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is as much in use among them as it is among us, and they are no less persuaded than we are of the necessity of it, this practice and the general persuasion of all christians touching the necessity of this prac
and the dead," says Alex. Ross in his View of the Religions of Europe, p, 479.
3. “ The Greeks of Venice and all other Greeks," says Bishop Forbes, Consid. Modest, de Sacr. Euch. p. 422, adore Christ in the eucharist, and who dare either impeach or condemn all these christians of idolatry.” “ When the sacrament is carried through the temple," says Alexander Ross, p. 479, “ the people, by bowing themselves, adore it, and falling on their knees kiss the earth." - 4. “ The Greeks reckon seven sacraments," says the Atlas Geographicus out of Sir Paul Ricaut, vol. 2, p. 1724, “ the same with the church of Rome."
5. “They are no less for church authority and tradition than Ros man Catholics are," says Alexander Ross, p. 479.
6. “ They agree (with Rome) in praying to saints; in auricular confession ; in offering of sacrifice and prayers for the dead," says Sir Edwin Sandys. “ They place much of their devotion,” says Alexander Ross, “ in the worship (he should say veneration) of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of painted, but not carved images, in the intercession, prayers, help, and merits of the saints, whom they invocate in their temples," p. 479.
As for auricular confession, the Atlas Geographicus also takes notice out of Sir Paul Rycant, p. 1722. 1. “That the Greeks of note are obliged to confess four times a year; their clergy once a month, and the labouring people once a year: the priests oblige them to confess every thing, saying, they cannot otherwise release them."
And as for prayers for the dead, “ they believe," says Alex. Ross, p. 479, “that the souls of the dead are bettered by the prayers of the living."
7. “They do not hold,” says Alex. Ross, p. 479, “ a purgatory fre, (that is to say, they are not willing to acknowledge a fire in purgatory; nor are Catholics obliged to hold there is) yet they believe," says he "a third place between that of the blessed and the damned, where they remain who have deferred repentance until the end of their life. But if this place be not purgatory, I know not what it is; nor what the souls do there."
tice, must necessarily be anterior to the separation of the Greeks
Here is a reflection which even good sense ough naturally to have suggested to Kemnitius and his reforming brethren, and which
8. “ The Greeks place justification," says the same author, "not in faith alone, but in works."
9." They celebrate their liturgy in the old Greek tongue, which they scarce understand," says the same writer, p. 48), and Mr. Breere wood, in his Enquiries, chap. 2, p. 12, tells us that the difference is become so great between the present and the ancient Greek, that their liturgy yet read in the ancient Greek tongue, is not understood, or but little of it, by the vulgar people.”
10. “ Their Monks," says Alex. Ross, are all of St. Basil's or. der; the patriarchs, metropolites and bishops, are of this order, and abstain from Besk: but in Lent and other fasting times, they forbear also fish, milk, and eggs,' p. 481.
11. “ The same author, p. 496, in remarking the differences between the Greeks and protestants, gives us to understand that “ they permit not marriage to their priests after their ordination."
Thus far Protestant witnesses, respecting the consent of the Greeks, with the church of Rome, in the greatest part of our mos dern controversies with Protestants. To which Archbishop Whitgift, in his defence against Cartwright, Tract. 8. p. 473, adds the doctrines of free-will, merits, &c. And indeed so many other articles might be added, that we may advance with truth, that setting aside the dispute about “ the procession of the Holy Ghost,” (which together with the ambition of Photius, gave the first origin of the schism) and the controversy, about consecrating in unleavened bread, (from which Michael Cerularius, took occasion to renew the breach) the faith of both churches would to this day have been the same. For as to the article of the Pope's supremacy, it neither was any occasion of the breach at first, nor ever obstructed any of the negotia. tions, that have so often since been made for the re-union of the churches, since we do not find in history, that the schismatics, ever objected much to this, so that their disowning the Pope's supremacy, may be considered, but as the natural consequence of their schism : for what rebel, whether in church or in state, would ever yet acknowledge that authority by which he was condemned.
What has been here said of the tenets of the Greeks, is to be ex
independently of the knowledge of books and those authors who have written on confession, should have prevented them from taking a ground which they must have knowa to be untenable, and for which
tended also to the Melchites in Syria, the Georgian and all those people that are of the Greek faith and communion in Asia; as also to the Russians, or muscovites in Europe, who are of the same reliligion : for whose doctrine and ceremonies, see Alexander Ross. p. 486, 487, 488. in short to the Armenians, who are very much spread through Persia, Mesopotamia, both the Armenians, &c. &c.
As a further confirmation of the above, I must not omit to set down the answer of Jeremias, Patriarch of Constantinople in 1574, to some Protestant Divines of Wittemberg, who had presented him the confession of Ausbourg, translated into Greek, for his approbation. This confession was accompanied with a letter in which; as they knew that the Greeks bighly approved of the seven first coun. cils, in order to flatter them, they had inserted the following deceptive clause : “ We hope, (said they) that although there may exist be: tween us a difference in some ceremonies, by reason of the distance of places, you will nevertheless perceive that we have introduced no innovation in the principal things'necessary to salvation, and that we embrace and hold, as far as we are able to understand, the faith which has been taught us by the Apostles, Prophets, and holy Fa. thers inspired by the Holy Ghost, and by the seven councils estab lished and founded on the holy Scriptures." It was impossible for these Wittemberg divines not to see that these words written to Greeks, would naturally give them to understand and believe, that the Reformers did actually receive the seven first councils ; which, however, they knew was not true, principally with regard to the se. venth council. It is therefore very visible that they would not be sorry to see the Greeks led into this mistake to their advantage, and esteem them more devoted and attached to the Fathers and councils, than they were in reality, provided this deception, should render them more favourable to their doctrine.
But the Greeks were not to be so easily ensnared. Jeremias, the then Patriarch of Constantinople, saw through their design, and in his reply to their articles, expatiated at some length and with great freedom upon the novelty of their opinions, and condemned all
we reproach them with so much justice. This is one of those ignorances that may be styled voluntary and affected, fostered and maintained by passion, the spirit of party, a vicious obstinacy and a mali.
This he did in three separate letters, which were after wards published with the whole correspondence, in 1581, and in which he, at the same time, pointed out the great disagreement in their belief. In his last letter to them, he thus expresses himself, speaking of the sacraments.
« Since you admit, says he, some of them only, and even these “ with errors, and reject the others as mere traditions which are not "only, not contained in the scripture, but even are contrary to it, 6 by corrupting the textse as well of the old as of the new testament, « in order to accommodate them to your own sense : since you pre4 tend that the divine John Chrysostom, who approves of Chrism, "suffered himself to be carried away by the torrent; and that by thus “ rejecting the Fathers, you arrogate to yourselves the title of Theo“ logians: since you believe the invocation of saints to be a vain and "idle notion; you despise their images, their holy relics and the “honour which is paid them, in imitation of the Jews; since you * abolish the confession of sins, which we make one to another, and
the monastic life so much resembling that of Angels; we declare " to you, that the words of the scripture which contain these truths, Só have not been interpreted by such like Theologians as you, nor
was St. Chrysostom, nor any of those genuine Theologians ever (carried away by the torrent. This saint, and those resembling so him, were men full of the Holy Ghost. They have wrought "miracles and wonders, both during their life-time and after their “ death; and these are the men who have explained the scripture to
us, and who having received these traditions as being necessary and pious, have transmitted them to us, as it were, from hand to hand,
through an uninterrupted tradition: Ancient Rome observes and embraces many of them. How, therefore, could you be so bold
as to believe that you have considered all these things better, than “ both ancient and new Rome? And how have you dared to aban. e don the sentiments of those genuine Theologians, in order to pre« fer yours to theirs ?” And in order to rid himself entirely of all future importunities, he concludes his third answer, in the following
cious envy to render the most holy practices of the catholic religion contemptible; an ignorance for which there is no excuse either before God or before men,
manner : “ We pray you to give us no further trouble, and to write
to us no more, nor to send us any more of your writings upon these “ matters. You treat those great luminaries of the church, those f' great Theologians too much as your equals.
your equals. You pretend “ to honour them with your lips, but you discard them in effect; and “ you wish to destroy the efficacy of our arms, which are their di« vine discourses, hy which we are able to combat your opinions. " Thus you will rid us of trouble. Go then your own way, and write
to us no more on the subject of dogmas, but, if you are willing, « only upon topics of mere civility and friendship.” This was the last letter of the Patriarch Jeremias to the Protestants, who expected, or rather hoped, to find him a warm admirer of the doctrines of the Reformation; and in order to succeed the better, had taken care to prepare the way, (after the example of Melancthon, who had already sent an insidious letter to Joseph, bis immediate predecessor in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to which he received no an: swer) towards conciliating his esteem, by declaring that they receiv. ed and acknowledged the seven first general councils, which they knew to be irreconcileable with their principles, and which they had already more than once publicly disclaimed and rejected. I regret that ray limits will not permit me to insert the whole of this curious correspondence, which displays at once, in a manner equally clear and authentic, the great disagreement existing between the Greeks and Protestants, in almost every point in which Protestants dissent from us, and at the same time how perfectly (two points alone, as mentioned above, excepted, and one of which protestants hold as well as we) they agree and have always agreed with us: But I trust that what I have given of it, will suffice for my present purpose.