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sh, or Christian—a confederation of sects, under a politico-ecclesiastic
lead. 4. She is the " Babylon" of John, the " Man of Sin" of Paul, and the Em
rire of the "Youngest Horn" of Daniel's Sea Monster.
6. Her notions of purgatory, indulgences, auricular confession, remission of sins, transubstantiation, supererogation, &c, essential elements of her system, are immoral in their tendency, and injurious to the well-being of socisty, religious and political.
6. Notwithstanding her pretensions to have given us the Bible, and faith in it, we are perfectly independent of her for our knowledge of that book, and its evidences of a divine original.
7. The Roman Catholic religion, if infallible and unsusceptible of reformation, as alleged, is essentially anti-American, being opposed to the genius of all free institutions, and positively subversive of them, opposing the general reading of the scriptures, and the diffusion of useful knowledge among the whole community, so essential to liberty and the permanency of good government
. A, CAMPBELL.
Curcixsi.Ti, 13th January, 1837.
ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION.
The parties met according to appointment, on the 13th January, 1837, at the Sycamore Street Meeting House, at half past nine o'clock, A. M.
MODERATORS. Messrs. Samuel Lewis, Thomas J. Biggs, William Disney, John Rc Geks And J.W. Piatt.
WILLIAM DISNEY, CHAIRMAN.
Mr. Samuel Lewis, having called the meeting to order, read the rules of th Debate, as agreed upon between the parties, and the propositions advanced by Mr. Campbell for discussion. He requested the audience to refrain from any audible signs of approbation or disapprobation, as it would interrupt the debate.
Mr. Campbell then opened the debate as follows i—
My Christian Friends and FelloiO'Ciiizens—
I appear before you at this time, by the good providence of our Heavenly Father, in defence of the truth, and in explanation of the great redeeming, regenerating and ennobling principles of Protestantism, as opposed to the claims and pretensions of the Roman Catholic church. I come not here to advocate the particular tenets of any sect, but to defend the great cardinal principles of Protestantism.
Considerable pains appear to have been taken by the gentlema 'who is my opponent on this occasion, to impress upon the minds of the public the idea that he stands here in the attitude of a defender of Catholicism, and to represent me as its assailant. I am sorry to say that even some Protestants have contributed to give that color to this debate; for I saw in this morning's Gazette an article, in which I am represented as conducting a crusade against the Roman Catho lies. Its editor appears to have his sympathies morbidly enlisted in their cause. He is very sympathetic indeed, in behalf of the Roman Catholic religion. Every agony the mother church feels is a pang to him; for every groan she heaves he has a bottle full of tears ready to be poured out. I will not stop to enquire whether they are political or religious tears. I have to do with the worthy gentleman here, who has represented me as having volunteered to come forward with an attack upon the Catholic church.
I need scarcely inform that portion of my audience, who were present at the last meeting of the College of Teachers in this city, tha so far from its being true that I made an attack in the first instance upon the Roman Catholic church, the gentleman did first assail the Protestants.
He says in the Gazette of the 19th ofDec. 1836, that I am a bold and wanton challenger; but a word of comment on this document will shew that it is quite the other way.
The issue was made in the first instance in the College of Teachers. You will recollect that when Dr. J. L. Wilson read an oration on the subject of universal education, the gentleman arose, and in that Protestant house, and before a Protestant assembly, directly and positively protested against allowing the book which Protestants claim to contain their religion, to be used in schools. He uttered a tirade against the Protestant modes of teaching, and against the Protestant influence upon the community. This was the origin of the dispute. Had it not been for the assertions made by the gentleman on that occasion, we should not have heard one word of a discussion.
It is true that the propositions just read may present me in the attitude of what he is pleased to call an assailant of the Roman church. But the question is—how has the controversy originated? And let me ask, how is it possible for the gentleman to prove that, because, a year ago, I made some answer to an attack on Protestantism from the state of Illinois, and called for some more reputable antagonist, that on this account he did not assail Protestantism, and that I am the assailant in this case? Does my having been plaintiff in that case make me necessarily plaintiff in every other case? Does my having told him that I stood prepared to discuss the question at large with any creditable gentleman—[Here Mr. C. was interrupted by the moderators as not speaking to the point.] I submit to the decision of the moderators. I thought it due to myself, that the public should know precisely the attitude in which the gentleman and myself stand in this matter. I stand here as the defender of Protestantism, and not as the assailant of Catholicism. I wished to exonerate myself from such an imputation. But as the gentlemen have decided that we proceed at once to the question, let us begin and examine the first proposition. It is as follows:
"Prop. I. The Roman Catholic Institution, sometimes called the 'Holy, Apostolic, Catholic, Church,' is not now, nor was she ever, catholic, apostolic, or holv . but is a sect in the fair import of that word, older than any other sect now existing, not the 'Mother and Mistress of all Churches,' but an apostacy from the only true, holy, apostolic, and catholic church of Christ."
As this is the place and time for logic rather than rhetoric, I will proceed to define the meaning of the important terms contained in this proposition. The subject is the Roman Catholic Institution. This institution, notwithstanding its large pretensions, I affirm, can be proved clearly to be a sect, in the true and proper import of the term. Though she call herself the mother and mistress of all churches, she is, strictly speaking, a sect, and no more than a sect. We now propose to adduce proof to sustain this part of the proposition.
In the first place, the very term Roman Catholic indicates that she is a sect, and not the ancient, universal and apostolic church, the mother and mistress of all churches. If she be the only universal or Catholic church, why prefix the epithet Roman? A Roman Catholic church is a contradiction. The word Catholic means universal—the word Roman means something local and particular. What sense or meaning is there in a particular universal church? It is awkward on another account. If she pretends to be considered the only true and universal church of Christ among all nations and in all times, why call herself Roman? To say the Roman Catholic church of America, is just as absurd as to say the Philadelphia church of Cincinnati, —the London church of Pittsburgh,—the church of France of the United States. The very terms that she chooses indicates that she cannot be the universal church.
It will not help the difficulty to call her the Church of Rome. These words indicate a sect and only a sect, as much as the words Roman Catholic. They signify strictly, only the particular congregations meeting in that place.
The Roman Catholic historians endeavor to reconcile this discrepancy of terms"t>y saying that, though those particular congregations are meant, in their larger sense the terms are used to designate all those congregations, scattered throughout the world, who are in communion with the church of Rome. Thus testifies Du Pin—
"It is true, that at the present time, the name of the church of Rome, is gi ea to the Catholic church, and that these two terms pass for synonymous.
"But in antiquity no more was intended by the name of the church of Rome, than the church of the city of Rome, and the popes (bishops) in their subscriptions or superscriptions, look simply to the quality of bishops of Rome. The Greek schismatics seem to be the first who gave the name of the church of Rome to all the churches of the west, whence the Latins made use of this to di '»tinguish the churches which communicated with the church of Rome, from the Greeks who were separated from her communion. From this came the custom to give the name of the church of Rome to the Catholic church. But the other churches did not from this lose their name or their authority."
I shall hereafter give the day and date of this separation, when she received this sectarian designation and became a sect, in the proper acceptation of that term. It may, perhaps, appear that it was not only unscriptural, but dishonorable; as opprobrious as ever were the terms Lutheran or Protestant.
But suppose we call her "Catholic" alone; and her advocates now endeavor to impress the idea that she is no longer to be called "Roman Catholic," but Catholic, this term equally proves her a sect; for in the New Testament and primitive antiquity there is no such designation. It is simply the church of Christ. It is one thing for us to choose a name for ourselves, and another to have one chosen for us by our enemies. Societies, like persons, are passive in receiving their names. It is with churches as it is with individuals; they ma ► not wear the name they prefer. She wishes now to be called no longer Roman Catholic, but Catholic. She repudiates the appellation of Roman; and claims to be the only Catholic church that ever was, and is, and ever more shall be. But we cannot allow her to assume it; and we dare not, in truth, bestow it, for she is not catholic. But, as there is no church known in the New Testament by that name, could we so designate her, still she would be a sect.
But let me ask, what is the church of Rome of the nineteenth century, or rather, what is the present Roman Catholic institution Permit me here to say, most emphatically, that I have not the slightest disposition to use terms of opprobrium in speaking of this church or of the worthy gentleman who is opposed to me in this debate, do not wish or intend to use the slightest expression which could be construed into an unfriendly tone of satire, irony or invective toward
the respectable gentleman, or towards his church. I shall speak freely of her pretensions to be the only true church, &c. but I shall observe a scrupulous respect in all my language towards the present representatives of the Catholic church in the nineteenth century.
Are we then to understand her as the immutable, universal, ancient, primitive, apostolic church of Christ? Are we to understand this by the Roman Catholic church of the nineteenth century, with her popes, her cardinals, her patriarchs, primates, metropolitans, archbishops, archdeacons, monks, friars, nuns, &c. &c. teaching and preaching the use and worship of images, relics, penances, invocation of departed men and women, veneration for some being whom they call "the mother of God," teaching and preaching the doctrine of priestly absolution, auricular confession, purgatory, transubstantiation, extreme unction, &c. &c.
Is this the ancient, universal, holy apostolic church? Not one of these dogmas can be found in the bible.
They originated hundreds of years since, as I am prepared to show, from the evidence of Roman Catholic authors themselves. How then can we call it the ancient apostolic church? Not one of these offices nor dogmas is mentioned in the New Testament. Hear Du Pin on this point. In exposing the imposition, practised, by an effort, so late as the ninth century, to foist into the history of the church certain pretended decrees or writings of those called the first popes, Du Pin, an authentic Roman Catholic historian, proves these decrees and writings to be spurious, because in them there are numerous allusions to offices and customs not yet existing in the times referred to.
"The following proves them spurious. 1st. The second epistle of St. Clement directed to St. James, speaks of the Ostiarii or doorkeepers, archdeacons and other ecclesiastical officers, that were not then introduced into the church."
2nd. "This letter mentions sui-deacons, an order not then established in the church." p. 584.
3d. "In the first Epistle attributed to St. Sixtus, he is called an ' archbishop,' a word not used in this time."
4th. "The second, attributed to the same pope,mentions consecrated vessels, and appeals to Rome, the grandeur of the church. It is there pretended that all bishops wait for the pope's decision, and are instructed by his letters; modes of speaking never used by the first bishops of Rome."
5th. "The epistle attributed to Telesphorus calls him an archbishop, a name unknown in the first ages."
6th. "There is a decree in it, to enjoin three masses on our Savior's nativity, a custom not so ancient."
7th. "We find several passages in the letter attributed to Anicetus, which does not agree with the time of that pope; as, for instance, what is there laid down concerning the ordinations of bishops,sacerdotal tonsure, archbishops and primates, which were not instituted till long after; besides many things of the sanvMiature." p. 585. * „
How, then, can we suppose that this church of the nineteenth century, with so many appendages, is the apostolic church—the only original, primitive,universal institution of Christ?
But she glories in the name of mother and mistress of all churches throughout the world. This astonishes me still more; for with the bible in his hand and history before him, who can stand up and say, that this church ever was the mother and mistress of all churches
The most ancient catholic church was the Hebrew. She was the mother, though not the mistress of all churches; for the christian church has no reigning queen on earth, to lord it over her—as Paul says, on another occasion—"Jerusalem is the mother of us all."