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of judgments, to illustrate his own glory; that every man might learn so much more to adore his Majesty, by how much harder it is rightly to apprehend him.” The justice of this exception neth been confessed and bewailed of old, by the ancient Fathers. St. Chrysostom shall speak for all: Deridiculo facti sumus et Gentibus et Judæis, dum Ecclesia in mille partes scindiur ; “ We are marle a scorn to Jews and Gentiles,” saith he, “ while the Church is torn into a thousand pieces."
Little do these fools, that stumble at these contentions, know the weight of St. Pau's Oportet, There must be heresies. Little are they acquainted with God's fashions in all his works. Hath he not set contrary motions in the very heavens ? Are not the elements, the main stuff of the world, contrary to each other, in their forms and qualities ? Hath he not made the natural day to consist of light and darkness ? the year of seasons contrarily tempered? Yea, all things, according to the guess of that old philosopher, er lite et amicitia? And shall we need to teach God how to frame his Church? Will these wise censurers accuse the heavens of misplacing, the elements of mistemper, or check the day with the deformity of his darkness, or upbraid the fair beauty of the year with icicles and wrinkles ? or condemn that real Friendship, that arises from debate? If the wise and holy Moderator of All Things did not know how, by these fires of contradiction, to try men, and to purify his truth, and to glorify himself, how easy were it for him to quench them, and confound their authors! Can they commend it in a wise Scipio, that he would not have Carthage, though their greatest enemy, destroyed, Ut timore libido premeretur, libido pressa non luxuriaretur, “ That riot might be curbed with fear,” St. Austin expresses it; and shall not the most wise God have leave to permit an exercise to keep his children in breath, that they be not stuffed up with the foggy unsound humours of the world? When these presuming fools have stumbled, and fallen into the bottom of hell, the Spouse of Christ shall be still his Dove, in the clefts or scissures of the rocks; and she shall call him her Roe, or young hart, na byupon the hills of Division ; Cant. ii. 17.
But yet, when all is done, in spite of all dissentions the Church is Columba una, one Dove. The word is not more common, than equivocal: whether ye consider it as the aggregation of the outward, visible, particular Churches of Christian professors; or as the inward, secret, universal company of the Elect; it is still One.
To begin with the Former. What is it here below, that makes the Church one ? One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. One Lord; so it is one in the Head : One Faith; so it is one in the Heart: One Baptism ; so it is one in the Face. Where these are truly professed to be, though there may be differences of administrations and ceremonies, though there may be differences in opinions, yet there is Celumba una : all those are but diversely-coloured feathers of the same Dove. What Church therefore hath One Lord, Jesus Christ the Righteous, One Faith in that Lord, One Baptism into that Faith, it is the One Dove of Christ. To speak more short, One
Faiih abridges all. But what is that One Faith? What, but the main fundamental doctrine of religion necessary to be known, to be believed unto salvation ? It is a golden and useful distinction, that we must take with us, betwixt Christian Articles and Theological Conclusions. Christian Articles are the principles of religion necessary to a believer; Theological Conclusions are schoolpoints, fit for the discourse of a divine. Those Articles are few and essential : these Conclusions are many, and unimpor ing (upon necessity) to salvation either way. That Church then, which holds those Christian Articles both in terms and necessary consequences, as every visible Church of Christ doth, however it vary in these Theological Conclusions, is Columba una. Were there not much latitude in this Faith, how should we fetch in the antient Jewish Church to the unity of the Christian? Theirs and ours is but one Dove; though the feathers, according to the colour of that fowl, be changeable. It is a fearful account then, that shall once be given before the dreadful tribunal of the Son of God, the only Husband of this one Church, by those men, who, not like the chiidren of faithful Abraham, divide the Dove; multiplying Articles of Faith according to their own fancies; and casting out of the bosom of the Church those Christians, that differ from their either false or unnecessary conclusions. Thus have our great Lords of the Seven Hills dared to do, whose faction hath both devoured their charity and scorned ours; to the great prejudice of the Christian world; to the irreparable damage of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus. The God of Heaven judge in this great case, betwixt them and us: us, who, firmly holding the foundation of Christian Religion in all things according to the Ancient, Catholic, Apostolic Faith, are rejected, censured, condemned, accursed, killed, for refusing their gainful novelties. In the mean time, we can but lament their fury no less than their errors; and send out our hopeless wishes, that the seamless coat might be darned up by their hands that tore it. From them, to speak to ourselves, who have happily reformed those errors of theirs, which either their ambition or profit would not suffer them to part with ; since we are one, why are we sundered? One says, “I am Luther's for Consubstantiation :” another, “I am Calvin's for Discipline:” another, “ I am Arminius's for Predestination:” another, “ I am Barrow's or Brown's for Separation." What frenzy possesses the brains of Christians, thus to squander themselves into factions ? It is indeed an envious cavil of our common adversaries, to make these so many religionis. No; every branch of different opinion doth not constitute a several religion: were this true, I durst boldly say, old Rome had not more deities than the modern Rome hath religions. These things, though they do not vary Religions and Churches, yet they trouble the quiet Unity of the Church. Brethren, since our religion is one, why are not our tongues one ? Why do we not bite in our singular conceits, and bind our tongues to the common peace?
But if, from particular visible Churches, (which perhaps you VOL. V.
may construe to be the threescore Queens here spoken of, you shall turn your eyes to the true, inward, universal company of God's Elect and Secret Ones, there shall you more perfectly find Columbam unam, one Dove ; for, what the other is in profession, this is in truth: that one Baptism is here the true Laver of Regeneration; that one Faith is a saving reposal upon Christ; that one Lord is the Saviour of his Body. No natural body is more one, than this mystical: one Head rules it ; one Spirit animates it; one set of joints moves it; one food nourishes it; one robe covers it. So it is one in itself, so one with Christ, as Christ is one with the Father: That they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me ; John xvii 22. O blessed Unity of the Saints of God, which none of the make-bates of hell can ever be able to dissolve!
And now, since we are thus and every other way one, why are we not united in love? Why do we, in our ordinary conversation, suffer slight weaknesses to set off our charity ? Mephibosheth was a cripple; yet the perfect love of Jonathan either cures or covers his impotency. We can no more want infirmities, than not be men: we cannot stick at infirmities, if we be Christians. It is but a poor love, that cannot pass over small faults; even quotidiana incursionis, as that Father speaks. It is an injurious niceness, to condemn a good face in each other for a little mole. Brethren, let us not aggravate, but pity each others' weaknesses; and, since we are but one body, let us liave but one heart, one way: and, if we be the Dove of Christ, and his Dove is one, oh let us be so one with each other as he is one with us,
And, as the Church and Commonwealth are twins, so should this be no less one with itself and with her temporal head. Divisum est cor eorum, Their heart is divided, was the judgment upon Israel; Hos. X. 2. Oh, how is every good heart divided in sunder, with the grief for the late divisions of our Reuben ! We do not mourn, we bleed inwardly, for this distraction. But I do willingly smother these thoughts; yea, my just sorrow chokes them in my bosom, that they cannot come forth but in sighs and groans. Othou, that art the God of Peace, unite all hearts in love to each other, in loyal subjection to their Sovereign Head. Amen.
(2.) As the Church is one, in not being divided; so she is but one, in not being Multiplied, Here is unus, uni, unam ; as the old word is. He, the true Husband of the Church, who made and gave but one Eve to the First Adam, will take but one wife to himself, the Second Adam. There are many particular Churches: all these make up but one universal; as many distinct limbs make up but one entire body, many grains one batch, many drops and streams
So many regions as there are under heaven, that do truly profess the Christian Name, so many National Churches there are: in all those nations, there are many Provincial; in all those provinces, many Diocesan; in all those dioceses, many Parochial Churches; in all those parishes, many Christian Families; in all
those families, many Christian Souls: Now, all those Souls, Families, Parishes, Dioceses, Provinces, Nations make up but one Catholic Church of Christ
earth. The God of the Church cannot abide either conventicles of separation, or pluralities of professions, or appropriations of catholicism. Catholic Roman is an absurd Donatian solecism. This is to seek Orbem in w be, as that Council said well. Happy were it for that Church, if it were a sound limb, though but the little toe, of that mighty and precious body, wherein no believing Jew or Indian may not challenge to be jointed.
Neither difference of time, nor distance of place, nor rigour of unjust censure, nor any unessential error, can bar our interest in this Blessed Unity. As this Rourishing Church of Great Britain, after all the spiteful calumniations of malicious men, is one of the most conspicuous members of the Catholic upon earth; so we, in her Communion, do make up one body with the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors and faithful Christians of all ages and times. We succeed in their faith, we glory in their succession, we triumph in this glory.
Whither go ye then, ye weak, ignorant, seduced souls, that run to seek this Dove in a foreign cote? She is here, if she have any nest under heaven. Let me never have part in her or in heaven, if any Church in the world have more part in the Universal. Why do we wrong ourselves, with the contradistinction of Protestant and Catholic? We do only protest this, that we are perfect Catholics. Let the pretenced look to themselves: we are sure we are as Catholic as True Faith can make us; as much one, as the same Catholic Faith can make us : and, in this undoubted right, we claim and enjoy the sweet and inseparable communion with all the blessed members of that mystical body, both in earth and heaven; and, by virtue thereof, with the Glorious Head of that dear and happy body, Jesus Christ the Righteous, the Husband to this one Wife, the Mate to this one Dove: To whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, three persons and one God, be given all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE FASHIONS OF THE WORLD:
LAID FORTH IN A SERMON AT GRAY'S INN, ON CANDLEMAS-DAY,
ROMANS xii. 2.
Fashion not yourselves like to this World. That, which was wont to be upbraided as a scorn to the English, may be here conceived the Emblem of a Man: whom ye may imagine standing naked before you, with a pair of shears in his hand, ready to cut out his own fashion. In this deliberation, the World offers itself to him, with many a gay, misshapen, fantastical dress: God offers himself to him, with one only fashion; but a new one, but a good one. The Apostle, like a friendly monitor, adviseth him where to pitch his choice: Fashion not yourselves like to this world; but be ye changed by the renewing of your mind.
How much Christianity crosses Nature, we need no other proof than my Text. There is nothing that nature affects, so much as the fashion; and no fashion, so much as the world's: for our usual word is, “ Do as the most.” And, behold, that is it, which is here forbidden us; Fashion not yourselves like to this world.
All fashions are either in device, or imitation. There are vain heads, that think it an honour to be the founders of fashions: there are servile fools, that seek only to follow the fashion once devised. In the first rank is the World, which is nothing but a mint of fashions; yet, which is strange, all as old as mis-beseeming. We are forbidden to be in the second: if the World will be so vain as to mis-shape itself, we may not be so foolish as to follow it.
Let us look a little, if you please, at the pattern here damned in my Text, THE WORLD.
Aš in extent, so in expression, the World hath a large scope; yea, there are more worlds than one. There is a world of creatures; and, within that, there is a world of men; and yet, within that, a world of believers; and, yet within all these, a world of corruptions. More plainly, there is a Good world, an Evil world, an Indiferent.
A Good World, as of the creatures in regard of their first birth, so of men in regard of their second; a world of renewed souls: in the first act of their renovation, believing; John xvii. 20: upon their belief, reconciled; 2 Cor. v. 19: upon their reconcilement, saved; John iii. 16.