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states, but all without effect; though he continued to exercise the functions of his office without further interruption, but with little opportunity for energetic conduct, till the subversion of the Napoleon dynasty, when he resumed the full possession of his authority. In his proclamation issued at Cezena on the 5th of May, previously to his return to Rome, his holiness applied to himself the ancient title of God's vicar on earth, and spoke of his temporal sovereignty as essentially connected with his spiritual supremacy.
The papal see, after enjoying a short tranquillity, was visited with repeated shocks in the revolutions of Spain, Portugal, and Naples. With respect to these events, particularly the latter, Pius acted a cautious part. Fearing probably that the aroused energies of these nations would involve the papacy in new difficulties, he declared the states of the church open to the passage of all friendly troops; but denouncing, in the strongest terms, the disorderly and factious. The constitutional government of Naples, which gave the pope the greatest cause for uneasiness, was, however, overturned by the power of Austria; and the invasion of Spain, by the armies of France, succeeded for a time in re-establishing Romish tyranny and superstition in the whole of the peninsula. The subdued countries, however, present an appearance which promises anything rather than continued repose. Pius VII. died August 20, 1823, and was succeeded by Leo XII.
DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.
Thus have we traced historically the rise, progress, and comparative decline, of this great domination: the writer as a Protestant, and a Protestant clergyman, will, in the estimation of Catholic readers, perhaps, seem unduly biassed, and occasionally to display the advocate. Recollecting how large a portion of his countrymen are Catholics, the editor, therefore, thinks it fair to subjoin without comment the last authentic compendium of the principles of their church in the Declaration of the English Catholic bishops, dated May, 1826. It must only be understood that the Catholics now speak for themselves.
DEcLARATION of The CAtholic Bishops, The VicARs Apostolic, AND THEIR CoADJUtoRs, 1N GREAT BRITAIN.
I. On the general character of the doctrines of faith professed by the Catholic church-The doctrines of the Catholic church are often characterised as erroneous, unscriptural, and unreasonable. All those doctrines, and only those doctrines, are articles of Catholic faith, which are revealed by Almighty God. Whatsoever is revealed by God, who knows all things as they are in themselves, and who cannot deceive us by teaching falsehood for truth, is most true and certain; though it may entirely surpass the comprehension of created minds.
On the authority of divine revelation, the Catholic believes, as doctrines of faith, that in one God there are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that
Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the salvation of all mankind, is the second person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man; that there is no remission of sin, nor salvation, but through him; that the sacraments of baptism and penance are divinely appointed means for the remission of sin; that in the mass a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice is offered to God for the living and the dead; that the souls detained in purgatory are helped by the suffrages of the faithful; that the saints reigning together with Christ are to be honored and invocated; that at the last day our bodies will be raised from death, and that Christ will come to judge all men according to their works; that eternal happiness will be the reward of the good, and eternal misery the punishment of the wicked. If these, and other doctrines of Ca
tholic faith, are really revealed by Almighty
God, they are not erroneous, but most true and certain—they are not unscriptural, but agreeable to the true sense of the written word of God— the belief of them is not unreasonable, because it is reasonable to believe whatever is true, and taught by the God of truth. The Catholic is fully persuaded that all the articles of his faith are really revealed by Almighty God. Is he not at liberty to think so, as well as others are to think the contrary; and in this empire especially, where liberty of thought is so loudly proclaimed and lauded ? Is it reasonable or charitable to condemn him for thinking so, when he may have good and solid grounds for his conviction, and may feel that his eternal salvation depends on his firm belief of all the doctrines which Christ has taught ! II. On the grounds of the certitude which a Catholic has that all the doctrines which he believes, as articles of Catholic faith, are really revealed by Almighty God.—Catholics are often charged with grounding their faith on mere human authority, and not on the word of God. Catholics deny this, because they are convinced, that their faith is grounded on the word of God, proposed to them by the authority of that ministry, which Christ established, and appointed to teach his revealed doctrines to all nations. The Catholic believes all those doctrines which God has revealed. The question, what are those doctrines which God has revealed, is a question of fact. It appears reasonable that the existence of a fact should be ascertained by the evidence of testimony. The body of the doctrines, precepts, and institutions, which were delivered by Christ to his apostles, constitutes the new or the Christian law; as the body of the doctrines, precepts, and institutions, which were delivered by the A.mighty to Moses, constituted the old law. The true and certain knowledge of what is commanded by any law is generally communicated and obtained by the authoritative promulgation of the law. By the ordinance of God, the doctrines and precepts of the old law were made known to the Israelites and Jewish people, by Moses, and the priests in succession, till the end of the law. By the ordinance of God, the doctrines and precepts of the new law were to be made known to all nations, in all ages, by the
apostles and their successors, to the consummation of the world. On the spiritual authority of the apostles and their successors, who were divinely commissioned to promulgate and teach the law of Christ to all nations; and on the uniform and universal testimony, belief, and practice of all Christian churches from the beginning, the certitude of the Catholic is grounded, that all the doctrines which he believes as articles of Catholic faith, and all the sacred precepts and rites which he observes as the ordinances of Christ, were really revealed and instituted by Almighty God; and are the same as were originally delivered by Christ to his apostles, and by them promulgated over all nations. The Catholic is fully satisfied that this method which he follows, for ascertaining what are the revealed doctrines of divine faith, is the right rule, and that it leads him to the unity of truth. Is he not at liberty to follow a rule which fo such satisfaction and security to his mind 2 s it fair for others who, by following a different rule, are led into a countless variety of contradictory doctrines on matters of Christian belief, to disturb the tranquillity of the Catholic on this head, or to condemn him for his submission to the authority of a ministry which he is convinced was established by Christ for the purpose of bringing all nations to the certain knowledge of his law, and to the unity of faith ? Is not this rule perfectly natural and reasonable Can any human legislator condemn the principle and rule of the Catholic in this regard III. On the Holy Scriptures.—In England the Catholic church is held out as an enemy to the reading and circulating of the Holy Scriptures. Whereas the Catholic church venerates the Holy Scriptures as the written part of the word of God; she has in all ages been the faithful guardian of this sacred deposit; she has ever labored to preserve the integrity of these inspired writings, and the true sense, in which they have been universally understood, at all times from the apostolic age. The Catholic church has never forbidden or discouraged the reading or the circulation of authentic copies of the sacred Scriptures, in the original languages. She binds her clergy to the daily recital of a canonical office, which comprises a large portion of the sacred volume, and to read and expound to the faithful, in the vernacular tongue, on Sundays, the epistle or gospel of the day, or some other portion of the divine law. As to translations of the Holy Scriptures into modern languages, the Catholic church requires that none should be put into the hands of the
faithful but such as are acknowledged by eccle-,
siastical authority to be accurate, and conformable to the sense of the originals. There never was a general law of the Catholic church prohibiting the reading of authorised translations of the Scriptures; but, considering that many, by their ignorance and evil dispositions, have perverted the meaning of the sacred text to their own destruction, the Catholic church has thought it prudent to make a regulation that the faithful should be guided in this matter by the advice of their respective pastors.
to read authentic and approved translations of
the Holy Scriptures, with explanatory notes; and are exhorted to read them in the spirit of piety, humility, and obedience. Pope Pius VII, in a rescript dated April 18th, 1820, and addressed to the Vicars Apostolic in England, earnestly exhorts them to confirm the people committed to their spiritual care, in faith and good works; and, for that end, to encourage them to read books of pious instruction, and particularly the Holy Scriptures, in translations approved by ecclesiastical authority; because, to those who are well disposed, nothing can be more useful, more consoling, or more animating, than the reading of the sacred Scriptures, understood in their true sense—they serve to confirm the faith, to support the hope, and to inflame the charity of the true Christian. But when the reading and the circulation of
the Scriptures are urged and recommended as
the entire rule of faith, as the sole means by which men are to be brought to the certain and specific knowledge of the doctrines, precepts, and institutions of Christ; and when the Scriptures so read and circulated are left to the interpretation and private judgment of each individual: then such reading, circulation, and interpretation, are forbidden by the Catholic church, because the Catholic church knows that the circulation of the Scriptures, and the interpretation of them by each one's private judgment, was not the means ordained by Christ for the communication of the true knowledge of his
Jaw to all nations—she knows that Christianity
was established in many countries before one book of the New Testament was written—that it was not by means of the Scriptures that the apostles and their successors converted nations, or any one nation to the unity of the Christian faith—that the unauthorised reading and circulation of the Scriptures, and the interpretation of them by private judgment, are calculated to lead men to contradictory doctrines on the primary articles of Christian belief; to inconsistent forms of worship, which cannot all be constituent parts of the uniform and sublime system of Christianity; to errors and fanaticism in religion, and to seditions and the greatest disorders in states and kingdoms. IV. On the charge of idolatry and superstition. —Ignorance or malice has gone so far as to charge the Catholic church with idolatry, in the sacrifice of the mass—in the adoration (as it is called) of the Virgin Mary, and in the worshi of the saints, and of the images of Christ an of the saints; and with superstition, in invoking the saints, and in praying for souls in purgatory. Now idolatry consists in giving to any creature that supreme adoration, honor, or worship, which is due only to Almighty God. The Catholic church teaches that idolatry is one of the greatest crimes that can be committed against the majesty of God: and every true member of this church shudders at the idea of such a crime, and feels grievously injured by so horrid an 1In Dutation.
É. it is said that Catholics adore the elements of bread and wine in the mass: that they adore the Virgin Mary; that they adore the cross; and that they worship the saints and the images of Christ and of the saints. Before we repel these horrid imputations, in the sense in which they are made, we must explain the different meanings of the words adoration, honor, and worship, that the calumnious charge, and its denial, may be understood in the same explained sense.
We find that in the language of the sacred Scripture, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin,” as well as in the language of the ancient liturgies of the Christian church, these words, adoration, honor, and worship, are ambiguous terms, and are used in different senses, according to the nature of the object to which the act, implied by the term, is directed, and according to the intention of him who performs the act. Hence we find them used as relating sometimes to God, and sometimes to creatures. Although, in modern times, the exclusive idea of that supreme homage, which is due only to God, is attached by some to the words adoration and worship; yet these words may still be retained by others, in a different meaning, without affording the remotest cause for the imputation of idolatry. In this different meaning they are still retained, in the unchanged language of the ancient liturgies used in the Catholic church.
The words adoration and worship are equally referred sometimes to God, and sometimes to creatures, as is the word honor. Now because we are commanded in Scripture to honor God, and to honor the king; and children are commanded to honor their parents: it does not follow that the honor due to the king, or to parents, is the same as that which we owe to God. To God we owe supreme and sovereign honor, such as it would be a crime to pay to any creature. To the king we owe the lo, civil honor. To parents children owe the honor of filial respect and obedience. How unjust would it be to say that, because a subject honors his king, he pays him that supreme and sovereign honor which is due only to God! The same is to be said of the terms adoration and worship, as used in former times, and sometimes used at present in the language of the Catholic church. To adore, even according to modern usage, often means no more than to express extreme affection or respect. To worship (in the translation of the Bible, published at Oxford) is therein used to signify inferior as well as supreme worship. In the first book of Chronicles xxix. 20, we read in that edition, that the assembly bowed
* See in Hebrew (Prov. iii. 9, and Exod. xx. 12), (Dent. xxviii. 47, and 48), (Ps. Xcvi. 9 and 1, alias 3d Kings i. 23). In Greek, Gen, xxiv. 26, and Gen. xlix. 8. In Latin Adorare, Ps. Xxviii. 2, and Gen. xxiii. 7, and 4th alias 2 Kings ii. 15.
down their heads and worshipped the Lord (Jehovah) and the king. Did they worship the king with the same supreme worship which they paid to God? Certainly not. When a man says, to the woman he takes to wife, “with my body I thee worship,' can this be called idolatry? Surely nothing can be more unfair than arguments drawn from ambiguous terms, construed in a sense disavowed by those against whom the arguments are employed. We answer therefore that, if by the terms adoration, honor, and worship, be understood that supreme adoration, honor, and worship which is due only to God; Catholics do not adore, nor honor, nor worship any other than the one, only, true, and living God, the Creator and Sovereign Lord of the universe: they do not, in this sense, adore, nor honor, nor worship the Virgin Mary, nor any of the saints, nor the cross, nor images, nor any other creature whatsoever. In the mass, Catholics do offer supreme adoration, not to the elements of bread and wine, which they hold not to be present after the consecration; but to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom they believe to be truly, really, and substantially present, under the appearances only of bread and wine, after the consecration, and change thereby of the elements into his body and blood. To adore Christ, by an act of supreme adoration, is no idolatry; because he is truly God, and consequently a legitimate object of supreme worship. But if Catholics, using the ancient language of the Christian church, are said, 1st. To worship the saints; this worship must be understood to be only an inferior worship, honor, and respect, paid to them proportionate to the limited perfections and excellences which God has bestowed upon them; but this worship is infinitely below that supreme worship which they pay to God. Catholics acknowledge no perfection or excellence in any saint, not even in the Blessed Virgin Mary, which they do not profess to be the work and gift of God in them. So that, in honoring the saints, they celebrate the works of God, and consequently give glory to him. Whatever act of religious veneration we pay to the saints is ultimately referred to God. 2nd. To adore the cross: this word, if applied to the cross itself, means no more than an inferior and relative respect paid to the instrument of our redemption; but if in view of the cross it be applied to Christ himself, then it means, as it ought to mean, an act of supreme adoration. 3d. To worship the images of Christ or of the saints: the word is here again understood by Catholics only of an inferior and relative respect shown to images, in consideration of the respect due to the objects which they reresent, and to which the respect shown to the images is referred. In this sense respect shown to the statue or to the throne of the king, in consideration of the majesty of the personage to whom they relate. An insult offered to his statue would be considered as intended to he offered to the king himself. In this sense a son respects the image or picture of his parent; a parent that of his child; a friend that of his friend; not for any intrinsic virtue in the material substance or work of art, but because it relates to, and brings to his mind, the object of his respect and affection. To condemn this relative regard for images, or pictures, would be to condemn the very feelings of nature. To charge the Catholic with idolatry, because the term worship, meaning only an inferior and relative regard, is found in the ancient and modern liturgies of his church, is not consistent with candor or charity. The charge that the Catholic church sanctions the praying to images is a calumny, and carries with it an imputation of stupidity too gross to be noticed. Catholics sometimes pray before images, because they serve to collect their thoughts, and fix their attention in their meditations and prayers; but they are not, on that account, to be supposed to be so void of reason and sense as to pray to the image: for they know that in it there is no virtue or power; and that it can neither see, nor hear, nor help them. Catholics do solicit the intercession of the angels and saints reigning with Christ in heaven. But in this, when done according to the principles and spirit of the Catholic church, there is nothing of superstition, nothing which is not consistent with true piety. For the Catholic church teaches her children not to pray to the saints, as to the authors or givers of divine grace; but only to solicit the saints in heaven to pray for them, in the same sense as St. Paul desired the faithful on earth to pray for him. Catholics, according to the faith and pious practice of the Christian church from the age of the apostles, do pray for the release and eternal rest of departed souls, who may be detained for a time in a state of punishment on account of their sins, but in this we cannot discover even the shadow of superstition. By invoking the intercession of the saints in heaven, and by praying for the suffering souls in purgatory, Catholics exercise acts of that communion of charity which subsists between the members of the mystical body of Christ: the principle of which communion they profess to believe, when they say, “I believe the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints.’ After this explanation and declaration, we hope that our countrymen will never be so unjust or so uncharitable as to charge Catholics with idolatry or superstition, nor be so illiberal as to attempt to give a color to these injurious charges, by fixing an exclusive meaning to terms, which in the language of Scripture, Christian antiquity, and common usage, bear different senses, in different circumstances.
apostles, and to the priests of his church, power to forgive sins, by the administration of the sacraments of baptism, and penance, to those who are duly disposed to receive this grace. They believe that the sacrament of penance is an institution of Christ, no less than the sacrament of baptism. The belief of both rests on the same foundation. In both these sacraments, sin is forgiven by the ministry of man. Be baptised every one of you, for the remission of sins, Acts. ii. 38; whose sins you shall forcive, they are forgiven, John xx. 23. But no actual sin can be forgiven at the mere will of any pope, or any priest, or any person whomsoever, without a sincere sorrow for having offended God, and a firm resolution to avoid future guilt, and to atone for past transgressions. Any person who receives absolution, without these necessary dispositions, far from obtaining the remission of his sins, incurs the additional guilt of hypocrisy and profanation. The obligation of sacramental confession to priest is not an imposition of the church, but a precept of Christ. Without the voluntary confession of the penitent, the power of forgiving or retaining sins could . . exercised, with discretion and judgment, by the minister of the sacrament of penance. The confession of sins could never have been introduced had it not been received from the beginning as a divine ordinance for the remission of sin. It has been ractised from the earliest ages of Christianity. t is attended with the most salutary effects. Besides being a means of obtaining the remission of sin, it affords relief to the troubled conscience, and opportunities of reclaiming deluded sinners from mischievous projects, and of causing reparation to be made for injuries done to persons, property, or character. It may be ridiculed by such as blaspheme those things which they know not (2 Pet. ii. 12), but will be ever cherished as a merciful and salutary institution by those who are sincerely sorry for their sins, and earnestly sue for pardon. VI. On Indulgences.—The Catholic church is charged with encouraging guilt, by giving leave to commit sin, and granting an anticipated pardon for sins to come by indulgences. The Catholic church rejects with abhorrence the imputation that, by granting an indulgence, she grants permission to commit sin, or a pardon for sins to come. An indulgence, in the sense of the Catholic church, is no pardon for sin at all; it is only a remission of the whole or of a part of the temporal punishment which the justice of God often reserves to be undergone by the sinner, after the guilt of the sin has been remitted. The power of granting the remission of this temporal punishment was given by Christ to St. Peter and his successors, and has been exercised from the earliest ages. An indulgence, so far from exempting sinners from works of penance and piety, is an encouragement to the performance of such works, since they are pre: scribed as conditions for gaining the benefit of an indulgence. Surely, therefre, the doctrine of the Catholic church concerning the sacrament of penance, confession, and indulgencies, does not tend to relax Christian morality, nor to encourage guilt, nor facilitate the commission of crime, but rapher to put an end to sin, and to promote the exercise of every Christian virtue amongst men. VII. On the obligation of an oath.-Catholics are charged with holding that they are not bound by any oath, and that the pope can dispense them from all the oaths they may have taken. We cannot sufficiently express our astonishment at such a charge. We hold that the obligation of an oath is most sacred; for by an oath man calls the almighty Searcher of hearts to witness the sincerity of his conviction of the truth of what he asserts, and his fidelity in performing the engagement he makes. Hence, whosoever swears falsely, or violates the lawful engagement he has confirmed by an oath, not only offends against truth, or justice, but against religion. He is guilty of the enormous crime of perjury. No power in any pope, or council, or in any indo or body of men, invested with authority in the Catholic church, can make it lawful for a Catholic to confirm any falsehood by an oath; or dispense with any oath by which a Catholic has confirmed his duty of allegiance to his sovereign, or any obligation of duty or justice to a third person. He who takes an oath is bound to observe it, in the obvious meaning of the words, or in the known meaning of the person to whom it is sworn. VIII. On allegiance to our sovereign, and obedience to the pope.—Catholics are charged with dividing their allegiance between their temporal sovereign and the pope. Allegiance relates not to spiritual but to civil duties; to those temporal tributes and obligations which the subject owes to the o of his sovereign, and to the authority of the state. By the term spiritual, we here mean that which in its nature tends directly to a supernatural end, or is ordained to produce a supernatural effect. Thus the office of teaching the doctrines of faith, the administration of the sacraments, the conferring and exercising of jurisdiction purely ecclesiastical, are spiritual matters. By the term temporal we mean that which in its nature tends directly to .ne end of civil society. Thus the right of making laws for the civil government of the state, the administration of civil justice, the appointment of civil magistrates and military officers, are temporal matters. The allegiance which Catholics hold to be due and are bound to pay to their sovereign, and to the civil authority of the state, is perfect and undivided. They do not divide their allegiance between their sovereign and any other power on earth, whether temporal or ecclesiastical. They acknowledge in the sovereign, and in the consti
tuted government of these realms, a supreme,
civil, and temporal authority, which is entirely distinct from, and totally independent of, the spiritual and ecclesiastical authority of the pope and of the Catholic church. They declare that neither the pope, nor any other prelate or ecclesiastical person of the Roman Catholic church, has in virtue of his spiritual or ecclesiastical character any right, directly or indirectly, to any civil or temporal jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, within this
realm; nor has any right to interfere, directly or indirectly, in the civil government of the United Kingdom, or any part thereof; nor to oppose, in any manner, the performance of the civil duties which are due to his majesty, his heirs, and successors, from all or any of his majesty's subjects; nor to enforce the performance of any spiritual or ecclesiastical duty, by any civil or temporal means. .They hold themselves bound in conscience to obey the civil government of this realm, in all things of a temporal and civil nature, notwithstanding any dispensation or order to the contrary had, or to be had, from the pope or any authority of the church of Rome. Hence we declare that, by rendering obedience in spiritual matters to the pope, Catholics do not withhold any portion of their allegiance to their king, and that their allegiance is entire and undivided ; the civil power of the state, and the . spiritual authority of the Catholic church, being absolutely distinct, and being never intended b their divine author to interfere or clash with eac other. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God’s.’ IX. 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 ail 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, with regard to the same. X. On the doctrine of erclusive 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 o: 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. 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 2 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 that they who do such things shall not obtain the kindom of God 2 Gal. 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 him