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testant truth, which they will not easily destroy. Bating a few corrections, we give the letter almost verbatim: To the Editor of the CHRISTIAN
GUARDIAN. Rev. SIR-I have been a constant reader of the Christian Guardian for the last twenty years. I esteem it a publication of great value, highly calculated to do good. Its sound Protestant evangelical principles strongly recommend it to the notice of every sincere member of the Church of England. It has never shrunk from the exposition of error, and has been equally zealous in the promotion of truth. In all the reviews which the late Editors have undertaken, they have manifested a candid, open, and faithful spirit, without regarding the favour, or fearing the frown, of man. I take the liberty of forwarding you by this post a newspaper, containing, on its fourth page, an abstract of the Bishop of Worcester's Charge to his clergy, delivered at a Visitation held at Christ Church, Birmingham, on Saturday, August 9th. In the delivery of the charge, his Lordship attempts to justify his vote in favour of the Maynooth grant by showing, what appears to me, the analogy between (the essential identity of?) the Catholic and Protestant religion, or, to blend, as well as he was able, Catholicism and Protestantism together. His Lordship proceeds to mention some doctrines which (he says) we hold in common with our Roman Catholic brethren: and to this particular part of his charge may I respectfully direct your attention?
while he seeks for justification (or to be " justified before God”) by virtue of his fastings, his penances, his almsdeeds, his prayers to departed saints, his invocations to the Virgin, Purgatory, &c., &c. Do we “ both believe” in, and agree as to, the nature and design of this article of our faith? For my own part, I regard the sacrifice of the Mass (held in such veneration by Catholics) as idolatrous and superstitious, and depend for justification before God, upon the merits of that sacrifice offered on Calvary “ ONCE FOR ALL.” Does the Roman Catholic do this?
“ We both believe that the Church was originally founded by the Saviour, and that the doctrines of the Gospel have been handed down by a regular succession
of ordained ministers, priests, and deacons.”
What honest Catholic will admit this? Do not Catholics, in the strongest terms, claim for themselves the supremacy? Will they say that the priests and deacons of our Church have been handed down by “regular succession” from the Saviour? Do we“ both believe” so as to be agreed on this point? Is not our Church set at nought by them as spurious and vile, tarnished and corrupted by the doctrines of Luther, and other reformers; and does not the spiritual head of their Church live at Rome, and ours live in heaven?
“We both believe that two Sacraments are binding on Christians.”
The Roman Catholic believes there are seven; and although, in those seven, Baptism and the Lord's Supper are included, still, is there not a very wide difference in our belief, as to the true intent and meaning of both? Surely his lordship cannot mean to say that Catholics and Protestants regard these Sacraments alike! and if he does not, why then allude to them as being branches of our faith and parts of our creed? Does not the true Churchman look upon Infant Baptism only as an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,” and will not every Christian parent pray that his child may be in
“We both believe that, to redeem mankind from his fallen state, it pleased the Almighty Being to send his only begotten Son into the world, to become a sacrifice for our sin, that through his atonement we might be justified before God.”
This is, indeed, a glorious Bible truth; on it the sinner places all his hope of mercy and pardon here, and his acceptance at the tribunal of God hereafter. But surely the poor Roman Catholic does not believe this,
wardly baptized with the Holy Ghost, resembling the worshippers of Baal, of which the water used outwardly is “halting between two opinions." We only a sign? And as to the Lord's Sup- want such men as Newton, Scott, per, do “both believe” alike on this Romaine, Richmond, and others, who point? Are we to submit to the doc- have adorned the pages of the Guarditrine of Transubstantiation? to believe an with their writings, (“ some of that a wafer, blessed (as it is called) whom are fallen asleep") to show the by a mere man, becomes converted nation its iniquity, and the half-heartinto the real body of Christ, and that ed Protestant Churchmen their sin. the Sacrament in one kind only is to Pray we then, sir, the Lord of the be administered? I must confess, harvest to send forth such labourers that, on reading the whole of this into the harvest; and although our paragraph my feelings became sadly beloved Church appears to bow down embarrassed, my mind much pained. her head as a bulrush, yet may the The idea of a Bishop of our truly time speedily arrive when she shall evangelical Church endeavouring to appear in all her strength and beauty, unite her doctrines with those of the looking forth as the morning, fair corrupt Church of Rome, was to me as the moon, clear as the sun, and a mystery. The whole charge appears terrible as an army with banners.” to me very deficient in the pure spirit Pardon the liberty of a stranger of the Gospel. Jesus Christ and him thus trespassing upon your notice. crucified, of whom the Apostle was I remain, Rev. Sir, determined to know nothing beside
Your obedient Servant, among men, constitutes in it but a small ingredient.
I admit, sir, an apology is due from me for troubling you with this com- Now we admit that, in the main, munication. I venture upon your
these remarks are substantially and clemency, inasmuch as you are now Scripturally correct.
They exhibit the sole editor of a work which, for the sound and judicious thinking of upwards of the last twenty years, has one of that class of mind, of which we been read by me.
I should like to trust many, many thousands are to be see the charge well reviewed by some found in the ordinary walks of life, able and pious pen.
These are not who are the “salt of the earth,” and the times for Protestants to indulge who, in a religious crisis, in which in silence, ease, and apathy. Fifty numbers must tell, will be found on years ago, Popery was thought the right side. The main point on to be sleeping its sleep of death. which the writer has seized in his Now it is awaking, and, like a letter is of vast importance; but before giant stalking-horse, making rapid approaching it, there is a little prelimstrides through the length and breadth inary matter to be disposed of. In of our land, multiplying, as it pro- the first place, it is impossible to apceeds, its cathedrals, chapels, bishops, proach a newspaper report with the priests, and converts. The man, how- severe aspect of criticism that would ever humble in life, who loves his be applied to a published document. God, his religion, and his country, With all the wonderful facility to ought not to be afraid or ashamed of which the reporter attains, there are his profession. Surely it becomes niceties in theological statement, his duty to use every effort to stem which, because he can scarcely be the torrent of iniquity which at this likely to know their importance as a time threatens to sweep away our
delicate hinge, or a pivot of some Protestant privileges, agreeably with great move, must almost necessarily that situation of life in which Provi
For instance. We can dence has placed him. I long to see scarcely suppose a bishop to have the Bishops, Ministers, and members deliberately said, or, at least, deliberof the Establishment decided and firm ately to have sent from the press the in espousing the cause of that Church assertion, that “ we are deeply indebtto which they profess to belong; not ed to antiquity for the very founda
tions of our faith.” This idea is ac- of the ancient mythology; and no tually at variance with the train of one who had witnessed a Roman thought he is pursuing. Had he Catholic procession could fail to be been reported to have said, in accord- struck with the similarity between it ance with his own argument, We are and the pagan processions described indebted to antiquity, that is, to an- in the Fasti of Ovid; St. Januarius cient times, for the confirmatory wis- and St. Martin being substituted for dom of that volume which contains an Apollo and a Bacchus; or St. the foundation of our faith, it would Agnes and St. Perpetua for a Ceres have been more consentaneous to the and a Diana.” How confirmatury of bishop's own views. But this is one this view is the following passage of the proofs that a report of this from “ The Classical Tour” of Eusnature must be taken cum grano salis. tace, a leading Roman Catholic, who We may commend or condemn gen- travelled to Italy a few years ago. eral views, which are manifestly inde- “Rome,” (which elsewhere he calls pendent of clerical views; but we “the Eternal City,” and “once the must not sit at the catch for a trip- abode of the Gods,”) “in thus civilping word.
izing and polishing mankind, had In the next place, there are cer- prepared them for the reception of tainly many important truths put that divine religion, which alone can forth in a manly and fearless way, give to human nature its full and well adapted to meet the errors of these adequate perfection; and she comtimes. The Bishop of Worcester pleted her god-like work, when the seems to cherish none of that mawk- world, influenced by her instructions ish sentiment towards the Newman and example, became Christian. Thus school, which sometimes seems to she became the metropolis of the savour of a mystic reverence for world by a new and more venerable scholarship, with which the writer is title, and assumed, in a more (!) aubut little conversant, and a reluctance gust and sacred sense, the appellato meddle lest he should be over- tion of 'the Holy City,' the Light matched. There has been far too of Nations.' And again, “The much compliment afloat, because the figure of the Redeemer, till then unmen have read a little patristic Greek known, seemed to breathe on canvas and Latin, and dived into Fabricius
before their eyes.
The venerable and Ducange. Dr. Pepys appears to forms of the Apostles, in Parian marbe at home in all the length and ble, replaced the grim and uncouth breadth of the land—the history of statues of their idols.” And, “The the early Church (after all, but a mea- columns of Trajan and Antoninus gre subject of study for a whole life, formerly supported each a colossal and for the basis of a reputation); and statue of its Emperor. These have he at once treats the subject and their long since disappeared, while St. pretensions with the simplicity and Peter and St. Paul have been substistraightforwardness which it merits. tuted in their stead.” And, “Then A few master-strokes show that he the spacious Basilica first understands his weapon: and that opened for the assemblies of the some of these professors of patristic faithful, and the forsaken temples lore had better keep wide of its range. converted into churches. The lights They may be foiled at their best that preceded the book of laws and fencing.
the prætor, now moved before the Dr. Pepys has said with much Gospels and the bishop. The solemn truth, that “the victory of Christian- tones of tragic declamation were adity in the days of Constantine was apted to the lecture of the holy books, not gained without some compromise and the Psalms were tuned to the on the part of Christians; and the modulation of the Greek choruses." foundation was then laid for many of There the Romans heard the language the errors of Rome.” “Their canon- and beheld the vestments of their ization of saints was adopted as a fathers; there they saw and venerated substitute for the high and holy days in their clergy, the grand and digni
fied deportment of the magistrates of those fashionable puerilities in worancient Rome.” Who, on the testi- ship, for which the peace of the Church mony of so fair a witness, will deny has been so recklessly sacrificed, and the compromise? Who, after such speaks of "the pedantry of introducaverments, will hesitate to admit that
ing ornaments and forms supposed to the imperial patronage of the religion have been used in the ancient Church; of Jesus brought with it an adulter- thus a stone instead of a wooden comating mixture of heathen error? The munion table, a lectura for a readingbishop and the Roman Catholic tra- desk, sedilia in churches in which it veller have, with very different inten- was not likely that more than one tions, both exhibited the same char- clergyman would officiate at the same acteristics of the system, the one to time, a rood-screen and credencepraise, the other to blame it.
tables, with candles on the commuThe bishop states very distinctly nion tables never intended to be another leading view of the Churches lighted; and the walls covered with of the Reformation. He says, “ He Scriptural sentences in Old English who trusts to antiquity, would find text that could never be read.” There so much diversity in opinion among is a dry humour in the way of touchthe fathers of the Church, that he ing these things, that almost at would be so tossed about upon these once consigns them to condemnation troubled waters, as to search in vain among sensible men. But the Bishop for an anchor for his soul in patristic does not leave the matter there : “we theology;" and then adds, in conclu- thought them,” he said, “abstractedly sion, the well-known sentence of reprehensible, as having a tendency Chillingworth, which he evidently to convey false notions, unsuited for adopts, con amore. “The Bible, and the purposes forwhich a Protestant asthe Bible alone, is the religion of sembly met together;” naymore, “that Protestants.” Most thankful are we vital religion was almost lost amid to see this vitally-essential principle these formalities !" How sad it is, that so distinctly recognized. It is here men trained in our evangelical Church that the stand for religion and morals should, by their superstitious frippery, must be made.
He that wavers at have brought themselves under the all on this point, is liable to fall into lash of the Bishop's deliberate, manly the hands of the enemy. From a censure. He has no sympathy with wish to attach a sort of mystic awe to such ecclesiastical fopperies; and seethe Church, there has been in many ing them to be in direct contrariety to quarters an endeavour to becloud the spirit of our appointed worship, it this very important point; but, if we is evident that, if Dr. Pepys were the would walk sincerely and be a safe governing mind of the Church, such example to others, we must maintain innovations would not have been unequivocally that the Almighty car- treated with that excessive tenderness, ries on his religious government of and timidity, and semi-patronage, man, not by the authority of a body which they have received in other of clergy, who have erred, and may places; but would have been swept err again, but by the agency of his with something like Miltonic indignaown Spirit, as at once both a heavenly tion into “ the limbo of vanity.” We and an earthly witness, (1 John 5.) shall have occasion prabably in due through the instrumentality of his time to notice Mr. Bricknell's recent written word. It is delightful to find work, “The Judgment of the Bishops a mind of the class of the Bishop of on the Tractarian Theology," when Worcester's bowing submissively to we may compare the amount of disthe divine record, and putting the approbation which has been meted agency of the Church in the right out in different quarters to the Tractaplace, as witnessing historically to rian leaders, and the silken under-wing the genuineness and authenticity of of “ faint praise,” with which their the sacred writings.
onward course has occasionally been It is with the same sound common- fanned. The general line of epissense, that the Bishop approaches copal charges has not always been free from tortuosities. Thanks the of Romanism, which he believes to be more for the healthy discriminating erroneous. Free from circumlocucensure of Dr. Pepys.
tion, we conceive that to be the But, after these laudatory observa- Bishop's affirmation; and we join tions, which will show sufficiently how issue with him on it: we consider little we are disposed to approach any
such conduct to be sinful. part of the charge, as reported, in the Let it be remembered that our relispirit of cavil and contention, it is with gion is divine; that it is based in a considerable pain that we advert to series of truths divinely revealed, on the topic on which our correspondent the knowledge of which the salvation has addressed us—the grounds on of the soul is made to depend. Then which the Bishop justifies his vote in a distinct apprehension and holding Parliament as a Christian man, for the of them is of unspeakable importance, improved means of training and edu- and any withholding or contradicting cating the Romish clergy, and so far of them when so persevered in must upholding the Romish system. We be a very serious matter; because the confess that we are compelled to differ withdrawing or repressing a revealed materially from the view maintained truth is, to say the least of it, yielding in this charge; we think it a duty of so much ground for the spread of the our present position to express that opposing error: of course, very much difference strongly, and though we depends upon the conscientious sense have little reason to suppose that our of the importance of truths. For inhumble pages would meet and arrest stance, if a man holds the doctrine of his eye, yet if they should, we submit justification by faith, as stated in the their contents most respectively to Article to be a dogma revealed Dr. Pepys's consideration.
from the throne of God, essential to The position taken will be best the salvation of the soul—that it is shown in the Bishop's own words :- the truth-God's truth—a wonder“I cannot persuade myself that we ful and merciful condescension of the committed a national sin, when we divine mind to the fallen creature; gave improved education to those then he could not but look with horror whose doctrines we conceive to be on any the slightest deviation from erroneous :” and again, nor can I
that truth, as opposing the divine reventure to say that Christianity, as velation, and coming between God's professed by the great majority, is so gracious scheme of deliverance and full of error as to make it a sin in a man's perishing soul. This is of the Protestant state to contribute towards very nature of implicit faith in a revethe education of its ministers.” In lation from God. Now, in this case, order to deal with these propositions it would surely appear that if, while we must (and quite in the spirit of he taught this truth with one hand, fairness, and without the slightest he circulated a tract in favour of juswish to take a logical advantage,) tification by works with the other, he amalgamate, abridge, and simplify would not be free from criminal inthem, in a way in which we think the consistency. Granted this is looking author would not disapprove; we closely and strictly; and that religious must put away the more vague idea of opinions sit very loosely and lightly “ national sin," and view the matter on some men's minds; and that in as one of individual Christian acting these days there has been very much and responsibility; we must substi- of the “give and take” in our general tute for the expression “ Christianity, religious associations, and that proas professed by the great majority, bably the system of a broad unqualithe term “Romanism,” which is the fied subscription to the absolute thing intended to be expressed, and accuracy in detail of a large book of then we bring the proposition to this, human composition, has had a certain which we believe the Bishop intends influence towards the habit of relihonestly to maintain, that it is not a gious compromise in some minds; sin for a Protestant to contribute yet still, when we come to look fairly towards the education of the ministers at it, we must see that in diyine mata