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CHA P. XIV.
S mutnal Provocations and Envyings will
never be lawful to any Christians at any time, so will it always be full as unlawful to admit of any Do&rine as an Article of Faith, but what has universally been held as such in the Catholick Church. But perhaps this Anathema of the Apostle against the Preachers of any other Gospel," may be look upon as Temporary and peculiar to that Age only, but as now to be cancelld and of no obligation. But for the same reason this other Command, I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil ihe Last of the Flesh, must be Temporary also, and not of universal Obligation to all Christians at all times. But now, if it be extremely impious, and no less dangerous to believe thus, then does it necessarily follow, that as these Rules about Practice are eternally binding, so those other against innovating in the Faith do in like manner oblige for ever. To e preach
• Adnunciare ergo aliquid Christianis Catholicis præter id quod acceperunt, &c.] To propose any thing to Cbriftian Catholicks befides what they bave receiv’d, never was, never is, and never will be law. ful, and to Anathematize such as declare any thing, but what they have receivd, ever was, ever is, and ever will be a Duty. This indeed is a great Truth, and had been an excellent Motto, worthy to have been inscribd in Letters of Gold, and plac'd before the Trent-Council for the Rule of their Proceedings; who made an Oath not to receive or expound Scripture but according to the uni.
therefore to Christian Catholicks any other Doctrine than what they have receiv'd, never was, never is, and never will be lawful. And to Anathe- .
form Consent of the ancient Fathers. And yet Baronins who had taken his Oath, forgets himself and tells us, That the most holy Fistbers, whom for their profound Learning we call the Di&tors of the Church, the Catholick, that is, the Roman Church; does not always, and in every thing follow in the Interpretation of Scrip. Baren. Annal. Ecclef. An. 34. D. 213. p. 238. Colon. But they can, it seems, go off occafionally from their Oath, and the Fathers too, when it may serve a Turn. And are not these rare Folks to cry out upon Innovation, and to-shoot out their Anatbemas against the Protestant World, and from the Quiver of Vincentius, when Bellarmin in dire& Opposicion to the Catholick Maxim before us, withour mincing the matter shall plainly declare , That the Church of latter Time bath Power, not only to declare and explain, but even to constitute and command what shall belong to the Faith? Bellar. Tra&, de poteft. Sum. Pontif. If then the latter Church, that is, the Church of Rome hach Power to Constitute and Command more Doctrines to be believ'd as neceflary to Salvation, than were believ'd by the Primisive Church, theo has it Power to make new Creeds every Day, and that to be a necessary Article now, which fifteen hundred Years ago and upwards, was never dreamt off. And if so, methinks they might spare their Complements upon the Fathers, and our Author in particular, who writes this whole Book only to prove, that Antiquity, Universality, and Consent, is the Rule we ought to go by in the Interpretation of Scripture, which he affirms to be the Perfed Canon of Faith and Manners, against the express Doctrine of that Church. The Maxim here laid down, is a conclufion directly drawn from several Texts of Scripture; the Chief of which; and what he has thought fit to explain and inculcate over and over again is this, But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel to you, caps, besides what we have preached to you, let bim be accursed. Vincentius by his preterquam quod evangelizavimus, seems to expound these words in the Tame Sence with Sc. Chrysostom, and St. Austin; rý šX STEV, e av overlle xalaszén. λεσιν, αλλά καν μικρόν τι ευαγγελίζονται ευαγγελισάuela. He faith not, if they preach'things contrary, but if they preach things never so little different from the Gospel which we have preached to you. See also Sc. Austin, contra lit. Petil. cap. 6. p. 167. But supposing with some Romis) Expositors we should understand by Tap , nor something besides, but something contrary to what the Apostle preached, I can't see how it mends che matter. For
matize the Setters forth of strange Articles,
ever was, ever is, and ever will be a Duty. Since · this is the Case, who will be so hardy as to : break in upon the Creed of the Church, or so
exceeding moderate and occasional as to admit of such Innovation ? That chosen Vessel cries out, that Doctor of the Gentiles, that Trumpet of the Apostles, that Herald of the World cries out ; he that was caught up into the Third Heaven, and was made conscious of things unutterable, f cries out again and again in all his Epistles, Whoever preaches a new Doo &rine let him be accursed. On the other side, the Frogs and the Gnats, and the Infedts but of a Day, such as the Pelagians, remonstrate back again, to the Catholicks too, on this wise,
certain ic is, that a Man may err damnably, nor only by rejeating a fundamental Article, but by pressing Things unnecessary to be believ'd, as necessary to Salvation. And this I take to be the very Cafe here before us; for the Teachers against whom St. Paul pronounces this Anathema, are such as join'd the Observation of the Law, as necessary to the Faith of the Gospel. And by this they caught that what the Apostle preach'd as necessary to Salvation, was not necessary without their Additions ; which is the very Thing we charge upon the Papists, for their new Articles of Trent, and their Traditionary Do&trines
. For if these are necessary to Salvation, as they swear they are) and yet are not contain'd in Scripture, chen Scripture is poc fufficient to Salvation; and then St. Paul's Anathema cannot be just and cruc, tho' twice together averr’d by him with all the Solemnity imaginable. Here then wich Vincenti. us we fix and set our Feer, and with him declare , That to Preach up any thing to Chriftian Catholicks, as Matter of Faith, besides what they bave receiv’d, never was, never is; and never will be lawful; and to Anathematize such as declare any thing as necessary, besides what they have receiv'd, ever was, ever is, and ever will be a Duty.
Clamat, do repetendo clamat , &c.] translate according to this Reading of Baluzius, and not by the Cambridge Edicion, whicke. teads clamet.
they remonstrate and cry, Upon our Example, our Authority, and the Faith of our Expositors, condemn what you once believ'd, and believe what you once condemn'd; lay aside the ancient Faith, the Institutions of your Fathers, the Depositum of your Ancestors, and receive-Wbat, I tro! must we receive ? Why, even what I tremble to mention; for their Notions savour so much of Pride and Self-sufficiency, that in my Opinion not only the maintaining of them, but even the touching upon them in order to refute them is in some measure criminal.
CHA P. XV. Why very great Men are very often per
mitted by God to introduce Strange DoEtrines into his Church.
UT here it is natural to enquire, Why such
considerable Persons in the Church are
Cur ergo persepe divinitùs finuntur, &c.] Tertullian begins his Prescription against Hereticks upon the like Topick, and bids the Faithful be no more concern'd at the Caure and Effects of Herefies than of Fevers; for both must be, and buch do Mischief; and this cooby the Permission of God for wise and good Ends. And in the chird Chapter puts the Question ; Quid ergo fi Episcopus, &c. What then if a Bishop, if a Deacon, if a Widow. if a Vir
. gin, if a Doctor of our Laws, 1.19, if a Martyr, should fall from the Rule of Faith? Would that give a Sandiin to Herefie? Are we to try the Faith, by the Man, or the Min by his Faith? The Reasons why God permits such great Men co fall, and to be a stumbling Block in the way of others, are to be seen at large in that Prefeription, and succinctly, and folidly treaad in this and the following Chapters.
often by divine Providence suffer'd to set forth such strange Doctrines amongst the Catholicks 2 A very proper Enquiry in good earnest, and well worthy of a nice and full Examination. And in answer to this, I shall build nothing upon my own private Reasoning, but upon the Authority of the Scriptures, and the Instructions of an inspir'd Governour of the Church. Let us hear therefore the holy Moses, and he may teach us, why knowing Men, and such as for their Gift of Knowledge the Apostle stiles Prophets, are sometimes permitted to broach new Opinions, which by way of Figure the Old Testament usually calls strange Gods, because Hereticks do Idolize their strange Do&trines just as the Gentiles do their strange Gods. The blessed Mofes therefore thus writes in Deuteronomy, h If there arise among you a Chap.13.fi
Prophet, • If there arise among you a Prophet, or a Dreamer of Dreams, and giveth thee a Sign or Wonder, and the Sign or Wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, let us go after other Gods, and serve them; Thou shalt not hearken to the words of that Propbet or Dreamer of Dreams, for the Lord your God proveth you, &c.] Our Author having consider'd only the Ratio Finalis, or the end for which God permits Miracles to be done by False Prophets, for the fuller Explication of this Text; I Mall inquire into their efficient Cause, and see how far forth Miracles are a Proof of a true Prophet. In order to this, I distinguish between cwo kinds of Miracles or Supernatural Effe&ts. First, Such Effe&ts as plainly appear to be above the Power of any natural Causes here among us, which therefore we call Supernatural. Yet such, however, as chro' che divine Permission are practicable by the ordinary and natural Power of invisible created Spirits. For loItance, the Suspension of a Stone in the Air, the drawing a founder'd Ship by a Womans Girdle, the dividing a Whetstone by.a Razor at a word speaking, the telling what is doing a thousand Miles of, &c. These, I say, seem to be above the Reach of human Power, and not feasible by any natural Causes amongst us, and yet may be within the proper Agency of invisible Spirits. There is another fort of Miracles which are above the Power of natural Causes, and