ePub 版

and a Commination of God's punishment of sin, to be used in Lent, 66 UNTIL THE RESTORATION OF PUBLIC PENANCE, WHICH IS MUCH TO BE wished."

The Church in England also appoints to be observed as fasts or days of abstinence, 1st, all the Fridays in the year; 2nd, the forty days of Lent; 3rd, the twelve Ember-days and the three Rogation-days; 4th, the Vigils or evens before sixteen festivals; and directs that notice of all fasts and festivals as they occur be given to the people on the Sunday preceding. The Church also appoints all the Sundays in the year and twenty-seven festivals to be observed as seasons of rejoicing and thanksgiving,-of public service and devout commemoration of Divine mercies in the events of our redemption, and to keep in memory and to honour the faith, service, and graces of the Holy Angels, Saints, and Martyrs, and to be passed with cheerfulness and charity, in all innocent enjoyment of the blessings of the Lord vouchsafed to us in this life.

The Church also in all her ordinances and declarations professes to be, and acts as, a NATIONAL BRANCH OF THE CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, and expresses as the

* The introduction to the Prayer Book of the Anglican Church is an authoritative declaration of its principles on this subject. It states, "The Liturgy before the Reformation was a collection of prayers, made up partly of some ancient forms used in the primitive Church, and partly of some others of a later original, accommodated to the superstitions which had by various means crept by degrees into the Church of Rome, and were from thence derived to other Churches in communion with it... And besides being mixed with addresses to the saints, adoration of the host, images, &c., a great part of the worship was in itself idolatrous and profane.... It was thought necessary to abolish and tuke away all that was idolatrous and superstitious in order to restore the service of the Church to its primitive purity. For it was not the design of our Reformers TO INTRODUCE A NEW FORM OF WORSHIP, but to correct and amend the old one, and render the Divine service more agreeable to the Scriptures, and to the doctrine and practice of the primitive Church in the best and purest ages of Christianity.

In the preface concerning "the Service of the Church," which was composed by the original compilers of the "Common Prayer," it is stated that if a man would search out the ancient Fathers, the first original and ground of the Divine Service, he would find that the manner of reading holy Scripture is conformable to that of the Prayer Book; so that Christians have here "an Order for Prayer, and for the reading of the Holy Scripture, much agreeable to the mind and purpose of the old Fathers."

The 3rd Canon declares excommunicated "whosoever shall affirm that the Church of England is not a True and Apostolical Church, teaching and maintaining the doctrine of the Apostles."

principle of her guidance in faith and worship the continuance, preservation, and observance of the Apostolic

The 9th Canon declares excommunicated "whosoever shall separate themselves from the communion of Saints, as it is approved by the APOSTLES' RULES IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, and combine themselves into a new brotherhood."

The 11th Canon declares excommunicated "whosoever shall give the name of true and lawful Churches to any other communions within this realm,"

The 30th Canon justifies the use of the Cross in Baptism thus: "Secondly, the honour and dignity of the name of the Cross begat a reverend estimation even in the Apostles' times (for aught that is known to the contrary) of the sign of the Cross, which the Christians shortly after used in all their actions"...." And this use of the sign of the Cross in Baptism was held in the primitive Church, as well by the Greeks as the Latins with one consent."

The following Canon, passed 1571, under the auspices of Archbishop Parker, expresses the sense of the Anglican Church, "Let the Clergy be careful never to teach anything from the pulpit, to be religiously held and believed by the people, but what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and collected out of that very doctrine by the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops."

In the Act of Supremacy (1 Eliz.) power was given to the Sovereign to appoint Commissioners for censuring and suppressing heresies; but it is expressly enacted that those opinions only should be deemed heretical which have been pronounced such by the express declaration of Scripture, or by some one of the first four Councils, or by any subsequent Council founding its decision on clear Scriptural authority. The first four Councils are thus recognized without limitation.

The Fathers of the Anglican Church, in their controversies against Rome, constantly maintained that the faith and worship of the English Church was exactly built upon the Apostolic model recorded in the writings of the primitive Fathers, and that the errors of the Romish Church were additions to the Apostolic Tradition, and were contrary to Scripture as interpreted by the Fathers of the Church. Thus, for example, " Bishop Jewell, in every essential question, was faithful to the principles of the English Reformation, as distinguished from those which governed most of the Reformers on the Continent, as is clear from the whole tenor of his dispute with Harding. For he does not content himself with saying to his adversaries, I defy you to find Romanism in the Bible." He further and says, goes I defy you to find it in the first six centuries. I defy you to uphold it by the authority of the earliest interpreters of the Bible; I defy you to establish it by the consent of those who in primitive times bare witness to the truth.' Now in doing this he was true to the peculiar genius of our Anglo-Catholic Church. Most other Protestant communities send every individual to the Bible alone; there to exercise his own private judgment, without reference to the judgment of primitive Catholic antiquity. The Church of Rome, on the contrary, sends her children to an infallible and living guide, whose prerogative it is to expound the written and unwritten Word,-to

Ministry and tradition of faith and worship, freed from the corrupt additions made to them, and restored to the

interpret the oracles both of Scripture and of Tradition. Whereas the Church of England, on the one hand, acknowledges no authority as co-ordinate with the Bible; but on the other hand, in determining the sense of the Bible, she listens with respect to the voice of the most ancient Fathers and Doctors, and not only with respect, but even with submission where that voice is all but unanimous.', (Prebendary Le Bas' Life of Jewell.)

In a sermon preached at St. Paul's cross, Bp. Jewel says, speaking of some who said the holy Communion of the Anglican Church was schismatical, "O Gregory! O Augustine! O Hierome! O Chrysostom! O Leo! O Dionyse! O Anacletus! O Systus! O Paul! O Christ! if we be deceived herein, ye are they that have deceived us, you have taught us these schisms and divisions, you have taught us these heresies. Thus ye ordered the holy Communion in your time, the same we received it at your hand, and have faithfully delivered it unto the people.. . If any man alive be able to prove any of these articles (the Romish doctrines) by any one clear or plain clause or sentence, either of the Scriptures or of the old doctors, or of any old general Council, or by any example of the primitive Church, I promised them that I would give over and subscribe unto him.

"With them," the Romanists, "both Scripture and the Fathers are, as to the sense, under the correction and control of the present Church: with us the present Church says nothing, but under the direction of Scripture and antiquity taken together, one as the rule, the other as the pattern or interpreter. Among them the present Church speaks by Scripture and Fathers: WITH US SCRIPTURE AND FATHERS SPEAK BY THE CHURCH." (Waterland, Eccles. Antiq. 8.)

"In truth, he who heartily subscribes to the Word of God, consigned, as it is, to the everlasting record of letters, to all the primitive creeds, to the four general Councils, to the concordant judgment of the Fathers for the first six hundred years from Christ, WHICH WE OF THE REFORMED CHURCH RELIGIOUSLY PROFESS TO DO, even though he be not exempt from error in minor points, yet he shall never be an heretic. Any particular Church may easily err, by affixing heresy to an opinion undeserving of it, whether a truth or but a light error; BUT HEAVILY NEITHER SOUL NOR CHURCH CAN ERR,


AND ANCIENT CHURCH." (Bishop Hall, Concio ad Clerum.)

In No. 78 of "The Tracts for the Times," the same doctrine is attested by large extracts from the following successive Bishops and Doctors of the Anglican Church:-Bp. Jewell, Bp. Bilson, Bp. Overall, Bp. Morton, Field Presb., Bp. White, Bp. Hall, Archbp. Laud, Bp. Montague, Dr. Jackson, Mede Presb., Archbp. Usher, Archbp. Bramhall, Bp. Sanderson, Bp. Cosin, Hammond Presb., Thorndike Presb., Bp. Taylor, Heylin Presb., Bp. Pearson, Dr. Barrow, Bp. Bull, Bp. Stillingfleet, Bp. Ken, Bp. Beveridge, Bp. Patrick, Archbp. Sharpe, Archbp. Potter, Grabe Presb., Brett Presb., Bp. Hickes, Bp. Collier, Leslie Presb., Waterland Presb.,

purity in which they are recorded in the creeds and memorials of the primitive Church.

She ordains her Ministry with the full and explicit commission of Christ, conferring upon them "The HOLY GHOST for the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God by imposition of hands, that whose sins they forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins they retain, they are retained* ;”

Bingham Presb., Bp. Jebb, Bp. Van Mildert. It is therefore proved that the Anglican Church professes herself to be a reformed branch of the Catholic Church, holding the Apostolic tradition of faith, worship, and ministry. This character she maintains less by professions than by acts. Her dignity as an Apostolic Church is maintained more by exercising the authority and offices which belong to that sacred character than by assertions or professions. Her offices for absolution, for the holy Communion, and for ordination, are the most undeniable evidence that she not only professes to be an Apostolic Church, but exercises in the fullest manner all the sacred privileges belonging to it as an institution of Christ, possessing, and imparting the commission, authority, and graces conferred by our Lord upon His Apostles as the rulers and judges of His Church.

"The Holy Ghost," says Hooker, "which our Lord then gave, (when he spake the words to his Apostles), was a holy and a ghostly authority, authority over the souls of men, authority, a part whereof consisteth in power to remit and retain sins: Receive the Holy Ghost; whose sins soever ye remit, they are remitted; whose sins ye retain, they are retained'...... Seeing therefore that the same power is snow given, why should the same form of words expressing it be thought foolish? The power and authority delivered with these words is itself charisma, a gracious donation which the Spirit of God doth bestow." And besides, "We may most assuredly persuade ourselves that the hand which imposeth upon us the function of our ministry, doth, under the same form of words, so tie itself thereunto, that he which receiveth the burthen is thereby for ever warranted to have the Spirit with him and in him for his assistance, countenance, and support in whatsoever he faithfully doth to discharge duty....When we take ordination, we also receive the presence of the Holy Ghost, partly to guide, direct, and strengthen us in all our ways, and partly to assume unto itself, for the more authority, those actions that appertain to our place and calling...... We have for the least and lowest duties performed by virtue of ministerial power, that to dignify, grace, and authorise them which no other offices on earth can challenge. Whether we preach, pray, baptize, communicate, condemn, give absolution, or whatever, as disposers of God's mysteries, our words, judgments, acts and deeds, are not ours, but the Holy Ghost's.". The power of the Ministry of God translateth out of darkness into glory; it raiseth men from the earth, and bringeth God himself down from heaven; by blessing visible, it maketh them invisible grace; it giveth daily the Holy Ghost; it hath to dispose of that Flesh which was given for the life of the world, and that Blood which was poured out to redeem souls: when it poureth maledictions upon the heads of the wicked, they

[ocr errors]

giving them also "authority to preach the word of God, and to minister the Holy Sacraments in the congregation. In the form for consecration of Bishops, the Church exercises the Divine commission to the Apostles of transmitting by successive ordination the Holy Ghost, as conferred by St. Paul upon Timothy and Titus; and expressly implies that she ordains her Bishops to an office THE SAME as that which they held in the Churches to which they were appointed by the Apostle.

This sacred commission and authority the Priests of the Church exercise in her offices. They declare in the morning and evening services, after general confession, "that God hath given power and commandment to His ministers to declare and pronounce to His people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins: He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent and unfeignedly believe His holy Gospel."+"After general confession in the Communion service, the Priest stands up, and turning himself to the people, pronounces this absolution,-Almighty God.... have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins," &c. In the service for the Sick, the Priest is directed to examine whether the sick person stedfastly believe the articles of the Apostle's Creed, which are rehearsed to him; and whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world; and the Priest shall then exhort him to perfect forgiveness of all injuries, and to make amends to the uttermost of his power for any wrong or injury he hath done to any man. He shall also earnestly move those sick persons who are of ability, to be liberal to the poor; and if the conscience of the sick person be troubled with any weighty matter, the minister shall move him to make a special confession of his sins, after which confession the Priest shall absolve him, if he humbly desire it, after this sort-Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by His AUTHORITY COMMITTED TO ME, I ABSOLVE THEE FROM ALL THY SINS, IN THE NAME OF THE Father, and of the Son, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST."

perish; when it revoketh the same, they revive. O wretched blindness, if we admire not so great power,-more wretched if we consider it aright, and notwithstanding imagine that any but God can bestow it." (Hooker, book, v., 77.)

*Ordin. of Priests.

† Absolution, Morn. Serv.

« 上一頁繼續 »