Imatges de pÓgina
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of Salvation. For is it not plain to common Chap. 1. Senfe, that criminal Ignorance is a Crime, and Quest.9. that all Crimes are inconfiftent with Salvation? Or, which is the fame thing, that every Crime is a deadly and damnable Sin, which (without Repentance, and Amendment of Life) is a damning Sin, or a Sin attended with Damnation?

Ninth QUESTION.

Can not a Man have a faving Faith in any Communion of Chriftians?

ANSWER.

EFORE I give a direct Anfwer, I must beg leave to ask a few Questions of the fame Kind.

The first is: Could not a Man, in the Time of the Apostles, have a faving Faith, without being in Communion with them (as the first Christians were; of whom it is faid Acts, ii. v. 42, that (1) they continued stedfaft in the DoEtrine of the Apostles, and in Communion with them) and without being in the Church, to which the Lord added daily fuch as fhould be Sav'd? v. 47. The Second is: Can not a Man have a Saving Faith without Baptifm? S. Mat. xxviii, v. 19; S. John iii. v. 5.

The third is: Cannot a Man have a faving Faith in a Schifmatical Communion? Gal. v.

V. 20.

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The

(1) Ησαν δὲ προσκαρτερῶντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν Αποςόλων, καὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ..

Chap. 1. The fourth is: Cannot a Man have a favin Queft.9. Faith, without paying his Debts, without re ftoring ill-gotten Goods, and the Fame thofe, whom he has Slander'd? S. Matth. vii

V. 12.

II. My Answer then is, that a Man may probably have a faving Faith in any Com munion of Chriftians, who believe the Trinity and the Incarnation; if nothing hinders him from being in the Catholick Communion, but invincible Neceffity, or invincible Ignorance.

The Reafon of the firft Limitation, is because fome learned Divines are of Opinion, that, Since the Gofpel was fully publifh'd, God does not give a Saving Faith, but only to thofe, who believe the two great Myfteries of Christianity, I mean the Trinity and the In

carnation.

The Second Limitation follows from what was faid in Anfwer to the fecond and fifth Question of this Chapter.

III. This Anfwer may or might be given to the four Queries numb. I.

To the first, I answer, that he could not : unless invincible Neceffity, or invincible Ignorance of his Duty hinder'd him from being in that Church, and in that Communion. The fame Exception may be applied to the other three Queries. For a Man may have a faving Faith without paying his Debts, if it be impoffible for him to pay them, or if he has an invincible Ignorance of his being in Debt. Either of which also excufe him from restoring ill-gotten Goods, and the Reputation of his injur'd Neighbour.

A Saving Faith implies two things. The first of thefe is a Knowledge (by Faith) of the

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chief Mysteries of Chriftianity. Efpecially, Chap. 1.
it is a Knowledge of God, and of Jefus Chrift: Quest.9.
knowing, that a Man is not justify'd
by the Faith of Jefus Chrift, Gal. ii. v, 16. See
Acts iv. v. 12; Rom. iii. v. 22, 25, 26, 27,
28, 30; S. John iii. v. 18, 36. Hence S.
(2) Augustin: No one, fays he, has A TRUE
AND SURE HOPE of living always, but he who
acknowledges the Life, which is Chrift, and who
by the Door enters into the Fold.

'Tis alfo (3) probable, that none, of riper
Years, have a faving Faith, without the
Knowledge of the Trinity, and the Incarnati-
on in which Senfe School-men fay, that this
Knowledge is neceffary to Salvation necessitate
Medii.

The Second Thing requir'd to a faving Faith, is that you comply effectually with all Duties neceffary to Salvation, of which you are not invincibly ignorant, and which it is not impoffible for you to observe in your present Circumstances: As, to pay your Debts; to restore ill-gotten Goods, and injur'd Fame; to avoid every Schifmatical Communion; to be join'd in Communion with the Catholick Church. For to fay, that a Man has a faving Faith, who neglects any one Duty neceffary to SalE 2 vation,

(2) Non est autem cuiquam fpes vera & certa femper vivendi,nifi agnofcat Vitam, quod eft Chriftus,& per janu am intret in Ovile. Tract. xlv. in Joan.

(3) Poft promulgatum fufficienter Evangelium, fides Incarnationis explicita eft omnibus ad falutem neceffa ria neceffitate præcepti, ac etiam (ut probabile eft) neceffitate medii. Fides fantiffime Trinitatis explicita eft ad falutem neceffaria, ficut fides Incarnationis, Sylvius 2da. 2de Q.ii. Art. viii. Concl. 6. 7.

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Chap. 1. vation, is as manifeft a Contradiction, as i Questio would be to fay, that two and two make

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Tenth QUESTION

Is not this the word of Faith, that if you shall confefs with your Mouth the Lord Jefus, and shall believe in your Heart, that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be faved? Rom. x. v. 9.

ANSWER. Hefe words are very true as S.
Paul understood them: that

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is, if you omit no other Chriftian Duty neceffary to Salvation. But it would be extremely filly to conclude from this Text, that there are no Duties neceffary to Salvation, but only two: ft. to confefs Jefus Chrift, in Time of Perfecution, before a Magiftrate. 2ly. to believe Chrift's Refurrection, and ours; and that he has a real Body.

For was it not in S. Paul's Time, a neceffary Duty,

ift. To be join'd, in Faith and Communion, with the Apostles, Acts ii. v. 42, and to be in that Church, to which the Lord added daily fuch as fhould be faved? v. 47.

2ly. To be baptiz'd? S. Matth, xxviii. v. 19; S. John iii. v. 5.

3ly. To avoid Herefy, and Schifm, and all other manifeft Works of the Flesh, which exclude Men from the Kingdom of Heaven? Gal, V. V. 19, 20, 21.

4ly.

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4ly. To be morally honeft, and to injure no Chap. 1. one in his Life, in his Goods, or in his Repu- Questio tation? S. Matth. vii. v. 12.

5ly. To keep the Ten Commandments, as far as they are Precepts of the Law of Nature? S. Matth. xix. V. 17.

6ly. To love God above all things, and our Neighbour as our felves? S. Matth. xxii. v. 37, 38, 39.

7ly. To believe the Books of the Old Teftament, and thofe of the New, which were then publish'd; to pardon Injuries, S. Matth. vi. v. 15; to believe the whole Christian Revelation?

II. But if there be fo many Christian Duties, neceffary to Salvation, why did S. Paul mention only two, Rom. x. v. 9? The Reafon of this might be, because they were then most remarkably in Danger of not being obferved.

To confefs Jefus Chrift, and his Doctrine, in a perfecuting Age, is the most difficult Act of Religion. And the Refurrection was the first and most known Part of Christianity, which startled the Philofophers, and the wife Men of the World. Of which we have a manifest Instance in S. Paul's Preaching before the Athenian Judges in the Areopagus, Acts xvii. v. 32, 33. And all, or moft of the Hereticks in S. Paul's Time, denied both the Refurrection (as (1) Hymenæus and Philetus alfo did) and the Neceffity of confeffing Christ before a perfecuting Magiftrate. Of both which E 3

we

(1) 2 Tim. ii. v. 17, 18.

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