Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 1. be content to Speak to us in a milder Strain, and ~ tell us that they allow Proteftants as "much Charity, as Proteftants allow them." Neither is this the only CONTRADICTION, which I have obferv'd in this Uncharitable Work. And fince his Dedication is fo very exact, what Marks of Sincerity may we not expect from the Book it felf?

III. Now that the Reader may more easily judge of the Matter before us, it will be neceffary to let him See, 1ft, the Truth of this general Rule of Catholick Faith, that there is no Salvation out of the Catholick Communion: 2dly, the Exceptions, which this Rule may admit, to wit, invincible Ignorance and invincible Neceffity: 3dly, what is meant by the Catholick Church, whose Communion is fo neceffary. The first of thefe Points will be examin'd in this, the reft in the following Chap

ters.

First QUESTION.

Is it the common Duty of all Men to be in the
CATHOLICK COMMUNION?

ANSWER. I Ita

T is. And this is fo very certain, that few or no Chriftian Societies have ever doubted of it. But before I come to the Proofs of this Anfwer, fomething must be faid concerning the Ecclefiaftical Ufe of the word, Catholick. According to which Ufe, it fignifies both Orthodox, and (1) Univerfal.

(1) από 18 καθόλυ

Univerfal. So that the Catholick Communion is a Chap. 1. joyning in Sacraments and publick Prayer with Queft.1. the univerfal and orthodox Church of Chrift, the Church of all Ages fince his Time, and, in a limited Senfe, the Church of all Nations. And, a Catholick, is a Member of the true and universal Church, adhering to Christ, and to the Governors whom he appointed. For, because Christians were, or might be divided into different Sects and Communions; therefore the word, Catholick, was instituted, to fignify the great and orthodox Body of true Believers, as diftinct not only from Pagans, Jews, and other Infidels, but also from Hereticks, and Schifmaticks, of what kind or Denomination foever, altho' they profess to believe in Chrift, and to follow his pureft Doctrine and Institutions. The Montanifts, the Novatians, the Arians, the Donatifts, the Macedonians, the Neftorians, the Eutychians, and almost all Hereticks and Schifmaticks have been willing to call themselves Catholicks. Our Adversaries at prefent do the fame. And Mr. Chillingworth, in his Dedication to the King, puts him in mind of his distress'd Mother the Catholick, that is, the Proteftant, Church. But how could that be the Catholick Church, and the Catholick Communion, which was known to have begun within less than two hundred Years before? and St. Auguftin has long since obferv'd that (2) the Catholick Church alone, amongst so many Herefies, B 3

1

bas

(2) Tenet me poftremo ipfum Catholicæ nomen, quod non fine caufa, inter tammultas Hærefes, fic ifta Ecclefia fola obtinet, ut cum omnes Hæretici fe Catholicos dici velint, quærenti tamen peregrino alicui, ubi ad Catholicam con

veniatur,

Chap. 1, has with reafon fo far kept the Poffeffion of ber Queft,1. Title, that, tho' all Hereticks are willing to be call'd Catbolicks, yet if a Stranger afks, Where Catholicks meet to pray, no Heretick will dare to fhew him his own Church, or his own private Chappel. I come now to the Proofs of my Anfwer.

First, Because we read in the Greek As ii. . 47, that the Lord added to the CHURCH daily ris ou Louis SUCH AS SHOULD BE SAV'd. If to the Church, therefore to the Orthodox and Univerfal Church, and to her Communion. And if he added to this Communion, fuch as should be Sav'd; is it not the common Duty of all Perfons to be join'd in it, as all are bound to feek Salvation?

Secondly, The fame may be concluded, both from the Creed, and from other Parts of the H. Scripture. For if the Catholick Church be always the Society and Communion of Saints; if fhe be always Holy, and Orthodox in ftating the Terms of Communion with her; if the be always Apoftolical; if fhe be (4) the Pillar and Support of Truth; if he who will not hear her Voice, even in private Debates betwix't Man and Man, ought to be efteem'd no better, (5) than a Heathen and a Publican; if Christ has built her (6) upon a Rock, fo that the Gates of Hell fhall not prevail against her; if she shall have Peace with God (7) fo long, as the Moon indures; if he (8) has and will establish her for

ever;

conveniatur, nullus hæreticorum vel Bafilicam fuam vel domum audeat oftendere. St. Aug. Lib. contra Epift. Fundam. Cap. iv. (4) 1. Tim. iii. v. 15. (5) St. Mat. xviii. v. 17. (6) St. Matth. xvi. v. 18. (7) Pf. lxxi. (Hebr. lxxii) v. 7. (8) Pf. xlvii. v. 9. Hebr. xlviii. v. 8.

ever; if She be (9) a Kingdom, which fhall Chap. 1. never be destroy'd, but shall stand for ever; if Queft.1. Christ will continue with her, (10) at all Times and Days, to the very end of the World; if he has promis'd her his (11) Spirit for ever; if (12) the Spirit of God, which is upon her, and the words, which he has put in her Mouth, fhall not depart out of her Mouth, nor out of the Mouth of her Seed, nor out of the Mouth of her Seed's Seed, fays the Lord, from hence forth, and for ever; if he has given her (13) Paftors and Teachers till we all come into the Unity of the Faith, that henceforth we be not like Children, tofs'd every way, and carry'd about with every Wind of Doctrine, by the wicked Contrivances and Slight of Men, indeavouring to deceive us; if he has even commanded the People to (14) obey thefe Paftors, to fubmit themJelves to them, and to follow their Faith; that is, if the Scripture and the Creed be true; it is ftill the common, great, and indifpenfable Duty of all Mankind, to be join'd in Faith and Communion with the Catholick Church. And if we are afraid least Men deceive us, cannot God be trufted? To queftion it, is not Policy, but Infidelity.

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Thirdly, because, Baptifm and Catholick Communion are parallel Cafes. Of Baptifm it is said, (15) Unless one be born of Water, and of the B 4 Spirit,

(9) Dan. ii. v. 44. (10) máσas ràs nuiegs, S. Matth. xxviii. v. 20. (11) S. Jo. xiv. v. 16. (12) Ifai. lix. v. 21. (13) μέχρι καταντήσομεν οἱ πάντες εις τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίςεως, κ. τ. λ. ἐν τῇ κυβέιᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἐν πανεργίᾳ πρὸς τὴν μεθοδείαν τῆς πλάνης. Eph. iv. v. 13.14. (14) Hebr. xiii. v.7.17. (15) šävμútis gevvnôÿ Jo. iii. v. 5.

Chap. 1. Spirit, even the H. Spirit, he cannot enter into Queft.1. the Kingdom of God. And of Catholick Communion (16) the Lord added to the Church daily fuch as fhould be Sav'd. Baptism therefore and Catholick Communion are Duties equally neceffary to Salvation. No one can be Sav'd, who chufes to die without Baptism, unless he have invincible Ignorance either of his being unbaptiz'd, or of the Neceffity of Baptifm. And no one can be Sav'd, who chufes to die out of the Catholick Communion, unless he be invincibly Ignorant of the Neceffity, which all Men have of being joyn'd

in it.

Fourthly, because the very Inftitution of the
Catholick Church lays a manifeft Obligation
upon all Men of receiving her Faith and Com-
munion. For if a Parliamentary Church, al-
tho' it be only a Creature of the State, implies
a politick and Parliamentary Command of
Conformity to it; because no Church, true or
falfe, can fubfift without Subjects: Is it not
undeniable, that the divine Institution of One
Holy Catholick and Apoftolick Church, the Com-
munion of Saints, the Church of all Ages and the
Church of all Nations, the Universal and Or-
thodox Church, implies a divine and univerfal
Obligation of Conformity to an Establishment,
fo excellent and facred, of which God himself
is the Author? And is there
And is there any Hardship
in this, but what is, in a great measure, im-
maginary? For is it really hard to conform
to an Orthodox Church? And as Conformity
is here the common Duty of all Men towards

her:

(16) Acts ii. v. 47.

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