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and his posterity. The hope of this promise was in his son Isaac. And God, to try the faith of His servant, directed Abraham to immolate this, his only son, as a sacrifice to His name.

Such an order, under such circumstances, was calculated to throw deep and impenetrable mystery over the previous promises, treasured up in the mind of the Patriarch. Nevertheless, he falters not in his confidence, but obeys without a moment's hesitation. He sinks all the apprehensions arising from the suggestions of flesh and blood, and in the simplicity of his confidence, prepares to execute what had been commanded. And it is only when his hand is uplifted to strike, that God manifests his acceptance of the will, which, however, embraced the work itself, that he is no longer permitted to execute.

Such was the faith of Abraham. But it is evident that it embraced the works, and that so far as obedience, will, intention, purpose, and even feelings, were concerned, Abraham had already completed the sacrifice. This, the same Apostle writes in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ii. 17. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered Isaac; and he that had received the promises, offered up his only be. gotten son.”

As, however, the outward immolation was not actually or physically consummated, Luther was pleased to exclude it altogether from the faith of Abraham, contrary to the express words of St. Paul himself. The error of Luther has been incorporated, with but slight modifications, into the theology of all the other Protestant denominations. Hence the doctrine of salvation by “faith alone.” By faith, to use their own phraseology, the sinner " seizes” on the merits of Christ—by believing firmly that they are “imputed” to him. It is not that by this, he is made just or innocent, but God is pleased to declare, to suppose, to repute~let us say it with reverence-o imagine him as such. It is all God's work, he has not the smallest share in it—and then, the seductive boast of the system, that thus, “all the glory returns to God, and nothing to man. Under the same plea, good works were decried as hindrances, rather than helps, in the matter of justification. It was supposed, indeed, that by a necessary consequence, they would appear in the life of the believer, as the fruit

and evidence of his faith. But even then, they could be of no advantage to the soul. Neither could sin, except that of unbelief alone, defeat its salvation. To such a point of insanity did Luther carry his doctrine on this subject, that he declares, that “ if adultery could be committed in faith, it would not be a sin.” “ Si in fide fieri posset adulterium, peccatum non esset.”Luth. Disput. t. 1, p. 523.

This doctrine is the root of all those distinctive features of Protestantism, which place its moral, as well as dogmatical code, so much in opposition to the ancient teaching of Christendom, and of the Catholic world. Calvin mould ed it into his own system of Election, Predestination, Reprobation, and Inamissible Grace. The different confessions of faith have mitigated somewhat the harshness of language with which it was first set forth in the writings of the two great Continental Reformers. But its substance pervades them all. The extent to which it has prevailed in the Anglican Church, which is supposed to have departed least from the ancient faith, will appear in the little work which is now presented to the public. And humanly speaking, there is no hope for the Protestant world, even through the piety and learning that are represented by the Oxford Divines, until they themselves shall have burst through the intricate and subtle meshes of this elaborate net of priinitive Protestantism. They seem to repine at not beholding among themselves, those fruits of religion, which they witness among their Catholic neighbors. But how could they expect it, while they teach that man's righteousness is solely by the mere imputation of the righteousness of Christ-and that this imputation is by faith alone, to the utter exclusion of good works, either before or after justification? Do they not see that this system leaves them no ground whereon to place the fulcrum, or apply the lever of either a moral, religious, or social regeneration ?

We would not be understood by these remarks, to assert or insinuate, that the moral virtues are not attended to in the practice of Protestant communities as well as elsewhere. Far from it. But it is seldom that the conduct of men is in strict consistency with their creed, and in the present instance it is well known, that Catholics living up to the principles of their holy faith, would be infinitely

better than they are ; Protestants, on the same grounds, would be immeasurably worse.

In the Catholic Church, every age has witnessed the spectacle of thousands of individuals rising, by the power of Grace, above the ordinary range of righteous living, and devoting themselves by a perpetual sacrifice of all that is selfish, for the good of their neighbor; and this for God's sake. Protestantism, after three hundred years of existence, cannot point out even one such example! Why is it? Now, the true type of the faith and the grace of the Catholic religion, is to be found in those higher examples to which we have just referred ;-whilst, if you seek a corresponding type, something that will exemplify the essence of Protestantism, you must be satisfied with the concentrations of it, in the coarse uncharitableness and unchristian exhibitions of it in Exeter Hall, and in kindred assemblies on this side of the Atlantic. It is true, and honorable as true, that the vast majority of Protestants in both countries, look upon such exhibitions with regret, and virtuous indignation; but it is not less true, that for this, the genuine interpreters of their creed, regard and denounce them as only half Protestants, and half “ Papists.” There is more of truth in this uncourteous statement, than either side is aware of. Truth, and charity, and meekness, and patience, and all good works, are contemplated as implied conditions of justification in the Catholic system; whilst they are as implicitly discarded from the Protestant justification, except, indeed, as consequences which, it is supposed, must necessarily follow.

But the stumbling-block with many, is the idea, that according to the Catholic doctrine, man is himself the author, in part, at least, of his own justification, through the supposed efficacy of good works, and human merits; and that thus Christ is rubbed of the glory which belongs solely to Himn. Having stated briefly the Protestant doctrine, we shall now exhibit, with equal brevity, the Catholic teaching on the subject of justification.

The Catholic Church teaches, also, that Christ is alone the author and finisher of our salvation—that of ourselves we can do nothing without his grace—that all grace is the pure gift of God-that to him belongs the whole and undivided glory. This is the faith of the Catholic Church. But from this point the two sytems begin to diverge.

Supposing the existence of faith in the soul, which is regarded, in the Catholic system, as the “root of our justification,” God imparts additional grace, by wbich it is increased and developed into the tree of a holy life, laden with its proper fruits of Christian charity. The operation of this grace is in the soul itself, renovating its powers, impaired and decayed as they had been by the contagion of original and actual sin. The sacraments are appointed channels by which Christ communicates this grace, and applies now, individually, to those who receive it, the merits of his own infinite sacrifice, once offered up on the Cross. He may communicate grace otherwise than by the sacraments, but however communicated, He is its source and author. One of the effects of this grace, is to enable the soul to co-operate with the inspirations which it communicates. Thus it disposes itself to receive farther aid from Heaven; and being still faithful in its correspondence with the new grace, it goes on in a progress of holiness, by which it approaches nearer and nearer to the perfect and adorable Author of its being.

In all this, what are termed good works, must necessarily enter. Sin must be avoided ; for sin would displease God, and destroy his grace in the soul. Charity, the love of God, becomes the impulse by which such a soul is actuated. She will endeavor to keep the commandments, for this is given as the test of love. Nay, more, she will sometimes, for His sake, resolve on the sacrifice which is always necessary in order to accomplish those things which He has counselled, without having reduced them to the rigor of a universal precept. She will sell all that she has, and give it to the poor, in order to have treasures in Heaven. Here the Catholic doctrine of the “ merit of good works,” comes in. Is it, that according to our faith, any thing that man can do, even with the aid of grace, creates a right in virtue of which he may

claim a recompense from God? Certainly not. Is it that any works of bis, can enter, as a portion, into the price by which he was redeemed ? By no means. Nevertheless, the Church teaches, founding her doctrine on the express word of God, and the excess of His goodness and mercy, that He himself bestows on works thus performed through His grace, and for His sake, and His love, a merit which He

will recompense with eternal rewards. But are these rewards on account of any intrinsic merit in the actions themselves as the mere works of men ? Surely not. Long before Luther began to pervert the writings of St. Paul, St. Augustine declared in two words what had ever been, and still is, and ever will be, the faith of the Church on the subject, viz. : God in rewarding His saints, but crowns in them the effect of His own grace.

Where, then, is there room for that calumny which the radical error of the sixteenth century put forth against the Church of God, viz. : that she robbed CHRIST of His glory in the justification of sinners, by making it partly the work of man himself? This calumny is still propa. gated, and by it, thousands are prevented from returning to the fold of Christ.

We have exemplified the Protestant doctrine of justi. fication by a human comparison ; we shall endeavor to represent the Catholic tenet by another.

A man gives capital for trade to a number of persons who are utterly penniless and starving-more to one, less to another. He places them in a sphere of commerce, in which, if they are attentive, industrious, and prudent, they will acquire much wealth ; but in such a way, that the measure of the increase is also owing to the goodness of him who gave the original capital. In this, two things concur to the same end : his liberality, and their co-operation ; but can they glory on this account, as if their fortune was owing to themselves, or their works ? Certainly not; and yet the same goodness of their patron, may induce him to reward, as merit in them, that industry with which they employed his money. And what is this, after all, but the lesson of our Lord's teaching in the parable of the talents—and for the proper use of which, it was said, “ Well done, thou good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many; enter into the joy of thy Lord.”

This is the doctrine of justification, as taught in the Catholic Church ; the grace of Christ, which is His gift, is the capital renovating the powers of the soul, and enabling her to enter into the commerce of charity, which has God and the neighbor for its objects, and by which "treasures,” in the language of Scripture, may be laid


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