תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

cause of truth ; the damnation is just of those who say, Let us do evil that good may come.

We cannot, if Christians, rejoice in iniquity; we should mourn over it, as the apostle did when he said, many walk

and matrimony, and that they confer grace; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and order, cannot be reiterated without sacrilege.

'I also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic church, received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above said sacraments.

'I receive and embrace all and every one of the things, which have been defined and declared in the holy council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification.

I profess likewise, that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrifice of the eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic church calls transubstantiation.

'I confess also, that under either kind alone, whole and entire, Christ and a true sacrament is received.

'I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.

Likewise, that the saints reigning together with Christ, are to be honoured and invocated, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.

"I most firmly assert, that the images of Christ, and of the mother of God ever virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained; and that due honour and veneration are to be given them.

I also affirm, that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

* I acknowledge the holy catholic and apostolical Roman church, the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ.

* I also profess and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons, and general councils, and particularly by the holy council of Trent; and likewise I also condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever, condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the church.

This true catholic faith, out of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess, and truly hold, I, N. promise, vow and swear most constantly to hold and profess the same whole and entire, with God's assistance, to the end of my life, and to procure, as far as lies in my power, that the same shall be held, taught, and preached by all who are under me, or are entrusted to my care, by virtue of my office. So help me God, and these holy gospels of God.'

How enormous are the evils of this creed,

1. It adds to the word of God human traditions. 2. It binds the conscience to human interpretation, 3. It multiplies God's sacraments from two to seven, and makes them necessarily confer grace. 4. It approves the adoration of what is really only flour and water. 5. It sets aside the grace of the gospel op justification. 6. It makes

of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

It is the peculiarity of this system to retain the doctrine of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, nominally and in outward appearance, but in reality to set it all aside. It bas two horns like a lamb, but it speaks as a dragon. Rev. xiii. 11. Salvation by grace is wholly corrupted by the Romanist. The Bible doctrine is plain and explicit. By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephes. ii. There is no room for mistake here: salvation is wholly of grace, all human merit is excluded, and works flow from our being created in Christ Jesus to them.

In the 9th, 11th, and 24th canons of the council of Trent (afterwards quoted,) these truths are expressly denied. In the 32nd canon good works are expressed to be the merits of the justified person in these words, • If any one shall say that the good works of a justi

a constant renewal of Christ's sacrifice, against God's plain word. Heb. ix. 25—28. 7. It sets aside Christ's appointment of both bread and wine. 8. It makes a purgatory which God has not made. 9. It requires what God has expressly forbidden, idolatry by the invocation of saints, and the retaining of images. 10. It brings in indulgences, and so sets aside the whole doctrine of all men's total corruption, of after having done all, being unprofitable servants, and of the suffi. cient and perfect sacrifice of Christ. 11. It makes the pope lord it over God's heritage, against his word, Matt. xx. 25, 26, and the honour of our Redeemer. Ephes. i. 22. 12. It approves all the false doctrine of the council, and the world of iniquity of former councils. 13. It denies salvation, in utter intolerance, to all who differ from the church of Rome, and obliges every papist to do his utmost to spread the peculiar errors of his system. It blinds, manacles, and delivers up as a slave to popery the human intellect and affections; the whole body, soul, and spirit of an immortal being. What Christian can find the good tidings of our free salvation by Christ, through all this mass of superstition and antichristian delusion? How can I make my way through all these human additions, to the love of my God who was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself not imputing their trespasses unto them, and invites me freely to come and be reconciled, seeing Christ was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ? Christian reader, may God preserve us from being corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor. xi. 3.)

[merged small][ocr errors]

6

fied man are so the gifts of God that they are not also the merits of the same justified person ; or that he, being justified by the good works which are performed by him through the grace of God and merits of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace and eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life, if he shall depart in grace and even the increase of glory, let him be accursedi'

The prayer about the ashes on Ash-Wednesday puts human inventions in the place of Christ. Roman Missal, p. 115. “Grant by our calling on thy most holy name, whoever shall be touched by these ashes, for the remission of their sins, may receive health of body and defence of soul.' Mercifully vouchsafe to bless these ashes which we design to receive on our heads in token of our humiliation, and to obtain forgiveness,' promerendæ veniæ, ' for deserving pardon.'

The prayer on Wednesday in Ember Week sets aside Christ and puts fasting in his place. Judge, reader, for yourself. See Roman Missal, p. 61. Let our fasts we beseech thee, O Lord, be acceptable to thee, that by ATONING FOR OUR SINS THEY MAY BOTH MAKE US WORTHY OF THY GRACE, AND BRING US TO THE EVERLASTING effects of thy promises.' There is added the word . Through,' intending, I suppose, to point out-Through our Lord Jesus Christ; but his name is left out here as in other prayers: but if inserted, the evil doctrine is not mended. (Gal. v. 4.)

The doctrine of forgiveness of sins is so stated in the Trent Catechism, as entirely to destroy the main doctrine of the Bible, Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified from all things, Acts xiii. While, with the mystery which marks the whole of Popery, it acknowledges that God only can forgive sins, and that Christ received this gift; it pretends that he granted this power to the bishops and priests in the church, and asserts that the priests and the sacraments are • as it were the instruments to the forgiveness of sins, by which Christ our Lord, who is the very Author and Giver of Salvation, works in

us forgiveness of sins and righteousness.'' We are dependant then not on Christ, but on Papal priests, for our forgiveness and righteousness: and so the creature is exalted in the place of the Creator and Redeemer, and the doctrine of salvation by grace is really frustrated.?

The open and undisguised conduct of the papists in Ireland has given us the actual sight of and contact with the persecuting spirit of popery in our own day. Events passing before our eyes have proved it to be the same as ever : only, instead of the open warfare of death by fire, we have the more insidious plans of starvation and ruin, by withholding those just rights which the laws of the country give to protestant ministers. The reader will see below 3 in the very important petition of the Irish bishops presented to the house of lords, the perilous state of the Irish church. May it at length have the effect of

1 See Trent Catechism, page 103. 2 If it be said the absolutions of the Church of England, whether in its ordinary service, its sacraments, or especially in its Visitation of the Sick, have fallen into the same error: we utterly deny that the Priest or Presbyter gives absolution. Ministers have committed to them the preaching of the gospel of free forgiveness by the blood of Jesus, to be received in faith and penitence, and with this, the confirmation of forgiveness to the believer, by administering those ordinances which the Lord has appointed, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as signs and seals of his forgiving love. The Lord has intrusted the ministers of his gospel with the mysteries of Christ and the word of reconciliation. We are the heralds and witnesses of his grace, and the stewards to dispense his mysteries. (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. John xx. 22. i Cor. iv. 1, 2. 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. James v. 14, 15.) Beyond this plain word of God the Church of England goes not. The words in the visitation of the sick absolution, “I absolve thee" (though it is admitted that the expressions may be easily abused) mean not more than “ I pronounce thee absolved," as is clear from the express statement in the 74th Article of the Irish Church: “God hath given power to his ministers, not simply to forgive sins (which prerogative he has reserved only to himself,) but in his name to declare and pronounce unto such as truly repent and believe his holy gospel, the absolution and forgiveness of sins." See Usher's Certain Discourses.

3 COPY OF PETITION OF THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS

OF IRELAND. To the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of the undersigned Archbishops and Bishops

of the united Church of England and Ireland established in

Ireland. Showeth-That your petitioners, actuated by no ungenerous or uncharitable feeling, desire for themselves, for the ministers of this

awakening us all to a greater danger, even that overspreading of moral darkness with wbich papal doctrine fills a country, and by which Satan blinds Established Church, and for their Protestant brethren, no other pre. vileges and protection than such as may be consistent with the public good, in its connexion with the institutions of the empire, and necessary to secure the interests of pure religion, which in this and every other state, is confessedly the only solid basis of national and individual prosperity.

That upon this foundation your petitioners rest their claim to the interposition of your Lordship's House for the maintenance of the Established Church in Ireland, a church truly catholic and apostolical in her doctrines, worship, and polity, deeply seated in the affections of the most enlightened part of the Irish community, diffusing her kindly influences through all the national establishments, and inti. mately interwoven with them; the steady and tried supporter of British connexion and civil order; and the great bulwark against the inroads of Romish usurpation, in a land where disaffection to the British name, contempt of legal authority, and blind obedience to the Papal See, appear in their undisguised forms, and prevail to a formid. able extent.

That such a church, deserving, as it should seem, to be cherished and supported in proportion to the need of her holy and counteracting influence, your petitioners fondly trusted had been with equal wisdom and piety connected in indissoluble association with the state by the fundamental laws of the mpire, and recognized and formally pronounced to be so connected by the solemn Act of Union.

That your petitioners behold with mingled emotions of surprise and dismay the establishment of this church about to be undermined, and in many districts of Ireland utterly dismembered and overthrown, by the provisions of a Bill recently introduced into Parliament-her property alienated from its rightful owners, and appropriated to other uses than those of divine worship, and sound religious instruction under a duly.constituted and legally established ministry, to which uses that property was originally dedicated, and has been since gua. ranteed by repeated Acts of Parliament.

That, under these afflicting circumstances, your petitioners are constrained by the sacred obligation imposed on theni to watch over the interests of their brethren, and of the flocks committed to their charge, but above all, by their duty to Almighty God, who will de. manı' of them an account of their stewardship, to lay before your Lordships the genuine feelings of their hearts, and to appeal to your pious solicitude for the well-being of a church which is, on every consideration, civil and religious, entitled to your zealous protection.

That your petitioners disclaim every purpose of embarrassing His Majesty's Government, by insisting on any rights, which, however just in themselves, may not be strictly connected with the preserva. tion of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Ireland. if, notwithstanding the alterations which have been made by late enactments in the concerns of the Church, improvements are still required, your petitioners are most willing to contribute to their introduction; and if the distribution of the Church revenues be so unequal as to impair her usefulness, they are desirous to see them applied in such a way as may best increase her efficiency, seeking only to render her, under God's grace, a more powerful instrument of edification. Meanwhile, the ministers of the church set themselves in opposition to no salutary arrangement, by which those revenues may be collected without danger

« הקודםהמשך »