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VOTUM PRO PACE.
NURTURED from my youth in sacred literature, and taught by masters not holding the same opinions on divine things, it was easy for me to see the will of Christ, that all who desired to bear His name, and through Him attain blessedness, should be one among themselves as He is one with the Father (John 17). And that, not one in spirit merely, but likewise in a communion which can be seen, and is specially seen in the bonds of government and the participation of sacraments. For the Church is one, or ought to be, a certain Body (Rom. xii.; Ephes. i. 4, 5; Colos. i.); which Body, Christ, the Head given to it by God, has willed to be jointed together by the ligaments of various offices (Ephes. iv. 11); and individuals to be baptized in it, that they may become one body (1 Cor. xii.). And they are to feed on one consecrated Bread, that they may grow more and more unto each other, and show themselves to be one Body (1 Cor. x. 17). I was strangely captivated by the beauty of that ancient Church, on whose Catholicity there is no controversy ; when
all Christians, save fragments torn off, and therefore easy to be recognized, were knit together by the intercourse of ecclesiastical letters from the Rhine to Africa and Egypt, from the British ocean to the Euphrates, or beyond. I saw that it was
I for this very reason that schisms and separations in that conspicuous Body were severally interdicted (Rom. xvi. 17; 1 Cor. i. 10, 11; iii. 3; xi. 18; xii. 25; Gal. v. 20); and that this was the special subject in the letters of Paul, and Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, and in many writings of Optatus of Milan, and Augustine against the Donatists. Moreover, I began to reflect that not only my ancestors, but those of many others, had been pious men, hating superstition and wickedness; men who brought up their families well, in the worship of God and the love of their neigh bor; whom I had ever deemed to have departed from this life in a state of salvation; nor had Francis Junius taught me otherwise—a man of such fair and mild opinions, that the more heated Protestants disliked and abused him. I was also aware from the report of my elders, and the histories I had read, that men afterwards arose who were altogether for deserting the Church in which our ancestors had been ; and who not only themselves deserted it—some even before they were ex
communicated-but made new assemblies too, , which they were for calling Churches, made new presbyteries in them, taught and administered sacraments, and that in many places against the edicts of kings and bishops, and alleged, in defence of this, that they must obey God rather than man, just as if they had had such a charge from Heaven as the Apostles had. Nor had they halted in their daring at this point; but traducing kings as idolaters and slaves of the Pope, had stirred up the mob to armed meetings, seditions against the magistrates, breaking of the images of saints, of holy tables and shrines, and finally to civil war and open rebellion. I saw that much Christian blood had thus been everywhere shed, that morals, looking generally, especially where they had prospered, had so far from improved, that long wars had made men savage, and the contact of foreign vices infected them. My sorrow at these things increasing with my years, I began to reflect myself, and consider with others on the cause of calamities so great. The seceders, cover their own deed, stoutly maintained that the doctrine of the Church united with the chief See had been corrupted by many heresies, and by idolatry. This was the occasion of my inquiring into the dogmas of that Church, of reading the books written on both sides, reading also what has
been written of the present state and doctrine of the Church in Greece, and of those joined to it in Asia and Egypt.
I found that the East held the same dogmas which had been defined in the West by universal councils; and that their judgments agreed on the government of the Church (save the controversies with the Pope), and on the rites of the Sacraments unbrokenly handed down. I went further, and chose to read the chief writers of ancient times, as well Greek as Latin, among whom are Gauls and Africans; and those of the three next centuries I read both all and often ; but the later ones, as much as my occupations and circumstances allowed, especially Chrysostom and Jerome, because I saw that they were considered happier than the rest in the exposition of the Holy Scriptures. Applying to these writings the rules of Vincentius of Lerins, which I saw to be approved by the most learned, I deduced what were the points which had been everywhere, s always, and perseveringly handed down, by the testimony of the ancients, and by the traces of them remaining to the present day. I saw that these remained in that Church which is bound to the Roman.
THE CHURCH THE PROTECTOR AND DE
FENDER OF THE POOR AND OP-
The enthusiasm of charity, manifested in the Church, speedily attracted the attention of the Pagans. The ridicule of Lucian, and the vain effort of Julian to produce a rival system of charity within the limits of Paganism, emphatically attested both its pre-eminence and its catholicity. During the pestilences that desolated Carthage in A.D. 326, and Alexandria in the reigns of Gallienus and of Maximian, while the Pagans fled panic-stricken from the contagion, the Christians extorted the admiration of their fellow-countrymen. by the courage with which they rallied around their bishops, consoled the last hours of the sufferers, and buried the abandoned dead. In the rapid increase of pauperism arising from the emancipation of numerous slaves, their charity found free scope for action, and its resources were soon taxed to the utmost by the horrors of the barbarian invasions. The conquest of Africa by Genseric, deprived Italy of the supply of corn upon which