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412

DISCOURSE

ON

THE UNITY

OF

THE

CHURCH.

to

relieve one

another in

need

were

to be under

one

government.

Then all mankind must

be

so.

Ans.

2.

It

appears

by

St Paul

that

these

succours were

of

free

charity,

favour,

and liberality,

and not by constraint.'

Arg.

XII.

The

use of councils is

also

alleged

as

an argument

of

this

unity.

Ep.,

p.

51;

Lat.,

p.

400.

Ans.

1.

General

councils,

in

case

truth

is

disowned,

that

peace

is

disturbed,

that

discipline is

loosed

or

perverted, are

wholesome

expe-

dients

to

clear

truth

and heal breaches;

but the

holding

them

is

no

more

an argument

of political

unity

in

the

church

than the treaty

of

Munster

was

a

sign of

all Europe being

under

one civil

government.

Ans.

2.

They are extraordinary, arbitrary,

prudential

means

of

restoring

truth,

peace, order,

discipline;

but

from

them nothing

can

be

gathered

concerning

the

continual

ordinary state

of

the

church.

Ans.

3.

For

during a

long

time

the

church wanted them, and

afterwards had

them but

rarely.

"For

the

first

three hundred

years,"

says

Bellarmine, "

there

was no

general assembly; afterwards,

scarce

one

in a hundred years."'

And

since

the

breach between

the

oriental and western

churches,

for

many

centenaries,

there

hath

been

none.

Yet

was

the

church

from

the

beginning

one

till

Constantine, and

long

afterwards.

Ans.

4.

The

first

general

councils

(indeed all

that

have been with

any probable

show

capable of

that

denomination)

were

congregated

by emperors

to cure

the

dissensions of

bishops; what, therefore, can

be argued

from

them but

that

the

emperors found

it

good

to

settle

peace

and

truth,

and took this

for

a

good

mean thereto?

Alb.

Pighius

said

that

general

councils were

an invention

of

Con-

stantine, and

who can confute

him?

Bell.

de

Conc.

i.

13.

Ans.

5.

They

show

rather the unity

of

the

empire

than

of

the

church, or

of

the

church

as

national under

one

empire

than

as

catho-

lic;

for

it

was

the state

which called

and moderated them

to its

purposes.

Ans.

6.

It

is

manifest

that

the

congregation of

them

depends

on

the

permission

and pleasure of

secular

powers,

and

in

all equity

should

do

so

(as

otherwhere

is showed.)

s

Ans.

7.

It

is

not expedient

that

there

should be

any of them,

now

1

2

Cor.

viii.

3,

Aidaips,ror.

Verse

8,

ob

zeve

ivrorayiv. Chop.

ix.

7

,"E..pros

vrpaarps7.rar.

Rom. xv.

26,

Ebaóxneay.

Acts xi.

29;

xxiv. 17,'Exsnp6ae4as

ororrvwv.

2

Primis trecentis

anis

nulla

fuit

congregatio generalis

;

postea

vero

vix

centesimo

anno.

De

Rom.

P.

i.

8.

3

The

validity

of synodical decrees (as

spiritual) doth

proceed from

the

obligation to

each singular bishop; as

if

princes in confederacy

do

make any sanction,

the

subjects

of

each

are

bound to

observe them,

not

from

any relation to the

body confederating,

but

because of

their

obligation to

their

own

prince consenting.