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Christ, should be marked with the figure of the cross P What writing has taught us to turn towards the East when we pray P Which of the saints has left to us in writing the words of the invocation, at the exhibition of the bread of the eucharist, and of the cup of blessing P For we are not content with those words which the Apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but we say others both before and after, as possessing great authority in the mystery, receiving them from the unwritten teaching, and we bless also the water of baptism, and the oil of unction, and moreover the person himself who is baptized. From what Scriptures (have we learnt to do these things) P Is it not from a silent and mystical tradition? What written word has taught us even the unction of the oil P And whence comes the thrice dipping of a man P And the other things in baptism; the renouncing of Satan and his angels, from what Scripture (does this come)? Is it not (derived) from thatunpublished and undivulged tradition, which our fathers preserved in incurious and artless silence, having well learnt that the sacredness of the mysteries is preserved by silence?
The Nicene Creed.
Conciliorum omnium nova et amplissima collectio, in quâ praeter ea quae Phil. Labbaeus et Gab. Cossartius et novis
simé Nicolaus Coleti in lucem edidère, ea omnia insuper suis in locis optimè disposita exhibentur, quae Joannes Dominicus Mansi Lucensis, congregationis matris Dei evulgavit.—Tom. ii. p. 665. (Florentiae, 1759.)
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, that is to say of the essence of the Father. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made, both the things in heaven and those upon the earth. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down, and was incarnate, and became man. Who suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended into the heavens; and who shall come again to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost.
But those who say that there was a time when he did not exist, and that he did not exist before he was begotten, and that he was made out of nothing, and that he was of another substance or essence; or that the Son of God was created, or altered, or changed, these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.
These, therefore, having been read, the holy Council decreed that no one should be allowed to put forth, or to write, or to compose an other faith than that which was fixed by the holy Fathers who assembled at Nice with the Holy Spirit. And that those o should presume either to compose any other faith, or to produce it, or to resent it to those who should e desirous of being converted to a knowledge of the truth, either from Gentilism, or from Judaism, or from any heresy, if they were bishops or clergymen, that the bishops should be deprived of their episcopal office, and the clergy of their clerical office; and that if they were laymen they should be anathematized.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH AND SALWATION BY GRACE.
Many beautiful passages on these subjects are contained in writings of the Fathers; and yet, in other parts of their works, satisfaction for sin by alms and sufferings is maintained by many of them, whilst most of the Nicene Fathers were ascetics, and favoured the fanaticism of St. Anthony and his followers. This inconsistency arose from their adopting Cyprian's notion that post-baptismal sins needed alms and penances for their expiation; a doctrine chiefly founded upon the Greek Septuagint version of a passage in the book of Daniel, and also upon one or two verses of the Apocrypha, Ecclesias. xxix. 15, and Tobias. The passage Dan. iv. 27, which is rendered in our version, “break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor,” is rendered in the Septuagint, which was consulted and quoted by Cyprian, Chrysostom, &c. c. iv. v. 24. “Tac apiapriac orov ev exemploavvatc Avrpwaal, kat rac adukac ev outripplotc revurov.” “Redeem thy sins by alms, and thine unrighteousness by compassion to the poor.” This passage is quoted in his works by Chrysostom six or seven times in support of his doctrine, that sins are redeemed by alms; it is quoted also by Cyprian. In fact, the following passages from the Fathers ought only to be quoted by Protestants to nullify the effect of other passages which may be uoted by Romanists; and to prove the clearness of the Scriptural doctrine, since those who, by their prejudices and ascetical practices, must have been biassed against it, were constrained to give the interpretation which they have done of those passages of Holy Writ which proclaim justification by faith, and salvation by grace.
* A General Council.
Omne bonum meritum nostrum non in nobis faciat nisi gratia; et cum Deus coronat, merita nostra, nihil aliud coronat quam munera sua.-(Ad Sixtum Epist. 194. tom. ii. Bened. edit. Parisiis, 1694.)
Nullane igitur sunt merita justorum ? Snnt planè quia justi" sunt. Sed ut justifierent merita non fuerunt. Justi enim facti sunt, cum justificati sunt, sed sicut dicit Apostolus, justificatigratis per gratiam ipsius.-(Ad Sixtum Epist. 194. tom. ii. Editio ut supra.)
Neque ex lege justitia, neque per naturae possibilitatem, sed ec fide et dono Dei per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.—(Ad. Innoc. Epist. 177. tom. ii. p. 626. Editio ut supra.)
Quis enim te discernit 2 Quid autem habes quod non accepisti ? (1 Cor. iv. 7.) Non ergo nos discernunt merita, sed gratia. Nam si merita, debitum est; si debitum est, gratia non est; si gratis non est, gratia non est.—Sermo ccxciii. In natali Joh. Bap.
* Augustine is the most evangelical of the Fathers of the fourth century, and does not seem to have cherished the ultra-ascetic principles of Chrysostom or Jeroine.
WOL. II. Q
S. Augustini Episcopi in Psalmus xviii. Enarratio ii. tom. iv. p. 82. ά edit. Parisiis, 1694.) “Non sunt loquelæ neque sermones, quorum non audiantur voces eorum. In omnem terram exiit sonus eorum, et in fines orbis terræ verba eorum.” Quorum, nisi cœlorum ? Quorum ergo, nisi apostolorum ? Ipsi enarrant nobis gloriam Dei, positam in Christo Jesu, per gratiam in remissionem eccatorum. Omnes enim peccaverunt, et egent gloriâ ei, justificati gratis per sanguinem ipsiùs. Quia gratis, ideò gratia, non est enim gratia, si non gratuita. Quia nihil boni ante feceramus, unde talia dona mereremur ; magis quia non gratis inferretur supplicium, ideò gratis præstitum est beneficium. Nihil præcesserat in meritis nostris, nisi unde damnari deberemus. Ille autem non propter nostram justitiam, sed propter suam misericordiam salvos nos fecit er lavacrum regenerationis. Hæc est, inquam, gloria Dei, fie coeli enarraverunt.
Enarratio in Psalmum xliii. tom. iv. p. 375.—(Editio μt supra.)
Quid dicturi sumus ei, qui primò gratis nos fecit, quia bonus est, non quia aliquid meruimus ? Deinde de ipsâ reparatione, de secundâ nativitate quid dicturi sumus ? Merita nostra fecisse ut nobis illa salus perpetua mitteretur a Domino ? Absit. Si merita nostra aliquid facerent, ad damnationem nostram veniret. Non venit ille ad inspectionem meritorum, sed ad remissionem peccatorum. Non fuisti, sed factus es : quid Deo dedisti ? Quid non ab eo Ę accepisti? Meritò et gratia nominatur, quia gratis
tur. Exigitur ergo a te, ut tu gratis eum eolas: non quia dat temporalia, sed quia præstat æterna.
In Psalmum lxx. Enarratio. Serm. ii. tom. iv. p. 733.— (Editio ut supra.)
Gratia, gratis data est. Nam nisi gratis esset, gratia non esset. Porrò autem si proptereà gratia est quia gratis est, nihil tuum præcessit ut acciperes. Nam si aliqua bona opera tua præcesserunt, pretium accepisti, non gratis ; pretium autem quod nobis debebatur, supplicium est. Quòd ergo liberamur, non nostris meritis, sed illius gratiâ est. Illum ergo landemus: illi totum quod sumus, et quod salvi efficamur, debeamus.