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man either avoid the fire of hell or obtain the crowns laid up for us?"
Theophylact. in vi. Joan. "When therefore we hear, that unless we eat the flesh of the Son of man, we cannot have life, we must have faith without doubting in the receiving of the Divine mysteries, and never inquire how: for the natural man, that is, he which followeth human, that is, natural reasons, receives not the things which are above nature, and spiritual; as also he under stands not the spiritual meat of the flesh of our Lord, which they that receive not, shall not be partakers of eternal life, as not receiving Jesus, who is the true life." S. Augustine De pec mor. et remis. c. 24. Very well do the puny Christians call baptism nothing else but salvation, and the sacrament of Christ's body nothing else but life. From whence should this be, but as I believe, from the ancient and apostolical tradition, by which this doctrine is implanted into the churches of Christ, that only by baptism and the participation of the Lord's table any man can at tain either to the kingdom of God, or to salvation, or to eternal life."
Now we are taught by the learned Cardinal, that when the fathers speak not as doctors, but as witnesses of the customs of the church of their times; and do not say I believe this should be so holden, or so understood, or so observed; but that the church from one end of the earth to the other believes it so, or observes it so; then we no longer hold what they say, for a thing said by them, but as a thing said by the whole church; and principally when it is in points, whereof they could not be ignorant, either because of the condi2 D •
tion of the things, as in matters of fact; or because of the sufficiency of the persons: and, in this case, we argue no more upon their words probably, as we do when they speak in the quality of particular doctors, but we argue thereupon demonstratively.
For example: St. Augustine, the sufficientest person which the church of his time had, speaking of a point wherein he could not be ignorant, says: "Not that I believe the eucharist to be necessary to salvation; but the churches of Christ believe so, and have received this doctrine from apostolical tradition :" therefore I argue upon his words not probably, but demonstratively, that this was the catholic doctrine of the church of his time. And thus much for the thesis, that the eucharist was held generally necessary for all. Now for the hypothesis, that the eucharist was held necessary for infants in particular. Witnesses hereof are St. Cyprian, Pope Innocentius I. and Eusebius Emissenus, with St. Augustine, together with the author of the book, entitled Hypognostica.
Cyprian indeed does not in terms affirm it, but we have a very clear intimation of it in his Epistle to Fidus. For whereas he, and a council of bishops together with him, had ordered, that infants might be baptized and sacrificed, that is, communicated, before the eighth day, though that were the day appointed for circumcision by the old law; there he sets down this as the reason of their decree-That the mercy and grace of God was to be denied to no man.
Pope Innocent I. in Ep. ad Episc. Conc. Milev. quæ est inter August. 93. concludes against the
Pelagians, that infants could not attain eternal life without baptism, because without baptism they were incapable of the eucharist, and without the eucharist could not have eternal life. His words are: "But that which your fraternity affirms them to preach, that infants without the grace of baptism may have the rewards of eternal life, is certainly most foolish; for unless they eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, they shall have no life in them."
Now that this sense, which I have given his words, is indeed the true sense of them, and that his judgment upon the point was as I have said, it is acknowledged by Maldonate in Joan. vi. ver. 54. by Binnius upon the Councils, tom. i. p. 624; by Sanctesius, Repet. vi. c. 7; and it is affirmed by St. Augustine, who was his contemporary, held correspondence by letters with him, and therefore in all probability could not be ignorant of his meaning. I say, he affirms it as a matter out of question, Ep. 106. and contr. Julian. 1. i. c. 4. where he tells us, that Pelagius, in denying this, did dispute contra sedis apostolicæ authoritatem, against the authority of the see apostolic. And after: "But if they yield to the see apostolic, or rather to the Master himself and Lord of the apostles, who says, that they shall not have life in them, unless they eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, which none may do but those that are baptized; then at length they will confess, that infants not baptized cannot have life."
Now I suppose no man will doubt, but the belief of the apostolic see was then (as St. Augustine assures us, 1. i. cont. Jul. c. 4.) the belief of the church of Rome, taking it for a particular
church; and then it will presently follow, that either other churches do not think themselves bound to conformity of belief with the Roman church, notwithstanding Irenæus's necesse est ad hanc ecclesiam omnem convenire ecclesiam; or that this was then the doctrine of the catholic church. For Eusebius Emissenus, I cannot quote any particular proof out of him: but his belief in this point is acknowledged by Sanctes. Repet. vi. c. 7. likewise for St. Augustine, the same Sanctesius, and Binnius, and Maldonate, either not mindful or not regardful of the anathema of the council of Trent, acknowledge (in the places above quoted) that he was also of the same belief: and, indeed, he professeth it so plainly and so frequently, that he must be a mere stranger to him, that knows it not, and very impudent that denies it. Eucharistiam infantibus putat necessariam Augustinus, say also the divines of Louvaine, in their index to their edition of St. Augustine; and they refer us in their index only to tom. ii. p. 185; that is, to the 106th Epist. (the words whereof I have already quoted, to shew the meaning of Innocentius) and to tom. vii. p. 282; that is, 1. i. De pec. mor. et remis. c. 20. where his words are: "Let then all doubt be taken away: let us hear our Lord, (I say) saying, not of the sacrament of holy baptism, but of the sacrament of his table (to which none may lawfully come, but he which has been baptized) Unless you eat the flesh of the Son, and drink his blood, you shall have no life in you. What seek we any farther? What can be answered hereunto? What, will any man dare to say, that this appertains not to little children; and that without the participation of his
body and blood, they may have life?" &c. with much more to the same effect. Which places are indeed so plain and pregnant for that purpose, that I believe they thought it needless to add more; otherwise, had they pleased, they might have furnished their index with many more references to this point; as, De pec. mor. et rem. 1. i. c. 24; where of baptism and the eucharist he tells us, that Salus et vita æterna sine his frustra promittitur parvulis. The same he has Cont. 2. Epist. Pelag. ad Bonifacium, 1. i. c. 22. (which yet by Gracian, De confec. D. 3. c. Nulli, and by T. Aquinas, p. 3. q. 3. art. 9. ad tertiam, is strangely corrupted, and made to say the contrary) and 1. iv. c. 4. the same Cont. Julian. 1. i. c. 4. and 1. iii. c. 11, 12. Cont. Pelag. et Celest. 1. ii. c. 8. de Prædest. Sanctorum ad Prosp. et Hilar. 1. i. c. 14. Neither doth he retract or contradict this opinion any where, or mitigate any one of his sentences touching this matter, in his book of Retractations. Sanctesius indeed tells us, that he seems to have departed from his opinion, in his works against the Donatists; but I would he had shewed some probable reason to make it seem so to others; which seeing he does not, we have reason to take time to believe him. For as touching the place mentioned by Beda in 1 ad Corinth. x. as taken out of a sermon of St. Augustine's ad infantes ad altare; besides that it is very strange St. Augustine should make a sermon to infants, and that there is no such sermon extant in his works, nor any memory of any such in Possidius, St. Augustine's scholar's catalogue of his works, nor in his book of Retractations; setting aside all this, I say, first, that it is no way certain that he speaks