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2 However, that being purely matter of fact to underftand, and report the Hiftory of the Churches Doctrine in their Age, if they were infallible in matters of Faith, yet in point of fact they were not infallible. For the Pope himselfe is allowed to be fallible in fuch matters, and as it is confeffed, the Pope may erre, through fear or hope,or humane paffions, (as Liberius, Marcellinus, and others did, at leaft for a feafon: fo doubtlefle might the Fathers, either through weaknelle misunderstand, or through favor,or prejudice mifreport the fence of others (of which it were eafie to give many Inftances.)If the fecond thing be afferted, that this Infallibility belongs only to the Writers of each Age, we would defire them to fer their inventions on work, to devife a reafon why the Writers were infallible, and not the Preachers, feeing the Apofties who had, and all others that pretend to Infallibility (as the Pope and Councel,) challenge it equally in their Sermons, and Writings, in their verbal, and written decrees, and much leffe can they with any colour affert that this infallibility belongs only to thofe Writers which are come to our hands, as if it were not fufficient for the reft,that they loft their writings,but they must also lofe their Infallibility. And yet fuch is the impudence of these men, and the defperateneffe of their caufe, that they are found to attribute this Infallibility, not onely to all conjunctly, but to the most of that small remnant of furviving Writers, as you faw from their expreffions, which because they are fo monftroufly bold as to affert, I fhall take the boldneffe to aske, by what right shall five Fathers, vid. Dionyfius,Clemens, Ignatius, Polycarpus, and Hermes, fuppofing that all the works extant under their. names were genuine (for thefe are all left us of thofe great numbers of the Fathers of the first age) I fay,by what right fhall there five inveft themselves with the name, or privi ledge of the whole Catholick Church of that Age: (for
it is to her alone the fuppofed promife of Infallibility was made) in what Scripture, or Father, or Lexicon, do five Fathers make up the whole Church? True it is, the Pope hath a peculiar priviledge in this point, and is by the Jefuites invefted with the name of the Church -- The Church Virtuall. And it must be acknowledged there is fome colour for the Title: for having swallowed up all the rights and priviledges of the Church, be ought to have the Name into the bargain: But fetting aside that prodigious ανακεφαλαίωσις ; 1 would know why I might not as well fay, that five of the Romish Doctors,viz.Salmeron, Canus, Cofterus,Stapleton, and Bellarmine, are the Church of Rome,or that five of our English Doctors are the Church of England, nay all the Proteftant World, as that five of the Fathers made up the whole Church of their Age? Yet againe,forafmuch as they afcribe infal libility, not onely to all, but alfo the major part of the Fathers of thefe five then, two may erre by their own confeffion. And that all the particular Fathers have their errors is generally acknowledged by the Papifts, and often urged by them to defend them felves from the force of many convincing allegations from the Fathers against their opinions. Well then, to keep to this particular inftance: It is granted that Dionyfius may erre, and fo may Ignatius, then the Infallibility is preferved in Clemens, and Polycarpus, and Hermes: But they alfo, or any two of them may erre in other things, and then the Infallibility is preferved in Dionyfius, and Ignatius,and Hermes. Thus (it feems) Infallibility is banded between the Fathers like a Tennis-ball, from one to another, and they have it by turnes. Such monsters must be in the Conclufion,if Infallibility be in the premises. That is enough for the fecond Argument.
S. 5. The third Argument is this: The Fathers profefs they are not infallible: either they say true or false;
if true, then they are not infallible; if falfe, then they erred in that affertion, and therefore are not Infallible. So the Papifts are gone by their own Argument, and rule too: For here we have the consent of the Fathers; It were infinite to recount all paffages to this purpose: I fhall onely fuggeft fome few which are evident and undeniable in this particular, Clemens Alexandrinus hath these words, The principle of our Doctrine is the Lord who hath taught us by the Prophets, by the Gospel, and by the Apoftles, and he addes, If any man think this principle needs another principle, he doth not indeed keep that princi ple. But the Papifts fay, the Scripture principle needs another principle to fupport it,viz.the Churches Authority: Ergo, the Papilts have forfaken the principle of the Scripture, and fo faved us further labour of proving their Apoftacy. And he addes, that the ftandard by which things are to be examined, is not the testimony of men (therefore not the Teftimony of Fathers, Councels, Popes, who I thinke are all men, fave onely that feveral of the Popes are represented by their own Authors as beafts) but the Word of the Lord. And left you should understand it of Tradition, he calls it juft before the Scripture and word of the Lord: We do not (faith he) believe the affertions of men,they must not only fay,but prove, and that too from the
Lib. Stromatum 7. versus finem. "Exque 25 mir d'e xuv tus didas σκαλίας τον Κύριον δια τε 7 προφητών---- Αποςόλων αρχὴν δ ̓ ἔιτς ἑτέρα δεῖ παι υπολάβοι ἐκέλ ̓ ἂν ὄντως αρχὴ φυλαγ θέση του πλῶς ἀποφαινομένοις ανθρώποις προσέχοιμεν δις και ανταποφαίνεσαι ἐπ ̓ ἴσης έξεςιν ειδ ̓ ἐκ αρκεί μόνον απλῶς ἐἰπεῖν દંડસં τὴν δόξαν, ἀλλὰ πιστό στις πα δεῖ τὸ λεχθέν, * ξ ανθρώπων άγχο μενομεν μαρτυρίαν, αλλαὶ τῇ τὸ Κυρίε φωνῇ πιςέμεθα το ζηλέ
Scriptures. What can be more exprefs? So Bafil (a) tels us, The bearers that are inftructed in the Scriptures, must examine the Doctrine of their teachers, they must re; ceive thofe things which are agreeable to Scripture, and reject thofe things which are contrary to it: Where we plainly fee S. Bafils direct contrariety to the principles and practise of the Romish Church.
1. S. Bafil allowes his hearers to examine their teachers Doctrine, fo do not the Papifts. The people are fo bound to be fubject to their Paftours, that if their Paftours fhould erre, the people were bound to erre with them, faith Tannerus, (b) A Chriftian is bound to receive the Churches Doctrine without examination, faith Bellarmine. (c) Paftours are fimply to be heard in all things, nor are we to confider what is faid, but who faid it, i. e. if he were a law full Paftour, as Stapleton (d) bellowes it out (for it is a fpeech fitter for a beaft then for a man,) And yet thefe are the men who will not depart a nailes bredth from the Fathers: This is the Church, the principall note whereof is confent with the Fathers, of which you may judge by this, and what we fhall adde from others.
(a) In Moralium regulâ 72. in initio. "On de Twy a'xpod TV TOS πεπαιδευμένος τας γραφάς δοκιμάζειν τὰ ἄρα των διδασκάλων λε γόμενα, καὶ τὰ μὲν σύμφωνα τοῖς γραφαις δεχούς, τα δ' αλλότρια αποβάλλειν.
(b) In Collatione Ratisbonenfi. §.9.
(c) Debet Chriftianus fine examine recipere Doctrinam ecclefia Bellar. de verbi Dei Interpretatione, lib.3. c.10.
(d) in caufa fidei non eft confiderandum quid dicatur fed quis dicat: Relect con.1. qu.4, art.2. p.91. Ecclefiam audire populum fidelem Chriftus jubet, Do&rinam Ecclefie populum expendere non jubet.Stapleton Tripliciat. adverfus Whitak, pro Ecclef. Author: pag.89.c.9. Et alibi.voci Ecclefiæ in Doctrinâ fidei fimpliciter & abfolute acquiefcendum eft. in Robert.con.4.qu. 3.art.3.
2. Bafil makes the Scripture alone the rule by which all other things are to be examined,not Fathers,not Coun cels,not Traditions: but the Papifts are of another minde. S.Clara(a) tels us of a Popish Treatife, written by a friend of his, folemnly approved by the Parisian Doctors of the Sor bon (fo you fee it is no particular fancy, but a received opinion) where (faith he) that Author expreffely afferts, that the Church therefore receives the Scriptures, because, and fo far as they are conformable to Tradition not contrarily, i. e. She doth not receive Tradition, because, and fo far as it agrees with Scripture: And thus far doubtlesle he was in the right, faith S. Clara; And confequently Basil was in the wrong.
That faying of Cyprians is never to be forgotten, (b) That Chrift alone is to be heard, the Father witneffeth from Heaven: We are not therefore to regard what others before us thought, but what he that was before all, Chrift firft did, for we are not to follow the custome of men but the truth of God. If the Papifts would fay as much,this controverfy would be at an end. And it is obfervable,that Pamelius who is very brisk and free of his Notes and animadverfions wherever Cyprian cafts in a word that may feem to give countenance to their opinions, paffeth over this place with profound filence, as well feeing, it was fo hot, it would have burned his Fingers.
(a) Prodiit quidam Dialogus--folenniter Parifiis approbatus In quo expreffè afferit Ecclefiam ideo recipere Scripturas, quia & in quantum funt conformes fidei, quam ab Apoftolis per traditiones ac cepit; non è converfo. Et hactenus fine dubio rectiffime.Systemat. fidei cap. 11. in initio.
(b) Quod folus Chriftus debet audiri Pater do cælo teftatur
Non ergo debemus attendere quid alius ante nos faciendum putaverit, fed quid qui ante omnes eft Chriftus prior fecerit, neque enim hominis confuctudinem fequi oportet, fed Dei veritatem, Epistola. 63. ad Cacilium,