Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 2. different Ways. Firft by a pofitive Defire of Queft.1. not knowing our Duty. Secondly, by not useing all due Endeavours for the Knowledge of it. Ignorance, in the firft Cafe, is more Diabolical because more directly voluntary. But in both Cafes, it is fo great and grievous a Sin, that it puts a Man into a State of Damnation, if it be joyn'd with a confiderable Neglect in Matters of Religion, or with an obftinate Temper; if it proceed either from unjuft Prejudices, or from Rafhness, human Motives, temporal Intereft, Pride, Paffion, or a Confideration of Friends, For in thefe and all other Cafes of the like Nature, that Ignorance is highly criminal, is the judgment of all Mankind, excepting only thofe, who by the juft Sentence of God, are given over to an abandon'd and reprobate State, to perverse and wicked Blindness, to a Hellish Prefumption, and Euthusiasm.

III. What then must we conclude of thofe, who have the Misfortune to be bred up in Herefy or Schifm, without knowing it?

Their Ignorance is invincible, if they fincerely use their best Endeavours to know the whole Compafs of their Duty, and would both faithfully and immediately comply with the most difficult Parts of it, when known, how contrary foever they may be to their Paffions, to their Prejudices, to the Conveniences of Life, to their Intereft in this World, and to the Expectation of their Friends.

But if they are not fully refolv'd to do the Will of God in all things neceffary to Salvation, whatsoever it may coft them; and would rather hazard their Duty, than correct an ill

Custom,

Custom, disoblige their Friends, or contradict Chap. 2, their Paffions; they have not the Fear of God, Quest.2, whom they have not Courage to Serve.

And if they are deficient in ufing all neceffary Endeavours to know their Duty, if, by their own Fault, they want Light to See it; if Inapplication, Indifferency, Unconcernednefs, worldly Motives, or unjuft Prejudices influence their Judgment, and Suffer it to yield to the Biafs of a perverfe Education; they have neither invincible Ignorance, nor the Fear of God. For criminal Ignorance cannot be invincible. And it is a Crime, not only to fhut our Eyes against the Light of divine Revelation, but also not to open them, when we ought to See it.

Second QUESTION.

Can a Perfon be Sav'd, who dies by invincible
Neceffity out of the Catholick Church?

ANSWER,

E may, if he knows the Catholick Church, and defires to be actually a Member of it, but is hinder'd from it by an invincible Neceffity. As it happens to thofe, in whom Martyrdom fupplies the Want of Baptifm.

For, that these are in a happy State after Death, is a Point, in which all Catholicks agree. And, that they are not actually and outwardly Members of the Catholick Church in this Life, appears by this, that they were not Chriften'd.

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Chap. 2.

That their State after Death is happy, is Queft.2.own'd by the Catholick Church in her Martyrology, as well as by (1) Tertullian, by S. (2) Cyprian, by S. (3) Cyril of Jerufalem, by S. (4) Bafil, by S. (5) Augustin, S. (6) Profper, S. (7) Fulgentius, S. (8) Bernard, S. (9) Thomas of Aquin, and other Catholick Divines. The Council of Trent says, that, (10) fince the Gofpel was publish'd, no one can be justify'd without the washing of Baptifm, or its Defire, according to that, S. Jo. iii. v. 5, Unless one be born again of Water and of the H. Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Which words of the Council indirectly imply, that at least Martyrs (when they want Time and Opportunity to be chriften'd) may be Sav'd, without the Sacrament of Baptifm.

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II. Befides, Catholick Divines agree, that as God will not refufe à contrite and bumble Heart; a Catechumen may be Sav'd by this holy Difpofition, tho' he dies fuddenly, without either Baptifm or Martyrdom. As the young Emperor Valentinian II. did, who, having defir'd to receive Baptifm from the hands of S. Ambrofe, was murder'd before he came to the Font by the Treachery of Arbogastus, an, 392. And that fuch Catechumens may be hap

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(1) L. de Bapt. C. xvi. (2) Epist. Ixxiii. ad Jubai. (3) Catech. iii. (4) L. de Spir. S. Cap. xv. (5) L. xiii. de Civ. Dei. C. vii. (6) Epigram. lxxxvii. (7) L. de Fide ad Petrum. Cap. iii. & xxx. (8) Traff. ad Hugonem de S. Villore. C. ii. (9) 3. Par. Q. lxvi. Art. xi. (10) Que quidem tranflatio filii Iræ in ftatum gratiæ, poft Evangelium promulgatum, fine lavacro regenerationis, aut ejus voto, fieri non poteft, ficut Scriptum eft, Nifi quis renatus fuerit &c. Sefs. vi. Cap. iv.

py after Death, is not only affirm'd by S. Am- Chap. 2. brofe, in his funeral Sermon on the Prince now Quest.3. mention'd, but alfo by S. [11] Augustin, by S.

[12] Bernard, by Pope [13] Innocent III, and by S. [14] Thomas of Aquin.

III. In order to Salvation therefore, thofe are not out of the Catholick Church, whom nothing but an abfolute and unavoidable Neceffity Separates from it against their Will. Becaufe they are not obftinately and wilfully (that is criminally) out of it, and are Members of it in an unfeign'd Desire.

Third QuEST IO N.

Does invincible Ignorance excufe Men from the
Guilt of Herefy and Schifm?

ANSWER, I

T does, if it be really invin-
cible.

For, first, As nothing but Guilt can exclude a Man from Heaven: So nothing but a wil ful Violation of his Duty can make him Guilty. And, if his Separation from the Catholick Church by Herefy or Schifm, proceed only from an invincible Miftake, or from invincible Ignorance; how is it wilful?

Secondly, Herefy is a wilful Error against Faith. Schifm is a wilful Separation from the Catholick Communion. And if this Separation,

[11] L. iv. de Bapt. C. xxii. xxiii. [12] Loco citato. [13] Cap. Debitum [de Judæo a fe baptizato] de Baptifmo. Et cap. Apoftolicam, de Presbytero non bap tizats. [14] 3. Par: Q. lxviii. Art. ii.

Chap. 2. paration, this Error, be involuntary; how Queft.3. can it be wilful, how can it be criminal?

Thirdly, According to S. Paul, Gal. v. 20, digies (which the latin Interpreter calls Sects) Herefy and Schifm are manifeft Works of the Flefb, excluding Men from the Kingdom of God. But is not Adultery and Fornication fo too? v 19; is not Murder and Drunkenness so too, v. 21? And common Senfe tells us, that these are not Sins, unless they be voluntary. For if a Man commits an Excefs in Drink, which he neither defir'd, nor forefaw (as it happen'd to Noah, Gen. ix. v. 20, 21. and to Lot, Gen. xix) he has only the Misfortune, not the Sin of Drunkenness. If aiming at a Bird, he Shoots his Friend; he has the Misfortune, not the Guilt of Murder. If a Single or a married Woman is opprefs'd against her Will; her Soul is free from the Guilt, tho" her Body is not free from the Misfortune of Adultery or Forni cation. For nothing is criminal, but what is voluntary. And is not this as true, in regard to Herefy and Schifm, as in regard to Drunkennefs, Murder, Fornication, and Adultery?

Fourthly, As every Sin, whether Original or Perfonal, is an Effect of his free Will, by whom it was committed: So it is a Rule, beyond Contradiction, that [1] no one Sins, in what be cannot avoid; and that [2] Sin is an Evil fo vo

luntary,

[1] Quis enim peccat in eo, quod nullo modo caveri po test? S. Aug. L. iii. de lib. arb. C. xviii. [2] Ufqué adeo peccatum voluntarium est malum, ut nullo modo fit peccatum, fi non fit voluntarium. Et hoc quidem ita manifeftum eft, ut nulla hinc duorum paucitas, nulla indolorum turba diffentiat, Idem L. de vera Relig C. xiv.

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