Page images

Roman Catholics defend themselves never, in any place of public worfrom the charge of idolatry is ship, seen more humble, more unhere directly met, and fully con- affected, and more sincere devofuted. “ It is evident,” says the lion, than among the congregations Homily, " that our image-maintain- of Roman Catholic chapels. (Ref. ers have the same opinion of saints p. 33.) And the anonymous writer which the Gentiles bad of their mentioned in bis note was so comfalse gods, and thereby are moved pletely overcome by the splendour to make them images as the Gene of the high mass, as celebrated at tiles did. If answer be made, that Paris, by the illumination of the they make saints but intercessors church, the majestic tones and exto God, and means for such things quisite modulation of the organ, as they would obtain of God; the venerable air of the building, that is even after the Gentiles' the oumbers of the communicants, idolatrous usage: to make them the gorgeous habiliments of the of saints, Gods called Dii Medi- priests, &c. &c. that from the pure oximi, to be mean intercessors and fervour of the moment, he knelt helpers to God, as though he did down and received the sacrament, not hear, or should be weary if be though not a member of the Romish did all alone. ......... And there- communion, and was rapt in high fore in this also, it is most evident and holy musings. But, what says that onr image-inaintainers be all the Homily!

When the prayers one in opinion with the Gentiles spoken by the minister, and the idolaters.” (Homily on Peril of words in ihe administration of the Idolatry. Part iii.)

sacraments be not understood of The whole of the Homily is, in them that be present, they cannot truth, of the same tendency. Mr. thereby be edified. For as when the Wix, with great justice, commends trumpet that is blown in the field the moderation of this sermon on giveth an uncertain sound, no manis the Peril of Idolatry: but the pas- thereby stirred up to prepare himsage which he quotes to exemplify self to the fight; b......... even so, it, is one of those which we un. when prayers, or administration of derstand as making strongly against sacraments, shall be in a tongue him. Tlie words are:

unknown to the hearers, which of “ So that I conclude, as it may them shall be thereby stirred up to be possible in some one city, or lift up his mind to God, and to beg little country, to have images set with the minister, at God's hand, up in temples and churches, and those things which, in the words of yet idolatry by earnest and con- his prayers, the minister asketb? tinual preaching of God's true or who shall in the ministration word, and the sincere Gospel of our of the sacraments understand what Saviour Jesus Christ, may be kept invisible grace is to be craved of away for a short time ; so is it the hearer, to be wrought in the impossible that (images once set inward man? Truly, no man at up, and suffered in temples and all." (Homily XXI. On Common churches) any great countries, Prayer and Sacraments.) much less the whole world, can any Noibing can be farther from long time be kept from idolatry.our intention, than to represent

With respect to the third point Mr.Wix as friendly to the doctrines noticed by Mr. Wix, the practice of and practices of which he speaks repeating the service in an unknown in such mild and qualified terms; tongue, both the Twenty-fourth Ar- or as being desirous to unite with ticle and the Twenty-first Homily the Church of Rome, so long as they are loud in condemnation of ii. are generally maintained in it. Mr. Wix is of opinion, that he has He declares, and we believe him to • See Mr. Wir's note, p. 26.

be very sincere in the declaration, that he will yield to no oue in just consider themselves a sound branch of abhorrence of the errors, of the the Catholic Church of Christ, the delusions, and of the superstitions Church of Rome has never been denied of the Romish Church :'he admits to be of the true church.” that the doctrine of transubstan. And again : tion is fundamentally erroneous ;

“ The Church of Rome is acknow. that although the invocation of ledged by the Church of England to be saints, according to his opinion, a trne apostolical charch. She denies is not idolatrous, the abuses of no article of faith which the Church of that doctrine are idolatrous; and England maintains to be requisite to that so long as the pope's su- salvation : though she entertains, in adpremacy, and the offensive articles dition, opinions which the Church of of the Roman Catholic creed, and England considers unnecessary or errothe offensive ceremonies of their neous.” pp. 29, 30. worship are retained, there can be Now what is the definition given iro union between the two churches. ' in the xix. ih Article ? “ The visiSome of these admissions have been ble church of Christ is a congreelicited by the Bishop of St.David's; gation of faithful men, in the which but we have no doubt that Mr.Wix's the pure Word of God is preached, sentiments on these points were ibe and the sacraments be duly minissame when he published the “ Re- tered according to Christ's ordiflections;" and we are persuaded nance, in all those things that of that if he occasionally appears al- necessity are requisite to the same.” most in the character of a Roman Can this be said of the Church Catholic advocate, his design is of Rome? Is it true that the pure simply to soothe irritation, and to word of God is preached in that prepare the way for the projected church, and the sacraments duly council.

ministered? Is it true of any church We trust that we have now suffi. which notoriously withholds or ciently guarded our readers against corrupts the word of God, and any misconception of Mr. Wix's ob- which teaches a doctrine, that " is ject. We have appealed to the Ar repugnant to the plain words of ticles and Homlies of our church, Scripture, and overthroweth the not to disprov: the offensive doc- nature of a sacrament?” (Art. trines of Rome, as if Mr. Wir were XXVIII.) If, according to the view the advocate of them; but merely of our reformers, the Church of to shew that, however charitable Rome did preach the word of God and correct the sentiments con- purely, and rightly administer the cerning the nature of these doctrines saerainents, upon what principle and practices may be accounted by can they be justified for choosing those who are favourable to the plan rather to give up their lives than of a council, they certainly are not to conform to it? But we purvery similar to the recorded senti- posely avoid much reasoning upon ments of the Church of England. the subject, and, to ascertain the

This difference, indeed, is not opinion of our own church, prefer confined metely to the doctrines or an appeal to her acknowledged practices of the Church of Rome : statements. it involves the grand question, That ye may perceive the whether it is to be acknowledged weakness of this argument, it is as a true church at all. In ihe needlal to teach you, first, what the Address to the Roman Catholics, true church of Christ is, and then to prefixed to the second edition of confer the Church of Rome thereihe “ Reflections,” we have the with, to discera low well they agree following assertion.

together *.” “ I assure you, that by the reflecting • Homily for Whitsunday, part ii. members of the Church of England, who near the beginning.

“ The true church is an universal when we profess that only to be the congregation or fellowship of God's true faith, which is professed by the faithful and elect people, built upon church all the world over : in like man, the foundation of the Apostles and Pro- ner, we are followers of antiquity, wheu phets, Jesus Christ himself being the we religiously adhere to that sepse of head corner-stone.' And it hath always Scripture, which manifestly obtained three notes or marks, whereby it is among the holy fathers, our predecesknown: pure and sound doctrine, the sors; and, lastly, we follow consent, sacraments ministered according to 'when we embrace the definitions and Christ's boly institution, and the right opinions of almost all, if not all, the use of ecclesiastical discipline. This bishops and teachers in the ancient description of the church is agreeable Church." Reflections, p. 10. both to the Scriptures of God, and also to the doctrine of the ancient Fathers,

In order to satisfy those who so that none may justly find fault there might doubt of the propriety of with. Now if you will compare this looking to early times and to the with the Church of Rome, not as it was consent of all Christian antiquity, in the beginning, but as it is at present, for a correct view of scriptural and hath been for the space of nine doctrine and usages, he employs hundred years and odd; you shall well

a great many pages in citing experceive the state thereof to be so far

tracts from the writings of eminent wide from the nature of the true church,

and learned men. that nothing can be more. For neither

Our only obare they built upon the foundation of jection to these pages is

, that they the Apostles and Prophets, retaining appear to be surperfluous. No the sonnd and pnre doctrine of Christ reasonable man in the Church of Jesus.” Sermon for Whitsunday, pp. England would make light of the 393, 394.

early fathers; and Mr. Wir bim“ To be short, look what our Saviour self would not, we presume, wish Christ pronounced of the Scribes and

us to follow them in their errors, Pharisees in the Gospel: the same may We feel it, therefore, unnecessary, be boldly and with safe conscience to decide at large upon this point: pronounced of the bishops of Rome; namely, that they have forsaken, and if such a convocation could be daily do forsake, the commandments of assembled with dispositions suited God, to erect and set up their own con- to the work, they would probably stitutions. Which thing being true, as consult the harmony of their reall they which have any light of God's spective communities by this mode word must needs confess, we may well rather than by any other; always conclude according to the rule of Augus- taking care that nothing was adtine, that the bishops of Rome and their mitted repugnant to Scripture. adherents are not the true church of

But looking at the case as it Christ, much less then to be taken as chief heads and rulers of the same.

stands; what, we would ask, is the • Whosoever,' saith he, so dissent from probability of success ? Suppose the Scriptores concerning the head, al. for one moment, that the almost though they be found in all places where inseparable difficulty of convening the chorch is appointed, yet are they such a body of men for such a purnot in the church; a plain place, con- pose, were happily surmounted, cluding directly against the Church of what reason have we to believe that Rome." Ibid, pp. 394, 395.

the object would be attained ?

Mr. Wix bimself is not prepared The plan which Mr. Wix proposes to be adopted by the council, to admit the supremacy of the is to ascertain what were the opi: pope, or to believe in transuhnions and practices of the primitive stantiation, or even (notwithstandchurch. He contends, with Vin- ing his placing in juxtaposition centius Lirinensis, that

the prayer of our Churcb for the “we are thus Catholic, when we follow commemoration of St. Michael and universality, antiquity, and nnanimous all angels, and the Romish Collect consent: but we follow aniversality, about the intercession of the Vir. gin“), to solicit the intercession in the belief of those fundamental artiof saints and angels, or of the cles of faith which she holds necessary Virgin Mary. Are the Roman to salvation.' p. 76.” Wix, pp. xix, xx. Catholics, then, willing to meet us We shall now furnish a few exon such terms as a conscientious tracts from the Bishop of St. Dachurchman could be expected to vid's, as tending to throw additional admit?

light upon some of the subjects Where is the disposition ? which haye been noticed above.

We have seen how much gratified ibey were by the manner in is, upon the whole, the most unscrip

“ The doctrine of transubstantiation which Mr. Wis expressed hiinself in relation to them and their anti-Christian of all the novelties of

tural, the most heretical, and the most church. But what will they con- papal Rome. It is that which, in itself cede? A reviewer of their per- and its consequences, chiefly distinsuasion, in stating his own opinion, guishes the Church of Rome from the states, we believe, the opinion which Church of England. It was the test of generally prevails among them. heresy in Queen Mary's days, when so

“We assure Mr. Wix, that, though many martyred Protestants died at the we can never make any concessions, stake for the denial of it; and has been that would alter the minutest article in our

the chief test of Popery since the Recreed, yet we heartily concur with him, formation.” Bishop of St. David's, in the pious wish which he has cherish p. 52 ed, of seeing all Christians united in the

“ The question is, upon what prin. same paternal boud of religious concord; ciple he can evade the charge of idoand we believe, that in expressing our latry in taking that for God, which is own feelings, we express also the feel

not God; and in wliat respect the idoings of the Catholic Church. We be. latry of him, who believes that what he lieve, that no religion can vie with her makes and eats is a god, differs (except in her apostolical labours, and in her in extravagance of folly and impiety) zeal for the propagation of the faith, and from the idolatry of the poor heathen, gaining converts to her creed; but then

who believes that the image which he she has never been known to componnd

carves is a God.” Ibid, pp. 57,58. with those who denied her authority.

Every act of idolatry, by the worIf she could be induced to make any ship of any thing that is not God, is a concesssions, they would be in matters

denial of the true God, even by those of discipline. Here, indeed, she is at

who profess to believe in the true God. liberty to conform to the weakness of This is evident, not only from the geneher children, and to dispense with some

ral language of Scripture, which teaches of her institutions. We shall not, how. 08, that men may know God, but' in ever, take upon us to say how far she works deny bim,' and may believe in might be willing to relax even in her God, and yet, by neglect of domestic discipline, if her separate brethren daties, ' deny the faith, and be worse should join in communion with her, and than ay infidel;' but, particularly, by

that remarkable passage of Job xxxvi. • Church of England.—“O Everlasting 28. • If I beheld the sun, when it God, who hast ordained and constituted shined, or the moon, walking in brightthe services of angels and men in a won. ness;' and my heart bath been secretly derful order; mercifully grant that as enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my thy holy angels do thee service in hea. band; this also were an iniquity to be ven, so by thy appointment they may punished by the Judge: for I should succour and defend us on earth, through have denied the God that is above.' Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." We deny, therefore, the God, that is

Church of Rome. “Grant, we beseech above, and, consequently, both the Fathee, O Lord God, that thy servants ther and the Sou, not only by avowed may evermore rejoice in health both of Atheism and Deism, or Socinianism, body and mind; and by the glorious in- but by acts of worship, such as kissing tercession of the blessed Mary, a perpetuul the hand, and bowing the knee in prayer virgin, may be freed from present sor- to images, relics, saints, or angels, or row, and partake of everlasting joy any thing that is not God.” Ibid, pp. Amen.” O'Donnoghue, p. 20.

17, 18.

“ As a palliation for the use of the (p. 30.) This is not the language of the Latin language in her church service, Church of England, or of her Reformers. Dr. Wix says, “ With respect to the She considers pope Pius's additions to church service in a language not under the Apostolic creed as idolatrous, blasstood by the common people, (which phemous, and impious. Was it for the custom has been sometimes stated to be denial of opioious unnecessary, or sim. grounded on a wish to keep the people ply erroneons, that Latimer, and Crane in ignorance) a more kind explanation mer, and Ridley, laid down their lives? might have been found in the affer. Was it not for protesting against the tion of the Roman Catholics for the idolatry, blasphemy, and impiety of the Latin language, as being, in a certain Church of Rome?"* Ibid. pp. 15, 16. degree, a Catholic language.' (p. 32). The following paragraph is from The term · Catholic' is as inapplicable « Strictures," by Mr. O'Donno. to the Roman language, as to the Roman gbue, who writes with much earchurch. Even in the Augustan age, the

nesiness, and with the characterLatin language was almost limited to

istic warmth of the country to Italy, and was never in so general use

which his name evidently belongs. as the Greek. At present, what can be less Catholic than a langnage that is We should not have complained known, comparatively, only to a few? if his warmth had been less: many And what can be less rational, than to hard words in the pamphlet might indulge a weak and superstitious affec- be omitted without injury to his tion for that which is contrary to the argument, and with satisfaction to cnds of public worship; and is 'repuig. bis readers. nant to the word of God, and to the

" In order to avoid, if possible, the primitive charch,' as our church ex

sin of idolatry with which she is so presses it? (Article XXIV.)

" Bat Mr. Wix says, that " for the justly charged, the Church of Rome accommodation of the humbler classes divides adoration or worship into three

parts. “Dulia'belongs to the saints ge. in society, the Latin prayers are ac. companied with a translation in the nerally; ' Hyperdulia' to the Virgin

and Latria' is due only to vulgar tongue of the country,' (p. 32.) God. Now these are distinctions of If it be an accommodation to those who

which we know and read nothing in carry their prayer-books with them to

Scripture; beside that, however spe. chureh, to hear the service in one lan,

cious they are on paper, yet are they in guage, and read it in another, it can be no accommodation to such of the poor Papists cannot deny but that'latria'

reality distinctions without a difference. as have no prayer-book; and to the is offered to the saints and Virgin Mary; poorest, who cannot read. To them the

or else what do such expressions as these Latin prayers are 'a sounding brass,

mean :-Hail, queen! mother of mer. anda tinkling cymbal.'" Dishop of St. David's, pp. 19, 20.

cy! our life, delight, and hope, hail!

We shelter ourselves under thy protec. " If the Church of Rome be idolatrous, there can be peither calomny nor ab- * Mr. Wix (Letter, p. 40.) considers anrelity in calling hier anti-Christian, or this statement as a petitio principii : the anti-Christian power. Nothing can for he does not allow that the Church he more anti-Christian than idolatry. of Rome is idolatrous. We do not look * Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; upon the objection as valid. If the and bia only shalt thou serve.' But Church of Rome be not idolatrous, it Mr. Wix asks, * How can that elurch would be very difficult to prove that be called anti Christian, which recites there exists such a thing as idolatry. the saine creeds, and prayers, and And if we should consider that the anPsalms, which the Church of England tient, authentic records of that church, dues?By reciting also another creed, did not countenance idolatry, we know. and other prayers, which are anti-Chris. that it has encouraged men to serve the tas.- Again, Mr. Wix says, that the creature more than the Creator, and Church of Rome denies no article of has taken no care to recal its subjects faith, which the Church of England to the right worship, when they were traintains to be requisite to salvation; manifestly idolatrous. The Church though she entertains, in addition, opi. sanctioned idolatry, whether its acknownious which the Church of England ledged records favoured snch a systeai considers unnecessary and erroneous.'


or not.

« PreviousContinue »