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torture, and the prison and the flames, were made use of to convince men of the errors of their faith, and to afford that exhibition of the merciful designs of the gospel, and of the ministers of the gospel, which all the wickedness and infidelity in the world should never be able to gainsay or to resist. The Papacy was always equal to a task like this; and therefore Puseyism, directly and indirectly, applauds Popish doctrines and ceremonies, and uses every jesuitical art to allure the church of England into the bosom of the church of Rome.
Apostolic succession is the radical and distinguishing error of the system; for it not only contends with nearly all the clergy that the ordaining power has descended from the apostles in the line of bishops, but it contends also for a succession of saving grace as well as of ordaining power, inherentin the line, and sent down from hand to hand, so that all the benefits of Christ to sinners must come exclusively through that descent.a Let this one doctrine then be disproved-let it be scripturally shewn that men of piety and of ability may be true ministers of the gospel, and efficient administrators of its ordinances, though not episcopally ordained, then the foundation is undermined, and the whole fabric of Puseyism must necessarily fall to the ground.
* That the ulterior design of Puseyism is to establish Popery in the country, no reasonable doubt can be entertained, from the following extract from a letter of a Puseyite to a Catholic newspaper, published in the Record :-"The Protestant prejudices, which for three hundred years have infected our church, are unhappily too deeply rooted there to be extirpated without a great deal of address. We are destined, I am persuaded, to bring back many wandering sheep to the knowledge of the truth. In fact the progress of Catholic opinions in England for the last seven years, is so inconceivable, that no hope should appear extravagant. Let us then remain quiet for some years, till, by God's blessing, the ears of Englishmen are become accustomed to hear the name of Rome pronounced with reverence. At the end of this term you will see the fruits of our patience.”-J. D Dalgairns, Esq., Exeter College, Oxford, and inmate of Mr. Newman's Religious House at Littlemore.
APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION EXPLAINED,
Sermon on the Mount-Road to Heaven described—True and
False Guides—The Scriptural and Puseyistic methods of distinguishing one from the other—Successive transfer, not only of Ordaining Power but of Saving Grace-Dr. Sherlock -Methodist and Dissenting Preachers repudiated-Outrageous Views of Ministerial Qualifications-Dr. Pye Smith.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."-Matt. 7 -20.
This clear and incontrovertible rule for the trial of ministerial virtue, is found in the evermemorable sermon on the mount, which, on account of its dignified preacher, its wisdom and benevolence, and its wonderful adaptation to the people of every clime and of every age, is worthy of an entire confidence, and of supreme and universal regard.
Not in the synagogue, not in the temple, and under no canopy but the canopy of the sky, was the congregation assembled to whom this sermon was originally addressed. Now Christ is come, the seat of worship is removed from earth to heaven, and the exercises of religion are emancipated from that bondage of favoured localities and peculiar forms to which
APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION EXPLAINED.
they had been restricted under the Jewish law. Now, everywhere in this wide world the gospel may be preached, and God may be worshipped in spirit and in truth.
Throughout the whole of the sermon there is not the occurrence of a sentiment more solemn and unspeakably important than this:
straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it." What caution then should be exercised about the guides of that way, lest the public should be imposed upon by wolves in sheeps' clothing—by pretended ministers, whose preaching or whose example can only tend to hide the gate and obstruct the way which lead to everlasting life.
But how are the safe guides to be distinguished from the false guides? “By their fruits ye shall know them.”a This is that sacred test, which, in our estimate of the ministers and members of Christ's church, should never be lost sight of; for if men and women are painted--if their actions and manners, and customs and ulterior designs are painted—if the whole world walketh in a masqueradeand if infidelity, or avarice, or political expediency, can put on a spotless robe or a splendid mask, and go with it into the temple of God, and sit there to receive the homage of the people—and if it were possible to deceive even the very elect, then most faithfully and most resolutely should this test be applied to all preachers and all professors of religion, that the ministry be not brought into contempt, and that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
a Vide also Chapter VII.
That denomination which has recently sprung up amongst us, earnestly wish to revive and to maintain certain exploded sentiments on this subject, which can only be defended on the supposition that Christianity is a farce and that the Bible is a cunningly devised fable.
These sentiments are involved in the doctrine of apostolic succession,*-which means that the apostles received a divine commission to nominate and appoint the first bishops of the church as their successors,f who, in their turn, nominated and ordained other bishops
* “The great lever by which dissent is to be overthrown.”-F. A. Glover, Rector of Charlton,
+ Very inappropriate to this subject is the reference to the miraculous feeding of the multitudes in another of the Tracts :-“It is studiously recorded for example by the Evangelists, in the account of our Lord's two miraculous feasts, that all passed through his disciples hands (his twelve disciples, as it is in one instance plainly implied, in the twelve baskets full of fragments). I know that minute circumstances like this, in a parable or symbolical art, must be reasoned on with great caution. Still, when one considers that our blessed Lord took occasion from this event to deliver more expressly than at any other time the doctrine of communion with him, it seems no unnatural conjecture that the details were so ordered as to throw light on the doctrine."
Now, I think, that it is an unnatural conjecture, and that it is pro tanto, a condemnation of the doctrine which requires such an argument for its support.