Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

disproved, and the arguments and sophisms employed for the defence of error, have been received, have been almost beyond belief. No doubt, this may be partly accounted for by the fact, that the great majority have neither time nor inclination to prosecute those researches which would enable them to test the representations thus made; and therefore when from any cause, such as a favourable predisposition of mind, a love of novelty, a concurrence of external causes, there exists a feeling in favour of the views advocated, in such cases the most flimsy and untenable arguments are sufficient to produce conviction. On no other ground is it possible to account for the temporary success that has attended the writings of the Tractarians. And hence it may reasonably be hoped, that when the true state of the case becomes more fully known, many who had been inclined to look upon the movement with favour, will recoil with feelings of no slight aversion from the views which had been thus pressed upon them.”

Once more, then, we thank Mr. Goode for this very important and seasonable production; by which, if we may so say, the citadel of the Tractarians, already taken from them, has been utterly razed, and laid even with the ground.

NOTES ON THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND PROSPECTS OF THE SCHISM FROM THE CHURCH OF ROME, CALLED “ THE GERMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.” By SAMUEL LAING, Esq. London: Longman. 1815.

In a former number, we sketched the history of the origin of the schism from the Papacy which is now so rapidly extending through Germany. The present volume, though decidedly inferior to Mr. Smith's, will assist us to carry the narrative some steps further.

We then observed, that it was just at the moment of the most lamentable gloom,when nearly one million and a half of devotees, differing little from the worshippers of Juggernaut, were pouring into Treves, to worship, an old rag,-it was amidst this fearful gloom that a ray of light suddenly broke forth, and two Romish priests, in different parts of Germany, simultaneously gave vent to the indignation which swelled in their own bosoms, and in those of many others.

The response which the call of Ronge received was nearly as surprising as the previous exhibition of superstition at Treves. And, as has been observed, "At the first view of this mass of declarations, or confessions of faith, and of articles of dissent from Rome, put forth simultaneously by upwards of a hundred congregations of the most enlightened of the Roman Catholic population of Germany, adopted not merely by the congregations, but by the most respectable Roman Catholic priests and professors, and all expressing the same, and condescending upon the same grounds of separation, as if by common consent; and at the view of the adherence of new members of the highest character and estimation in the middle and upper classes, the formation of new congregations going on so rapidly that the country newspapers are filled with little else, and the estimates of the extent and progress of this movement to-day fall short of the reality to-morrow, we naturally feel the joyful anticipation that we are on the eve of another great Reformation, like that of Luther and Calvin ;—that the downfall of the Church of Rome is sealed and certain ; and that a new church of pure Christian faith, a new era of Christianity, is rising in the very same land in which light first dawned upon the darkness of the

Much, however, must depend on the intrinsic character of the movement. Hope may be excited by all this appearance of life and motion ; but there have been “false Christs” in every age, and we must not be led into confounding an Arnold of Brescia

1 “ Holy coat, pray for us !"

middle ages."

or a Savonarola with the Luthers or Wiclifs of the great Reformation.

It seems worth while, and, in fact, necessary, to a clear understanding of the case, to give some of the leading confessions of faith already put forth by these new seceding churches; and we must bear in mind, all along, that the whole movement is not yet one twelvemonth old,-Ronge's first declaration bearing date October 1, 1844.

The following confessions of faith are given in the order of time in which they appeared.

SCHNEIDEMühl, (Czerski's Church) 19th October, 1844. I. “ We believe in one God, the Almighty Father, creator of hea

ven and earth. II.“ We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,

who from all eternity was begotten of the Father, and is God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not created, of equal nature and being with the Father, and through whom all was created, who for our sakes, and the salvation of man, descended from heaven, and by the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary assumed flesh, and became man; who also was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried, but on the third day, according to Scripture, rose again, and ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right band of God, and from whence he shall again come down in glory to judge

the living and the dead. This his kingdom will have no end. III. “ We believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, who giveth life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who is to be praised and adored with the Father and the Son : who spoke through the Prophets. We believe in the holy general (catholic) apostolic church. We acknowledge a baptism to the forgiveness of sins, and await a resurrection and a life in the future world.

Amen. IV. “We receive the Holy Scriptures as the only sure source of

Christian faith, and that in the sense in which they are intelligi

ble to every enlightened pious Christian. V. “ We acknowledge that by Jesus Christ our Lord, seven true

and proper means of grace (sacraments) are established under the new covenant, namely– Ist. Baptism. 2d. Confirmation (the laying-on of hands with prayer)." 3d. The holy Supper of the Lord. 4th. The penitence. 5th. The priestly ordination (the laying-on of hands with prayer). 6th. Marriage. 7th. The preparation for death (extreme unction);-and that these impart pardon ; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and the

ordination to the priesthood, cannot be repeated without sacrilege. VI. “We acknowledge that the commemoration of the bloody

offering on the cross of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated in the holy Mass, may be of service to the dead, and the living; that in the all holy altar-sacraments, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, with his soul and godhead, truly, actually, and in substance, are present, and that the whole substance of the bread is changed into the body, and the whole substance of the wine into the blood, through faith. VII.“ We acknowledge that priests not only may receive the

sacrament of marriage ; but, to be worthy examples to the people, they ought, according to the holy scriptures, to receive it. VIII. “ We acknowledge that the holding divine service, and in

general the administration of sacraments in a foreign tongue, is contrary to scripture ; and that therefore the language known to the congregation ought to be used in divine service, and in

administration of sacraments. IX. “We acknowledge that the holy sacrament of the Lord's

Supper ought absolutely to be received in both elements, and that the receiving the sacrament under one element only is not

sufficient for salvation. I. “A purgatory, such as taught by the Roman hierarchy, there

is not; but there is in the house of our Heavenly Father many mansions,' like steps towards beholding God. We acknowledge that these steps must be gone through by those who have not made themselves fully worthy here on earth to behold

God; and that on this ground our prayers may be serviceable to XI. " We acknowledge and firmly believe that Christ alone is the

Head of his church, and his vicegerent here on earth is the Holy Ghost. XII. " In this true general belief, expressed through Jesus Christ,

we, here present, acknowledge ourselves freely, and sincerely promise, vow, and swear to preserve it, with the help of God, uninjured and unadulterated, to the end of our lives, with unbroken stedfastness; and also to apply all possible care that this belief shall be taught, made known to, and held by those under us, or intrusted to our charge. So help us God and his holy scriptures."

KREUZNACH, 10th February, 1845. We, the undersigned, have resolved, from free choice and inward conviction, to establish a Catholic-Christian church un

the dead; but,

1845.

4 G

[graphic]

6

fettered by all human additions and deformities, pure in the spirit of the Founder of our holy religion. The rock npon which this church is built stands on the ground of the sublime passage in the scripture,

Love God above all, and thy neighbour as thyself.' “We consider, therefore, as abuses, through the work of man,

and reject, in all time coming—1st. The authority of the pope as head of our church. 2d. Celibacy. 3d. Auricular Confestion. _4th. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper in one element, and Transubstantiation. 5th. The Exorcism at the baptism of infants. 6th. The prayers to the saints. 7th. The veneration of pictures, and relics, and also pilgrimages. 8th. The confirmation. 9th. The extreme unction. 10th. The Latin tongue in divine service. llth. The nonsense of remissions.

12th. The doctrine of purgatory: I. “We acknowledge only one mediator between God and man,

namely, our Saviour Jesus Christ. II. " We retain the mass, after it is altered to the spirit of the

Christian-Catholic church. III. “We acknowledge only two sacraments, Baptism, and the

Lord's Supper. IV. “We consider the latter as a remembrance, or memorial

feast, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and receive it under the words, * This represents, or shows forth, my body; this represents, or

shows forth, my blood.' V. “We bind ourselves to provide for the wants of our church

and school, until the state has settled our concerns. Each will contribute to the good cause according to his power and good will. Other resolutions remain over for our common consideration, when the congregation has constituted itself, and obtained a suitable minister. And so may the spirit of love, truth, and light penetrate and animate this Christian-Catholic church, and guide, direct, and rule all her internal and external affairs."

BRESLAU, 16th February, 1845. I. “We declare ourselves free from the Roman bishop, and his

hangers on. II. “We assert full freedom of conscience, and detest all compul

sion, lies, and hypocrisy. INI. “ The foundation and the structure of Christian faith is the

holy scripture. IV. • Its free examination, and exposition, no authority ought to

restrain.

« VorigeDoorgaan »