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The first of those Writers is one Fohn Scot, who (say they) was called the subtil Doctor in his Time! Speaking of St. Augustin, he observes, That one must carefully examine what Sort of Hereticks were attacked by the Saints; for (continues he) when St. Augustin writes against Arius, he seems to incline to Sabellianism; and when he writes against Pelagius, he seems to incline towards the Manichees. The other Writer is Cornelio Mulle, Bishop of Bitonto, a famous Divine of the XVIth Century, who made a great Figure in the Council of Trent. He speaks of St. Auguftin much in the same manner as John Scot ; whereupon Cardinal Noris makes a Reflexion, which appears very material to those Gentlemen, viz. That Fohn Sc t and Cornelio Mujo say only, That St. Alguftin seemed to incline to the opposite Error; whereas Father Annat does not scruple to say, he ran Headlong into it. The Question is not, say those Gentlemen, whether or no those Accusations are well grounded. Cardinal Noris and you, Sir, are bound to vindicate St. Augustin. But they infer from it, That the Protestant Divines are not the first, who have made such Reflexions upon that Father, since the Catholick Church, and parti, cularly the Jesuits, gave them the first Exam, ple.
I proceed, in the next Place, to what concerns St; Ferome. Those Gentlemen maintain still, as they did in your Presence, that one cannot depend for the Sense of the Scripture upon an Author, who explained it carelessly, and even spoke disrespectfully of the As postles. Their Affertion is grounded upon a formal Quotation ; and they are resolved to prove thofe Facts, which you denied. They affirm that St. Je some, in his Commentary upon the Ild Chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, accuses St. Peter and St. Paul of Simulation, and even of Hypocrisy. That Father tells us, That St. Peter, in order to please the Jews, pretended to be very willing that the Ce
remonial Law should be observed; and that St. Paul, in compliance to the Gentiles, pretended to have a Quarrel with St. Peter upon that Account: by which means St. Paul's Hypocrisy removes the Scandal occasioned by St. Peter's Hypocrisy. St. Augustin * blames St. Jerome for it: The latter made him the following Answer. “+ I have, says he; “ followed the Commentaries of Origen, (note, say
those Gentlemen, that St. Jerome was afterwards
a great Enemy to Origen,) Didymus, Apollinarius ☆ of Laodicea, who has lately left the Church, A“ lexander an Ancient Heretick, &c. And to tell ' - you the plain Truth, I read all those Authors, " and having got a great many things in my Head,
I called for my Secretary H, and dictated to “ him sometimes my own Thoughts, and sometimes " those of other Authors, without remembring the
Order, nor sometimes the Words, nor even the “ Sente". The same Father says in his Commentary upon the Third Chapter of the same Epistle :
I do not use to write; but I call for my Copist, and dictate to him every Thing that comes
into my Mouth. If I happen to think a little in “ order to say fomething that may be better, he bends * his Brows; and it plainly appears by his Counter inance that he is weary of being there,
Pray, Reverend Father, what Sort of Men are we referred to for the Understanding of the Holy Scripture?. I desire you to judge of it. Whom shall I believe, St. Jerome'an Origenist, or St. Ferome an Enemy to Origen ? How shall I know what he took from an Heretick, or from an Orthodox Writer, since he quores both of them, Right or wrong, without any Distinction? How can I guess, whether he gives
* Ep. XXVIII. Ed. Paris.
us his own Thoughts, or those of other Authors, since he hardly knows it himself? How can I be fure, that his Secretary was always in good Humour; and that having something else in his Head, the Holy Scripture did not suffer by his Impatience ? To tell you the Truth, if it be fo, I can no more rely upon St. Jerome, than upon St. Auguftin, and I am not very much surprised, that upon fome Occafions, when the Venerable Words, Father and Saint, are not fufficiently minded, one should be apt to speak somewhat freely of those great Doctors of the Church.
You also mention the Councils in your Letter, and are of Opinion, that those Gentlemen did not express a due Respect for them. I must inform you of what they say upon that Head; for they have to great an Efteein for you, that they would be very forry you should think they have advanced any Thing rashly. They fay, That if Councils were, fas they should be;) free Affemblies, willing to consult only the Holy Scripture and Reason, instead of Parlions, Prejudices, and Worldly Interefts, it would be the best way to decide Controversies. But they main tain at the fame Time, that ever fince the Council of Jerusalem, the contrary plainly appeared by a constant Experience. Nay, I have been fomewhat offended with a Passage, which they ascribe to St. Gregory Nazianzen, who yet was, as you know much better than I do, a very Orthodox Father. He faid *, That no Ecclefiaftical Assembly ever had a good Success; nay, he resolved to allift no more in those Assemblies of Cranes and Geefe, i violently fet one against another. He spoke those Words upon Occasion of the Second Oecumenical Council; and he compares it with a Tavern, and other Places, which Modesty does not allow one to name. Our
Greg. Nazianz. de Vita fua.
Divines never went fo far in their Reflexions upon the Councils. They admit the Four Oecumenical Councils, not by Reason of their Authority, which they don't take to be infallible, but because their Deo cisions appear to them agreeable to the Holy Scrip turę. Theodoret had no great Opinion of the Cound cil of Nice, since he * alledged it, to prove, that no Good could be expected from Councils, unless God overthrew the Devices of the Devil. Things were managed with so much Heat and Precipitation in the Council of Ephesus, that it lould be looked upon rather like a Cur-Throat, than an Eco clesiastical Assembly. The Second Council of EpheSus revoked what had been done in the First, and were in their Turn treated in the same manner by the Council of Chalcedon; which can be no great Sign of Infallibility.
Bur to .conclude this long Discourse, consisting of what those Gentlemen told me, I was very much surprised to hear from them, that one of your Writers, viz. Father Halloix, a Jesuit of Liege, speaking of the Vch Oecumenical Council, in his Apology for Origen, made bold to affirm, That Justiniak, being inspired by the Devil, was the Author and Favourer of that pernicious Council, which mer qe gainst the Pope's Will. He adds, That it were bester such a Council had never been, and that no Footstep of it Mould remain. Father Halloix goes on, and says, The VIth and VIIth Oecumenical Councils were led into Error by the Vth, as well as Pope Pelagius II. and Pope Gregory the Great, who ap: proved it.
But what will you think of me, Sir, for venturing upon the Ecclesiastical Ocean? I have done it, trusting to my Pilots : If I have been misled, I
Thcodor. Ep. CXII. p. 98.
hope you will be so good a Friend, as to bring me back again into the right Way. To conclude, I pray God to keep you in Health, that you may fome Time or other return to Berlin, where
will always find Men well disposed to enquire after Truth, in such a manner at you rightly propose at the End of your Letter, &c.
A FURTHER Account of Dr. BENTLEY's
Edition of HORACE. (See Above Art,
Proceed to give an Account of some Curious and
Important Observations, which Dr. Bentley has inserted at the End of his Preface. Tanaquillus Faber, Mr. Dacier, and Mr. Masson prerend that Horace writ Odes, Epodes, Satyrs, and Epistles promiscuously
i and publish'd each of those Pieces by itself. Dr. Bentley denies those two things, and does not scru. ple to affirm, that the three Authors just now mentioned, have been very unsuccessful in their Attempt : Quorum equidem acumen (says he) & eruditionem in partibus laudo ; in operis vero summa totoque constituen, Ho rem cos infeliciter admodum gedise censeo.
Our Author obferves, in the first place, that all the Ancient Poets, who composed such Poems, never used to put them out one after another, but only in whole and complete Books. Such was the Method of Catullus, as it appears from his First Epigram, Cui