« ZurückWeiter »
"VERITAS EST MAGNA ET PREVALEBIT.”—TRUTH IS GREAT AND WILL PREVAIL.
DOCTRINES, LITURGY, CREEDS, ARTICLES,
AND ALSO BY
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT BISHOPS
UP TO MODERN TIMES,
BISHOPS, OR SO CALLED HOLY FATHERS,
(SOME COTEMPORARY WITH THE APOSTLES,)
WITH EXTRACTS ON THE GENERAL HISTORY OF
THE DIFFERENT PERIODS.
COMPILED FROM THE BEST AUTHORITIES.
BY JOHN SMEDLEY.
LEA MILLS, MATLOCK, DERBYSHIRE.
AND MAY BE HAD OF ALL BOOKSELLERS.
IT. was not intended to publish any part of this work until the whole was
completed, but in consequence of the desire of many friends to see some portion of the History at an earlier period than the whole could be brought out, this first division is issued.
The whole work is intended to comprise1st division as now issued, only in larger type, containing notices of the first inhabitants of Britain, their religion Druidical priesthood-Roman invasionGospel brought to Britain-Diocletian persecution-St. Augustine's arrival, bringing Roman Catholicism-Saxon Invasion-Danish invasion—Dark ages -Henry VIII and the Reformation-First formation of the Liturgy, Articles, Canons, &c.
2nd. Origin of the English Saxons, and a more particular history of matters connected with the Church of England, from A.D. 300, to the reign of Henry the Eighth, A.D. 1509.
3rd. Commencing with the reign of Henry VIII to the time of the separation of the English Church from that of Rome, in the year of his reign A.D. 1535, and then going into the particulars of the characters and circumstances of that eventful period, with a continuation through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary, Elizabeth, James I, Charles I, Cromwell, Charles II, and James II; illu trated with wood cuts.
4th. Wealth, poverty, révenues, and secular administration of the Church of England funds, and their abuses.
5th. Martyrology (illustrated with wood cuts) from the times of the Apostles to the Roman Catholic martyrdoms—the burnings, mutilations, and executions by the Protestant Bishops of the Church of England which have not hitherto been fully illustrated.
6th. Some account of the History and Doctrinal errors of the so-called Holy Fathers or Bishops of the times immediately after the Apostles.
7th. A short cpitome of the Eastern Church, from the time of Constantine to about A.D. 750.
8th. Present progress of the Church of England towards Rome, illustrated with wood cuts.
9th. A full chronological table of events from the earliest times named in the work to the present period.
The range of subjects and the number of authors to consult, whose works are often very difficult to procure, will sufficiently explain to my friends the reason of the work not coming out sooner; two years being a very moderate allowance of time, with daily attention, to collate and compile such a collection of extracts and facts as the subjects embrace.
The compiler commenced the work in February 1853, and hopes to complete it by 1855, if spared. Several artists are now engaged on designs for illustrations, many will be original; and as pecuniary gain is not a consideration, the entire work will be brought out at a cost within the reach of the whole community. It will be printed in new bourgeois type, similar to the last few pages of this division, and bound in cloth. The price intended to be about 1s. 6d. for the work complete in one volume.
HIS compilation of History relative to the ancient and modern Religion
of Britain, has been undertaken with the sole intention of elucidating
the truth, and not with any wish to lower the proper esteem to which true Ministers of Christ are entitled. The Compiler, however, having had his attention drawn to the want of an outline Church History, at a price within the reach of all classes, and one of compilation from the standard authorities rather than the learned and logically written treatises, of which there are so many, in this has made a humble attempt to supply a work which, although entirely wanting in scholastic ability, is not wanting in an honest intention of recording the actual facts as stated in the allowed, and indeed only authentic records of the times treated of;
and if it contributes in any degree to the enlightenment of those unacquainted with some of the circumstances and transactions of those times, it will have answered the purpose for which many of the early and late hours of the day have been devoted,--the calls of a business employing some hundreds of work-people, rarely permitting the application of time apart from business hours. Neither has this been undertaken without a prayerful consideration of the consequences of exposing error and false pretensions in high places, and of the possible effect of stating the whole truth, which is sometimes considered endangering religion being brought into contempt : such reasoning is as unsound as it is injurious to true religion.
“ For every one thut doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deuds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth compth to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."John iii. 20, 21.
The Bible, God's inspired revelation, does not conceal the crimes and failings of the great men of old, their sins and their punishment are brought before the whole world ; their repentance, their faith, and obedience, are also shewn, and the reward. The grand simplicity of truth shines in every page of the Bible, from where, it was told Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door;"—to our Saviour's gracious declaration, " Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
The great enemy of mankind is constantly endeavouring to set up a kingdom of falsehood and superstition; and the Bible plainly tells us that
men love darkness rather than light," and the reason, “ because their deeds are evil.” The Bible, however, tells us, Believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." * And when Archbishop Cranmer, in the 26th Article of the church of England's Creed says, that though " the evil may sometimes have chief anthority in the ministration of the word,” yet, “because of Christ's institution and promise,” the ministration of evil men is effectual, having HIS COMMISSION AND AUTHORITY!! Let us apply the injunction, “ Try the Spirits," &c. to this ; and the Bible, that inestimable blessed gift to man, tells
us, " What concord hath Christ with Belial ? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel ?"--2 Cor. vi. 15.
“ If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."-1 John i. 6. This church of England Liturgy was compiled, as will be seen by the ac
* 1 John iv. 1.
counts given in the 3rd division of this book, by men aiding, abetting, and countenancing the King in murder, adultery, and the most cruel persecutions ; themselves condemning their fellow creatures to be burnt to death because of their dissent from them on points of doctrine. In this same common Prayerbook, these men also assert that by Christ's authority committed unto them, and by them delegated to others, sometimes as bad men as themselves, they have the power to absolve or retain men's sins; they also impiously presume to impart the Holy Ghost, in terms as absolute as their pretension to forgive sins. Let the reader try these Spirits whether they were of God, because it they were not of God, they were totally unfit to draw up rules of faith and practice for all future generations.
These compilers of the Liturgy, Articles, &c., burnt, hung, and mutilated their fellow creatures because of their difference from them ;-not whether Christ's sacrifice was all-sufficient or not, but because of some points of doctrine, on which they also afterwards changed their minds. Now what does the test say when we try these Spirits ? it tells us :
And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elins did ? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.”—LUKE ix. 54, 55.
If the injunctions of our Saviour are diametrically opposed to the teachings of those Spirits, then they are false Spirits, and have set up false doctrines, and however they may have established their reputation by the usages of centuries, yet their doctrines, as now promulgated, must yet be tried by the test which speaks truth now,' as in the beginning, and ever will do. The Bible abounds with injunctions to man to use the freewill, the reason and judgment God has endowed him with.
“ Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right.”—LUFE xii. 57,
Judge not according to the appearance; but judge righteous judgment.”— John vii. 24.
The nature of the worship God requires of mankind is also plainly declared, and which is also plainly consistent with the divine intelligence planted in the human mind. “ God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.” There is no room in this for evasion ; and when a Minister of the Church of England tells a dying sinner that by Christ's authority, committed unto him, he absolves him from all his sins, it that Minister is honest with God and himself, he must believe that he is telling the dying man what he believes to be the truth ; if he does not really believe he has power
. to absolve him from his sins, but makes use of some mental reservation to pacify his own conscience, then that Minister is not truthful, and cannot be worshiping God in spirit and in truth, and consequently is a Minister not of Christ, but of Antichrist.
Again, when the Archbishop, in consecrating a Bishop, tells him he imparts the Holy Ghost unto him by the imposition of his hands, if the Archbishop does not believe he has the power to impart the Holy Ghost to any one he chooses, he is not truthful, and therefore cannot be a true Minister of Christ; and so, through various other false and impious assumptions, such men cannot be of Christ, and therefore must be of Antichrist.
Again, how the Saviour enjoins men to judge,
“ Beware of fulse prophets, which come to you in sheep's clnthing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”—Matt. vii. 15-17.
“ Take heed lost any man deceive you : for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ : and shall deceive many.”—MARK, xiii. 5. 6.
How opposite are these divine reasonable revelations to the doctrines of men, who yet pretend to take their doctrines from the Bible, and persuade men so. The Athanasian Creed in the Church of England Common Prayer Book declares what the writer says is the true faith, but not in the words of the Bible, and yet says all who do not believe it as the author (an unknown individual), has there dogmatically laid it down, shall without doubt perish everlastingly. This is of the same spirit as the assumption of forgiving sins. It is also authoritatively assuming the prerogative which belongs to God alone, and is the spirit, not of Christ, but of Antichrist. God tells man to use the judgment he has given him, and try the Spirits. Men under the guise of Christ's ministers tell them directly the contrary, that they may bring their minds under subjection, not to God, but unto themselves. It is enough to make unprejudiced persons quake for fear of being thus deceived, when they look around and see so many of probably higher mental powers than themselves possess, in bondage to the doctrines of men. How strange for instance, to see an intelligent man, of what is in the priests' nomenclature called the orthodox Church of England, visiting on the most intimate terms with a friend of another branch of Christ's church, and yet when the Sabbath comes round would feel himself polluted by kneeling down with that friend in a place of worship where all the essential doctrines of Christ are nevertheless fully acknowledged. What spirit have the ministers who teach such men their creed to consider their fellow christians' worship heresy, and bring their minds into such pitiable bondage ? Certainly not the spirit of Christ, consequently it must be Antichrist's, and of Antichrist.
Our Saviour says“ many false prophets are gone out into the world.” From this divine information we may rest assured this is the case, and be it noticed, our Saviour shews these spirits have assumed to themselves the title of prophets or preachers; it behoves us therefore to hold fast by the Word of God, and do as God directs us,—try all spirits who assume authority over men's minds and belief by His word.' The Lord says they are
many," then it is very certain we shall often meet with them amongst Christ's true ministers. “ For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, iransforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”—2 Cor. xi. 13, 14, 15. First, to stop all trying of the spirits of its ministers by the laity, the Church of England tells us "evil men may have chief authority and yet be effectual ministers of Christ's church,” (26th Article). Then what are called the orthodox or high church portion of the church boldly come forward and openly claim authority over their fellow men's consciences by virtue of their pretended descent spiritually from the apostles, and on these grounds assert that whatever authority the apostles could take to themselves from the Saviour's express declarations to them (the apostles), all ministers who have had the imposition of the Bishops hands in this line of succession can lawfully claim for themselves, without any regard whatever to moral qualifications.
Many false prophets or preachers, saith our Saviour; and so we shall find them in different orders. There are in contradistinction to the orthodox, or high church, what are designated the low church of England by the orthodox, but evangelical by themselves; now amongst these, if we try the spirits by the test we shall find many false prophets or preachers, yea, it is to be feared even more than amongst the orthodox. For while the orthodox in many cases igno rantly act from the belief that they have authority to perform acts which belong