Imatges de pÓgina
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LETTERS

то

DR. SOUTHEY,

ON HIS

BOOK OF THE CHURCH.

INTRODUCTION..

1. The proper Style of Controversy :—11. The Creed of

Pope Pius IV. :-III. Observations on such of the Articles in it as are expressed in general terms :IV. Application of these Observations to Doctor Southey’s Charge against the Roman-catholic Church, that her Doctrines are corrupt.

SIR,

I

HAVE perused with great attention, your

“ BOOK OF THE CHURCH,” and find it to be, in many places, injurious to the roman-catholic church, and particularly so to the roman-catholics of England : under this impression, I address to you the following Letters.

B

I.

Proper Style of Controversy.

IN the year 1634, Pope Urban VIII. sent Father Jones, a Benedictine monk, called in religion Father Leander, a Sancto Martino, into England, to procure for the holy see accurate information, respecting the state of the established church; the condition of the English catholics; and the disposition of the government in their regard. On each of these heads, Father Leander made his report to his holiness. On the first, he thus expresses himself*: "The protestant church "retains an external appearance of the ecclesiastical

hierarchy, which was in force during the time "of the catholic religion; it has its archbishops, "bishops, deans, archdeacons, chapters of canons "in the cathedrals of the antient sees, and most

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ample revenues. It preserves its antient edifices, "the names of its antient parishes, priests and "deacons ; a form of conferring orders, which "agrees, in most respects, with the forms pre"scribed by the roman pontifical; it preserves also "the clerical habits and gowns, the pastoral crook "and copes, the antient temples, parishes, churches "and colleges of magnificent structure, and attend"ance on these is enjoined."-" In the greater "number of the articles of faith, the English pro

* Clarendon's State Papers, vol. 1. page 197.

"testants of the established church are truly or"thodox; as on the sublime mysteries of the "Trinity, and the Incarnation; on the economy "of the redemption of man, and satisfaction; "through the whole almost of the controversies respecting predestination, grace, and free will; "the necessity and merit of good works, and the "other articles expressed in the creed of the Apostles, in the Nicene and the Athanasian "creeds, (as these stand in the roman-catholic liturgy), and in the four first general councils." When there is so near an approximation in religious creeds, there certainly should be an equal approximation in christian and moral charity; an equal wish to sooth, to conciliate, to find the real points of difference very few, and to render them still fewer; and an equal unwillingness on each side to say, or to write, any thing unpleasing to the feelings of the other. In this amicable spirit, the controversy between Limborch and Orobio, and the conference between Bossuet and Claude were conducted; and in this spirit, it is hoped, the following pages will be found to be written. They are intended to be a reply to some passages in your "BOOK OF THE CHURCH," which contain inaccurate accounts, either of the faith, or the conduct of roman-catholics. These appear to me to be so numerous, as to render it necessary, in order completely to exhibit and refute them, to follow you chapter by chapter. This task is not pleasant; but I feel it due from me to my roman

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catholic brethren. It will give me unspeakable pleasure to find I have executed it to their satisfaction; and not offended the intelligent, or the candid, among their adversaries. What I consider to be truth, I must tell; but I hope to tell it in a manner, which will show sincere respect for those, whose different notions it opposes. Harsh or contumelious words never yet served the cause of truth or reason: St. Francis of Sales has justly observed, that “a good christian is never outdone "in good manners."

In the present introductory address, I shall insert the creed of Pope Pius IV, as an authentic exposition of the faith of the roman-catholic church. It contains a particular mention of most articles of her faith, and a general statement of the others: on the last I shall offer some observations.

I mean to proceed on the following plan The number of letters will be the same as the number of chapters in "the Book of the Church;" and each letter will notice what I consider to be proper subjects for animadversion in the chapter, which corresponds with it in number. As nothing of this nature occurs in the first chapter of "the "Book of the Church," I shall insert in my first letter some statements and remarks respecting the general diffusion of the roman-catholic religion over the world.

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The Creed of Pius IV. This celebrated symbol of catholic faith was published by his holiness in 1564, in the form of a bull, addressed to all the faithful in Christ. It was immediately received throughout the universal church ; and, since that time, has ever been considered, in every part of the world, as an accurate and explicit summary of the roman-catholic faith. Non-catholics, on their admission into the catholic church, publicly repeat and testify their assent to it, without restriction or qualification. It is expressed in the following terms :

“ I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, “ Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus

Christ, the only begotten Son of God; Light of

Light; true God of true God; begotten, not “ made; consubstantial to the Father, by whom all

things were made ; who, for us men and for our “ salvation, came down from heaven, and was in“ carnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, “ and was made man; was crucified also for us “ under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried, “ and rose again the third day, according to the

scriptures, and ascended into heaven; sits at the

right hand of the Father, and will come again “ with glory to judge the living and the dead, of “ whose kingdom there will be no end : and in the

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