the church of England and that of Rome; and the great liberty, which had been allowed the popish missionaries in the end of the reign of King James I. being continued under King Charles I. upon the account of his marriage with Henrietta, daughter to Henry IV. of France. There was among them a famous Jesuit, who went under the name of John Fisher, though his true name was John Perse, or Percey, and was very busy in

* Wood, Athen. Oxon. vol. ii. col. 40.

† Ibid.

Fragmenta aurea. A Collection of all the incomparable Pieces written by Sir John Suckling, p. 7. edit. London, 1646. Des Maizeaux's Historical and Critical Account of the Life and Writings of William Chillingworth, p. 3. edit. London, 1725, in octavo.

Id. ibid.

See Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu: A Nathaniele Sotvello ejusdem Societatis Presbytero, p. 487, 488. Edit. Romæ, 1676.

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