Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

particulars of the ceremonial part of the business of the processions--of the Pope knocking at the church door with a golden hammer, &c. But we shall state the following fact as we received it from a Priest at Rome, during the last Jubilee in 1825,-nor is it unworthy of remark.: The inhabitants of Rome, to "gain the Jubilee," as it is called, were to visit St. Peter's and other churches for thirty days ; bút, as an encouragement to the stranger (who, of course, brought cash with him), his penance, duty, or whatever else it may be called, was to make these visits but for fifteen days. We will now give a few brief extracts from the mandate of the Vatican's entitled, “The Bull of his Holiness, Leo XII., extending the Universal Jubilee, celebrated at Rome, A.D. 1825, to the whole (Roman) Catholic world.”

In the 10th section, the Pope says—“This year, therefore, has truly been a year of salvation, not alone to the inhabitants of this city, but to the many foreigners who performed this pious pilgrimage, and who, on their return to their homes, can attest the truth of what we here record. They have more than once had to admire the wonderful effects of Christian charity, .... that true charity which is nowhere found but in the (Roman) Catholic Church !.... They will not only have to recount, on their return, how the weak and tottering were confirmed in virtue, the sick restored to health,&e;" but they will also prove that they themselves are renewed in the spirit of their mind,&c. By the 12th section, we learn) in what this spirit of charity consists :-After claiming the supreme power of binding and loosing, and stating the number of visits to be made to the churches, the Pontiff says, his subjects * are to pour out their supplications

Addressing his clergy, the Pope (Sec. 21, 22) says, “ Take up, venerable Brothers, take up the shield of faith, &c.-Doubt not that all (Roman) Catholic kings and princes, our dearest children in Christ, will fuvour you. They know that it is written, there is no power but from God; and again, by ME kings reign, und 'lawgivers decree just things.' ' By ME princes rule, and the mighty decree justice!!!""

р

to God for the exaltation of holy Mother Church, and theextirpation of heretics * ! (Pro sanctæ matris ecclesiæ exaltatione hæresum extirpatione)—Protestants, we fear, would be but ill off, had Popery the power of INDULGING herself to the extent of her wishes. To this Bull is attached a “ Supplement from the Audience of the Most Holy Father, given on the 8th of January, 1826,” wherein it is said, that in those countries where heresy and infidelity prevail (that is, all professing the Christian faith, Papists alone excepted), and there are no churches, the Pope,“ in his benignity and wisdom,” provides other means for his followers to obtain a

participation in the salutary treasure of the Jubilee-provided always —that the pious prayer as cited above be fervently offered!

66

CHAP. XI.-OF THE SUPREMACY OF ST. PETER AND HIS

SUCCESSORS.
What is the Catholic doctrine as to the Pope's supremacy ?

It is comprised in these two articles :--1. That St. Peter by divine
commission was head of the Church of Christ. 2. That the Pope, or
Bishop of Rome, as successor to St. Peter, is at present head of the
Church, and Christ's Vicar upon earth.

How do you prove St. Peter's supremacy ?

First, From the very name of Peter, or Cephas, which signifies a rock, which name our Lord, who does nothing without reason, gave to him, who before was called Simon, to signify that he should be as the rock or foundation upon which he would build his church. According to what he himself declared, Matt. xvi. 18, when he told him, “Thou art Peter,” (that is, a rock) “ and upon THIS ROCK will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

2dly, From the following words, Matt. xvi. 19, “ I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoeveș thou shalt

* The English version of this passage, as published by the Roman Catholic booksellers in London is very differently expressed ;--perhaps Popery, in England, deemed it prudent to make some little alteration. The words run thus :-“IV. The fourth condition required for gaining the Jubilee, is the visiting of certain churches appointed by the Bishop, for fifteen days, and there devoutly offering up their prayers for the intentions prescribed by his Holiness; viz. for the exaltation of the holy (Roman) Catholic Church throughout the world ;-- for bringing bac all straying souls in the ways of unity and truth,&c. How Priests can thus render it we know not let them prove their translation correct, and we will admit that their miracle-days are not yet past.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” Where, under the figure of“ the keys of the kingdom of heaven," our Lord ensureth to Peter the chief authority in his Church; as when a king gives to one of his officers the keys of a city, he thereby declares that he makes him governor of that city.

3dly, From Luke xii. 31, 32, “ The Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have

you,
that he

may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, and when thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.” In which text our Lord not only declared his particular concern for Peter, in praying for him that his faith might not fail; but also committed to him the care of his brethren the other apostles, in charging him to confirm or strengthen them.

4thly, From John xxi. 15, &c.Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY LAMBs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.” In which texts our Lord, in a most solemn manner, thrice committed to Peter the care of his whole flock, of all his sheep without exception, that is, of his whole Church.

How do you prove, that this commission given to Peter descends to the Pope or Bishop of Rome?

Because, by the unanimous consent of the Fathers, and the tradition of the Church in all ages, the Bishops of Rome are the succes, sors of St. Peter, who translated his chair from Antioch to Rome, and died Bishop of Rome. Hence the See of Rome, in all ages, is called The See of Peter, the Chair of Peter, and absolutely the See Apostolic: and in that quality has from the beginning exercised jurisdiction over all other Churches, as appears from the best records of ancient history.

Besides, supposing the supremacy of St. Peter, which we haye proved above from plain Scripture; it must consequently be allowed that this supremacy which Christ established for the better government of his Church, and maintaining of unity; was not to die with Peter, no more than the Church, which he promised should stand for ever.

For how can any christian imagine, that Christ should appoint a head for the government of his Church, and maintaining of unity during the apostles' time; and design another government for succeeding ages, when there was like to be so much more need of a head. Therefore we must grant that St. Peter's supremacy was by

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1 :: succession to descend to somebody. Now, I would willingly know,

who has half so fair a title to this succession as the Bishop of Rome ? **;** Why do you call the Roman church the Mother and Mistress of tre all Churches ?

Because, as we have already seen, her bishop is St. Peter's

sor, and Christ's vicar upon earth; and, consequently, the father and - ]Il pastor of all the faithful: and therefore the Church, as being St. stre. Peter's See, is the mother of all churches.

succes:

That the supremacy of the Pope is the doctrine of Popery, we readily admit; but that it is opposed to CHRISTIANITY we are about to add further proof. Christ called Simon Cephas, but the Pope might have thought it a task of supererogation to have informed the world that its Redeemer “ does nothing without reason ;" yet this undisputed fact among Christians is no reason why his divine expressions should be tortured by interested and ambitious men, into meanings which the whole object of his human life most unequivocally shows they were never intended to convey. When our Saviour said to Peter,

Upon this rock I will build my Church,” Popery would have it understood, that its whole weight was to rest upon the shoulders of St. Peter; yet, as we have already shown, in the same chapter, Christ, on another occasion, tells him he was an offence to him as savouring too much of the things of men. The rock on which he said he would build his Church, is the rock whereon it still rests, and is so firmly established that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”-The Rock of Faith—the faith which the Apostles evinced when Peter answered for them ALL, “ Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” If Roman Catholics doubt this, let them read the whole chapter referred to, where they will find that (ver, 13) when Jesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked—not Peter only, but 'all_his disciples, saying, “ Whom do men say that I, the son of man, am?”—To this question they replied variously, as they had heard different presons assert their belief (ver. 14), “ And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremiah, or one of the Prophets." Thus each of the disciples

[ocr errors]

related the reports he had heard; and when (ver.15) Christ said unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?"-we appeal to common sense, and every-day experience, if any twelve men, of the same opinion, were to be asked a question by their king or director on a subject upon which they were most unanimously agreed, if all the twelve would answer at once, or one of them reply in the name of the rest? It was Peter who answered, and Christ blessed him; by which he was saved ; since, when Judas had betrayed his Lord, and all the other Apostles forsook him (Matt. xxvi. 56, 72, 74), Peter it

was who not only denied his divine master, but who also forswore him. The promise of Christ, “ I will give unto thee the keys,” &c. was (as we suppose it will be admitted) perfected, when he did give them; and, if so, to whom was it, we ask, were they confided—to the peculiar custody of Peter ? · No such thing ; we learn the direct contrary in the text referred to (John xx.) in this very chapter, wherein we are informed by “ the disciple whom Jesus loved,” that it was to eleven of the Apostles (Thomas Didymus not being then present) that the power of remitting sins was given. Our Saviour did not say, as on the former occasion to Peter, “ I will give thee,” &c., but—“ Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted,&c. We think the Pope somewhat too hasty in his simile of a king giving one of his officers the keys of a city; he should first have shown that Peter had been that individual officer who had been invested with the particular charge of it. We are now merely showing the unwarrantable construction which Popery, for her own worldly purposes, has put upon the text before us; we will show presently that such a supremacy as she would attach to St. Peter is expressly forbidden by Christ, and actually written against by St. Peter himself.

“3dly, from Luke xii.” it is said—(the extract given is from chap. xxii. ; and although these “ Grounds of Faith” are pot generally perused, yet Dr. Challoner should have paid a

« ForrigeFortsæt »