« AnteriorContinuar »
an honourable share, occupying, a thousand years ago, the self-same ground we now maintain, of protesting against the Roman corruptions of the catholic faith.
The decrees of the Deutero-Nicene synod were again condemned at a numerous assembly of bishops, at Paris, A.D. 824 ; and had, in the meantime, been condemned by two successive synods of eastern bishops at Constantinople, A. D. 809 and 814.
Transubstantiation.-A.D. 1215.* In the exposition of the catholic faith, contained in the first chapter of the fourth council of Lateran there are these words :-“whose (Jesus Christ's) body and blood are truly contained under the species of bread and wine, which are changed by transubstantiation, the bread into the body, and the wine into the blood, through the Divine power,” &c.
Prior to this time, as Tonstall, Bishop of Durham, informs us, a belief in this, however it might be entertained by individuals, was not deemed necessary for a Christian : as he says, “ concerning the manner in which that" (the sacramental change of the elements)“ is effected, it were better to leave every person to his own conjecture, as it was free to do before the council of Lateran.” When the error was first in set terms broached by some individuals, “ nuper non rite sentientibus,” (as Raban Maurus, Archbishop of Mentz, describes them,) the English and Irish divines were the foremost to oppose and to refute it; of whom we may mention Elfric among the former, and the famous John Scot Erigena among the latter.
Supremacy of the Roman See.-A.D. 1215. The same council,t the fourth Lateran, is likewise the first of those called general which recognized the authority of the Roman see as supreme over the church. In the fifth canon the Roman church is said to have “a principality of power over all others, as the mother and mistress of all Christian believers ;" and all other Patriarchs are required to receive their palls from the Roman pontiff. The style of Universal Pope was used by the Roman legates at the 8th general council of Constantinople, A.D. 869. But the whole proceedings of that council sufficiently shew what little deference was paid to it. There was no allusion to it in the three first Lateran
This has been here assigned as the date of the authoritative adoption of the doctrine of transubstantiation by the church of Rome, because many of her eminent writers have so considered it; but it must not be forgotten, what the learned Bishop Taylor tells us, (vol. x. p. 99,) that there is good reason to believe this to be a mistake, and that the doctrine of transubstantiation was not determined by the great Lateran Council
. The word was first invented by Stephen, Bishop of Augustodunum, about the year 1100, or a little after, in his book, “ De Sacramento Altaris," and the word did so please Pope Innocent III., that he insected it into one of the seventy canons which he proposed to the Lateran Council, 1215, which canons they heard read, but determined nothing concerning them, as Matthew Paris, Platina, and Nauclerus witness. But they got reputation by being inserted by Gregory IX. into his “ Decretals," which yet he did not in the name of the council, but of Innocent, to the council. But the first that ever published these canons, under the name of the Lateran Council, was Johannes Cochlæus, A.D. 1538. But the article was determined at Rome, thirty six years after that council, by a general council of fifty-four prelates, and no more.
# In provincial synods an earlier recognition was obtained. That of Pontyon, in France, A.D. 876, I believe to have been the first.-See 1st and 2nd Canons. There are certain Sardican canons, A.D. 347, to which the Roman writers refer, the 3rd and 5th of which per-. mit appeals to Rome in certain cases; but there is much reason to doubt whether such canons were ever made. It is certain that when, in the fifth century, the Bishop of Rome tried to usurp upon the liberties of Carthage, and pretended these Sardican canons as a war-' rant, he alleged that they were (not Sardican, but) Nicene canons; and when the African bishops had inquired into the matter, they returned for answer, that the council of Nice had determined the direct contrary to what was pretended, and that they knew no decree of the fathers authorizing the pope's claim. - See the whole story in Johnson's Vade Mecum, vol. i., pp. 162, 164, or Collyer's Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. pp. 33—4. The letter of the African bishops to Pope Celestine, is in Labbee and Cossart's Councils, vol. ii., p. 1674-5.
# I am not speaking of priority of rank. The bishops of Rome, which was the seat of the civil government, always had, on that account, a certain deference paid them, and the chief seats in the councils assigned to them ; and, on the same account, when the empire was divided, and the seat of the Eastern settled at Constantinople, that see was raised to a patriarchate, and precedence given to it over the elder Patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch. The question befores us relateş not to rank, but to authority, power, and jurisdiction. VOL. VIII.-Dec. 1835.
councils ; so that up to 1215, it was free for a man to think how he pleased concerning it. And not only were men free to deny the papal supremacy, they were bound to resist and reject it, in all places where it could not be proved to have been from the beginning. For so it was decreed by the third general council which was assembled at Ephesus, A.D. 431, " that none of the bishops, most beloved of God, do assume any other province that is not, and was not formerly, and from the beginning, subject to him, or those who were his predecessors. But if any have assumed any church that he be forced to restore it, that so the canons of the fathers be not transgressed, nor worldly pride be introduced under the mask of this sacred function. The holy general synod hath therefore decreed, that the rights of every province, formerly, and from the beginning, belonging to it, be preserved clear and inviolable." This decree was past on the occasion of an attempt by the patriarch of Antioch to usurp authority over the churches of the island of Cyprus, which had not been formerly under his jurisdiction, and is worthy of notice to the members of the churches of England and Ireland. For as it is beyond denial, from the conduct of the British and Irish bishops, that the churches in these islands knew no subjection to Rome up to the close of the sixth century, it is certain that every exercise of jurisdiction which the Bishop of Rome practised afterwards, for a time, in this kingdom, was in violation of the decrees of the catholic church, and that the churches here were merely acting in obedience to those decrees when, after having made trial of that cruel bondage, they were enabled to release themselves from it.
Prayers in a tongue not understood by the people. After all that has been caught by the church of Rome, concerning the authority of general councils, an assent to them, as necessary to salvation, being made part of the conditions on which alone communion is to be had in that church, it will probably excite the surprise of the reader to find that the exclusive use of the Latin language in the celebration of the divine offices, to which the bishops and clergy of Rome so pertinaciously adhere, is not only not sanctioned by any one of these councils, but is against the positive enactment of the 12th general council (which is the fourth Lateran, A.D. 1215), the ninth canon of which is as follows—"Because in most places within the same city and diocese there is a mixture of people who have, under one faith, different rites and customs, we straitly enjoin that the bishops of such cities and dioceses provide proper persons to celebrate the divine offices, and administer the sueraments of the church, according to the diversities of rites and languages, instructing them both by word and by example.”
Communion in one kind.-A.D. 1414. The first synodical prohibition of the administration of the holy cucharist in both kinds, is to be found in the decrees of the council of Constance; the bishops assembled at which, though they admit “ that Christ administered the holy sacrament to his disciples under both species, of bread and wine,' yet made the commandment of God of none effect by their tradition, following up their admission by a decree to the following effect : namely, “that no presbyter, under pain of excommunication, communicate the people under both kinds."*
This error early made its appearance in the church, but was condemned as soon as it came to light.
Thus Pope Gelasius, A.D. 494:-“We have found that some persons receive only a portion of the holy body, and abstain from the sacred blood, who without doubt ought either to receive the entire sacrament, or to be expelled from it entirely; because a division of one and the same mystery cannot take place without gross sacrilege.”+
So also the council of Braga, A.D. 675:-" We have heard that some give to the people the bread of the eucharist dipped in the wine (intinctam eucharistiam) instead of the full communion
which receives no sanction from the Gospel, where he gave to the apostles his body and his blood; for the giving of the bread is mentioned separately, and the giving of the cup is mentioned separately, and therefore all such error and presumption ought to cease." Which is enforced by sentence of sus. pension against any person so offending.
Purgatory.-A.D. 1438. The first authoritative decree concerning purgatory is to be found in the council of Florence; at which council endeavours were made (and with momentary success)
* Sessio 13.
+ Epistle to Majoricus and John.
to persuade the representatives of the Greek church to adopt the Roman innovations, and, amongst others, this of purgatory, which was so vague and undefined that the Greeks found it necessary to ask the Romans what it was that they meant by it. This inquiry produced the following synodical definition of it :
“ Since you have demanded to have the faith of the Roman church expressed concerning the truth of purgatory, we briefly reply in these writings, 'that if any whe truly repent depart from life before that by worthy fruits of repentance they have made satisfaction for their sins of commission and omission, their souls are purified after death, and to the relieving these pains the suffrages of the faithful who are alive, to wit, the sacrifices of masses, prayers, alms, and other pious works, are profitable, “But whether purgatory is a fire, or a mist and a whirlwind, or any thing else, we do not dispute."
When first this error was broached by individuals it is not easy to determine, but in St. Augustine's time it appears to have been new, as he speaks of it as a thing which “possibly may be found so, and possibly never ;" and so our English Bede, “not altogether incredible.”
Indulgences.-A.D. 1563. The use of indulgences, as far as they relate to the release of souls out of purgatory by the pope's authority, of course do not date higher than the doctrine of purgatory, on which they are built. This is admitted by Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and other Roman writers. The first of the (so called) general councils which decreed in favour of indulgences was that of Trent.
Roman Canon of Scripture.-A.D. 1503. The council of Trent was the first which, not content with admitting those apocryphal writings which the general voice of the church had rejected, made the receiving them as canonical necessary to salvation, by pronouncing anathema upon all who did not; thus,“ if any one do not receive all these books, with all their parts, as sacred and canonical, let him be anathema. "I
Which decree is the more monstrous because many of the most eminent fathers of the church, in all ages, have agreed to reject them Thus (to name no others) Jerome, after enumerating the books of the Old Testament, according as they are received in the English canon, uses these words,-“ that we may know that whatever is beside these is to be reckoned among the Apocrypha."S And Gregory the great distinctly calls the books of the Maccabees uncanonical, in his exposition of the book of Job.
Seven Sacraments.-A.D. 1563. The council of Trent was likewise the first which enjoined, by anathema, the acknowledgment of seven sacraments, thus :-“If any one shall say that the sacraments of the new law were not all instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, or are more or fewer than seven, to wit, baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony; or that any of these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament, let him be anathema.”
This decree is without warrant from the ancient church, and its want of warrant from the holy Scriptures the Roman teachers are forced to admit in an extraordinary manner, for they define a sacrament truly to be "a visible sign of an invisible grace, divinely instituted by Christ for our sanctification.” But in their authorized catechisms, when asked concerning “confirmation" and "extreme unction,” “ When did Christ institute them?” They are forced to answer, “ The time is uncertain, (!) but divines most probably (!) hold at Christ's supper, or between his resurrection and ascension.” Thus a matter of so great uncertainty as to require an alias is put forth by Rome as a term of communion, to be received unhesitatingly as part of that faith without which no man can be saved! So again, when asked for the visible sign of "matrimony,” they auswer, “ The mutual consent of the parties ;” and for the visible sign of “ penance," they answer, “ The contrition and confession of the penitent.”||
Necessity of the Priest's Intention for the Validity of the Sacraments.-A.D. 1563. The council of Trent was also the first to decree concerning the necessity of the
* Collatio 22, num, 3.
+ Sessio 25.
$ Preface to Book of Kings.
priest's intention, in order to the validity of the sacraments, a doctrine which puts it in the power of every priest to deprive the sincerest and purest of God's worshippers of the grace which they look to receive by partaking in the ordinances of salvation, It had been put forth by Pope Eugenius, in his letter to the Arminians, at the council of Florence, but was not confirmed by the authority of that council. The Tridentine decree is as follows:-
“ If any man shall say, that in the ministers, when they perform the sacraments, the intention of at least doing what the church does is not requisite, let him be anathema.”
It is thus that the providence of God, by preserving the records of the church in different ages, has enabled us to lay our finger upon the date of the errors which “ the earthen vessels” to which he has entrusted the administration of His heavenly
treasure, "* vainly puffed up with their fleshly mind, have presumed, from time to time, to add to the scriptural and catholic faith. And thus are we of the church of England enabled to shew, that, as the churches of these islands were originally free from the authority of the Roman see, so were they, in common with all Christendom, originally free from all the corrupt additions to the catholic faith which from time to time have emanated from that see. And that the difference between us and it arises from this circumstance, that while we have been careful “ stare super vias antiquas," to ask for the old paths, and to adhere to those doctrines which have been professed “semper, ubique, et ab omnibus ;” our opponents, desirous of novelty, have departed from them, and by their uncharitable excommunication of all who reject their novel doctrines, have made it open to grave question whether they have not thereby “ cut themselves off from the communion of the faithful,” and forfeited all just claim to the appellation of " catholic.”
Let Rome return to the ancient purity of that faith which she professed before the second Nicene council, and the wounds of the church may yet be healed—we may yet take counsel together, and walk in the house of God as friends or let her no longer insist upon an assent to the creed of Pope Pius as a term of communion. But if she will do neither of these, there is nothing left for us but to pray for her, that in God's good time she may be brought to a sense of her errors, and repent, and do her first works.
THE COUNTRY PASTOR.
Her ways were ways of innocence and joy,
But pain is all her dower, and stern disease,
While darkness shrouds the shore where sorrows cease;
While ever and anon Ocean's wild roar,
And that dark shadowy boat is at the door,
That lights Eternity. But yet to Heaven,
The good they drop around us, one by one,
Like stars when morning breaks; though lost to sight,
Yet they around us dwell in Heaven's own light,
Shadows of sorrow, still serenely bright
To faith they gleam; and blest be sorrow's night,
THE ADVENT. “In my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes
shall behold, and not another."-JOB, XIX. Mortal eye shall see Thee soon,
As caught from Bethany, Ear shall hear Thee! it may light
In a cloud of glowing sheen ; In the calın of summer noon,
As on the right hand on high, Or in silence of the night,
By the dying Stephen seen, When thy glory from afar shall be known, Binding in Infinity to a span ! As beneath Thy feet the sky,
As when girt with golden zone, Bends her crystal canopy,
As when on the cloudy throne, Seen in terror's panoply,
By thy loved disciple known, Coming down.
Son of Man !
O thought, to spirit frail
Death withdraws the eternal veil,
And th’ Accuser standeth by,
Form the failing band may hold,
Seen again, as then of old,
Power divine ! Shall descend with a shout!
Not as on Sinai's height, I, in flesh, shall stand and see
Nor with Glory's withering glance, Countless multitudes throughout,
But to our weak mortal sight Thy full countenance on me!
Tempering thy full radiance, 'Mid innumerable hosts on each one,
That we may to our weakness welcome Thee; As in grains on glittering beach,
To Thy searching, healing eye, As in waves in ocean's reach,
Lo, beneath Thy feet I lie; With his full-orb'd eye in each,
Lord, a sinful man am I, Shines the Sun!
Stay with me! Again, as man below,
Hope's lamp that lit the way, Though for justice armed, yet
Faith the pilgrim's staff shall fail, O'er Thee love's celestial bow,
With her mantle on that day Like a radiant glory set,
Love shall stand, Love shall prevail. Encompassing the terrors of Thy throne, Let that Love familiar grow with Thee now. As beside Thy tomb of yore
Where the lowest place is found, Or by Galilean shore,
Mercy's band, or Sorrow's wound, With the form that dies no more,
Where chaste thoughts with prayer abound, Seen and known.
There art Thou !
This Hymn is intended to allude to the consolation to be derived from the personal appearance of the Son of Man, so often alluded to in Scripture.