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he confounds the Jews, by proving that the ceremonial works of the law avail them nothing towards salvation, and the Gentiles by shewing that their shameful excesses, notwithstanding the boasted lights of philosophy, involved them equally with the rejected Jews in the divine malediction? Does he not devote eleven chapters of this epistle to establish solidly the fundamental doctrines of the christian faith? Finally, was not the church of Rome at least as ancient as the church of Corinth?
My friend spoke of transubstantiation, and purgatory. These will come in their proper place in the debate.
The conclusion of all his arguments is, that the Roman Catholic church is a sect. This, I may venture to say, he has failed to prove. Indeed he has done anything but prove it; for he has in fact strengthened my grounds of defence, for the more he has questioned my authorities and arguments, the more signally have I established them.
My friend is correct in saying that to prove the church not Catholic, is to prove her neither holy nor apostolic. Had he acted on this hint, and compressed his first three propositions into one, and condensation is all important in discussion, he would have greatly abridged his own labor, and saved this audience and myself much loss of time. I have proved that the Roman Catholic church is Now the only church that is, as a church, (and not as a band of sailors or travellers without any fixed habitation,) spread over the entire world; that she only has been so from the beginning, to the exclusion of every sect: that she alone now bears, that she alone has ever borne the name of Catholic; that no other denomination, no sect now has or ever had a right to it—and that, as she is Catholic, she is also holy, she is apostolic, she is divine, and consequently the only true church of Christ. By the same strictness of investigation and of reasoning, by the same splendid evidence of facts, I will prove that she alone is united in faith and government as the true church should be; for Christ prayed for his disciples the night before he suffered, "that they may be One, as thou Father in Heaven and I are one." Now in what church shall we seek for this unity? We shall see that, later in the debate, for notwithstanding the admission of my friend, we must plod our weary round, debating these propositions as he has penned them. But the gentleman says, "the Roman Catholic church assumes every thing." No, my brethren, it is not so. When she can so validly establish her claim, she does not, she has no occasion to assume any thing. She proves all things, and holds fast to them because they are good. In the first place we prove from scripture that Christ did establish an earthly head to his church, and that that head was the apostle Peter. If not, why did he say to Peter, "Thou art Peter, (a rock) and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"? Again, he did give him a preeminence over the other apostles. If not, why did he say to him, Luke, xxii. 32, "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you (in the plural, that is, all the apostles) that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and thou being converted, confirm thy brethren"? He told Peter that he would deny him—that he would fall—but he at the same time cheered him by the divine assurance that his fall should not be for ever, that he would arise from it, and that after his transitory humiliation, no longer presumptuously confiding in his own strength, but placing' all his trust in God, he should not only securely stand himself before both Jews and Gentiles, but likewise strengthen and support his brethren. For this Christ prayed for Peter, and the Father who also loves the church, heard and he will ever hear that prayer. The faith of Peter hath never failed. When did he ever say this to the other apostles? Peter is named first, when the apostles are enumerated; he speaks first in the meeting of the apostles and brethren, and gives instructions to proceed to the choosing an apostle in the place of the Iscariot. He is the first to reproach the Jews with deicide, and at his preaching eight thousand are converted. He is sent by an angel from heaven, to the gentile Cornelius; is released from prison by an angel; confirms the Samaritans with St. John : healeth jEneas at Lydda: raiseth Tabitha from death at Joppa; founds the first see among the gentiles at Antioch. He speaks first in the council at Jerusalem, "men, brethren, &c." Acts, xv. "and all the multitude among whom there had been previously, much disputing, held their peace." "Then after three years" says St. Paul, Gal. i. 13. "I went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and I tarried with him fifteen days." And ch. 2. v. 1. "Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem, and I went up according to revelation, and conferred with them the gospel which I preach among the gentiles, lest perhaps I should run, or had run in vain."
My friend says that this assumption is followed by injurious effects, religious and political, inconsequence of the power wielded by a single individual. This directly impeaches the foreknowledge and sanctity of Christ. He established the power, and from its exercise within the just limits, which he has prescribed, I maintain that no consequences injurious either to religious or civil society can ever ensue. History attests, and I have quoted some striking instances from the records of the Greek church, that the power of the popes was Conservative. Their influence has ever been most favorable to the best interests of society as well as of religion. They were the friends of peace, the patrons of learning, the umpires of angry princes and hostile nations on the one hand, while on the other they preserved pure and uncontaminated, the holy deposit of the truth and proscribed error. Confined to its proper sphere the influence of the head of the church must needs be salutary ; must, if God was wise, be beneficial and far above reproach. This power has been exerted for the welfare of society under every form of government, monarchical, aristocratical, mixed, and republican. It is the friend of all. It is irreconcileable with none, but of the temporal influence of the popes it will be time enough to speak in its proper place. I will now proceed to show that the want of an ecclesiastical superior, whom all are bound to obey, lets in a deluge of evils, and these irremediable, on every religious body that wants a head. Reason, alone should attest this truth, without further illustration. The sheepfold over which there has been placed no shepherd, will soon be the prey of the wolf. The school in which no teacher presides, the society which recognises no chief magistrate, will not fail to exhibit a scene of confusion, and must finally be dissolved. Let us appeal to experience. What has multiplied the (so called) christian sects to such an excess that neither the evil nor the remedy can be any longer endured in Protestant communions? It is the principle contended for by my opponent. It is this, as bishop Smith justly observes, more prolific than the knife that divides the polypus, that daily multiplies divisions and produces new sects in christianity. Hear a late number of the Baptist Banner, speaking of this controversy. It says:—
"But to be serious, we cannot believe that any good will follow this debate. But too much excitement is attempted to be gotten up against the Roman Catholics—an excitement bordering on intolerance. Could we feel assured, either from his course in this instance or from a retrospect of his past life, that Mr. Campbell sought this discussion solely to vindicate truth and expose error, and not ostentatiously to exhibit his tact in debate and to reap a pecuniary harvest by a new publication, we might feel less distrust of consequences, and should have some faint hope that probably good would ensue; but credulous, nay, stupid must be the man, who in looking over the circumstances which have concurred in originating this debate, can suppose that any religious or commendable motive prompted him to throw the gauntlet and provoke the controversy. In looking over his past career, a love of truth and a desire to promote the peace and prosperity of Zion, have not been the prominent traits which have marked his character and rendered conspicuous his course. [Bishop P. was here called to order; Mr. Campbell also here observed, that as he had read the worst part of the article he might read the balance; and the point of order being examined, the board decided that he was in order.] We do not speak for other places, but in Kentucky he has caused more serious injury to the cause of religion, more disturbance, more wrangling, collision, ana division in society, in a few years, than in our humble judgment, the Catholics can ever do. But we forbear. The debate will take place. The Campbellites will sip delicious wisdom from the lips of their leader. A new impulse will be given to their now drooping state. They will again wage his high claims to competency to reform religion and introduce the Millennium. And Mr. Campbell will have the proud satisfaction of rendering great good—to himself by the sale of another book! This will be about all that will result from this discussion."
I knew not until yesterday that the Baptists were opposed to Mr. Campbell; but as necessarily as the stream flows from its source, do these disastrous effects which the Baptist Banner deprecates, flow from the system which acknowledges no head in religious matters, but allows every individual, qualified or disqualified, to give his own crude fancies for the revelation of heaven.
The Zion's Advocate of the 28th ult. and the Palladium of the 7th inst. give similar testimony against the radicalism of my friend. But I spare him the reading. You can now judge of the tree by its fruits; his are bitterness and confusion, those of the Catholics, admitting a supremacy in the church, are order, unity and peace. His rule necessarily creates enmities and endless altercations in the church; the Catholic rule cuts them up by the very roots, and not only arrests their growth, but renders their very existence impossible.
Mr. Campbell said that the Roman Catholic church was an apostacy from the true Church, and that this event, so important in the annals of the world, took place precisely on the 16th of July 1054, when she separated from the Greek church. It is a pity, as he intended to be so particular, that he did not tell us whether it was old style or new.
But perceiving the terrible effect of this admission, upon his argument, he retraces his steps, and taking us all aback, he says that the Greek church was not after all the true church of Christ, and thus he lias left us as much in the dark as ever. Remember I told him how much it had puzzled the world and would puzzle him to settle that point. I ask him again then, if the Roman Catholic church apostatized from the church of Christ at the period in question, and the Greek church, from which she separated, was as corrupt as herself, where was, at that time, the true church 1 God's covenant with her, Ezech. xxxvii. 62, was an everlasting covenant of peace, a covenant, like that of day and night, to last for all generations, Jre. xxxiii. 20, 21, always visible, Is. n. 2. 3. Michers iv. 1. 2. spread far and near, and teaching many nations, Ps. xi. 8. Dan. xi. 35. 44. Malach. i. 11. The pillar and the ground of truth, unfailing; the gates of hell were never to prevail against her. If all these glorious prophecies were not fulfilled in the Roman Catholic church, in what other church were they fulfilled 1 When will my friend answer me?
Mr, C. observes that the Roman Catholic church or the see of Peter, assumes to be the representative of Christ in all his power, ecclesiastical and political, and that as Christ was supreme head over all the earth, temporal and spiritual, so was Peter, and so are his successors.
I have already shewn that this is no part or parcel of the Catholic doctrine. The pope's power is spiritual, his kingdom like that of Christ, is not of this world. He has not a solitary inch of ground over which to exercise temporal authority in any territory on earth, beyond the narrow limits of the papal states; and the authority with which he is there invested rather originated in the people's preference of the bishop's crosier to the kingly sceptre, than in any views he could himself, have cherished of worldly aggrandizement. Hear Gibbon, m. vol. p. 230., Phil. 1830. "The want of laws could only be supplied by the influence of religion, and their foreign and domestic counsels were moderated by the authority of the bishop. His alms, his sermons, his correspondence with the king and prelates of the west, his recent services, their gratitude, an oath, accustomed the Romans to consider him as the first magistrate. The christian humility of the popes was not offended by the name of dominus or lord, and their face and inscription is still apparent on the most ancient coins. Their temporal dominion is now confirmed by the reverence of a thousand years; and their noblest title is the free choice of a people, whom they had redeemed from slavery."
I had a great deal of other ground to go over on this point, but my time is limited; and I will now proceed to review one of the most dreadful charges ever made against a pope of Rome, and to show that it is totally without foundation.
If I understood Mr. C. aright, he asserted, that it was the pope Gregory consecrated Phocas the centurion king, in the church of St. John the Baptist in Constantinople, and that he did so, contrary to every law of God, or man, for the base, the iniquitous purchase of the title of pope.
(Mr. Campbell reasserted the charge.)
Now I aver that the charge is unfounded and false. I mean no disrespect to Mr. C. He would not intentionally deceive this assembly or wilfully sustain by calumny an otherwise hopeless cause. But leaving motives to their proper judge, I shall now prove to this audience that he has stated what is not true, and alleged odious charges against the pope which he cannot substantiate. On his own reputation for accuracy and his knowledge of history let the penalty for ever Jest, of having been this day detected before so many of his fellow citizens, egregiously at fault in both. Hormisdas king of Persia, indignant at the defeat of his general Varamus (see Natalis Alex. saec. sext. Art. v. p. 226,) sends him a petticoat in derision. The war is renewed; Mauritius loses 12000 troops, taken prisoners by the Chagan; he refuses to release them by paying the humble pittance set as a price on the head of each by the victor; they are butchered in cold blood; his people, shocked at his avariceand cruelty revolt—Mauritius abdicates— the people choose the centurion, Phocas, to reign over them in his stead; the patriarch of Constantinople consecrates Phocas king, in the church of St. John the Baptist, in C. P. The entire story is thus related by Gibbon.
"The troops of Maurice might listen to the voice of a victorious leader, they disdained the admonitions of statesmen and sophists, and when they received an edict which deducted from their pay the price of their arms and clothing, they execrated the avarice of a prince insensible of the dangers and fatigues from which he had escaped: and every age must condemn the inhumanity or avarice of a prince, who by the trifling ransom of six thousand pieces of gold, might have prevented the massacre of 12,000 prisoners in the hands of the Chagan. In the first fervor of indignation, an order was signified to the army of the Danube, that they should spare the magazines of the province, and establish their winter-quarters in the hostile country of the Avars. The measure of their grievances was full: they pronounced Maurice unworthy to reign, expelled or slaughtered his faithful adherents, and, under the command of Phocas, a simple centurion, returned by hasty marches to the neighborhood of Constantinople.
"The rigid and parsimonious virtues of Maurice had long since alienated the hearts of his subjects; and a vile plebeian, who represented his countenance and apparel, was seated on an ass, and pursued by the imprecations of the multitude.* The emperor suspected the popularity of Germanus with the soldiers and citizens; he feared, ne threatened, but he delayed to strike; the patrician fled to the sanctuary of the church; the people rose in his defence, the walls were deserted by the guards, and the lawless city was abandoned to the flames and rapine of nocturnal tumult. In a small bark the unfortunate Maurice, with his wife and nine children, escaped to the Asiatic shore; but the violence of the wind compelled him to land at the church of St. Antoninus, near Chalcedon, from whence he despatched Theodosius, his eldest son, to implore the gratitude and friendship of the Persian monarch. For himself, he refused to fly. His body was tortured with sciatic pains, his mind was enfeebled by superstition; he patiently awaited the event of the revolution, and addressed a fervent and public prayer to the Almighty, that the punishment of his sins might be inflicted in this world, rather than in a future life. After the abdication of Maurice, the two factions disputed the choice of an emperor; but the favorite of the blues, was rejected by the jealousy of their antagonists, and Germanus himself was hurried along by the crowds, who rushed to the palace of Hebdomen, seven miles from the city, to adore the majesty of Phocas, the centurion. A modest wish of resigning the purple to the rank and merit of Germanus was opposed by his resolution, more obstinate, and equally sincere: the senate and clergy obeyed this summons, and as soon as the patriarch was assured of his orthodox belief, he consecrated the successful usurper in the church of St. John the Baptist." Gibbon; sixth Amer. Edit, of the Hist, of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Page 184. Vol. iii. A. D. 1830.
Thus it appears that Gregory did not act the part assigned him by my friend, and that this accusation turns out to be, like a thousand others, taken up at second hand, without examination or suspicion of falsehood or incorrectness, against the pope, a mere fabrication without a shadow of foundation in history! What will this enlightened audience now say? What apology is my friend prepared to make for having unconsciously led them into error .? This case may illustrate many others that are similar, and I beg it may not be forgotten. Napoleon, Pepin, &c. are parallels, the pontiff could,ntjf resist the will of an entire people; and it would only perpetuate lawless violence and disorder to contest a claim to the throne, to which no one was able to support his rival pretensions. The pope, Seeing that the
* In their clamors against Maurice, the people of Constantinople branded him with the name of Marciomte or Marcionist; a heresy, (says Theophylact, Lib.
c. 9.) Vu-o; t**px; i»xafltiac mn$m Ti xxi xMTvyiKaa-Tos. £>jd they only cast out a vague reproach, or had the emperor really listened to some obscure teacher of those ancient Gnostics? ^ F m