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who was ordain'd by him Bishop of Smyrna ; and after the Decease of this Apostle, esteem'd Head of the Churches of Afia. (a) Now this ancient Author undertaking to deliver a Summary of Christianity, layeth down no other Articles of Faith, nor Grounds of Religion, than what are ge. nerally by us received: So likewise Tertullian, almost, if not altogether his Co-temporary, (b) gives the fundamental Points of Religion gathered out of the Scriptures, the very same which our Church delivers, and no other, for the Rule of Faith. But to come to particular Instances.
As to the Scripture's Sufficiency and
the Canon thereof.
Ireneus faith, (c) “ The Holy Scriptures are perfect,
as being dictated by the Word and Spirit of God.” And accordingly was his Practice, as Erasmus in his Preface to his Works observes. “ Irenaus, says he, fought against " the Troops of Heresy, only with the Forces and Strength se of Scripture. This is quite contrary to the blasphemous Teners and Writings of our modern Romanists; who accuse the Scripture of Imperfection and bring in unwritten Traditions to supply its Defects in the Church; and maintain that those they call Hereticks,ule to be retuted and filenced, solely by the Authority of the Church and Secular Force. So likewise as to the Canon of the Scriptures, Melito, Bishop of Sardis, living in the same fecond Age, being desired by Onesimus, to send him a Catalogue of the Books of the Old Testament, returns only the Names of those generally receiv'd for canonical, without making any
(a) Lib. 1. Chap. 2, 3. (b) Adver. Heret. Chap. 131 (c) Lib. 2. Cap. 47.
mention of Judith, Tobit, &c, (a) Yet professeth that he made very diligent Search to see down a perfect Canon thereof; which is confess’d by Bellarmine, who says, (b) Many of the Ancients, asgamely Melito, did follow only the Hebrew Canon, in which these books called Apocry. pbal are not reckoned.
In the third Age, Origen faith thus, (c) RC In the “ two Testaments, every Word that appertaineth to God, “ may be required and discussed, and all Knowledge of “ Things may be understood.” And in his Exposition on The first Psalm, He says, We may not be ignorant that “ there are only two and twenty Books of the Old Telo “ tament,” which is likewise attested by Eusebius in these Words: (d) “ Origen as he received the Canon of the “ Jews, so likewise he rejected thoseBooks which we “ term Apocryphal as the Fews do.
In the fourth Age, Athanasius faith; (e)." The “Holy Scriptures given by Inspiration of God, are of « themselves all-sufficient for Instruction and the Disco“ very of Truth.
St. Hilarie (f) assures us that in his Days, “the Word of " God did suffice the Believers; Yea, what is there, says “ he, concerning Man's Salvation that is not contained in " the Words of the Evangelists? What wants the Scrip“ ture? What Obscurity is there in it? Verily noneat all, « but all fulland perfect, as proceeding from the Fountain « ot Fulness, and Author of all Perfection.”
“ It is a manifest falling from the “ Faith, and an Argument of Arrogance, either to reject
any Point of those things that are written, orto bring “ in any thing that is not written.
St. Bazil qep: FISEDOT
(a) Eufeb. Lib.4. Cap. 26. (b) Bell. de Verb. Dei, Lib, 1. Cap. 20. (c) Orin. in Levit. Hom. 5. Tom. I. (d) Lib. 6. Cap. 24. (e) Ath. Orai, cont. Gent. Tom, 1. (t) De Trinit. Lib. 2.
St. Gregory Nysen,layeth this for a Ground which no Man should contradict; that “ therein only Truth must be ac“ knowledged wherein the Seal of Scripture Testimony " is to be seen.
The Council of Laodicea, held about the Year of our Lord 368. reckoning up the Books that were to be accounted canonical Scripture, mention not che Maccabees, Ecclefiafticus, Judith, and other Apocryphal Books; which'is a Demonstration that then they were not res ceived.
Concerning the Sacrament of the
In the second Century, Clemens Alexandrinus tells us, (a) “ Our Lord did bless Wine, when he said, “ take, drink, this is my Blood, the Blood of the Vine. And Justin Martyr, another Author of this Age; in his second Apology, towards the End, gives his Vote, That, “ The Bread and Wine, even that fanctified Food, “ wherewith our Blood and Flesh, by Conversion, are « nourished, is that which we are taught to be the “ Flesh and Blood of Jesus, Ponco” So that in their Construction, it was Bread and Wine still, which Chrift called his Body : It was Bread in Substance, Material Bread; but the Body of our Lord in Signification and Sacramental Relation. And, indeed, the Conceit of Transubstantiation was not hatche till many hundred Years after. Nor did they, in those Days, deny the Cup to the Laity, for Justin Martyr, in the said fecond Apology, speaking of the Manner of their Admi
(a) Pedagog. Lib. 2. Cap. 24
nitration, declares, that “ Those who are called Dea
cons, give to every one that is present of the con“ fecrared Bread and Wine, as Christ commanded."
And the third Age is yet more express, for Tertullian, speaking of a Christian Woman married to an Infidel, faith, (a) “ Of whose Cup shall fhe participate ?" So St. Cyprian, discoursing of such as in Time of Persecution had revolted from the Truth, and thereupon were barr'd from the Communion, desires, that upon their Repentance they may be admitted; for which he gives this Reason, (b) “ How shall we fit them to drink " of the Cup of Martyrdom, if before, we admit them
not, by Right of Communion, to drink of the Lord's “ Cup in the Church.
In the fourth Age, St. Ambrose, speaking of the Sacrament, faith, (c) • Thou drinkest the Similitude “ of his precious Blood.” And Nazianzen, speaking of his Sister Gorgonia,
faith, “ If her Hand had laid up any “ Portion of the Types or Tokens of the precious Bo“ dy, or of the Blood :" Meaning Part of the consecrated Bread and Wine, which plainly proves, that they then esteem'd it to be only a Figure of Christ's Body and Blood Sacramental; as well as that the People, in thosc * Days, communicated in both Kinds.
As to the Number of Sacraments.
(d) The present Roman Church curses all that will not own, that there are, truly and properly, seven Sacraments of the new Law, instituted by our Lord Jelus Chrift, and necessary to Salvation. Now, this is more
(a) Tertul. Lib. 2. cap. 6.
(6) Cyp. Epif. 54. Tom. 1. (c) Amb. de Sacram. Lib.4. Cap.4. (d) Bull of Pius 4th, Anno 1564.
(a) “ Every Word of God is pure, faith the Wifeft « Men: Add thou not unto his Words lest he reprove sa thee, and thou be found a Liar.
(b) “ If any Man shall add unto these Things, God “ ìhall add unto him the Plagues that are written in this “ Book : And if any Man Mall take away from the Words “ ot the Book of this Prophesy, God shall take away his “ Part out of the Book of Lite, and out of the holy City, “ and from the Things which are written in this 66 Book.”
How then shall we say to these Men? or what Manner of Men are they? and how is it we are to call them, which equal their Doctrines, Injunctions, Precepts, and Traditions to the Word of God ? Now, that this is the Case of those of the Religion of the present Church of Rome, will be evident to any from thele Testimonies.
For of their Doctrine, say the Rhemists, (c) “ What“ foever the lawful Apostles, Pastors, or Priests of God's
Church, preach in the Unity of the fame Church
(meaning the new Church of Rome) is to be taken for es God's own Word.” To the famePurpose,but more blafphemously speaketh Stapleton, “ (d) As the Jews were to á believe 'Christ, so are we limply, and in every Thing “ to believe the Church of Rome) whether it teacheth “ Truth, or Errors.
(e) “ Whatsoever by the Authority of the Church is " commanded, ought of all Men to be esteemed « as the very Gospel, faith Abbot Trithemins.” Of Popilh Precepts: (f) “ He that despiseth the Churches " or her lawful Pastors Precepts, cgc. And of their Traditions; (g) “ He that refuleth Ecclefiaftical. Tradi. “ tion, deserveth to be thrown out of the Church among es the Heathen, as well as he which refuseth the Gospel,
(a) Prov. 30.5.6. (b) Rev. 22, 18, 19. (c) T. Rhem. An. 1 Thell. 2. 12. (d) Staple. a Evang. in Luke. 10. 16. p. 528. (e) Tract de propriet. Monarch.Cap. 4. (f) Teft. Rhem. An í Thel 4.8. (g) Stella in Luk. 10. fol. 20.