« PreviousContinue »
of Popish superstitions. The 9th or last head embraced the controversy respecting Easter, A. D. 195.
10th. Unction received at baptism. This was a Pagan custom, introduced by Pagan converts. It was usual among the ancients to anoint with oil on coming out of their baths. Wrestlers, also, and those who ran in a race, anointed their bodies. And it is by no means improbable, that Pagan converts introduced the practice of anointing at baptism, to signify that the baptised were selected to run in a race; and to wrestle with or fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Jewish converts, likewise, would easily adopt this superstition, considering it as sanctioned by the ceremonial law.
Ilth. The custom of offering in commemoration of the saints. On the martyrs' or saints' days, before spoken of, it was usual to present offerings, which were called sacrifices, or oblations, offered in memory of the saints. These oblations were not, however, considered as expiatory, but commemorative only; and then confined to unconsecrated bread and wine, or to the offerings of the first fruits. Both the names of those who offered, and the extent and nature of their offerings, were, at that time, proclaimed aloud in their public assemblies. (Hieron. in Iren. lib. ii., cap. 11; and in Ezech. cap. 18.)
12th. About the same time, the practice of making offerings for the dead was introduced. This originated with the Pagan converts, although the end then designed was very different from that which was subsequently founded on this superstition. There was simply a commemoration of the departed saints, and prayer offered up that those present might follow their good example. The offerings were either presented to the Church, or to the poor who might then be assembled. They were memorials only for the dead, and not expiatory sacrifices. Many likewise presented offerings on their birthdays, as thank-offerings to Almighty God. And commemorative anniversaries originated from a practice which prevailed at the same time, of making testamentary bequests to the Church, that after the death of such as made these legacies, their names might be had in honourable remembrance. (Cyp. lib. iii., ep. 15 and 16; and lib. viii., epist. 6; Aug. epist. 64; Origen lib. iii., in Job; Tertul. de Moneg.)
13th. The origin of praying for the dead. Many Christians of this period intro. duced the custom of praying for the dead, under the supposition that the souls of departed saints would not enter into the fruition of heavenly rest, until after the resurrection of the just and the day of judgement. It does not, however, appear that any at this period imagined that the souls of those for whom they prayed were in purgatory, or in a place of torment. The doctrine of a future purgatory was as yet unknown. (Tertul. de Coronâ Militis, and Contra Marcion. lib. iv., cap. 34; and lib. de Animâ, cap. 55; and De Moneg; Justin Martyr; Quest. 60 and 76; Iren. lib. v.)
14th. The sign of the cross. During this century, the use of the sign of the cross was introduced by some, as a witness to unbelievers, that they were not ashamed of the cross of Christ. This arose from the intercourse which then existed between believers and unbelievers, who were so intermingled that they dwelt promiscuously in one house, sat at one table, and slept in one room. The Christian converts resolved to be known and acknowledged ; and with this design, they frequently made the sign of the cross, more especially on the forehead, as being more conspicuous. This was afterwards introduced into the administration of the sacrament of baptism. (Aug. de verb. Apo. Serm. 8; and in Psalm 41; Tertul. de Coronâ Militis; and in Apologet; Origin. Homil. 2; in Psalm 38; Cyp. lib. de Hæret. Bapt.)
15th. Indulgences granted in the Primitive Church. At this time certain penalties were imposed on those called penitents; and sometimes the term of probation was extended to many years. This period of penance was frequently shortened; and the mitigation was termed a relaxation or remission. A long time afterwards the designation was changed, and these mitigations were called indulgences, by which nothing more was intended than a discharge from ecclesiastical censures, or a mitigation of such penalties. (Tertul. lib. de Penit.; Eusebius, lib. vi., cap. 36.)
16th. The intercession of incarcerated saints in behalf of penitents. Those who were prisoners on account of their profession of the Christian faith, still kept up an
intercourse with the Church by means of letters; and as such were highly esteemed, these living martyrs were frequently importuned by the penitents to make intercession for them with the Church; and in this way indulgences were frequently obtained, though the credulity of the imprisoned saints was often abused. This is the only intercession of the saints which was known and acknowledged in the third century.
Regretting that my time and various engagements, will not allow of my extending this third letter to the close of the third century,
I am, Sir, your faithful servant,
Δόκιμος. Haselbury, Feb. 12, 1844.
BISHOP OF WORCESTER'S CHARGE.
To the Editor of the Christian's Monthly Magazine and Universal Review. SIR, I beg particularly to thank you for your Orthodox observations about the Ordination Charge of the Lord Bishop of Worcester, to whom, I think, the best thanks of all the members of the Church of England are also due. The clouds of Popery have long reappeared in our horizon; the dawn of a better day seems likely again ready to dissipate them. The Bishop forbids them to magnify themselves into a miraculous Church, or to turn their backs on the people, and pray for them, instead of with them; of which Leamington exhibits one out of many specimens, on this head : and his reference to the Offertory, and the Keys of Heaven and Hell, will, I trust, give a lesson of humility to the Church, and induce a revision of literature and art, and a reasonable service, and common sense. The clergy are not to make our peace with heaven, but to assist us in doing so, by showing our obedience to the Creator, Saviour, and Redeemer, in fulfilling our relation to his creatures as our fellows, and not substituting a nominal faith for practical piety. It is not by returning towards the Church of Rome, but by advancing in the Protestant line, that the cause of true religion is to be served. Godliness can scarcely be expected, or supported, without cleanliness and temperance. Some of the clergy have been long neglectful, in not making what has been lately taking place lead to good purpose.
I am, Sir, yours truly,
ANSWER TO THE LAY ADDRESS.
To the Editor of the Christian's Monthly Magazine and Universal Revier. SIR, I hope the moderate principles of your Magazine will at least allow of the insertiou of the following observations. In the first place, I conceive the nature of the Answer to the late Oxford important Lay Address belongs more to the Heads of Houses, as High Churchmen, than to their Noble Chancellor, as the Times of Jan. 3 surmises. I admit, with sorrow, that the Answer is as nearly neutral as possible. But, depend upon it, the Tractarians will treat it as a complete, no less than unes.
pected, victory, and as combining with their Jesuitical reserve. The suspended Dr. Pusey, and the writers of the Tracts, claim, that very many of the Articles admit of their very different interpretation, from what appears on the face of them. Surely, then, the number and personal respectability of this party, call for a revision of the Articles : but to state that, loading the conscience of every young man at matriculation, and on taking any degree, with a solemn subscription to Articles rendered so doubtful, is a sufficient protection, in modern times, against strange, and particularly against modern Romish doctrines, is to state what is not consistent with that common sense and that conciliation of the laity which the Bishop of Worcester hopes to see revived. The people are not made for the clergy, but the clergy are made for the people.
Your obedient servant,
A ZEALOUS LAYMAN.
CONCEALED ROMANISM AMONG THE ENGLISH CLERGY.
To the Editor of the Christian's Monthly Magazine and Universal Revier. Sir, The time has arrived when the people must act for themselves, and petition Par. liament and the Sovereign. Two bishops are advocating a decided return to the Church of Rome, and the remaining part of the bench are unwilling to risk any chance of diminished authority; and the clergy are disgracing themselves in the same way: instead of advancing the principles of the Reformation, are advocating a return, more or less, to the Church of Rome. It is true, that, under no pretence are the people to be made serfs of the Church by the Offertory, and other things, as if they could not judge of the means of bestowing their charities without the interference of the Church, and as if the Church, in turning their backs to the people during much of the Liturgy, were praying for the people.
Mr. Melville, in his powerful and eloquent sermon, lately preached at the Temple Church-which smells strongly of Popery and departed institutions--places the present generation in the middle age, between past and future days; claims for the present age, from the completion of prophecy, a long continuance of Christians that are better able to form juster opinions of Christianity, and promoting that by con. tending for the principles of the Reformation; that instead of envying the increasing advantages of futurity, we ought to prepare the way, with the increase of science, for the future spread of the Gospel, that when we arise from the grave we may arise to endless joy, and may glorify Him for his increased and ever to be increasing mercies beyond the confines of Time; towards all his features of other systems, by abandoning the darkness and mystery of iniquity and antiquity.
I perceive, also, that Dr. Pusey states that he quite agrees with Mr. Newman, in the doctrines of Tract 90; and that, upon these principles, both subscribed to the Articles. Dr. Pusey also states that the Bishop of Oxford, though he objected to the original publication, did not, as was published, forbid its future continuation. I think it is as clear as noonday, that, in free conscience, the Bishop should call upon these gentlemen to resign all connection with the Church, or that the Bishop himself should retire from the bench.
I am, Sir, truly yours,
AN OLD CHURCHMAN. London, Feb. 3.
DECLARATION or MINISTERS AND is not lawful for the Church to ordain
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF anything that is contrary to God's Word ENGLAND, RESPECTING SEVERAL written, neither may it expound one CONTROVERTED TRUTHS.
place of Scripture so as to be repugnant The following Declaration, with letter to another." (Art. 20.) But general for signature, has been received by many Councils and particular Churches, being of the Clergy:
liable to error in matters of faith, as well Having witnessed with grief the en- as in the ceremonies which they establish deavours of some persons to unprotest (Arts. 21 and 19), they may be found to antise our Church—for which end they profess what cannot be proved by the reject the doctrine of justification by Word of God, and to ordain what is confaith alone-deny that ungodly persons, trary to it. Every Christian is therefore if haptised, need to be regenerated bound to examine and to ascertain the pervert the meaning of the Sacraments— meaning of the Word of God for himself, change the ministry of the Gospel into a in the use of all the aids within his reach, priesthood-assert that those ministers and to receive no doctrine as the doctrine who have not received episcopal ordina of Scripture unless he sees it to be detion are not true ministers of Christ, and clared therein : otherwise he may receive that their congregations form no part of error as truth upon a fallible authority, the Church of Christ-make what they against the plain testimony of the Word term the Catholic Church the authori. tative interpreter of the Word of God, II.-Believers are accounted righteous and thus seek to prevent each Christian before God only for the merit of our Lord from fulfilling his indispensable duty to and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and weigh and judge for himself the meaning not for their own works and deservings of its language-We, the undersigned (Art. 11). They are justified by the ministers and members of the Church of righteousness of Christ imputed to them, England, feel ourselves obliged, by our not by any inherent righteousness imfidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ, by our parted to them by the Spirit; and they regard for the Word of God, and by our are, from first to last, justified by faith wish to promote the welfare of our alone without works : but as a good Church, publicly to profess our belief of works do spring out necessarily of a true the following truths, which we are re- and lively faith" (Art. 12), the faith solved, in dependence on the grace of which justifies is a faith which "worketh God, to maintain and to disseminate by love." according to our ability; in which de III.-" As the tree is known by its fence of the Gospel, always important, fruit, so is also the Holy Ghost. The and now rendered more urgently neces. fruits of the Holy Ghost . . . . . are these : sary by the progress of “ Anglo-Catholic" love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, doctrines, we earnestly invite the co. goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temoperation of all who value evangelical perance," &c. ..... “ The Holy Ghost truth.
doth always declare himself by his fruit1.-" Holy Scripture containeth all ful and gracious gifts." ..... “Wherethings necessary to salvation ; so that, soever ye find the spirit of arrogance and whatsoever is not read therein, nor may pride, the spirit of envy, hatred, conbe proved thereby, is not to be required tention, &c., .... assure yourselves that of any man that it should be believed as there is the spirit of the Devil, and not an article of the faith." (Art. 6.) “ Itof God" ...... * according to which
rule, if apy man live uprightly, of him it may be safely pronounced that he hath the Holy Ghost within him: if not, then it is a plain token that he doth usurp the name of the Holy Ghost in vain" (Homily for Whitsunday). Un. godly persons have neither been born again of the Spirit, nor justified, although they were baptised in infancy, but remain in an unpardoned state, exposed to the wrath of God; and unless they be born again of the Spirit, and obtain saving faith in Christ, they must perish.
IV.-" The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith." (Art. 28.) “ For the sacramental bread and wine remain still in their very natural substances ...... and the natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural body to be at one time in more places than one.” (Declaration appended to the Communion Service.) " The curate shall instruct him (the sick man), that if he do truly repent him of his sins, and stedfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the cross for him, and shed his blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the body and blood of our Saviour Christ probably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.” (Rubric to the Communion for the Sick.) There is no scriptural authority for affirming that our Lord is present with his people at the Lord's Supper in any other manner than that in which he is present with them whenever they meet together in his name (Matt. xviii. 20); and his body and blood are verily and indeed taken and received by them at that ordinance by faith, just as they are verily and indeed taken and received by them whenever they exercise faith in his atoning sacrifice; so that the imagination of any bodily presence, or of any other presence effected by the consecration of the elements, is unscriptural and erroneous.
V.-" Christ commended to his Church a Sacrament of his body and blood : they (the Church of Rome) have changed
it into a sacrifice for the quick and dead." (Hom. for Whitsunday.) “ Our loving Saviour hath ordained and established the remembrance of his great mercy expressed in his passion, in the institution of his heavenly Supper." ...... “We must then take heed, lest of the memory it be made a sacrifice.” (Hom. of the Sacrament.) The ministers of Christ are termed in Scripture, presbyters, bishops, shepherds, stewards, &c., but are never distinctively termed priests (iepeic); and the notion of any sacrifice offered in the Lord's Supper by the minister as a priest, distinct from the sacrifice of praise and of devotedness offered by every true worshipper, is unscriptural and erroneous. scriptural ar
VI.-" The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requi. site to the same.” (Art. 19.) “ Those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent (into the ministry) which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard." (Art. 23.) There is no scriptural authority for asserting that those only are rightly ordained, or are to be esteemed true ministers of Christ, who have received episcopal ordination.
VII.-“ The bishops of Rome and their adherents are not the true Church of Christ.” “Where is now the Holy Ghost which they so stoutly do claim for themselves? ..... If it be possible to be there where the true Church is not, then is it at Rome; otherwise it is but a vain brag.” “All the popes and prelates of Rome, for the most part, ..... are worthily accounted among the number of false prophets and false Christs.” (Hom. for Whitsunday.) False Christs and false prophets cannot be esteemed true ministers of Christ: the true Apostolical Succession is the succession of faithful ministers in the churches of Christ who have preached the doctrine of the apostles, and have ministered in their spirit.
*George Abbott, B.A.