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of the gospel. Therefore it is that we, who are nicknamed highchurchmen, prefer, for the most part, to build up our flocks in our most holy faith, according as the scaffolding of the Church services affords us opportunity, rather than to go out of our way to systematically attack the foes of our faith. We are content to believe that men who sealed their confession for the truth with their blood, -who, with dying lips, amid scorching flames, finished the protest which they had previously begun. We are content, we say, to believe that the Reformers were to the full as well-judging foes of Romish corruptions, as unrelenting adversaries of papal innovations, as could be necessary for the vindication of the truth of God. And therefore we conceive, that if we carry out the Church's teaching, we shall cause our moderation to be known unto all men, our “light to shine before men;" and thus our Father, which is in heaven, to be glorified. Inasmuch as all truth is in Scripture, and inasmuch as the Church provides for the teaching, once a year, of all Scripture, it follows, of necessity, that a diligent obedience to the ordering of the Church will secure the exhibition of all truth ; and, by consequence, the condemnation of all error.
If our path is infested by tortuous snakes, we shall show our wisdom in waiting till they cross our path ; for this, if we keep steadily on, their winding will surely lead them to do, and then they will readily be scotched; whereas, if we follow them in their sinuosities, half our time will be lost in idle pursuit, and an advantage of position will be given to the object of that pursuit. There are points of contact with truth, in almost every form of error ; and if these be well observed, and if, as we travel on the way of truth, intimation be given that the profession of another is now in contact, now far diverged from us, the truth is asserted, and error, ipso facto, condemned. Thus, those who are in the habit of hearing sermons which carry out the teaching of the Church in the service of the day, will hear us witness that the truth, in all the majesty, and beauty, and variety too, of her proportions, is brought out; and, by neces
ary consequence, the deformity and unsightliness of even the most gorgeous outwork of error is clearly set forth. Thus, by making the pulpit and the reading-desk, the sermon and the service of the day, or the ecclesiastical purpose of the day, uniform, provision is made for the systematic assertion of all truth, and the incidental condemnation of all error. By acting upon these principles, our congregations are presented with a transcript of the minds of God's people in all ages, instead of being moulded and fashioned in the necessarily contracted view of an individual mind. The great body of the Clergy (and, God be praised, the number is every day on the increase—50 rapidly on the increase, as to bid us hope that ere long it will describe all who bear Christ's commission in this land), the great body of the Clergy teaching the true church doctrine, have no difficulty in meeting popery; and their arguments in
this matter are drawn from that best human commentary on the sense of Scripture ANTIQUITY. And how faithfully high churchmen oppose popery, when called to do so, is evident from the Sermon now under notice; and from its pages we support our case, as to ANTIQUITY.
Now this it is that induces them to study the writings of the primitive Fathers of the Church. There seems, however, to be a prejudice against the very name of the Fathers; a prejudice which certainly was not felt by Ridley, or by Cranmer, or any of the learned and pious confessors and martyrs to whom we owe the Reformation of our Church. And why should it be felt now? for, let me ask, who are the Fathers? They are merely ancient writers who lived in the earlier ages of the Church. Now one would think that there could be no great sin in our venturing to read the works of these ancient authors. It is said that we ought to refer for our divinity to the Bible and the Bible only. God knows, my brethren, that I wish the Bible were more exclusively read than it is, and no one can regret more than I do to find the Bible so generally superseded by tracts. But those very tracts are most diligently distributed by the very persons who most vehemently blame us for venturing to read the Fathers. Nay, by those persons themselves these tracts are read: in many instances they are the fountains, not always surely the purest, from which they drink in their theology. But what is a tract? It is a little treatise or sermon composed by some person or persons, not, certainly, infallible. Now similar treatises and sermons form the works of the Fathers. Both parties, then, you will observe, are tract readers, and why should he who reads an ancient tract be blameworthy, while he who reads a modern tract is held worthy of praise? But it is said the modern tracts are sound in doctrine, the ancient tracts are not so. And, let me ask, who says this? Is it said by an infallible man? What proof do you bring from Scripture that modern tracts must be sound in doctrine, and ancient tracts not so ? It is merely a matter of opinion, and when one man praises the ancient tracts to the disparagement of the modern, it is quite as probable that his opinion should be correct as that of another person who praises the modern tracts to the disparagement of the ancient: and more probable, if it is in the nature of truth to be better understood near to the fountain head, than after its transmission through many generations. Is it said that one is scriptural, the other not scriptural? This is only repeating the last assertion in a different form. If the tract contain anything of doctrine more than an extract from Scripture without note or comment -and then it is Scripture itself-it must be a deduction from, or an explanation of Scripture, and we have just as much right to assert that the deduction made from Scripture in an ancient tract is scriptural, as another person has to make the same assertion as to a modern tract. Disagree with us, if you will, in your opinion of this matter—but why object to our principle while you adopt it in another form? We are both tract readers; the only difference being that some of us go for these tracts to St. Chrysostom, St. Basil, and St. Athanasius, to whom our Prayer Book is indebted for much of its excellence; others to a modern Religious Tract Society, sanctioned, it may be, by what is called the religious world ; which is, nevertheless, no more infallible than the Church of Rome, though the members of both seem to rely on their traditions with undoubting confidence.* Pp. 9–11.
* By the religious world I mean that conventional uni of sects and parties which is formed by those who agree to merge the distinctive features of every sect, (and where Churchmen belong to it, the distinctive features of the Church itself,) in order that they may insist in common upon what that world deems to be essential truth. But the question still occurs whether that world is competent to decide what part of tbie Revelation of God is essential and what is not. of this proposition those who
And now we come to consider how little the present Church of Rome can claim the sanction of antiquity; for Trent is her authoritative council, and at Trent Rome's treaty with Antichrist and heresy seems to have been entered upon, aye, and ratified! There does not appear to be much choice as to the question, whether Rome did not then become heretical. It must be remembered, the Council of Trent did not conclude its final session until after our Articles were completed ; and it must be remembered, also, that at that council, opinions which might have been formerly in the Church, but never of the Church, were gathered into decrees, and made essentials to salvation. By the Council of Trent, prohibitions hitherto unheard of were set upon the reading of Holy Scripture. By the Council of Trent, in fact, the whole aspect of religious profession in the Church of Rome was changed; by that council she entered into treaty with Antichrist, and signed the articles of her condemnation as heretical. Now her errors are fundamentalshe is no longer what she was when the blast from Luther's trumpet shook the papacy to its centre. We shall have no confusion in this matter, if we take the definition of Bucer, Melancthon, and Beza. “ The Church was under the papacy, but the papacy was not the Church ;" and the learned Dr. Field concurring in this definition, says, agreeing with Philip Mornay, " that among that poor people that was so long deceived under the darkness of Antichrist, there was a part of the body of the visible Church, but that the Pope and his maintainers were the bane of it, who stified and choked the poor people as much as lay in them. We say that this was the Church of Christ, but that Antichrist held it by the throat, to the end that the salvation and life which floweth from Christ might not pass into it. To be short," saith he, we say, that the people were of the Christian commonwealth ; but the Pope with his faction was a proud seditious Cataline, seeking to destroy it, and set all on fire, and so ever he most aptly putteth a difference between them that were under the papacy and the holders of the papacy, the Christian Church and the faction that was in it. Thus, as Martin Luther himself confesseth, much good, nay, all good, and the very marrow and kernel of faith, piety, and Christian
are called High Churchimen hold the negative. The difficulty of their present position consists in the religious world having assumed that all pious persons must belong to it. But there are persons whose zeal for the cause of religion, whatever may be their faults, is ardent, but whu at the same time refuse to subscribe to many of the traditional doctrines and some of the practices of the religious world. The members of the religious world cannot conceive the possibility of such persons being really pious and sincere: hence the hostility to them: their real fault being their rejection of the tradition of the religious world, the controversy of the present day having reference, in fact, to this one question : according to what tradition shall Scripture be interpreted? according to the tradition of the Church of Rome ? or according to the tradition of the religious world ? or according to the tradition of the primitive church?—the latter being, as we contend, embodied in the formularies of the Church of England.
belief was, by the happy providence of God, preserved even in the midst of the papacy."
But things have been different since the Council of Trent; for, remember, that when Luther first commenced his crusade, the Roman church consisted of the whole number of Christians subject to papal ty ny, many of whom were anxious to shake off that yoke ; and no sooner was an opportunity given them, than they gladly did so. But now the Church of Rome is composed only of those who thus magnify, admire, and adore the plenitude of papal power, or who at any rate are content to submit to its yoke. Again, the Church of Rome that then was, consisted of men not having means of instruction and information ; such as have been since, and therefore not erring pertinaciously in things wherein they were deceived. But the Church of Rome now existing is the multitude only of such as pertinaciously resist the clear manifestation of the truth, and with all fury and madness persecute those who differ from them (where they have the power). So great is the difference, indeed, that those who lived heretofore might, in their simplicity, be saved under circumstances, which should bring about the condemnation of those who, with contradiction and wilful resistance, hold their present views. Again, the Roman Church that then was, had in it all the abuses and superstitious observances which it now has, and it had such as erred in all those points of doctrine in which the Roman Church now declines from primitive truth; but then it had also others that disliked and desired the removal of all these abuses and superstitious observances which we have removed, and who believed aright in all those points of doctrine wherein the rest erred; so that the Roman Church consisted then of two sorts of men,—the one true living members, the other belonging to her unity in respect of baptism, power of ministry, and profession of some parts of heavenly truth, though not partaking in the degree of unity which the principal parts had among themselves, but divided from them, being a dangerous faction in the midst of her, seeking her destruction, which indeed was accomplished to a sad extent, when they got dominancy for their principles at the Council of Trent. Thus Bernard exclaims of such : All are friends, yet all are enemies; all are domestics, but none peaceful; all are servants of Christ, and yet serve Antichrist.
Now all these, both classes, were in some sense the Church ; that is, in respect of baptism, the profession of some part of heavenly truth, and the power of the ministry; but the title more peculiarly is honoured in those who held the fundamentals of Christian faith entire, and who longed for deliverance from superstition and error ; waiting like Simeon of old, for the consolation of the newer Israel. Now in regard to the first of these classes, the Roman Church was verè Ecclesia-truly a church,-a society of men professing Christ, and baptized; but it was as regards the latter only, that she was vera Ecclesia, a true church, i. e. a society of men holding a saving profession of truth in Christ. The church of the Jews had in it at the coming of Christ the scribes, pharisees, and sadducees, as well as Zachary, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna. In respect of the former of these she was verè Ecclesia, but not vera Ecclesia-truly a church, but not a true church ; while, as regards the latter, she was both truly a church, and a true church.
Nor let this occasion any surprise, for a case precisely analogous to it is to be found in the fact, that in the visible Church the evil must ever be mingled with the good ; and that this Church of Christ is yet called a garden enclosed, an orchard of pomegranates, a well sealed up, a fountain of living water, a paradise, with all precious and desirable fruit; a holy nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, the spouse of Christ and wife of the Lamb, the love of Christ-all fair, undefiled, and without spot. And this in respect of her holier parts, and not of others. Thus we call those in respect of whom the Church was only truly a Church, and not a true Church-we call those a faction in it, and this because they had not faith undefiled in a good conscience; and being not in unity with the better portions of the Church in faith, they wandered into by-paths of error to their own destruction, and sought the destruction of that mother, which, by baptism, had sacramentally regenerated them to be the sons of God. And they brought in new and strange errors, and a new kind of tyrannical government, prejudicial to the purity of the faith once delivered, and infringing upon the liberty wherewith Christ hath made free the sons of God. For it is thus that we are to decide between who are the Church and who are a faction in that Church ; in this matter numbers are in no wise concerned. For the disguised Arians, and those who were misled by them to condemn Athanasius, were but a faction in the Church, although they were so many, that Jerome saith the whole world was become Arian, and they that adhered to Athanasius were few in number and contemptible in respect of the rest. And yet the Church never departed from the catholic faith respecting the godhead of the Son. And consequently they that, being in the Church, hold the faith of the Church, by their faith bear witness that all others are a faction, even although those who believe rightly be few, and the faction be many. Hence, until the time of Luther, the Latin or Western Churches, oppressed by the tyranny of Rome, continued to be true churches of God, holding a saving profession of heavenly truth, turned many to God, and had many saints that died in their communion ; but we may not now acknowledge the Romish Church to be that true Church of God, whose communion we must embrace, whose directions we must follow, and in whose judgment we must rest. For at the Council of Trent errors which had previously been only in the Church, were made of the Church. What had hitherto only been held by the faction, then