Imágenes de páginas

case before us, we have heard the loud and frantic laugh of maddened license, raised among the people's popular representatives, for no other purpose, it would seem, than to foment the hateful exultation of destructive incendiaries, and to sharpen the ruthless fangs

traits, in the favourite Emperor of our Northern Reformer, are not to be wondered at, when we bear in mind, the tenets of Justinian's creed, as handed down to us in the pages of Procopius; who, because he received the patronage of the Emperor, greatly and continually lauds his achievements. This historian informs us, that in the opinion of Justinian, the guilt of murder could not be applied to the slaughter of unbelievers; and that he piously laboured to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith. (Procop. Anecdot. chap. xiii.). Such is the Imperial model recommended to the Scottish Church— a Christian crusader, as noted for his persecuting zeal, as he is celebrated by the unerring testimony of history, as being the first, who formally declared in an Epistle, dated March, A.D. 533, to the Pope, that he was the acknowledged Head of all the Holy Churches, and all the Holy Priests of God. This and other similar documents, are to be found at full length in the volume of the Civil Law, and by being published in that collection, they obtained the stamp of public and legislative authority, as the laws of the Empire. (Codicis lib. i. tit. i. "De Summá Trinitate." Compare Novella Constitut. ix. in Præfat.; and Novellæ Constitut. exxxi. chap. ii.). Thus by the acts of Justinian in A.D. 533, the Papal supremacy, or the commencement of the twelve hundred and sixty years,—when the incommunicable title of our Lord, as the "Head of all the Churches" was formally published under the sanction of the supreme legislative authority of the Empire, and by which the Pope is constituted the Antichrist,—may be said to have had its real origin and rise. (See the truly valuable, and erudite "Dissertation on the Apocalypse," by W. Cuninghame, Esq. Edit. 3, just published, chap. xiv. Prop. i. Compare also Mr. Cuninghame's "Critical Examination of Faber's Sacred Calendar of Prophecy," chap. iii. pp. 50, 51, and chap. iv. pp. 83, 84. Compare Sir Isaac Newton on Daniel, p. 111. The high corroborative authorities of the eminent civilians, Gothofredus and Gravina, as adduced by Mr. Cuninghame, appear to substantiate the argument, that the Papal Usurpation had its era in the reign of Justinian, and not as commonly supposed in that of Phocas in A.D. 606. And yet if Mr. Cuninghame be correct, why did Gregory I. upwards of fifty years afterwards, disclaim all such pretensions of universal Supremacy? Like every thing Popish-knots, lies, and darkness everywhere assail us.). It is surely unnecessary, after these few hints, to lay before our readers the striking parallel, between the persecuting intolerance and unmanly coarseness of John Knox, and the similar tastes of his favourite Justinian. We need not trouble ourselves, in ransacking the histories of Knox, which almost always disgust, either for ignorance, bigotry, or

of those devouring harpies, who, just as it is at our own doors, with a fiendlike rapacity are hovering over, and watching the tortures of their unfortunate victim, thirsting to pierce their talons in its enfeebled side. But why should it seem strange, that the cry of triumph,

flattery. The author of these pages, refers however with pleasure, to the latest history of Scotland, by the illustrious Sir Walter Scott, who with all his Scotch prejudices, has not in this instance feared to express his sentiments; and the author of this Publication, has the more pleasure in referring to his History, as it forms a part of one of the most excellent, popular, and voluminous works of the present day, conducted by one of the most scientific and enlightened philosophers in Europe-the Rev. Dr. Lardner; and this is an encomium he feels the greatest delight in giving, since the remembrance and profit of many years private instruction, from this distinguished writer, have left in his mind, all the gratitude and admiration, that the relations of pupil and tutor could possibly produce. "Knox" says Sir Walter, "knocked at the heart of the young Queen so rudely as to cause her to shed tears."—And again, "Yet Knox afterwards expressed remorse that he had dealt too favourably with her, and had not been more vehement in opposing the mass at its first setting up; according to the opinion of those who thought that a sovereign may and ought to be resisted in an idolatrous form of worship, or, in other words, excluded from the tolerance which her subjects claim as their dearest privilege!" (Cabinet Cyclopædia, Hist. of Scotland, vol.ii. chap. xxvi. pp. 79, 80. Robertson has the candour, though a Minister of the Kirk, to express the same sentiments.). Nor need we allude to the spirit of persecution, which the above cited "Confession of Faith" has manifestly imbibed, from the maxims of Knox, and the Godly laws of Justinian. And still less have we any inclination to expose the gross inconsistency between the modern, fashionable display of charity and liberality, so continually in the mouths of all dissenters, with their pretended hatred of Princely interference in religious concerns-and the acknowledged tests of their doctrines and faith, supplied to us in their "Westminster Confession of Faith,"-in the injunctions of the idolized Apostle of Scotland, and in the Godly Edicts of Justinian! Let it not however be forgotten, that this "Confession of Faith," had its origin in a boiling hotbed of Infamy, Usurpation, Treachery, and Rebellion,-that its sacredness (!) is enhanced by the fact, that it has an Act of Parliament for its sanction and enforcement; and that of the very same Parliament, and in the very same year (A. D. 1649.), in which it had reeked in the blood of the murdered Charles,—and that it is the fruit of the triumph of atrocious treason over persecuted loyalty, and of unparalleled hypocrisy over genuine religion. And let it be borne in mind, that such is the Creed, which ordains that " no person be admitted or continue hereafter to be a Minister or Preacher within this Church (Scottish), unless that he subscribe to this Confession

should be heard over a palpable breach of the laws of national and moral integrity, when even the upright and faithful voices of a few true Christian legislators energetically raised, to exclude the religion of the avowed and boasted unbelief of Jews, and of their dark,


of Faith, declaring the same to be the confession of his faith." And by the Act of Union, 1707, the same is required of all " professors, principals, regents, masters, and others bearing office" in any of the four Universities of Scotland. Oh! more Parliamentary sanctions !!! We would expect after this, that if publicity were given to these plain unquestionable matters of fact, among the unenlightened Presbyterians of Scotland and the North of Ireland, the film of ignorance, which their Pastors deliberately, and maliciously labour, to thicken over the unsuspecting eyes of their bigotted congregations, would quickly fall off; and that respect, nay that attachment, which the pure doctrines and primitive discipline of our Apostolic Church, so universally received from even Calvin, Melancthon, Beza, Bucer, Grotius, Daillè, the Augsburgh Confession, the Synod of Dort, and even Knox himself, would be conceded to the truths and appointments of Almighty God. Our readers, we trust, will pardon our propension to wander. ing, and call to mind, that the transactions of a General Council, that of Constantinople, are the point, from which we have deviated. We have seen that John Knox recommended the Scotch, to ground their Reformation on the approved faith, and practice of Antiquity. The "Confession of Faith" says, that Antiquity, or Synods and Councils are to be used as a help in faith and practice." (Chap. xxxi.). If then they know, or understand, or believe the groundwork of their Creed and principles, they cannot deny that the sentence of the Constantinopolitan Council, which degraded those that had been ordained by the pretending Bishop Maximus, from the rank of Ecclesiastics, because that being only an Elder, or Priest, or Presbyter, he was incapacitated to ordain,-applies equally to themselves-pronounces all their Ordinations to be Nullities, and themselves, Intruders into the Sacred Office. In short this was nothing else than the uniform practice of all antiquity. Arius-the Arch-Heretic and horrid scourge of the Church Catholic; before he launched into his vile heresy, began by asserting, that because he imagined that Presbyters could Ordain, they were therefore equal to Bishops. For this novel opinion, he was branded by the Church as a Heretic. Epiphanius of the fourth century, in his work against the Heresies, informs us, that this ambitious, rebel-priest, was regarded as a “madman” (μaviádns), for holding this grossly erroneous tenet. Epiphanius further imputes the conduct of Arius to his ignorance of the Scriptures, and proves hence, as from an undoubted principle, that Bishops and Presbyters were not of the same Order, because Presbyters had not power to Ordain. Epiphanius asks, "How is it possible for a Presbyter to Ordain or Constitute a Presbyter, since he in

mysterious, judicial hatred to Christianity, are drowned amid the insulting yells, and scoffing bellowings, of the malicious foes of order, truth, and Religion! Yea, achievements, worthy only of the place, where the beautiful spirit of a Paine's Age of Reason were allowed


his Ordination received no Power to Impose hands upon another.' (Epiphan. Hæres. lv. lxxv. “Πῶς οἷόν τε ἦν τὸν πρεσβύτερον καθισταν, μὴ ἔχοντα χειροθεσίαν τοῦ χειροτονειν.”). And St. Jerome himself, who, as all intelligent and learned Divines are aware, professedly endeavoured to raise Presbyters as near as possible to a parity with Bishops, and whose sentiments on this subject, the famous Blondel, and all the Anti-Episcopalian party so violently wrested for their purposes, yet owns that Presbyters have not Power to Ordain. "For what," says Jerome, "is it that a Bishop does, which a Presbyter cannot do, except Ordination?" (Hieronymus Epist. ad Evagrium. "Quid enim, exceptâ ordinatione, facit Episcopus, quod non facit Presbyter?" The very same sentiment is in Chrysostom, x. in 1 Tim. iii.). We see then from the indisputable authority and sense of the primitive church, in what light we are to regard those, whose highest claim to the Hierarchy, is the Ordination of Elders or Presbyters-their pretensions are impudent, unwarranted, and invalid. A few more examples, will put this in a stronger light. We have proved above that an Ordination of a Presbyter is invalid, because he was not a Bishop: we will now show that an Ordination, in which, a Presbyter presumes even in the presence of a Bishop, to perform an essential part, is likewise null and void. A Bishop of Agabra, a Church in Spain, being afflicted with sore eyes, and having some presented to him to be Ordained Presbyters and Deacons, did only lay his hands upon them, suffering a Presbyter that stood by, to say the Prayers over them, and read the words of Ordination. The matter came to be considered in the Council of Hispalis or Seville, and upon mature deliberation it was determinedFirst, The Presbyter that assisted, for his impudence and presumption, would have incurred the Council's Censure, but that he was dead: Next, The Presbyters and Deacons, who were so Ordained, should be actually deposed from all Sacred Orders, concluding thus, "that they were worthily adjudged to lose their Orders, which they had wrongfully received." (Council. Hispal. ii. Can. v. Anno. 619. Bini Concilia, tom. ii. par. ii. p. 326. "Tales enim meritò judicati sunt removendi, quia pravè inventi sunt constituti."). Thus we see, that the interference of a Presbyter, even in so small degree, as the bare reading of the words, though required by the Bishop as a matter of absolute necessity, not only rendered the Ordination void, but rendered him obnoxious to the Church's censure. What then are we to think of the Presbyterian Ordinations in the Scotch or Irish Conventicles? Why, Antiquity, the principles of the Calvinistic Confession of the French Reformed Church, John Knox's Fathers, and the "Confession of Faith's" suggested helps, pronounce them all as impostures, and

to preside, or the profound wit of a Cobbett's shoe-black grammar, or the splendid theology of a Cobbett's "Reformation History," were appealed to, as paragons of principle, elegance, and learning! Since the enlightened legislation of the devourers of the Deity, and the deniers



nullities. Again-those persons that were Ordained by Musæus and Eutychianus, who were not Bishops, but only two Grecian Presbyters, were reduced by a decree of the Council of Sardica to the state and condition of the Laity. (Concil. Sardic. Can. xviii. xix. Bp. Beveridge's "Codex Can. Ecclesiæ primitivæ, tom. i. p. 505.). Again-We are informed, that one Ischyras that was ordained by Colluthus, who assumed an imaginary Episcopacy, but was in reality a mere Presbyter, was deprived by a Synod at Alexandria of that Degree, to which he had falsely pretended. A Synodical epistle of the Bishops of Egypt, Thebais, Lybia, and Pentapolis confirms this degradation of Ischyras, and assigns the reason. "How then," say they, came Ischyras to be a Presbyter, and by whom was he ordained? Was it by Colluthus? For that only remains to be said. But Colluthus died a Presbyter, so that all the Impositions of his hands were invalid and null : and all those, whom he Ordained in his Schism, are well known to have been reduced to the Laity." (Athanasii Apolog. contra Arianos, p. 134. Edit. Paris. 1698.). And in an Epistle of the Clergy of the Province of Mareotis, we are told, that, Ischyras, who calls himself a Presbyter, is not a Presbyter, since he was ordained by Colluthus, who assumed an imaginary Episcopacy, and afterwards was commanded by Hosius, and other Bishops, Synodically assembled, to return to the Order of Presbyters, whereto he was ordained. And consequently all those, whom Colluthus ordained, returned to their former stations, and Ischyras himself was accounted a Layman." (Ibid. p. 193. σε ̔Ως καὶ ἀυτὸς Ἰσχύρας λαϊκὸς ὤφθη.”). It were, in truth, unnecessary to bring forward any more proofs of this certain fact-that the Scriptures the nature of the Episcopal office-and the sense and practice of the universal primitive Church, did not allow the Power of Ordination to any other Ministers in the Church, than to Bishops. The consequence naturally follows, that all Sectaries, of whatever sort they may be, who take upon themselves the exclusive functions of the Sacred Office, are not only shameless intruders, but by their selfappointment and self-designation, cast contempt upon the sacred ordinances of the Church-outrage the uncontradicted practice of all ages of the world-are guilty of a sacrilegious attempt upon the grace and teachings of God's Holy Spirit-and fling their own highmindedness and carnality in the face of the great Head, and King of the Church. (Consult Dr. Ridley's excellent Sermons on the Divinity and Operations of the Holy Ghost, passim.). They who without a call, and mission, and authority, invade the Holy Office, would do well to compare their impious effrontery with the humility and obedience of Aaron, who as the first High Priest of the first regular Priesthood,

« AnteriorContinuar »