Obrazy na stronie

of covetousness and ambition ; and this hath been the golden apple very often contended for, and very often the cause of great fires in the church. “Thebulis, quia rejectus ab episcopatu Hierosolymitano, turbare cæpit ecclesiam,” said Hegesippus in Eusebius. Tertullian turned Montanist in discontent for missing the bishoprick of Carthage after Agrippinus; and so did Montanus himself for the same discontent, saith Nicephorus. Novatus would have been bishop of Rome, Donatus, of Carthage,-Arius, of Alexandria,--Aerius, of Sebastia; but they all missed, and therefore all of them vexed Christendom. And this was so common a thing, that oftentimes the threatening the church with a schism or a heresy was a design to get a bishoprick. And Socrates reports of Asterius, that he did frequent the conventicles of the Arians: “Nam episcopatum aliquem ambiebat.” And setting aside the infirmities of men and their innocent prejudices, Epiphanius makes pride to be the only cause of heresies ; *ßpıç kad APÓKOLOLÇ, “pride and prejudice' cause them all, the one criminally, the other innocently. And indeed St. Paula does almost make pride the only cause of heresies: his words cannot be expounded, unless it be at least the principal ; či TIÇ ÉTepodidackals, and consents not to sound words, and the doctrine that is according to godliness, τετύφωται, μηδέν επιστάμενος, αλλά νοσών περί ζητήσεις και λογομαχίας εξ ών γίνεται φθόνος, έρις, βλασφημίαι, υπόνοιαι πονηραί.

2. The sum is this, if ever an opinion be begun with pride, or managed with impiety, or ends in a crime, the man turns heretic: but let the error be never so great, so it be not against an article of creed, if it be simple and hath no confederation with the personal iniquity of the man, the opinion is as innocent as the person, though, perhaps, as false as he is ignorant, and therefore shall burn, though he himself escape. But in these cases, and many more (for the causes of deception increase by all accidents, and weaknesses, and illusions), no man can give certain judgment upon the persons of men in particular, unless the matter of fact and crime be accident and notorious. The man cannot, by human judgment, be concluded a heretic, unless his opi... nion be an open recession from plain demonstrative divine

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authority (which must needs be notorious, voluntary, vincible, and criminal); or that there be a palpable serving of an end accidental and extrinsical to the opinion.

3. But this latter is very hard to be discerned, because those accidental and adherent crimes which make the man a heretic, in questions not simply fundamental or of necessary practice, are actions so internal and spiritual, that cognizance can but seldom be taken of them. And therefore, to instance, though the opinion of purgatory be false, yet to believe it cannot be heresy, if a man be abused into the belief of it invincibly; because it is not a doctrine either fundamentally false or practically impious, it neither proceeds from the will, nor hath any immediate or direct influence upon

choice and manners. And as for those other ends of upholding that opinion which possibly its patrons may have, as for the reputation of their church's infallibility, for the advantage of dirges, requiems, masses, monthly minds, anniversaries, and other offices for the dead, which usually are very profitable, rich, and easy; these things may possibly have sole influences upon their understanding, but whether they have or no, God only knows. If the proposition and article were true, these ends might justly be subordinate, and consistent with a true proposition. And there are some truths that are also profitable, as the necessity of maintenance to the clergy, the doctrine of restitution, giving alms, lending freely, remitting debts in cases of great necessity: and it would be but an ill argument that the preachers of these doctrines speak false, because possibly in these articles they may serve their own ends. For although Demetrius and the craftsmen were without excuse for resisting the preaching of St. Paul, because it was notorious they resisted the truth upon ground of profit and personal emoluments, and the matter was confessed by themselves; yet if the clergy should maintain their just rights and revenues, which hy pious dedications and donatives were long since ascertained upon them, is it to be presumed, in order of law and charity, that this end is in the men subordinate to truth, because it is so in the thing itself, and that therefore no judgment in prejudice of these truths can be made from that. observation ?

4. But if . aliunde' we are ascertained of the truth or

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falsehood of a proposition respectively, yet the judgment of the personal ends of the men cannot ordinarily be certain and judicial, because most commonly the acts are private, and the purposes internal, and temporal ends may sometimes consist with truth; and whether the purposes of the men make these ends principal or subordinate, no man can judge : and be they how they will, yet they do not always prove, that, when they are conjunct with error, the error was caused by these purposes and criminal intentions.

5. But in questions practical, the doctrine itself, and the person too, may with more ease be reproved, because matter of fact being evident, and nothing being so certain as the experiments of human affairs, and these being the immediate consequents of such doctrines, are with some more certainty of observation redargued than the speculative, whose judgment is of itself more difficult, more remote from matter and human observation, and with less curiosity and explicitness declared in Scripture, as being of less consequence and concernment in order to God's and man's great end. In other things, which end in notion and ineffective contemplation, where neither the doctrine is malicious, nor the person apparently criminal, he is to be left to the judgment of God : and as there is no certainty of human judicature in this case, so it is to no purpose it should be judged. For if the person may be innocent with his error, and there is no rule whereby it can certainly be pronounced that he is actually criminal (as it happens in matters speculative); since the end of the commandment is love out of " a pure conscience, and faith unfeigned," and the commandment may obtain its end in a consistence with this simple speculative error; why should men trouble themselves with such opinions, so as to disturb the public charity, or the private confidence ? Opinions and persons are just so to be judged as other matters and persons criminal. For no man can judge any thing else : it must be a crime, and it must be open, so as to take cognizance, and make true human judgment of it. And this is all I am to say concerning the causes of heresies, and of the distinguishing rules for guiding of our judgments towards others.

6. As for guiding our judgments, and the use of our reason in judging for ourselves, all that is to be said is re

ducible to this one proposition : since errors are then made sins, when they are contrary to charity, or inconsistent with a good life and the honour of God, that judgment is the truest, or at least that opinion most innocent, that, 1. best promotes the reputation of God's glory; and, 2. is the best instrument of holy life. For in questions and interpretations of dispute, these two analogies are the best to make propositions, and conjectures, and determinations. Diligence and care in obtaining the best guides, and the most convenient assistances, prayer, and modesty of spirit, simplicity of pur. poses and intentions, humility and aptness to learn, and a peaceable disposition, are therefore necessary to finding out truths, because they are parts of good life, without which our truths will do us little advantage, and our errors can have no excuse. But with these dispositions, as he is sure to find out all that is necessary, so what truth he inculpably misses of, he is sure is therefore not necessary, because he could not find it, when he did his best and his most innocent endeavours. And this I say to secure the persons; because no rule can antecedently secure the proposition in matters disputable. For even in the proportions and explications of this rule, there is infinite variety of disputes: and when the dispute is concerning free-will, one party denies it, because he believes it magnifies the grace of God, that it works irresistibly; the other affirms it, because he believes it engages us upon greater care and piety of our endeavours. The one opinion thinks God reaps the glory of our good actions, the other thinks it charges our bad actions upon him. So in the question of merit, one part chooses his assertion, because he thinks it encourages us to do good works; the other believes it makes us proud, and therefore he rejects it. The first believes, it increases piety; the second believes, it increases spiritual presumption and vanity: the first thinks, it magnifies God's justice; the other thinks, it derogates from his mercy. Now then, since neither this nor any ground can secure a man from possibility of mistaking, we were infinitely miserable if it would not secure us from punishment, so long as we willingly consent not to a crime, and do our best endeavour to avoid an error. Only, by the way, let me observe, that since there are such great differences of apprehension concerning the consequents of an article, no man is to be

charged with the odious consequences of his opinion. Indeed his doctrine is, but the person is not, if he understands not such things to be consequent to his doctrine: for if he did, and then avows them, they are his direct opinions, and he stands as chargeable with them as with his first propositions: but if he disavows them, he would certainly rather quit his opinion, than avow such errors or impieties which are pretended to be consequent to it, because every man knows, that can be no truth from whence falsehood naturally and immediately does derive ; and he therefore believes his first proposition, because he believes it innocent of such errors, as are charged upon it directly or consequently.

7. So that now, since no error, neither for itself nor its consequents, is to be charged as criminal upon a pious person; since no simple error is a sin, nor does condemn us before the throne of God; since he is so pitiful to our crimes, that he pardons many de toto et integro,' in all makes abatement for the violence of temptation, and the surprisal and invasion of our faculties, and therefore much less will demand of us an account for our weaknesses; and since the strongest understanding cannot pretend to such an immunity and exemption from the condition of men, as not to be deceived and confess its weakness: it remains we inquire what deportment is to be used towards persons of a differing persuasion, when we are, I do not say doubtful of a proposition, but, convinced that he that differs from us, is in error: for this was the first intention, and the last end, of this discourse.


Of the Deportment to be used towards Persons disagreeing, and

the Reasons why they are not to be punished with Death, &c. 1. For although every man may be deceived, yet some are right, and may know it too ; for every man that may err, does not therefore certainly err; and if he errs because he recedes from his rule, then if he follows it he may do right; and if ever any man upon just grounds did change his opinion, then he was in the right and was sure of it too : and although con

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