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L

408

DISCOURSE

ON

THE UNITY

OF

THE

CHURCH.

Augustine, Vincentius Lirinensis, which

plainly countenance

our

interpretation.

Ans.

6.

It

is

not

reasonable to

interpret the

article

so

as will

not

consist

with

the

state

of

the

church in

the

apostolical

and

most

primitive

ages,

when evidently

there

was

no such

a

political

con-

junction

of Christians.

Arg.

III.

The

apostles delivered one

rule of faith to all

churches,

the

embracing and professing

whereof,

celebrated in baptism,

was

a

necessary condition

to the

admission

into

the

church,

and

to continu-

ance

therein

;

therefore, Christians

are

combined

together in

one

political

body.

Ep.,

p.

40;

Lat.,

p.

144,

151.

Ans.

1.

The

consequence is very

weak;

for from

the

antecedent

it

can only be

inferred

that,

according

to

the sentiment

of

the

an-

cients,

all Christians should consent in

one

faith:

which

unity

we

avow,

and

who denies?

Ans.

2.

By like reason all mankind must be

united

in

one

politi-

cal

body;

because

all men are bound

to agree

in what

the light

of

nature

discovers

to be

true

and

good,

or because

the

principles of

natural

religion,

justice, and humanity, are

common

to

all.

Arg. IV.

God has

granted to the

church certain

powers

and

rights,

as

jura majestatis,

namely,

the

power of

the

keys

(to

admit

into,

to

exclude

from,

the

kingdom of heaven)

;

a

power to

enact

laws,

for

maintenance

of its

order and

peace, for

its

edification

and

welfare;

a

power to correct

and excommunicate

offenders;

a

power

to hold assemblies for God's service;

a

power

to ordain

governors

and

pastors.

Ep.,

p.

37,

49;

Lat.,

p.

153,

118;

Leges

ferre;

Lat.,

p. 171, 54.

Ans.

1.

These powers are granted to

the

church because

granted

to

each

particular

church or distinct society of

Christians; not to

the

whole as such, or as

distinct

from

the

parts.

Ans.

2.

It

is

evident

that

by

virtue

of such

grants particular

churches

exercise

those powers;

and

it

is

impossible

to infer

more

from

them

than

a justification

of

their

practice.

Ans.

3.

St

Cyprian

often from

that

common

grant

infers

the right

of

exercising discipline

in

each

particular church;

which inference

would

not

be

good

but

upon our supposition;

nor,

indeed,

otherwise

would any

particular

church have ground

for

its authority.

Ans.

4.

God

has

granted the like rightsto

all princes and

states;

but

does

it

thence

follow

that

all kingdoms

and

states must be

united in

one single

regiment? The

consequence is

just

the

same as in our

case.

Arg.

V.

All

churches were

tied to

observe

the

same laws or rules

of practice,

the

same orders of discipline

and

customs; therefore,

all

make

one corporation.

Ep.,

p.

42,

49;

Lat.,

p.

151,

219.