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Chap. 1. we have several Instances in Monfieur (2) TilQueftro lemont's Account of them. So that, fuppofing a Compliance with these two Duties, S. Paul did not fear, but the rest would be obferv'd.
Do we not read, whoever believes, that Jefus is Chrift, is born of God, 1 John v. v. 1 ? And that God is no Refpecter of Perfons; but in every Nation, he, who fears God and works Righteoufnefs, is acceptable to him, Acts x. v. 34, 35? And lastly, that whoever fhall call upon the Name of the Lord, fhall be fav'd, Rom. x. V. 13?
HIS Question is fo like to the laft, and has fo little Difficulty in it, that it may be dispatch'd in a few Words.
Cerinthus made (1) Jefus and Christ two different Perfons. Against him S. John fays, whoever believes, that Jefus is Chrift, is born of God, if he lives according to Christian Faith, that is, if he obferves all Duties neceffary to Salvation. For Faith, without Works neceffary to Salvation, is dead, S. James ii. v. 17, 20, 26.
Again, whoever is born of God, is in a prefent State of Salvation. To fuppofe therefore,
(2) Tom. 2. Mem. Eccl. Edit. 1. p. 40, 41, 43, 48, 51, 54, 55, 58, 63.
(1) Tillem. Mem. Ecclef. Tom. 2. pag. 62.
that he is deficient in any Duty neceffary to Chap. 1. Salvation, is as plain a Contradiction, as a ra- Questi tional Brute, or a fquare Circle.
II. In every Nation, he who fears God, and works righteoufnefs, is acceptable to him. But did he fear God, and work righteousness, in St. Peter's Time, who did not obferve all Duties neceffary to Salvation? who did not love God above all things? who did not keep the Commandments? who was not in Communion with the Apostles? who was not in the Catholick Church?
III. There is no Difference between the Jew, and the Greek, Rom. x. v. 12. For whosoever fhall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be Saved, if he omit no other Duty neceffary to Salvation. One of thefe Duties is Prayer. But was Prayer, in St. Paul's Time, the only neceffary Duty? Was it not then neceffary to confefs with the mouth the Lord Jefus, and to believe with the heart, that God had rais'd him from the dead, Rom. x. v. 9? Was not Charity neceffary, 1 Cor. xiii. v. 1, 2, 3? Was it not neceffary to avoid Herefy, and all other Crimes, Gal. v. v. 19, 20, 21; 1 Cor. vi. v. 9, 10? Was it not neceffary to be baptiz'd, Rom. vi. v. 3, 4, 5? And to be a Member of that Church, to which the Lord added daily fuch as fhould be fav'd, as St. Paul's Difciple tells us, Acts ii. v. 47?
Prayer is a Chriftian Duty. But in a (2) Schifmatical Congregation it is not Praying, but Howling.
(2) Catholica jubilet. Catholica totum tenet. Quicunq; partem tenet, & a toto præcifus eft, ululare vult, non ju bilare, S. Aug. in Pfal. lxv. v. 1. Hebr. lxvi.
Queft 12 Twelfth QUESTIONS
Does not the Scripture fay, or fuppofe, that of all Religions a Remnant fhall be fav'd?
II. A Remnant only of the Jews was to return from Babylon. Ifa. x. v. 20, 21, 22.
This, according to S. Paul, Rom. ix. v. 27, was a Figure, that the Synagogue would remain in the Slavery of Sin, and that only a small Remnant of it, to wit, the Apostles, and a few Chriftians of the Jewish Nation, fhould be fav'd. But what Relation has this to the faving of a Remnant of all Religions, of Chriftians, Jews, Turks, and Pagans, or of any Religion out of the Catholick Church, which we profess in the Creed? that is, out of the Orthodox and Univerfal Church, to which the Lord adds daily fuch as fhall be fav'd?
III. In fome Christians, who are Members of the Catholick Church in Defire, invincible Neceffity, and invincible Ignorance may be excepted, with Reason, from the known Principles of Chriftianity: But of these two Exceptions we have no exprefs mention in the Scripture.
Thirteenth QUESTION. Queft13
Is not Reformation, in wicked Times, a real and great Bleffing?
Reformation of Manners is fo great a Bleffing, that it ought to be, and is, the Endeavour of all good Paftors, and the Prayer of all good Chriftians. But to leave the Communion of the Catholick Church, and to reform her Faith, is no Bleffing at all.
II. I have already (1) mention'd the chief Reformations of Catholick Faith, which began in the first Century, but did not end with it. For the (2) Simonians continued till after the middle of the third Century, and the (3) GnoSticks till the end of the fourth.
III. The chief Reformers of Catholick Faith in the second Century, were Elxai, Saturninus, Bafilides, Carpocrates, Valentinus, Marcion, Tatian, and Montanus.
1. Elxai, and his Followers, the Elcefaites, (4) held it lawful to renounce the Christian Faith in Words, provided you kept it in your Heart. In all the Books of the Old and New Teftament they receiv'd fome Sentences, except the Epiftles of S. Paul, which they wholly rejected.
2. Satornilus, or Saturninus, and his Difciples, (5) deny'd the Refurrection. They faid,
(1) Quest. I. Num. iv. (2) Tillem. Tom. 2. p. 42. (3) Ibid. p. 57. (4) Ibid. p. 234, 235. (5) Ibid: p. 237, 238.
Chap. 1. that the God of the Jews was not God the F Queft 13 ther, who made the Angels, but only one of the seven Rebel-Angels, which, without his Knowledge, made the World. That Part of the old Prophecies came from these Angels, and the other Part from Satan, their Enemy. That some Men are good, fome bad, by Nature. That Christ had not a real Body; but came to destroy the God of the Jews.
3. Bafilides, and his Sect increas'd the Fable. (6) They faid, there were several Generations in God; and that the last of them produc'd the Angels who made the first Heaven: That thefe Angels produc'd others, who made the fecond Heaven; and fo forward, till there came to be an infinite number of Angels, and 365 Heavens. Hence Abraxas or Abrafax was, to this Sect, a faa a a B cred Name; because the nume-100 ral Letters of it in the Greek are 365. They said, that the God of the Jews is one of the 365 Angels of the laft Heaven, under which we live; that these made our World, and divided it amongst themselves: but that they all oppos'd the God of the Jews, because he would fubject all Nations to his. They deny'd the Refurrection. They held that Chrift was only a Man in Appearance: That Simon of Cyrene was crucify'd instead of him: That it is lawful to deny Chrift in Time of Perfecution: That the only Punishment of Sin, after this Life, is that the Soul paffes from one Body to another.
(6) Ibid. p. 240, 241.