Billeder på siden

Popery throughout the whole of her doctrines, in assuming, self-evidently, false premises, from which Papists put forth the most absolute conclusions without one single scriptural proof to support them: we know, however, that design can supply its place by sophistry alone, and of which we think it cannot be deemed unfair (or, what is of more importance, it cannot be shown untrue) to assert that the present section is a tolerably good specimen of the rest.

That the Church of Christ is Catholic we have already admitted, but repeat our protest against the Romish Church so calling herself. We, nevertheless, are taught that it is our duty “ to live in charity with all men;" nor do we envy those their hearts and minds who have introduced into the volume they profanely call“ Gospel,a prohibition against the purest doctrines of ChrisT*. That the Popish Church is the true Church of Christ, we are told, is proved by a line of Scripture previously quoted, and misquoted here; because

her,we suppose, was deemed more expressive than “it :" of the propriety of its application, our readers may themselves judge. Of the quotation from Daniel ii. 44, “She is the kingdom of Christ, which shall never be destroyed,” we will only make one remarkthere is no such line to be found in the book of Danielt; and as the Pope could not

[ocr errors]

city of Germany) assembled, in which the Confederate Princes insisted upon their right of managing their own ecclesiastical affairs. During

three ensuing years the Reformation proceeded with rapid strides, when, A.D. 1529, a second diet was held at Spire, where the Princes entered into a solemn protest against the superstitions of the Romish Church; and hence the denomination of Protestant, adopted by all classes of Christians who wish to be distinguished as not being in a state of mental subserviency to Popes.

* “The speeches, preachings, and writings of PROTESTANTS are pestiferous, and creeping, like a cancer; and, therefore, never to be heard by Christian Men.”Rhemish Test. On 1 Tim. ch. iii. 12. Republished in 1816, under the direction of the Irish Jesuits, approved by Dr. Troy and all the Irish prelates.

† Speaking of his own Church, the Pope quotes Daniel, as above. Daniel is interpreting the dream of Nebuchadnezzar--the verse referred to (44) runs thus :“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break to pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." When Pius IVth composed bis “Grounds of Faith,” the Reformation had already caused Popery to crack; that she has since been broken to pieces and become the scoff of more enlightened ages, look now at her contemptible assumptions, without the means of drawing a sword, as formerly, to enforce them ; whilst her curses have recoiled upon herself, and induce her greatest enemies to pity her wretched insanity.

find any other scriptural passage to twist to his purpose in the present section, without wasting a single comment on the text as he has quoted it, we recommend a comparison of it and that which he has manufactured, as above. We will now proceed in our reply to his own unscriptural assertions,

First, then, if a new religion came into the world 1500* years, or 15 years, after Christ, in itself contrary to that which was taught by our Saviour, in both cases it came into the world “too late to be the religion of the Church of Christ ;” and as the doctrines of Popery, viz. supremacy, infallibility, transubstantiation, worship of images, indulgences, &c. &c. Sc. were not in existence until several ages after the resurrection, and (as we shall prove) they were first opposed to Christianity by proud and inordinately-wicked men, we should be really at a loss to conceive how the reformation of abuses, as in the Protestant Church, could give offence, did we not know that their exposure, in all cases, creates implacable enemies in the perpetrators of them.

“ The true Church of Christ” will ever be the Christian Church most pure in her doctrines; let the Roman Catholics read the Scriptures, and they will readily discover that, in

* This allusion of the Pope is in excellent keeping with his other perversions of sacred and profane history. It is here implied that Christianity, as practised in the Reformed Church, was unheard of until the year 1500; but was neither he nor Dr. Challoner aware that it was taught and professed in Britain during the second century ? The two great seminaries of pure Christian learning were at Bangor and Caerlion, in North and South Wales. Bishops Stillingfleet, Burgess, &c. have published authorities in proof of St. Paul planting the Gospel in this country; but, as the Scriptures do not speak of it (a), we will merely observe that, when, in the sixth century, Gregory the First sent Augustine over to convert the Saxons, he (Augustine) made demands on the Abbot of Bangor on behalf of the See of Rome, which the said Abbot thought too arrogant, and replied accordingly, that he owed the Bishop of Rome no submission, being himself under the authority of the Bishop of Caerlion upon Uske (b). All the Episcopal Churches were in communion with each other until the assumptions of Popery dissolved it. Tertullian says, “ Britannorum inaccessa Romanis loca, Christo Vero subdita."-adversus Judæos, c. 7.

(a) St. Paul says, the Gospel was in all the world, although he does not parti. cularize Britain, which was a part of the (then) known world. — See Coloss. i. 6.

(6) See Spelman's Concilia, page 108.— Tertullian also says, in his apology to the magistrates of the Emperor Severus (and which, according to Mosheim, was A. D. 198), that Britain had (then) accepted Christianity.

Can we

the Protestant Reformed Church, there are no doctrines but such as are sanctioned and recommended by the Gospel; whereas, in the Romish Church, the doctrines of our Saviour have long been discarded for the errors of Popery. “The true Church of Christappeals to the understanding—the Atheist may be converted to its faith, but the Bigot, who has been taught to erect his hopes of salvation on the basis of Superstition—who has been taught to surrender the most exalted attribute of his nature (REASON) at the feet of Idolatry—such a one dare not listen to the internal workings of conviction, since, conscious of the victory, he shrinks affrighted at her power, and turns to the priest, who has misled him, a sincere penitent, for having, but an instant, yielded up the reins of prejudice to common sense. then marvel whilst one class of Christians protested only against the abuses which an unchristian lust of spiritual and secular power had extended throughout their whole church, that those by whom they were committed should protest against a reformation of them ?

As we have nothing to reply to in the third paragraph, we beg to ask a few questions. Instead of the Pope telling us that none but his Church “ can be true,” and that “she must, be so, &c. &c., would it not have been wiser (if he could have done so) to have shown us, by the Scriptures, when Peter went to Rome, how long he was Pope, and whom he appointed to take the supremacy, &c. ? We can find nothing of the kind in the Scriptures. CHRIST says to his Apostles, “But be ye not called Rabbi, for one is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren ; and call

man your Father upon earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant,” &c. (Matt. xxiii. 8, 9, 11.) This is the language of Scripture ; let Papists read the whole chapter-it is written against ambition ; and such scriptural proofs will best determine the purity of the Pope's Church. But, as we have been told that “reformation came into the world too late," it may not be improper here to show that a reformation” of Popish abuses had commenced at a somewhat earlier period than the Pope or Dr. Challoner has thought fit to notice; we will also show what means were adopted by the Church of Rome to crush an innovation so destructive of its influence. Had not the Pope nor the Doctor ever heard of such people as the Waldenses or the Albigenses, who were coolly murdered for their “ Reformation," which commenced'in the year 1160? However, as these gentlemen have not taken any notice of this great victory obtained over Protestantism by Popery, we will endeavour to give such of their own readers, who may peruse what we write, some little information on the subject. Of their heresy, Venema gives this account in his Historia Ecclesiastica—“ They held the Holy Scriptures to be the only source of faith and religion, without regard to the authority of the Fathers, and of tradition; they held the entire faith according to all the articles of the Apostles' Creed. They rejected all the external rites of the dominant Church, excepting Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as temples, vestures, images, crosses, the religious worship of the holy relics, and the remaining sacraments ; these they considered as inventions of Satan, and of the flesh, and full of superstition. They rejected purgatory, with masses for the dead, acknowledging only two terminations of the present state-heaven and hell. They admitted no indulgences, nor confessions of sin, with any of their consequences, excepting mutual confessions of the faithful for instruction and consolation. They held the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist only as signs, denying the corporal presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They held only three ecclesiastical orders—Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. They considered monasticism a putrid carcass, and vows the invention of men; and declared the marriage of the clergy to be lawful and necessary. Finally, they

ye no


pronounced the Roman Church the whore of Babylon, and denied obedience to the Pope and his authority over other churches; nor would admit that he had the power of either the civil or ecclesiastical sword.” Such were the doctrines of “reformation” preached in 1160, and as we shall show from the best authorities, that none of the “ abusesintroduced into the Christian religion (thereby rendering it unchristian) until many ages after the Resurrection, it will be found more difficult to prove, than merely to assert, that those who came into the world 1500 years after Christ, came into the world 1500 years too late” to restore to the church her PRIMITIVE sanctity of doctrine and discipline.

The Waldenses, whose religious professions we have quoted as above, were the followers of Peter Waldus, a native of Lyons; and who, for their hostility to Popery, were banished by the Papal authorities of France, and took refuge in Piedmont. The natives of Albi, in the province of Languedoc, professed the same, or a similar creed, to the Waldenses, and were esteemed as a people possessing more learning and intelligence than any other Christians of that age: their numbers rapidly increased as their professions of faith spread abroad; and the inhabitants of their immediate neighbourhood, disgusted with the vices of Popery, as they were exemplified in her ministers, became willing converts to the belief of the Albigenses; the “heresy” engendered by whose creed the Pope (Innocent III.) resolved to exterminate by the murder of all its professors. “ The preaching of a first Reformation,says M. de Sismondi, “ amongst the Provençals was the occasion of the devastation of this beautiful country.Innocent III., in the year 1206, as Henault says, commenced his preparations for the work of blood; forgiveness of sins, with indulgences to commit more, were promised to all who joined this holy crusade, as it was called, by the Pope and his agents : of these, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnold Amalric, (of the order of Bernardins,) was one of the

« ForrigeFortsæt »