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As if any regard were to be paid to Mercator, a controversialist by trade, and a professed enemy and persecutor of Julian, who struck-in with the violent party of those days, and insulted Theodorus Mopsuestenus, Nestorius, Julian, Theodoret, and the Pelagians, and who had the impudence to say of Theodoret that he was inspired by the devil! If Jenken was resolved at all adventures to believe him, he should, however, have examined his voucher, such as he was, a little more carefully; for even Mercator himself hath not charged Julian with incestuous practices, and Tillemont himself did not so understand the words of Mercator, which he hath translated H. E. xiii. 818, Mercator, speaking of Julian's sisters, who, as he says, had lost their reputation, (fine stuff to be inserted in religious controversies!) cries out; “ Tu merito duas sorores tuas talibus disciplinis tui oris erudisti. Novimus, novimus quid tibi una earum, cum tu nimis severus in ejus ruinam pudoris insurge res, objecerit vel exprobraverit ; atque tu mutus illico non ausus ei ulterius censuræ tuæ ullas dolori ejus inferre molestias." This Mercator seems to have been a dealer in hear-says and calumnies; and I wonder that S. Başnage, having observed of him that he was extremely litigious, in hæreticos pugnax, should have added, abundabat Mercator amore veritatis. He might better have said, amore rixarum.]
'About the same time died St. Augustin, whose elogium may be seen in bishop Usher. Fulgentius calls him an inspired man,
"The council of Ephesus, composed of two hundred and ten bishops, assembled A. D. 431 to condemn Nestorius. Cyril of Alexandria presided there, and during their sessions John bishop of Antioch, with thirty bishops, met together, and made canons contrary to those of the council. What is remarkable is, that the two factions of Cyril and of John accused each other of Pelagianism; but the majority approved the deposing of Julian and of the other Italian bishops whom Nestorius had treated more gently. He himself was accused of holding Pelagian opinions, and of teaching that Jesus Christ, by the good use which he had made of his free-will, became the Son of God, and that God to reward his obedience had united him to the eternal Word. Therefore the council of Ephesus condemned Pelagianism and Nestorianism both together.'
[Cyril and his righteous comrades, within the space of one day, cited, examined, deposed, and delivered over to Satan the unfortunate Nestorius, who was absent and unheard. They condemned him in the most reviling manner, but not without shedding plenty of tears over him, as they themselves have told us, lacrymis subinde perfusi. The tears of these Ephesian fathers were like the tears of the Ephesian matron, soon dried up, and they had the consolation to kill old Nestorius afterwards with repeated cruelty and ill usage.
Nestorius was a man retired and studious, of a sober life and regular conversation, and of an impetuous.
zeal against those who were called heretics, whom he harassed and oppressed whilst he had power and credit: so that if he had never disputed about some intricacies of metaphysical divinity, and the titles of the virgin Mary, we should have found him enrolled amongst the saints, and he and Cyril would have been a couple of burning tapers in the catholic church.]
. But notwithstanding all this violence, and the care of three popes, Calestinus, Xystus III, and Leo I, Semipelagianism supported itself in Gaul. Perhaps the manner in which Cælestinus wrote to the French bishops contributed towards it; for though he warmly condemned Pelagius, and highly extolled St. Augus tin, he said at the end of the letter, that as to the profound and difficult questions which were mixed with the controversy, and had been largely discussed by the Antipelagians, as he would not despise them, so neither could he think it necessary to determine any thing concerning them. We may see in Usher's account how St. Prosper, and Xystus, and Leo laboured to confute or destroy Pelagianism and Semipelagianism.
A monk called Faustus had retired from England to France, and was made bishop of Riez, after Maximus. A council was held at Arles about the year 463, and another at Lions; and this Faustus, by their order, drew up his sentiments concerning the doctrine of grace, and made some additions to them, on ac
count of certain new errors lately discovered. These errors were what the divines of Marseilles called the predestinatian heresy, which some think to have been a real heresy, and others judge to have been the very doctrine of St. Augustin."
[It is much disputed whether these men were heretics. The Calvinists are not willing to own it, and say, that they were neither more nor less than the or thodox followers of the orthodox Augustin, who were called predestinatians, and treated as heretics by the Pelagians. S. Basnage contends for this, and justifies his old friends. He is right, I think, in determining that these were mere Augustinians. If Augustin then had wrong notions about grace and predestination, so had they.]
This work of Faustus is still extant, and is entitled,. De gratia et libero arbitrio, adressed to Leontius archbishop of Arles, and it most manifestly contains the Semipelagian doctrines.
Faustus sent the opinions of the second council of Arles to a predestinatian presbyter, one Lucidus, to oblige him to retract his errors, and subscribe to the doctrine of that council. We have his letter to Lucidus, and the answer of that presbyter addressed to the bishops assembled at Arles, in which he declares, "That he condemns the sentiments of those who thought that free-will was quite lost after the fall of the first man; that Christ did not die for all men; that some are predestinated to death, and others to life; that
from Adam to Jesus Christ no Pagan had been saved, by the first grace of God, that is, by the law of nature, because in our first father they lost free will," &c.
'Some have affirmed that Faustus exceeded his com mission, and that many of those who assisted at the councils of Arles and of Lions would not have subscribed to his book. Yet it is hard to conceive that Faustus, a bishop in great esteem, as it appears from the commendations given to him by Sidonius Apollinaris and by Gennadius, should have had the assurance openly to ascribe to a council sentiments which most of its members held in abomination, and that they should suffer him to do so without expressing their resentment. They who say that Faustus on this occasion exceeded the bounds of his commission, have only this poor reason to offer for it, that there could not have been so many Semipelagians in Gaul.
'We may see in Usher the judgements which several learned men have passed upon Faustus, most of which are not at all favourable to him. Thus it happens now to the old Semipelagians, as it happened formerly to the Pelagians: many who are entirely in their sentiments, yet call them heretics, and condemn their persons, only because they were condemned by men who had more worldly interest and ecclesiastical authority than they.
"The book of Faustus remained not long unknown; it made its appearance at Constantinople, where the judgements were divided about it, some saying that it was orthodox, and others that it was heretical, as it