« PreviousContinue »
They are pnre words.' The allusion is to metal that has passed through a refining process. The words of God are so pure as to have no alloy whatever in them. Nothing need be added to them, and nothing dare be subtracted. They are perfect, like himself; and they shall all be perfectly realized. Often have they been tried, but no mixture of insincerity has ever been found in them. They are words upon which men may lean to eternity. They are as silver assayed in a crucible of earth, purified seven times, or perfectly refined.
"How gloriously is the word of God contrasted with all human productions! It is as the pure silver out of a fining pot, compared with the unreclaimed ore. To this infallible standard all systems, all opinions, all feelings, all practices in religion must be brought. This is the judge that must end all strifes, and settle all differences in the church of God. To the law and to the testimony all conflicting theories in religion must be brought. The judgment, the conscience, the affections, the whole man must be subjected to the authority of God's blessed word. The rule of Scripture is the rule of truth, of righteousness, and of peace.
"Oh, Christian bind God's word to your very heart. Read it with care, study it with diligence, pray over its hallowed contents with fervour and importunity. Ask the teaching of the Divine Spirit, that you may understand and obey its pure dictates; and only quit the study of it with existence itself." p. 133.
dities: By THOMAS WILLIAMS, Editor of "The Cottage Bible," &c. London: Westley and Davies.
THIS ingenious (but not ingenuous) description of the Popish faith will not, we apprehend, impose upon any persons who have read the Scriptures, though, alas! it will be quite enough to satisfy those who "believe as the church believes." It would be a very easy task, were our limits sufficient, to expose all the doctrinal statements of this Bishop of Siga, by quotations from the most learned and accredited writers of the Romish Church, and from the decisions of the Council of Trent. It is possible the preacher was sincere in his representations, but then it is a most awful proof of the truth of Scripture in reference to the anti-christian apostacy. "They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie."
This popish ecclesiastic assumes (what he certainly ought to have proved) that the Christians of the three first centuries resembled, in their "faith, hope, and charity," the members of the apostate church of Rome; whereas the Scriptures represent the difference to be as great as between a chaste virgin and a filthy harlot, between the army of the Lamb and the army of the Beast,
We most conscientiously assure the author, that in these sentiments we cordially concur; and we sincerely hope that his valuable life will be spared, not only to complete his present undertaking, but to project and execute many "Did not (he says) these marvellous others equally interesting and accept-corded in the undoubted page of history, I calumnies against the Christians stand re
able to the church of God.
1. Faith, Hope, and Charity: the Substance of a Sermon preached at the Dedication of the Catholic Chapel at Bradford, in the County of York, on Wednesday, July 27, 1826. By PETER AUGUSTIN BAINES, D.D. Bishop of Siga, &c. London: Printed for the Defence Committee of the British Catholic Association. 8vo. pp. 16. 2. Popery Unmasked; being a fair Representation of the chief Errors of the Church of Rome, extracted from their own Writers, and contrasted with suitable Quotations from the Holy Scriptures. To which is added, a slight Sketch of Popish Cruelties and Absur
between Christ and antichrist.
should almost disbelieve my senses, when they testify to me the existence of a similar combination, prevailing so long and so extensively against the same religion in this country." p. 4.
He adds, with pious horror
"Oh! did the Catholic religion even distantly resemble the hideous portraits drawn of it by our adversaries; were its tenets even remotely like those which are ascribed to it, there is no one here who would hate
and abhor it more than myself. I would fly from it as from a pestilence; I would not continue a member of it a single day. Let us, my brethren, compare the portraits with
Well, then, we will present to the
view of the Bishop of Siga what we consider to be an inspired original of the Roman Catholic religion. "And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother | of Harlots, and the Abominations of the Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." We distinctly charge the church of Rome with being accessary to shedding the blood of millions of persons, merely because they refused to swallow its impious, unscriptural dogmas; and we mention, in proof of the truth of this indictment, the cruelties of the Duke of Alva in Piedmont, the massacre of Paris, the fires of Smithfield, the massacre in Ireland in 1641, and the history of the Inquisition. How dreadfully infatuated must be the mind of that man, who cannot see the most "distant resemblance" between the ac
cusations of Protestants against the cruel, blood-thirsty rulers of the Popish church, supported by the well-attested facts of universal history; and the spirit and conduct of the church of which
he is a minister!
These remarks refer to the tragedy of Popish history; we now present our readers with a comedy performed by this celebrated actor, the Bishop of Siga! Who would have expected a Popish bishop to plead for liberty of conscience-for unrestrained liberty of conscience! Having defined Charity, he adds
“And here, my brethren, it follows as an immediate consequence, that human governments ought not to interfere between God and his creatures, and compel by pains and penalties, a form of worship which the conscience cannot approve. Not that man is always justified that follows his conscience. That conscience may be, and often is, wilfully perverted; and in this case, it becomes a perverse and deceitful guide. But though man is not always justified in following his conscience, he can never be justified in sinning against it; and as God alone knows the secrets of the human heart, it is not for man to force his own convictions upon others, and compel them to follow his conscience instead of their own. Surely, if liberty is ever valuable, ever sa
cred, ever an inalienable right, it is in the intercourse of man with God; who requires not the officious aid of tyrants to render to well distinguish the hypocrite from the sinevery man according to his works, who ean cere adorer, who can alone determine how far ignorance may excuse error, or sincerity supply the place of truth. Hence it follows, that all those civil enactments which compel the conscience in its quiet and simple intercourse with God, by whomsoever or against whomsoever directed, are equally repugnant to the law of nature, and to the virtue of Christian charity.' p. 3.
These are correct and noble sentiments. Had they been those of Popish priests and rulers in the reign of our bloody queen Mary, hundreds of lives would have been spared. Dr. Baines is, we believe, the first popish bishop who ever employed such language, or pleaded for such an opinion. When an Evangelist mentions Judas as uttering a fine sentiment, he contents himself with remarking, "This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief," &c. Who can for a moment doubt, but the bishop of Siga was influenced by other considerations, in making the above remarks, than a simple regard to the inalienable rights of conscience in matters of religion? We turn with the most hearty disgust from this tissue of falsehood and misrepresentation. Having adopted our Lord's test of character, "Ye shall know them by their fruits," we remind our readers of the solemn charge given by him to his disciples, which we consider peculiarly applicable in this case- "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: ye shall know them by their fruits."
The contents of the admirable tract entitled "Popery Unmasked," are thus introduced:
"But what is popery? and what is meant by unmasking it? The word "Popery" is not here used by way of reproach, but of distinction. It marks the religion of the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, and of the church under his controul; and what that is, cannot be better expressed than in the Creed of Pope Pius IV. and in the bulls of his successors down to Leo XII. These, thereforc, in connection with the decrees of the
famous conncil of Trent, are the chief autho-ers in the Son of God-the great mass of rities we have employed to sketch the outline of this dangerous system; and better, we think, need not, nor could have been employed.
It must be admitted, however, that there are Roman Catholic divines, both in England and France, who do not go the full length of the council of Trent, or of the Popes themselves, in either ancient or modern times: they rub down some of the asperities of the system-they cover some of its deformities, and to its deadly countenance they give a tinge of rouge, as the colour of life and health; that is, they make it appear as amiable and inviting as they can, to those whom they wish to bring back within the pale of their own church.
Now, to unmask this system, is to remove the ingenious glosses, and elegant embellishments with which, from the days of Bossuet to those of Chateaubriand, its modern advocates have endeavoured to disguise this "carcase of dead piety," and to expose it in its "true form and colour."
But what is Protestantism, or the religion of Protestants ?* The grand principles of Protestantism are, First, that no doctrine is to be received as an article of faith, which is not founded on the Holy Scriptures; and Secondly, that, as every man must answer for himself at the bar of God, and no other for him, so every man capable ought to read the Scriptures for himself, with much seri ousness and humble prayer for divine instruction, that he may understand those parts at least which are necessary to salvation; and not have to rely wholly upon the ministers of any religion, who are always liable to be deceived, and sometimes under temptations to deceive. "The Bible, (says our immortal Chillingworth) and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants; and whatever other authorities may enjoin, "if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah viii. 20.
true and pious Christians throughout the world, however widely situated or variously denominated. God forbid that we should condemn all Roman Catholics to perdition! We are happy to enumerate among the members of the true Catholic Church such men as Pascal, Fenelon, and many others; and if Roman Catholics cannot extend the like charity to such Protestants as bishops Hall and Leighton, or Drs. Watts and Doddridge, it can only prove that they themselves are miserably deficient in candour and Christian charity." p. 3, 4.
The plan of the work is to place on one page "Popish Errors," on the opposite side "Scripture Contrast."
"I. Of the Pope and Church of Rome.II. Of the Scriptures.-III. Of unwritten Traditions.-IV. Of the Sacrifice of the Mass.-V. Of Transubstantiation and receiving in one kind only.—VI. Of Merits and Satisfactions.-VII. Of Purgatory, and Prayers for the Dead.-VIII. Of Prayers in an unknown tongue.-IX. Of Pardons and Indulgences.-X. Of worshipping saints, angels, and relics.-XI. Of adoring images. XII. Of Priests' Marriages."
We have then
"Fees of the Pope's Chancery-Popish Miracles- Pretended Relics-Outline of Popish Persecutions-Character and Conduct of some eminent Popes-Protestant Reformers and Martyrs-Texts alleged by Popish writers in defence of the Church of Rome, briefly explained.”
We have only room to add the advertisement of the worthy Editor, who says
"More than 36,000 having been sold of the former editions, may sufficiently indicate the public judgment. The opinion of many, "The chief argument of which the advo- that it is eminently adapted for usefulness cates of popery avail themselves is, that the in Ireland, as well as England, has occaCatholic religion, as they call their dogmas, sioned this edition; but the Editor wishes is the most safe, because even Protestants it to be clearly understood, that it is not believe in the holy Catholic church.' But against the persons, but the errors of Papists as the word Catholic simply means uni- that this Tract is aimed. He abhors perseversal,' it is easy to perceive that this is a cution in every form, and in any hands; mere subterfuge. The one truet Catholic and wishes only, by rational and scriptural church comprises the whole body of believ-means, to reclaim sinners from the error of their ways.
"Should any benevolent societies or individuals wish for a considerable number of these tracts for gratuitous distribution, they may be accommodated on easy terms, by applying to the author or the printer."
We are of opinion this tract should be circulated as an antidote to the poison of Dr. Baines's Sermon.
The Cottage Bible and Family Expositor; | dissenters agree, are ably stated and containing the authorized Translation defended; particularly the proper of the Old and New Testaments, with deity and atonement of our Saviour, Practical Reflections, and short Expla- and the paramount importance and nenatory Notes, calculated to elucidate difficult and obscure Passages. Dedi- cessity of the Holy Spirit's influences." cated, by permission, to the Right Rev. Nor is our author less attentive to the the Lord Bishop of Salisbury. By practical uses of those doctrines. THOMAS WILLIAMS. Simpkin and
We live in the age of Bibles; which is also, unhappily, the age of blasphemy. Every well-meant endeavour, therefore, to elucidate what is obscure in the sacred writings, should be hailed with pleasure.
Why this should be called the Cottage Bible, we cannot imagine; unless it be on account of its conciseness and cheapness. It will, no doubt, be found in the libraries of our most learned ministers, in our schools of the highest rank, and in our academies for theological students. Colleges and halls will entertain it with high respect, nor is it unworthy of being introduced into the mansions of our nobles, and the palaces of our princes.
Mr. Williams is an old servant of the public. His age and experience, his well-known evangelical principles, his extensive acquaintance with theological literature, and the religious world in all its denominations, his popular and easy style of writing-qualified him above many for a work of this nature.
And he has now happily completed his laborious task, with the highest credit to himself, and satisfaction to the subscribers. He handsomely acknowledges "the urbanity and kindness of his publishers, under afflictive circumstances, and which have made an impression upon his mind never to be
The work is very neatly printed, and embellished and enriched with several useful maps and tables. We earnestly hope that the author and the publishers will meet with that measure of encou
ragement from the religious public, to which they are entitled by the merit and utility of their labours.
The great doctrines of Christianity, in which all evangelical churchmen and
We should have
But Mr. Williams declines "entering into those minor points which, unhappily, divide the Christian world into sects and parties." This chasm, which his defective plan required, we think is much to be regretted. The honest, unbiassed opinion of a sensible man, on any subject, is always worthy of respectful attention. been glad to see his judgment on the constitution, laws, officers, and ordinances of the New Testament church, though they might not be in exact accordance with our own, nor with those of the learned bishop to whom the work is inscribed. As it is, the cottager has the rituals of the Old Testament church, which are obsolete, expounded minutely; but the rituals of the New Testament church, which are to be in force to the end of the world, and require personal and practical observance, are skipped over rather awkwardly. (See on Matt. xxviii. 18-20; 1 Tim. iii. throughout.) We regret this the more,
because we recollect that Mr. Williams
has compiled "A Dictionary of all Religions, Religious Denominations," &c. His attention, therefore, has been, of course, strongly fixed on those "minor points" to which he has referred, and his own mind, we should think, must be made up on those articles. We shall be happy to see a second edition, with all such defects supplied. It is precisely on those points that multitudes of religious people, besides cottagers, have need of the assistance of an able and experienced friend. Confounded and perplexed by the multiplicity of jarring sects, among whom the plainest texts are perverted, they (like the Ethiopian) are ever asking, "How can I, except some man should guide me ?"
ed is well suited to exercise the capacities of children, and to impress the subject upon 1. Interesting Narratives from the Sacred their memories. The information which is Volume illustrated and improved; shewing supplied by references to ecclesiastical bisthe Excellence of Divine Revelation and the tory will both amuse and lead the intelligent Practical Nature of true Religion. By Jo-youth to read other works illustrative of seph Belcher. Vol. II. 12mo. Wightman Scripture history. The book also is cheap. and Cramp. This volume consists of It is a valuable addition to the three former twenty-seven short Essays, upon very in- parts, entitled " Exercises on the Gospels structive scriptural subjects. No attempts of Matthew, Luke, and John." are made by the worthy author to introduce novel sentiments or extraordinary methods of illustration; but he has contented himself with stating, in a plain and condensed style, the doctrines and precepts of divine truth. The book is well adapted for family reading, and we hope the present, as well as the former volume, will obtain an extensive circulation.
5. Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter for October and for November, 1827. These Reports cannot fail to be interesting to all who are concerned for the abolition of slavery. The last of these tracts contains an account of the slave Grace, and the long and elaborate judgment of Lord Stowell in the High Court of Admiralty.
6. The Infant Scholar's Magazine. Vol. I. 2. The Principles of Dissent from Church Simpkin and Marshall. This is the first Establishments, with a comparative View of little book of the kind we have seen, and the Modes of Worship of Churchmen and we can assure our readers it is an admirable Orthodox Dissenters. By David Ives, Mi-one, full of piety, good sense, and good nister of the Gospel at Gold Hill, Bucks. taste, and made very engaging to children Price 6d. R. Baynes. A very sensible, of the youngest class by its numerous emwell-written Tract, which may give much bellishments. useful information to both Churchmen and
Dissenters. We wish it the widest possible circulation.
3. The Young Servant's Friendly Instructor, &c. By Esther Copley (late Hewlett), Author of" Cottage Comforts," &c. Price 1s. Simpkin and Marshall. This little book, from the pen of a lady who has deserved so well of the Christian public, will no doubt be extensively read. Heads of families will do well to make a present of it to their domestics. We, who cannot go often into "the women's world," as Mr. Cecil used to call it, have been highly amused with the ample and minute directory it contains for "the servant of all work, the cook, the housemaid; the nursemaid, the lady's maid, the laundress, the sempstress, the dairymaid, and the housekeeper." The introductory chapters are particularly worthy of the pious and intelligent writer, who is anxious to lead young females into the knowledge of Christ.
4. The Child's Scripture Examiner and Assistant, Part IV.; or Questions on the Acts of the Apostles, with Practical and Explanatory Observations, suited to the Capacities of Children. By J. G. Fuller. With a Map of Asia Minor, &c. Price 1s. 6d. Mr. Fuller has been well employed in compiling this very instructive manual. The catechetical mode of examination adopt
Discourse in two parts. By G. Pritchard. 7. Tekel; or the Righteous Sentence: a 8. Communion with the Dead; also a Brother's Farewell, by T. R. T. Price 1s.
The selections of
9. Adaptations of Scripture to Family Devotion. 18mo. Whittaker. This work is intended for the use of members of the Established Church. Scripture are from the Common Prayer Book. It is not probable any of our readers will find it a suitable help for their family devotions, as we presume they are not in the habit of using composed forms of prayer for that purpose.
In the Press.
To be published by subscription, in the course of the present year, in one volume, 8vo. price 9s. Eclectic Theology; or a Conciliatory View of Divine Revelation. By the late Rev. Samuel Greatheed, F.S.A. With some account of his eventful and interesting Life, by H. W. Gardiner.
To be published early in February, in one volume, 8vo. a Practical and Pathological Inquiry into the Sources and Effects of Derangement of the Digestive Organs; embracing some affections of the Mind, as well as diseases of the Body. By Wm. Cooke, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Secretary to the Hunterian Society, Editor of Morgagni, &c.