Obrazy na stronie

lief in all things, hold this. And therefore from hence, according to Cardinal Perron's rule, we are to conclude, not probably, but demonstratively, that this was the doctrine of the church of that time.

2. That they held it as a necessary matter, so far as to hold them no Christians that held the contrary. “Though you chance to meet with some called Christians that do not confess this, but dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, &c., yet do not ye

think them Christians." Now if Bellarmine's rule be true, that councils then determine any things as matters of faith, when they pronounce them heretics that hold the contrary; then sure Justin Martyr held this doctrine as a matter of faith, seeing he pronounceth them no Christians that contradict it.

3. That the doctrine is grounded upon the scripture of the Old and New Testament, and the Revelation of St. John, and that by a doctor and martyr of the church, and such a one as was converted to Christianity within thirty years after the death of St. John, when in all probability there were many alive that had heard him expound his own words, and teach this doctrine. And if probabilities will not be admitted, this is certain out of the most authentical records of the church, that Papias, the disciple of the apostles' disciples, taught it the church, professing that he had received it from them that learned it from the apostles : and if, after all this, the church of those times might err in a doctrine so clearly derived, and authentically delivered, how, without extreme impudence, can any church in after-times pretend to infallibility ?

The millenaries' doctrine was overborne, by imputing to them that which they held not; by abrogating the authority of St. John's Revelation, as some did; or by derogating from it, as others ; ascribing it not to St. John the apostle, but to some other John, they knew not who : which—Dionysius, the first known adversary of this doctrine, and his followers; against the tradition of Irenæus, Justin Martyr, and all the Fathers their antecessors; by calling it a Judaical opinion, and yet allowing it as probable, by corrupting the authors for it; as Justin, Victorinus, Severus.

VI. A Letter relating to the same Subject.

SIR, I pray remember, that if a consent of Fathers either constitute or declare a truth to be necessary, or shew the opinion of the church of their time; then that opinion of the Jusuits, concerning predestination upon prescience, (which had no opposer before St. Austin,) must be so, and the contrary of the Dominicans heretical; and the present church differs from the ancient, in not esteeming of it as they did.

Secondly, I pray remember, that if the Fathers be infallible (when they speak as witnesses of tradition) to shew the opinion of the church of their time; then the opinion of the Chiliasts (which now is a heresy in the church of Rome) was once tradition in the opinion of the church.

Thirdly, Since St. Austin had an opinion, that of whatsoever no beginning was known that came from the apostles, many Fathers might say things to be tradition upon that ground only; but of this opinion of the Chiliasts, one of the ancientest Fathers, Irenæus, says, not only that it was tradition, but sets down Christ's own words when he taught it, and the pedigree of the opinion from Christ to John his disciple; from him to several priests, (whereof Papias was one, who put it in writing,) and so downwards; which can be

[ocr errors]

shewn from no other Father for no other opinion, either controverted or uncontroverted.

Fourthly, That if Papias, either by his own error, or a desire to deceive, could cozen the Fathers of the purest age in this, why not also in other things ? why not in twenty as well as one? why not twenty others as well as he ?

Fifthly, That if the Fathers could be cozened, how could general councils escape, who, you say, make tradition one of their rules, which can only be known from the Fathers ?

Sixthly, If they object, How could errors come in, and no beginning of them known ? I pray remember to ask them the same question concerning the millenaries, which lasted uncontradicted until Dionysius Alexandrinus, two hundred and fifty years after Christ; and if they tell you that Papias was the first beginner, look in Irenæus, and he will tell you the contrary, loco citato, l. 5. c. 33.

Seventhly, Remember, that if I ought not to condemn the church of Rome out of scripture, because my interpretation may deceive me; then they ought not to build their infallibility upon it, (and less upon her own word,) because theirs may deceive them; unless the same thing may be a wall when you lean upon it, and a bulrush when we do.

Eighthly, Remember that they cannot say they trust not their interpretation in this, but a consent of Fathers; because the Fathers are not said to be infallible, but as they tell the opinion of the church of their time, which is infallible: therefore they must first prove out of scripture that she is infallible, or else she (who is herself the subject of the question) cannot be allowed till then to give a verdict for herself.

Ninthly, Remember the Roman church claims no notes of the church, but what agree with the Grecian too, (as antiquity, succession, miracles, &c.,) but only communion with the pope and splendour; both which made for the Arians in Liberius his time, and it were a hard case, that because the Greeks are poor upon earth, they should be shut out of heaven.

Tenthly, Remember, that if we have an infallible way, we have no use (at least no necessity) of an infallible guide ; for if we may be saved by following the scripture as near as we can, (though we err,) it is as good as any interpreter to keep unity in charity (which is only needful) though not in opinion; and this cannot be ridiculous, because they say, if any man misinterpret the council of Trent, it shall not damn him ; and why (without more ado) may not the same

1 be said of scripture ?

VII. An Argument against the Infallibility of the pre

sent Church of Rome, taken from the Contradictions in your Doctrine of Transubstantiation.

Chillingworth. That church is not infallible which teacheth contradictions, but the church of Rome teacheth contradictions: therefore the church of Rome is not infallible.

Mr. Daniel. I deny the minor.

Chill. That church teacheth contradictions, which teacheth such a doctrine as contains contradictions ; but the church of Rome teacheth such a doctrine: therefore the church of Rome teacheth contradictions.

Mr. Dan. I deny the minor.

Chill. The doctrine of transubstantiation contains contradictions ; but the church of Rome teacheth the doctrine of transubstantiation: therefore the church of Rome teacheth such a doctrine as contains contradictions.

Mr. Dan. I deny the major.

Chill. That the same thing, at the same time, should have the true figure of a man's body, and should not have the true figure of a man's body, is a contradiction ; but in the doctrine of transubstantiation it is taught, that the same thing (viz. our Saviour present in the sacrament) has the true figure of a man's body, and has not the true figure of a man's body, at the same time: therefore the doctrine of transubstantiation contains contradictions.

Mr. Dan. The major, though not having all rules required to a contradiction, (as boys in logic know,) yet

let it pass.

Chill. Boys in logic know no more conditions required to a contradiction, but that the same thing should be affirmed and denied of the same thing at the same time. For my meaning was, that that should not be accounted the same thing which was considered after divers manners.

Mr. Dan. I deny the minor of your syllogism.

Chill. I prove it, according to the several parts of it: and first for the first part. He must have the figure of a man's body in the eucharist, who is there without any real alteration or difference from the natural body of a man; but our Saviour, according to the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation, is in the sacrament without any real alteration or difference from the natural body of a man; therefore, according to this doctrine, he must there have the figure of a man's body. To the second part, that he must not have the figure of a man's body in the sacrament, according to this doctrine, thus I prove it. He must not have the figure of a man's body in the eucharist,

« PoprzedniaDalej »