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confinement in the convent cells be ineffectii".. are most dark and gloomy; seldom have in most inveterate."
“ Nay,” said Sir Hubert, with an lue .: parent's heart, “talk not of the dungeo.:child, to what have I exposed thee . me a solemın promise that gentlenisu to my miserable daughter.”
“ And what is mercy, and what from the burning, to save the soul thus you
reasoned in the case of Pui to the object of your own affectior :
Sir Hubert groaned, and turned . of his soul, when fixing a look of y shrunk from his stedfast gaze, he that you
should immure my child mo s, but your life shall answer me again at the expiration of th: Depart for ever from my roof, lest hands in the blood of him who has caused child.”
The Father kindly laid his hand on brother and companion through this wear my heart. Fear not; your daughter's and her noble cousin pass many an hour for her conversion. Calm those excited of your breast, and prepare your mind
et us together address the throne of who has wandered so far from our fold"
(To be content
that that y
sehat foundation then rests the right of Roman Catholics to appeal
from Holy Writ.
-1, they must necessarily be perfect. It must be impious not -- mem ample for their object: and it is nothing less than proasumption to attempt to superadd to them oral tradition, which
regarded as mere gossip :-until it can be authenticated as L of God. Until that time shall arrive, I shall regard the
the Council of Trent, which declared that “ unwritten tradio be received with equal piety and reverence, as the written jod," -as blasphemous. ritings contained in the New Testament afford evident and le proofs that they were intended by their authors to be a record of the apostolical doctrine. This doctrine is founded actice and precepts of Christ, as recorded in the Gospels : w Gospels are the oracles of God. Any departure from this
however sanctioned by the authority of the Fathers,—th Popes,—or the decrees of Councils, are consequently to be 1 as human alterations, as unworthy of obedience :—because ions of the Church of Christ. * ruly stated in one of the Articles of the Church of England,
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation : so hatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to wired of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith." - following are my reasons :-I object to some of the Sacraments ministered by the Roman Catholic Church.
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST nnot respect, because, as administered in the Romish Church, I urd it as a human institution. I hold it to be totally unauthorized Scripture. No proof exists in any Greek manuscript of the New Tes. il·lit that either Christ or his apostles practised the ceremonial called celebration of the mass. This absence of authority for such cere
rial has ever been seriously felt by the Romish Church as a weak noint, and various efforts have been made to sustain it when attacked. In a work recently published by a great authority among Papists, 1 find the following defence of this favourite practice of his Church :-“(ur Divine Redeemer was the first to offer up that holy sacrifire call ass." He assures us that " our Lord took both
I made them his body and his blood;" and he usited the victim upon the sacred table." If the merely to maintain that Christ instituted the
have stated a fact which no Christian denies. fficient for his object : his object was to justify ceremony of the mass as practised by Papists, by believe that it was practised precisely in the same himself. Now I ask, What is there beyond his naked this ? What evangelist states that Christ did more cad and distribute it with the wine to all his disciples ? is Saint Luke (the fullest authority on the subject)
find that oaths the most sacred, and engagements the most solemn have been entered into as wantonly as they have been lightly broken, -Protestants must be excused for still retaining their too wellgrounded opinion, that the Church of Rome stops not at treachery, which will really tend to promote her cause; and leads her votaries by other paths, to act on inferior principles than those which Pagan nations,—the laws of nature,- the sanction of sound morality,—the authority of Scripture and pure religion, recommend and enjoin.
REASONS FOR NOT BECOMING A CONVERT TO THE CHURCH
OF ROME. As I have been often asked by Romanists, since my residence in France, why I do not renounce the heresy of Protestantism, and return to the true faith; and as I have heard, with painful regret, of the efforts which are zealously making in my own country, to unProtestantize the Church of England, I am anxious to declare my reasons for not becoming a convert to the Church of Rome. The only postulate I ask as the basis of such reasons, is, that as a Christian I have a right to reject any doctrine, or article of faith, that is not founded on the words of Christ himself, or of his apostles, as recorded in the New Testament. On such momentous points no authority uninspired and merely human can be acknowledged. I should regard any dictum of the Sanhedrim—as a mere legend ; though countenanced by the Mishnah and the Talmuds, if it were unsupported by the authority of Moses. Even the followers of Brahma can produce the authority of the Veda for every one of their religious tenets : and no true Mussulman pays attention to any dogma drawn from the bundle of traditions called the Sonnah, unless sanctioned by a passage in the Koran. I have a right to hold the Scriptures to be the sole rule of faith, because they alone were referred to by the apostles, and because no other rule was even hinted at by them. And I am bound to consider them a sufficient rule, because they were declared to be so by the apostles. St. John tells us that they were expressly written " that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believe ing, we might have life in his name.” (Chap. xx. 5.) St. Paul has affirined that “they are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2d Epistle to Tim. iii. 14.) It follows, as a necessary consequence, that Scriptures which are “able" to produce a saving faith, and which can make us “ wise to salvation," are sufficient to work all the good for which revelation was vouchsafed, and stand in no need of additional testimony. But, even if the authority of apostles could be deemed by any class of Christians insufficient, I can bring forward the authority of Christ himself, who always referred to the “ written ” Word of God. It was by such standard of appeal that he silenced and subdued Satan when he made three efforts to tempt him: and by such standard he rebuked and silenced the Sadducees. Can any instance be shown in which Jesus appealed to tradition as authority ? None. He condemned traditions when they were once maintained by some Jews, as authority. Did he ever set up the Jewish Church as a standard of infallible judgment ? Never.
On what foundation then rests the right of Roman Catholics to appeal to tradition, and the Church, as infallible authority? Human prejudice: None from Holy Writ.
As these written Scriptures are the immediate revelations of God's will to man, they must necessarily be perfect. It must be impious not to deem them ample for their object: and it is nothing less than profane presumption to attempt to superadd to them oral tradition, which should be regarded as mere gossip until it can be authenticated as the Word of God.-Until that time shall arrive, I shall regard the decision of the Council of Trent, which declared that “ unwritten traditions are to be received with equal piety and reverence, as the written Word of God,” —as blasphemous.
The writings contained in the New Testament afford evident and irrefragable proofs that they were intended by their authors to be a complete record of the apostolical doctrine. This doctrine is founded on the practice and precepts of Christ, as recorded in the Gospels : and these Gospels are the oracles of GOD. Any departure from this doctrine, however sanctioned by the authority of the Fathers, the bulls of Popes,-or the decrees of Councils, are consequently to be regarded as human alterations, as unworthy of obedience :--because corruptions of the Church of Christ.
It is truly stated in one of the Articles of the Church of England, that “ Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation : so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith.”
The following are my reasons :-I object to some of the Sacraments as administered by the Roman Catholic Church.
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST I cannot respect, because, as administered in the Romish Church, I regard it as a human institution. I hold it to be totally unauthorized by Scripture. No proof exists in any Greek manuscript of the New Tes. tament that either Christ or his apostles practised the ceremonial called the celebration of the mass. This absence of authority for such cere. monial has ever been seriously felt by the Romish Church as a weak point, and various efforts have been made to sustain it when attacked. In a work recently published by a great authority among Papists, I find the following defence of this favourite practice of his Church :-“ Our Divine Redeemer was the first to offer up that holy sacrifice called the mass." He assures us that “our Lord took both bread and wine, and made them his body and his blood ;” and he adds, that “he deposited the victim upon the sacred table.” If the pious doctor meant. merely to maintain that Christ instituted the sacrament, he would have stated a fact which no Christian denies. But that was not sufficient for his object : his object was to justify and encourage the ceremony of the mass as practised by Papists, by inducing them to believe that it was practised precisely in the same, manner by Christ himself. Now I ask, What is there beyond his naked assertion to prove this ? What evangelist states that Christ did more than break the bread and distribute it with the wine to all his disciples ? desiring them, as Saint Luke (the fullest authority on the subject)
informs us, “to do it in remembrance of him.” In what passage of the New Testament do we see the elements called a victim? or that this victim was placed upon a table? What mention is made that this victim was bowed to and knelt to, and frequently incensed, and, after being put into a tabernacle, taken out again, then wrapped up in a napkin, placed in a stand, and after being adored, taken by the priest? Which of the evangelists, I repeat, records these ceremonies as having been established by Christ, or practised by his disciples and apostles ? A Mahometan would stare at them as novelties : but a Jew would perceive, to his surprise, that they were copies of the Levitical law, and he would smile at the inconsistency of such a Christian Church. A still more important question remains to be asked,—What authority is there in the Gospel for the priest taking the eucharist alone, when Christ ordained it to be taken by all ? None.
In spite, however, of all scriptural authority, the priest alone takes the bread and wine which contain the body and blood of Christ, both of which, he says, are “indispensable to salvation," whilst every one of the laity is limited to the bread only, which, being only a portion of what is necessary to salvation, must be inadequate to the object. Why this selfish preference ? At the institution of the sacrament, both were taken by all present. It was so administered in the early ages by the Confession of the Church of Rome herself (as stated by the Council of Constance), and continued, according to the avowal of Delahogue (Class Book of Maynooth College), till the twelfth century. Why was so momentous an alteration made ? Are priests alone destined to be saved? The principle they inculcate is, “ Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life." The practice they pursue leaves every one of the laity to be lost.
In the absence of all inspired authority for the defence of his Church, we have only the assertion of Dr. Rock,-Valeat quantùm valere potest : but it will have no weight out of his own Church. When we find him, however, solemnly stating that Christ offered up his own body and blood to himself, (for such is the eucharist,) and thus paid a homage to himself, though alive, which he intended to be cfered in remembrance of him when he should be dead, he draws too deeply upon credulity to have his draft paid by any one but of his own Church. The transubstantiation that takes place at the ceremonial of the eucharist is proclaimed by the Romish Church as a miracle. It could not, however, have been a miracle at its institution, as Christ's body was visibly and palpably present with his disciples : neither is it so called by himself, nor represented as such by either of the evangelists. It is, on the contrary, recorded as a simple and natural ceremony, ordered to be observed as a remembrance, and as figurative of his being alive in their thoughts, after he should be removed from them by death. Although in a different sense, I may use Dryden's words to ask
- - Why all this frantic pain,
And make a riddle what he had made so plain ?”