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of the fifth century, it was first promulgated and defended by Augustine.

Consequently, still in point of fact, the mere unauthoritative private judgment of a single individual, who was flourishing at the commencement of the fifth century, is the sole ultimate basis upon which the System reposes.

3. What I have thus stated are mere HISTORICAL

Facts, negative or positive.

Negatively, the earliest Church knew nothing, systematically, either of Arminianism or of Calvinism or of Nationalism.

Positively, the earliest Church recognised a System, essentially, in point of IDEALITY, different from all three : and this fourth System, by the very act of her recognition, she viewed as exhibiting the true sense of Holy Writ.

But, while these FACTS,

as FACTS, must in themselves for ever remain unaltered and unalterable, totally independent upon any Systems which man's private judgment may excogitate: still, in the way of a necessary result from established principles, we cannot avoid feeling that they draw after them very important consequences.

In its application to the case of a Divine Revelation, the canon of Tertullian propounds an eternal and necessary verity.

Whatever is first, is true : whatever is later, is adulterate *.

For, according to the explanation of his canon, as given by Tertullian himself: That, which has been first delivered or revealed to mankind, must be received as true and as proceeding from the Lord : while that, which has been introduced at a later period, must inevitably, as such, be deemed false and extraneoust.

* Id esse verum, quodcunque primum: id esse adulterum, quodcunque posterius. Tertull. adv. Prax. $ 2. Oper. p. 405,

+ Id esse dominicum et verum, quod sit prius traditum : id autem extraneum et falsum, quod sit posterius immissum. Tertull. de Præscription. advers. hæretic. § 11. Oper. p. 107.


In the matter of a Divine Revelation, it cannot be otherwise. Any new doctrine, unknown through the first communication from heaven, and introduced by some expositorial speculatist subsequent to the day of that first communication, cannot possibly rest upon authority higher than that of mere human uninspired authority. It has, as Tertullian speaks, been immitted or let in or introduced at a later period : while yet it has been altogether unknown to those, who first received the very Revelation out of which it now at length purports to have been extracted. Clearly, therefore, it can be neither part nor parcel of the Divine Revelation itself: because, if it had, it must have been familiarly known and universally received from the beginning. Hence, obviously, on sound principles of evidence, unless we be magnanimously resolved to dogmatise against all evidence, we stand compelled to reject the three several Systems of Arminianism and Calvinism and Nationalism ; inasmuch as they were respectively unknown from the beginning, and inasmuch as they were respectively the mere later inventions of unauthorised theological speculatists.

Three Systems being thus disposed of, there remains only a fourth for our consideration : I mean that, which History testifies to have been adopted by the Catholic Church, in point both of IDEALITY and of CAUSATION, from the time of the Apostles down to the time of Clement of Alexandria at the

end of the second century.

Now, respecting this, on the same sound principles of evidence, little, I think, needs to be said. If we receive Christianity as a Divine Revelation, I see not how, consistently at least, we can reject that most ancient System which synchronises with the authoritative delivery of the acknowledged Divine Revelation itself.

IV. I may, in conclusion, add yet a further matter, which deserves the attentive notice, both of those sound Protestants who reject the fables of Popery, and of those sound Trinitarians who reject the impieties of Socinianism, severally on the rational score, that Such fables and such impieties were unknown to, and unrecognised by, the Primitive Church Catholic.

All, who take this line of argument, must honestly carry it throughout, or else altogether relinquish it as inefficient and unsatisfactory: for, on no just principle, can a man be allowed to pick and choose according to his own arbitrary humour.

1. The Calvinist, for instance, who thus, that is to say, from primitive antiquity, argues against Popery, while yet he himself, regardless of primitive antiquity, retains his Calvinism, must, from any acute and well-informed Papist, expect the speedy retort courteous.

If you, replies the Papist, object to my peculiarities, BECAUSE they are invisible and (as you say) sometimes even contradicted in the ancient documents of the Church Catholic: what, on your own principle of reasoning, becomes of your own Calvinism ; inasmuch as it was unknown and unheard of before the time of Augustine?

2. In like manner, the Arminian, who thus argues against the impieties of Socinianism, must be even content to hear the same retort from the

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