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Dominican, and Inquisitor-Gene- yond the year 1517, let the writer ral.
of the strictures determine-300 "Among the sects(he says)which years before that date, this people still are, or have been, there is not were in the height of their influany more pernicious to the church, ence, and were so numerous that than that of the Leonists—and this it is related by the same Thuanus, for three reasons: The first is, that a war, like that against the because it is older; for some say Saracens, was waged against them; it hath endured from the time of and Mede computed the slaughter Pope Sylvester-others, from the of one crusade against them, under time of the Apostles. The second is, the Pope's pious care and tender because it is more general; for there mercies, as amounting to one milis scarce any country, where this lion! sect is not;- Thirdly, because when And another writer just quoted, all sects beget horror in the hear. carries these principles and people ers, by the outrageousness of their back to Pope Sylvester, in the 4th blasphemies against God, this of century-relating a rumour, at the the Leonists hath a great show of same time, of their being coeval piety; because they live justly be- with the apostles! fore men, and believe all things He adds, also, his testimony to rightly concerning God, and all their good character, to their numthe articles which are contained bers and their antiquity. in the creed; only they blaspheme Without enlarging on this point, the church of Rome, and the cler- we think it very plain, Papists sy, whom the multitude of the lai- them selves being judges, that for ty is easy to believe.” Chap. ivth, ages before the Reformation, the against heretics.
principles of the Evangelical ProThuanus the historian says, testants of the present day, were (see book vi. sec. 15.)—“The fixed abundantly held; and by people of opinions of the Waldenses were said the best character. to be these.—That the church of 2. My second remark is, that if, Rome, because she hath renounced instead of ascending you descend, the true faith of Christ, is the the church of Rome is not the oldest whore of Babylon, &c.—therefore church, and therefore, on her own we must by no means obey the principles, not the true church. Pope, nor the Bishops who cherish The Jewish church, for examhis errors; that the monastic life ple, was an older church; was is the sink of the church, its vows older than any other church proare vain; the fire of purgatory, the fessing to come from God. This sacrifice of mass, the worship of was, without contradiction, once a saints, and propitiations for the true church of God; it was the oridead, are inventions of Satan.” ginal church of God, having all
So also Mazery says of these the essential marks of a church, heretics, “avoient a peu prés and without a rival, the oldest. mesmes opinions que ceux qu'on
-Hence do the Jews use this homme au jourd’huy Calvinistes.” very argument against Christians, * They had almost the same opi- (against the Papists themselves, nions as those who are now called that as theirs was the oldest church, Calvinists." Let it be remember- it was the only true church of Goded that all these are Roman Catho- and therefore the Christian church lic authors—and to say the least, was heretical, and its author an have not given too much age, or impostor. honour, to these heretics.
They contend “that in Moses, How far this throws the Protes- and still earlier, in Abraham, the tant system of opinions back be. true God established the true
church-that its antiquity was as we have no proof that Peter ever supreme, as its institutions and was at Rome. Why then, if age is standards were true; that it was the mark, was not this the true promised that in the seed of Abra- church? If age is the test, it must ham, all the nations of the earth be so and the church of Rome is should be blessed-that the moral therefore herself, heretical. The Jaw was given as a perfect rule of same may be said of several other duty—that their sacrifices (mass- churches planted in the Eastest) and purifications, were a real And how remarkable that Peter, atonement for sin; that men could in writing (see 1 Peter, i. 1,) to the not be saved out of their church- various branches of the Christian and therefore the promised bless- church, should address those in ing to the nations of the earth, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Abraham's seed, was conversion and Bythinia, and not once name to Judaism.-Except ye be circum- the church of Romei cised after the manner of Moses, It being then incontrovertible, ye cannot be saved."
that the church of Rome was not Yet God did cast off the Jewish the most ancient of those estachurch, and it is now in ruins. blished by the Apostles, or by Pe. (See Romans, with chap. from 1st ter, the claim of antiquity must to 25th.) Such is the commentary fall to the ground. of an inspired Apostle on this sub In the next place, we remark ject. Does he not clearly prove, that even if the church originally that the Jewish was the true church planted at Rome, had been the of God once, and long before the mother church, and as the oldest, Roman church had, or even pro- the true church--the present church fesses to have had, a being?_That of Rome is not that church. Such it was the oldest church of God, have been its corruptions—in docthe natural branches of his own trine, in worship, in government, Olive tree2--and that it was broken and in life that it has no claim to off when the Gentiles were grafted be considered its true successor, in? So that, while God has had a and is virtually unchurched. church in the world at least from We refer in proof of this to the the days of Abraham, and his close of these remarks, under the church is essentially one, in the head of Difficulties. But it may various changes and dispensations here be proper to mention a few that occur, yet one whole system things by way of example-Thus, of administration has been laid Auricular Confession is as young aside, (and that the oldest) and a as Innocent the 3d-say, 1215.uew one adopted in its stead. Boniface the 3d was the first uni
If then the Roman church rests versal bishop, hundreds of years its claims on its antiquity, merely, after the church was established or in any measure, it cannot be the at Rome! Transubstantiation was true church. Again, if we look not publickly enacted until 1216to the Christian era, the Roman Marriage was first prohibited about church is not the oldest among 1070—the communion administerthose called Christian.
ed to the laity, in one kind, not unThe church at Jerusalem was til the Council of Constance, only established before the church at about three centuries ago. Chrism Rome. This is not denied; and here was brought in by Hygenus; it is confessed that Peter, the pro- and in a word, the history of the fessed head of the Roman church, church of Rome is a history of did aid in planting a church, innovation; and it is less like the a true church; and under the primitive church, on which it Christian dispensation! Whereas, charges its corruptions, than a
child ever was to its professed pa- (see Acts, 1st chapter,) elected an rent; and, though it retain the frag- Apostle, at Peter's instance, (surely ments of a former day of truth and he was not their Pope); and by the glory, it is itself a new, an altered approval of the Apostles and Elchurch
ders, &c. &c. (see Acts, xv. 6. 32.) “Stat nominis umbra!"
an epistle was sent by the church
at Jerusalem to the church at AnFinally, we remark on this head, tioch, (see Acts, xiii. 1.) containthat even Papists themselves allow ing instructions as to the will of those principles, on which rest the God. Here then was a true church, evidence of a true church among though small; and it was not the Protestanis.
church of Rome. If the church of Tertullian, whom they claim, Rome then existed, why was it not says, “Heretics are not to be con the only true church; if it did then vinced by their novelty, but by exist, which none will, I suppose, the truth.—Whatsoever savoureth contend, then the Apostles, with against the truth is heresy, be it Peter, (the claimed Pope) passed never so ancient.” - Apol. con. acts, and sent an embassy to a gens.
church at Antioch, without conPanormitane, their great Canon- sulting the church at Rome! Are ist says, “wherever good Christians the claims of the Papists, to exclube, there is the church of Rome,” sive antiquity and rights, credible, that is, the true church: and again, in view of these facts? “ with one only believer, though a Now, the church at Jerusalem woman, true faith may be resi was a specimen of what we supdent;" —and he refers to the Vir- pose to be a true church, in every gin Mary during the interval be- age: they had the word, and mitween Christ's death and resurrec- nisters, sacraments, members, ortion; and he says the church is dinances, character, &c., of the proved, not only to have being, church, with Christ for its head. but to have well-being. “Si rema Such a church has existed ever net vera fides in uno solo"-"if since, and is found, we suppose, true faith remains in one alone!" — extensively through the world; and Another old book says, that while may now be in the bosom of the Christ was in the grave, and the church of Rome, in spite of all her Apostles had denied him and fled, corruptions. So charity, which ho“Christ, that is the true faith, peth all things, upfeignedly hopeth. dwelt in the blessed Virgin, alone.' But it is time we had passed to Now, we hold that the true church other subjects. has existed, and does now exist, and The next in order we notice, is will to the end of time; that at last it the difficulty raised by the writer, will fill and rule (not temporally and against Protestants, for want of despotically, but spiritually, the unity. He says, “ What is meant world; but that numbers do not by the Protestant Church? What constitute the true church; that, is a Bible-Christian? Arians, Socias in the days of Elijah, so after- nians, Unitarians, Southcotians, wards, the church might have been Muggletonians, Hullsensonians, reduced to a few persons. After Brownists, Baxterians, Quakers, Christ's resurrection, how small Moravians, Puritans, Independwas it? An upper chamber held ents, Presbyterians, Shakers, Episits sacred flock! But was it not the copalians, Jumpers—and hundreds true church? Afterwards, before of other sects, have all protested the church at Rome was known to against the corruptions of the be planted, the church at Jerusalem church of Rome-they all profess
to take the Bible for their only rule the “ Mother-Church; and the Moof faith? Are they all Bible-Chris- ther of all the churches." tians?” The author begs the ques It is also clear from indisputable tion, in setting out on his crusade facts, that no universal, earthly against this herd of poor Protes- head was acknowledged, until setants. He gives his own construc- veral ages after the days of the tion of "the church," and then ap- Apostles. Of course, according plies it to the case at issue between to the definition, there was no true him and Protestants. If, as he sup- church during this time. poses, the church of Christ must, Now, the scriptures speak of to be true, be under one visible head, Christ as the head of his church, and in one visible fold, then we and the only head.—“We are to ask, which one of the many claim- call no man Master, or Lord; for ants is the true one? for to that we are all brethren.” There is one we must flock, and believe in it fold, and one Shepherd; and that alone. But we deny this. He is Christ. There are under-shepassumes it without proof. We herds, but they are many—not one. say, that many of these sects men Peter speaks of himself as one of tioned by him are very corrupt. the under-shepherds, holding office But not like him do we class Epis- under the Chief-Shepherd; and the copalians, and Puritans, and Inde- flock of God he represents as one, pendents, and Moravians, and Me- in and under God alone. We, as thodists, and Presbyterians, &c.- Christians, hold, that there is such with Shakers, and Jumpers, Soci- unity in the church as Christ praynians, &c. We say that the church ed for in the 17th chapter of John: of Christ is visible, is catholic, is we suppose all his people, though universal, and consists of all those not of this or that particular fold, throughout the world, that profess have one sheep-fold, and one Shepthe true religion, together with herd, in essential things—that they their children. Whereas, the pa- are one in spirit, one in fundamentpists hold, in addition to this, that it al faith, one in union by faith, (spimust all be under one visible, human ritual union,) to a common, but head-and that that head is the that a divine head-one in having Pope. “We owe an entire obedience a common father, a common image to his decrees and orders, in all things of that father, and a common, eterrelating to religion.” (Bishop Hay's nal home. · But of a union that Abridged Christian Doct., page may be called politico-religious 31.)
under a Pope, a vicegerent of God, Now, it is quite apparent, even there is no mention in the word of admitting this definition to be just, God: no direction as to the foundthat the early churches, (as stated ing of the Christian church after above,) could not have had such a such a model; and it did not begin head. The church at Jerusalem, to be claimed by any man, or any was a true church. Who was its church, until ages after the resurhead? Not Peter. Though Peter rection of our Lord. And the mingled with the Apostles, Paul early churches, at Jerusalem, Anhad to withstand him to the face; tioch, and in Asia generally, also and he put down his error and set in divers parts of Europe, him right!-see Galatians, ii. 11. primitive, were model, yea, in Rome had yet no church, and of certain respects, mother-churches! course no head. Then the church The fathers also make it a spiat Jerusalem, the primitive and ritual union alone. - Tertullian apostolical, was not a true church: says, (in his Praescript, chap. 20.) and yet it is called by the fathers, “Therefore, such, and so many
churches, are but the same with 10th, confirmed the decrees of Forthe first Apostolical one, from mosus, reversing, of course, those which all are derived; thus they of Stephen. Then Sergius, who become all firstmall Apostolical- disannulled their acts in turn, took whilst they maintain the same up the body of Formosus, cut off unity; whilst there are, a commu- his head, and threw his body into nion of peace, names of brotherhood, the Tiber! Now, is this unity and and contributions of hospitality who was the true Pope? who was among them; the rights of which right, and who is to be followed? are kept up by no other means (no Pope Urban and Pope Clement inquisition here) but the one tradi- had a civil war; fought many battion of the same mystery.”
tles, and slew many thousands Clemens Alexandrinus says,- fighting for peace! Clement the 5th (Strom. vii. p. 549.) “ The ancient reversed the acts of Boniface 8th, and Catholic church, doth unite Benedict reversed the acts of the and combine altogether, all those same Boniface; and he all the dewho are before ordained, whom crees of Calestinus—and John 2d, God hath predestinated, as know- the decrees of Gregory 10th.ing that they would be just per- Here let the definition already sons, before the foundation of the given, be borne in mind, viz. “ that world:”—and again, “ The church we owe entire obedience to the de. is a people gathered together out crees and orders of the Pope, in all of Jews and Gentiles, into one things relating to religion;" and faith, by the giving of the testa- let it also be remembered that the ments, fitted into unity of faith.” Jesuits contend that the decrees of
So do the fathers at large agree, the Popes agree one with another. that it is a spiritual and not a tem- But still farther—there were once poral and visible union: the union three Popes at the same time and of principle and love, not forced if we are not mistaken, a woman upisormity, and a surrendered con was once Pope! And the question science, to believe whatever others is not settled among themselves, dictate.
whether the Pope shall be subject But still farther—if the union to the councils, or the councils to claimed by the Roman church, be the Pope. The councils of Basle a test of the true church, then she and Constance decreed the forhas lacked it, egregiously herself. mer; and their decisions were afIn reference to degree of unity, I terwards reversed, by other counappeal to matters of fact when I cils. say, that the Greek church, which This becomes the more clear, is at least as pure as the church of when this disunion is seen to relate Rome, has been less divided than to the most important points of the church of Rome; and it is no order and doctrinemas, for examless true of the Ethiopic churches ple, to the question whether the than of the Greek. In the bosom Pope or general council be head; of the church of Rome, what fre- to divorce; to the marks of the quent, and great divisions have true church; the nature of Christ, there been? About nine Popes, &c. &c. &c. olic after another, in the 10th cen And who has not heard of the tury, may afford a specimen. Ste- bitter contests of the Scotists and phen repealed the decrees of For- Thomists—of the Dominicans and mosus; and even took up his dead Franciscans, and their fearful conbody, cut off two fingers of his flicts, terminating in burning four right hand in derision and rage, of the former for heresy, at Berne? and buried him again.—Then Ro- Did not the spirit of party, again manus, Theodorus 2d, and John and again, rend and agitate the
Ch. Adv.-VOL. X.