« PreviousContinue »
Christians of St. Thomas, the more they saw their clergy persecuted, respected them the more, and grew every day more zealous for their ancient doctrines and rites." Their fortitude seems to have increased, in proportion to the intemperate zeal of the individuals who sought to bring them under papal authority. At last, they recommended him "to return to his Portuguese,* and let them alone with their religion, and if he did continue to disturb them thus, it should cost him dear." The Archbishop seems to have been the very prototype of our modern controversialists. When some of the Portuguese Ecclesiastics and Seculars, who were in his train, "were at him perpetually to give over this enterprize, and not to expose his person and dignity, as he did, to no purpose. Instead of returning any answer to their importunities, he retired all alone to his cabin, where he wrote a long letter to the Archdeacon, in which he said, that he remembered nothing that was past, and if he would but do him the favour to come and speak with him once more, he did not doubt but that he should be able to convince him of his errors, promising withal, to do great things for him, if he would but entirely submit himself to the Roman Church."
Various proposals were made to bring about an interview between the contending parties. The one party proposed, that they should wait on the Archbishop, on board his galley, where they found him with all his priests and Jesuits, and several gentlemen expecting. His Grace commenced his controversy extremely much in the same manner as is practised by the reverend gladiators of the present day. Having cross-questioned them on the gospel of John, the Archdeacon was heard in reply. Whether, as at present, the disputants were limited to half-hour time, does not appear. “The Archbishop ran into a long discourse on the supremacy of St. Peter, and ́ of the Pope's being his successor." At last, there was an apparent truce to hostilities, which was not, however, of long continuance. We find him shortly afterwards, bitterly complaining, that "when he elevated the Sacrament, the people all shut their eyes that they might not see it, and beat one of his scholars for having named the Pope in his prayers; and when he showed them an image of our Lady, cried out, 'Away with that filthiness, we are Christians, and for that reason, do not adore idols or pagods.'" p. 65. † p. 68. + p. 84.
At last, the Archbishop, being, like our modern codemakers, vehemently addicted to making creeds, gravely drew up the following formulary, declaring that he would never heed the Archdeacon, until he had subscribed the following articles:
"1. That he abjured all the errors of Nestorius, and of all his followers, Diodorus and Theodorus (who, says the narrator, by the way, were both in their graves before Nestorius was ever heard of), acknowledging them to be cursed heretics, that are burning in hell for their errors." "2. That he should confess there was but one Christian Law."
"3. That he should subscribe the Confession of Faith, which he sent to him from Goa, when he made him Governor of the Bishoprick."
"4. That be should deliver all the Books of the Diocese, to be amended or burned, according as they deserved."
"5. That he should swear obedience to the Pope, as St. Peter's successor, and Christ's Vicar upon earth, and the supreme head of all Christians, and of all Bishops, Archbishops, Primates, and Patriarchs, in the world, so that none can be saved out of his obedience."
"6. That he should curse the Patriarch of Babylon, as a Nestorian, heretic, and schismatic, and swear never to obey him any more, in any matter, nor to have any farther commerce or communication with him, by letters or otherwise."
"7. That he should swear, never to receive any Bishop or Prelate in the Serra, but what should be sent thither by the Pope, and to obey whomsoever he sent."
"8. That he should swear to acknowledge and obey him for his true prelate, as being made so by the Pope." ❝9. That he should pass olas, or provisions, for the Assembly or Diocesan Synod, to treat of all such matters, as the Archbishop should think fit, and swear to be present at it himself."
"10. That he should accompany the Archbishop peaceably, wheresoever he went, without any thing of guards, and should go along with him in his galley, to all the churches he had a mind to visit."
Having thus drawn up for him, this mingled mass of blessings and cursings, he seems to have suspended hostilities for a time.
In conclusion, the following is a brief summary of the doctrines of the Church of Malabar.
1. She condemns the Pope's supremacy.
2. She affirms that the Church of Rome is fallen from the true faith.
3. She denies Transubstantiation, or that Christ's body and blood, are really and substantially in the Eucharist. 4. She condemns images, and the adoration of them, as idolatrous.
5. She makes no use of oils, in the administration of Baptism.
6. She allows of no spiritual affinity.
7. She denies Purgatory.
8. She denies the necessity of auricular confession. 9. She knows nothing of extreme unction.
10. She allows her priests to marry as often as they have a mind, and ordains such as have been married three or four times, and to widows, without scruple.
11. She denies matrimony to be a Sacrament.
12. She holds but two orders, Priesthood and Diaconate. 13. She celebrates in leavened bread.
14. She consecrates with prayer.
15. She denies confirmation to be a Sacrament.
I have thus attempted to give a brief analysis and review of this very interesting work. In a subsequent essay, I shall offer some observations on the history of the Synod of Diamper, which met in the year 1599.
To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer.
REVIVALS of religion among Orthodox Christians, do not appear confined to time or place. In the dark ages of the world, and in those countries which were sunk in the most degrading ignorance and grossest superstition, the priest had no easier task to perform, than the imposition which he practised on the credulity of mankind. But in the nineteenth century, and in a country, too, that enjoys the greatest degree of civil and religious liberty of any upon the face of the earth, one naturally looks for a different state of things. Pious frauds and monkish superstitions, seem strangers to a land of pure freedom-whose boast is universal liberty-whose characteristics are knowledge, religion, and truth.
My mind has been bent to this subject, by reading in the Congregational Magazine (a London orthodox periodical) for Sept. and Oct. accounts of Revivals of Religion in the United States. That work, as is natural to expect, speaks of these "refreshings from the Lord," in terms of unmeasured commendation; and strives to stimulate the English Evangelicals to copy the glorious example of their brethren in America. A writer in this work, for October, laments the change that is taking place among the Calvinistic Dissenters in England. According to his statements, the ministers of the Establishment are approaching much nearer the popular standard of Orthodox preaching; and, that "a dissenting audience is amused with a wordy evangelical harangue." To what extent this pulpit frigidity prevails among the Calvinists of England, I am not able to ascertain. But that a greater zeal actuates their American brethren, appears pretty evident from the late religious revivals in that country. I have before me, the "Christian Examiner" (for May and June, 1827), a respectable periodical, published at Boston U. S. which contains a review of the revivals to which the Congregational Magazine has devoted many of its pages. The following are extracts from the above publication, which I send for your invaluable Miscellany, should you deem them worthy of insertion.
The revivals to which the following remarks principally relate, took place at Troy and Utica and their vicinity, in the state of New-York. The chief instruments in this pious work, were the Revs. Nathan Beman and Charles G. Finney, who, according to their own acknowledgment, and that of their coadjutors, regarded it merely as a cunning device to impose on the ignorant and inexperienced. As a proof of this, I refer to the following extract:"Mrs. Brower sent a request to William M. Bliss, Esq. an elder of the church, to call upon her, and explain the novelty. He complied; and after she had remarked how unscriptural and unreasonable it was, he assented to the propriety of her observations; but said, that it was supported simply for the purpose of creating a revival; and, for that reason, solicited her to manifest no opposition to it."
A few specimens will show the reader the means by which this pious fraud was effected. The following is the closing sentence of one of Mr. Finney's sermons at Utica.
"You sinners at Utica, and some of you who now hear me, will go to hell, and the saints and angels will look down
from heaven, and when they see the sinners of Utica, in the lowest, deepest, darkest pit of hell, they will shout and clap their hands for joy!" Again, this same gentleman, in a sermon preached at Troy, "after describing the language of the redeemed in heaven, as being," "not unto us, but unto thy name be glory;" he said, "we should see these Restorationists come smoking and fuming out of hell to the gate of heaven; which being opened, they will say, Stand away you old saints of God, we have paid our own debt, we have a better right here than you; and you, too, Jesus Christ, stand aside, get out of our way; no thanks to you our being here; we come here on our own merits!" Again, on another occasion, the following blasphemous language was used:—“ Why, sinner, I tell you, if you could climb to heaven, you would hurl God from his throne-yes, hurl God from his throne! O yes, if you could but get there, you would cut God's throat-yes, you would cut God's throat!
Mr. Beman appears to have adopted this mode of "pungent preaching," as they called it. "Complaints have been made of my manner of preaching, and it is said, such kind of preaching will not last long. But you need not flatter yourselves with that; for I have but just commenced. I shall go all round these pews, and shall follow you, until I bring you all upon your marrow-bones!"
It appears to have been a common practice at their "meetings of inquiry" and "anxious meetings," which were generally held in the night, and in a dark room, to mention individuals and families by name in their prayers, and call down vengeance from heaven upon those on they could not operate. A noted instance of this kind occurred in the town of Trenton, at the house of the Rev. Oliver Wetman, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in that place. The Rev. Nathan Smith, whilst engaged in prayer, spoke in reference to an individual by name, whose venerable old age and truly virtuous and Christian life, had endeared him to the hearts of all that were capable of appreciating the worth of real excellence. This minister of the meek and merciful Jesus, called on God "to smite that wicked man, that hardened Pharisee, who stands on an eminence, and has embraced a lie, and is leading multitudes that entrench themselves behind him, down to hell. O God, send trouble, anguish, and affliction, into his bedchamber this night, shake his house over him, and cause him to tremble; God Almighty, shake him over hell!"