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Christ.-"The Papist misrepresented believes the Virgin Mary to be much more powerful in heaven than Christ, and that she can command him to do what she thinks good: and for this he honours her much more than he does her Son, or God the Father; for one prayer he says to God, saying ten to the holy Virgin."
The Papist truly represented believes it damnable to think the Virgin Mary more powerful in heaven than Christ; or that she can in any thing command him. He honours her indeed, as one that was chosen as the mother of God, and blessed amongst all women; and believes her to be most acceptable to God, in her intercession for us: but owning her still as a creature, and that all she has of excellency is the gift of God, proceeding from his mere goodness. Neither does he at any time say even so much as one prayer to her, but what is directed more particularly to God, because offered up as a thankful memorial of Christ's incarnation, and acknowledgment of the blessedness of Jesus, the fruit of her womb: and thus without imagining there is any more dishonouring of God in his reciting the Angelical Salutation, than in the first pronouncing it by the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth ; or that his frequent repetition of it is any more an idle superstition, than it was in David to repeat the same words over twenty-six times in the 126th psalm.'
§. 6. Of merits and good Works.-"The Papist misrepresented believes Christ's death and passion to be ineffectual, and insignificant, and that he has no dependence upon the merits of his sufferings, or the mercy of God for the obtaining salvation; but that he is to be saved by his own merits. And, for this reason, he is very zealously busy in fasting, in watching, in going in procession, in wearing hairshirts, and using a thousand such like mortifications; and having done this, he thinks himself not at all beholden to God for his salvation, and that to give him heaven will be no favour; it being now his due upon the account of his meritorious atchievements, without any God-amercy to Christ's passion, or his Maker's goodness."
The Papist truly represented believes it damnable to say that Christ's death and passion is ineffectual and insignificant; and that it is the doctrine of devils to believe, that he has no dependence for his salvation upon the merits of Christ's sufferings, or the mercy of God; but only upon his own merits and good works. It is his faith to believe, that of ourselves we are not sufficient so much as to think a good thought; that the grace by which we are justified, is given us purely gratis upon the account of Christ's merits: moreover, that no man, how just soever, can merit any thing, either in this life, or in that to come, independent of the merits and passion of Jesus Christ; nevertheless, that through the merits of Christ, the good works of a just man, proceeding from grace, are so acceptable to God, that through his goodness and promise they are truly meritorious of eternal life. And this he has learned from the apostle, 2 Tim. iv. 8, where he is taught, that there is a crown of justice, which our Lord, a just judge, will render at the last day; not only to St. Paul, but also to all those that shall have fought a good fight, and consummated their course, kept the faith,
and loved his coming. Knowing therefore, that at the day of judg ment he is to receive according to his works, he endeavours by good works to make his vocation and election sure, 2 Peter i. 10. And in following this counsel, he thinks he no more offends against the fullness of the merits of Christ, or God's mercy, than the apostle does in giving it.
§. 7. Of Confession." The Papist misrepresented believes it part of his religion to make gods of men; foolishly thinking they have power to forgive sins. And therefore, as often as he finds his conscience oppressed with the guilt of his offences, he calls for one of his priests; and having run over a catalogue of his sins, he asks of him pardon and forgiveness. And what is most absurd of all, he is so stupid as to believe, that if his ghostly Father, after he has heard all his villanies in his ear, does but pronounce three or four Latin words over his head, his sins are forgiven him, although he had never any thoughts of amendment, or intention to forsake his wickedness."
The Papist truly represented believes it damnable in any religion to make gods of men. However, he firmly holds, that when Christ, speaking to his apostles, said, John xx. 22,-Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained; he gave them, and their successors, the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church, authority to absolve any truly penitent sinner from his sin. And God having thus given them the ministry of reconciliation, and made them Christ's legates, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19, 20; Christ's ministers, and the dispensers of the mysteries of Christ, 1 Cor. iv. ; and given them power that whatsoever they loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, Matt. xxviii. 18; he undoubtedly believes, that whosoever comes to them making a sincere and humble confession of his sins, with a true repentance and firm purpose of amendment, and a hearty resolution of turning from his evil ways, may from them receive absolution, by the authority given them from heaven; and no doubt but God ratifies above, the sentence pronounced in that tribunal; loosing in heaven whatsoever is thus loosed by them on earth. And that, whosoever comes without the due preparation, without a repentance from the bottom of his heart, and a real intention of forsaking his sins, receives no benefit by the absolution; but adds sin to sin, by a high contempt of God's mercy, and abuse of his sacraments.'
§. 8. Of Indulgences.-" The Papist misrepresented believes that his holy father the Pope can give him leave to commit what sin he pleaseth; especially, if he can make him a present of a round sum of money, he never need doubt of indulgence or pardon for himself and his heirs for ever, for all sorts of crimes or wickedness, he, or any of his posterity, may have convenience of falling into and having this commission in his pocket, under the Pope's broad seal, he may be confident that Christ will confirm and stand to all that his Vicar upon earth has granted, and not call him to any account for any thing he has done, although he should chance to die without the least remorse of conscience, or repentance for his sins.”
The Papist truly represented believes it damnable to hold, that the Pope, or any other power in heaven or earth, can give him leave to
commit any sins whatsoever or that, for any sum of money, he can obtain an indulgence or pardon for sins that are to be committed by him, or his heirs, hereafter. He firmly believes that no sins can be forgiven without a true and hearty repentance: but that still, there is a power in the Church of granting indulgences, by which, as he is taught in his Catechism, nothing more is meant, than a releasing, to such as are truly penitent, of the debt of temporal punishment, which remained due on account of those sins, which, as to the guilt and eternal punishment, had been already remitted by repentance and confession. For we see in the case of King David, 2 Sam. xii. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, that the debt of the temporal punishment is not always remitted, when the guilt of the sin is remitted; and as the Church of God from the beginning was ever convinced of this truth, therefore, besides the hearty repentance and confession which she insisted upon in order for the discharge of the guilt of sin; she also required severe penances, sometimes of three, seven, ten years or more, for the discharge of the debt of the temporal punishment due to divine justice. Now the releasing or moderating for just causes these penalties incurred by sin, is called an indulgence. And the power of granting such indulgences is visibly implied in the promise of the keys, and of binding and loosing made to the pastors of the Church, St. Matt. xvi. 19. And the exercise of this power was frequent in the primitive church; and is even authorized by the example of St. Paul himself, who granted such an indulgence to the incestuous Corinthian, 2 Cor. ii. 10; forgiving, as he says, in the person of Christ; that is, by the power and authority he had received from him. Now the good works usually required for the obtaining indulgences, are prayer, fasting, visiting churches, confession, communion, and alms-deeds: but what money there is given at any time on this account concerns not at all the Pope's coffers, but is by every one given as they please, either to the poor, to the sick, to prisoners, &c., where they judge it most charity. As to the rest, if any abuses have been committed in granting or gaining indulgences, through the fault of some particular persons, these cannot in justice be charged upon the church, to the prejudice of her faith and doctrine; especially, since she has been so careful in the retrenching them; as may be seen by what was done in the council of Trent, Decreta de Indulgentiis.' pp. 18–28.
Dr. Challoner's Tract goes over the same ground, and of course gives the same specious representation of the Tridentine Faith. In Chap. iv, of the Real Presence and Transubstantiation,' the language of the Church of England is cited as supporting the Catholic doctrine.
'Hence, the Protestants, in their Catechism in the Common Prayerbook, are forced to acknowledge, "that the body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper." Now, how that can be verily and indeed taken and received, which is not verily and indeed there, is a greater mystery than transubstantiation.
"The literal sense is hard to flesh and blood:
Dryden's Hind and Panther.'
The doctrine of Purgatory is thus vindicated from Scripture:
How (founded) upon Scripture?
Because the scripture in many places assures us, "that God will render to every one according to his works," Ps. lxii. 12. Matt. xvi. 27. Rom. ii. 6. Revel. xxii. 12. Now this would not be true, if there were no such thing as Purgatory; for how would God render to every one according to his works, if such as die in the guilt of any even the least sin, which they have not taken care to blot out by repentance, would nevertheless go straight to heaven?
Have you any texts which the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers interpret of Purgatory?
Yes, 1 Cor. iii. 13, 14, 15, " Every man's work shall be made manifest. For the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire. And the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon," (that is, upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, ver. 11,) "he shall receive a reward. If any man's works shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire." From which text it appears, that such as, both in their faith, and in the practice of their lives, have stuck to the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, so as not to forfeit his grace by mortal sin; though they have otherwise been guilty of great imperfections, by building wood, hay, and stubble, (ver. 12,) upon this foundation; it appears, I say, that such as these, according to the apostle, must pass through a fiery trial, at the time that "every man's work shall be made manifest:" which is not till the next life; and that they shall be "saved” indeed, “yet so as by fire,” that is, by passing first through Purgatory.
2dly, Matt. v. 25, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." Which text St. Cyprian, one of the most ancient Fathers, understands of the prison of Purgatory. Epistle 52. ad Antonianum.
3dly, Matt. xii. 32, Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Which last words plainly imply, that some sins, which are not forgiven in this world, may be forgiven in the world to come; otherwise, why should our Saviour make any mention of forgiveness in the world to come? Now, if there may be forgiveness of sins in the world to come, there must be a purgatory; for in hell, there is no forgiveness, and in heaven, no sin.
Besides, a middle place is also implied, 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, 20, where Christ is said, by his spirit, to have gone and " preached to the spirits in prison which some time were disobedient.” *Which prison
could be no other than Purgatory; for as to the spirits that were in the prison of hell, Christ did certainly not go to preach to them.
How do you ground the belief of Purgatory upon tradition? 'Because both the Jewish Church long before our Saviour's coming, and the Christian Church from the very beginning in all ages and all nations, have offered prayers and sacrifice for the repose and relief of the faithful departed: as appears in regard to the Jews from 2 Machab. xii. where this practice is approved of, which books of Machabees, the church, says St. Augustine, lib. 18. de Civ. Dei, c. 36, accounts canonical, though the Jews do not. And in regard to the Christian Church, the same is evident from all the Fathers, and the most ancient liturgies. Now such prayers as these evidently imply the belief of a purgatory: for souls in heaven stand in no need of our prayers, and those in hell cannot be bettered by them.' pp. 41-43.
Here, it will be observed, the citation from 2 Macc. xii. is not given under the head of Scripture proofs, but under the head of tradition. In all the quotations, Dr. Challoner follows the common Protestant Bible, for the sake of a great part of his 'readers that may have been accustomed to it; not designing 'thereby to declare' his approbation', much less preference, of that version'. We cannot forbear to transcribe part of the defence of image-worship.
What kind of honour do Catholics give to the images of Christ and his saints?
A relative honour.
• What do you mean by a relative honour?
By a relative honour, I mean an honour which is given to any thing, not for any intrinsic excellence or dignity in the thing itself, but barely for the relation it has to something else; as when the courtiers bow to the chair of state, or Christians to the name of Jesus, which is an image or remembrance of our Saviour to the ear, as the crucifix is to the eye.
Have you any instances of this relative honour allowed by Protestants?
Yes; in the honour they give to the name of Jesus, to their churches, to the altar, to the Bible, to the symbols of bread and wine in the sacrament. Such also was the honour which the Jews gave to the ark and cherubims, and which Moses and Joshua gave to the land on which they stood, as being "holy ground,” Exod. iii. 5, Jos. v. 15, &c.
How do you prove that there is a relative honour due to the images or pictures of Christ and his saints?
From the dictates of common sense and reason, as well as of piety and religion, which teach us to express our love and esteem for the persons whom we honour, by setting a value upon all things that belong to them, or have any relation to them: thus, a loyal subject, a dutiful child, a loving friend, value the pictures of their king, father,