Page images

monte likewise weighs the reasons on both sides, without declaring for either; and in another places says, he does not think Quesnel's arguments to be conclusive. S. Basnage says, the style of the work plainly shows it not to be Prosper's; but he does not say whose it is. For my part, I think the author may be reckoned unknown and anonyinous.

1. This writer had in bis copies h the latter part of the sixteenth chapter of St. Mark's gospel.

2. He quotesi the epistle to the Ephesians, with that title.

3. Thek epistle to the Hebrews is here quoted several times.

4. Hel quotes the epistle of St. James.

5. The most remarkable thing in these two books is, that m the author quotes the epistles of St. Peter, as written to Gentile christians.

6. He quotesn both the epistles of Peter, and the first cpistle of John, very often : he also quoteso the epistle of Jude, and P the book of the Revelation.

II. There is a letter to the Virgin Demetrias, ascribed sometimes to Ambrose of Milan; at other times to Prosper of Aquitain. Quesnel9 contends, that it was written by the author of the Calling of the Gentiles; who, he says, was Pope Leo. Pagi' thinks it was written by Prosper. Cave e S. Prosper. art. 12. Mem. T. xvi.

Il semble néanmoins, qu' il y prouve mieux la foiblesse des conjectures des autres, que la solidité des siennes. S. Leon. Pape. art. i. T. xv.

& De Vocatione Gentium liber, qui vulgo et Prospero addicitur, ab eo esse abjudicandum, certissime docent stylus ab illo Prosperi diversus, altumque de Augustino silentium. An. 434. n. 14.

Secundum Marcum vero eisdem apostolis ita dicitur : Ite in orbem uniVersum. Prædicate evargeljum universæ creaturæ, &c. [Marc. xvi. 15, 16.] De Vocat. omn. Gent. 1. i. c. 2. Vid. et c. 3. Ap. Leon. Opp. Lugd. 1700.

i Ad Ephesios quoque scribens. 1. i. c. 23. Vid. et c. 24. et alibi.

k Aut cum ait : Novissimis istis diebus locutus est nobis in filio, quem constituit heredem universorum. (Hebr. i. 2.] I. i. c. 9. Vid. et l. ii. c. 11. Lib. i. cap. 24.

m Sicut est quod sanctus Petrus apostolus, scribens sui et futuri temporis gentibus, ait : Vos autem genus electum, regale sacerdotium, gens sancta, &c. [1 Pet. ii. 9, 10.] 1. i. c. 11. Vid. et c. 15.

Item idem in secundà epistolâ de fidei perceptione loquitur. Simon Petrus, servus et apostolus Jesu Christi, his qui * coæqualem nobis adepti sunt fidem. (2 Pet. i. 1.) 1. i. c. 23.

• Et, ut brevissime pateat, qualis sit natura humaira sine gratiâ, dicat Judas apostolus, quid agat vel ignorantia imperitorum, vel doctrina sapientium : • Hi

autem,' inquit, quæcumque quidem ignorant, blasphemant: quæcumque • autem naturaliter velut bruta animalia nôrunt, in his corrumpuntur.' [Jud. ver. 10.) L. i. c. 19.

p Vid. I. ü. c. 11. 9 Vid. Diss. iv. ap. Opp. S. Leon. T. ï. 'Ann. 413. n. 8, 9,

alsos is willing to allow, that this epistle and the books of the Calling of the Gentiles, were written by Prosper. Du Pint allows, that they were both written by one and the same person ; which, indeed, is the general opinion, though all are not agreed who the author is.

Here" seems to be a reference to the epistle to the Hebrews. The' epistle of James is here quoted, and " both the epistles of Peter. I need not say any thing of the first epistle of John, or other generally received books, which are here often quoted.

III. Another work, formerly ascribed to Prosper, but* now generally supposed to be written by an African, is entitled, y Of Divine Promises and Predictions, in three, or five parts. If the author's name was Prosper, he must not be he of Aquitain, but another of that name, in Africa ; and he may be a contemporary writer.

1. Here are many quotations out of almost all the books of scripture ; particularly, the epistle to the Hebrews, the epistle of James, both the epistles of Peter, and the Revelation, which is quoted very largely: I need not make any particular references.

2. This author quotesz the latter part of the sixteenth chapter of St. Mark's gospel.

3. He quotes thea epistle to the Ephesians, with that 'title.

4. Once, b the second epistle of Peter is quoted, as written to the Gentile christians.

• Hist. Lit. T. i. p. 436.

Ubi supra, noted, p. 37. • Aut quod vir sacratissimus Melchisedec, Domini et Salvatoris nostri præferens formam, non fuerit perfecte humilis, quia et sacerdotio eminebat et regno. [Heb. vii. 3.] Ep. ad Demetr. cap. v. p. 41. Ap. S. Leon. Opp.

Vid. ib. cap. 9. p. 43. et c. 24. p. 48. w Sed contra hoc periculum quid beatus Petrus in primâ epistolâ prædicet, audiamus. Item in epistola secundâ. Ib. c. 16. p. 46.

* Vid. Cav, in S. Prospero. H. L. T. i. p. 436. Pagi Ann. 444. 3. Basnag. Ann. 434. n. 14. Du Pin, S. Prosper. T. iii. P. ii. p. 189. Tillem. S. Prosper, art. 12. T. xvi.

De Promissionibus et Prædictionibus Dei. Part. iii. Quibus adjunguntur dimidium temporis, ad cujus finem implendæ sunt visiones, de Antichristo, et de gloriâ regnoque sanctorum. Ap. Bib. PP. T. viii. p. 1–52. et ap. Prosperi Opera, p. 1.-50. Paris. 1671.

* Firmant hæc evangelistæ, dicente ipso in Marco : Signa autem credentes • hæc subsequentur. In nomine meo dæmonia ejicient; linguis loquentur

novis.' [Marc. xvi. 17.] De Promiss. et Prædict. Part 3. Proin. 31. Vid. et cap. 30. ubi citatur ver. 14.

Exponens quippe hunc locum in epistolâ ad Ephesios, ait. Ibid. P. i. c. 1. Vid. ib. c. 7.

6 Testatur et Petrus apostolus in epistolâ ad Gentes. • Deus enim,' ait, • angelis peccantibus non pepercit.' [2 Pet. ii. 4.] Dimid. Temp. c. 2.

· 5. He twice quotesc 1 John jii. 16, in this manner : • Because as Christ laid down his life for us, we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. I mention this, because of our English translation of the former part of this verse, which is unsupported by any good authority : “ Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us :" so our translation. However, I presume, it needs not to be supposed, that this author had the name of Christ in this verse. No: probably he read, as in most, or even all Greek copies : · Hereby perceive we the love (which ought to be in us] because he [meaning Christ, or the Son of God, the antecedent, mentioned ver. 8,] laid down his life for us; and (or so] we ougbt to lay down our lives for the brethren.'

6. This writer quotesd the fifth chapter of St. John's first epistle, without the heavenly witnesses.

IV. There is still another work, o De Vitâ Contemplativa, in three books, which was formerly ascribed to Prosper, and' is now generally thought not to be his; but rather a work of Julian Pomerius, supposed to have been presbyter at the city of Arles, in Gaul, about the year 498.

1. This work does not abound with texts of scripture; though the Acts of the Apostles are here several times. largely quoted, and also the epistle of James.

2. This writer makes a lamentable complaint of the clergy of his time : Thats they sought riches, honour, power, and authority; but neglected the duties of their function, and the care of the people which had been committed to their charge.

c Testatur et Joannes apostolus, dicens : Sicut Christus pro nobis animam suam posuit, sic et nos debemus pro fratribus animas ponere. De Prom. P. 3. c. 34. Vid. et Part 2. c. 38.

d Dicit et Joannes apostolus : • Tria sunt, quæ testimonium dicunt: Spiritus, sanguis, et aqua.' Et sequitur : • Si testimonium hominum acceperimus, testimonium Dei majus est.' Prom. P. 3. c. 25.

e De Vitâ Contemplativâ, libri tres. Ap. Bib. PP. T. viii. p. 52–83. et ap. S. Prosperi Opp. p. 51–83. Paris. 1671.

Vid. Cav, H. L. P. 1. De Prospero, p. 436. de Jul. Pomerio, p. 466. Du Pin, Bib. T. ii. P. 2. S. Prosper. p. 189. et Jul. Pomere, ib. p. 273, &c. Tillem. S. Prosper, art. 12. T. xvi.

6 Sed nos præsentibus delectati, dum in hac vità commoda nostra et honores inquirimus : non ut meliores, sed ut ditiores, nec ut sanctiores, sed ut honoratiores simus cæteris, festinamus. Nec gregem Domini, qui nobis pascendus, tuendusque commissus est, sed nostras voluptates, dominationem, divitias, et cetera blandimenta, carnaliter cogitamus. Pastores dici volumus, nec tamen esse contendimus. Officii nostri vitamus laborem, appetimus dignitatem. De Vit. Contempl. 1. i. c. 21. in.



W. Reof that. M. II.

I. His work, called a Memoir or Commonitorium, and his

time. II. III. The first and second chapters of that work. IV. Remarks upon those two chapters. V. The third chapter of that Memoir. VI. The meaning of it examined and settled. VII. Remarks upon it. ' VIII. Books of the New Testament received by him. IX. Select passages. X. Remarks upon one of those passages, for showing the authority of scripture, as the rule of

faith. I. VINCENTIUS LIRINENSIS,a or VINCENT, monk and presbyter in the monastery of Lerins, an island on the south coast of France, wrote a Memoir, orb Commonitorium for the Catholic Faith, against the profane novelties of all heretics, as it is now entitled. It was written in the year of our Lord 434, as we learn from himself, who speaks of its being then three years since the council of Ephesus, which was held in 431. The work, as first composed by him, consisted of two books; but the second book having been lost by some accident, he contented bimself with making a recapitulation of the whole : which we still bave, together with the first book. It may be also observed that, for some reasons, he did not put his name to his work; but published it under the borrowed name of Peregrinus, or, The Pilgrim against Heretics. As most of these particulars are mentioned by Gennadius, in his book of Illustrious Men, I have transcribed the chapter below. It is supposed that Vincent died about the year 450.

Vincent is generally called a Semi-Pelagian, and reckoned

• Vid. Cav. H. L. P. i. Pagi Ann. 434. n. 15—20. S. Basnag. Ann. 434. n. 10–12. J. Basnag. Hist. de l'Eglise, l. 9. ch. 7. n. 4. Du Pin, Bib. T. iii. P. 2. p. 170. Tillem. Mem. T. xv.

b Vincentius, natione Gallus, apud monasterium Lirinensis insulæ presbyter, vir in scripturis sanctis doctus, et notitià ecclesiasticorum dogmatum sufficienter instructus, composuit ad evitanda hæreticorum collegia nitido satis et aperto sermone validissimam disputationem, quam, absconso nomine suo, titulavit • Peregrini adversus hæreticos.' Cujus operis, quia secundi libri maximam in schedulis partem a quibusdam furatam perdidit, recapitulato ejus paucis sermonibus sensu pristino compegit, et imo in libro edidit. Moritur, Theodosio et Valentiniano regnantibus. Gennad. c. 64.

an adversary of the Augustinian doctrine; nevertheless, as he is severe against all heresy in general, so particularly against Pelagianism.

II. After the preface, he says: Having,d with much care and diligence, inquired of great numbers of learned and pious men, for a sure and general rule, whereby to discern the true catholic doctrine from the errors of heretics, I received from almost all this answer : That be who would escape the deceits and shares of heretics, and be preserved sound and entire in the right faith, should secure bimself by this twofold method ; first, by the authority of the divine law, and then by the tradition of the catholic church.

11). That is the first chapter. The second is to this purpose : · Bute here, perhaps, some may ask; since the canon of scripture is perfect, and abundantly sufficient, what necd can there be to join with it the authority of the church's interpretation ? The reason is this : Such is the sublimity of the sacred scripture, that all do not understand it alike; but there are many very different interpretations of it: Novatus understands it in one sense : Donatus, in another; Sabellius, in another : and, in the like manner, Arius, Photinus, Priscillian, Pelagius, Nestorius : insomuch, that there are almost as many opinions formed upon it, as there are men in the world. It is therefore necessary, upon account of those numerous and various deviations of error, that the line of the prophetical and apostolical interpretation, should be guided according to the rule of the ecclesiastical and catholic sense.

c Et contra reclamant ranæ quædam, et ciniphes, et muscæ morituræ, quales sunt Pelagiani. Comm, cap. 14. Vid. et cap. 40.

d Sæpe igitur magno studio et summà attentione perquirens a quamplurimis sanctitate et doctrinà præstantibus viris, quonam modo possim certâ quâdam, et quasi generali, ac regulari viâ catholicæ fidei veritatem ab hereticæ pravitatis falsitate discernere, hujusmodi semper responsum ab omnibus fere retuli: quod, sive ego, sive quis alius vellet exsurgentium hæreticorum fraudes deprehendere, laqueosque vitare, et in fide sanâ sanus atque integer permanere, duplici modo munire fidem suam, Domino adjuvante, debere : primum scilicet divinæ legis auctoritate, tum deinde ecclesiæ catholicæ traditione. Comm. cap. 1.

e Hic forsitan requirat aliquis : Cum sit perfectus scripturæ canon, sibique ad omnia satis superque sufficiat ; quid opus est, ut ei ecclesiasticæ intelligentiæ jungatur auctoritas ? Quia videlicet scripturam sacram, pro ipsâ suâ altitudine, non uno eodemque sensu universi accipiunt, sed ejusdem eloquia aliter alius atque alius interpretatur, ut pene quot homines sunt, tot illinc sententiæ erui posse videantur. Aliter namque illam Novatianus, aliter Sabellius, aliter Donatus exponit, aliter Arius, –aliter Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillianus,--Pelagius, aliter postremo Nestorius. Atqui idcirco multum necesse est, propter tantos tam varii erroris anfractus, ut propheticæ et apostolicæ interpretationis linea secundum ecclesiastici et catholici scnsûs normam dirigatur. Ib. c. 2,

« PreviousContinue »