Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

We trust Popery herself may never be more assured of its precise situation. But this Purgatory, it seems, is for those of the Popish Church, who are merely guilty of venial sins ;such, for instance, as the sins of fornication, adultery, &c. not for those who are guilty of the “ mortal or deadly sin " of denying the infallibility of a priest;-this is a sin, the Pope's Church tells us, which “deprives the soul of her spiritual life *." Where the Pope relies upon his own logic that is to say, where he cannot even find any portion of Scripture that he can pervert to his purpose, we are always content to leave him to the full benefit of it. Christians must take the sacred writings as the basis of their arguments; and, in our present undertaking our reliance is upon the scripTURAL EVIDENCE we produce. Passing by, therefore, the Pope's reasoning upon his own false premises until he, or his Church, adduce something deserving of notice, we arrive at the references to the Bible. Here, as usual, the very verses he selects from, overturn his own conclusions when they are fairly quoted; thus, Rev. xxi. 27, as above--" And there shall in no wise enter into it (the New Jerusalem] anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie; but they [i. e. they only] which are written in the lamb's book of life.Can this verse be screwed into any allusion to Purgatory? Is it because we are told, that we are to render an account of our idle words, and that God will render to every man according to his works—is this Christian doctrine to be impiously pronounced to be a lie if the Pope's Purgatory be denied t? Who, calling themselves Christians (Papists alone excepted) are not satisfied that the oblation of Christ himself, and their own faith and repentance is a sure means of obtaining the mercy of God?--As the next quotation (from Corinthians) speaks of fore, it is, of course, quite enough for Popery to prove it, by her usual means, to be her own Purgatory. The above commences at the 13th verse, and contains an allusion to the 11th. This allusion was, we presume, as near as Popery dared approach towards the tenth verse, lest she should jostle against her supremacy ? --It runs thus, (1 Cor. iii. 10,) 6 According to the grace of God, which is given unto me,? says St. Paul, “as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man, [Popes and their Churches should well consider this take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”

* Q. Is any GREAT HONOUR due to Priests and ghostly fathers ?

A. Yes; for they are God's ANOINTED-represent the PERSON of Christ, and are the fathers and feeders of our souls !-See Douay Cat., p. 70 and 41. Keating and Brown, 1824.-Who can marvel when such are the principles instilled into the infant mind, that as the youth grow up they should worship their priests with a pagan idolatry?

+ We must again here express our hope that the impiety we are obliged to repeat may not be laid to our charge—but the Popish clergy invariably declare, (see p. 31.) if they themselves are in an error, the Almighty is accountable for it!!!—The writer of this note has himself heard the blasphemy so pronounced by the lips of a Roman Catholic priest!

Ver. 11. “ For other foundation can no man lay [i.e. but at his peril] than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”.

Ver. 12.“ Now, if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,&c. It was requisite thus to give the quotation fairiy (as the Pope nor Doctor thought it necessary to do so), to show more clearly how the word "fire" has been strained into Purgatory. The chapter treats of " Paul's commendation of his ministry; and Christ the Foundation,”-themes which are certainly of a very dissimilar kind to Purgatory. Those who build "gold" or & stubble,” (which the Pope has barely alluded to,) are the preachers of sound and unsound doctrines; but, every man's work,” says the Apostle, “ shall be made manifest, For the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” And did not the cruel persecutions of the early Chris tians try their faith and works? Do not the fires of the Inquisitiondoes not the inbuman Auto de Fe (where Popery has, or ever hus had, the power of enkindling the flame) clearly prove the Apostle's prediction? “If any man's work

1110 7900 DJ duplog

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

shall be burned he shall suffer loss, but the himself shall be saved ; yet so as by fire." Is it not a loss, and a severe one, to the martyr of the pure religion of Christ, to witness the destruction of his labours by fanaticism and cruelty; and though the vindictive malice of fiends in human shape destroy "the earthy tabernacle of his soul," yet his immortal spirit is beyond their reach, as Paul says, in the very next verse (16)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you ?" But the Pope says, the holy Fathers interpret the text above “of Purgatory:"-it would have been much more to the purpose if he could have found one single sentence wherein Christ, the Prophets, or the Apostles, taught the belief of such a doctrine throughout the whole Bible; and which we deny it possible for him to have done. As to the opinion of the “holy Fathers," it is at best but secondary when we have the “Book of Life" open before us, and on this alone we rely for our refutation of Popery. But Pope Pius and Dr. Challoner (although there has lived about five-and-twenty Popes between, from the death of the one to the other,) both knew that of those called 5 holy Fathers," by Papists (none of which could surely be more holy than infallible Pontiffs ?)-yet even of these the above gentlemen both knew the, by far, greater part were the most unholy monsters in existence *.

mas 10 We have noticed the text quoted from Matthew, (ch. v. 25. see p.24,) but that the Pope should have been so indiscreet as

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.** Jurieu, although not the most quotable of theological writers himself, in quoting Petrarch, (who wrote in the fourteenth century,) says, “ He reckons up all the villanies of the Neros, Heliogabaluses, Sardanapaluses, and Caligulashe addeth the wiele mode of the come uptions of the Church of Rome in that age; so that he requests

too little to afford the return of Nero, and the resurrection of the greatest, monsters of impurity and cruelty, as a less misery than that the Church was oppressed by.' It cannot be disproved (however it may be sought to disguise the fact,) that since Popery insisted upon her “ infallibility” all Christian charity has been rooted out of her Church. Her supremacy

has tagged all her canons and edicts with anathemas-she has openly hey hear

berself the damning Church, by cursing all the world, herself only excepted, to her decrees canonical, we are struck with astonishment and contempt at the im. potent thunder of her denunciations.

to have introduced it above for the purpose of proving his Purgatory by Scripture is rather surprising, even though he addresses himself to Papists; since, although they are taught to believe every thing they are desired to believe, yet the fewer contradictions to the evidence of their senses (we should have thought) the better. The Pope, however, certainly knew the calibre of the consciences of his followers better than we do, Still, we must say, that had he applied the above text to those whom his Church denounced as heretics, when seizing upon their estates, and afterwards clapping them into her Inquisitions, we think he might have handled the subject better : as it is, could it have been managed worse? The chapter from which the extract is taken, (Matt, v.) is the beginning of Christ's Sermon, in which he declares who are blessed, exhorting all to labour after perfectness, &c. However the Pope, or St. Cyprian, may have applied the doctrine of—“ Agree with thine adversary quickly whilst thou art in the way with him,” &c., to Purgatory, God blessed others of his creatures with common sense as well as St. Cyprian* and the Pope; but the cause must be weak, indeed, whose advocates are compelled to the tergiversation of reducing so explicit a command of Christ to a mere Popish figure! The next quotations (Matt. xii,32.) as the Pope tells us “imply,—and then comes his “ otherwise, why,followed by the logical, “ Now, if," and then his own conclusions as positive facts. We deny his proposition; if we disprove it, his conclusion falls. Our Saviour undoubtedly used these words : “Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.' We have already said (p. 113,) the Scriptures are addressed to us in a language adapted to our capacities : in such a language did Christ and his Apostles preach. But why did neither the Pope nor the Doctor tell their followers (whom we so often feel it necessary to observe, know no more of the Scriptures than Popish doctors do tell them,)—who it was to whom Christ used the expressions quoted above? Was it not to the Pharisees? Those who determinately resisted the authority of his heavenly mission, and yet, who declared that in “ the world to come,” both soul and body was to be affected by prolonged rewards or punishments according to their lives on earth *? This people did deny Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost in him; to whom Christ, knowing their professions and their hypocrisy, said, that such a sin should not be forgiven them in this world, (and, as they professed a belief in an indefinite term of rewards and punishments hereafter,) “ neither in the world to come.” How, we ask, in his hu- , man nature, could our Saviour have adapted his language more clearly to the comprehension of those to whom he addressed it?

* St. Cyprian, although an early father, and an ornament of the Christian Church, was not “ infallible.” He was converted from Paganism A. D. 246. In 248 the Bishop of Carthage dying, Cyprian succeeded him in the Bishopric, and ultimately suffered martyrdom A. D. 258, twelve years after his conversion.

Mosheim says of him, that “ he would have been a better writer, had he been less attentive to the ornaments of rhetoric—and a better Bishop, had he been able to restrain the vehemence of his temper, and to distinguish with more acuteness between truth and falsehood.The Pope, we think, had better have quoted some other Holy Father. Cyprian denied the supremacy of Stephen, Bishop of Rome, whose excommunication he treated with contempt; he also wrote against the vanity of idols, &c.; speaking of the arrogance of Victor, when Pontiff, he says (Epist. ad Maximus, 54,) « This is proud obstinacy and sacrilegious presumption, and proceeds from a wicked madness." * At the time of the birth of our Saviour, the Jewish Doctors had many disputes concerning how the (old) law ought to be expounded. Their opinions being divided, they formed themselves into various sects, of which the three principal were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. The two former are frequently spoken of in the New Testament: the tenets of the latter are recorded by Josephus, Philo, (an Hellenistic Jew,) &c. The Essenes believed that future rewards and punishments extended to the soul alone, which was imprisoned in the body, and which they deemed corrupt. The Sadducees assigned the same period of existence to both soul and body as concludes this mortal life. Whilst the Pharisees contended that divine rewards and punishments affected both the soul and body, and that their duration was prolonged beyond the limits of this transitory state-Mosheim.

We are next referred to 1 Pet. iii, ver. 18, 19, 20, but before we say anything further on this subject, we must beg here to remark on the inconsistency of so repeatedly referring those to the Scriptures who are absolutely forbidden to peruse them; and those who might persist in doing so, after the prohibition of a priest, would be denied a participa

« ForrigeFortsæt »