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under the Decian Persecution were refused readmission into the Church, and this refusal they made a pretence for secession.
19th. Hence arose a custom which introduced the “ Penitentiaries." To prevent that scandal which frequently arose from the public repetition in the Church of those confessions which were made privately by penitents to their respective pastors, it was deemed expedient to select some one prudent and discreet person to whom such confessions should be committed as secrets. This custom was, however, at that time confined to the Greek Church; since it was not until A.D. 450 that the Western Church adopted private and particular confessions. No sooner was this secret mode of confession introduced, than the people were exhorted not only to confess their greater and more overt sins, but also their smaller faults and their daily defects and infirmities. This practice was not received as of Divine authority, but simply as of ecclesiastical expediency; for, subsequently, on offence taken, the custom was abolished by Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, about the year 396. (Sozom, trip. histor., lib. ix., cap. 35.)
20th. Writers of this period also make mention of some virgins who consecrated themselves to Almighty God. For this purpose they presented themselves to the Church, when they were dedicated by prayer to the service of God and to works of charity. There was, however, no irrevocable vow of celibacy made; since they might relinquish the employment to which, for a time, they had been dedicated, and enter on the marriage state. The practice seems to have been one of expediency, arising from the persecutions which prevailed about that time. (Cypr., lib. i., Ep. 9 and 11.)
21st. The last superstitious custom which belongs to this period seems to be the adoption of dipped bread, on carrying the consecrated elements, in the administration of the Lord's Supper, either to the sick or to children. This, however, never prevailed as a general practice, but was restricted to those who were unable, either from sickness or age, from receiving both elements, or the entire sacrament, in any other manner. Others partook of the bread and wine separately administered. Hoping that this historical compilation may be useful to some of your readers, I am, sir, your faithful servant,
Abriuos. Haselbury, March 21, 1844.
RE-UNION WITH ROME.
To the Editor of the Christian's Monthly Magazine and Universal Review. SIR, In my last letter I confined myself to contrasting the acknowledged principles of Popery with the doctrines of our Church, as contained in her Thirty-nine Articles ; and I left it to your readers to form their own judgement as to the practicability of a union of such conflicting elements. The fundamental principles of Popery, as acknowledged by the Papists themselves, may be thus briefly recapitulated : There can be no hope of salvation, say they, without a reception of ecclesiastical traditions and ceremonies ; of the authority of the Church in determining the sense of the Scriptures; of the seven sacraments, according to the forms of that Church; of the doctrines of original sin and of justification, as determined by the Council of Trent; of the sacrifice of the Mass, and of Transubstantiation ; of the semi-communion ; of a future purgatory; of prayers to the dead, saints, and to the l'irgin Mary; of the worshipping of relics and of images ; of the Papal power to grant indulgences ; of the supreme authority of the Pope ; and, lastly, of a full assent to the opinions of all their Ecumenical Councils, and more especially of the Council of Trent. These are the essential points, which the Romish Church can never cede; and, therefore, we must yield to them, if ever a re-union is to be effected.
Now, Sir, various are the arguments which are proposed for Catholic communion. One of the most potent seems to be the prevalence of schism, and the endless causes of division. The remedy for this is supposed to be “Catholic” communion ; and, in order that this may be effected, we must receive error and falsehood, as of inferior importance! In this way we may easily compose the differences of the Reformed Churches with the apostate one of Rome! In this way one may present to the world the unity of one universal Church, wholly purged from those unseemly divisions which now exist!
The subtle sophistry of such proposals appears from the dishonesty practised in concealing the true end. “ Catholic" unity is the specious pretext; whereas, a reception of the errors of the Romish Church is the true design, and the object so earnestly longed for and desired.
It is most true, and a subject deeply to be lamented, that throughout our Sove. reign's dominions there exist sad divisions in respect to things spiritual, and many are the sects which start up around us on every side. This we deny not, and most sincerely should we rejoice in the exhibition of perfect unity in the faith; although the Scriptures do not warrant any such expectation. Most cordially should we embrace any effectual remedy that could be devised without the abandonment of principle, and without a denial of the true faith. This, however, cannot be expected, as the unity desired pertains to“ the world to come;" and, further, this oneness is impossible and impracticable, from the very constitution of the Apostate Church of Rome. Never can we reconcile the Protestant faith with those errors against which we protest! In that day when our Protestant Church shall unite with Rome, will she lose her very essential principle of life, and truth must be merged in falsehood! Hence, as Protestant members of a Protestant Church, it becomes our duty to wage interminable war with the very being of the Romish Church. It is a contest in which neither can yield without ceasing to exist. In this spiritual warfare there can be no peace, no reconciliation. The combat must be continued, until one or the other fall.
May we, Sir, as Protestants, ever be found in the ranks of those who “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints !" In this hope, believe me to be,
Your faithful servant,
FIDEI DEFENSOR. March 14, 1844.
VI. ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE.
THE AMERICAN CHURCH.
We find the following document in a
STRUCTION OF THE RUBRICS IN THE
“ An opinion upon points connected with the ordination held in St. Stephens's
having been recently received by a friend of the undersigned, and a copy having been sent to them as relating to a matter of mutual interest, they deem it proper to make it public, with a few explanatory remarks. The questions contained in the document were communicated to the Rev. William Dealtry, D.D., Chancellor
of the diocese of Winchester, with a request that he would obtain the best legal opinion upon them. The case was taken by this reverend gentleman to Doctors' Commons, and having been prepared by Messrs. Fox, Mundell, and Fox, proctors, was submitted, and the joint opinion of the very eminent civilians whose names are signed to it was obtained. The paper is endorsed by them thus : · For the joint opinion of her Majesty's Advocate and Dr. Jenner; and the brevity of the replies, it may be proper to remark, is according to the usage in similar cases. As no copy of the American Book of Common Prayer was at hand, the opinion is based upon the rubrics and ordinal of the English Praver-book, which circumstance affects neither its pertinency nor force.
“ IENRY ANTHON.
“Ilugu Smith. “ New York, Feb. 27, 1844."
we purpose, God willing, to receive this day unto the holy office of priesthood; for, after due examination, we find not to the contrary, but that they be lawfully called to their function and ministry, and that they be persons meet for the same. But yet, if there be any of you, who knoweth any impediment or notable crime, in any of them, for the which he ought not to be received into this holy ministry, let him come forth in the name of God, and show what the crime or impediment is.'
“And if any great crime or impediment be objected, the Bishop shall surcease from ordering that person until such time as the party accused shall be fourd clear of that crime.
“ Then the Bishop (commending such as shall be found meet to be ordered to the prayer of the congregation) shall, with the clergy, and people present, sing or say the Litany, &c."
" THE FORM AND MANNER OF ORDERING
PRIESTS. “ When the day appointed by the bishop is come, after morning prayer is ended, there shall be a sermon or exhortation, declaring the duty and office of such as come to be admitted priests; how necessary that order is in the Church of Christ, and also how the people ought to esteem them in their office.
“ First, the Archdeacon, or, in his absence, one appointed in his stead, shall present unto the bishop (sitting in his chair near to the holy table) all of them that shall receive the order of priesthood that day (each of them being decently habited), and say—
" • Reverend Father in God, I present unto you these persons present, to be admitted to the order of priesthood.'
“ The Bishop : " "Take heed that the persons whom ye present unto us be apt and meet, for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry duly, to the honour of God, and the edifying of His Church.'
“ The Archdeacon shall answer : "'I have enquired of them, and also examined them, and think them so to he.' “ Then the Bishop shall say unto the
People: " Good people, these are they whom
“ Some difference of opinion prevails as to the interpretation of the words in the above address by the Bishop, beginning · Good people, these are they whom we purpose, &c.; if there be any of you who knoweth any impediment or notable crime,' &c. &c.; and also as to the parties addressed under the description people' or congregation,' whether it includes the clergy present as well as the laity.
“ Your opinion is requested on the following points:
"lst. Does that call embrace clergymen as well as laymen?
« • Looking at the object the Bishop must be supposed to have in view in making the call, we are of opinion tha clergymen as well as laymen are included.'
“ 2d. May an impediment of a purely doctrinal nature, as Romish heresy, for example, be stated ?
"We think that such an impediment, if it exist, may and ought to be stated.'
“ 3d. In case the impediment has been stated privately to the Bishop already, and he has satisfied himself about it, and chooses to ordain, does that take away the right of a public statement ?
"In the case here supposed, we think that neither the right nor the duty of a public statement is taken away.'
** 4th. When such an impediment is
and unless it is of a serious nature, we see nothing to prevent his proceeding with the ordination.
" • John DOBSON
« « HERBERT JENNER.' ""Doctors' Commons, Dec. 14, 1843.'”
stated under such circumstances, supposing the right to make the statement, may the Bishop proceed, or is he bound to suspend the ordination ?
“* We are of opinion that the Bishop is bound by the rubric to “surcease from ordering where the alleged impediment is of such a nature as to disqualify the person against whom it is objected (if the same be proved) from obtaining priest's orders, notwithstanding any previous enquiries on the subject.
" • The Bishop must, however, be allowed to exercise his discretion as to the effect of the alleged impediment;
[A correspondent of “ The New York Churchman" objects that the “case" was drawn up from the formularies of the Church of England, but we believe that there is not any material variation from that of the American Church; still, a knowledge of the constitution of that Church is essential for deciding the case.]
VII. EDITORIAL RETROSPECT.
In closing our First Volume, we have to congratulate ourselves and our readers on the progress of the cause which we have advocated. We began in much fear, and some of the Tractarian journals, as our readers know, were impatient to attack us by anticipation ; and, on the publication of our First Number, made a show of assailing us ; but, attempting this through misrepresentation, were by us confronted with fact and truth, and have since maintained a proper and becoming silence. To those distinguished clergymen who have enriched our pages with their theological disquisitions and correspondence, our thanks are specially due: to them our subscribers and readers are indebted for whatever improvement may have been recognised in each successive issue. The press, in all parts of the country, has been lavish of its praises ; and thus, having much reason to be satisfied with the past, we turn with more hope to the future.
The combat thickens, and the Tractarians have found it necessary to act vindictively--revenging the charge of heresy upon the authorities of Oxford, by impeaching a sermon of Professor Garbett, of the same, and thus endeavouring to implicate that University in two contradictory decisions. We trust that this will not be the case. That the battle must henceforth be hand to hand, and foot to foot, becomes clear now to minds that are in the least prophetic. But mighty is Truth, and will prevail; though she will do her own work in her own time, and hastens not to satisfy human impatience. She requires of man high faith, enduring constancy, fortitude, hope, and, above all, never-failing charity and love.
D. Cahn, Printer, 6, Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell.
Æschylus, Prometheus Bound, trans-
lated from, page 394.
113, 236, 354, 764.
Ruins of Yorkshire, 85.
326, 335, 456, 471, 587, 602.
F. D. Maurice, 130.
tutions : Mr. Maitland's “Dark Ages,"
Caldwell (J. S.), Results of Reading, by
with the Rubric, by Dr. Slade, 763.
North of France, 500.
Patristical, by the Rev. G. C. Rolfe,
Scripturally Considered, 760.
Among the English Clergy, 357.
Baptismal Regeneration, Rev. P. Mait.
ridion, by, 347.
the Doctrine set forth in Dr. Pusey's
Sermon, by, 753.