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Fourthly, The Saints of God in the Church of Christ have communion with the holy Angels. They who did foretel the Birth of John the forerunner of Christ, they who did annunciate unto the blessed Virgin the Conception of the Saviour of the World, they who sung a glorious Hymn at the nativity of the Son of God, they who carried the Soul of Lazarus into Abraham's bofom, they who appeared unto Christ from Heaven in his to strengthen him, they who opened the Prison-doors and brought the ApoAtles forth, they who at the end of the World Thall fever the wicked from
among the just, and gather together the elect of God, certainly they have a Heb. I. 14. constant and perpetnal relation to the Children of God Nay, Are they not
all ministring Spirits fent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of
fabvation? They have a particular sense of our condition, for Chrift hath Luke 15. ro. assured us that there is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one
finner that repenteth. And upon this relation, the Angels, who are all the Angels, that is, the messengers of God, are yet called the Angels of men,
cording to the admonition of Chrift, Take heed that ye de spise not one of the fe little ones, for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels de always behold the face of my Father wbich is in heaven.
Thus far have we considered the Communion of Saints with such as are distinguished from them by nature as they are men; the fellowship which they have in Heaven with God, and his holy Angels, while they are on Earth. Our next consideration will be, what is the communion which they have with those who are of the fame nature, but not partakers of the fame holiness with them.
Fifthly therefore, The Saints of God, while they are of the Church of
Christ on Earth, have some kind of communion with those men which are 12.01 truly Saints. There were not hypocrites among the Jews alone, but in the
Church of Christ many cry, Lord, Lord, whom he knoweth not. The
Net, as well as the good. The Saints have communion with hypocrites in all things with which the distinction of a Saint and Hypocrite can confift. They communicate in the fame Water, both externally baptized alike, they communicate in the fame Creed, both make the same open profession of Faith, both agree in the acknowledgment of the fame princi. ples of Religion; they communicate in the fame. Word, both hear the fame Doctrine preached; they communicate at the same Table, both eat the same Bread, and drink the Wine, which Christ hath appointed to be received : but the Hypocrite doth not communicate with the Saint in the fame faying Grace, in the fame true Faith working by love, and in the same renovation of Mind and Spirit ; for then he were not an Hypocrite but a Saint: a Saint doth not communicate with the Hypocrite in the same sins, in the same lurking infidelity, in the fame unfruitfulness under the means of Grace, in the fame false pretence and empty form of Godliness; for then he were not a Saint but an Hypocrite. Thus the Saints may communicate with the
wicked, so they communicate not with their wickedness; and may have felEphef. 5. 11. lowship with finners, fo they have no fellowship with that which makes them Mi cu couva- fuch, that is, their Sins. Íhe Apostle's Command runneth thus, Have' no I Tim. 5:22.J
fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; and again, Be not partaMy xotváves kers of other mens fins : and a voice from Heaven spake concerning Babysaīs aimez 7- lon, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her fins. To Rev. 18. 4. communicate with fin is fin, but to communicate with a sinner in that which över sein Course is not fin, can be no sin; because the one defileth, and the other cannot,
and that which defileth nor is no sin. Tas ir cep76- and I aus. Duobus modis non te maculat malus, fi ei non consentias, & fi redarguas. Communicatur enim quando facto ejus consortium voluntatis vel approbationis adjungitur. Hoc ergo admonens Apoftolus ait, Nolite communicare operibus infructuofis tenebrarum, magis autem a redarguite. S. Aug. de Verbis. Doin. Serm. 18.
Having thus considered those who differ from the Saints of God; first, in respect of their humanity, as they are men ; fecondly, in reference to their fanctity, as they are men of holiness.: we are now to consider such as differ either only in perfon, as the Saints alive; or in present condition also, as the Saints departed.
Sixthly, therefore, the Saints of God living in the Church of Christ, have communion with all the Saints living in the fame Church. If we walk in 1 John 1. 7. the light, we have fellowship one with another; we all have benefit of the Kowavice me? fame ordinances, all partake of the same promises, we all are endued with more. the Graces of the fame mutual love and affection, keeping the unity of the Spirit in the band of peace, all engrafted into the fame stock, and for receiving life from the fame root, all holding the same head, from which all Coloff. 2. 19. the body bay joynts and bands having nourishment ministred and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. For in the Philosophy of the Apostle, the nerves are not only the instruments of motion and sensation, but of nutrition also; so that every member receiveth nourishment by their Intervention from the head; and being the head of the body is Christ, and all the Saints are members of that body, they all partake of the fame nourishment, and so have all communion among themselves.
Lastly, The Saints of God living in the Church of Christ, are in communion with all the Saints * departed out of this life and admitted to the pre- * This is that sence of God. Jerusalem sometimes is taken for the Church on earth, fome-part of the times for that part of the Church which is in heaven, to shew that as both Saints which are represented by one, fo both are but one City of God. Wherefore thus which those doth the Itle speak to fuch as are called to the Christian Faith Te are more come unto mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly infifted upon,
Jerusalem, and an innumerable company of Angels, to the general Ases- who forfe took . bly and Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God in the Creed.
, notice of it the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jefus Sanctorum the mediator of the new Covenant. Indeed the communion of Saints in the Communio
I nem, i. e. Church of Christ with those which are departed is demonstrated by their cum illis Sancommunion with the Saints alive. For if I have communion with a Saint Etis in hac
quam susceof God, as such while he liveth here, I must still have communion with him pimus fide dewhen he is departed hence ; because the foundation of that communion can- fun&ti funt not be removed by death. The mystical union between Christ and his focietate &
1$ spei commuChurch, the spiritual conjunction of the members to the Head, is the true nione teneafoundation of that communion which one member hath with another, all mur, Serm. the members living and increasing by the fanae influence which they receive pore: “ Et qui
181. de Temfrom him. But death, which is nothing else but the separation of the Soul nunc cognoffrom the Body, maketh no feparation in the mystical union, no breach of citis per authe fpiritual conjunction ; and consequently there must continue the same munionem communion, because there remaineth the same foundation. Indeed, the habeatis cum
Sanctis MurSaint departed, before his death had some Communion with the hypocrite, tyribus, & per as hearing the word, professing the Faith, receiving the Sacraments together ; illos cum Dowhich being in things only external, as they were common to them both, minn Jesu,
", Christo. Præf. and all such external actions ceasing in the perfon dead, the hypocrite re- Pal. S. Perpémaining loseth all communion with the Saint departing, and the Saints sur-tue., viving cease to have farther fellowship with the hypocrite dying. But ;
Das a Heb. 12. 22, the true and unfeigned holiness of man wrought by the powerful influence of the Spirit of God, not only remaineth, but also is improyed after death; being the correspondence of the internal holiness was the communion between their persons in their life, they cannot be said to be divided by death, which had no power over that fanctity by which they were first conjoined
This communion of the Saints in heaven and earth, upon the mystical anion of Christ their Head, being fundamental and internal, what acts or external operations it produceth is not so certain. That we communicate with them in hope of that happiness which they actually enjoy is evident; that we have the Spirit of God given us as an earnest, and lo a part of their felicity is certain. But what they do in heaven in relation to us on earth particularly considered, or what we ought to perform in reference to them in heaven, beside a reverential respect and study of imitation, is not revealed unto us in the Scriptures, nor can be concluded by necesiary deduction from any principles of Christianity. They.which first found this part of the Ar
ticle in the Creed, and delivered their exposition unto us, have made no great* We haze al- er enlargement of this communion, as to the Saints of heaven, than the Soready produ- ciety * of hope, esteem and imitation on our side, of desires and supplications ced the lords on their side: and what is now taught by the Church of Rome, is, as unof the 181. Serm. de warrantable, so a novitious interpretation. Tempore Cinerring Hope. In the same we find also that of Imitation, Si igitur cum Sanctis in æterna vita communionem habere volumus, de imitatione eorum cogitemus. Debent enim in nobis aliquid recognoscere de suis virtutibus, ut pro nobis dignentur Domino fupplicare, ib. Hæc sunt veftigia quæ nobis sancti quoque revertentes in patriam nobis reliquerani, ut illorum femitis inhærentes sequeremur ad gaudia, ib. Beside this imitation, he addeth their Desires and Care for us below; Cur non properamus & currimus ut patriam noftram videre poflimus? Magnus illic charorum numerus expectat, parentum, fratrum, filiorum, frequens nos & copiosa turba desiderat jam de sua incolumitare secura, adhuc de nostra salute solicita, ib. Of the venerable Esteem we ought to have for them, speaks Eusebius Gallicanus : Credamus & Sanctorum communionem, sed sanctos non tam pro Dei parte, quàm pro Dei honore veneremur. And a 'ain, Dignè nobis venerandi funt dum Dei cultuin, & futuræ vitæ defiderium contemptu mortis infinuant. Thus far anciently they which expounded this Article: but the late Exposition of the Church of Rome runneth thus : Non solum Ecclelia quæ eft in terris communicat bona sua cum omnibus membris fibi conjunctis, fed etiam communicat fuffragia Ecclefiæ quæ eft in Purgatorio, & Ecclesia quæ eft in cælis communicat orationes, & merita fua cum Eccicfia quæ eft in terris, Bellar. in Symb. here the Communication of the Suffrages of the Saints alive to the Church in Purgatory, and the Communication of the Merits of the Saints in Heaven to the Saints on Earth, are novel Expofie rions of this article, not so much as acknowledged by Thomas Aquinas in his Explication of the Creed, much less to be found in any of the ancientor Expositors of it.
. The necessity of the belief of this communion of Saints appeareth, First, I John 1. 6,7. In that it is proper to excite and encourage us to holiness to life. If we
walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with a
nother. But if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in 2. Cor.6.14, darkness, we lye, and do not the truth. For what fellowship hath righ- . 15.
teousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkAits 26. 18. nefs? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? When Christ fent S. Paul
to the Gentiles, it was to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are fančtified by faith that is in Chrift. Except we be turned from darkness, except we be taken out of the power of Satan, which is the dominion of sin, we cannot receive
the inheritance among them who are sanctified, we cannot be thought meet Col: 1.12. to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light. Indeed there can
be no communion where there is no similitude, no fellowship with God without some fanctity ; because his nature is infinitely holy, and his actions are not subject to the least iniquity.
Secondly, The belief of the Communion of Saints is necessary to stir us up to a proportionate gratitude unto God, and an humble and chearful acknow
ledgment of fo great a benefit. We cannot but acknowledge that they are ex2. Pet. 1.4. ceeding great and precious promises, by which we become partakers of the I Sam. 18.18. divine nature. What am I? said David, and what is my life that I should
be fon-in-law to the King? What are the Sons of men, what are they
which are called to be Saints, that they should have fellowship with God John 14. 8. the Father ? S. 'Philip the Apostle faid unto our Saviour, Lord, mew us the Father and it sufficeth; whereas he hath not only shewn us, but come
unto us with the Father, and dwelt within us by his holy Spirit ; he hath called us to the Fellowship of the Angels and Archangels, of the Cherubins and Seraphins, to the glorious Company of the Apostles, to the goodly Fellowship of the Prophets, to the noble Army of Martyrs, to the Holy Church militant on Earth, and triumphant in Heaven.
Thirdly, The Belief of the Communion of Saints is necessary to inflame our hearts with an ardent affection towards those which live, and a reverent refpect towards those which are departed and are now with God. Nearness of relation requireth affection, and that Man is unnatural who loveth not those persons which nature hath more immediately conjoined to him. Now ño conjunction natural can be compared with that which is fpiritual, no tem. poral relation with that which is eternal. If similitude of shape and feature will create a kindness, if congruity of manners and disposition will conjoin affections, what should be the mutual love of those who have the image of the fame God renewed within them, of those who are indued with the gracious influences of the same Spirit? "And if all the Saints of God living in the communion of the Church deserve the best of our affections here on Earth, certainly when they are diffolved and with Christ, when they have been blessed with a sight of God, and rewarded with a crown of glory, they may challenge respect from us who are here to wait upon the will of God, expecting when some such a happy change shall come. .
Fourthly, This tendeth to the directing and enlarging our acts of Charity: We are obliged to be charitable unto all Men, because the love of our Brother is the foundation of our duty towards Man, and in the language of the Scriptures whosoever is another is our Brother ; but we are particularly directed to them that are of the Houshold of Faith. And as there is a general reason calling for our mercy and kindness unto all Men, fo there is a more special reason urging those who are truly fanctified by the Spirit of God to do good unto luch as appear to be led by the fame Spirit ; for if they communicare with them in the everlasting mercies of God, it is fit they should partake of the bowels of Man's compassion ; * if they communicate with * Kotvari tris them in things spiritual and eternal, can it be much that they should partake on täre with them of such things as are temporal and carnal?
rigas de To conclude, Every one may learn from hence what he is to understand by δεν τοις this part of the Article, in which he professeth to believe the Communion of sipBaig 20:4 zon
" và vai trị Saints; for thereby he is conceived to express thus much: I am fully per- märtor de suaded of this as of a necessary and infallible truth, That such persons as are rois peces 7ois ; truly fanctified in the Church of Christ, while they live among the crooked Barnabas part
part 2. cap. I. generations of men, and struggle with all the miseries of this world, have fellowship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, as dwelling with them, and taking up their habitations in them : thát they partake of the care and kindness of the blessed Angels, who take delight in the ministration for their benefit : that beside the external fellowship which they have in the Word and Sacraments with all the members of the Church, they have an intimate union and conjunction with all the Saints on Earth as the living members of Christ ; nor is this union separated by the death of any, but as Christ in whom they live, is the Lamb flain from the foundation of the world, so have they fellowship with all the Saints which from the death óf Abel have ever departed in the true faith and fear of God, and now enjoy the presence of the Father, and follow the Lamb whitherfoever" he goeth. And thus I believe the Communion of Saints.
HIS Article hath * always been expressly contained and acknow* Therefore
ledged in the Creed, as being a most necessary part of our ChriCarolus Mag
stian profession: and for some Ages it immediately followed the nus in his Capitular,
Belief of the Holy Church, and was therefore added immediate1. 3. c.6. in
ly after it, to thew that the Remission of Sins was to be obtained veighs against in the Church of Christ. For being the Creed at first was made to be used as Bafilius the in Bishop of An-a confession of such as were to be baptized, declaring their faith in the Fa-, cyra, because ther, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, in whose name Baptism was administred; X in his confellion of" they propounded unto them the Holy Church, into which by Baptism they Faith which were to be admitted, and the Forgiveness of Sins, which by the same Baphe delivered in the second tim was
old tism was to be obtained; and therefore in some Creeds it was particularly Council of ex
* I believe one Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins. Nice, (A&t.1.) he omitted the Remission of Sins, which the Apostles in so mort a compendium as the Creed would not omit, Hanc Apoftoli in collatione fidei, quam ab invicem difceffuri quali quandam credulitatis & prædicationis normam ftatuerunt, poft confessionem Patris & Filii & Spiritûs Sancti posuisse perhibentur ; & in tanti verbi brevitate, de quo per prophetam dictum est, Verbum abbreviatum faciet Dominus fuper terram, hanc ponere minimè diftulerunt, quia fine hac fidei sinceritatem integram esse minimè perspexerunt. Nec cohibuit eos ab ejus professione illius Symboli brevitas, quam expofcebat facræ fidei integritas, tantique doni veneranda sublimitas.
Concordant autem Angeli nobiscum etiam tunc cùm remittuntur noftra peccata. Ideo post commemorationem S. Ecclefiæ in ordine Confessionis ponitur Remiffio peccatorum : per hanc enim ftat Ecclesia quæ in terris eit, per hanc non perit, quod perierat & inventum est. S. Aug. Enchir. c. 64. And to this purpose it is in his Book De Agone Christiano, passing from one Article to another with this general Transition; after that of the Church, he proceedeth with these words, Nec eos audiamus qui negant Ecclefiam Dei omnia peccata poffe dimittere. cap. 31. So it followeth also in Venantius Fortunatus, and in such other Creeds as want that part of the former Article of the communion of Saints.
Orig. Hom. 2. in Geo nesin. Sanctam Ecclefiam teneat in qua & remiffio peccatorum & carnis resurrectio prædicabatur. Ruffin. in Symb. Sed neque de ipfis criminibus quamlibet magnis remittendis in S. Ecclesia desperanda est misericordia. S. Aug. Enchir. c. 65. In remiffionem peccatorum. Hæc in Ecclefia fi non effet, nulla fpes esset. Remiffio peccatorum li in Ecclefia non esset, nulla futuræ vitæ & liberationis æternæ fpes efset. Gratias agimus Deo qui Ecclesiæ suæ dedit hoc donum. Author. Homil. 119. de Tempore. Quia finguli quique coetus Hæreticorum fe potiffimùm Christianos, & suam effe Catholicam Ecclefiam putant; sciendum eft illam effe veram, in qua eft religio, confessio, & pænitentia, quæ peccata & vulnera, quibus est subjecta imbecillitas carnis salubriter curat. Lactant, l. 4. C. 30.
* These are the words of the Conitantinopolitan Creed, 'Opo dogão v Béaliopic ois aperty ancep Town. Before which Epiphanius in his lefser Creed, 'Opadovõrele do Berloopce bis äpson dimagroño · in the larger, lisoojefe eis hic Kaborixli rj 'Arosonix' 'Exxas ricev, rj bis Berloo rece pe lavolas. in Ancorato. S. Cyril both these together, Eis ev Bám7104c Mee Tavoias sis men duzgov. Pelegrinus Laureac. Episc. Credo unum Baptismum in remissionem omnium peccatorum. Symbolum Æthiopicum. Credimus unum Baptisma in remiffionem omnium peccatorum in secula seculorum.
Looking thus upon this Article, with this relation, we find the sense of it must be this, that we believe Forgiveness of Sins is to be obtained in the Church of Christ. For the explication whereof it will be necessary, first, to declare what is the nature of Remission of Sins, in what that action doth consist; fecondly, to shew how so great a privilege is propounded in the Church, and how it may be procured by the Members of the Church. That we may understand the notion of Forgiveness of Sins, three considerations are required; first, What is the nature of Sin, which is to be forgiven ; secondly, What is the guilt or obligation of Sin, which wanteth forgiveness ; thirdly, What is the remission it felf, or the loosing of that obligation.
As the power of Sin is revealed only in the Scriptures, so the nature of it is best understood from thence. And thoʻthe Writings of the Apostles give us few definitions, yet we may find even in them a proper definition of Sin. Whofoever committeth sin tranfgresseth against the law, saith S. 7obn, an
inst the late, faith S. John, and then rendreth this reason of that universal assertion, for fin is the transgression of the law. Which is an argument drawn from the definition of Sin; for he faith not, Every sin is the transgression of the law, which had been necessary, if he had spoken by way of proposition only, to have proved the universality of his assertion, but produceth it indefinitely, Sin is the transgression of the law,