A Harmony of Anglican Doctrine
with the doctrine of the catholic and apostolic church of the East:
being the longer Russian catechism:
with an appendix consisting of notes and extracts from Scottish and Anglican authorities.
Appendix: Consisting of Notes to the Foregoing Catechism, with Extracts from Public Documents of the Scottish and Anglican Churches, and from the Writings of Some of their Most Celebrated Divines;
Designed to shew that there is in the Anglican Communion Generally, and more Particularly and Pre-eminently in the Scottish Church, an Element of Orthodoxy, Capable, by a Synodical Act, of Declaring Unity and Identity with the Eastern Catholic Church.
by William Palmer [M]
Aberdeen: A Brown, 1846.
Q. Is there likewise unity between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven? A. Doubtless there is.Orthodox Catechism, p. 50.
I. The Scottish Bishop Rattray of Dunkeld, has left us a whole Dissertation in proof of the following proposition;
"That the habits contracted in this life, and with which we depart out of it, are not extinguished altogether by death, but that we carry them along with us into the state of separation."Bp. Keith's work, p. 539.
II. From the Scottish Catechisms:
That of Aberdeen: "Q. Does the Communion of Saints extend to the other world? A. Yes; the Church upon earth and the Church in Paradise communicate together by mutually praying for each other."P. 19.
And that by Bishop Jolly: "Q. But is this life the boundary of our connexion with Christ, or with one another? A. No; death cannot dissolve those bonds which divine grace has formed, or separate us from the love of Christ. Q. What do you infer from this? A. Since the union between Christ and His Church cannot be dissolved even by death, it is reasonable to think that a communion still subsists between the Church on earth and the Saints in Paradise, as being still united to the same Head, their common Lord and Saviour. Q. And how is this communion maintained or kept up? A. By mutual prayer and thanskgiving."P. 35.
And the Catechism of Brechin: "A. I believe that this communion with Christ, and through Him with one another, is not dissolved by death; but that the Saints departed and the Saints on earth make One Family, which is named of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. iii. 16.)P. 24.
III. From the Liturgy of the Scottish and Anglican Churches :
"Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the Company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee, and saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, &c."
IV. From Bishop Nicholson's Exposition of the Catechism: "It is our duty, 4. to pray with and for one another; 5. to praise God with and for one another; 6. to imitate the Saints in heaven, that praise God and pray in general for the Militant Church on earth: for it cannot be conceived, that they being united to the Saints on earth in charity, (which must needs be heightened by their glorification, and by the beatifical vision,) will omit this special duty of charity."P. 63.
V. Bishop Montague, in his book on the Invocation of Saints:
"It is in confesso, that all the Saints departed, each and several Saint departed and with God, do and doth incessantly invoke the high Majesty of heaven pro nobis miseris peccatoribus."P. 190.
VI. From the Proposals of the British Bishops to the Easterns:"The souls of the Faithful remain until the resurrection in certain mansions appropriated to them, waiting in hope for the revelation of that Day, and joining in the prayers and praises of the Militant Church upon earth offered up in faith." And again: "We believe that both Saints and Angels have joy in the conversion of one sinner, and in the progress of a Christian; and we desire to join with them in spirit."Prop. xii.
. On what is grounded the rule of the Church upon earth to invoke in prayer the Saints of the Church in heaven? A. On a holy tradition, the principle of which is to be seen also in holy Scripture. For instance, when David cries out "O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our Fathers;" he makes mention of Saints in aid of his prayer, exactly as now the Orthodox Church calls upon "Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most pure Mother and all His Saints."Orthodox Catechism, p. 50.
The above passage of the Russian Catechism identifies all lawful Invocations of Saints in principle with the oblique form, about which there can be no doubt, that it is admitted by the British Churches:
I. From Bishop Andrewes' Private Devotions:
"Making mention of the all-holy, immaculate, and most blessed Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and our whole life, unto Christ our God."Oxford ed. 1843, p. 92.
II. Dean Field in his treatise on the Church:
"Prayer wherein the Church desireth God to be gracious to her, and to grant the things she desireth the rather for that the Saints in heaven also are suppliants for her, will not be found to contain any point of doctrine disliked by us."Append, to B. iii. p. 223.
III. From Archbishop Bramhall's Answer to M. De la Militiere:"We do sometimes meet in ancient authors with the intercession of Saints in general, which we also acknowledge; or an oblique invocation of them, (as you term it,) that is, a prayer directed to God, that He will hear the intercession of the Saints for us, which also we do not condemn."Vol. I. p. 58. Oxford ed. 1842.
IV. From a Collect in the original Service for the Day of King Charles the First's Martyrdom, put forth by authority in the year 1661:
"We beseech Thee to give us all grace to remember and provide for our latter end by a careful imitation of this Thy blessed Saint and Martyr, and all other Thy Saints and Martyrs that have gone before us; that we may be made worthy to receive benefit by their prayers, which they in communion with Thy Church Catholic offer up unto Thee for that part of it here militant, and in fight with, and in danger from the flesh."
V. From Thorndike's book entitled "The Epilogue":
"I will distinguish three sorts of prayers to Saints. The first is of those that are made to God, but to desire His blessings by and through the merits and intercession of His Saints; as (the following) By whose merits and prayers grant that in all things we may be guarded by Thy protection and help: We pray Thee, Lord, by the merits of the Saints, whose relics are here, and all Saints, that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to release me all my sins: And again; that we, who believe her truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. .... This first kind seem to me utterly agreeable with Christianity, importing only the exercise of that communion, which all members of God's Church hold with all members of it."B. iii. p. 356, &c.
VI. From the work of Dr. Thomas Brett, one of the Bishops who corresponded with the Eastern Patriarchs, A.D. 1716, 1724:
"If they, (the Saints departed) still hold the Communion of Saints, and it is an Article of our Creed that they do so, we cannot doubt of their praying for us. And if they do pray for us, is it unlawful for us to pray that God would hear their prayers for us? Is it a corruption in a Liturgy to have such a petition in it? I can by no means think so. The Apostle speaking of our praying one for another, adds, that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Now I cannot doubt but the Saints departed are righteous men, and therefore cannot doubt but their effectual fervent prayer for their brethren on earth availeth much; consequently, that it is lawful for any private Christian, or any congregation of Christians, to pray that their prayers may be available to them in this particular. We know well that there is but one Mediator betwixt God and man, the man Christ Jesus; but then we know also that this must be understood of one Mediator of redemption, because God has so frequently commanded us to pray one for another, that is, to be intercessors or mediators of intercession for each other. For these reasons I can by no means think it amiss to pray, that we may obtain a place at God's right hand by the intercessions and supplications of the Saints. . . . For if the prayers of the righteous, which they make for others, avail much, there is no question but they help forward and further the salvation of those for whom they are made: and therefore it cannot be unlawful or unfit for those for whom these prayers are made by the Saints departed, that is, the whole Church on earth, to beg of God that the prayers of His Saints now in Paradise, which they make for their brethren here on earth, may be heard, and that we may receive the benefits prayed for, and particularly the great benefit of all, a place at God's right hand in that terrible and just Day. As such intercessions of one Christian, or one part of the Church for another, are so far from being unlawful, that they are necessary, and our bounden duty to each other, so they can be no affront to the mediatorial office of Christ, because such intercessions are made in His name, and in virtue of His merits. And if the intercessions themselves are necessary, and for the honour of Christ, Who requires them of us, to pray that such intercessions may lie heard, or that we may be heard or receive benefit by them, even the greatest benefit of all, the salvation of our souls, can be no fault..... That prayer, wherein God is desired to grant unto His people a place at His right hand, by the intercessions and supplications of the Virgin Mary, and all His Saints, though it be not in the Clementine Liturgy, yet cannot be judged an interpolation in a Liturgy ascribed to St. Basil; forasmuch as ... St. Cyril, who was twenty years St. Basils senior, testifies that the Church in his time prayed, that God would receive their requests by virtue of the prayers and intreaties of the Saints. Which is as old as any testimony we have during the first four or five centuries for the use of the Lord's Prayer in the Eucharistic Service."P. 360, &c.
VII. And it is important to remark that the Eastern Patriarchs distinctly offered to make union with the British, so long as they would go thus far with them, even though they declined, through what they deemed a pious though mistaken caution, to make any direct addresses to the Saints:
"We may here fairly cry out with David They were in fear where no fear was: ... for we do not pay them (the Saints) the same honour that is due to the King alone, but such as is proper for the friends of the King. Nevertheless, if this offend you, ye may forbear saying, Holy Mother of God help us, and instead of it ye may say, O merciful and almighty Lord, assist us by the intercessions of Thine immaculate Mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, and all Thy Saints."Answer to Prop. ii.
And again, on the Invocation of Angels:
"What we said above will serve as a reply to this Proposition: but as to the jealousy ye speak of, it seems like the zeal of those, of whom the Apostle says, that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge:" And at length, exhorting them "to shake off all prejudice, and follow unhesitatingly the uniform tradition of the Church, which is not contrary to holy Scripture," they conclude thus: "Ye give us great expectations (even in this Proposition) of the wished for and much desired happy union and agreement: which do Thou O Christ, our King, speedily effect, by Thine Almighty help, for the intercession of Thine immaculate Mother and all Thy Saints! for we earnestly, and from the bottom of our souls desire it."Answer to Prop. iii.
But besides the admission of those oblique Invocations, which alone the Eastern Patriarchs required as absolutely necessary in order to a union, and besides poetical and spiritual Apostrophes, whether inviting to prayer or praise, which occur in the Hymns of the Anglican Ritual, and even in the Psalter itself, testimonies may be found to prove the possibility of a still closer agreement on this subject:
VIII. Bishop Latimer (apud Foxe), writes as follows:
"Take Saints for inhabitants of heaven, and worshipping of them for praying to them, I never denied but they might be worshipped, and be our mediators, though not by way of redemption (for so Christ alone is a whole mediator, both for them and for us) yet by way of intercession."
Like admissions to this may be seen quoted and set forth at length, not only from other British Divines but from many of the most celebrated and learned writers of the Protestants, in the book of Dr. William Forbes, first Bishop of Edinburgh. (Consid. Modest, p. 322, &c.) He quotes very distinct passages from Luther, J. (Ecolampadius, M. Bucer, Joachim Camerarius, The Author of the Enchir. Col., on the Decalogue, J. Casaubon, Jo. Gerhard, Andr. Fricius, and others; which the reader may consult.
IX. Bishop Montague writes as follows:
"I see no absurdity in nature, no incongruity unto analogy of faith, no repugnancy at all to sacred Scripture, much less impiety, for any man to say, O Sancte Angele Custos, ora pro me." ... In like manner he defends the Virgin Justina mentioned by St. Gregory Nazianzen as imploring the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and says that "against such a manner of invoking Saints, joined with faith in Christ, he would not contend." Forbes, Consid. Modest, p. 327.
X. Antonio De Dominis, (lib. vu. c. xii.) owns, that he "finds the custom of thus invoking the Saints, to pray for us, or rather with us, to be most ancient, and never blamed in the Church, but rather the contrary condemned in Vigilantius by St. Jerome, with the applause of all;" and that "resting thus upon ancient prescription and approved practice, it ought not to be done away.".... And again: "Let not then this custom of Invocation be a cause for schisms: but let those who invoke the Saints take care to warn the people against giving any undue or idolatrous honour; and let the other side leave off absolutely condemning Invocations, as if they were evil in themselves, when used with caution."Vol. in. p. 287.
XI. Archbishop Bramhall writes as follows:
"A comprecation both the Grecians and we allow; an ultimate invocation both the Grecians and we detest:"(Works, p. 418.) alluding to a passage in the Answers of the Patriarch Jeremiah to the Lutherans, (In Cens. de Pracipuis, &c. c. xxi.) which is also quoted with approbation by Bishop Forbes, (p. 21)8.) "We say that Invocation strictly and properly belongs to God alone, and is due to Him in the first place and in the most absolute sense, while that made to the Saints is not invocation properly so called, but per accidens only, and in a certain sense, by a certain grace and privilege. For it is not Peter or Paul that of himself hears any of those who invoke him, but that grace and gift which they have according to that promise of Christ, I am with you even to the end of the world."
XII. Thorndike writes thus:
"The second kind of Invocations is the ora pro nobis, and the te rogamus audi nos, directly addressed to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints." Of this kind he pronounces, that "it is not idolatry;" and that the greatest "lights of the Greek and Latin Church, Basil, Nazianzen, Nyssen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, both the Cyrils, Theodoret, Fulgentius, Gregory the Great, and Leo, &c., who lived from the time of Constantine, have all of them spoken to the Saints departed, and desired their assistance." And again: "After Constantine," he says, "when the Festivals of the Saints, being publicly celebrated, occasioned the confluence of Gentiles as well as Christians, and innumerable things were done, which seemed miracles done by God to attest the honour done them, and the truth of Christianity which it supposed, I acknowledge those great lights did think fit to address themselves to them as petitioners."Epilogue, B. iii. p. 356, &c.
XIII. Dr. William Forbes, Bishop of Edinburgh, has exhausted the whole subject in his book entitled "Considerationes Modestae, &c." The third chapter of his treatise is devoted to prove the following Proposition:
"The mere Invocation or addressing of Angels and Saints, asking them to join us in praying, and to intercede for us to God, is neither to be condemned as unlawful, nor as useless."P. 299.
Again: "Though there be no command nor formal example to be found for it in Scripture, the invocation of Angels and Saints to pray with us and for us to God is not on this account to be rejected as unlawful, as the Protestants now-a-days commonly contend.".. "It is enough, the thing being not an essential, but to be placed among the adiafora, that it be not repugnant to holy Scripture, but agreeable thereto; as we see that many other things have been received by the Fathers as lawful and pious, and are still so received by the Church of England, though they have no express command nor even example of Scripture: &c."P. 305, and p. 307.
"Further, though in the Fathers of the first three centuries there is no clear passage for direct addresses in prayers to Angels or Saints, (p. 308.) still, neither on this account is the usage of addressing Angels and Saints to be rejected or condemned. For many lawful and profitable rites, as is well known, have been introduced into the Church by the Fathers and Councils of subsequent ages, especially by those of the fourth and fifth centuries, about which nothing is to be read in the writers of earlier times. For the Church of the fourth century had like and equal right with that of the three preceding to institute such rites as she might judge lawful and profitable. No man in his senses, I suppose, will deny this."P. 310.
And lastly, before bringing an overwhelming mass of testimony from the Protestants themselves, he concludes thus: "In fine, for very many ages now past, throughout the Universal Church, in the East no less than in the West, and in the North also among the Muscovites, it is a received usage to sing St. Peter, &c., pray for us: but to despise or condemn the universal consent of the whole Church is most dangerous presumption."P.
XIV. The same Bishop, among other admissions of later times, quotes with approbation the following from a book entitled "Pia et Catholica Christiani Hominis Institutio," in English and Latin, put forth by the Bishops of the Church of England in the year 1537, and afterwards again in the year 1543, (the Latin in 1544,) and never hitherto retracted or condemned:
"To pray unto Saints to be intercessors with us and for us to our Lord in our suits which we make unto Him, and for such things as we can obtain of none but Him, so that we esteem not, or worship not them as givers of those gifts, but as intercessors for the same, is received and approved by the most ancient and perpetual use of the Catholic Church: but if we honour them any other ways than as the friends of God, dwelling with Him, and established now in His glory everlasting, and as examples which were requisite for us to follow in holy life and conversation, or if we yield unto Saints the adoration and honour which is due unto God alone, we do, no doubt, break the commandment."Formul. of Faith, ed. Lloyd, pp. 141, and 351. And Forbes, Consid. Modest, p. 328.
XV. But if any question the sufficiency of these testimonies, let him consider what has been recently alleged by a living writer of the Presbyterian or Calvinistic persuasion.Masson, Apology for the Greek Church, p. 30, and p. 108, &c.
. What testimonies are there to confirm us in the belief that the Saints after their departure work miracles through certain earthly means? A. The bones of the Prophet Elisha raised a dead man to life, . . The Apostle Paul by handkerchiefs and aprons, . . St. Peter by his shadow, . . &c. (And then St. Gregory the Divine and St. John Damascene are quoted.)Orthodox Catechism, p. 51.
I. The Calendars of the Scottish and English Churches still commemorate on certain Days the discovery of Relics, and their Translations; as, May in, the Invention of the Cross by the Empress St. Helena; June xx, the Translation of the Relics of St. Edward; July iv, the Translation of those of St. Martin; September xiv, the Holy Cross; &c.
II. In the Book of Homilies we have the following admission:"It is testified that Epiphanius being yet alive, did work miracles; and that after his death, devils being expelled at his tomb, did roar."P. 159.
III. Hooker, among other "considerations for which Christian Churches rightly took their names at the first from Saints," states this, that in respect of certain places; "It pleased God by the ministry of Saints to shew there some rare effect of His power."Eccl. Pol. v. xiii. 3.
VI. The following passage is from Bishop Andrewes:
"For Relics, were we sure they were true and uncounterfeit, we would carry to them the regard, that becometh us."Respons. ad. Card. Pen.
V. The following, to the same effect, from Bishop Montague:
"Their Relics, remains, and memorials, and whatsoever there be of that kind genuine and uncounterfeit,... we most willingly receive, and are ready to pay them that due and proper veneration which belong to them. So let only this be attended to, and we shall easily agree upon the veneration of the Relics of the Saints."Orig. Eccl. vol. i. p. 39.
Again: "They inclosed the bones of the Saints, their ashes and Relics, in golden cists, and wrapped them in precious stuffs. And assuredly, I, for one, will with Constantine wrap those Relics in stuffs, will set them in gold, to carry about; I will raise them to my lips, and hang them around my neck, and continually look upon and handle them."Antidiall. p. 17.
VI. Archbishop Bramhall writes thus:
"Abundant love and duty doth extend an honourable respect from the person of a dear friend or noble benefactor to his posterity, to his memory, to his monument, to his Relics, to every thing that he loved, even to the earth that he did tread upon, for his sake."Oxford ed. p. 44.
VII. Thorndike thus :
"We believe that we are most sincerely to honour the bodies of the Saints, specially the Relics of the Martyrs. If any man do otherwise, he is no Christian, but a follower of Eunomius and Vigilantius. . . Nay, though St. Jerome says that those poor women, who lighted candles in honour of them, had a zeal of God not according to knowledge, yet why should this seem an unfit ceremony. If Vigilantius could not endure this, I cannot endure Vigilantius."Epilogue, iii. p. 360.
VIII. Bishop Bull, (Def. Fid. Nic. ii. 12. 2.) speaking of the Exposition of faith which is said to have been revealed to St. Gregory Thaumaturgus by an apparition of the Blessed Virgin with St. John, observes that;
"It ought not to seem incredible to any man that such an incident should have happened to such a man of whom we are assured by all Ecclesiastical writers who have mentioned him, (and who is there that has not mentioned him?) by all, I say, with one consent, and as it were with one mouth, that his whole life was filled with notable revelations and miracles."
IX. From Bishop Hall's treatise "Of the Invisible World:""The trade that we have with good spirits is not now discerned by the eye, but is like to themselves, spiritual; yet not so, but that even in bodily occasions we have many times insensible helps from them in such manner, as that by the effects we can boldly say, ' Here hath been an Angel, though we see him not.' Of this kind was that no less than miraculous cure, which at St. Madern's in Cornwall was wrought upon a poor cripple, John Trelille, whereof (besides the attestation of many hundreds of the neighbours) I took a strict and personal examination in that last Visitation, which I ever did or ever shall hold. This man, that for sixteen years together was fain to walk upon his hands, by reason of the close contraction of the sinews of his legs, upon three monitions in his dream to wash in that well, was suddenly so restored to his limbs, that I saw him able to walk and get his own maintenance. I found here was neither art nor collusion; the thing done, the author invisible."Lib. i. Û 8.
An account of this miracle, related more at large, is taken ex R. P. Francisci Coventr. Paralipom. Philosoph.: "I will relate," says he, "one miracle more done in my own country, to the great wonder of the neighbouring inhabitants, but a few years ago, to wit, about the year 1640. The process of the business was told the King when at Oxford, which he commanded to be further examined; and it was this. A certain boy of twelve years old, called John Trelille, in the county of Cornwall, not far from the Land's End, as they were playing at foot-ball after the manner of that country, snatching up the ball ran away with it: whereupon a girl in anger struck him with a stick on the back bone; and so bruised or brake it, that for sixteen years after he was forced to go creeping on the ground. In this condition, arrived to the twenty-eighth year of his age, he dreamed that if he did but wash in St. Madern's well, or in the stream running from it, he should recover his former strength and perfection. This is a place in Cornwall, from the remains of ancient devotion frequented still on the Thursdays in May, and especially on the Thursday of Corpus Christi: near to which well is a Chapel dedicated to St. Madern, where is yet an altar, and right against it a grassy hillock, by the country people every year made anew, which they call St. Madern's Bed. The Chapel roof is quite decayed, but a kind of thorn of itself shooting forth of the old walls, so extends its boughs, as that it, strangely, covers the whole Chapel, and supplies as it were a roof to it. So one Thursday in May, assisted by one Periman, his neighbour, nourishing great hopes from his dream, thither he crept; and lying before the altar and praying very fervently, that, as it was related to him in his dream, he might regain his health and the strength of his limbs, he washed his whole body in the stream that flowed from the well and ran through the Chapel: after which, having slept about an hour and an half on St. Madern's bed, through the extremity of pain he felt in his nerves and arteries, he began to cry out; and his companion helping and lifting him up, he perceived his hams and his joints somewhat extended, and himself become stronger; insomuch that partly with his feet, partly with his hands, he went much more erected than before. And before the next Thursday he got two crutches, resting on which he could make a shift to walk, (which before he could not,) and coining then to the Chapel, as formerly, after having bathed himself, he slept again on the same bed, and at last awakened, found himself much stronger and more upright, and so leaving one crutch in the Chapel, he went home with the other. The third Thursday he returned to the Chapel, and bathed as before, slept, and when awake, rose up quite cured; yea grew so strong, that he wrought day labour amongst other hired servants, and four years after, listed himself a soldier in the King's army, where he behaved himself with great stoutness both of mind and body. At length in 1644 he was slain at the, siege of Lime. What fiction can be here, I see not."Cap. ix. p. 68.
X. In like manner Bishop Montague, while speaking of the Sign of the Cross, and saying that he "could tell some experimental effects thereof, some experimental effects of his own knowledge," adds, that even though miracles have in some sense ceased, yet in another sense they may well be thought so far to remain, "that God both can, and may, and will, and doth sometimes work miracles even in these days."Appeal, p. 275, &c.
. What great privilege has the Catholic Church? A. She alone has the sublime promises that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her, that the Lord shall be 'with her even to the end of the world; &c.; and consequently, that she shall never apostatize from the faith, nor sin against the truth of the faith, or fall into error. Q. If so, must it not be necessary for salvation that every believer should belong to her? A. Certainly:Orthodox Catechism, p. 53.
I. Dean Field, in his treatise On the Church:
"As we hold it impossible the Church should ever by apostasy and misbelief wholly depart from God, ... so we hold it never falleth into any heresy."B. iv. c. 2.
II. So also Archbishop Laud, in his Conference with Fisher:
"It is true that a General Council, de post facto, after it is ended, and admitted by the whole Church, is then infallible."P. 291. ed. 1839.
III. And Hammond, following Bp. Montague and Archbishop Laud:
"I shall number it among the things that piety will believe, that no General Council, truly such, 1. duly assembled, 2. freely celebrated, and 3. universally received, either hath erred, or ever shall err, in matters of faith."Of Heresy, Sect. ix.
IV. Archbishop Bramhall writes as follows:
"We hold and teach; first, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Universal Church. Secondly, we believe that the Catholic Church is the faithful Spouse of Christ, and cannot be guilty of idolatry, which is spiritual adultery. Thirdly, we neither say nor think that the Oecumenical Church of Christ is guilty of tyranny. It is principled to suffer wrong, to do none, and by suffering to conquer, as a flock of unarmed sheep in the midst of ravening wolves."Answer to De la Militiere, p. 42.
V. Dr. Saywell has the following passage:
"St. Paul admonishes the bishops, that of themselves should men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them: and this may happen even in large Councils. But nothing like this can be said of the College of Pastors, or of Councils truly Oecumenical, received and approved by the Catholic Church: nor may any one oppose Scripture and the tradition of the Church to the tradition of an Oecumenical Council universally received and approved: for they teach the same thing, and equally declare the evangelical faith: nor do the Pastors, either when dispersed abroad or collected in a really free Council, bear a discordant testimony. The same truth is contained in Scripture, in tradition, in Oecumenical Synods. It cannot be that an Oecumenical Council, or the free and true testimony of the College of Pastors, should be contrary to the Tradition of the Church: nor can any doctrine be confirmed by the tradition of the Church, which is repugnant to sacred Scripture; since among all traditions none is more certain than that of Scripture. Therefore let the Scripture retain its perspicuity and sufficiency, Tradition its firmness and constancy, the Pastors and Oecumenical Synods their authority and reverence: nor let any one set them in opposition to each other: since the same faith, the same doctrine, in all things necessary to salvation, is taught in its own method and order by each; and each has its own use and authority in handing down and preserving the truth."Praefat. ad Epist. Launoii, Cantab. 1689.
VI. From the Proposals of the British Bishops to the Easterns:"We agree that the Holy Ghost assisteth the Church in judging rightly concerning matters of Faith, and that both general and particular orthodox Councils, convened after the example of the first Council of Jerusalem, may reasonably expect that assistance in their resolutions." And again: "We agree that every Christian ought to be subject to the Church, and that the Church is by Christ sufficiently instructed and authorized to examine the writings and censure the persons of her subjects or ministers, though never so great."Heads v. and ix. of Agreement.
VII. See also above, Note II, and Note XVII: especially the passages quoted from the Scottish Catechism of the diocese of Brechin, (p. 90.) "The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth, instituted to preserve and convey the truth through the several ages to come." And (p. 61.) "I am with you always even to the end of the world; &c." And in the Ordinal, "Against it the gates of hell shall never prevail." And in the Scottish Catechism above referred to; "Q. Must not all to whom the Gospel is preached become members of the Church? A. Yes; for it is said, The Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved; which shews that the appointed road to heaven lies through the Church of Christ upon earth."P. 68.
VIII. From the Preface to the Scottish Canons of 1837:
"The Doctrine of the Church, as founded on the authority of Scripture, being fixed and immutable, ought to be uniformly received and adhered to in all times, and at all places."
IX. In the Proposals of the British Bishops to the Easterns (A.D. 1716.) besides the Patriarchal Church of Jerusalem, the other Patriarchal Churches also "of Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, with the Bishops thereof, are recognized as to all their ancient canonical rights, privileges, and preeminences." Prop. ii. and iii. In Prop. iv. the Roman Bishop is alluded to as being first in order of the five.
On this subject see also Notes II, and XVII.
. What is a Mystery? (i.e. Sacrament.) A. A Mystery is a holy act through which grace, or, in other words, the saving power of God, works mysteriously upon man. Q. How many are the Mysteries? A. Seven.Orthodox Catech., p. 56.
I. The XXXIX Articles, the Catechism, and the Homilies of the Church of England assert that in the strictest sense of the word, and according to one certain definition of its sense, the Sacraments of the Gospel are "Two only;" but the First English Ritual plainly, and even the present Act of Uniformity by implication, allows more than two; as do also the Homilies, expressly drawing the distinction between the stricter and the laxer definitions. So the present English Ritual still calls Matrimony "an excellent Mystery" or Sacrament.
II. On this subject Bishop Andrewes writes as follows:
"We deny not, but that the title of Sacrament hath sometimes been given by the Fathers unto all the (other) five, in a larger signification. . . . The whole matter is a mere logomacia."Ans. to Card. Perr.
III. And Bishop Montague:
"Bellarmine saith that Calvin admitteth Ordination for a Sacrament, and Bellarmine doth not belie Calvin, for he doth so indeed. . . Impositionem manuum Sacramentum esse concedo. (l. iv. c. xix. Û 31.) How that is, he expresseth himself elsewhere, (ib. c. iv. Û 20.) 'non invitus patior vocari Sacramentum ... inter ordinaria Sacramenta non numero.' No Papist living, I think, will say or desire more. It is not for all (ordinarium), but for some. Which saying of his is similarly expressed in our Communion Book, where .... it is said, .... Two only as generally necessary, (i.e, necessary to all men,) not excluding others from that name and designation, though from the prerogative, and degree."Appello Caes. c. xxxiii. IV.
Thorndike writes as follows:
"The name and notion of a Sacrament, as it hath been duly used by the Church and approved writers, extendeth to all holy actions done by virtue of the office with which God hath trusted His Church, in hope of obtaining the grace which He promiseth. Baptism and the Eucharist are actions appointed by God in certain creatures utterly powerless to work grace without His appointment, best fit to signify all the grace which the Gospel promiseth, &c.; both of them antecedent for their institution to the foundation of the Church. . . . The rest are actions appointed to be solemnized in the Church by the Apostles, not always every where precisely with the same ceremonies, but such as always may reasonably serve to signify the graces which it prays for.... Nor am I solicitous to make that construction, which may satisfy the decrees of the Councils of Florence and Trent, who have first taken upon them to decree under anathema the conceits of the Schoolmen in reducing them to the number of Seven; but seeing the particulars so qualified by ancient writers in the Church, and the number agreed upon by the Greek Church as well as the Latin, I have acknowledged that sense of their sayings, which the primitive order of the Catholic Church enforceth."P. 349,
Again, to the following effect: "Truly, of all the controversies which the Reformation hath occasioned, I see in none less reason for either side to make a difficulty than in this, which all turns upon the name Sacrament, a name which is not found to be attributed in the Scriptures either to Seven, or to Two. For this name being taken up and commonly used by the Church, that is to say, by those writers, whom the Church alloweth and honoureth, what reason is there to deny the Church liberty to attribute it to any thing, which the power given to the Church enableth it to appoint and to use for the obtaining God's blessing upon Christians? Why should not any action appointed by the Church to obtain God's sanctifying grace by virtue of any promise which the Gospel containeth be counted a Sacrament? At least, supposing it to consist in a ceremony fit to signify that blessing which it is to procure."Epilogue, B. iii. p. 342.
And again: "For the justifying of ceremonies, why should I allege any thing but those Offices of the Church, which the Fathers have called Sacraments, as well as Baptism and the Eucharist?... That which I am to say of them here, consists of two points. That they are Offices necessary to be ministered to all Christians concerned in them; and that they are to be solemnized with those ceremonies, for which they are, without any cause of offence, called Sacraments by the Fathers of the Church."Just Weights and Measures, p. 118.
After which he proceeds to speak of each of the Seven in order, as shall be instanced below in different Notes.
V. From the Proposals of the British Bishops to the Easterns:
"We agree that Baptism and this, (the Eucharist,) are of general necessity to salvation for all the faithful; and that the other Holy Mysteries instituted by Christ or appointed by the Apostles, which are not so generally necessary to all, ought nevertheless to be received and celebrated with due reverence, according to Catholic and immemorial practice." Head xi. of Agreement.
Of this Article together with three others the Patriarchs say in their answer that "they are true, and speak our sense; wherefore we receive them in the sense in which we judge they are to be taken. .... We hold likewise, that the holy Sacraments are Seven in number, but two only exceed in necessity, and are such as that no one can be saved without them. For as for Baptism, it is our Lord's saying, that ' Except a man be born again of water und the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God ;' 'and of the Eucharist He says,' Unless ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you.' However, the Sacrament of the Priesthood is one of the most necessary, for withdut this how shall the Sacrament of the Eucharist be performed, of which the Lord said unto. His Apostles,' Do this in remembrance of Me;' and how shall Christians have the participation of the Sacrament of His precious Body and Blood, if there be no Priest to consecrate and perform the sacred ministration? For without a Priest not all the Princes and Kings of the earth together can perform this supernatural Mystery, and distribute it to the faithful.. The other Four, and especially that of Chrism, (i. e. Confirmation) and that of Penitence, are vastly profitable to salvation ; for without Chrism, (Confirmation) none can be a perfect Christian, that being the Seal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which was held and imposed as necessary both in the ancient and present Church. And since Baptism cannot be repeated, how shall they who fall after Baptism obtain forgiveness without repentance and confession, and without a person endued with the power of binding and loosing?"To all which the British in their Rejoinder signified their full assent
VI. Agreeably with all the above, the learned Dr. Thomas rattray, Bishop of Dunkeld in Scotland, in his Treatise intitled "Some particular Instructions concerning the Christian Covenant, and the Mysteries by which it is transacted and maintained," speaks not only of Baptism and the Eucharist, but also of "the other Sacraments," besides these, (p. 15.) The reader may consult the Treatise at length. See also the Scottish Catechism of Bishop Innes, (p. 36.) where a Sacrament is defined generally to be "a sacred thing;" and a Mystery is defined to be "something hidden or concealed;" and both words are said "in the language of the Church" to "signify the same thing," and are applied to more than Two. And the Catechism of Bishop Jolly, p. 56.