Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 3. is only one, as there is only one Baptism. WhereQueft.1. as Catholicks, Proteftants, and modern Greeks in have three oppofite Profeffions of Faith and therefore three different Faiths.

Secondly, that Catholicks, Proteftants, and modern Greeks are not all of them Members of the Catholick Church. For this Church, according to St. Paul, is only one Body: which three feparate Communions, diffenting from each other (in Matters of Religion," of Government, of divine Worship, of clear Revelation) and excommunicating one the other, cannot poffibly be. For are not feparate Communions feparate Bodies? And when Societies are divided, with regard to Religion, both in the Articles of their Faith, and in the Terms of their Communion; is it not as clear, as the Sun, that, in Matters of Religion, they are not ONE SOCIETY, but fo many different, and feparate Societies? If there be any Degree of Uncertainty in this, are we not yet to learn, what Evidence means?

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III. Again, Chrift himself fays, (4) Other Sheep I bave (to wit, the Gentiles) which are not of this Fold them alfo I must bring, and they ball bear my Voice; and there fhall be one Fold, and one Shepherd. Where I obferve, ift, that our B. Redeemer Speaks here of his whole Church upon Earth. For converted Jews and converted Gentiles are the Universal Church.

2dly, That few or no Creatures keep fo much together, as Sheep of the fame Shepherd, and of the fame Fold. They feed together, they herd together, and they are hous'd toge

ther.

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(6) S. John x. v. 16.

1

ther. So that, if you fee one, you fee them Chap. 3. all. Queft. I,

And therefore, 3ly, that the Unity of Christ's Difciples, in one Faith and one Communion, could not, under the Emblem and Allegory of Sheep, be exprefs'd with more Evidence, nor even with more Elegance, and Beauty, than by calling them ONE FLOCK, and ONE FOLD. But what can be more repugnant to this, than the oppofite System? Are Chriftians of Separate and difagreeing Communions, who in religious Matters will neither affemble, pray, nor communicate together, in the SAME FOLD, and in the SAME FLOCK? May we not defpair of finding Things evident in Scripture, if this be not?

To fuppofe then, that Catholicks, Proteftants, and modern Greeks, are all of them Members of the Catholick Church, is contrary to plain Scripture.

IV. 'Tis alfo contrary to the univerfal Tradition of the Catholick Church; as it appears, both from her two Creeds, and from her unquestionable Doctrine and Practice, in all past Ages.

First, The Creeds were not indeed defign'd to give us an Account of the whole Chriftian Revelation. For moral Duties, the Sacraments, the Commandments, the Punishments of Sin after this Life, even the Gospels, and the other Canonical Books of the old and new Testament, are not mention'd in them. But whatever is plain in the Creeds gives us evidently the Sense of the Catholick Church in all Ages.

And, in the Baptifmal Creed, we believe the Holy Catbolick Church, not Churches: And

that

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Chap. 3, that this undivided Church is theCommunion of Queft.1. Saints. Not that all are Saints in it (for there is both Corn and Chaff on the Catholick Floor) but that there are no Saints out of it.

In the longer Creed, we profefs, One, Holy, Catholick,and Apoftolick Church. In which Creed, the word ONE, was added to exclude the Macedonians, Novatians, Quartodecimans, Apolinarians, Sabellians, Arians, Montanists, and other Diffenters, mention'd in (5) the seventh Canon of the fecond general Council. For it was by this Council, that the ninth Article of the Baptifmal Creed was enlarg'd; and that the Church was declar'd to be ONE, Holy, Catholick, and Apoftolical. So that the belov'd System of our Adverfaries is inconfiftent with the Creed, which they receive; and of which the Church of England, in the eighth of her 39 Articles, Affirms, that it ought to be THROUGHLY receiv'd, and believ'd, because it may be prov'd by most certain Warrants of Holy Scripture.

Secondly, All Ages fince the Apostles, have abounded with Diffenters and Sects of all Kinds. Against these, whole Armies of Catholick Writers have appear'd in the Field, under the Banners of Truth, and in Defence of that Faith, which was once deliver'd to the Saints. Synods of Catholick Bishops have met, on the fame Account, in Afia, Africa, and Europe, almost innumerable. Yet no Catholick Synod, in feventeen Centuries, has ever acknowledg'd any Chriftian Sect whatever to be any Part of the Catholick Church. No Catholick Synods, in feventeen Centuries, has

ever

(5) Tom. 2. Council Labb. p. 951.

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ever granted that any Perfons, feparated from Chap. 3, them inFaith or Communion, were Members of Queft.1, the Catbolick Church. No Catholick Bishop, in feventeen Centuries, no known Catholick Writer in Antiquity, has ever done it. An undeniable Evidence, that the opposite System is contrary to the Catholick Tradition of all Ages,

And if Tertullian, when a Montanist (for fuch he certainly was, when he writ his Book (6) de velandis Virginibus) was willing to believe, that Catholicks, and Montanists were Part of the (7) fameChurch; our Adverfaries may read in this unhappy great Man their own Miffortune. They may fee, to what Precipices Error leads and that a Sinking Philofopher (when his Faith is Shipwrack'd, as S. (8) Paul expreffes it) will catch even at a Shadow. They may fee, that the greatest Wits are not exempt from the greatest Falls, from Prefumption, Folly, Rashness, and Schism.

The End of Tertullian was fuch, as his Sin deferv'd. For whether ever he was RECONCIL'D TO THE CATHOLICK COMMUNION, fays Dr. (9) Cave, appears not. 'Tis more probable, that he was not. He left indeed the (10) Montanifts.

(6) Justitia primo fuit in rudimentis, naturâ Deum metuens dehinc per legem & Prophetas promovit in Infantiam: dehinc per Evangelium efferbuit in Inventutem : nunc per Paracletum componitur in maturitatem, Tert. L. de vel. Virg. C. 1. (7) Una nobis & illis fides, unus Deus, idem Christus, eadem fpes, eadem lavacri Sacramenta ; femel dixerim, UNA ECCLESIA SUMUS. Tert. L. de veland Virg. Cap. ii. (8) 1. Tim. i. v. 19. (9) Apoftolici P143. an. 1716. (10) Ideo est Tertullianus fallus Hæreticus, quia tranfiens ad Cataphryges, cœpit etiam fecundas Nuptias, contra Apostolicam doctrinam, tanquam ftupra damnare. Et postmodum etiam ab ipfis divifus fua Conven ticula propagavit: S. Aug. Hær. lxxxvi.

Chap. 3. nifts. But instead of returning to the CathoQueft. 1.lick Church, he became the Head of a Schif matical Faction at Carthage. And his Follow ers were at length brought over to the Catho lick Faith and Communion, by S. (11) Auguftin, an. 395, or there abouts.

Thirdly, Notwithstanding the great Variety of ancient and modern Sects: two things are notorious.

First, That all Christian Diffenters, from the undivided Faith or Communion of the Catholick Church, have been always accounted by her to be either Hereticks, or Schifmaticks: Hereticks, if they reform'd her Faith; Schifmaticks, if they left her Communion, without reforming her Faith.

Secondly, That in feventeen Centuries, She never efteem'd any known Diffenters, whether Hereticks, or Schifmaticks, to be any Part of her,

It is therefore manifeft, that the Catholick Church, in feventeen Centuries, has always judg'd herself to be in one undivided Communion. So that Catbolick Diffenters, Catholick Hereticks, and Catholick Schifmaticks, are, in the Univerfal Language and Judgment of the Catholick Church in all paft Ages, as great a Solecifm, as compleat Nonfenfe, as Chriftian Turks or Catholick Infidels.

The

[11] Tertullianifta ufq; ad noftrum tempus paulatim deficientes, in extremis Reliquis durare potuerunt in urbe Carthaginenfi: me autem ibi pofito, ante aliquot annos, omni ex parte confumpti funt. Pauciffimi enim, qui remanferunt, in Catholicam tranfierunt : Suamq; Bafilicam, que nunc etiam notiffima eft,Catholicæ tradiderunt : S. Aug: ibidem,

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