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For at that time made the Catholic fathers and bishops no doubt but that our religion might be proved out of the holy Scriptures. Neither were they ever so hardy as to take any for a heretic, whose error they could not evidently and apparently reprove by the self-same Scriptures. And we verily do make answer on this wise as St. Paul did : “ After the way which they call heresy, so worship we the God of our fathers,m believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets" or in the Apostles' works.n
Sect. 3. Wherefore if we be heretics, and they (as they would fain be called) be Catholics, why do they not as they see the fathers, which were catholic men, have always done ? Why do they not convince and master us by the divine Scriptures? Why do they not call us again to be tried by them? Why do they not lay before us how we have gone away from CHRIST, from the prophets, from the Apostles, and from the holy fathers? Why are they afraid of it? It is God's cause : why are they doubtful to commit it to the trial of God's word ? If we be heretics, which refer all our controversies unto the holy Scriptures, and report us to the selfsame words which we know were sealed by God himself, and in comparison of them set little by all other things, whatsoever may be devised by men; how shall we say to these folk, I pray you? What manner of men be they; and how is it meet to call them, which fear the judgment of the holy Scriptures, that is to say, the judgment of God himself, and do prefer before them
m Acts xxiv. 14."God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;" JEWELL has it : evidently quoting from memory, and confounding this passage with 2 Cor. i. 3, or some similar text.]
n (JEWELL's own summary of this section is worth insertion—“We deny not the learned fathers' expositions and judgments in doubtful cases of the Scriptures. We read them ourselves. We follow them. We embrace them. And, as I said before, we most humbly thank God for them. But thus we say, The same fathers' opinions and judgments, forasmuch as they are sometimes disagreeable one from another, and sometimes imply contrarieties and contradictions, therefore, alone and of themselves, without further authority and guiding of God's word, are not always sufficient warrants to change our faith. And thus the learned catholic fathers themselves have evermore taught us to esteem and to weigh the fathers.” Defence, p. 63.]
their own dreams and full cold inventions and to maintain their own traditions, have defaced and corrupted now these many hundred years the ordinances of Christ and of the Apostles?
Sect. 4. Men say that SOPHOCLES, the tragic poet, when in his old days he was by his own sons accused before the judges for a doting and sottish man, as one that fondly wasted his own substance, and seemed to need a governor to see to him: to the intent he might clear himself of the fault, he came into the place of judgment, and when he had rehearsed before them his tragedy called Edipus Coloneus, which he had written at the very time of his accusation, marvellous exactly and cunningly did ask the judges in his own behalf, whether they thought any sottish or doting man could do the like piece of work ? In like manner, because these men take us to be mad, and impeach us for heretics, as men which have nothing to do, neither with Christ, nor with the Church of God; we have judged it should be to good purpose, and not unprofitable, if we do openly and frankly set forth our faith, wherein we stand, and show all that confidence which we have in CHRIST JESUS, to the intent all men may see what is our judgment of every part of the Christian religion, and may resolve with themselves whether the faith which they shall see confirmed by the words of CHRIST, by the writings of the Apostles, by the testimonies of the catholic fathers, and by the examples of many ages, be but a certain rage of furious and mad men, and a conspiracy of heretics.
This, therefore, is our belief.
o [JEWELL's language is strong, but fully borne out by such passages as the following :~"Si quis habeat interpretationem Ecclesiæ Řomanæ de loco aliquo Scripturæ, etiamsi nec sciat, nec intelligat, an, et quomodo, cum Scripturæ verbis conveniat, tamen habet ipsissimum verbum Dei." "If a man have the exposition of the Church of Rome touching any place of the Scriptures, although he neither know nor understand whether, and how, it agreeth with the words of the Scripture, yet he hath the very word of God.” Hosius de expresso Verbo Dei, quoted in the Defence, p. 69.]
The Doctrine received in the Church of England.
Sect. 1. Of the Divine Nature.—We believe that there is one certain nature and divine power, which we call God: and that the same is divided into three equal persons ; into the Father, into the Son, and into the Holy Ghost: and that they all be of one power, of one majesty, of one eternity, of one GODHEAD, and of one substance. And although these three persons be so divided, that neither the FATHER is the Son, nor the Son is the Holy Ghost, or the FATHER ; yet, nevertheless, we believe that there is but one very God: and that the same one God hath created heaven and earth, and all things contained under heaven.
Sect. 2. The Incarnation of Christ.—We believe that Jesus CHRIST, the only Son of the eternal FATHER, (as long before it was determined, before all beginnings,) when the fulness of time did come, did take of that blessed and pure Virgin, both flesh and all the nature of man, that he might declare to the world the secret and hid will of his Father; which will had been laid up from before all ages and generations : and that he might full finish in his human body the mystery of our redemption, and might fasten our sins to the cross, and also that handwriting which was made against us.P
Sect. 3. The Passion and Ascension of CHRIST.We believe, that for our sakes he died, and was buried, descended into hell, the third day by the power of his Godhead returned to life and rose again, and that the fortieth day after his resurrection, whilst his disciples beheld and looked upon him, he ascended into heaven, to fulfil all things; and did place in majesty and glory the self-same body, wherewith he was born, wherein he lived on earth, wherein he was jested at, wherein he had suffered most painful torments and cruel kind of death, wherein he rose again, and wherein he ascended to the right hand of the Father, above all power, all force, all dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come :9 and that there he now sitteth, and shall sit, till all things be full perfected. And although the majesty and Godhead of CHRIST be everywhere abundantly dispersed, yet we believe that “his body," as St. AUGUSTINE: saith, “must needs be still in one place :" and that CHRIST hath given majesty unto his body, but yet hath not taken away from it the nature of a body : and that we must not so affirm CHRIST to be God, that we deny him to be man it and as the martyr VIGILIUS saith, that “ CHRIST hath left us as touching his human nature, but hath not left us as touching the divine nature :'u and that the same CHRIST, “ though he be absent from us concerning his manhood, yet is ever present with us concerning his GODHEAD."'v
p Coloss. ii. 14.
9 AUGUSTINI Tractat. 30 in Joannem. "Secundum carnem quam verbum assumpsit; secundum id quod de virgine natus est : secundum id quod a Judæis prehensus est: quod ligno confixus : quod de cruce depositus : quod linteis involutus: quod in sepulchro conditus : quod in resurrectione manifestatus, Me non semper habebitis vobiscum.”— Phil. ii. 9.
* Acts iï. 21.
· AUGUSTINI Ep. 57 ad Dardanum. “Cavendum est ne ita Divinitatem astruamus hominis, ut veritatem corporis auferamus."
u VIGILII TAPSENSIS Lib. 1 contra Eutychem. “ Dei filius secundum humanitatem suam recessit a nobis : secundum divinitatem suam semper est nobiscum.”
[VIGILIUS, called from his birth-place Tapsensis, i. e. of Tapsa, was bishop of Cette, in Africa, in the 6th century. He wrote Five Books against the Nestorian and Eutychian Heresies. The creed called the Athanasian is supposed to be his production.]
FULGENTIUs ad Regem Thrasymundum. "Christus, cum absit a nobis per formam servi, tamen semper est nobiscum per forman DEI."
[FULGENTIUS, bishop of Ruspa, in Africa, was raised to that office in the 40th year of his age, in 407. He was a man of considerable ·learning, and had filled a high civil station with credit. He was banished to Sardinia, for his adherence to the catholic doctrine of the Trinity, but recalled in 533. He died at the age of 65.
But few of the works of FULGENTIUs are extant. They are mostly on abstruse theological questions, but manifest considerable learning and eloquence.]
Sect. 4. The Judgment. From that place, also, we believe that Christ shall come again to execute that general judgment, as well of them whom he shall then find alive in the body, as of them that shall be already dead.
Sect. 5. The Holy Ghost.We believe that the Holy Ghost, who is the third person in the holy Trinity, is very God: not made, not created, not begotten, but proceeding from both the Father and the Son, by a certain mean unknown unto man, and unspeakable: and that it is His property to mollify and soften the hardness of man's heart, when He is once received thereinto, either by the wholesome preaching of the gospel, or by any other way : that He doth give men light, and guide them unto the knowledge of God, to all way of truth, to newness of the whole life, and to everlasting hope of salvation.
Sect. 6. The Church.—We believe that there is one Church of God, and that the same is not shut up (as in times past among the Jews) into some one corner or kingdom, but that it is catholic and universal, and dispersed throughout the whole world. So that there is now no nation which may truly complain that they be shut forth, and may not be one of the Church and people of God. And that this Church is the kingdom, the body, and the spouse of Christ: that CHRIST alone is the prince of this kingdom : that Christ alone is the head of this body :w and that Christ alone is the bridegroom of this spouse.
w ["I grant, bishops may be called heads of their several Churches. So CHRYSOSTOM (in Ep. ad Rom. 18.) calleth Elias 'the head of the prophets.' So Saul is called 'the head of the tribes of Israel. (1 Sam. xv. 17.) So Cyril the bishop of Alexandria in the council of Ephesus was called 'Head of the bishops there assembled.' So St. GREGORY saith, 'Paulus ad CHRISTUM conversus, caput effectus est nationum.''Paul being once converted to CHRIST, was made the head of the nations. (in 1 Reg. lib. iv. cap. 4.) In this sense OPTATUS saith, (Lib. 1 et 2.) There be four sorts of heads in the Church : the bishops, the priests, the deacons, and the faithful.' And all this only in a certain kind of phrase, and manner of speech. But indeed and verily St. Austin saith, 'Paulus ipse non poterat caput esse eorum, quos plantaverat.'— Paul himself could not be the head of those whom he had planted.” (Contra Liter. Petilian. Lib. I. cap. 5.)"-Defence, p. 84.)