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"exorcism," "akoluthi" "diocess" "presbytery," "trinity," "mystery," "mystic," "catholic," "canon," &c, &c, &c. This as fully proves the seniority of the Greek church, as it does that of the Greek language over the Latin. All ancient ecclesiastical historians, are also Greeks, such as Eusebius, Socrates Scholasticus, Evagrius Scholasticus, Sozomon, Theodoret. The most ancient and primitive fathers are also Greek. They were models to the Latins and imitated in their writings.
To recapitulate, we have now shown that the Greek church is more ancient than the Latin church; because the first seven general councils were all Greek, there being 1486 Grecian bishops and only 26 Roman bishops present, they were called by Greek emperors, held in Greek cities, and employed about Greek questions.
The leading ecclesiastic terms of all the ancient offices, customs and controversies, are Greek: So are the early fathers and historians.
These considerations superadded to the facts and documents of yesterday, we think fully prove that the Roman church is not the church of all ages and of all nations—not the catholic and apostolic church, as the creed of Trent defines; but a sect, a branch or schism, from the Hebrew and Greek churches of the New Testament.
In proving the proposition before us my plan is to select one of the grand elements embraced in the standard definition of the church, and to show that such being essential to the church, the church could not exist without it. Now, I prefer the arithmetical mode of procedure in this discussion. First lay down the rule and work a single question, and then leave it to others to work as many as they please.
Thus I first laid down a definition of the Roman Catholic church from her own standards. From that it appeared that a pope or universal bishop is an essential element of her existence. I then showed that six hundred years had elapsed from the time of the apostles, before the doctrine or existence of a universal bishop was thought of, and that the office was not instituted till the year 606. But when I have proved this, I have worked only one question. Any one may take up the doctrine of transubstantiation, the worship of images, purgatory, (a doctrine more ancient however, than either the Greek or Roman church,) and every other peculiar doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, and prove that not one of them is to be found in the divine book, nor in the records of the church.
What, let me now ask, is the great point in my first proposition? To prove that the Roman Catholic church is not " the mother and mistress" of all churches; but a sect, in the full import of that word; and if that be not now proved, I know not what can be proved. I admit the subject is capable of much more extensive developement; but we think it neither necessary nor expedient to be more diffuse.
Will the presiding moderator please read my first proposition?
[Here proposition No. 1. was read by the moderator.]
I say then she is not the holy, apostolic, catholic church, as she pretends to be; for in proving her to be a sect, I prove her to be not catholic, nor apostolic; because the true apostolic church cannot be called a sect. To prove her to be a sect is to prove her not Catholic, therefore, nor apostolic. What remains now 1 Even on the concession of my opponent, she is not the Catholic church; for he admits, that the Greek church differed from her only in a few non-essential matters. On that admission, if he admits that persons are saved in the Greek church; she must be a part of the church of Christ; for with him, there is no salvation out of the church.
In the next place my proposition says 'she is not holy.' I am impelled by a sense of duty, and not by any unkind feelings towards such of my fellow citizens as belong to that community, to attempt to prove that the church of Rome is not holy. I would not heedlessly or needlessly offend against the feelings of an Indian, a Hindoo, or a Pagan, in his sincere devotions, how absurd soever they might be. Much less would I wound any one that professes the christian religion under any form; but in serving my contemporaries, in redeeming my pledge, it has become necessary to investigate the grand pretensions of this fraternity, that exclusively arrogates to itself the title ofholy.
Not to expatiate at this time on the vices of the clergy and of the popes what the cardinals Barronius and Bellarmine have sofully noticed, and sometimes specially detailed, I shall take a single text from Bellarmine, De. Eccl. lib. 3. c. 7. which avows a doctrine that must forever make the Roman church unholy. It is expressed in these words:—
"Wicked men, infidels and reprobates remaining in the public profession of the Romish church are true members of the body of Christ."
How then can we admit that she is holy 1 Again: it must be admitted that the great mass of all those who die in the faith and profes sion of the Catholic doctrines are notstrictly holy; for why then should they have to pass through the fires of purgatory?
But again; in her own Testament (if she have a Testament. The gentleman may, indeed tell us his church has no English Testament; for she never owned but the Vulgate. She never gave to her people, with approbation a French, or English, or any vernacular Testament. The Rhemish Testament is, however, published by the authority of a portion of the church; and from it we can find the doctrine of Bellarmine explicitly taught in the notes appended, by the same authority which gave the Testament) in her own Testament, I repeat it, on John xv. 1. these Roman annotators say:—
"Every branch in me, &c." Christ hath some branches in his bodv mystical that be fruitless; therefore, ill livers also may be members of Christ's church.,*
"Ill livers" (mark it) "may be members." This is repeatedly stated in various places, and as I understand, avowed by all that community, as the true doctrine of the church. "111 livers," wicked men, infidels, reprobates, vicious characters, those guilty of crimes of every enormity and color, may then continue members of the Roman church, while they acknowledge the pope and the priesthood, and make profession of faith in the Catholic church; she therefore counts within her fold 150,000,000 of souls, as my opponent stated in this city in October last. All that happen to be born in Catholic countries, infidels, atheists, and all, are enrolled in her communion. Her gates are wide as the human race. It is all church and no world with her. The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, are found in her communion.
The Roman Catholics in the United States are probably thebestbody of Catholics in the world. I mean those who are native citizens. But visit Old Spain or New Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, France, or Canada, where Catholicism is the established religion; and then ask whether holiness be a distinguishing attribute of the depraved and degraded millions who call themselves Roman Catholics! This with me is no very pleasant theme, and I will not extend my remarks on this pointby unnecessary details. I have said enough to prove the allegata in my first proposition, and to show that the church of Rome is a sect and not the holy, apostolic church of Christ, as she proudly and exclusively pretends. I am willing to submit these documents to the severest investigation; and if other arguments and facts are called for, I will only add, we have them at command.
My learned opponent seems to imagine that when I fix the birthday of the Roman Catholic church, on the 16th day of July 1054, I must admit that the church from which she separated was the true and uncorrupted church of Christ; but this is what logicians call a mm sequitur. It does not follow. The gentleman seems to reason as if it were invariable that when one sect separates from another, the body from which it separates, must necessarily be the true church. This is not logical. A new sect may spring from the bosom of the worst sect on earth; but does this prove that the mother sect has piety, character, or authority? Neither does it follow that in the year 1054 the Greek church, though the mother or sisterof the Roman, was the true church of Christ. When it becomes necessary, I may show that both the Greek and Roman schisms had long before 1054, been separate from the apostolic church.
Protestants have all conceded too much in every age and period of this controversy. Even now there is a morbid sensibility upon this subject among some, lest we should make Christ's church too independent of the pope's church. 'In reproaching the mother church,'say they, "you reproach us, also."
In one of the periodicals of this morning it was intimated that the fates and fortunes of some Protestant party are involved in the pending controversy. Be not afraid of the insinuations of such political alarmists. I stand here as a Protestant, not as a Baptist, or Methodist, or Episcopalian; but to defend Protestantism. I am not afraid to meet any antagonist on these premises. In advocating the great cardinal principles of Protestantism, I feel that I stand upon a rock. There is nothing in hazard. I am sorry to see this sort of sensibility manifested. Can the truth suffer from discussion %
In the mean time I will proceed to the second proposition, which will much illustrate and confirm the argument already offered in proof of the first. These great points so embrace one another, and are so intimately allied, that none of them can be fully demonstrated without reference to the others.
"Prop. II. Her notion of Apostolic Succession is without any foundation in the Bible, in reason, or in fact; an imposition of the most injurious consequences, built upon unscriptural and anti-scriptural traditions, resting wholly upon the opinions of interested and fallible men."
Before I heard that the bishop intended to meet me in debate, I had resolved to deliver a series of lectures, on the whole pretensions of the Roman Church, in the following order: 1st her apostolicity, 2nd antiquity, 3rd infallibility, 4th supremacy, 5th catholicity, 6th unity, and 7th sanctity. These seven great topics, I intended to discuss at full length. Each involving the others, none of them is so isolated as to be susceptible of an independent and separate developement. The very term apostolicity involves antiquity: hence, we find her pretending to trace her descent, by regularsteps, back to Peter, who, she asserts, was the first bishop of Rome.
"Only those that can derive their lineage from the apostles are the heirs of the apostles: and consequently they alone can claim a right to the scriptures, to the administration of the sacraments, or any share in the pastoral ministry. It ii their proper inheritance which they have received from the apostles, and the apostles from Christ. 'As my father hath sent me, even so I send you.'" John xx. 21. [Grounds of Cath. Doc. p. 17.
This is the doctrine of the creed of pope Pius iv. and a more glaring assumption is not easily imagined. This church, however, delights in assumption. She assumes that Jesus Christ did establish a church of all nations, to be ruled by a sort of generalissimo, or universal head, who was to be his vicar on earth; by virtue of whose ecclesiastical power she assumes for him political power; for his logic is, that Jesus Christ's vicar must represent his master in all things, in his political as well as his ecclesiastical power. And as Christ himself possesses all authority in heaven and on earth, she assumes that the pope his vicar ought to be the fountain of all power: that by him kings should reign, and princes decree justice. After having thus assumed, that Christ did establish such a kingdom and headship on earth, that he did constitute the office of a vicar for himself and of a prince of the apostles; in the second place, she assumes that this headship was given to Peter, that Christ gave the whole church and the apostles themselves in charge to Peter; that he gave him absolute control over the bishops, pastors and laity; and in the third place, to complete the climax of assumptions, she assumes that Christ established a successorship to Peter throughout all ages. On this triple assumption rests the colossal empire of the papacy.
Now, as to the nature of the apostolical office be it observed with brevity, that it was essentially incommunicable. Holy writ recognizes but three orders of apostles, and none of them had lineal successors. Jesus Christ, the apostle of God the Father, was the first. He is called in the New Testament, "the Apostle and high priest of the christian profession." It is not necessary to prove that he could have no successor. Second, the twelve apostles, who were apostles of Christ, as he was the apostle of God. In John xvn. he says, "As my Father made me his apostle, so I make you my apostles." These then being personal attendants on the Messiah, could have no successors. Third, Apostles sent out by particular churches, on special errands. Theseare called in the New Testament Mturnr-raxo! -rm auojfa-iat. These, always sent on special errands, could have no successors.
If the qualifications of the apostolic office were understood, there could be no controversy on the question of successors. As laid down by Peter, Acts I. it behoved them to have been companions of Christ from his baptism to his acsension, to be eye and ear witnesses of all that he did and said. In this essential requisite they could have no successors. Besides, if one should have a successor, why not all? While the college of apostles was necessary, we see that succession was fully carried out. Therefore, the chairof Judas the traitor demanded a successor as well as that of Peter. But yet we have not heard of any controversy about the successor of Judas!
Our first argument against the Catholic notion of succession is drawn from the nature of the apostolic office.
But did we concede that the apostolic office was communicable, and that Christ did appoint a president of the apostles, and place his chair in Rome, there is no document on earth, from which we can learn with any degree of certainty, that Peter was ever bishop in Rome. And yet Catholics themselves, contend that it is essential to the cause of the succession and supremacy that Peter placed his see at Rome by Christ's commandment.
Bellarmine positively affirms;
** The right ofsuccession in the popes of Rome isfounded in this, that Peter by Christ's appointment, placed his seat at Rome, and there remained till his death." Lib. H. c. 1.
This resolves the controversy into a single question of fact, viz. Sid Peter, by Christ's appointment, place his seat at Rome and there remain till death? Barronius, however says;
"It is not improbable that our Lord gave an express command that Peter should so fix his see at Rome, that the bishop of Rome should absolutely succeed him. [Id. lb.
Only probable! But there is no such succession in fact. In the first place, there is no proof from scripture that Peter ever was at Rome, much less, bishop of Rome; and secondly, if he were an apostle, he could not be the bishop of any church. A king, a justice of the peace, the bishop of London, the vicar of Bray! It is, on these premises, impossible to prove this most fundamental question.
Various efforts have been made by the bishop of Cincinnati to excite Episcopalians and others on this question, as if they were likely to be involved in the same common ruin with my opponent's pretensions. There is no need for any alarm on this account. The office of pope and his succession, certainly, are not identical with that of Episcopalian bishops in England or America!
There is no body of men who have done more to elevate English literature and science, than the English clergy, none whose writings I have read with more pleasure than theirs, on all subjects pertaining to general literature, morality and religion. In some of them, indeed, we find weak as well as strong places, and a too great timidity in contending against the Romanists, lest they should endanger their right of Episcopacy. I incline to the opinion, that the pretensions of the church of Rome may be fully canvassed without at all jeopardizing the simple question of the divine right of Episcopacy. But if we attempt to bring a clean thing out of an unclean; or expect to find a divine warrant in the commission given to the apostles; or in the Roman Catholic traditions; we shall never find it to the day of eternity.
Successors must be successors in full, or they are not successors at all. To illustrate this—does not the existing president of the United States inherit all the power and authority of George Washington, by virtue of constitutional succession? Does he not possess the same power, in all its length and breadth, its height and depth, as did his predecessor, from the first to the last? This is true of every constitutional office in the civilized world. All the power which any predecessor can have, belongs to every incumbent: So in the church, if it have constitution at all.
If the apostles have successors, they have successors in full. But the Roman Catholics themselves give up the controversy, by admitting that none of the bishops or popes inherit the power and functions bestowed upon the apostles by the commission. I do not, indeed, found my argument for the divine right of bishops