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Mr. CHILLINGWORTH AND Mr. LEWGAR.
Thesis. THE church of Rome (taken diffusively for all Christians communicating with the bishop of Rome) was the judge of controversies at that time, when the church of England made an alteration in her tenets.
Arg. She was the judge of controversies at that time, which had an authority of deciding them: but the church of Rome at that time had the authority of deciding them: Ergo.
Ans. A limited authority to decide controversies according to the rule of Scripture and universal tradition, and to oblige her own members (so long as she evidently contradicted not that rule) to obedience, I grant she had; but an unlimited, an infallible authority, or such as could not but proceed according to that rule, and such as should bind all the churches in the world to obedience, (as the Greek church) I say she had not.
Quest. When our church had decided a controversy, I desire to know whether any particular church or person hath authority to re-examine her decision; whether she hath observed her rule or
not; and free themselves from the obedience of it, by their particular judgment?
Ans. If you understand by your church the church catholic, probably I should answer, no; but if you understand by your church, that only, which is in subordination to the see of Rome; or if you understand a council of this church, I answer, yea.
Arg. That was the catholic church, which did abide in the root of apostolic unity: but the church of Rome at that time was the only church that did abide in the root of apostolic unity: Ergo.
Quest. What mean you by apostolic unity?
Ans. I mean the unity of that fellowship wherein the apostles lived and died.
Quest. Wherein was this unity?
Ans. Herein it consisted, that they all professed one faith, obeyed one supreme tribunal, and communicated together in the same prayers and
- Solut. Then the church of Rome continued`not in this apostolic unity; for it continued not in the same faith wherein the apostles lived and died for though it retained so much (in my judgment) as was essential to the being of a church, yet it degenerated from the church of the apostles' times, in many things which were very profitable; as in Latin service, and communion in one kind.
Arg. Some church did continue in the same faith wherein the apostles lived and died: but there was no church at that time, which did continue in the apostles' faith, besides the Romant church: Ergo.
Ans. That some church did continue in the apo
stles' faith in all things necessary, I grant it; that any did continue in the integrity of it, and in a perfect conformity with it in all things expedient and profitable, I deny it.
- Quest. Is it not necessary to a church's continuing in the apostles' faith, that she continue in a perfect conformity with it in all things expedient and profitable?
Ans. A perfect conformity in all things is necessary to a perfect continuance in the apostles' faith; but to an imperfect continuance an imperfect conformity is sufficient; and such, I grant, the Roman church had.
Quest. Is not a perfect continuance in the ароstles' faith necessary to a church's continuance in the apostolic unity?
Ans. It is necessary to a perfect continuance in apostolic unity.
Arg. There were some one company of Christians at the time of Luther's rising, which was the catholic church: but there was no other company at that time, besides the Roman: Ergo, The Roman at that time was the catholic church. · - Ans. There was no one company of Christians, which in opposition to, and exclusion of, all other companies of Christians, was the catholic church.
Arg. If the catholic church be some one company of Christians in opposition to, and exclusion of, all other companies, then if there were some one company, she was in opposition to, and exclusion of, all other companies: but the catholic church is one company of Christians in opposition to, and exclusion of, &c. Ergo, There was then some one company, which was the catholic church,
in opposition to, and exclusion of, all other companies.
The minor is proved by the testimonies of the fathers, both Greek and Latin, testifying that they understood the church to be one in the sense alleged.
1. If this unity, which cannot be separated at all, or divided, is also among heretics, what contend we further? Why call we them heretics?-S. Cypr. Epist. 75.
2. But if there be but one flock, how can he be accounted of the flock, who is not within the number of it?-Id. ibid.
3. When Parmenian commends one church, he condemns all the rest; for, besides one, which is the true catholic, other churches are esteemed to be among heretics, but are not.-S. Optat. lib. i.
4. The church therefore is but one: this cannot be among all heretics and schismatics.-Ibid.
5. You say, you offer for the church, which is one: this very thing is part of a lie, to call it one, which you have divided into two.-Id. ibid.
6. The church is one, which cannot be amongst us, and amongst you; it remains, then, that it be in one only place.—Id. ibid.
7. Although there be many heresies of Christians, and that all would be called catholics, yet there is always one church, &c.-S. Aug. De Util Credend. q. 7.
8. The question between us is, where the church is; whether with us, or with them; for she is but one?-Id. De Unitat. c. 2.
9. The proofs of the catholics prevailed, whereby they evinced the body of Christ to be with them, and by consequence not to be with the Do