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which is the appropriate and usual expression, and the very word which in a variety of similar cases he has known the Archbishop to have used." It is true that such evidence as this would not procure a conviction for forgery in a court of justice, nor do I assert that it is a celestial forgery, but I leave to my readers to think what they [please].
The paragraphs 50, 51, and 52, are all very extraordinary negative arguments to disprove the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. I have given some time since, six letters, containing positive proofs to the contrary. Whoever wishes to read them can, if he will, compare the negative and the positive arguments, and draw his own conclusions; I shall not go into the controversy upon this point at present. However, it is very curious, if Bishop Hobart never was aware of the usual practice in judicial assemblies, that the first who delivers his opinion is not the president of the court. And it is also begging the question to assume that St. Ignatius "delineated with the greatest minuteness the Christian hierarchy." And it is an evidence of a want of acquaintance with our doctrine to impute to us even by implication that we consider the papal office to constitute a separate hierarchical order. The writer would have done better had he informed us who was "the corrupt hand of secular power" that gave to the Bishop of the imperial city "the title and prerogatives of Universal Bishop," than so boldly to assume as fact, that which we assert is a fable. It would have argued a little more knowledge of Church history in Bishop Hobart, than he appears to possess, had he not fallen into the glaring inconsistency of adducing the rebuke to the Bishop of Constantinople by the Pope, for his assuming the title of Oecumenical Bishop as proof that the title itself was usurped by Rome: for he ought to have known that in this case Rome rebuked, because it possessed authority, and Constantinople submitted because of its want. That Protestants never admitted the sufficiency of the evidence is no better argument against its sufficiency, than is the nonadmission by Presbyterians, of the sufficiency of evidence of the Divine institution of Episcopacy, a warrant for denying that such institution is divine. Is Jesus Christ to be changed in his nature, because the Unitarian does not admit the sufficiency of the evidence that he is the Eternal God? Will the dissent of a minority destroy the force of that evidence upon which the majority rest their conviction? Dr. Barrow's essay is but an extension of the topics urged by every one who has taken the same side, and they have been often and fully met before: many candid inquirers, to my own knowledge, after full and deep examination of the topics urged by him, have been convinced of their insufficiency,
and upon that conviction, deliberately came back to that Christian unity from which their forefathers had been led away.
In his paragraph 53, under the semblance of a concession, he increases the previous misrepresentation. In my second letter to Bishop Bowen, I stated that the following proposition was untrue, viz.:
"Roman Catholics found their doctrine, that the Scriptures, though being the word of God, are not the entire rule of faith, except as explained by their unwritten traditions, and the authority of their Church, on the pretended infallibility of their Church."
He does not attempt to prove the truth of the proposition, but he asserts that "the Scriptures are according to the Roman Catholic doctrine only one half, and that not the most important half of the word of God?" It is not because of his incorrect most, nor because of his only one half; how exactly he measured! but because of the whole scope of this assertion that I now state it to be a misrepresentation of our doctrine: and his next two propositions are equally untrue viz.: "The traditions that explain them [the Scriptures] remain the more important part of divine revelation," "and in this lies the difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants upon this subject." I shall not enter into any examination of the correctness or incorrectness of your mode, or of your contrast: but your correspondent has here been guilty of misrepresenting our doctrine, as also in this other proposition in the same paragraph. Catholics "make the traditions, which while they explain and illustrate them (the Scriptures) are the depository of other and more important revelations than they contain equally with them, their divinely given rule of faith and practice." Now his misrepresentations are first, the assertion "that we believe tradition to be the mode by which we learn more important doctrines than are contained in the Scriptures." Secondly, "that by it we learn as many doctrines as are revealed in the Scriptures," and thirdly, in the equivocation respecting the word unwritten, which he exhibits as meaning "not committed to writing," but which in our authors whom he quotes is always understood to mean "not written in the Bible" though it might be written elsewhere, for instance in the works of the ancient Doctors of the Church, and so forth. I had intended to pass over this without farther remark, until I recollected the playful manner in which a former distinction was disposed of, for the purpose of destroying which, it is possible that celestial was substituted for ecclesiastical: you will therefore excuse me if I now show glaring misrepresentation by a more detailed reference. That your correspondent alleges our traditions to be not written as contradistinguished to written in any book, and not merely in the Holy
Scriptures, is apparent from his calling them oral in paragraph 53, in his first and fourth reasons for the dissent of Protestants. He thus represents us, as raising mere oral tradition to a higher rank than the Scriptures. Yet this man quotes Bellarmine, and takes passages as from the very chapter in which the contrary is found. That author in his lib. iv. cap. 1, has the following passage to explain his meaning of unwritten word of God.
Vocatur autem doctrina non scripta, non ea quae nusquam scripta est, sed quae non est scripta a primo auctore: exemplo sit baptismus parvulorum. Parvulos baptizandos vocatur traditio Apostolica non scripta, quia non invenitur hoc scriptum in ullo Apostolico libro, tametsi scriptum est in libris fere omnius veterum patrum.
"That is called unwritten doctrine, not which is nowhere found written, but which is not found written by an original author: for example the baptism of infants. That infants are to be baptized is called an unwritten Apostolical tradition, because this is not found written in any Apostolical book, although it is written in the books of almost all the ancient fathers.' ""
In his twelfth chapter of the same book from which your correspondent affects to quote his passage, the following is found, as the first of the modes by which tradition is preserved.
Prima est scriptura. Etsi enim non sint scriptae traditiones in divine litteris, sunt tamen scriptae in monumentis veterum, et in libris ecclesiasticis.
"The first is writing. For although the traditions be not written in the divine books, yet they are written in the monuments (records) of the ancients, and in ecclesiastical books."
I hope he will not assert that I wrote "celestial books."
It is now plain, that by "written tradition" we do not mean "mere oral tradition."
It is to me truly painful to be perpetually obliged to show how unfaithful, and little worthy of confidence is "Protestant Catholic." He places together a passage of Bellarmine from the second and one from the twelfth chapter of his fourth book, and does not give the latter entire. That from the second chapter is the first sentence which is fully and correctly translated. That from the twelfth chapter is the following.
Totalis enim regula fidei, est verbum Dei, sive revelatio Dei Ecclesiae facta, quae dividitur in duas regulas partiales, scripturam et traditionem. Et quidem Scriptura, quia est regula, inde habet, ut quidquid continet sit necessario verum et credendum, et quidquid ei repugnat, sit necessario falsum et repudiandum: quia vero, non est regula totalis sed partialis; inde illi accidit ut non omnia mensuret, et propterea aliquid sit de fide, quod non in ipsa continetur. Et hoc modo intelligi debeant verba S. Augustini, nusquam enim dicit Scripturam solan esse regulam, sed dicit Scripturam esse regulam, ad quam examinari debent scripta patrum, ut ea recipiamus, quae Scripturae sunt consona; illa rejiciamus quae Scripturae adversantur.
"For the total rule of faith is the word of God, or his revelation to his church; which is divided into two partial rules, scripture and tradition. And indeed Scripture
because it is a rule has this property, that whatsoever it contains is necessarily true and ought to be believed; and whatsoever is repugnant thereto must necessarily be false, and should be rejected: but because it is not a total but a partial rule it is a consequence that it does not measure all things, and therefore something might be of faith which is not contained therein. And in this manner should the words of St. Augustine be understood, for he nowhere says, that the Scripture is the sole rule; but he does say that the Scripture is a rule by which the writings of the fathers ought to be examined, that we might receive those which are consonant to the Scripture; and reject those which are adverse to Scripture."
I acknowledge that Bossuet and Bellarmine agree. Perhaps the better mode of meeting your assertion respecting the Council of Trent will be to state in the very words of the decree itself, what those traditions are, concerning which the decree was made; they are found in the decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures, passed April 8th, 1546, and are thus described:
Hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos ponens. Ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa Evangelii in Ecclesia conservetur, quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis, Dominus noster Jesus Christus Dei filius, proprio ore primum promulgavit; deinde per suos Apostolos, tanquam fontem omnis salutaris veritatis, et morum disciplinae, omni creaturae praedicari jussit; perspiciensque hanc veritatem, et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis, et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ipsius Christi ore ab Apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis Apostolis, Spiritu Sancto dictante, quasi per manus traditae, ad nos usque pervenerunt, orthodoxorum Patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris, quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel ore tenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu Sancto dictitatas, et continua successione in Ecclesia Catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu, ac reverentia suscipit, et veneratur.
66 'Continually having in view, that errors being removed, the very truth of the Gospel might be preserved in the church: that which was before promised by the Prophets in the sacred Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, first promulgated with his own mouth; then ordered it to be preached to every creature by his Apostles, as the fountain of all, both saving truth and discipline of morals: and (the synod) seeing that this truth and discipline is contained in written books, and in unwritten traditions, which having been received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles at the dictation of the Holy Ghost, have come to us as if delivered by hands, following the examples of the orthodox fathers, receives and venerates with equal affection and reverence, all the books as well of the Old as of the New Testament, since the one God is the author of both, as well as of the traditions themselves, as well belonging to faith as to morals, as either received from the mouth of Christ, or dictated by the Holy Ghost, and preserved by continual succession in the Catholic Church."
In this your correspondent copies Father Paul word for word, and it is one of his most correct statements. It is clear, then, that the traditions are not what he calls oral, nor are they any other but such as by the evidence of the whole church have been derived from the mouth of Christ or of his Apostles.
He vouchsafes to quote even me, after those high authorities, to prove from my statement "that the principal revelations of the Saviour" having been made at a time of which we have no scriptural record of the revelation that was made, I must have said that such communications were more important than any delivered to the churches by the Apostles in their Epistles,-and thus he might justify his previous assertion in the same paragraph. "The Scriptures, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, are only half, and that not the most important half, of the word of God." Now the word principal is equally susceptible of the meaning which I intended to convey, "numerous," as that which he attached to it, "important." But probably both meanings might be sustained by verse 3, of chapter i. of the Acts of the Apostles, as well as by John xvi. 12, 13; xiv. 25, 26, 30; xxi. 25.
I shall not here controvert his arguments: I shall merely correct his misstatements. His first reason for not concurring with us, assumes against the fact that those traditions are oral, not written: and that we assert what is not written to be more important, what is written to be less important.-All which is untrue.
His second reason improperly shifts the ground. We do not state that the Apostles "did not think it good or expedient publicly to impart to the disciples" articles of belief of which they had the knowledge amongst themselves. But we do state, our having evidence that they did teach doctrines and institute practices, necessary for faith and morals, concerning which they never wrote documents that have reached us, or been publicly known in the church as theirs, and we do find in their writings allusions and references to unwritten teaching. One or two passages will suffice for present reference. (I Cor .xi. 2; II Thess. ii. 15.)
His third begs the question.
His fourth assumes a false basis, oral.
His fifth is extremely unfortunate in its specifications. The millenarian error was founded upon Revelations xx. 2, 3, 4, 5, and other texts. It is a little strange, good gentlemen, that your correspondent does not seem to be aware that Luther and Calvin, and several of their followers, produced many texts of Scripture upon which they contended against Catholics, that the saints would not see God until the resurrection. The necessity of giving the Eucharist to children was sustained. upon the text of John vi. 53, 54, and others.
His sixth reason consists of two parts: the first is neither controverted by me, nor sufficient for his purpose; the second part is untrue in fact, as might be easily shown in several instances.