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I say, is enough for my purpose : for what more contradictious, than that the eucharist, being the same without alteration, to infants should then be profitable, and now unprofitable ? then, all things considered, expedient to be used, if not necessary, and therefore commanded ; and now, though there be no variety in the case, all things considered, not necessary, nor expedient, and therefore forbidden ?
The issue of all this discourse, for aught I can see, must be this: That either both parts of a contradiction must be true, and consequently nothing can be false, seeing that which contradicts truth is not so; or else, that the ancient church did err in believing something expedient which was not so, (and if so, why may not the present church err in thinking Latin service and communion in one kind expedient?) or that the present church doth err, in thinking something not expedient which is so. And if so, why may she not err in thinking communicating the laity in both kinds, and service in vulgar languages, not expedient?
V. An Argument drawn from the Doctrine of the
Millenaries against Infallibility. THE doctrine of the millenaries was, “ That before the world's end Christ should reign upon earth for a thousand years, and that the saints should live under him in all holiness and happiness.” That this doctrine is by the present Roman church held false and heretical, I think no man will deny.
That the same doctrine was by the church of the next age after the apostles held true and catholic, I prove by these two reasons. The first reason : Whatsoever doctrine is believed CHILLINGWORTH, VOL. III.
and taught by the most eminent Fathers of any age of the church, and by none of their contemporaries opposed or condemned, that is to be esteemed the catholic doctrine of the church of those times; but the doctrine of the millenaries was believed and taught by the most eminent Fathers of the age next after the apostles, and by none of that age opposed or condemned; therefore it was the catholic doctrine of the church of those times.
The proposition of this syllogism is Cardinal Perron's rule, (in his Epistle to Casaubon, 5. obs.) and is indeed one of the main pillars upon which the great fabric of his answer to king James doth stand, and with which it cannot but fall; and therefore I will spend no time in the proof of it.
But the assumption thus I prove.
That doctrine, which was believed and taught by Papias bishop of Hierapolis, the disciple of the apostles' disciples, (according to Eusebius,) who lived in the times of the apostles, saith he; by Justin Martyr, doctor of the church, and martyr; by Melito, bishop of Sardis, who had the gift of prophecy, witness Tert. and whom Bellarmine acknowledges a saint; by St. Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, and martyr; and was not opposed or condemned by any one doctor of the church of those times ; that doctrine was believed and taught by the most eminent Fathers of that age next to the apostles, and opposed by none:
But the former part of the proposition is true ; ergo, the latter is true also.
The major of this syllogism, and the latter part of the minor, I suppose will need no proof with them that consider, that these here mentioned were equal in number to all the other ecclesiastical writers of that age, of whom there is any memory remaining, and in weight and worth infinitely beyond them : they were Athenagoras, Theophilus Antiochenus, Hegesippus, and Hippolytus; of whose contradiction to this doctrine there is not extant, either in their works or in story, any print or footstep; which if they, or any of them, had opposed, it had been impossible, considering the ecclesiastical story of their time is written by the professed enemies of the millenaries' doctrine, who, could they have found any thing in the monuments of antiquity to have put in the balance against Justin Martyr and Irenæus, no doubt would not have buried it in silence; which yet they do, neither vouching for their opinion any one of more antiquity than Dionysius Alexandrinus, who lived, saith Eusebius, nostra ætate (in our age), but certainly in the latter part of the third century. For Tatianus, because a heretic, I reckon not in this number. And if any man say, that before his fall he wrote many books; I say, it is true; but withal would have it remembered, that he was Justin Martyr's scholar, and therefore in all probability of his master's faith, rather than against it. All that is extant of him one way or other is but this in St. Hierome, De Script. Eccles. : Justini Martyris sectator fuit.
Now for the other part of the minor, that the forementioned Fathers did believe and teach this doctrine. And first for Papias, that he taught it, is confessed by Eusebius, the enemy of this doctrine, (1. 3. Hist. Eccl. c. 33.) in these words : “ Other things besides the same author (Papias) declares, that they came to him as it were by unwritten tradition, wherein he affirms, that after the resurrection of all flesh from the dead, there shall be a kingdom of Christ continued and established for a thousand years upon earth, after a human and corporeal manner.” The same is confessed by St. Hierome, another enemy to this opinion (De Script. Eccles. s. 29.) : “ Papias, the auditor of John bishop of Hierapolis, is said to have taught the Judaical tradition of a thousand years, whom Irenæus and Apollinarius followed.” And in his preface upon the commentaries of Victorinus upon the Apocalypse, thus he writes : “ Before him Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, and Nepos, bishop in the parts of Egypt, taught as Victorinus does, touching the kingdom of the thousand years.”
The same is testified by Irenæus (lib. 5. cont. Hær. c. 33.), where having at large set forth this doctrine, he confirms it by the authority of Papias, in these words : “ Papias also, the auditor of John the familiar friend of Polycarpus, an ancient man, hath testified by writing these things in the fourth of his books ; for he hath written five.” And concerning Papias thus much.
That Justin Martyr was of the same belief is confessed by Sixtus Senensis Biblioth. Sta. 1. 6. an. 347 ; by Faverdentius, in his premonition before the five last chapters of the fifth book of Irenæus ; and by Pamelius, in Antidoto ad Tertull. Parad. Paradox. 14.
That St. Melito, bishop of Sardis, held the same doctrine, is confessed by Pamelius in the same place : and thereupon it is, that Gennadius Massiliensis, in his book De Eccles. Dogmatibus, calls the followers of this opinion Melitani; as the same Pamelius testifies in his notes upon that fragment of Tertullian, De Spe Fidelium.
Irenæus his faith in this point is likewise confessed by Eusebius in the place before quoted, in these words: “He (Papias) was the author of the like error to most of the writers of the church, who alleged the antiquity of the man for a defence of their side, as to Irenæus,
and whosoever else seemed to be of the same opinion with him. By St. Hierome, in the place above cited, De Script. Eccles. s. 29. Again, in lib. Ezek. xi. in these words: “For neither do we expect from heaven a golden Hierusalem, according to the Jewish tales, which they call Deuterosis, which also many of our own have followed; especially Tertullian, in his book De Spe Fidelium ; and Lactantius in his seventh book of Institutions, and the frequent expositions of Victorinus Pictavionensis; and of late Severius, in his dialogue, which he calls Gallus; and to name the Greeks, and to join together the first and last, Irenæus and Apollinarius.” Where we see he acknowledges Irenæus to be of this opinion; but that he was the first that held it, I believe that that is more a Christian untruth, than Irenæus his opinion a Judaical fable. For he himself acknowledges in the place above cited, that Irenæus followed Papias; and it is certain and confessed, that Justin Martyr believed it long before him : and Irenæus himself derives it from presbyteri, qui Johannem discipulum Domini viderunt; “from priests, which saw John the disciple of the Lord.” Lastly, by Pamelius, Sixtus Senensis, and Faverdentius, in the places above quoted.
Seeing therefore it is certain, even to the confession of the adversaries, that Papias, Justin Martyr, Melito, and Irenæus, the most considerable and eminent men of their age, did believe and teach this doctrine; and seeing it has been proved as evidently as a thing of this nature can be, that none of their contemporaries opposed or condemned it; it remains, according to cardinal Perron's first rule, that this is to be esteemed the doctrine of the church of that age.
My second reason I form thus : Whatsoever doctrine is taught by the Fathers of any age, not as doctors,