Зображення сторінки

given to the Jews did not supersede the exercise of those miraculous powers with which the Saints of the old law were invested, (the whole history of the Jewish people being a series of miracles,)-so neither do the tests for distinguishing false from true miracles, given to Christians, set aside those miraculous powers wbich our Saviour promised, without any limitation of time, to his followers. To argue, therefore, against the possibility of miracles, merely because there have been, or may be, false miracles, is not only to deny the truth of all history, but to call in question revelation itself i. ". He that believeth in me, the works that I do be also shall do, and greater than these shall he do.' To disbelieve this promise requires, on our part, an apostacy from the faith ; to limit its operation, depends not on us, but on God ! The disciples of Christ who were sent to preach the gospel to every creature, preparatory to the consummation, have been followed by the signs which he described or foretold. They might take up serpents, or drink poison, without being injured, and the imposition of their hands could cure diseases. Who will disprove the miracles wrought in the Church according to his promise? Who can deny their existence, without rejecting the evidence which human testimony and public records exhibit in every age 2 ?”.

But not contented with the tests borrowed from Dr Doyle, of whom, on that account at least, he ought to have spoken more respectfully, the reviewer thinks the test “ given by St. John in the Revelations 3 is the security of the Church in every age," (as well, of course, before as after the reformation), that“ it points out, as with a sunbeam, the Church which is of God, which is approved of him, and which is his own." Most assuredly the Church which should add unto, or take away from the words of St. John's prophecy, would not be the Church which is of God; but the reviewer surely knows that the Catholic Church, which ALONE has existed “ in every age," never did so. He, however, with a reviewer's licence, adds to, or enlarges the text, by applying it to all Scripture generally, to enable himself the more readily to answer a question he puts, whether the Church of Rome has added to, or taken away from Scripture? a question which, it may be supposed, he solves very satisfactorily, by saying that " it has done both,and adducing a few instances in support of his assertion. That the same denunciations which St. John records against those who add to or take from the words of his prophecy, await those who use the same liberties with other Seripture, is abundantly obvious; but before we can arrive at any fair conclusion on charges of such a serious nature as those made by the reviewer, we must previously ascertain what Scripture is, and under what authority it is defined and explained. Passing over, however, such inquiry à present, I shall now proceed to dispose of the reviewer's charges against the Catholic Church, of having added to, and taken from Scripture, in the instances adduced by him.

Ist, We are accused of having “ taken away the second commandment, as to images." This charge is false, and the reviewer in reiterating it, (for he is only a repeater of the calumny,) must have known it to be untrue, or believed it credulously, without inquiry. He is, to use his own expression, welcome to either limb of the alternative, but charity warns me to adopt the latter, though at the expense of his understanding. Allow me, Sir, to ask this theologian, in whose custody Protestants found their second commandment at the time of their pretended reformation ? If he cannot answer this

1 St. Mark xvi. 17, 18. St John xiv. 12. 1 Cor. xii. 28. 2 Defence by J. K. L., p. 13.

3 It may be useful to the reviewer to be informed, that the book of Revelations was rejected by some of the ancients as spurious, (vid. Eusebius L. 3, chap. 28,) and St. Jerom (Epist. ad Dardanum) says, that the greater part of the Greek Churches in his time did not receive it. The early fathers, however, generally attributed the book to St. John the Evangelist, and though not found in the catalogue of the Council of Laodicea, or of St Cyril, it was afterwards admitted by the Greek and Latin Churches, was reckoned amongst the Canonical books by the third Council of Carthage in 397, and latterly by the Council of Trent. Father Luther, notwithstanding, rejected it, along with the Epistle to the Hebrews, and those of St. James and St. Jude !

easy question, let him mention by what notable discovery this concealed commandment was found out. But is it really possible to conceive that a writer, who boasts of " the blaze of philosophical and religious light which illuminates Britain," and who, of course, considers himself enlightened by its rays, could be so grossly ignorant as not to know that every word of the ten commandments stands in the Catholic Bible as fully and explicitly as in that of Protestants ? If he was really so ignorant, it was his duty to have examined the version of the Scriptures used by the Catholic Church and Catholics (for we too have our Bibles in our houses, though we do not make them school-books,) to have ascertained the fact ; nay, farther, he should have perused our books of instruction and catechisms, and even in these he would have found his second commandment inserted at full length. Should his liberality and charity prompt him to doubt my veracity, and make him suppose I am committing a pious fraud, I am ready to produce, on demand, a variety of doctrinal works and catechisms approved of by our Church, to establish my statement. As the standard of these, I may, in the meantime, refer to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in which the reviewer will find the commandment in question. It is true, Catholics divide the commandment differently from Protestants, by making what Protestants call the first and second, the first, and dividing the tenth of Protestants into two; into the merits of which division I do not mean to enter. But it may be observed, that, although mention be made in the Bible of the ten words of the law, the mode of dividing the commandments is not pointed out, and our Saviour comprehensively reduced them to two. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the plan referred to, observes thus on the second commandment of Protestants : “ Some thinking this to be another commandment, will have the two last to have the force of one commandment only; but St. Austin, dividing those last, will have these words to belong to the first commandment; which opinion, because it is most celebrated in the Church, we willingly follow.” But instead of disputing about the division of the commandments, let us emulate one another in their observance ; and whether the precept, “ thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour,” be the eighth or ninth commandment, let the reviewer, in future, bear it in mind when he comes to speak of his Catholic brethren.

2dly, Though the cup is given to all in the Scriptures, our Lord saying, Drink ye all of it, yet the Church of Rome has taken it away, and given them only the bread, or wafer, in the communion.” But where is the precept that the people must communicate under both kinds ? Certainly not in the words of the institution, for the comandment, “ Drink ye all of it," was addressed only to the Apostles, who alone were present at the Last Supper, and who were on that occasion appointed Priests, to perform the same act of sacrifice and communion, in remembrance of him who had offered up his body and blood, under the appearance of bread and wine, in fulfilment of that prophecy which denominated him a “ priest for ever, after the order of Mel. chisedec.” As Priests, therefore, the Apostles, and their successors in the ministry, were to receive under both kinds, which was indispensable in the discharge of their priestly functions; and “ hence (says Dr Milner) it is seen that the command of Christ, on which our opponents lay so much stress, Drink ye all of this, regards the Apostles as Priests, and not the Laity as communicants 2.” The institution of the Eucharist regarded the whole Church ; as a sacrifice and sacrament it regarded the Apostles and their successors, and the people, merely as a sacrament; but the institution does not determine whether the people are to receive it in one or both kinds. We find, however, from St. Luke's Gospel, that our Saviour himself, on the day of his resurrection, administered the sacrament, under the form of bread alone, to Cleophas and the other disciple 3 ; and that the Apostles did the same, is equally clear, from the second chapter of Acts, in which mention is made of the baptized converts joining in the breaking of bread, and from

1 Part Third, Sect 32. 2 End of Relig. Controv., Letter 39.

3 St. Luke xxiv. 30, 31.

the 20th chapter, in which the breaking of bread is mentioned as having taken place at Troas on the first day of the week. But the authority of St Paul is quite decisive that communion in either form is sufficient, for he says, “ whoever shall eat this bread or drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord 19" The alternative implied by the disjunctive conjunction or, was considered so strong for communion under one kind, that King James's translators actually corrupted the text, by substituting the copulative conjunction and in place of or, contrary to the original Greek, the Latin vulgate, the version of Beza, and others. We also know ? that the church at Jerusalem permitted the converted Jews to follow some of their old customs, particularly the Nazarites, who, during the time of their vow, abstained from wine 3; and it is extremely improbable that during that time they did not partake of the communion.

We do not, therefore, believe that the cup is forbidden in Scripture to the Laity ; but the prohibition thereof is considered by the Church an affair of discipline solely, which she may alter according to circumstances, and which, accordingly, has varied at different periods. In the early ages of the Church, a promiscuous practice prevailed, of communicating sometimes under both kinds, and at others under one only. Tertullian 4 in the second, St. Denys 5 of Alexandria, and St. Cyprian 6, in the third, and St. Ambrose, 7 St. Basil, 8 and St. Chrysostom in the fourth century, all mention this practice, that the Christians kept the sacramental bread in their houses, to have recourse to in case of sickness or martyrdom, and that sea-fearing people carried it along with them on their voyage. It farther appears from St. Cyprian, that child. ren received the communion under the species of wine only. In 431, the general Council of Ephesus enjoined the observance of communion in one kind, in opposition to the heretic Nestorius, who oppugned the practice; but a few years thereafter, on occasion of certain Manichean heretics, who came from Africa to Rome, objecting to the sacramental cup altogether from a. wicked principle 10, Pope Leo excluded them from the communion ; and Pope Gelasius, about the end of the fifth century, ordered all his flock to receive the communion under both kinds, the more effectually to detect those concealed enemies of the church. These facts demonstrate, if no other proof could be adduced, that the practice of communion under one kind existed early in the church. Indeed Eusebius 11, Paulinus 12, and Amphilochius 13, testify that Serapion, St. Ambrose, and St. Basil, received the communion in one kind on their death-beds.

Were the differences betwixt the Catholic Church and Protestants reduced to this single question, she might probably alter her discipline, and allow the Laity the use of the chalice, at least to those who desired it, as the council of Basil granted to the Calixtins 14 at their own request, and as Pope · Pius the 4th did, by desire of the Emperor Ferdinand, by authorizing some of the German Bishops to allow the same indulgence to such of their flocks as desired it 15. And really I cannot understand why Protestants should seem so anxious upon this point, when they profess to receive nothing but mere bread and wine, or blame our church for withholding the cup, when we believe that, under either species, we receive Christ whole and entire, his flesh and blood, soul and divinity, being inseparable. But some eminent

11 Cor. xi. 37. 2 Acts xxi. 24, 26. 5 Numbers vi. 3, 4, 5, 18.

4 Ad Uxor. I. 2. Euseb. 1. 6., c. 39. 5 Euseb. I. 6., c. 44.
6 Serm. de Lapsis. 7 De Obitu Satyr. 8 Epist. ad Cæsar.

9 Apud Sozomen, 1. 8., c. 5. 10 “ It is known to every learned reader, that Manicheism was an attempt of Manes, a native of Persia, in the third century, to engraft upon the Gospel the Persian system of the two principles, one eternally and sovereignly good, the other eternally and sovereignly evil. The soul, and whatever is derived from it, they coulsidered to proceed from the former ; the body, and whatever is derived from the body, to proceed from the latter. To the body, and, therefore, to the evil principle, they ascribed the great inequality of power and property among mankind.” Butler's Reminiscences, C. 31., sect. 6.

11 Lib. 6, c. 36.

12 In vita Ambros. 15 In vita Basil. 14 Sess. II. 15 Mem. Granv. Tom. xvii. Odorhainal.

Protestants have considered communion under one kind sufficient ; for Luther himself says, that “they sin not against Christ who use but one, Christ having left it free to the choice of each 1 ;" and he reproaches Carlostadius for having “ placed Christianity in things of no account, such as communio cating under both kinds , in which opinion he is followed by Melancthon 3. Bishop Montague asks, “ Where doth the Scriptures command the baptism of the infant, or the people to receive the sacrament in both kinds 4? And the French Calvinists, in their synod held at Poictiers in 1560, expressly decree, that “ the bread of our Lord's Supper ought to be administered to those who cannot drink wine, on their making a protestation that they do not refrain from contempt 5. Even in England an exception is made by Act of Parliament, from communion under both kinds, in case “ necessity did otherwise require 6."

I now proceed to the second branch of the reviewer's charges, of having added doctrines to Scripture. These charges we deny, and I shall presently refute them in due order.

Ist, The Catholic Church, it is said, has added the doctrine of a middle state, or purgatory, as it is called. Her doctrine upon this point is, that, “ as nothing defiled can enter into heaven, those pious persons departing this life, pardoned as to the eternal guilt or pain, yet obnoxious to some temporal penalty, or with the guilt of some venial faults, are purged and purified before their admittance into heaven 7.” That the souls of the saints of the old law were detained in a middle state, till our Saviour's resurrection, cannot reasonably be questioned ; and the extraordinary fact mentioned in the w7th chapter of St. Matthew, “ that many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and came out of their graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many,” is quite decisive of the point. Indeed, we learn from St. Peter, that, during the time our Saviour's body lay in the sepulchre, “ he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which some time were disobedient 8.” Our Saviour himself plainly intimates the existence of a middle state, when he says, “ that whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come;" which evidently implies, that some sins are forgiven in the “ world to come,” the place for forgiving which must necessarily be some middle state, as maintained by St. Augustine 9 and St. Gregory the Great 10. And the most learned of the ancient fathers, as Tertullian 11, St. Cyprian 12, St. Ambrose 13, St. Jerom 14, and Eusebius Emmissenus 15, all explain the prison mentioned by our Saviour, in the fifth chapter of St. Matthew, to mean a middle state of suffering in the next world.

There are many other texts of Scripture which support the doctrine in question, but passing over these, I cannot avoid noticing the direct allusion to a middle state in the Apostle's creed, in which we profess to believe that

-1 Captiv. Bab. cap. de Euch. 2 Epist. ad Gasp. Gustol.

3 Tom. ii., Germ. folio 100 Witt. Edit., Tom. vii. p. 360.

4 Origines Sacræ, p. 396. 5 On the Lord's Supper, c. iii., p. 7. - 6 Burnet's Hist. of Reform., P. j., p. 41. Heylin, p. 68. For proclamation to that effect, see Bishop Sparrow's Collection, p. 17.

7 Conc. Trent. Sess. 25. Gother's Papist misrepresented and represented. 81 Peter, iii. 19. 20". 9 De Civitat. Dei. l. 21, c. 13 and 14. C. 6, cont. Julian c. 15. 10 L. 4, Dial. c. 39. 11 Lib. de Anima. c. 17. 12 Lib. 4. Epist. 2.

13 In ca. 12 Lucæ. 14 In ca. 5 Math. 15 Hom. 3. de Epiphan. * I cannot resist the temptation of quoting the sentiments of two Hebrew doctors, in unison with those of St. Peter, both of whom lived prior to the incarnation of our Lord. Rabbi Haccados, in explaining the Prophecies, introduces the Messias speak. ing thus :-" I have decreed to descend into hell, to deliver the souls of the just, which my Father did thrust thither in the rod of his anger, for Adam's sin.” L. inscrib. Re. velator Arcanorum. And Rabbi Simeon, more ancient than Haccados, after alluding

shall remain for the space of three days, to bring from thence all the souls of the just and ancient fathers." Rabbi Simeon apud Coccium, L. 2 de Christ. Salv. Art. 4.

our Saviour, after being buried, descended into hell." I know that Protestants generally explain the word “ hell” here used to men the grave; but this construction is absurd, as well as inconsistent, and at utter variance with the different significations thereof in holy writ. “ Some (says Calvin) are of opinion, that no new thing is said (in these words 'he descended' into hell',) but that a repetition only is made of that which was formerly laid down in the article of his burial, because the word “hell" is frequently used in the Scripture for the grave. But two reasons are contrary to this their opinion, by which I am easily led to dissent from them. For what an absurd thing would it be to declare a matter not obscure in itself, first with plain and clear words, and afterwards to signify it, rather than to clear it, by a more intricate enumeration of words : for as often as two sayings are joined together to express one thing, it is requisite that the latter be an exposition of the former. Now, what a strange exposition would it be if one should speak thus: When Christ is said to be buried, it signifieth he descended into hell! Moreover, it is not likely that any such superfluity of words should in any sort creep into this brief compendium of our creed, wherein the chief heads of our faith are summarily stated in the fewest words that can be used 1.” The word “hell,” in common acceptation, denotes the abode of the dained, but it is also used, in many places of Scripture, to signify a middle state. Thus the Psalmist, speaking of the resurrection of Christ, says, “my flesh also shall rest in hope, for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell ?." It would be impious to suppose, as Calvin did 5, that the place here mentioned, or the prison alluded to by St. Peter, in which our Saviour preached between the period of his death and resurrection, was the hell of the damned.

But had the doctrine of a middle state been less clearly revealed in Scripture than it is, still the traditionary belief of its existence among the primitive Christians, down from the apostolic age, is sufficient to secure the assent of all impartial Christians, who, with the eyes of faith, can throw a retrospective glance at antiquity, and associate themselves in sentiment with the brightest ornaments of Christianity. To enumerate instances of this be, lief, from the writings of the early fathers, would be an easy task, but I shall merely content myself by referring to the writings of Tertullian 4, St. Cyprian 5, St. Ambrose 6, St. Jerom 7, and St. Augustine 8. Even some of the Reformers, and especially Luther and Latimer, acknowledged this doctrine ; and the former expressly says, “ I strongly believe, yea, I dare boldly say, I know there is a purgatory 9" To those who disbelieve our doctrine, I would recommend to consider one question, which perhaps never occurred to them, viz. in what place the soul of Lazarus was, between the period of his death and that of his restoration to life? But I have dweli too long upon this point. I cannot, however, withhold the expression of my surprise, that Catholics now-a-days should be insulted and abused for holding such a doctrine, when the doctrine of an universal purgatory has become quite fashionable, has been patronised by the successors of Calvin at Geneva 10, and by many liberal Clergymen of the Church of England.

1 " Sunt qui opinentur non aliquid novum hic dici, sed aliis verbis repeti quod prius de sepultura dictum fuerat ; quandoquidem Inferni vocabulum sæpius in Scrip. turis pro sepulchro ponatur, &c. Sed eorum opinioni rationes duæ repugnant, quibus ego facile ducor ut ab illis dissentiam. Quantæ enim oscitantiæ fuisset rem minime difficilem verbis expeditis et claris demonstrare, obscuriore deinde verborum com. plexu indicare magis quam declarare ? Nam quoties locutiones duæ rem eandem exprimentes simul connectuntur, posteriorem esse prioris exegesim convenit. At vero qualis erit ista exegesis, si quis ita loquatur, Quod Christus sepultus esse dicitur, significat ad Infernos descendisse ? Deinde non est verisimile irrepere potuisse superfuam ejusmodi battologiam in compendium hoc, ubi summatim quam fieri potest, paucissimis verbis præcipua fidei capita notantur." Instit., L. 2, c. 16, sect. 8.

2 Psalms xvi. 9, 10. 3 Instit., L. 2, c. 16. 4 L. de Anima, c. 58. 5 Epist. 52 ad Antonin.. 6 In c. 3. Epist. ad Corin. 7 In c. 5. Matt. 8 L. 20. De Civit. Dei c. 24, and L. 21. c. 13. Serm. 41. De Sanctis. 9 In Disput. Lipsica. 10 Encyclop. Art. Geneva.

« НазадПродовжити »