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prayers ; and the interest they take in our behalf. Since St. Paul besought the Romans, Corinthians, and Ephesians to pray for him, is it not clear that it is lawful for us to do the same? and may we not do so, without detracting from the only mediator between God and man? The practice of Protestants in praying for the king, &c. proves their assent to this position. And, if we may solicit the prayers of our fellow-men, who are mortals and sinners like ourselves, much more should we invoke those of the peculiar friends and companions of God, the adorers around the throne of grace
and whom we know, from the texts above quoted, to be informed of what is passing upon earth; to be eminently qualified for the task, and in the constant habit of performing it. All we beg of them is to intercede with the Mediator, through whom alone we hope for mercy, grace, and salvation, or for any favour that we may ask for at the hands of his saints.(c)
(c) The doctrine of the Invocation of Saints is so ancient and so universal, that the Greek church, together with all the eastern churches which separated themselves in the earlier periods of christianity from the church of Rome, still maintain it. Luther, so far from finding any thing idolatrous or superstitious in the doctrine or practice of the church in this point, exclaims: “ Who can deny that God works great miracles at the tombs of the saints! I therefore, with the whole Catholic church,
Since there is not one single text of Scripture that can, in any way, be taken to contradict this doctrine, it is impossible it can be contrary to Scripture; and the convincing fact, that such has always been the view taken of it, and such the constant practice of the Catholic Church, is to be gathered from the works of the earliest ecclesiastical writers; copious extracts from which, relative to this point, are to be found in the work mentioned below. (d) To this the reader is referred, as
hold that the saints are to be honoured and invocated by us."* Such also was the opinion of many of the prelates of the Church of England. Bishop Montagne, especially, says:
“The blessed in heaven do recommend to God, in their prayers, their kindred, friends, and acquaintance on earth."14“This is the common voice, with the general concurrence, without contradiction, of reverend and learned antiquity, for aught I ever could read or understand; and I see no cause or reason to dissent from them touching intercession in this kind.”'S Is it then safe for Protestants to swear that Catholics are superstitious for holding such a doctrine?
(d) The Faith of Catholics confirmed by Scripture, and attested by the Fathers of the five first Centuries of the Church.” Booker, London, 1813.
* In purg. quoramd. Artic. Tom. i. Germet. Ep. ad Georg. Spalat.
+ See Duchess of York's Testimony, in the Duke of Brunswick's Fifty Reasons, Burnet's Hist. &c. Antidote, p. 20.
§ Ibid. p. 23.
these testimonies are far too numerous for insertion here.
The charge of idolatry brought against us for honouring those whom God has honoured, but especially for invoking the intercession of the Mother of God, the Queen of Angels, and the Saint of Saints, she who tells us, in an inspired Canticle, that all generations shall call her Blessed, and who was addressed by this appellation by the prophetic Elizabeth; cwho was hailed by the angel as full of grace, and to whom the Saviour and Maker of the world was obedient, as a child is obedient to its parent,-is too absurd to obtain a moment's credit with an unprejudiced mind. So far are we from the abomination of idolatry,' in the invocation of Saints, that the Catechism of the Council of Trent, published in virtue of its decree, by order of Pius Vth, teaches; that “ God and the Saints are not to be prayed to in the same manner; for we pray to God that he himself would give us good things, and deliver us from evil things; but we beg of the Saints, because they are pleasing to God, that they would be our advocates, and obtain from God what we stand in need of.”(h)
(e) St. Luke c. i. 48.
42. (8) Ibid. v. 28. (h) If it should be observed, that prayers are occasionally addressed to the saints in a manner which appears at first sight to dispense with the mediatorship of Christ, or
Our elementary Catechism in English says : “we are to honour Saints and Angels as God's especial friends and servants, but not with the honour which belongs to God.” Thus, when it is recollected that the reverence paid to the Saints is due to them only through the merits of our Saviour, it cannot be deemed any dishonour to the Creator to see his creatures honoured for the gifts he himself has bestowed upon them, nor will it be considered unbecoming the weakness aud the misery of man, to offer our petitions to the throne of mercy through less unworthy hands than our own ;-to make friends for ourselves amongst the friends of God ;--and to implore the intercession of those in our behalf, who had already succeeded so well for themselves. I
As an additional proof of the efficacy of the
to ascribe a power to them which they do not possess, it must be remembered that “by a species of metonomy, we frequently employ the subordinate for the principal agent, and attribute to the intercessor what we know is the office of his superior. Let us suppose a criminal under sentence of death, who solicits the queen to obtain his pardon from the king. Were he in his petition to beg of her majesty to save his life, would any one contend that he had ascribed to the queen the power which the constitution has entrusted to the sovereign alone; and on that account indict him for treason, or a contempt of the king's prerogative?" (Dr. Lingard's Tracts.)
merits and prayers of the Saints, suffice it, amongst others, to mention two recorded in Holy Writ :-1 will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's SAKE.)_For thy servant David's SAKE, turn not away the face of thine anointed. (*) Do not these texts clearly show that, in consideration of the zeal and fidelity of his departed servants, God may sometimes be induced to grant particular blessings and favours to the living? And this too without any derogation from the merits and mediatorship of Christ, because whatever grace the Saints may possess in the eyes of God, it is wholly founded on the merits of our Saviour.
To understand the question rightly, and to explain that text of St. Paul, which says; There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," it must be observed that Catholics acknowledge Christ to be the only mediator of salvation ; but it cannot be argued from thence that there is no other mediator of intercession, without condemning the conduct of St. Paul, the commands of Almighty God himself, and the practice of the Established Church. If, therefore, it is not derogatory from the mediatorship of Christ to solicit the prayers of each other, while here on earth, how should it be so in any other state of existence?
(6) Gen. xxvi. 24.
(k) Psl. cxxxi. 10.