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practice had ever been appears from the historian Socrates; and what was at that time the practice of the great patriarchal churches of the East, appears from the authorities before produced.

See and compare Socrates, lib. 1. c. xi. Sozomen, lib. 1, c, 13. with St. Hier. St. Epiphan. loc. cit. also Fleury Hist. Eccles. liv. xi. No. 17.

QUESTION XXIII.

Why do not you believe that the Church of Rome is infallible ?

ANSWER.

1. Because her infallibility is only a pretence, founded neither

in Scripture, nor reason, nor antiquity. 2. She hath actually erred, both in doctrine and the worship of

God, and very grossly. 3. God hath no where promised to make any one particular

church infallible. 4. Themselves are not agreed where this infallibility lies, whe

ther in the Pope, or in a general council, or in the diffusive

body of Christians. 5. This pretence of infallibility in that church, is nothing but a

device to uphold their temporal dominion and grandeur. 6. Both their Popes and general councils have notoriously con

tradicted one another, and therefore neither of them can be

infallible. 7. Whereas it is pretended, that an infallible judge is neces

sary, in order to decide controversies, we deny it. 1. Because controversies may be decided without an infallible

judge, as they were in the primitive church; the bishops meeting in council, argued and determined controversies

against heretics, from the word of God. 2. There is another way of determining controversies, without

any infallible judge, and that is, a meek, humble, peaceable, and charitable temper: and therefore such a judge is

not necessary 3. We do not find, that when there were infallible judges in

the world, such as Christ and the Apostles, that all controversies ceased or ended. There were schisms and heresies in St. Paul's time, 1 Cor. xi. 19; and if an infallible judge cannot rid the world of controversies, why should it be thought necessary for that purpose ?

4. Suppose an infallible judge were necessary, why must that

judge be necessarily in the church of Rome? Why not in

any other church? 5. For all the pretences of infallibility in the church of Rome,

they cannot decide the quarrels and controversies that are among themselves.

OBSERVATIONS.

In discussing the question of the infallibility of the church, the catechist surpasses himself in the low arts of misrepresentation and calumny. He considers the whole controversy to be an insidious device to uphold temporal dominion and external grandeur; he takes the method usually employed to alter the state of the question, by directing the reader's attention, not to the whole Catholic church in communion with the sovereign Pontiff, but to the particular diocese of Rome; and he modestly affirms, that infallibility is a pretence, neither founded in Scripture, reason, nor antiquity. In order to recal this wanderer to the real state of the question, we must inform him, and request him always to bear in mind, that by the church of Rome laying claim to infallibility, is not to be understood the particular diocese of Rome, but the whole aggregate of particular churches throughout the universe, united in one faith, connected by the use of the same sacraments, and joined in one communjon, under the Pope, the supreme pastor and successor of St. Peter. We must assure him, that temporal dominion and external grandeur are considerations wholly foreign to the question ; the whole force of which consists in these positions: 1st, that Christ has bestowed on his church that infallibility, which preserves her from'error in deciding matters of religious truth: 2d, that the church thus gifted is the Roman Catholic church, in the sense here explained, and no other. This is the nature of the celebrated claim made by the Catholic church ; and unless this be kept in view, how is it possible to prevent a confusion of ideas from pervading the whole discussion?

Let us therefore begin by shewing, that our Redeemer really conferred on his church the prerogative of infallibility, which was to prevent error, and to preserve the faith in violate, without variation, without disguise, without change. The catechist has asserted, that infallibility is a pretence contrary to Scripture : let him open the divine oracles, and witness with me the splendid promises, made by Almighty God, respecting his future church. Then he will cease to imagine, that the church, the most noble work of God, was eyer abandoned to hazard, and consigned to

error.

The prophet Isaiah seeing, in the light of God, the future kingdom of Christ, acknowledged in the Protestant bibles to be the church, described it as a mountain above mountains ; he

represents all nations as flowing to it, and its votaries exclaiming, Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and HĘ WILL TEACH OF HIS WAYS, AND WE WILL WALK IN HIS PATHS'. Again, the same prophet, after exhibiting a bright picture of the future state of the church, has the following passage :- And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness. No unclean person shall pass through it: but he himself shall be with them, walking in the way, and the foolish shall not err therein?. Before we make a single remark, let us proceed to furnish the view, which this distinguished prophet gives of the future church. After describing in glowing colours the amplitude of this spiritual kingdom, he exclaims, Fear not ; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband ; the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the hu'y one of Israel ; the God of the whole earth shall he be called'. And again, No weapon that is formed against thee shall pros

1 Isa, ii. 2, 3.

• Ibid. xxxv. 8. Lowth's Version. See and compare the translation of this passage with the common one, and both with the Hebrew text.

3 lbid. liv, 4, 5.

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