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EVIDENCES OF THE CORRUPTION
THE ANCIENT CHURCH.
Hegesippus apud Euseb. Lib. 3. Hist. c. 32. Colonie. 1612. δε
ιερος των αποστολων χορος διαφορον ειληφει του βιου τελος, παρεληλυθει τε η γενεα εκεινη των αυταις ακοαις της ενθεου σοφιας επακουσαι κατηξιωμενων, τηνικαυτα του αθεου πλανης την αρχην ελαμβανεν η συστασις, δια
της των ετεροδιδασκαλων απατης, οι και, ειτε μηδενος των αποστολων λειπομενου, γυμνη λοιπον ηδη τη κεφαλη, τω της αληθειας κήρυγματι την ψευδωνυμον γνωσιν αντικηρυττειν επεχειρουν.
Cyprianus de Lapsis. 4. Quia traditam nobis divinitus disciplinam pax longa corruperat, jacentem fidem et penè dixerim dormientem, censura celestis erexit.
Eusebius, Lib. 8. Historiarum, c. 1. ως δε εκ της επιπλειον ελευθεριας επι χαυνοτητα και νωθριαν τα καθ' ημας μετηλλαττετο, αλλων αλλοις διαφθονουμενων και διαλοιδοραιμενων, και μονονουχι ημων αυτων εαυτοις προσπολεμουντων οπλοις, ει ουτω τυχοι, και εορασι τους δια λογων, αρχοντων τε αρχoυσι προστρήγνυντων, και λαων επι λαους καταστασιαζοντων.
S. Gregorii Nazianzeni. Oratio Secunda. Sec. 80. (Creat. Epis.
αι. 328, obiit αη. 373. Bened. Edit.) Paristis. 1778. Τηρουμεν δε τας αλληλων αμαρτιας, ουχ ινα θρηνησωμεν, αλλ' ινα ονειδισωμεν, ουδε ινα θεραπευσωμεν, αλλ' ινα προσπληξωμεν, και απολογιαν εχωμεν των ημετερων κακων τα των πλησίον τραυματα.
82. Και ουχ ο λαος μεν ουτως, ο δε ιερευς ετερως: Αλλα μου νυν εκεινο πληρουσθαι δοκει καθαρος, το, γεγονεν ο ιερευς καθως ο λαος.
But now there is a danger, lest the order, which is the holiest of all, should become the most ridiculous of all. For authority is not more obtained by virtue, than by malice and wickedness, and the chairs belong not to the most worthy, but to the most powerful.
Jerome in his Life of Malchus. Paris, 1602. I have undertaken to describe in what manner and through whom the church of Christ was born and grew up; how it increased by persecutions, and was crowned by martyrdoms, from the advent of the Saviour, until the present age, that is, from the Apostles until the dregs of our time; and how after it came to Christian princes, it became greater in power and riches, but less in virtue.
Cyril of Jerusalem. Cat. 15. p. 208. Oron. 1703. Formerly, indeed, there were open heretics, but now the church is filled with concealed heretics. For men have failen away from the truth, and have itching ears. If your discourse be plausible, all listen with pleasure, but if you preach conversion all turn away; very many have deserted right preaching, and rather seek what is bad, than prefer what is good. This is, therefore, the falling away, and that enemy is to be looked for, and he has already in some measure begun to send forth his precursors, that he may come to the chase prepared. Be circumspect, therefore, O man, and strengthen thy soul.
St. Augustine's Exposition of the forty-ninth Psalm. When we see those who are the strength of the church yielding for the most part to offences, does not the body of Christ say, An enemy is breaking my bones? -- not only my flesh, but my bones, so that you may behold those yield to temptation in whom there was thought to be some strength, and thus the weak despair, when they see the strong give way. How great are these dangers, O my brethren!
Chrysostom's (or ruther un ancient father's, whose name is unknown, and whose works are bound up with, and by some ascribed to Chrysostom) forty-ninth sermon on the 24th chapter of Matthew.
Wherefore does he enjoin all Christians to betake themselves to the Scriptures ? because from the time that heresy first obtruded itself upon those churches, there can be no other proof of true Christianity, and no other refuge for Christians who are desirous of knowing the truth of the faith, except the divine Scriptures. For it was formerly shown in many ways which was the true church of Christ, and which was the gentile world, but now the true church of Christ can only be distinguished by the Scriptures. And wherefore ? Be
Oratio Quadragesina tertia. s. xxvi. Νυν δε κινδενευει, το παντων αγιωτατον ταγμα, των παρ' ημιν παντων ειναι καταγελαστοτατον. Ου γαρ εξ αρετης μαλλον, η κακουργιας, η προεδρια. Ουδε των αξιωτερων,αλλα των δυνατώτερων, οι θρονοι.
Hieronymus in vitâ Malchi. Parisiis. 1602. Scribere disposui ab adventu Salvatoris, usque ad nostram ætatem, id est, ab apostolis usq ad nostri temporius fæcem, quomodo et per quos Christi ecclesia nota fuit et adulta, persecutionibus creverit, martyris coronatu sit: et postquam ad Xtianos principes venit, potentia quidem et divitiis major, sed virtutibus minor facta sit.
Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. Cat. 15. p. 209.
Cat. 15. p. 209. Oxon. 1703. Και προτερον μεν ησαν φανεροι αιρετικοι, νυν δε πεπληρωται η εκκλησια κεκρυμμενων αιρετικων. Απεστησαν γαρ οι ανθρωποι από της αληθειας, και κνηθονται την ακοην λογος πιθανος, και παντες ακουουσιν ηδεως λογος επιστροφης, και παντες επιστρεφονται. Απεστησαν οι πλείστοι των ορθων λογων, και μαλλον το κακον αιρουνται, η τον αγαθον προαιρουνται: Αυτη τοινυν εστιν η αποστασια, και μελλει προσδοκασθαι ο εχθρος. Και τεως κατα μερος ηρξατο αποστελλειν τους εαυτου προδρομους, ινα ετοιμος ελθη λοιπον επι την θυραν. βλεπε, τοινυν σεαυτον, ανθρωπε, και ασφαλιζε την ψυχην.
Sancti Augustini Enarratio in 41. Psalnum. Parisiis. 1691.
Cum videainus fortes ecclesiæ plerumq scandalis cedere, nonne dicit corpus Christi, confringit inimicus ossa mea ?----- Non carnes meas tantùm, sed etiam ossa mea, ut in quibus putabatur esse aliqua fortitudo, videas cedere in tentationibus, ut cæteri infirmi desperent, quando fortes vident succumbere. Quanta ista pericula, fratres mei : ?
Chrysostom* in caput Matthæi 24. Hom. 49.—Latin Edn.
Basiled, 1539. Quare jubet in hoc tempore omnes Christianos conferre se ad Scripturas ! Quia in tempore hoc, ex quo obtulit heresis illas ecclesias, nulla probatio potest esse veræ Christianitatis, neque refugium potest esse Christianorum aliud, volentium cognoscere fidei veritatem nisi Scriptura divinæ. Antea enim multis modis ostendebatur quæ esset ecclesia Christi, et quæ gentilitas, nunc autem nullo modo cog
* It is doubtful whether these sermons were written by Chrysostom ; but at all events they are the production of the pen of some ancient father.
cause all those things, which in very deed are peculiar to Christ, those heresies possess also in their schism. They have in like manner churches, the divine Scriptures, bishops, and the other orders of the clergy, and baptism; but they differ in the Eucharist and all other things, and concerning Christ himself. If any one, therefore, is desirous of knowing which is the true church of Christ, how shall he discover her in the confusion of so great a resemblance, excepting only by the Scriptures ?
THE CORRUPTIONS OF THE LATIN CHURCH, AND MORE PARTICULARLY OF THE CHURCH OF ROME.
Commentary of Jerome upon the 133rd Psalm. The church does not consist of walls, but of true doctrine. Whereever the true faith is, there is the church. Fifteen or twenty years ago the heretics possessed all the walls of the churches which are here. Twenty years ago, the heretics possessed all these churches, but the true church was there, where the true faith was.
The Warning of Vincentius Lirinensis, Sect. 4. Also when the poison of the Arians had contaminated not a small portion, but almost the whole world, so that a kiud of darkness was suffused over the minds of almost all the Latin bishops, some of them being led astray by fraud, what was to be followed by preference in so great confusion? At that time every true lover and worshipper of Christ, by preferring antiquity to perfidious novelty, was not infected by any of the pestilence of that contagion.
THE FOURTH CENTURY.
Platina's Life of Liberius. An. Dom. 353. Upon this account Constantius, moved by their intreaties and prayers, recalled Liberius from his banishment, who, overcome by the emperor's kindness, and as some will have it, agreeing in all things with the heretics, held this opinion, nevertheless, in common with the Catholics, that heretics returning to the church, were not to be rebaptised.
But at length Constantius, at the instances of Ursatius and Valens, having ejected Felix, brought in Liberius. Whence so great a per: secution arose, that the priests and clergy were every-where slain even in the churches.
* The following evidences completely establish two positions. 1st. That the Church of Rome was not immaculate from the beginning of the fourth to the close of the ninth century. 2ndly. That from the close of the ninth up to the Council of Trent inclusive, i, e. for the space of 660 years, she was in a state of the most frightful corruption.
niscitur quæ sit vera ecclesia Christi, nisi tantummodo per Scripturas. Quare? Quia omnia hæc quæ sunt propriè Christi in veritate, habent et hæreses illæ in schismate: similiter ecclesias, similiter et ipsas Scripturas divinas, similiter episcopos cæterosque ordines clericorum, similiter baptismum, aliter Eucharistiani et cætera omnia, deniq ipsum Christum. Volens ergo quis cognoscere quæ sit vera ecclesia Christi, unde cognoscat in tantæ confusione imilitudinis, nisi tantummodo per Scripturas.
CORRUPTIONS OF THE LATIN CHURCH,
AND THE CHURCH OF ROME.
Comm. D. Hieromynii, In Ps. 133. Ecclesia non in parietibus consistit, sed in dogmatum veritate. Ecclesia ibi est, ubi fides vera est. Cæterùm ante annos quindecim aut viginti, parietes omnes hic ecclesiarum, hæretici possidebant. Ante viginti enim annos, omnes ecclesias has hæretici possidebant. Ecclesia autem vera illic erat, ubi vera fides erat.
Vincentii Lirinensis Commonitorium. s. 4. Parisiis, 1671. Item quando Arrianorum venenum non jam portiunculam quandam, sed penè orbem totum contaminaverat, aded ut propè cunctis Latini sermonis episcopis, partim vi, partim fraude deceptis, caligo quædam mentibus offunderetur, quidnam potissimùm in tanta rerum confusione sequendum foret ? tunc quisquis verus Christi amator et cultor extitit, antiquam fidem novellæ perfidiæ præferendo, nulla contagii ipsius peste contaminatus est.
Platina de Vita. Liberii. Chr. 353, Hanc ob rem rogatu et precibus eorundem, Constantius Liberium ab exilio revocat, qui imperatoris beneficio motus, cum hæreticis in rebus omnibus (ut quidam volunt) sentiens, illud tamen cum Catholicis tenebat, hæreticos ad fidem redeuntes, non esse rebaptizandos.
-Tandem verò Constantius, instigantibus Ursatio et Valente, pulso Felice, Liberium introduxit. Unde persecutio ita vehemens exorta est, ut in ecclesiis ipsis presbyteri et clerici passim necarentur.