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John iï. 5. In the Epistle to the Colossians, ii. 16, Christians are absolved from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath; and we find that the Christians met for worship on the first day of the week, Acts xx. 7. Our blessed Saviour twice on the first day of the week appeared to his disciples, John xx. 19, 26. Our Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week; the Holy Spirit descended on the first day of the week, and a particular day, which could be only the day of our Lord's resurrection, was called the Lord's day. (Rev. i. 10.) The command from the beginning was, that one day in seven was to be devoted to the
worship of God, and that six days should be given to labour. If the Christians met for worship on the first day of the week, the Jewish Sabbath, one of the six other days, must have been given to labour. The above, which is based upon the Scriptures, is confirmed by the testimony of custom, i.e. by historical, not by divine or apostolical tradition.
With respect to infant baptism, our blessed Saviour said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me." (Matth. xix. 14.) Also baptism takes the place of the rite of circumcision. "If Jewish infants were not incapacitated by their tender age from being introduced into the legal covenant and the visible Jewish Church, but were commanded to be circumcised, a fortiori, Christian infants ought to be introduced by the sacrament of baptism into the covenant of grace and the visible Christian Church and dedicated to God. Here, again, what is based upon the Scriptures is confirmed by the tradition of custom and Church history. Romanists deny that the Scriptures can prove the change of the Sabbath, or infant baptism, to which we reply, that they have proved it to the satisfaction of millions and millions of Protestants. Romanists refer to the Baptists; but, if the Baptists are not convinced by the Scriptures, will they be convinced by Romish tradition ? Romanists say that we got the Bible from Rome.* We got the Old Testament from the Jews, and the New Testament from the Greek Church, and we condemn the Jews by their own Scriptures. Romanists call for the proof of the genuineness and inspiration of the Scriptures. The
The Church of Rome condems the Jews by their own Scriptures; for to the Jews were committed the oracles of God. Stephen and the primitive Christians refuted the Jews from their own Scriptures. Hence, even if we had received the Bible from the Church of Rome, we should have been justified in comparing her doctrines with the written word of God, and in condemning her by the evidence of the Bible.
o: of these are admirably set forth by the Rev. Hartwell orne. They say that we prove the genuineness by the Fathers, and hence that we ought to take their interpretation of the Bible. But they are not unanimous, and a witness to a deed is not its best interpreter. Rome does not take the interpretations of Tertullian and Origen. The Romanists abuse our translation of the Scriptures—the defence of this is very complete in Dr. Cumming's reply to Mr. French in the Hammersmith controversy. They complain that our Scriptures are not complete. The Rev. Hartwell Horne proves clearly that the Apocrypha were not in the Jewish canon, or inired. Upon this point Dr. Cumming's reply to Mr. nch was very satisfactory. They refer to the heresies, and fanatics, and schisms which have disfigured and disturbed Protestantism. The same objections would apply to the Apostolic and Primitive Šilj There were heresies in the days of the Apostles. Augustine enumerates eighty-eight heresies that had occurred in the Primitive Church in the four first centuries. In the fourth century the Arian heresy disturbed the face of the whole Church. In the Papal see there have been numerous schisms, and sometimes two and sometimes three Popes at once. The most celebrated of these occurred at the close of the fourteenth century. With respect to fanatics, half the Romish orders and saints have been, and are, fanatics. Also look at Simeon Stylites at the commencement of the fifth century, and the Flagellants in the twelfth century. Peter the hermit and all the crusaders were milit fanatics. If since the fourth century the Church has been less disturbed by heresies and schisms; yet, 1st, The Eastern and Roman Churches have been jby a schism for centuries; and 2ndly, external uniformity has been mainly F. not by the Romish rule of faith, but by the secuar arm and the Inquisition. The Donatists were put down by the Imperial power; heathenism and Arianism were suppressed by the secular arm; the Waldenses were driven into concealment and silenced by an army of crusaders and by the inquisition; the secular arm was employed to suppress Lollardism in England; the Hussites were silenced by the sword, and fire, and faggot; and persecution, and the inuisition, and the sword put down Protestantism in Spain, taly, Belgium, Austria, Sardinia, and a great part of France at the time of the Reformation. The practical rule of the Church of Rome by which she suppressed heresy was borrowed from St. Augustine, and not from the Bible and the
Apostles, and was what is commonly called the “argumentum baculinum.” The Jansenists were put down by Louis XIV.; and the outbreak of infidelity and heterodoxy in Italy at the commencement of the nineteenth century was prevented by the authority of Austria. Only a few months ago the voice of truth was extinguished at Rome by the imprisonment of Dr. Achilli.
After all, Romish unity, like the sun, has its spots. 1. The General Council of Ephesus decreed A.D. 431, that if any bishop or clergyman should put forth any other Creed except that of the
Council of Nice, he should be deprived of the clerical office. The Church of Rome has adopted the Creed of Pope Pius IV., which has added twelve new articles to the Nicene Creed.
2 The Fathers are at issue with the Church of Rome on many points. Augustine says, that General Councils are fallible ; a fact which is denied by the majority of Roman Catholics ; though not denied by the Italian Church.
Augustine says, that when our Saviour said, “Except a man eat my flesh and drink my blood,” &c. it was a figure; Romish advocates say that the passage is to be interpreted literally. Augustine and the Council of Milevi, consisting of sixty bishops, decided against appeals beyond the sea. Jerome, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem,* and Origen rejected the Apocrypha. Jerome and Ambrose denied the judicial power of the priests in forgiving sins. Chrysostom strongly enforced the general reading of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. Cyprian declared that the Apostles were all equal in honour and power. Irenæus affirmed that the Church would not add to the doctrinal tradition which he records, which is all contained in the Nicene faith. Lactantius declared that where there was an image there was no religion. The Council of Laodicea decreed against angelworship. The Council of Eliberi decided that there should be no pictures in churches. Gregory the Great spoke of the book of Maccabees as not being canonical, &c.
3. With respect to the unanimity of the Patristic interpretation of the Scriptures, no Roman Catholic can, consistently with the pledge which he gives in his Creed, to inter
Cyril. Cat. iv. (Oxon. 1703.) Τουτων τας εικοσι δυο βιβλιους αναγινωσκε, προς δε τα υποκρυφα μηδεν εχε κοινον.
pret the Scriptures according to the unanimous opinion of the Fathers, interpret even the Lord's Prayer.*
4. The differencest of the Thomists and Scotists on the subject of divine grace are notorious.
5. On the use and worship of images great changes of opinion have taken place. For the three first centuries there were no images in the churches. In the sixth century Gregory the Great said, that images were to be used as books for the ignorant, but that they were not to be worshipped. In the eighth century the iconoclast Council of Constantinople forbade images altogether. The second Council of Nice sanctioned their use, and decided that an honorary worship was due to them. The Council of Frankfort decreed that images should be used, but that no worship should be given to them, In the thirteenth century Romish doctors and canonized saints taught that latria was to be given to the images of Christ. The Council of Trent decreed that due honour should be given to images, and especially referred to the second Council of Nice. Cardinal Bellarmine subsequently taught that a latria secundum quid was to be paid to the images of Christ, and that if a Roman Catholic imagined that Christ was present in the image he might give to it latria.
6. Dupin relates that in the ninth century there were great disputes about transubstantiation. This doctrine was also disputed in the tenth century, and even at the beginning of the eleventh century. Berengarius, who was obliged to recant three times at Rome by the Popes, had many followers.
7. Before the Council of Trent it is related by Dr. Delahogue that many Romish writers of celebrity denied the judicial power of the priests in forgiving sins.
8. The doctrine of justification was never clearly defined by the Church of Rome until the Council of Trent, and as at the first discussion of the subject at that Council, Pallavicini relates that the Romish divines gave discordant opinions, an unanimity of opinion upon that important subject could not previously have existed among Roman Catholics.
9. Dr. Delahogue relates that both before and after the
* See the preface to the extracts from the Fathers, p. 9.
This is the only difference here noted, of which no proof is given in this book. But no Roman Catholic would deny the fact.
Council of Trent a great many Roman divines taught that with priestly absolution servile fear without any love of God sufficed for salvation; a dreadful heresy, which was not condemned by the Council of Trent, though its attention was drawn to it; and which has not been condemned by the Church of Rome until the present day. Dr. Delahogue combats it strongly; but the bull Unigenitus condemns several Jansenist propositions which enforce the love of God, and seems, therefore, to incline the other way.
10. The Dominicans and Franciscans for centuries disputed, and at one time with great acrimony, on the subject of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. At length we hear that the Dominicans have acknowledged that it was immaculate. 11. Card. Bellarmine tells us that there are four opinions respecting the mode in which the saints hear the prayers of the Church militant. 12. The Catechism of the Council of Trent affirms that the souls of the pious are tormented by a o fire; but many Romanists deny that fire is the instrument of punishment. 13. The Council of Constance decreed that a Council is above a Pope. The Fifth Council of Lateran decreed that a Pope is above a Council. A neas Sylvius maintained that a Council was above a Pope; but when he became Pope Pius II. he made in a public bull, the most abject recantation of this opinion, and affirmed that a Pope was above a Council.
14. The Jesuits and Jansenists had great differences on the doctrines of grace; and the bull Unigenitus condemned as heretical, &c. one hundred and one propositions of the Jansenists.
15. In the eighteenth century infidelity broke out in France, and for a short season triumphed, and death was proclaimed to be an eternal sleep; . still prevails to a great extent in that country.
16. At the present day the Italian Roman Catholics maintain the personal infallibility of the Pope, which the French and British Roman Catholics deny; and the latter maintain the infallibility of a General Council without a Pope, which is denied by the Italian Church.
17. Bellarmine relates that there are three opinions respecting the temporal power of the Pope. Some deny that