« PreviousContinue »
power of various public officers over the property of the people had increased to a very formidable height.
The extensive powers given by this Bill cannot be carried out by two or three commissioners and inspectors. The number must be greatly increased ; and these powers, which in the hands of men of honour are highly formidable, may, as the number of commissioners is increased, fall into those of very inferior grade, may be perverted to mere party objects, and scandalous purposes, to the low ends of selfish ambition, avarice, or personal resentment.
From these ill consequences we may collect the prudent foresight of our ancient lawgivers, who suffered neither the property nor the punishment of the subject to be determined by the opinion of any one or two men; and we may also observe the necessity of not deviating any further from our ancient constitution, by ordaining new penalties to be inflicted as summary convictions.
There are those, we know, who may deem the introduction of this, and similar topics, into our periodical as needless and uncalled for; some who regard such subjects as utterly unworthy of their attention, and as interfering with that spirituality of mind which should ever characterize the devoted and pious Christian. Our Protestant readers, however, must not imagine that such things are beneath their notice as Christian men, nor be led away with the idea that these points are to be neglected or despised. If Paul could plead the privileges of a Roman citizen, to protect himself from unmerited punishment, administered by those who had legally and constitutionally no jurisdiction over him ; if he did not think that the holiness of his mission was impaired, or his ministerial usefulness diminished thereby, let not us, from any feelings of mawkish sensibility, abstain from repelling unjust invasions of our rights and liberties as Christian freemen and British citizens.* No; rather let us oppose this and similar Bills, as so many meshes of a net to entangle us—so many links of a chain, widely thrown to encircle our free institutions, and hand them over to the tender mercies of those who will seek to destroy, where they cannot corrupt or pervert them.
A pure faith was delivered to our ancestors, and when corrupted by the errors of the Church of Rome, it was purified by our Reformers, and handed down to us with an open Bible.
To maintain, protect, and propagate that religion, many foundations—charitable institutions, and voluntary societies—have been formed, and the efficiency of each one of these may be more or less impaired by the operation of this Bill.
* See the admirable speech of the Rev. Hugh M'Neile, “ England's Cæsar," published as a tract, for extensive circulation, by the Protestant Association.
[From A CORRESPONDENT.]
( Continued from page 121.) THE ROMAN CATHOLIC THE PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN; OR, CHRISTIAN.
“ WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE ?” (21) OF INDULGENCES AND (21) OF INDULGENCES AND JUBILEES.
JUBILEES. Page 124.-Q. What do But supposing, though the priest abyou mean by indulgences ? solves, God has not forgiven, and
A. We mean no more punishes the sinner for trusting in the than a releasing to true merit of his own imperfect works, instead penitents the debt of tem- of pleading his Saviour's merits ! for, “it poral punishment, which re- is not by works of righteousness which mained due to their sins, we have done, but according to his after the sins themselves, as mercy he saved us.”
See Titus iji. 5. to the guilt and eternal Our Lord says, " When we have done punishment, had been all, we are unprofitable servants.” (Luke already remitted by the sa- xvii. 13.) Ye who trust in works, and crament of penance, or by whose penance obtains remission of temperfect contrition.
poral and eternal punishment,---ye may
bow down to" and worship the cross . . but he who hung upon it is forgotten!.. and, in your case, has died in vain ...if ye can thus purchase your own salvation ! See 2 Cor. v. 21; Gal. ii. 16; Gal. iii.
10, 13; Rom. v. 17, 18. (22) Page 127.-Q. Are (22) You will not pretend to assert you then of opinion that a that "indulgences" are also an instituChristian receives no farther tion of Christ! for his word, the Holy benefit by an indulgence, Scripture is totally at variance with than he would do by the “The council of Trent !” What single penitential works which he text can be adduced to countenance this performs for the obtaining permission to commit sin? “Indulgences of that indulgence ? wholesome !—and to Christian people !”
A. I am far from being about as wholesome to the soul as poison of that opinion, for accord- to the body. Read 2 Peter ii. 1-4, ing to that way of thinking, also 18-22; 1 John iii. 7, 8; also 1 Peter no benefit would be reaped i. 13—21; 1 Peter iii. 10–14; and thus from the indulgence, but the balance is adjusted by the Romish only from the works per- Church, and “Council of Trent!” and formed for the obtaining of one scale heaped up with man's merits, it; whereas the Church of the other with the indulgence he has God has declared in the purchased to commit sin! Alas! what council of Trent, “that if when “ weighed in the balances” at indulgences are very whole- the Last Day... we are found ... wantsome to Christian people.” ing? . But what many divines maintain is, that regularly
OF INDULGENCES AND JUBILEES.
OF INDULGENCES AND JU
speaking, there is required, though not an equality, yet some proportion at least, between the works to be done for the obtaining of an indulgence, and the indulgence itself, and this I believe to be true,
(23) Page 129.-Q. What (23) What resemblance is there in is the meaning of a Jubilee? the law regarding Jewish inheritances or
A. A Jubilee, so called possessions to a plenary indulgence! from the resemblance it unless it be a liberty, or full permission bears with the Jubilee year to return to the inheritance of sin, de in the old law (Lev. xxv. rived from our progenitor Adam, as a 27), (which was a year of reward for attempting to free ourselves remission in which bonds, from “this bondage of corruption," by men were restored to liberty, macerating our bodies with stripes of and every one returned to fasting, priding ourselves (like the Phahis possessions) is a plenary risee) upon our alms-deeds, &c., instead indulgence granted every of obeying our Lord's command, “ Come twenty-fifth year, as also unto me," &c. (Matt. xi. 28, 29, 30.) upon other extraordinary Where is the humility preached by the occasions, to such as, being “meek and lowly” Jesus ? Man here truly penitent, shall worthily disdains to accept the free salvation purreceive the blessed Sacra- chased by the Redeemer's blood l and ment, and perform the other will patch up a righteousness of his own, conditions of fasting, alms, though how can the works of even the and prayers, usually pre- worthiest be deemed meritorious, unless scribed at such times. spotless, sinless ?
What then becomes of original sin as described by St. Paul. See Rom. vii. 14 to end ; x. 3, 4; iii. 20–28; 2 Cor. x. 17, 18; Eph. ii. 8, 9. My brethren, if we expect to enter heaven clad in our own righteousness, which is (according to Scripture) but as “filthy rags," we shall find ourselves awfully mistaken! we must deign to accept the “ wedding garment” provided for us, if we hope to be present at the “marriage supper of the Lamb, (see Rev. xxi. xxii.,) and since it is God only who can forgive sins. “ If Christ make
you free, ye shall be free indeed!"
(24) OF EXTREME UNCTION.
Sacrament 5th. Page 130.-Q. What do you mean by extreme unction ?
(24) OF EXTREME UNCTION,
Sacrament 5th. If then, what are deemed small, or 6 venial sins," are remitted by extreme unction; and “mortal, or deadly sins,"
OF EXTREME UNCTION.
OF EXTREME UNCTION. A. I mean the anointing by penance and confession, what bethe sick, prescribed James comes of the satisfaction made for all v. 14, 15.
sins by our Saviour ? ... Alas! He is Page 132.—Q. What are not even remotely named.-Oh! what a the effects and fruits of the fearful state of security unwarranted by sacrament of extreme unc. Scripture, to die in! “For by the works tion ?
of the law, shall no flesh be justified.” A. It remits sins, at least, (Gal. ii. 16; also v. 14.) The “ propensuch as
venial; for sion to sin," and "unhappy relics of sin," mortal or deadly sins must &c., to what can they be ascribed, save be remitted before receiving the taint of original sin derived from extreme unction, by the Adam ? this subtle poison insinuates sacrament of penance and itself into all man's works, and renders confession. Secondly, It them valueless. 'Tis humiliating, I heals the soul of her infir- grant, to the pride of man, who, like the mity and weakness, and a self-righteous Pharisee, would fain recacertain propension to sin pitulate his good works, his fastings, contracted by former sins, alms, &c., but we are told, the publican, which are apt to remain in who acknowledged his unworthiness, and the soul as the unhappy implored mercy, "was justified rather relics of sin ; and it helps to than the other.” This fatal error strikes remove something of the at the very root of Christianity. If man debt of punishment due to can by his own works thus redeem him- · past sins. Thirdly, it im- self from punishment, both temporal and parts strength to the soul to eternal, surely our adorable Redeemer, bear more easily the illness “humbled himself, and became obedient of the body, and arms her unto death for us"... in vain !... Oh! against the attempts of her count not thus the blood of the covespiritual enemies. Fourthly, nant ar unholy thing," “For the wages If it be expedient for the of (all) sin is death! but the gift of God good of the soul, it often is eternal life, (but remember, only) restores the health of the through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. body.
vi. 23.) You have laid a “flattering unction to your soul,” have closed your eyes in peace, but are you sure you will
unclose them in everlasting day? (25) Page 139.-Q. What (25) But in what faith does that is the meaning of lighting a Christian die, who by trusting in the blessed candle, and keeping merits of his own works, " denies the it burning during a person's Lord that bought him." In his scheme agony?
of redemption and salvation, he has done A. This light represents all himself;-needed no mediator! I the light of faith in which a have read that heathen nations, during an Christian dies, and the light eclipse, make all kinds of noises for the of glory which he looks for. same purpose, “to chase away the devil ! " Besides, these candles are If Christ be our portion, if be alone blessed by the Church with “guides us through the dark valley of a solemn prayer to God to death,” what need of blessed candles ? chase away the devil from The believer can say, “ The Lord is my
OF EXTREME UNCTION.
OF EXTREME UNCTION. those places where they shall light and my salvation," for “his candle be lighted.
shineth upon my head, and by his light I walk through darkness !"
PRAYERS FOR THE
(26) OF PRAYERS FOR THE (26) of
DEAD, DEAD, AND PURGATORY.
Page 144.-Q. What is Again, tradition !... called, too, aposthe meaning of prayers for tolical! St. Paul says, see 2 Col. viii.; the dead?
also iii. 17, 23, 24; 1 Thess. iv. 13, 14; A. Praying for the dead where in the 14th verse especially, it is is a practice as ancient as them “who sleep in Jesus," that “he Christianity, received by will bring with him." Those who have tradition from the apostles, fought the good fight," shall receive the as appears by the most cer- crown laid
for all who have “redeemed tain monuments of antiquity; the time” given them to prepare for and observed by the syna- eternity. See 2 Tim. iv. 7,8; also Heb. gogue, or church of God, in iii. 13, 14, 15; also iv. 10, 11. See also the Old Testament, as ap
Mark xiii. 32 to end, our Lord tells us to pear from 2d Maccabees, “ watch and pray,” “lest coming suddenxii., written long before ly, he find us sleeping !" this exhortation, Christ's time, and allowed addressed to the living, must show the by the Jews to this day. A necessity of having finished the work practice grounded upon given us to do, " Before the night cometh Christian charity, which when no man can work." Since Scripteaches us to pray for all ture condemns this practice, by thus that are in necessity, and to proving its utter uselessness, lo! monuimplore God's mercy for allments of antiquity are cited as authority! that are capable of mercy; and farther Judaism again called in, which we have reason to though we are expressly forbidden “to be convinced is the case of give heed to Jewish fables, and commany of our deceased bre- mandments of men that turn from the thren, and therefore we truth ;” and that this is one of them is pray for them.
sufficiently proved from Scripture. See Titus i. 14; also Luke xiii. 25–29; so that though allowed by the Jews, “and practised by them to this very day," it is nevertheless contrary to our Lord's declaration that when once the master of the house is risen, and hath shut to the door," it will be in vain to stand knocking, and saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us." Shall we venture to incur such a fearful hazard by leaving our work unfinished ? ... For “ Christian charity," (see Job iv. 17,)“ Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker ? 6. As the tree falleth, so shall it lie." ... How then can man reverse, or alter the decree of God? and