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 this foretaste of bliss joined with a sight of Christs own countenance? A. It is so more especially with the Saints; as we are given to understand by the Apostle Paul, who had a desire "to depart and to be with Christ." (Philipp. i. 23.)Orthodox Catechism, p. 71.
I. The same passage is quoted by Bishop Bull in the Sermon above referred to. Also 2 Cor. v. 6, 7, 8. " Therefore we are always confident, . . . willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."P. 55.
Again, he writes thus: "The region of the godly St. Clement with reference to St. Peter" (and his martyrdom) "calls the place of glory; because, according to the exposition of the Clementine Liturgy, . . . they that are there behold the glory of Christ, though not in that full brightness, wherein it shall be seen in the day of His glorious appearance. And presently after, he terms the same place, speaking of St. Paul there, the holy place not the most holy Place, the Holy of Holies. He altogether seems therefore to have thought the region of the godly deceased to be a part of the heavenly region, as the Holy Place was a part of the Temple. . . . Upon this account some of the Fathers, as St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, and others, stuck not to call the place of the spirits of good men by the name of heaven, or the heavens, meaning, as it appears, not the Adytum, or inmost apartment of the heavens, where the throne of the Majesty on high is seated, and the unapproachable light shines, but a heavenly mansion near to it. ... under the throne of glory, as the ancient Hebrews were wont to say."P. 66.
And again: "Remarkable is the Catholic consent here. . . . Irenaeus tells us that the souls in Paradise begin there their incorruptible state, viz. of bliss. Again, in his fifth book, ch. 36, he expressly indeed distinguisheth paradise from the kingdom of heaven; and reckons it a lower degree of happiness to enjoy the delights of paradise, than to be counted worthy to dwell in heaven: but yet he acknowledged that in both our Saviour shall be seen, according as they shall be worthy or meet, who see Him. Which the author of the Questions and Answers to the Orthodox, (in his Answer to Q. 75.) thus explains; That the souls in Paradise do enjoy the conversation and sight of angels and archangels, and also of our Saviour Christ, by way of vision; viz. such in its kind, though in degree far more excellent, as whereby the prophets saw Him of old. . . . But to return to Irenaeus: he concludes his discourse in that chapter thus; that it is the divine ordination and disposition, that those that are saved should per gradus proficere, proceed by degrees to their perfect beatitude; that is, that they should, as St. Ambrose speaks, through the refreshments of Paradise, arrive to the full glories of the heavenly kingdom."P. 68.
Q. What is to be remarked of such souls as have departed with faith, but without having had time to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance? A. This; that they may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection by Prayers offered in their behalf, especially such as are offered in union with the Oblation of the Bloodless Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory.Orthodox Catechism, p. 71.
Under this Note extracts shall be given referable to three heads; viz., 1. Prayer for the faithful deceased, generally; 2. Prayer for them, as joined with the Eucharistic Oblation; And 3. Prayers, Oblations, and Alms, as offered for the pardon and refreshment of less perfect souls, which have been taken off suddenly; or have repented late; or at any rate have departed, though otherwise believing and penitent, with venial sins which need Gods mercy and forgiveness.
I. Bishop Andrewes, in his Private Devotions, has the following:"Grant, O Lord, that we may all find mercy and favour with all Thy Saints, who from the beginning of the world have pleased Thee in their several generations, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and every just spirit made perfect in the faith of Thy Christ, from righteous Abel even unto this day. Do Thou give them and us rest in the region of the living, in the bosoms of our holy Fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whence sorrow, grief, and lamentation are banished away, where the light of Thy countenance visits and shines continually; and vouchsafe to bring them and us to the full enjoyment of Thy Heavenly Kingdom."
And again: "Thou Who art Lord both of the living and of the dead, .. Give to the living mercy and grace, and to the dead rest and light perpetual."
II. Bishop Overall, commenting on the English Prayer Book:
"The Puritans think here is Prayer for the Dead allowed and practised by the Church of England; and so think I: but we are not both in one mind for censuring the Church for so doing. They say it is popish and superstitious: I for my part esteem it pious and Christian. ... Besides, Prayer for the Dead cannot be denied but to have been universally used of all Christians in the ancientest and purest time of the Church, and by the Greek Fathers, who never admitted any Purgatory, no more than we do, and yet pray for the dead notwithstanding."Additional Notes to Nichols' Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer.
III. Herbert Thorndike, in his Epilogue, writes as follows:
"Since unity has not been obtained by parting with the law of the Catholic Church, in mine opinion, for the love of it, I continue my resolution to bound Reformation by the rule of the Catholic Church; allowing that it may be matter of Reformation to restore the Prayers that are made for the Dead to the original sense of the whole Church, but maintaining that to take away all Prayer for the Dead is not paring off abuses, but cutting to the quick."B. iii. ch. 28. p. 337.
IV. And Dean Hickes, testifying that he is of the same mind, writes;
"I am heartily of Mr. Thorndikes opinion, and as truly zealous, as you may imagine he was, for praying for the dead who depart in the faith and fear of God, and in the peace of the Church."Supplement to the Third Edition of Dr. Hickes Two Treatises, p. 46.
V. Collier maintains in his Ecclesiastical History (P. ii. b. iv.) that,"The recommending the dead to the mercy of God is no innovation of the Church of Home, but a constant usage of the Primitive Church."
VI. In the First English Ritual, of 1548, there are in several places express Prayers for the Departed; as in the Order for Burial;"From the gates of hell deliver their souls, O Lord." And again: "Grant unto this Thy servant, that the sins which he committed in this world be not imputed to him; but that he, escaping the gates of hell, and pains of eternal darkness, may ever dwell in the region of light, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the place where is no weeping, sorrow, nor heaviness; and when that dreadful day of the general resurrection shall come, make him to rise also with the just and righteous, and receive this body again to glory, ... Set him on the right hand; &c." And in the Liturgy, after commemorating "all the Saints from the beginning of the world, and chiefly the glorious and most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son Jesu Christ, our Lord and God, and the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs," the Priest mentions the other faithful departed thus: "We commend unto Thy mercy, O Lord, all other Thy Servants, which are departed hence from us with the sign of faith, and now do rest in the sleep of peace. Grant unto them, we beseech Thee, Thy mercy, and everlasting peace; and that at the day of the general resurrection, we and all they, which be of the mystical body of Thy Son, may all together be set on His right hand, and hear that His most joyful voice, &c."
VII. The like to the above Prayers were also restored, and arc still to be seen in the Archives of the Russian Synod, in that copy of their Liturgy which the British Bishops sent in Greek to the Easterns. Also in the present Liturgy of the Scottish Church prayer is made for the departed. And this doctrine is taught in the Scottish Catechisms; as in that of Aberdeen: "A. The Church on earth and the Church in Paradise communicate together by mutually praying for each other. Q. Why do we pray for them? A. Because their present condition is imperfect, and therefore capable of improvement; and because they are to be judged at the Last Day, and will then stand in need of mercy."P. 19. Also in the Catechism of Bishop Jolly, in like manner, p. 36.
VIII. Dr. William Forbes, first Bishop of Edinburgh, writes thus:
"What I have so repeatedly affirmed in this Chapter, viz., that the Sacrifice which is performed in the Lord's Supper is not only Eucharistical, but may also with truth be termed propitiatory, and that it is profitable to numbers not of the living only, but also to the departed, even as Prayer itself, of which this Sacrifice is a kind, (as Cassander writes) is propitiatory; this, I say, is confirmed by Bellarmine himself. (De Missa, 1. ii. c. 5.) Sacrifice, he writes, is like unto Prayer in respect of its efficacy: for prayer profiteth not only him who prays, but them also for whom he prays. And so the consumption of the Eucharist by the Priest, in that it is the receiving of the Sacrament, profits only him who receives; but in so far as it is also the consummation of the Sacrifice, it profits all those, for whom the Sacrifice has been offered."Consid. Modest, p. 463.
And again: "The custom of making Prayers and Oblations for the Departed is most ancient, and most unanimously received throughout the whole Church of Christ, even from the very times of the Apostles; and so should no longer be rejected, as it now is by the Protestants, as though it were either unlawful, or at least useless and superfluous."Ib. p. 267.
IX. Herbert Thorndike writes as follows:
"The practice of the Church in interceding for them" (the departed) "at the celebration of the Eucharist is so general, and so ancient, that it cannot be thought to have come in by imposture; otherwise the same aspersion will seem to take hold of our common Christianity itself."Just Weights and Measures, p. 106. See the same Author further quoted below, XII.
X. Dr. Brett, on the same subject has the following passage:
"The Scripture requires us to pray for all Saints, and also plainly teaches us that the faithful departed come into that number. Therefore, we disobey the Scripture, when we exclude the faithful departed from our prayers. This the ancients never did; but, as appears from all their Liturgies, and the testimony of the Primitive Fathers, they always remembered them in this particular, whenever they celebrated the holy Eucharist."Dissertation on the Primitive Liturgies, p. 284. See also below, XIV.
XI. And to the like effect Dr. Nathaniel Spinckes writes:
"To censure Prayer for the Dead, because not expressly enjoined by the Scriptures, is inconsistent with the doctrine of the Scriptures themselves; (2 Thess. ii. 15. 1 Cor. vii. 17, &c.) and with reason: because the Christian religion being planted in all places by word, order, and practice, and nowhere by writing, and planted by so many several persons in so many several places, and all agreeing in the use of it in the most solemn part of Christian worship from the beginning, and so unanimously, that I never yet could meet with any competent evidence of any one Church which ever received it after their first foundation, or from any other than their founders, it thus stands upon equal evidence with the Scriptures themselves."Observ. on an Essay towards Catholic Communion, p. 103.
XII. Dean Field, in his Treatise on the Church, professes that;
"We pray for the resurrection, public acquittal at the Day of Judgment, and the perfect consummation and bliss of them that rest in the Lord, and the perfecting of whatsoever is yet wanting unto them."App. to b. iii. p. 221.
XIII. And Thorndike, in his book entitled, "Just Weights and Measures:" "In the meantime, what hinders them to receive comfort, and refreshment, rest, and peace, and light, (by the visitation of God, by the consolation of His Spirit, by His good Angels,) to sustain them in the expectation of their trial, and the anxieties they are to pass through during the time of it? And though there be hope for those that are most solicitous to live and die good Christians, that they are in no such suspense, but within, the bounds of the heavenly Jerusalem; yet because their condition is uncertain, and where there is hope of the letter, there is fear of the worse, therefore the Church hath always assisted them with the prayers of the living both for their speedy trial, (which all blessed souls desire,) and for their easy absolution, and discharge with glory before God, together with the accomplishment of their happiness in the receiving of their bodies."P. 107.
XIV. Dr. Brett, in his Dissertation on the Liturgies, writes thus:
"A third reason for praying for the departed was, because they justly conceived all men to die with some remainder of frailty and corruption, and therefore desired that God would deal with them according to His mercy, and not in strict justice according to their merits. ... St. Augustine discourses excellently upon this point in the case of his mother Monica, after this manner: I now pour out unto Thee, my God, another sort of tears for Thy handmaid, flowing from a trembling spirit, in consideration of the danger that every soul is in, that dies in Adam. For although she was made alive in Christ, and lived so in the days of her flesh, as to bring glory to Thy Name by her faith and practice, yet I dare not say, that from the time she was regenerated by Baptism no word came out of her mouth against Thy commands; and Thou hast told us by Him, Who is truth itself, that whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. And woe to the most laudable life of man, if thou shouldst sit and examine it without mercy. But because Thou art not extreme to mark what is done amiss, we have hope and confidence to find some place and room for indulgence with Thee. But whosoever reckons up his true merits before Thee, what does he more than recount thine own gifts? O that all men would know themselves, and they that glory, glory in the Lord! I therefore, O my Praise, and my Life, the God of my heart, setting aside a little her good actions, for which I joyfully give Thee thanks, now make intercession for the sins of my mother. Hear me, through the medicine of His wounds, Who hanged upon the tree, and now sitteth at Thy right hand to make intercession for us. He adds a little after, that he believed God had granted what he asked; yet he prays, that the lion and the dragon might not interpose himself, either by his open violence or subtlety; for she would not answer, that she was no debtor, lest the crafty adversary should convict her, and lay hold upon her; but she would answer that her sins were forgiven her by Him, to Whom no man can return what He gave to us without any obligation. Let her therefore rest in peace with her husband. And do Thou, my Lord God, inspire all those Thy servants that read this, to remember Thy handmaid Monica at Thy altar with Patricias her consort."P. 324.
XV. Even of Purgatory Bishop Andrewes says; "Let it keep its place among the opinions of the Schools;" And Bishop Forbes of Edinburgh; "Let not Protestants condemn it as impious or heretical." The latter goes so far as to approve of the notion of "an expiatory Purgatory, a kind of middle place, in which, without the pains of hell, the souls of the faithful perfect themselves in the love of God with fervid and deep sighs."
And he quotes with approbation from the "Institutio Christiani Hominis," a book published by authority of Convocation, A.D. 1544: "Inasmuch as the book of the Maccabees and the writings of the old doctors of the Church and common charity declare that it is a pious and wholesome custom to pray for the dead, we ought therefore to think that prayers for the dead are pleasing to God, and by no means inefficacious. It is also agreeable to Christian charity and the custom of the Church, that we should make memorial of our departed brethren in the celebration of Masses, and in funerals, and that alms should be offered for them. For these acts, we must hope, both bring positive advantage to them, and also prove our own love. But the place where the souls of the dead live, and its name, and their state and condition are uncertain."Cons. Mod. p. 261.
He does not scruple to allow the opinion of Antonio De Dominis (Archbishop of Spalatro, and sometime Dean of Windsor in the Church of England): "Prayers and oblations of the holy Mysteries for the dead ought not to be condemned; for though not found in Scripture, they are agreeable to a most ancient practice of the Church, which the holy Fathers refer to Apostolical tradition. And though no Purgatory, strictly speaking, can be collected thence, yet we may gather that there is a certain place assigned to the souls of the departed, in which they may obtain a mitigation of the penalties of sin, through the prayers of the Church."Cons. Mod. p. 268.
XVI. From the Rejoinder of the British Bishops to the Easterns:
"We believe the prayers of the living together with the Eucharistic Sacrifice are serviceable to the dead for the improvement of their happiness during the interval between death and the Resurrection."
XVII. The Scottish Bishop Rattray of Dunkeld writes thus:
"Since the intercessions of our great High Priest at the heavenly Altar, in virtue of His original Sacrifice of Himself, ought certainly to be the rule of our intercessions at our Christian Altars on earth, in virtue of this Memorial thereof; and since His intercessions must be as extensive as the merits and efficacy of His Sacrifice; and we are sure that the dead stand in need thereof, as well as the living, because they still stand in need of that mercy, which is to be found even at the Day of Judgment, (2 Tim. i. 18.), till which time they are not to receive their crown of reward, nor to enter into the joy of their Lord; therefore, as there can be no doubt but that His intercessions are extended to them, so, in consequence, must ours be likewise. And accordingly, Prayers for the Dead, especially at the Altar, have always been the practice of the Catholic Church from the beginning; nor was there ever any ancient. Liturgy without them: and Tertullian testifies that it was an immemorial practice in his time, which will carry it up to the Apostolical age itself; since he lived within a hundred years of the last surviving Apostles: and therefore it must certainly have been derived from them, as it was then believed to be: and it is plainly founded on Scripture Doctrine."Instructions, &c., p. 25. See also on this subject Notes XXVI, XXVII, XXXIV, XXXV, and XXXVI.
. Sinners shall be tormented for ever, not because God willed them to perish; but they of their own will perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thess. ii. 10.)Orthodox Catech., p. 73.
See above, under Note ix. And compare Notes I, X, XI, and XLI.
. Bodily poverty may serve to the perfection of spiritual, if the Christian chooses it voluntarily, for Gods sake.Orthodox Catechism, p. 83.
I. See above, under Note XXXIII, concerning Counsels of Perfection; and more particularly concerning Asceticism, and Monasteries.
II. Hooker has these words: "That comment has need of a very favourable reader and a tractable, that should think it plain construction, when to be commanded in the Word of God, and grounded on the Word are made all one;" instancing St. Pauls Counsel of Virginity.Eccl. Pol. in. viii.
III. On voluntary Poverty, Bishop Montague writes as follows:
"If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast. It is true I do grant it a counsel, and no imperious precept, at least to all men; a hind of mandate, though not properly. And yet" (addressing the Puritans or Calvinists, who would not allow of Counsels) "you are tied to do it: it is sin to you not to do it: for you are persuaded it is a precept: but you neither obey it, nor will you suffer others to obey it, that would; for you would account and style him a papist, that would do it; you would begge him, that should put it in use and practice; for such opinion you hold of the ancient Monks and Ascetae, as St. Anthony and others, that did practise it." Then, after quoting St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom, he proceeds: "You cannot deny this constant resolution of antiquity. Change therefore your manners, or your minds. Be papists with me, or rebels without me. If St. Chrysostom and his fellow ancients be papists, be it so; I am contented to be so accounted; for I mean to be a papist with them, rather than a Noveller with you."Montague's Appeal, p. 219.