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that Church. What I shall say of Protestantism, will be, so far as I know it, in faithful accordance with its universally acknowledged principles. And I will farther say, that if any Roman Catholic who may hear me, seek additional information on any subject which shall be discussed, and will take the trouble of writing to me a note, I will do my best, in the course of the series, to bring out the information which he needs. In order to this, however, it will be necessary for the writer to subscribe his name and address, as it has been a rule with me for many years to commit to the flames, without reading, every anonymous communication that I receive.
And now it only remains to invoke upon this undertaking the Divine blessing. Let us remember that no exhibition of the truth of God can be uninfluential. Edification and sanctification are the fruits of a docile and prayerful attention to the word of God. To exhibit the truth, is to communicate light to the darkened conscience of the guilty: To exhibit the truth, is to plant a guide-post in the way of the sinner who wanders over the wilderness of error, seeking rest and finding none : To exhibit the truth, is to erect a light-house within view of the tempest-tossed mariner, who seeks in vain a harbour of repose for his troubled conscience.
The subject announced for exposition this evening is
The words which I have selected as the foundation of my remarks upon this vital question, are found in the
xvii. chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, at the 17th verse. They occur in that sublime prayer which our adorable Saviour last offered for his disciples : “ THY WORD IS TRUTH.”
This is the first principle of Protestantism. The word of God is the fountain of religious truth, the one only source from which is derived all that we know of God which is not revealed to us by his works ; and all that we know of man's relation to God, of man's position in the sight of God, of God's disposition towards man as a sinner, of man's duty to God, and of man's future destiny. We do not, be it remembered, assert that the word of God is the source of ALL truth, for there are mathematical truths, which are derived from sources independent of the Bible; and there are physical truths which have been ascertained by the investigations of science; and there are divine truths, such as the eternal power and Godhead of the Creator, which are revealed to us by the vast and glorious works of creation. What we assert as a first principle of Protestantism is this,—that of all revealed truth, the Bible is the sole fountain.-" Thy word is truth.”
We wish to remind you of a doctrine which is too reasonable to be disputed, and to which we shall frequently refer in the course of this discussion, viz., that truth is never inconsistent with itself; that truth never contradicts truth ; that physical truth and mathematical truth, and the truth of natural theology, and the truth of revealed theology are all in perfect harmony with each other. Independent they are, but contradictory they never can be. This evening we
have to do with the source of all revealed truth. Let me then announce a doctrine kindred to that now adduced, a doctrine which is no less philosophical, viz., that revealed truth can never contradict itself. If (e.g.) I draw from the acknowledged fountain of revealed truth
any doctrine whatsoever, I am bound to reject as false every dogma which does not accord with that doctrine. Truth is as immutable as Divinity, truth is as consistent as God. No change in society, no measure of antiquity, no discovery of science, no variation of climate or of language affects truth. What was truth in Jerusalem when Christ was crucified, was truth in Rome when Paul was crucified; what was truth in Rome 1800 years ago, is truth in America, in Montreal, in 1853. It will be acknowledged by all parties, that, so far, this is an advantage to us in our present inquiry.
Another thing favourable to our present investigation is this, that between the Church of Rome and Protestantism there is no dispute as to the plenary inspiration of those Scriptures or writings which we call the Bible, including the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament in Hebrew, as handed down to us by the Jews, and the New Testament in Greek, which every Protestant student of the original uses, and from which our present English version is taken, are acknowledged by the Church of Rome to be the inspired word of the living God. We speak now of the Scriptures in the original tongues, and we would remind every Catholic and Protestant present, that all the versions of the Scriptures which are of any account in either of the two communities, acknowledge one and the same ori
ginal. There is certainly a dispute as to the veracity of the translations from that original; but no Protestant need question the fidelity of the translators of King James's Bible, when he remembers the care which was taken to secure a perfect rendering of God's own word, or while he has the testimony of such scholars as Lowth, Horsley, and Selden, in support of the integrity of the English text. Indeed we desire no farther proof of the accuracy of the Protestant Bible than that which is afforded by the fact, that there is so general a correspondence between it and the Latin vulgate, a version which the Council of Trent declared to be authoritative and divine. In the course of these lectures we shall advance no text, (without a distinct announcement to the contrary,) in support of the principles of Protestantism, that is not found in the Roman Catholic versions of the Scriptures ;-in the Vulgate, in Martini's Italian translation, or in the Douay version.
PROTESTANTISM ENTERS ITS PROTEST AGAINST ANY
ADDITION WHATEVER TO THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES, AS BINDING UPON THE FAITH AND PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH, OR UPON THE CONSCIENCE OF ITS MEMBERS.
FIRST,- Protestantism rejects the Apocryphal books or writings; not as historical and moral writings having the same claim to our respect as the works of Xenophon, or Plato, or any other ancient historian or moralist; but it rejects them as inspired writings.
Observe 1.-The Canon of both Jews and Protestants, as it respects the Old Testament, is precisely one.
In support of this position, I shall merely transcribe a few sentences from the celebrated Catholic historian, Dupin, who in his history of the Canon, vol. i. page 7, quotes Jerome on this subject :—“All the books of the Old Testament among the Jews are twenty-two, of which five belong to Moses, eight to the prophets, and nine to the other holy penmen; and we are to take notice, that whatever is not contained in the number of those books which we have translated from the Hebrew, is Apocryphal. From hence, it follows, that the Book of Wisdom, commonly ascribed to Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, said to be composed by Jesus, the son of Sirach, Judith, Tobit and Pastor, do not belong to the Canon, no more than the two books of the Maccabees.” Did Jesus Christ, or his apostles, ever charge the Jews with the omission of any Canonical book ? No. if the writings which we call Apocryphal were inspired, as the Church of Rome asserts, they would surely have laid themselves open to that charge. Did Christ, or his apostles, ever quote from, or refer to these disputed writings?
Observe 2.—The Apocryphal books were not admitted into the Canon of scripture during the first four centuries of the Christian Church. The first catalogues of the Canonical books made by the ecclesiastical Greek and Latin authors, comprehended no more than the Jewish Canon in the Books of the Old Testament. In support of this statement we again furnish the testimony of our Catholic historian Dupin, whose statements no