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13. have for you: according to that passage of holy writ, 'the servant of the Lord ought not to love strife and quarrels, but to be gentle, affable, and patient towards all mankind, and to reprove with modesty those who differ from him in opinion.'—Let them only treat you with rigour, who know not how difficult it is to find out the truth, and avoid error. Let those treat you with rigour, who are ignorant how rare and painful a work it is calmly to dissipate the carnal phantoms, that disturb even a pious mind. Let those treat you with rigour, who are ignorant of the extreme difficulty that there is to purify the eye of the inward man, to render him capable of seeing the truth, which is the sun, or light of the soul. Let those treat you with rigour, who have never felt the sighs and groans that a soul must have before it can obtain any knowledge of the Divine Being. To conclude, let those treat you with rigour who never have been seduced into errors, near akin to those you are engaged in. I pass over in silence that pure wisdom, which but a few spiritual men attain to in this life; so that though they know but in part, because they are men; yet nevertheless they know what they do know with certainty: for, in the catholic church, it is not penetration of mind, nor profound knowledge, but simplicity of faith, which puts men in a state of safety.
"Barbari quippe homines, Romanse, imo potius humanae eruditionis expertes, qui nihil omnino sciunt, nisi quod a doctoribus suis audiunt: quod audiunt hoc sequuntur, ac sic necesse est eos qui totius literaturae ac sciential ignari, sacramentum divinae legis doctrina, magis quam lectione, cognoscunt, doctrinam potius retinere, quam legem. Itaque eis traditio magistrorum'suorum et doctrina invete
CONFESSIO FIDEI.] “Periculosum nobis admodum at14. que etiam miserabile est, tot nunc fides ex
istere, quot voluntates: et tot nobis doctrinas esse, quot mores; et tot causas blasphemiarum pullulare, quot vitia sunt: dum aut ita fides scribuntur, ut volumus, aut, ita ut volumus, intelliguntur. Et cum secundum unum Deum et unum Dominium, et unum baptisma, etiam fides una sit, excidimus ab eâ fide, quæ sola est : et dum plures fiant, id esse cæperunt, ne ulla sit; conscii enim nobis invicem sumus, post Nicæni conventûs synodum, nihil aliud quam fidem scribi. Dum in verbis pugna est, dum de novitatibus quæstio est, dum de ambiguis occasio est, dum de autoribus querela est, dum de studiis certamen est, dum in consensu difficultas est, dum alter alteri anathema esse coepit, prope jam nemo est Christi, &c. Jam vero proximi anni fides, quid jam de immutatione in se habet? Primum, quæ homousion decernit taceri: sequens rursum, quæ homousion decernit et prædicat. Tertium deinceps, quæ ousiam simpliciter à patribus præsumptam, per indulgentiam excusat. Postremum quartum, quæ non excusat, sed condemnat, &c. De similitudine autem Filii Dei ad Deum Patrem, quod miserabilis nostri temporis est fides, ne non ex toto, sed tantum ex portione sit similis. Egregii scilicet arbitri coelestium sacramentorum conquisitores, invisibilium mysteriorum professionibus de fide Dei calumniamur, annuas atque menstruas de Deo fides decernimus, decretis pænitemus, pænitentes defendimus, defensos anathematizamus, aut in nostri aliena aut in alienis nostra damnamus, et mordentes invicem, jam absumpti sumus invicem.” Hilarius, p. 211. in lib. ad Constantium Augustum. Basil. 1550, fol.
“ It is a thing equally deplorable and dan
15. gerous,that there are at present as many creeds as there are opinions among men, as many doctrines as inclinations ; and as many sources of blasphemy, as there are faults among us; because we make creeds arbitrarily, and explain them as arbitrarily. And as there is but one faith; so there is but one only God, one Lord, and one baptism. We renounce this one faith, when we make so many different creeds; and that diversity is the reason why we have no true faith among us. We cannot be ignorant that, since the council of Nice, we have done nothing but made creeds. And while we fight against words, litigate about new questions, dispute about equivocal terms, complain of authors, that every one may make his own party triumph; while we cannot agree, while we anathematise one another, there is hardly one that adheres to Jesus Christ. What change was there not in the creed last year! The first council ordained a silence upon the homousion; the second established it, and would have us speak; the third excuses the fathers of the council, and pretends they took the word ousift simply; the fourth condemns them, instead or excusing them. With respect to the likeness of the Son of God to the Father, which is the faith of our deplorable times, they dispute whether he is like in whole, or in part. These are rare folks to unravel the secrets of heaven. Nevertheless it is for these creeds, about invisible mysteries, that we calumniate one another, and for our belief in God. We make creeds every year, nay every moon we repent of what we have done, we defend those that repent, we anathematise those we defended. So we condemn either the doctrine of others in ourselves, or our own in that of others, and, reciprocally tearing one another to pieces, we have been the cause of each other's ruin."
HÆRETICI.] rata, quasi lex est, qui hoc sciunt, quod V. 13. docentur. Hæretici ergo sunt, sed non 16. scientes. Denique apud nos sunt hæretici,
apud se non sunt. Nam in tantum se catholicos esse judicant, ut nos ipsos titulo hæreticæ appellationis infament. Quod ergo illi nobis sunt et hoc nos illis. Nos eos injuriam divinæ generationi facere certi sumus, quod minorem Patre Filium dicant. Illi nos injuriosos Patri existimant, quia æquales esse credamus. Veritas apud nos est; sed illi apud se esse præsumunt. Honor Dei apud nos est: sed illi hoc arbitrantur, honorem divinitatis esse quod credunt. Inofficiosi sunt, sed illis hoc est summum religionis officium. Impii sunt, sed hoc putant esse veram pietatem. Errant ergo, sed bono animo errant, non odio sed affectu Dei, honorare se Dominum atque amare credentes. Quamvis non habeant rectam fidem, illi tamen hoc perfectam Dei æstimant caritatem. Qualiter pro hoc ipso falsæ opinionis errore in die judicii puniendi sunt, nullus scire potest nisi Judex. Interim idcirco eis, ut reor, patientiam Deus commodat, quia videt eos, etsi non rectè credere, affectu tamen piæ opinionis errare.” Salvinus.
This bishop speaks here of the Arian Goths and Vandals: “They are, says he, Barbarians, who have no tincture of the Roman politeness, and who are ignorant of what is very commonly known among other men, and only know what their doctors have taught them, and follow what they have heard them say. Men so ignorant as these find themselves under a necessity of learning the mysteries of the gospel, rather by the instructions that are given them, than by books.
“ The tradition of their doctors and the received doctrines are the only rule they follow, because they know nothing but what they have taught them. They are then heretics,
17. but they know it not. They are so in our account, but they believe it not; and think themselves so good catholics, that they treat us as heretics, judging of us as we do of them. We are persuaded that they believe amiss concerning the divine generation, when they maintain the Son is inferior to the Father; and they imagine that Ave rob the Father of his glory who believe them both to be equal. We have the truth on our side, and they pretend it is on theirs. We give to God his due honour, and they think they honour him better. They fail in their duty, but they imagine they perform perfectly well; and they make true piety to consist in what we call impious. They are in a mistake, but with a great deal of sincerity; and it is so far from being an effect of their hatred, that it is a mark of their love of God, since, by what they do, they imagine they show the greatest respect for the Lord, and zeal for his glory. Therefore, though they have not true faith, they nevertheless look upon that which they have as a perfect love of God. It belongs only to the Judge of the universe to know how these men .will be punished for their errors at the last day. Yet I believe God will show compassion towards them, because he sees their heart is more right than their belief, and that, if they are mistaken, it is their piety made them err."