ePub 版

who was ordain'd by him Bishop of Smyrna ; and after the Decease of this Apostle, esteemid Head of the Churches of Alia. (a) Now this ancient Author undertaking to deliver a Summary of Christianity, layeth down no other Articles of Faith, nor Grounds of Religion, than what are ge. nerally by us received: So likewise Tertullian, almost, if not altogether his Co-temporary, (b) gives the fundamental Points of Religion gathered out of the Scriptures, the very fame which our Church delivers, and no other, for the Rule of Faith. But to come to particular Instances.

As to the Scripture's Sufficiency and

the Canon thereof.

Irenaus faith, (c) “ The Holy Scriptures are perfect, " as being dictated by the Word and Spirit of God.” And accordingly was his Practice, as Erasmus in his Preface to his Works observes. Irenaus, says he, fought against " the Troops of Heresy, only with the Forces and Strength " of Scripture This is quite contrary to the blafphemous Tenets and Writings of our modern Romanists; who accuse the Scripture of Imperfection and bring in unwritten Traditions to supp!y its Defects in the Church; and maintain that those they call Hereticks, le to be retuted and silenced, solely by the Authority of the Church and Secular Force. So likewise as to the Canon of the Scriptures, Melito, Bishop of Sardis, living in the same fecond Age, being desired by Onefimus, to send him a Catalogue of the Books of the Old Testament, returns only the Names of those generally receiv'd for canonical, without making any

(a) Lib. 1. Chap. 2, 3. (b) Adver. Heret. Chap. 13. (c) Lib. 2. Cap. 47:


[ocr errors]

mention of Judith, Tobit, &c, (a) Yet proteffeth that he made very diligent Search to set down a perfect Canon thereof; which is confess'd by Bellarmine, who says, (b) Many of the Ancients, as namely Melito, did follow only the Hebrew Canon, in which these books called Apocry. pbal are not reckoned.

In the third Age, Origen faith thus, (c) 86 In the “ two Testaments, every Word that appertaineth to God, “ may be required and discussed, and all Knowledge of

Things may be understood.” And in his Exposition on the first

Pfalm, He says, We may not be ignorant that “ there are only two and twenty Books of the Old Tel" tament,” which is likewise attested by Eufebius in these Words: (d) Origen as he received the Canon of the Jews, so likewise he rejected those Books which we • term Apocryphal as the fews do.

In the fourth Age, Athanafius faith; (e)." The “Holy Scriptures given by Inspiration of God, are of « themselves all-sufficient for Instruction and the Disco' very of Truth,

St. Hilarie (f) assures us that in his Days, “the Word of « God did suffice the Believers; Yea, what is there, fays « he, concerning Man's Salvation that is not contained in " the Words of the Evangelists? What wants the Scrip ture? What Obscurity is there in it? Verily noneat all, « but all full

and perfect, as proceeding from the Fountain « ot Fulness, and Author of all Perfection.”

“ It is a manifest falling from the “ Faith, and an Argument of Arrogance, either to reject

any Point of those things that are written, or to bring “ in any thing that is not written.

St. Bazil gep: T158°C,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(a) Eufeb. Lib.4. Cap. 26. (b) Bell. de Verb. Dei, Lib. 1. Cap. 20. (c) Orin. in Levit. Hom. 5. Tom. 1. (d). Lib. 6. Cap. 24. (e) Ath. Orai, cont. Gent. Tom. 1. (t) De Trinit. Lib. 2.


St. Gregory Nyfen, layeth this for a Ground which neMan should contradict; that “ therein only Truth must be ac- knowledged wherein the Seal of Scripture Testimony « is to be seen.

The Council of Laodicea, held about the Year of our Lord 368. reckoning up the Books that were to be accounted canonical Scripture, mention not the Maccabees, Ecclefiafticus, Judith, and other Apocryphal Books; which'is a Demonstration that then they were not res ceived.

Concerning the Sacrament of the

Lord's Supper.

In the second Century, Clemens Alexandrinus tells us, (a) “ Our Lord did bless Wine, when he said, “ take, drink, this is my Blood, the Blood of the Vine." And Justin Martyr, another Author of this Age ; in his second Apology, towards the End, gives his Vote, That, “ The Bread and Wine, even that fanctified Food, “ wherewith our Blood and Flesh, by Conversion, are « nourished, is that which we are taught to be the “ Flesh and Blood of Jesus, donc.” So that in their Construction, it was Bread and Wine ftill, which Christ called his Body: It was Bread in Substance, Material Bread; but the Body of our Lord in Signification and Sacramental Relation. And, indeed, the Conceit of Transubstantiation was not hatcht till many hundred Years after. Nor did they, in those Days, deny the Cup to the Laity, for fustin Martyr, in the said fecond Apology, speaking of the Manuer of their Admi

(a) Pedagog. Lib. 2. Cap. 24


niftration, declares, that “ Those who are called Dea

cons, give to every one that is preient of the conse fecrared Bread and Wine, as Christ commanded."

And the third Age is yet more express, for. Tertullian, speaking of a Christian Woman married to an Infidel, faith, (á, “ Of whose Cup shall she participate ?" So St. Cyprian, discoursing of such as in Time of Persecution had revolted from the Truth, and thereupon were barr'd from the Communion, desires, that upon their Repentance they may be admitted; for which he gives this Reason, (b) “ How shall we fit them to drink * of the Cup of Martyrdom, if before, we admit them

not, by Right of Communion, to drink of the Lord's Cup in the Church.

In the fourth Age, St. Ambrose, speaking of the Sacrament, faith, (c) “ Thou drinkeft the Similitude “ of his precious Blood.” And Nazianzen, speaking of his Sister Gorgonia, faith, “ If her Hand had laid up any « Portion of the Types or Tokens of the precious Bo

dy, or of the Blood :" Meaning Part of the consecrated Bread and Wine, which plainly proves, that they then esteem'd it to be only a Figure of Christ's Body and Blood Sacramental; as well as that the People, in those Days, communicated in both Kinds.

[ocr errors]

As to the Number of Sacraments.

(d) The present Roman Church curses all that will no: own, that there are, truly and properly, leven Sacraments of the new Law, instituted by our Lord Jelus Christ, and necessary to Salvation. Now, this is more

(a) Tertul. Lib. 2. cap. 6. (b) Cyp. Epif. 54. Tom. 1. (c) Amb. de Sacram. Lib.4. Cap.4. (d) Bull of Pius 4th, Anno 1564.




than ever was believed in the Primitive. Ages; for in the second Century, fuftin Martyr, in his second Apology, 1pecifies no more, or other Sacraments than Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord. And yet, there he had just Occasion to mention all the Sacraments of the Church, fince he was relating the Manner of their Worfhip, Communion, and Myfteries; fo that it cannot reafonably be imagin'd he wou'd bave omitted the other five, if the Church had known them.

In the third Age, (a) Tertullian, in divers Places of his Works, acknowledgeth only those two Sacraments as we do. And Beatus Rhenanus, in his Notes upon liim, makes this honest Observation ; “ Baptism, and the Eu« charist, were the only Sacraments of the Primitive « Church:" Which was to offensive a Truth, that the Index Expurgatorius at Madrid, 1584, commanded those words

to be expunged.

As for Images.

We find, that in these best and ancient Times, Chrifti. ans were so far from bringing them into their Assemblies, or worshipping of them, that some wou'd not so much as allow the Art itselt of making them ; fo jealous were they of the Danger, and careful to avoid Superstition and Idolatry, which the Simple might be drawn into by adoring them.

We are plainly forbidden, faith (b) Clemens Alexan. drinus, who lived before the Year 200, " To exercise " that deceitful Art, we have no senlible Image made « of any Matter: But perhaps thou wilt fay, thinc " Images are of Gold : Be it fo; What, I pray, is Gold,

or Silver, or precious Stones ? Are they not Terra, és

(a) Tertull. adversus Marion, Lib. 4. Cap. 34. ew de Coron. Milit. Cap. 3. (b) In Protreptię ad Gent. P: 24

« 上一頁繼續 »