Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

namely, the extirpation and banishment of undeviating truth-of consistent firmness-of unbending sincerity —and of conscientious and genuine patriotism. By whatever means, these latter principles are nourished, and insinuated into the vitals of society, such must necessarily be the mark for every incarnate fiend to abhor and execrate, with all the envenomed malice and rage, that secretly drive on the present abettors of the hellish and miscreant schemes of darkness, to demolish every barrier of truth; and who so ardently pant to ferociously exult over the smoking ruins of all that is dear to the lovers of order, loyalty, and religion. That

Wraps mound her mantle, and in wild affright,
Hies shrieking downward to congenial night;
While Light all pure, ineffably serene,

Ilumes mankind, and brightens every scene."Moir. In the maxim of Vincentius, we have the groundwork of the genuine Catholic faith of the true Catholic Church. Upon no other principles can that Universal faith be possibly ascertained. We have already explained, that an observance of such principles as this maxim inculcates, presents to us a demonstrative--an infallible basis of Christian doctrine. It is true that the Church, as the City of the Lord of Hosts(Ps. xlviii. 8.), as the Witness and Keeper of Holy Wriť" (Art.) has certainly not Infallibility, but as our twentieth Article declares, it only has Authority in Controversies of Faith ;nevertheless when the Church Catholic bears testimony to what has been universally, unanimously, and always believed, the conviction of infallible truth necessarily forces itself upon the mind : and the matter of fact of the doctrine, being in itself demonstratively certain from this Universal evidence, is as independent of its propounder, as the simplest truth in Geometry, is of the will or act of the Mathematician who demonstrates. Hence, it may be easily seen how necessary it is, to cleave steadfastly to what is only and always Catholic doctrine. We read over and over again in the writings of Catholic and holy Fathers, “this we believe ;” “ this we hold ;" “this the Prophets and Evangelists have declared;" this the Apostles have delivered ;" “this Martyrs have sealed with their blood, and confessed in the midst of torments ;” “ to this we cleave, as the anchor of our souls”; “ against this, though an Angel from Heaven should preach unto us, we would not believe." In every Catholic and orthodox Father that ever wrote, a constant appeal and repeated reference is made to the Universal faith of the Universal Church. In short, whoever professes, as in the Nicene Creed, to believe in the Holy Catholie Church,must necessarily not only believe in its Unity of Origination of the Sacraments-of Hope-of Charity-of Government and Discipline, but he must likewise believe in its Unity of

our Apostolic Church, is at present the very mark, at which, these base incendiaries are directing the whole torrent of the fury of their unbridled lusts of ambition, usurpation, and popular domination, is a fact which carries with it, its own ocular proofs, too convincing to be slighted, and too many to be unheeded. They feel assured, that the warning voice of the pulpits of the eleven thousand parishes that are in England, is a position too formidable to be negligently overlooked. Here is an energy far too mighty, not to be left unchecked. Here is a union of learning, experience, contemplation, power, religion, and piety, that even

Faith (Pearson on the Creed, Art. ix.). With the Apostle therefore we are to bear in mind, that there is one Faith" even as there is but “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one Baptism, one God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all(Eph. iv. 4-6.). And so to use the words of an eminent writer of our Church---" The Church of Christ is one body; His Spirit is the one Soul animating that body; we all aim at and expect one reward ; acknowledge one Master; profess one faith ; are initiated by one baptism; are sons of the same Father, whose majesty is over all, whose providence orders all, and whose graces are in all” (Stanhope's (Dean) Paraphase on the Epistles and Gospels.). And as this Faith is the true foundation of all things; that most excellent Prelate-St. Ambrose, in the fourth Century, taught that“ if any Church should slight the Faith, and possess not the foundations of Apostolic preaching, it must be abandoned. Your Rock is Christ" (S.Amb. in Luc. lib.ii. cap. 9. Petra tua Christus est.In this exposition of St. Ambrose, we have a declaration, directly contrary to the Popish doctrine of their Supremacy of St. Peter; which Romanists absurdly ground on Matt. xvi. 18. And we have also that Father's sentence of approbation, in deserting any one particular Church, when, like the Romanists, it had falsified the Faith, and built their doctrines upon a far different Rock, than that of Christ.). The necessity, therefore, of a strict, undeviating adhesion to the unity of the Catholic faith, and discipline of the Catholic Church, is apparent on the plainest grounds of reason, precedent, and revelation. Of reason, for the whole is more certain than a part-of precedent, for all the particular Churches of Christendom, in all ages, resorted to the tests of Universality, Antiquity and Unanimous Consentand of revelation, for there is no salvation without faith; and the matter of this faith is altogether contained in the written word, whilst its interpretation is to be sought for in its heavenly appointed ark—the Church; but not by means of partial or prejudiced tests, but by the broad principles of Catholicism. In this respect, it is well known, wherein we differ from Romanists, who in opposition to all Antiquity--to the

in a dumb-in a quiescent state, presents a too formi. dable phalanx to the greedy aspirants after despotic power, vested rights, and popular tyranny. Here is an Order of men, who feel, who experimentally know their power, and who if once roused, could, humanly speaking, command and control the destinies of this mighty empire. This, her enemies know full well. Even in their fiercest assaults, the heartless profession of attachment, must be publicly made, to lull her too unsuspecting sons to sleep, before that the rapacious hand of a treacherous faction, can perpetrate an unprincipled aggression on the spiritual privileges of the

concurrent voice of the Church and to the express declarations of Holy Writ, deny that Revelation contains all the truths essential to salvation. “ All saving truth,” say they, “is not contained in the Holy Scripture, but partly in the Scripture, and partly in unwritten Traditions; which whosoever doth not receive with the like piety and reverence, as he does the Scriptures, is accursed(Concil. Trident. Sess. iv. Decret. de Can.Script. Creed of Pius IV. Art. 13.). By the instrumentality of this dangerous dogma, the most unscriptural and offensive errors have abundantly crept into Romanism; and numberless additions have been crammed into Apostolic doctrines, unheard of in all preceeding ages, contrary to 2.Tim. iii. 15-17; Ps. xix. 7; Isa. viii. 20; Josh. i. 7; Deut. xvii. 18-19; iv. 2; xii. 32 ; Prov. xxx. 6; Jer. xxxii. 35; 2 Chron. xvii. 9; xxxi. 3-4; Luke, i. 4; xvi. 29; xxiv. 27; John, xx. 31; V. 39; Mat. xxii. 31; Acts, xxvi. 22; xxviii. 23; xv. 15; Jude, 3; 1 John, i. 4; Mark, xii. 24; 2 Peter, i. 19-21; Rev. xxii. 10; &c. Hence Papists regard traditions as supplementary to, and distinct from, the written word; but our Church in perfect consonance with antiquity, regards the Bible as a complete rule of faith, and holds traditions but as subsidiary and corroborative. It is foreign to our present purpose, to give a full review of the dangerous tenets of the papacy on this head. We may however remark, that damnable errors must arise, when the doctrine of the Universal Church, as grounded upon the Scriptures rightly interpreted, is made to give way to an unscriptural coinage of articles of faith, based upon the independent foundation of mere unfounded traditions. It is here that Romanists have made shipwreck of Apostolic faith; for they reject in opposition to the concurrent sentiment of the true Catholic Church, the only appointed and unerring standard of truth-the Holy Scriptures. Of this too we have an unanswerable and demonstrative proof, from the fact, that the Church or General Councils, never did undertake publicly to determine any point of doctrine, or to interpret the Scriptures, until denial or perversion assailed the truth. And as an outrage only on the doctrines of Revelation caused the Church to speak, so when

Irish Church, and effectually deface her lovely lustre, and stifle her hitherto powerful but unobtrusive energies. The pretence—the grossly hollow pretence of advancing the interests of Protestanism-of reforming the ancient discipline -and of giving fresh vigour to the whole structure of our venerable Church, must be made, to satisfy the nation, before that the destructive poison of her enemies can be successfully infused,-before that her Bishops can be diminished her inalienable revenues be misappropriated-her working Clergy lessened, as they will be, one half-her efficiency, in many places, quite annihilated—and yet her inter

ever this happened, the Scriptures were resorted to, as the only infallible rule for judging the truth; not venturing like the Romanists and modern Sectaries, to make new doctrines, but simply upon the authority of Revelation, explaining and declaring, and establishing the old ones. Thus our Reformers also removed the poison from the medicine, and restored to the Church all the pure, Apostolic doctrines, in their primitive bloom and healthy vigour. It is true, that all Sectaries, notwithstanding their fair professions to the contrary, with the poison reject also the medicine; and therefore in place of the false and pernicious traditions of papists, degrade the ancient faith, by an incrustation of new-fangled and crude inventions, of their own prolific creed-making. It is the latter that we are at present disposed to combat and expose. In our last number we pointed out a few Sectarian innovations, and proved their irrelevancy to, and inconsistency with, the established principles of Catholic faith and discipline. It may be asked does Revelation itself enjoin a continued appeal to Antiquity and Catholicism? It most assuredly does. We are aware that the Catholic Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles,” (Eph. ii. 20.) that is, upon their preaching and doctrines. We know that these heaven-commissioned messengers actually received the Holy Ghost, by whose immediate direction they were to be taught all things(John xiv. 26.), and to be guided into all truth(John xvi. 13.). In their apostolic commission to teach all nations(Matt. xxviii. 19.), the promise of the succour and presence of the main cement and strength of the whole building -"the chief corner stone" (Eph. ii. 20; Isa. xxviii. 16.), was given to them. Thus empowered and thus emboldened, the primitive Church, which was to assume its appointed form only after our Lord's ascension, soon received the seeds, which the Holy Apostles planted, and watered; whilst to them an astonishing increase was quickly yielded, by the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit. The Church now assumed its perpetual consistency and shape. In one day by the preaching of St. Peter, three thousand souls were added to the hitherto small and despised band, that followed the Saviour of man

nal institutions left, whether good or bad, just as they have been, except that she has been visited by the deforming grasp of pelf, sacrilege, breach of faith, violation of the most sacred treaties, an utter contempt of the whole Order thus so shamefully outraged, a a proud defiance of every good and loyal subject's opinion, and the unprincipled and vile mockery of base hypocrisy, and lying professions. A fine price, forsooth, an admirable bribe, indeed, to extinguish the raging of that popular flame, which nothing less than the promoters of this unhallowed work themselves, directly and wilfully kindled! A noble species

kind, in all the anguish of his weary pilgrimage. The same Spirit that opened their hearts to conversion, directed them also to embrace the golden ties of amity, fellowship, government, and love. The form of this first Christian Congregation, is a perfect model for all succeeding societies. It is recorded by the Holy Ghost for the instruction of all ages, what was the condition of this primitive model. They that gladly received the word were Baptized --- continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and Fellowship, and in Breaking Of Bread, and in Prayers (Acts, ii. 41--43.). The sacred historian, here informs us, that by the Sacrament of Baptism, the new converts were grafted into the body of Christ's Church ; and thus the first, seminal principle of the new, spiritual life was implanted; which also was nurtured and ripened by their Breaking of Bread,or the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Added to the two Sacraments, the infant Church neglected not to adhere closely to the Apostle's Doctrine-hearing the word preached-frequenting the Public Prayers” of the Church---and holding constant Communion or Fellowshipwith one another, and with the Apostles-the deputed Governors, by Christ, of that Society, of which they were members. Such is the model of the primitive stock of the Catholic Church of Jerusalem, from which there speedily germinated luxuriant shoots, to the extremest verge of the habitable earth. This was then the Church which contained within its bosom, the multitude of them that believed," and who “ were of one heart and one soul(Acts, iv. 32.). Afterwards multitudes of believers were added to the Lord," for the all-important work of salvation, since God added to the Church daily such as should be saved(Acts, ii. 47. Bp. Beveridge's Sermon on this text, is most particularly worthy of perusal). For in order to our being saved by Christ, it is necessary that we know and believe His Gospel, and the fundamental truth revealed therein. Now as God would have all men to be saved, so for that end, He would have them “ come unto the knowledge of the truth(1 Tim. ii. 4.). But we cannot come to this knowledge, but only by the Church, which is a “Witness and a Keeper of Holy Writ” (Art.), and so, as the

« AnteriorContinuar »