« ForrigeFortsæt »
I Cor. v. 12.-“ For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within ?
13.–6 But them that are without, Gov judgeth. Rom. ix. 26.-“And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people ; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”
If these texts be not sufficient to show the grossness of the assumption that salvation can be extended to none but the believers in Popery, let those who would seek further proofs that such impious doctrines—(we merely write as we feel)—are opposed to the divine precepts of Christianity, let them “search the Scriptures,” which will make irresistible appeals to their understandings and to their hearts. They will therein learn that the “Mercy of God rejoiceth against judgment," (James ii. 13), and that “ God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts x. 34.)
But we request the patience of our readers whilst we point out to them the way in which the Pope blends religion and impiety, as they will frequently have occasion to notice, whilst drawing the falsest possible conclusions from his own unwarrantably-assumed propositions. “True faith,” says he, “ in order to please God and save our souls, must be entire ; that is to say, we must believe, without exception, all such articles as by God and his Church (the Popish Church!] are proposed to be believed; and he that voluntarily and obstinately disbelieveth any one of these articles is no less void of true saving faith than he that disbelieves them all,” &c. Now, how can any man who has perused the New Testament, read such tenets as those which we are wading through, and not feel the bane of their influence in all social intercourse, and, what is evidently of much greater importance, of their direct tendency-or, perhaps, we should say, positive effect-in betraying souls from a reliance upon the merits of the Saviour of the World into the deplorable darkness in
separable from doctrines instituted by the speculative theories of men-of men who oppose the temporal interests of their Church against the promised salvation of all the rest of mankind? Let us see what kind of “ Articles” are those coupled by the Church of Rome with those left for our guidance by the word of God. We will first notice the canon of Urban II.*, which is thus expressed :-“We do not consider those as homicides, who, burning with zeal for the (Roman) Catholic Church against excommunicated persons, happen to have killed any of them !” “This canon still,” says Dr. Phillpotts, " has its place in the ecclesiastical code, and is part of the law of the Church of Rome.”. Where are such encouragements held out to 'zealous' murderers in the New Testament? Again, “Such is the sacredness of the obligation to obey the (Romisb) Church, that, even at the day of judgment, the sinner who has erred by following its commands may thus address the HEAVENLY JUDGE, and claim forgiveness as of right!!! “Lord, if it be an error which we have followed, thou thyself hast deceived us by thine own plain and reiterated direction, that we should hear the Church even as we hear Thee. Thou thyself hast deceived us by thy apostles, by the pastors and teachers appointed by thee for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of thy body--who have commanded us so to do. THOU THYSELF hast deceived us by thy Church, called by St. Paul the pillar and ground of the truth, which Church has never ceased to exact from her children a firm assent to all her decrees, threatening an everlasting curse agaist those who dare to rebel against her. Conscious, alas ! of our own ignorance in divine things, and of the weakness of man's understanding, how could we rely on ourselves in searching the Scriptures, and despise an authority so exalted? Confidently, therefore, we say, O Lord, if it be an error which we
# 47 Ca. 23. Qu, vi. Excommunicatorum.
have followed, THOU THYSELF HAST DECEIVED US, AND WE ARE EXCUSED.'
Where is such blasphemy as this to be found but in Popish books ? If the extract just quoted be not in the “Class Book” used in the College of Maynooth, would it not be better to disprove than to abuse the evidence quoted? But who can feel surprise at the consequences of unchecked Popery--that the ALMIGHTY's glorious name should be spoken of in conjunction with a “ Church” whose members write thus, and condemn to eternal perdition all who disbelieve any one of their “Articles ?" We give another of them. “Our University knows, that, by the mouth of the Sovereign Pastor, it is GOD HIMSELF who speaks to the flock over which the Holy Ghost has constituted him the Uni. versal Bishop, to govern the Church of God!!!” (Hist. des Papes, t. v. p. 476, par Fr. Bruys.) The above was sent from the University of Coimbra in 1717, to Pope Clement XI., to assure him of the firm belief of its members in his infallibility
As the whole of the section on which we are treating is intended to show that none can be saved but the believers in Popery, and thinking we have sufficiently proved, by the Scriptures, the fallacy of so vain yet wicked an assertion, we should deem it too severe a trial of our readers' patience to notice the inapplicable few lines perverted to the Pope's proof on the subject, which follow, farther than to observe that the expression of Christ to his Apostles,-“He who heareth you heareth me,” &c. was not addressed to Roman Catholics, but to those whose preaching and practice was directly opposed to the preachings and practices of Popery from its commencement to the present hour. Observe how a line, picked out of the old law, is applied by the Pope to himself—" The nation and kingdom that will NOT SERVE THEE, SHALL PERISH !!!” This, surely, speaks plainly enough? If we have made
* See Evidence in the House of Lords, (in 1825,) page 268.
unfaithful extracts in the course of our remarks upon the last Section, we beg to be corrected by our Roman Catholic brethren; if they cannot show that we have done so, what little will it import them inerely to say, as we have often heard it expressed, that “the Roman Catholics of England know nothing about these things,” &e. We know that they do not; and we wish them to know more of the doctrines of their Church than it has been deemed expedient to teach them. How few English Papists will believe that their Protestant relatives must, according to the tenets of Popery, be damned? But how very few of the former persuasion, in Roman Catholic countries, believe that they will not? Be it remembered, however, that we are not speaking so much of the great body of our Popish fellowsubjects as to them; it is not to them we are opposed, but to their doctrines of faith, as we truly believe these to be opposed to the divine precepts of Jesus Christ. The 18th Article of the Reformed Church, alluded to in the Section we are treating of, is this :-" They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ whereby men must be saved.” What, we ask, is objectionable to a CHRISTIAN in this Article? Is it not the language of the Gospel ? But Papists must, of course, apply (as they are taught to do) to the Pope to obtain salvation !
We now approach the infallible part of our subject, and which, like those already treated of, whilst we condemn, it will be our effort to disprove. It is decidedly the most pernicious of all Popish doctrines---(since from this all else that
is objectionable, all that is derogatory to Christ's word, and to common sense, proceeds)—to all men calling themselves Christians, save in the opinion of Papists alone ; and we beg particular attention to the even more than usually meagre portions of Holy Writ that could be found by Popery, capable of being distorted, as in the least bearing upon the question, to so preposterous, and, as we think, to so abominable a purpose.
Sect. III.-—That the Church of Christ is always holy in her doctrine and terms of communion, and always free from pernicious
How do you prove this?
1st. Because, as we have seen above from Matt. xvi. 18, our Lord Jesus Christ, who cannot tell us a lie, has promised, that his church should be built upon a rock, proof against all floods and storms, like the house of the wise builder, of whom he speaks, Matt. vii. 25; and that the gates of hell, that is, the powers of darkness, shall never prevail against it. Therefore the Church of Christ could never cease to be holy in her doctrine; could never fall into idolatry, superstition, or any heretical errors whatsoever.
2dly. Because Christ, who is “the way, the truth, and the life," John xiv. 6, has promised, Matt. xxviii. 19, 20, to the pastors and teachers of the church, to “ be with them always, even to the end of the world." Therefore they could never go astray by pernicious errors: for how could they go out of the right way of truth and life, who are assured to have always in their company, for their guide, him who is the way, the truth, and the life.
3dly. Because our Lord has promised to the same teachers, John xiv. 16, 17, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you FOR EVER, even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH:" and ver. 16, he assures them that this Spirit of Truth “ shall teach them ALL THINGS:” and chap. xvi. 13, “ that he shall guide them INTO ALL TRUTH. How then could it be possible that the whole body of these pastors and teachers of the church, who, by virtue of these promises, were to be for ever guided into all truth by the Spirit of Truth, should at any time fall from the truth by errors in faith.
4thly. Because, Isaiah lix. 20, 21, God has made a solemn covenant, that after the coming of our Redeemer, his spirit and his words, that is, the whole doctrine which this Redeemer was to teach, should be for ever maintained by his church through all generations. The Redeemer shall come to Zion, &c. This is musanyenant with them, saith the Lord: my spirit which is upon thee, and my words which