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nant Colonel de Maso, and to express again my Aco knowledgment for the many Favours you have been pleased to bestow upon me. I beg your Majesty's Pardoñ, for taking so soon the Liberty of troubling you again, having been so long troublesome by my Discourses, attended with a very unpleasant Cough, of which however I was perfectly cured by the Presence of your Majesty, when such a hot Dispute Should have made it worse.
Bur fince I have mentioned that Dispute, I must confess to your Majesty, that notwithstanding the good Reception I met at your Royal Court, I am somewhat uneasy, because being engaged to maintain the Honour of the Ancient Fathers of the Church, and of the + Four Oecumenical Councils, fo much respected by all Christians, whether Catholicks or Proteftants, I found myself obliged to answer those Gentlemen, (for whom I have nevertheless a great Esteem,) in a manner suitable to the Injustice which they did to the Ancient Church, not yet divided into Sects.
If ever I have the Honour to appear again at your Majesty's Feet, according to your Commands, I hope they will no more give Occasion for any sharp Expressions, by using any Word injurious to the greatest Saints of Antiquity, and the brightest Lights of the Church. The like never happened to me, for tlic Space of Forty Years, in any Controversy, with the greatest Mer, at Rome, at Paris, and in other Parts, where Civility and Learning went always together. I fatter myself, that those Worthy Gentlemen will continue to be my Friends, as I have ftilla sincere Esteem for them, without keeping any Resentment : And indeed I am free from it, even
+ The Four Oecumenical Councils were never attacked in those Conferences.
in the Heat of a Dispute. When we come to meet again, in your Majesty's Presence, we shall peaceably enquire after Truth, being influenced and di. rected in our Enquiries by your Majesty's Great Gę: nius and wonderful Knowledge.
It is a great Comfort to me, in my solitary Journey, to think of the incomparable Merit of your Majesty, and of the Goodness and Gonerosity you have been pleased to express to me. I shall proclaim to the King, and to all Poland, the Virtues of Queen, who is the Admiration of all Europe, befeeching God to preserve your Majesty for eves.
III. A Letter of the QUEEN of Prussia
to Father yoTĄ,
OU are always the fame : I mean, Sir, the
most obliging Man in the World; and you will never meet any where with so good a Reception as you deserve. Tho' it be a very difficult Thing not to relish the Praises of a Person of your Taste and Merit; I must needs own that the Uneasiness you express about the small Skirmishes, wherein you have been engaged with our Divines, made the greatest Impression upon me. It discovers the Character of an honest Man, and of a good Christian, and very much heightens the noble Qua. lities of your Mind. I can assure you that those Gentlemen entertain the same Thoughts of you, and that there will be no Controversy between you and them in that Respect. The sharp Expressions that come out on both sides, upon such an Occasion, do bur enliven the Conversation, and should make no Alteration in the Esteem, which Disputants ought to have one for another, and which no Body will refuse to express for your great Talents.
I am not surprised, that in a very short Time you have heard, in a free Country, a great many Things, which a Man would not hear, for the Space of Forty Years, in a Country where Authority prevails; for they are two Countries, wherein Men speak very different Languages.. But, to give you my Thoughts about it, I easily perceive what moved those Gentlemen to drop some Expressions reflecting upon the Fathers. We look upon the Holy Scripture as the only Rule of our Faith, by which the Fathers and Councils ought to be examined; and therefore they could not be well pleafed to see you lay it aside, and slight Reason, whose Authority should prevail all over the World.' How
ever, tecause Men of different Opinions may maintain their Tenes without any Breach of Friendship, they will undertake to prove that they have advan ced nothing, concerning the Fathers and Councils, but what has been published more than once, not only by Protestant Authors, to whose Authority you are not bound to submit, but also by some Catholick Writers; and, what surprised me most, even by some Jefuits.
The most essential part of your Conferences ran - upon the Authority of the Fathers of the Latin Church, and particularly of St. · Augustin and St. Jerome' ; and therefore I must begin with it : The Greck Fathers, as far as I can remember, were hardly mentioned. I only remember, that one Day you seemed to be very much offended with an Affertion of one of those Gentlemen, relating to the Greek Church; viz. That many of those Fathers were genists, most of them Platonists, full of extravagant Allegories, liale skilled in the Sry e of the New Testament, which abounds with Hebraisms. Such a Proposition appeared to you a great Paradox, and could 'not fail to excite that Zeal and that Vivaci. ty, with which I was wonderfully pleased, and which those Gentlemen admired, tho they were levelled at them. But they have assured me, that they ad. vanced nothing upon that Head, but what agrees with the Opinion of the most Eminent Criticks of
To return to St. Augustin. Onę needs not consult any other Book, fay those Gentlemen, than Mr, Bayle's Dictionary, to find some Writers of your Society, who spoke more freely of that illustrious Bifhop, than they did, and even than they would do, If you will give your felf the Trouble of reading the Articles Adam and Augustin in that Dictio
* John Adam, a Jefuit.
nary, you will be convinced, that they have said nothing upon this Head but what may easily be maintained.
But those Gentlemen go farther still ; for they have assured me, that Cardinal Noris, who is not unknown to your Reverence, was obliged to publich an Apology for St. Augustin, especially against the Jesuits ; wherein he complains, That they have accused St. Auguftin of an affected Obscurity in Matters of Religion, of contradicting himself, of being inconstant in his Doctrine, and sometimes of ad. vancing very great Errors. Father Adam, a Famous Jesuit in the XVIIth Century, published several Things against St. Augustin, which moved Cardinal Noris to say, That one * must have a brazen Heart, to hear those words that are so injurious, not only without Indignation, but even without Horror. Father Annat, another Jesuit, Confeffor of Lewis XIV. and Provincial of his Order, was one of the boldest upon this Subject ; and I confess. I was amazed, when I heard he did not scruple to quote † above Thirty Doctors, Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, and other Divines of France, Italy, and Germany, (be foould have added, and of Japan, says Cardinal Noris,) who charged. St. Augustin with many Errors. But what surprised me most, was, Thar Father Annat pretend. ed to shew, that his Accusations against St. Augustin concerned not only Grace, Predestination, and Free. Will, but also the most essential Doctrines in the Opinion of Protestants and Catholicks. Nay, thác Jefuit #t alledges the Authority of Two great Men, in the XIIIth and XVIth Centuries; whereby it ap. pears, that such Accusations against Sc. Angustin are not a new Thing.
• Vindic. Auguft. Ch. I. Pag. 4, s.