Articles of Sacred Theology of Paris & the Antidote by John Calvin


In 1542 the doctors of theology in the University of Paris drew up a set of 25 articles defining what they held to be orthodox Roman beliefs, and prescribed them as binding upon lecturers and students alike. These were Calvin‘s old enemies, and he immediately wrote a witty and telling reply, publishing the articles with an ironical "proof" attached to each, and then adding a more positive exposition in counter-argument.





Perceiving that, through the altercation of Doctors and Preachers with regard to dogmatical points, the great body of the faithful are in accordance with what Paul writes to the Ephesians, "like children carried to and fro with every wind of doctrine," while it is our duty, as much as in us lies, to calm the contending billows of opinion ; and being abundantly persuaded of the most holy purpose of His Most Christian Majesty, it has seemed proper to set down briefly, in the following order, what, in reference to the Articles generally controverted, Doctors and Preachers ought to teach, and the rest of the faithful, with the whole Church, believe.

This being a magisterial definition, it is to be observed, that proofs are not added, because to do so were to derogate from the ancient privileges of the School of Paris. But for the sake of certain persons of an over-curious temper, who, in the present day, will believe nothing that is not fully proved, I will, though it is superfluous, say something here in passing in confirmation, or in supplement of the decisions written above, and to be written below.

First, the place ought to have very great authority in the Church; and although our masters are deficient in proofs from Scripture, they compensate the defect by another authority which they have, viz., that of the Church which is equivalent to Scripture, or even (according to the Doctors) surpasses it in certainty. But that our masters, when congregated in one body, are the Church, is proved from hence, that they are like the ark of Noah, in as much as they form a multitude of all kinds of animals.

Secondly, since in the school of Pythagoras the authority of one man prevailed to such a degree that his ipse dixit sufficed for proof, how much more ought that which so many of our masters have together, and with one voice pronounced, to suffice? Especially seeing that, before coming to a decision, they chanted a low mass of the Holy Spirit, and that some were illuminated after having broken their fast, and others made zealous by the bile still reigning in the stomach.


When the Apostle forbids us to be "like children who are carried about with every wind of doctrine," (Eph. iv.13,) he at the same time prescribes the method by which it may be avoided, viz., by all coming together in "the unity of the faith," which he defines to be the knowledge of the Son of God. Moreover, he elsewhere declares, that "faith cometh by the word of God," (Rom. x. 17.) For which reason, he, in another place, also teaches that believers ought to be built "upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets," (Eph. ii. 20.) And he exhorts the Colossians to continue in the faith grounded and settled, and not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel which they had heard, (Col. i. 23.) Hence, too, the Thessalonians are deservedly commended by Luke, (Acts xvii. 11,) because, though they had with great readiness of mind embraced the doctrine of Paul, they, notwithstanding, brought it to the test of Scripture. Nor in any way could the doctrine of Paul, in another passage, viz., that our faith stands not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God, (1 Cor. ii.4,) be maintained, unless we depend solely on God; as it is written, "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live "(Is. lv. 3.) And it is this which the Lord commands by Jeremiah, "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully," (Jer. xxiii. 28.) Likewise Peter, "if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God," (1 Pet. iv. 11.) Therefore, whenever any controversy arises, the proper course is not to settle or decide it by the will of man, but to set it at rest by the authority of God only. Paul gives intimation of this when he arms us against Satan with no other sword than the "word of God," (Eph. vi. 17.) Christ also points out the same thing to us by his own example. When assailed by Satan, the only resistance which he opposed to him was passages of Scripture, (Matth. iv. 4.) Nor otherwise would the eulogium which Paul pronounces upon it be true, when he declares that it is profitable not only for doctrine and reproof, but for correction, (2 Tim. iii.16.) Now, therefore, that the world is in tumult from contending opinions, this is the only remedy that we must use. We must, I say, flee to Scripture, or, as Isaiah calls it, (Is. viii. 20,) "to the law and to the testimony," as a sacred anchor, that, in accordance with the Apostles precept, "we may be like minded one toward another," but still "according to Christ Jesus," (Rom. xv. 5.) In the admirable words of Augustine,—"When an obscure matter is under dispute, no aid being offered by clear and certain passages of sacred Scripture, human presumption, which gains nothing by leaning to either side, ought to restrain itself," (Lib. ii. De Peccator. Merit. et Remiss. in fin.) Therefore, in the controverted questions of the present day, let us follow the counsel which, according to Theodoret, (Lib. i. 'list Eccles. cap. 7,) Constantine gave to the Bishops at the Council of Nice—let us seek their determination from the pure oracles of God.


We must believe, with sure and firm faith, that to all, even infants, Baptism is necessary for salvation, and that by means of it the grace of the Holy Spirit is given.

PROOF.—Because otherwise there would be no efficacy in the baptism given by women, which is founded expressly on the belief that baptism is one of the essentials of salvation, though the Council of Carthage declared, without any exception, that women must not presume to baptize. Nay, what is stronger, Doctors still debate, as a difficult question, whether an infant, at the point of death, (in periculo mortis,) if water is not at hand, ought to be plunged into a well rather than commended to God, to wait the event; whereas, if baptism is not essential to salvation, the act would be a murder deserving of death. There are also other questions, as to whether, in the absence of ordinary water, an infant ought to be baptized with lotion, or with artificial or distilled waters, rather than left as it is till water be procured; also, whether, in a case of necessity, it be not true baptism to spit in the face! All these questions would not only be superfluous, but foolish also, did we not hold this principle.


That in baptism remission of sins, as well as the grace of the Holy Spirit, is offered and exhibited to us, all the pious confess. They also acknowledge that infants have need of it, not as a necessary help to salvation, but as a seal divinely appointed to seal upon them the gift of adoption. For Paul teaches that the children of believers arc born holy, (1 Cor. vii. 14.) And, indeed, baptism would not be at all suitable to them if their salvation were not already included in this promise,—"I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." For they do not become the sons of God through baptism; but because, in virtue of the promise, they are heirs of adoption, therefore the Church admits them to baptism. And as of old, when the children of the Israelites died before the eighth day, they suffered not by wanting the sacrament of circumcision, so now, provided there is no contumacy or negligence on the part of the parents, the simple promise by which the children of believers are from the womb adopted into the fellowship of the Church suffices for their salvation. For injury is done to Christ if we imagine that the grace of God is impaired by his advent. But God once gave the name of sons to all who should be born of Israel, (Ezek. xviii. 4.) Nor do we read that John was baptized, though he was the minister of baptism to others. We ought, therefore, to hold that, as in Abraham, the father of the faithful, the righteousness of faith preceded circumcision, so in the children of the faithful, in the present day, the gift of adoption is prior to baptism. According to the words of the promise, "I will be a God to thy seed," (Gen. xvii. 7.) Baptism, however, is a confirmation of this gift, and a help to our faith.


With the same firmness of faith must it be held, that in man there is a free will with which he can do good or evil, and by means of which, were he even in mortal sin, he is able, with the help of God, to rise again to grace.

PROOF.—Because our masters have so determined, after Aristotle and all the philosophers, who place reason in man as mistress instead of the Holy Spirit. And this, moreover, is founded on an invincible reason—that otherwise there would be no merit, merit being a work elicited from the power of free will with the concurring grace of God. And were will not effective of volition, the order of things moving and things moved could not well stand. Besides, we should not be co-operators with God in working out our salvation, did not the motion and action of the will concur with the assistance of grace. For when the Lutherans say that cooperation itself is the gift of God, because the will is reformed so as to consent to God, and when they adduce, in their support, Scripture, and the express words of Augustine, who says, in the beginning of his book, "De Dono Perseverantiae," that God gives his people grace to adhere to him perseveringly —also in his took, "De Correptione et Gratia," where he says, that there is given to us the grace by which we not only can, but also will, and that effectually; and again, that believers are actuated incessantly and insuperably by the grace of God—the reply is easy, that the determination of the Faculty is superior to the opinion of one Doctor, according to the expression, "Eyes see more than eye." In like manner, when in opposition to the fundamental principle which I have laid down, viz., that merit is the effect of the power of free will, they adduce another saying of Augustine, that grace is all the merit of the saints—the solution is, that Augustine did not know how our masters were to speak in solving the point.


Since the Spirit of God declares that every imagination of man's heart from infancy is evil, (Gen. vi. 5 ; viii. 21;) that there is none righteous, none that understandeth, none that seeketh after God, (Ps. xiv. 3;) but that all are useless, corrupt, void of the fear of God, full of fraud, bitterness, and all kinds of iniquity, and have fallen short of the glory of God, (Rom. iii. 10:) since he proclaims that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and does not even leave us the power of thinking a good thought, (Rom. viii. 6; 2 Cor.iii. 5,) we maintain with Augustine, that man, by making a bad use of free will, lost both himself and it, (Lib. iii. ad Bonifac.) Again, that the will being overcome by the corruption into which it fell, nature has no liberty, (Homil. in Joan. 53.) Again, that no will is free which is subject to lusts which conquer and enchain it. Likewise, with Ambrose, (De Fuga Seculi,) that neither our heart nor our thoughts are in our own power. In like manner, since God declares that it is his own work to renew the heart, out of stone to make it flesh, to write his law on the heart, and put it in the inward parts, to make us to walk in his precepts, to give both good will and the result of it, to put the fear of his name into our hearts, that we may never withdraw from it; in fine, to finish the work which he has begun in us until the day of Christ, (Ps. li. 12 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 26; Jer. xxxi. 33; Phil. ii.13; Jer. xxxii. 39; Ezek. xi. 19; Phil. i. 6;) we again conclude with Augustine, that the children of God are actuated by his Spirit to do whatever is to be done. Also, that they are drawn by him, so as out of unwilling to be made willing. Also, that since the fall it is owing only to the grace of God that man draws near to him, and that it is owing only to the same grace that he does not recede from him, (De Dono Pers. c. 7.) Also, that we know not that any good thing which is our own can be found in our will. Also, because, by the magnitude of the first sin, we lost the free will of believing in God and living piously, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, not because we ought not to will and to run, but because God effects both, (Lib. ii. De Pecc. Mer. et Remiss., cap. 15.) Also with St Cyprian, that we ought to glory in nothing, since nothing is ours, (Epist. 107, ad Vital.)


It is not less certain that to adults, and those having the use of reason, after the commission of mortal sin, penitence is necessary; which penitence consists in contrition, and in sacramental confession, to be made audibly to a priest, and likewise in satisfaction.

PROOF.—It is to be noted that the Lutherans do not speak doctrinally of penitence, when they say that it is a turning unto God, which springs from hatred and displeasure at sin and love of righteousness; also, that man ought to renounce his own will that he may be governed by God. Also, that he ought to be humbled by perceiving the wrath of God and the terrors of death. For contrition is sufficient for mortal sins, in this sense, that to each single sin a single act of contrition is commensurate. In regard to confession, it is to be observed that the matter is of divine, but the form is of positive law; on this point not only the Lutherans err, but also the Canonists, who hold that the law of confession is merely positive. But the matter is proved to be of divine obligation by this, that James says, " Confess one to another." This is the raw material; for, were it not brought into form ab extra, it would follow that priests ought to confess to laics, since " one another" means reciprocally; or that laics would not be capable of confessing, because then they could not bear the confession of others, but the form was superadded by Pope Innocent, viz., that the confession should be made to one's own priest. This is the magisterial distinction adopted by all Schools. But the necessity of giving satisfaction to God is thus proved—without it there would be no place for what is said of works of supererogation, and, moreover, what the School holds with regard to remission of the fault, and retention of the penance, would be false. And so the Lutherans would make out their point, that there is nothing we can do which we owe not to God; also that we are reconciled to God freely through the satisfaction of Christ. But we ought never to concede this to them, because, as will be seen farther on, it drags too long a tail after it, and, in fact, would leave no room for purgatory.


The Spirit of God calls us to repentance every where, in the law, the prophets, and the gospel; at the same time, he also defines what he understands by the term, when he orders us to be renewed in our hearts, to be circumcised to the Lord, to be washed, and to cease from wicked pursuits, to loose the bond of iniquity bound within us, to rend our hearts and not our garments, to put off the old man, to renounce our own desires, and be renewed in the image of God; besides enumerating, as the fruits of repentance, acts of charity, and the exercises of a pious and holy life, (Ezek. xviii. 31;Jer. iv. 4 ; Is. i. 1(3; lviii. 6 ; Joel ii. 13 ; Rom. vi. 6 ; Col. iii.10; Eph. iv. 22 ; Col. iii.14.) Of confession to be made in the ear of a priest there is nowhere any mention. Of satisfaction still less. Nay, it is even certain, that before Innocent the Third, no necessity of confession was imposed on the Christian people; for his decree, made at the Lateran Council, is extant, (Can. Omnis utriusque sexus.) Therefore, for about twelve hundred years the Christian Church had no knowledge of the dogma, that to repentance auricular confession was essentially requisite. And the words of Chrysostom are clear : " I do not say that you must confess to your fellow servant; let it be to the Lord," (Rom. ii. in Psal. 4.) Again, "It is not necessary to confess before witnesses. Let a searching out of sins be made in thought: let the decision be without a witness: let God alone see thee confessing," (Serm. de Paenit. et Confess.) Again, "I call thee not into the view of men. Show thy wounds to God, the best physician, that he may cure them," (Horn. v. Contra Anomae, Horn. iv. de Lazaro.) I do not, indeed, deny, that the practice of confessing is very ancient. But I say that it was free, as Sozomen relates in his Ecclesiastical History, where he also attests that it was abolished at Constantinople, because a certain matron, under the pretext of confessing had been caught with a deacon, (Trip. Hist., Lib. ix.) But that a few only confessed is apparent from his mentioning that only one presbyter was allotted to the office in each bishopric. Whence it may easily be inferred, that the practice had arisen from the solemnity used in public repentance. But public repentance does not refer to God in the forum of conscience, but looks to the judgment of the Church, that the sinner may, by some sign, declare before man what his mind is before God. In regard to satisfaction, the Scripture claims, out and out, for Christ this honour, that he is an expiator for sin, that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, that through his name only is obtained forgiveness of sins, (1 John ii.2 ; Is lvii 5 Acts x 43 ) In regard to ourselves, it is completed gratuitously and without works, since Paul declares it to be our high privilege, that sins are not imputed to us. At time same time, we disapprove not of the satisfaction which the Church exacts of sinners in token of repentance.


Moreover, a sinner is not justified by faith alone, but also by good works, which are so necessary, that without them no adult can obtain life.

PROOF.—First, by a philosophic reason; righteousness is a quality, and therefore no man is righteous out of himself, but on account of the quality of his works. Again, the ratio of part to part is the same as that of whole to whole. But perfect obedience of the law is righteousness. Therefore, partial obedience is a portion of righteousness. But when the Lutherans place the righteousness of faith in the predicament of a relation, saying that we are righteous merely because God accepts us in Christ, according to what Paul teaches the Ephesians, they act contrary to the whole system of philosophy. Again, when they deny that the principle of proportion between the whole and the part applies to this subject, because God promises the reward to none but those who fulfil his law, pronouncing those cursed who offend in any one point, I answer, that one who denies first principles is not to be argued with. Again, we have another demonstration in our favour. The law of contraries is the same; but we are condemned on account of bad works; therefore we are justified on account of good works. When the Lutherans reply, that one single bad work suffices for condemnation, but that a perfect righteousness is requisite for salvation, I answer, that it is sufficient for us to be in part justified by works as above. For when Paul says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life," we must supply, in the second member of the sentence, "with the merit of works." Another demonstration is, that reward and merit are correlative terms : But God promises a reward for good works : Therefore, works merit eternal life, and consequently justify. When the Lutherans ridicule this argument, saying that works are rewarded by God, because they are accepted by Him after He has justified man freely, that, therefore, the reward depends on the gratuitous acceptance, and must be subordinate to the righteousness of faith, as the effect to its cause,-I answer, that my mode of arguing was always used, and that, therefore, from long custom, it must be held authoritative, that if God rewards works, works therefore justify.


The words of Paul are these: "If they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is of none effect."—"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed," (Rom. iv. 14, 16.) He had previously said that "the righteousness of God without the law was manifested through the faith of Christ, in all, and upon all them that believe," (Rom. iii.21.) Likewise, that "all have come short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace," (Rom. iii.22, 23.) Now, connect this with what he afterwards writes, "If by grace, then it is no more of works; if of works, then it is no more of grace," (Rom. xi. 6.) The reason is, as he teaches in another place, "To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt," (Rom. iv. 4.) He repeats the same sentiment to the Ephesians, "By grace are ye saved."—"Not of works, lest any man should boast," (Eph. ii.8, 9.) What he means by these words he expounds to the Romans, saying, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered," (Rom. iv. 6, 7.) Likewise, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."—"For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," (2 Cor. v.19, 21.) We see how he teaches that God justifies men by forgiving their sins. Whence, too, Zacharias terms it, "the knowledge of salvation," (Luke i. 77.) The common mode of interpreting all these passages, with reference to the ceremonial law, is mere trifling; for he everywhere contrasts the proper righteousness of man with the righteousness of faith, as in the Epistle to the Romans, "Going about to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." And he subjoins the reason; for the law saith, "The man which doeth those things shall live by them," (Rom. x. 3, 5.) Also, in the Epistle to the Galatians, he uses this argument, "The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith : but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us," that the promise made to us in Abraham might be fulfilled through faith, (Gal. iii. 12, 13.) In like manner to the Philippians, "Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God, by faith in Christ," (Phil. iii.9.) We conclude, therefore, with Augustine, that not according to our merits, but according to the mercy of God, the promise of salvation is sure, (August. in Ps. lxxxviii. Tract I.) Likewise, with Bernard, that the mercies of the Lord are all our merit, (Bernard, Serm. vi.;) or, to speak more clearly, we conclude with Basil the Great, (Basi4 Serm. de Hurnil.,) that there is perfect and entire glorying in God, when we acknowledge that we are void of any righteousness of our own, and are justified solely by faith in Christ; as Paul glories, despising his own righteousness, in order that all pride and haughtiness may cease, while man is left without any ground of boasting.


Every Christian is bound to believe, that, in the consecration of the Eucharist, the bread and wine are converted into the true body and blood of Christ, the species of bread and wine only remaining, under which is really contained the body of Christ, which was born of the Virgin, and suffered on the cross.

PROOF.—Because such is the authoritative decision of a General Council which was held by Hildebrand, alias Gregory the Seventh. But when the Lutherans ridicule the act of Gregory, bringing forward one Cardinal Breno, his contemporary, who says, that he appointed a fast of three days, and ordered a solemn procession to be made, that he might have a sign from heaven to certiorate him, and yet, without any revelation from heaven, decided that that of which he was uncertain was to be held as an article of faith, I answer, that that Cardinal was envious of the Pope, and, therefore, wrote with a bad intention. Besides, Ambrose teaches this doctrine in his book, De Sacramentis. For, when the Lutherans say that that book is childish, and unworthy of Ambrose, and when Erasmus also demonstrates this by many reasons, I answer, it is enough that the name of Ambrose was long stamped upon it, and that the Master of Sentences, whose quotations ought to be held authentic, alleges it to be genuine. When the Lutherans adduce Scripture in their favour, there is an easy solution (by analogy) from the rod of Moses. It is more difficult to obviate the passages which they allege from the Fathers, if it be not enough that the Fathers spoke before the determination of the Council, but that now it is no longer lawful so to speak. Understand, however, that should the Sacrament chance to be gnawed by worms or moths, or corrupted in any other way, in that case, the substance of bread must have miraculously returned.


The nature of a Sacrament is to exhibit an invisible truth under a visible sign. But should the sign be fallacious, what are we to think of the thing signified by it? The correspondence of the thing with its sign is indicated by Paul, in the following words:—"We being many, are one bread; for we are all partakers of that one bread," (1 Cor. x. 17.) Therefore, that we may learn from the Supper that the flesh of Christ is the food of our soul, it is necessary that the bread be there set forth as an image of the reality; as Paul also says, "The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ," (1 Cor. x. 17.) But if what appears there is only an empty appearance of bread, and not the substance, the power and efficacy of the Sacrament are gone. In this way, too, the holy Fathers spoke: Irenaeus:—As that which is bread of the earth, on receiving its call from God, is no longer common bread, but Eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly and a heavenly, (Lib. iv., advers Valent.) And a canon of the Council of Nice is as follows:—Let us not be grovellingly intent on the bread and cup set before us, but, with a mind elevated by faith, let us, at that holy table, contemplate the Lamb of God. Cyprian:—When the Lord gives the name of his body to bread, composed of the union of many particles, he indicates, that our people, whose sins he bore, are united. And when he calls wine, squeezed out from bunches of grapes, his body, he intimates that our flock, likewise, are joined together by the admixture of a united multitude, (in Epist. ad Maynum.) So also, Fulgentius calls it the sacrament of the bread and cup, (Fulg. ad Mony.) In fine, as Augustine says, If the sacraments had no resemblance to the things which they signify, they would certainly not be sacraments, (Epist. 23, ad Bonif.) Whence, too, some of the Fathers called it bread sanctified in the body of Christ. But of what nature the exhibition of our Lord's body is, we may learn from Augustine, whose words are, "Doubt not that the man Christ is now there, whence he will come in the same visible form and substance with which he was seen to ascend. To that form and substance he undoubtedly gave immortality, but did not destroy its nature. For we must beware, not so to raise the divinity of the man, as to destroy the reality of the body," (in Epist. ad Dard. 7.) The meaning is, not that we are to think an empty symbol is offered to us, but that if we wish to receive Christ as he is truly given to us, we must raise our hearts upwards.


The sacrifice of the Mass is, according to the institution of Christ, available for the living and the dead.

PROOF.—Because Christ says, "This do." But to do is to sacrifice, according to the passage in Virgil, "When I will do with a calf in place of corn, do you yourself come." As to which signification, see Macrobius. But when the Lutherans deride that subtlety, because Christ spoke with the Apostles in the common Hebrew or Syriac tongue, and the Evangelists wrote in Greek, answer, that the common Latin translation outweighs them. And it is well known that the sense of Scripture must be sought from the determination of the Church. But of the value of sacrifice for the living and the dead we have proof from experience. For many visions have appeared to certain holy monks when asleep, telling them that by means of masses souls had been delivered from Purgatory. Nay, Saint Gregory redeemed the soul of Trajan from the infernal regions.


The institution of Christ is, "Take and eat," Matt. xxvi. 26; Mark xiv. 22,) but not offer. Therefore, sacrifice is not conformable to the institution of Christ, but is plainly repugnant to it. Besides, it is evident from Scripture that it is the peculiar and proper office of Christ to offer himself; as an apostle says, that by one offering he has for ever perfected those that are sanctified. Also, "that once, in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Also, that after this sanctification, there remains no more oblation, (Heb. ix. 26 ; x. 12.) For to this end also was he consecrated a priest after the order of Melchisedec, without successor or colleague, (Heb. v.6; vii. 21.) Christ, therefore, is robbed of the honour of the priesthood, when the right of offering is transferred to others. Lastly, no man ought to assume this honour unless called by God, as an apostle testifies. But we read of none having been called but Christ. On the other hand, since the promise is destined for those only who communicate in the sacrament, by what right can it belong to the dead?


To laics, Communion under both kinds is not necessary for salvation; and of old, for certain and just causes, it was rightly enacted by the Church that they should communicate only in one kind, viz. bread.

PROOF.—Because there is a danger that the wine might be spilled. But when the Lutherans ask whether the Church was wiser than Christ, in foreseeing an inconvenience for which Christ had not well provided, I answer, that Christ foresaw it well, but was silent, because he wished to try the wisdom of the Church in this matter. There is also another inconvenience. The body of the Lord ought to be preserved in the ciborium to be given to the sick. But if the blood were preserved it would become vinegar, and so, on account of the corruption, would no longer be blood. Nay, the Lutherans would deride us, saying, Is it not very plain that it is wine? And so this would be against the doctrine of transubstantiation. Thirdly, There is this reason, that priests should have some privilege, in order to keep down the pride of the laity. Fourthly, There is force in the argument drawn from concomitance, let the Lutherans prate as they may about our obligation to follow and observe the dispensation of Christ, which he instituted in adaptation to our infirmity. Also, there would be still another danger if the blood were given to be drunk. The taste might beget in the laity a suspicion that it was still wine. And thence many scandals would arise. But if it be argued that the Church has no power to supersede the precepts of Christ, I answer, that the word "drink" ought to be taken in the sense of exhorting, so that it will be a counsel and not a precept. There is another reason which I dare scarcely allege, though it well deserves to be produced. There are some abstemious persons who do not drink wine, and who, however, are not to be deprived of the other species. I deferred producing this reason, because the Lutherans scoff, saying, that if our doctrine is true it is no longer wine, but blood.


The command of Christ is, "Drink ye all of it," (Matt. xxvi. 27.) Nay, after he had simply said of the bread, "Take, eat," when he came to the cup he expressly ordered all to drink. Paul declares that he delivered this to the Corinthians as he had received of the Lord, (1 Cor. xi. 23.) The argument which is wont to be derived from concomitance has here no place. For it behoves us to consider not only what Christ gives, but also in what manner, or (if you will) regard must be had to the mode in which the Lord wishes us to communicate with himself. Therefore, as he gives us his body under the bread, so also he gives his blood under the cup. Hence, nothing remains for us but to obey his command by taking from his hands the symbols which he stretches forth to us, that we may enjoy the reality. We being corporeal, he, as Chrysostom reminds us, (Hom. 60, ad Popul.,) in adaptation to our capacity, dispenses spiritual things to us under the form of visible. This rite was observed in the Church above a thousand years, as the writings of all the Fathers testify. "The flesh," says Tertullian, (De Resur. Carnis.,) "is fed with the body and blood of Christ, that the soul may be filled with God." And Theodoret relates the words of Ambrose to the Emperor Theodosius, (Lib. iii. Ecelesiast. Hist. c. 8.) " How, with such hands, will you take up the sacred body of the Lord? how will you dare to lift the cup of precious blood to your lips?" Jerome says, (in Soph.,) "The priests who perform the Eucharist, and distribute to the people the blood of the Lord." Also Chrysostom, (hi 2 ad Cor. c. 9,) "The priest did not, as in the old law, eat part, and give part to the people; but all things which belong to the Eucharist are common to the priest and the people. One body is set before all, and one cup." But there is no controversy as to the observance, which all admit to have been of this description. And that, in the opinion of all, it behoves to be so observed, is evident from the decree of Gelasius, who orders that those who abstain from the cup be kept back from the whole sacrament; for, says he, the division of this mystery is not without great sacrilege, (Can. Comperimus de Consec. Dist. 2.) And Cyprian strenuously contends (Epist. 2 de Lapsis) that this sacrilege ought by no means to be allowed.


Moreover, to priests only, ordained according to the ritual of the Church, has Christ given the power of consecrating the true body of Christ, and of absolving from sin in the forum of penitence.

PROOF.—Because the bishop, in giving ordination, pronounces these words, "We give thee the power of consecrating, and of offering to God expiatory sacrifices." But it is asked, what ritual of the Church our masters mean, since the ceremonies which we use were not in existence among the Apostles, or their contemporaries. To this I answer, that the privilege was given to them by special dispensation. But if any one rejoins concerning their successors, who also, for many years, were neither anointed nor ordained after our way and manner, I say, that the whole of that time ought to be left in doubt, and well deserves to be so, because as yet nothing was concluded concerning transubstantiation.


We acknowledge that priests are stewards of the mysteries of God, (1 Cor. iv. 1,) and, therefore, legitimate dispensers of the Supper; but priests ordained after the ritual of Christ and the Apostles, and also of the ancient Church, in which merely imposition of hands was used, without anointing and other follies, (Acts xiii. 3.) In ordination the thing chiefly to be looked at is the end, and the office to which priests are destined, (1 Tim. iv. 14; 2 Tim. i. 6.) Priests ought, moreover, to be appointed according to the command of God, and the rule of Scripture, not to sacrifice, but to govern the Church, and feed the flock with the word of the Lord, and administer the sacraments. As to the power of absolution, the true doctrine is, that the ministry of reconciliation has been given to true pastors, in order that by their doctrine, i.e., the preaching of the gospel, they may absolve men from their sins by bringing them back into favour with God. This, however, is not affixed to their persons, but to the word, and has, therefore, been given to the word rather than to the men, in order that the remission of grace, by whomsoever proffered, may procure complete absolution in the forum of conscience. For though it is said especially to the Apostles, "Whose sins soever ye remit, they are remitted unto them," (John xx. 23;) yet, that the keys are given to the whole Church, is. acknowledged by the holy Fathers; in particular, by Cyprian and Augustine, to whom the others assent. (De Simpl. Praelator. Hom. 50 et 124, in Joan.; hem, De Doctr. Christ. Lib. i. e. 18.) For remission of sins in Christ, by whomsoever it is announced, is true absolution.


It is certain that priests, even if they be wicked and in mortal sin, consecrate the true body of Christ, if, indeed, they intend to consecrate it.

PROOF.—Since otherwise the caution would be superfluous, nay irrational, that the sacrament ought to be adored with implicit faith, that is, under this condition, if the priest, when celebrating mass, had an intention of consecrating, an intention not only habitual, but, at the moment, existing in the very act. But in opposition, it is said, that in this way a priest might annihilate a sacrament. To this I answer, that there is no sacrament when there is no intention. SECOND PROOF.—Because it would be superfluous, nay even foolish, for the Doctors to discuss such questions as these, If there are a hundred hosts and one, and the priest intends to consecrate the hundred only, what would then be the result? Would not one of them remain bread? Moreover, which of them all would, in that case, be set aside as bread? or rather, whether, as the intention was allusive, ought it not to be in like manner inefficacious in all, and will it not be necessary to begin anew? But as to what the Lutherans say about the duty of pronouncing the words distinctly, and with a loud voice, there is nothing in it, because it is more accordant with the dignity of the mystery to repeat them in a low voice.


Christ does not say to one, If you wish you shall have my body, and give it to others, but he addresses all alike, when he promises that he will give his body; the promise being directed to those to whom it is said, "Take, eat," (Matt. xxvi. et alibi.) Therefore, it is not in the power of any wicked man whatever, nor even in that of the devil, to make this promise fruitless. And to this the expressions of the Fathers refer, when they say that nothing is detracted from the sacrament, and that none of its virtue is lost, whoever be the minister; (Augustine in all his writings against the Donatists, et alibi.) We conclude, therefore, that nothing is more absurd than to leave it at the determination, or rather at the caprice, of a wicked minister to deprive the Church of the benefits of Christ as oft as he shall think fit. Nor, indeed, is it less absurd to pretend that priests have the power of consecrating whenever they please, though it should be contrary to the institution of Christ; for the promise is subordinate to the command to which it is annexed. Therefore, those only have the body of Christ who celebrate the sacrament according to the rule laid down by him. And hence we conclude, that the consecration is frivolous, and of no value, when the priest dares to consecrate for himself alone, apart from others; for, "This is my body," are not words of magical incantation, but contain a promise subservient to the action instituted by Christ. Whence, too, it is evident that they act improperly when they mutter in a low whisper, instead of pronouncing, as they ought, openly, and with a clear voice. This is obvious from the context, "Take, eat; this is my body." For which reason, Augustine calls the word of consecration the word of faith, which is preached, (Hom. in Joan. 80.)


Confirmation and extreme unction are two sacraments instituted by Christ; by means of these the grace of the Holy Spirit is given.

PROOF.—For otherwise the Aurelian Council would blaspheme, when it says, (Refert. de Consecrat., cap. 5, c. Utjcjunii,) that no man can be a complete Christian who has not been chrisned by Episcopal consecration. Also, Pope Melchiades would blaspheme, when he says that by baptism we are regenerated to life, by confirmation armed for the fight; and much more so, when he says that this sacrament is to be reverenced and held in greater veneration than that of baptism. But another peremptory proof is, that nought is done in the Church with greater pomp and solemnity than the consecration of the holy chrism. Whence it appears, that as well extreme unction as confirmation ought to be held in the highest honour, and ought not to be brought into doubt, as if they were of human invention.


We read that the Apostles, by the laying on of hands, conferred visible influences of the Spirit, (Acts xix.6.) But experience demonstrates that this was a temporary gift. Nay, the most ancient writers declare that it ceased immediately after the death of the Apostles. We admit that their successors retained the ceremony of haying on of hands when the young made a confession of their faith. But this was not done in order that it might be regarded as a sacrament instituted by Christ; for Augustine affirms that it is nothing else than prayer, (Lib. iii. De Bapt. Cont. Donat. e. 16.) The same account is to be given of extreme unction; for we know that it was the symbol of a temporary gift, which did not last long after the Apostles. The Apostles, in the name of the Lord, anointed those to whom they exhibited the power of the Holy Spirit, as present in the gift of healing, (Mark vi. 13.) James bids this be done, (James v. 14.) But now where is the healing, when men half dead are anointed just as they are breathing their last? Those who now use the symbols without the reality are not imitators, but apes of the Apostles.


Nor can we doubt that the saints, both during this mortal life, and living in Paradise, work miracles.

PROOF.—For it is apparent how the most blessed Virgin raises up infants, that they may be buried in sacred ground, when they would otherwise have their sepulchre with dogs. But when the Lutherans say, that one of the modes in which God punishes the idolatry of the world is, when the devil does miracles under the name of the saints, and, in support of this view, adduce Jerome, who relates that the Egyptians were cured of the bite of serpents, at the tomb of Jeremiah, whom they worshipped as a god, (in Proae. Prophet.,) I answer, that we do not worship the saints as gods, because we adore them only with the adoration of dulia. There is also another stronger proof from antiquity. For it was always so done, e.g., in the time of Ambrose, a blind man received his sight at the tombs of Gervasius and Protasius. But when the Lutherans reply, out of Augustine, that this was done to confirm true faith, and not in favour of superstition, I answer, that true faith is to worship the saints, and visit their churches, as will appear from what follows.


We know from the Scriptures what the power of miracles is, and to what end they ought to be referred, viz., to confirm the doctrine of the gospel, as it is said in Mark, (xvi.20,) "The Lord working with them, and confirming the word, with signs following." Also by Luke, in the Acts, (xiv. 3,) the Lord "gave testimony to the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands." The legitimate use of miracles, accordingly, is, (Rom. xv. 19,) to receive them as seals of the doctrine of the gospel, and in that way make them subservient to the glory, not of men and angels, but of God only, as Peter said, (Acts iii.12, 16,) "Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk "—"The name of Jesus, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong." And when Christ foretold that the reign of Antichrist would be established by miracles, (Matth. xxiv. 24,) and Paul (2 Thess. ii.9) repeated this prophecy of Christ; we conclude, with Augustine, that God put us on our guard against wonder-workers, (so he terms them,) who, by a pretence of miracles, lead the world away from the unity of the faith, (Homil. in Joan. 13.) But a twofold caution must here be observed. For Satan deludes men by numerous impostures, and God even allows many signs to be wrought to punish men for their ingratitude, as Paul testifies, (2 Thess. ii. 9,) and, after Paul, Augustine, De Unitate Ecclesiae, e. 119.


It is a holy act, and especially acceptable to God, to pray to the blessed mother of God and the saints, who are in heaven, that they may be our advocates and intercessors with God.

PROOF.—What would the saints do in heaven, if they did not pray for us? But if they pray, they are, therefore, to be prayed to. The Lutherans deny this consequence. But it is proved by this, that the saints resemble God. Now, God wishes to be worshipped by us; and, therefore, so do the saints. But when the Lutherans say, ironically, that we make the saints very long-eared, the answer is easy. They see the things which are done in the world, by means of the reflected light which they receive from the irradiation of God. A second proof is, that all the Pagans have always had lesser gods for their intercessors. But it is not reasonable that Christians should have fewer privileges than Gentiles. And, hence, it was a mode of correcting their error, when the honour which they gave to their idols was transferred to the saints; as when a Pope changed the name of a temple which was called Pantheon, and called it Pantagius. And, in like manner, on many festival days, Christians, in contempt of the Heathen, get drunk in honour of the saints.


Scripture requires faith in prayer, (Mark xi. 24.) And Paul expressly adds, that this faith is by the word of God, (Rom. x. 17.) And James forbids us to hesitate in our prayers, (James i. 6.) Now, therefore, if we wish to obey the word of God, we must invoke God only in the name of Christ. For God assures us this is the spiritual worship of his name, and sets forth his Son as the only Mediator; under whose intercession Paul teaches that we have ready access to God, with Confidence, (Ps. 1.15; xc. 15; Joel ii.32; Jer. xxix. 12; 1 Tim. ii. 5.) And another apostle exhorts us to approach the throne of grace, trusting to him as our Advocate, (1 John ii. 1.) Since, therefore, no command exists, enjoining us to seek the intercession of the saints, and no promise is anywhere found, we conclude that this species of prayer is repugnant to the Scripture rule. Besides, neither prophets nor apostles have left us any example of such prayer. Now, let every pious person consider with himself, how perilous it is to attempt a new kind of prayer, not only without sanction from the word of God, but without example. But when the Spirit bids us pray one for another, it is as an exercise of mutual charity in this life, as it is evident from all the passages. But we see how greatly God everywhere abominates Baalim, by which name was meant advocates to whose aid men looked, (4cr. ix. 13; xi. 13; Hosea ii. 8.) Lastly, in addition to this, no man can assert that the ears of the saints are so long that our prayers can reach them. The idea seems little accordant with reason.


Wherefore, the saints, leading a life of blessedness with Christ, are not only to be imitated, but also venerated and prayed to.

PROOF.—If there is any truth in the brocard, that common error makes law, veneration of the saints is sufficiently proved; yet, because the Lutherans reply, that in this way the glory of God is transferred to the saints, always keep in mind the distinction of the School, that we worship them only with the worship of dulia.


Of prayer we have already spoken. And no other veneration of saints is recommended to us in Scripture, but that which is universally due to believers, according to Ps. xv. and cxxxix.; and is to be rendered to them according to the measure of grace. Of the saints, therefore, in proportion as each of them excels in divine gifts, or has been placed by the Lord in a higher rank, we must both feel and speak honourably. But to render worship to them, as the generality are wont to do, is profane superstition, and savours more of the madness of the Gentiles than of what becomes the Church of God. Nay, it is plainly repugnant to the precept, "Thou shalt worship the Lord, and him only shalt thou serve," (Dent. vi. 13; Matt. iv. 10.)


And for this reason, it is a religious act devoutly to visit the places dedicated to them.

PROOF.—It would be great ingratitude if less honour were paid to the saints than to the idols of the Gentiles; to some of whose temples singular and pre-eminent devotion was paid, as to that of Apollo at Delphi, and Proserpine at Enna in Cilicia. Then, too, it can be proved to be probable that saints are especially present in the places where their sepulchres and remains are, or where they are more highly honoured.


Christ abolished all distinction of places, when he said "The hour cometh, when not at this mountain, or Jerusalem, but everywhere shall the true worshippers worship God in spirit and in truth," (John iv. 21, 23.) For he does not there speak of the preposterous zeal of a few, but shows in what respect we differ from the fathers under the Old Testament. With this sentiment, that of Paul corresponds, "I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands," (1 Tim. ii. 8.) Those, therefore, revive Judaism, who attach a new sanctity to places, deeming it a part of piety to visit this place or that; indeed, this superstition is worse than Judaism, because Jerusalem was the appointed place of worship. But those men, after the example of idolators, erect for themselves groves and fanes at pleasure. Again, the Son of God was worshipped at Jerusalem, but they consecrate temples to men.



If any one in a church, or out of a church, has recourse in his prayer, in the first instance, to the blessed Virgin, or any of the saints, he sins not.

PROOF.—First, from the common proverb, that God is not known among the saints. Second, a superstitious devotion, though it be inordinate, may well be excused through ecstacy.


If it is not lawful at all to have recourse to saints in prayer, it is vain to dispute whether it is to be done first or last. But since Christ is proposed to us as the only Mediator, through whom we ought to approach God, those who, passing him by, or postponing him, betake themselves to the saints, have no excuse for their depravity. Solomon, in the solemn dedication of the temple, thus explains its use, "I have built an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel," (1 Kings viii. 20 ;) while, without the temple, all the faithful exclaim, " Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God," (Ps. xx.7.)


Nor can it in any way be doubted, that, in supplicating Christ and the saints, it is a good and pious work to bend the knee before an image of the cross, and blessed Mary, and the saints.

PROOF.—That crucifixes and images of the saints ought to be worshipped with genuflexion, is proved by the authority of the last Council of Nice. For although Gregory admits that Serenus, Bishop of Marseilles, did well in forbidding the adoration of them, yet the Council which afterwards followed might infringe on this, as posterior derogate from prior decrees. It is proved, secondly, by reason. For if relics and garments are honoured in memory of saints, the reason is not less applicable to images. The former is justified by common use. The third proof is drawn from analogy, viz., because the people venerate the statues of princes, and even heathen princes. The fourth proof is from miracles; for many images of saints have smiled or wept at the devotion of those praying to them. Some have even spoken. The fifth proof is from the experience of our own sensations. For, in praying before an image, we are more inflamed to devotion, our zeal being excited by its very aspect. The sixth proof is, because it behoved us thus to correct the error of the Gentiles, who bent the knee before their idols, as we now do before the images of the saints.


Concerning images and statues the command of God is, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them," (Ex. xx. 5.) Moreover, to bend the knee is the very thing which is signified by the word adoring, (Deut. v.9.) And from the writings of the Gentiles, their opinion appears plainly to have been, that they prayed to the heavenly gods when they turned toward their images. Augustine even relates the excuses which the idolators of his time were wont to frame, (in Ps. cxiii.) For the vulgar said, that they did not worship the visible object, but the deity which dwelt in it invisibly. But those who had what he terms a more purified religion, said that they worshipped neither the statue nor the demon, but that in the corporeal image they beheld a sign of the reality which they ought to worship. The same may be seen in Eusebius and Lactantius. Since, then, those who, in the present day, prostrate themselves before statues, differ in no respect from old idolators, we conclude from the word of God, and the opinion of ancient fathers, that this practice is openly condemned. And what Augustine says (in Ps. cxiii.) is certainly true, that no one prays or worships beholding an image, without thinking that he is heard by it. For he says, the effect produced, and in a manner extorted by the figure of the members, is, that the mind, living in a body, thinks that the body, which it sees very like its own, has sensation. Hence, when they are placed on an eminence to be seen by those who pray to them, though they want life and sense, yet, by their resemblance to living members and senses, they affect weak minds, so as to seem to live and breathe. For this reason, it was formerly decreed, that there should be no painting in churches, and that nothing which is worshipped or adored should be depicted on walls. Accordingly, Ambrose, speaking of Helena, says, (Orat. Nat. in Fancre Theodo.) "She found the inscription, she adored the king, certainly not the wood, for this is the heathen error, and the vanity of the wicked."


Besides, it is to be firmly believed, and not at all doubted, that there is a purgatory, the soul is detained in which are aided by prayer, fasting, alms, and other good works, so as to be more quickly freed from suffering.

PROOF.—Because many holy monks and devout matrons have had various apparitions, when souls have said so; as may be seen at length in the Dialogues of Gregory, aye, throughout. But if the Lutherans do, as they say, account such things as nothing, or as the phantasies of a disordered brain, or spectres and impostures with which Satan deceives men, I answer, that they are authenticated by the authority of Gregory, who was a Pope. The second proof is the long prescription. For all the Churches are founded, or at least enriched, with annual donations, on an idea of purgatory. Nay, even the Pagans had a knowledge of it, as appears from their poets, and especially from Ovid. Indeed, if satisfaction is to be made for sins done in this mortal life, it follows that he who is prevented by death must satisfy in another world, and, consequently, that there is a place destined for paying the debts undischarged. It is proved also from natural philosophy; because souls which have attracted ponderous humour from a gross natural body, could not fly off instantly to heaven, unless they were previously desiccated by fire. But when our masters assert that we ought to believe firmly, and without any doubt, a thing which has only an appearance of probability, they have in this followed the rule of law, "Dubious belief is unbelief." It is better, however, to say, that the thing is indubitable. For, grant that the reasons which are adduced are doubtful, still the supervening authority of the Church makes them certain. However, it being once fixed that there is a purgatory, the other thing follows infallibly, viz., that the wretched souls which arc there tormented are to be aided by sacrifices of the living, and it must be held, that the mass for the dead, which supposes that souls can be aided by such sacrifices, was not instituted without reason. Accordingly, kind mother Church, when she found nothing in Scripture, chose to abuse the Psalms and passages out of the book of Job, and many parts of time prophets, rather than leave miserable souls without relief.


Of purgatory there is not one word in Scripture, and Augustine, who in this matter yields to custom, acknowledges that this opinion is supported by no passage of Scripture, unless it be the history concerning time oblation of Judas Maccabeus, although the fact of its not being canonical and of certain authority, both he himself confesses, and Jerome teaches, and universal consent confirms. For the passage, which is wont to be cited, from the First Epistle to the Corinthians he himself expounds otherwise, as all men of sense see it ought to be otherwise expounded, (1 Cor. iii. 13.) For as the words, wood, hay, and stubble, are metaphorical, so, without doubt, the word fire is used metaphorically for the trial of the Spirit, under which human doctrines perish, whereas divine truth is proved like gold. But though Augustine allowed himself, as I said, to be ruled by custom, so as not to deny a purgatory, (August. Ench. ad Laur. c. 68,) he does not venture to make any positive assertion with regard to it. Nay, he even speaks doubtingly, saying, that it is not incredible, and that its existence may be made a question. Besides, he is not at all consistent with himself; since , in another place, he teaches that souls, when they leave the world, meet with different receptions, the good enjoying delight, while the bad are tormented, (Idem, in cod. lib. cap. seq.;) and, moreover, that the rest which is given immediately after death, every one receives the moment he dies, provided he is worthy of it, (Ilomil. in Joan. 49.) But since it is not in the power of any man to determine concerning the souls of the dead, nothing is safer in judging of their state than to hear God himself, who has the power over their state, speaking of it. Scripture then testifying, "That blessed are the dead who die in the Lord," (Rev. xiv. 13,) "for they rest from their labours," teaching that they receive consolation, (Luke xvi.25,) that they live with Christ, and enjoy the presence of God, (Phil. i. 23; 2 Cor. v. 8;) let us take our stand on this doctrine, as to which there is no room for controversy. But the structure of purgatory has just as much solidity as any thing can have which is, in regard to things unknown, fabricated by the brain of man, without the word of God. Assuredly, the prayers by which they usually try to aid souls not being supported by any precept of God, or by any promise, have not that foundation of faith which Paul requires in the prayers of the faithful, (Rom. x. 14.) Nothing is more carefully enjoined upon us in Scripture, than to exercise all the offices of charity towards the living. Of assisting the dead there is no mention. In addition to this, there is not a single example extant, though Scripture mentions the burials of many individuals, and even relates time obsequies of some of them at great length, (History of the Old Testament, espcially the Books of Moses and the Books of Kings.)Moreover, it is not credible that Scripture, when giving those minute details, omitted that which would have been of principal moment.


Every Christian is bound firmly to believe, that there is on earth one universal visible Church, incapable of erring in faith and manners, and which, in things which relate to faith and manners, all the faithful are bound to obey.

PROOF.—Because the Church can be seen. For the Hierarchy is the infallible sign of the Church. Now, the Hierarchy is at all times visible. Therefore, the Church also is visible. But that the Church cannot be separated from the Hierarchy, I assume is one of the principles of faith. A second proof is from perpetual succession. But perpetual succession, from the days of the Apostles, is known from the catalogue of Popes which Platina gives. For, thought Doctors differ, as to the second in succession from Peter, some setting down Clement, others Linus, this being an error in the individual, does not hinder certainty in time generality. The election of Pope Joan is a greater difficulty; for it appears that then some interruption took place. But granting that she then occupied the see on the failure of a male, the same thing is to be said of a time of schism, as when Gregory, not John, and Peter, were antipopes, and, in like manner, when Amadeus was elected on the deposition of Eugenius by a General Council, and afterwards abdicated because Eugenius proved more powerful. in this way a perpetual order of succession will remain. The second branch of the proposition, viz., that the Church cannot err in faith and manners, is proved with difficulty in the visible Church; yet it ought to be a sufficient proof, that whatever the Roman Church has determined is authoritative. But it is proved still better by the fact, that the Church is immediately directed by the Holy Spirit. Now, the Holy Spirit cannot err. Therefore, consequently, neither can the Church. The third proof is from the following article; for since it is to herself that the Church looks in determining all things, nothing would be certain in faith if our doubts were not resolved by her infallibility. Even now, if we had not this for an invincible shield , we should have been vanquished a hundred times by the Lutherans, as they have in their favour an appearance of truth, and press us with strong arguments.


That there is an universal Church, that there has been, from the beginning of the world, and will be even to the end , we all acknowledge. The appearance by which it may be recognised is the question. We place it in the word of God, or, (if any one would so put it,) since Christ is her head , we maintain that, as a man is recognised by his face, so she is to be beheld in Christ: as it is written, "Where the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together," (Matth. xxiv. 28.) Again, "There will be one sheepfold, and one Shepherd," (John x. 16.) But as the pure preaching of the gospel is not always exhibited, neither is the face of Christ always conspicuous, (1 Cor. xi. 19.) Thence we infer that the Church is not always discernible by the eyes of men, as the examples of many ages testify. For in the time of the prophets, the multitude of the wicked so prevailed, that the true Church was oppressed; so also in the time of Christ, we see that the little flock of God was hidden from men, while the ungodly usurped to themselves the name of Church. But what will those, who have eves so clear that they boast the Church is always visible to them, make of Elijah, who thought that he alone remained of the Church? (1 Kings xix.10.) In this, indeed, he was mistaken, but it is a proof that the Church of God may be equally concealed from us, especially since we know, from the prophecy of Paul, that defection was predicted, (2 Thess. ii. 3.) Let us hold , then , that the Church is seen where Christ appears, and where his word is heard; as it is written, "My sheep hear my voice," (John x. 27 ;) but that at the instant when the true doctrine was buried, the Church vanished from the eyes of men. This Church, we acknowledge with Paul, to be the pillar and ground of the truth, (1 Tim. iii.,)because she is the guardian of sound doctrine, and by her ministry propagates it to posterity, that it may not perish from the world. For, seeing she is the spouse of Christ, it is meet that she he subject to him. And, as Paul declares, (Eph. v.24; 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3,) her chastity consists in not being led away from the simplicity of Christ. She errs not, because she follows the truth of God for her rule; but if she recedes from this truth , she ceases to be a spouse, and becomes an adulteress. Let those who tie down the Church to power in its ordinary sense, and to other external pomp, hear what Hilary says on that subject: "We do wrong in venerating the Church of God in roofs and edifices. Is it doubtful that in these Antichrist will sit? Safer to me are mountains , and woods, and lakes, amid dungeons, and whirlpools ; for in these, either hidden or immersed, did prophets prophesy."


That to the visible Church belong definitions in doctrine. If any controversy or doubt arises with regard to any thing in the Scriptures, it belongs to the foresaid Church to define and determine.

PROOF.—Horrible confusion would arise, if the Church had not the power of pronouncing a definitive sentence on disputed doctrines, as in the present day the Lutherans would fain have a voice in the Chapter, and would boast the word of the Lord, did we not oppose to them this reply, which has no exception,-That it belongs to the Church to determine ultimately, without contradiction. In no other way could we shut their mouth. Then we ought to know that Scripture is like a nose of wax, because it can be bent hither and thither. But the determination of the Church is fixed and stable. For if the heretics choose to cavil at one, the next day another more stringent can be adopted.


A definite rule, as far as regards particular Churches, is prescribed to us by Paul, when he says, (1 Cor. xiv. 29,) "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace." If any dissension arise among the Churches, we acknowledge that the legitimate method of establishing concord, which has always been observed, is for the pastors to assemble, and define from the word of God what is to be followed. But if we are to hold the determinations of the visible Church for oracles, it was the visible Church which Micah stood alone in resisting, (1 Kings xxii. 10.) It was also the visible Church which said, "Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor the counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet," (Jer. xviii. 18.) In short, in the time of Christ, the visible Church was represented by the high priest and his council, (John xviii. 28.) For their hierarchy was much better founded, and was confirmed by a surer testimony than that on which those who in the present day usurp the title of Church plume themselves. Those, therefore, who will have their definition of the visible Church to be received indiscriminately, and without exception, lay the faithful under the necessity of denying Christ, abandoning the truth of God, and oftentimes adhering to impiety.


It is certain that many things are to be believed which are not expressly and specially delivered in the sacred Scriptures, but which are necessarily to be received from the Church by tradition.

PROOF.—From the inconvenience or absurdity of holding otherwise. For without this it would almost be necessary to make the world anew: since not a hundredth part of those things which we firmly hold, and which are received amongst us , without any doubt, can be proved expressly from the Scriptures, but being elicited, after a long process, by the subtle deductions of the Doctors, maintain their certainty. It is proved, also, from probability. For it must be believed, that though the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, and had a command to instruct the Church perfectly, they were yet willing to leave something to their successors, that they might not, by anticipating them in all timings, clip their wings too much. It is proved, likewise, from analogy. For, as in jurisprudence, there is a law written, and a law unwritten, so ought there to be in theology.


"God," says an apostle, (Heb. i. 1,) "who, at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things." But what kind of expectation the Israelitish people had of the doctrine of Christ, appears from the expression of the woman of Samaria, "When the Messiah is come, he will tell us all things," (John iv. 25.) We ought, therefore, to stand fast in the doctrine in which we know that all the fullness of heavenly wisdom is included. On this very ground does Augustine decide, that nothing not delivered in the Scriptures is necessary to salvation, (Lib. ii. De Pecc. Mer. et Remiss. cap. ult.) For, if it were necessary to be known, God would not have omitted it. There is also a remarkable sentence of Chrysostom, (De Sanct. et Ador. in Spiritu,) "As Christ declares that he spoke not of himself, because he spoke from the law and the prophets; so, if any thing beside the gospel is obtruded upon us under the name of the Spirit, let us not believe it. For as Christ is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets, so is the Spirit the fulfilment of the Gospel" On the whole, since the certainty of faith should be sought from none but God only, we conclude that true faith is founded only on the Scriptures which proceeded from him, since therein he has been pleased to teach not partially, but fully, whatever he wished us to know, and knew to be useful.


With the same full conviction of its truth ought it to be received, that the power of excommunicating is immediately and of divine right granted to the Church of Christ, and that, on that account, ecclesiastical censures are to be greatly feared.

There are many minute questions among the Doctors, Whether, in exercising the power of excommunication, the key of knowledge and discernment is required? But do you say expressly-it being fixed that the Church cannot err, this power is plenary? This, too, seems to have been the meaning of our masters, who speak thus without drawing any distinction. But if it is asked, Whether he who has been excommunicated unjustly , has been excommunicated by the power of Christ? say it is enough that it is in his name.


As the power of excommunicating has been committed to the Church, so the due mode of using it has been prescribed. First, Let judgment be given only from the mouth of the Lord, (Matth. ii. 7.) Secondly, Let edification be studied, not destruction, (2 Cor. x. 8.) If it is done otherwise, the well-known sentiment of Gregory applies, "he who abuses the power committed to him deserves to lose his privilege" But we speak of the external form of the Church. For the true Church, as it is governed by the Spirit of Christ, will never, in judging, recede from the rule of his word. But , as it often happens, that those who are invested with ordinary power in the Church exercise tyranny instead of legitimate judgment, this distinction is to be carefully observed. Otherwise, Christ would in vain say to the apostles, "They will cast you out of their synagogues." We need not fear, therefore, at being excommunicated from any society from which God and his truth are exiled. But we ought not only to fear, but to guard with special care, against being excommunicated from that Church which has for its bond of unity the pure doctrine of God; for there is no salvation out of her communion, (Is. ii. 3; Joel ii. 32; Ezek. xiii. 9.)


It is certain that a General Council, lawfully convened, representing the whole Church, cannot err in its determination of faith and practice.

PROOF.—A General Council, always, and without exception, represents the Church, which otherwise would not be visible. But remember, it must be a Council in which the Pope presides. For though, in the Council of Nice, the legates of Saint Sylvester had not the first place, but the fourth, that was owing to the rudeness of the times-the Church not being fully constituted. But if any one objects the Council of Basle, say that it ought not to have any authority, as Eugenius had recalled his mandate, and withdrawn from the Cardinal of the Holy Cross his right to preside. But when our masters speak of a lawful assembly, it is to be observed, that for the lawfully assembling of a Council, it is sufficient that the legal forms and solemnities be duly observed. For should any one begin to dispute whether or not the prelates who sit there have a right intention, and whither or not they are learned, and whether or not they have a knowledge of sacred literature. and whether or not they are disposed to obey sound doctrine , the process would be endless.


Christ promises that he will be in the midst of those who are assembled, provided it be in his name, (Matth. xviii. 20.) Therefore, faith is not to be placed in all kinds of councils indifferently, but in such only as shall appear to have been assembled in the name of Christ. The prophets exclaim, "From the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely," (Jer. vi. 13.) Again, "His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant," (Is. lvi. 10.) Again, "There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof." "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things," (Ezek. xxii. 25, 26.) Since the Israelitish Church, which was the true Church of God, was liable to this misfortune, why should not the same thing happen to us? Nay, the apostles even announced that it would be so. "But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you," (2 Pet. ii. 1.) Our conclusion then is, that a council, that has been assembled in the name of Christ, is governed by the Holy Spirit, and is under his guidance led into truth. But those councils over which Christ does not preside are governed by their own sense, and so can do nothing but err, and lead into error. We maintain, moreover, that in some councils, though guided at the outset by the Spirit of God, the will of the flesh creeps in and turns them aside from the truth. For it is in Christ alone that the fullness of the Spirit dwells, and to each man grace is given in measure, (John i. 16; 1 Con xii. 5, 27; Eph. iv. 7.)


Nor is it less certain that in the Church militant there is, by divine right, a Supreme Pontiff whom all Christians are bound to obey, and who, indeed, has the power of granting indulgences.

PROOF.—It was said to Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock," &c. But when the Lutherans say that Peter is there praised as one among the number of the faithful, and that the Rock, which ought to be the foundation of the Church, is Christ, since Peter, in as much as he denied Christ, would not have been a good foundation, and, according to Paul, no other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, viz., Christ, never yield this to them. For, seeing there is a different interpretation in favour of the Roman see, the well known rule of law is, that favours ought to be liberally interpreted.

The Lutherans have also another answer, viz., that, supposing Christ gave the primacy to Peter, it does not follow that he gave it to his successors, unless, indeed, they are all to be also called Satans, it having been said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan." Their argument is, that those who succeed to the one title succeed equally to the other. But answer, that, by the rule of law, odious terms are to be strictly interpreted. Or, give another explanation, viz., that in the first instance Christ spoke to Peter as a future or incipient Pope, in the second spoke to him as a private individual.

They argue besides in this way; why did Peter confer the inheritance of the primacy on the Roman see rather than on that of Antioch, since he was bishop in both? Answer, that the place acquires dignity from his having died in it, especially from its being the place where the blood of martyrs, which is dear in the sight of the Lord, was shed, according to the Antiphone which is sung on his festival. They also object, why did not James and John acquire for the Churches in which they presided the second and third degree of primacy and dignity, in the same way as Peter acquired the first at Rome, since Paul says that those three were considered pillars? To this answer, that if others were not sufficiently zealous or magnanimous in maintaining their right, it does not follow that this ought to prejudice Rome. Therefore, Jerusalem and Ephesus, on account of their negligence or false shame, were deservedly put into the background. But Rome, which stood stoutly up for her honour, deserved to remain first.

They also use ridicule, saying, that if Rome ought to be the prime see, because Peter preached and died there, for the same reason the desert ought to have been the prime see to the ancient people, for there Moses, the prince of the prophets, both preached and died; likewise Aaron, the first high priest, there exercised his office until death. Nay, they maintain, that Jerusalem ought rather to take precedence of Rome and all other cities, for there our Lord fulfilled his ministry, and there died. But answer, that under the old dispensation, the succession to the priesthood was a personal , but is now a real right, and goes with the place. As to Christ, solve the difficulty thus: that he did not choose to found a primacy in his own person, for he himself says, I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Still, however, they object, that even if there had been a primacy at Rome, it could endure only so long as the Church remained there, and as long as the Pope was a bishop. But they deny that there now is a Church there, because there is the greatest confusion, and they deny that the Pope is a bishop, because he does nothing episcopal. But tell them that this objection is not to be admitted, because the thing is impossible; for it is written, "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not."


Scripture often mentions Christ the universal Head, but no where mentions the Pope. And when Paul pourtrays the Church, he does not make it the universal bishopric of one, but says that Christ governs the Church by his ministers. And yet the passage especially required that one should be named as over the others, if that were the fact, (Eph. i. 22 ; iv. 15; v.2; Col. i. 15; ii.20.) In commendation of unity, he mentions one Lord, one faith , one baptism, (Eph. iv. 11.) Why does he not add one Pope, the ministerial head? Moreover, the hierarchy, which, as the flatterers of the Pope pretend, consists chiefly in the primacy of the Roman see, is there professedly described. Why, then, does he omit what would have been most appropriate to the subject? He elsewhere says,(Gal. ii. 8,) that his office of apostle towards the Gentiles was equal to that which Peter received towards the Jews. Whence we infer two things-that Peter was not his head, and that the apostleship of Peter does not properly extend to us. He there also relates that he had entered into fellowship with Peter, but not to acknowledge him as superior. And Peter himself, when he writes to pastors, does not command with authority, but makes them his colleagues, and exhorts them in an affable manner, as is usual among equals, (1 Pet. i. 5.) When he is accused of having gone in to the Gentiles, though this accusation was unfounded, yet by clearing himself before the Church, he professes subjection, (Acts xi. 4.) And being justly reprimanded by Paul, he does not claim exemption, but obediently suffers himself to be corrected. Being ordered by his colleagues to go to Samaria with John, he obeys the order.

Let us, therefore, hold fast what Paul says, (Eph. iv. 15,) that Christ is the head, "from whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." For he there places all men, without a single exception, in time body, and leaves the name and honour of head to Christ alone. Besides, to each of the members he attributes a certain measure and a definite and limited function, in order that the supreme power of government may reside with Christ alone.

Cyprian, too, when he describes the unity of the Church, says, (De Unitate Ecclesiae, cap. ii.) "There is one bishopric, a part of which is held as a whole by each bishop, just as there are many rays, yet one light, and many branches in a tree, yet only one trunk fixed by its root ; and as several streams flow from one fountain, and being more than one seem divided, yet notwithstanding of the apparent numerical diffusion through the copiousness of the discharge, unity is preserved entire in the source; so also the Church, pervaded with time light of the Lord, sends its rays over the whole world, yet it is but one light which is everywhere diffused; it extends its branches, it pours out its refluent streams over the entire globe; still there is but one head, and one original."

We see how he makes the bishopric of Christ alone universal, and teaches that portions of it are held by his ministers. For this reason it was forbidden by the Council of Carthage, (cap. 47,) to give to any one the name of chief of the priests, or prime bishop, or more than bishop of the prime see. And Gregory execrates the name of universal bishop as profane, nay, blasphemous, and the forerunner of antichrist, terming it an invention of the devil, (Epist. 76, ad Maur., Augustin. Epist. 78, ad Const., Augustin. sequenti ad Enodium.) Cyprian does not honour the Roman bishop with any other appellation than that of brother and co-bishop and colleague. In writing to Stephen, the Roman bishop, he not only makes him the equal of himself and others, but even addresses him in harsher terms, accusing him of arrogance and ignorance. Nay, even Jerome, a Roman presbyter, hesitates not to make that see subordinate. If, says he, (Epist. ad Anion.) the question of authority is raised, the world is greater than a city. Why talk to me of the custom of one city? Why, against the laws of the Church, vindicate the few, from whom superciliousness has sprung? Wherever there is a bishop, whether at Rome, or Eugubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, there is the same merit, and the same priesthood. The power of riches, and the humbleness of poverty, do not make one bishop superior, and another inferior Lastly, were every thing else conceded to the Romans, he cannot be the chief of the bishops who is no bishop at all.


Ecclesiastical constitutions, such as those concerning fasting, the choice of food, abstinence front flesh, and many others, truly oblige in the forum of conscience, even to the exclusion of all offence.

PROOF FIRST, from similitude, or from example. For the Rabbis of the Jews also say that the precepts of the wise ought to be observed as the laws of God are, and this without doubt. PROOF SECOND , from reason. For the Church is the substitute of Christ, and represents his person; therefore, it should be able to do as much as Christ can. PROOF THIRD, from authority, because it is said, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; and whatever things they say unto you do." But when the Lutherans reply, that this is said of the law which the Pharisees taught when they were in that seat, and adduce, in confirmation, the order elsewhere given us to beware of their leaven, that is, their doctrine, and also the exposition of Augustine, where he asks, What else does the Lord mean than that they hear the voice of the pastor through the medium of hirelings? For sitting in the chair, they teach the law of the Lord; therefore, God teaches by them. But if they choose to teach what is their own, refuse to hear, refuse to do : To all this answer, that it is impossible that the Church can teach anything else than the will of God, because it is directed by the Holy Spirit. There is also another proof from authority. For it is said, "Obey those who are set over you." But when the Lutherans say that this ought to be restricted conformably to the rule which Peter lays down to those who have rule, viz., not to exercise dominion over the heritage; and also, to the rule which Paul says that he observed among the Corinthians, not lording it over their faith, there is nothing in the objection. For , even if those who preside issue improper orders, still those under them are hound to obey. Then, we ought always to return to the principle-because they are the Church, they cannot err in determinations of practice. Finally, there is a proof from utility. For it is scandalous to make great changes. And Solomon forbids us to remove the ancient landmarks which our fathers placed. But the greater part of the observances by which the world is governed in the present day are traditions of the Church, and, therefore, it would neither be convenient nor useful to cause so much confusion by changing every timing. Add, that they contribute to decency and comeliness of conduct. If anyone say that they do not by this bind consciences, I answer, that this is done accidentally, in consequence of their ratification. For the Church intended this, and the people consented.


"There is one Lawgiver," says James, (iv. 12,) "who can save and destroy." And the reason for this is twofold; because the will of God is to us a perfect rule of righteousness and holiness, and he alone possesses authority over souls-an authority which he resigns to none. Therefore, the Lord everywhere urges obedience, and obedience to himself alone. Hence those expressions, "Obedience is better than sacrifice," (1 Sam. xv. 22.) Likewise, "Whatever I command you, that observe and do. You will not add ought or diminish." Likewise, "Let not everyone do what seemeth to him good, but do only what I command you." Likewise, "Did I ever command your fathers to offer sacrifices to me ?" and not this rather, "Hearing, hear my voice," (1 Sam. xv. 22 ; Dent. xii. S, 32; iv. 2; Jer. vii. 22.) Paul declares it unlawful to bind the conscience by any human laws. "Stand fast," says he, (Gal. v. 1,) "in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and be not again entangled with the yoke of bondage." He elsewhere gives the reason, (Col. ii.23.) For even those things which have a show of wisdom are frivolous and vain, if they are according to the precepts and traditions of men. In like manner, he declares, when he treats of marriage, that he is unwilling to lay a snare for believers, (1 Cor. v. 35.) Therefore, the spiritual kingdom of Christ is violated, and his authority over souls infringed, when men usurp the right of binding consciences by their own laws. Besides, it is abomination in the sight of God to frame to him a worship which he does not require, or to embrace one devised by man without the sanction of his word, as Isaiah testifies, (Is. xxix.13,) when for this cause he denounces dreadful judgments from God upon the people, because they worshipped him with the commandments of men. Also, we have the well-known declaration of Christ, "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," (Matth. xv. 9.)

As to the choice of meats, we have the doctrine of Paul, "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink," (Col. ii. 16.) Also, "The kingdom of Christ is not meat and drink," (Rom. xiv. 17.) We have also the declaration of Christ, "That which entereth into the mouth defileth not the man," (Matth. xv. 11.) And in another passage Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicts that impostors would arise, prohibiting the use of meats, which God had created, and also of holy matrimony, (1 Tim. iv. 3.) It is impossible to listen to the quibble, that, in the former passages, Paul is disputing with the Jews, and that this prophecy is directed against the Tatians and their followers. For if God has abolished the distinction of meats which he had introduced into the law, and has subjected all meats indifferently to the power of men, who can now assume to himself the right of making new laws, by which the liberty allowed by God is taken away? if Augustine, even in his day, justly complained that the Church, which God in his mercy wished to be free, was so burdened, that the condition of the Jews was more tolerable, in what terms shall we deplore the bondage which now exists?


In the same forum of conscience, vows are obligatory, although they be monastic, such as perpetual continence, poverty, and obedience.

PROVED, First, by the true stanza, "Words bind men, ropes the horns of bulls." For, (arguing from the less to the greater,) if we keep our promises to men, how much more to God? But when the Lutherans object that a contract is not completed without the consent of both parties; also, that pactions against law are not valid: answer, that whatever is done with a good intention is pleasing to God. And if anyone vows with a bad intention, yet, on account of the honour due to vows, it is the same as if he had vowed with a good intention. This holds especially in the monastic vow on ac count of the dignity of the profession, because, as St Thomas says, it is like a second baptism.

When, in regard to perpetual continence, the Lutherans adduce another argument, viz., that no man is bound to observe it, unless it be given him from above: answer, that, according to the Doctors, a vow does not cease to be obligatory, because the faculty of performance is defective. But they ask, Which of the two is better for a monk or a priest-to marry, or to commit fornication? And, moreover, they produce the authority of Cyprian, who, in his eleventh Epistle, says of sacred virgins or nuns, that if they will not or cannot persevere, it is better for them to marry than to fall into the fire by indulgence. But a contrary reason prevails, according to the determination of the Canonists also, on account of the contumacy, and more direct infringement of the vow. It is proved, moreover, that vows are obligatory, from their being dispensed with and loosed. The Pope could not dispense with vows, were it not for the power of the keys, and hence it follows that they bind the conscience. The only remaining doubt arises from its being said by our masters, "although they be monastic," the expression seeming to imply, that monastic vows are less obligatory than others. But, observe that this was set down on account of the difficulty of observance, a difficulty which, but for this curb, might tempt monks to draw back.


In vows three things are to be attended to: First, Whether the thing vowed is in our power; Secondly, Whether the purpose of the vow is right ; Thirdly, Whether what we vow is in itself pleasing to God. When these, or any one of these, is wanting, we conclude that vows are fruitless and of no avail. Moreover, Scripture tells us that perpetual continence is not in every man's power; for Christ declares, that all do not receive this word, (Matth. xix. 11.) And Paul, speaking of this very gift, and so giving us to understand that it is a special gift not granted to all, reminds us, (1 Cor. vii. 7,) that the gifts of God are distributed. And, therefore, he enjoins all who burn to seek their remedy in marriage. "Whosoever," says he, "cannot contain, let him marry. Likewise, to avoid fornication, let every one have his own wife." But that in vowing monastical obedience, the end is vicious, is plain from a single expression of Paul, in which he condemns all that is voluntary modes of worship which men institute at their own hand. For this is the term which he uses in the Epistle to the Colossians, and which the translator has rendered by superstition. But when monks thus vow obedience to their superiors, they just worship God by human fictions. We maintain that the poverty which they vow is not only not acceptable to God, but is utterly displeasing to Him. For God orders every man to live by his own labour; and Paul says, (2 Thess. iii. I 0,) "He who does not work should not eat." And he calls it a disorderly life for any man to live in idleness by another's sweat, commanding that such be excommunicated. Then the voluntary poverty which God recommends to us is, that he who is rich should, by bestowing his goods to relieve the wants of the brethren, make himself poor after the example of Christ. So Paul tells us, (2 Cor. viii 9.) But the poverty which the monks profess is one by which, though idle, they never hunger, but devour the goods of the poor, and deprive themselves of the power of well-doing. On the whole, we conclude, First, That vows conceived by superstition are of no value, and have no power to bind the conscience; Secondly, That vows rashly made from a foolish confidence in the flesh, ought to be speedily renounced, before God punishes their obstinate arrogance.


The Faculty of Theology prohibits the Masters of Arts and Bachelors of their own body and others, desirous, now or in future, to take a theological degree, from maintaining, on any account, in sermons or lectures, or from otherwise teaching counter to the above mentioned articles. On the contrary, when the subject and opportunity offer, they must announce them sincerely, and declare them openly to the people. Moreover, the Faculty has decreed that each Master and Bachelor shall confirm them by his subscription. And since it is not safe to nourish the disorderly and contentious, like wolves in the flock, the Faculty has resolved that all who shall refuse to obey this decree, or who shall teach, or in future preach, propositions contrary to those aforesaid, shall be expelled for ever from their body. But as, from a love of contradiction, and of departure from the customs of our ancestors, very many, studious of change and novelties in doctrine, neglect the laudable custom of imploring the grace of the Holy Spirit through the intercession of the blessed Virgin, we warn them not to be so averse to the angelical salutation which the gospel has prescribed to us, nor, as many are wont, when the name of the Lord our Saviour occurs, preposterously to disdain to use the name of Jesus, contenting themselves with calling him the Christ, (ie Christ,) especially seeing that, as Peter testifies, there is no other name given under heaven among men by which we can be saved. In like manner, when mention is incidentally made of the divine apostles and prophets, and holy doctors, let them not, as they are wont, designate them, without any title of honour, Paul, James, Matthew, Peter, Jerome, Augustine, nor consider it a grievance to prefix the word saint, calling them Saint Peter, Saint Paul, &c. And, lastly, let them not neglect to commend the souls of the dead to the prayers of the people. 10th March, Anno Domini 1542.

The Faculty of Theology, convened on oath in the College of Sorbonne, to consider the preceding Articles, approved of said Articles in the form in which they are written.

Signed by order of his Lordship the Dean, and of the Faculty.



Isaiah prohibits all the disciples of God from saying, "conspiracy," as often as the multitude have conspired, (Isa. viii. 12.) By this he intimates that we are not to obey or consent to any counsels of the wicked. Let us, therefore, follow what he afterwards enjoins, i.e, let us sanctify the Lord of Hosts, adhering to him with fear, that he may be our sanctification. Whosoever tempts us to withdraw from this fear, let him be to us anathema. And, like the blind man who received sight, let us not be afraid of being expelled from the synagogue of the wicked, since Christ will meet with us, and receive us into the fellowship of his body. It were better to die a hundred times, than to pollute our hands with a nefarious subscription abjuring the truth of God. For the Sorbonnists, who so often make mention of their herd, (gregis,) have here proved, that they are a herd of swine. That invocation of the Virgin, which they have hitherto used in seeking the grace of the Spirit, who sees not to be execrable blasphemy? to say nothing of those titles full of anathema, by which, while they would honour the Virgin, they most grievously insult her, calling her "the Queen of Heaven, and Treasury of Grace." We hear how Christ tells us, that he will send the Spirit of truth from the Father, and bids us ask in his own name, (John xiv. 26; xv. 26.) This, therefore, is the right rule of asking, and the sure method of obtaining. But to flee to the Virgin, passing by Christ, and in prayer to address her instead of God, who sees not to be a profane practice? It is assuredly altogether alien from the Word of God. Nay, there is extant a Canon of the fourth Council of Carthage, forbidding the invocation of saints at the altar. Here, also, they (the Sorbonne) give a still clearer manifestation of their absurdity, when they say that this salutation is prescribed to us by the gospel. It is true, Gabriel was sent, as Luke relates, to salute the Virgin in these terms; but are we Gabriel? When was this ever commanded to us? What access have we to the Virgin, for the purpose of holding conference with her? Besides, why use the salutation at the time when they implore the influence of the Spirit, unless to pervert it into a form of prayer?

As to the name of Christ, how can ears so assinine be so delicate, as to be offended at modes of expression which the Holy Spirit employs? The name of Christ occurs every where in the Scriptures. All the writers of the Church used it; but it is not relished by our masters. And that they may not want a pretext, they bring forward that magical device of the Jews, as if the salvation of the Church were included in two syllables. Since they rave so absurdly about the name of Christ, it is not strange that they are so fastidious as to the names of saints.

But by what reason, or what example, do they impose it as a law upon preachers to commend the souls of the dead to the people? Many homilies of the ancients are extant, and from them it will be seen that nothing of the kind was ever done in the ancient Church. Accordingly we see that they take the usual course of tyrants. When unable any longer to support their domination by moderate measures, they have recourse to truculence and barbarian ferocity. But what, on the other hand, does the Lord declare, "Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand," (Isa. viii. 10.) For "there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel, against the Lord," (Prov. xxi. 30.)

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