Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Chap. 3. which he daily added fuch as should be Sav'd, Queft.4. and WILL SUCCESSIVELY AND DAILY ADD UNTO THE SAME, TO THE END OF THE WORLD. So that, by the Virtue of HIS ALL-SUFFICIENT Promife, I am affur'd, that there was, has been hitherto, and now is, and hereafter shall be, fo long as the Sun and Moon endure, A CHURCH OF CHRIST, ONE AND THE SAME. Thus this learned Proteftant Bishop.

Fourth QUESTION

Is the Catholick Church, upon Earth, always a vifible and known Society?

ANSWER.

IT

T is. Tho' fome of our Adverfaries (especially the Calvinists) formerly have deny'd it: So to make room in the Dark, for a continued Succeffion of unknown Protestants, from the Sixth to the Sixteenth Century. But their Succeffors have been afham'd of the Project, as inconfiftent with the Scriptures, with the Creed, and with common Sense.

First. It is inconfiftent with the Scripture, in which the Church of Chrift is defcrib'd to be at once in a (1) limited and moral Senfe, the Church of ALL NATIONS. This Argument the Catholick Bishops, in the great Conference

at

(1) I fay, in a limited Senfe. For it does not appear, that Christendom was ever the third Part of the World. And the Catholick Church was never any more, than a Part of Christendom.

at Carthage with the Donatifts an. 411, urg'd Chap. 3. against them fo Successfully, that the Schifma- Queft.4. ticks could never hold up their Heads after it. TheCatholicks alledg'd thefeTexts ofScripture, Gen.xxii. 18. Gen. xxviii.v.14. Ifai. liv. v. 1,2,3. Ifai.xlix.v.6.Malach.i. v. 10, 11.Jerem. xvi. v. 19. Zephan. ii. v. 11. Pfal. ii. v. 7, 8. Pfal. lxxi. v. 8, 11. Hebr. lxxii. v. 8, 11. Acts. i. 8. &c.

Almighty God told Abraham, that (1) all Nations fhould be bleft in his Seed, which Seed is Christ, Gal. iii. v. 16. This Promife, if it be understood of all Nations Succeffively, is true without any Limitation. For the Catholick Church has been not only numerous, but even the National Church in the chief Parts of Europe, Africa, and Afia, and is now in a great Part of America. But in a limited Sense, it is, and always will be at once the Church of all Nations. And can the Church of all Nations be either an invisible, or an unknown Society?

Our B. Saviour compares it to (2) a City fet upon a Hill, which CANNOT BE HID. The Prophet Daniel calls it (3) a Kingdom which shall stand for ever,and a great Mountain which fill'd the whole Earth. Ifaias reprefents it as a (4) Mountain upon the Mountains, and says, that ALL NATIONS fall flow unto it.

Hence S. Auguftin tells the Donatifts : (5) You are not on the Mountains of Sion, because you

(1) Gen. xxii. v. 18. Gen. xxviii. . 14. (2) S. Mat. V. . 14. (3) Dan. ii. v. 35. 44. (4) If. ii. v. i. (5)Non eftis in montibus Sion, quia non eftis in Civi tate fuper montem conftituta, quæ certum fignum hoc habet, quod abfcondi non poteft. Nota eft ergo omnibus Genti bus. S. Aug. L. 2. con. lit. Petil. Cap. civ.

Chap. 3. you are not in THE CITY, SET UPON A HILL, Quest.4. which has this CERTAIN SIGN, THAT IT CANNOT BE HID. Therefore it is known to all Nations. Thus S. Auguftin.

God himself by Ifaias, tells us, that when (6) the Redeemer fhall come to Sion this is my Covenant WITH THEM, fays the Lord: My Spirit, that is upon thee, and my words, which I have put in thy Mouth fhall not depart OUT OF THY MOUTH, nor out of the MoUTH OF THY SEED, nor out of the MOUTH OF THY SEED'S SEED, fays the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. But how can the Church of all Nations be ever unknown, if the word of God be always in her Mouth?

II. Secondly. This is alfo plain from both her Creeds. For, Catholick, in regard to the Church, fignifies both (7) Universal and Orthodox. And does it ftand with good Senfe to suppose, that the Orthodox and Univerfal Church is either an invisible or an unknown Society?

III. Thirdly, If the Holy Catholick Church be always in Being, as was prov'd in Answer to the last Queftion; 'tis contrary to common Senfe, to imagine, that fhe is an invisible or an unknown Society. For if fhe avoids the wicked Devotions of Infidels, Jews, Schifmaticks, and Hereticks, if fhe profeffes her Faith and Communion; She is certainly known. If fhe does not; how is the Holy? (8) For with the Heart a Man believes to Righteousness: sóμari N,

but

(6) Ifai lix. v. 20. 21. (1) ἀπὸ τῇ καθόλο (8) Rom. x. v. 10.

[ocr errors]

but with the Mouth Confeffion is made to Salva- Chap. 3. Quest.4.

tion.

IV. Let us hear, how Bifhop Pearfon ex-
plains the Word (9) Catholick. The most ob-
vious, fays he, and most general Notion of this
Catholicifm, confists in the DIFFUSIVENESS of the
Church, grounded upon the Commiffion given to
the Builders of it, Go teach all Nations
The Temple was the only Place, in which the Sa-
crifices could be offer'd: and fo under the Law
there was an Inclosure divided from all the World
befides. But God faid unto his Son (10) I will
give the Heathen for thy Inheritance, and the
uttermoft Parts of the Earth for thy Poffeffion.
And Christ commanded the Apostles, faying, (11)
Go ye into all the World, and preach the Gof-
pel to every Creature, ——— (12) beginning at
Jerufalem. Thus the Church of Christ, in its
primary Institution, was made to be of a diffu-
five Nature, to fpread and extend itself, from the
City of Jerufalem, where it first began, to all
the Parts and Corners of the Earth. From
whence we find them in the (13) Revelation,
crying to the Lamb, Thou waft slain, and haft
redeem'd us to God by thy Blood,out of every
Kindred,and Tongue, and People, and Nation.
This Reafon did the ancient Fathers render,
why the Church was call'd Catholick and the
Nature of the Church is thus defcrib'd in the
Scriptures. Thus far this learned Protestant
Bishop.

Fifth

(9) Expof. of the Creed. p. 348. (10) Psal. ii. v. 8. (11) S. Mar. xvi. v. 15. (12) S. Luke xxiv. P. 47. (13) Apoc. v. v. 9.

Chap. 3.
Quest. 5.

Fifth QUESTION.

Is the Catholick Church always Orthodox?

ANSWER.

IT

T is. And I have all the Reasons on my Side, which an unprejudic'd Christian can defire, to wit, plain Scripture, and univerfal Tradition.

First, The Church of Christ is styl❜d by S. Paul [1] The Pillar and the Support of Truth. A Defcription, which cannot poffibly agree to an Unorthodox Church.

2. All doctrinal Points of Christianity, clearly reveal'd to the Apoftles, and by them deliver'd to the Church, whether they be the primary or Secondary Articles of Religion, are equally the word of God. And of these God himself affures us, that they (2) shall not depart from her Mouth, nor from the Mouth of her Seed, nor from the Mouth of her Seed's Seed, for ever. If fo, fhe is always Orthodox, both in the primary and Secondary Articles of the Christian Doctrine. [3]

3. Sup

[1] ὅτις ἐςὶν ἐκκλησία Θεῷ ζῶντος, τύλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα Tus an Deías, 1 Tim. iii. v. 15.

[2] If. lix. v. 21. [3] The Hebrew vaani and I (which in the Protestant Bible is tranflated, as for me, If. lix. v. 21) is a Hebraifm, which does not limit, but only adds Force and Emphasis to the following Promife: Hence the Senfe is compleat, altho' vaani be omitted, as it is by the Vulgate. It may also be tranflated, And I fay, this is my Covenant with them, fays the Lord.

« AnteriorContinua »