Page images
PDF
EPUB

hath been already given. But if you will let St. Jerom speak his own mind, I doubt you will think him a Higb-Flyer. For, speaking of Hereticks, not for their Herefie, but for their Schism, he faith thus : Sit una Eva mater cunétorum viventium; & una Ecclefia, parens omnium Christianorum: Sicut illam maledictus Lamech in duas divi. sit Uxores : Sic hanc hæretici in plures Ecclesias lacerant; quæ juxta Apocalypfim Johannis Synagogæ magis Diaboli appellandæ funt, quam Christi conciliabula, (Ep. 11. ad Ageruchiam.) i.e. Let one Eve be the Mother of all Living; and one Church tbe Parent of all Christians : As cursed Lamech divided that into two Wives, fo Hereticks rent this into more Churches,' which according to the Revelations of St. John are rather to be called Synagogues of the Devil, tban Asemblies of Christ. You lay, you beartily approve of what Clemens writes in bis Epistle to the Corintbians: Yet his whole design is against Schism, though wrote in a melting Style, and with a most sweet and Christian Spirit : Nor doth he forbear to fay, πάσα τάσις και σαν χίσμα βδελυκτών υμίν i.e. Let all Sedition and all Schism be an abomination to you, (cap. 2.) And farther makes it the Sin of Korab, which so angred you, that you exclaim against it as far from true Řeason, though you were wiser than to offer to prove what

you faid. Καλόν δ' ανθρώπω εξομολογείου περί πα. eαπτωμάτων, ή (κληρικώα, ή καρδίου αυτά, καθώς έσκληρώθη η καρσία ή γαζιόντων προς θεράπονία τέ Θεέ Μωσώ, ών το κρίμα πρόσληλον ευήθη, κατέβησου 8 εις άσε ζώνες, και θάνατG- καλέπιεν αντές: i.e. It is better for a Man to confess bis Sin, than to barden bis Heart; as their Heart was hardened who rose 142 againft Moses the Servant of the Lord, whose Condemnation mas openly; for they went alive down to Hell, and Death swallowed tbem up, (cap. 15:) Your pext Friend is Irenæus, from whom you

translate

translate what you please, and then cry out, Exceeding well spoken; who can chuse but like this? But if you like it, you ought not to like your own ways; for it is full in your Teeth, and expresly condemns them. But if what you have cited be not plain enough, not above two Lines farther you might have found this: Nulla enim ab eis tanta poteft fieri correptio, quanta eft Schifmatis pernicies, (lib. 4. cap. 62.) i. e. No Punishmėnt so great can be infli&ted on those (i. e. Schifmaticks) as can answer the Mischiefs or Plague of Schism. Yet he, who saith this, was so peaceable a Man, that nothing but the malignant Nature of the thing could have drawn such a Censure from him. Some other Fathers you mention, who, you tell us, say the like. But then we must take it upon trust; for not one word do you cite from them; And I am not 'very forward to believe, that you would have been so disserviceable to your Cause, as to cite Fatbers, whose Testimony upon examination makes against you, if you could have found any who would speak for you; and therefore till you shall make them speak out of their own Mouths, not yours, I shall not trouble you with

any farther bustle about them: Only I desire this may be observed, that Herefies and Scbisnis began very early; and none could better know the Judgment of the Apostles in this matter, than those who were nearest to their times ; nor can we expect a more faithful Declaration of it, than from them who were either Martyrs or Confessors for the Faith, as well as of undeniable Abilities; and still the nearer they are to the Apostles tines, the more warm and watchful are they against Schism : Nor can you produce one Father, who hath wrote of this matter, who hath not passed such a deserved Censure upon Schism, as according to your Principles ought to be thought very fevere.

Single Fathers may err, especially wherein they are fingular ; but in this case the Judgment of the Fatbers is as considerable as in any whatsoever; because herein they are one and all agreed. And to fight the concurrent Testimony of them all, and expose it as false, is the same in effect as to say, 'That the Universal Church for not less than five hundred Years, immediately from Christ's time, lay under an Error, which you are pleased to call abominable, and which (if you say true) must make them answerable in a great measure for all those Disorders and Violences, which were acted upon their causless condemning of Schisma. ticks. And thus to save your Schismaticks, you do nothing less than send all the Fathers to Hell: For if that was a Sin in them, they never repented of it. Yet this is what you must persuade us to, before ever you can fairly bring us over to your Opinion.

(10.) I should now have done with what he hath said on this Topick, but that I cannot forbear taking notice of his comical and confident way of summing up his Evidence, and making his conclusive Inference : Since (faith he, p. 84.) this damning Opinion is much taken from the DoEtors of the Church of Rome, &c. And yet had before confessed, that it was taken from Fathers, who were long before Rome was what it is now, or those Doétors were in being. Since it batb no ground in Scripture, but is against it : And yet he hath not alledg’d so much as one single Text of Scripture in this whole particular Head of Argument in his defence, that there might be the least fhew of proof; though he could not but be sensible, that the Fathers did prove the contrary from Scripture. Since it cuts off a great part of the Church of God, and oft-times some of the best of it. How are they the Church of God, when cut off from it? But if

the

the hottest Schismaticks must pass for the best of Christians, I think Religion as well as the World is turn'd upside-down. But let us see what he will infer from all these Since's: Truly it is to give his Adversaries fair warning, That they learn to be more mild in their Cenfures, and to take heed left they, on some accounts, be not found Schismaticks themselves, and stand in need of the mildest Censure that may be justly given them. The plain English of which is this : Look to your hits; for if we get the management of the Government into our hands, which we are in a fair way to, then the English Moderation shall be turn'd into Scotch; and the Toleration of Episcopacy shall be call’d establishing Iniquity by a Law; and we will have an A&t of Parliament pafs’d, that it shall be Death for any Man to speak or write in behalf of it. This will be doing business indeed, if better care be not taken: For the Church and State are next Neighbours; and when the one's House is on fire, the other's cannot be out of danger. And if you will not believe them upon former Experience, let them be try'd again, and they will thoroughly convince you, that they never want a Will to destroy both, when they have it in their Power.

CH A P.

CH A P. VII. The Case of Communion with Schifmaticks ambigu

01ly propounded by tbe Author, more clearly explain'd, . !, The Fathers defended against bis Objections, 2. His Denial of the Asertion not true, 3. The Rules of the Primitive Church against Communion with Schismaticks, 4. Concerning the Force of Ecclefiaftical Canons, 5. The Disuse of ancient Discipline, whether by Papists or others, no good Plea in bis Cafe, 6. The Mitigation of Punishment in the offending Clergy against him, 7. The Case of two Bishops in one City, 8. His Argument borrowed from Mr. Selden not good, 9. The Case of the Lapsi againft bim, 10. The Plea of the Orthodox Comniunion with Novatians at Constantinople answered, u. And that of the Orthodox with Arians at Antioch, 12. His Inference from the Example of Satyrus trifling, 13. Other Instances already anfwered, and bis Roast vain, 14. That Schismatical Communion endangers the Faith, 15. Št. Cyprian wronged by, and the Episcopal Power explained against bin, 16. The Design of the Author discovered and confuted, 17. His Citation from St. Cyprian full against bim and bis Party; and farther, the Power of the Civil Magistrate in Religious Affairs confidered, 18.

Itherto our Author. hath employed his ut

moft Skill to set off Schifin with the finest Colours, and to make a Beauty of a Bedlam, Now comes on the other part of the Question, concerning Communion with Schismaticks, which he lays down thus:

2dly, It's faid, we may not worship God at any time with such as are guilty of Schism,

)

« PreviousContinue »