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tures-either to please God, or to be sufficient for the obtaining of everlasting salvation; or if we could ascertain (assure] ourselves, that the word of God was written but for a time only, and afterward again ought to be abrogated and put away ;• or else, that the sayings and commandments of God ought to be subject to man's will, that whatsoever God saith and commandeth, except the bishop of Rome will and command the same, it must be taken as void and unspoken :p if we could have brought ourselves to believe these things, we grant there had been no cause at all, why we should have left these men's company.
Sect. 6. As touching that we have now done, to depart from that Church, whose errors were proved and made manifest to the world—which Church also had already evidently departed from God's word ;-—and yet
o " That God's holy word by your learning is mutable, and serveth only for a time, your own doctor Cardinal CUSANUS would soon have taught you. His words be these : Scripturæ adaptatæ sunt,' &c. 'The Scriptures are applied unto the time, and may have sundry understandings : so that at one time they may be expounded (oneiway) according to the universal current order, (of the Church,) and that, the same order being broken, the meaning of the Scriptures may be changed. (ad Bohem. Ep. 2.)”— Defence, p. 396.
Nicolas, Cardinal of Cusa, quoted in this and the preceding note, flourished in the first half the fifteenth century. His share in the proceedings of the Council of Basle recommended him to the favour of
Pope Eugenius IV. and he enjoyed the uninterrupted patronage of several successive Pontiffs, whom he served, on many occasions, as Legate.]
p ["That the Holy Scriptures of God by your divinity be not authentical, further than they be ratified by the Pope, ye might have learned of your SYLVESTER PRIERJAS, Master of the Pope's palace. Thus he writeth : 'A doctrina Romanæ Ecclesiæ, et Romani Pontificis, sacra scriptura robur trahit et authoritatem. The holy Scriptures derive strength and authority from the doctrine of the Roman Church, and of the Bishop of Rome.' Again he saith : 'Indulgentiæ authoritate Scripturæ non innotuere nobis : sed authoritate Romanæ Ecclesiæ, Romanorumque Pontificum, quæ major est. 'Indulgences are not known to us by the authority of the Scriptures, but by the authority of the Roman Church and of the Bishops of Rome, which is greater.' (Contr. Lutherum.)”—Defence, p. 396.
Sylvester Mozolino, called PRIERIAS from the place of his nativity, was LUTHER's first antagonist. His writings prove him to have been a man of little learning or judgment, with bigotted devotion to the interests of the Pope, whose menial servant he was, by office. He died In 1523.)
not to depart so much from itself, as from the errors thereof; and not to do this disorderly, or wickedly, but quietly and soberly: we have done nothing herein against the doctrine, either of CHRIST, or of his Apostles.
For neither is the Church of God such, as it may not be dusked with some spot, or asketh not sometimes reparation. Else what need there so many assemblies and councils, “ without the which,” as saith ÆGIDIUS, “ the Christian faith is not able to stand. For look," saith he, “ how often councils are discontinued, so often is the Church destitute of CHRIST.", Or, if there be no peril that harm may come to the Church, what need is there to retain, to no purpose, the names of Bishops ? (For so it is now commonly used among them; the names only they bear, and do nothing.) For if there be no sheep that may stray, why be they called Shepherds? If there be no city that may be betrayed, why be they called Watchmen? If there be nothing that may run to ruin, why be they called Pillars ?r
q'Quoties concilia intermittuntur, toties Ecclesia a Christo derelinquitur.' Ægidius in Concil. Lateranens. sub Julio II. (JEWELL adopts his sentiment, doubtless, as an argumentum ad homines-a sufficient proof to men of the same creed with Ægidius, who admitted his authority, that the Church might be in danger. There are no traces of a similar extravagant opinion of the necessity of councils in JEWELL'S own writings.]
["Christ himself, that best knew the reach and limits of his possession, saith thus : "When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ? (Luke xviii. 8.) Whereupon AMBROSE saith: 'Tunc fides rara ; ut ipse quasi addubitans Dominus ista dixerit.' "Then shall faith be rare : so that our LORD himself spake these words as though he doubted. And St. John in Revelations saith : "The woman (whereby is meant, not the Synagogue of the Jews, but the Church of CHRIST,) 'fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God,'(Rev. xii. 6.) by which words is meant, that in time of ignorance and persecution, the Church is without countenance, and unknown. St. Paul saith, before the day of the LORD come, there shall be 'a falling away.' (2 Thess. ii. 3.). By these it appeareth, the decay of the Church shall be universal: and that the remnants shall not be many. Thereforé VINCENTIUS LIRINENSIS putteth the case on this wise : 'Quid si novella aliqua,' &c. "What if some new corruption go about to invade, not only some portion of the Church, but also the whole universal Church altogether? Then must a Christian man set himself to cleave to antiquity. That is to say, to follow the primitive Church and ancient fathers. This case would he never have moved, unless he thought the whole universal Church might happen by some error to be deceived.
"The Church of God is often compared to the moon, (AUGUST.
Sect. 7. Anon after the first creation of the world, the Church of God began to spread abroad, and the same was instructed with the heavenly word, which God himself pronounced with his own mouth. It was also furnished with divine ceremonies. It was taught by the Spirit of God, by the patriarchs and prophets ; and continued so even till the time that Christ showed himself to us in the flesh. Thus notwithstanding, O good God! in the meanwhile, how often, and how horribly, was the same Church darkened and decayed !
Where was that Church then, when “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth ?''s Where was it when, amongst the number of the whole world, there were only eight persons, (and neither were they all chaste and good,) whom God's will was should be saved alive from the universal destruction and mortality ? When Elijah the prophet so bitterly made his moan, that · he, even he only was left' of all the whole world, which did truly and duly worship God ? And when Isaiah said, “the silver” of God's people (that is, of the Church) was “ become dross ;” and that the same 'city,' which aforetime had been “faithful,' was now “ become an harlot;" and that in the same “from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there was no soundness in it ?". Or else, when Christ himself said, that the house of God was made by the Pharisees and priests
a den of thieves ?”v Of a truth, the Church, even as a corn-field, except it be eared, manured, tilled, and trimmed, will in stead of wheat bring forth thistles, darnel, and nettles. For this cause did God send ever among them, both prophets and apostles, and last of all his own Son, who might bring home the people into the right way, and repair anew the tottering Church after she had erred.
Epist. 48.) which sometimes is full, and round, and bright, and glorious : sometimes is wholly shadowed and drowned in darkness : and yet, notwithstanding, is not consumed, but in substance remaineth still.” Defence, p. 399, 400.]
& Gen. vi. 12.
Isa. i. 22, 21, 6.
Luke xxi. 46. * [The word ' Apostles' (in the original Latin Apostolos) is here evidently used in its primitive, general signification-messengers.]
Sect. 8. But lest some man should say, that the foresaid things happened only in the time of the Law-of shadows, and of infancy, when the Church lay hid under figures and ceremonies, and when nothing as yet was brought to perfection-when the law was not graven in men's hearts, but in stone :—and yet were that but a foolish distinction, for even at those days there was the very same God that is now, the same SPIRIT, the same Christ, the same faith, the same doctrine, the same hope, the same inheritance, the same covenant, and the same efficacy and virtue of God's word ; EUSEBIUS also saith * All the faithful, even from Adam until CHRIST, were indeed very Christians,”'y though they were not so termed :—but, as I said, lest men should thus say still, Paul the Apostle found the like faults and falls even then, in the prime and chief of the Gospel, in the greatest perfection, and in the light; so that he was compelled to write in this sort to the Galatians, whom he had well before instructed : “I am afraid of you,”.quoth he, “ lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.—My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until CHRIST be formed in you—I stand in doubt of you.' for the Church of the Corinthians, how foully it was defiled, it is nothing needsul to rehearse. Now tell me, might the Galatians and Corinthians go amiss, and the Church of Rome may not fail, nor go amiss ?"
x 2 Cor. iïi. 3.
["Your meaning—that albeit all other particular Churches throughout the world happen to err, yet the Church of Rome, that is to say, the Pope and his Cardinals, can never err—I trow ye learned of PETRUS DE PALUDE: for neither Christ, nor any of his Apostles, ever taught it you. This worthy doctor saith thus : “Tota Ecclesia,' &c. "The whole Church of Peter cannot wholly fail from the faith. But all the other Churches of all the Apostles may fail wholly from the faith, having need to be confirmed by the Church of Peter. (De Potestate Curator. Art. 6.) And to this end you yourself call the Roman faith the Catholic faith, making no manner of difference between either other; as if Roman and Catholic were all one.
“Now, that the Church of Rome, which you call the Catholic Church, may err, and be forsaken of God, it is evident by the plain words of St. Paul. For thus he writeth, even unto the Church of Rome : 'If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast Surely Christ prophesied long before of his Church, that the time should come when «desolation’ should • stand in the holy place.b And St. Paul saith that Antichrist should once set up his own tabernacle and stately seat · in the temple of God:'c and that the time should be, “ when men will not endure sound doctrine, but-shall be turned unto fables," d and that within the very Church. Peter likewise telleth how there should be - false teachers” in the Church of CHRIST. Daniel the prophet, speaking of the latter times of Antichristtruth, saith he, in that season “ shall be trodden under
(remember) thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off; and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but feas: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell, severity ; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in goodness : otherwise thou also (being the Church of Rome) shalt be cut off.' (Rom. xi. 17–22.) Hereby it is plain, that the Church of Rome may fail and fall from God, no less than other like Churches. For otherwise this advertisement of St. Paul had been in vain.
" Therefore HORMISDAs, being himself the Bishop of Rome, (from 514 to 523] writeth thus : 'Dilectissimi Fratres, continuas,' &c. My dearly beloved brethren, let us pour forth continual prayers to God, and carnestly entreat, that both in profession, and in deed, we may cleave to him, whose members we desire to be, and may never by any crooked path turn from that way which is Christ; lest we’ (being the Church of Rome) 'be justly forsaken of him whom wickedly we have forsaken.' (ad Episcopos Hispaniæ.) This would noi the Pope himself have written in the hehoof of the Church of Rome, if he had thought the Samne Church could never have erred." Defence, p. 101.]
b Matth. xxiv. 14. [JEWELL considers this chapter as referring to the general juigment, and the verse cited, with similar passages, as applying to Antichrist. In the Defence, p. 402, he supports this application by the authorities of ORIGEN (in Matth. Tract. 26.); CHRYSOSTOM (in Op. Imperfect. Hom. 49.); Gregory NAZIANZEN (Signif. in Ezech.); JEROME (in Matth. c. 24.); AMBROSE (in Luc. Lib. x. c. 21.); HILARY(in Matth. can. 25.); THEODORET (in Daniel. c. 12.); "besides others, the most ancient and catholic fathers," quoted by Eusebius EMISSENUS, Hom. in Matth. 24.—The best modern divines consider the chapter as a mixed prophecy, relating principally to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity, but secondarily to the final judgnient and second coming of Christ, of which the destruction of Jerusalem was typical. The reader is referred to NewcoME's Observations on the Ministerial Character of our Lord, p. 200. ss. and Porteys' Lectures on St. Matthew's Gospel, Lect. xix. xx.]
< 2 Thess. ii. 4.