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teaches any erroneous doctrine, is a church no longer; which is all one as if you should say, A man that has the stone, or gout, or any other disease, is not a man.
They urge Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.
"And I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world."
And here also if we will grant, 1. That by you, is meant you and only you of the church of Rome. 2. That our Saviour has here obliged himself to assist, not only sufficienter, but also irresistibiliter; not only to preserve in the church a light of sufficient direction, as he provided a star for the wise men, and a pillar of fire, and a cloud for the conduct of the Israelites; but also compel, or at least necessitate, them to follow it. 3. That he will be with them, not only to keep them from all damnable and destructive errors, but absolutely from all erroneous doctrines: If these things, I say, were granted, some good might be done: but certainly these are μεγάλα λίαν ἀιτήματα, too great favours to be looked for by strangers. And yet if all this be granted, we should run into this inconvenience on the other side; that if the promise be absolute, not only the whole church of Rome; not only a general council; not the pope alone; but every bishop, every priest, every one, who is sent by Christ to baptize and preach the gospel, might claim this assistance by virtue of Christ's words, and consequently infallibility.
They urge Matt. xviii. 17.
"If he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican."
And here again the church must be the church of Rome, or we are as far to seek as ever. But what if by it be meant (which is most evident out of the place) every particular church of Christians, whereunto any one Christian, injured by another, may address himself for remedy. Certainly whosoever reads the place without prejudice, I am confident, that he shall not deny, but that the sense of the words is, that if any Christian injure another, and being first admonished of it by him in private; then by him before two or three witnesses; lastly, by the church he lives in; and yet, still proceeds on obstinately in doing injury to his brother, he is to be esteemed as a heathen or a publican: and then if infallibility may be concluded, what a multitude of infallible churches shall we have!
They urge Matt. xviii. 20.
"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
But this also either shoots short, or over; either proves nothing, or too much: either it proves not the infallibility of the whole church, or it proves the infallibility of every part of it: either not the infallibility of general councils, or the infallibility of particular councils; for there two or three at least are assembled in Christ's name. But then,
besides, these two or three, for aught I can see or gather from the text, may as well be of any other church as the Roman.
They urge Luke x. 16.
"He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me."
But this will not do you any service, unless of favour we grant, that you here, is you of the church of Rome; and but very little, if that be granted; for then for then every bishop, every priest must be infallible. For there is not the meanest of the messengers of Christ, but this may be verified of him, That he that heareth him, heareth Christ; and he that despiseth him, despiseth Christ.
They urge out of John xiv. 15, 16.
"I will ask my Father, and he will give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth."
But here, also, what warrant have we, by you, to understand the church of Rome? whereas he that compares verse 26. with this, shall easily perceive, that our Saviour speaks only of the apostles in their own persons; for there he says, going on in the same discourse, "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you:" which cannot agree but to the apostles themselves in person; and not to their successors,
who had not yet been taught, and therefore had not forgotten any thing, and therefore could not have them brought to their remembrance. But what if it had been promised to them and their successors? Had they no successors but them of the Roman church? This indeed is pretended and cried up, but for proofs of it, disiderantur.
Again, I would fain know whether there be any certainty, that every pope is a good Christian, or whether he may not be, in the sense of the Scripture, of the world? If not, how was it that Bellarmine should have cause to think, that such a rank of them went successively together to the devil?
III.-A Conference concerning the Infallibility of the Roman church: proving, that the present church of Rome either errs in her worshipping the blessed Virgin Mary, or that the ancient church did err in condemning the Collyridians as heretics.
1. Demand. WHETHER the infallibility of the Roman church be not the foundation of their faith, who are members of that church?
Ans. The infallibility of the church is not the foundation, but a part, of their faith, who are members of the church. And the Roman church is held to be the church, by all those who are members of it.
Reply. That which is the last reason, why you believe the Scripture to be the written word of God, and unwritten traditions his unwritten word, and this or that to be the true sense of Scripture, that is to you the foundation of your faith; and such unto you is the infallible authority of the Roman church. Therefore unto you it is not only a part of your faith, but also such a part, as is the foundation of all other parts. Therefore you are deceived, if you think there is any more opposition between being a part of the faith, and the foundation of other parts of it, than there is between being a part of a house, and the foundation of it. But whether you will have it the foundation of your faith, or only a part of it, for the present purpose, it is all one.
2. Demand. Whether the infallibility of the Roman church be not absolutely overthrown, by