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Theologica, authore LUDOVICO ACELLY, Episcopo Ruthenensi," the full titles of which works are given below.
We will hear, first, the Louvain Licentiate, the accurate as well as official alias of the famosus Dens. But both these writers will show us, how, altogether, the Church of Rome degrades the Scripture to the level of human tradition, and frequently receives the latter as its only authority. As our intention is to quote largely in our future papers on Romanism from these authors, we shall make no more general remarks concerning them on this occasion.
Respecting the character of the ever-virgin Mary, we cannot do better than bear in the mind what the “most excellent Bishop Pearson has said: "We cannot bear too reverend a regard unto the mother of our Lord, so long as we give her not that worship which is due unto the Lord himself. Let us keep the language of the Primitive Church
Theologiæ P. Dens
• Et Beneficia toties collata,
Dat, Dicat atque Dedicat
Calendis Mari. 1832. Richardus Coyne. We have given this title-page and dedication for several reasons. Dr. Murray has disclaimed all interest in the publication, notwithstanding the dedication ; and says he did not know that the dedication was cut out of several copies. The public has been alternately amused and disgusted with this assertion. We feel almost sure Dr. Murray is right, for, uoless our eyes and all our senses deceive,--the original edition, here called the second, had no dedication. The title-pages and dedication are printed on paper evidently different from the rest of the books ; the types are not the same, and the way these titlepages are folded and pasted in prove, we think unanswerably, that the dedication was an afterthought, and that new title-pages have been put into volumes older than themselves. Is it so? or is it not, Mr. Coyne? If so, Murray is right as to what he says, but worse and more wrong than we believed him.
placitis expressa. In qua quicquid, tum ad Fidei Mysteria sanè ac rectè intelligenda, ab erroribus quibus suis secernenda, tum ad Sacramenta debitè conficienda et ministranda, tum ad actiones humanas juxta divinæ legis normam derigendas, spectare potest, facili ac compendiaria methodo explicatur. Authore Ludovico Abelly, Episcopo Ruthonensi.
Editio nona, de novo emendata et quamplurimis Capitibus et Sectionibus aucta ; adjectis etiam variis Indicibus, nec non methodica Catechesi, et ipsius Medullæ Theologicæ effatis concinnata.
• Let her be honoured and esteemed ; let him be worshipped and adored.' Η Μαρία έν τιμή, ο Κύριος προσκυνείσθω. Although Ocotókoç may be extended to signifie as much as the Mother of God, because TikTeiv doth sometimes denote as much as yevvậv, and therefore it hath been translated Dei Genitrix, as well as Deipara ; yet those ancient Greeks which called the Virgin Ocotókoç, did not call her unrépa të 08g. But the Latins translating Geotókoç, Dei Genitrix, and the Greeks translating Dei Genitrix, fez unrup, they both at last called her the Mother of God. The first which the Greeks observed to call her so, was Leo the Great."* **** " It is therefore certain, that first in the Greek Church they termed the blessed Virgin Skotókns, and the Latins from them Dei Genitrix and Mater Dei, and the Greeks from them again, púrnp gez, upon the authority of Leo, not taking notice of other Latins, who styled her so before them.”—(On the Creed. Article III. p. 179, 189.)
It is evident from this that there is no tradition to justify the term Deipara in the sense frequently used by Romanists. It was in the united divine and human person that Mary brought forth the Son of God, who, by being born of woman, assumed incarnation ; and although since he was God from all eternity, it may be said that the Son of Mary was in his divine nature God, yet as he derived not his divinity from her, but only his humanity, it can hardly be said that she was the Mother of God, which would imply that not only was God descended, and not self-existent, but that God himself, as God, was human. It is true that Nestorius, who preached that the Virgin ought not to be called the mother of God, was anathematised by the Council of Carthage in the year 430, but, we take it, the anxiety of the Council arose from a dread of the Arian heresy, which was as grievous to them as it was to Nestorius; and the reason we object to the term Deipara as used in these later ages, is, that that term implies not what Nestorius or the Council of Ephesus made it, but more than either. The question between the Council and Nestorius may be seen in Du Pin, tom. iv.
In Dens, De persona Christi, (Tractatus de Incarnatione, No. 7, tom. v. p. 14,) we have this question and answer—" But how can the blessed Virgin be called Deipara, or the Mother of God, when it is rightly said in the catechism, that Christ, as to his divine nature, had no Mother, but a Father only ?
“ Answer. These statements very well agree (optione consistunt), for, in the words of the catechism, the eternal generation by the Father is treated of, and thus the Divine Virgin cannot be called the Mother of God by eternal generation, or from eternity ; but she may, and ought to be called the Mother of God by generation made in time, forasmuch as she doubly brought forth in time this man, who is also true God from everlasting ; whence also as other women ought truly to be called mothers of children, although the chief part of man or the rational soul is not procreated from them, but is infused by God through creation into an organised body; so the Divine Virgin ought truly to be called the Mother of God, although she only supplied the substance of the flesh, (corpulentam substantiam )" There is nothing in this which can justify such expresssions as Regina Empirei; Coeli janua ; Regum VOL. XVIII.
Patrona ; Tu Regia Cælum operis; Patrona Mundi, &c. &c. Nor can we reconcile the worship paid to the Virgin with the definitions given by Romanist writers of the different degrees of worship by them acknowledged. Take Dens' chapter, De Cultu Christi et Sanctorum, Tract. de Incar. No. 23,-Quotuplex est cultus sacer? Triplex; scilicet cultus Latriæ, Duliæ, et Hyperduliæ. Latria is there defined to be that which is due to God-of which kind is sacrifice; Dulia, that which is paid to supernatural created excellence, such as the veneration and invocation of saints, and the honour paid to a pious man upon earth is thus reduced to Dulia; but when that supernatural created excellence is singular, it is called Hyperdulia, as more than Dulia : this worship is due to the most blessed Virgin Mary. Genuflexion is then defined to take its character from the intention; it is Latria if intended for God; Hyperdulia, if for the Divine Virgin ; Dulia, if for the other saints; civil, if to man.-(Tom. v. p. 38.)
Now it is very clear that it is possible that the outward act may be performed so as to compromise this distinction, and where there is not the most careful jealousy over the mind, simple Dulia may become Latria; and from such expressions as those met with in the anagrams above, and from the customs of Romanists, it is certain that the Hyperdulia due to the Virgin is oftentimes the same as Latria, and thus she is worshipped as a goddess. That such has been the case we infer from the admissions of Abelly: “ Since amongst saints there are various and unequal grades of sanctity; therefore to those, who were by their merits and virtues more remarkable, special honour is to be paid, which, by common use, is signified by the word Hyperdulia ; with which kind of honour, all the orthodox unanimously agree, the most Holy Virgin Mother of God (Deiparam) ought to be worshipped beyond all others.' “ It is to be observed, fourthly, that the worship paid cannot be discerned by the exterior act, whether it be Latria or Dulia ; for by those very acts and external signs by which we adore God, we also very often worship the saints; for as to God, so to them, we uncover the head, bow the knees, &c. wherefore this must be discerned from the internal affection of the will.” (Abelly, De Incarnatione, Tract. v. cap. viii. $1, n. 2, vol. i. p. 359.) “ You inquire whether, besides Hyperdulia, Latria
be offered to the most holy Virgin, on account of that union 'which we conceive to be between her and her Son, Christ the Lord."" It is answered in the negative, with St. Thomas a. 5. For although, metaphysically speaking, she may, in a certain sense, be adored with a relative (respectiva) adoration, yet, morally and practically speaking, this ought not to be on account of the danger of error and scandal, whence St. Epiphanius, (Hær. 78 and 79, deservedly blames and accuses of heresy certain women in Syria, who, as a sign of adoration to the blessed Virgin, offered some libations.” (Ibid. $ 3, n. 6, p. 370.) He then goes on to paraphrase the salutation of the angel, because that salutation is used "in many offices of worship and veneration, which the universal Church every where exhibits towards the most holy Virgin in prayers, and in diurnal and nocturnal doxologies.” Is it too much to ask, if the mass of people, who hear these prayers and doxologies, can discriminate between metaphysical and moral speaking ? and does not the fact of the Syrian women prove our position, that the doctrine of the Romanists is unjustified by Scripture ?* Whatever sense Deipara may or may not bear, or whether or not "the mother of my Lord” may or may not mean “ The mother of God," it is clear that the Romanists attribute. to the Virgin a “ power in heaven and in earth,” which Protestants assume upon scripture testimony to be the strict province of the Redeemer. Abelly, whose authority cannot be disputed, seeing that his work was expressly written as a text-book for the clergy of his day, to enable them to prepare for orders [“ idque præsertim intentum, ut illi, qui Ordinibus sacris ascripti sunt, eam (quam scientiam salutis Propheta vocat) probè teneant : sicque et seipsos, et alios, quos juvare et instituere tenentur, salvos facere possuit,"] ends his exposition of the angelic salutation with the following :—"A brief little prayer is added to this salutation from the ancient custom of the Church, by which we entreat the intercession of this most holy Virgin, in all time of this life, but especially" (why?) " in the final exit from it, and last hour of death : which it is certain the ancient fathers did, with a peculiar sentiment of devotion ; amongst whom 8. Ephrem, who lived before the twelfth century (Orat. ad Sanctiss. Virg.) thus prayed to her :-Be with me now and ever, O Virgin-mother (genitrix) of God, gracious and merciful mother of pity, protectrix and helper (auxiliatrix), now in this present course of life: and in the last moment of life defending my soul, and driving far away from it the dark and horrid attacks of the worst of demons,” (tenebrosos atque horrendos insultus pessimorum dæmonum). (Ibid. p. 371.)
The argument for this worship of, and supplication to, the saints, is defended by Dens in this wise :-“ Prove that the saints in heaven are to be worshipped and honoured by Dulia. A. It is proved, 1st, by their being the friends of God: 2dly, because the Church has instituted festivals! (is not this begging the question ?) lastly, by the practice of Abraham, Jacob, and Samsom, and others, who shewed reverence and honour to angels; and because blessed men in heaven are as the angels, (Matt. xxii. 30). Is this worship of the saints absolute, or relative? Absolute, but towards God relative. 1st Objection. 1 Tim. i. 17. Answer. It is Latria and not Dulia there meant. 2d Obj. Esther xii. 14. A. “ Haman required honour, as if there was something of the divinity in him, for when gentiles were elevated they thought a divinity was communicated to them; and we thus see the Cæsars, after death, to be reckoned amongst the gods. 3d Obj. Apolcalyp. xix. 10. A. The angel refused it out of modesty, on account of the great holiness of John !! Are the saints to be invoked by us ? A. With the council of Trent, Sess. 25, de Invoc. Sanct. It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them .... and to fly to their prayers, help, and assistance : but they who deny that the saints are to be invoked, or who assert either that they do not pray for men, or that the invocation of them is idolatry .... think impiously.' II. It is proved from Gen. xlviii. 16,
* Besides this case, there are many others recorded. In the correspondence between Pope Gregory and Serenus, Bishop of Marseilles, the Pope rates Serenus soundly for destroying the images "which the people adored," ordering the Bishop to set them up again to be honoured, and desiring him to see that they be not adored !!! Gregory, no doubt, had read 2 Kings xviii. 4; but Popes are wiser men than Hezekiah or Serenus.
the History of Tobit, and 2 Maccab. xv. 14, where the saints in limbo pray for men,' and Exod. xxxii. 14, 'where God was appeased by the prayer of Moses for the people;' therefore it is more lawful to pray to the saints reigning with Christ, since they are more united with God!” There can scarcely be any necessity to point out the fallacy of these arguments: it is self-evident. The case of Haman is not in point ; it was worldly, not divine honours he wished for. Rev. xix. 10 says nothing about John's holiness. The council of Trent can have no authority but what Scripture gives. The quotation from Gen. xlviii. 16 is most fatal for the Romanists. Dens says, “ Jacob invocat Angelum suum,” i. e. his guardian angel. Now the Bible tells us, it was the “ angel which redeemed Jacob from all evil," and on referring to Gen. xxxi. 11--13, this angel was “ the angel of God"-" the God of Bethel'- viz. Christ himself. As for the history of Tobit and Maccabees, they are only fit for people who believe in limbo, which is as apocryphal as the transaction recorded about Jeremiah, which Dens quotes; an as to Moses praying to God, what analogy can there be between him, in his peculiar character on earth, and some of the saints of the Church of Rome, elevated presumptuously, like “the Cæsars after death,” to heaven, at the caprice of a gentile or popish superstition? Our intention was not to have gone now further into these arguments, but we cannot refrain from quoting Dens, as to the resolution of the objections against the invocation of saints (No. 25). “Obj. 1. 1 Tim. ii. 5, ergo Sancti non sunt mediatores nostri. A. Ergo non sunt mediatores principales .... concedo totum ;" but if it be, non sunt mediatores secundarii et participativè, &c. nego consequentiam,--and he quotes Gal. iii. 19, and in this sense the divine Virgin is called, “ our life and hope,” whilst we pray to her, “ give health to thy hand-maids” (servulis, query, valets ?) and thus the Apostle, 1 Cor. ix. 22, says, " that I might save some,"—what an analogy! The saints, he tells us, are invoked as mediators with a mediator and God, as St. Thomas says, that they may make up the deficiencies of our prayers ! Obj. 2. "The saints know not our prayers; therefore are vainly invoked." A. "The saints know in the Word, all things which belong to their condition, and, therefore, our prayers to them they see plainly in the Word, as in a niirror, even as the angels know our prayers.” The objector quotes Eccl. ix. 5:-" The best answer is, that these are the words of fools, who say the soul dies with the body." Obj. 3. “ All good things come from God, therefore it is wrong to ask them of the saints.” A.“ I deny the conclusion, because so doing we do not exclude God, but rather use the saints as intercessors; and this not from any defects of God's power or pity, but because God is not willing to confer certain benefits except through his saints, that he and they may be honoured in each other, or that order and subordination may be preserved.” 2."Generally," says Dens, you will convince sectarians, concerning these and other objections, by this, that all these things do not oppose our prayers for the living; ergo, they cannot oppose our praying for the suffrages of the saints in heaven.” Surely " sectarians” are not such blockheads as not to know, that whilst we are commanded to "pray one for another” (James v. 16), we are also expressly told, that " the grave cannot praise thee : death cannot celebrate thee : they that go down