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in the word if, shews, he is not speaking of a Sacrament instituted purposely for the remission of sins, as the Church of Rome make their unction to be. And indeed this relates to the very same thing with his former words. For, as bodily sickness and infirmity was frequently a punishment for sin; (whence, to mention no other proofs, St. Paul tells the Corinthians *, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep;) so, the very form of miraculously healing a person of these infirmities, used by our Saviour is, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee +: that is, the illness inflicted on thee for thy sin is removed. Since therefore St. James promises forgiveness of sins in just a like case, we are certainly to understand him in just the like sense; viz. that if the sickness of any person prayed for were the punishment of any sin; that punishment should be remitted, and his health restored. Now this forgiveness of the temporal punishment of some particular sins, which is what St. James promises, the Church of Rome does not promise from this ceremony; and the forgiveness of the future punishment of all those sins, that the sick person hath ever committed by his bodily organs, which St. James does not promise, they do. Though indeed it is a little hard to conceive, when all a man's sins have been already forgiven; (as they say they are, by the priest's absolution :) how any of them should want to be forgiven again, perhaps by extreme unction, the moment after. But the truth is, they themselves lay not near so much stress on this ceremony's procuring pardon of sin, as its procuring composure of mind, against the terrors of death. Now most evidently this expectation St. James hath not said one word to countenance : so that his precept, which seems at first sight to be some ground for their practice, and is the only ground they have, relates indeed to a quite different thing, as one of their Cardinals, Cajetan *, acknowledges. Though the Council of Trent, Sess. 14. hath thought proper since to curse all that shall say it. . The anointing prescribed by St. James therefore, being intirely of a miraculous nature, was in all reason to cease, when miracles were no more. And accordingly the primitive Christians, though they speak more than once of anointing with oil in miraculous cures; yet, in common cases, never mention it as a custom, much less as one appointed in Scripture, for the first 600 years f. After that indeed, they came to use it upon all sick persons in the beginning of sickness, for a means of recovery, as the Greek Church doth yet; till finding it of little benefit in that way, the Church of Rome, about the twelfth century, began to use it, in the extremity of sickness, as a Sacrament of preparation for death: which if it were in reality, they are surely much to blame for not giving it under the apprehensions of an approaching violent death; for instance, before a malefactor is executed; where it cannot but be as needful, as in the fears of a natural one. Upon the whole, you see our laying aside a ceremony which hath long been useless, and, by leading persons into superstitious fancies, might be hurtful, can be no manner of loss, whilst every thing that continues truly valuable in St. James's direction, is preserved in our Office for visiting the Sick: concerning which, I shall only add, that it is much to be wished men would so live in

* 1 Cor. xi. 30.

+ Matth. ix. 2. See also John v. 14.


• Preservative, Tit. vii. c. 2. 5. 2. p. 60.

+ Concerning a passage of Innocent I. in the beginning of the 5th century, sec Preser. p. 75.

the time of their health, as to need the least spiritual assistance that is possible, in the time of their sickness: and that what they do need, they would all apply for early, when it might be of great benefit to them, and not content themselves with calling in the minister at last for mere form's sake, when he can do them little good, or none.

Another point, in which we differ from the Church of Rome, is, that all their public prayers are in the Latin tongue, ours in our own.

This sure at least is no heresy, that, when we pray to God, we all know what we say. Our practice justifies itself. But how is theirs justified ? Reason and common sense plainly condemn it. Antiquity is no less against them: for

. every Christian Church originally had their own service in their own tongue. That of the Western world was in Latin, only because Latin was their common language: and therefore, it should have been no longer in Latin, when that ceased to be their common language. And for Scripture, read but the 14th chap. of 1 Corinthians, and see, what St. Paul would have judged of this Romish practice. Even when there was a miraculous gift of tongues in the Church, and men prayed, or prophesied in strange languages by inspiration; even then he requires such persons to keep silence, unless another were ready to interpret publicly what they spoke: for, says he, Brethren -Except ye utter words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. How shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say amen, at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest ? I thank my


I speak with tongues more than you all: yet in the Church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. It immediately follows, and very fitly to the present purpose: brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. For never sure was greater childishness, than to be satisfied with the mere outward show of prayers to God, perhaps without understanding one word of them, which is not praying at all; nor greater malice, that is, more wicked and cruel cunning, than to keep the poor people in this darkness, and plead for it with such unfair pretences as they do. Some of them tell us very gravely, that Latin, far from being an unknown tongue, is the best known of any in Europe. And if it were; yet if this best known tongue is notwithstanding unknown to ninety-nine persons in a hundred, why must they all be confined to it, and not have each their own prayers in their own tongue ? Why, that variety would be very inconvenient, they say, to travellers. But whose inconvenience is most to be consulted ? That of whole nations, or of a few persons that come amongst them occasionally? But vulgar tongues, they say, are perpetually changing, and expressions growing improper and unintelligible. I answer: our having our Bible and Prayer-Book, in the vulgar tongue, undoubtedly prevents its changing near so fast as it would otherwise. But when it does change, let them, where it is needful, be changed to it. For which is worse, to take this little trouble of altering a few words and phrases once in a hundred years, or to let people go on for ages together, with prayers and lessons, of which they understand not one word ? But they alledge farther, that some

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of their prayers, indeed a great part of the mass, it would be useless to have said in their own language; for the priest is ordered to speak it so low, that it cannot be heard : as if one fault would excuse another, instead of making it greater. But many of their prayers, they say, may be understood : for though spoken in Latin, there are printed translations of them in English. But still, great part of them is not translated, unless it be by some very modern indulgence *: and that which is, nothing but our making them ashamed of themselves hath forced them to of late in these parts of the world against their will. For we know that when, within this last century, some well meaning bishops of their own Church in France, had published the mass in the vulgar tongue, for the people's use, the then Pope declared them sons of perdition to all the world, and condemned what they had done, as if it were the overthrow of religion f. So that, for aught we know, the same liberty taken here may fall under the same condemnation, when a proper time comes. Or were the contrary ever so certain, still putting their prayers into English for the people, only shows that they ought to be spoken in English by the priest : for this round-about way is evidently a most absurd one; that he should be praying in one language, and they following him by guess, as well as they can, in another. Besides, multitudes of their poor people have never heard of these translations, or at least, have them not: multitudes more are unable to read them: and all these must be left quite in the dark. But we are

The English translator of the order and canon of the mass, hath omitted many of the ceremonies, particularly above twenty crosses out of less than thirty. Tennison on Idol. p. 5.

+ Tillotson, Serm. 246.

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