the pure

heretics, that they altogether teach blasphemous, and impious, and foolish things. For how is this a confirmation or reason of, or any way pertinent unto, what went before, if there he speak of none but such as were puræ piæque Christianorum sententia, of

and holy opinion of Christians? And therefore, to disguise this in consequence, the translator has thought fit to make use of a false translation, and instead of-for I have told you, to make it-besides I have told you of many, &c. Again, if Justin Martyr, had thought this the pure and holy opinion of Christians, or them good and holy Christians that held it; why does he rank them with them that denied the resurrection ? Why does he say afterward, Although yoụ chance to meet with some that are called Christians, which do not confess this, do not ye think them Christians ? Lastly, What sense is there in saying, as he does, I, and all Christians, that are of a right belief in all things, believe the doctrine of the thousand years; and that the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament teach it; and yet say That many, of the pure and holy opinions of Christians, do not believe it? Upon these reasons I suppose, it is evident, that the place has been corrupted, and it is to be corrected, according as I have corrected it, by substituting oú in the place of kai, of not instead of also. Neither need any man think it strange, that this misfortune of the change of a syllable should befal this place, who considers, that in this place Justin Martyr tells us that he had said the same things before, whereas nothing to this purpose appears now in him. And that in Victorinus's comment on the Revelations, wherein (by St. Jerome's acknowledgment)


this doctrine was strongly maintained, there now appears nothing at all for it, but rather against it. And now from the place thus restored, these observations offer themselves unto us.

1. That Justin Martyr speaks not as a doctor, but as a witness of the doctrine of the church of his time. I (saith he) and all Christians, that are of a right belief in all things, hold this. And therefore, from hence, according to Cardinal Perron's rule, we are to conclude, not probably, but demonstratively, that this was the doctrine of the church of that time.

2. That they held it as a necessary matter, so far as to hold them no Christians that held the contrary. Though you chance to meet with some called Christians, that do not confess this, but dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, &c. yet do not ye think them Christians. Now if Bellarmine's rule be true, that councils then determine any thing as matters of faith, when they pronounce them heretics that hold the contrary : sure then Justin Martyr held this doctrine as a matter of faith, seeing he pronounceth them no Christians that contradict it.

3. That the doctrine is grounded upon the Scripture of the Old and New Testament, and the Revelation of St. John, and that by a doctor and martyr of the church, and such a one as was converted to Christianity within thirty years after the death of St. John, when in all probability there were many alive, that had heard him expound his own words, and teach this doctrine. And if probabilities will not be admitted, this is certain out of the most authentical records of the church, that Papias, the disciple of the apostle's disciples, taught it the church, professing that he had received it from them that learned it from the

apostles : and if, after all this, the church of those times might err in a doctrine so clearly derived, and authentically delivered, how, without extreme impudence, can any church in after-times pretend to infallibility ?

The millenaries' doctrine was overborne, by imputing to them that which they held not; by abrogating the authority of St. John's Revelation, as some did; or by derogating from it, as others; ascribing it not to St. John, the apostle, but to some other John, they knew not who: which—Dionysius, the first known adversary of this doctrine, and his followers; against the tradition of Irenæus, Justin Martyr, and all the fathers their antecessors; by calling it a Judaical opinion, and yet allowing it as probable, by corrupting the authors for it ; as Justin, Victorinus, Severus.


VI.-A Letter relating to the same subject.


I PRAY remember, that if a consent of fathers either constitute or declare a truth to be necessa

a ry, or shew the opinion of the church of their time ; then that opinion of the Jesuits, concerning predestination upon prescience (which had no opposer before St. Augustine) must be so, and the contrary of the Dominicans heretical; and the present church differs from the ancient, in not esteeming of it as they did. Secondly, I pray remember, that if the fathers


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be infallible (when they speak as witnesses of tradition) to shew the opinion of the church of their time; then the opinion of the Chiliasts (which now is a heresy in the church of Rome) was once tradition in the opinion of the church.

Thirdly, Since St. Augustine had an opinion, that of whatsoever no beginning was known, that came from the apostles, many fathers might say things to be tradition upon that ground only; but of this opinion of the Chiliasts, one of the ancientest fathers, Irenæus, says not only, that it was tradition, but sets down Christ's own words when he taught it, and the pedigree of the opinion -from Christ to John his disciple; from him to several priests (whereof Papias was one, who put it in writing) and so downwards; which can be shewn from no other father, for no other opinion, either controverted or uncontroverted.

Fourthly, That if Papias, either by his own error, or a desire to deceive, could cozen the fathers of the purest age in this, why not also in other things ? Why not in twenty as well as one? Why not twenty others as well as he ?

Fifthly, That if the fathers should be cozened, how could general councils escape, who, you say, make tradition one of their rules, which can only be known from the fathers ?

Sixthly, If they object, how could errors come in, and no beginning of them known? I pray remember to ask them the same question concerning the millenaries, which lasted uncontradicted until Dionysius Alexandrinus, two hundred and fifty years after Christ; and if they tell you, that Papias was the first beginner, look in Irenæus, and he will tell you to the contrary, loco citato, 1. 5. c. 33.

Seventhly, Remember that, if I ought not to condemn the church of Rome out of Scripture, because my interpretation may deceive me; then they ought not to build their infallibility upon it (and less upon her own word) because theirs may deceive them ; unless the same thing may be a wall, when you lean upon it, and a bullrush when

we do.

Eighthly, Remember that they cannot say, they trust not their interpretation in this, but a consent of fathers; because the fathers are not said to be infallible, but as they tell the opinion of the church of their time, which is infallible : therefore they must first prove out of Scripture that she is infallible, or else she (who is herself the subject of the question) cannot be allowed till then to give a verdict for herself.

Ninthly, Remember the Roman church claims no notes of the church, but what agree with the Grecian too (as antiquity, succession, miracles, &c.) but only communion with the pope and splendour; ; both which made for the Arians in Liberius's time; and it were a hard case, that because the Greeks are poor upon earth, they should be shut out of heaven.

Tenthly, Remember, that if we have an infallible way, we have no use (at least no necessity) of an infallible guide; for if we may be saved by following the Scripture as near as we can (though we err) it is as good as any interpreter to keep unity in charity(which is only needful) though not in opinion: and this cannot be ridiculous, because they

any man misinterpret the council of Trent, it shall not damn him; and why (without more ado) may not the same be said of Scripture ?

say, if

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