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it a fearfully unprincipled concession to grant, that the petty concerns of life may

be regulated by religious motives ; but as for the energies of empires, which of all concerns are the most awfully momentous, that they were doomed to be dissevered, by an impassable line of dedivisions in the Church of God ; severing themselves from the communion of other Christians, both in opinion and conversation ; men, secretly given up to their own sensuality, having, howsoever they pretend, no share at all in the Spirit of God.” (Bp. Hall.). Such are the scriptural characteristics of those teachers, who are styled wells without water,(2 Peter ii. 17.) because, that ostentation, hypocrisy, levity, and perniciousness, are their distinguishing badges, and whilst

they promise liberty,i. e. licentiousness, which is the greatest slavery, they are themselves the servants of corruption ; (Id. v. 19.). Now this is the vivid colouring, in which the pencil of prophecy, depicts the conduct of apostatizing heretics and schismatics, whose vain pretensions to the establishing of their civil and religious liberty, are conspicuously set off, by their profaneness, presumption, arrogance, impatience of subordination, restless appetite for the novelties of innovating changes, the bondage of lust, and “great swelling wordsof vanity. As the stream always partakes of the nature of the source, we may be quite certain, that every factious and insolent schismatic of modern ages, partakes of the nature of their original. The Arch. Enemy of all mankind—Satan, practices the same guile now ever he did ; and he was the first infernal agent of division, for he was the first Schismatic that ever was in our lower world. But if within the sacred portals of heaven's unspotted mansions, this ArchFiend, by a vain affectation of a parity with God, caused divisions and tumults in heaven, we may fairly ask, can the degenerate inhabitants of a fallen world imagine, that they should escape without being assaulted, by the schemes and workings of his Agents and Instruments here below ? No, Revelation and the experience of every passing year, forbid us to harbour any such opinions. Just as it was foretold, there has been no age since the Holy Apostles, wholly free from the novelties of schismatics, and the professions of impostors. In every district of the Church, there have been numerous outrages inflicted on her three essentials Doctrines, Institutions, and Government. The fancies of hot-headed sectaries have “sported themselves with their own deceivings,” and “ beguiled the unstable souls of others.(2 Peter, ii. 13, 14). They must, forsooth, honour with the unheard of additions and multifarious alterations of their own boasted, individual infallibility, —the faith which was once delivered unto the Saints !(Jude, v. 3.). Thus in place of taking heed to this apostolic injunction, and so striving together for the faith of the Gospel(Phil. i. 27), men are continually and daily to be found, who set up a faith of their own making—a faith which no Christian Church ever received, and a faith which having its foundations in a contempt, if not a total ignorance of


marcation--by an unapproachable barrier of independent freedom !

Facts-hourly facts warn us of increasing concessions and departures from the unsullied integrity of truth. In the legislative assemblies of our land, there are those, whose duty-whose oaths—whose

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antiquity, and of the universal voice of the Holy Catholic Church, ought to be regarded as the fungous excrescence of the elements of mingled absurdity, presumption, and self-conceit. It is the faith, or doctrines of faith, which the faithful “once for alland altoge

(ära) received from the Apostles, that we are to regard as safe and unerring. Let the inconstancy, and pride of our modern Theologians, annuse themselves and others, with a daily entertainment, and perpetual feast of something new, something delightful to their roving imaginations. But this faith which was all at once and altogether delivered to the ancient fathers, let us on our part alone regard, as our rock for time, and as our hope for eternity. In doing so, we follow the plainest dictates of common sense, the undeniable sobriety of rational criticism, and above all the express command of Scripture. In the first instance, all the essentials of the Christian doctrine were delivered to the ancient, Holy Catholic Church; and that this sacred deposit, might be transmitted down to posterity, this Church Universal, was promised to be the pillar and ground of the truth.(1 Tim. iii. 15.). The essentials of the Christian faith, being thus at once, and completely promulgated and handed to the Church, became throughout the world, conspicuously known, and well established. Their pretensions and evidence, were not hidden, as Democritus the philosopher imagined to be the lot of truth, saying that “It was deep buried in a well” -Veritas in puteo demersa), nor as was feigned of the Sibylline Books, that they were preserved in a subterraneous pit. The doctrines of our Holy Faith, presented themselves to mankind, on the ground of the powerful testimony, and the public profession, which the Church made successively, and without intermission, from age to age. The promulgation of these doctrines, and the establishment of their heavenly appointed preserver—the Church, were coincident and cotemporary with that very period, when in proof of their truth, numberless and astonishing miracles were publicly and notoriously performed-miracles, that with other arguments also, were capable of the minutest scrutiny of the beholders, for they offered themselves to the senses of multitudes. The Church therefore in an unbroken link, with a numerous, and universally spread bierarchy, and superior governors, from the very times and persons of the Apostles, and our Blessed Saviour himself, published, interpreted, and professed these sacred truths, as contained in, and founded upon, the inspired charter of our Faith. It is then a very easy matter, to observe the obvious method which, under such circumstances, we ought to pursue in the investigation of the pure, orthodox doctrines of evangelical faith. The only rational plan is, to ascertain the interpretation of the primitive, universal Church, based on the authority of

professions—whose character—whose honour should irresistibly prompt them to remember; that as the Ministers of the everlasting, unchanging Gospel, they are called on by all that is dear in time, and valuable in eternity, to uphold the lustre of their high and holy

divine Revelation. Here the clamour of faction, and the virulence of schism, are alike exploded. In short, this maxim is founded in the very nature of things. The faith was once delivered perfect and established to the Church Universal. And are not, therefore, the accredited and public records of this ancient Church, to be the channels, that convey to us, the sense and opinions of the Apostolic tradition, and Antiquity. To offer any other plan, would be opening the gates to a host of errors—to a maze of difficulties—and to a series of endless perplexities. Common sagacity may speedily understand, that the unanimous, continued consent of a whole, is surely more to be relied upon, than the discordant, detached interpretation of a part. A whole is assuredly greater than a part. In the rejection of this rational ground, for investigating the true doctrines of apostolic teaching and institutions, what, we ask, are Presbyterians, Independents, Quakers, and Socinians accustomed to do, with respect to the establishment of their peculiar tenets ? They professedly reject the authority and practice of the early Church, and thus abandoning themselves to their own crude fancies and conjectures-reject, also, some a whole, some a part of the divine institutions ; wbilst, by others, not a single shred of our primitive Holy Faith, is suffered to escape the clippings of their expurgation and prohibition. These, in their ignorance and vanity, fly from the history of the ancient Churches, for we may be quite certain, with the learned Dr. William Wall, that, as he remarks in his “History of Infant Baptism,” no man loves to hear or admit that all the ancient Churches practised, otherwise than he does in a controverted matter. They, therefore, fly from ancient and universal usage, because it too apparently flies from them. The illustrious Bishop Jewel cries out, with feeling and with truth, and we may well join in his exclamation—“O, immortal God, then Christ himself, and his Apostles, and so'many Fathers were altogether in an Error ! Then Origen, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, Gelasius, Theodoret, were betrayers of the Catholic Faith! And their consent was a conspiracy of Heretics !” In accordance with what we have just stated, we think it proper to lay before our readers, a maxim of one of the most learned Fathers of the fifth century-Vincentius Lirinensis. The judicious Mosheim has truly said of this Father, in his review of the Latin writers of that century, that “he gained a lasting reputation by his short but excellent treatise against the Sects,”—the very work we are now going to quote. Vincentius says, that those Doctrines must necessarily be received for true, as we find to have been believed—“ At all times, in all places, and by all the faithful.(Semper, ubique, et ab omnibus“Commonitorium ad

calling, yet by the sad suggestion of a naturally depraved and misgiving nature, urge as a motive, the short-sighted calculation of human expediency, in apparent if not avowed diffidence, of the never-failing promises and certain protection of Omnipotence. Who is the Author

versus Hæreticos," cap. i. ii. iii. passim.). Thus when the above golden rule—Antiquity, Universality, and Unanimous Consent of ancient churches, is applied to the plain matters of fact, it necessarily follows, that the nature of evidence which is found to agree with such tests, must be as infallible, and as convincing, as any event possibly can be, however rigorously demonstrated. Upon the true application, therefore, of the above three tests to any doctrines, regarded as matters of fact, the doctrines themselves must be infallibly true, for they thus rest on evidence which in its nature is indubitably infallible. So it is a vain pretension in any Particular, or even in the very Universal Church, to claim an infallible authority in regard to their own decisions ; for countless millions of fallibles can never pronounce themselves personally, or collectively infallible. Their authority, it is true, is very desirable to have, as mere attestation to the truth of bare fact, i.e. what doctrine was at such times, and at such places received as Catholic and Ancient : but it is not Churches, it is not Councils, it is not Fathers that are infallible ; it is only the nature of that evidence, on which depends the validity of doctrines as facts, that is infallible; which, also, when it is so ascertained, and so grounded, is of itself demonstrative and certain, whether it be pronounced by one or many Churches, by one or many individuals, by laity or clergy, by ignorance or knowledge (if indeed it were so possible), by lisping babes, or men of surpassing wisdom. Our judgment tells us, we may add, that the authority of the majority, in respect to matters of fact, is certainly more to be depended upon, than that of the minority, and of the learned more than the unlearned; but we are to remember, that the unerring truth of God, depends not on the votes of fallible men, nor on the compliances of fallible judges, but on the infallible nature of the evidence and testimony, with which it offers itself to all men—to Christians or Turks—to Jews or Mahometans, if they can'but understand, and are capable of appreciating its force. This maxim, therefore, of Vincentius, applied to the doctrines as at all times taught, and held every where by the faithful, in all the particular churches of the One Universal Church, is in its own nature, the infallible criterion of judging the truth, falsehood, or novelty of any propounded faith. With one of our soundest and greatest divines-Rev. Charles Leslie—we affirm that—" This is the surest rule, whereby to judge of doctrines, and to know what the Catholic Church has believed and taught as received from the Apostles. And they who refuse to be tried by this rule, who say, we care not what was believed by the Catholic Church, either in former ages or now; we think our own interpretations or criticisms upon such a text, of as great authority as theirs ; these are justly to be suspected, nay, it is evident

of Religion ? And will He leave or forsake those, who in the midst of contumely-rebuke -insult, aye, even the stake itself, are valiant for the truth—who plead His cause-who urge the paramount and supreme importance of protecting that Gospel, whose seal is blood

that they are broaching some novel doctrines, which cannot stand this test. Besides the monstrous arrogance in such a pretence, these overthrow the foundation of that sure and infallible evidence upon which Christianity itself does stand; and reduce all to a blind enthusiasm." (Leslie's “Letter to a Deist," sec. xii.). With good truth, does Leslie make this last observation, for they who deny the divine right and superior powers of the Episcopate—who either mutilate or take

away the Sacraments—who by usurpation take the government of the Church into their own hands, contrary to the commands of God, these do in effect throw contempt, and in short impiously outrage a species of evidence, which is as certainly confirmatory of what they reject, as it is of the Canon of Scripture, of the divine institutions of our Sabbath, or of Marriage, indeed, of the whole truth and doctrines of Christianity. The evidence, indeed, for what is rejected, and what is retained by them, is virtually the same. Excellently, indeed, has Leslie in another of his works dwelt upon this—"The Priesthood (says he) is of divine original; Priests were instituted by the same Author of Religion; and their Order is a perpetual and living monument of the matters of fact of their Religion, instituted from the time that such matters of fact were said to be done, as the Levites from Moses, the Apostles and succeeding Clergy from Christ to this day. Now the Christian Priesthood as instituted by Christ himself, and continued by succession to this day, being as impregnable and flagrant a testimony to the truth of the matters of fact of Christ, as the Sacraments, or any public institutions : besides that, if the Priesthood were taken away, the Sacraments and other public institutions, which are administered by their hands, must fall with them : therefore the Devil has been most busy, and bent his greatest force in all ages against the Priesthood, knowing that if it goes down, all goes with it. With the Deists, in this cause, are joined the Quakers and other of our Dissenters, who throw off the succession of our Priesthood, (by which only it can be demonstrated) together with the Sacraments and public festivals. And if the Devil could have prevailed to have these dropt, the Christian Religion would lose the most undeniable and demonstrative proof for the truth of the matter of fact of our Saviour, upon which the truth of his doctrine does depend. Therefore we may see the artifice and malice of the Devil, in all these attempts. And let those wretched instruments whom he ignorantly (and some by a misguided zeal) has deluded thus to undermine Christianity, now at last look back and see the snare in which they have been taken ; for if they had prevailed, or ever should, Christianity dies with them. At least it will be rendered precarious, as a thing of which no certain proof can be given. Therefore

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