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in religion, proves nothing as to the heresy of either party; and the English, and other churches which differ in some points from her, may yet all be connected by the unity of the catholic faith. To prove that either of them is separated from this unity, we must enter into a most extensive examination of doctrines in controversy, with a view not merely to ascertain what the truth of Revelation really is, but to determine whether it is believed or denied by particular churches, or whether the difference is apparent rather than real, whether it is a difference between individuals or churches; finally, whether it is obstinately maintained. The inconvenience of such a process, and its unsuitableness to the great inass of mankind, for the discovery of the true church, is sufficiently obvious. In fine, our adversaries, however reluctantly, are obliged to bear witness to the general orthodoxy of our faith. The very points on which we are assailed by some Romanists, are relinquished by others. The points of difference are acknowledged to be but few, by some of their most noted and learned writers; and the Church of England is triumphantly cleared from heresy, on every point, by their confessions. Are we charged by Bossuet with denying the authority of the church, and rendering it subservient to the civil power? Milner replies to bim, that the Church of England holds, on these points, the principles of the catholic Church. Are we accused of denying the real presence? Milner and Hornyhold acknowledge our perfect belief of that doctrine. I will not here dwell at length on these things; it is sufficient to add, that the Articles of the Church of England have been approved, in almost all points, by Davenport and Dupin; and that various Romanists of note have held the difference between us to be so small, as to render a re-union of the churches by no means impossible. All this proves, that although Romanists remain separate from our churches, and accuse them of heresy, there is no certainty of the justice of such an imputation, even among themselves. But there is one other way in which the adversaries of our churches all bear testimony, involuntarily, to their orthodoxy on all points. The cause of the church is, in every point of controversy, defended by a number of those who have separated from her. The authority which she claims for the church of Christ, and for which she is vehemently assailed by dissenters, is supported by Romanists. Her doctrines are defended against Romapists by dissenters, against dissenters by Romanists, and by one sect of dissenters against another. It has long been the privilege of the catholic church to derive confirmation to her faith froin the dissensions of those around her. So it was in the days of St. Hilary of Poictiers, and so it still con. tinues to be. "All the heretics advance against the church, but while they all prevail against each other, they prevail not at all; for their victory is but the triumph of the church over all, since each beresy is contending against some other, on account of its condemnation of the church's doctrine (for they believe nothing in common); and meanwbile, by their contradictions, they confirm our faith.”—Vol. i. pp. 230—233.
The reply of Mr. Palmer to that objection of the Romanists which relates to the supremacy of the sovereign, and the interference of the civil power which obtains in the Church of England, is very conclusive and triumphant.
But since this is a favourite topic with Romanists, let us view the matter a little on another side. I ask, then, whether the parliaments of France did not for a long series of years exercise jurisdiction over the administration of the sacraments, compelling the Roman bishops and priests of France to give the sacraments to Jansenists, whom they believed to be heretics? Did they not repeatedly judge in questions of faith, viz. as to the obligation of the Bull « Unig nitus?" Did they not take cognizance of questions of faith and discipline to such a degree, that they were said to resemble " a school of theology?" I ask whether the clergy of France in their convocations were not wholly under the control of the king, who could prescribe their subjects of debate, prevent them from
debating, prorogue, dissolve, &c. ? Did they not repeatedly beg in vain from the kings of France for a long series of years to be permitted to hold provincial synods for the suppression of immorality, heresy, and infidelity? Is not this liberty still withheld from them, and from every other Roman church in Europe? I further ask, whether the emperor, Joseph II., did not enslave the churches of Germany and Italy; whether he did not suppress monasteries, suppress and unite bishoprics ? Whether he did not suspend the bishops from conferring orders, exact from them oaths of .obedience to all his measures, present and future, issue royal decrees for removing images from churches, and for the regulation of divine worship down to the minutest points, even to the number of candles at mass? Whether he did not take on himself to silence preachers who had declaimed against persons of unsound faith? Whether he did not issue decrees against the Bull “ Unigenitus," thus interfering with the doctrinal decisions of the whole Roman church? I ask, whether this conduct was not accurately imitated by the grand duke of Tuscany, the king of Naples, the duke of Parma ; whether it did not become prevalent in almost every part of the Roman church, and whether its effects do not continue to the present day? I again ask, whether “Organic Articles" were not enacted by Buonaparte in the new Gallican church, which placed every thing in ecclesiastical affairs under the government? Whether the bishops were not forbidden by law to confer orders without the permission of government? Whether the obvious intention was not to place the priests even in their spiritual functions, under the civil powers? And in fine, whether those obnoxious “ Organic Articles" are not, up to the present day, in almost every point, in force? I again inquire whether the order of Jesuits was not suppressed by the mere civil powers, in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, &c.; whether convents, monasceries, confraternities, friars, and monks, and nuns, of every sort and kind, were not extinguished, suppressed, annihilated by royal commissions, and by the temporal power in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Sicily, Spain, Portugal, &c. &c.; and in opposition to the petitions and protests of the pope and the bishops? I again ask whether the king of Sicily does not, in his “ Tribunal of the monarchy,” up to the present day, try ecclesiastical causes, censure, excommunicate, absolve? Whether this tribunal did not in 1712 give absolution from episcopal excommunications; and whether it was not restored by Benedict XIII. in 1728? Is there a Roman church on the continent of Europe, where the clergy can communicate freely with him whom they regard as their spiritual head; or where all papal bulls, rescripts, briefs, &c., are not subjected to a rigorous surveillance on the part of government, and allowed or disallowed at its pleasure? In fine, has not Gregory XVI. himself been compelled in his Encyclical Letter of 1832, to utter the most vehement complaints and lamentations at the degraded condition of the Roman obedience? Does he not confess that the church is “subjected to earthly considerations," “ reduced to a base servitude," “ the rights of its bishops trampled on ?" These are all certain facts: I appeal in proof of them to the Roman historians, and to many other writers of authority, and they form but a part of what might be said on this subject. Romanists should blush to accuse the Church of England for the acts of our civil rulers in ecclesiastical matters. They should remember those words: “ Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”—Vol. i. pp. 255 — 258.
Mr. Palmer maintains that the Roman Church is not directly idolatrous and apostate. To this proposition he supposes many objections; the reply to one of which we think inconclusive.
It may be further objected, in reply to the preceding conclusions, that the declaration against transubstantiation, prescribed by act of parliament (30 Car. II. c. 1), affirms the Roman churches to be idolatrous. “İ, A. B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, &c. . . . . that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass,
as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous," &c.
Answer. When it was proposed in parliament to establish this test in order to exclude papists from various offices, the deeply learned Dr. Gunning, Bishop of Ely, contended, after Bishop Jeremy Taylor and others, that the Roman churches in general were not properly idolatrous; but when the act had passed, he found nothing in this declaration absolutely to prevent him from taking it. Therefore it is to be supposed capable of an interpretation consistent with his views. Now, in a formulary of this sort, where various points are noted in common with several marks of censure, it is sufficient if we believe that each particular point condemned, rightly comes under some one head of cerisure, or that each of the censures is applicable to some one of the points condemned. Thus, when we affirm the “invocation or adoration of saints, and the sacrifice of the mass, to be superstitious and idolatrous," it is sufficient if we understand the “ idolatry" to refer to the “ adoration of saints," and the “ superstition" to their “invocation, and the sacrifice of the mass." And who can reasonably deny that the adoration of saints actually practised by some “ in the Church of Rome,” is idolatrous; that the invocation of saints is superstitious, unnecessary, and tending to great abuses; or that the sacrifice of the mass or the Roman liturgy, is encumbered by superstitious rites and ceremonies ? All this we readily adinit; but it does not oblige us to maintain that the whole Roman church is so idolatrous, that it is really apostate, and no part of the church of Christ. Vol. j. pp. 315, 316.
The words of this declaration are to be understood in their most obvious and plainest import; and it appears to be a certain conclusion from it, that the Church of Rome is now apostate. Oaths and declarations ought not to be tampered with. The popish abominations alluded to, are, inasmuch as they are not founded upon the word of God, superstitious; and, inasmuch as they are directly opposed to God's word, are idolatrous.
Our readers will admire the sound judgment of the following remarks upon dissent.
It must be admitted then, that the dissenters can only form a small portion of the Church of Christ, if they belong to it at all. We must look elsewhere for the great majority of that church; and since even the Lutheran and Calvinistic societies, in addition to the dissenters, would not make up a church such as the Scripture points out; the more ancient societies of the Greek, if not of the Roman communion, must be added. Now, if it be conceded that the Greek or Latin churches, and the Lutheran and Calvinistic societies, are parts of the catholic visible church, it is impossible to exclude the British churches from the same privilege ; for there is nothing objected to them by dissenters, which might not be equally objected to all the other ancient churches of the East and West, and to the Lutherans and Calvinists. All are more or less established and influenced by the civil magistrate. None of them are modelled according to the congregational form. In none are the clergy elected or deposed by the suffrage of the people. All have rites and ceremonies of human invention, imposed by human authority, creeds, articles of faith, confessions, liturgies, &c. It is therefore impossible, in admitting that the Lutherans, Greeks, &c., are part of the Church, to deny that our churches are also churches of Christ.
If, then, the British churches continue to be churches of Christ, even to the present time, they must have been so when these various communities separated from them, and constituted a rival worship. But I have alreay proved that separation from a christian church is incapable of excuse, that no reason can possibly justify it, and that the society formed by such an act of separation, is entirely cut off from christian unity, and from the true Church of Christ.
This fixes ineffaceably the mark of schism on the origin of all those communities which separated themselves from the British churches. For they not only separated themselves from this branch of the visible Catholic Church, but did so on principles which involved separation from every other part of the church equally; and accordingly they held communion with no church which existed previously to their separation, nor were they acknowledged afterwards by any ancient church as a portion of the Church of Christ.
The first separatists from the Church of England maintained that her forms of government and her ritual were idolatrous and antichristian, and that in consequence she was not a Church of Christ, but a synagogue of Satan, from which they were bound to come forth. The conclusion followed of course from their principle; but that principle condemned as Antichristian, not merely the existing Church of England, but all other churches for many ages, even up to the time of the apostles. On this principle, then, the Church must have entirely failed for several ages; a position which is decidedly heretical and Antichristian.
They denied her to be a true church because her communion comprised sinners, and maintained the duty of separating from her on this account. On the same principle they must have held it a duty to have separated from every christian community for many centuries previously, and thus again denied the perpetuity of the Church of Christ.
The same may be said of their plea for separation, grounded on the pretence, that the imposition of creeds, articles of faith, rites, ceremonies, &c., by authority of the Church, was an act of rebellion against the sole authority of Christ, as king and legislator in his Church. This had been notoriously practised by all christian churches from the earliest ages, consequently the Church of Christ must have been apostate and entirely failed, until the dissenters arose in the seventeenth century, a position which is equally absurd and heretical.
Therefore their separation from the Church of England was founded not only in schism but in heresy; and this being the case, they could not have been any part of the Church of Christ, nor were they capable of forming christian churches. — Vol. i. pp. 401–404.
The theory of our author obliges him to regard the Nestorians and Monophysites, and therefore the East Indian Christians of St. Thomas as heretics (p. 422). His opinion may be well founded, but it leads to hard conclusions. Are those of this interesting people who have conformed to Rome members of the Church, whilst those who have retained the purer faith of their ancestors are not members of the Church? Is it possible, that the Syrian Christian, who has adopted image worship, and acknowledged purgatory, has thus become nearer to God, by admission into his true catholic (although corrupted) Church, than his Jacobite compatriot? We hope not. If it be so, then Archbishop Menezes and the inquisitorial fires of God are not destitute of valid extenuation.
In the chapters “On Scripture and Tradition," the student will find an excellent exposure of Dr. Hampden and his school — a school which, since the time of Hoadley, has had its reward-in gold and scorn ; and in those upon Ecclesiastical Synods, will find the grand practical bearing of that important subject fully discussed and exhausted. This part, indeed, deserves diligent perusal. The entire failure of the Council of Trent, in the attempt to purloin the æcumenical character, is well demonstrated.
We must confine ourselves to one extract more-upon the invalidity
of the Romish ordinations in England, Ireland, Scotland, and America. It is one of the last shots in this noble onset, and does good execution.
The Church of England bas, ever since the division in the sixteenth century, not only admitted the validity of the orders administered by bishops of the Roman obedience on the continent; but she has been induced, as an act of special favour, not to reordain those priests who have been schismatically ordained amongst the Papists within her own jurisdiction, in order to facilitate their reunion to the true church. This I say was an act of special favour, for the Church is not bound to know any thing of ordinations performed in schism or heresy : she cannot recognise any real ministry of Jesus Christ, in those who are ordained in enmity to his church : and if she does not always think it necessary to repeat the outward form by which they were constituted, it is not that sbe supposes any divine commission to have accompanied it originally.
But, in not reordaining popish priests, the Church has always acted on the supposition, that the usual forms and rules were observed. Without doubt they were so for a long time: and still continue to be observed in far the greater part of the Roman obedience; but certain circumstances occurred with regard to the ordinations of Papists in England and Ireland in the course of the last century, which seem to raise very considerable difficulties as to the validity of their ordinations.
It has been shown above, that there are serious doubts, even amongst the most eminent Roman theologians, whether the ordination of a bishop by one bishop only, is a valid ordination.
Now it is a fact which has bitherto escaped our observation, that during the greater part, if not the whole of last century, popish bishops were consecrated in England and Ireland by one bishop assisted by two priests, instead of bishops, as required by the canons. This fact did not attract attention, in consequence of the little publicity given to their ecclesiastical acts, and the non-existence of any detailed history of their proceedings.
In a book written by Mr. Plowden, an English Papist, we find a translation of a bull of Pope Clement XIV. in 1771, nominating William Egan bishop of Sura “ in partibus," and coadjutor of Peter Crew, titular of Waterford, with right of succession. This bull was iu Mr. Plowden's possession. The following passage occurs in it: “ We, kindly wishing to favour you in everything that can increase your conveniency, by the tenour of these presents, have granted you full and free license, that you may receive the gift of consecration from whatever catholic prelate, being in the grace and communion of the aforesaid apostolical see, you choose ; and he may call in, as his assistants in this, in lieu of bishops, two secular priests, although not invested with any ecclesiastical dignity, or regulars of any order or institute, being in like grace and favour, &c.” The same clause, so strangely and rashly setting aside all the canons and the apostolical tradition, appears in other bulls for Irish titular bishops printed by Dr. Burke, who observes, that “a permission of this tenour is conceded generally to the Irish, on account of the difficulty of assembling three bishops. ... I say generally, because sometimes those who are on their affairs at Rome, omit to supplicate for that clause:" that is to say, they could easily find three or more bishops at Rome to consecrate them. It seeins from this, that the popish bishops in Ireland generally supplicated for this clause, and without doubt they acted on it; indeed Dr. Burke does not attempt to deny that they did so.
This same mode of ordination has also been practised among the English Papists. In the reign of James II, Dr. Leyburn was made bishop in partibus at Rome, 1685, and sent into England, where he was the only popish bishop. Soon after, in 1687, Dr. Giffard, chaplain of James II., was consecrated bishop in partibus : and I presume by Leyburn only, as the consecration seems to have taken place in England. Ellis and Smith, who were consecrated in London in 1688, of course derived their orders from this prelate.
In the life of Dr. Challoner it is stated, that he was “consecrated on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the 29th January, 1741, by the Right Rev. Ben