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What is the reason the Church of England doth not receive
those new articles of faith?
1. Because they are not to be found in the 'word of God. 2. Because many of them are contrary to the word of God. 3. No church in the world hath power to make new articles of
The articles under consideration, which are by no means new, are founded either on the word of God, or on the ancient and apostolical traditions of the church. That any of them are contrary to the word of God, is a calumny, which shall be refuted in its proper place. It is scarcely necessary to repeat, that the Catholic church has never claimed the power of making new articles of faith.
She ever remembers the promise of her divine Spouse, who declared that all truth should be communicated to his church through his apostles ; and of the truths thus taught, she deems herself the authorized depositary, and the faithful guardian. When, therefore, she directs the faithful to receive any article of faith before undefined, she only unfolds and proposes what had been communicated to her by the divine Spirit, agreeably to a promise clearly made; or she applies to a particular case a general principle, on which she was fully authorized to act. Thus the protracted and violent dispute concerning the baptism of heretics was finally adjusted by the church, agreeably to apostolic tradition, of which she is the faithful guardian; and, on a similar principle, many books of Scripture, concerning which doubts had been entertained, have been received as inspired writings; because the church interposed that authority, which she had derived from her heavenly founder, of maintaining the faith inviolate-of separating what was genuine from what was fictitious—and of preserving, in the spiritual kingdom of Christ, that order without which no establishment can subsist. On what other principle does the pious catechist believe the Revelation of St. John, or the Epistle to the Hebrews, to be parts of real Scriptures ? or does he charge the Catholic church with framing new articles of faith, when she directed those performances, which were once deemed to be of dubious authority, to be considered as canonical books? Let him consider these striking points, and desist from misrepresentation.
On the nature of the general charge given to the church, to maintain the deposite of faith, St. Vincent of Lerins thus beautifully expatiates: “ What is a deposite? It is, that which is entrusted to you, not that which is the fruit of your
invention ; it is what you have received, not what you have devised; it is a matter, not of ingenuity, but of learning; it is not a private assumption of authority, but an affair of public tradition ; a thing transmitted to you, not produced by you; a concern in which you are not to pass for the author, but the guardian ; not the founder, but the disciple; not the leader, but the follower."
1 I cannot resist the temptation of transcribing the original of this beautiful passage, for the gratification of the learned reader :
“ Quid est depositum ? id est, quod tibi creditum est, non quod a te inventum; quod accepisti, non quod excogitasti ; rem non ingenii, sed doctrinæ; non usurpationis privatæ, sed publicæ traditionis; rem ad te perductam, non a te prolatam; in quâ non auctor debes esse, sed custos; non institutor, sed sectator; non ducens, sed sequens.”-St. Vincent. Commonitor. contra Hær. c. xxvii.
What and which are the new articles of faith the Church of
Rome hath added to the ancient creeds ?
Some of the principal are these following: 1. That the apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, i.e. of their
church, are most firmly to be admitted and embracèd, i. e. as they explain it, with divine faith, and with the same affec
tion of piety that is due to the Holy Scriptures. 2. That there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the
new law, instituted by Jesus Christ, and necessary to the salvation of mankind, though not all of them necessary
to every man, viz. Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist,
Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony. 3. That all and every thing which was defined and declared
about justification by the Council of Trent, ought to be
embraced and received. 1. That in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and
propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and dead. 5. That in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there is
truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is a conversion made of the whole substance of bread into his body, and of the whole substance of wine into his blood; which conversion that church calls Tran
substantiation. 6. That under either kind or species only, whole and entire
Christ, and the true sacrament, is received; and by consequence, laymen are justly denied the cup in the sacra
ment. 7. That there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained
are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. 8. That the saints who reign together with Christ, are to be
worshipped and invocated.
9. That the relics of these saints are to be venerated. 10. That the images of Christ, and the mother of God, as also
of other saints, are to be had and retained, and due honour
and veneration to be bestowed on them. 11. That the power of indulgences was left by Christ in his
church, and that their use is most wholesome to Christian
people. 12. That the Roman church is the holy Catholic and Apostolic
church, and the mother and mistress of all churches.
All these articles, which are here denominated new, form the subject of discussion in the following pages; and if the reader will give a due attention to the Catholic answers here subjoined, the writer, with full reliance on the grace of God, and the justice of his cause, pledges himself to give a full, clear, and satisfactory explanation on every point.