Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

is impossible; for God who accuses others, justifies them; and Christ who condemns others, intercedes for them; nothing whatever can separate them from the love of Christ, and the blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin. Such is the divinely wrought repentance and faith; such are the reconciliation with God, and the union with Christ, and the adoption, and the filial reverence and love, and the state of grace, and the justification of true believers or saints. The Apostles had no consolations, privileges, absolution, or justification for any but true penitents and true believers, and justifying faith is not an ephemeral emotion; it is an abiding principle, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.” “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” “Know ye not that the Spirit dwelleth in you except ye be reprobates.” “Ye are temples of the Holy Ghost.” Whilst no promises were made to those who were carnal professors; .. the Apostles held forth the unsearchable riches of Christ, the closest union with Christ, and the unutterable grace and love of God. “Eye hath not seen nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the good things which God hath prepared for those who love Him.” That nothing will be laid to the charge of true Christians, that their sins will all be blotted out in the Redeemer's blood, that by his one sacrifice they will be perfected, that nothing can o them from his love, and their robes will be washed white in his blood, and thus appear spotless in the glorious light of heaven is evinced by the clearest declarations of holy Writ. Rom. viii. “There is now, therefore, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (v. 3.) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth P Who is he that condemneth P. It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” &c. (Heb. xiii.) “For by one offering he hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified.” The words of the apostle John evidently apply to the sins of believers, i. e. to post-baptismal sins. (1 John i. 7.) “But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to

cleanse us from all iniquity.” (Revel. vi. 14.) “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." It will be observed that all these privileges belong to those who are in Christ, and who walk after the Spirit; to those who partake of Christ's love; and to those who walk in the light; and it is very important to point this out to Romanists; for they libel the reformed doctrine of justification, and availing themselves of one or two extravagant expressions of Luther, the sense of which they pervert, they represent Protestants as holding that if a man lives ever so wickedly, and just before his death says, “I believe," he will be saved. Whereas the twelfth Article of the Church of England expressly declares the contrary. As this doctrine has been the main ground of controversy between Romanists and Protestants for centuries, every thing that can be argued against the Protestant doctrine has been devised by the talents and subtlety of Romanists. They adduce the parable of the talents. But as they were all laid out for God, it is evident that the works of grace glorify only God's grace and cannot be meritorious, and that the reward is the reward of grace is certain, for we are “bought with a price ;” and are not “our own;" and after all are “unprofitable servants.” The parable of the labourers in the vineyard, though there was a payment, shews that it was not according to the quantity of work done. Where the apostle Paul says, Col. i. 24, “ and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ ;" he alluded to his being privileged, in imitation of the sufferings of his Master, to lay down his life and to die a martyr.

Romanists fly with great delight to the Epistle of James, and by their interpretation set the apostle Paul against the apostle James. But it is evident that where the apostle

faith save a man ?” he means, can such a barren faith save a man ? For he elsewhere says, (c. i. v. 10.) “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all;" and hence men can only be saved by grace; and that all the graces of believers are the gifts of God and glorify his grace is evident, for, (c. i. v.17.) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights.” It is true that when God forgives the sins of his children he sometimes chastises them; as is set forth fully in the Epistle to the Hebrews; but these punishments he inflicts as a Fa

James says,

66

can

ther, not as a judge ; they are paternal, and not penal; they are intended to improve the sinning believer, and to bring him nearer to God, not to expiate his sin, and to drive him to creature mediation, or to make him the victim of servile fear; they proceed from the divine love, and not from the divine wrath; they differ as much from the penal sufferings of unbelievers, as the chastisement inflicted upon his beloved child by an earthly parent, differs from the penalties inflicted by one of the judges of the land, who sentences the criminal to prison, transportation, or the scaffold. This is the true reply to what the Romanists urge from the unishment of David after his sin was put away. In what É. David regarded the conduct of God towards him may be discerned in the language of the 103rd Psalm. (Like as a Father, &c.) More upon this subject.in the way of argument it would be superfluous to add. Most of those into whose hands this work will fall are far more conversant than its author with the scriptural evidences of the doctrines of justification and of divine grace. That the Romish system subverts the Gospel scheme, and converts grace into legalism and bondage, is very evident. It opens the way for the idolatrous trust which is reposed by Romanists in the Virgin Mary as their great mediatrix with Christ; it leads to spiritual pride, and fanatical selftorture; it keeps Roman Catholics in a state of servile fear, and estranges them from Christ; it leads them to look for propitiation to an imaginary daily sacrifice; and it scares them and robs them of the comfort and peace of Christian hopes by the tortures of purgatory, which are represented in some of their recorded visions as lasting for hundreds of years, and in the Papal indulgences, as stretching through thousands of years; which the Trentine Catechism declares to be inflicted by fire; and which Cardinal Bellarmine declares, whether inflicted by fire or not, to be worse than any earthly suffering. The following are the documentary evidences of the Romish tenets of justification, human merit, and works of supererogation. -

Sacrosancti et OEcumenici Concilii Tridentini. Canones et decreta. (Paris. 1823.)

De Justificatione.
Sessio. 6. Can. 24.
Si quis dixerit justitiam acceptam non conservari, atque

etiam augeri coram Deo per bona opera, sed opera ipsa fructus solùm et signa esse justificationis adeptæ, non autem ipsius augendæ causam : anathema sit.

Can. 32. Si quis dixerit, hominis justificati bona opera ita esse dona Dei, ut non sint etiam bona ipsius justificati merita ; aut ipsum justificatum bonis operibus, quæ ab eo per Dei gratiam et Jesu Christi meritum, cujus vivum membrum est, fiunt, non verè mereri augmentum gratiæ, vitam æternam, et ipsius vitæ æternæ, si tamen in gratiâ decesserit, consecutionem, atque etiam gloriæ augmentum, anathema sit.

grace, who

From the Christian Doctrine for the use of the diocese of Limerick, by the Right Rev. Dr. Young, and reprinted under the sanction of the Right Rev. Dr. Tuoay.

Ques. What is the foundation of indulgences?

Ans. The superabundant satisfaction of Christ and his saints, which by virtue of the communion of saints is applicable to any one in a state of

may

be indebted to God's justice. in Ques. What do you mean by doing an action well ?

Ans. I mean the doing it so, or in such a manner, that God may

have no cause to find fault with it. Ques. Are good actions of any other benefit to a Chris. tian besides making him virtuous ?

Ans. Yes: for moreover every good action is meritorious, impetratory, and satisfactory.

Ques. What do you mean by a good action being meritorious ?

Ans. I mean that it deserves to be rewarded by God.
Ques. What do you mean by its being impetratory?

Ans. I mean that it claims and solicits God's grace, and a continuance and increase of it.

Ques. What do you mean by its being satisfactory?

Ans. I mean that it is capable of atoning for the punishment due to sin.

Ques. Can a good action be of any service to any other besides the doer ?

Ans. Yes, in consequence of the communion of saints. Ques. How so? Ans. By a good action one may impetrate and satisfy for others as well as himself.

Ertracts from the Book of the Roman Catholic Church, by Charles Butler, Esq.” p. 109. (1825.)

Definition of Indulgences.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that God frequently remits the essential guilt of sin and the eternal punishment incurred by it, but leaves a temporal punishment to be incurred by the sinner; that this temporal punishment may consist either of evil in this life, or of temporal suffering in the next—which temporal suffering in the next life we call {...". that the temporal punishment may consist of

oth these inflictions, and that the Church has received }. from God to remit them either wholly or partially,

his remission is called an indulgence. When the temporal punishment is wholly remitted, the indulgence is said to be plenary; when the remission is partial, the indulgence is proportionably limited. Thus an indulgence of a certain number of days, or of months, or of years, is a remission during that period of time of the temporal punishment due to the sinner.

Works of Supererogation.

Tractus de Sacramento Poenitentiae ad usum Theologiae Candidatorum. Autore Lud.t AEgid. Delahogue. Dublinii, ex typ. Rich. Coyne, 1825.

Appendix de Indulgentiis.
Propositio.

In ecclesiá existit thesaurus ex quo derivantur indulgentiae, qui coalescit primö ex meritis et satisfactionibus Christi, et secundarió ex meritis et satisfactionibus sanctorum. Probatur prima pars. Christus, seipsum dando, redemptionem pro omnibus et propitiationem pro peccatis nostris et totius mundi, veram et propriè dictam satisfactionem Deo obtulit, eamque infinité superabundantem, clim vel unius guttae sanguinis effusio ad totius mundi delicta redimenda plusquam sufficiens fuisset: hac autem supereffluens meritorum et passionum Christi copia thesaurum constituit, ex quo verè solvi possunt debita quaecumque poenarum quas

* A talented Roman Catholic Lawyer, and a distinguished Controversialist; but whose works were ably refuted by Dr. Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter. + Dr. Delahogue was Professor of Theology at the College of Maynooth. WOL. II. 2 D

« PredošláPokračovať »