« 上一頁繼續 »
APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION DISGRACEFUL.
Better would it be that the very names of such monsters of iniquity, with all their nefarious proceedings, should never be known, or never be adverted to; but when they are held up as apostolic successors—as God's appointed channel for the conveyance of ordinations, as men whose official acts have given existence and validity, and glory to the christian ministry, then there exists a painful necessity to recur to them, and to those immoralities and crimes, which might otherwise be consigned to the regions of everlasting contempt.
A celebrated catholic historian,* in giving a picture of the Romish church, in the commencement of the tenth century, speaks of “sordid and abandoned women, at whose will sees were changed—bishops made, and false pontiffs their lovers of were intruded into the papal chair, whose names are only written in the catalogue of Roman pontiffs, to mark the times in which they lived." Yet these men were in the succession-and none can be true ministers of Jesus Christ, who are unconnected with them!
Mosheim says the history of the Roman pontiffs that lived in this century, is a history of so many monsters, not of men, and exhibits a horrible series of the most flagitious, tremendous - and complicated crimes as all
* Cardinal Baronius, + Where then is the integrity of the chain.
writers, even those of the Romish communion unanimously confess. By one of these infallible monsters was Odo appointed archbishop of Canterbury. The king married contrary to the decrees of the clergy. Odo sent a party of soldiers to burn the queen's face with red hot irons! She recovered and fled, when Odo sent another party of soldiers after her, who cut the sinews of her body with knives till she died. Yet this ruffian is one of the links in this glorious chain, and is lauded to the skies because he repaired Canterbury cathedral, and brought the bones of Wilfred into it! After his death, he was canonized, and is therefore called St. Odo. Of such abominable saints is the succession made of.
Platina,* a catholic writer, says that all the popes from Sylvester II., to Gregory VII., amounting to eighteen were magicians : certain it is, that they were as bad as sin and the devil could make them. There is strong reason for believing that one pope was an abandoned female in disguise. Many were guilty of Simony.f John XII. conferred holy orders on boys for money, and made a lad a bishop, who was only ten years of age. This pope was a drunkard, an adulterer, a worshipper of idols, and of the devil. John XIII., John XXIII., and Alexander VI. were guilty of crimes, which must not once be named amongst us as becometh saints.
* Librarian to the pope. + Simon, the sorcerer, offered to purchase the Holy Ghost with money; hence, any one who gives money for a congregation or a living, is said to be guilty of simony.
Is it astonishing that such men should ever have been regarded as apostolic successors, and as Christ's vicars upon earth ?*-it is still more astonishing that christian men in the nineteenth century, should contend that an ordination derived from these monsters of iniquity is essential—is the one thing needful, of a true minister of Jesus Christ.
“ The gift of the Holy Ghost has been preserved in the world solely by means of episcopal succession, and that to seek communion with Christ by any other channel, is to attempt an impossibility." I
The Holy Ghost conveyed through a channel, of which the Johns and the Leo's, and the Alexanders form the constituent parts !! Talk of the ravings of fanaticism, there is no fanaticism so bad as this: there is no sectarian or antinomian extravagance which this sentiment does not utterly cast into the shade. The devil entered into the herd of swine, and the devil can enter into wicked men, and make use of them, to accomplish his designs;* but a mode of communication that is earthly, sensual, devilish, can never be selected by the holy spirit of God: “for what communion hath light with darkness, or what concord hath Christ with Belial ?
* Pope Gregory XIII celebrated the massacre of 50,000 protestants in cold blood, on St. Bartholomew's day, by a solemn procession to the church of San Luigi.
+ King Edward III. sent a gay and ignorant young man to the pope, to be consecrated as bishop of Durham. A remonstrance having been addrssed to the pontiff, he replied, “ If the king of England had asked me to make an ass a bishop, I would not have refused him."
# Keble and Newman's preface, to the second portion of Froude's Remains,
To justify this enormity, recourse is had to the unmeaning, at least unchristian distinction between personal and official character-between the wickedness of the man and the holiness of the priest. For it is said that the virtue conveyed by ordination is indelible, and by no wickedness, and no unworthiness of the recipient, can it ever be destroyed; so that one individual may be the servant of God, and the servant of the devil at the same time. But no man has more than one soul; and to that one soul Jesus said “ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
For wicked popes and wicked priests, and their official holiness, this defence has likewise been urged. Did not our Lord say "I will give you another comforter to abide with you for ever.” Here it is said the church must always have the holy spirit, or else the words of our
* Boniface the VIII. succeeded Celestine by a crafty device. One night, feigning himself to be an angel speaking through a hole of a wall, in the bedroom of Celestine, he prevailed on him to give up the chair, and Boniface succeeded him. He was cruel and arbitrary in the extreme : afterwards he was taken prisoner, and died a miserable death : so that it was said of this pontiff, that he came in like a fos, reigned like a lion, and died like a dog.
Lord must fall to the ground. This cannot be denied. But then the question is,—what is the church, or who were the characters to whom this promise was made ? Our Lord says “if ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but you know him.”
Thus the promise is restricted to those who know, and love, and obey the Saviour-therefore, not till it can be proved that pope John, or Leo, or Alexander, or St. Odo,—those monsters of iniquity loved the Saviour-not till it can be proved that to obey the Saviour is to be guilty of immorality and crime, can it ever be proved that wicked men, assuming the title of pope, or bishop, or priest, or deacon, or any other title, can ever be the members or ministers, or form any of the constituent parts of the church of Jesus Christ.
This notion of an official holiness, and of a church and a priesthood without morality, is the doctrine of the church of Rome. But the Tractarians seem to have a refinement on this jesuitical subterfuge, and an explanation more deeply dyed in moral turpitude. They say, “ The question of worth indeed, with relation to such matters is absurd. Who is