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they are not in the Scriptures mentioned as parts or members of the Church,
understood in opposition to the legal Singularity of the Jewish Nation, be*Thus S.Tgna-cause the ancient * Fathers were generally wont to distinguish between the tius speaking Synagogue and the Church, therefore I think it necessary to restrain this nos dev Siez to Notion to Christianity. Ilulegs die is sirisxong nóngdek, xey Plazar, rj larw6, va oi llegowy, oi 'Arósodol, nej, si caxancia. Ep. ad Philad. Where » (xxancia is flainly taken for the multitude of Christians who were converted to the Faith by the Apostles, and those who were afterwards joined to them in the Profession of the same Faith. Sacrificia in populo, facrificia & in Ecclefia. Iren. 1.4. c. 34. Diseminaverunt sermonem de Christo Patriarchæ & Prophetæ, demeífa eit autem Ecclesia, hoc eft, fructum percepit. Id. l. 4. c. 24. Quid Judaicus populus circa beneficia divina perfidus & ingratus ? nonne quòd à Deo primùm receffit impatientiæ crimen fuit. Impatientia etiam in Ecclesia hæreticos facit. s. Cypr. de Bono Patient. Quis non agnofcat Chriftum reliquiile matrem Synagogam Judæorum veteri Teftamento carnaliter adhærentem, & adhælisle uxori fuæ, S. Ecciefiæ ? S. Aug. contra Fauft. 1. 12. c. 8. Mater Sponfi Domini noftri Jesu Christi Synogaga eft ; proinde nurus ejus Ecclefia- idem, Enar. in Pfal.44.
b Alts. 2. 41. c Acts I. 15.
Thirdly, Therefore I observe that the only way to attain unto the knowledge of the true notion of the Church, is to search into the New Testament, and from the places there which mention it, to conclude what is the nature
of it. To which purpose it will be necessary to take notice that our Saviour 1 In quem in- first speaking of it, mentioneth it as that which † then was not, but afterwards gruerent-in was to be; as when he spake unto the great Apostle, a Thou art Peter, and Guam non- upon this rock I will build my Church; but when he ascended into Heaven, dum Apostoli and the Holy Ghost came down, when Peter had converted b three thouftruxerant, Sand fouls which were added to the hundred and twenty Disciples, then
was there a Church, (and that built upon | Peter, according to our Saviour's - Mat. 16. 18. Promise,) for after that we read, d The Lord added to the Church daily such
as should be saved. A Church then our Saviour promised should be built, + Qualis es e- and by a Promise made. before his Death ; after his ascension, and upon the vertens atquc preaching of St. Peter, we find a Church built or constituted, and that of a commutans manifestain nature capable of a daily increase. We cannot then take a better occasion to Domini in- search into the true notion of the Church of Christ
, than by looking into the tentionein
origination and increase thereof ; without which it is * impossible to have a personaliter hoc Petro right conception of it. conferentem. Super te, inquit, edificabo Ecclefiam meam, o dabo tibi claves, non Ecclefiæ. Sic enim & exitus docet: in ipfo Ecclesia exstructa est, id est, per ipsum, ipse clavem imbuit, vides quam. Viri israelita, auribus mandare que dico : Jesum Nazarenum virum à Deo vobis destinatum, & reliqua. Tertul. de Pudicitia. 6. 21. So S. Bafil, Eudd's go on φωνής ταύτης νούμαν Πέτρον - δια τπίσεως αερoχω εφ' εαυτόν τ' οικοδομω η Εκκλησίας δεξαμεμον. Adυ. Εκηση. 1. 2. S. Peter took upon himself the building of the Church, that is, to build the Church, which he then performed, when he preached the Gospel by which the Church was first gathered.
* Tertullian mentioning the Acts of the Apostles, addeth these words: Quam Scripturam qui non recipiunt, nec Spiritûs Sancti effe poffunt, qui necdum Spiritum poffint agnofcere discentibus miffum ; fed nec Ecclefiam defendere qui quando & quibus incunabulis inftitutum est hoc corpus, probare non habent. De Prescr. Haret. 6. 22.
d Acts 2. 47.
Now what we are infallibly assured of the first actual existence of a Church of
Christ is only this: There were twelve Apostles with the Disciples before the Asts I. 15. descent of the Holy Ghost, and the number of the names together were an hun
dred and twenty. When the Holy Ghost came after a powerful and miraculous
manner upon the blessed Apostles, and S. Peter preached unto the Jews, that Afts 2.38,42, they should repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the re
a Atis 4. 32.
mission of sins ; they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand fouls. These being thus added to the rest, continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and * Cùm remifellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers : and all these Persons fifient fummi fo continuing are called the * Church. What this Church was is easily determi- Petrum & ned, for it was a certain number of men, of which some were Apoltles, fome Joannem, & the former Disciples, others were Persons which repented, and believed, and reverfi ellent were baptized in the name of Jefius Christ, and continued hearing the word Coapollolos preached, receiving the Sacraments administred, joining in the publick Pray- & Difcipulos ers presented unto God. This was then the Church, which was daily in- elt in Ecclecrealed by the addition of other persons received into it upon the same con- fiam, S. Iren. ditions, making up a the multitude of them that believed, who were of one
1.3. 6. 12. heart and one foul, b believers added to the Lord, multitudes both of men b Acis 5: 14. and women
But though the Church was thus begun, and represented unto us as one in the beginning, though that Church which we profess to believe in the Creed be also propounded unto us as one ; and so the notion of the Church in the Acts of the Apostles might seem fufficient to express the nature of that Church which we believe ; yet because that Church which was one by way of fori- + Hæ voces gination, and was afterwards divided into many, the actual members of that Ecclefiæ ex one becoming the members of several Churches; and that Church which we qua habuit believe, is otherwise one by way of complexion, receiving the members of sia initiuin, all Churches into it ; it will be necessary to consider, how at the first those S. Iren. ibid. several Churches were constituted, that we may understand how in this one Church they were all united. To which purpose it will be farther fit to examine the leveral acceptions of this word, as it is diversly used by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament; that, if it be possible, nothing may escape our search, but that all things may be weighed, before we collect and conclude the full notion of the Church from thence.
First then, that the word which signifies the Church in the original Greek, is sometimes used in the vulgar sense according as the native Greeks did use the same to express their conventions, without any relation to the worship of God or Christ, and therefore is translated by the word Asembly, of as great a latitude. Secondly, It is sometimes used in the fame notion in which the Greek Transators of the Old Testament made use of it, for the Assembly of Acts 19. 32, the people of God under the Law, and therefore might be most fitly tran- 39, 40. flated the Congregation, as it is in the Old Testament. Thirdly, It hath been hits 8. 38. conceived that even in the Scriptures it is sometimes taken for the place in Heb. 2. 12. which the members of the Church did meet to perform their solemn and publick Services unto God ; and some passages there are which seem to c Acts 11. 26. speak no less, but yet are not so certainly to be understood of the place, but 1 Cor
. 11.18, that they may as well be spoken of the People congregated in a certain place. From these Beside these few different acceptions, the Church in the language of the New places s. AuTestament doth always signifie a company of Persons professing the Christian guftine did faith, but not always in the same latitude. Sometimes it admitreth of di- .Exercia was stinction and plurality : sometimes it reduceth all into conjunction and unity, taken in the Sometimes the Churches of God are diversified as many ; sometimes, as
the place of many as they are, they are all comprehended in one.
the House of God, and came fo to be frequently used in the language of the Christians in his time : Sicut Ecclefia dicitur locus, quo Ecclefia congrcgatur. Nam Ecclefia homines funt de quibus dicitur, Ut exhiberet fibi gloriofam Ecclefiam. Hanc tamen vocari etiam ipfam domum orationum, idem Apoftolus testis est, ubi ait, Nunquid domos non habetis ad manducandum o bibendum, an Ecclefiam Dei contemnitis? Et hoc quotidianus loquendi ufus obtinuit, ut, ad Ecclefiam prodire, aut ad Ecclefiam confugere, non dicatur, nifi quòd ad locum ipsum parietesque prodierit, vel confugerit, quibus Ecclefiæ congregatio continetur. Quaft. Super Levit. 1. 3.6.57. By these words ir is certain that in S. Augustine's time they used the word Ecclefia, as we do now the Church, for a place set apart for the Worship of God; and it is also certain that those of the Greek Church did use'Exnazoice in the same jerse, as Eufebius speaking of the flourishing Times of the Church, before the Fersecretion under Dioclefian, Jays the Christians und zuws To Tois 6 Moixo donne diez pluon Güzcías eis where are τατας τας σόλας εκ θεμελίων ανίσων εκκλησίας, H:/. . 8. c. Ι. And S. Chryf. Eί ο Εκκλησίαν καγασκάψαι χαλεπόν
και ανόσιον, πολλοί μάλλον ναόν σνδυματικών, και ο άνθρωπG- κκλησίας (εμνότερον. Ηom. 26: ad Rom. But it is not so certain that the Apostle isse d'Exxandic in that sense, nor is it certain that there were any Houses fet apart for the Worship of God in the Apostlet times, which then could be called by that Name. For Ifidorus Pelusiota exprefly denies it, and distinguilhes between Oκκλησία and 'Εκκλησιασήριον, after this manner, "Αλλο εσίν Εκκλησία και άλλο Εκκλησιασήριον, ή και in ti i recipe we foxão Cewisnxe, to odos aider meg šúrar oixodomes). And thus he proveth this distinction, "Qsu ga üsna εςι θυσιασήριον και άλλο θυσία, και άλλο θυμια ήρχον και άλλο θημίαμα, και άλλο βελουτήριον, και άλλο βελή: το ντ τόπου ν ν Cωεδρούτσι μίωύφ, ή και τας βελόνομίας άνδρας, οίς και ο κίνδιωO» και η ζωηρία ανήκς, έτω και επί το Εκκλησιαςηρία και η Εκκλησίας. Then he concludes, that in the Apolles times there was no Εκκλησιαςήρια, Επί ε τ 'Αποςόλων ότε Exκλησία ακόμα και χαρίσμασι πνευματικοίς, έφευε και πολιθία, λαμπςα Εκκλησιασήρια εκ ήν. Εpift. 246. 1. 2.
a Afts 16. 5. For first in general there are often mentioned the Churches by way of 2 Cor: 3.1 3.4 plurality, the Churches of God, the Churches of the Gentiles, the Churches
23, 24. of the Saints. In particular we find a few believers gathered together in the
11.8, 28. House of one single Person, called a * Church, as the Church in the House of Rev. 22. 16. Priscilla and Aquila, the Church in the House of Nymphas, the Church in 1 1ne]. 1. 4. the House of Philemon ; which Churches were nothing else but the belie
ving and baptized Persons of each Family, with such as they admitted and Rom. 16. 4. I Cor. 14.23. received into their House to join in the worship of the fame God. Thus Origen for the most part speaks of the Church in the plural number ai nxanrica.
I Cor. 16. 19. Col. 4. 15. Philem. 2.
S. Chryf. obferveth of Prifcilla and Aquila, Ούτω γδ ήσαν ουδόκιμοι ως και τ' οικίαν εκκλησίαν ποιήσας, TE 7ő ao céu725 waiñeas wisás, rj al de Tð tots gevons au thu dvorca wãos, Chryfoft. Homil. 30. in Epift. ad Romanos.
I Cor. 11. 16.
a Gal. 1.22.
I Cor. 16. I, 19. Rev. III. i Thef: 2. 14. 2 Cor. 8. 1. Gal. 1. 2.
bi Cor. 14.34. I Cor. 1. 2.
22. 13. 1, 15
Again, When the Scripture speaketh of any Country where the Gospel had been preached, it nameth always by way of plurality the Churches of that Country, as the Churches of Judæa, of Samaria and Galilee, the Churches of Syria and of Cilicia, the Churches of Galatia, the Churches of Asia, the Churches of Macedonia. But notwithstanding there were several such Churches or Congregations of believers in great and populous Cities, yet the Scriptures always speak of such Congregations in the notion of one Church : As when S. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Let your Women keep filence in the Churches; yet the dedication of his Epistle is, Vnto the
Church of God which is at Corinth. So we read not of the Churches, but * Acts 8.1, 21, the Church at Jerusalem, the Church at Antioch, the Church at Cæfarea,
the Church at Ephefiis, the Church of the Thessalonians, the Church of Lao3. 18, 22. dicea, the Church of Smyrna, the Church of Pergamus, the Church of
20:17. Thyatira, the Church of Sardis, the Church of Philadelphia. From whence 2 Thes: 1.15.
it appeareth that a collection of several Congregations, every one of which Rev. 2. 8, 12, is in some sense a Church, and may be called fo, is properly one Church by
3. 1, 7, virtue of the subordination of them all in one government under one Ruler. And thus af- For thus in those great and populous Cities where Christians were very nuter they grew merous, not only of several Churches within the Cities, but all those also get far more
in the adjacent parts, were united under the care and inspection of one Bishe time of shop, and therefore was accounted one Church ; the number of the Churches Clemens
following the number of the Angels, that is, the rulers of them, as is eviBijlop of Rome. 'H'Ex-dent in the revelation. η παροικάσα Ρώμίων τη Εκκλησία τ8 Θεξ παροικίση Κόρινθον, Ep. 1. So after him Ignatius. Tη Εκκλησία τη αξιομαχαείσω τη έση ν 'Εφέσω τ 'Ασίας, and 'Εκκλησια αγία τη όση ώ Τροίλλεσιν. And Jo the rεβ.
Col. 4. 16.
κλησια τε Θεέ, ,
Now as several Churches are reduced to the denomination of one Church, in relation to the single Governour of those many Churches, fo all the Churches of all Cities and all Nations in the world may be reduced to the fame single denomination in relation to one supreme Governour of them all, and that one Governour is Christ the Bishop of our Souls. Wherefore the Apostle speaking of that in which all Churches do agrce, comprehenderh them all under the fame appellation of one Church ; and therefore often by the
Name of Church are understood all Christians whatsoever belonging to any . Mar. 15. 18. of the Churches dispersed through the distant and divided parts of the World. I Cor. 12. 26. For the single persons professing faith in Christ are members of the particul- Gal. 1. 13. lar Churches in which they live, and all those particular Churches are mem- Ephef: 1, 22. bers of the general and universal Church which is one by, unity of aggre- 5:23,25,271 gation; and this is the Church in the Creed which we believe, and which
29, 32. is in other Creeds expressly termed * One, I believe in one Holy Catholick Phil, 3. 6.
Col. 1. 18,24, Church.
Heb. 12. 2j.
Of this, as of one Church, Celsus calls the Christians, tas do Miyánns 'nxanelas. Apud. Orig. 1. 5.
So the Creeds of Epiplhanius in Ancorato, στις δύο μμ ας μίαν αγίαν Καθολικών και Αποσολικω Εκκλησίαν. So the Jerusalem Creed in S. Cyril.
This the Nicene, with the additions of the Council of Constantinople, pisey cryi av Kvetonexw na 'Aposodikw 'Exxamtím. Thas also the Alexandrian, as appeareth by those already quoted of Alexander, Arius and Euzoius.
It will therefore be farther necessary for the understanding of the nature of the Church which is thus one, to consider in what that unity doth consist. And being it is an aggregation not only of many Persons, but also of many Congregations, the unity thereof must consist in some agreement of them alí, and adhesion to something which is one. If then we reflect upon the first Church again, which we found constituted in the Acts, and to which all other since have been in a manner added and conjoined, we may collect from their union and agreement how all other Churches are united and agree. Now they were described to be believing and baptized Persons, converted to the Faith" by S. Peter, continuing stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and Prayers. These then were all built upon the same Rock, all professed the same Faith, all received the fame Sacraments, all performed the fame Devotions, and thereby were all reputed Members of the same Church. To this Church were added daily such as Afis 2.41,42, should be saved, who became Members of the fame Church by being built upon the same Foundation, by adhering to the same Doctrine,' by receiving the fame Sacraments, by performing the fame Devotions.
From whence it appeareth that the first unity of the Church considered in it felf, beside that of the head, which is one Christ, and the life communicated from that head, which is one Spirit, relieth upon the original of it, which is one ; even as an house built upon one foundation, though confisting of many rooms, and every room of many stones, is not yet many, but one house. Now there is but one foundation upon which the Church is built, and that is Chrift: For other foundation can no man lay, than that i Cor. 3. 11. is laid, which is Jesus Christ
. And though the Apostles and the Prophets be also termed the foundation, yet even then the unity is preserved, because as they are stones in the foundation, so are they united by one
corner-stone; whereby it comes to pass that such Perfons as are of the Church, being fellow-citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God, are built up- Ephef. 2. 19, on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone , in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy Temple in the Lord. This stone was laid in Zion for á Isa. 28. 16. foundation, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a fure foundation : there was the first Church built, and whosoever have been, or ever shall be converted to the true Christian Faith, are and shall be added to that Church, and laid upon the same foundation, which is the unity of * origination.
* Tertullian Our Saviour gave the same power to all the Apostles, which was to found Speaking of the the Church ; but he gave that power to Peter, to fhew the unity of the fame Apoftles, EsChurch.
clefias apud unamquamq;
civitatem condiderunt, à quibus traducem fidei & feipfam doctrinæ cæteræ exinde Ecclefiæ mutuatæ funt, & quotidie mutuantur, ut Ecclefiæ fiant: ac per hoc & ipfæ Apoftolicæ, ut soboles Apoftolicaruin Ecclefiarum. Omne genus ad origihem suain cenfeatur necesse est. Itaque tot & tantæ Ecclefiæ una est illa ab Apoftolis prima ex qua omnes. Sic omhes primæ & Apoftolicæ, dum unà omnes, probant unitatem : dum est illis communicatio pacis, & appellatio frater
ܕ X x
nitatis, & contesseratio hospitalitatis: quæ jura non alia ratio regit quàm ejusdem Sacramenti una traditio. De Prescript. Haret. 6. 20. This is the Unitas originis which s. Cyprian so much insists upon, Ecclefia una est quæ in multitudinem latiùs incremento fæcunditatis extenditur; quomodo Solis multi radii, sed lumen unum; & rami arboris multi, sed robur unum tenaci radice fundatum. Et cum de fonte uno rivi plurimi defluunt, numerositas licèt diffusa videatur exundantis copiæ largitate, unitas tamen servatur in origine, &c. S. Cypr. de Unitate Eccl. Loquitur Dominus ad Petrum. Ego tibi dico, inquit, quia tu es Petrus, e super iftam Petram adificabo Ecclefiam meam, &c. Et idem poft resurrectionem suam dicit
, Pasce oves meas. Et quamvis Apoftolis omnibus poft resurrectionem fuam parem potestatem tribuat, & dicai, Sicut mifit me Pater, & ego mitto vos, &c. tamen ut unitatem manifeftaret, unitatis ejusdem originem ab uno incipientem fuã authoritate disposuit
. Hoc erant utique & cæteri Apostoli, quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio præditi, & honoris & potestatis, sed exordium ab unitate proficiscitur, ut Ecclesia una monftretur. ibid. 'Eros όντG- το Θεό, και ενός τε Κύριε, δια τατο και το άκρως τίμιον και το μόνωσιν έπαινά), μίμημα όν αρκής ή μιάς. Clerm. Αlex. Stromat. 1.7. This is very much to be observed, because that place of S. Cyprian is produced by the Romanists to prove the necessity of one head of the Church upon Earth, and to shew that the Bishop of Rome is that one head by virtue of bio. succession to S. Peter; whereas S. Cyprian speaketh nothing of any such one head, nor of any such succeffion, but only of the origination of the Church, which was so disposed by Christ, that the unity might be expressed. For whereas all the rest of the Apostles had equal power and honour with S. Peter, yet Christ did particularly give that power to S. Peter, ro Shew the unity of the Church which he intended to build upon the foundation of the Apostles.
Secondly, The Church is therefore one, though the Members be
many, Ephef. 4.5. because they all agree in one Faith. There is one Lord, and one Faith, and
thar Faith once delivered to the Saints, which whosoever shall receive, em-
they must also become one Church by believing one truth. If they be one
Christ, which is mediately one ; if we look upon the Apostles united in one
same Doctrine delivered by Christ to all the Apostles, delivered by all the A. *Of this doth
postles to believers, being all professors of the fame Faith, must be members of Irenæus Speak, deli
the fame Church. And this is the * unity of Faith. vering the fum or brief abstract of the material object of Faith, To rágulua saphanoia, seji
. Touth wrist j 'ExxAnoia xaérie coq του κόσμω διεσταρδί η επιμελώς φυλάσσε, ως ένα οίκον οικέσα, και ομοίως πισδύει τέτοις, ως μίαν ψυχών και τ' αυτίω έχασα καρδίαν, και ζυμφώνως ταύτα κηρύσει, και διδάσκει και λαδίδωσιν ως έν σόμα κεκτημδύη. Αdverf. Har. 1. 1. Καλά τε εν αίσασιν, καλά το επίνοιαν, καλά τι άρχω, κατά τε εξοχι μόνο ένας φακός ' ας χαίων και Καθολικιω Εκκλησίαν εις ενότηλα πίσεως μιάς τ 5 τας ιδίας διαθήκες, μάλλον και η τ διαθήκον τ μίαν διαφόρους τους κρόνοις, ενός τε Θιά το βελάμαλι, δι ενός τι Κυρίε ζωάλεσαν τας ήδη καλαθέαΓρθρες, ές προώρισεν ο Θεός, δικαίως έσοδύες προ καλαβελής κόσμο ειοκώς. Clem. Alex. Stromat. 1.7. This unity of Faith followeth the unity of Origination, because the true Faith is the true Foundation. Siqua eft Ecclefia quæ fidem respuat, nec Apoftolicæ prædicationis fundamenta poffideat, deferenda eft, Petra tua Christus eft. S. Amb. in Luc. lib. 2. cap. 9. 'H 25 Cuixo ou î 'Exx Ancier, wis onoir o Floresis, digo? i crisis isir, Clem. Alex. Stromat. I. 2. S. Jerom on those words of the Psalm 23. 11. Hæc est generatio quærentium Dominum, bath this Observation : Superiùs fingulariter dixit, Hic accipiet benedictionem; modò pluraliter, quia Ecclefia ex pluribus personis congregatur, & tamen una dicitur propter unitatem fidei.
Thirdly, Many Persons and Churches, howsoever distinguished by time or place, are considered as one Church, because they acknowledge and receive the same Sacraments, the signs and badges of the People of God. When the Apostles were sent to found and build the Church, they received this Commission, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Now as there is but Ephef. 4. 4. one Lord, and one Faith, so also there is but one Baptism; and conse
quently they which are admitted to it, in receiving it are one. Again, At
that communication one. For we being many are one bread, and one body; 1 Cor. 10.2, for we are all partakers of that one bread. As therefore the Ifraelites were
all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spi-
1 Cor. 10. 17.