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It is calculated that the sum of 16001. will be required for the purchase of the ground, the building and endowment of the chapel, and support of the schools in connexion with it.
We confidently hope, that your charitable aid will be afforded in furtherance of so desirable an object; and your hearty prayers to God be offered for the success of our undertaking.
[As it is of consequence to persons anxious about the erection of new churches to know at what expence it can be done, the following particulars have been obtained :-)
The estimate for the building was 2681., but in this sum was included an outer furnace, and flue through the building covered with flag stones. Without a gallery, the building will hold 180 persons. The building is, at present, used only as a school-room, in consequence of not having raised a sufficient sum for endowment; 4001. is wanted to complete the plan, and we should be glad to make an appeal to the public. The building, I should have stated, is, internally, 36-ft. by 18-ft., 12-ft bigh to the wall plate ; the chancel end is 10-ft. by 12-ft. The foundation and walls are of brick on edge, and the roof of tiles.
HISTORICAL NOTICES CONCERNING SOME OF THE PECULIAR
TENETS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME; USEFUL AT THE PRESENT
TIME.* The following notices of the dates of the authoritative adoption of some of the most remarkable of the doctrines which are peculiar to the church of Rome, may, it is hoped, not be without their use at the present time. It is reported that some of the emissaries of the Bishop of Rome have been endeavouring to abuse the confidence of the Christians of the English church, by telling them that the Roman religion is older than theirs. If the English Christians shall have at hand some brief memoranda of the dates of the peculiarities of the Roman doctrine, the Romans will hardly venture upon so manifest and barefaced a falsehood.
The Roman emissaries, upon this false foundation, are reported to have endeavoured to raise, as a superstructure, a claim to the English endowments, as having formerly belonged to them. These notices will serve to shew how entirely free, at the first, the English church was from the Roman corruptions, many of which, for a time, she afterwards adopted; and therefore at what entire liberty to release herself from them, as she did in the sixteenth century. If the temporary adoption of doctrines which had not been contemplated by her ancient founders did not weaken her title to her endowments, certainly that title could not be injured by a return to that ancient purity of faith in which she was at the first endowed.
Statements such as these which have been alluded to, notoriously and palpably false, are evidences of a weak cause, and it seems likely (if indeed the report is true which represents them to have been made) that they who have put them forward have done so with the hope of thereby diverting the attention of an inquiring age from their own questionable and schismatical position in this kingdom, and also from the very modern character of most of the opinions in matters of religion which distinguish them from us, As to the second of these points, the modern character of
The notice given in Church Matters in a late number as to an intention of pub lishing Tracts against the Romanists, has induced a learned friend to send this valuable and original Tract, which will be most acceptable to churchmen,-Ed.
the Roman peculiarities of belief, it will, I hope, be fully made out in the following notices; but in regard to the first, i. e., the schismatical position of the Roman Christians in England, I would take this opportunity of offering some observations.
The adherents to the Bishop of Rome, in this country, are simply and merely schismatics; being separatists or seceders from the church of England. From the foundation of the Christian religion in this country till after 1570, there was no pretence for a Roman communion in England distinct from that under the bishops and metropolitans of the English church. During the reign of Henry the Eighth, Edward the Sixth, and the early part of Queen Elizabeth, that is to say, for many years after the English church had rejected the Roman usurpations and corruptions, all used our liturgy, communicated in our churches, and were part and parcel of the church of England. About the twelfth year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the Bishop of Rome conceived that it would serve his purpose to foment a schism here; accordingly, jesuit priests and others were sent over to intrude into the folds of the parochial clergy, and deprive them of their focks. But it was long before the stronger and more flagrant step was taken of violating ecclesiastical order, and setting aside the canons of the church in the persons of its chief officers. It was not till 1623 that a foreign bishop (of Chalcedon) ventured to commit so gross an act of schism as to enter into other bishops' dioceses, to take charge of the schis matical presbyters whom Rome had sent over before. Is it possible that a body of dissenters, whose schism has not assumed a definite shape for more than two hundred years, can have the hardihood to talk of the autiquity of their church!
It should be known that the bishops who superintend the Roman schism in England, Scotland, and Ireland have no connection whatever with, and can trace no descent whatever from the bishops of the ancient churches of these islands. They have derived their orders, since the commencement of the seventeenth century, from the churches of Spain and Italy. The protestant bishops of the three kingdoms are the representatives by episcopal succession of the ancient Celtic and Anglo-Saxon churches,
If the very existence of the Roman schism in these countries is thus proved to be a thing of yesterday, equally novel and superinduced will their peculiar doctrines be likewise found to be when subjected to the test of examination. Many of these will be considered in detail presently. But it may not be amiss to suggest in this place one test which may be immediately applied by the most unlearned person. Let any Roman be asked what constitutes the shibboleth of his church? What is that, by subscribing to which, the Christians of the English church may receive Roman communion, but without which it is denied them ? and he must answer, if he speak the truth, “ The Creed of Pope Pius the Fifth.” Let him again be asked what is the date of this “ middle wall of partition” which has been built up to destroy Christian unity, and interrupt the communion of the faithful ? and he must answer again, “ 1568.” Thus will his pretence of antiquity be set aside, and he will stand convicted, by his own mouth, of belonging to a body of men who have dared to add to catholic doctrine and to require as necessary to salvation an assent to speculations in theology which were not so required for nearly the first one thousand six hundred years of Christianity.
As this presumptuous and unwarrantable creed deserves to be more generally known than it is, I take the liberty of subjoining the English translation of it which has the approbation of the leaders of the Roman schism in England.
It is appended to the Nicene or Constantinopolitan creed, which the reader will find in the communion service of the English Church. After the “ Amen" with which that creed closes, then follow these articles:
1. "I most stedfastly admit and embrace apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the same church.
2. “ I also admit the holy scriptures according to that sense which our holy mother, the church, has held and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.
* In the “ Order for the administration of the sacraments and rightly performing other ecclesiastical offices in the English mission," "(London, Keating and Brown,) put forth in 1831, with the sanction of the foreign bishops who act in England under the direction of the Bishop of Rome, there is, among other things,". The form of reconciling a convert.” In this form, the profession of the creed of Pope Pius is the chief feature.
a true sacrament.
3. “ I also profess that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all for every one; to wit, baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order, and matrimony; and that they confer grace, and that of these, baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the received ceremonies of the catholic church, used in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacrament.
4. “ I embrace and receive all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification.
5. “ I profess, likewise, that in the mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and 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 made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the wine into the blood, which conversion the catholic church calls transubstantiation. I also confess, that under either kind alone, Christ is received whole and entire, and
6. “I constantly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.
7. “ Likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ are to be honoured and invocated, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be had in veneration.
8. “ I most firmly assert, that the images of Christ, of the mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other saints, ought to be had and retained, and that due honour and veneration is to be given them.
9. “ I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.
10. “ I acknowledge the holy, catholic, Apostolic, Roman church for the mother and mistress of all churches. And I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, prince of the Apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ.
11. “I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy council of Trent. And I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the church has condemned, rejected, and anathe matized.
" I, N. N., do at this present freely profess and sincerely hold this true catholic faith, without which no one can be saved; and I promise most constantly to retain and confess the same, entire and unviolated, with God's assistance, to the end of my
On this monstrous and unwarrantable document, the putting forth of which as a term of Christian communion is the most genuine act of schism that ever was perpe trated in Christendom, I will only make one observation. In the eleventh article there is required, as part of that “faith without which no one can be saved," an “ undoubting reception and profession of all things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy council of Trent;” and an equally unhesitating," anathematizing of all things and all heresies which the church has anathematized.” Before any unstable soul” is “beguiled " into making this profession, it is right he should know that the church of Rome reckons no less than twenty of these councils which she calls general; and that of these, the single council of Trent contains upwards of six score of anathemas alone; and, probably, about an equal number of definitions and declarations. All these form articles of negative or positive faith respectively, to which (unless the whole thing is an impious and sacrilegious mockery) the convert to Rome is solemnly and indissolubly pledged in the face of God and man. Possibly, this consideration, unless the fear of God is wholly banished from his mind, may induce him to pause before imprecating the Divine vengeance upon himself, by binding his soul, in a matter affecting his own and others' salvation, with an obligation, the extent of which he has (to speak generally) not even the means of ascertaining,
The impassable gulph which at present divides the churches of England and Rome, is occasioned by these terms of communion which the latter has appointed, requiring all who would receive communion at the hands of her ministers, to assent, uuhesitatingly, as necessary to salvation, to certain positions in theology, which are not only not required by any other portion of the church of Christ, but were not for
many hundred years required by the Roman; and not only so, but are, either all or almost all, actually condemned in the writings of the ancient church. It becomes, therefore, a matter not devoid of interest to ascertain the date of the authoritative imposition of these terms of communion ; that is to say, to ascertain, in respect to each of them, the date up to which communion was to be had in the church of Rome, without professing an assent to it; for we shall thus most clearly see on whom the charge and guilt of this schism rests, which has proved so prejudicial to the cause of Christianity.
It will be observed, that we are not at present concerned to inquire when first any of the positions in question was broached by individuals, for that is nothing to the purpose. As long as it was free for men to hold or to reject them without interruption of communion, no harm was done by the church, and no schism was created. The maintainers of them might, indeed, in the judgment of individuals, be liable to the censure which the apostle passed upon those who early adopted one of them—the worshipping of angels-whom he designates as "vainly puffed up with a fleshly mind;" yet, as the apostle did not require such persons, in consequence, to be separated from communion, the church is not to be censured for admitting them to it, notwithstanding the speculative errors in which they indulged. The church of Rome, in short, is not chargeable (strictly speaking) with these errors, unless, nor until she authoritatively adopted them. Now the authority which the members of the church of Rome admit to be sufficient for such compulsory adoption of doctrines, is, and is only, that of a general council.* I speak under correction from the members of that church, but I believe I speak accurately, when I say, that until any dogma has received the sanction of a general council, no priest of that church (as such)
* The matter is here discussed on Roman grounds, and (which will serve more effectually to prove the insupportableness of their position) the Romans are allowed, for argument's sake, the advantage of their novel dogma, that a decree of what they call a general council is sufficient warrant to interrupt communion with those who do not receive it. Even allowing them this, it will be shewn how modern (comparatively) all interruptions of communion (founded on this principle) are between them and us. But, of course, in strictness of speech, this concession cannot be made ; and it is certain that, with regard to the Deutero-Nicene cou which they consider general, the rejection of its decrees by the British, German, and Gallican churches, at the council of Frankfort, did not interrupt communion between these churches and those which acknowledged that council. And, therefore, in strictness of speech, the Roman peculiarity which causes the interruption of communion between the two churches, dates no higher than the practical adoption of the new principle respecting the authority of the, so called, general councils.
Perhaps it may not be unacceptable to the reader to be furnished with a list of the councils which the Roman writers consider" general.” They are twenty in number. Of these only six are acknowledged to be of that character by the church of England. These are—1 Nice, A.D. 325.
2. Constantinople, A.D. 381. 3. Ephesus, A.D. 431. 4. Chalcedon, A. D. 451. 5. Constantinople, A.D. 553. 6. Constantinople, A.D. 680. This last is remarkable as being that which condemned Honorius, the Roman pontiff, of heresy, and ordered his books to be burned.
The others which are received by Rome as general are, 7. Second Nicene, A.D. 787. (This is the one whose decrees concerning image worship, though enforced by Pope Adrian, were despised, rejected, and condemned by the British, Gallican, and German bishops, at the great council at Frankfort, under Charlemagne, A.D. 794. A pretty fair criterion of the value of the council, and of the extent of the papal supremacy at that time.) 8. Constantinople, A.D. 869. 9. Lateran, A.D. 1123. 10. Lateran, A.D. 1139. 11. Lateran, A.D. 1179. 12. Lateran, A.D. 1215. 13. Lyons, A.D. 1274. 14. Lyons, A.D. 1274. 15. Vienne, A.D. 1311. 16. Constance, A.D. 1414. 17. Basle, A.D. 1431. 18. Florence, A.D. 1438. 19. Lateran, A.D. 1512. 20. Trent, A.D. 1545.
With regard to these councils it may be observed, that divines are not agreed as to what is necessary to constitute a general council. Some would make it turn upon the individuals present, whether they could fairly be deemed representatives of the general body of Christendom; others, more reasonably, would make it turn upon the general reception throughout Christendom of the decisions which it might put forth. But let either or both of these descriptions be admitted, it is certain that the, so called, general councils which Rome acknowledges do not answer to them. 1. The bishops present at them could not be considered as fair representatives of Christendom in general : for instance, at the Deutero-Nicene council there were no western bishops ; at most of the others no eastern; at that of Trent neither eastern, nor any from a very large portion of the west. 2. Their decisions were not generally received, but only in certain parts of Christendom.
would be under compulsion to refuse the communion to any person who rejected such dogma; neither assent nor dissent in respect of it would interrupt communion. Let it be distinctly understood, that the church of England requires nothing as a term of communion which the church of Rome does not require also. She has recorded opinions contrary to some of the Roman doctrines, but does not require an assent to such opinions as a term of communion.
The additional terms of communion all lie at the door of Rome, having been put forward by her. We proceed, therefore, to point out in respect to some of the chief additional' doctrines the date when first they were compulsorily adopted. It will be enough if we take some of the most important; to which class the following will probably be admitted by both sides to belong. Image worship-transubstantiation -supremacy of the Roman see-prayers in an unknown tongue--communion in one kind-purgatory-indulgences—priest's intention necessary for the validity of the sacraments—canon of Scripture, and number of the sacraments.
Image Worship.- A. D. 787. No one of the doctrines which distinguish the church of Rome from that of England has an earlier countenance by what they call a general council, than that of the worship of images, which was decreed at the (so called) general council of Nice, A.D. 787. Thus
“ The whole synod exclaimed, we kiss the holy images, let anathema be upon the head of those who do not."
As this is the earliest authority for any of their Roman peculiarities, and as the church of England at the time was remarkably concerned in it, it may not be out of place to mention the circumstances. The Emperor Charlemagne, who was very much offended at the decrees of the Nicene council, sent a copy of them into Eng. land. The learned Alcuin attacked them, and having produced much scriptural authority against them, transmitted the same to Charlemagne, in the name of the English bishops. Roger Hoveden, Simon of Durham, and Matthew of Westminster (as quoted by Collyert), mention the fact, and speak of the worship of images as being execrated by the whole church. Charlemagne, pursuing his hostility to the Nicene council, drew up four books against it, and transmitted them to Pope Adrian ; who replied to them in an epistle “concerning images against those who impugn the Nicene synod," as the title is given, together with the epistle itself in the seventh volume of Labbee and Cossart's councils. The genuineness of these books is admitted by all the chief Roman writers. For the purpose of considering the subject more fully, Charlemagne assembled a great council of British, Gallican, German, and Italian bishops at Frankfort, at which two legates from the Bishop of Rome were present; where, after mature deliberation, the deerees of the soi-disant general council of Nice, notwithstanding Pope Adrian's countenance, were “rejected,” “ despised,” and “condemned." +
It is curious to observe the desperate efforts which the Roman writers make to avoid swallowing this bitter pill. Some would assert that there was no such decision come to at Frankfort; but Sirmondusõ acknowledges that there is no question of its authenticity. Others, because the canon calls it the synod of Constantinople (it having been first assembled there, and afterwards removed to Nice,) would fain have it believed that some other synod was intended; but Baronius and Bellarmine both admit that it was the Nicene. Others again would make out that the bishops at Frankfort were ignorant of the real nature of the Nicene decrees ; an absurd supposition, as Binius|| argues, for the controversy between Adrian and Charlemagne, must have given both time and opportunity for the former to have set the latter right, if he had misapprehended them. Besides, there were two Roman legates present in the council at Frankfort, and they, at all events, could have given accurate information. No: the synod of Frankfort remains unshaken, a monument of a noble stand in defence of the ancient religion, in which the church of England had
Ταυτας δε τας τιμιας και σεπτας εικονας, καθως προειρηται, τιμώμεν και άσπαζομεθα, και τιμητικως προσκυνουμεν.-Labbee & Conc. vii. p. 321. + Collier’s Eccles. Hist., vol. i. p. 139. See the Second Canon of the Council of Frankfort, A.D. 794. § Labbee Conc. vii. 1054.
-!| Ibid. 1070.