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for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go, whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no questions for conscience sake, &c. &c. &c.
We deem it altogether unnecessary to give very copious extracts on this subject, since it is spoken of by Christ and the Apostles in almost every Epistle and every Gospel in the New Testament. The whole of the 14th chap. of the Epist. to the Romans, treats of “Days and Meats" being “Indifferent," and to which we also refer our readers : it cannot be misunderstood by any person capable of reading it-it speaks thus: “I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself, but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean :"-" the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” &c. &c. One short extract more we think it proper to make here : if we were to say we think it obviously written to guard the early Christians against Popery, we should, by our Roman Catholic brethren, be deemed “illiberal ;” and yet not one of their priests can deny the accuracy of the quotation we are about to make, and in which the Apostle positively avers he speaks in the spirit of the Holy Ghost. The chapter to which we allude (1 Tim. iv.) commences thus :
1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to following spirits [i. e, seducing spirits, who teach false doctrines, affect the power of working miracles, &c.] and doctrines of devils.
2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, their conscience seared with a hot iron, [i. e. lost to all sense of humanity).
3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meuts which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving :
4. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer, &c.
However the Popish Clergy may command that none of their congregation should eat, and however great the power of the Pope to empower them to do so, we trust that we have clearly shown that both he and Dr. Challoner might have found many texts of Scripture more applicable to their subject than the solitary line which they have produced from the 18th chapter of St. Matthew, and which solely relates to How often we should forgive injuries *.
As the next chapter is a very long one, we shall vary a little from our usual plan, by giving a few paragraphs at a time, adducing our authorities, and commenting upon them as we proceed.
CHAP. III.-OF THE SACRAMENTS.
An institution of Christ consisting in some outward sign or ceremony, by which grace is given to the soul of the worthy receiver.
How many such sacraments do you find in scripture ?
These seven: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, (which Protestants call the Lord's Supper), Penance, Extreme Unction (or the anointing of the sick), Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
What scripture have you for Baptism? John iii. 5. “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Matt. xxviii. 19. “Go, teach
* Although we are not here told why good folk should fast for any other reason than “ because it is a sin to disobey the Church,” yet this “Church” has her reasons for so commanding, and which we shall beg leave to give in her own words, as they are expressed in the Child's “ First Catechism ;" a book published under the authority of the Popish Bishops, and to which we shall again have occasion to refer. Of course that which is the most deeply impressed upon the mind of infants by their instructors, is intended to be the most firmly established in their hearts throughout their future lives ; and this premised, our readers may judge for themselves of the great ease and certainty of Papists “going to heaven" if they will but believe their priests.
Q. Why does the “ Church” command us to fast ?
What Protestant, who could believe in such doctrine as this, would not envy the state of the poorest of our unhappy and starving Irish fellow-subjects? But that their souls should be drugged with such tenets as the above, is, we fear, the very greatest of their misfortunes. We should thank any of our Popish brethren-lay or clerical—who would inform us where they could find such a doctrine in the Scriptures ? But, alas! they cannot; and therefore they must, once more, thrust in their " infallibility.”
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
How do you prove that this commission given to the Apostles of baptizing all nations, is to be understood of baptism administered in water
From the belief and practice of the Church of Christ in all ages, and of the apostles themselves, who administered baptism in water : Acts viii. 36, 38. " See, here is water," said the Eunuch to St. Philip, " what does hinder me from being baptized ?--and they went down into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch; and he baptized him." Acts x. 47, 48. “Can any man forbid water,” said St. Peter, " that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."
Of these seven sacraments we will speak as they occur, but we may here observe, that by the above question and reply, “What Scripture have you for baptism," &c. , the Pope and the Doctor both appear to have forgotten that it is asserted in Section II. (p. 73) that " Infant baptism, and several other necessary articles are either not at all contained in Scripture, or, at least, not plain in the Scripture without the help of tradition.” Truly, if they had given more of the Scriptures, and less of their “ Church,” it had been better for their readers, generally. However, they have found more texts in favour of baptism than they can find for Popery; although we think a much better explanation might have been found than that which they have given. But two sacraments only do Protestants admit, as generally necessary to salvation-ordained by Christ, viz. Baptism and the Lord's Supper. We now proceed to Confirmation:
What do you mean by Confirmation ?
Confirmation is a sacrament, wherein, by the invocation of the Holy Ghost, and imposition of the Bishop's hands with the unction of holy chrism, a person receives the grace of the Holy Ghost, and a strength in order to the professing of his faith.
What scripture have you for Confirmation ?
!,'! What scripture have you for the Eucharist, or supper of the Lord ?
We have the history of its institution set down at large, Matt. xxvi., Mark xiv., Luke xvii., 1 Cor. xi., and that this sacrament was to be continued in the Church “ till the Lord comes," that is, till the day of judgment, as we learn from St. Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 26. Sacraments are the signs and seals of our faith, as circumcision was to Abraham (Rom. iv. 11); but they are not a part of our faith itself, nor spoken of in that summary of it called the Apostles' Creed. An established ordinance of a Church, when not opposed to the Scriptures, should be attended to; and had Confirmation and Extreme Unction been all, the Church of Rome had never broken communion with the greater part of the Christian world, whether they had been considered as sacraments or ordinances *. Protestants believe Confirmation to be a renewal of their Christian vows, which it is obligatory upon them to make, and that it is beneficial for them to do so; but they do not believe in it as the hierarchal superstition of the Popish Church, viz. that their pastors have the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Ghost upon them as they were conferred by the Apostles upon their own disciples in the infant state of the Christian Church. But if Papists actually receive the Holy Ghost from their priests, it is no wonder that the laity are as infallible as their clergy.
* It is not to be supposed by this expression that men who, in the exercise of their own reason with which God had gisted them that they might distinguish truth from error, would have yielded to the superstitions and seducing foppery as practised by the Romish Church at the present day, though had Confirmation been a chief point in dispute, it might, perhaps, have been reduced to the level of common sense. As in the Church of the Jews, the mercy of the law was lost to those who, with pharisaical sanctity, strictly attended to its external observances, even to the tything of mint, anise and cummin, so is the pure religion of Christ ever obscured by the vauities of Popery, when she can introduce them—whilst she constantly profanes the name of the Almighty throughout her endless traditions (so contrary to his express command) to strengthen prejudice, and mislead ignorance. For the sacred name of Him whó can only be worshipped in spirit and in truth, we shall more properly, on the present occasion, substitute that which is really meant--the Pope himself-his Confirmations will then be better understood." The obligations which accompany the character of (Papal) confirmation" are these :– He (the Papist) is “to bear a true and perpetual allegiance to the Pope, in whose service he lists himself as a soldier: to stand to his colours the mark of which lie receives in his forehead (the cross of the Priest's finger] to fight his battles against his enemies, the world, &c. &c.--to be faithful unto death, and rather to die than desert from the service (i. e. of Popery], or to change sides," &c. &c. &c.—but if Papists become “ deserters and rebels,”' &c.- it will “be a mark of eternal ignominy, and reproach to their souls amongst the damned.” In the course of the ceremony, the Bishop gives each of his flock a pat on the cheek, which creates the patience and humility they are ever after endued with. Much then is said of the spiritual efficacy of the chrism with which they are anointed; and which, we are told, is composed " of oil of olives and balsam-solemnly consecrated-kept with great veneration in the Church— with which the Chalices, &c. are anointed, and that it would be no less a crime than sacrilege, to use profanely anything thus sanctified." It is then said, “ the mysterious compound of oil and balm denotes the graces, &c. of the Holy Spirit in their souls, by the strengthening and softening of the oil, and the sweet odour of the balm,”' &c. Does all this acting and show make these ceremonies a sacrament and an essential to obtain salvation ?
As the Supper of the Lord is commanded by Christ himself, of course it is practised in the Protestant Church in the express manner in which he commanded it to be received; and this sacrament and baptism being the only two ordained by our Saviour, they are the only two which the primitive Bishops acknowledged. The Romish Church cannot say the other five which she has introduced are even generally necessary to salvation, since no member of her Church can partake of them all ; her sacrament of Holy Orders excludes the laity ;-her sacrament of marriage excludes her clergy ;were it not for her self-assumed happy faculty of manufacturing miracles (among which, laying prostrate the senses of, otherwise, sensible men, is by far the greatest)—what a miserable figure would she make when divested of the superstitious mantle by which her native deformity is enveloped ! We now come to the sacrament of Penance, and are, at once, put into the confessional, thus:
What do you mean by the sacrament of Penance ?
The confession of sins, with a sincere repentance, and the priest's absolution.
What scripture have you to prove that the bishops and priests of the Church have power to absolve the sinner that confesses his sins with a sincere repentance ?
John xx. 22, 23.“ Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them : And whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Matt. xviii. 18. “ Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: And whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” Which texts Protestants seem to understand in the same manner as