Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

of ours, but few years past, in the presence of certain honest men and of good credit,e tear and cast into the fire certain leaves of THEODORET, the most ancient father, and a Greek bishop, wherein he plainly and evidently taught that the nature of bread in the communion is not changed, or abolished, or brought to nothing? And this he did of purpose, because he thought there was none

other copy thereof to be found. Why saith ALBERT Pighius that the ancient father S. AUGUSTINE had a wrong opinion of original sin ?5 and that he erred, and lied, and used false logic, as touching the case of matrimony concluded after a vow made : which S. AUGUSTINE affirmeth to be perfect indeed, and that it may not be undone again, the vow and promise notwithstanding. Also, when they did of late put in print the ancient father ORIGEN's work upon the Gospel of St. John, why left they quite out the whole sixth chapter, wherein it is likely, yea, rather of

е

the praise of having been one of the most efficient promoters of the study of the Greek language in England. He was a physician by profession, and was the first worthy successor of the illustrious LInACER, of the same profession, in teaching Greek at Oxford. He was the first professor in the Rhetoric lecture founded by Cardinal Wolsey in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, of which he resigned the chair in 1519, to devote himself exclusively to medicine. Erasmus has spoken of him in terms of warm commendation.]

:["This report was made in the presence and hearing of M. PETER MARTYR, and sundry other learned men, of whom certain are yet alive, The reporter was both a learned man and a grave father, and not long since a bishop in England: who said, he was present, and saw the thing done with his eyes.” Defence, p. 443.]

i [This assertion must be taken with a grain of allowance; for THEODORET flourished only in the first half of the fifth century—at least a century too late to be possessed of much value as a father. See note », p. 57.]

Ś "Quod Augustini sententia non solum incerta, sed etiam certo falsa sit, satis mihi demonstratum videtur non multum me movet Augustini sententia : mihi non placet Augustini ea de re definitio.” ALB. PIGHIUS, Lib. Prim. de controversiis. De Pecc. Orig.

h [Distinct. 27. Quidam.—August. De Bono Viduitatis, c. X. --Causa XXVII. Quæst. i. c. 41.

i [He probably refers to the Latin translation of Origen's Commentary on John, published by the monk PERIONIUS, of which Possevin, a zealous Romanist, acknowledges that it is in many places mutilated, disconnected, and interpolated : (Apparat. To. II. p. 190) although he throws the blame upon the Greek manuscript from which the translation was made. Huet, Bishop of Avranches, first published the Greek text of Origen's Commentaries, in 1668.]

very surety, that the said Origen had written many things concerning the sacrament of the holy Communion contrary to these men's minds ;k and would rather put forth that book mangled, than full and perfect, for fear it should reprove them and their partners of their error ?1 Call ye this trusting to antiquity, when ye rend in pieces, keep back, maim, and burn the ancient fathers ?

Sect. 5. It is a world to see how well-favouredly, and how towardly, touching religion, these men agree with the fathers, of whom they use to vaunt, they be their own good [their property] !

The old Council Eliberine made a decree, “ that nothing that is honoured of the people should be painted in churches." The old father EPIPHANIUS saith,

1

m

[Bucer, in his Commentary on John vi. is said by Father Simon, (Lettres Choisies, p. 98) to have cited passages from Origen at variance with the Romish tenets, and which GEVEBRARD, a subsequent Romish editor of ORIGEN's works, charged him with falsifying.]

(A learned and valuable work on the Corruptions of the Fathers, left imperfect by its author, the Rev. THOMAS JAMES, and published many years after his death, in 1686, has for its sole object the

detection and exposure of corruptions of the fathers made by Romanists

, either in their printed editions, or in citations. More than three hundred such are enumerated.]

[The Council of Eliberia (or Grenada) in Spain, was held about the year 300. Its canons have acquired a greater degree of celebrity than usual for those of provincial councils.

In reply to this paragraph, Harding urged a counter authority : "You say, The second General Nicene Council allowed well the devout use of images, and a General Council ought to take place before a provincial : for that in a General Council there are many bishops'; in a provincial there are but few. Thus, I see, ye weigh your religion, not by truth, but by company. Howbeit, this rule is very loose, and may soon deceive you.

Good Christian reader, let no man beguile thee by colour of Coun. cils. Read this second Nicene Council throughout, if thou be able. Thou wilt 'say, there was never any assembly of Christian bishops so vain, so peevish, so wicked, so blasphemous, so unworthy in all respects to be called a council. The blessed bishops there agreed together

, with one consent, that images in churches are not only to be allowed, but also devoutly and reverently to be honoured, and that with the same honour that is due to God himself. (Conc. Nicen. II. Act 2.) This holy council,' ye say, decreed against image-breakers. But the counsel of God decreeth against image-worshippers and imagemakers, AUGUSTIN saith: 'Sic omnino errare,' &c.

"Thus exactly they deserved to be deceived, who sought Christ and his Apos

[ocr errors]

"It is a horrible wickedness, and a sin not to be suffered, for any man to set up any picture in the church of the Christians; yea, though it were the picture of Christ himself.”n_-Yet these men store all their tem

tles, not in the books of holy Scripture, but in painted walls. Nor is it strange, if feigners were deceived by painters.' (De Consensu Erang. Lib. I. c. 10.)”Defence, p. 446 s.

The application of this passage from Austin is happy; and the censure passed on the council just. This pretended General Council (reckoned as the seventh by the Church of Rome) consisted of 350 bishops, hastily convoked by the Empress Irene for the sanction of her tenets, in 787.]

["The words of the original be these : 'Inveni ibi velum,' &c. 'I found there a veil hanging at the entry of the church, stained and painted, and having the image, as it were, of Christ, or of some saint:—for whose picture it was, indeed, I do not remember. Therefore when I saw the image of a man to hang in the church of Christ, contrary to the commandment of the Scriptures, I tare it in sunder, and gave counsel to the wardens of that church, that they should wind and bury some poor body in it, &c. I beseech you, charge the priests of that place, that they give commandment, that such veils as be contrary to our religion be no more hanged up in the church of Christ. It behoveth your reverence to have care hereof, that this superstition, unmeet for the church of CHRIST, and unmect for the people to thee committed, be removed.' EPIPHANIUS, Epist. ad Johan. Hierosolymtan. apud HIERONYM. Tom. II.

“The ancient fathers have long since determined and plainly judged against you. LACTANTIUS saith in plain words: 'Non est dubium, quin religio nulla sit, ubicunque simulachrum est.' 'It is without doubt, that there is no religion, wherever there is an image. (Lib. II. c. xix.) Tertullian saith : 'Idolum tam fieri, quam coli

, Deus prohibit. Quanto præcedit, ut fiat quod coli possit, tanto prius est, ne fiat, si coli non licet.' --'Facio, ait quidam, sed non colo: quasi ob aliquani causam colere non audeat nisi ob quam et facere non debeat: scilicet, ob Det offensam utrobique. Imo tu colis, qui facis ut coli possit. "God hath forbidden an image, or an idol, as well to be made, as to be worshipped. As far as making goeth before worshipping, so far is it before, that the thing be not made, that may not be worshipped.'Some man will say, I make it, but worship it not:--as though he durst not to worship it for any other cause, but only for the same cause for which he ought not to make it. I mean both ways, for God's displeasure. Nay, rather, thou worshippest the image, that givest the cause for others to worship it. (De Idololatria, c. 4 init

. c. 6.) “Therefore S. AUGUSTIN, speaking of the image of God the FATHER, saith thus : "Tale simulachrum Deo fingere, nefarium est :' * To devise such an image for God, it is abominable. (De Fide et Symbolo, c. 7.) THEODORUS the Bishop of Ancyra saith: 'Sanctorum imagines,' &c. We think it not convenient to paint the images of saints with material or earthly colours. For it is evident that this is a vain imagination, and the procurement of the deceitfulness of the devil.' (Citatur in Concil. Nicen. 2. Acta 6.) To like purpose writeth EPHIPHANIUS: 'Estote memores,' &c. 'My children, be ye mindful

ples, and each corner of them, with painted and carved images ; as though without them religion were nothing worth.

The old fathers, ORIGEN, and CHRYSOSTOM, exhort

that ye bring no images into the churches, and that ye erect none in the cemeteries of the saints. But evermore carry God in your hearts. Nay, suffer not images to be, no, not in your private houses. For it is not lawful to lead a Christian man by his eyes, but rather by the study or exercise of his mind." » Defence, p. 448.]

o Origen in Lerit. Cap. 16.--[ORIGEN flourished in the first half of the third century. At the early age of eighteen he succeeded Clement of Alexandria in the responsible station of catechist in that city. He taught the elements both of philosophy and religion to a large concourse of hearers, with great success. In 211 he visited Rome; and on his return published several of his writings. His growing reputation, enhanced by the exemplary holiness of his life, procured him the jealousy of his bishop, Demetrius, which manifested itself in a long series of persecutions. About the year 220 he was invited by Maminæa, the mother of the emperor Alexander Severus, to visit Antioch, for the purpose of instructing her in the principles of Christianity. In the forty-second year of his age he was ordained presbyter, on his return from a visit to Achaia, by some bishops of Palestine, without the knowledge of his own diocesan. This involved himn in fresh difficulties, which ended in his expulsion from the diocese in 231. He settled at Cæsarea in Palestine, where he taught a numerous assemblage of scholars, attracted by his reputation. He travelled subsequently to Athens, Cæsarea in Cappadocia, and Arabia, on various ecclesiastical errands. In the Decian persecution (A. D. 250) he suffered the extremities of torture with noble constancy. He died, aged 69, at Tyre, in 251.

The character of the most learned of Christian writers, either before or since his time, until the revival of learning, unquestionably belongs to ORIGEN. He alone, among the fathers, was intimately and critically acquainted with the Old Testament, in its original language: and lie left a monument of his abilities and his industry in this branch of study, in the Hexapla,

;-a sort of Polyglot, composed of the Hebrew text in Hebrew characters, the same in Greek characters, and four (afterwards increased to seven) Greek versions, all arranged in parallel columns. One of these columns contained the Septuagint version carefully revised by the Hebrew, and corrected from it and the other versions, with certain critical marks indicating the nature and value of its various discrepancies from the original. Beside this stupendous work, ORIGEN left a vast number of other writings-Sermons, Commentaries, Controversial Treatises, and Practical Discourses; a great part of which have perished, although some of the most important have escaped. The Hexapla exists only in scattered fragments, collected by the industry of moderns from the writings of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries.

Origen, with all his talent, learning, and piety, is by no means a safe guide in theology or Scriptural interpretation. In both, he indulged the imaginative faculty much too freely; and while on the one hand he built untenable theories on speculations of his own, wholly

the people to read the Scriptures ;r to buy them books; to reason at home betwixt themselves of divine matters, wives with their husbands, and parents with their children.s—These men condemn the Scriptures as dead elements,' and as much as ever they may, bar the people from them.

The ancient fathers, CYPRIAN, EPIPHANIUS,& and JEROME say, for one who perchance hath made a vow to lead a sole life, and afterwards liveth unchastely and cannot quench the flames of lust, it is better to marry a wife, and to live honestly in wedlock. And the old father Augustin“ judgeth the self same marriage to be good, and perfect, and that it ought not to be broken again.—These men, if a man have once bound himself by a vow, though afterwards he burn, keep queans, and defile himself with never so sinful and desperate a life, yet they suffer not that person to arry a wife: or if he chance to marry, they allow it not for marriage. And they commonly teach, It is much better and more godly to keep a concubine, or a harlot, than to live in that kind of marriage.

The old father S. AUGUSTIN complaineth of the mul

destitute of foundation, on the other he strained the Scriptures into allegorical and mystical meanings which they were never designed to bear. His writings excited much disturbance in the Church; producing two organized factions, friendly, and opposed to them, which continued more or less prominent during nearly three centuries.]

p Chrysost. Hom. 2 in Malth. Hom. 31 in Joannem.

4 ["Such sayings are common and ordinary in Cunysostom. Thus he saith : ‘Librum divinum,' &c. 'Let one of you take in hand the holy book, and let him call his neighbours about him: and by the heavenly words let him water and refresh both their minds and his own.' (Hom. 6. in Genes.) Again he saith : ' Poterimus et domi,' &c. 'Being at home, we may both before and after meat take the holy books in hand, and thereof receive great profit, and minister spiritual food unto our soul.' (Hom. 10 in Genes.) Thus also he saith : Neque in hoc,' &c. Hearken not hereto only here in the church, but also at home. Let the husband with the wife-let the father with the child--talk together of those matters; and both to and fro let them both inquire, and give their judgments. And would God they would begin this good custom ! (Hom. 2 in Johan.--Hom. 78 in Matth.)-Defence, P. 449.]

CYPRIAN. Epist. 11. Lib. I. • Epiphan. contra Apostolicos, Hæres. 61. + HIERONYM. ad Dematriadem. u Augustin. de Bono Viduitatis, c. 10.

AUGUSTIN. ad Januar. Epist. 118.

« ПредишнаНапред »