Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE HOLY CATHOLICK CHURCH.

341

gregated in the name of Christ, washed in the same Laver of Regeneration, ears ing of the same Bread, and drinking of the fame Cup, are united in the fame cognizance, and so known to be the same Church.' And this is the unity of the Sacraments.

Fourthly, Whosoever belongeth to any Church is some way called; and all which are fo, are called in one hope of their calling : the fame reward of eter- Ephef. 4.4. nal Life is promised unto every Perfon, and we all through the Spirit wait Gal. 5.5. for the hope of righteousness by faith. They therefore which depend upon the same God, and worship him all for the fame end, the hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lye, promised before the world began, having all the fame expectation, may well be reputed the same Church. And this is the unity of hope.

Fifthly, They which are all of one mind, whatsoever the number of their Persons be, they are in reference to that mind but one ; as all the members; howsoever different, y'er being animated by one Soul, become one Body: Charity is of a fastning and uniting nature ; nor can we call thofe many, who endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. By this, faid Ephes. 4. 3. our Saviour, shall all men know that ye are my Disciples, if ye have love John 13. 35. one to another. And this is the * unity of Charity.

Lastly, All the Churches of God are united into one by the unity of dif- eniin cipline and government, by virtue whereof the fame Christ ruleth in them all. lus unus, Ec

l. clefia ejus uFor they have all the same pastoral guides appointed, authorized, fanctified, na, fides una, and fet apart by the appointment of God, by the direction of the Spirit, to & plebs in fo

lidam corpodirect and lead the people of God in the same way of eternal Salvation: as ris unitatem therefore there is tno Church where there is no order, no ministry; fo concordiæ where the fame order and ministry is, there is the same Church. And this is glutine copu.

lata. S.Cyp, de the $ unity of regiment and discipline.

Unitate Ecclef.

t Ecclesia non eit quæ non habet Sacerdotes. S. Hier. adv. Lucifer. Neiles direérítwou od's Araxoves wis Ingão Xersòv, rj À ‘Eritronen

wis razóeg, to's ä ne:06076985 as ouideros Ocg, xj wis cuídeo moy Arosóda. zweis ráta cuxancia o xadriy, Igrat. ad Trall. • Το γε η Εκκλησίας όνομα ' τ ας Χρισόν τις δυσάνθεν υφαίνς πληθύν, ιερ8ργές τε και λαός, ποιμίας και διδασκάλες, και της

wao zavege xalif ou pelbos. S. Cyril ad cap. 45. ubi interpres o paird, malè tranftulit declarat, quod eft we aind; cùın reddere oportuerit, connectit, aut contexit. Episcopatus unus eft, cujus à fingulis in folidum pars tenetur : Ecclesia una est quæ in multitudinem latiùs incremento fæcunditatis extenditur. S. Cyp. ibidem. _So he joins these two together, Cam fit à Christo una Ecclefia per totum mundum in multa membra divisa, item Epifcopatus unus Episcoporum multorum concordi numerofitate diffusus. Ep. ad Antonianum.

* Unus Deus

Ecclesia fu

By these means, and * for these reasons, millions of persons, and multi- * These are all tudes of congregations are united into one body, and become one Church. Forelleborg And thus under the name of Church expressed in this Article, is understood Una nobis & a body, or collection of human persons professing faith in Christ, gathered to- illis fides, u

Cous Deus, is gether in several places of the world for the worship of the fame God, and united dem Christus, into the same corporation by the means aforesaid. And this I conceive fufficient eadem fpes,

hørerbenbind in eadem lavato declare the true notion of the Church as such, which is here the object of our ea

w cri facramenFaith ; it remaineth therefore that we next consider the existence of the ta, femel dix: Church, which is acknowledged in the act of Faith applied to this object. erim, una For when I profess and say, I believe a Church, it is not only an acknow-musein vine ledgment of a Church which hath been, or of a Church which shall be, but veland. cap. 2. also of that which is. When I say, I believe in Christ dead, I acknowledge Corpus fumus

de conscienthar death which once was, and now is not : for Christ once dicd, but now tia religionis, is not dead. When I say, I believe the Resurrection of the Body, I acknow-& disciplina ledge that which never yet was, and is not now, but shall hereafter be. Thus Honda

mus fpei fædere. the act of Faith is applicated to the object according to the nature of it; to Apolog. cap what is already past, as past; to what is to come, as still to come; to that 39. which is present, as it is still present. Now that which was then past, when . the Creed was made, muft necessarily be always past, and so believed for.ever; that which Ihall never come to pass until the end of the world, when

Ebis

unitate &

this publick profession of Faith shall cease, that must for ever be believed as still to come. But that which was when the Creed began, and was to continue till the Creed shall end, is proposed to our belief in every Age as being; and thus ever since the first Church was constituted, the Church it felf, as being, was the object of the Faith of the Church believing.

The existence therefore of the Church of Christ, (as that Church before is understood by us) is the continuation of it in an actual Being, from the first collection in the Apostles times unto the confummation of all things. And therefore to make good this explication of the Article, it will be necessary to prove that the Church which our Saviour founded and the Apostles gathered was to receive a constant and perpetual Accession, and by a successive augmentation be uninterruptedly continued in an actual existence of believing persons and congregations in all Ages unto the end of the World. · Now this indeed is a proper object of Faith, because it is grounded only upon the promise of God; there can be no other assurance of the perpetuity of this Church, but what we have from him that built it. The Church is not of such a nature as would necessarily, once begun, preserve it self for ever. Many thousand Persons have fallen totally and finally from the Faith professed, and so apostatized from the Church. Many particular Churches have been wholly lost, many Candlesticks have been removed ; neither is there any particular Church which hath any power to continue it self more or longer than others; and consequently, if all particulars be defectible, the universal Church must also be subject of it felf unto the same defectibility.

But though the providence of God doth suffer many particular Churches to cease, yet the promise of the fame God will never permit that all of them at once shall perish. When Christ spake first particularly to S. Peter,

he fealed his speech with a powerful promise of perpetuity , saying, Thou Mat. 16. 18. art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of

bell shall not prevail against it. When he spake generally to all the rest Mat. 28. 19, of the Apostles to the fame purpose, Go teach all nations , 'baptizing them 23.

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; he added a promise to the same effect, and lo I am with you always, even to

the end of the world. The first of these promises affureth us of the conti

( nuance of the Church, because it is built upon a Rock; for our Saviour had Mat.7.24, expressed this before, Whosoever beureth these Sayings of mine , and doth

them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. The

Church of Christ is the House of Christ; for he hath builded the house, and Heb. 3. 3, 6. is as a Son over his own house, whose house are we; and as a wise man, * Non deferit

farin he hath built his House upon a Rock, and what is so built shall not fall. Ecclefiam fu- The * latter of these promises giveth not only an assurance of the continuam Divina ance of the Church, but also the cause of that continuance, which is the preprotectio, diPente Domj. sence of Christ. Where two or three are gathered together in the name of go, Ecce ego Chrift, there he is in the midst of them, and thereby they become a Churd vobiscum.. for they are as a builded House, and the Son within that House. Whereomnibus diebus, exc. Leo fore being Christ doth promise his presence unto the Church, even unto the Epift. 31. S. Aug. upon those words of the Pfal. 101. Exiguitatem dierum meorum annuncia mihi, maketh the Church to speak these words.' Quid eft quod nefcio qui recedentes à me murmurant contra me ; Quid est quod perditi me perijffe contendunt ? Certè enim hoc dicunt, Quia fui & non fum. Annuncia mihi exiguitatem dierum meorum. Non à te quæro illos dies æternos ; illi sine fine sunt, ubi ero, non ipsos quæro, temporales quæro, temporales dies mihi annuncia. Exiguitatem dierum meorum non æternitatem dierum meorum annancia mihi. Quamdiu ero in ifto fæculo, annuncia mihi, propter illos qui dicunt, Fuit & jam non eft: propter illos qui dicunt, impletæ sunt Scripturæ, crediderunt omnes gentes, sed apostatavit, & periit Ecclesia de omnibus gentibus : Quid est hoc, Exiguitatem dierum meorum annuncia mihi? Et annunciavit, nec vacua fuit vox ista. Quis annunciavit mihi nifi ipsa via: Quoinodo anpunciavit? Eite ego vobifcum sum usque ad confummationem sæculi. Concione fecundá in Pfal. 101.

[ocr errors]

25.

end

end of the world, he doth thereby assure us of the existence of the Church, until that time, of which his presence is the cause. Indeed, this is a the City * Psal. 48. 8.

Fortè ifta Ciof the Lord of hosts, the City of our God, God will establish it for ever, as virts

ever, as vitas, quæ the great Prophet of the Church hath said.

mundum te

nuit, aliquando evertetur. Abfit. Deus fundavit eam in æternum. .Si ergo Deus fundavit eam in æternum, quid times ne cadat firmamentum ? S. Aug. ad locum.

y the

Upon the certainty of this truth, the existence of the Church hath been propounded as an object of our Faith in every age of Christianity; and so it ihall be still unto the end of the world. For thole which are believers are the Church; and therefore if they do believe, they must believe there is a Church. * And thus having shewed in what the nature of a Church consisteth, and

proved that a Church of that nature is of perpetual and indefectible existence
by virtue of the Promises of Christ, I have done all which can be nece
for the explication of this part of the Article, I believe the Church.
After the confideration of that which is the subject in this Article, follow-

e explication of the affections thereof; which are two, sanctity and universality; the one attributed unto it by the Apostles, the other by the Fathers of the Church: by the first the Church is denominated H fecond Catholick. Now the Church which we have described, may be called holy in several respects, and for several reasons: First, In reference to the vocation by which all the Members thereof are called and separated from the rest of the World to God; which separation in the Language of the Scriptures is a fanctification: and fo the calling being holy, (for God hath called us 2 Tim. 1. . with an holy calling) the Body which is separated and congregated thereby, may well be termed holy. Secondly, In relation to the Offices appointed, and the Powers exercised in the Church, which by their institution and operation are holy; that Church for which they were appointed, and in which they are exercised, may be called holy. Thirdly, Because whosoever is cal

led to profels Faith in Chrilt, is thereby engaged to holinels of life, · to the words of the Apostle, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ 2 Tim. 2. 19;

depart from iniquity :: for those namers of the name, or named by the name of Christ, are such as called on his name ;, and that was the description of the Church: as when Saul did perfecute the Church, it is said he had authority from the chief Priests to bind all that called upon the name of Acts 9.14,21. Christ, and when he preached Christ in the Synagogues, all that heard id i cor:1;2. him said, Is not this he who destroyed them which called on this name in segirjee Jerusalem? Being then all within the Church are by their profession obliged yw to it to such holiness of life, in respect of this obligation, the whole Church may

Η ορθής πίσεως

have ces be termed holy. Fourthly, in regard the end of constituting a Church in dessus CofrecGod, was for the purchasing an holy and a precious People ; and the great 7:29?nele care design thereof was for the begetting and increasing holiness, that as God is omab isi tois' originally holy in himself, fo he might communicate his fanctity to the fons Copias you,

caufíors. Ifid. of inen, whom he intended to bring unto the fruition of himself, unto which, telur Evil without a previous sanctification, they can never approach, because without 246. 1.2. holiness no man shall ever fee God.

For these four reasons, the whole Church of God, as it containeth in it all the persons which were called to the profession of the Faith of Christ, or were baptized in his name, may well be termed and believed holy. But the Apostle hath delivered another kind of holiness which cannot belong unto the Church taken in fo great a latitude. For, faith he, Christ loved the Church, Ephef. 5. 25, and gave him self for it, that he might fanctifie and cleanse it by the 25, 27. washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glo- . rious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it - ". should be holy and without blemish. Now though it may be conceived that

Christ

Christ did love the whole Church as it did any way contain all such as ever called upon his name, and did give himself for all of them : yet we cannot imagine that the whole body of all men could ever be fo holy, as to be without spot, wrinkle, blemish, or any such thing. It will be therefore necessary, within the great complex body of the universal Church, to find that Church to which this absolute holiness doth belong: and to this purpose it will be fit to consider both the difference of the persons contained in the Church, as it hath been hitherto described, while they continue in this life, and their different conditions after death ; whereby we shall, at last discover in what persons this holiness is inherent really, in what condition it is inberent perfectly, and consequently in what other sense it may be truly and properly affirmed that the Church is holy.

Where first we must observe that the Church, as it embraceth all the professors of the true Faith of Christ, containeth in it not only such as do truly believe and are obedient to the word, but those also which are hypocrites, and prophane. Many profess the Faith, which have no true belief: many have some kind of Faith, which live with no correspondence to the Gospel preached. Within therefore the notion of the Church are comprehended

good and bad, being both externally called, and both professing the fame Mar. 13. 24, Faith. For the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a field in which wheat and 30, 47.

tares grow together unto the harvest; like unto a net that was cast into

the fea, and gathered of every kind, like unto a floor in which is laid up Mar. 2.12. wheat and chaff; like unto a marriage-feast, in which some have on the Femiflimè wedding-garment, and some not. This is that ark of Noah in which were tene & mulla preserved beasts clean and unclean. This is that great house in which there tenus dubites Pu aream Dei el- are not only vesels of gold and of silver, but also of wood, and of earth, and

Some to honour, and some to dishonour. There are many called of all which

1; the Church confiftcth, but there are few chofen, of those which are called, & intra eam usque in fi- and thereby within the Church. I conclude therefore, as the ancient Cathonem feculi licks did against the * Donatists, That within the Church, in the publick frumento mixtas paléas profession and external communion thereof, are contained persons truly good contineri,hoc and fanctified, and hereafter saved ; and together with them other persons

void of all saying Grace, and hereafter to be damned: and that Church conlos sacramen- volu 01 all buy

these of both kinds may well be called holy; as S. Matthew called 7emunione mis- rufalem the holy City, even at that time when our Saviour did but begin to ceri. Fulgent.

"preach, when we know there was in that City a general corruption in man. c. 43. ners and worship. Mat. 22. 10. 2 Tim. 2. 20. S. Jerom joins those two together. Arca Noæ Ecclefiæ typus : ut in illa omnium aniinalium genera, ita & in hac universarium & gentium & morum homines sunt, ut ubi pardus & hedi, lupus & agni, ita & hîc justi & peccatores, id et, vaia aurea & argentea cum lagenis & fitilibus commorantur. Dial. contra Luciferianos. * The opinion of the Donatists confuted by the Catholicks is to be seen in S. Augustine's Buuk, entituled, Breviculum Collationum. Upon which reflection in his Book, Post Collationem, he observes how they were forced by the testimony of those Scriptures which we have produced, to acknowledge that there were mingled with the good such as were occulily bad, Ecce etiam ipfi veritate Evangelicâ non aliud coacti sunt confiteri quàm malos occultos nunc ei perinixtos efle, as the good and bad fish are taken in the same net, because it could not discern the bad from the good. And from thence he enforceth from their acknowledgment, that those which are apparently evil, are contained in the same Church: Si enim propterea retibus bonos & malos congregantibus Ecclefiam comparavit, quia malos in Ecclesia non manifestos sed latentes intelligi voluit, quos ita nesciunt sacerdotes, quemadmodum sub fluctibus quid acceperint retia nesciunt Piscatores. Propterea ergo & areæ comparata eít, ut etiam manifeftè mali cum bonis in ea prænunciarentur futuri. Neque enim palea quæ in area eft permixta frumentis, etiam ipsa sub fluctibus latet, quæ fic omnium oculis eft conspicua, ut potius occulta sint in ea frumenta, cùin sit ipsa manifesta. Lib. Poft Collat. cap. 9, 10.

toru

[ocr errors]

Of these promiscuously contained in the Church, such as are void of all faving grace while they live, and communicate with the rest of the Church, and when they pass out of this life, die in their sins, and remain under the eternal wrath of God; as they were not in their persons holy while they lived, so are they no way of the Church after their death, neither as members of it, nor as contained in it. Through their own demerit they fall short of the glory unto which they were called, and being by death separated from the exter :: nal communion of the Church, and having no true internal communion with the members and the head thereof, are totally and finally cut off from the Church of Christ. On the contrary, such as are efficaciously called, justified, and fanctified, while they live are truly holy, and when they die are perfectly holy; nor are they by their death separated from the Church, but remain united still by virtue of that internal union by which they were before conjoined both to the members and the head. As therefore the Church is truly holy, not only by an holiness of institution, but also by a personal sanctity in reference to these Saints while they live, so is it also perfectly holy, in relation to the same Saints glorified in Heaven. And at the end of the World, when all the wicked shall be turned into Hell, and consequently all cut off from the Communion of the Church; when the members of the Church , remaining being perfectly sanctified, shall be eternally glorified, then shallinn the whole Church be truly and perfectly holy.

unto the Catholicks was by way of concession; Sed fub Apoftolis, inquies, nemo Catholicus vocabatur ; Elto, fic fuerit, vel illud indula ge, oC. Pacianus ad Sympronianum, Epift. 1. t so s. Jerom of S. James ; Unam tantûin fcripfit Epiftolam quæ de septem Catholicis eft : Of S. Peter, Scripfit duas Epiftolas quæ Catholicæ nominantur : Of 3. Jude, Judas frater Jacobi parvam quidem, quæ de septem Catholicis eft, Epistolain reliquit. This therefore was the common title

Then Thall that be completely fulfilled, that Christ shall prefent unto him. Ephef. 2.27; relf a glorious Church, which thall be holy and without blemish. Not that There are two Churches of Christ; one, in which good and bad are mingled together; another, in which there are good alone : one, in which the Saints

i are imperfectly holy, another, in which they are perfectly such: but one and the fame Church in relation to * different times, admittech or not admitterh * This was it the permixtion of the wicked, or the imperfection of the godly. To con- which the clude, The Church of God is universal in respect of

vinftitutions Catholicks y institutions

15 answered to: and administrations of sanctity; the fame Church is really holy in this World, the Donatifts,

all godly persons contained in it, by a real infused fanctity ; objecting tha the same is farther yet at the same time perfectly holy in reference to the meo diftinet

they made Saints departed and admitted to the presence of God; and the same Church Churches, De shall hereafter be most c y holy in the World to come, when all the du

Ecclesiis camembers actually belonging to it, shall be at once perfected in holiness and lumniam cocompleted in happiness. And thus I conceive the affection of the fanctity rum Catholi

ci refutârunt; fufficiently explicated.

identidem

expressiùs oAtendentes quid dixerint, id eft, non cain Ecclefiam quae nunc habet permixtos malos alienam se dixifle à regno Dei, ubi non erunt inali commixti, sed eandem ipfam unam & fanctam Ecclesiam nunc effe aliter, tunc autem aliter futuram, nunc habere inalos mixtos, tunc non habituram, ficut nunc mortalem quòd ex mortalibus constaret hoininibus, tunc autein immortalein, quod in ea nullus esset vel corpore moriturus, ficut non ideo duo Chrifti, quia prior mortuus, poftea non moriturus. S. Auguft. Collat. 3. diei.

in relation to all godlv ne

The next affection of the Church is that of univerfality, I believe the Holy CATHOLICK Church. Now the word Catholick, as it is not read in the Scriptures, so was it not anciently in the Creed, (as we have als ready shewn) but being inserted by the Church, must necessarily be inter preted by the sense which the most ancient Fathers had of it, and that sense must be confirmed, so far as it is consentient with the Scriptures. To grant then that the word was not used by the * Apostles, we must also acknow- * li was she ledge that it was most anciently in use among the primitive Fathers, and that ordinary ob-, as to several intents. For, first, they called the Epistles of S. James, S. Pejection of the

fchifmatical ter, S. John, S. Jude, the † Catholick Epistles, because when the Epistles Novatians, written by S. Paul, were directed to particular Churches congregated in par: That the ver ticular Cities, these were either sent to the Churches dispersed through a great tholicks was

name of Car part of the World, or directed to the whole Church of God upon the face never used by of the whole Earth. Again, We observe the Fathers to use the word Ca-the

Co the Apostles,

and the antholick' for nothing else but general or universal, in the originary or vulgar (wer to it by

« PreviousContinue »