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cene Fathers; and that even the worship of the Virgin Mary is supported by extracts from spurious works ascribed to some of the Nicene Fathers. 10. That there is not a Romish error which cannot be refuted by extracts from the works of the Fathers. 11. That whilst most of the Fathers held the doctrine of justification by faith, many of them adopted Cyprian's notion that post baptismal sins were expiated by alms and sufferings, .# is the seminal principle of Romanism. 12. That it is impossible that a satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at in any controversy, where the works to which a reference is made as authorities are not in the hands of the public. Any doctrine, however erroneous, may be proved by garbled quotations even from the Scriptures, as was the case in the middle ages when the laity did not possess the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. The works of the Fathers are, for the most part, untranslated into English; they fill many ponderous folios; few persons have access to them; comparatively few persons can read and understand them; and very few persons have leisure for collating them and studying them. Hence a controversy which is to be decided by their o: can never be satisfactorily concluded. 13. Nevertheless, as Roman Catholics pretend that the doctrines of the Reformed churches are novel, and have no patristic authority to support them, and that the Fathers of the primitive ages of Christianity are unanimously in favour of the Church of Rome, it is very useful to refute this fallacy by well-authenticated extracts from their genuine works. 14. It is but doing justice to the memory of the Nicene Fathers to remark, to: many of their works are distinguished by research and eloquence; that they contain important information respecting the history of the Church; that they enable us to prove the genuineness of the Apostolic writings; and that they contain much that is profitable and spiritual. But they are not free from many and serious errors, and it is generally acknowledged that their works have been interpolated and corrupted by copyists in succeeding ages. It is essential, therefore, to read them with great caution, and to prove all their opinions by the Word of God; for they lived at a period when fanaticism and superstition, and various heresies abounded, and when asceticism and eloquence was more regarded by the people and priests, who elected the bishops, than the o

preaching and Christian virtues of Apostolic ministers, whose works have doubtless been lost in consequence of their being unpalatable to the monks, who were the chief copyists in the middle ages. The difficulty which exists in separating the true from the spurious works of the Fathers is fully set forth by the Benedictine editors of Chrysostom and Basil.

S. Patris nostri Joannis Chrysostomi, Archiep. Constanti. opera omnia quæ extant, operâ et studio B. Bernardi de Montfaucon, Monachi ordinis Benedicti, &c. Parisiis, 1839. Tom. i. Præfatio. D. B. de Montfaucon.

VI. De ingenti operum numero, quæ Chrysostomi nomen ementiuntur.

In illâ verò tantâ anecdotorum sylvâ, spuria bene multa reperiuntur. Nam innumeri pene Græculi, non ingenio minùs, quàm ætate dispares, cùm nec famâ celebrarentur nec suapte opera nomen sibi parere posse confiderent, mutuato Chrysostomi nomine, aliquam sperabant scriptis suis adjici dignitatem ; hinc accedit ut plerumque imperitorum hominum nugis malè auctus sit tam peritus artifex. Non hæc una fuit tam immanis accessionis causa ; siquidem bibliopola veteres, ut libros pluris venderent, præmisso ementitoque Chrysostomi nomine emptores hâc arte alliciebant. Ex illis autem spuriis ea solùm publicare animus est, quæ alicujus sunt momenti; cætera autem inepta atque futilia, utpote digna tenebris, intacta manebunt.

Tom. v.

Præfatio. IX. Novum certè spectaculum offerimus, cùm spuria in Psalmos, et Joanni Chrysostomo falsò adscripta simul edimus. Ibi enim varia fraudum genera deprehendimus ; dum alii suas vel homilias in Psalmos, vel Psalmorum interpretationes Joanni Chrysostomo adscribunt: alii præmissis quibusdam exordiis ex diversorum scriptis homilias, vel Psalmorum expositiones consarcinant. Tanta quippe erat 8. doctoris fama, tanta ejus apud omnes existimatio, ut quidquid illius nomen præ se ferret, passim ut eximium admitteretur; illo videlicet ævo cùm paucissimi essent qui possent distinguere pretiosum a vili, &c.

Sancti Patris nostri Basilii, Cæsarea Cappadociæ Archiepiscopi, opera omnia, &c.

Operâ et studio domini Juliani Garnier, presbyteri et monachi Benedictini, &c. (Parisiis, 1721.)

Tom. i. Præfatio.

Reliquum erat ut vera Basilii opera a falsis secernerem : quæ secretio negotium mihi exhibuit vel maximum cùm adducantur in controversiam non pauca quædam scripta, sed omnia. Et verò dissident inter se eruditi de numero homiliarum in Hexameron et in Psalmos. Orationes illæ una et triginta non omnes uni et eidem scriptori tribuuntur. Duo quos habemus de baptismo libri revocantur in dubium a quibusdam. In controverso est liber de verâ virginitate. Amplissimus ille in priora sexdecim Esaiæ capita non caret suspicione omni. De quinque in Eunomium libris non una est omnium sententia. Sunt

quos non puduit ultima quindecim libri de Spiritu Sancto capita, eaque præcipua, in falsis et subdititiis ponere. Antiquorum et recentiorum de asceticis opiniones inter se concordes non sunt. Vix certi quiddam definiri potest de liturgiâ. Jurgiorum ac discordiarum quoddam quasi seminarium continent epistola. Nam quo anno, quo mense, a quo, ad quem, quâ de re conscriptæ sint, quotidie vehementer acriterque disputatur. Quàm autem proclive sit, in tantâ hac rerum ac sententiarum varietate tanquam in illuni nocte errare, vident, opinor,

omnes, &c.

Tom. ii. Præfatio. Fortasse nullum est hominum genus, qui magis nocuerint bonis studiis, quàm eorum, qui vera sanctorum Patrum Scripta cum falsis miscuere. Quot enim mala hinc et olim nata sint et hodiè nascantur, nemo, qui non omninò rerum ecclesiasticarum rudis sit, ignorat. Dogmata obscurantur, fædantur moralia, historia vacillat, traditio perturbatur, et, ut verbo dicam, si semel apud Sanctos Patros genuina cum adulterinis confundantur, omnia inter se confundi necesse est.

2. Ejus, quod dixi, mali frequentiora sunt exempla, quàm ut aliqua referre opus sit; in memoriam tamen revocabo impudentiam Apollinaristarum et Eutychianorum, qui cùm sua pro sinceris ac germanis sanctorum patrum scriptis promulgassent, ita totam infestarunt ecclesiam, ut ejusmodi vulnus

coalescere ac sanari necdum potuerit. Nam hodieque tanta est dissentio inter eruditos de quorundam scriptorum auctore, ut si quis aut magni illius Athanasii episcopi Alexandrini, aut Julii summi Pontificis, aut Gregorii Thaumaturgi testimonium aliquod proferat, statim audias qui dicant non Athanasium, non Julium, non Gregorium talia dixisse, sed Apollinarium, cujus olim opuscula quædam summis illis viris subdole tributa sunt, quò faciliùs simpliciores in errorem inducerentur. * Sed ut nunc de Apollinaristis et Eutychianis taceam, universè dicam innumera incommoda eodem illo ex fonte fluxisse. Videas vel eruditissimos viros, quod in ejusmodi libros subdititios inciderint, quôvis potius pervenire, quàm quò volunt, eosdemque interea dum scopum attigisse se arbitrantur, ab eo sæpius quam longissimè abesse. Credis aliquando antiquissimos et gravissimos scriptores rerum gravissimarum testes adhiberi, et tamen si res attentius consideretur, hominis et recentissimi et abjectissimi testimonium profertur. Etsi autem illa quasi lues nemini pepercit: tamen nescio quomodo contigit, ut Basilius pejùs ea in re quàm alii sancti sancti Patres acceptus sit. Ita enim vera ejus scripta permiscentur falsis, ut, nisi alia ab aliis diligenter distinguuntur, errandi occasio passim legentibus offeratur, &c.

An exposition of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans was ascribed to Ambrose, and generally received as his for many centuries, and it is referred to as his in the Second Homily on Salvation of the Church of England. “And St. Ambrose, a Latin author, saith these words—This is the ordinance of God, that they which believe in Christ should be saved without works, by faith only.'” The Benedictine editor, after a very elaborate investigation, decides that Ambrose did not write it. The following extract from his preface is given to shew how generally it was received as the composition of Ambrose, and for how long a period.

The Church of Rome has never given a canon of the writings of the Fathers.

+ The same observations apply to the Commentary on the Psalms, by so many persons and for so long a period ascribed to Jerome, and to many other works of the Fathers.

Sancti Ambrosii Mediolanensis Episcopi opera, &c., studio et labore Monachorum ordinis S. Benedicti, e congregatione S. Mauri. (Parisiis, 1690.) Tom. ii. Commentaria in Epistolam ad Romanos.

In subsequentia commentaria admonitio. Quantum olim multis sæculo conspiratum est, ut sequens opus Sancto Ambrosio tribueretur, tanta consensione quotquot nunc viri eruditi audiunt, illud eidem volunt adjudicatum. Etenim jam inde a nono secolo Hincmarus, ecclesia Lugdunensis, concilium Aquisgranense tertium, Amalarius, Prudentius, Haymo, et plures alii ejusdem temporis auctores multa ex his ipsis commentariis sub Ambrosio nomine protulerunt. Rabbanus Hincmari synchronus in expositione Paulinarum Epistolarum ex patribus collecta plurimos locos in quinque priores epistolas adducit tamquam verè Ambrosianos, qui re vera extant in his nostris Commentariis. Inde quoque nonnulla in priorum ejusdem Pauli Epistolarum explicationem transtulit Sedulius, Ambrosii nomine semel adscripto. Lanfrancus etiam in sua compilatione Sancto Doctori adtribuit ea fragmenta, quæ ex hoc opere mutuatus est. Denique hoc opus pro Ambrosiano admissum fuit a Gratiano, P. Lombardo, Ivone Caruntensi, aliisque innumeris. Veruntamen cùm tam universalis opinio Erasmo, Turriano, aliisque non usque adeò certa visa esset, illam deinceps, re penitus examinata uno calculo omnes proscripsere. Quamobrem actum agere nobis videremur, si longius in probandâ re sane quam exploratissimâ immora

The Fathers did not hesitate to criticize the works of other fathers. Origen and Tertullian adopted heretical opinions.

remur.

Jerome charges Tertullian and Origen with error.

Apologia Hieronymi adversus Ruffinum. Tom. ii. p. 365. Mariani Victorii, Episcopi Reatini, (Parisiis, 1602.)

In Tertulliano laudamus ingenium, sed damnamus heresin; in Origene miramur scientiam scripturarum, et tamen dogmatum non recipimus falsitatem.

Hieronymus adversus Vigilantium. Epist. 75. Tom. ii. p. 479.-(Editio ut supra.)

Origenes hæreticus? Quid ad me, qui illum in plerisque

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