« ZurückWeiter »
Conspiracy against God; in that case we should not proínote the cause of Peace, but yield durselves to the most abject state of Slavery. “There is,” says Nazianzen, “ a Peace which is unprofitable,” and a Discord which is advantageous; for we must desire Peace conditionally, as far as it lieth in us, and is lawful before God: without these limitations, Christ himself * did not bring Peace into the world, but a Sword.
If therefore the Pope wishes us to be reconciled with him; let him first be reconciled with God: for hence, according to St. Cyprian, all Schisms arise, because men seek not the head, and have no recourse to the Sacred Fountain of the Scriptures; and keep not the commandments of their Heavenly Master:“for this,” he exclaims, “is not Peace, but War; neither is he connected with the Church, who is severed from the Gospel.” As for our opponents they make a Merchandize of the name of Peace; for the Peace which they so earnestly desire, is merely the Peace of t slow bellies. All our differences indeed might be easily arranged, did not sensuality, ambition, and glut
* Matthew x, 34.
+ Titus i. 12.
tony interpose. Hence proceed their tears and complaints; their Souls are in their Dishes; and all their clamours proceed from an anxiety to retain by villainy, what they in the first instance acquired by Knavery and Corruption.
At this time the granters of Indulgences, the Dataries, the Collectors, the Pimps of the Court of Rome, and others, who think that Godliness. is great gain,* and serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, make the heaviest complaints against us: for in former times men of this description made no small gains by these practices; but now they consider that whatever Christ gains is their immediate loss. Even the Pope himself joins in their Lamentations, declaring that Charity is waxed cold. And Why? because forsooth his income has of late years visibly decreased. On this account he heaps disgrace and odium upon us, loads us with every species of reproach, and condemns us for Heretics; in order that those who do not understand the nature of our cause, may deem us the most abandoned and profligate of men.
* 1 Timothy vị. 5.
| We however in the meantime are not ashamed of these aspersions, nor in truth ought we to be ‘ashamed of the Profession of the Gospel; for we esteem the Glory of God more than the good opinion' of Men; we know that we teach nothing but the Truth, and we dare not offer violence to our own consciences, or give Testimony against God: for if we deny any part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ before men, he will in like manner deny us before his Father who is in Heaven. And if there are any who are offended in Christ, and cannot endure his Doctrine, they are blind and leaders of the blind. Truth must nevertheless be preached and preferred above all things, and we must patiently await the Judgment of God.
Our adversaries in the meanwhile, would do well to reflect seriously upon their own Salvation; and cease to hate and persecute the Gospel of the Son of God: lest hereafter they find him the Vindicator and Avenger of his own cause. God will not suffer himself to be treated with Contempt and Scorn. The Eyes of the world have for some time been opened to a sense of their own condition. The more this Light of the Gospel is repressed and kept under, so much the more
brilliantly will it burst forth and shine abroad. Popish Infidelity and Unbelief cannot obstruct the Propagation of the Faith of Christ; and if they will still harden their hearts and refuse to acknowledge the Gospel of Christ, * the Publicans and the Harlots shall go into the Kingdom of God before them.
GOD, AND THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST