Графични страници
PDF файл

madness of any of those heretics? Nay, I say unto you, there is no country so free from their pestilent infection, as these be, wherein the gospel of Christ is freely and commonly preached. So that if they weigh the very matter with earnest and upright advisement, this thing is a great argumente of our part, that this same doctrine which we teach is the very truth of the gospel of CHRIST. For lightly neither is cockle wont to grow without wheat, nor yet the chaff without the corn. For from the very Apostles' times who knoweth not how many heresies did rise up even together, so soon as the gospel was first spread abroad? Who ever had heard tell of Simon, Menander, Saturninus, Basilides, Carpocrates, Cerinthus, Ebion, Valentinus, Secundus, Myrcosius, Colarbasius, Heraclio, Lucian, Severus, and other like, before the apostles were sent abroad? But why stand we reckoning up these? EPIPHANIUS: reckoneth up

e [The reader must take this argument for what it is worth. Thank God! they were more solid arguments on which the doctrines of the reformation were established.]

i [These are names of the leaders of herctical sects which arose in the second and third centuries of the Christian era. Such as may be curious to know their discordant and absurd perversions of the simple truths of Christianity, are referred to Mosheim, or other Ecclesiastical historians, in their account of those ages. Many of these false teachers, although their opinions obtained the name of Christian heresies, were any thing rather than followers of Christ. Yet it is

unquestionably true that their extravagant doctrines did owe their origin to the promulgation of Christianity.)

$[EPIPHANIUS wrote his work against Heresies, under the title of Panarion, about the fourth century. He specially considers and refutes eighty heresies, in as many chapters, besides making incidental mention of several others in the course of his work. He has, however, unnecessarily swelled the list, by enumerating several sects among Christian heresies, which had little or no connexion with Christianity; and by dignifying with the name of heresies differences of opinion, of which it is extremely doubtfnl whether they ever existed as the tenets of a sect. He was a weak and credulous writer ; learned, but possessed of little judgment, not accurate in his investigation of facts

, and biassed against every thing at variance with his own notions of orthodoxy.

EPIPHANIUS was born in Palestine. He received a monastic education, and was for some time an anchorite in Egypt. He was chosen bishop of Salamis in Cypress in the sixty-fifth year of his age. He was led to take an active part in the disputes respecting the opinions of Origen, and actually went to Constantinople for the purpose of joining in the deposition of Chrysostom, because that learned and pious bishop had afforded protection to a body of fugitive monks exfourscore and sundry heresies, and AUGUSTINE many more, which sprang up even together with the gospel. What then? Was the gospel therefore not the gospel, because heresies sprang up withal? Or was CHRIST therefore not Christ? Or, were Christ and his gospel the cause of these heresies?

And yet, as we id, doth not this great crop and heap of heresies grow up amongst us, which do openly, abroad, and frankly teach the gospel ? These poisons take their beginnings, their increasing and strength, amongst our adversaries, in blindness, and in darkness, amongst whom truth is with tyranny and cruelty kept under, and cannot be heard but in corners and secret meetings. But let them make a proof. Let them give the gospel free passage. Let the truth of JESUS CHRIST give her clear light, and stretch forth her bright beams into all parts : and then shall they forth with see how all these shadows straight will vanish and pass away at the light of the gospel, even as the thick mist of the night consumeth at the sight of the sun. For whilst these men sit still, and make merry, and do nothing, we continually repress and put back all those heresies which they falsely charge us to nourish and maintain.

Sect. 5. Where they say, that we have fallen into sundry sects, and would be called, some of us Lutherans, pelled from Egypt on account of their attachment to Origen. The popularity of Chrysostom, however, deterred EPIPHANIUs from joining in the violent measures of THEOPHILUS, bishop of Alexandria, and his partizans, who proceeded in the deposition. He died at sea, on his return to Salamis, in 403.]

h AUGUSTINUS, Libro de Heresibus, ad Quodvultdeum.

i [The rise of Socinianism remarkably illustrates this assertion. SERVETUS, who first broached its main principle, the denial of our Lord's divinity, was a Spanish physician, and it was in Spain and France that he formed and taught his opinions. The first who avoided attachment to those opinions were almost exclusively Italians; and they are known to have confirmed each other in their errors by means of such 'secret meetings '-as Jewell speaks. Socinus himself was a native of Italy; and although the pompous stories told by his followers, of the clandestine meetings of a literary society in which he presided with more than forty associates, are without foundation ; it is nevertheless true, that his opinions were imbibed there, and the disgrace of his heresy, if it attach at all to the country which gave it birth, must belong to the very seat of Romish orthodoxy.)

and some of us Zuinglians, and cannot yet well agree among ourselves touching the whole substance of our

[The allusion is to the difference of opinion among the reformers on the subject of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Luther and his followers (including nearly all the German, the Swedish, and the Danish reformers, and some among those in France and Switzerland) maintained that the body and blood of Christ were given and received in the Sacrament together with the bread and wine; this opinion be. ing distinguished by the name of consubstantiation. On the other hand, the majority of the Swiss divines, those of the Palatinate in Germany, a principal part of those in France, and all the English, maintained that the reception of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist is only spiritual—that the meaning of the words used by Christ in its institution - This is my body &c. is only figurative.

The name Zuinglians (for which subsequently the more general term of The Reformed was adopted, as distinctive from the Lutherans) is derived from Zuinglius or Zuingle, the reformer of Switzerland. Ulric ZUINGLE was born in a small village in the district of Tokenburg, in Switzerland, in 1487. He was sent by his uncle, an Ecclesiastic, to school at Basle, and subsequently at Berne. At both places he was distinguished for his application and abilities. After a two years stay in the university of Vienna, he returned to his native country in the capacity of a teacher, and joined with the business of instruction the study of theology. From WITTENBACH, then professor of Theology at Basle, who was in spirit a Protestant, though his death at an advanced age 1520 removed him from any share in the reformation, Zuingle imbibed the great doctrines of the gospel. He was sedulous in the study of the Scriptures (an instance of which is his having transcribed all the epistles of St. Paul in Greek, and added in the margin notes from the fathers ;) and in an unbiassed study of the ancient Christian writers.

Taking orders in 1506, ZUINGLE settled at Glaris, of which he became curate, Here he maintained an unblemished reputation, and by diligent study, advanced himself in sound theology and pure religion, during ten years. In 1516 he resigned his charge, and removed to a neighbouring abbey (of Einsidlen) for the purpose of closer study, While discharging the duties of preacher and confessor here, he formed an acquaintance with several learned men among its inmates, who subsequently became his associates in spreading the doctrines of the reformation. Here he gradually settled his opinions, and became daily more open and active in his opposition to Romish corruptions of doctrine and practice.

In 1518, he was chosen preacher in the cathedral at Zurich, and commenced upon the duties of the office in June, 1529. He preached boldly and plainly, explaining in course various parts of the New Testament, and advocating in his sermons the great principles of Christianity, so long obscured and kept out of view by popery.

In 1520 he obtained from the Senate of the city a decree that all ministers should explain the New Testament to their congregations, and teach nothing contrary to its contents. In the same year he disputed publicly with a minorite friar of Avignon, on the subject of saint-worship and the mass, and convinced him of his errors,

doctrine ; what would these men have said, if they had been in the first times of the Apostles and holy fathers, when one said, “I am of Paul,” another, “and I of

In 1522 ZUINGLE openly declared against the authority of Rome, and in conjunction with nine other clergymen, petitioned the civil authorities for the free preaching of the gospel, and the abolition of clerical celibacy. The remonstrances of his diocesan, the bishop of Constance, and even a cajoling letter from the Pope (ADRIAN VI.) him. self, were ineffectually interposed to stop his career. His persevering efforts still continued, and resulted in a public disputation and conference, between select champions of the Romish tenets, on the one side, and himself and his associates, on the other, in 1523. Zuingle in vain endeavoured to procure a full discussion of his opinions in this assembly; but managed his cause with such ability and success as to secure for it the avowed protection of the government.

In the same year another great assembly was held, in which the clergy and civil authorities of other cantons united with those of Zurich ; and Zuingle again appeared as the champion of reformation, in opposition to image worship, processions, relics, the mass, &c. The result of this was a decree of the senate of Zurich forbidding those Romish practices.

In 1524 ZUINGLE married the widow of a nobleman of Baden, although the question of the celibacy of the clergy had not yet been determined by any act of public authority.

The next year, he joined in a petition, with other clergymen, for the abolition of the mass; and the request being immediately granted by the Senate, he and his colleagues celebrated the communion for the first time, in both kinds, with new and simple rites, on Easter day.

Such were the steps by which this great man effected an independent reformation of the religion of his country. He co-operated in the noble work with the apostle of Germany, but his share in the work was his own, originating with himself, and carried on by himself, exclusively as a chosen instrument of the Providence of God.

The completion of the work of reformation, by the establishment of an ecclesiastical system ; the defence of his principles against the Romanists on the one hand, and the Anabaptists on the other; and the discussion of the Sacramentarian controversy with Luther and his followers, who violently attacked the simple tenets of the Swiss reformer ;-were the occupation of the brief remainder of Zuingle's life.

His death was peculiar. It was the custom of his country that the Pastor should accompany his flock when called out to war; and even in the hour of battle be present to implore the divine blessing on their arms, and administer the consolations of religion to the wounded and the dying. Of the Swiss Cantons five had received the doctrines of the reformation ; five not only refused to admit them, but persecuted individuals who embraced them. This the Protestant cantons resented, and showed their resentinent by hostile acts, notwithstanding the earnest opposition of Zuingle. The result was a declaration of war on the part of the Popish cantons, and the commencement by incursions on the territory of Zurich. The forces of Zurich, though inferior, were drawn out, and with them their faithful pastor. They met the enemy in battle, and were defeated ; and ZÚINGLE was among the slain. His

Apollos," another, “and I of Cephas ?"! when Paul did so sharply rebuke Peter ?m when upon a falling out, Barnabas departed from Paul ?o When, as ORIGEN mentioneth, the Christians were divided into so many factions, as that they kept no more but the name of Christians in common among them, being in no manner of thing else like to Christians ? When, as SOCRATES" saith, for their dissensions and sundry sects, they were laughed and jested at openly of the people in their stages,p and common game-plays ? When, as Constantine the emperor affirmeth, there were “such numbers of variances and brawlings in the Church, that it might justly seem a misery far passing all the former miseries?" When also THEOPHILUS, 9 EPIPHANIUS, CHRYSOSTOM, AUGUSTINE, RUFFIN," JEROME, being all Christianslast words were, “Is this misfortune ? they may indeed kill the body, but they cannot destroy the soul!" A Papist offered him a con. fessor : he shook his head. Another recommended him to consign his soul to the Virgin: he again refused. “Die, then, obstinate heretic," was the reply; and a thrust of a sword released him from his sufferings.]

I Cor. i. 12. m Gal. ii. 11. D Acts xv. 39.

[The ecclesiastical historian. He wrote in the fifth century. His History is a continuation of that of Eusebius down to the year 440, compiled with care and considerable judgment.]

p [Slages-theatrical exhibitions.)

. (Theophilus was bishop of Alexandria in the latter part of the fourth century. His meddling, litigious temper, involved him in continual disputes, in the management of which he appears to have regarded the advancement of his own interest and ends much more than the cause of truth or the preservation of Christian peace and unity. He violently opposed the opinions of Origen. The monks of Nistria, who had espoused those opinions, were condemned, through his influence, in a council held at Alexandria in 399; and because CHRYSOSTOM admitted them to refuge in Constantinople, the restless persecutor made no intermission in his machinations, until he had solemnly deposed that prelate, and finally procured his exile and death. dispute he managed to involve EPIPHANIUS, whom he summoned from Cyprus to assist in deposing. CHRYSOSTOM; and JEROME, whom he persuaded to translate into Latin a treatise which he had written against that unfortunate bishop, replete with the harshest invective. TheoPHILUS died in 412.]

[Rurinus, or Ruffin, . a Latin writer of considerable eminence, especially as a translator, was a native of Italy, educated in Aquileia, but afterwards resident during the greater part of his life in Egypt and Palestine. In the latter country he contracted an intimacy with Jerome, and for some time received his warm support. But when

[ocr errors]


In this


« ПредишнаНапред »