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taught from the beginning. Every article of our creed comes down to us, hallowed by the concurrent testimony of eighteen centuries; sanctioned by Fathers, councils, and holy writers, attested by the blood of martyrs, and illustrated by the spotless lives of innumerable “ most sincere followers of Christ.” But how is it with our ad- . versaries? And how does Mr. White attempt to shew that Catholics are more exposed than Protestants to danger from the arguments of infidelity? - The Romanist,” he says,
he says, “grounds his belief of the Bible on his belief in the Church of Rome; the Protestant, on the contrary, grounds his respect for the Church to which he belongs, on his belief of the Bible."* We must stop here to remark, that if by the Church of Rome,” Mr. White means the Catholic Church in communion with Rome, we shall not deny, that we believe the Bible upon the authority of that illustrious Church. St. Augustine, as we have seen above, was not ashamed to believe it from the same authority, and we shall not blush to follow his great example. Let Mr. White shew how he himself came to believe in it; how he would ever have possessed it, if the Catholic Church had not preserved it for him; or how he could have known what parts to believe as Scripture, and what to reject as not Scripture, but from the testimony of that Church against whom he ungratefully rebels. He may talk, like other Protestants, about the internal testimonies of Scripture, its force and efficacy to
* Preservative, page 27.
convince our minds, &c.; but all these were the same in the fourth and fifth century as they are now, and yet St. Augustine, with all his learning and acuteness, solemnly owned, that his only inducement to receive the Scripture was the authority of the Catholic Church.-A word also upon the second part of the sentence. Mr. White had told us before, that he joined the Church of England, because it appeared to him the best calculated of all human establishments to promote the doctrines of the Gospel. If, then, a Protestant considers his Church as a human establishment, why does he look for it in his Bible? or how can he be said to “ground his respect for it on his belief of the Bible?” But Mr. White goes on with more inconsistencies. He tells us that the Protestant “ has a church which leaves him free to try her authority by her conformity with the Scrip. tures.... A true Protestant Church...will leave her members in perfect freedom to desert ber, and choose their own Christian guides, but God has rewarded this generous forbearance, by approprialing it to the Protestant Churches, 8c.” and to this he applies the words of our Blessed Saviour, ' “ By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one towards another.” How glaring is the absurdity of all this! How will the Church of England admire this singular exhibition of her wisdom and consistency?. Here is some mention of Church authority, which comes out to be no authority at all; for all the members may judge of it as they please, receive or reject it as it strikes their fancy, and stay in it, or leave it, equally to the Church's satisfaction. Can this be the Church which Christ appointed to guide us into all truth, with which he promised to abide for ever? When St. Paul exhorted the faithful to be " obedient to their prelates,* and be subject to them,” did he mean that they might forsake them and choose their own Christian guides? When the same great Apostle said, “ Remember your prelates who have spoken to you the word of God, whose faith follow,”+ did he mean that they might choose their own faith, and believe as they pleased ?66 Generous forbearance” indeed, to let every wolf come and scatter the sheep, and let poor souls be tossed about with every wind of doctrine! Olet such forbearance have the reward which Mr. White assigns it! Let it be appropriated to Protestant Churches. We have no wish to see the Church of Christ permitting false teachers to invade her flock by a cruel forbearance, We know who has said, “ the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth,” &c.1-And this, according to Mr. White, is the precept of our Redeemer, "to have love for one another!" That is, to see one another in danger of being 66 led away with various and strange doctrines,''S and yet be indifferent about our brethren's following truth or error, walking in light or darkness. This is a false charity, a cruel kindness, a fatal indifference, far removed from the true love which should characterize the disciples of him, who is - the way, the truth and the life.”
Mr. White favours his readers with a quotation from a Protestant Bishop, Bedell, whom he calls
a pious and amiable Bishop," and who calumniates the Catholic Church in this pious, and amiable and truth-telling style : “ Without expecting Christ's sentence, the Church of Romecuts with the temporal sword, hangs, burns, draws those that she perceives inclined to leave her, or have left her already.” Are we to be falsely accused under the name of piety and amiability too? Are we never to obtain a hearing, when we protest that the act of individuals ought not to be charged upon our body, when they are not done as being dictated by our creed, but by the mistaken judgment of particular persons? How often must we declare, that our Church claims no temporal power, and has never taught that any unfortunates were to be corporally punished merely for forsaking her communion! Mr. White follows up the quotation with strong invectives against the wiles of Rome, the tyranny of the Pope, and such men of straw of his own making ; let him indulge in these rhapsodies, for in all these things words go for nothing. He must produce proofs, and better proofs than the “ pious and amiable" calumnies above noticed, before he can merit the attention of any rational and considerate Christian.
ORIGIN OF PROTESTANTISM. WHAT IS CALLED THE REFOR
MATION PROVED TO HAVE BEEN UNLAWFUL IN PRINCIPLE, CRIMINAL IN MEANS, AND FATAL IN EFFECTS-SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY OF THE POPE.-FALSE CHARGE, RENEWED BY MR. WHITE, THAT CATHOLICS ACKNOWLEDGE TEMPORAL AUTHORITY IN THE POPE. HIS ATTACK ON THE CATHOLIC CLERGY, HIS ERRONEOUS ACCOUNT OF THE DOCTRINE OF EXCLUSIVE SALVATION THAT DOCTRINE PROPERLY STATED AND EXPLAINED. TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE AJ BIGENSES, AND VAUDOIS, OR WALDENSES.
Mr. White professes, in the beginning of his second Dialogue, to give the origin and true principles of Protestantism. The origin would be easy enough to give; but the second part of the undertaking is no easy task. Who can give the true principles of Protestantism, which has no fixed principle, except enmity to the Catholic Church, in which all the many sects of Protestants devoutly agree? They allow every one the boasted liberty of forming his own principles as he pleases, of speaking what he believes, and believing what he pleases. A man may make out whatever he chooses from his Bible, provided he does not find the doctrines of the Catholic Church there, and be a very good Protestant. It is absurd then to talk of pointing out the true principles of those, who boast of having liberty to adopt any that they imagine to