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Fathers withour, and their perfc& subjection to the Authority of the Church and Bifhop of Rome. 'The Fø, thers execute the office of Doctors, but Counsels and Popes exco Emte the office of a fudge committed to them by God (a). And againe : The Pope hath no Fathers in the Church, but all are his fonnes: No wonder then that the funnes are subject to the Father, not tbe Fathers to the Sonnes (b). Thus Greing gory de Valentia cuts the knot he cannot untie: If the consent of Doctors cannot be made out, the Pope' may use his Authority (c). Really these Jesuites are most ingenious fellowes, they are resolved never to be at a non-plus: when they saw the Scripture was not for their turnes, they vote that should not be judge of controversies and fled to the Fathers. When they saw multitudes of bocable passages cited out of the Fathers destructive to their Hierarchy, then it must be consent of the Fa. thers: Now because they know they cannot make out the consent of the Fathers for any one Article of their Faith. Here is a Salvo for that, the Popes Authority is evident: It is but saying, that is a first Principle, and all controversies are at an end.. By, this time I think I may expect the Reader that hath but a dream of ingenuity in him must needs acknowledge that the Authority of the Fathers is neither ex veritate rei (in truch) nor ex opinione Pontificiorum ( in the judgment of the Papists ) la folid foundation for a Papists Faith which was she Proposicion to be proved : I shall difmille this with two observaba tions.
(a) Augustinus & cctèri Patres'in commentariis fungebantur oficib doctorum, at Corcilia Pontifices funguntur officio judicis à Deo fibi commiso lib.z. de verbo Dei cap. 10. (b) Pontifex non habet rollos in Ecclefiá Patres,fed omnes filios. Quid vero mirum eft, fi nos pater filiis, fed filii patri juo fubjiciantur. Lib. z.de Romiano Pobiifice cap.27.
(o) si de doctorum 'confenfu non aperte conferet , fisa tutc confiat wthoritas Pontifici, int Analyfi lib.8.cap.8.peg.119..????
1. How sweecly che Romifh Doctors agree in that which tbey acknowledge to be a principall foundation of Faith, viz. the Authority of the Fathers.
2. I shall leave this Syllogisme , taken out of their own Auchors, to the consideration of the prudent Rcader : If yon take away the anthurity of Fathers and Couna fels, all hings in the Church are uncertaine, faith Eccius as you faw before : But Bellarmine and others have bere taken away the Authority of the Fathers : And in the next Chapter you shall see they take away the Auchority of Councels : Ergo, There is nothing certaine in the Romish Church : Thus I have shewed that the Faith of the Papilts hath no sure ground or foundation in the Authority of the Pope, Scriptures, or Fathers: Now I come to the fourth particular,che Authority and Infale ibility of the Church and Councels which is the facra anchora the principall refuge of a languishing cause.
CH A P. IV.
of the Authority, and infallibility of the
Hochurch and Councels.
Secti Ev us therefore examine in the next place
karwbegher the Councels will stand them in better stead i. Wbether the splendid name and Autho rity of the Church be a solid and sufficient foundation of Faith. In order to which I shall lay down this propofition. :-That the Anchority of the Church and Councels is no sufficient foundation for a Papists faith: This Ithall more fully difcurfe, becaufe bere it is tbar very many of the Popish Doctors do buld cheir hopes, and lay the foundation of their faith. And here indeed they have greatest appearance of probability,
general councel rightly congregated cannot erre in the faith, saich Alphonfus de Castro
. (a).Councels represenc the Catholick Church which cannot erre,& therefore they cannot erre faies Eccius and T apperizea (b). The decrees of general Councels have as much weight as the holy Gospels, faith Cofterus (.).Councels approved and confirmed by the Pope cannot erre, lay Canus (d) & Bellar. Councels, being the higheslo Esclefiafticall fudicatories cannot erre faith Tannerus (f). The decrees of Councels are the Oracles of the boly Ghost, faich Stapleton: Surely now I may cry out čupnea : Here is the ground & pillar of truth, & at least--onfpes altera Roma.
8.2.1. Then I would know whence comes this Infallibility of Councels ?. It must be from Gods promise (for they do not pretend it is any natural inhærent property of any man or men single or conjunct.) And tbis promise mult be made known to us by divine Revelation i.e.either by Scri. pture or Tradicion (for other Revelation they do noc pretend to:) Thus far they and wee are agreed: Now i assume, That the Infallibility of Councels is not revealed to us, neither in the one gor in the other.
S. 3.1. Nor in the Traditions of the Fathers; for among all the Traditions mentioned by them you thall not find this concerning the Infallibility of Councels : Nor have our Adversaries)chat I know of) alledged one considerable antient Father, assercing that such a Tradition was conveyed co them from the Apostles, though bad there been such a Tradicion, they who were so carefull to enumerate all the Traditions of far lesse consequence, which pretended to an Apostolicall Original,neither should nor would have omitted co acquaint che Church wich fo ime portant a Tradition as this is now supposed to be and this (a) Concilium generale rede congregainm non potest errare in fide.lib.4.adverjus hea reles in verbo Conciliun. (b) Concilia repræsentant Ecclefiam Catholicam quæ errare 3301 poteft. Ergo etiam ipfa errare non possunt. Eccius in Énchir C, 2. Täper.in Art. 1. Lovan.9 5. (c) Decreta Conciliorum generalinis - iden habent pondus Omomentum,quod fancta Der Evangelia.in Enchiridio p.46.id) Lib.5.loc.com.c.4. (e) Bel.de.Conciliis - lib.2.c.2. (f) In parte 3. Anat. Demps, 10.564.223, le) in Relid.Con t103.9. 3.87fot.p.6. Do
might fuffice for Answer, till our Adversaries give us an initance of any such Tradition.
*$.4. But because Tradition and the testimony of the Fathers is their chiefe Pillar of the Infallibility of Councels (the wifer fort of them being fenuble of the impertinency of their Scripture allegations: ') I shall consider this a little more largely chen at first I intended, and shall indeavour to make good four things, which if proved, will give a deadly stroke at the root of infallia bilicy. 1. If there were such a Tradition among the Fathers as is pretended, it is no folid and sufficient foun: dation for our faith. 2. 'If the ancients did believe the infallibility of Counces, yet it doth not follow they be. lieved it upon the account of such a Tradition. 3. It doth not appear that the Ancients did believe the infalli. bility of Councels. 4. It doth appear that the Ancients did believe the fallibility of Councels.
9,5. The first propoposicion is this; That if some of the Fathers did tell us they had such a Tradicion among them as is pretended concerning the Infallibility of Counce's, it is no folid and sufficient foundation for our faich, because che Fathers were subject to errours and mistakes, as we have now proved, and as the Papists cune fesse, at least they might erre in matters of fact (for in such things they acknowledge the Pope himself to be fallible.) And this was purely a question of fact, whether such a Tradition were delivered to them. And that the Fathers were oftrimes deceived in the point of Traditions, and in matters of fact is acknowledged by se. veral of the most learned Papists, and Baronius gives us diverse examples of their mistakes in sundry parts of his Annals,& that too among the first Fathers, who had farre greater opportunities to know the truth chen cheir followers, &greacer integrity to deliver nothing contraIy to their knowledge, and much more mistakes there
might be committed by those that came after them.
itic be said, That although some particular Fachers nigbe mistake in the macters of Tradicion, yet the fa. thers consenting therein are infallible.
This is already answered in the former Chapter, to which I shall bere adde; bat it is imposible for us ac this distance to understand the consent of the Fathers,
of the first or second age, there being such a imall and inconsiderable rempant left of them, like two 'or three planks after a common fhipwrack. Grigory de V4 lentia confesseth even of the Doctours of the age we live in,cbat it feldome happens that we can sufficiently understand the opinion of all the Doelors that lived in one Ag+(a). How much more hard, nay, impoffible must it needs be to understand the mind of that Age which is gone 1500 years agoe? And Melchior Canus confetlech, T bat zhe Anthurity of most of the Holy (Fathers),f a few did cong tradict rhem, will not afford a Divine folid argument(a). So that if such a Tradition had been delivered by fome, year he major part of the Fathers, it some others, though fewer had contradicted it Faith hath lost its foundation, and this might be done and fuch things in all probability were oft done, though no footsteps of it are come co the memory of Posterity. A$ Austinspeaks of Cyprian when he was pressed with his authority, he answers, Happilie he did recant,though we know it notifor neither were all things done among the Bifh ps at that time committed to writing ner do we know all things that were cominicted to writingic)
(1) Fatendum efl taró accidere poffe, ut que fit Doctorum omnium ejus tempore viventium de religione senzientia, satis cogroscatur. Lib. 8. Analys cap 8.pag.rg. (b) Plurium Sanctorum Authoritas, reliquis licet paucioribus reclamantibus, firma argumenta Theologo sufficere co praltare non valet. Loc. Theol. lib.7.cap.3.
(2) Fortafle factum f d acdcmus. Neque enim omnia que illo tem pore ider Episcopos gelia sua, memoria literisque mandari potuerunt lub omnia qua mandala funt, novimus. Lib.z.con. Danas.cad.4.