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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
CHURCH OF ROME,
OBSERVATIONS RESPECTIVELY ANNEXED TO EACH QUESTION AND ANSWER.
How doth the Church of England differ from the Church of
The Church of England keeps close to the ancient creeds,
commonly called the Apostles', the Nicene, and that of Athanasins: the Church of Rome hath added new articles of faith to these ancient creeds, which we reject.
The church of England, in the eighth of the Thirty-nine Articles, certainly professes to admit the three creeds here named; but this admission clearly decides the contest between the two churches. For in the Apostles' creed we have these words, (I believe) the holy Catholic church;
in the Nicene creed, we read, and (I believe) one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic church; in the concluding part of that of St. Athanasius, we find the following clause: This is the Catholic faith, which unless each one shall faithfully and firmly hold, he cannot be saved. All these creeds, with the above-mentioned clauses, were true at every period before the era called the Reformation, as much as at any other time; and from them it incontestibly appears, that Christ had always on earth a church, distinguished by these marks of unity, of holiness, of catholicity, and apostolicity. Of this same church, it is equally clear, that our Redeemer says, Matt. xvi. 18, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and again, Matt. xxviii. 20, and lo! I am with you
all days to the end of the world: and in St. John, xvi. 13, he assures us, that the divine Spirit shall teach all truth. Now how is it possible that a church thus holy, both with respect to its founder and its doctrine-a church thus built, thus protected, and thus supported, at every period of time, by supernatural assistance, should fall into impious and damnable errors, and need a thorough reformation? How can any human being in his senses venture to declare, in the presence of God, that he admits a holy Catholic church, under the perpetual protection of our Redeemer, and still impiously to assert, with the homily on the peril of idolatry, admitted and sanctioned by the thirty-fifth of the Thirty-nine Articles, that all Christendom has been drowned in the most abominable idolatry for eight hundred years and more? This is a dark and hideous inconsistency, which never can admit of a satisfactory explanation. In fact, the real difference between the Catholic and the Protestant is, that the former places an unlimited reliance on the words and promises of his Redeemer; the latter depends on the supposed failure of these promises. The Catholic believes, that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church, because Christ has given a solemn assurance to this effect; the Protestant, in spite of this assurance, roundly and unhesitatingly declares, that the gates of hell have actually prevailed against the Church, by her melancholy fall into every species of error and corruption. Hence it is apparent, that the Catholic honours Christ, by implicitly admitting the truth of his assurance, but that the Protestant refuses him that hoinage, which is due to his infinite power and veracity. It is true therefore to say, that the admission of these creeds, coupled with the clear and incontestible declarations of our Redeemer, decides the controversy between the two churches.
When did the Church of Rome add these new articles of
For the greatest part of them in the Council of Trent, and
particularly in the new Confession of Faith, compiled and published by Pope Pius IV. about a hundred years ago.
As to the charge brought against the Catholic church, of adding new articles of faith to the 'ancient creeds, it is entirely without foundation. The Catholic church certainly does propose to the faithful many articles, which are not expressed in the ancient creeds ; but this circumstance by no means supports the charge of adding new articles to these creeds; otherwise the Protestant must incur the same imputation, for admitting baptism and the Lord's supper, with many other points, which are not found in those venerable documents. The Catholic church, ever mindful of her trust, coins no new articles of faith, nor proposes any such thing to the faithful; but, ever assisted by the divine Spirit, agreeably to the promises of Christ before referred to, she claims the authority of deciding what has always been considered a matter of divine faith, and what has been treated as a matter of opinion. On this ground, Pope Pius IV. after the termination of the council of Trent, published his celebrated profession of faith, not about a hundred years ago, as the catechist has asserted, but two hundred and sixty-two years from the present period. In performing this work, the pastors of the church, and particularly the supreme pastor, act in conformity to the injunction given by the Spirit of God', Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.