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which, as he well observes, p. 161. would make his “ discourse to look with a contingent face."
$ 2. I begin with his three authorities from scripture; which when I consider, I see no reason why he, of all men, should find fault with my Lord Bishop of Down's dissuasive, p. 320. for being so “thin and Night in scri
pture-citations.” Nor do I see how he will answer it to Mr. Rushworth, for transgressing that prudent rule of his, ( Dial. 2. $ 14.), viz. That " the Catholick should
never undertake to convince his adversary out of scri
pture, &c.” For which he gives this substantial reason, ibid. “ Because this were to strengthen his opponent “ in his own ground and principle, viz. That all is to “ be proved out of scripture; which he tells us presently after is no more fit to convince, than
beetle is to cut withal ; ” meaning it perhaps of texts fo applied as these which follow. This shall be to you a direct way, so that fools cannot err in it, Is. xxxv. 8. This is my covenant with them, saith the Lord, My spirit which is in thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, fhall not depart from thy mouth, and from the mouth of thy feed, and from the mouth of thy feed's seed, from benceforth for ever, Il. lix. 21. I will give my law in iheir bowels, and in their hearts will I write it, Jer. xxxi. 33. From which texts if Mr. S. can prove tradition to be the only rule of faith, any better than the philosophers stone, or the longitude, may be proved from the first chapter of Genesis, I am content they should pass for valid teftimonies ; though I might require of him, by his own law, before these texts can signify any thing to his purpose, to demonstrate that this is the traditionary sense of these texts, and that it hath been universally in all ages received by the church under that notion; and then to shew how it comes to pass that so many of the fathers, and of their own commentators, have interpreted them to another sense; and, lastly, to shew how scripture, which has no certain sense but from tradition, and of the sense whereof tradition cannot assure us, unless it be the rule of faith ; I say, how fcripture can prove tradition to be the rule of faith, which can prove nothing at all, unless tradition be first proved to be the rule of faith. This I take to be as shameful a circle as
that wherewith Dr. Holden upbraids the generality of his brethren.
§ 3. I proceed to his authorities from fathers and councils ; all which, not one of them excepted, he hath taken out of Mr. White’s Tabulæ fuffragiales, without the least acknowledgment from whom he had them. And that it might be evident that he had not consulted the books themselves for them, he hath taken them with all their faults, and with the very same errors of citation which Mr. White had been guilty of before him. So that, though he is pleafed to say of himself, p. 239. that “he is a bad transcriber,” yet I must do him that right, to assure the reader that he does it very punctually and exactly.
§ 4. He begins with councils; of which, he tells us, “ he will only mention three in several ages.”
The first is the first synod of Lateran. One might have expected, after he had told us he would mention three in several ages, he should have produced them according to the order of time, and have begun with the council of Sardica, which was near 300 years before the Lateran. But there was a good reason why the Lateran should be first produced, viz. because it is mentioned before the other in Mr. White's book. Well: but what says this fynod ? “ We all confess unanimously, and
consequently with one heart and mouth, the tenets “ and sayings of the holy fathers ; adding nothing, “ subftracting nothing of those things which are deli“ vered us by them : and we believe as the fathers have “ believed; we preach so as they have taught.” The force of which testimony Mr. S. lays upon the word delivered, as if that word, where-ever it is met with in councils or fathers, must needs be understood of oral de.. livery : whereas it is a general word, indifferently used for conveyance, either by writing, or word of mouth. In this place it plainly refers to the writings of particular fathers, out of whom a long catalogue of testimonies against the berefy of the Monothelites had been read just before this declaration of the fynod. Now, what fignifies this to oral tradition's being the rule of faith, that this fynod declares her faith, in opposition to the heresy of the Monothelites, to be consonant in all things to
those testimonies which had been produced out of the fathers ?
The next is the council of Sardica ; out of an epistle of which council he cites these words : “ We have re“ ceived this doctrine ; we have been taught so; we “ hold this Catholick tradition, faith, and confession." Which are general words, and indifferently applicable to oral tradition, or writing, or both. But be they what they will, Mr. S. ought not to have been ignorant, that this council was rejected by St. Austin, and other orthodox fathers; as Binius acknowledges, (Concil, tom. 1.); and, which is more, that the latter part of this epistle, out of which part Mr. S. cites these words, which contains a confession of faith, is, by Baronius, anno 347, and, after him, by Binius, proved to have been surreptiously added. For though it be found in Theodoret, and mentioned by Sozomen ; yet Baronius thinks, that it was the Arian confession, composed by the false synod of Sardica which fat at the same time, and that Sozo. men lighting upon it, perhaps mistook it for the confeffion of the orthodox fynod of the same name. However that be, he proves out of Athanafius, and from the teftimony both of the Eastern and Western Bishops, that the council of Sardica “ did not so much as add one “ word or tittle, no nor so much as explain any thing " in the Nicené faith.” But Mr. White says nothing of this; and therefore Mr. S. could not, who is no fpeculator in these matters, but only, as a testifier, delivers down these authorities to us as he received them by hand from Mr. White; and if the word tradition be but in them, they are demonstrative.
As for his testimonies from the second council of Nice, (which he calls the seventh general council), who pretended their doctrine of image-worship to have descended to them by an uninterrupted tradition, and proved it most doughtily by texts of fcripture ridiculously wrested, by impertinent sayings out of obscure and counterfeit authors, and by fond and immodest stories (as is acknowledged by Pope Adrian VI. Quodlibet 6. cited by Espencæus in 2. epist. ad Tim. C. 4.) of apparitions and womens dreams, doc. for which I refer the reader to the council itself; which is such a mess of fopperies, that if
a general council of Atheists had met together with a design to abuse religion, by talking ridiculously concerning it, they could not have done it more effectually : I say, as for his testimonies from this council, I shall refer Mr.S. to that Western council under Charles the Great, which a little after at Francfort condemned, and also fully confuted the decisions of this council, calling their pretended tradition of image-worship putidisimam traditionem, “ a most stinking tradition.”
These are his authorities from councils : Where “ (fays he) we see general councils relying on the teach
ing of the fathers or foregoing church, and on the “ church's tradition as their rule, cc.” Where does he see any such matter? or where does he fee general councils ? Was the council of Lateran a general one? Or was the council of Sardica ? If it was, let him fhew how the second of Nice could be the seventh general council. Mr. White must write more explicitly, and say which are general councils, which not ; otherwise he will lead his friends into dangerous mistakes.
“ After ancient councils, (not so ancient neither), let us (says he) give a glance at fathers.” Glance is a modest word, and yet I doubt whether ever the fathers had so much as that from him. Before I Speak particularly to his testimonies from the fathers, I shall mind him of what Mr. Rushworth says in general, (Dial. 3. § 13.), viz. that “ he who seeks tradition in " the fathers, and to evince it by their testimony, takes
an hard talk upon him, &c." Again, ibid. “ As in « other points, so even in this of the resolution of faith, " as doctors seem to differ now-a-days, fo might the « fathers also.” If this be true, Mr. S. is not likely by a few testimonies out of the fathers to prove, that tradition is the sole rule of faith. But let us fee what he has done towards it.
He begins with a saying of Pope Celestine to the fathers of the Ephesine council. “ Now therefore we “ must act with a common endeavour to preserve things “ believed and retained to this very time by succession «« from the Apostles.” Binius's other reading [of Nefaxñs for readloxñs] quite spoils the force of this citation which Mr. S. puts upon the word succession. But
read it how he will, why may not the Christian doctrine be said to come by succession from the Apostles, when it is transmitted to us by scripture, as well as when by oral tradition ? I am sure the same Celestine, in an epistle to Cyril, commends him for defending the faith by fcripture: “ This (says he) is a great triumph of our faith,
to demonstrate our opinions so strongly, and to over" throw the contrary, by testimonies from scripture.” And neither in this epistle, nor the other, does he make any mention of oral tradition.
Next he cites that known place in Irenæus : « what if the Apostles had not left us the scriptures, “ ought we not to follow the order of tradition ? &c.' This makes clearly against him ; for it implies, that now the Apostles have left us the scriptures, we ought to follow them. The other passage he cites out of Irenæus, lib. 1. c. 3. is a clear eviction that he did not consult the book. For he puts two sayings together, which he had met with in Mr. White, immediately one after the other; and because Mr. White had cited lib. 1. c. 3. for the first saying, and brought in the other immediately upon it with an Et rursus, “ Again, &c.; therefore Mr. S. (who is of a right traditionary temper, which is, to take things easily upon trust himself, and require demonstration from others) concluded, that these sayings were in the same place, though in truth they are in several books. As for the testimony itself, there is nothing in it to Mr. S.'s purpose besides the word tradition, which Irenæus does often apply to scripture as well as oral tradition, and there is nothing in this place to determine it to oral tradition.
His testimonies out of Origen will do him less stead: for every one that hath been conversant in the writings of that father, knows what he means by the church's tradition preserved by order of succession, viz. the mystical interpretations of the scripture, which (he says) were delivered by the Apostles to the governors of the church, and by them down from hand to hand. If this be the tradition Mr. S. contends for, Origen is at his service ; if it be not, I assure him he is not for his turn.
Next comes Tertullian, concerning whom (as also O. rigen) the Papift upon occasion thinks it enough to re