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he has any temporal power. Some hold that he has a direct temporal power. Some hold that his temporal power is indirect. In the middle ages, owing to the false decretals, almost all the Roman Catholic world acknowledged a direct or indirect temporal supremacy in the Popes; now the doctrine, as Mr. C. Butler relates, is almost confined to the precincts of the Vatican.
18. Through the aid of the forged donation of Constantine, the Popes supported their claim to those temporal dominions in Italy which are called the patrimony of St. Peter. The learned have long since decided that both the decretals of Isidore, and the donation of Constantine, are forgeries, and at the present day the Roman people and the greater part of the inhabitants of the Papal territory desire to deprive him of his temporal sovereignty.
19. In the middle ages the Popes, by their fallacious interpretations of certain passages othe Scriptures, supported their claims to a temporal supremacy over the kings of the earth: Dr. Doyle, one of the most learned and celebrated Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland, speaks of these Papal interpretations of the Scriptures with the greatest contempt. Hence we have Dr. Doyle versus the Popes. If Romish infallibility could not preserve the Popes from teaching error, and the Roman Catholic world from being deceived by Papal error, for at least three hundred years, of what use is it P That was no mean error, it involved the subjects of the German emperors and other kings in the penalties of treason; it gave rise to foreign and civil wars, &c. In England, after the bull of deposition was fulminated against Queen Elizabeth, every conscientious Roman Catholic must have been a traitor at heart; and if Philip II.'s army had landed, the Roman Catholics would no doubt have deserted Elizabeth, as the Protestants subsequently deserted James II. and went over to the Prince of Orange.
20. At the present day English and French Roman Catholics hold with the Council of Constance that a General Council is above a Pope, whilst the Italian Church with the Fifth Council of Lateran, maintain that the Pope is above a General Council.
21. In the year 1829, Pope Gregory XVI. gave, in his encyclical letter, an awful account of the absence of unity among the Roman Catholics in the north of Italy.
22. A learned Roman Catholic writer, Mariotti, describing the sentiments of the more intelligent Roman Catholics at the present day, and their desire for Church reform, says, that whilst, for the sake of uniformity, they frequent the same places of worship, every Roman Catholic carries his own creed within his own breast !!
It may, perhaps, be well to observe, that nothing can be so uncertain as oral tradition. To have given to it any certainty, it ought to have been committed to a succession of men, both infallible and impeccable. For how treacherous is the human memory: and the alteration of one word sometimes makes the difference between heterodoxy and orthodoxy. Also, if in the heat of controversy men pervert the meaning of the Scriptures, how easy must it have been to forge new traditions, or to adulterate the old traditions. The heretics appealed to tradition, as well as the orthodox. The Church of Rome in her corporate capacity, neither by a Pope speaking ex cathedrā, whose edict has subsequently been recognized by the Church, nor by a Pope and General Council, nor by a General Council without a Pope, has ever set forth the apostolical and divine traditions which are said to exist. We ask in vain, where are they : and what are they P Traditions of custom are very different from divine and apostolical traditions. As heresies commenced in the days of the Apostles, and as St. Paul testified that the mystery of iniquity began to work even in his days, it is not sufficient to trace a rite or ceremony up to the days of the Apostles, unless we can shew that it is in accordance with the Scriptures. Where the Scriptures lead to a strong presumption that a rite or ordinance is apostolic, a tradition of custom will be strongly confirmatory of it. And where there is a tradition of custom reaching up to the time of the Apostles, which is in unison with the spirit of apostolic teaching, though nothing be said about such custom in the Scriptures, this tradition of custom will establish a strong presumption that the ordinance was apostolic. But an ordinance can only be binding upon Christians, when it is based upon a divine or apostolic authority.
With respect to the Papal succession from St. Peter, Romanists may object that although the Papal succession was interrupted in the tenth century, the Church of Rome can boast | an uninterrupted episcopal succession in her clergy from the days of the Apostles. But this will avail her nothing; for the Greek Church, which Romanists regard as a schismatical Church, and which denies the Papal supremacy, can make the same boast, and so can the English and the Irish established Churches, which are deemed heretical by the Church of Rome. The fable of the Nag's Head is rejected even by the Roman Catholic historian Dr. Lingard, and the episcopal succession in the Irish Protestant Church was never impeached. If then, according to the Church of Rome, an episcopal succession cannot secure the Greek and Protestant Churches against schism and heresy, it is abundantly evident that it cannot secure the Church of Rome against idolatry and apostasy.
DOCUMENTs connECTED WITH THE RULE OF FAITH.
Bellarmine admits that all things necessary were written by the Apostles.
Bellarminus de Verbo Dei non scripto, lib. iv. c. 11. (Ingolstadii, 1590.)
His notatis, dico, illa omnia scripta esse ab apostolis, quae sunt omnibus necessaria, et quae ipsi palam omnibus vulgö praedicaverant.
Ibidem. Sed admissã auctoritate Constantini, dico, eorum omnium dogmatum, quae ad naturam” Dei pertinent, extare in Scripturis testimonia, et posse nos circa ea dogmata plene et planè instrui ex Scripturis, si eas recte intelligamus: verúm tamen sensum Scripturarum pendere ex traditione ecclesiae non scriptá.
Bellarmine.—All the traditions are now written.
Etsi enim non sint scriptae traditiones in divinis litteris, sunt tamen scriptae in monumentis veterum et in libris ecclesiasticis.
* This is an important admission; because Romanists ask us sometimes how we prove the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity of Jesus, and the personality of the Holy Spirit from the Bible.
The Scripture proves that Christians are absolved from the
observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Bellarm. de cultu Sanct. lib. iii. c. 10. (Ingolstadii, 1590.)
Nullo modo licet Christianis Sabbathum Judæorum aut alias ferias Testamenti veteris observare. Probatur primò ex tribus locis Pauli supra citatis Rom. xiv. Galat. iv. et præcipuè Coloss. ii. adeò enim apertè Paulus reprehendit observatores Sabbathi, ut Ebionitæ proptereà Paulum non reciperent, sed apostatam esse dicerent, teste Epiphanio. Infant baptism may be clearly gathered from the Scriptures.
Bellarm. de Sacram. bap. lib. i. c. 9. (Editio ut supra.)
Licet enim non invenimus expressè mandatum ut baptizamus infantes, tamen id et colligitur satis apertè ex Scripturis, ut suprà ostendimus.
Pope Pius IV.'s Creed. Art. 13.* “I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and the other observances and constitutions of the said Church.”
Art. 14. “I admit also the holy Scriptures, according to that sense which the holy Mother Church has held and does hold, whose province it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”
Art. 24. “ Also I undoubtedly receive and profess all things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons, and General Councils, and especially by the most holy Council of Trent."
Evidence given by the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle.
Lords. March 21, 1825. Is the Creed of Pope Pius IV. the creed acknowledged by the Irish Roman Catholic Church ?—Yes ; every Catholic acknowledges that creed. Have
you in any instances allowed the circulation of the Bible among the laity without notes ?-I do not know that we have. Do you consider yourself pledged to all matters contained in these notes P-No; not by any means. On
• This is the translation of C. Butler, Esq., a distinguished Roman Catholic lawyer and controversialist.
the contrary, there were notes affixed, I believe, to the
Rhemish Testament which were most objectionable, and on .
being presented to us, we caused them to be expunged...The notes carry in our editions of the Bible no weight, for we do not know the writers of many of them.
The difficulty which a Roman Catholic must have to ascertain
Prohibition to the laity to have the Scriptures in the vulgar
Prohibemus etiam ne libros veteris testamentiaut novi laici
* This was a Council held against the Waldenses; and it proves that they were Bible Christians. It was not a General Council.
WOL. II. 2 I