Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

or pieces of money, and not worthy to be called bread, being such which no nation ever used at their meals for bread. But this is one of the innovations, which they have introduced into the religious rites of Christianity, and it is little noted, they having so many greater changes to answer for.

But it seems this section was too hot for them, they loved not much to meddle with it; and therefore I shall add no more fuel to their displeasure, but desire the reader, who would fully understand what is fit to be said in this question, to read it in a book of mine which I call Ductor Dubitantium,' or the 'Cases of Conscience';' only I must needs observe, that it is an unspeakable comfort to all Protestants, when so manifestly they have Christ on their side in this question against the church of Rome. To which I only add, that for above seven hundred years after Christ, it was esteemed sacrilege in the church of Rome to abstain from the cup, and that, in the ordo Romanus,' the communion is always described with the cup; how it is since, and how it comes to be so, is too plain. But it seems the church hath power to dispense in this affair, because St. Paul said, that the "ministers of Christ are dispensers of the mysteries of God:" as was learnedly urged in the council of Trent in the doctrine about this question.

SECTION V.

Of the Scriptures and Service in an unknown Tongue. THE question being still upon the novelty of the Roman doctrines and practices; I am to make it good that the present article and practice of Rome are contrary to the doctrine and practice of the primitive church. To this purpose I alleged St. Basil in his sermon or book "de Variis Scripturæ locis:" but, say my adversaries, there is no such book". Well! was there such a man as St. Basil? If so, we are well enough; and let these gentlemen be pleased to look into his works printed at Paris, 1547, by Carola Guillard, and in p. 130, he shall see this book, sermon, or hoa E. W. p. 45. and A. L. p. 25.

z Lib. 2. chap. 3. rule 9.

[ocr errors]

mily, 'in aliquot scripturæ locos,' at the beginning of which he hath an exhortation in the words placed in the margent; there we shall find the lost sheep the beginning of it is an exhortation to the people, congregated to "get profit and edification by the Scriptures read at morning-prayer, the monitions in the Psalms, the precepts of the Proverbs; search ye the beauty of the history, and the examples, and add to these the precepts of the apostles. But in all things join the words of the Gospel, as the crown and perfection; that receiving profit from them all, ye may at length turn to that to which every one is sweetly affected, and for the doing of which he hath received the grace of the Holy Spirit"."

b

Now this difficulty being over, all that remains for my own justification is, that I make it appear that St. Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, Aquinas, and Lyra, do respectively exhort to the study of the Scriptures, exhorting even the laity to do so, and testify the custom of the ancient church in praying in a known tongue, and commending this as most useful, and condemning the contrary as being useless and without edification. I shall in order set down the doctrine they deliver, in their own words; and then the impertinent cavils of the adversaries will of themselves come to nothing. St. Chrysostom commenting upon St. Paul's words concerning preaching and praying for edification, and so as to be understood; coming to those words of St. Paul, 'If I pray with my tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my mind is without fruit,'-"you see" (saith he) "how, a little extolling prayer, he shews, that he who is such a one (viz. as the Apostle there describes) is not only unprofitable to others, but also to himself, since his mind is without fruit."-Now if a man, praying what he understands not, does not, cannot profit himself; how can he that stands by, who understands no more, be profited by that which does him that speaks no good? For God understands though he does not; and yet he that so prays, reaps no benefit to himself, and therefore neither can any man that understands no more. The affirm

a Recordemini, quæso, ex his spiritualibus sermonibus qui lecti sant medicinæ. Reminiscamini earum, quæ sunt in psalmis, monitionum; proverbialia præcepta, historia pulchritudinem, exemplaque investigate. His addite apostolica mandata. In omnibus vero, tanquam coronida perfectionemque, verba evangelica conjungite, ut ex omnibus utilitatem capientes, ad id demum convertatis, et revertamini ad quod quisque jucundè est affectus, et ad quod obeundum gratiam à spiritu sancto accepit. 35. Homil. in 1 Cor. xiv. chap.

VOL. XI.

K

ation is plain, and the reason cogent. To the same purpose are the words of St. Chrysostom, which A. L. himself quotes out of him; "If one speaks in only the Persian tongue, or some other strange tongue, but knows not what he saith, certainly he will be a barbarian even to himself, and not to another only, because he knows not the force of the words." This is no more than what St. Paul said before him; but they all say, that he who hears and understands not, whether it be the speaker or the scholar, is but a barbarian. Thus also St. Ambrose in his commentary upon the words of St. Paul: "The Apostle says, It is better to speak a few words, that are open or understood, that all may understand, than to have a long oration in obscurity:" that is his sense for reading and preaching: now for prayer he adds, "The unskilful man, hearing what he understands not, knows not when the prayer ends, and answers not Amen, that is, 'So be it,' or 'It is true,' that the blessing may be established:" and a little after, " If ye meet together to edify the church, those things ought to be said, which the hearers may understand. For what profit is it to speak with a tongue, when he that hears, is not profited? Therefore he ought to hold his peace in the church, that they who can profit the hearers, may speak."-St. Austin' compares" singing in the church without understanding to the chattering of parrots and magpies, crows and jackdaws. But to sing with understanding is by the will of God given to man. And we who sing the divine praises in the church, must remember that it is written, 'Blessed is the people that understands singing of

c P. 25.

d In 1 Cor. xiv.

* Utilius dicit (Apostolus) paucis verbis in apertione sermonis loqui, quod omnes intelligant, quàm prolixam orationem habere in obscuro. Imperitus enim audiens quod non intelligit, nescit finem orationis, et non respondet Amen, id est, verum, ut confirmetur benedictio. Et in hæc verba 'Nam tu quidem bene gratias agis' de eo dicit qui cognita sibi loquitur, quia scit quid dicit: 'sed alius non ædificatur:' si utique ad ecclesiam ædificandam convenitis, ea debent dici quæ intelligant audientes. Nam quid prodest ut lingua loquatur quam solus scit, ut qui audit, nihil proficiat. Ideò tacere debet in ecclesiâ, ut ii loquantur qui prosunt audientibus.

f St. August. in 2. Comment. in Ps. xviii. Deprecati Dominum ut ab occultis nostris mundet nos, et ab alienis parcat servis suis, quid hoc sit intelligere debemus, ut humanâ ratione, non quasi avium voce, cantemus. Nam et Merulæ, et Psittaci, et Corvi, et Picæ, et hujusmodi volucres, sæpe ab hominibus docentur sonare quod nesciunt. Scienter autem cantare non avi sed homini Divinâ voluntate concessum est.— Et paulo post :-Nos autem qui in ecclesiâ divina eloquia cantare didicimus, simul etiam instare debemus esse quod scriptum est, Beatus populus qui intelligit jubilationem :' proinde charissimi quod consonâ voce cantavimus, sereno etiam corde nosse ac videre debemus.

praises.' Therefore, most beloved, what with a joined voice we have sung, we must understand and discern with a serene heart." To the same purpose are the words of Lyra and Aquinas, which I shall not trouble the reader withal here, but have set them down in the margent, that the strange confidence of these Romanists, outfacing notorious and evident words, may be made, if possible, yet more conspicuous.

In pursuance of this doctrine of St. Paul and the fathers, the primitive Christians in their several ages and countries were careful, that the Bible should be translated into all languages where Christianity was planted. That the Bibles were in Greek is notorious; and that they were used among the people St. Chrysostom is witness, that it was so, or that it ought to be so. For he exhorts," Vacemus ergo Scripturis, dilectissimi," &c. "Let us set time apart to be conversant in the Scripture, at least in the Gospels; let us frequently handle them to imprint them in our minds, which because the Jews neglected, they were commanded to have their books in their hands ;-but let us not have them in our hands, but in our houses and in our hearts:" by which words we may easily understand, that all the churches of the Greek communion had the Bible in their vulgar tongue, and were called upon to use them as Christians ought to do, that is, to imprint them in their hearts: and speaking of St. John and his Gospel, he says that the Syrians, Indians, Persians, and Ethiopians, and infinite other nations, εἰς τὴν αὐτῶν μεταβαλόντες γλῶτταν τὰ περὶ τούτου δόγματα εἰσαχθέντα, ἔμαθον ἄνθρωποι βάρβαροι φιλοσοpav; 'they grew wise by translating his (St. John's) doctrines into their several languages.'-But it is more that St. Austin says: "The divine Scripture, by which help is supplied

$

f Tho. Aquin. in 1 Cor. xiv. Ille qui intelligit reficitur, et quantum ad intellectum et quantum ad affectum; sed mens ejus qui non intelligit, est sine fructu refectionis. And again : Quantum ad fructum devotionis spiritualis, privatur qui non attendit ad ea quæ orat, seu non intelligit.-Lyra: Cæterum hic consequenter idem ostendit in oratione publicâ, quia si populus intelligat orationem seu benedictionem sacerdotis, melius reducitur in Deum et devotius Amen.-And again: Propter quod in ecclesia primitivà benedictiones et cætera omnia lege communia fiebant in vulgari., For of common things,' that is, things in public the Dissuasive speaks, common prayers, common preachings, common eucharists and thanksgivings, common blessings. All these and all other public and common things being used in the vulgar tongue in the primitive; communia' and 'omnia' are equivalent, but communia' is Lyra's word.

"

Homil. 1. in Joh. viii.

Homil 1. in viii. Johan. Videat lector S. Basil, in Ascert. in 278. resp, in regul. brevior. et Cassidore.

to so great diseases, proceeded from one language which opportunely might be carried over the whole world, that, being by the various tongues of interpreters scattered far and wide, it might be made known to the nations for their salvation." And Theodoret speaks yet more plainly; "We have manifestly shewn to you the inexhausted strength of the apostolic and prophetic doctrine; for the universal face of the earth, whatsoever is under the sun, is now full of those words. For the Hebrew books are not only translated into the Greek idiom, but into the Roman tongue, the Egyptian, Persian, Indian, Armenian, Scythian, Sauromatic languages; and, that I may speak once for all, into all tongues, which at this day the nations use."-By these authorities of these fathers we may plainly see, how different the Roman doctrine and practice are from the sentiment and usages of the primitive church, and with what false confidence the Roman adversaries deny so evident truth, having no other way to make their doctrine seem tolerable, but by outfacing the known sayings of so many excellent persons; and especially of St. Paul, who could not speak his mind in apt and intelligible words, if he did not, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, exhort the church to pray and prophesy so as to be understood by the catechumens, and by all the people; that is, to do otherwise than they do in the Roman church. Christianity is a simple, wise, intelligible, and easy religion; and yet if a man will resolve against any proposition, he may wrangle himself into a puzzle, and make himself not to understand it so, though it be never so plain: what is plainer than the testimony of their own Cajetan ", "that it were

1

1 De Doctrin. Christianâ, lib. 2. c. 5. Ex quo factum est, ut etiam scriptura divina, quâ tantis morbis humanarum voluntatum subvenitur, ab unâ linguâ profecta, quæ opportunè potuit per orbem terrarum disseminari, per varias interpretum linguas longe lateque diffusa innotesceret gentibus ad salutem.

Theodoret. lib. 5. de Curand. Græc. affect. Nos autem verbis apostolicæ propheticæque doctrinæ inexhaustum robur manifestě ostendimus. Universa enim facies terræ, quantacunque soli subjicitur, ejusmodi verborum plena jam est. Hebræi verò libri non modo in Græcum idioma conversi sunt, sed in Romanam quoque linguam, Egyptiam, Persicam, Indicam, Armenicanique et Scythicam, atque adeò Sauromaticam, semelque ut dicam, in linguas omnes quibus ad hunc diem nationes utuntur.

1 Quamvis per se bonum sit at officia divina celebrentur eâ linguâ quam plebs intelligat, id enim per se confert ad ædificationem, ut bene probat hic locus. Estius in 1. Ep. Cor. cap. xiv.

m Respon. ad artic. pacis. Magis fore ad ædificationem ecclesiæ, ut preces valgari linguâ conciperentur. Ex hâc doctrinâ Pauli habetur quod melius ad ædificationem ecclesiæ est, orationes publicas, quæ audiente populo, dicantur, dici linguâ communi clericis et popuło, quàm dici Latinâ. Idem in 1 Cor. xiv.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »