Imatges de pÓgina

from the dross which dims the silver, that she may arise and shine in her original brightness and splendour. Hence the object of those who desire to benefit that Church should be, the spread of information. Make the whole body of the Roman 1 Communion, yea, even the body of the Roman Clergy, intelligent, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, and as formerly in England, and as more recent indications in Ireland prove, they would arise and shake themselves from that spi-. ritual lethargy which has so long rested like an incubus upon all her efforts at self-purgation. It is in accordance with this view that Bishop Hopkins has written; and we trust his work will not fail of accomplishing in some measure the object for which it is designed.

While we rejoice that the Bishop has proceeded upon the correct principle in his examination, we cannot forbear also expressing the high satisfaction we have derived from the spirit in which it is written. Though deceived and deluded, the Romanists are our brethren, by profession members of the household of faith, to whom it is our duty to do good as we have opportunity. Nor can we revile and defame them without sinning against the perfect law of love set forth in the Gospel, or without casting reproach upon the name of Christian. We seek not to palliate their guilt, to mitigate their faults, or to excuse their errors or their crimes. But we ardently desire to see the time when the glory of Rome shall again be as it once was, when she studiously sought to walk in the ways of the Apostles, when the plain common sense of the Scripture, "as understood and expounded by the unanimous consent of the Fathers," was the only standard of infallibility she allowed.

In the Preface and Introductory chapter, the author has given the reasons and motives which led him to undertake the work in question, and a general view of the course to be pursued in the examination. Upon this it will be sufficient to remark, that the Bishop has undertaken to show, upon principles of argumentation, approved by HER Canon Law, and by editions of Councils and Fathers approved by HER authority, that the Church of Rome has varied from herself, and that the Church of Rome oF THE PRESENT TIME is not the Church of Rome of THE PRIMITIVE AGE; from which he infers the necessity that she should return to her original self before passing sentence of condemnation against others for not conforming to her standards. This mode of treating the subject does not, of course, allow him to use many arguments which might with great propriety be urged against them; but if, as we believe, he has succeeded in making out a case

against them from the testimony of their own witnesses, surely their mouths should be for ever closed.

Chapter second contains extracts from the Corpus Juris Canonici, to show that the Romish Church allow the Holy Scriptures to be the foundation of the Canon Law-after which rank the General Councils-then follow "the doctors of the Church," among whom are reckoned Cyprian, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustin, Ambrose, Jerome, Prosper, the Epistle of Leo to Flavian, such of the writings of Ruffinus and Origen as Jerome does not reject, with several others of later date. The same law also commends the Apostolic Canons and Constitutions, and the works of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Lactantius. The Councils are quoted from the collections of Hardouin and Mansè; and the present belief of the Romish Church is copied from the Prælections of Tourneby, Dr. Challoner's Catholic Christian, the Doway Catechism, and Mr. Butler's Letters to Mr. Southey. From these works which have received the sanction of the Romish Church, the Bishop draws all his proofs.

In chapter third it is shown by quotations from the above works, that the Romish Church of the present day believes the Pope to be the Vicar of Christ-holding the place of the Redeemer, of God himself, on earth-the supreme head of the Church, from whom all ecclesiastical power and spiritual life proceed-to whom belongs all power in the Church-who has authority to make and unmake, translate and depose, all bishops and other clergy at his will, and to settle all ecclesiastical difficulties whatever.

Chapter fourth contains an examination and refutation of this divine right of supremacy derived from their proof texts, by an inquiry into the sense of the passages, and by a comparison of them with other portions of Scripture. In chapters five and six, the testimony of the Apostolic Canons and Constitutions is also shown to be inconsistent with their claim of supremacy; and in chapter seven it is shown, that, according to the opinion of the best Roman critics, the Decretals which favour that doctrine are a forgery. Chapters eight and nine contain an examination of the testimony of Clement of Rome, and of Irenæus, in which it is shown that their narratives are wholly irreconcileable with the doctrine of Papal Supremacy.

In chapter ten the Bishop has instituted an inquiry into the probable origin of the doctrine of the Supremacy, but not, as we apprehend, with his usual success. He finds the origin of the Supremacy, or, we should rather say, has conceded to

the Romanist its existence long before history makes any mention of it. He sees the germe of the Supremacy in the policy "of the primitive Church at Rome," which he accounts for by "the influence of their location, their habits of dwelling on the theory and practice of universal empire, and their desire to secure the unity and peace of the Church." But all this, when predicated of "the primitive Church of Rome," is wholly unsupported by any authentic history. But our author has well shown, that in whatever the original idea of Supremacy consisted, or whenever it took its rise, it was as unlike the present claim as light is dissimilar from darkness.

The five following chapters contain an examination of Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Cyprian, Firmillian, and the bishops of Africa, of Lactantius and Eusebius-in which it is shown that the whole current of their testimony is opposed to the claims of the Papal Supremacy. Chapter sixteen contains a view of General Councils, and their requisites, upon the principles of the Canon Law, from which we make the following summary. To constitute a General Council, it is necessary that it should be called by the Popethat all bishops should be summoned that the Pope, by himself or another, should preside in it. The only exceptions allowed, are, when it is doubtful who is the lawful Pope; or when the Pope is notoriously a heretic; or the See be vacant, or the preceding Council has determined the time and place of the succeeding one.

[ocr errors]

Our author then proceeds to show, in several succeeding chapters, that the Council of Nice, and many other of the General Councils, were convened by the emperors, and not by the Bishop of Rome; and that the Canons passed at these Councils, as well as the testimony of Athanasius, Cyril, Hilary, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustin, Chrysostom, and Isodore, are decisive against the present doctrine of the Church of Rome.

In chapter thirty-two the Bishop has attempted, and with more success than in the case already spoken of, to trace the doctrine of the supremacy to the secular preponderance of ancient Rome, aided and assisted by imperial laws and canons of later Councils.-The three succeeding chapters are taken up with an examination of the present variations of opinion existing in that Church in regard to the extent of the prerogative of the supremacy, but which will not bear to be abridged, and which we have not room to give at length. The two last chapters are occupied with an examination of some of the points of argument and difference between the Protestant and

Romish Churches, from whence he concludes that " Reformed Christians are Catholics in all that is primitive, but Protestants in all that has been changed." Though the conclusion is general, the language, as well as the nature of the subject, necessarily limits the inference to such as profess to belong to the "Catholic Church."

After a careful perusal of the book, we unhesitatingly say we have been pleased, and cheerfully recommend it to such as desire to be informed in regard to these matters.

15. Hora Catechetica: an Exposition of the Duty and Advantages of Public Catechising in the Church. By W. S. GILLY, M. A., Prebendary of Durham. Edited, with additional matter, by G. W. DOANE, D. D., Bishop of New Jersey. Philadelphia: William Marshall & Co. 1836. 12mo. pp. 176.

THE Bishop of New Jersey has given to the American public the useful work of Gilly, enriched with much excellent matter of his own. His Introduction, and his second Charge entitled "The Church's Care of little Children," are beautifully written, and conceived in the choicest spirit of the best days of the Church. The importance of the ancient and excellent institution of public catechising is set forth in a way calculated to excite a lively interest in this hitherto much-neglected duty; and many excellent hints and aids will be found in the volume for the use of pastors in performing this work. We rejoice exceedingly in the increasing attention which this subject is beginning to awaken. We hope this book will add new strength to the impulse. Let it not be forgotten that Sunday schools should never be substituted for faithful instruction on the part of the pastor in the Catechism of the Church.

16. Christian Unity necessary for the Conversion of the World. A Sermon preached in St. Thomas's Church, New-York, &c. By SAMUEL FARMAR JARVIS, D. D., Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature in Washington College, Hartford, Ct. New-York. 1837.

THIS sermon, preached before the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church, must not be classed with the bulk of occasional discourses. Its object is to show: "First, that

the ill success of missions is owing to the want of unity;" "secondly, that those professing Christians have most reason to hope for success, who are least guilty of violating that unity;" and thirdly, to suggest considerations to encourage us in the great work of missions. The largest part of the discourse is taken up with the discussion of the first topic. It embraces a rapid, but exceedingly elaborate and thorough historical sketch of the progress and authors of schism in the Church from the earliest times, and of its influence upon the spread of the Gospel. The views of the author are justified and illustrated in a body of valuable notes, evincing rich, extensive, and accurate learning. We would be glad if our limits would allow us to refer more particularly to some admirable passages; but we have room only to commend it to careful perusal as a performance of great and permanent value, for which the learned and excellent author deserves the hearty thanks of all enlightened churchmen.

17. A Compendium of Christian Antiquities: being a brief View of the Orders, Rites, Customs, and Laws of the Christian Church in the Early Ages. By the REV. C. S. HENRY, A. M. Philadelphia; Joseph Whetham. 8vo. 1837. THIS work is designed to supply a want that has long been felt. Its object is to give to clergymen, theological students, and general readers, who have not access to the ancient writers, to the special learned treatises, or to the more voluminous works on these subjects, a competent view of the constitution of the Primitive Church, its services, customs, and laws. In the compass of a moderate volume it presents an accurate digest of the information contained in the original sources and in the more extensive modern works; so that the general reader may obtain a clear and satisfactory view of almost every interesting subject pertaining to the practice of the Church in the three first ages; while the student will find it a useful book of reference, and a guide to any more extended and minute investigations he may wish to make.

18. Memoirs, Correspondence, and Manuscripts of General Lafayette, published by his Family. Vol. I. New-York: Saunders and Otley. 1837.

In every point of view these Memoirs must be considered as a highly valuable legacy from their illustrious subject.



« AnteriorContinua »