Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 1. into their Communion, but Virgins, Monks, Queft 13 Bachelors, Widowers, and Widows. They

deny'd the Resurrection; and believ'd that Children could not go to Heaven, if they dyed before they came to the Use of Reafon.

But thefe Herefies did not end with the third Century. The Novatians continued to (22) the End of the fixth. The Manichæans began in Perfia, and (23) from that Extremity of the Eaft were spread through all Countries to the fartheft Parts of the Weft. And altho' the Laws of Chriftian Emperors were very severe against them, and the Great Theodofius (24) had condemn'd their Elect to Death; yet they (25) continued to the End of the fixth Century, and farther. St. Auguftin, before his Converfion to the Catholick Faith, was (26) nine Years a Hearer in this Sect.

V. The chief Reformers of Catholick Faith, in the fourth Century, were the Donatifts, the Arians, and Semi-Arians, the Apolinarists, the Meffalians, and Prifcilianifts.

1. The Donatifts held, that (27) the Church of all Nations had perifh'd, by communicating with those, whom they falfly accused of delivering the H. Scripture to Heathen Magiftrates, in the Perfecution of Dioclefian; and fo was reduc'd to their Communion only. They alfo (28) rebaptiz'd Catholicks, whom they drew over to their Schifm.

2 The

(22) Tillem. T. 3. p. 493. (23) T. 4. p. 367. (24) Ib. p. 410. (25) Ib. p. 407. (26) lb. p. 374, 377(27) Till. Tom. 6. p. 2, 71. (28) Ib. p. 78.

2. The Arians (29) believed the Son of Chap. 1. God to be a Creature; and that Chrift, as Queit 13 Man, had not a human Soul diftinct from the Word. Which was indirectly to deny the Divinity of the H. Spirit, whom no one ever fuppos'd to be greater than the Son.

3. The Semi-Arians, or Macedonians (30) whatever they thought of the Son, in which Refpect fome of them were Orthodox, believed the H. Spirit to be a Creature.

4. The Apolinarians. (31) held, that Christ, as Man, had not a fenfitive Soul, or at least that he had not a rational Soul, diftinct from the Word; fo that the Word.did not affume our whole Nature. Befides, Apolinarius, either by writing obfcurely, or by contradicting himfelf, and changing his Opinions, was alfo ac cused of (32) feveral other Errors as that Chrift's Body was confubftantial to the Divi nity; that it was not taken from the B. Vir gin, but eternal and uncreated; that the Divinity of the Word was paffible, and mor tal, &c.

5. The Meffalians, or Prayers, whom the Council of [33] Ephefus calls Enthusiasts, and who were condemn'd [34] both by that, and other Councils, held, [35] that every one had from his Ancestors a Devil, by whom his Soul was poffefs'd, and who always tempted him to Evil: That Baptifm could not remove this F Devil,

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..(29) lb. p. 242, 243. (30) Ib. p. 412, 413, 527+ (31) Till. Tom. 7. p. 602. (32).16. p. 604, &c. Vide Apolinarii pra fe apologiam, apud Natalem Alex, Saca 4. Cap. 3, Art. 14, N. iv. [33] A&. 7, Tom. 3, Conc. Labb. p. 809 AC. [34] Till. Tom. 14. p. 449, A50. [35] Till. Tom. 8. p. 529, &c,

Chap. 1. Devil, but that Prayer can: That Spiritual Quefti 3 Men have no need to faft: That the B. Sacrament neither does Good, nor Harm; and that Baptifm is of no Ufe: That a Man, who is perfect, may be equal to God in Virtue and Knowledge, and that Perjury cannot hurt him: That the Meffalians fee the B. Trinity with their corporal Eyes.

6. The Prifcillianifts [36] held, that there is only one divine Perfon: That Jesus Christ had no Being, before he receiv'd it of the B. Virgin, and that he only appear'd to be Man: That Satan was always what he is, and that he made the World: That the Bodies of Children in the Womb are form'd by him. They deny'd the Refurrection. They condemn'd the Ufe of Marriage, and the Eating of Flesh-meat, as impure. They admir'd judiciary Aftrology, and fubjected both the Souls and Bodies of Men to the Stars. They held it lawful to deny their Opinions with Perjury; it being a Rule with them, [37] Swear, and forfwear, but keep the Secret. They fafted on Sundays, and on Christmass-day.

But thefe Herefies did not end with the fourth Age. The [38] Donatifts continued to the End of the fixth Century. The [39] Apolinarifts fubfifted in the fifth: The Arians and the [40] Prifcillianifts in the sixth : And the [41] Meffalians in the feventh.

VI.

[36] Till, T. 8. p 492, &c. [37] Jura, perjura, Secretum prodere noli. [38] Till. T. 6, p 192, 193. [39] Till. T, 7. † 630. [40] Till. T. 8. p527. [41] Ibid. p 536.

VI. The Reformers of Catholick Faith, in Chap. 1. the fifth Century, were chiefly the Pelagians, Queft13 the Neftorians, and the Eutychians.

1. The Pelagians deny'd Original Sini, and that Grace is neceffary for the doing of good Works. They were condemn'd by the [42] Council of Ephefus, an. 431.

2. The Neftorians held, that [43] Jefus Chrift is a meer Man; and confequently, that the B. Virgin Mary was only the Mother of a Man; not the Mother of God made Man, or (which is the fame thing) not the Mother of the Word become Man. And were also condemn'd by the Council of Ephefus.

3. The Eutychians held, that the Godhead and Humanity in Chrift are only one Nature; fo that he has not, in their Opinion, all the [44] natural Properties of each of them. The Eutychians were condemn'd by the [45] Council of Calcedon, an. 45r.

But thefe Reformations did not end with the fifth Century. For the Neftorian and Eutychian Herefy is not yet extinct.

VII. It appears by these Inftances, that a Reformation of Catholick Faith is no Bleffing at all. Befides, they give us a juft and true Idea both of Herefy, and of Schifm. Of Schifm, because we see fuch a Multitude of Sects cut off from the Catholick Communion. Of Herefy, because if the Catholick Church may be Judge in her own Cafe; or rather if she may F 2

be

[42] A. 5. Tom. 3. Conc. Lab. p. 665. E. & A. 7. Can. I, & 4. p. 803, 806. [43] Till. T. 14. Po 308 [44] See the Church of Christ, against Mr. Lefly. Tom. 2. p. 207. [45] In Definit. Fidei, Tom. 4. Conc. Lab. po 5670

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Chap. 1. be Judge in the Concerns of Religion, with Queft 13 which Christ has intrusted her (as the always has been in feventeen Centuries, and always will be to the End of the World) I fay, if we can ftand to the Judgment of the Catholick Church in all Ages; Herefy, and a Reformation of Catholick Faith, is the very fame Thing. And if fhe be always that, which the Creed profeffes her to be, Universal and Orthodox (that is, if the Scripture, and the Creed be always true) how can it be otherwife? For Herefy is an Error against Faith. And how can the Faith of an Orthodox Church be reform'd without Error? I might add, that Reformations have, in former Ages, done more Harm to the Church of Christ, and ruin'd more Souls, than the Sword of Heathen Rome ever did in the Hands of Nero, of Domitian, of Decius, and of Dioclefian, when the Cruelty of the greatest Princes upon Earth, the Fury of the People, and the Force of the whole Roman Empire confpir'd to destroy Christianity. For tho' many weak and worldly Chriftians had not Courage to refift fuch a Torrent of Violence and Blood; yet this Torrent never carry'd whole Nations before it, ás the Reformations of Arius, of Neftorius, of Eutyches, of Photius, and of others have done.

VIII. It appears alfo by the Inftances from the five firft Centuries, that Diffenting Sects are not lefs Diffenters in regard to each other, than in regard to the Catholick Church. But there are fome Things in which they all agree.

Firft. All Diffenters lay Claim to the Faith once deliver'd to the Saints, S. Jude v. 3. and

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