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WEDDERBURN/PROBLEM OF CATHOLICITY’
65
they cannot deny but that the tenne tribes made a schisme, and yet they lived in
a schismaticall church, when they worshipped the calves in Dan and Bethel, and
went not to Jerusalem to worship there: yet in the days of Ahab, when a higher
degree of idolatry [69r] was brought in, viz. the worship of Baal (for that of the
calves in Dan and Bethel64 was in their meaning and intention performed to the
true God, the God of Israel, even as that worship was which their forefathers had
yeelded to the golden calf in Horeb65), they that had not bowed their knee to
Baal were saved, though they lived and died in that shismaticall church and idola¬
trous. And though (for ought wee know) they or many of them were guiltie of
the idolatrie received from Jeroboam and, through long custom received from
their Fathers, did not communicate with the orthodoxe church in the solemne
service of God at Hierusalem,66 the only place appoynted by God at that time
for that service, which (by the way, be it said) was a higher privilege then the
Church of Rome or any particulare church in the world can claim to. Even so
though it were granted that our Reformers made a schisme, as Jereboam, yet
there is a possibility of salvation, not only to those among us who approve it not
at all, have votum et desiderium unitatis,67 but to those also who have no such
explicite wish, nor can have, as being altogether ignorant of the schisme, or hav¬
ing but a verie generall and obscure knowledge of it. As for St Augustine’s opin¬
ion, who denyeth not only martyrii gloriam,™ but even salvation itself to those
that willingly suffer death for the profession of the Christian fayth, if they be
without the Catholique church, that is (as he must be understood) the orthodoxe
church, though herein he followeth his countreyman St Cyprian, yet are they
both in this point too rigide, and their opinion had need to have at least that
restriction added which St Augustine himself useth in the case ofhaeresie, Epistle
12, which shall be proved anone. It cannot be denyed but that he and some
others of the Fathers doe often restraine the name of the church, and of the
church CathoUque to orthodox or right beleivers, and St Augustine sometimes
to such only of them as lead a good life and continue therein to the end. But the
same Fathers, when they speake exactly, doe not exclude from the visible church
Catholique either schismaticks or hereticks, if directly they held the foundation,
though denying it indirectly and by consequent. For proofe whereof a place or
two of St Augustine may suffice, he being the man that seemeth oftennest to
affirme the contrary. On Baptism, Against the Donatists:69 ‘For in all points in
64 1 Kings 12:29.
65 Exodus 32, Psalm 106:19.
66 1 Kings 12:28-33.
67 ‘the wish and desire of unity’.
68 ‘the gjory of martyrdom’.
69 bk. 1, ch. 1 [vii, 30]; Works, iii, 3.

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