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proceeded to that degree of madness, that they would obtrude her upon us for a god, and speak of her as madmen: for they report, that certain women in Arabia have invented that new opinion; so that to the Virgin's name and honour they offer by way of sacrifice a cake or wreath of bread."
Again, in the same hæres. ἱερουγεῖν διὰ γυναικῶν he translates advantageously, per mulieres sacrificia facere. Whereas ipovyev is more general than sacrificia facere, and signifies sacris operari, or sacros ritus peragere.
Again, in the same place, whereas Epiphanius "let no man offer says, simply and absolutely, to her name;" he makes it, let no man offer sacrifice to her name;" as if you might lawfully offer any thing, provided you do not call it a sacrifice.
So again, hæres. 79. besides his putting cunningly-ipsa fuit-which before we took notice of; he makes no scruple to put in dogma and sacrificium, wheresoever it may be for his purpose. Epiphanius's title to this heresy is, Against the Collyridians, who offer to Mary-Petavius puts in-sacrifice.
Again, in the same page, before D. he puts in his own illo dogmate; and whereas Epiphanius says-in all this, (he makes it) in all this opinion. Page. 1061. TÓ ONλUrns VTTоVotaç, he translates, this womanish opinion; whereas óvoa, though perhaps it may signify a thought, or act of thinking, yet I believe it never signifies an opinion, which we hold.
Ibid. at B. TOLOUтo, this he renders, this opinion.
her name," simply and absolutely: he makes it, "Nor that we should offer sacrifice to her name." So many times is he fain to corrupt, and translate him partially, lest in condemning the Collyridians, he might seem to have involved the practice of the Roman church in the same condemnation.
My seventh and last reason is this: Had Epiphanius known, that the Collyridians held the Virgin Mary to be a sovereign power and deity, then he could not have doubted, whether this offering was to her, or to God for her; whereof yet he seems doubtful and not fully resolved, as his own words intimate, hæres. 79. ad fin. Quam multa, &c. "How many things may be objected against this heresy! For idle women, either worshipping the blessed Virgin, offer unto her a cake, or else they take upon them to offer for her this foresaid ridiculous oblation. Now both are foolish, and from the devil."
These arguments, I suppose, do abundantly demonstrate to any man not veiled with prejudice, that Epiphanius imputed not to the Collyridians the heresy of believing the Virgin Mary God; and if they did not think her God, there is then no reason imaginable, why their oblation of a cake should not be thought a present, as well as the papists offering a taper; or that the papists offering a taper, should not be thought a sacrifice, as well as their offering a cake: and seeing this was the difference pretended between them, this being vanished, there remains none at all: so that my first conclusion stands yet firm; that either the ancient church erred in condemning the Collyridians, or the present errs in approving and practising the same worship.
IV.-An Argument drawn from the admitting Infants to the Eucharist, as without which they could not be saved, against the church's Infallibility.
THE condition, without the performance whereof no man can be admitted to the communion of the church of Rome, is this: that he believe firmly, and without doubting, whatsoever the church requires him to believe. More distinctly and particularly thus:
He must believe all that to be Divine revelation, which that church teaches to be such; as the doctrine of the Trinity; the hypostatical union of two natures in the person of Christ; the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son; the doctrine of transubstantiation, and such like.
Whatsoever that church teaches to be necessary, he must believe to be necessary: as baptism for infants; faith in Christ, for those that are capable of faith; penance for those that have committed mortal sin after baptism, &c.
Whatsoever that church declares expedient and profitable, he must believe to be expedient and profitable: as monastical life; prayer to saints; prayer for the dead; going on pilgrimages; the use of pardons; veneration of holy images and relics; Latin service, where the people understand it not; communicating the laity in one kind, and such like.
Whatsoever that church holdeth lawful, he must believe lawful: as to marry; to make distinction of meats, as if some were clean and others unclean; to fly in time of persecution; for them
that serve at the altar, to live by the altar; to tèstify a truth by oath, when a lawful magistrate shall require it; to possess riches, &c.
Now it is impossible, that any man should certainly believe any thing, unless either it be evident of itself, or he have some certain reason (at least some supposed certain reason) and infallible ground for his belief. Now the doctrines, which the church of Rome teacheth, it is evident and undeniable that they are not evident of themselves, neither evidently true, nor evidently credible. He therefore that will believe them, must of necessity have some certain and infallible ground, whereon to build his belief of them.
There is no other ground for a man's belief of them, especially in many points, but only an assurance of the infallibility of the church of Rome. No man can be assured, that that church is infallible, and cannot err, whereof he may be assured that she hath erred, unless she had some new promise of Divine assistance, which might for the future secure her from danger of erring; but the church of Rome pretends to none such.
Nothing is more certain, than that that church hath erred, which hath believed and taught irreconcilable contradictions, one whereof must of necessity be an error.
That the receiving the sacrament of the eucharist is necessary for infants, and that the receiving thereof is not necessary for them; that it is the will of God, that the church should administer the sacrament to them, and that it is not the will of God, that the church should do so, are manifest and irreconcilable contradictions; supposing only (that which is most evident) that the eu
charist is the same thing, of the same virtue and efficacy now, as it was in the primitive church; that infants are the same things they were, have as much need, are capable of as much benefit by the eucharist now, as then; as subject to irreverent carriages then, as now; and, lastly, that the present church is as much bound to provide for the spiritual good of infants, as the ancient church was: I say, these things supposed, the propositions before set down are plain and irreconcilable contradictions; whereof the present Roman church doth hold the negative, and the ancient church of Rome did hold the affirmative and therefore it is evident, that either the present church doth err, in holding something not necessary, which is so; or that the ancient church did err, in holding something necessary, which was not so.
For the negative proposition, viz. That the eucharist is not necessary for infants; that it is the doctrine of the present church of Rome, it is most manifest, first, from the disuse, and abolition, and prohibition, of the contrary ancient practice. For if the church did conceive it necessary for them, either simply for their salvation, or else for their increase or confirmation in grace, and advancement to a higher degree of glory, (unless she could supply some other way their damage in this thing, which evidently she eannot) what an uncharitable sacrilege is it, to debar and defraud them of the necessary means of their so great spiritual benefit! Especially seeing the administration of it might be so ordered, that irreverent casualties might easily be prevented; which yet, should they fall out, against the church's and pastor's intention, certainly