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to satisfy you in, yet, to prevent for the future such evasions as you
have made use of on all occasions in your epistle, I shall, in a few
pregnant and unquestionable instances, give you an ac<$ount both
when, how, and by whom, the falls of your church have been ob-
served, reproved, condemned, and written against Only unto what
shall be discoursed unto this purpose, I desire Kberty to premise these
three things, which I suppose will be granted,

«Babititr ^^nis tamen, etei »b inimicifl potaSn.'' ^

The fiwt is. That what is by any previously condemned, before the
embracing and practice of it, is no less condemned by them than if
the practice had preceded their condemnation. Though you should
say that your avowing of a condemned error would make it no error,
yet you cannot say that it will render it not condemned; for that
whidi is done cannot be undone, say you what you will.

Secondly, That wh^e any opinion or practice in rehgion, which is
embraced and used by your church, is condemned and written against,
that then your church, which so embraceth and useth it, is condemned
and written against For neither do Protestants write against yout
church, nor condemn it on any other account, but of your opinions and
practices; and you require but such a writing and condemnation al
you complain of amongst them.

Thirdly, I desire you to take notice that I do not this as though
it were necessary to the security and defence of the cause which we
maintain agamst you. It is abundantly sufficient and satisfiactoiy
unto our consdenoes, in your casting us out from your oommtmion,
that aJl iSke ways whereby we say your church is fallen from her pris-
tine purity are judged and condemned in the Scripture, the word of
truth, whither we appeal for the last determination of the difference*
fcetween us. These things being premised, to prevent such evasions
as you have accustomed yourself unto, I shall, as briefly as I can,
^ve you somewhat of that which you have now twice called for.

1. Your principle and practice, in imposing upon all persons a/nd
chwrohss a necessity of the observation of yov/r rites and ceremo*
nies, customs amd traditions^ casting them out of commwiion who
refuse to submit unto this your great principle of aUfhe sdiisms

VOL. XIV. 15



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?25 A VINDICATION OF THE ANIMADVERSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

in Europe^ was contradicted, written against, condemned, by cDtmcils
iuid fathers, in the very first instance that ever you gave of it Be
pleased to consider that this concerns the very life and being of your
church; for if you may not impose your constitutions, observance^
and customs upon all others, " actum est," there is an end of your
present church state. Let us see, then, how this was thought of in
the days of old. Victor, the bishop of Rome, AD. 96, condemns and
excommunicates the churches of Asia, because they would not join
with him in the celebration of Easter precisely on the Lord's day.
Did this practice escape uncontrolled f He was written against by
the great Lrenseus, and reproved that he had cast out of commimion
edg 8Xag ixx\ti<fiag rov 0foD, — " whole churches of God," for a trivial
i»rusa His act also was condemned, in the justification of those
churches, by a council in Palestine, where Theophilus presided ; and
another in Asia^ called together for the same purpose by Polycrates,
Euseb. Eccles. Hist, Ub. v. cap. 22-26. This is an early instance of a
considerable fall in your church, and an open opposition by councils
imd fathers made unto it And do not you, sir, deceive yourself; as
•though the act of Victor were alone concerned in this censure of
Irenseus and others. The principle before mentioned, which is the
very life and soul of your church, is condemned in it It was done
.also in a repetition of the same instance attempted here in England
by you, when Austin, that came from Rome, would have imposed on
ihe British churches the observation of Easter according to the cus-
tom of the Roman church. The bishops and monks of these churches
not only rejected your custom, but the principle also from whence
the attempt to impose it on them did proceed; protesting that they
owned no subjection to the bishop of Rome^ nor other regard than
$vhat they did to every good Christian^ ConciL Anglican, p. 188.

2. Your doctrine and practice of forcing men by carnal weapons,
corporal penalties, tortures, and terrors of death, v/nto the em-
bracement of your profession, and actually destroying and taking
a/way the lives of them that persist in their dissent from you, is
condemned by fathers and councils, as well as by the Scriptures, and
the light of nature itself. It is condemned by Tertullian, ApoL cap.
OudiL " Videte,'' saith he, " ne et hoc ad irreligiositatis elogium con-
purrat^ adimere libertatem religionis, et interdicere optionem divini-
tatis, ut non liceat mihi colere quod yelim, sed cogar colere quod
nolim;" with the like expressions in twenty other places. All this
external compulsion he ascribes unto pro&neness. So doth Clemens
Alexand., Stromat viii; so also did Lactantius: all consenting in
that maxim of Tertullian, " Lex nova non se vindicat ultore gladio ;"
- — " The law of Christ revengeth not itself with a punishing sword."
fhe council of Sardis, Epist ad Alexand., expressly affirms that



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APOSTAST OP THE KOMISH CHURCH. 22?

* they dissuaded the emperor fix>m interposing his secular power to
compel them that dissented. And you are fully condemned in a
canon of a council at Toledo, cap. de Judse. distinct 45 : " PrsBcipit
sancta synodus, nemini deinceps ad credendum vim inferre; cui enim
vult Deus miseretur, et quem vult indurat;" — " The holy synod com-
mandeth that none hereafter shall by force be compelled to the &ith;
for God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will
he hardeneth." Athanasius, in his Epistle ad Solitarios, falls heavily
on the Arians, that they began first to compel men to their heresy
by force, prisons, and punishments; whence he concludes of their
sect, *' Atque ita seipsam quam non sit pia nee Dei cultrix mani-
festat;" — " It evidently declares itself hereby to be neither pious nor
to have any reverence of God.'' In a book that is of some credit
with you, — namely, Clemens's Constitutions, — ^you have this amongst
other things for your comfort: Ti avn^oi^tov rZv Mfxanrm &^ri^zv 1X16-

— *' Christ left men the power of their wills free" (in this matter),
** not punishing them with death temporal, but calling them to give
an account in another world." And Chiysostom speaks to the same
purpose on John vi: 'E^oirS \syuv, M^ xai ufnTg dlXers Wayf/y; Ivtp
c5(rar fv Afaipoiivrog fitav xai avdyxriv' — " He asked them, saying, ' Will
ye also go away?' which is the question of one rejecting all force and
necessity." Epiphanius gives it as the character of the semi-Arians,
Tot); ri)v &ki&uay iiidtfxoifrag ii<tixou<ftv, ohx in \6yo/g Pov\6fli,ivot Avarf pcri/r,
dXXcb xai ix&pO'tii xa) *iro\s/ioiCj xal fLa^atpoug ^apabtdovn; rovg Ip^utg
vtffTsUvrai' \{t/iriy ydp ou iLiq. T^Xf/ xa/ %wf <f itpydaavro dWd voXKaTg* —
*' They persecute them that teach the truth, not conftiting them with
words, but delivering them that believe aright to hatreds, wars, and
Bwords, having now brought destruction, not to one city or coimtry
alone, but to many." Neither can you relieve yourselves by an-
swering that they were true believers whom they persecuted, you
punish heretics and schismatics only; for they thought and said the
same of themselves which you assert in your own behalf So Sal-
vian informs us, " Hseretici sunt, sed non scientes; denique apud nos
sunt hseretici, apud se non sunt Nam in tantum se et catholicos
judicant, ut nos ipsos titulo haereticae pravitatis infament: quod ergo
illi nobis sunt^ et hoc nos iUis;" — " They are heretics, but they know
it not; they are heretics unto us, but not unto themselves, for they
so far judge themselves to be catholic, that they condemn us for the
guilt of heresy: so, then, what they are to us, that we are to them.'*
Especially was your whole practice in this matter solemnly con-
demned in the case of Priscillianus, recorded by Sulpitius Severus in
the end of his second book, — ^the only instance that Bellarmine could
fix upon, in all antiquity, for the putting of any men to death upon
the account of religion; for the other whom he mentions, he con^



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228 A VINDICATION OF THir ANIMADVERSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

fesseth himself to have been a magiciaEL Ithadus^ with some other
bishops his associates^ procured Maxiimis the tynmt to pat Friscil-
lianus a Guostio, with some others^ to death, and to banish some
of their followera What saith the hktorian thereon? " Hoc modo/'
saith he, '^ homines }ace indignissimi pessimo exemplo necati, aut
exiliis mulctati j" — ** On this manner were those unworthy wretches
either slain or punished by banishment, by a very evil precedent^
And what was the success odT this zeal? " Non solum,'" saith he, " n(m
repressa est haeresifl^ sed confirmata, ktius propagata est;" — ^' The
heresy was so far from being repressed by it, that it was the more
confirmed and propagated." And what ensued hereupon in the
church itsdf ? ''Inter nostros perpetuum discordiarum beHimi exar-
serat; quod jam per quindecim^annos foedis dissensionibiis agitatum
nullo mode sopiii poterat Et nunc cum maxime diacordiis episco^
porum turbari aut misceri omnia cemerentur, cunctaque per eos odio
aut gratia^ metu, inconstantia, invidia, factione, avaritia, arrogantia^
somno, desidia essent depravata: — postremo phires adversum paucos
bene consulentes, insanis consiliis et pertmacibus studiis certabant:
inter h«ec plebs Dei, et optimus quisque, probro atque ludibrio ha-
bebatur;" with which words he shuts up his ecclesiastical Btcyrj,
*^ Amongst ours, a lasting war of discord was kindled^ which, after it
hath now for fifteen years been carried on with shameful contentions,
can by no means be allayed; and now especially, when all things
appear to be troulded and perverted by the discord oi the bishops^
and that all things are depraved by them, tiirough hatred, &y(mr, feaiy
inconstancy, envy, fiBM:tio% covetousness, pride, 8leq>ine8s, and sloth, —
the most, with mad counsels and pertinacious endeavours, [were] op-
posing themselves to the few that are better advised. Amongst all
these things the people of Qod, and every honest man, is become a
reproach and a scorn." Thus that historian, complaining of the con- •
aequents of this proceeding. But good men left not the matter so;
Maitiiuffi Turoneocns presently ref oseth all communion with them who
had any hand in the death or banishment of the perscms mentioned \
80 doth Ambrose declare himself to have done, Epist. xxvii; as did the
rest of the sober, godly bishops of those days. At length both Ithar
dus and Idadus, the promoters of this work, were solemnly excom-
municated, though one of them had before, lor v^ duame, fiur^one
his bishopric. See Proq). Chroa 889, and Isidore de Yiris Ulustri-
bua So that here also the judgment and practice of your diurch,
^hidi she is fallen into, is publicly condemned and written against
thirte^i hundred years aga Should I insist on all the testimonies
that of this kind might be produced, —

'* Aitt^ diem danso oomponet ympet diyvapo," Virg. Msl i 878,
than I could make an end of them. I have added this instance to
the former, as knowing them to be the two great pQlaiB on which



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APOSTASY OF THE BOMISH CHUBCa 12^

the tottering febric of your church is rabed, and which, if they weare
removed, the whole of it would quickly fall to the ground; aad you
see how long ago they were both publicly condemned.

3. Your papal oecumaaical ^ipremacy hath two main branches: —
(1). Your pope's spiritual poivsr over all persons and churches in the
things of religion; (2.) Sis power over emperors, kings, cmdpro6esi-
cmts, in reference unto religion; or, as you speak, ^* in online ad ssjpi-
ritualia." The first your church stumbled into by many degrees,
j&om the days of Victor, who made the first notable halt to this
purpose ; the latter you stumbled into in the days of Gregory VIL,
or HUdebrand. It were endless to declare how this fall of your
church bath been declared, written against, opposed, condemned by
churches, oounciH fathers, princes, and learned men in all ages.
Scone few evidences to this purpose, to satisfy your request, I shall
direct you unto. It was written against and condemned by Cyprian,
bishop of Carthage, and that in a council at Carthage, aimo 258,
upon an attempt made by St^hen, bishop of Rome, looking in some
small degree towards that usurped supremacy which afterward was
attained unto. Tou may, if you please, there see him rebuked, and
the practice of your church condemned. The same Cyprian had done
no less before, in reference unto some actings of Cornelius, the pre*
decessor of Stephen, Epist ad ComeL Though the pretenjaons of
Corodius and Stephen were modest in comparison id your present
vast daim, yet the churches of Qod in those days could not bear
them. It is prejudged in the most famous council of Nice, which
assigned bounds unto the jurisdiction of bishops, giving to several of
them equal authority: can. 6. Tcb df %aJii( [!^] xpan /roi, rcb h Klyhw^, xai
AjC{fp, xal Ilf yra^^Xii, £^f rhv * AXt^tufdpdag J^^irxMToy ^dvTm roiroDP i;^i/p
rii¥ fgoutr/ay, m/di) X€l} rp h rp ^Ptlifip iifftfx6v(ff roDro tfvr^i^ ierh' 6fl,oiug
dff xa/ xard r^v 'Avrt6^uav, xai $¥ raTg JtKKaig Jropp^/oi^ ra 'XftcCt?^
0tsil^i6ku rati exxXtjifUug' — " Let the ancient customs be observed, that,
as to Egypt, Libya^ and Pentapolis, the bishops of Alexandria have
power over them'' (or the churches in them), "for so is the custom of
the bishop of Rome'' (that is, to have power over the adjoining
churches) ; '' likewise about Antioch, and in other provinces, tiiat the
ancient rights of the chtirches be preserved." Your great pope, whom
you so frequently call " the pastor of Christendom," was here but o h
rfi 'FfLfip hrsifxovog, — " the bishop in the city or church of Rome," or of
the church in the city of Rome. And b<Hmds are assgned imto the
authority which he claimed by custom, as to his of Alexandria and
Antioch. It is true the chtux^ of Alexandria hath some power as-
signed, ascribed, or granted unto it, above other churches of Egypt,
Libya^ and Pentapolis, for a warranty whereof the usage of the Ro-
man church in reference unto her neighbour churches is made use
of; which, to deal fireely with you, and to tell you my private thoughts,



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23(X A VINDICATION OF THE ANIMADVERSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

was a confirmation of a disorder by your example, which you were
from that day forward seldom wanting to give plenty of. So to this
purpose, ConciL Antioch. can. 13 and 16, anno 341; Concil. Con-
stantinop. can. 2, anno 381. But this canon of the Nicene fathers .
openly condemneth, and is perfectly destructive of, your present
claimed supremacy. Three councils together in Africa^ within the
space of twenty years, warned your church of her fall into this he-
resy, and opposed her attempts for the promotion of it: — ^The first at
Carthage, anno 407, which forbids aU appeals unto any beyond the
sea; which Rome was to them in Afiica no less than it is imto us in
England. The next was the second Milevitan, anno 416, where the
same prohibition is revived with express respect unto the see of Rome,
as Binius acknowledgeth. The same order is again asserted by an-
other council in Africa, wherein the pretensions of Boniface unto
some kind of superintendency over other churches are sorely reproved,
and his way of prosecuting his attempt, by pretended canons of the
council of Nice, after great pains taken and charge disbursed in the
discovery of the forgery, censured and condemned. All these testi-
monies of the condemnation of this fall of yours, by fathers and coun-
cils, you have gathered unto your hand in the CoA Can. Cona Afiic.,
and by Binius, with others. Also the substance of all these canons
of provincial synods is confirmed in the fourth chapter of the decree of
the thirdcecumenical council atEphesus,anno 431, can. 8: T?pog* "Edo^t
tfi kyitf \rahTf\\ xai oJxovfLtvixj! tfuvod^, ffut^tffdat ixd<frfi lirapyic^ xaQapa xai
&Cia<fra r& ahrf! irpo(f6vra itxata s^oLpyrig &voj6iv, xarSt rh 'xdXat xpariiaav
Uoi' — " It seemeth good to the holy and general council that every
province retain its rights pure and inviolate, which, according unto
ancient custom, it had from the b^inning." The decree, I confess,
was purposely firamed against the bishop of Antioch, who had taken
on him to ordain bishops in Cyprus, out of his province; but it is built
on that general reason which expressly condemns the Roman pre-
tensions to an unlimited supremacy. The great and famous council
of Chalcedon, anno 451, condemned the same heresy, and plainly
overthrew the whole foundation of your papal plea, act 16, can. 18,
as the canons of that coimcil are collected by Balsamon and Zonaras;
though some of them, with intolerable partiality, would separate this
and some others from the body of the canons of that council, giving
them a place by themselvea The decree contains the reasons of the
council's assigning privileges next imto, and equally with, the Roman,
unto the Constantinopolitan church : Tf) ^p6v(f)j say they, rrif ^^etrCu-
rspag *F<tifLfigy 6tSi rh jSatf/Xsuf/v r^v irSXiv ixf/irijy, o^ varipti slxCrug d^odt-
3wxa<r/ rd vpi^sTa' — " The fathers" (our predecessors) " granted pri-
vileges to the see of ancient Rome, be<^use that was the imperial
city." Do you see from whence proceeded all the privileges of the
Roman throne? — merely from the grants and concessions of former



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APOSTASY OF THE rAmISH CHURCH. 23t

bisliops; and I wish they had been liberal only of what was their,
own. And what was the reason of their so doing? Because the city-
was "imperial : " in which one sentence, both their supremacy and the
groimds of it are discarded and virtually condemned ; for their pre^
tensions are utterly inconsistent with this synodical determination.
They proceed: For the same reason, TSt ha ^pf^sJit ari¥tifia¥ rp

xX^ry Ttfiri&tTifav AToX/y, xai ruv 1<sm a^oXaUvtfav *rptsZ%iw rf[ 'jrpt^Mriptf
fia(tt>Jhi 'Pdififi, xai h roTi lxx\n<fia<fTixoTi' — " They" (the hundred and
fifty bishops) " assigned the same or equal privileges unto the holy
see of new Rome ; rightly determining that the city which is honoured
with the empire and senate should enjoy equal privileges in things
ecclesiastical with the ancient queen-Rome,"* or Rome-regent of old.
Is not your present supremacy here suflSciently condemned, and that
by as famous a council as ever the ChKstian world enjoyed? And it
will not avail you that you fell into this heresy fidly afterward, and
not before the determination of this council : for he that falls into a
heresy after the determination of a council is no less condemned
therein than he that fell into it before, and gave occasion to the sen*
tence; yea, his guilt is the greater of the two, because he despised
the sentence which he knew, which the other, it may be, neither did
nor could foresee. I gave you an instance before how it is con-
demned and written against by the British church here in this island^
and many more instances of the same nature might be added

The Hildebrandine branch of your supremacy, — I mean the powet
that you challenge over kings and potentates, ** in ordine ad spiritu-
alia," — ^which, having made some progress by insensible degrees, was
enthroned by Pope Gregory VII., hath as little escaped opposition,
censure, and condemnation, as any heresy whereinto your church
is fallen. This Gregory may be accounted the chief father of this
heresy; for he licked the unshapen monster into that terrible form
wherein it hath since ranged about on the earth. What this man's
principles and practices were, I shall not desire you to learn of
Cardinal Benno, whom yet I have reason to judge the more impartial
writer of the two, but of Cardinal Baronius, who makes it his business
to extol him to the skies: "Facit eum apud nos deum, virtutes
nanrat," — " He makes almost a god of him ;" or at least SiJfcr i^hpa^ as
Socrates tells us the Lacedemonians called an excellent man, Plato
in Menn. The chief kingdoms of Europe, as England and Spain,
with Sicilia and Sardinia^ and sundry other principalities, he claimed
as his own unquestionable fea The empire he accounted his proper
care, making the deposing of emperors much of his businesa The

^ This translation is aooommodated from the ori^nal terms of the canon. To giTe
the fall ipeaning, the Greek quotation should be completed by the addition of the fol-
lowing words: •# i»i/ffiv fuyrnXwurtm vfAyfunwu — Ed.



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232 A VINDICATIOir OF T»E ANIMADVEBSIOKS ON FIAT LUX.

priBoiples lie proceeded upou, the same cardlnil informs us of ia his
Anoaia, ad aa 107$, o. SO. Juxd he hath done well to record them,
that they might be preserved " in perpetuam rei memoriamy'' that
we might learn what your great father exercised himself about, - *

''Diim 8a0m«i p«M>ri et lac BidMladiiir ftgnifl,'' Yirg. E^
whilst the poor sheep £Bimished for want of knowledge and instruc-
tion. They are called " Dictata Papsa/' and " ex tripode" we may
not doubt, being in number twenty-seven; whoreof I shall mind you
of a few. The fii*st is^ ** Quod Bomana ecclesia a solo Domino sit
Amdata;" - -** That the Roman church was foxmded by the Lord
alone." (2.) "Quod solus Romanuspontifex jure dicatur universalis;''
-^^^ That the Roman bishop is rightfully called universal.'' So some
think, indeed, ever since Pope Gregory I. taught them that he who
assumed that title wa^ a forerunner of antichrist (3.) '^ Quod ille
solus possit deponere episcopos, vel reconciliare;" — " That he alone
can depose bii^ops, or restore them ;" which agrees well with the
practice of all the councils from that of Antioch, which deposed
Paulus Samosatenus. (7.) " Quod illi soli licet, pro temporis necessi-
tate, novas leges condere;" — "That he alone, as necessity requires, can
Qiake new lawa" Let him proceed. (8.) '* Quod solus possit uti im-
perialibus inaigniis;"-^" He alone can use imperial ensigna" It is
a great kindness in him, doubtless^ to lend them to any of his neigh-
bours, or rather subject-kings. (9.) '^ Quod solius pap» pedes omnes
principes deosculentur;"< — " That it is the pope alone whose feet all
princes may or ought to kiss." Yea, and it is a kindness if he kick
not their crowns from their heads with his foot, as one did our King
John's; or tread upon their necks, as another did on the Emperor
Frederio'a" (ll,)"Quod unicum est nomen in mundo,* — papse scilicet;"
— " That there is only one name in the world, — to wit, tibi^t of the
pope ; " no other name, it seems, given under heaven. Once more, (1 2.)
" Quod illi liceat Imp^ratores deponere;" — " That it is lawful for him
to depose emperors." I hope you will not be offended at the calling
over these h^i^es because the so doing is not suited to our present
design. I took them out of your Cardinal Baronius, in the place
above quoted, who hath placed them as on a pillar, Y. D. P. ll P.,^
*— " Where they may be easily read by all men." Ajid that you may
not think t^at these were the hereaiee of Gregory alone, Uie same
Baronius affirms that these Dictates were confirmed in a synod at
Rome, whereby they became the heresies of your whole ohurcL Did
Peter thus feed the sheep of Christ ? seeing '* Pasce oves meas^" is
the great pretence for all these exorbitancea Alas, —

** Hio alienus oym onstos bis mulget in hor%" Yirg. Ed. iiL 6^
all this is but the shearing, milking, and slaying of a stranger, the

' breTiatiooi for TJndB De Piano Legi Poflsihty — ** From irhioli tbey oaa be
V* Siglarium Bomanum. — £0.



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APOSTASY OF THBROKISHCHUBCH. 283

shepherds being driyezi into comera But baye theee ncnfiome heresies
of your diurch, thiiik you, passed without contrd ? Was she not
judged, censured, written against, and oondenmed in the person of
her chief pastor! You must be a very stranger unto all history if
you can imagine any such thin^ A coundl assembled by the em*
peror at Worms, in Germany, redcons up the miscarriages of this



Online LibraryAndrew Thomson John OwenThe works of John Owen, Volume 14 → online text (page 28 of 67)