Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

written instantly, nor all at one time, but successively upon several occasions; and some after the decease of most of the apostles; and, after they were written, they were not presently known to all churches: and of some there was doubt in the church for some ages after our Saviour. Shall we then say, that according as the church by little and little received Holy Scripture, she was by the like degrees divested of her possessed infallibility and power to decide controversies in religion? that some churches had one judge of controversies, and others another ? That with months, or years, as new canonical Scripture grew to be published, the church altered her whole rule of faith, or judge of controversies ? after the apostles' time, and after the writing of Scriptures, heresies would be sure to rise, requiring in God's church, for their discovery and condemnation, infallibility, either to write new canonical Scripture, as was done in the apostles' time by occasion of emergent heresies ; or infallibility to interpret Scriptures already written, or without Scripture, by Divine unwritten traditions, and assistance of the Holy Ghost to determine all controversies ; as Tertullian saith, • The soul* is before the letter; and speech before books; and sense before style. Certainly such addition of Scripture, with derogation, or subtraction from the former power and infallibility of the church, would have brought to the world division in matters of faith, and the church had rather lost than gained by Holy Scripture (which ought to be far from our tongues and thoughts); it being manifest, that for decision of controversies, infallibility settled in a living judge, is incomparably more useful and fit, than if it were conceived as inherent in some inanimate writing. Is there such repugnance betwixt infallibility in the church, and existence of Scripture, that the production of the one must be the destruction of the other? Must the church wax dry, by giving to her children the milk of Sacred Writ? No, no: her infallibility was, and is, derived from an inexhausted fountain. If protestants will have the Scripture alone for their judge, let them first produce some Seripture affirming, that by the entering thereof, infallibility went out of the church. D. Potter may remember what himself teacheth ; that the church is still endued with infallibility in points fundamental; and, consequently, that infallibility in the church doth well agree with the truth, the sanctity, yea, with the sufficiency of Scripture, for all matters necessary to salvation. I would therefore gladly know, out of what text he imagineth, that the church, by the coming of Scripture, was deprived of infallibility in some points, and not in others? He affirmeth, that the Jewish synagogue retained infallibility in herself, notwithstanding the writing of the Old Testament: and will he so unworthily and unjustly deprive the church of Christ of infallibility by reason of the New Testament? Especially, if we consider, that in the Old Testament, laws, ceremonies, rites, punishments, judgments, sacraments, sacrifices, &c. were more particularly and minutely delivered to the Jews, than in the New Testament is done; our Saviour leaving the determination or declaration of particulars to his spouse the church, which therefore stands in need of infallibility more than James, of famous memory, hath to this purpose:* * To omit (saith he) particulars, whose recital would be infinite, and to touch this point but generally only, the translation of the New Testament by Luther is condemned by Andreas Osiander, Kechermannus, and Zuinglius, who saith hereof to Luther—thou dost corrupt the word of God, thou art seen to be a manifest and common corrupter of the Holy Scriptures : how much are we ashamed of thee, who have hitherto esteemed thee beyond all measure, and now prove thee to be such a man? And in like manner doth Luther reject the translation of the Zuinglians, terming them, in matter of divinity, fools, asses, antichrists, deceivers, and of ass-like understanding. Insomuch, that when Froschoverus, the Zuinglian printer of Zurich, sént him a Bible translated by the divinės there, Luther would not receive the same; but, sending it back, rejected it, as the protestant writers, Hospinianus and Lavatherus, witness. The translation set forth by Oecolampadius, and the divines of Basil, is reproved by Beza, who affirmeth--that the Basil translation is in many placés wicked, and altogether differing from the mind of the Holy Ghost. The translation of Castalio is condemned by Beza, as being sacrilegious, wicked, and ethnical. As concerning Calvin's translation, that learned protestant writer, Carolus Molinæus saith thereof-Calvin in his harmony maketh the text of the gospel to leap up and down; he useth violence to the letter of the gospel; and, beside this, addeth to the text. As touching Beza's translation (to omit the dislike had thereof by Selneccerus, the German protestant of the University of Jena) the aforesaid Molinæus saith of him- de facto mutat tertum, he actually changeth the text—and giveth farther sundry instances of his corruptions: as also Castalio, that learned Calvinist, and most learned in the tongues, reprehendeth Beza in a whole book of this matter, and saith--that to note all his errors in translation, would require a great volume. And M. Parker saith-As for the Geneva Bibles, it is to be wished, that either they may be purged from those manifold errors, which are both in the text, and in the margent, or else utterly prohibited : all which confirmeth your majesty's grave and learned censure, in your thinking the Geneva translation to be worst of all; and that in the marginal notes annexed to the Geneva translation, some are very partial, untrue, seditious, &c. Lastly, concerning the English translation, the puritans say-Our translation of the Psalms, comprised in our Book of Common Prayer, doth in addition, subtraction, and alteration, differ from the truth of the Hebrew in two hundred places at least: insomuch, as they do therefore profess to rest doubtful, whether a man with a safe conscience may subscribe thereunto. And Mr. Carlisle saith of the English translators, that they have depraved the sense, obscured the truth, and deceived the ignorant; that in many places they do detort the Scriptures from the right sense; and, that they shew themselves to love darkness more than light, falsehood more than truth. And the ministers of Lincoln diocese give their public testimony, terming the English translation--a translation, that taketh

* De Test. Anim. cap. 5.

* Tract. 1. sect. 10. subd. 4. joined with tract. 2. c. 2. sect. 10. subd. 2.

away

from * In his Defence of Mr. Hooker's Books, art. 4. p. 31.

they constitute another judge of controversies, beside Scripture alone.

26. “ Lastly, I ask D. Potter, whether this assertion-Scripture alone is judge of all controversies in faith—be a fundamental point of faith, or no? He must be well advised, before he say, that it is a fundamental point: for he will have against him as many protestants as teach, that by Scripture alone it is impossible to know what books be Scripture; which yet, to protestants, is the most necessary and chief point of all other. D. Covel expressly saith, “Doubtless* it is a tolerable opinion in the church of Rome, if they go no further, as some of them do not (he should have said, as none of them do) to affirm, that the Scriptures are holy and Divine in themselves, but so esteemed by us, for the authority of the church. He will likewise oppose himself to those his brethren, who grant, that controversies cannot be ended without some external living authority, as we noted before. Besides, how can it be in us a fundamental error to say, the Scripture alone is not judge of controversies, seeing (notwithstanding this our belief) we use for interpreting of Scripture, all the means which they prescribe; as prayer, conferring of places, consulting the originals, &c. and to these add the instruction and authority of God's church, which even by his confession cannot err damnably, and may afford us more help than can be expected from the industry, learning, or wit of any private person: and, finally, D. Potter grants, that the church of Rome doth not maintain any fundamental error against

« ZurückWeiter »