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not of God, and if it be not of God, it is an unholy, arrogant, and impious assumption of the divine prerogative.
3rdly, The Lord Jesus Christ, and not the Pope is the universal head, and sole lawgiver to his own church. He is alike the head of influence and the head of authority. There is no relation so near as that in which the Saviour stands to his church. All the metaphors employed in Scripture to illustrate it, exclude the possibility of double headship. The church is called his body, a perfect human body, can have but one head; it is called his house ; but Christ himself presides over his own house as a Son. The church is the Saviour's bride, and he will not therefore allow another to rule her. This care of his church is personal, and perpetual, “ He loved the church, and gave himself for it .. That he might present it to himself a glorious church.” When he was about to leave the world, he did not say, “ I commit you to the guardianship of Peter, I leave you in the hands of my favourite apostle and his successors, but “all power in heaven and upon earth is given unto me.” Lo! I am with you always, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD.” Not only the whole community of the militant church, but each individual member, is the object of his special personal care. “He knoweth them that are his, -" He calleth his own sheep by name.” He appeared to Stephen in the hour of
martyrdom, waiting to receive his spirit,--to Saul of Tarsus, to whom he declared himself to be persecuted, in the persecution of his saints,--and to John in the isle of Patmos, walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, and holding the seven stars in his right hand. It was not to any supreme ruler, or archbishop, or archangel of the seven churches that he addressed his commendations and his censures, but the minister or angel of each church. These under shepherds are ordained and appointed by him, not by any ecclesiastical superior. He qualifies them for their work, He alone renders their labours efficient and successful. To him alone they are required to give an account of their stewardship. If they use their office well “ when” He “the chief shepherd shall appear, they shall receive a crown of glory.” 1 Pet. v. 4.
In conclusion, my brethren, I affectionately entreat you to learn from this subject, the overwhelming importance of personal religion. No church has power to save. We have reason to fear that thousands of immortal beings cherish the delusive, the fatal notion, that certain salvation irrespective of personal qualification is to be found within the pale of some church. The Romanist openly asserts this in the case of his own church, and urges it as a plea in his efforts to make proselytes to her communion. But the error may exist where it is not avowed. Beware then that your church membership prove not a snare. Let not your recognition as a member of a Christian community, at any time lead you to neglect self-examination. “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.” 2 Cor. xiii. 5. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matt. vii. 21. “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John
TRANSUBSTANTIATION AND THE SACRIFICE
OF THE MASS. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice
for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of
God. Heb x, 12. The doctrine of Transubstantiation is on some accounts perhaps the most remarkable of all the errors of the Church of Rome. It had its origin at a comparatively early period. It has always since its profession by the church been regarded with extreme jealousy. It demands our belief in the continuance of miraculous agency. It asserts a miracle of constant recurrence, differing entirely in its nature circumstances, and design, from all the miracles either of the Old or New Testament. If indeed the fact it assumes were capable of proof, the whole character of Christianity would be completely changed. An additional interest attaches to the history of this doctrine in our own country, from the fact that some of the worthiest names in the list of the noble army of martyrs, represented those who sacrificed their lives for the denial of this dangerous error. Hooper, Latimer, Ridley, and many other honourable victims of the Marian persecution, were condemned to the stake chiefly upon the conviction of heresy respecting the doctrine of transubstantiation. When Hooper was asked what authority had moved him to deny the corporeal presence in the Eucharist, he said, “The authority of God's word”-and quoted the text (in the old translation) “Whom the heavens must hold until the latter day,” Acts iii. 2. Latimer, when asked, do you not say that the substance of bread and wine remaineth after the words of consecration? replied, yes verily, it must needs be so, for Christ himself calleth it bread; the doctors confess the same, the nature of a sacrament confirmeth the same. Ridley made a similar confession: each of these great men having been rigorously questioned on this point, Did they sacrifice their lives to a mere non-essential dogma ? Were they chargeable with obstinately withholding an assent which might have been yielded harmlessly? We ask then what is the exact view taken by the church of Rome of a doetrine she has deemed so essential as to warrant her infliction of the most horrible penalty on all who refuse to acknowledge it? To answer this question, and in order fairly to investigate the subject I shall lay before you the precise words in which the sentiment is taught and enforced by the authority of the church of Rome. It is thus expressed in the creed of Pope Pius the IVth, the creed which every member of that church subscribes.