« PoprzedniaDalej »
they die in that state, must go “to hell for all eternity!?75 Out of this church, it is positively asserted, there is no salvation. Members of the Greek communion—Protestants of every class and denominationour Leightons, and Hebers, and Martyns-our Owens, and Baxters, and Howesour Miltons and Lockesour Whitefields and Wesleys-our Bunyans and Howards—are allincluded in the same condemning senience. No matter what were their excellencies: their piety might be seraphic, their benevolence godlike, their path like the "shining light," that illuminates and gladdens all nature: they have committed the unpardonable sin of refusing to pay homage to the man of the triple crown, and therefore the Roman Catholic is bound to believe that they are lost for ever. The very children are taught this lesson.76 The first lispings of the infantthe conclusions of the learned—the declarations of the noble—the priests' instructions—the pontiffs' decreesre-echo the sound, “Out of the Roman Catholic church there is no salvation !"77
75 "Q. What is mortal sin? A. It is a wilful transgression in matter of weight against any known commandment of God or the church, or of some lawful superior. Q. Whither go such as die in mortal sin? A. To hell for all eternity."- Abstract of the Douay Catechism, p. 71.
76 Douay Catechism, quoted above. The Roman Catholic child is taught that he is “ made a member of Jesus Christ and his church, called to Christianity and the Catholic religion, out of which' ali those who obstinately remain cannot be saved."-Catholic School Book, p. 122, 190.
77 « This true Catholic faith, out of which none can be saved.”Pope Pius's Creed. “If we believe plain Scripture and the universal tradition of'the fathers, and all antiquity, heresy and schism are mortal sins; and therefore, in saying that heretics and schismatics are out of the state of salvation, his (the Papist's) judgment is not uncharitable, because he advances nothing but a scripture truth."Gother's “ Papist Misrepresented and Represented,” p. 83. See “ Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XII." p. 15.
THE RULE OF FAITH.
Rejection of the Council by the Protestants-Discussions on the
Canon of Scripture-Tradition—the Vulgate Version--and the Right of Interpretation-FOURTH SESSION-Decree on Scripture and Tradition-Manner in which it was received by Protestants Explanatory Observations and Reflections................ 48
The proceedings of the council were carefully watched by the Protestants. They quickly perceived that it was altogether under the control of the Pope, and would issue no enactment contrary to the established order of things at Rome. Several publications were sent forth, declaratory of their views and feelings, one of which was written by Melancthon. In these works, while they expressed their willingness to abide by the decisions of a council composed of learned and pious men, eminent for the fear and love of God, they positively refus. ed to acknowledge the authority of the assembly at Trent. Their reasons were numerous and weighty. They objected to the presidency of the Pope, he being a party in the cause; to the Romish prelates, the appointed judges, many of whom were ignorant and wicked men, and all of them declared enemies of the reformation; to the rules of judgment laid down in connexion with Scripture, and treated with cqual or greater deference—viz. tradition and the scholastic divines; to the method of proceeding already adopted, manifestly proving that the council was not free; and finally, to the place of meeting, rather an Italian than a German city, and at any rate too near the Pope's dominions to afford the assurance of security, should they feel disposed to go.78 The sequel of this history will show how rightly they judged.
78 Seckendorf, 1. iii. s. 33, 130.
Immediately after the third session it was agreed that Scripture and tradition should be next taken into consideration; that it might evidently appear, De Monte said, what were the weapons to be used in contending with the heretics, and on what foundation the church of God rested. In pursuing tlieir inquiries, and in the debates which followed, the members of the council now began to employ the divines who had repaired to Trent, and whose aid was of material service in all their subsequent labours. These christian bishops were for the most part poorly skilled in theology, for which the pursuits of ecclesiastical ambition had given them little relish.
The reformers steadfastly maintained the sole and absolute sufficiency of the Scriptures tradition and the apocryphal books were entirely rejected by them; and they pleaded for the perspicuity of the word of God, which they affirmed, was generally easy to be understood, and required neither gloss nor commentary. All these sentiments were condemned at Trent.
Although the apocryphal books were inserted by Jerome in the Vulgate Latin edition, it was notorious that he did not regard them as canonical. 79 It was probably in deference to his authority that some proposed to publish a twofold list, distinguishing the canonical from the apocryphal, in a manner resembling the method adopted by the Anglican church. There was much discussion on this subject, and the fathers behaved so clamorously that it was necessary to direct them to give their votes one by one, and to number them as they were received. The opinion of the cardinal Santa Croce at length prevailed, and it was agreed to receive as divinely inspired all the books commonly found in the Vulgate, notwithstanding the known declaration of Jerome, and the incontrovertible evidence of the ancient catalogues and the Jewish canon.
Respecting traditions there were as many opinions as
79 He gives a catalogue of the books of the Old Testament, comprising those now found in our authorised version, and no other. He adds, “ That we may know what books there are beside these, they are to be placed among those of the Apocrypha-- Therefore that commonly called the wisdom of Solomon--also Jesus the son of Sirach, Judith, Tobias, and The Shepherd are not in the canon,” &c. Prolog. Galeat.
tongues.80 Some affirmed that Scripture itself restedt on tradition. Vincent Lunel, a Franciscan, thought it would be preferable to treat of the church in the first instance, because Scripture derived its authority from the church. He added that if it were once established that all christians are bound to obey the church, every thing else would be easy, and that this was the only argument that would refute the heretics. Anthony Marinier was of a different opinion. He observed, that there was a previous question to be decided, viz. whether Christianity does in fact consist of two parts, one written and the other unwritten: if so, whether the unwritten part was left in that state by design or accident. If by design, no man ought to commit it to writing: if by accident, the wisdom of God would seem to be impeached. On either hand he saw great difficulties, and therefore judged it best to leave the matter as it was, following the example of the fathers, who ascribed authority to the Scriptures only, not presuming to place tradition on the same footing. This advice, sound as it was, had no approvers; Cardinal Pole, in particular, vehemently opposed it. Some desired a distinction to be made between traditions of faith and those which related to manners and rites; the first to be universally received, but of the rest only such as the custom of the church had sanctioned. Others would have the reception of all enjoined, without the least distinction.
When the decree was proposed for consideration, and that part was read in which it was enacted that Scripture and tradition should be regarded “with equal piety and veneration,” Bertani objected to the expression, and said that though he acknowledged that God was the author of both, and that every truth, must proceed from the source of all truth, yet it by no means followed that whatever was true was divinely inspired; and that the fact of many traditions having fallen into disuse seemed to indicate that God himself did not intend that they should be venerated equally with Scripture. The bishop of Chiozza went much further : he even ventured to assert that it was impious to cqualise the authority of
80 • I find that there then were as many opinions as tongues.' Pal lav. lib. vi. c. 2. Sarpi, lib. ii. s. 45-47.
Scripture and tradition. So bold an exclaration excited strong feelings; "it was heard,” says Pallavicini, " with surprise and horror;' and it called forth vehement reprehension. The legate De Monte recommended that the divines should be sent for, that they might hear both the decree and the bishop's reason against it, and then decide whether any alteration should be made, or whether the objector should be punished. “Let them be called," said the bishop, “I have not charged the whole decree with impiety, but only certain words in it; and in saying they are impious I have not so much charged them with heresy as with inhumanity, in laying upon us a heavier burden than we are able to bear.” But the tumult greatly increased; the prelates were loud and angry in their reproaches; and the poor bishop, overcome by the insulting and cruel manner in which he was treated by his brethren, was constrained to acknowledge himself sorry for having offended them, and to promise that he would consent to a decree which was approved by so venerable an assembly ! 8 1
A committee which had been appointed for the purpose reported on sunúry evils which required correction. The variety of versions, the number of errors in the printed copies of the Scriptures—the right of private interpretation, and the freedom of the press, were the topics handled in the report. It was alleged that the existence of so many versions, often varying from one another, tended to involve the meaning of Scripture in uncertainty, and that the only way to remedy this would be to fix upon some one version and declare it to be the authentic and acknowledged authority in all cases of controversy. The difficulty lay in the choice. Cajetan's opinion was quoted, who strongly urged the study of the Hebrew and Greek originals, and was accustomed to say, "that to understand the Latin text was not to understand the infallible word of God, but of the translator, who might err; and that if the divines of former ages had held the same sentiment, Luther's heresies would not have so easily prevailed;" and a canon was mentioned which enjoined the examination of the Old Testament in the Hebrew language, and of the New in
81 Pallav. ut sup. c. 11. s. 3, 4.