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of the punishment due to your sins.” (p. 275.) On these passages no comment is required : their design and tendency are sufficiently apparent.
We add some specimens of the prayers prescribed in the Roman Missal. “ Let our fasts, we beseech thee, O Lord, be acceptable to thee, that by atoning for our sins, they may both make us worthy of thy grace and bring us to the everlasting effects of thy promise.” “ Receive, O Lord, we beseech thee, the prayers of the faithful, together with these oblations; that by these duties of piety they may obtain eternal life.”* “ O God, who by innumerable miracles hast honoured blessed Nicholas, the bishop, grant, we beseech thee, that by his merits and intercession we may be delivered from eternal flames.”+ 6 O God, who wast pleased to send blessed Patrick, thy bishop and confessor, to preach thy glory to the Gentiles, grant that by his merits and intercession we may, through thy grace, be enabled to keep thy commandments.”“ O God, who hast translated the blessed Dunstan, thy high priest, to thy heavenly kingdom ; grant that we, by his glorious merits, may pass from hence to never-ending joys.”] “ O God, who grantest us to celebrate the translation of the relics of blessed Thomas, thy martyr and bishop, we humbly beseech thee that, by his merits and prayers, we may pass from vice to virtue, and from the prison of this flesh to an eternal kingdom.”ll
. * Roman Missal for the use of the Laity, pp. 61. 337. † Ibid. p. 527.
Ibid. p. 563.
Ibid. p. 585. || Ibid. p. 614. “Blessed Thomas” is the notorious Thomas à Becket. The late Dr. Milner said of Bishop Poynter, “ that he would give the universe to possess half his merit in the sight of God.”—Laity's Directory, 1829, p. 74. A Roman-catholic priest has objected to the manner in which the extracts in the text are cited, on the ground that every prayer in the Missal concludes with the formula, “ through Jesus Christ:" he therefore charges the author with wilful suppression of the truth. It is sufficient to reply, that the real meaning of the prayers is not affected by the omission complained of, and that the insertion of the clause makes the Romish error appear blacker than before. He who prays to be “ delivered from eternal flames” by the “ merits and intercession” of “ blessed Nicholas" may indeed conclude with the cus. tomary words, through Jesus Christ ;" but it is too evident that his hopes are fixed on Nicholas ; that the Saviour is supplanted by the saint; and that the closing expressions, like worldly compliments, meant nothing at all.
The reader has now before him the sentiments of the Romancatholic church on the doctrine of justification; and he sees the use that is made of these sentiments, and their practical tendency and effect. The conclusion is necessarily this :—that he who thoroughly receives the Romish system, and imbibes its spirit, is an enemy to the “righteousness of God, which is by faith ;" he is instructed either to overlook the finished work of the Saviour or to use it simply as the passport for his own doings, his fasts, his alms, his penance; and his practical reliance for eternal life is partly on his own merits, and partly on the merits of those saints whose aid he is taught to implore. We know that Roman-catholic advocates attempt to represent the dogmas of their church as far less exceptionable than has been now stated, and would refuse to admit some of our Protestant inferences; but with their theories and unauthorized “ declarations” we have nothing to do; we have gone to the highest authority for our information, and we challenge them to disprove our statements if they can.
That such an exposition of the doctrine as the decree passed at Trent contains should satisfy the Protestants was neither intended nor expected. The bold avowal of human merit;—the implied undervaluing of the Saviour's righteousness; the severe and uncompromising denunciation of truths which they had long held dear; convinced the reformers that their censures of the Roman-catholic system were amply vindicated, and strengthened their attachment to those doctrines by the profession of which they were distinguished from their opponents-especially justification by faith-articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiæ.*
* “Sic quidem præfantur, ut initio nihil spirent præter Christum : sed quam ad rem ventum est, multum abest quin illi relinquant, quod suum est. Imo, nihil tandem aliud continet eorum definitio, quam tritum illud scholarum dogma, partim gratia Dei, partim operibus propriis justificari homines : ut aliquanto se magis verecundos ostendant quam fuerit Pelagius.”—Calvini. Antidot. ut sup. p. 259.
Melancthon uses much stronger language :-“ In Synodo Tridentinâ editus est articulus περι δικαιοσυνης πιστεως, qui audacter et impie damnat vocem Evangelii sonantem in Ecclesiis vestris.” And again, “ Credamus adfirmanti Deo, nec Tridentiorum decretum audiamus, quod jubet mentes, Pyrrhoniorum more, atopeiv.”—Epistolæ, pp. 556, 571. Ed. Lond. 1692.
The canons and anathemas, it must be confessed, are sufficiently intelligible; but the decree itself was in several instances purposely rendered ambiguous, that it might include the differing sentiments of the divines and prelates. Of this ambiguity no other proof is needed than the publications that were issued shortly after by Catharin and Soto. The latter, in a work “ on nature and grace," maintained that man cannot have an entire and absolute certainty of being in a justified state: the former argued in favour of that certainty. Andrew Vega also published voluminous 6 Commentaries” on the decree, in the course of which he controverted many of Soto's sentiments. These authors dedicated their works to the council : in support of their conflicting notions, they appealed to its decree on justification, in preparing which they themselves were concerned, and yet interpreted it differently, each in favour of his own scheme ! Cardinal Santa Croce sided with Catharin ; De Monte professed to be neutral.* Where was the boasted infallibility of the church?
In passing the doctrinal decree the fathers were nearly unanimous. But when their votes were required for the decree of reformation, there was such difference and opposition of sentiment, such confusion and uproar, that the legates dismissed the assembly without passing the decree. After undergoing frequent revision and amendment, it was at length suffered to be published, about six weeks after the session.f The principal enactment related to residence. Patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, were directed to reside in their respective sees under the penalties inflicted by the ancient canons; if they were absent six months, a fourth part of the year's revenue might be confiscated; if twelve months, one
* Sarpi, s. 80, 83. Pallav. lib. viii. c. 19. s. 16. Du Pin, cent. xvi. b. 5.
t One prelate was determined to signalize his zeal in an extraordinary manner. Instead of contenting himself with the ordinary“ placet," he wrote thus:-“ Sanctam hanc et catholicam de justificatione doctrinam, fidem et regulam amplector, et veneror ago archiepiscopus Turritanus : et sic fideliter toto corde suscipio. Ita me Deus perpetuo justificare dignetur. Amen. Et quod sancta Tridentina hæc synodus tenet, teneo : quod anathematizat, anathematizo. Idem archiepiscopus manu propria subscripsi, et placet decies.”—Le Plat, iii. 495.
| Pallav. lib. ix. c. 1, 2.
half; and they were further allowed to enforce residence on the lower orders of the clergy. But “just and reasonable causes” of absence were excepted; and indulgences and dispensations remained in full force, so that provision was made for the discharge of the official duties of the absentee. Ample scope was thus afforded for evasion of the decree, and it was found necessary to recur to the subject again in subsequent sessions.
Discussions on the Doctrine of the Sacraments, and on Baptism and Con
firmation—Debates on Pluralities—Memorial presented by the Spanish Bishops—Seventh Session—Decree on the Sacraments, and on Baptism and Confirmation—also on Reform, chiefly Pluralities—Infectious Fever at Trent-Resolution taken to transfer the Council to BolognaEighth SESSION—The Spanish Bishops refuse to leave Trent–Observa. tions on the transfer-Indignation of the Emperor-Proceedings at Bologna-NINTH and Tenth Sessions—Diet of Augsburg-Submission of the Protestants procured—The Pope refuses to restore the Council to Trent—The Emperor protests against it-The Interim-Suspension of the Council-Death of the Pope.
At the first general congregation held after the sixth session, it was resolved, that the subject of the sacraments should be next considered, and in connexion with it, the question of episcopal residence, chiefly with a view to the reformation of those abuses by which it was hindered. These subjects were committed to two separate congregations; doctrine was discussed by the divines, discipline by the doctors of the canon law : over the former Santa Croce presided, and De Monte over the latter.
The fathers were pretty generally agreed respecting the number of the sacraments. It was held that they were neither more nor fewer than seven,—viz., baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony. In support of this number, nothing better could be adduced than tradition and fanciful analogies ;* for though it was endeavoured to be proved, that all the seven sacraments were instituted by the authority of Jesus Christ, it is perfectly obvious that the record of the institution of any, besides baptism and the Lord's Supper, is not to be found in the New Testament.
* It was argued, for instance, that seven is a perfect number; since there are seven days in the week, seven excellent virtues, seven deadly sins, seven planets, &c.-Sarpi, 1. ii. s. 85. Such cogent reasoning was irresistible !