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396

DISCOURSE

ON

THE UNITY

OF

THE

CHURCH.

the

propagation of Christianity

and

founding of Christian

societies,

had

no meaning,

took

no

care,

to establish any

such polity.

They resorted

to several

places,

whither

divine

instinct or

rea-

sonable

occasion

carried them,

where,

by

their

preaching, having

convinced

and

converted

a

" competent

number"

of persons

(öxxov

izavòv,

Acts

xi.

26)

to

the

embracing Christian doctrine,

they

ap-

pointed pastors to

instruct and

edify

them, to administer

God's

worship

and

service

among them, to contain

them

in

good

order

and

peace,

exhorting them

to

maintain

good correspondence

of

cha-

rity and

peace

with all

good

Christians otherwhere. This

is

all

we

can see done

by

them:

xsrporoví)o'etvrs5

airo7

orpscCuripou5

xar

ixxx4orav,

"When

they had

ordained

them

elders

in

every church," Acts

xiv. 23.

3.

The

fathers,

in

their

set treatises,

and in

their

incidental

dis-

courses

about

the unity

of

the

church, which was

de

facto,

which

should be

de

jure

in

the

church,

make

it

to

consist only

in

those

unions

of

faith, charity,

peace,

which

we

have described,

not in this

political union.

The Roman

church gave

this

reason why

they

could

not admit

Marcion

into

their

communion,

they

would

not

do

it

without

his

father's

consent,

between whom and

them

"

there

was

one

faith and

one

agreement

of

mind.

"'

Tertullian in his

Apologetic, describing

the

unity

of

the church

in

his time,

says,

"

We

are

one body,

by our agreement in

religion,

our

unity

of discipline,

and our being in the

same

covenant of

hope."'

And

more exactly

and

largely

in

his

Prescriptions against Heretics,

the

breakers of

unity: "

Therefore, such and

so

many

churches

are

but the

same

with the

first apostolical

one,

from which

all are

de-

rived.

Thus

they

become

all

first,

all apostolical; whilst

they maintain

the

same

unity;

whilst

there

are

a

communion of peace, names of

brotherhood,

and contributions

of

hospitality among them,

the

rights

of

which

are

kept

up by

no

other

means

but the

one

tradition

of

the

same mystery.

"3

"

They and

we

have

one faith, one God,

the

same Christ,

the

same

hope,

the

same

baptism; in a

word, we

are

but

one church.

"'

And

Constantine

the

Great,

in

his Epistle to

the

churches:

(Our

Saviour)

"

would have his catholic

church to be

one,

the

--

pia

yáp

Éomry

,i

vriomr,

zal

¡.pia ñ

1.14,..0.

Epiph.

Ikea. xlü.

3

Corpus sumus de conscientia

religionis et

discipline unitate, et

spei

faedere.

Apol.

xxxix.

3

Itaque tot

ac

tante

ecclesies

una

est

ilia ab

apostolis

prima, ex qua

omnes

;

sic

omnes

prime,

et

omnes

apostolica

;

dum unam

omnes

probant unitatem

;

communicatio

pads, et

appellatio

fraternitatis, et

contesseratio

hospitalitatis

;

qua jura

non

alia ratio

regit,

quam ejusdem

sacramenta

una

traditio.

Tertul.

Prtescript.,

cap.

xx.

Una nobis

et illis

fides,

unus

Deus,

idem Christus, eadem

spes,

eadem

lavacri sac.

rameuta;

semel dixerim,

una

ecclesia sumus.

Tert.

de

Virg., vel. ii.