« PreviousContinue »
REMARKS ON SECTION IX.
"British Catholics are charged," etc.] This subject has been sufficiently adverted to in page 23. of these Remarks.
REMARKS ON SECTION X.
"Those divinely-established conditions."] How earnest has the Church of Rome ever been, since she reared her head above all other Churches, that all men should be saved! On the authority of her own assumed infallibility, she has propounded the Articles of her Creed, "without restriction or qualification," as "THAT true "CATHOLIC FAITH, out of which NONE can be SAVED." (Article XIV.) And then, in the Article at the end, (which, in Great Britain, is now only produced occasionally!) she urges, with becoming earnestness, the great duty of proselytism upon all those who are possessed of office or authority under her. This, indeed, she enforces, as we have seen, under the solemn pledge of a promise, vow, and oath. Not content with this, if any should prove reluctant to receive her doctrines and embrace her faith, they are to be 66 "pelled," if possible, to come into her communion, by the force of bodily torture; and, if that should prove unavailing, by the most terrible of deaths, for the sake of example, and to prevent further contamination by heresy. Such has been invariably the case where she has possessed the requisite power. On this charitable principle, the holy office of the INQUISITION was founded by that meek and compassionate pontiff INNOCENT III. in 1215; and heresy-hunting soon became a profession of great celebrity. How prosperously the
On the Claim of British Catholics to the Property of the Church Establishment in England.
British Catholics are charged with entertaining a pretended right to the property of the Established Church in England.
We consider such a charge to be totally without foundation. We declare that we entertain no pretension to such a claim. We regard all the revenues and temporalities of the Church Establishment as the property of those on whom they are settled by the laws of the land. We disclaim any right, title, or pretension to the same.
On the Doctrine of Exclusive Salvation.
Catholics are charged with uncharitableness, in holding the doctrine of exclusive salvation.
Catholics are taught by their Church to love all men, without exception; to wish that all may be saved; and to pray that all may be saved, and may come to the knowledge of the truth, by which they may be saved.
If the Almighty himself has assigned certain conditions, without the observance of which man cannot be saved,—it would seem to be an act of impiety to attempt to annul those divinely-established conditions; and an act of great uncharitableness towards a fellow-man, to tell him that he may be saved, without complying with the conditions prescribed by the Almighty.
work of conversion, or extermination, (for there was no medium between the two) has proceeded, the pages of history most amply declare.
"Belongs to the law of Christ."] Where has "the law of CHRIST" attached EXCLUSIVE SALVATION to the Creed of the Church of ROME; and THUS sanctioned the persecutions and inhumanities which have followed? Does not rather, on the contrary, an evermemorable prophecy connected with that law describe her as DRUNKEN with the BLOOD of the SAINTS, and with the BLOOD "of the MARTYRS of JESUS CHRIST?"-Rev. xvii. 6.
"Has not Christ, who commands the belief," etc.] The whole of the reasoning which follows, as applied to the doctrine of EXCLUSIVE SALVATION as held by the Church of ROME, is preposterously absurd.
Is it, because GOD, of his infinite mercy, having "winked at the "times of Gentile ignorance," whenever and wherever they might have occurred, upon the display of the light of his glorious Gospel among nations which had thus "walked in darkness," commandeth all those that behold it, or have opportunities of beholding it, "every "where to repent, because he hath appointed a day in which he will "judge the world" by Jesus Christ?
Is it, because Jesus Christ himself, "the Mediator of this new "Covenant," has graciously, and in the clearest manner, propounded the merciful and salutary conditions of it, to the performance or nonperformance of which, when known, the happiness or misery of men, both here and hereafter, must, from the very nature of things, be attached ?
Is it because the Christian covenant is not, and cannot be, without its conditions, any more than any other covenant?——
Is it on these accounts, that the Church of Rome, bringing forward her own manifold corruptions of the Gospel, and her own misrepresentations of the conditions of the Christian covenant, (her doctrines) of the divine authority of her "apostolical and ecclesiastical TRA"DITIONS"-of her sacraments of CONFIRMATION, PENANCE, EXTREME UNCTION, ORDER, and MATRIMONY-of TRANSUBSTANTIATION—of PURGATORY-of the INVOCATION of SAINTS -of the WORSHIPPING of IMAGES and RELICS-of the POWER of INDULGENCES,-and, in short, "ALL other things delivered, defined, and declared, by the sacred canons and general councils, "and particularly by the Holy Council of TRENT," involving many things, as we have seen, repugnant to sound doctrine, and subversive of the order and well-being of society) enforces the belief of THEM, by presuming to say, that THAT which she propounds is "the TRUE "CATHOLIC FAITH, out of which NONE can be SAVED?"
The thing would be utterly incredible, in these enlightened days, did we not know that "POPERY is always THE SAME," and if we had it not under the hands of "the VICARS APOSTOLICAL and "their COA DJUTORS," who signed this Declaration. Assuredly,
The doctrinal principle of exclusive salvation belongs to the law of Christ.
Has not Christ, who commands the belief of his revealed doctrines, pronounced, that he that believeth not shall be condemned? (Mark xvi. 16.) Has not Christ, who instituted baptism for the remission of sins, declared that, except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God? (John iii. 5.) Has not St. Paul enumerated a list of crimes, such as adultery, idolatry, hatred, seditions, heresies, murders, drunkenness, &c. of which he declares, they who do such things, shall not obtain the kingdom of GOD? (Galat. v. 21.) Are not these exclusive conditions?
Whoever professes the law of Christ, must profess the principle and doctrine of exclusive salvation. It is not the Catholic, it is God himself, who will exclude from heaven those who are not duly quali 'fied for it by faith and good works.
But the Catholic, while he is bound to admit, and with firm faith to believe, this doctrinal principle, is bound also by the divine commandment not to judge: he is not allowed therefore to pronounce sentence of condemnation against those who may die in an apparent state of sin. All those he leaves to the righteous judgment of the Great Searcher of Hearts, who at the last day will render to every man ac2 cording to his works.
"But surely charity, as well as truth, must forbid one Christian to deceive another in a matter of such high importance as the eternal salvation of his soul. He who should persuade his neighbour that no condition for salvation is required on the part of man, would deceive him he who admits that any one such condition is required by the Almighty, admits the principle of exclusive salvation.
"the law of CHRIST," of which they have just spoken, has nothing to do with the doctrines just specified, except to condemn them: and the very mention of that sacred code has only been introduced, for the purpose of, as far as possible, concealing, and diverting the public attention from, these ENORMITIES of the ROMISH system.
REMARKS ON SECTION XI.
"Catholics are charged with holding the principle," etc.] That the ROMAN Church is so charged, and justly so charged, is evident from the conduct, and from a special decree, of one of her own GENERAL COUNCILS-the council of CONSTANCE, in 1415; for SHE has never expressed disapprobation of that conduct, nor, of consequence, rescinded that decree. If, indeed, she had done so, where would have been her INFALLIBILITY? THIS will effectually secure the maintenance of all her errors, both in principle and in practice, to "the time of the end," notwithstanding all the unwarranted assertions of individuals of her communion to the contrary.
"British Catholics have solemnly sworn," etc.] Such certainly has been part of the oath administered (according to 31 Geo. III. c. 32.) to individual Romanists in this country; and they have sworn it in their own behalf, to be thereby "relieved from divers penalties " and disabilities;" and, in the taking of this oath, it is to be hoped they have been generally sincere: but the principle of their CHURCH, and that upon which she has generally acted, remains the SAME; and that principle is," that OATHS, which contravene the utility of "the CHURCH, and the constitutions of the HOLY FATHERS, are " rather to be called PERJURIES than OATHS."
In the foregoing Remarks, it has been endeavoured to state, "in "the simplicity of truth," and from the most undeniable authorities, such doctrines of the ROMAN Church, as are said, in the Declaration, to have been "most frequently misrepresented or misunderstood "in this country;" and to explain the genuine meaning, the antiquity, the certainty, and tendency of them and it is confidently hoped that these Remarks will be received, by those to whom they are addressed, “in a spirit of candour and charity;" and that those who
See the whole that has been advanced upon this subject in pages 17, 19, 21.