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4. This revelation contains many mysteries, transcending the natural reach of human understanding.' Wherefore,
5. It became the divine wisdom and goodness to provide some way or .means,1 whereby man might arrive to the knowledge of these mysteries; means visible and apparent to all ;3 means proportioned to the capacities of all ;4 means sure and certain to all.5
6. This way or means, is not the reading of scripture, interpreted according to the private judgment6 of each disjunctive person, or nation in particular; But,
7. It is an attention and submission1 to the voice of the Catholic or Universal Church, established by Christ for the instruction of all; spread for that end through all nations,* and visibly9 continued in the succession of pastors, and people through all ages.—From this church, guided in truth,"' and secured from error in matters of faith, by the promised" assistance of the Holy Ghost, every one may learn the right sense of the scriptures, and such Christian mysteries and duties as are necessary to salvation.
8. This church, thus established, thus spread, thus continued, thus guided, in one uniform faith,11 and subordination of government, is that which is termed the Roman Catholic Church: the qualities just mentioned, unity, indeficiency, visibility, succession, and universality, being evidently applicable to her.
9. From the testimony and authority of this church it is, that we receive the scriptures, and believe them to be the word of God: and as she can assuredly13 tell us what particular book is the word of God, so can she with the like assurance tell us also, the true sense and meaning of it, in controverted points of faith; the same spirit that wrote the scriptures, directing her1* to understand both them, and all matters necessary to salvation.—From these grounds it follows;
10. Only truths revealed by Almighty God, and proposed by the church, to be believed as such, are, and ought to be esteemed, articles of Catholic faith.
11. As an obstinate separation from the unity of the church, in known matters of faith, is heresy; so a wilful separation from the
1 1 Cor. i. 20.—Matt. xvi. 17. 1 Isa. xxxv. 8. 3 John, ix. 41.
♦ Matt. xi. 25. 5 John, xv. 22. 6 2 Pet. iii. 16—1 John, iv. 1, 6.
1 Matt, xviii. 17.—Luke, x. 16. 8 Matt, xxviii. 19. 9 Psal. ii. 2.— Isa. ii. 2. and xlix. 6—Matt. v. 14. 10 John, xvi. 13—Matt. xvi. 18— 1 Tim. iii. 15. "Matt, xxviii. 20—John, xiv. 16. 11 John, x. 16—and xvii. 20, 21, 22. 13 Matt. xvi. 18—and xviii. 17—1 Tim. iii. 15. ,+ Isa. lix. 21.—John xiv. 26.
No. 6. Private reason or judgment of each particular person or nation.— Dr. C.
visible unity of the same church, in matters of subordination and government, is schism.
12. The Church proposes unto us matters of faith, first and chiefly by the Holy Scripture, in points plain and intelligible in it; secondly, by definitions of general councils, in points not sufficiently plain in Scripture; thirdly, by apostolical traditions derived from Christ and his apostles to all succeeding ages; fourthly, by her practice, worship, and ceremonies confirming her doctrine.
§. II. Of spiritual and temporal Authority.
1. The pastors of the church—who are the body representative— either dispersed or convened in council, have received no commission from Christ to frame new articles of faith1—these being solely divine revelations—but only to explain and to define1 to the faithful what anciently was, and is received and retained, as of faith in the church, ^hen debates and controversies arise about them. These definitions in matters of faith only, and proposed as such, oblige all the faithful to a submission of judgment. But,
2. It is no article of faith, that the church cannot err, either in matters offact or discipline, alterable by circumstances of time and place, or in matters of speculation or civil policy, depending on mere human judgment or testimony. These things are no revelations deposited in the Catholic church, in regard of which alone, she has the promised assistance1 of the Holy Spirit.—Hence it is deduced,
3. If a general council, much less a papal consistory, should presume to depose a king, and to absolve his subjects from their allegiance, no Catholic could be bound to submit to such a decree. —Hence also it follows, that,
4. The subjects of the king of England lawfully may, without
'Gal. i. 7, 8. * Deut. xvii. 8—Matt, xviii. 17—Acts, xv.—Luke x. 16 —Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 3 John, xiv. 16. 26.
No. 12. Strictly speaking, nothing is an article of Catholic faith, that is not revealed by Almighty God, and proposed by the church to be believed as such. This No. then appears to be obscurely worded; and, for this reason, is omitted by Mr. Berington and Mr. Gilbert. Dr. C. inserts the three first ways; but omits the last.
No. 1. Only to explain and to ascertain to us—arise upon these subjects— all the faithful to an interior assent. Dr. C.
No. 2. In matters of fact, or in matters of speculation—on mere human reason: these not being divine revelations deposited in the Catholic church. Dr. C.
No. 4. Dr. C. ends with peace and good government; and Mr. B. observes in a note, that he dislikes the word damnable, as it conveys no idea, or if any, says too much; but lets it stand to show, how desirous our ancestors were, by the most emphatical language, to express their detestation of the papal deposing power.
the least breach of any Catholic principle, renounce, upon oath, the teaching or practising the doctrine of deposing kings excommunicated for heresy, by any authority whatsoever, as repugnant to the fundamental laws of the nation, as injurious to sovereign power, as destructive to peace and government, and consequently in his majesty's subjects, as impious and damnable. , .5. Catholics believe thai the bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter, is the head of the whole Catholic church ;1 in which sense, this church may therefore fitly be styled Roman Catholic, being an universal body, united under one visible head* Nevertheless,
6. It is no matter of faith to believe that the Pope is in himself infallible, separated from the church, even in expounding the faith: by consequence, papal definitions or decrees, in whatever form pronounced, taken exclusively from a general council, or universal acceptance of the church, oblige none, under pain of heresy, to an interior assent. i,
7. Nor do Catholics, as Catholics, believe that the Pope has any direct, or indirect authority over the temporal power and jurisdiction of princes. Hence, if the Pope should pretend to absolve or dispense with his majesty's subjects from their allegiance, on account of heresy or schism, such dispensation would be vain and null; and all Catholic subjects, notwithstanding such dispensation or absolution, would be still bound in conscience to defend their king and country,3 at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, (as far as Protestants would be bound) even against the Pope himself, in case he should invade the nation.
8. As for the problematical disputes, or errors of particular divines, in this or any other matter whatsoever, we are no wise responsible for them ; nor are Catholics, as Catholics, justly punishable on their account. But,
9. As for the king-killing doctrine, or murder of princes excommunicated for heresy, it is universally admitted in the Catholic church, and expressly so declared by the council of Constance* that such doctrine is impious and execrable, being contrary to the known laws of God and nature.
10. Personal misdemeanors, of what nature soever, ought not to be imputed to the Catholic church, when not justifiable by the tenets of her faith and doctrine. For which reason, though the stories of
1 Matt. xvi. 17, &c—Luke, xxii. 32.—John, xxi. 15, &c. 1 Eph. iv. 11, Stc. !1 Peter, ii. 12, &c. 4Sess. xv.
No. 10. To be imputed to the body of Catholics—tenets of Catholic faith and doctrine. Dr. C.—These stories are more than mis-related: for there is no truth in either, as ascribed to the Irish or English Catholics at large. Mr. B.
the Irish cruelties or powder plot, had been exactly true, (which yet, for the most part, are notoriously mis-related) nevertheless Catholics, as such, ought not to suffer for such offences, any more than the eleven apostles ought to have suffered for the treachery of Judas.
11. It is a fundamental truth in our religion, that no power on earth can license men to lie, to forswear, or perjure themselves, to massacre their neighbors, or destroy their native country, on pretence of promoting the Catholic cause or religion: furthermore, all pardons or dispensations granted, or pretended to be granted, in order to any such ends or designs, could have no other validity or effect, than to add sacrilege and blasphemy to the above-mentioned crimes.
12. The doctrine of equivocation or mental reservation, however wrongfully imputed to the church, was never taught, or approved by her, as any part of her belief: On the contrary, simplicity and godly sincerity are constantly inculcated by her as truly Christian virtues necessary to the conservation of justice, truth, and common security.
III. Of other points of Catholic Faith.
1. We believe, that there are seven sacraments, or sacred ceremonies, instituted by our Saviour Christ, whereby the merits of his passion are applied to the soul of the worthy receiver.
2. We believe, that when a sinner' repents of his sins from the bottom of his heart, and acknowledges his transgressions to God and his ministers* the dispensers of the mysteries of Christ, resolving to turn from his evil ways, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance ;3 there is then, and no otherwise, an authority left by Christ to absolve such a penitent sinner from his sins: which authority, we believe, Christ gave to his apostles and their successors, the bishops and priests of his church, in those words, when he said; Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven unto them, fyc*
3. Though no creature whatsoever can make condign satisfac
'9 Cor. vii. 10. 1 Acts, xix. 18—1 Cor. iv. 1. 3 Luke, iii. l.
4John,xx. 22. 23—Mali, xviii. 18.
No. IS. Imputed to the Catholic religion, was never taught, or approved of by the church.
No. 1. This controverted point is not mentioned in the original edition. It is noticed by Dr. C. in No. 2. Sect. 1. *
No. 2. Every Catholic believes—fruits worthy of repentance; there is then and not otherwise.
No. 3. Than as joined to and applied with.—Dr. C.
tion,' either for the guilt of sin, or the pain eternal due to it; this satisfaction being proper to Christ our Saviour only ;* yet penitent sinners, redeemed by Christ, may, as members of Christ, in some measure3 satisfy by prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, and other works of piety, for the temporal pain, which in the order of divine justice sometimes remains due, after the guilt of sin and pains eternal have been remitted. Such penitential works are, notwithstandmg, no otherwise satisfactory titan - As joined and applied to that satisfaction, which Jesus made upon the cross, in virtue of which alone all our good works find a grateful acceptance in the sight of God.*
4. The guilt of sin, or pain eternal due to it, is never remitted by what Catholics call indulgences; but only such temporal punishments.5 as remain due after the guilt is remitted :—these indulgences being nothing else than a mitigation6 or relaxation, upon just causes, of canonical penances, enjoined by the pastors of the church on penitent sinners, according to their several'degrees of denirjf.—And if abuses or mistakes have been sometimes committed, in point either of granting or gain ingindulgences, through the remissness or ignorance of particular persons, contrary to the ancient custom and discipline of the church; such abuses or mistakes cannot rationally be charged on the church, or rendered matters of derision, in prejudice to her faith and discipline.
5. Catholics hold there is a purgatory; that is to say, a place,or state, where souls departing this life, with remission of their sins, as to the eternal guilt or pain, but yet obnoxious to some temporal punishment, of which we have spoken, still remaining due; or not perfectly freed from the blemish of some defects1 or deoi dilutions, are purged* before their admittance into heaven, where nothing that is defied9 can enter. Furthermore,
6. Catholics also hold, that such souls so detained in purgatory, being the living members of Christ Jesus, are relieved by the prayers10 and suffrages of their felloio-members here on earth: but where this place is; of what nature or quality the pains are; how long souls may be there detained; in what manner the suffrages made in their behalf are applied; whether by way of satisfaction or intercession, &c are questions superfluous arid impertinent as to faith.
' Tit. iii. 5. 1 2 Cor. iii.5. 3 Acts, xxvi. 20^-Luke, xi. 41—Acts, x. 4. 4lPeterii. 5. 5 1. Cor. v. 3, &c. 62Cor.ii.lO. 7 Matr.xii.36. * 1 Cor. iii. 16. » Rev. xxfc IV. '° 2 Mactab: xii. 42,&c—Luke, v. 16.
No. 4. Those indulgences—-or' relaxation of the canonical penances— abuses and mistakes—cannot reasonably be charged. Dr. C. No. 6. Are questions, which do not appertain to faith. Dr. C.