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common mark of hospitality ;" by virtue Whereof, they were admitted to communicate in all churches through which they passed; and which is yet farther observable, if it hap pened that a bishop in his travels came to a strange church which was not his own, he was for the testification of their union and mutual society, permitted by the bishop of that churclı to consecrate the sacramental elements of the Lord's supper, as Polycarp did at Rome, by the consent of Anicetus the then bishop of that church. .
; Many other methods were also made use of, to preserve the harmiony and communion between particular churches, which I shall whole ly omit, and content myself with the brief mentioning of one or two more relating to their discipline, which are more particularly assented to by this article ; one whereof is, that although there might be a disagreementin some lesser and inferior points, yet they still retained peace and order ; and one church did not imperiously claim and exercise a jurisdiction over another ; but, whatsoever was regularly and according to form performed in one church, was allowed to be valid and oblia gatory by all others; whosoever was baptized, ordained, or the like, in one church, was not obliged to receive those things de novo, if his
circumstances & the divine providence should necessitate him to be member of another. To offer to prove this concerning baptism, will be the greatest impertinency; seeing every one knows, that the baptism of heretics was deemed valid, and was never reiterated; and as for ordination, there is an instance thereof in one Numidicus ; who " being a Presbyter before, was admitted into the number of the Presbyters of Carthage without a new ordination." And as for other things, they are so universally known, that it will be superfluous to add the proof of them. The other instance therefore of their mutual communion and fellowship, respecting their discipline, was, that whosoever were justly and legaliy censured in one church, were not in opposition thereunto countenanced and supported by another; but as they were excluded their own congregation, so they were also debarred from the communion of all o!hers, and never admitted into the fellowship of any regular Christian society, till by their amendment and satisfaction they were received again into their own church .unto which they appertained. An example whereof, I have already given in the excommunication of Marcion, by his own father the bishop of Sinope in Pontus, which I shall not again here recite..
But having thus briefly explained the terms of this clause, The communion of saints, and shewn some of the methods used by the an. cients, to continue and proinote their society and communion, I shall in the next place more particularly enquire into the occasion of its þeing inserted in the creed, and shew what was chiefly and more particularly design. ed thereby;
Now, as it hath been said before, the iotroduction of this clause was occasioned by the Donatists, who although orthodox in matters of faith and doctrine, yet by reason of a quarrel at the election of Cecilian to the bishopric of Carthage, about the end of the tenth persecution, engaged themselves in a long, violent, and deplorable schism ; arriving to that height of pride, uncharitableness and faca tjon, as to affirm their party, which was con. fined within the bounds of Africa, and rejected by all transmarine churches, who were the greatest part of the universal one, to be only and solitarily the one holy Catholic church ; and that all others were without its pales and limits, having no right to administer any of the institutions thereof; that whatsoever they performed, were invalidities and mere nulli, tjes. Upon which account, they most schismatically and unchristianlike, proceeded to re-baptize, and to perform every thing de nopo upon those who revolted from the Catholic church unto their narrow-liearted sect; thus proudly and unjustifiably cutting off all other churches from their society and union, whilst other churches most justly rejected them from their fellowship and communion. In opposi. tion unto which; this. clause of the communion of saints was inserted in the creed; whereby these two things were declared, viz, the mark and the property of true particular churches, that on the one hand, a sign to know a regular particular church by, is entertaining of communion with it by other churches ; and that on the other hand, it is the property and practice of such a particular church, to maintain all regular communion and fellowship with others; of both which I shall briefly discourse. · First, this clause may be considered as a mark or sign by which to know a regular par. ticular church, that such an one must be esteenied so to be, which is acknowledged as such by the other particular churches and members of the Catholic and universal one ; a sufficient ground for which interpretation, is in the conference of St. Austin with Fortunius a bishop of the Donatists, who, with the rest of his faction, excluded all the orthodox from being members of the Catholic church, limit
ing the bounds of it by their own party, who · were all confined within the borders of Afri. ca; for which reason, saith St. Austin, I asked him, " which was the church? Whether that which according to the prediction of the holy scriptures, should spread itself throughout the whole earth, or that which a small part of Africa should contain ?" Unto which, he first endeavored to assert, that their communion was throughout the whole earth. Unto which St. Austin replies, " that the easiest way to conclude that question, was for each party to produce their communicatory letters from 0ther churches.” In pursuance whereof, Fortunius produced a certain book, wherein he said, was contained a letter from the counch, of Sardis to the bishops of the Donatist's com. munion in Africa ; which letter being read, there was found in it the name of Donatus a. mongst the other bishops, to whom it was directed; upon which St. Austin asked him, Whether this Donatus was the same with him from whom they received his name? For it might be, that he was a bishop of another here. sy, seeing the name of Africa is not so much as mentioned in the letter; adding moreover, that it could not be proved that it was this Donatus, since it could not be made out, that this letter was sent to the African churches ; for although Donatus be an African name, yet