Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

“ churches of every city to hold fast the tradition SECT.

II. 66 of the apostles; which (as also by writing he tel « cified) for the greater security he held necessary to « be copied in writing."

64. That the hereticks of old made the same “ pretence which the papists make now, of oral tradition in opposition to scripture, the same Eusebius tells us ; and withal, that books are a sufficient confutation of this pretence. " * Those (says he) who * Ibid. l. 6 were of the heresy of Artemon, said that all their 5. C. 27 “ forefathers and the apostles themselves had re“ ceived and taught the same things which they

also did, and had preserved the true teaching un66 to the time of Victor bishop of Rome, whose fuc

ceffor Zephyrinus corrupted it. And this (faith “ he) would have great probability, were it not first “ of all contradicted by the scripture ; and next, if " there did not remain the writings of other bre" thren much more ancient than Victor's time, " &c. in the books of all whom Christ's divini“ ty is acknowledged.” And afterwards he tells us, that these hereticks did change and corrupt the scriptures to bring them to their opinions ; fo Mr. S. tells us, “ that the outward letter of scripture ought to be corrected by tradition and sense written in “ mens hearts.”

St. Hierom also tells us, " * that the hereticks * “ were wont to say, we are the fons of the wise, Ira. c. 19. o who did from the beginning deliver down to " us the apostolical doctrine ;" but he adds, " that " the true fons of Judah adhere to the scrips. • ture."

$ 4. That

PART $ 4. That fcripture is sufficiently plain in all IV. .

things neceffary. * In 2 St. Chrysostom, “* all things in the divine scriphom.4.

“ tures are plain and straight. Whatsoever things "care necessary are manifeft."

St. Austin having spoken of the profoundness of * Epift. 3. scripture, adds, “ not that those things which are ne

6 ceffary to falvation are so hard to be come at : “ but (faith he) when one hath there attained faith, “ without which there is no pious and right living,

" there are besides many dark and mysterious things, Ibid. 6 &c.” Again *, “ the manner of speech in scrip

u ture how easy is it to all, though few can pene-
6 trate to the bottom of it ? those things which
« it plainly contains, it speaks without disguise
66 like a familiar friend to the heart of the learned
" and unlearned.” How will Mr. S. reconcile
this with his great exception against scripture ?
And what these things are, which are plainly

contained in fcripture, the same father tells us * De doc- elsewhere, in these words, “ * among those things tr. Chrift. .. 1. 3. c.9. 10.00:“ which are plainly fet down in scripture, all

" those things are to be found which comprehend
66 faith and good manners." The same St. Austin
(as also Clement in the book which Mr. White
quoted) for the understanding of obscure texts of

scripture, directs us not to tradition, but to the * De uni- plain text, without which he expresly says, “ * there tate ecclel. 66 would be no way to understand them.” 6.5.

§ 5. That scripture is so plain, as to be fit to determine controversies.

Justin sure thought so, when disputing with Trypho, concerning a point wherein the Jew had

tradition tradition on his side, he told him " he would S ECT.

bring such proofs (to the contrary) as no man « could gainsay : attend (says he) to what I shall “ recite out of the holy fcriptures, proofs which “ need not to be explained, but only to be heard." Mr. White might have found likewise much to this purpose in his Clement.

But not to tire my reader in a point which the ancients abound with, I shall only produce the judgment of Constantine * in that solemn ora- * Theotion of his to the council of Nice, wherein he doret.

hiit. 1. 1. bewails “ their mutual oppositions, especially in c. 7. “ divine things ;" concerning which they had the doctrine of the Holy Spirit recorded in writing; “ for (says he) the books of the evan" gelists and apostles, and the oracles of the old " prophets, do evidently teach us what we ought " to think of the divine majesty. Therefore laying " aside all seditious contention, let us determine the " matters in question by testimonies out of the di“ vine writings.” Not a word of any other tradition but scripture, which was held evident enough in those days, though now Mr. S. tells us it is not fufficient to decide that controversy about the divinity of CHRIST. :

$ 6. Lastly, that scripture is the rule of faith.

Irenæus : "* the method of our salvation we* L. 2. “ have not known by any other but those men i. " by whom the gospel came to us, which then “ they preached, but afterwards by the will of « God delivered it to us in the scriptures, to be “ for the future the foundation and pillar of our “ faith.”

Vol. IV.

[ocr errors][merged small]

IV.

PART St. Cyprian, the church hath ever held a good

catholick; yet Mr. S. * takes notice that he erred in * P. 314 a point of faith ; and perhaps the rather, because + Dial. 3. Mr. Rushworth + had told him that he was not lect. 13. theirs in this controversy. “ For (says he) St. Cyprian

65 seems to think that the resolution of faith was to
66 be nade into scripture, and not into tradition.”
B.t that we may not seem to accept of this cour-
tely from him, nor yet wholly to despise it, I shall
offer this one teftimony instead of many out of

that father ; who being opposed with an argument * Epist. 74. from tradition, demands, “* whence have you that

65 tradition ? comes it from the authority of the « Lord, and of the gospel, or from the epistles “ of the apostles ? For God testifies that we are to u do those things which are written, &c. If it be 66 commanded in the gospel, or contained in the

66 epistles or acts of the apostles, then let us observe

." it as a divine and holy tradition." * Ad Con- Hilary * commends Conftantius the emperor' for

66 regulating the faith only according to those things
66 which are written.” And to oblige him to de-
serve this commendation, he adds, “ he who re-
6 fuses this is antichrift, and who dissembles in it.

6 is anathema.” i Libe. Optatus *, concerning the controversy with the de schism. donatists, asks who, shall be judge? and answers Donat.

himself, “ the fcriptures:” which he illustrates by the fimilitude of a father who delivered his will orally to his children while he was living, but when he was dying, caused it to be written in lasting tables, to decide all controversies that might hap

fant.

pen

[ocr errors]

pen among them after his death. The paffage is SECT.

II. large, and it is obvious to apply it. • Bafil maintaining the doxology as it was used in his days, says, “ * thus we received it from our fa- * De Sp. “ thers ;” but adds immediately, “ this is not c.7. 66 enough for us, that it is the tradition of the fa

thers, for they followed the authority of the “ scriptures, making its testimonies the principles

upon which they built.'' He has indeed in the fame book * a passage much insisted on by the pa- * C. 27. pists concerning unwritten traditions ; but withal, he says those traditions were secretly conveyed, which makes all the rest of no use to Mr. S.

Chrysostom * having mentioned several heresies, * Hom.8. directs how they may be avoided, viz. “ by attend. in epist. ad “ ing to the faith delivered, and looking upon all

Heb.c.5. " that disagrees from that as adulterate. For (says 6 he) as those who give rules do not put men up“ on a curious enquiry after any measures, but bid « them keep to the rule given ; so it is in opinie “ ons. But no body will attend to the scriptures ; “ if we did, we should not only not fall into errors « ourselves, but also rescue those that are deceived.” Again, «* if we would be throughly conversant in * Hom: “ the scriptures, we should be instructed both in 52. in Joh. “ right opinions and a good life.” Again, “among . " the many fects of christians * it will be easy to * Hom. “ judge of the right, if we believe the scriptures, 33. in acto: “ because they are plain and true: if any one agree “ with these he is a christian ; if he contradicts 66 them he is far from this rule,"?

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« НазадПродовжити »