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ascendency of Arianism. Surely it is not unfair in such a case to interpret the formal document of belief by the realized form of it in the Church, and to apprehend that, did we express our assent to the creed of Pope Pius, we should find ourselves bound hand and foot, as the fathers at Ariminum, to the corruptions of those who profess it.

To take the instances of the Adoration of Images and the Invocation of Saints. The Tridentine Decree declares that it is good and useful suppliantly to invoke the Saints, and that the Images of Christ, and the Blessed Virgin, and the other Saints, should "receive due honour and veneration;" words which, themselves, go to the very verge of what could be received by the cautious Christian, though possibly admitting of a honest interpretation. Now we know in matter of fact that in various parts of the Roman Church, a worship approaching to idolatrous is actually paid to Saints and Images, in countries very different from each other, as, for instance, Italy and the Netherlands, and has been countenanced by eminent men and doctors, and that, without any serious or successful protest from any quarter: further, that, though there may be countries where no scandal of the kind exists, yet these are such as have, in their neighbourhood to Protestantism, a practical restraint upon the natural tendency of their system.

Moreover, the silence which has been observed, age after age, by the Roman Church, as regards these excesses, is a point deserving of serious attention ;-for two reasons: first, because of the very solemn warnings pronounced by our Lord and his Apostle, against those who introduce scandals into the Church, warnings which seem almost prophetic of such as exist in the Latin branches of it. Next it must be considered that the Roman Church has had the power to denounce and extirpate them. Not to mention its use of its Apostolical powers in other matters, it has had the civil power at its command, as it has shown in the case of errors which less called for its interference; all of which shows it has not felt sensitively on the subject of this particular evil.

This may be suitably illustrated by an example. Wake, in his controversy on the subject of Bossuet's Exposition, observes that a Jesuit named Crasset had published an account of the worship due to the Virgin Mary, quite opposed to that which Bossuet had expounded as the doctrine of the Roman Church. Bossuet replies, "I have not read the book, but neither did I ever hear it mentioned there was any thing in it contrary to mine, and that Father would be much troubled I should think there was." Wake, in answer, expresses his great surprise that Bossuet should not have heard any mention of a fact so notorious.

Bossuet replies, "I still continue to say that I have never read

Father Crasset's book which they bring against me." "I will only add here," he continues, "that Father Crasset himself, troubled and offended that any one should report his doctrine to be different from mine, has made complaints to me; and in a preface to the second edition of his book, has declared, that he varied in nothing from me, unless perhaps in the manner of expression; which, whether it be so or no, I leave them to examine, who will please to give themselves the trouble." Bossuet is known as the special champion of a more moderate exposition of the doctrines of Romanism than that which has generally been put upon them. Now he either did agree with the Jesuit or he did not. If he did, not a word more need be said against the Roman doctrine, as will appear when I proceed to quote his words; if he did not, let the reader judge of the peculiar sensitiveness of a faith, (as illustrated in a prelate, who for his high qualities is a very fair representative of his church,) which can anathematize a denial of Purgatory, or a disapproval of the Invocation of Saints, yet can pass sub silentio a class of blasphemies, of which the following extracts are an instance.

It must be first observed that Father Crasset's book is an answer to a Cologne tract entitled, "Salutary Advertisements of the Blessed Virgin to her indiscreet Adorers;" which is said, by Wake, truly or not, (for this is nothing to the purpose,) to agree with Bossuet in his exposition of doctrine. This tract was sent into the world with the approbation of the Suffragan Bishop of Cologne, of the Vicar-general, the Censure of Ghent, the Canons and Divines of Mechlin, the University of Louvain, and the Bishop of Tournay. Father Crasset's answer was printed at Paris, licensed by the Provincial, approved by three fathers of the Jesuits' body appointed to examine it, and authorized by the King. I mention these circumstances to show that this controversy was not conducted in a corner; to which I may add that, according to Crasset, learned men of various nations had also written against the Tract, that the Holy See had condemned the author, and that Spain had prohibited him and his work from its dominions. We have nothing to do with the doctrine of this Tract, good or bad, but let us see what this Crasset's doctrine is on the other hand, thus put forth by the Jesuits in a notorious controversy, and accepted on hearsay by Bossuet, with a studious abstinence from the sight of it after the matter of it had been brought before him.

"Whether a Christian that is devout towards the blessed Virgin can be damned? Answer. The servants of the blessed Virgin have an assurance, morally infallible, that they shall be saved.

"Whether God ever refuses anything to the blessed Virgin. Answer. 1. The Prayers of a Mother so humble and respectful are esteemed a command by a Son so sweet and so obedient. 2. Being

truly our Saviour's mother, as well in heaven as she was on earth, she still retains a kind of natural authority over His person, over His goods, and over His omnipotence; so that, as Albertus Magnus says, she can not only entreat Him for the salvation of her servants, but by her motherly authority can command Him; and as another expresses it, the power of the Mother and of the Son is all one, she being by her omnipotent Son made herself omnipotent.

"Whether the blessed Virgin has ever fetched any out of hell? Answer. 1. As to Purgatory, it is certain that the Virgin has brought several souls from thence, as well as refreshed them whilst they were there. 2. It is certain she has fetched many out of hell: i. e. from a state of damnation before they were dead. 3. The Virgin can, and has fetched men that were dead in mortal sin out of hell, by restoring them to life again, that they might repent. . . .

"The practice of devotion towards her. 1. To wear her scapulary; which whoso does shall not be damned, but this habit shall be for them a mark of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, and a sign of peace and eternal alliance. They that wear this habit, shall be moreover delivered out of Purgatory the Saturday after their death. 2. To enter her congregation. And if any man be minded to save himself, it is impossible for him to find out any more advantageous means, than to enrol himself into these companies. 3. To devote oneself more immediately to her service, &c. &c.

"Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come, but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

Bossuet's name has been mentioned in evidence of the really existing connexion between the decrees of Trent and the popular opinions and practices in the Roman Church, as regards the matters they treat of. But the labours of that celebrated divine in the cause of his Church introduce us to very varied and extensive illustrations of another remark which has been incidentally made in the course of our discussion.

It was observed that the legitimate meaning of the Tridentine decrees might be fairly ascertained by comparing together those of the Latin Churches, where the system was allowed to operate freely, and those in which the presence of Protestantism acted as a check upon it. This has been remarkably exemplified in the history of the controversy during the last one hundred and fifty years, that is, since the time of Bossuet, who seems to have been nearly the first who put on the Tridentine decrees a meaning more consonant with Primitive Christianity, distinguishing be

tween the doctrines of the Church, and of the Schools. This new interpretation has been widely adopted by the Romanists, and, as far as our own islands are concerned, may be considered to be the received version of their creed; and one should rejoice in any appearance of amelioration in their system, were not the present state of Italy and Spain, where no check exists, an evidence what that system still is, and what, in course of time, it would, in all probability, be among ourselves, did an universal reception of it put an end to the restraint which controversy at present imposes on them.

Bossuet's Exposition, which contains the modified doctrine above spoken of, was looked at with great suspicion at Rome, on its first appearance, and was with difficulty acknowledged by the Pope. It is said to have been written originally with the purpose of satisfying Marshal Turenne, who became, in consequence, a convert to Romanism. It was circulated in manuscript several years, and was considered to be of so liberal a complexion, according to the doctrine of that day, as to scandalize persons of his own communion, and to lead Protestants to doubt whether the author dare ever own it. In the year 1671, it was, with considerable alterations, committed to the press with the formal approbation of the Archbishop of Rheims and nine other Bishops; but on objections being urged against it by the Sorbonne, the press was stopped, and not till after various alterations was it resumed, with the suppression of the copies which had already been struck off. It is affirmed by Wake, without contradiction (I believe) from his opponents, that even with these corrections it was of so novel an appearance to the Romanists of that day, that an answer from one of Bossuet's own communion was written to it before the Protestants began to move, though the publication was suppressed. The Roman See at last accorded its approbation, but not before the conversions which it effected had recommended it to its favour.†

It may be instructive to specify some instances of this change of doctrine, or of interpretation of doctrine, (if it must be so called,) which Bossuet is accused of introducing.

1. In the private impression of his Exposition, as the suppressed portion of the edition may be called, Bossuet says:

"Furthermore, there is nothing so unjust as to accuse the Church of placing all her piety in these devotions to the Saints; since on the contrary she lays no obligation at all on particular persons to join in this

Verzon had preceded him in France, and an exposition on the same basis is said to have been published in England in Queen Mary's time.

Nine years intervened between its publication and the Pope's approval of it. Clement X. refused it absolutely. Several priests were rigorously treated for preaching the doctrine contained in it; the University of Louvain formally con demned it in 1685. Vid. Mosheim, Hist. vol. v. p. 126, note.

practice...... By which it appears clearly that the Church condemns only those who refuse it out of contempt, or by a spirit of dissension and revolt."

In the second or published edition, the words printed in italics were omitted, the first clause altogether, and the second with the substitution of "out of disrespect or error."

2. Again, in the private impression he had said:

"So that it (the Mass) may very reasonably be called a sacrifice.” He raised his doctrine in the second as follows:

"So that there is nothing wanting to make it a true sacrifice.”

In giving these instances, I am far from insinuating that there is any unfairness in such alterations. Earnestly desiring the conversion of Protestants, Bossuet did but attempt to place the doctrines of his Church in the light most acceptable to them. But they seem to show thus much: first, that he was engaged in a novel experiment, which circumstances rendered necessary, and was trying how far he might safely go; secondly, that he did not carry with him the body of the Gallican divines. In other words, we have no security that this new form of Romanism is more stable than one of the many forms of Protestantism which rise and fall around us in our own country, which are matters of opinion, and depend upon individuals.*

3. But again, after all the care bestowed on his work, Bossuet says in his Exposition as ultimately published:

When the Church pays an honour to the Image of an Apostle or Martyr, the intention is not so much to honour the image as to honour the apostle or martyr in the presence of the image.... Nor do we attribute to them any other virtue but that of exciting in us the remembrance of those they represent, p. 8.

To this Vindicator adds:

The use we make of images or pictures is purely as representatives, or memorative signs, which call the originals to our remembrance, p. 35.

Now, with these passages contrast the words of Bellarmine, who, if any one, might be supposed a trustworthy interpreter of the Roman doctrine:

"The images of Christ and of the saints are to be venerated not only by accident and improperly, but properly and by themselves, so that they themselves are the end of the veneration [ut ipsæ terminent vene

* Mosheim observes (supra) that none of the attempts to reconcile Protestants to the Church, from Richelieu downwards, were avowed by the Church itself, or much more than the acts of individuals.

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