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But what is the view taken of the subject by the author of this most strange production? He recommends, in

general, that in our discussions with Romanists our arguments should "keep clear of abstract points and the more sacred subjects;" and in illustration of his position, he selects this particular doctrine. By a remarkable coincidence, he actually concurs with that subtle and adroit expounder of the tenets of the Church of Rome-Dr. Wiseman-(as he is quoted by professor Turton in his elaborate work on the Eucharist) in maintaining an analogy between this doctrine and those of the Trinity and Incarnation. With regard to the latter, he observes," It is true that learned men, such as Stillingfleet, have drawn lines of distinction between the doctrine of transubstantiation, and that high mystery; but the question is, whether they are so level to the intelligence of the many, as to secure the Anglican disputant from fostering irreverence, whether in himself or his hearers, if he ventures on such an argument."-The writer then subjoins,-"If transubstantiation must be opposed" (putting it, you will observe, hypothetically) "if transubstantiation must be opposed, it is in another way; by showing, that in matter of fact, it was not the doctrine of the early Church, but an innovation at such or such a time."-In accordance with the preceding statement, the author of the tract most scrupulously refrains from denouncing the monstrous figment of transubstantiation as being directly opposed to scripture when interpreted upon sound ermeneutical principles, to the dictates of reason,

and to the testimony of the senses, which are legitimately cognizant of this question: while it would not be merely rationalistic, but positively blasphemous, to make the inscrutable mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation amenable to their decision. Instead of taking this high Protestant ground, he contents himself with enumerating two practical grievances under which Christians in the Roman communion labour, connected solely with the administration of the Lord's Supper; as if, forsooth, it were no practical grievance to be required to believe in repugnancy to scripture-in repugnancy to reason— in repugnancy to the evidence of the senses, and to be anathematized for presuming to exercise the right of private judgment in rejecting a doctrine which, upon supposition of its being false, necessarily involves the deadly sin of idolatry. These grievances are-1. "The denial of the cup to the laity." 2. "The necessity of the priest's intention to the validity of the sacrament."*

1. To the theory of the invocation of saints, he seems to have no insurmountable objection; at the same he deems it the "safest not to pay them this extraordinary honour" +

After the preceding specimens of the very lenient— not to say partial-eye with which the writer regards the unscriptural dogmas, and the idolatrous and superstitious rites of the Church of Rome, we shall be the less surprised at the large and liberal concessions which he makes with reference to the supposed defects of our own

* Vol. iii. No. 71. p. 13.-See Appendix, No. ii.
+ Vol. iii. No. 71. p,p. 9. 10.—See Appendix, No. iii.

Church. He maintains, indeed, that it possesses the negative merit of not being tainted with "any deadly heresy," as well as the positive privilege of the legitimate "ministration of the word and sacraments." But he thinks that, if necessary, we may safely admit that it "is incomplete even in its formal doctrine and discipline;" and one instance of its deficiency, which he specifies, is that "it does not profess itself infallible.*" In short, while the errors of the Church of Rome are those of commission, the defects of our Church are those of omission. Amongst these omissions may here be mentioned, although they are noticed in a separate tract-the exclusion from our communion service of prayers for the dead, and its silence with regard to the sacrificial oblation of the eucharistic bread and wine.†

Considering how little sanction such opinions, as those which have been already adduced, can derive from the word of God, the only resource which remained for the writers, who espouse them, was to take refuge in tradition, and the writings of the Fathers, as the channel through which it is conveyed. Accordingly we find that tradition is most unduly exalted by them, and even placed upon a level with the inspired volume.

In opposition to what is denominated a maxim of ultraProtestantism-" The Bible and nothing but the Bible," it is stated, in one place, " that the Bible is the record of necessary truth, or of matters of faith, and the Church Catholic's tradition is the interpreter of it," being each

* See Appendix iii.


+ See Appendix iv.

of them "equally the gift of God; *" and, in another, that "Scripture and tradition taken together, are the joint rule of faith."+

Upon these points, together with one or two others of a collateral nature, some observations must now be made, as far as our time will permit. This is the more necessary, because an inordinate and excessive deference to antiquity, involving the constructive disparagement of the written word and of the influences of the Holy Spirit, as guiding the sincere inquirer to a right understanding of that word, seems to constitute the basis of the errors which pervade the Oxford Tracts, no less than of the grosser corruptions of the Church of Rome. Not that I would insinuate that the latter can plead antiquity in their defence. But it must be admitted that in the incautious phraseology and exaggerated statements of some of the Fathers in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, and in the superstitious observances which, from the tendency in human nature to deterioration and declension, were then beginning to creep into the Church, may be detected the germs of that fearful apostacy, which was more fully developed at a subsequent period.

The whole passage stands thus:-" True, the intelligible argument of ultra-Protestantism may be taken, and we may say, 'The Bible and nothing but the Bible, but this is an unthankful rejection of another great gift, equally from God, such as no true Anglican can tolerate. If, on the other hand, we proceed to take the sounder view, that the Bible is the record of necessary truth, on matters of faith, and the Church Catholic's tradition is the interpreter of it, then we are in the danger of refined and intricate questions, which are uninteresting and uninfluential with the many."-Vol. iii. No. 71. p. 8.

No. 78. p. 2.-See Appendix v.

In the two propositions, which are quoted above, the Bible and tradition are unequivocally placed upon a level; and it is distinctly affirmed that the latter is a rule of faith as well as the former. If this affirmation be correct, since the Bible is infallibly true, the Church Catholic's interpretation of it must be so likewise: and as every doctrine, every truth, and every promise revealed in the Bible is the object of our faith, such traditive exposition of each doctrine, truth, and promise must be received with the same implicit faith. If this hypothesis be correct, we are led to enquire-as the enquiry has constantly entered into the discussions between Protestants and Romanists-where is this infallible interpretation to be found? This is a point which has not yet been determined even by the members of the self-styled infallible Church. Some, as it is well known, contend that it is the inherent prerogative of the pope; others, that it resides in an ecumenical council lawfully convened; and others, again, that the decisions of such a council become infallible, when the Vicar of Christ has given them his sanction and ratification. But no one who believes the Articles of the Church of England can admit the pretensions of either separately, or of both conjointly and for this obvious reason, because neither the judgment of a fallible individual, nor, that of an assemblage of fallible individuals, however numerous it may be, can possibly produce an infallible result. Our Church, indeed, lays claim to be a witness and a keeper of holy writ (and a most enlightened witness and faithful keeper she is) but the impious claim of infallibility she

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