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greatly vary among Christians according to variety of place and nation. Ceremonies change ; but faith, Christ, the word, change not. Therefore, a variety of ceremonies, if they be not repugnant to the word of God, neither does harm to Christianity, nor separates from the church. For true religion or Christian piety does not consist in external rites or ceremonies, but in spiritual benefits : in righteousness, faith, joy, peace, and true worship, there being first laid, (as saith Paul) the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom, whatever building be compacted, it groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord."* See also the whole eighth article in the confession itself, “ concerning the holy Catholick church."

* Quanquam autem nunc juxta externam faciem, et modum peculiatem habemus congregationem : hoc tamen apud nos non ob aliud fit, quam ut commodius doceamus verbum, ministremus Sacramenta, controversias et lites, si quando inter fratres exoriantur, et nos consulant, dirimamus, et ad Ecclesiasticam disciplinam exercendam erga eos qui correctione digna committunt, quique manifestis fiagitiis infames, resipiscere nolunt, ut excommunicatione ab Ecclesiis arceantur. Ubi ve. ro resipuerunt, rursum ad consortium Ecclesiæ et Eucharistiæ sacramentum admittantur. Non igitur ab Ecclesia catholica segregamur, cum earum rerum omnium, quæ propriæ Ecclesiæ sunt, usum habeamus.

Quantum vero attinet ad externos ritus aut ceremonias, sicubi dissimiles in Ecclesiis sint, nihil referre putamus; nam apud alios aliæ, pro gentium ac locorun varietate, inter Christianos existunt. Mutantur ceremoniæ, non mutatur fides, Christus, aut verbum. Non ergo aliæ ceremoniæ, si- minus pugnent verbo Dei, incommodant Christianismo, nec separant ab Ecclesia : Non enim hæc religio aut Christiana pietas in cerenyoniis aut ritibus externis sita est, sed in spiritalibus bonis, justitia, fide, gaudio, pace et vero cultu, jacto fundainento (ut Paulus ait) Apostolorum et Prophetarum, summo angulari lapide Christo Jesu, in quo quacunque structura coagmentatur, ea crescit in templum sanctum in Domino Conf. BOHEM. prof. apud. Syntag. Conf.

The Saxon confession. “In the mean time there have been, and are, and will be, in the church of God, men holding the foundation, who have and have had, and will have, some more some less light; and sometimes saints too build stubble upon the foundation, since, especially in the wretchedness of the present times, many who have the beginnings of faith have not the privilege of being instructed, and of conferring with those who are more skilful. These, however, are in the number of those whom it is the will of God we should spare, (Ezech. 9.) who groan and grieve on account of established errour. A judgment, therefore, must and may be formed chiefly from the voice of doctrine, what and where is the true church, which, by the voice of true doctrine, and the legitimate use of the sacraments, is distinguished from all other human societies; and what the voice of true doctrine is, the very writings of the apostles and prophets, and the creeds, sufficiently declare. In these there

part 2. p. 239.


is no ambiguous doctrine concerning the founda-
tion, viz. concerning the articles of faith, the es-
-sence and will of God, the redemption of the
Son, the law, the promises, the use of the sacra-
ments, the ministry”_*
The HELVETIC confession.

“We lay so great stress upon communion with the true church of Christ, as to deny that they can live before God, who do not communicate with the true church of God but separate themselves therefrom.”+ The confession then protests against harsh judgment and practices on account of individual infirmity, or of abuses and corruptions in particular churches; and adds, “It is to be observed, that

* Interea tamen fuerant, sunt, et erunt in ecclesia Dei homines retinentes fundamentum, etiamsi alii plus alii minus lucis habuerunt, habent, et habebunt; et interdum sancti etiam stipulas extruunt supra fundamentum: cum præsertim in hac temporum miseria niultis qui habent initia fidei non concedatur ut erudiri et cun doctioribus colloqui possint. Hi sunt tamen in eorum numero quibus jubet Deus parci (Ezech. 9.) Qui gemunt et dolent propterea quod errores stabiliantur. Præcipue igitur et voce doctrinæ judicandum est, et judicari potest, quæ et ubi sit vera ecclesia quæ voce veræ doctrinæ, deinde et legitimo usu sacramentorum ab aliis gentibus discernitur: et quæ sit vox veræ doctrinæ ostendunt ipsa scripta prophetica et apostolica, et symbola. In his non est ambigua doctrina de fundamento ; videlicet, de articulis fidei, de essentia et voluntate Dei, de Filio Redemptore, de lege, de promissionibus, de usu sacramentorum, de ministerio.

Saxon : CONF. Art. 12. Synt. Conf. part. 2. p.98. of Communionem vero cum Ecclesia Christi vera tanti facimus, ut negemus eos coram Deo vivere posse qui cum vera Dei ecclesia non communicant, sed ab ea se separant.

SYNTAG: CONF. p. 1. p. 54. art. 17.,

we diligently teach in what the truth and unity of the church principally consist; that we may not rashly excite and cherish schisms in the church. It consists not in ceremonies and external rites, but rather in the truth and unity of the Catholick faith. The Catholick faith has not been delivered to us in human laws, but in the divine scripture, of which the apostles' creed is a compend. Whence we read that among the ancients there was great diversity of rites which were entirely free, and by which no one ever imagined the unity of the church to be dissolved."*

In regard to rites and ceremonies, the twentyseventh article remarks, “ That if discordant rites are found in the churches, let no one, therefore, imagine, that the churches are disunited. “It would be impossible,' says SOCRATES,t 'to detail all the rites of the churches in different countries. No religious sects observe the same rites, although they embrace the same doctrine concerning them. For they who are of the same faith disagree with each other about their rites.' Thus he. And

* Observandum præterea, diligenter docemus inquo potissimum sit sita veritas et unitas ecclesiæ, ne temerè schismata excitemus et in ecclesia foveamus. Sita est illa non in cæremoniis et ritibus externis, sed magis in veritate et unitate fidei catholicæ. Fides catholica non est nobis tradita humanis legibus, sed scriptura divina cujus compendium est Symbolum Apostolicuni. Unde legimus apud veteres rituum fuisse diversitatem variam, sed eam liberam, qua nemo unquam existimavit dissolvi unitatem ecclesiasticam.

IB. p. 56. Art. 17. + The ecclesiastical historian.

we, at this day, with different rites through our churches in celebrating the Lord's supper, and in some other things, do nevertheless preserve agreement in doctrine and faith; nor is the unity and intercourse of our churches, by that difference, torn asunder. The churches have always used their liberty in such rites, as being indifferent. And we do the same at this day."*

And lest any doubt or difficulty should remain on this subject, the subscribers to the Helvetic confession thus express themselves in their preface:

“Impartial readers will clearly perceive that we have no communion with any sects or heresies, which, for this very end, we mention and reject in almost every chapter. They will, there

* Quod si in ecclesiis dispares inveniuntur ritus, neino ecclesias existimet ex eo esse dissidentes. Socrates, “ Impossible fuerit," inquit,

omnes ecclesiarum quæ per civitates et regiones sunt ritus conscribere. Nulla religio eosdem ritus custodit, etiamsi eandem de illis doctrinam amplectatur. Etenim qui ejusdein sunt fidei, de ritibus inter se dissentiunt.” Hæc ille. Et nos hodie ritus diversos in celebratione cænæ Domini et in aliis nonnullis rebus habentes in nostris ecclesiis, in doctrina tamen et fide non dissidemus, neque unitas societasque ecclesiarum nostrarum ea re discinditur. Semper vero ecclesiæ in hujusmodi ritibus, sicut mediis, usæ sunt libertate. Id quod nos hodie quoque facimus.

IB. p. 82.

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