Imagini ale paginilor

question of apostolical succession, we shall conclude our extracts with the paragraph in which Archbishop Whately gives his judgment upon that point.

“Successors, in the Apostolic office, the Apostles have none. As witnesses of the Resurrection, -as Dispensers of miraculous gifts,—as inspired Oracles of divine Revelation,—they have no successors. But as Members,-as Ministers,-as Governors-of Christian Communities, their successors are the regularly-admitted Members,—the lawfully-ordained Ministers,—the regular and recognized Governors -of a regularly-subsisting Christian Church ; especially of a Church which conforming in fundamentals, -as I am persuaded ours does,-to Gospel principles, claims and exercises no rights beyond those which have the clear sanction of our great Master, as being essentially implied in the very character of a Community.”

As our object in this article has not been to express our opinions on the subject, nor even to animadvert upon those of the author, but simply to record them, we have given the reader little more than an unskilful abstract or abridgment of the work before us, often using the archbishop's own words, even where we have not placed the sign of a quotation. We have said enough, we trust, to show a reason for the eagerness with which some have endeavored to depreciate the talents and the churchmanship of Dr. Whately. That he is bold and sometimes rash, must be admitted. That his style is often awkward and ungainly is no less true. But to question his originality or argumentative ability, would occur to no one but a partizan. Whoever is acquainted with his Rhetoric and Logic must be well aware that however great his faults may be, they cannot be imputed to deficiency of intellect. There is sometimes an apparent incoherence in his arguments, which, on reading further, will be found to have arisen from the very depth and compass of his logical design. Of one thing our readers may be well assured, that when they hear this or any other work of Whately set aside as empirical and superficial, they may safely attribute it to a sad want either of discrimination or of candour in the critic. From some of his opinions on church gevernment we utterly dissent, for we are neither prelatists nor independents; but we laugh at the idea of decrying him as one who is unworthy of a hearing, and we certainly enjoy the opportunity of seeing how the words of an apostle can be treated by apostle-worshippers.

ART. IV.-1. The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice ;

or a Defence of the Catholic Doctrine that Holy Scripture has been since the times of the Apostles the Sole Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, against the dangerous errors of the authors of the Tracts for the Times, and the Romanists, as, particularly that the Rule of Faith is made up of Scripture and Tradition together;" &:c., in which also the doctrines of Apostolical Succession, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, &c.,are fully discussed. By William Goode, M. A., of Trinity College, Cambridge; Rector of St. Antholin, London. Philadelphia : Herman Hooker. 1842. Two volumes pp. 494 and 604. A Treatise concerning the Right use of the Fathers in the Decision of Controversies in Religion. By John Daille, Minister of the Gospel in the Reformed Church at Paris. Presbyterian Board of Publication. Philadelphia.

1842. 3. Not Tradition, but Scripture. By Philip N. Shuttle

worth, D. D. Warden of New College, Oxford, (late Bishop of Chichester). First American from the third London edition. Philadelphia : Hooker and Agnew. 1841.

pp. 125.

4. The Authority of Tradition in Matters of Religion.

By George Holden, M. A. Philadelphia : Hooker and

Agnew. 1841. pp. 128. 5. Tradition Unveiled. By Baden Powell, of Oriel Col

lege, Oxford. Hooker and Agnew. 1841.

The recent publication in England of so many works on Tradition, indicates a new and extended interest in the subject; and their republication in America, shows that the interest is as great here as it is in England. It is not difficult to account for this. The rapid increase of Romanism in some parts of the world; the revival of zeal and confi. dence among the Papists; and the advocacy of the leading principles of the church of Rome by the Oxford Tracts, have rendered this and kindred points the prominent subjects of religious discussion in Great Britain, and consequently, to a great extent in this country. We question whether at any period since the Reformation, or, at least, since the days of Archbishop Laud and the non-jurors, the public mind has been as much turned to these subjects as it is at present. This is no doubt principally owing to the publication of the

Oxford Tracts. It is enough to arouse a Protestant community, to hear the Reformation denounced as a schism; Protestantism decried as anti-Christian, and all the most dangerous errors of Romanism espoused and defended by members of the leading Protestant university of Europe. It is no wonder that this movement excites the joy of Papists, and the indignation of Protestants. It is no wonder that the press teems with answers to the artful and subtle effusions of men, who though sustained by a Protestant church, direct all their energies to obliterate her distinctive character and to undermine her doctrines. The wonder rather is that men, professing godliness, can pursue a course so obviously unfair; or that they are allowed to retain the stations which give them support and influence.

It is certainly time, when not only the Romanists are redoubling their efforts for the extension of their errors; but when they find their most efficient allies in our own camp, that Protestants should rouse themselves to a sense of their danger, and renew their protest against the false doctrines of Rome, and their testimony in behalf of the truth of God. It is conceded that the turning point in these controversies, is the Rule of Faith. Are the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments the only infallible rule of faith and practice? if so, Romanism and Puseyism, are confessedly without any adequate foundation. We say confessedly, first because their advocates admit that the whole controversy turns upon the authority due to tradition; and secondly, because in enumerating the doctrines which tradition is necessary to prove, they include the very doctrines by which they are distinguished from Protestants.

« The complete rule of faith," says a distinguished Romanist, “is scripture joined with tradition, which if Protestants would admit, all the other controversies between us and them would soon cease. “ It may be proved,” says Mr. Keble, “to the satisfaction of any reasonable mind, that not a few fragments yet remain,—very precious and sacred fragments of the unwritten teaching of the first age of the church. The paramount authority for example of the successors of the apostles in church government; the three fold-order established from the beginning; the virtue of the blessed eucharist as a commemorative sacrifice; infant baptism, and above all, the Catholic doctrine of the most Holy Trinity, as con

See Goode, vol. i. p. 90.

tained in the Nicene creed. All these, however surely confirmed from scripture, are yet ascertainable parts of the primitive unwritten system of which we enjoy the benefit.”* Without its aid si. e. of primitive tradition] humanly speaking, I do not see how we could now retain either real inward communion with our Lord through his apostles, or the very outward face of God's church and kingdom among us. Not to dwell on disputable cases, how but by the tradition and the practice of the early church can we demonstrate the observance of Sunday as the holiest day, or the permanent separation of the clergy from the people as a distinct order? Or where, except in the primitive liturgies, a main branch of that tradition, can we find assurance, that in the Holy Eucharist, we consecrate as the apostles did, and consequently that the cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ, and the bread which we break in the communion of the body of Christ.”+ This, in the language of the sect, means, How but by tradition can we establish the doctrine of the real presence? Again the same writer says, “ The points of Catholic consent, known by tradition, constitute the knots and ties of the whole system; being such as these : the canon of scripture, the full doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation, the oblation and consecration of the eucharist, the apostolical succession." To these he afterwards adds,“ baptismal regeneration," and the doctrine that consecration by apostolical authority is essential to the participation of the eucharist.”

After quoting these and many other passages from Mr. Keble's sermon and from other writings of the Tractarians, Mr. Goode thus enumerates and classifies the doctrines, which according to their system depend on tradition alone, or upon scripture as explained by tradition. “ Relating to points disused, 1. The non-literal acceptation of our Lord's words respecting washing one another's feet. 2. The nonobservance of the seventh day as a day of religious rest.

Relating to ordinances in use among us, 1. Infant baptism. 2. The sanctification of the first day of the week. 3. The perpetual obligation of the eucharist. 4. The identity of our mode of consecration in the eucharist with the apostolical. 5. That consecration by apostolical authority is essential to the participation of the eucharist. 6. The separation of the clergy from the people as a distinct order. 7.

* Keble Sermon on Tradition, p. 32. f Ib. p. 38.

The three-fold order of the priesthood. 8. The government of the church by bishops. 9. The apostolical succession.

“Of points purely doctrinal, 1. Baptismal regeneration. 2. The virtue of the eucharist as a commemorative sacrifice. 3. That there is an intermediate state, in which the souls of the faithful are purified, and grow in grace; that they pray for us, and that our prayers benefit them.

“Of points concerning matters of fact, and things that do not immediately belong either to the doctrines or the rites of Christianity, 1. The canon of the scripture. 2. That Melchizedek's feast is a type of the eucharist. 3. That the book of Canticles represents the union between Christ and his church. 4. That wisdom, in the book of Proverbs refers to the Second Person of the Trinity. 5. The alleged perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord.

"It is impossible," says Mr. Goode, “not to see that, among all these points the stress is laid upon those which concern the government and sacraments of the church; and our opponents being persuaded that patristical tradition delivers their system on these points . . . . are very anxious that this tradition should be recognised as a divine informant; and in the zealous prosecution of this enterprize, are desirous further of impressing it upon our minds, that almost all the other points relating either to doctrine or practice, yea even the fundamentals of the faith, must stand or fall according as this recognition takes place or not."* This is true. The writers of the Tracts, knowing and admitting, that their peculiar doctrines, that is, doctrines which they hold in common with the Romanists, and which distinguished both from Protestants, cannot be proved except by tradition, are led to assert not only that the doctrines peculiar to Episcopalians, but even some of the fundamental doctrines of the gospel rest on the same unstable foundation. If we understand the fundamental principles of Romanism and of the Oxford Tracts they are the following. The sacraments are the only ordinary channels of communicating the grace of the Holy Spirit and the benefits of Christ's merits; that participation of these sacraments is therefore the great means of salvation; that the sacraments have this efficacy only when administered by duly ordained ministers, (except that the Papists admit the validity of lay baptism in

[blocks in formation]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »