Imatges de pÓgina
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"Then he [Archbishop Parker] mentions the Nicene and African decrees, forbidding appeals to the Bishop of Rome, and for the ending of controversies in the provinces where they were begun; forbidding him to send his clerks, to meddle in other provinces; that we may repose ourselves in the antiquity of the Christian catholic Church of England." Strype. Life of Abp. Parker,

vol. ii. p. 218.

"After three days' adjourning, the court met again; and then Latimer and Hooper desired to purge themselves of the imputation of heresy. They affirmed, they had never advanced any thing concerning the blessed sacrament, but what was agreeable to the Scriptures, and the true catholic faith." Collier. Eccles. Hist., vol. ii. p. 279.

"So we, therefore, because we are taken by them [the Papists] for madmen, and are traduced as if we were heretics, and as if we had nothing to do with Christ, nor the Church of God, have thought it not unreasonable, or unprofitable, to propound, openly and freely, the faith in which we stand, and all that hope which we have in Christ Jesus; that all may see, what we think of every part of the Christian religion, and so determine with themselves, whether that faith, which they must needs perceive to be consonant to the words of Christ, and the writings of the Apostles, and the testimonies of the catholic Fathers, and which is confirmed. by the example of many ages, be only the rage of a sort of madmen, and a combination or conspiracy of heretics."-Bishop Jewell. Apology of the Church of England.

These, and innumerable quotations, might be adduced to show that the object of the Reformers (not the founders, for we acknowledge no other Founder but

Christ himself,) of the Church of England, was not to quit the Catholic Church, but simply to cleanse it, from, what Bishop Hall calls, the untempered mortar of new inventions. But it is to be observed, that, by applying the term catholic to the Church, a term which our Reformers anxiously retained, but of which, some of their descendants, too carelessly, concede the exclusive application to the Romanists,.. the ancient fathers certainly did not intend, as is sometimes supposed in modern times, to comprehend all denominations of professing Christians; but, on the contrary, to denote one particular communion, namely, that, which, spreading, by its various branches, over all the world, had descended from the Apostles, by the regular succession of its bishops. In after times, the title of Catholic implied, also, a reception of the doctrine agreed to at the Council of Nice. Thus, the pious and eloquent Pacian, A. D. 370., expressly says: "Christian is my name, Catholic is my sirname: by the former, I am distinguished from the heathen; by the latter, from heretics and schismatics." . . “ This sirname," remarks Valesius, Euseb. lib. vii. cap. 10., "appears to have been bestowed on the Church, about the first succession from the Apostles; when heresies arose in many places, and attempted to subvert the true faith of Christ, and the tradition of the Apostles. For, then, the name Catholic was given to the orthodox only, that the true genuine church of Christ might be distinguished from the spurious conventicles of heretics." .. This observation of Valesius is quoted with approbation, by Bishop Bull, Judicium Ecclesia Catholicæ, vi. 14.

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem informs his catechumens (cap. xviii.), that "the church is called Catholic, because it teaches all those truths, which all men are

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bound to know, in order to their salvation." Or, the title may have been originally assumed, to distinguish the Christian, from the Jewish church; since the former was open to all the nations of the earth, the latter confined to one people. But it is not of names, but of things, that we are speaking. It would be absurd in a foreigner to deny our assertion, that the President of the House of Commons is the only member who never addresses that assembly, simply on the ground, that he is called the Speaker. But not less erroneous would it be, to contend, that we must contemplate all who profess and call themselves Christians, when we speak of the Catholic Church, merely because the word Catholic signifies universal.

Whatever be the derivation of the title, it was used by the Fathers, in the ecclesiastical sense, to distinguish one particular church from a variety of contending sects; and, though not etymologically correct, we should be nearer the truth, if we were to translate the Catholic Church, not into the universal Church, but into the true Church.

The Catholic Church, both in the East and the West, became corrupt, in the dark ages; nor did England escape the contagion. But, when our English reformers abolished those corruptions, that they did not intend to leave that church, in which the apostolical succession existed, ..that church, of which Ignatius, Justin, and Cyprian, of which Athanasius, Gregory, and Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Augustine,.. that church, of which the holy Apostles themselves, were members,.. is proved, not only by the assertions of those reformers, but by the fact, that they procured an act of Parliament, to enjoin, "that no person or persons, who shall be authorized by the Queen, her heirs, or successors, to execute any spiritual

jurisdiction, shall have any authority or power to determine or judge any matter or cause to be heresy, but only such as heretofore has been determined, ordered, or adjudged to be heresy by the authority of the canonical Scriptures, or by the four first general councils, or any of them, or by any other," &c.-Collier's Eccles. Hist. ii. 421.

Now, when the first four general councils assembled, their decisions were binding only upon Catholics, as distinguished from all other Christians. Our reformers, then, in procuring this act of Parliament, proved, first, their wish, to restore the church to primitive purity; and, secondly, their opinion, that primitive purity was to be found in that communion of Christians only, which was formerly designated the Catholic Church.

Let, then, a member of the Church of England, when conversing with Protestants of other communions, never forget, that he is a Catholic; as, when conversing with a Roman-catholic, he should always remember, that he is a Protestant,.. one who protests against the corrupt adjunct of Roman, with all its attendant errors. Well would it be for England, if her clergy were constantly to bear in mind the injunctions of an author, who yields neither to St. Gregory Nazianzen, to St. Basil, nor to St. Chrysostom, in eloquence, genius, and piety: "Every minister ought to be careful, that he 'never expound Scripture in public, contrary to the known sense of the Catholic Church, and particularly of the Churches of England and Ireland; nor introduce any doctrine against any of the first four general councils; for these, as they are measures of truth, so also of necessity; that is, as they are safe, so they are sufficient; and beside what is taught by these, no matter of belief is necessary to salvation."-Bp. Taylor. Advice to his Clergy; in Bp. Randolph's Enchiridion. Vol. i. p. 348.

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LECTURE II.

PSALM XXXIV. 8.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (1)

We left our blessed Saviour, yesterday, in the guest-chamber on Mount Sion, discoursing to the eleven, on that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace, and of all virtues. Let us now re-enter the presence of the incarnate Son of God; prepared to receive his admonitions, reproofs, and commands, with silent reverence, and humble obedience. With the affectionate disciple whom Jesus loved, let us hang on the last words, of the best and kindest of masters; while, imitating St. Peter, not in his self-confi dence, but in his zeal for the Messiah's service, let us, from his example, learn the difference, between an indiscriminate enthusiasm, and an enlightened resolution.

Ye are they, said our Lord, still addressing his apostles, ye are they, who have continued with me

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