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(s) But what fays Novatian to this? Does he yet acknowledge who is God's Priests? Which is the Church and Houfe of Chrift? Who are the Servants of Chrift, whom the Devil Perfecutes? Who are the Chriftians whom Antichrift fights againft? For he does not feek after thofe whom he has already fubdued; or endeavour to overturn those whom he has already made his own. The Foe and Enemy of the Church contemns and paffes by those whom be has alienated from the Church, and lead out of it as already his Bondfmen and Captives: He goes on to provoke thofe in whom he fees Chrift to dwell. Now, if Novatian, or any of his Party had fuffer'd in this Perfecution under Gallus and Volufian, or had not been permitted to exercise their Functions and Miniftrations, S. Cyprian could not have made the Sufferings of Cornelius and his Adherents a Teftimony of the Rightcoufness of their Caufe above that of the Novatians. Would Novatian have had any Reason to think Cornelius to have been God's Prieft, upon the account of his Sufferings, rather than himself, if he had also fuffered as the other did? It is plain then, that the Emperors Gallus and Volufianus, perfecuted the Catholicks and let the Novatians alone. Yet although Cornelius was banished, and fo depofed or turned out of his Bishoprick by a Soveraign, Coercive, Irrefiftible Power, the Catholick Chriftians did not for that Reafon think they might accept Novatian for their Bishop: But immediately after the Martyrdom
(s) Quid ad hæc Novatianus, frater Chariffime? - Agnof citne jam qui fit facerdos Dei? Quæ fit Ecclefia & Domus Chrifti? Qui fint Dei fervi quos diabolus infeftet? Qui fint Chriftiani quos Antichriftus impugnet? Neq; enim quærit illos, quos jam fubegit, aut geftit evertere, quos jam fuos fecit. Inimicus & hoftis Ecclefiæ quos alienavit ab Ecclefia & foras duxit, ut captivos & vinctos contemnit & præterit; eos pergit laceffere in quibus Chriftum cernit habitare. Cypr. Epift. 60.
of Cornelius, which happened in a fhort time after his Banishment; Lucius was confecrated in his ftead, who was alfo banished, but lived to return from his Banishment, upon the Death of Gallus and Volufian, which happened not long after, for they did not Reign a whole Year; and then the Perfecution ceafed for a time. To this Lucius, S. Cyprian alfo writes and Congratulates him upon his Return from his Banishment; and amongst other things fays thus, (t) We understand, our dearest Brother, and fee with the whole Eye of our Heart, the falutary and holy Counfels of the Divine Majefty; whence that fudden Perfecution fo lately arofe; whence the fecular Power fo fuddenly fell upon Cornelius the Bishop and bleffed Martyr, and upon all of you: That to confound and repel the Hereticks God fhewed, which was his Church, who his own Bishop, chofen by divine Appointment; who the Presbyters joined in the Honour of the Priesthood with the Bishop; which the united and true People of Chrift, joined together in Charity as the Lord's Flock; who they were whom the Enemy contended with, who on the contrary, whom the Devil Spared as his own. Thus we fee that from the Beginning of this Perfecution to the End of it, the Novatians bore no fhare of it. For it is plain by thofe he calls Hereticks in this Paffage, he means them; for his Words here are much the fame in Senfe, with those
(t) Intelligimus, frater Chariffime, & tota cordis noftri luce perfpicimus divinæ Majeftatis falutaria & fanéta confilia ; unde illic repentina perfecutio nuper exorta fit, unde contra Ecclefiam Chrifti & Epifcopum Cornelium beatum Martyrem, vofq; omnes fæcularis poteftas fubito proruperit: ut ad confundendos Hereticos & retundendos oftenderit Dominus, quæ effet Ecclefia, quis Epifcopus ejus unus, divina Ordinatione delectus; qui cum Epifcopo Presbyteri Sacerdotali ho, nore conjuncti; quis adunatus & verus Chrifti populus Dominici Gregis Charitate connexus: Qui effent quos inimicus Jacefferet, qui contra, quibus diabolus ut fuis parceret. Cypr. Ep. 60.
before quoted from the former Epistle, which are exprefly applied to Novatian and his Followers by Name: Then thofe Words, who is one Bishop, must refer to Novatian, who fet up for the other Bishop. We cannot therefore fay, that the Novatians were a fmall tumultuous Party who had no Sovereign coercive Power to fupport them: For it is plain, the Emperor was of Novatian's Side: For he banish'd Cornelius, his Competitor, and put him to Death; and when Lucius was ordained his Succeffor, he banish'd him alfo, leaving the fole Poffeffion to Novatian; and yet the Church looked upon Novatian and his Followers to be as much Schifmaticks whilst they had the fole Poffeffion of the Chriftian Churches as they were before or after.
§ XXXIX. Then as to the Donatifts, though they were indeed a tumultuous Party, they were far from being a Small Party, for they had as many Bishops in Africa as the Catholicks themselves: And by Means of their Circumcellions or Banditti were very often an Irresistible Party: And in the Reign of Julian had the Sovereign Coercive Power on their Side, as we may learn from Optatus and S. Austin, and all that have given us any Account of that Schifm. Neither were the Meletians of Egypt a fmall Party, for they were too many for the Bishop of Alexandria, the Primate of that Country, to deal with; nor could the Council of Nice itself effectually quell them. (u) Dr. Hody fays, The only Question is, whether Paul or Apollos may be follow'd when Cephas is in Prifon, and is render'd uncapable of acting as an Apoftle? And I fuppofe it is the fame thing if we ask, Whether it be lawful to follow Cephas or Apollos when Paul is in Prifon. For the Cafe is juft the fame, and the Answer is very eafy, and
(a) Cafe of Sees vacant. Pag. 12.
made by S. Paul himself. (w) If Apollos or Cephas come in to water what S. Paul has planted, they do well. If they come in as Friends or Affiftants to S. Panl to feed his Flock whilft he is difabled from doing it himself, and act therein only as his Companions and Fellow-Labourers, they may and ought to be followed, for fo to follow them is to follow Paul alfo, whether he be in Prifon or not, whether he be present or abfent. But if Cephas or Apollos come into S. Paul's Diftrict, and one of them tells the People he is now their Spiritual Father in Paul's ftead, and they are no more to look upon Paul as their Apoftle or Bishop, because he is imprisoned and rendred uncapable of acting as an Apoftle among them, this S. Paul would fay is (x) ftretching themfelves beyond their Measure, and boating in another Man's Line. And whether it was Apollos or Cephas that did this, he would be a Schifmatick, and break the Band of Charity, and therefore though he spake with the Tongues of Men and of Angels, he ought not to be followed, for he could profit them nothing. S. Paul was frequently imprisoned, and yet,as I have fhewed, he did not think that he thereby loft his Right of Spiritual Obedience from the Corinthians (y) therefore befeeches them to be Followers of him. And indeed it would be a very hard Cafe if a Pastor was to lose his Right over his Flock, because he is imprison'd, as S. Paul was, for doing his Duty: Yet this is what the Doctor has pleaded for. Suppofe, fays he, that the ejected Bishop was deprived for adhering to the Truth, and for oppofing Vice or Herefy: Notwithstanding all this, I affert, That if he was deprived by a Power Irrestible, a Submiffion to the prefent Poffeffor (if otherwise unexceptionable) is lawful and warranted by the general Practice of the Ancients. But we have feen
v) I Cor. iii, 6. (x) 2 Cor. X, 14. 16, (y) 1 Cor. xiv. 16.
that it is not warranted by the Scripture, nor by the most ancient Church in the Cafe of the Nova. tians, Donatifts, and Meletians, who were the first that formed a Schifm by bringing in a fecond Bifhop into a full See. And we have seen that S. Cyprian was fo far from thinking that the Imprifonment of Cornelius or Lucius could give Novatian a Right to the Bishoprick of Rome, because they were thereby incapacitated to act as Bifhops, and Novatian was left as the fole Bifhop in full Poffeffion of that Church, as far as a Sovereign coercive Power could give him Poffeffion, by permitting him at least, if not authorizing him, to poffefs the Houfes and Churches belonging to the Catholicks before the Breach (as I have proved from the Law of Conftantine, which commanded them to be restored) and by leaving no other Bishop to act in Rome but himfelf, that he makes this very Thing an Argument that Cornelius and Lucius were the true and rightful Bishops, and that Novatian was not fo; that God approved of those two as his Bishops, because he permitted them to be imprifoned, and did not approve of Novatian, because he let him and his Party escape the Perfecution. So far is the Doctor's Affertion, that though a Bishop be deprived by a Sovereign coercive Power for adhering to the Truth, yet it may be lawful to comply with the Succeffor, who is permitted or authorized by that Sovereign Power to fupply his Place, from being agreable to the Senfe of the Ancients, that nothing is more contrary to the Senfe of truly Primitive Antiquity, as well as to the Scriptures themfelves.
§ XL. But after all there is no fuch Thing in this Cafe as Irrefiftible Force. Lawful Sovereign Powers are indeed always Irresistible, fo as they may not be opposed by Arms though we had fufficient Strength