« PreviousContinue »
CONF. of Chalcedon, not only because of the errors of faith concluded I.
in it, but also in respect of the outward form and manner of proceeding
Then was a second instance made in many later General Councils, and specially that of Trent. It was again answered that all these were neither truly general, nor yet qualified according to the conditions required by Mr. Mountague to the constitution of a lawful Council; and that Mr. Mountague exempted none from error but such as had like form and qualifications to the first four General Councils. "And yet,' quoth my lord of Rochester, "as evil as things were carried in the Trident Council, it is hard to demonstrate that the Trident Council hath erred in any article of faith which is directly fundamental. And in one of the first sessions it had made a special decree that the unicum fundamentum fidei, and all things necessary for men's salvation, were contained in the Constantinopolitan Creed there repeated and established by the Council; and by consequence, whatsoever they determined afterwards could not be made fundamental or necessary to salvation.”
And here my lord chamberlain, taking the book of our Articles, and comparing these former general words of "things appertaining unto God” with the latter of "things necessary to salvation,” concluded that the second was a limitation to the first, as my lord of Rochester had rightly explained it. Whereupon the lord of Rochester inferred out of a logical rule that so it was necessary: that the first being [an] indefinite proposition, the rule of logic is, that in rebus necessariis indefinita propositio est universalis in rebus contingentibus ; and therefore, it being contingent to err or not to err in things appertaining (to] God, the proposition must be particular in some things, and not universal in all things. The bishop of Lichfield replied, “ It was true, my lord, in other things, but not in Articles.”
“I perceive,” quoth my lord chamberlain, “that Mr. Mountague restrains his assertion to the first four General Councils, or to such as were qualified as they were, and proceed in such outward manner and in such disposition of heart as they did in all things. I perceive further, that the Article saith, General Councils may err, and have erred: if there be any opposition between Mr. Mountague and the Article, it must then be shewed how and wherein; how the first four, and such as are every way qualified like unto them, have erred in things necessary, or else nothing is said to [the] purpose.” “I cannot tell,” says my lord of Lichfield; "Mr. Mountague writes in one place that he acknowledgeth no more to be Councils truly general than the first four, but in other places he seems to aim at more.” “Is it come to seeming ?” quoth the duke, “I thought we should have had it as apparent as the light at noonday, for so it was said at first.” “Well,” quoth the bishop of Lichfield, “Mr. Mountague prevaricates, he says and unsays: but his meaning we know well enough.” “Yea, yea,” added my Lord Say," he prevaricates, he prevaricates ; and that must not be suffered in points of this nature.” “Prevaricates !” quoth my lord of Rochester, “ do you know what you say, when you accuse a man to be a prevaricator, and say what he means not?” but still the bishop urged that Mr. Mountague's meaning could not be good. Whereupon it was desired by Mr. Cosin that, inasmuch as every man was the best explainer of his own meaning, Mr. Mountague's words might be read, wherewith he had fully interpreted himself in the end of his discourse concerning this matter. The duke asking if any such place could be shewn, Mr. Cosin brought forth the book, and the lord chamberlain desiring to see it, Mr. Cosin directed him to a place that had as much as my lord of Lichfield could desire. Which when they had privately read over together, my lord chamberlain suddenly spread the book before the lords, and told them all it was a plain case that this controversy was now come to an end. The lords all desired to hear the place read. “It is," quoth he, “the conclusion of all Mr. Mountague's discourse about General Councils; and thus he writes, (p. 125, 126,) Councils have no such", " &c. Upon the reading of which CONF. words, the duke and the earl of Carlisle asked the bishop of I.
h Councils have no such overawing to exceed their commission, which power and authority as to tie men to warranteth them to debate and deterbelieve, upon pain of damnation, with- mine questions and things litigiosi out express warrant of God's Word, as status. If they do not hoc agere sinis rightly resolved in the Article. They cerely, if they shall presume to make are but interpreters of the law, they are laws without warrant, and new articles not absolute to make such a law. In- of faith, who have no further authority terpretation is required but in things of than to interpret them; laws without doubtful issue ; our fundamentals are God's Word, that shall bind the conno such. Councils are supposed not science and require obedience upon life III. “The next thing," quoth my lord of Lichfield, "is concerning Justification and Good Works; wherein Mr. Mountague opposeth the doctrine of the church of England in the eleventh Article, where we read of the justification of man, that we are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works. But in Mr. Mountague we are taught otherwise, as Gag, p. 143 : 'Justification conand death, our Church will not justify ribus emendantur, cum aliquo experitheir proceedings, nor do I. Non mento rerum aperitur quod clausam debet se Ecclesia Christo præponere, erat, et cognoscitur quod latebat. cum Ille semper veraciter judicet, ec- [Opp. ix. 66, edit. Ant. 1700.] For clesiastici autem judices sicut homines he taketh Councils in a general acplerumque falluntur, saith St. Augustin ception, as it is plain by him; and he against Cresconius the Donatist, lib. ii. speaketh not of fundamental points of cap. 27, but he speaketh not there of faith, as both the cause itself argueth, fundamentals, indeed not of the Church and his assigning of better information' representative, as I explain myself. in tract of time to direct consequent Nor doth that principal place of all Councils in determining contrary to make against me, which is in him
Lichfield what he could desire a man to say more? My Lord Say made answer that their exceptions were not against these words, but against some passages before, which seemed to contradict what my lord chamberlain had read; but being demanded what reason there was why a man should not be suffered to explain himself? he held his peace, and the bishop of Lichfield was content to be quiet, professing that if this were Mr. Mountague's meaning, he would make no further quarrel against him in this matter. “We are then agreed," says the duke, “that a General Council, according to the true acceptation thereof, taking for their rule the Word of God, and proceeding in the same steps that the first four did, shall in all probability not err in fundamental points of faith. Otherwise, upon what ground shall we believe my lord of Lichfield, or any other preacher, if we cannot be assured that General Councils, consisting of the most learned and godly bishops of the Christian world, do not err? and therefore that Mr. Mountague, in affirming so much, hath affirmed nothing but truth."
precedent, who, for any thing he saith Contra Donatistas, lib. ii. cap. 3, con- to the contrary, might have truly decerning the erring of General Councils : termined, as things then stood. To Et ipsa concilia quæ per singulas re- conclude, this information is a mere giones et provincias fiunt, plenariorum cavil. De tali concilio et saniori parte, conciliorum authoritati, quæ fiunt ex et conclusionibus in fide probabile est. universo Christiano orbe, cedunt; ip- No more. Appeal, p. 125. saque plenaria sæpe priora a posterio
sisteth in forgiveness of sins primarily, and grace infused secondarily.' Item, p. 144: 'In the point of Justification we yield to hope and holiness', and the fruits of the Spirit in good works,'-besides God and faith.” The dean of Carlisle, perceiving the objection to be made against Mr. Mountague's answer to the Gagger, which was not the book that he affixed his Approbation unto, told the bishop that he came to defend the Appeal; and asked him, if he had no more to say against that book. “Yes," quoth the bishop, “I have enough to say against the Appeal hereafter; in the mean while, what answer you to this objection ?” “Nothing," quoth the dean, “for Mr. Mountague answers it himself at large in the very place which you have cited. “In the strict acceptation of justification, we acknowledge instrumentally faith alone; causally God alone; in the second and third sense, besides God and faith, we yield to hope and holiness and sanctification, and the fruits of the Spirit in Good Works. But these are rather fruits and consequences, and effects of appendants of justification, as it signifieth remission of sins, and imputation of Christ's merits,) than justification itself, which is a solitary act.” “This is but shuffling,” replied the bishop, “ for all his discourse about justification tends to the justifying of the popish doctrine, and to the making of Good Works a part of our justification, or an access unto the very act of it at least.” “Your lordship shall hear Mr. Mountague declare himself,” quoth the dean, "and this objection will prove to be just nothing; his own words (in the Appeal, pp. 195 and 197) are these : 'I do also avow an access of justification, made unto it by works of an holy and a lively faith; not as essential thereunto, or ingredient intrinsically, for justification is properly the work of God, [....] but declaratory only, as I have plainly expressed in direct words, and as the doctrine of the church of England is, in the twelfth Article.”
Whereupon the lords professed that they saw no difference between the Article and Mr. Mountague, and wondered what his fault might be in saying that justus factus by the grace of God through faith, is also justus declaratus by his holy life and conversation. “Belike then," quoth my lord of Lichfield, “ Mr. Mountague hath recanted his first error, which if CONF. he will acknowledge, we have done.” Nay," quoth Mr. I.
i • And sanctification.'
Cosin,“ by your lordship’s leave, I will shew you Mr. Mountague's own answer for that also. His very next words are, (p. 197) It nor is in itself, nor is delivered by me, nor conceived of by me, to be any part of (or ingredient into the entire act of] proper justification.'” “And what is not delivered nor conceived by him,” says my lord duke," he could never recant." And hereupon the bishop of Lichfield, seeing all the company satisfied, went to a fourth objection.
IV.Which was concerning Merit; wherein the bishop of Lichfield said that Mr. Mountague had contradicted the eleventh Article again. “We are not justified for our own merits or deservings,' saith the Article; but Mr. Mountague teacheth us that we get heaven through our own deservings.” “It cannot be," quoth the dean of Carlisle, “that Mr. Mountague should write or let fall any such words.” Whereupon Mr. Cosin desired the lords to hear him read Mr. Mountague's own words out of his own book, wherein he delivereth his tenet touching Merit. “I never said it, never thought it, do detest it from my heart—that by our works we may deserve grace, goodness, heaven or happiness at God's hands” (p. 206.) The place was so plain and home, that my lord duke called for the book in haste to look upon't, and to read over the passage himself.
“Is it possible,” quoth he,“ with such a place to fit him ? this is happily found out indeed. What say you, my lord of Lichfield ? are you answered now?” And after giving over the book to my lord chamberlain, both he and the rest seemed to be displeased with the bishop, that he should accuse a man of an error, from which he professeth himself openly in print to abhor. “For God's sake," quoth my lord chamberlain, “what manner of objections are these, or why sit we here, to hear a man accused of that from which he professeth to abhor? I would not do a man that wrong for a worldk."
“By your Grace's patience I will prove what I say,” quoth the bishop, “for in the Appeal, (p. 233,) Mr. Mountague hath this passage: 'The good go to the enjoying of happiness without end, the wicked to enduring of torments everlasting. Thus is their state diver
in the original MS.