Imatges de pÓgina
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Chap. 2.

It is not therefore certain, tho' I hope it is Quelt.5.true, that thofe, who are invincibly Ignorant of the Herefy and Schifm, in which they are ingag'd, are not incapable of a faving Faith, in any Communion of Chriftians, who believe the Trinity, and the Incarnation. And under this Rule even Quakers are included, provided they believe the two Myfteries how mention'd.

II. But here the Reader is defir'd to obferve,

First, that every one, who was truly baptiz'd in his Infancy, by what Minister or in what Congregation foever, was once a Member of the Catholick Church.

Secondly, that justifying Grace, which was given in Baptism, cannot be loft, but only by the Guilt of mortal Sin. Hence it is not loft by invincible Ignorance of the B. Trinity, and of the Incarnation. Juftification therefore may perhaps be continued, tho' probably it is never first given, to fuch as are invincibly ignorant of thofe two Mysteries.

Thirdly, that whoever was baptiz'd in his Infancy, tho' perhaps he may have lost justifying Grace by other Sins, yet is still a Member of the Catholick Church in the fight of God, if he was never Guilty of a mortal Sin against Faith. But if the Knowledge of the Catholick Church be as neceffary to Salvation, as the Belief of the B. Trinity änd of the Incarnation is fuppos'd to be by fome Divines of Note: he cannot recover justifying Grace, however it was loft, as long as he remains invincibly Ignorant of the true Church, and of the true Religion. For if the Opinion of thofe Di

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vines be true,no one can recover justifyingGrace, Chap. 2. as long as he remains invincibly ignorant either Quest.6. of the Bleffed Trinity, or of the Incarnation.

III. This I fay, not as an Argument, that none are fav'd out of the Catholick Church, who are invincibly ignorant of it: But that, generally fpeaking, we cannot be fure of their Salvation.

If this be thought Uncharitable; I fhall only Answer,

First, that it has been the Doctrine of the Holy Catholick Church in all Ages.

Secondly, that this Truth always has been, and always will be thought Uncharitable by its Adverfaries.

Sixth QUESTION.

Can a Perfon be in a State of Salvation, who is out of the Catholick Church, and (by invincible Ignorance of his Duty) pofitively refufes to be a Catholick?

ANSWER.

W

Be

HAT was faid to the last Question, must be apply'd to this. I hope then, that fuch a Perfon may be in a State of Salvation. But generally Speaking, we are not fure that he can. cause we are not Sure, but the Knowledge of the true Church may be as neceffary to Salvation, generally Speaking, as the Belief of the B. Trinity and of the Incarnation is fuppos'd to be by some eminent Divines,

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I faid,

Chap. 2,

I faid, generally Speaking, we are not Sure, Queft.6. that he can. For if God fhould by Miracles atteft the Innocence of any, whom invincible Ignorance alone hinder'd from being Members of the Catholick Church, or if the Catholick Church herself bears witnefs of their Sanctity; we have a Sufficient Affurance of it. Which might be the Cafe of S. Macedonius, who was created Bishop of Conftantinople an 496, of S, Flavian Bishop of Antioch an. 498, or 499, of S. Elias Bishop of Jerufalem an. 493 (who all died in the Time of (1) Acacius's Schifin) and of fome few others. And thofe Divines, who hold the Belief of the Trinity and of the Incarnation neceffary neceffitate medii, might fay, in the fame Manner, if the Sanctity of any one fhould be thus attefted, who was invincible Ignorant of those two Mysteries, and was by invincible Miftake feparated from the Catholick Communion; that the Rule establish'd by their Opinion, is not Univerfal, but only General.

II. But are we not Certain, that all Perfons are Sav'd, who were Baptiz'd in their Infancy, and who retain to their Death, at what Age foever it happens, the justifying Grace, which they receiv'd in their Baptifm, tho' by invincible Ignorance they positively refufe to be Catholicks?

We are. But the fixth Queftion has no regard to thefe. For thefe were always living Members of the Catholick Church, and were always, in the Sight of God," tho' they did not know it, Part of the Catholick Communion.

(1) See Monf. Tillemont. Tom. 16. pag. 661, 662.

nion. Nay, tho' they had loft, by other Sins, Chap. 2. their Baptifmal Grace; Yet as long as they Queft.6. are not guilty of any mortal Sin against Faith, they are actually a Part of the Catholick Church, and, in the Sight of God, are actually (tho' neither they, nor we know it in particular) in the Catholick Communion.

III. Are not all Perfons then in the Catholick Communion, who were Baptiz'd in their Infancy, and who were always invincibly Ignorant of the Catholick Church?

No. They are not. For tho' they were always invincibly Ignorant of the Catholick Church: they may yet have committed many great Sins against Faith, as 1, by doubting of the Trinity, of the Incarnation, of the Refurrection, of the Books of the old and New Testament, or of any Article of Faith, which they held in common with the Catholick Church. 2dly, by denying the Truth of any of these Articles. 3dly, by doubting, without Sufficient Reafon, of those very Points, which by an invincible Error they had fuppos'd to be reveal'd. For Rashness is always a Sin.

IV. But is not the Catholick Church an invifible Society, if it has any Members, which are unknown?

No. It it not. The Catholick Church is always a visible and a numerous Body, and was always known in the Chriftian World. Yet it may have fome unknown Members. As a Man's Body is visible, tho' it has fome, and even many, invisible and unknown Parts, which neither nature, nor art will ever be able to difcover.

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SEVENTH

Chap. 2.

Queft.7 Seventh QUESTIQ N.

What think you of thofe, who hold, that a Perfon may be Sav'd in any Communion of Chriftians, without invincible Ignorance

I

ANSWER, Think, they want either Religion, or common Sense; or both the one and the other. For, on the one hand, common Senfe tells us, that every Error concerning clear Revelation, or the plain Word of God, is, if it be not involuntary, a great and grievous Sin. And, on the other, it is manifeft, that clear Revelation, or the plain Word of God, is the very Thing, about which all Chriftian Sects differ from one another, and from the Catholick Church. How then can Men be Sav'd in all Chriftian Communions, without invincible Ignorance? Can Sects contradict one another in Matters of Religion and the plain Word of God, without being Miftaken on one fide or other? And can fuch a Mistake as this, be blameless, unless it be involuntary?

II. Quakers think it clearly reveal'd, that Baptifm and the B. Sacrament ought to be laid afide; that the Minifters of the Gospel are not a peculiar fet of Men, and that Women ought to preach in the Church, tho' S. Paul would not allow it, 1 Cor. xiv. v. 34, 35. The Catholick Church, and all other Chriftian Sects believe the contrary to be the plain Word of God. Now if Quakerifm be a plain Error against the Word of God; how can Quakers be

Say'd,

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