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On the Unity of the Church.


Note on p. 133, 134.
TREAT. The translation of this passage is made from Fell's text, from

which the Benedictine remarkably differs. How and under what cir-
cumstances shall be mentioned presently; first, however, the point of
controversy between Rome and ourselves should be clearly under-
stood, on which it bears. Our divines then (in controversy with
Romanists) consider that the Church is one, and that, as there is
but one Bishop Invisible, so in theory there is but one visible
Bishop, the type of the Invisible, how many soever there actually
are; each separate individual Bishop being but a reiteration of
every other, and as if but one out of innumerable shadows cast by
one and the same Object; each being sovereign and supreme over
the whole flock of Christ, as if there were none other but himself.
Such is the theory of the Apostolical system; but in order to avoid
the differences of opinion and action, and consequent schism, which
the actual multiplicity of governors would occasion, certain eccle-
siastical regulations have from the first been observed, accommo-
dating the abstract theory to the actual state of human nature, as
we find it. First, Bishops have been restrained, as regards Christ's
flock, into local districts called Dioceses; next as regards each other,
by the institution of Synodal meetings or Councils, the united
decisions of which bind each Bishop as if it was his own individual
decision; and moreover, still for the sake of order, by prescribed
rules of precedence. Such seems to be our view of the Church, and
accordingly our controversy with the Romanist lies in this,
whether these regulations are part of the mere ecclesiastical system
and for the observance of order, or whether they are essentially
part of the strictly divine framework and means or conditions
of grace; whether, whereas both the Episcopal and Ecclesiastical
provisions come from the Apostles, both are immutable, or
the latter accidental only and discretionary. The Roman
Schools consider both to belong to the revealed system, the
English only the former. Accordingly when St. Peter is said
to be the head of the Church, whether in Scripture or
the Fathers, we interpret it of his representing the abstract
Bishop, the one and only Ruler who is put over the household,
that which each Bishop is by office, nay, and is actually, except
so far as he is shackled by what may be called the byelav's
of the Divine Polity; Roman Catholics, however, understand
that title of him as an actual head of the actual Apostles, not
merely as representing them, nor as taking rank before them in the
system of order, but as really governing them. They make
St. Peter the real centre of unity, we the emphatic image and
lesson of it; they make St. Peter's Chair, the Holy Roman See, a
necessary instrument of grace, we a symbol; we make every
the real centre, they the one Bishop who succeeds in the Apostle's
seat; we make schism and separation from Christ lie in opposing
our Bishop, they in opposing the Bishop of Rome. After this
introduction, perhaps it will appear that it does not matter a great
deal which reading is taken in the passage under consideration,



as one.

On the Unity of the Church.

151 our own view is as compatible or almost so with the Benedictine as with Fell's text. However, it will also appear, that Fell's has the weight of authority on its side. The Benedictine text then runs thus, the differences from Fell's being placed within brackets:-" The Lord saith unto Peter: I say unto thee, (saith He,) that thou art Peter, &c.". To him again, after His resurrection, He says, Feed My sheep." Upon him being one He ,

. builds His Church, [and commits to him His sheep to feed.] And though He gives to all the Apostles [after His resurrection an equal power, and says, As My Father sent Me, so fc. yet in order to manifest unity, He has by His own authority placed the source of the same unity as beginning from one. Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal fellowship both of honour and power, but a commencement is made from unity, [and primacy is given to Peter that the Church of Christ may be set forth as one, and the See (Cathedra)

And they all are shepherds, yet the flock is shewn to be one, such as to be fed by all the Apostles with unanimous agreement] that the Church (of Christ] may be set forth as one. Which our Church, &c. &c. He who strives against and resists the Church, [he who deserts the See of Peter, on whom the Church is founded,] is he assured that he is in the Church?” &c.—Here then, with reference to what has been said above, the question between us and Roman Catholics

would be, whether, admitting this text to be genuine,“ the See of Peter” be a figurative name for any see, a designation of the one abstract chair of the one Bishop, (and so, accordingly to the drift of the Treatise, applicable against Felicissimus in Africa who opposed S. Cyprian, as well as against Novatian in Rome who opposed Cornelius) or whether it means literally the Roman See, i. e. the See of the Successors of S. Peter. But to proceed to the history of the Benedictine reading. The additions it contains are not found in the first editions of Cyprian (representing probably very ancient and independent MSS.) between A. D. 1471–1563, viz. one at Rome in 1471, one at Venice in the same year, one without date or place, one at Paris 1512, (according to the Benedictines, a very accurate edition, and agreeing with the MSS. when other editions had changed for the worse,) that of Erasmus, Basle 1520, one at Cologne 1520, of Gravius (a very learned Dominican) at Cologne 1544, (in which fresh MSS. were consulted,) Antwerp 1541, and 1542, Venice 1547, and in which list reprints are not included. Nor are the additions found in two extant MSS. each more than a thousand years old. Nor are they found in eight of the Vatican MSS; and Baluzius numbered up twenty-seven which he had seen, in which they were wanting Bp. Fell mentions nine English MSS. and one of Beneventum, which are without the additions. The

passage is quoted without them by Pope Callixtus II. in the twelfth century, by the meeting of Cardinals at Liburnum in the fifteenth, and by the Roman correctors, after Manutius had inserted it in his edition. They appear moreover to have been unknown to the German MSS. in the age of Venericus, (A.D. 1080.) For these reasons Baluzius omitted them in his edition of S. Cyprian's works in the


On the Unity of the Church. Treat, beginning of the eighteenth century; but on his dying suddenly V. while the work was passing through the press, the Benedictines,

into whose hands it came, retaining his note in which he gave his reasons against them, cancelled the leaf in the text and restored them, giving as their reason, that the additions had been preserved in all the editions which had appeared in France for the 150 years before their time. The history of the additions is as follows; Manutius first gave them to the world in 1563 on the authority of one Vatican Ms. Rigaltius characterizes which as “ imperfect and corrupt.” Three other MSS. of S. Cyprian have been discovered to contain them, one at Bologna, one at the Abbey of Cambron, and one in Bavaria. Fell mentions four others which had come under his own inspection, two being in the Bodleian. They occur moreover in a MŠ. belonging to Marcellus II. a Pope of Manutius's time, and are cited in a MS. letter of Pope Pelagius II. the one MS. however, extant of that letter, belonging, at the earliest, to the beginning of the twelfth century, (A.D. 590,) and in Gratian's Collection of Canons, (A.D. 1130.) On the other hand, in one place of Gratian (Caus. 24. quæst. 1.) where the passage is quoted at length, there is no trace of the additions; in the other Distinct.93.c. 3. according to a marginal note in the old edition, they are referred, Fell observes, not to this Treatise, but to S. Cyprian's letter to Florentius Pupianus. It may be observed also, that the MSS. which contain these additions for the most part vary, containing some more, some less; and in different order. In one of the Bodleian copies, the text is given twice over, once with, and once without, the interpolation. Latinius (quoted by Baluzius) says that the additions in this place were brought into the text from summaries in the margin, and that not at one time; he instances one such addition in a MS. of Cardinal Hosius, mentioned by Pamelius, in which the words, “ In this place the primacy is given to Peter," were incorporated in the text, which would account for the additions, without any imputation of dishonesty. Of Editors of S. Cyprian, Pamelius follows Manutius in inserting them; Morel omits them; and Rigaltius gives them up in the notes, but admits them into the text. Baluzius also, it would seem, spoke more strongly against them, than his words now stand; the Benedictines confessing, that they were obliged to “alter not a few things in his notes, and that they would have altered more if they could conveniently."



(S. Cyprian wrote this Treatise A.D. 25), or 252, immediately the ter

mination of the short but sharp persecution under Decius, with the view of inciting those Christians who had lapsed in the course of it to a true and thorough repentance. Such an exhortation was the more necessary, because the party of Felicissimus, who has already been mentioned, offered them communion with themselves, if they would accept it, on easier terms]

PEACE, dearest brethren, we see restored to the Church; and while weak believers thought it not likely, and false ones impossible, by God's help and defence, our safety is reestablished. Our minds are recovering their cheerfulness; and after a season of trouble the cloud has dispersed, and the sunshine succeeds of tranquillity and calmness. We must yield praise to God, and celebrate His bounties and gifts with thanksgiving; though from giving thanks not throughout the persecution hath our voice desisted. The enemy can never so avail, but that we who love the Lord with all our heart and soul and strength, will at all times and in all places tell out the adoration of His blessedness and praise.

2. Day has arrived, the desire of all our thoughts; and after a long night of dreadful and miserable darkness, light from the Lord issues forth, and gives its radiance upon the world. Confessors, bright in the honours of an unsullied name, and glorious in the praise of virtue and faith, we with joyful countenances behold; we salute, with an holy kiss; we embrace after many longings, with infinite delight. Soldiers of Christ are before us, a whiterobed army, 154 Triumph of the Confessors and the Upright after persecution. Theat. whose firm encounter broke the fierce assault of the perseVI.

cution which was upon them, men prepared to endure a prison, and armed to undergo death. Manfully have ye fought against the world; a glorious spectacle you have been in the sight of God, and an example to brethren, who shall follow in your track. That conscientious voice hath said

the Name of Christ, which had already made confession of divinis His Creed; those honoured hands, used to no Service but operibus.

that of God, would nought of the sacrifices of the sacrilegious; those mouths sanctified by heavenly food, after the Body and Blood of the Lord, loathed the profane contagion and the relics of idol-feasts; from the impious and sinful veil", which covered the heads of those who were led to sacrifice, your heads have continued free; the forehead which, purified by the mark divine, was unable to suffer the Devil's crown, has reserved itself for the crown of the Lord. How joyfully does Mother Church receive you into her bosom, returning from the battle! With what bliss, what gladness, does she open her gates, that you may enter in united squadrons, carrying the trophies of a prostrate foe! With the men who triumph, come women also, who, in fighting against this world, have even triumphed over their sex; virgins too appear, twice glorious in warfare, and boys, whose virtues mount higher than their years. There is besides an upright multitude, attendant on your honours, who accompany your steps with insignia of merit, proximate and almost conjoined. Theirs is a like sincerity of heart, a like fast faith untouched. Leaning on the impregnable foundation of the heavenly precepts, and strong in the evangelic traditions, no exile denounced, no threatened torments, no penalties of estate or person occasioned them a fear. The term for making trial of their faith had been limited; but limits of time are little heeded by him, who remembers that he has renounced the world; and earthly seasons become unreckoned, when eternity is hoped for from God. Let no one, dearest brethren, let no


a The veiled head was the sign of In inspired Scripture we read of Moses Roman worship, Æneas, according to veiling his face, a typical reason being Virgil, having introduced it from Phry- added. vid. 1 Cor. xi. 4. 2 Cor. iii. 13. gia. vid. Æn. iii. 403—9. 545. The In Greek worship no veil was worn, Eastern Priests observed the same nor in such of the Latin as came from custom. vid. Hyde Rel. Pers. c. 30. Greece.

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