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revolution of Christianity in the sixteenth century, and given to this land, with many others, a pure creed and a holy ritual.*
This statement is so incontrovertibly provable by fact, or history, that we feel at perfect ease as to the issue of the contest respecting real antiquity between the two churches; and we are well satisfied in our own minds, that there is no one point of which Romanists are more sincerely, though painfully conscious, than the real and absolute novelty of the main peculiarities of their own church.
Mr. Pantin-a name honourably distinguished in the literary and Protestant world for his triumphant “ Observations" in opposition to the antichristian, because antiprotestant, pamphlet of Dr. Arnold, entitled “The Christian Duty,” &c.,-has undertaken to exhibit the novelty of Popery on three subjects the Rule of Faith and Practice; the Canon of Scripture; and the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. The work is small, being in all rather less than a hundred pages, and would serve admirably for general distribution, if it were more popularly written. As it is, with its accurate array of the most satisfactory, because original reference, it commends itself to the more educated class of readers, who may wish a compendious view of the subjects embraced, with directions for more extensive investigation of such particular sections as may be an object of peculiar curiosity. The argument is generally of a cumulative description, possessing this important advantage, that the parts are so distinct from each other, that should any fail in strength or application, the injury is confined to itself, and affects the body of the evidence in a degree hardly worth calculation: it is an independent contribution, not a link in a chain.
We must satisfy ourselves with a brief notice of the first only of Mr. Pantin's tracts, that which respects the Rule of Faith. And we may in the outset observe, what may perplex some readers, that this designation, the Rule of Faith, in the primitive age of Christianity, signified a compendious outline of christian facts, very nearly resembling the Apostles' Creed, which should serve in particular as a test of christian truth, and a
* One of the definitions of the church by Valafridus Strabo, de Rebus Ecclesiast. cap. 6, is--Generalis Sanctorum unitas, in una fide et dilectione conjuncta, unde Una et Catholica dicitur Ecclesia. After the Reformation the pope was put at its head. We owe the above quotation, which, however, we have verified, to Dr. Alexander Geddes, in his anonymous “ Modest Apology for the Roman Catholics," pp. 55—58, where he observes, that the Jesuit Canisius is reported to have been the first who made what he calls the “nefarious innovation." He is wrong in the edition of the catechism specified-the third, in 1567. We have before us an edition in 1558, Antwerp, apparently the second, in which the addition is found, fol. 29, recto.
discovery of heresy--not, as it does now, the ultimate authority on matters of christian controversy—a view nevertheless clearly and steadily maintained by the early professors of our faith, and applied exclusively by them to the holy Scriptures. This will be evident to any one who reads, and understands, and can abstain from misrepresenting, Tertullian's treatise “ De Præscriptionibus Hæreticorum.” The modern sense of the designation is correct and important; but Protestants should show that they are aware of its ancient, and not inappropriate application. We are not quite certain, whether, in pp. 21-23, Mr. Pantin may not have made Bellarmine represent Scripture as the rule, when the cardinal intended simply to affirm it a rule; for to this admission the papal faith offers no objection. At least, if he admitted the former, he had two tongues for two different occasions. This indeed is no uncommon thing with Romanists : but they should understand the imprudence of using their privilege too freely. The ambiguity of the Latin language, which wants the articles, both definite and indefinite, would favour a misapprehension of the kind which has been stated. But we hasten to the more acceptable task of pointing to the substantial and general excellence of the discussion, and particularly to the whole of the “ Conclusion,” in which the celebrated cardinal, the best defender of Romanism, and, we might say, of Protestantism too, is produced, as telling us, that " when the Universal Church embraces any thing as an article of faith, which is not found in the holy Scriptures, we must of necessity say that it is maintained from apostolical tradition. The reason of this is, because the Universal Church cannot err, since it is the pillar and ground of the truth.””—(De Verbo Dei, iv. ix.) This quotation, which we have examined and know to be correct, is remarkable for the simplicity with which it lets out the whole truth of the reason, why the Roman church has battled so resolutely for the equal authority of tradition and Scripture-indeed, by her application and use of the former, given it the superiority. She was, at the Reformation, caught in a number of religious, external, and ostentatious observances, which she knew well enough could not be traced to Scripture. They might be traced to tradition, that is, to such a tradition as she had for the most part manufactured. But what if this source, however creditable, should prove, or be admitted, to be inferior? Where would Rome and religion be in the eyes of the world; particularly in the scrutinizing times while the Council of Trent was sitting ? What was to be done? There was no help or remedy, but to make tradition an equal assessor on the throne, and bow to both pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia ; and so the entire honour and inerrability of the Italian church were preserved. Mr. Pantin proceeds to present his readers with some passages from writers of that church, which are valuable and interesting, as stating more fully and distinctly, than Romanists generally find it convenient to do, what they really understand as traditions, or doctrines, or usages, delivered by tradition. Our author closes this list with the appropriate declaration of Pighius, that the Church had been in a better state if her members had been mindful of the doctrine of tradition ; nd tha heretics are not to be instructed or convinced out of the Scriptures. This, Mr. Pantin justly concludes, “ is in itself a full and ample acknowledgment, that the religion of the Bible is not the religion of the modern church of Rome."* P. 28.
We should have been happy to spend more time in exhibiting the contents of these Tracts, so suitable to the times, which are eminently Anti-Protestant, when there is the greatest reason that they should be the opposite. In the last two, as well as in the first, we might compare and contrast the doctrines of the two churches; but we must proceed to the next work at the head of this article, which goes over the same ground, and much in the same way.
This is likewise a small, but most comprehensive and decisive, tract. The substance of it first appeared, as a notice to the reader states, in a Letter to Lord Viscount Melbourne, in confutation of a reported assertion of his Lordship, that "the Roman Catholics in all the fundamentals of Christianity agree with Protestants.” No wonder a Protestant, especially a Protestant Bishop, and chief of all an Irish Protestant Bishop, should protest against such a position. The position, that being
. It is with true tact that the Romanist makes tradition the main pillar of his church: it keeps the rule and judge within his church, and subject to her control. The scripture, as supreme judge, would be external and independent, if nothing more. It is a remarkable but natural circumstance, that in the case of converts to the church of Rome the motives to conversion are but slightly regarded. Indeed, the more insufficient the better. Accordingly Dr. Wiseman, in his pretty romantic way, talks of various motives producing the desired object. The fact is, that if there be a rational motive, (which is not easy to be conceived,) the momentum is in the person, not in the church. The object is to bring him into the fold, or den, no matter how; and then the church will instruct him, which will be her doing. This literally preposterous method is natural and wise enough, as the church of Rome is constituted : but first to be converted, and then to be instructed what a person is converted to, is a course not marked by human wisdom, and perhaps still less by divine. If for wisdom we substitute policy, the case is altered. In a collection of pieces relative to the conversion or reconciliation of Henry IV. of France, which we have seen in manuscript, the instruction follows the conversion in due order. Tertullian has a pungent and applicative remark on this subject in his book against the Valentinians, cap. i., Habent artificium, quo prius persuadeant, quam edoceant. Veritas autem docendo persuadet : non suadendo docet.
in place and out of place are fundamentally the same thing, might be expected from an intellect equally constituted or privileged. Identities and differences are perhaps matters of taste. Unfortunately, whether so or not, there are some who will take the liberty of interfering with them, and we are glad they do.
Bishop Mant, in manifest and just indignation against an hypothesis, which implies that “our Reformers have shed their blood for a chimera," brings the question to its proper and decisive test, by placing the respective doctrines of Rome and England in literal juxta-position, as Mr. Pantin has partially done: and by that method demonstrating the fundamental disagreement of the two churches. On each side he appeals to the most authorized documents, not omitting to observe, that even the pure part of the Roman faith is infected and vitiated by the impure admixture, and assigning to ignorance and inconsideration, (he might have added disaffection,) the opinion, natural and prevalent enough, of fundamental agreement of communities fundamentally hostile—as each well enough knows.
The first comparison is made on the subject which we have considered in Mr. Pantin's book, " The Rule of Faith." There is given, in parallel columns, the decree of the fourth session of the Council of Trent, equalizing tradition with the Scripture, and that Scripture, in terms, including the Apocrypha; and the Sixth Article of the Thirty-nine of the church of England, asserting the supremacy of Scripture, and expressly excluding from it the enumerated books of the Apocrypha. The Bishop observes that by the Roman church precedence is given to the Vulgate translation, while England ascribes proper authenticity to the original Hebrew and Greek alone. As these differences affect the foundation, the Bishop justly concludes that they are fundamental.
The right reverend author proceeds to the doctrine of the meritorious cause of our acceptance with God. And here we content ourselves with only a portion of the comparison and difference displayed in his parallel columns.
Council of Trent, Session VI.
Articles of the Church, Art. XI. Canon 32. “ If any one shall say that the “Of the Justification of Man. good works of a justified man are We are accounted righteous before in such a sense the gifts of God, God, only for the merit of our that they are not also the good Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by merits of the justified himself; or faith, and not for our own works that the justified himself does not or deservings. Wherefore, that by the good works which are done we are justified by faith only is a by him through the grace of God, most wholesome doctrine," &c. and the merit of Jesus Christ, of whom he is a living member, truly merit increase of grace, eternal
life, and the attainment of that eternal life, provided he die in grace, and even an increase of glory ; let him be accursed."Anathema sit.
The difference upon this most fundamental of christian doctrines, the hinge upon which turns the grand discordance between the two churches, the article with which the whole fabric of Protestantism stands or falls, must at once be seen and felt by those who have eyes to see and hearts to feel. The Council of Trent shuffled very dexterously on this subject: but the very confusion in the diction of the canon just recited, and which is the most precise of them all, while it proclaims the embarrassment under which the Fathers laboured, affords sufficient proof that they meant to dogmatize in exact opposition to the reformed creed. The predicament of the church of Rome on this point was curious and awful : she could not resign the merits of her saints, the fountain of her absolutions, her dispensations and indulgences—that is, her sceptre and her gold. But we must not be led from our point by such reflections, however just and obtrusive.
Passing over the number of sacraments, the bishop, on that of Baptism, pertinently observes, that the dogma of Rome, execrating those who assert that all which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away by baptism; and the doctrine of England, declaring that the original infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated—are directly opposed to each other, and in a matter of rather fundamental character and moment.
Then comes that unceasing and fundamental subject of war to the faggot on the side of Rome, the sacrament which most impressively exhibits and inculcates love and communion between those who are united in the bond of common love to their Lord, Master, and Saviour—the Lord's Supper. What rivers of blood, what volumes of contention, have flowed from the apostasy, tyranny, and cruelty of a church, which should principally have made herself known, by the purity of her christian doctrine, and the light of her christian virtue! See how the two churches authoritatively declare their respective doctrine on the portentous subject of Transubstantiation.
Council of Trent, Session XIII.
Article XXVIII. 1. “ If any one shall deny that “ Transubstantiation (or the in the sacrament of the most holy change of the substance of bread eucharist are contained truly, really, and wine) in the Supper of the and substantially, the body and Lord, cannot be proved by Holy blood, together with the soul and Writ, but is repugnant to the plain