Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Chap. 3.

It is therefore against common Senfe to fup Queft.1. pofe, that feparate and difagreeing Communions, as that of Catholicks, of Proteftants, and of modern Greeks, fhould be all of them Members of the Catholick Church.

IX. I had almoft forgot (as indeed it deferv'd it) an Objection of fome of our Adverfaries, who would perfwade the World, that modern Catholicks, by faying, that the whole Catholick Church is in their Communion, are fall'n into the Error of the Donatifts, who faid the fame of theirs. But this is an unpardonable Mistake. For the Donatifts did not err, by faying, that the whole Church was IN ONE COMMUNION: this being an undoubted Principle, in which both Catholicks and Donatifts agreed. The Donatifts therefore err'd, and as S. Auguftin (16) obferves, were Hereticks in this, that, in their Opinion the Church of Christ, by the Fault of Cecilian, who was chofen Bishop of Carthage against their Will, bad perifbid over the whole World, in which it was promis'd to be,and had only remain'd in Africa in Do

natus's

(16) Donatiste funt, qui primum propter Cecilianum, contra fuam voluntatem, ordinatum Ecclefiæ Carthaginenfis Epifcopum, Schifma fecerunt, objicientes ei crimina non probata, & maxime quod a Traditoribus divinarum Scripturarum fuerit ordinatus. Sed poft caufam cum eo ditam atq; finitam, falfitatis rei deprehenfi, pertinaci dif fenfione firmata in hærefim Schifma verterunt: tanquam Ecclefia Chrifti, propter Crimina Ceciliani, feu vera, fes (quod magis Judicibus apparuit) falfa, de toto terrarum Orbe perierit, ubi futura promiffa eft, atq; in Africa Denati parte remanferit, in aliis terrarum partibus quafi con tagione communionis extin&a. Audent etiam rebaptizare Catholicos, ubi fe amplius Hæreticos effe firmarunt. S. Aug. Lib. de Hæres. Cap. 69.

natus's Party. This was doubtlefs an Hereti- Chap. 3 cal Error. For the Separation of the two Dona- Queft.. tus's and all their Followers in Africa, from the Catbolick Church, was as notorious to the World in the fourth Century; as the Separation of Luther and all his Proteftant Followers in Europe from the Catholick Church, was in the Sixteenth.

Donatifts then had two Controverfies with Catholicks, as S. Auguftin informs us in the Place now mention'd: one concerning Baptifm; the other concerning the Church. The latter Dif pute was, whether the Party of Donatus, or those who call'd themfelves Catholicks, were the whole Church of Chrift. For tho' Chri ftendom was then divided into Catholicks, Mar cionites, Encratites, Novatians, Manichæans, Arians, Apolinarians, Montanists, Quartodecimans, Donatists,(17) and who can reckon up all the dif ferent Herefies of every different Nation, fays St. Auguftin, writing against the Donatifts: Yet Catholicks maintain'd, that they were the WHOLE CHURCH of Chrift, that they were the Mother Church, the Catholick or Univerfal Church, the Church of all Ages, and in the Scripture-Senfe, the Church of all Nations. Of this two Witneffes, I hope, will be Sufficient. I 2

S.Optatus,

(17) Quis autem poffit fingulas quafq; Hærefes enume rare gentium Singularum, inquit, S. Aug. Lib. feu Epift. de Unitate Ecclef. Cap. iii. Et L. iv. con Crefcon. Cap. lxi. Non ergo nobis communicant, ficut dicis, Novatiani, Ariani, Patripaffiani, Valentiniani, Patriciani (de quibus S. Aug. L. de Hær. C. 61) A pellite (Cap. 23,) Marcionita, Ophite (Cap. 1) cas teraq sut verbis tuis utar,nefariarum Peftium,non Sellarum, Sacrilega Nominas

[ocr errors]

Chap. 3.
S. Optatus, an African Bishop of the fourth
Queft.1. Century, writing against the Donatifts, fays:
(18) You pretend to be the whole Church, who
are indeed no Part of it. That this Church be-
longs to the Catholicks only, and that they are
in one undivided Communion with the See
Apoftolick, he fhews by reckoning up all the
Bifhops of Rome from S. Peter to Pope Siricius
then living. Siricius, fays (19) he, is ours, with
whom the whole World is, by authentick Letters
of Communication, in ONE COMMUNION with us.

S. Auguftin, in his Book, or in his Epistle, concerning the Unity of the Church, against the Donatifts, fays: (20) The Dispute betwixt us is, WHERE THE CHURCH IS: whether ON OUR SIDE, or THEIRS: which Church doubtless is ONE, and which our Ancestors have call'd the Catholick Church, that by this very Name they might fhew her to be Univerfal. This Church is the Body of Christ, as S. Paul calls it Col. 1. v. 24. From hence it is plain, that he, who is not a Part of Chrift's Body, cannot have Chriftian Salvation. Now the Question betwix't us and

(18) Vultis vos Jalos effe totum, qui in omni toto non eftis. Lib. 2. con. Parm. (19) Hic nofter eft focius, cum quo nobis totus Orbis, commercio formatarum, in una Com、 munionis Societate concor dat.Ibid. (20) Quæftio certe inter nos verfatur, Ubi fit Ecclefia ;utrum apud nos, an apud illos; que utiq; una eft, quam Majores noftriCatholicam nominarunt: ut ex ipfo nomine ostenderent,quia per totum eft. Secundum totum enim xat'λov græce dicitur. Hæc autem Ecclefia Corpus Chrifti eft, ficus Apostolus dicit, pro Corpere ejus, quæ eft Ecclefia. Unde utiq; manifeftum eft, eum qui non eft in membris Chrifti, Chriftianam Salutem habere non poffe Inter nos autem & Donaftas queftio eft, ubi fit hoc Corpus; id eft, ubi fit Ecclefia. L. de Unit. Ecclefiæ. Cap. ii.

1

and the Donatift's is, where this Body is, that is, Chap. 3 where the Church is. To this his Anfwer is, Queft.I that, according to the Scripture, the Church of Chrift is the Church of all Nations in one Communion.

He fays in the fame Chapter: However the Cafe ftands in order to Cecilian; [21] we shew, that the Chriftian World, with which we communicate, is not in the Fault.

Again, As to what we fay of Cecilian; we prove it, fays he, [22] both by the Emperor's Letters, and by the COMMUNION OF THE WHOLE WORLD.

And in another Place: [23] Why then have you wickedly feparated yourfelves from the Seed of Abraham, which is in all Nations?Your not being in the Communion of all Nations, which are bleft in the Seed of Abraham,is a great Crime, not of fome, but of all of you.

[24] You fay, that we, WHOSE COMMUNION IS SPREAD OVER THE WHOLE WORLD, are a Party, and are not in the World, But [25] we See you feparated from the Communion of the whole I 3 World,

Hoc autem,

[21] Et in bis omnibus nullum crimen effe Orbis Chriftiani, cui nos communicamus, oftendimus. Ibid. (22) Et litteris Imperatoris,& totius Orbis Communione firmamus. Ibid. [23] Cur vos ergo impie feparaftis a femine Abrahe, quod est in omnibus gentibus? quod omnibus gentibus, quæ in femine Abrahæ benedicuntur, non communicatis, & magnum crimen eft, non quorundam veftrum, fed omnium. Lib. 2. Con. Lit. Petil. Cap. xxxii. [24] Dicitis, quod in partem cefferimus,

in toto non fimus, quorum Communio univerfo Orbi diffunditur. Ibid. Cap. xxxviii. (25) Vos a totius Orbis communione feparatos videmus, quod Scelus & maximum, & manifeftum, & omnium veftrum eft. lbidem. Cap. viii.

Chap. 3. World, which is both the greatest of Crimes, and Quelt.2. a manifeft Crime, aud a Crime common to you all. Nothing therefore is more unquestionable, than that Catholicks in the fourth and fifth Century maintain'd, that the WHOLE CATHOLICK CHURCH Was in their undivided Communion. If then modern Catholicks, by afferting the fame thing,are fall'n into the Error of the Donatifts; the Catholick Church, in the fourth and fifth Century, was fall'n into the fame Error.

X. But if the Catholick Church be only in one Communion; how comes it, that there are fo many different Sects of Chriftians in the World, divided from her? The true and only Reafon of this is, because they either do not fear God, or do not know all the things, which Catholicks have to fay for themselves. The fame Reafon holds for all paft Ages.

Second QUESTION.

Is not the univerfal Church in one Communion a plain Contradiction? J

T is neither a plain, nor any
Contradiction.

ANSWER,

I

First. That, which certainly was in the first Century, is no Contradiction.

Secondly. That, which evidently has been in all Ages fince, is far from being a Contra diction. Yet this is the Cafe...

In the firft Century, by the incredible and indefatigable Labours of the Apostles, the Church of Chrift was, in a moral and limited Ca

Senfe,

A Multi

1

« AnteriorContinua »