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states, but all without effect; though he con Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the saltinued to exercise the functions of his office vation of all mankind, is the second person of without further interruption, but with little op- the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man; portunity for energetic conduct, till the subver- that there is no remission of sin, nor · salvation, sion of the Napoleon dynasty, when he resumed but through him; that the sacraments of bapthe full possession of his authority. In his pro- tism and penance are divinely appointed means clamation issued at Cezena on the 5th of May, for the remission of sin; that in the mass a previously to his return to Rome, his holiness true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice is offered applied to himself the ancient title of God's to God for the living and 'the dead; that the vicar on earth, and spoke of his temporal sove souls detained in purgatory are helped by the reignty as essentially connected with his spiritual suffrages of the faithful; that the saints reignsupremacy.
ing together with Christ are to be honored and The papal see, after enjoying a short tran- invocated; that at the last day our bodies will quillity, was visited with repeated shocks in the be raised from death, and that Christ will come revolutions of Spain, Portugal, and Naples. to judge all men according to their works; that With respect to these events, particularly the eternal happiness will be the reward of the good, latter, Pius acted a cautious part. Fearing pro- and eternal misery the punishment of the bably that the aroused energies of these nations wicked. If these, and other doctrines of Cawould involve the papacy in new difficulties, he tholic faith, are really revealed by Almighty declared the states of the church open to the God, they are not erroneous, but most true and passage of all friendly troops; but denouncing, certain—they are not unscriptural, but agreeable in the strongest terms, the disorderly and factious. to the true sense of the written word of GodThe constitutional government of Naples, which the belief of them is not unreasonable, because gave the pope the greatest cause for uneasiness, it is reasonable to believe whatever is true, and was, however, overturned by the power of Aus- taught by the God of truth. The Catholic is tria; and the invasion of Spain, hy the armies fully persuaded that all the articles of bis faith of France, succeeded for a time in re-establish- are really revealed by Almighty God. Is he ing Romish tyranny and superstition in the whole not at liberty to think so, as well as others are of the peninsula. The subdued countries, how- to think the contrary; and in this empire espeever, present an appearance which promises cially, where liberty of thought is so loudly proany thing rather than continued repose. Pius VII. claimed and lauded? Is it reasonable or chadied August 20, 1823, and was succeeded by ritable to condemn him for thinking so, when he Leo XII.
may have good and solid grounds for his con
viction, and may feel that his eternal salvation PART IT.
depends on his firm belief of all the doctrines
which Christ has taught? DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.
II. On the grounds of the certitude which a Thus have we traced historically the rise, pro- Catholic has that all the doctrines which he begress, and comparative decline, of this great do- lieves, as articles of Catholic faith, are really mination : the writer as a Protestant, and a reveuled by Almighty God.- Catholics are often Protestant clergyman, will, in the estimation of charged with grounding their faith on mere Catholic readers, perhaps, seem unduly biassed, human authority, and not on the word of God. and occasionally to display the advocate. Re- Catholics deny this, because they are convinced, collecting how large a portion of his countrymen that their faith is grounded on the word of God, are Catholics, the editor, therefore, thinks it fair proposed to them by the authority of that to subjoin without comment the last authentic ministry, which Christ established, and apcompendium of the principles of their church in pointed to teach his revealed doctrines to all the Declaration of the English Catholic bishops, nations. dated May, 1826. It must only be understood that The Catholic believes all those doctrines the Catholics now speak for themselves.
which God has revealed. The question, what
are those doctrines which God has revealed, is DECLARATION OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS, THE
a question of fact. It appears reasonable that Vicars APOSTOLIC, AND THEIR COADJUTORS, the existence of a fact should be ascertained by IN GREAT BRITAIN.
the evidence of testimony. I. On the general character of the doctrines The body of the doctrines, precepts, and inof faith professed by the Catholic church.—The stitutions, which were delivered by Christ to his doctrines of the Catholic church are often cha- apostles, constitutes the new or the Christian racterised as erroneous, unscriptural, and unrea- law; as the body of the doctrines, precepts, and sonable. All those doctrines, and only those institutions, which were delivered by the A.doctrines, are articles of Catholic faith, which mighty to Moses, constituted the old law. The are revealed by Almighty God. Whatsoever is true and certain knowledge of what is comrevealed by God, who knows all things as they manded by any law is generally communicated are in themselves, and who cannot deceive us and obtained by the authoritative promulgation by teaching falsehood for truth, is most true and of the law. By the ordinance of God, the doccertain ; though it may entirely surpass the com trines and precepts of the old law were made prehension of created minds.
known to the Israelites and Jewish people, by On the authority of divine revelation, the Moses, and the priests in succession, till ihe end Catholic believes, as doctrines of faith, that in of the law. By the ordinance of God, the docone God there are three distinct persons, the trines and precepts of the new law were to be Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that made known to all nations, in all ages, by the
apostles and their successors, to the consum Whether the Holy Scriptures, which ought mation of the world.
never to be taken in hand but with respect, On the spiritual authority of the apostles and should be made a class-book for children, is a their successors, who were divinely commis- matter of religious and prudential consideration, sioned to promulgate and teach the law of Christ on which the pastors of the Catholic church to all nations; and on the uniform and universal have a right to decide with regard to their own testimony, belief, and practice of all Christian flocks; and we hold that in this matter Done churches from the beginning, the certitude of have a right to dictate to them. The Catholics the Catholic is grounded, that all the doctrines in England, of mature years, have permission which he believes as articles of Catholic faith, to read authentic and approved translations of and all the sacred precepts and rites which he the Holy Scriptures, with explanatory notes; observes as the ordinances of Christ, were really and are exhorted to read them in the spirit of revealed and instituted by Almighty God; and piety, humility, and obedience. are the same as were originally delivered by Pope Pius VII., in a rescript dated April Christ to his apostles, and by them promulgated 18th, 1820, and addressed to the Vicars Aposover all nations.
tolic in England, earnestly exhorts them to conThe Catholic is fully satisfied that this me- firm the people committed to their spiritual thod which he follows, for ascertaining what are care, in faith and good works; and, for that end, the revealed doctrines of divine faith, is the to encourage them to read books of pious idright rule, and that it leads him to the unity of struction, and particularly the Holy Scriptures, truth. Is he not at liberty to follow a rule which in translations approved by ecclesiastical authogives such satisfaction and security to his mind ? rity; because, to those who are well disposed, Is it fair for others who, by following a different nothing can be more useful, more consoling, or rule, are led into a countless variety of contra more animating, than the reading of the sacred dictory doctrines on matters of Christian belief, Scriptures, understood in their true sense-they to disturb the tranquillity of the Catholic on serve to confirm the faith, to support the hope, this head, or to condemn him for his submission and to inflame the charity of the true Christian. to the authority of a ministry which he is con But when the reading and the circulation of vinced was established by Christ for the purpose the Scriptures are urged and recommended az of bringing all nations to the certain knowledge the entire rule of faith, as the sole means by of his law, and to the unity of faith? Is not which men are to be brought to the certain and this rule perfectly natural and reasonable? Can specific knowledge of the doctrines, precepts, any human legislator condemn the principle and and institutions of Christ; and when the Scriprule of the Catholic in this regard ?
tures so read and circulated are left to the interIII. On the Holy Scriptures.-In England pretation and private judgment of each indithe Catholic church is held out as an enemy to vidual : then such reading, circulation, and the reading and circulating of the Holy Scrip- interpretation, are forbidden by the Catholic tures. Whereas the Catholic church venerates church, because the Catholic church knows that the Holy Scriptures as the written part of the the circulation of the Scriptures, and the interword of God; she has in all ages been the faith- pretation of them by each one's private judgful guardian of this sacred deposit; she has ever ment, was not the means ordained by Christ for labored to preserve the integrity of these in- the communication of the true knowledge of his spired writings, and the true sense, in which law to all nations—she knows that Christianity they have been universally understood, at all was established in many countries before one times from the apostolic age.
book of the New Testament was written- that it The Catholic church has never forbidden or was not by means of the Scriptures that the discouraged the reading or the circulation of apostles and their successors converted nations, authentic copies of the sacred Scriptures, in the or any one nation to the unity of the Christian original languages. She binds her clergy to the faith-that the unauthorised reading and circudaily recital of a canonical office, which com- lation of the Scriptures, and the interpretation prises a large portion of the sacred volume, and of them by private judgment, are calculated to to read and expound to the faithful, in the verna- lead men to contradictory doctrines on the pricular tongue, on Sundays, the epistle or gospel mary articles of Christian belief; to inconsistent of the day, or some other portion of the divine law. forms of worship, which cannot all be consti
As to translations of the Iloly Scriptures into tuent parts of the uniform and sublime system modern languages, the Catholic church requires of Christianity ; to errors and fanaticism in relithat none should be put into the hands of the gion, and to seditions and the greatest disorders faithful but such as are acknowledged by eccle-, in states and kingdoms. siastical authority to be accurate, and conform IV. On the charge of idolatry and superstition. able to the sense of the originals. There never – Ignorance or malice has gone so far as to charge was a general law of the Catholic church pro- the Catholic church with idolatry, in the sacrihibiting the reading of authorised translations fice of the mass-in the adoration (as it is of the Scriptures; but, considering that many, called) of the Virgin Mary, and in the worship by their ignorance and evil dispositions, have of the saints, and of the images of Christ and perverted the meaning of the sacred text to their of the saints; and with superstition, in invoking own destruction, the Catholic church has thought the saints, and in praying for souls in purgait prudent to make a regulation that the faithful tory. Now idolatry consists in giving to any should be guided in this matter by the advice of creature that supreme adoration, honor, or wortheir respective pastors.
ship, which is due only to Almighty God. The
Catholic church teaches that idolatry is one of down their heads and worshipped the Lord the greatest crimes that can be committed against (Jehovah) and the king. Did they worship the the majesty of God: and every true member of king with the same supreme worship which they this church shudders at the idea of such a crime, paid to God? Certainly not.
When a man and feels grievously injured by so horrid an says, to the woman he takes to wife, with my imputation.
body I thee worship, can this be called idoBut it is said that Catholics adore the ele- latry? Surely nothing can be more unfair than ments of bread and wine in the mass: that they arguments drawn from ambiguous terms, conadore the Virgin Mary; that they adore the strued in a sense disavowed by those against cross; and that they worship the saints and the whom the arguments are employed. images of Christ and of the saints. Before we We answer therefore that, if by the terms repel these horrid imputations, in the sense in adoration, honor, and worship, be understood which they are made, we must explain the dif- that supreme adoration, honor, and worship ferent meanings of the words adoration, honor, which is due only to God; Catholics do not and worship, that the calumnious charge, and its adore, nor honor, nor worship any other than denial, may be understood in the same explained the one, only, true, and living God, the Creator
and Sovereign Lord of the universe: they do We find that in the language of the sacred not, in this sense, adore, nor honor, nor worship Scripture, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, * as the Virgin Mary, nor any of the saints, nor the well as in the language of the ancient liturgies cross, nor images, nor any other creature whatof the Christian church, these words, adoration, soever. honor, and worship, are ambiguous terms, and In the mass, Catholics do offer supreme adoare used in different senses, according to the ration, not to the elements of bread and wine, nature of the object to which the act, implied which they hold not to be present after the conby the term, is directed, and according to the secration; but to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, intention of him who performs the act. Hence whom they believe to be truly, really, and subwe find them used as relating sometimes to stantially present, under the appearances only God, and sometimes to creatures. Although, in of bread and wine, after the conse
secration, and modern times, the exclusive idea of that su- change thereby of the elements into his body preme homage, which is due only to God, is and blood. To adore Christ, by an act of suattached by some to the words adoration and preme adoration, is no idolatry; because he is worship; yet these words may still be retained truly God, and consequently a legitimate object hy others, a different meaning, without afford- of supreme worship. ing the remotest cause for the imputation of ido But if Catholics, using the ancient language latry. In this different meaning they are still of the Christian church, are said, 1st. To worretained, in the unchanged language of the an- ship the saints; this worship must be undercient liturgies used in the Catholic church. stood to be only an inferior worship, honor, and
The words adoration and worship are equally respect, paid to them proportionate to the limited referred sometimes to God, and sometimes to perfections and excellences which God has becreatures, as is the word honor. Now because stowed upon them; but this worship is infiwe are commanded in Scripture to honor God, nitely below that supreme worship which they and to honor the king; and children are com- pay to God. Catholics acknowledge no permanded to honor their parents : it does not follow fection or excellence in any saint, not even in that the honor due to the king, or to parents, the Blessed Virgin Mary, which they do not is the same as that which we owe to God. To profess to be the work and gift of God in them. God we owe supreme and sovereign honor, such So that, in honoring the saints, they celebrate the as it would be a crime to pay to any creature. works of God, and consequently give glory to To the king we owe the highest civil honor. him. Whatever act of religious veneration we To parents children owe the honor of filial re pay to the saints is ultimately referred to God. spect and obedience. How unjust would it be 2nd. To adore the cross : this word, if applied to say that, because a subject honors his king, to the cross itself, means no more than an infehe pays him that supreme and sovereign honor rior and relative respect paid to the instrument which is due only to God! The same is to be of our redemption; but if in view of the cross said of the terms adoration and worship, as used it be applied to Christ himself, then it means, in former times, and sometimes used at present as it ought to mean, an act of supreme adorain the language of the Catholic church. To tion. 3d. To worship the images of Christ or adore, even according to modern usage, often of the saints: the word is here again undermeans no more than to express extreme affec- stood by Catholics only of an inferior and relation or respect. To worship (in the translation tive respect shown to images, in consideration of the Bible, published at Oxford) is therein of the respect due to the objects which they reused to signify inferior as well as supreme wor- present, and to which the respect shown to the ship. In the first book of Chronicles xxix. 20, images is referred. In this sense respect. we read in that edition, that the assembly bowed shown to the statue or to the throne of the king,
in consideration of the majesty of the personSee in Hebrew (Prov. iii. 9, and Exod. xx. 12), age to whom they relate. An insult offered to (Dent. xxvii. 47, and 48), (Ps. xcvi. 9 and 1, alia's his statue would be considered as intended to be 3d Kings i. 23). In Greek, Gen, xxiv. 26, and offered to the king himself. In this sense a son Gen. xlix. 8. In Latin Adorare, Ps. xxviii. 2, and respects the image or picture of his parent; a Gen. xxiii. 7, and 4th alias 2 Kings ii. 15.
parent that of his child; a friend that of his
friend; not for any intrinsic virtue in the mate- apostles, and to the priests of his church, power rial substance or work of art, but because it re to forgive sins, by the administration of the lates to, and brings to his inind, the object of his sacraments of baptism, and penance, to those respect and affection.
who are duly disposed to receive this grace: To condemn this relative regard for images, They believe that the sacrament of penance is or pictures, would be to condemn the very feel an institution of Christ, no less than the sacraings of nature. To charge the Catholic with ment of baptism. The belief of both rests on idolatry, because the term worship, meaning the same foundation. In both these sacraments, only an inferior and relative regard, is found in sin is forgiven by the ministry of man. Be the ancient and modern liturgies of his church, baptised every one of you, for the remission of is not consistent with candor or charity. The sins, Acts. ii. 38; whose sins you shall forvire, charge that the Catholic church sanctions the they are forgiven, John xx. 23. But no actual praying to images is a calumny, and carries with sin can be forgiven at the mere will of any pope, it an imputation of stupidity too gross to be or any priest, or any person whomsoever, withnoticed. Catholics sometimes pray before out a sincere sorrow for having offended God, images, because they serve to collect their and a firm resolution to avoid future guilt, and thoughts, and fix their attention in their medi- to atone for past transgressions. Any person tations and prayers; but they are not, on that who receives absolution, without these necessary accouni, to be supposed to be so void of reason dispositions, far from obtaining the remission of and sense as to pray to the image: for they his sins, incurs the additional guilt of hypocrisy know that in it there is no virtue or power; and profanation. and that it can neither see, nor hear, nor help The obligation of sacramental confession to s them.
priest is not an imposition of the church, but a Catholics do solicit the intercession of the precept of Christ. Without the voluntary conangels and saints reigning with Christ in heaven. fession of the penitent, the power of forgiving But in this, when done according to the prin- or retaining sins could not be exercised, with ciples and spirit of the Catholic church, there discretion and judgment, by the minister of the is nothing of superstition, nothing which is not sacrament of penance. The confession of sins consistent with true piety. For the Catholic could never have been introduced had it not church teaches her children not to pray to the been received from the beginning as a divine saints, as to the authors or givers of divine ordinance for the remission of sin. It has been grace; but only to solicit the saints in heaven practised from the earliest ages of Christianity. to pray for them, in the same sense as St. Paul It is attended with the most salutary effects. desired the faithful on earth to pray for him. Besides being a means of obtaining the remis
Catholics, according to the faith and pious sion of sin, it affords relief to the troubled conpractice of the Christian church from the age of science, and opportunities of reclaiming deluded the apostles, do pray for the release and eternal sinners from mischievous projects, and of causrest of departed souls, who may be detained for ing reparation to be made for injuries done to a time in a state of punishment on account of persons, property, or character. It may be riditheir sins, but in this we cannot discover even culed by such as blaspheme those things which the shadow of superstition. By invoking the they know not (2 Pet. ii. 12), but will be ever intercession of the saints in heaven, and by pray- cherished as a merciful and salutary institution ing for the suffering souls in purgatory, Catho- by those who are sincerely sorry for their sins, lics exercise acts of that communion of charity and earnestly sue for pardon, which subsists between the members of the myś. VI. On Indulgences.- The Catholic church tical body of Christ : the principle of which is charged with encouraging guilt, by giving communion they profess to believe, when they leave to commit sin, and granting an anticipated say, “I believe the holy Catholic church, the pardon for sins to come by indulgences. The communion of saints.'
Catholic church rejects with abhorrence the imAfter this explanation and declaration, we putation that, by granting an indulgence, she hope that our countrymen will never be so un- grants permission to commit sin, or a pardon just or so uncharitable as to charge Catholics for sins to come. An indulgence, in the sense with idolatry or superstition, nor be so illiberal of the Catholic church, is no pardon for sin at as to attempt to give a color to these injurious all; it is only a remission of the whole or of a charges, by fixing an exclusive meaning to terms, part of the temporal punishment which the which in the language of Scripture, Christian justice of God often reserves to be undergone by antiquity, and common usage, bear different the sinner, after the guilt of the sin has been resenses, in different circumstances.
mitted. The power of granting the remission V. On the power of forgiving sins, and the ' of this temporal punishment was given by Christ precept of confession. The Catholic church is to St. Peter and his successors, and has been excharged with impiety, in usurping the power of ercised from the earliest ages. An indulgence, forgiving sins, and with spiritual tyranny, in so far from exempting sinners from works of imposing on the people the yoke of confession. penance and piety, is an encouragement to the The Catholic church cannot be charged with performance of such works, since they are preimpiety, for exercising powers given by Christ scribed as conditions for gaining the benefit of to his apostles and to their lawful successors ; an indulgence. nor with tyranny, in enforcing the observance of Surely, theref re, the doctrine of the Catholic the precept of Christ.
church concerning the sacrament of penance, Catholics believe that Christ granted to his confession, and indulgencies, does not lend 10
relax Christian morality, nor to encourage guilt, realm ; nor has any right to interfere, directly or nor facilitate the commission of crime, but ra- indirectly, in the civil government of the United ther to put an end to sin, and to promote the Kingdom, or any part thereof; nor to oppose, in exercise of every Christian virtue amongst men. any manner, the performance of the civil duties
VII. On the obligation of an oath.—Catholics which are due to his majesty, his heirs, and sucare charged with holding that they are not bound cessors, from all or any of his majesty's sub. by any oath, and that the pope can dispense them jects; nor to enforce the performance of any from all the oaths they may have taken. We spiritual or ecclesiasticai duty, by any civil or cannot sufficiently express our astonishment at temporal means. They hold themselves bound such a charge. We hold that the obligation of in conscience to obey the civil government of an oath is most sacred; for by an oath man calls this realm, in all things of a temporal and civil the almighty Searcher of hearts to witness the nature, notwithstanding any dispensation or sincerity of his conviction of the truth of what order to the contrary had, or to be had, from the he asserts, and his fidelity in performing the pope or any authority of the church of Rome. engagement he makes. Hence, whosoever swears Hence we declare that, by rendering obedience falsely, or violates the lawful engagement he has in spiritual matters to the pope, Catholics do confirmed by an oath, not only offends against not withhold any portion of their allegiance to truth, or justice, but against religion. He is their king, and that their allegiance is entire and guilty of the enormous crime of perjury. undivided ; the civil power of the state, and the .
No power in any pope, or council, or in any spiritual authority of the Catholic church, being individual or body of men, invested with au- absolutely distinct, and being never intended by thority in the Catholic church, can make it law- their divine autho: to interfere or clash with each ful for a Catholic to confirm any falsehood by other. "Render unto Cæsar the things that are an oath; or dispense with any oath by which a Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's.' Catholic has confirmed his duty of allegiance to IX. On the claim of British Catholics to the his sovereign, or any obligation of duty or jus- property of the church establishment in England. tice to a third person. He who takes an oath is –British Catholics are charged with entertainbound to observe it, in the obvious meaning of ing a pretended right to the property of the esthe words, or in the known meaning of the per- tablished church in England. We consider such son to whom it is sworn.
a charge to be totally without foundation. We VIII. On allegiance to our sovereign, and declare that we entertain no pretension to such obedience to the pope.-Catholics are charged a claim. We regard ail the revenues and temwith dividing their allegiance between their tem- poralities of the church establishment as the poral sovereign and the pope. Allegiance relates property of those on whom they are settled by not to spiritual but to civil duties; to those the laws of the land. We disclaim any right, temporal tributes and obligations which the sub- title, or pretension, with regard to the same. ject owes to the person of his sovereign, and to X. On the doctrine of exclusive salvation.the authority of the state. By the term spiritual, Catholics are charged with uncharitableness, in we here mean that which in its nature tends holding the doctrine of exclusive salvation. Cadirectly to a supernatural end, or is ordained to tholics are taught by their church to love all produce a supernatural effect. Thus the office men, without exception : to wish that all may be of teaching the doctrines of faith, the adminis- saved, and to pray that all may be saved and may tration of the sacraments, the conferring and come to the knowledge of the truth, by which exercising of jurisdiction purely ecclesiastical, they may be saved. If the Almighty himself has are spiritual matters. By the term temporal wé assigned certain conditions, without the observmean that which in its nature tends directly to ance of which man cannot be saved, it would .ne end of civil society. Thus the right of seem to be an act of impiety to attempt to annul making laws for the civil government of the those divinely-established conditions: and an act state, the administration of civil justice, the ap- of great uncharitableness towards a fellow-man, to pointment of civil magistrates and military offi- tell him that he may be saved without complying cers, are temporal matters.
with the conditions prescribed by the Almighty. The allegiance which Catholics hold to be due The doctrinal principle of exclusive salvation and are bound to pay to their sovereign, and to belongs to the law of Christ. Has not Christ, the civil authority of the state, is perfect and un who commands the belief of his revealed docdivided. They do not divide their allegiance trines, pronounced, that he that believeth not between their sovereign and any other power on
shall be condemned ? Mark xvi. 16. Has not earth, whether temporal or ecclesiastical. They Christ, who instituted baptism for the remission acknowledge in the sovereign, and in the consti- of sins, declared that except a man be born again, tuted government of these realms, a supreme, of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter civil, and temporal authority, which is entirely into the kingdom of God ? John iii. 5. Has not St. distinct from, and totally independent of, the Paul enumerated a list of crimes, such as adultery, spiritual and ecclesiastical authority of the pope idolatry, hatred, seditions, heresies, murders, and of the Catholic church. They declare that drunkenness, &c., of which he declares that they neither the pope, nor any other prelate or eccle. who do such things shall not obtain the kindom siastical person of the Roman Catholic church, of God? Gal. v. 21. Are not these exclusive has in virtue of his spiritual or ecclesiastical conditions ? character any right, directly or indirectly, to Whoever professes the law of Christ must any civil or temporal jurisdiction, power, supe- profess the principle and doctrine of exclusive riürity, pre-eminence, or authority, within this salvation. It is not the Catholic, it is God him