Imatges de pÓgina
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originated. We felt that if the principles of the Reformation were worth the struggle that was made and the blood that was shed for them at first, they were worth the trouble and odium of defending them still. We say the odium, as well as the trouble ;-for, partly from the improper means and the bad spirit which have been employed in maintaining theological controversy; but principally from a latent infi. delity, which, we are persuaded prevails more widely than is generally suspected, all enquiry into religious truth, especially if it be connected, as it generally must be, with the exposure of what is false, is treated with indifference or contempt. This is natural enough in an Infidel, because it is in his view an enquiry into the modes of that, which is nothing in itself. But in one who professes to believe in a divine revelation nothing is less wise than to contemn enquiry into religious truth; because it implies one of these two sentiments, both of which are monstrous on his own principles; either, that truth in matters of religion cannot be discovered, or that it is not worth discovering.

It must be confessed—and it deserves to be deeply lamented that the truth has often been little respected in the scufde between angry disputants. But surely no good reason results thence, why it should be tamely surrendered to those, wbo would corrupt or destroy it.—Is the religion of Jesus Christ of such a deleterious quality that we cannot approach to its defence without being infected ?-Or has the spirit of light and wisdom, from whom it proceeded, failed to make it intelligible ? and are we commanded to search it out and defend it through mockery of our incapacity for the employment ?-We cannot express our sentiment on this subject better than in the words of Bishop Warburton. “ An Infidel” he says “is not without excuse in laughing at religious controversy, since on his ideas it is disputing about the modes of a non-entity. But the Christian takes his faith for a reality, and therefore can never take the modes of it to be indifferent; but must hold, that of the various opinions resulting from thence, some with their truths may be useful, and some with their errors hurtful: so that when about these modes Christian Churches differ they become as reasonably the subject of serious enquiry as any other realities whatever, and HAVE THEIR IMPORTANCE IN PROPORTION TO THEIR GOOD OR BAD INFLUENCE ON TRUTH AND VIRTUE."* This Proportion, we are persuaded, is greater in no case, within the limits of Christianity, than in the one before us. The influence of the peculiar tenets of the Church of Rome

• Doctrine of Graçe.

on truth and virtue is, in our view, most baleful ; inasmuch as they substitute a gross corruption of the gospel for the thing itself; and tend to stultify Christianity by torturing it to the contradiction of its own principles. To the latter operation of those tenets, we believe is principally to be attributed the prevalence of infidelity in the countries where the corruptions of the Church of Rome 'have been exhibited, and taken for, the religion of Jesus Christ.

The discussion into which we are about to enter may, we hope, have some good effect among our Roman Catholic Brethren. In this respect however we feel that we are in circumstances of great difficulty. We cannot express our conviction of the corruptness of the Roman Church and the danger of continuing in her communion but in terms which must sound uninviting and severe to those, who have been accustomed to consider her as the holy Catholic Church of Christ. Let us be understood to apply such terms to the corruptions themselves, and to the authors and supporters of them, but by no means to the victims of that cruel spiritual tyranny which has been established on the basis of those corruptions. Our pages will be open to communications in the way of enquiry or discussion from Roman Catholics, which communications we pledge ourselves to treat with candour and respect.

To the Protestant community also we hope the present work may be rendered useful, by exhibiting the principles of Protestantism in their proper light, and by shewing, in contrast with the danger of error, the value and importance of religious truth. It is but too apparent, that many of us are not sufficiently aware of the value of the privileges which, as Protestants, we possess. Were we all to show forth in our spirit and conduct the purity and value of our own principles, it is more than probable that the cause of truth would make speedy advances to its final triumph.

The Conductors of the PROTESTANT GUARDIAN, while they avow themselves to be Clergymen of the Church of England, and to adhere affectionately to her communion, desire to state that they have no other view in their present undertaking, than to promote the interests of truth and godliness as far as those interests are concerned in the differences between the principles of Protestantism properly so called, and the peculiar tenets of the Church of Rome; that in endeavouring to promote those sacred interests they recognise no other infallible standard of divine truth than the holy Scriptures interpreted according to reason; and that they purpose to use no other means of promoting them than those which truth and godliness justify. Giving this pledge we earnestly invite the co-operation of all those who

destre to promote the common cause of Protestantism, and may be able to render assistance in carrying on the present work. We indulge a hope that help will not be wanting in a matter of such moment, and in circumstances which require so much exertion.

ROMAN BREVIARY.

Historical Lessons of the Roman Breviary. No. 1. No

person who has trod the mazes of Popish controversy can fail to perceive a marked difference between the tone of those Romish Divines, who speak dogmatically for the instruction or edification of the members of their own com-, munion, and that of those, who attempt to answer the objections and repel the accusations of their polemical antagonists. With the former all is matter of downright, certainty, with the latter, all is doubt, difficulty, subterfuge, and evasion. When the faithful are to be instructed, every ordinary priest or monk becomes the sure depositary of the infallible decisions of an infallible church; but when Protestant controvertists are to be confuted, the declarations of the most illustrious men, or bodies of men, are found to be of no authority whatever. Councils are discovered to have been only partly approved, or to have died a natural death : popes did not speak ex cathedra, cardinals and bishops are only private doctors, and who cares for the opinion of an obscure priest or friar? Thus, nothing is so difficult as to know what the belief of Roman Catholics. really is, or at least what they will chuse to acknowledge as such; and when the Protestant animadverts upon the doctrines and practices of their church, countenanced and recommended, as he thinks, by the most competent authorities, he is immediately accused of being a misrepresenter, and gravely told that he has all along been fighting with a phantom of his own creation. There is however one class of authorities to which we may appeal without fear of exception or contradiction, namely, the publicly accredited devotions of the Romish Church, as set forth in her Missals, Breviaries, Rituals and Pontificals. The most hardened controvertist will scarcely venture to assert that there is any thing repugnant to the faith and practice of Roman Catholics in compositions, solemnly sanctioned by their spiritual rulers, and received with implicit submis

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slon by every member of their communion, especially if he acknowledges the truth of Bellarmine's declaration that “the Universal Church (i. e, as the phrase signifies in his vocabulary, the church of Rome) cannot err, either in faith or practice, especially in ceremonies and divine worship. *"

Of the above-mentioned compositions, the most important are the Breviary and the Missal, the former of wbich we may define as being the Book of Common Prayer of the Roman Catholic Clergy, and the latter the Romish order of administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Our present business being with the Breviary, as reformed according to the direction of the Council of Trent, we shall wave all enquiries into its supposed origin under Gelasius Ist, and enlargement by Gregory the Great, respecting which, much has been said and little is known; as well as into the alterations which were made in it, under Gregory 7th, Gregory 9th, and Nicholas 3rd, wbich last mentioned pontiff brought it nearly into the form in which it existed at the period of the Reformation. This ancient Roman Breviary was such a mass of absurdity and false-" hood, that after the revival of letters in the sixteenth cen.“ tury, almost every man of sense and learning was ashamed of it, and many urgent requests were made to the Fathers of the Council of Trent, that they would purge away this disgrace, and give the Breviary and other offices of the Church a thorough reform. Some time indeed before this period Clement 7th bad directed Cardinal Quignon to compile a new experimental Breviary, the first edition of which was published in 1536, under the auspices of Paul 3rd, and it was afterwards successively approved by Julius 3rd, Paul 4th, and the King of France. This Cardinal, who was a man of learning, candour, and piety, and fully alive to the defects of the Breviary then in use, treated it with no ansparing hand. He omitted inost of the versicles and responses, discarded the office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in toto, cut off a considerable portion of the proper lessons for Saints' Festivals, substituting lessons from Scripture in their stead, and in short, drew up a Breviary in form and matter not very unlike our English Liturgy. Though applauded by many distinguished individuals, and even used by some of the clergy in the place of the old one, it was never formally received by the Church, but continued, like some of Bellarmine's councils, "neither approved nor disapproved," until the pontificate of Pius 5th. * The Council of Trent, having left the whole business of correcting the holy offices to the Roman Pontiff, in spite of the oppo

• Bellarmin. De Verbo Dei. 1. 4. c. 9. § 4.

sition of the French and * Spanish divines, Pius V. commissioned Francis Forero, a Portuguese theologian, Leonardo Marino, Archbishop of Lanciano, and Egidio Foscari, bishop of Modena, to execute this important undertaking. The first edition of their reformed Breviary was published in 1568, prefaced by the Bull, commonly called “Quod a nobis,” in which the Pope, after praising the care and accuracy of his correctors,t declaring among other things that they had “discarded every thing unsuitable and uncertain,proceeds to forbid Cardinal Quignon's Breviary, and all others which could not plead a prescription of two hundred years, to enforce the use of the reformed one under the usual canonical penalties, and to prohibit all departures from it under pain of excommunication. It continued in general use until the time of Clement VIII., who seems to have discovered that Pius's boast of having discarded every thing unsuitable and uncertain, was not quite correct. He therefore, in spite of the penalties denounced by his predecessor against all who should presume to add to, diminish from, or otherwise change his Breviary, set a fresh committee of correctors to work upon it, but in order to save appearances, in his bull “Cum in Ecclesia,” dated, May, 1602, he lays all the blame of the gross errors by which it was disfigured, upon the poor printers, and asserts, most falsely, that his correctors were only commissioned to restore it to the state of purity, in which Pius V. first gave it to the Church. This doubly refined composition continued in force nearly thirty years, when Urban VII., who was an amateur poet himself, and by no means destitute of skill in the mechanical branch of theart, being offended as every man of taste long had been, with the barbarous hymns used in the ecclesiastical offices, nearly all of which were evidently the work of the darkest ages, undertook a third revision of the Breviary, the first edition of which was published in 1631. Though the reformation of the poetry was his great object, he occasionally contributed a little towards the amendment of the prose, especially of the rubrics and homilies : and in some few instances undid what Clement VIII. had done by way of improving upon the labours of Pius V. This is the Breviary now generally used by Roman Catholics, no alteration

* The Bishop of Lerida in particular, plainly asserted that those employed to correct the rituals, ought to have an exact knowledge of antiquity, and of the customs of nations, which knowledge was not to be found at the Court of Rome. V. Dupin. Hist. Eccles. Cent. 16. Lib. 4. chap. 21.

+ We shall give in the sequel, some signal examples of the learning, skill, and honesty, of this reforming triumvirate.

VOL. I.

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