« PoprzedniaDalej »
Sir, would you not think a Man went to impofe upon you, who fhould ask you, Where your found and healthful Conftitution after Recovery was all the while you lay fick? Or of a River, which perhaps in your Anceftor's Days was full of Mud and Weeds, but you had cleanfed it with great Coft and Labour, Where the pure and clean Stream of it was all the while it was foul? Would you not think he banter'd you, to bid you fhew him one Tun or Hogs-head, or but one fingle Bucket of fuch Water, as it now afforded, for I know not how many Years, before it was made clean? Sir, I have brought thefe familiar Similitudes to fhew you, what a fallacious Challenge the Gentleman hath fent me by you, and how he hath endeavour'd to impofe upon you and me in the terms of it. Had it been fairly penn'd, it should have been put in thefe or the like Words: Name any Bishops, Writers, Churches, nay one fingle Congregation or Village of Chriftians, that profeffed your Religion for 900 or 1000 Years before your Separation from the Church of Rome, and if he pleases to put it fo, I will give it an Anfwer; and then defire him to name one Church, Bifhop, or Writer, that 900 or 1000 Years ago profelfed the Tridentine Faith, * or the Creed of Pope Pius IV.
I fay, if he will make his Challenge in thofe or the like terms, I will accept and answer it; but at prefent it is fufficient to fhew the Fallacy of it, as he wrote, or dictated it to you. In truth, Sir, it is the fame Fallacy, that is in the following Syllogifm, with which young Sophifters in the Schools endeavour to puzzle one anothers Wits.
I have added thefe Words, because I intend to print that Creed in English.
You bought raw Flesh,
You eat the Flesh which you bought,
You eat raw Flefh.
SIR, would you not think I was merry, and lu dicrous, and not at all ferious, if I fhould make fuch a Syllogifm, or ask you, Where your roaft or boiled Meat was all the while it was raw? Thus much, Sir, in reference to the Suppofition, Question, and Challenge, which the Gentleman fent me by you; and which, I told you before, were nothing to the Church's Infallibility, which was to be the Subject of Controversy between us. I confefs the Suppofition relates to the Indefedibility of the Church; but neither that, nor any thing elfe in his Query, as he improperly calls it, relates to the Infallibility of the Church. And therefore in requital to his Query, which was nothing to that Subject, I take the liberty to fend him fome, that are.
I. SEEING the Word Church hath * many fignifications, I defire to know of him the particular limited
*See all thefe Significations in the following Citation out of the Confutatio Imperii Papa in Ecclefiam, by Nectarius, Patriarch of Hierufalem; publifh'd by the Learned Dr. Alix, in Latin MDCCHI. p. 212.
The Word [Church] therefore is taken in two fenfes; First, Perfonally, as every, Affembly of Men about any common Bufinefs or Affair. Secondly, Locally, and fuch are the Places in which we affemble, i. e. Temples, Forums, Theatres and Courts. It is taken for a Temple, 1 Cor. chap. 11. Have ye not boufes to eat and to drink in, or defpife ye the Church of God? B 4 And
limited fenfe in which it is infallible, or in which of the many fenfes Infallibility belongs to it?
II. I defire to know, if by the Churches Infallibility, he means that the Church hath always a living infallible Judge, if fo, then,
And chap. 14. Let women be filent in the Churches; it is a
III. I would know, whether this infallible Judge be a fingle infallible Perfon, or an infallible Senate or Council?
IV. IF it be a fingle infallible Perfon, I defire to know, ift, where he is always to be found, or where his infallible Chair is? 2dly, Under what Character
vince is faid to be one Church. 8thly, It is taken for many Metropolitical Churches united under one Primate or Exarch, as Can. 34. of the holy Apostles, It is convenient the Bishops of feveral Countries fhould know who amongst them is Chief, not that he should do any thing without acquainting them all. And Can. 9. and 17. of the 4th Council, If any one is unjustly Sentenced by the Metropolitan, or has a Controverfie with him, let him appeal to the Exarch, or to the See of CP. But the Exarchs are fuch as the Bifhops of Ephefus in Afia, of Cafarea in the Eaft, of Heraclia in Thrace, of Theffalonica in Macedonia, of Corinth in Peloponnefus. 9thly, It is ufed to fignifie many National Churches under one, which from the time of the first General Council, were Five in number; (whereas before they were but Three, and Four before the taking and deftruction of Jerufalem) and those Five were establish'd by the following Councils. The 6th Can. of the first Council, fays, Let ancient Customs be obferv'd. Let the Patriarch of Alexandria have the Authority of all thofe that are in Egypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis, because like usage is observ'd also to the Romau Bishop. So likewife are the Privileges preserved to the Churches in Antioch, and other Provinces. And that the BiShop of Elia (or Jerufalem) be honoured according to the Tradition of the Ancients, is determined in the 7th Canon. In the 10th place, The Church is taken for a Synod of these five Patriarchs, in whom the whole Hierarchy is comprehended as in one union and indiffoluble Communion among themselves, both as to the Faith, and Profeffion, and Sacraments, and Spiritual Officers, and as much as may be, in refpect of Manners, and form of Government. Of this it is faid, Upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell fhall not prevail a gainst it. And in the sth to the Ephef. St. Paul fays, The man is the head of the woman, as Chrift is the head of the Church. Husbands love your wives, as Chrift loveth the Church. And in 1 Cor. 12. And has placed them indeed in the Church, firft Apostles, Secondly Prophets, thirdly Doctors: And this is properly ftiled The Catholick Church; or, abfolutely speaking, The Church of
Character or Capacity this Infallibility belongs to him; And, 3dly, If he happen to be a fecret Atheist, or Heretick, or Simonift, or Sorcerer, much more if he be openly any of thefe, whether in these cases he still continues Infallible? But if this infallible Judge be a Senate or Council, then,
V. I would know, if it must be a Council of the Univerfal Church? If fo, then,
VI. I would know of him, ift, Who hath power to call this Council? 2dly, Who hath power to prefide in it? Or if thefe Privileges belong to one and the fame Perfon by Chrift's appointment? Iffo, then,
God, the Mother of us all, Chrift's perfect Spouse, whose Head Chrit is, according to the Apostle, in his Epistle to the Ephef. in the 1, 2, 5, chapters; and alfo Col. 1. Chrift is alfo the only Head, according to Bafil the Great, in his Sermon of the Judgment of God, who after the firft Page, confidering the Apostle's expreffion, fpeaks thus; Te are the body of Christ, and members in particular; that is to fay, in Him governing and joining every one to the others unto agreement in one, and one only true Head, which is Chrift. In the 11th place, the Church is taken by a Synecdoche for any part relating to the whole Church, as in many of your inftances; fo the Apostle writing to the Corinthians, acknowledges, that he perfecuted the Church of God; meaning efpecially the two Churches of Ferufalem and Damafcus, because he had raised Troubles in them only, yet intentionally against the whole Catbolick Church. And because all the Members being knit together amongst themselves, the whole Body is juftly faid to fhare in the fuffering of its feveral Parts, according to that of the Apostle; If one member fuffer, all the members fuffer with it: If one member rejoice, all the members rejoice with it. Such another place is that, in the first to Timothy the 3d Chap. I write to thee, Timothy, that thou mayeft know how thou oughteft to behave thy felf in the Church of God, which is the Church of the living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth. Now Timothy at that time converfed only in the Church of Ephefus, yet his pious Converfation edified the whole Church.