« ÖncekiDevam »
ho lesse then to accept the same conditions upon trial of that title, and rely only upon that word.
I must confesse, I thinke a more speedy way might have been found to have given an answere to the Controversies of that age: for Saint Austen might have poynted at the Church in the West, which was then as conspicuous as the Sun at noone-day; he might have answered them, it was a Citie upon a hill, which was visible to all. He might have produced the Apostle for a witnesse, that her faith was published throughout the whole world: he might have confuted them with sacred Councells, and doctrine of the ancient Fathers, and confirmed his trueth with the death of constant Martyrs, which sealed their doctrine with their blood in the testimonie of the true faith. Certainely, all these proofes were pregnant in his time, and he might easily have produced them in behalfe of his Church (as our adversaries in these dayes doe for theirs :) but hee left these brags to these latter times, and sends them to the Law, to the Testimonies, to the word of Christ, that speaketh better things then was possible for man to utter; and to that end (saith he) thou mightest not erre in the Church, and lest any man should say this is Christ, who is not Christ, or this is the Church which is not the Church, heare the voyce of the Shepheard, hee hath shewed thee the Church, that the name of the Church may not deceive thee *. The summe and substance
Ne in Ecclesia errares, ne quis tibi diceret Christus est
therefore of St. Austen's doctrine was this : that neither Bishops, nor Councels, nor Miracles, nor rumors of the Catholique name, doe demonstrate the Church of God to be Catholique (for all these are common to heretiques, as well as Catholiques;) but the holy Scriptures which beare the testimony of Jesus, they onely carry the infallible markes of his trueih, and in them (saith he) wee liave knouen Christ, in them we have knouen the Church,
Neither was this the opinion of Saint Austen only, for Saint Hierom tells us, that in his dayes the Church was not gone out of her limits of the holy Scriptures, and from thence the timber arid materials inust bee taken, with which tbe house of wisedome is to bee built f. And Saint Chrysostome as a wise Masterbuilder in this house, gave this Caveat to the workemen in after ages: It can no way be knuun which is the true Church (nisi tantummodó per Scripturas) but onely by the Scripturés ; otherwise if they had regard to other things, they should be offerided and perish, and not understand which is the true Church And lastly, the learned Father Irenáus assures us: Non per alios, &c. by no other have wee knowne the way of our salvation, but by them, by whom the Gos
qui non est Ecclesia, audi vocem Pastoris-ostendit Ècclesiam ne quis te fallat in nomine Ecclesiæ. Aug. Psal. 9.
* In Scripturis didicimus Christom, in Scripturis didicimus ecclesiam. Aug. ep-166.
† Non est egressa de finibus suis, id est de Seripturis sanctis. Hier. lib. 1. c. 1. in Mich.
1 Chrys. in opere imperfecto. Nom. 49.
pel came to us, which verily they then preached, and afterwards by the will of God delivered the same to us in the Scriptures, to bee the Foundation, and Pillar of our Faith
Tell me then in this latter age and time of Controversie, wherein it is commonly voyced in our eares, Loe here is Christ, and there is Christ, this is the true Church, and that is the true Church ; how shall the religious man, which loveth truth, and seeketh comfort, resolve himselfe? to which Church shall he safely joine himselfe, when perhaps he wants the learning, perhaps the leasure to laoke backeward for 1600 yeeres, and rightly examine the doctrine of both Churches? If he seeke the Protestant Church, behold shee being poore, and despised for want of continued eminencie, is become a stumbling-blocke to the ignorant. If he looke on the Romane Church, behold, Shee is arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunke with the wine of her fornications, and they that follow her, wonder with great admiration. (Rev. xvii. 2, &c.) And without doubt the Pope's triple Crownes, the golden crosses, the Legend of Saints, the multitude of professed Orders, their pompe in Processions, their rich
* Non enim per alios dispositionem salutis nostræ cognovimus, quam per eos per quos evangelium pervenit ad nos quod quidem tunc præconiaverunt, posteà verò per Dei voluntatem in scripturis nobis tradiderunt fundamentum et Columnam fidei nostræ futurum. Iren. advers, hæres, I. 3. c. 1.
cloathing cloathing of Images, their pretended power of their Priesthood, the great rumour of their Catholique cause, their Jubilies, and Pardons, their Merits and Miracles doe so dazzle the eyes of the ignorant and common people, that they thinke there is no Church true and visible but the Romane Church : and certenly the case thus standing, wee have no better plea for our Church, then the holy Father Saint Austen, sometimes made to Petitian the Donatian heretique: Whether of us be Schismatiques, we or you, aske you not me, I will not aske you ; let Christ bee asked, that hee may shew us his owne Church*.
I SPEAKE not this, as if the Romanists of these times did wholly wave the Scriptures: for if we
* Utrum nos schismatici sumus an vos, nec tu sed Christus interrogetur ut indicet ecclesiam suam, Aug. contr. lit. Pet. lib. 2. c. 85.
may credit Doctor Sanders; There are most plaine Scriptures in all poynts for the Catholique Faith, and none at all against the same*. And their own Bristow would make the world beleeve, from the beginning of Genesis, to the end of the Apocalyps, there is no text that makes for us against them, but all for themt. If these men have spoken the
rueth, let them beare witnesse of the truth, onely let me tell you, the Rhemists in their Annotations upon the Gospel, professe in the name of their Church, that, if we should, when we came to yeeres of discretion, be set to picke our Faith out of the Scriptures, there would bee a mad worke, and many Faiths among us. And their fellow Ecchius claims to all the world, that the Lutherans are dolts, which will have nothing beleeved, but that which is expresse Scripture : for all things are not delivered manifestly in the Scriptures, but very many are left to the determination of the Church §. And their Proselyte Sanders, who pretends such evident testimonies of the Scriptures in behalfe of his Church, accounts it no better then heresie to translate them ll. And Peresius his fellow Jesuite, complaines; It is the Devil's invention to permit the people to reade them. And it is the generall vote
* Rocke of the Church, cap. 8. p. 103. + Brist. Mot. 48. Rhem. Annot. in 1 Cor. 1. 5. Ecch. Euchirid. c. 4.
|| Hæresin esse si quis dicit necessarium esse ut Scripturæ in vulgares linguas convertantur. Sand. visib. Monar. bæres. 191.
Diaboli inventum esse ut populus Biblia legere permitteretur, Peres. de Tra. part 1. assert. 3.