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to be the true Catholick Faith or Religion, which hath the Testimony of Scripture and Catholick Tradition before his time, or which can be proved by Antiquity, Universality, and Confent. Secondlý, In case I could not answer your Challenge in Naming any Bishops, Writers, or. Churches that profefled our Religion 900 or 1000 Years before our Separation ; yet you could make no advantage of it, because you can name none who professed yours, as distinguished from ours, in either of those times. Thirdly, In naming Bishops, Writers, and Churches, that . profeffed our Religion in those or earlier times, I must except the negative Doctrines of our Religion, which you have been told cannot be older than the more modern Errors, which they deny (and against which we proteft.] Fourthly, I must also except all Doctrines and Traditions, whether confisting solely in Opinion, or tending to Practice, which Bishops, Writers, and Churches may differ in, and yet be and be esteemed of the same Religion, and hold Communion with one another, notwithstanding their different Opinions and PraEtice [in such Do&trines and Things] such as these was the Do&trine of re-baptizing those, who had been baptized by Hereticks, which was held differently by the † African Churches, with some of the * Oriental Churches, and the Church of Rome, who were of the same Religion and Communion with one another. So the Eastern and Western Church differed in their Opinions
| Tertul. de Pudicitia, cap. 19. Præfcript. adverfüs Hæret. cap. 12. O de Baptismo. Cyprian LXXIII. Epist. ad fub.co Epift. LXXI. ad Quintum de baptizand. Hærer.
Firmiliani Epift. ad Cyprian. LXXV. Lombert's Preface before his Tranflation of Cyprian's Works into French. p. 77.
and Practice, as to the time of observing Eafter |l; and yet both thought themselves of the fame Religion, and lived after some debate in perfect Concord with one another, as Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna did with Pope Anicetus. Though Pope Victor afterwards was for breaking of Communion with the Asian Churches, because they would not keep Easter at the time the Latins did. Hitherto therefore I may reduce all differences in Churches, as to Liturgies, Ceremonies, Penances, Rituals, Ordinals, Calendars, or number of Festival Days provided they are pure as to Substance, or have no intolerable Errors or Corruptions in them. Likewise all Doctrines, which not being any part of the Christian Faith, or necessarily to be believed or disbelieved in order to Salvation, may be held in the affirmative or negative, without any danger to the Soul; as the ancient Doctrine of the Millenaries, which though generally believed for almost the three first Centuries, is now a Heresy in your Church, and I think rejected by all other Churches so many Bishops and Fathers of ancient times thought it safelt, if not necessary, for little Children to receive the holy Eucharist. It was always the practice of the African Church. And in the time of St. Augustin, Pope + Innocent the First, as well as he, thought it necessary; and if it was that Pope's belief, no Man will doubt but it was then the belief of the Church of Rome, though it now stands condemned and anathematized by the Council of Trent, Sel. XXI. Can. IV. Thus Opi
| Euseb. Eccl. Hift. lib. V. cap. XXIV.
St. Aug. Ep. to the Fathers of the Milevitan Council, which is the XCIII. inter Epift. Augustini Tom. 11. do Contra Julianum, lib. 1. cap. II.
nions and Practices, which do not affeat the
HESE four Preliminaries being premised,
to make a more regular, clear, and short Anfwer to your Challenge, I aflert, First, That 1000 Years before our Reformation from your Church, that is to say in the iniddle of the sixth Century, or the Year of our Lord 556. the whole Catholick Church, the Church of Rome not excepted, then professed the Religion of the reformed Church of England ; or, which is the same thing in other terms, the reformed Church of England profefseth, and hath the same Faith or] Religion, which the whole Catholick Church, the Church of Rome not excepted, professed in the middle of the VIth Century. This I affirin, becaufe the hath the fame Canon of Scripture and the fame Canon of Faith, i. e. the Apostles Creed [commonly so called] as confirmed and explained in the Nicene and Conftantinopolitan Confessions against the Heresies of the Arians, Eunomians, or Eudoxians, Semiarians, or opposers of the Godhead of the Son and the Holy Ghoft, together with the Sabellians, Marcellians, Photinians, and Apollinarians, all Eneinies of the
Catholick and Apostolick Faith. She also owns, as the whole Catholick Church then did, the Doctrine and Confessions of the first General Council of Ephesus, and of the General Council of Chalcedon, which guarded the Apoftolick Canons of Faith against Neftorius and against Diofcorus and the Eurychians. [In a Word, she owns all the Creeds and Doctrines, and condemns all the Heresies and Hereticks, that are recited, own'd, and condemned in lib. 1. tit. 1. of the Code of Fuftinian the Emperor, who flourished in this Century ] and hạth retained the Creed, commonly. called the Creed of St. Athanafius, as a most familiar and edifying Form of Confeffion, comprehending all the other Confeffions, and more particularly illustrating the Mysteries of three Persons in one Nature of the Holy Trinity, and of two Natures in one Perfon of Christ, against the aforesaid Herefies and Enemies of the Christian Faith, though it be not of so ancient a Date as your Writers say it is. This One Catholick and Apoftolick Faith profesed, † explained, and defended in thefe Creeds and Confessions, was transmitted from the VIth to the VIlth Century pure and entire, in the beginning of which Augustin the Monk propagated the Christian Faith in England. And therefore I affert, Secondly, that 900 Years before our feparation from your Church in 656, the whole Catholick Church, and particularly the Church of England, then profeffed the Religion which we profess now, and no other. This is evident from the Confeffions extant in that Century, as that of the Council of Sevil, A. D.
+ Δια τέτο γραφικαίς μόλυeίαις το αυτο μάθημα οι ειρημλύοι. ν. άξιοι
πατέρες σαφηνίσανlες έτράνω, &c. Cod. lib. 1. Tit. I. vii.
619. That of the 4th Council of Toledo 633. That of the 6th Council of Toledo 638. That of the Council of Lateran 649, against all the Eneinies of the Faith from Paulus Samofatenus, to Sergius Bishop of Constantinople. That of the Council of Chalon 663. That of the XIth Council of Toledo 675. That at Rome under Pope Agatho in the Cause of Wilfrid 679, or rather 680. That of the VIth Oecumenical Council of Constantinople 681, against the Monothelites, which in its firft Canon declares, that no Innovation was to be made in the Apostles Creed, that the Nicene Creed was perfe&, and the Constantinopolitan inviolable, and lastly that of the XIVth Council of Toledo 684.
IL ALL these Confessions are found together with those inentioned before in one of your own Epitomisers of the Councils, Gregor. de Rives, under the Title of Confeffiones Fidei Catholicæ : And the Title of the Book is, Epitome Canonum Conciliorum. It was Printed at Lyons 1663. I lay, this one Catholick and Apostolick Faith set forth in the ancient Creeds, and explained and confirmed in the Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creeds, and in the Confessions of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, without any addition of new Parts, was transmitted pure and entire from the Vich Century to the VIIth, and was that very primitive Catholick Faith in all its Articles, which we now profess [in the Apostles Creed] and which St. Augustin brought to our Saxon Ancestors at the latter end of the VIth Century, and propagated among them in the VIIth. That very + Word of Life, as Bede calls it. The Word of God declaring the Redemption of Mankind,
† Bed. Eccl. Histor. gent's Angl. Edit. Cantabr. p. 76.