Page images

shipped, agreeably to that which Clemens Alexandrinus wrote at the same time : " Wey do not without cause honour God by prayer, and with righteousness send up this best and holiest sacrifice.”

And therefore, where the brethren of the church of Smyrna, relating the martyrdom of Polycarpus their bishop, whereof they were eye-witnesses, some seventy years after the decease of St. John, who had encouraged them by a letter taken from their Saviour's own mouth, to continue “ faithful unto the death:” where these, I say, do constantly profess that they “ can never be induced either to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of the whole world of the saved (or, the saved of the whole world) or to WORSHIP ANY OTHER :” the Latin edition of that writing of theirs, which was wont to be publicly read in these churches of the West, doth express their meaning in this manner: “ Web Christians can never leave Christ, who did vouchsafe to suffer so great things for our sins, nor impart the supplication of PRAYER UNTO ANY OTHER.” Then, to shew the difference of this high worship proper to the Master, from the honour of love and imitation due unto his best servants, it presently followeth in that golden epistle: “ Himę, being the Son of God, we do adore: but the martyrs, as the disciples and followers of the Lord, we love worthily, for their exceeding great affection toward their own King and Master, of

και Ουκ απεικότως ημείς δι' ευχής τιμώμεν τον θεόν, και ταύτην την θυσίαν αρίστης και αγιωτάτην μετά δικαιοσύνης αναπέμπομεν. . Clem. Alexandr. lib. 7. Stromat.

z Revel. chap. 2. ver. 10.

2 Ούτε τον χριστόν ποτε καταλιπείν δυνησόμεθα, τον υπέρ της του παντός κόσμου των σωζομένων σωτηρίας παθόντα, ούτε έτερόν τινα σέBelv. Eccles. Smyrn. apud Euseb. lib. 4. hist. KED. IE.

b Nunquam Christum relinquere possumus Christiani, qui pro peccatis nostris pati tanta dignatus est; neque alteri cuiquam precem orationis impendere. Ex passionario MS. VII. Calend. Februar. in bibliotheca ecclesiæ Sarisburiensis, et D. Roberti Cottoni.

• Τούτον μεν γάρ υιον όντα του θεού, προσκυνούμεν τους δε μάρτυρας, ως μαθητές του Κυρίου και μιμητές, αγαπώμεν αξίως, ένεκα ευνοίας ανυπερβλήτου της εις τον ίδιον βασιλέα και διδάσκαλον ών γένοιτο και ημάς συγκοινωνούς τε και μαθητάς γενέσθαι, Euseb. lib. 4. hist. κεφ. ιε.

whom we wish that we may be partners and disciples." Hereunto may be added the direction given unto virgins, in the epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians; “ Yed virgins, have Christ alone before your eyes and his Father in your prayers, being enlightened by the Spirit.” For explication whereof that may be taken, which we read in the exposition of the faith, attributed unto St. Gregory of Neocæsarea : “ Whosoevere rightly prayeth unto God, prayeth by the Son; and whosoever cometh as he ought to do, cometh by Christ: and to the Son he cannot come, without the holy Ghost.” - Neither is it to be passed over, that one of the special arguments whereby the writers of this time do prove our Saviour Christ to be truly God, is taken from our praying unto him, and his accepting of our petitions : “ Iff Christ be only man,” saith Novatianus, “ how is he present being called upon every where, seeing this is not the nature of man, but of God, that he can be present at every place? If Christ be only man, why is a man called upon in our prayers as a Mediator, seeing the invocation of a man is judged of no force to yield salvation? If Christ be only man, why is there hope reposed in him, seeing hope in man is said to be cursed ?" So is it noted by Origen, that St. Paul “ins the beginning of the former

4 Αι παρθένοι, μόνον τον Χριστόν προ οφθαλμών έχετε, και τον αυτού πατέρα εν ταις ευχαις, φωτιζόμεναι υπό του πνεύματος. Ignat. epist. 6.

e Qui recte invocat Deum, per filium invocat : et qui proprie accedit, per Christum accedit. Accedere autem ad filium non potest sine spiritu sancto. Greg. Neocæsar. in 'E«Oboel tñs katà pépos miorews, a Fr. Turriano con


* Si homo tantummodo Christus; quomodo adest ubique invocatus, cum hæc hominis natura non sit, sed Dei, ut adesse omni loco possit? Si homo tantummodo Christus ; cur homo in orationibus mediator invocatur, cum invocatio hominis ad præstandam salutem inefficax judicetur ? Si homo tantummodo Christus ; cur spes in illum ponitur, cum spes in homine maledicta referatur ? Novatian. de Trinitat. cap. 14.

& Sed et in principio epistolæ quam ad Corinthios scribit, ubi dicit; Cum omnibus qui invocant nomen Domini Jesu Christi in omni loco, ipsorum et nostro : eum, cujus nomen invocatur, Deum, Jesum Christum esse pronunciat. Si ergo et Enos et Moses et Aaron et Samuel invocabant Dominum, et ipse exaudiebat eos, sine dubio Christum Jesum Dominum invocabant : et si invocare Domini nomen, et adorare Deum, unum atque idem est, sicut invocatur Christus et ado

epistle to the Corinthians, where he saith : Withh all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours; doth thereby pronounce Jesus Christ, whose name is called upon to be God. And if to call upon the name of the Lord,” saith he, “ and to adore God, be one and the self same thing, as Christ is called upon, so is he to be adored; and as we do offer to God the Father first of all prayers', so must we also to the Lord Jesus Christ; and as we do offer supplications to the Father, so do we offer supplications also to the Son; and as we do offer thanksgivings to God, so do we offer thanksgivings to our Saviour.”

In like manner Athanasius, disputing against the Arians, by that prayer which the apostle maketh : “ Godk himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you;" doth prove the unity of the Father and the Son. “ For no man,” saith he, “would pray to receive any thing from the Father and the angels, or from any of the other creatures : neither would any man say, God and the angel give me this.” And whereas it might be objected, that Jacob in the blessing that he gave unto Ephraim and Manassah" did use this form of prayer : " The God which fed me from my youth unto this day; the angel which delivered me from all evils, bless those children,” (which cardinal Bellarmine" placeth in the forefront of the forces he bringeth forth to establish the invocation of saints.) Athanasius answereth, that “ Heo

randus est Christus : et sicut offerimus postulationes patri, ita offerimus postulationes et filio : et sicut offerimus gratiarum actiones Deo, ita gratias offerimus Salvatori. Origen. lib. 8. in epist. ad Roman. cap. 10. h 1 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 2.

1 1 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 1. * 1 Thess. chap. 3. ver. 11.

ΤΟύκ αν γούν εύξαιτό τις λαβείν παρά του πατρός και των αγγέλων, η παρά τινος των άλλων κτισμάτων: ουδ' αν είποί τις, Δώη σοι ο Θεός και àyyslog. Athanas. orat. 3. cont. Arian. op. tom. 1. pag. 561. m Gen. chap. 48. ver. 15, 16.

Bellarm. de eccles. triumph. lib. 1. cap. 19. • Oύ των κτισθέντων και την φύσιν αγγέλων όντων ένα, συνήπται το κτίσαντι αυτούς θεω' ουδε αφείς τον τρέφοντα αυτόν θεόν, παρ' αγγέλου την ευλογίαν ήτει τοίς έγγόνοις· αλλ' είρηκώς, Ο ρυόμενός με έκ πάντων

did not couple one of the created and natural angels with God that did create them; not omitting God that fed him, did desire a blessing for his nephews from an angel: but saying: Which delivered me from all evils, he did shew that it was not any of the created angels, but the Word of God, that is to say, the Son, whom he coupled with the Father and prayed unto;" and for further confirmation hereof he allegeth (among other things that “neither Jacobp nor David did pray unto any other but God himself, for their deliverance."

The place wherein we first find the spirits of the deceased to be called unto, rather than called upon, is that in the beginning of the former of the invectives which Gregory Nazianzen wrote against the emperor Julian, about the CCCLXIV. year of our Lord,“"Akoue kaì ý tou μεγάλου Κωνσταντίου ψυχή (εί τις αίθησις) όσαι τε προ αυτού Baordéwv pilóxploto Hear, O thou soul of great Constantius (if thou hast any understanding of these things) and as many souls of the kings before him as loved Christ;" where the Greek scholiast upon that parenthesis putteth this note: « Ισοκρατικόν, αντί του, "Έαν τις αίσθησις έστι των τη δε ακούειν. He speaketh according to the manner of Isocrates," meaning, “ If thou hast any power to hear the things that are here," and therein he saith rightly : for Isocrates useth the same form of speech, both in his Evagoras and in his Egineticus : « Εί τις εστίν αίσθησις τοίς τεθνεώσι (or τετελευτηκόσι) περί των ενθάδε. If they which be dead have any sense of the things that are done here.” The like limitation is used by the same Nazianzen toward the end of the funeral oration which he made upon his sister Gorgonia, where he speaketh thus unto her: “ Ift thou hast any care of the things done by us, and

των κακών, έδειξε μή των κτισθέντων τινά αγγέλων, αλλά τον Λόγον είναι Toũ leoũ by Tỳ Tarot Toy hotro. Atlan, orat. 3. contr. Arian, op. tom. 1. pag. 561.

P Και αυτός δε ουκ άλλον ή τον θεόν παρεκάλει, &c. και ο Δαβίδ ουκ άλλον ή αυτόν τον θεόν παρεκάλει περί του ρυσθήναι. Ιd. ibid. pag. 562. 9 Schol. Græc. in priorem Nazianzeni Invectivam, pag. 2. edit. Etonens.

Ει δέ τις σου και των ημετέρων έστιλόγος, και τούτο ταϊς οσίαις ψυχαίς εκ θεού γέρας, των τοιούτων επαισθάνεσθαι, δέχoιο και τον ημέτερον λό

holy souls receive this honour from God, that they have any feeling of such things as these, receive this oration of ours, instead of many and before many funeral obsequies.” So doubtful the beginnings were of that, which our challenger is pleased to reckon among the chief articles, not of his own religion only, but also of the saints and fathers of the primitive Church, who, if his word may be taken for the matter, did generally hold the same touching this point that the Church of Rome doth now. But if he had either himself read the writings of those saints and fathers with whose minds he beareth us in hand he is so well acquainted, or but taken so much information in this case, as the books of his own new masters were able to afford him, he would not so peremptorily have avouched, that prayer to saints was generally embraced by the doctors of the primitive Church, as one of the chief articles of their religion.

His own Bellarmine (he might remember) in handling this very question of the invocation of saints, had wished him to "notes, that because the saints which died before the coming of Christ did not enter into heaven, neither did see God, nor could ordinarily take knowledge of the prayers of such as should petition unto them; therefore it was not the use in the Old Testament to say, St. Abraham pray for me, &c.” For at that time, saith Suarez, wet read no where, that any man did directly pray unto the saints departed, that they should help him, or pray for him ; for this manner of praying is proper to the law

yov, åvri rollõv kai 7 mollűvévtapiwv. Greg. Nazian. orat. 11. in Gorgon.

* Notandum est quia ante Christi adventum sancti, qui moriebantur, non intrabant in cælum, nec Deum videbant, nec cognoscere poterant ordinarie preces supplicantium : ideo non fuisse consuetum in testamento veteri, ut diceretur; Sancte Abraham, ora pro me, &c. Bellar. de sanct. beat. lib. 1. cap. 19.

' Quod autem aliquis directe oraverit sanctos defunctos, ut se adjuvarent, vel pro se orarent, nusquam legimus. Hic enim modus orandi est proprius legis gratiæ, in quo sancti videntes Deum, possunt etiam in eo videre orationes, quæ ad ipsos funduntur. Fr. Suarez. in 3. part. Thom. tom. 2. disput. 42. sect. 1.

« PreviousContinue »