Page images

turned upon great principles, and everything on Christian principles—to provide and take care that whatever modifications in form or detail may from time to time be made, principle shall not be surrendered,—our religion betrayed,— our liberties violated,—nor the essentially Protestant character of our Constitution destroyed.

[from A Correspondent.] THE TEST; OR, WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTUREf By X., A Member Of The Church Of England. ( Concluded from page 478.) Conclusion. Upon comparing the extracts I have made from the "Catholic Christian" (see the columns on the left hand side) with that book, it will be perceived I have not overlooked one article of faith; and, moreover, that I have especially singled out each and every "corruption in the text,"—imputed, as must be seen so unjustly, nay, so falsely, to the "Protestant Translation." I have done so because I know, that is the weapon with which a faith, that can be proved to be really founded on the Holy Scriptures, has been, and is assailed; and those who in youth or maturer age have not subjected the faith they profess to that one unfailing test, before rejecting it, and embracing another, have been wounded thereby—nay, more, wholly overcome; to use the impressive language of Holy Writ—"concerning the faith have made shipwreck!" To a reflecting and unprejudiced mind, the forced interpretation of some texts, the omissions and misconstructions of others, the incessant appeals to the holy fathers, (k) councils, traditions, said to exist, but never produced, nor their hiding-places shewn; must appear not merely astonishing, but revolting! Those who will not see, must of necessity remain blind; those, in short, who, preferring "darkness rather than light," close their eyes, lest the glorious effulgence of the mid-day sun should dispel their illusions; and thus act with as much wisdom as the ostrich, who, burying her head in the sand, fancies herself unseen by her pursuers! But, my dear brethren, children of one common Parent, remember the same doom awaits us all, the spoiler death may come upon us while indulging this fatal security, and man being a, free agent, must account for the acts of his own free-will. Remember what appears glittering, dazzling, is not always worthy of pursuit. Shew and sentiment are not the handmaids of Christ's religion, any more than wealth and splendour are the criterions of a Christian. Christ Himself "took upon Him the form of a servant," and His religion is equally unpretending and unostentatious. Of what avail will it be at the last day to say, "I am of this or that communion or

Note K. "Appeals to the Holy Fathers, &c."—" ... to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, that is,' My Teacher, my Teacher,'—these Rabbies were looked up to as infallible oracles in religious matters, and usurped not only the place of the Law, but—of God Himself."—Dr. A. Clarke.

Church." I tell you all, that Christ has said, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven." The Pharisees depended upon their works, their multiplicity of ceremonies and outward observances, but "a veil was on their hearts." God hates and abhors this fair-seeming semblance, what then shall be said of those who invent and ordain ceremonies not commanded in God's Word, and who farther presume to condemn or deny what is therein set forth ?... In these days of sophistry and delusion, when the "devil (indeed appears to) be come down among us, having great wrath because he knoweth that his time is short,"—what can prevent our also yielding to his seductions and deserting the banners of our Lord? ..." I have given them thy Word," says Christ. Is tltat Word insufficient "to guide men into all truth" without the aid of man?—frail, erring man! Are you at all aware, ye who have made this discovery, of the insult you are offering to "the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity, .... when you can declare," you sought for the truth, but could not find it in the Bible, though it was to be found in the writings and traditions of men!"—" Sanctify them through (what ?) Thy truth:— Thy Word is truth." Whose office is it to sanctify? That same blessed Spirit's, who offers Himself as our Teacher; who will "take of the things of Christ and shew them unto us ;"—but will He unasked? . . . Surely what is worth having must be worth asking for! God offers, but He will not force upon us the knowledge of Himself and His ways: we are free to close with, or to reject, these offers of grace and mercy; . . . but have we sufficiently considered the immensity of the stake? To win or lose all I ... . Oh! ye who are wandering out of "the way,"— "groping like the blind for the wall,"—lean upon Christ alone—" He is eyes to the blind, feet to the lame "—" a tower of strength "—and though the enemy oT our souls "should come in as a flood," we shall not be overwhelmed, if found in Him and He in us. Fetch then your weapons from the armoury of God—others will be broken in the conflict—remember "it is written" that "some of understanding shall fall—to try them," &c. Oh ! that this fearful warning might ring in all our ears and excite us to look well into our own hearts, lest there be "any root of bitterness " springing up, that timely attention might eradicate; any germ of se/f-righteousness, se^-confidence, that if suffered to remain will assuredly "choke the Word," even when sown in our hearts. And now a word to those who have undertaken the solemn and responsible office of pastors. Ye who "neglect to warn," . . . speak "smooth things,"—lest ye should offend ears polite, consider what it will be at the great and terrible day of the Lord, not only to have your own sins to answer for, but "the blood of others" also required at your hands !"—though surely, even neglecting to guide wanderers, must be less culpable than leading them out of the way. What if they should hereafter say,—"I was in the way and ye taught me to go astray ?"..." Oh ! my people, they that lead thee cause thee to err ;"—but . . . . "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture, saith the Lord." . . . Yes, your bark may be gallantly trimmed, freighted with rich merchandise—the sails swelled with the breath of popular applause— but what?—if in striking against "the rock," it should.founder, when nearing the shore whence—none return ? . . . . Finally, suffer me to remind all—for I am addressing every denomination of men, but especially Christians; that to have "the pearl of great price" "within reach," and yet refuse to stretch out our hand for it; to possess, yet cast it aside as a thing of no value, will greatly aggravate our sin. For some to imagine they are safe, because they have free access to their Bibles, while they neglect to avail themselves of this inestimable, this glorious privilege, is the most consummate folly— nay, more, it is madness f That we might have availed ourselves of the proffered blessing will but add poignancy to the sting of "the worm that never dieth.". . . The Mighty God—vouchsafes to offer Himself a3 . . . "an Instructor of the ignorant, a Teacher of babes," —and who can teach, as the Holy Spirit teaches ? . . . Shall we then say to our Heavenly Father, . . . . "Depart, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways ?". . . Shall we not rather press eagerly forward to pluck "the leaves of the Tree that is given for the healing of the nations" the Bible? My Brethren, if you have any regard, any love for your immortal souls,—I entreat you—to pluck— and live! X.

NotesNote A. "By the Universal Church."—Does not the prefix Roman!—and the use of the Romish tongue, render null, the Universality claimed by Rome?—X.—{See Protestant Magazine, vol. viii., page 116.)

Note B. "Council of Trent."—" It was gravely said, by some of the prelates in the Council of Trent, where the doctrine of the schoolmen bore great sway, that the schoolmen were like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics and epicycles, and such-like engines of orbs, to save the phenomena, though they knew there were no such things; and in like manner that the schoolmen had framed a number of subtle and intricate axioms and theorems to save the practice of the Church." (!)—Bacon.—(P. Mag., p. 201.)

Note C. "Indulgences, &c."—" When the Romans heard that the Emperor of Germany had written to the Pope to resign his dignity, great were the murmurings throughout the city, for the Romans were fearful they should lose the Holy See, which was of infinite consequence to them, and PEOFIT from the general pardons that were personally sought for, and which obliged such multitudes to visit Rome."—Froissarfs Chronicles.—(P. Mag., p. 201.)

Note D. "No other ever does or ever did."—" "We will now leave the affairs of the Earl of Derby to speak of the affairs of the Church of the two Popes, Benedict of Avignon, and Boniface of Rome."—Froissart.—(P. Mag*, p. 321.)

"Clement the Seventh was elected Pope during the lifetime of Urban the Sixth, which causes a schism in the Church."—Froissarfs Chronicles.

Note E. "Howbeit this kind."—An opinion of Dr. A. Clarke's appears solid, agreeable to reason, and not contrary to Scripture, viz., "That there are certain evil propensities in some persons, which pampering the flesh, tends to nourish and strengthen, and that self-denial and fasting, accompanied by prayer to God, are the most likely means not only to mortify such propensities, but also to destroy them."—(P. Mag., p. 346.)

Note F. "Festivals, &c."—" The causes of superstition are pleasing, and sensual rites and ceremonies, excess of outward Pharisaical holiness, overgreat reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the Church; the stratagems of prelates for their own ambition and lucre, the favouring too much of good intentions, which openeth the gate to conceits and novelties, the taking an aim at Divine matters by human, which cannot but breed mixture of imaginations."—" Superstition without a veil is a deformed thing; for as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed; as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt into a number of petty observances."—Bacons Essay on Superstition.—(P. Mag., p. 347.)

Note G. "Mother of the King of Heaven."—" There was an ancient temple in Nicomedia dedicated to the Mother of the gods—Cybele, Rhea, or Ops."—Pliny's Letters.—(P. Mag., p. 350.)

Note H. "Pictures and Images, &c."—" Judges ought to remember that their office is 'jus dicere,' not 'jus dare,'—to interpret law and not to make or give law, else it will be like the authority claimed by the Church of Rome, which, under pretext of exposition, doth not stick to add and alter, and to pronounce that which they do not find, and by shew of antiquity to introduce novelty."—Bacon's Essay on Judicature.—(P. Mag., p. 431.)

Note I. "Tradition."—The Bereans, who, in the New Testament are commended, for " searching the Scriptures daily,"—compared what they were taught by St. Paul with the Old Testament, and thus proved that the Apostle's doctrines were in accordance with the Scriptures. Apollos also was " mighty in the Scriptures," viz., the Old Testament. Timothy is also mentioned with commendation, because "that from a child he had known the Scriptures,"— the Old Testament,—and yet a Roman Catholic is taught to consider as unworthy his belief .... some parts of that very Scripture—the Old Testament—though so frequently cited by our blessed Lord to verify to the unbelieving Jews that He was the Messiah, seen by Abraham,—predicted by the prophets: while "Tradition," however repugnant to Scripture, is reverenced as the voice of God! .... firmly credited and pertinaciously adhered to; and thus, even those permitted the use of a Romish Bible, do not receive it without a due admixture of the poison of Infidelity, ... to counteract the beneficial effect that mutt accrue from comparing together, and prayerfully studying both parts of the inspired volume.—X.—(P. Mag, p. 205.)

Note J. "So differently to the manner, &c."—" They who receive not the cup are not partakers of the body and blood of Christ. If either could without mortal prejudice be omitted, it might be the bread; but the cup as pointing out the blood poured out, i.e., the life, by which alone the great sacrificial act is performed and remission of sins procured, is absolutely indispensable. On this ground it is demonstrable, that there is not a priest under heaven who denies the cup to the people that can be said to celebrate the Lord's Supper at all; nor is there one of their votaries that ever received the Holy Sacrament." (!)— Dr. A. Clarke.—{P. Mag., p. 447.)


To the Editor of the "AchiU Herald'.' Sir,—From a notice to correspondents in the October number of your valuable journal, I am led to imagine that the following communication may not be unacceptable to you, or to your readers:—

The oaths and declarations required to be taken by Peers and Members of Parliament, on the subject of Popery, have so frequently been altered, that it is scarcely a matter of wonder the public in general are not aware of the exact form or nature and substance of them j yet such assuredly should not be the case. Oaths were not meant for playthings or mere matters of form. They are the securities given by Peers and Members of Parliament respectively to their Sovereign, and the constituencies, who have reposed the highest trust in them, that they will honestly and sincerely, in the fear of God, discharge their duties. Electors should know what oaths and engagements their representatives enter into; and representatives should not take the oaths unless they intend to be bound by them.

Let me for brevity and succinctness state: 1st. What oaths and declarations existed prior to 1829—their nature and object.

2ndly. What have been substituted for them, and now exist.

These oaths and declarations, besides an oath as to qualification in point of property, which is still required to be taken, were as follows. There were three oaths :—

1. The oath of Allegiance or Fidelity.

2. The oath of Supremacy.

3. The oath of Abjuration.

4. And, fourthly, a declaration against Transubstantiation— the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacrifice of the Mass.

These four had to be taken or made respectively by each Member of Parliament before the Act of 1829, 10 Geo. IV., c. 7. The whole of these are now removed as far as Roman Catholics are concerned, and a new oath is substituted for them. Protestant Members of Parliament still take the same Oaths as before, but do not make the declaration, imposed by 30 C.IL, st.2, against Transubstantiation, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacrifice of the Mass.

As regards the antiquity, nature, and origin of these oaths, I may observe:—An oath of Allegiance has been taken from the earliest times. Laymen, at least, had to take such an oath, though the clergy, except in certain cases, did not take it till the time of the Reformation. That now taken is prescribed by 1 Geo. I., st. 2, c. 13, and is as follows :-—

Oath Of Allegiance. '"I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria—So help me God."

The oath of Supremacy was intended to break off the Romish power in this land. It was introduced at the time of the Reformation, for the purpose of abolishing Papal authority. The form now used is given by 1 Geo. I., st. 2, c. 13, and is as follows :—

Oath Of Supremacy.

"I., A. B., do swear that I do from my heart abhor, detest and

« PreviousContinue »