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Hence throughout Christendom, instead of gazing with awful horror and devout humility upon the secrets of the immaterial world, the whole was familiarized, and with daring though unintentional profanation exhibited in distinct and vivid lineaments. The celestial hierarchy of heaven was disciplined and marshalled into ranks and orders; each angel had his office and function. Hell was laid open with equal presumption ; and to complete the system, the more accessible region of purgatory gained an easy belief. 'A perpetual intercourse took place between this world and the next; every thing which occurred within this nearer place of probation was under the direct cognizance of the priesthood. Souls returned in visible forms, or at least with audible voices, to demand the masses, which were to shorten their purgation, or to bear witness to their efficacy in expediting the work of their final salvation. Even the heaven of heavens was not secure against the profane invasion; the Immaterial, the Incomprehensible, He, whom no one but the Son hath seen, was embodied. The Trinity itself assumed form and substance; ineffable union was described not in words only, but in forms and colours; and represented under whatever symbols appeared most appropriate.”
THE CHURCHES OF ROME AND ENGLAND CONTRASTED
IN POINT OF TOLERANCE.
"The Church of England and Ireland presents herself as Scriptural, as Catholic, as Tolerant,
as Social, as Loyal, as Protestant." Abp. of Dublin's Charge, 1826. p. 37.
To the Editor of the Protestant Guardian. SIR,- It was with feelings of real pleasure that I hailed the appearance of your publication. I was rejoiced to see it emanate from the place of all others, where it was most likely to be productive of most good ; being convinced that discussion promotes enquiry, that enquiry elicits truth. To forward the interests of truth and godliness, to spread far and wide the tenets of our scriptural and catholic religion, in opposition to those of the unscriptural, anti-catholic, and intolerant Church of Rome, is, indeed, a matter of the first importance, and I do indeed hope with you “that help will not be wanting in a matter of such moment, and in circumstances which require so much exertion." The inactivity of Protestants, their almost perfect indifference to the industry of the Romish priesthood, in propagating their unsound and dangerous doctrines, is, I am confident, the greatest assistance to, and greatest encouragement of, Popery. Speaking of the consequent effects of admitting the claims of the Roman Catholics, Archdeacon Daubeny, in his letter to Mr. Canning, says, “Decision and energy are what we have to depend upon for the prevention of the dreadful catastrophe :" to bis letter I refer your readers for an Extract taken from “Letters written in England' by Don Manuel Alonzo Espriella,” p. 41, which proves the truth of my assertion. A Protestant is taught to believe his Church to be Catholic and Tolerant, yet how few are able to prove to ån enquirer the truth of what they believe? It is to furnish those persons with an answer, who have not the means of consulting elaborate treatises, that I am induced to collect a few authorities to shew that our Church is, as she professes to be, Tolerant. I believe the only place which our adversaries do, or can urge against us, is contained in the creed commonly called the Athanasian Creed. Certain parts of this creed are called by our objectors“ damnatory, or condemning clauses ;" an awful term indeed, and very insidious, sufficient to affright a superficial reader, and prejudice him against any further enquiry into our holy religion. To allay these terrors, and remove such prejudices, is my anxious wish, and shall be my earnest endeavour. The first offensive clause is that with which the creed begins, “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith : Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” Or in other words, “In order that we may be saved, we must believe the Christian Faith, the religion and doctrines which Christ came to declare, or in case of our denying assent, we must suffer the penalty inflicted by the Author of that Faith, and perish everlastingly.” And this catholic or christian faith contains two great doctrines, viz. the doctrine of the Trinity, and the doctrine of Christ's Incarnation, which are fully explained in the creed, and “may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.” Art. viii. And on this evidence, therefore, " he that will be saved, must thus (as the creed teaches) think of the Trinity;" and it is, therefore, necessary to everlasting salvation, that we believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Having stated and fully declared what these two doctrines are, the creed goes on to say, in confidence of having set forth an authoritative and scriptural explanation of them, “This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.” And it is this clause that the Roman Catholics object most against us, telling us that by our own confession, we hold the doctrine of exclusive salvation. Now, in order to state distinctly our meaning, we will compare the open declaration of the Church of Rome on the subject, with the alledged imputation against the Church of England. The Council of Trent declares authoritatively, on its own ipse dixit, the Roman Catholic Church to be “mother and mistress of all Churches,” and, in the same happy production, “the Profession of the Catholic Faith,” having given a detail of her several tenets in twelve articles, which we challenge them to prove by ANY warrants of Holy Scripture, or any fair inferences deducible from it, we find this Church said to be “the true Catholic faith, out of which no one can be saved.”. Again, in a note on Matthew, vi. 24, in the Douay Bible, we have these words :-"Two religions, God and Baal, Christ and Calvin, Mass and Communion, the Catholic Church and Heretical Conventicles.” In the catechism of this Church, the Roman Catholic children are thus taught :-“Q. Believest thou that the holy Catholic and Apostolical Church is the one true Church, in which the one Baptism is given, and the true remission of all sins ?A. I believe.-Q. Moreover, dost thou accurse every heresy which lifteth up itself against the holy Catholic Church ?-A. I accurse them.”The very able and learned Rector of Stanhope gives us a few specimens of the prayers of the Roman Catholics, founded on this doctrine. See his Letter to Mr. Canning, p. 97; also, the Rev. J. Richardson, in his “Review of the Roman Catholic Declaration,” p. 191. By way of comparison between the conditions of exclusion used by the two Churches, I will refer to the same unanswerable Letter of Dr. Philpott's, p. 91, where the author says, “That Church (of Rome) among a thousand similar extravagances, sentences a man to the loss of all hope of christian salvation, who says that it is contrary to the institution of Christ, to mix water with wine, at the Holy Communion (Con. Trid. Sess. 22. can. 9.) The Church of England in the Athanasian creed, pronounces the same of one who impugas the fundamental truths of christianity; and you are pleased to say that this deprives us of all right to find fault with the exclusive spirit of Rome.” “Again, in p. 92, he says, “ You will perceive that the main question respecting the Athana
sian creed is, first, whether its doctrines be true-secondly, whether they be fundamental. The Church of England holds them to be both true and fundamental, and therefore, scruples not to receive and use the creed, notwithstanding the strong terms in which the danger of unbelief is there set forth."
Where, I ask, and ask triumphantly, is the vaunting domineering spirit of the Papal denunciation, to be found in the creed adopted by the Church of England: We had, I remember, at school, a phrase which we used on occasions of recrimination, in cases where the accusation might with equal or perhaps greater justice be retorted on the
This phrase, “tu quoque,” we may with abundant justice retort upon our Roman Catholic objectors. Surely that Church, which “holds as fundamental one particular doctrine, which requires the belief, under pain of damnation, of every thing else which it shall choose to prescribe, I mean the infallible authority of the Church, (Philpott's First Letter to Canning, p. 92) cannot with any degree of propriety be the first to cast the stone' at that Church, which does no more than our Lord himself did, when he denounced the awful sentence of condemnation on the unbelievers of His doctrines, saying, in the plenitude of His lawful authority as Sovereign and future Judge, he that believeth not, shall be damned."" The difference of the terms of condemnation assumed by the two Churches is very remarkable. But with respect to those of our own communion who object to the clauses in question, as intolerant and uncharitable, I beg leave first to lay before them an extract from“ a Sermon preached by the Rev. E.C. Willoughby, on his renouncing the errors of the Church of Rome ; published by the desire of his friends." It was printed at Derby, in 1791, where I suppose it was preached. The extract is from page 19, &c. “It is a point agreed on among all Christians, that we must be believers, consequently, some rule ought to be laid down by which we may measure the suficiency of our faith, and know when we have believed, what is sufficient to salvation. The Gospel is the rule of our faith, and to a firm belief in that alone, no other condition being expressed, the promises of salvation are made. Every doctrine therein delivered we are bound to believe, but what is neither contained in it, nor clearly deducible from it, is no rule of faith to Christians. This is the rule our Church prescribes, as well as the Holy Scriptures; and happy are they who strictly keep it. For as long as we do, we cannot be otherwise than a sound, true, and Apostolical Church.” And in the second place, as regards the Church of England opposers of the clauses, I cannot but doubt the validity of their faith in the Christian Dispensation ; and for this reason: the founder of our religion, the author of our faith, came down from Heaven, as the mediator of a better covenant, had He not an undoubted right to prescribe His own laws, propose His own doctrines, and inflict His own punishment for disobedience? And are not those who profess His religion amenable to Him as their judge, and answerable to him for their conduct? Has He not declared that" he that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned " Mark, xvi. 16. To doubt, therefore, or object to the conclusions of the Athanasian Creed, is I apprehend (horrid imputation!) to accuse our blessed Saviour of intolerance, bigotry and uncharitableness !! It is to doubt and object to the authenticity of the religion they profess, to doubt and object to the credibility of the book they pretend to follow as their rule of life. Again, with as much reason may the criminal code of England be termed damnatory, as the “condemning clauses” of the Athanasian Creed, and be said to threaten all mankind with capital punishment. With as much reason may the command in the old Testament, “ the soul that sinneth it shall die,” be called damnatory. The reasoning in each case is, in my opinion, exactly parallel. Let us observe also the dogmatical mode (I had almost said of instruction) of propounding to her followers, adopted by the Church of Rome. With her it is only (to use a common phrase) "a word and a blow,” it is, as if she had said, “Consent to these doctrines, embrace this religion, believe my infallibility, and thou shalt live. Refuse or deny these, thou shalt perish eternally." No proof is given, no examination, or dissent permitted. With the Church of England the case stands thus ; “ this is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.” From this we have a legitimate right to infer, that a man, before he is included in this condemnation, has the evidence of our faith offered for his belief and acceptance. The Apostle Paul uses the same arguments, Romans, x. 14, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” We are then fully justified in coming to the conclusion that “the condemping clauses of the Athanasian Creed, are to be understood as relating only to those who obstinately deny the substance of the Christian faith.” See Dr. Waterland's Postscript to his Preface to his “ Critical History of the Athanasian Creed.” And let me remind those who charge the Church of England individually with uncharitableness for using this Creed, that they greatly err in so doing. They either forget, or most probably are ignorant, that “ this Creed shé holds in common with almost all the Christian world at the present day; and in so doing, but continues that which has been maintained in the Christian Church for 1,300 years; that this of course, tends not to claim salvation exclusively for her own Communion.” Archbishop of Dublin's charge 1826. p. 42. Instead of giving a full and minute account of the origin and design of the creed, let it suffice that I recommend to your readers the excellent work of the indefatigable Hartwell Horne, “On the Trinity and Athanasian Creed;” or the Rev. J. Richardson's "Vindication”; only giving them to know that it was adopted into our Liturgy from the Romish Ritual, and appointed by the Commissioners, who reviewed and corrected the Liturgy in 1689, to be read on certain days in our Church Service; that at the Reformation it was received in its fullest extent by all the Protestant Churches, and that therefore the Church of England is justified in retaining it, because by its condemning clauses, no Christian is excluded from the blessing of salvation wrought for us by the co-operation of the blessed Trinity, and ratified by the death of our Incarnate Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Wishing you a full measure of success in your undertaking, and the blessing of God on your endeavours,
“H. o. p. e. (D.)"
OBSEQUIOUSNESS OF THE KING OF SPAIN TO THE
To the Editor of the Protestant Guardian. SIR,
The Catholic Miscellany for Nov. 1824, (the only number of that work which I ever saw) having accidentally fallen into my hands, I have been much edified by the following anecdote of royal obsequiousness. Though now rather an old story, it is probably as little known to many of your readers as it was to myself; but at all events, whether we consider what was done in Spain, or how it is recorded in England, it seems to be worth reprinting.
“In the month of March last, the King of Spain gave the following remarkable proof of his piety. The day before his departure for Aranjuiez, as he was returning to his palace, he met a priest carrying the Holy Viaticum to the sick. His Majesty immediately alighted from his carriage, made the priest get in, and himself shut the carriage door. He then took a lighted taper, and accompanied the priest on foot. The King went even to the house of the sick person, and then assisted at the administration of the Holy Viaticum, and the prayers for the departing soul. These examples are the more precious as they are rare in these times of languishing piety and half-extinguished faith. This trait of genuine piety may be called bigotry, and all the opprobrious epithets applied to it which we are so accustomed to see lavished on the King of Spain ; but it will edify the true Catholic—who knows that as another humble monarch has written; “ The King shall rejoice in God; because the mouth is stopped of them that speak wicked things. (Psalm lxii. 12.)”.
I am fully sensible, Sir, how useless it is to express to you a curiosity which I cannot hope that it is in your power or that of your correspondents to gratify, yet I must add that I would give half-a-crown to know what the priest was thinking about as he rode along. I am, Sir, you obedient servant,
CHILLINGWORTH NOT A SOCINIAN.
To the Editor of the Protestant Guardian. Sir, It was asserted by his opponents,* and has obtained some belief among Protestants, that the unlimited enquiry into religious matters, indulged by the immortal Chillingworth—that great master of reasoning, as he is called by Locke-led him first to Protestantism, and finally to the disbelief of the doctrine of the Trinity: He was threatened with having this stigma fixed on his character, if he should attempt to refute the author of " Charity maintained.” His notice of the threatening in his letter to that author, sufficiently contradicts the slander :“You have not,” he says, “omitted to tempt me by base and unworthy considerations, to desert the cause which I had undertaken ; letting me understand from you, by an acquaintance common to us both, how that in case my work should come to light, my inconstancy in religion (so you miscall my constancy in following that way to heaven, which for the present seems to me the most probable) should be to my great shame painted to the life; that my own writings should be produced against myself; that I should be urged to answer my own motives against Protestantism, and that such things should be published to the world touching my belief (for my painter I must
expect should have great skill in perspective,) of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity of our Saviour, and all supernatural Verities, as should endanger all my benefices, present and future :- that this warning was given me, not out of fear of what I could say, (for that Catholicks if they might wish me any ill, would beg the publication of my book, for respects obvious enough,) but of a meer charitable desire of my good reputation : and that all this was said upon a supposition that I was answering, or had a mind to answer Charity maintained.” If not, no harm was done.—To which courteous
The slander has been perpetuated by Bishop Milner. “Chillingworth was first a Protestant of the Establishment, he next became a Catholic, and studied in one of our Seminaries; he then returned in part to his former creed; and last of all he gave unto SOCINIANISM, which his writings greatly promoted." Milner's End of Controversy.