Page images

coming over to the Catholick Church, and also int feveral Parts of his Works, declares it to have been the Practice of the Church, one of which Paffages. I have already quoted, yet maintained and proved that this did not render their Miniftrations operative and effectual fo long as they continued in Schifm This the Donatifts took Advantage of, and argued thus; If our Orders are good and our Baptifm good, fo that upon our coming over to you they need not be repeated, then our Miniftrations are not ineffectual and unoperative, as you pretend. And fince you do not rebaptize nor re-ordain any that go over from our Communion to yours, you plainly allow thefe Miniftraticns at least to be effectual, otherwife you would repeat them. And if thefe Miniftrations are effectual, then all our Miniftrations are fo, and confequently Salvation is to be obtained in our Communion, which is the Thing you deny. The Subject of S. Augustine's Books against the Donatifts concerning Baptifm feems chiefly designed to clear this Point. But there is one Paffage which does it demonftratively, which though pretty long, yet I think proper to transcribe, because it gives an effectual Answer to the Query now under Confideration, and fhews, that though the Miniftrations of Schifmaticks are ineffectual whilft they continue in Schifm; yet Orders derived from Schifmaticks are not therefore Null and Invalid, nor the Miniftration of Perfons fo ordained ineffectual upon their Return to the Unity of the Church. (b) I will, fays he, produce fome Arguments out of the Gospel, with which, by the Lord's Help, I demonftrate, how it is rightly and truly pleafing

[ocr errors]

(b) Ex Evangelio profero certa documenta, quibus Domino adjuvante demonftro, quam recte placuerit & vere fecundum Deum, & hoc in quoquam Schifmatico vel Hæretico Ecclefiaftica Medicina curaret, in quo vulnere feperabatur; illud autem quod fanum maderet, agnitum potius approbaretur,


to God, that the Ecclefiaftical Medicine fhould cure every Schifmatick or Heretick of that Wound by which he was Separated; but that which remained found and good being known to be fo fhould rather be approved, than that it fhould be wounded by being disapproved. Surely the Lord Jays in the Gofpel, He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, fcattereth abroad. Tet when the Difciples told him that they faw one cafting out Devils in his Name, and forbad him because he followed not with them: He faid, Forbid him not: For he that is not against us is for ús. For there is no Man which fhall do a Miracle in my Name that can lightly speak Evil of me. If there was nothing to be corrected in him, then every one is fecure, who being out of the Communion of the Church gathers in Chrift's Name, being dif-joined from the Chriftian Society: And fo that shall be falfe, He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. But if that which our Lord's Difciples would have done through Ignorance, mas to be corrected in him; upon which our Lord faid, Forbid him not: Why did he prohibit him to be forbidden? And how fhall that be true which he there fays, He that is not against us is for us? For in this Matter he was not against them but for them, when he cured Difeafes in the Name

quam improbatum vulneraretur. Certe Dominus in Evangelio dicit, qui non eft mecum adverfus me eft, & qui mecum non colligit, fpargit. Tamen cùm ad eum difcipuli retulif fent, vidiffe fe quendam in ejus nomine pellentem dæmonia, & prohibuiffe, quia cùm illis cum non fequebatur: Nolite, inquit, prohibere; Qui contra vos non eft, pro vobis eft. Non poteft enim quifquam in meo nomine facere aliquid, & male loqui de me. Si nihil in illo corrigendum erat; fecurus ergo fit quifquis extra Communionem Ecclefiæ conftitutus colligit in Chrifti nomine, diffociatus à Chriftiana Societate: Atque ita falfum erit illud, Qui non eft mecum, adverfum me eft ; Auguft, de Baptifm, contra Donatiftas lib. 1. cp 7, 8, 9. + Matt. xii. 30. * Luk. ix. 49, 50. and Mark ix. 38, 39,1

of Chrift. That therefore both Sayings may be true, as well that, where be fays, He that is not with me is a gainst me; and he that gathereth not with me fcattereth abroad; as that, where he fays, Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us: What remains te be underfood, but that he was to be confirmed in his Feneration of fo great a Name, wherein he was not against the Church, but for the Church; and yet to be blamed in that Separaration, wherein if he gathered he scattered abroad and if by chance he came to the Church, he should not there receive what he had already, but should amend that where in he had erred? For the Prayers of Cornelius an Hea then were heard and his Almas accepted: And he even ob tained the Favour to have an Angel fent to him, and being fene to fee him, and from whom he might, without any Man's coming, have learned all Things neceffary. But be cause whatever there was good in his Prayers and Alms, unless by the Bands of Chriftian Society and Peace he was ina Corporated into the Church, could not profit him; he is commanded to fend for Peter, and by him he learns Chrift; by. him he is alfo baptized, and is also joined to the Chriftian People by the Band of Communion, to which he was joined only in the Similitude of good Works. For it would have been pernicious to him to have defpifed the Good which he yet had not, being proud of that which he had. So alfo thofe who feparating themselves from the Society of the Reft, by the Violation of Charity break the Band of Unity, if they do none of thofe Things which they received in that Society, they are feparate in all Things: And therefore whomfo ever they have affociated to them, if he would come into the Church, he ought to receive all that he has not received. But if they do fome of the fame Things, they have no feparated in thofe Matters; they are yet joined in that Part, in the other they are cut off. Therefore if they join any one to themselves, he is in that Part joined to the Church in which they are not feparated from it: And therefore if he would come into the Church, he is to be healed in that where being torn from it he erred: But

[ocr errors]


where he was found, and joined to it, he is not cured, but acknowledged; left when we would cure that which is well already, we should rather give a Wound. Therefore thofe whom they (the Donatifts) baptize, they cure of the Wound of Idolatry or Infidelity; but they strike him deeper with the Wound of Schifm. For † thofe that were IdoLaters amongst God's People were flain but with the Sword: * But the Earth opened and swallowed up the Schifmaticks alive. And the Apostle fays, Though I have all Faith, fo that I could remove Mountains, and have not Charity, I am nothing. If any one is brought to a Phyfician grievously wounded in any Vital Fart of his Body, if the Physician fhall fay, he must die unless this be cured, I do not fuppofe that they which brought him will be fo foolish as to count and number up his other Parts which are found, and fay, Then are not fo many found Parts fufficient to fave his Life, and yet that one wounded one is enough to kill him? They say not fo, but bring him to be cured, neither because they bring him to be cured, do they ask the Phyfician to cure thofe Parts which are found; but that he would immediately apply a Remedy to that one Place from whence Death is at hand, though all the other Members are whole, and unless that be cured Death will come. What then does it profit a Man to have a found Faith, or perhaps only a found Sacrament of Faith, when the Soundnefs of his Charity is deftroyed by the deadly Wound of Schifm, by the fole Destruction of which thofe whole Parts are drawn into Death? Which that it may not be, the Mercy of God fails not, but has provided that through the Unity of his holy Church they may come and be healed by the Medicine of Reconciliation through the Bond of Peace. Neither let them therefore think themselves found, because we fay that they have fomething found: Nor again let them think that therefore that is to be cured which is found, because we have fhewed there is fomething that is wounded. Therefore in the Sounanefs of the Sacrament, because they are not against us they are for us: But in the Wound

Exod. xxxii. 28.

* Num. xvi. 32. 1. Cor. xiii. 2.

of Schifm, because they are not with Chrift they scatter abroad. Why do they proudly look only upon thofe Things that are found? Let them alfo humbly obferve their Wound, and not regard only that which they have, but that which they want. Let them fee how many and how great Things profit not, if one certain Thing be wanting, and let them Jee what that one Thing is; neither let them hear me, but the Apoftle. Though, fays he, I fpeak with the the Tongues of Men and of Angels, and have not Charity, I am become as founding Brafs or a tinkling Cymbal. And though I have the Gift of Prophecy, and understand all Myfteries, and all Knowledge, and though I have all Faith, fo that I could remove Mountains, and have not Charity, I am nothing What then does it profit them though they have an Angelick Voice in facred Mysteries, or even the Gift of Prophecy, as Caiaphas and Saul, as thofe may fometimes prophecy whom the Scriptures witness to have been in a damnable State? If they not only know the Sacraments, but have them as Simon Magus had: If they have Faith, as the Devils confeffed Chrift; For they were not unbelieving when they faid, What have we to do with thee, thou Son of God, we know who thou art. If they give all their Substance to the Poor, as many not only in the Catholick Church, but in divers Herefies do. If upon the arifing of any Perfecution they deliver their Body with us to the Flames, for the Faith which they likewise profefs; yet because they do these things in Separation, yot fuffering together in Love, nor ftudying to preferve the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace, therefore having not Charity, even all thofe Things cannot profit them, and they shall not attain to eternal Life. This Holy Father has here fhewn the Reasonablenefs of the Churches proceeding in this Cafe with regard to Hereticks and Schifmaticks, that although fhe allowed the Validity

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »