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PREFACE.

The object of the following pages is to present to the reader, in as brief a form as possible, a sum of the arguments, legal and doctrinal, on which England, from the very first day of her existence as a nation, has rested her opposition to the claims of the Papacy, arising out of the so-called “Privilege of Peter.” These, limited in their earlier assertion, have now grown so exorbitant, and even scandalous, in their character, as to change the complexion of the older controversy, and to need a treatment different in its nature from those which were so successfully applied to it in another age. The doctrine of “Infallibility” was then indignantly disavowed—the subordination of the Pope to a Council was (at least out of Italy) admitted almost universally. But now the definition of the Vatican Council, and the extraordinary commentaries on it of Archbishop Manning and others, present so wild a development of the so-called Privilege,” that the argument from antiquity assumes a new importance, and the opinions of the Popes themselves on the claims which have been advanced for them become, for the first time, interesting, and even important, elements of the controversy. The present treatise is divided accordingly into three portions, of which the first contains an examination of the nature of privilege in its legal and doctrinal aspects, and demonstrates the futility of the scriptural arguments upon which the claim is founded. The second part has as its object to prove that the claim itself was never admitted by the Church during the only period in which it was able to speak with perfect freedom, and with undivided authority; and that the “irreformability” asserted for the See of Rome, was never so much as imagined in that better day. The closing portion of the treatise relates rather to the new Infallibility claim, than to those out of which it has grown up, and is designed to show how absolutely the Popes of almost every age have repudiated the fatal gift which Pius IX. has so rashly extorted from the credulity of his followers in the nineteenth century. Upon the Petrine claim, even in its earlier and lessadvanced stages, the English Church and people, from the times of Edward the Confessor until those of Archbishop Warham, have held and taught but one clear, emphatic, and consistent doctrine. Here, at least, the Reformation was no sudden rebellion -no breaking away from the ancient faith and practice. The Judges of England ruled unanimously (in the case of Cawdry) that the restoration of the supremacy to the Crown in the first year of Elizabeth) was not a new law, but simply the declaration of the ancient law of England. Wiclif, though not the first, was the mightiest to express the great truth which the masses of the people of England have held almost from the beginning, that “as it was expedient that the personal presence of Christ should be removed from us, it cannot be necessary that the personal presence of a Pope, claiming to represent Christ, should be left with us instead.” Rather it would appear from this declaration of our Lord, that “He who promised to remain with the faithful even unto the end of the world,' willed always to dwell in heaven without any earthly vicar ; in order that by raising themselves up in conversation and affection to the things above, they might concentrate their affections in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.” These were among the words of Wiclif, condemned at Constance and at Trent-words dear to every English heart which feels how precious is the privilege it enjoys in the elevation of its affections to Christ in glory, and how miserable a substitute for this life in Christ is the wretched chicanery of the Roman chancery—and the doubtful treasures of the “Bullarium Magnum.But, let it not be supposed that the great Reformer stood alone in this good confession. Even in that day of rebuke and of corruption, the people of England, represented by one of their greatest bishops, and one of their most enlightened divines, maintained the same truth before the Council of Constance, which had condemned it in the person of their great Reformer. In that scene of corruption, of cruelty, and of conflict, where Huss and Jerome witnessed their good confession, our noble Bishop Hallam, of Salisbury,

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