EDUCATION IN IRELAND;
MY DEAR SIR,
St. Augustine (Tract. 18. in Joh. cap. 5.) has very justly observed, that “heresies have sprung up ; and certain perverse opinions, ensnaring souls, and precipitating them into the abyss, have been broached, only when the good Scriptures were badly understood; and when that which was badly understood was rashly and boldly asserted.” We may lament the existence of these opinions; but St. Paul tells us that “heresies must be;” and if they must, we should only make the best use in our power of them. The same Augustine, in his beok on true religion, cap. 8, says that heretics are very useful, not by teaching the truth, which they do not know, but by exciting the tepid Catholics to the study of truth, and the spiritual men of them to the exposition of it. “We use,” he adds, “ the heretics, not to approve their errors, but that by maintaining the Catholic doctrine against their wiles, we may ourselves become more vigilant and cautious, should we not succeed in bringing them back to the way of salvation.” What this holy doctor says of heresies and heretics,
we may apply, with some colour of justice to those D
societies of whom I treated, en passant, in my last
letter, and who, under the pretext of educating the
poor, come not to broach any particular error, but to
disturb the whole constitution of the Church of God.
For my part, I cannot conceive any heresy or fa-
naticism more wild or dangerous than that which seeks
to upturn the foundation placed by Christ, and to
establish another, or rather nothing, in its place. In-
movators generally attacked this or that truth revealed
by God, and believed by the faithful, but here no
specific error is broached, no particular dogma is as-
sailed; but it is proposed to cast off, as useless lum-
ber, the men whom the Lord deputed, in his own
name, and with his own power, to govern his people
until his second eoming. –
It is proposed to take the law and the testimony
out of the hands of the men with whom it was depo-
sited by Christ and his apostles, to leave the house of
God without a master, his kingdom without a sove-
reign, his fold without a shepherd, his altar without
a priesthood, and his people without a pastor. This
system will have no church to be called “the body of
Christ, compact and united ;” but every member is to
be a head, every sense to usurp the place of the other;
the church is no longer to be the pillar and ground of
truth, but a chaos of opinions more confused than the
tongues of Babel ; she is no more to be proof against the powers of hell; or divided against herself she may
continue to stand, contrary to the maxim of Christ;
heresies and sects may devour her very entrails, she is to have no right to reject them. They no longer, like heathens and publicans, can be excluded from the kingdom of God or Christ. If this is to be the case, why hath Isaias, ch. 54, addressed this church, saying “fear not, for thou shalt not be confounded ; and
blush not, for thou shalt not be brought to reproach: for thy husband is thy Maker, the Lord God of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of. Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For a little time did I hide my face from thee, but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on thee: for the mountains shall be removed, and the hills shall be overthrown; but my kindness from thee shall not be removed, and the covenant of my peace shall not be overthrown, saith the Lord, who beareth towards thee the most tender affection: whatever weapon is formed against thee, it shall not prosper, and against every tongue that contendeth with thee thou shalt obtain thy cause : for this is the inheritance of my servants, and their justification from me, saith the Lord.” Why did the Lord himself promise “that the word which he had placed in her mouth, in the mouths of her apostles, whom he sent to teach all mankind till the end, should not depart from them, nor from their seed, nor from their seed’s seed, from thenceforth nor for ever. But whatever these Bible Societies may think of the prophet or his divine poetry, it may be worth our while to consider whether Christ has deceived us when he said “ that all power was given to him in heaven and upon the earth; and that as he had been sent himself by his Father, so he sent the twelve to teach all nations, promising to be with them, even to the consummation of the world?” Why, we should ask, did he say that “his Spirit would abide with them for ever, would teach them all truth, and suggest to them whatever they had heard from himself; and that whosoever heard them would hear him; and whosover despised them despised him, and not only him but the Father who sent him ” ‘ Why did he say these things, if they were to have no – power or authority to teach * Why did he call these, apostles, as Aaron was called, as he himself was called,
when the Father glorified him, making him a priest after the order of Melchisedech? Why did he call them to the priesthood, and desire them to do as he had done himself, and shew forth his death until his coming? Why did he vest them with a power of forgiving sins, of binding and loosing on earth and in heaven? Why, when thus prepared with power and privileges altogether divine, did he give them their last commission, to go and preach his gospel—the truths which he had heard from his Father, and made known to them, which, during his mission, and for forty days after his resurrection, he had revealed, but not written? Why did he send them to preach these truths to every creature, until the elect would be all gathered in, and the work of the redemption consummated, if their ministry was to be superseded by certain societies —societies to be formed in after times, without order, or power, or mission, or authority; having with them neither signs, nor wonders, nor tongues, nor prophecies; nothing but a portion of that gospel which they had purloined from the body to which it was committed by the Lord. Frightful and impious, Sir, is this system, which thus strikes against the corner-stone of Sion—which thus upbraids with impotence the Son of God, and discards the Providence which built and rules his Church.
What! Is there no regard to be paid to Christ, or or to his election, or appointments? The Father of Mercies, not flesh and blood, had revealed to Peter that his Master was the Christ, the Son of the living God; and a divine charity, bestowed from above, had filled the heart of that apostle, more than those of his oompanions. He is, therefore, elected to be the head of his brethren, that there might be no division amongst them, and the powers given to all collectively are given to him alone, and greater powers than these are given to him : not only is he entitled to bind and loose throughout the world, but the very keys of the kingdom of heaven are entrusted to him, that he might regulate all power, even as Christ himself, who is head over all the churches. His prerogatives are not yet filled up. Christ was the corner-stone, the rock—he is about to depart; but the Church, whilst in this desart, requires a rock whereon to repose, or at whose fount she may drink the refreshing waters of truth and grace: Peter, therefore, is made a rock, firm and immoveable; on him the Church, by divine appointment, must be built, that it may be safe against the power of hell. Peter must found it at Jerusalem, he must engraft the Gentiles in the person of Cornelius on theseed of Abraham —the old trunk of the genuine olive; he must establish his chair at Antioch, fix his see in Rome, plant by the hand of Mark the seed of the Gospel at Alexandria, and collect under the shade of these great Patriarchates all the nations of the earth, James might labour with him, John might pray with him, Paul might run with him, but if they laboured or prayed or ran without him, they would as the most eloquent and laborious of them testifies, labour and pray and run in vain. Whosoever did not gather with him, as Jerome said to his successor Damasus, scattered ; whosoever did not eat the lamb with him was profane. The Redeemer has not yet dismissed him; he must accumulate upon him the plenitude of his power; he must pray to the Father specially for him that his faith should not fail, and that, if infirm for a moment, he might return, and not only return, but confirm his brethren less gifted, less secure than himself. Now indeed he is prepared, and at length dismissed to the exercise of all his powers. To feed the
lambs, yea and a second time to feed them, not by violence or for the sake of base lucre, but to feed them as much by love and example, as by power, and to feed not only the lambs, but also the sheep—the whole fold, the pastors and the flock. > And this election, this appointment, this commissiou, these unheard of privileges and powers, merit no consideration from the Bible Societies; or are these the only truths which cannot be discovered
in the Scriptures? Have none of our societies read
these things? Have these too not been revealed to the simple and the little ones? Or is it, that these men are always reading and never come to the knowledge of the truth? Has their understanding not been opened that they might understand the Scriptures? Do they require a Philip to explain them? . Does not the unction of the spirit teach them? Spiritual men as they are, can they not judge all things? Or have they never found that key of knowledge which is kept in the Catholic Church, which opens
and no man can shut, which shats and no man can open? Blind and leaders of the blind, fluctuating
and carried about by every wind of doctrine, without apostles, or prophets, or pastors, or doctors, let them not presume to insult the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and the ground of truth, but venerating the authority instituted by Christ, bend their understanding to his obedience, and seek to obtain by humble and fervent prayer, that faith which, and not the exercise of the Scriptures as Tertullian says, has saved us; quos fides salvos fuit non exercitatio scripturarum. The Scriptures alone have never saved any one,
they are incapable of giving salvation, it is not their
object, it is not the end for which they were written. They hold a dignified place amongst the means of
the Institution which Christ formed for the purpose of saving his elect, but though they never had been written this end would have been attained, and all who were pre-ordained to eternal life, would have been gathered to the Church, and fed with the bread of life. The Scriptures were given for the most useful ends, as we shall see presently, but it is obvious to all, that they were not written as a regular code of law, still less were they intended to supersede the priesthood. They consist of history, poetry, moral and mystical treatises, as well as of the ordinances prescribed to the jewish people, they were written generally for some special purpose, in different languages, in various countries, and at periods far removed from each other; and hence, though the entire collection be useful, to instruct, reprove, and direct us in the pursuit of happiness, yet if it be looked to as the means whereby mankind may be brought to the knowledge of the truth, and formed to the christian diseipline, it will be found totally inadequate to such a purpose. In the hands of the ministry, which Christ, like Moses, so clearly established, the Scriptures have been, and are, most useful. Without them, it would require more than the ordinary providence of God to preserve the deposit of faith whole and entire. From them, also, it is that the pastor exhorts, reproves, beseeches, in all patience and doctrine; to them the doctor refers for the proofs of those truths and duties which he expounds; in them the supreme pastor, as well as his brethren charged with the eare and government of the Church, find those laws which they are bound to enforce, as well as the patent of their own authority, the nature and extent of their power, and the rules according to which it should be exercised. To the faithful, in like manner, they were and are not only sources of infinite consolation, but a principal means whereby they are brought up and perfected in the knowledge and observance of the will of God. Thus, both priests and people, the wise and the unwise, the saint and the sinner, find recorded in them those ineffable mysteries, those prodigies of divine power, justice and mercy, those supports in trial and checks in prosperity, those lessons and examples, those chastisements and rewards, which contribute so powerfully to induce us (prone, as we are, to evil from our youth) to mortify the flesh, and live by the Spirit; to be crucified to the world, and to esteem all things as dung for the sake of Christ and of that unspeakable glory, which will be revealed hereafter in his elect. But the societies, or individuals, who would substitute the reading of those Scriptures for the office of the ministry itself, seem not to comprehend the substance or the form of the gospel dispensation. Their system is opposed essentially to the views of St. Paul. This apostle quotes the prophet Isaias, saying, in the name of the apostles of the new law, “Who hath believed our report; and the arm or power of the Lord, to whom hath it been revealed,” or “made known 2° From this text St. Paul infers, that faith is from the word of God conveyed to the soul by hearing, and not by reading: indeed if it were by the latter means, not one, perhaps, in a thousand of the elect could have believed. Another part of the apostle’s induction is put in the form of an interrogatory: “How,” he asks, “will they,” that is, the persons to be converted—“How will they hear without a preacher? So little did St. Paul know of the distribution of the bible without note or comment; and so
could not be propagated, unless by the tongues of men. Ah! but, say the Bible Societies, we have our Missionaries. Unfortunately, however, for the whole tribe of these gentlemen, their wives and children included, the apostle is not done with his argument; he asks again another most inconvenient question: “How,” he says, “will they preach unless they be sent *” Let us here pause for a moment, and consider by whom the preachers are to be sent; whether Lord Teignmouth (I believe his lordship is the president of the great Leviathan), whether he, or the young gentlemen, or old ladies, his lordship’s venerable coadjutors—whether they have got any commission to send forth preachers of the Word? Good God! to what a vile condition would these men reduce the Church, that most magnificent fabric of the divine
wisdom | Let us pursue the enquiry, however. According to St. Paul, no one can take upon himself the priesthood, mor, of course, any office growing out of it, unless he be called as Aaron was ; unless, also, amongst other things, hands be imposed on him, . and he sent to the work, as Paul himself and Barnabas were sent. Even this does not appear to be sufficient; regular vocation. ordination, and mission, from those who received it from Christ, or from those who succeeded to his disciples; all this would not appear to be sufficient, unless the person sent to preach compare his gospel with that of Peter, and those who are with Peter, though he were called from heaven, he may, as Paul testifies of himself, be only running in vain. He may, if he be not in the body of which Peter is the head, make for himself, as Cyprian says, a human church, an adulterous church; but he cannot add to the Church of God, if he be separated from him on whom alone Christ built it. If he be not in the body of Christ, in the unity of Christ, God will. E
not exhort through him; if he have broken through charity, that bond of perfection which unites all the brethren; or if he tear, as Cyprian again has it, by his wicked separation, the seamless cloak of Christ, whatever doctrine he teaches is a matter of indifference—he belongs not to the Church. No imaginary CALL will entitle him to lay his profane hand to the Gospel. No : he must be called as Aaron was, as Christ was, as the disciples were, as Paul was, as Timothy and Titus, and Mark, as Clement were. No pretended necessity can justify him: for no necessity, says St. Augustin, can justify a breach of unity. He cannot, according to the idea of St. Paul, be “a member of Christ, or a dispenser of the word or mysteries of God,” if he usurp the right of another, obtrude himself into the ministry, or presume to preach without being sent; aye, and sent too, not by the Bible, or Home or Foreign Missionary Society, but by those who alone were commissioned to teach all nations, and with whom Christ, according to his promise, remains—teaching all days, even to the end of the world. I should like exceedingly to hear the connection between this body and the Missionary Societies clearly proved. But leaving the missionaries on their travels, let us
take another glance at the system of preaching the Gospel, by distributing bibles without note or comment. I believe this system was as little known to the Redeemer himself, as to the prophet Isaias, or to St. Paul. “If I,” says Christ speaking of the Jews, “had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin,” or be guilty of resisting the light of faith. And again, “If I had not dome amongst them works such as no other had done, they would have an excuse for their sin.” He therefore, in whom were hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, intimates clearly enough, that the Gospel should be
preached, and mot only preached, but until the church was established like a eity on the mountain top, like a beacon on a high hill, that miracles also were necessary to induce men to deny impiety and worldly desires, and become a people acceptable to God— followers of good works. It was by such means that the Apostles, as it is said in the Acts, preached, and the Lord confirmed their words by signs. Thus the Centurion on Calvary believed when the rocks were rent, and the sun obscured. Thus Sergius Paulus believed when he saw the wonders wrought by Paul, and the efficacy of his prayer. For these signs and wonders the church (without whose authority Augustin would not believe the Gospel) is generally a sufficient substitute, but for the lawful preaching of the word of God there can be no substitute, because the Lord has contemplated none, no, not even the Bible Society, with Lord Teignmouth at its head. But this system is not more foreign to the views of Christ than its immense efforts are fruitless in the godly work it has proposed to itself. The types sweat, the press teems, vessels are freighted for it, and all to no purpose! It drives an immense trade, profitable no doubt to many, in bibles and missionaries; it squanders hundreds of thousands upon expeditions more senseless than the most foolish of Sir Walter Raleigh’s; and like that pirate it repays its dupes with reports of what never had existence.* * It would be endless to recount the delusions which are – Fo by the Missionaries in this regard. But there is one act, which has been vouched to me by an authority which is unquestionable, which fact, as a curiosity in its way, I shall take leave to mention. Among other languages into which the authorized version of the English Bible has been translated, is the Romaic, with a view of converting the modern Greeks to English Christianity. A cargo of these Bibles was sent out to
the Ionian Islands, and the high commissioner, as well as some subordinate functionaries, were induced to lend the project
We never yet were furnished with a proof that these societies had converted a single tribe, or a people, or a nation to the faith, no not one! And what is more, it is impossible they would; for “no one can come to Christ unless the Father draw him,” and he can never draw any one by a system which is opposed to the constitution of his church. They may make many hypocrites,and cause thousands who are already tossed about by every wind of doctrine, to exchange one error for another; they may count many converts such as a certain distinguished nobleman on their lists, and induce numberless old maids to exchange their monkeys or lap-dogs for the bible, but it is quite
impossible they could ever propagate the kingdom of God upon the earth.
the sanction of their names as subscribers. The day came for distributing the word to the Zantists and Cephelonians, and to the lieges of young Telemachus’s patrimony—when, behold! the Greek bishop entered the conclave, and declared, that no version of the Romaic Bible would be allowed except a certain edition printed at Leipsic, aud bearing the imprimatur of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Latin Bishop entered a little after, and denounced all translations, save that which coincided with the venerable Vulgate of the Catholic Church. Both added, that if even the version was unexceptionable in point of authority, they would object against its circulation on grounds of doctrine. This was quite sufficient for Sir Frederick Adam for preventing their diffusion, for more vulgar reasons than state policy. e speedily saw what sad work the system would make among the Ionians, and the Romaic Bibles accordingly repose in some merchant’s or government warehouse. Yet in the next Report of the Bible Societies, we shall be told, no doubt, of the amiable ductility of the modern Greeks, and of the enthusiasm they displayed at the very sight of the sacred volume in their own own tongue. Thus it is that the English people are gulled out of their money—thus it is that fortnnes are made for the Printers and Booksellers, and itinerant Charlatans. As to notable scheme of the Irish Błble, that is too absurd to need exposure. But it answers the purpose of cheats and hypocrites—“ Put money in thy purse—rem, quocunque moda rem.”
I recollect when the Charter of the East India. Company was last renewed, Warren Hastings gave in evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, that during his government in the East, Catholie Missionaries alone made converts; individuals of my own family have spent some years in the Company’s service; one of my earliest and most intimate friends, a Portuguese priest is and has been for some years a missionary on the Coromandel coast. I have conversed with several respectable and disinterested persons who spent many years in India, and from all the information I have been able to collect from these various sources, I am convinced, that the state of the missions in that country at present, is substantially the same as it was in the time of Warren Hastings.— The only converts made by the Missionary Societies (for the bibles have made none at all) are some few Hindoos who had lost their caste, and who listen for hire to the preaching of those who pay them. And though the maxim ea uno disce omnes, “judge of all the other infidel countries by this one,” may not be logically correct, yet I presume it would in this instance be found sufficiently so had we but the means of ascertaining the justice of its application.
Let these societies with all their bibles, and all their agents throughout the globe produce to us, not such fruits as sprung from our Missions in China, in Siam, in Japan, in Asia proper, in the Philippine Islands, in Paraguay, throughout South America, and the Islands in the gulph of Mexico—no: but let them produce to us authentic proofs of as many conversions as were effected through the ministry of St. Francis Xavier in one year, aye, or in one day, and I will become the advocate of the bible, and of the Home and the Foreign Missionary Societies. Ah, no! the fields with these societies are always white for the harvest,
ready for the sickle, but they are never cut or gathered in. Then as to their labours in christian countries ; they tell ns of Russia and of their immense manufa etory in that country, yet I doubt whether they have converted a single cossack or boor; and if they did, they would only take them from a schismatical church to no church at all. In Germany and Switzerland, , amongst the Protestant Churches they are
quite at home. In these countries where that infi
delity which Toland, Tyndal and Bollingbroke first
introduced from England to the Continent, and
which was propagated with such malignant perseverance by their disciple Bayle—competes with a frightful famaticism, so that one knows not which of them will gain the ascendancy. In France their Societies are only abetted by the Calvinists and Infidels, and it is a fact, of which I have been informed by a Gentleman, of whose veracity and knowledge of the matter I can have no doubt, that the Bible has been circulated in that country by the very men who lately published cheap editions of Rousseau’s Emile, and of the Pucelle d’Orleans, for the purpose of corrupting youth; nor do I think that these men have acted inconsistently. Had the chain with which Henry the eighth tied the bible to the preaching desk in England never been broken, that eountry would not have witnessed the scenes which her history records, and she might this day be the most free and happy nation on the earth reposing in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Wherever the reading of the Bible is not regulated by a salutary discipline such as ours, it leads a great portion of the people necessarily to fanaticism or to infidelity. The French Infidels knows this well, and hence their alliance with the Bible Societies. But as to the progress of these societies amongst
Catholics, whether in France or in any other country on the continent, it is precisely the same as on the banks of the Shannon or the hills of Killarney; and all they state to the contrary is a collection of falsehood transmitted home or manufactured here by men who fare sumptuously every day on the fruit of these, their unhallowed labours. They tell us of the number of Bibles they distribute, and where is the difficulty of thus sowing the seed by the side of the highways? Do not the pawn-offices in every town bear testimony of the profusion there is of what these saints quaintly call “the bread of life,” of what we catholics call protestant bibles; books on which our peasantry look not with reverence, but with dread. I heard of a poor man in the County Kildare, who if I gave him a bible approved of by the church, would venerate it more than any thing he possessed, but having been favoured by the lady of his master with one of the societies’ bibles without note or comment, accepted of it with all the reverence which the fear of losing his situation inspired; but, behold! when the night closed, and all danger of detection was removed, he, lest he should be infected with heresy exhaled from the protestant bible during his sleep, took it with a tongs, for he would not defile his touch with it, and buried it in a grave which he had prepared for it in his garden : . Should a pious old lady of the society ever read this anecdote, the hair of her head will start up, the frightful figure of popery pass before her eyes, and she will rehearse devoutly the prayer of the gun-powder plot. Yet I who have read portions of the bible every day, these twenty years and upwards, who have devoted many an hour to the study of it, who have often explained it to others, who have collected sixteen or eighteen edi.
tions of it in different languages; who like Augustin, find in it infinitely more beyond my comprehension than I can understand—I, who am thus a very bible man, do admire the orthodoxy of this Kildare peasant—nay, I admire it greatly; and should I happen to meet him, I shall reward him for his zeal. But his conduct furnishes to the societies an admirable lesson, did they know but how to profit of it; it should teach them why they can make no impression on the Irish Catholics, nor indeed on any Catholics, and should ininduce them to reflect on that admirable and truly divine principle of our Church, which makes us all one, even as Christ and his Father are one. It should teach them that whilst we love and cherish the reading of the word of God, as I have abundantly shewn in my “Windication of the religious and civil principles of the Irish Catholics;” yet that we always are, and with the divine assistance, always will be, stedfast and unbending in excluding from amongst us the gifts of the Bible Society, and of all her filiations, as well as in proving our obedience to the authority of that ~Church, against which, not their machinations, nor the gates of hell itself, ever will or can prevail. As a general conclusion from the foregoing observations, it seems to me—lst, that these societies are embarked in propagating, an intolerable error, by seeking to introduce the indiscriminate perusal of the Sacred Scriptures, without note or comment, and substituting a chaos of undisciplined opinion for the wisdom, and order, and power of the Church of God; 2d. it appears to me that their labours, so far from being in accordance with the spirit of the Christian religion, are calculated to subvert it, and to plant in its room fanaticism or infidelity; 3dly, I am clearly of opinion, that these labours hitherto have been, and must continue, fruitless, whether in converting infi
dels, or in disturbing Catholicity, whilst they have increased the confusion of the Protestant Churches, and may ultimately subvert them altogether. I have not, as yet, however, closed my accounts with them. I said at the commencement that they are opposed to tradition : I shall therefore proceed to inquire with what justice they presumé to attack this, one of the
fundamental truths of religion. In rejecting tradition, the Bible Societies have the merit of being consistent: for if the Scriptures, without note or comment, without a ministry or liturgy, be sufficient to make men wise unto salvation, why admit tradition ? It would, in their system, be like bringing coals to Neweastle: nor do they act in this respect without a precedent. We have it upon record, in the confession of faith exhibited to the 7th General Council, by Basil of Ancire, that this error concerning tradition was common to Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus—worthy predecessors of the Bible Society Augustin, disputing against Maximinus, and Epiphanius, Her. 73, also impute it to the Arians. They themselves profess it in the Synod of Seleucia. St. Basil attributes it to Eunomius. Tertullian, in his Praescriptions, and Iraeneus, in his 3d book 2d ch. against heresies, charge Valentinian and Marcian with rejecting tradition. So that I know of nothing criminal or impious in all antiquity which is not connected with our modern fanatics by this disregard for tradition. And why not ? These ancients became what they were, only because they separated themselves from the Church, and appealed for a justification of their errors and rebellion from tradition to the Scriptures—yes, to those Scriptures by which, as Tertullian remarks in the book before quoted, there could be no victory obtained over them, or if obtained F –
it would be useless, as when convicted they would argue still—
Like our young Briton, and the scottish tar,
His worthy messmate in the bible war.
You will excuse, Sir, my paraphrase on a distich of the Dunciad ‘ But then as to tradition, which these societies so superciliously reject. For our part, we find no truth of religion more expressly recorded in the Scriptures themselves, more frequently insisted on by the primitive fathers of the Church, nothing more consonant to right reason, than the existence of tradition. “Stand to and keep,” says St. Paul, 2 Thess. ch. 2. “ the traditions which you have received, whether by Ietters or by word.” These traditions did not, it appears, originate with Paul; no, like St. Luke, he colRected them from those who, from the beginning, *were the witnesses and the ministers of the word. He only handed them down to the Thessalonians as he did to the Corinthians, I Cor. 11. whom he praises for observing them, and to whom he promises that on his arrival he would arrange whatever was not yet regulated in their church, and which arrangements are Fecorded in tradition. He had been instructed himself by the Lord, not by letter, but by word, as to the institution of the blessed Eucharist; and the form of celebrating it, which he prescribed at Corinth, is no where found written in the Scriptures. The breaking of the host, the mixing of water with the wine, the very words ‘used in blessing the chalice of benediction—these are not written in the Scriptures, yet all antiquity testifies that they were handed down by the apostles. The perpetual virginity of the Mother of God, the descent of Christ into hell, the baptism of infants, its being conferred by aspersion, the procession of the Holy
Ghost from the Son, the very sanctification of the Lord’s day, are either not written, or not so distinctly written as they are believed in the Church; but they are not the less revealed by God on that account; they are a part of that good deposit which Timothy received from Paul, 2 Tim. 1. of that form of sound speech which this latter delivered to his beloved disciple before many witnesses, and which he commanded him to entrust to faithful men, who would be fit also to teach others. John also, 2d Ep. left many things unwritten, which he would not commit to paper and ink, but promised to speak them with his tongue to those disciples whom he hoped to see. Peter wrote but two epistles—and did he spend seven years at Antioch and twenty-five at Rome, without committing to these churches any additional truths; or did he not, as Tertullian exclaims, pour out to the latter all his knowledge with his blood 2
That the Apostles delivered the Gospel partly by writing, partly by word of mouth, is attested by Dyonisius, supposed by some to be the Areopagite converted by St. Paul, lib. de ec. hier. eap. 1. Clem. Alex. lib. de pasch. quoted by Eusebius, lib. 6. hist. eccl. cap. 2. and again, lib. strom. 1. & 5. Orig. Hom. 5. in num. Papias quoted also by Euseb. lib. 5. c. 39. Egesip, and Ignatius by the same, lib. 3. ch. 36. Iren. lib. 3. c. 3, 4. Tertul, de corona militis. Cyprian de ablutione – pedis, Epiphan, throughout his whole work on heresies, but chiefly against the Arians. Jerom. adv. Lueif. Basil, lib. de S. Sancto, cap. 27. & 29. Augustin, lib. 2. de Bapt. adv. Don. cap, 7, and lib. 4. eh. 24. and lib. 5. ch. 23. & 26.
These great luminaries of the christian law attest with one voice the existence of tradition, “that it is the word of God, not less deserving of reverence than what is written,” that “the church is enriched by it,”
that “she detects and refutes all heresies by it,” that “she brings her children to God by it,” that “it alone is sufficient to refute all error,” that “a deviation from it or contempt of it is the fruit of pride, and the source of heresy,” that “the wisest men who deviate from it go astray,” that “in all doubts recourse is to be had to it.” * Whether the testimony of such men, added to that of the Apostles themselves, is more deserving of attention than the opinions of those personages who compose the Bible and other Societies, it remains for men of sense to judge, The truth is, that tradition is a part and parcel of divine revelation, or rather revelation once consisted of tradition exclusively, a portion of which was afterwards recorded in writing. The belief in a Redeemer to come, the substance and form of the sacrifices to be offered to God, the rite of circumcision as prescribed to Abraham, were all preserved by tradition to the time of Moses. The Israelites lived in Egypt under this traditionary law. Hilary and Origen, and all the learned Jews tell us, that when Moses received the law on Sina, there was also communicated to him the secret meaning of it, (and that it had a secret meaning St. Paul abundantly proves in his epistle to the Hebrews,) and that he was commanded to write the law for the people, but to impart the secret explication of it only to Josue, who in the same manner was to transmit it to the chiefs of the priesthood. Anatolius quoted by Euseb lib. 7. ch. 28. says also, that the 70 interpreters answered to the enquiries of Ptolemy, many things from the traditions of Moses, To this tradition the Psalmist seems to refer saying, Ps. 43 & 77. “Lord, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us,” and “what mighty and
many things hath he commanded to our fathers to be made known to their sons.”
But leaving the old dispensation, and proceeding to the new.
Christ wrote no Gospel, nor do we know that he commanded one to be written. He commanded his disciples to preach it to every creature; they had no types nor presses to put in requisition. It was a law, says Paul, 2 Cor. iii. administered to us, and written not with ink but by the spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tablets of the heart. Jeremy, c. 30. had foretold its character, saying, “I will give my law in their bowels, and on their heart will I write it.”
Mathew wrote his Gospel for the consolation of the converted Jews whom he left after him in the land of his fathers, Mark who was the companion of Peter, took an abridgement of the Gospel of St. Mathew with him when he went to found the church in Egypt. Luke’s Preface to the Acts, shews why he wrote a book which might be denominated the Gospel of the Holy Ghost, or the life of St. Paul : he wrote his Gospel at the desire of the Bishops of Asia, as St. Jerom says, to put a stop to the heresies, I think, of Ebeon and Cerinthus. We all know that the divine epistles of St. Paul were written for particular occasions, so that the new Scriptures like the old, were founded on tradition and given as helps to the church, but by no means as a regular record of the Christian religion. This is testified by Chrysostom, by Theophylactus, by Jerom, as also by Iraeneus, who says, “that if the Apostles had left us nothing written, we should fol. low the order of the tradition of the church,” to wit, that which was observed before the Gospels were written.
Common sense taught the wisest of mankind to act in their business, as the Spirit of Wisdom taught the Apostles how to dispose of the trust committed to them, and there is a greater analogy between true religion and common sense, than many persons seem to suppose. Anaxagoras, Thales, Socrates, taught their disciples by word of mouth, not by writing. The same praetice was observed by Pythagoras, as all the ancients testify, with this difference that he took more care than the others, that the secrets of his science should not be divulged. Clem, of Alex. l. lib. Strom. tells us, that this philosopher underwent circumcision in Egypt, in order to gain admission to the secrets of the Egyptian sages. Galen, lib. 2. de Anat. assures us that the science of medicine was handed down by tradition. Cicero, lib. 1. de leg. writes, that all things in a State are not to be regulated by written laws.— And the man who divulged the secrets of Numa was put to death for his rashness. Plato, like Pythagoras, as Joh. Pic, writes in his apology, thought that whatever was most important in science should be taught by the tongue, but not written. Lysis, the Pythagorean, accused Hipparchus of revealing to the crowd the secrets of his science, and for doing so he was publicly expelled from his school. We all know the celebrated remark of Socrates on this subject. So that common sense teaches that we should not throw pearls to swine, expose what is sacred to the insult of the profane, or render it vide by familiarity to the crowd. Thus St. Paul seemed to know nothing in public, but Christ and him crucified ; but he adds, that he spoke wisdom amongst the perfect. If the law of secrecy, as it was observed in the Church even to the fifth century, (I hope the bible men will not deny there was such a law,)—but if this law never had existence, we could not believe that the apostles would expose, . in writing, to the pagan world, to be scoffed at, or to the undisciplined Neophytes, to be thought Hightly of, those mysteries and sacraments which constitute the life and essence of the Christian dispensation. It was necessary, therefore, at the beginning, as a matter of ecclesiastical economy, that all that was revealed should not be written ; and that tradition, in which the entire of the new law at first consisted, should preserve and regulate whatever was most awful and sacred in the Christian dispensation. But tradition was not more necessary for preserving the deposit, than it was for the right understanding of what was written. To prove, with St. Peter, that in the Scriptures there are many passages hard to be understood, is quite superfluous. Every man, not entirely a senseless famatic, knows and admits it ; and that the diversity of opinion about their meaning is not a matter ef indifference—a little wood, hay, or stubble, piled up on the foundation, which may be burned or not. That the difference of opinion about the meaning of the Sriptures is not so trivial, is equally clear from the words of the Apostle. He says that this wrangling about texts, this wresting of the Scripture by the ignorant and the unsettled—those, to wit, who are tossed about by every wind of doctrine—ends, not like a comedy, in the union of the parties, but in perdition; in that mist of darkness, or lake of fire, where those who do not obey the gospel will, according to St. Paul, suffer punishment for ever, far from the face of God. ‘Tis not the believing a little more or a little less, nor a story about the withered hand, nor any such fulsome nonsense, which will settle the matter; the ways of God are not as our ways—he has told us that there is but one faith: not a word has he said about a little more
or a little less of it ; but he has said, it is ONE ; and that without it, it is impossible to please God, And if we want to know what that faith is, let us not wrangle about texts, which the devil himself could quote as flippantly as the most devout bibleman; but let us do what Moses prescribed to be done, what Christ prescribed to be done, what common sense and the prac. tice of mankind prescribe to be done; let us go up, like Paul and Barnabas, and their friends, from Antioch, and hear what Peter, and those who are with him, say about it; let us hear what seems good to the Holy Ghost and to them, or to those who were to be teaching in their place to the end of the world : let us hear what they command us to think and do upon the matter.—If we hear them, we hear Christ, who is with them all days, even to the end of the world; but if we despise them, and Christ, and his Father with them, we must only take our place amongst the heathens and publicans, where we will have ample leisure to print and distribute bibles, and dispute about them to our hearts’ content.
We had better not say to them as Core did to Moses: Who are you who would lord it over your brethren, who would gather all things to yourself and to your tribe 2 Are not we also children of Jacob, heirs of the promises, of the seed of Abraham 2 IIave we not the testament as well as you? Are we not born in the covenant? Why should we not share in the authority, or at least be entitled to dispute with you about the text of the law Ż
Core spoke to the passions, he deluded the multitude, he divided the people of God, he resisted authority; but for this, he and his adherents were swallowed alive in hell. Jude, the apostle, directly and expressly applies his conduct and his sate to heretics, who with the bible in their hand, bring in sects
of perdition, despise the evangelical tradition, and blaspheme authority, out of the word of God. What, let me be allowed to ask, what is heresy if it be not our own choosing of an opinion different from the opinion of the church, and adheringly obstimately to it? As if Christ were divided, or as if there coald be two faiths. . It is not the believing a little more, or a little less, the piling up a little wood, hay, or stubble, which constitutes it at all; it consists essentially in the choosing to judge for ourselves, in refusing to hear the church, in despising her pastors, and adhering obstinately to our own erroneous opinion, no matter whether the error be great or small. A man might err with regard to any truth of religion; but he would not on that account be an heretic. I do not mean to say whether whosoever in this country leans upon invincible ignorance does not lean upon a broken reed; but it is obstinacy added to error, which induces men to separate themselves and to bring in sects and originate heresies, a crime which not even martyrdom, if we believe St. Chrysostom and St. Augustin, can efface, and which St. Paul expressly tells us, exclude from the kingdom of God. Had the people of Antioch adhered to the observance of the Mosaic rites as necessary, after the decree of the Church at Jerusalem, Christ would be of no use to them, more than to the Galatians, though it is to be observed that these rites, until the Synagogue was buried, were in themselves matters of indifference, as appears from Paul’s own occasional observance of . them, as well as from his circumcising Timothy, in order to conciliate the Jews. The error of the Quartodecimans, our pious ancestors, according to Sir Richard Musgrave, was much like this; they might, if any people could, be allowed to believe a
a little more or a little less, especially when they G
quoted in their favour the name and authority of St. John the evangelist: yet they had no alternative, after the Council of Nice, but to surrender their opinion, and relinquish their practice, or take their station amongst the heathens. As Pope Stephen wrote, on a question pretty much of similar import, Nil innowetur misi quod traditum est—they should abide by tradition, or become heretics, * * . Egisippus, quoted by Euseb, lib. 3. ch. 32, writes, that the Church continued a virgin, and immaculate, during the lifetime of the apostles; the corrupters of the truth (if any there were) lurking in the caverns of the earth, and not daring to appear, because they could not withstand the authority of traditionary truth. And Ignatius, quoted by the same, lib. 5, says, that the contagion of the heretics is to be avoided, by adhering strictly to the tradition of the apostles. Tertullian says, they are to be opposed more by tradition than by scripture ; because the latter, but not the former, he adds, can be easily warped to different meanings. There is no heretic, as St. Hilary writes to Constantine—there is no heretic, who does not appeal to the scripture for a proof of his blasphemies: they all speak scripture, but without meaning that, as Iren. lib. 1. adv. Her. says, they may confirm their errors by texts. “They do in this, says Wineent of Lerins, what their father did before them, whose crafty wiles they imitate; for what will he not attempt against weak men who tempted the Lord of Majesty, saying, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down : for it is written,” &c. So, whatever opinion a heretic broaches, he adds immediately— “for it is written ;” and adduces, not one, but a thousand testimonies. He prepares a thousand examples, from the law, from the psalms, from the apostles, from the prophets; by which, interpreted in a novel
way, he labours to support his doctrine.” Thus far this venerable writer. There is ne person, not manifestly perverse or deluded, who cannot see that the Church of God must be, not a house of peace and charity, but an arena of conflicting gladiators, if the authority of those who are appointed to rule it be set aside; or if the deposit of doctrine which they received be mutilated or denied to exist. Clement of Rome, writing to the disciples at Jerusalem, says, “It is according to this tradition (he is speaking of the ancient practice and doctrine of the Church) we must teach, as people understand diversely what is written;” and he adds, in another place, that he received this maxim from St. Peter. St. Dennis, de Ecl. Hier, attests precisely the same truth. Epiphanius says that tradition is necessary for this purpose. Clement of Alexandria, lib. 7, Strom. says “that those who interpret the scripture against the tradition of the Church, lose the rule of truth.” Origen, also, Tract. in Math. 29, desires “that we do not, in disputing about the scriptures, depart from the original ecclesiastical traditions, nor believe otherwise than we are taught by those who went before us in the Church of God.” But why tire you, Sir, with authorities, which are numerous as the stars of heaven, whereas it is obvious to every person versed at all in antiquity, that the written portion of the law was only a supplement to tradition ; and that the meaning of it, wherever it is doubtful or difficult, cannot be ascertained unless by the light of this same. tradition. – – Where do we look for decisions upon any contested matter of right, or privilege, or title or possession, but to judges? Why do we employ solicitors and lawyers to plead before them, if the law itself can
decide 2 And why have the judges themselves recourse to the common law, which is traditionary, to books of authority, to prebedents—unless that neither the statutes themselves, either do or can contemplate all cases, or that even if they did, they could not be justly or wisely administered, unless the light of antiquity, and the wisdom of past times, were shed upon them 2 It is little short of insanity in a christian to demy the authority of the Church; but to admit it, and deny either the existence or necessity of tradition, is an incomprehensible absurdity—the fruit of gross igmorance, of intolerable presumption, or of the most lamentable fanaticism. But these Societies assert that the scriptures are given to all, and that all are capable of understanding them rightly. The first of these propositions is equivocal ; the second is altogether false. The first is equivocal, true in this sense, that they are given to the church which consists of all true believers, pastors and people, to be expounded, and the sense of such parts of them as are doubtful or hard to be understood to be explained or decided upon by those who are commissioned by Christ to teach, whilst the entire or portions of them may be read for edification and instruction by all who will not abuse them, or who in the opinion of those whem the Holy Ghost placed to rule the church, are likely to profit by them. In this sense they belong to all, and all have a right to them, but all have not a right to decide by them on questions of faith, or to administer the ordinances of religion by them, no: not so much as all free subjects have a right to become judges or justices of the peace, or all proprietors of bank stock to become bank directors. – –
That all are capable of understanding the Scriptures rightly, or that the diversity of opinion about their meaning is a matter of indifference, whether such meaning regards morals or faith, these are errors so gross, and so openly at variance with the history of every christian state in the world, as well as with that of the church, and with our own daily experience, that a refutation of them must be tiresome, or fulsome to every man of sense. I shall therefore pass over this part of the subject, merely hoping that we will have no more Waldenses quoting Scripture to gratify their impure abominations—no more poor men of Lyons to disgrace human nature—no moreWickliffites or Hussites to depose all sinful princes and bishops— no more peasants congregated in Germany to assert at the expence of all constituted authority, the liberty with which Christ had made them free—no more Conventicles to decree that God is the author of sin, and the predetermining cause of perdition—no more fanatics to levy war against their Sovereign for the sake of righteousness and the Gospel—no more regicidal parliaments nor protectors—no more Knoxes to denounce a persecuted queen as Jezabel, or sell the blood of their king for a mess of pottage—no-more revivals, nor crucifixions, nor circumcisions, I shall hope that all these will cease, and merely detain you whilst I expose a few of the sophisms by which the abettors of the intolerable error which has produced these crimes, seek to sustain it.
They quote the bitter reproach, the severe rebuke of our Lord to the Jews when he said to them, Jno. v. ver. 39. “Ye search,” or “search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” The present race of enthusiasts with one accord quote these words of the Redeemer, as if they conveyed a command, or at least a counsel to all mankind to read the Scriptures without note or comment, and to judge of whatever is therein revealed. Surely there must be a veil over the hearts of these people, as there is over those of the Jews, or theycould not but see, that in the passage now quoted, as well as in the twenty verses which precede it, the Lord of Glory is only intent on proving his own divine mission, and in confounding those Jews, who through perverseness and obstinaey opposed the will of God. He appeals to the testimony of his Father given on the banks of the Jordan—he appeals to the testimony of John who had pointed him out as the Lamb of God, who came to take away. the sins of the world—he appeals to his own miracles greater than these, and having referred to the passage in Deut. xviii. ch. where the people prayed, “not to hear the voice of the Lord, nor see again the mighty fire on Horeb, least they would die,” and where the Lord in return told them, “they had spoken well, and that he would raise up a prophet of their own seed whom they should hear.” After Christ I say reproaching the Jews for not hearing this prophet, even he himself who was present, he adds, still continuing his rebuke, “ye search the Scriptures in which ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which give testimony of me, and ye will not come to me that ye may have life.” – – This is also the voice of the church to her straye and obstinate children, whom she seeks to gather under her wings, and they will not. She says to them, “you have heard the words of the Lord, saying to me, teach all nations, whosoever hears you hears me, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; you have heard the Apostles testify of me that I am the pillar and the ground of truth, you have seen the signs and wonders which I have wrought by my
ministers in every age, you daily confess that I am One Holy Catholic and Apostolic, and that you believe in me as you do in God the Father, in God the Son, and in God the Holy Ghost, you search the Scriptures which I have given to you and in which you think you have eternal life, and yet you will not come to me that ye may have life.” And yet this is the Scripture which the deluded christians of this time quote against the church to justify their obstinacy. The interpretation of this text is the same whether the word “search” or Epsozet be taken with St. Cyril in the indicative mood, which is the acceptation most -agreeable to the scope of our Lord’s discourse as well as with the “cri’ or “for” which follows in the context, or whether it be taken with St. Chrysostom, in the imperative. In this latter acceptation it implies a more bitter rebuke, as if he said “whereas not the testineny of my Father, or of John, or of my own works, will convince you that I am he who was promised in Deut. go and search the scriptures in which you have so much confidence, and there also you will find testimonies of me.”. How often do we also refer to the scriptures with indignation almost, those who obstinately refuse to hear our proofs, that in them where like the Jews they profess to know all things, they may learn to know, that which more clearly than all things else is revealed in them, namely, the existence and authority and marks of the Church. ..We desire these persons to search them, to investigate them, to scrutinize them, not like the Jews, the letter which kills, but to enter by humility and prayer into the spirit of them, that they may come to us and have life. Let them learn what Christ wills, that his followers should do, not from this passage only, but from his answer to the disciples of John, who came
to him truly desirous of being instructed in the truth, and whom he treated with the kindness and indulgence of a father; to them he said not, to go and search the scriptures, but “Go and tell John, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised to life, and the kingdom of heaven is preached to the poor, and blessed is he who is not scandalized in me.” This is the lesson which I would recommend to them carefully to revolve in their minds. They next object to us a passage from the 17 ch. of the Acts of the Apostles, as if the Jews at Berea, to whom Paul and Silas, preached our Lord as the expected Messias, furnished to all posterity by searching the scriptures, an example for their imitation.
of all the mistakes into which the present ge
neration of evangelists have fallen, I know of none greater than this. – – – * * * Because forsooth, a congregation of unconverted Jews upon hearing the Apostles prove from the law and the Prophets, that Jesus was the Christ, because on so hearing these proofs, they went and examined carefully the scriptures in which they believed, to see whether these strangers quoted and reasoned upon them correctly or not; because they did so, and acted well in doing so: therefore, christians who have already believed and entered into the church, are to search these scriptures and judge by them on all questions of faith, discipline and morals, in defiance of the authority of this church. This is a consequence so unconnected with the premises, so inconsistent with all rules of logic. and common sense, as to be unworthy of a scholar, or of any but those unfledged evangelists who propose it. o In the name of wonder, I would ask, what were these people at Berea to do, if they were not to prove the doctrine of the men who came to preach
to them a new religion, by the only test in their power, and that a test to which the preachers themselves appealed. They knew not as yet of the existence of the Church, still less were the members of it—professing to believe in it as they did in God himself. It does not appear that they had seen any miracles performed by Paul or Silas, or that any of the tongues or prophecies or signs and wonders which followed the Apostles, had as yet been exhibited to them; they had no external motive for believing unless the reasonableness of the doctrine proposed, and whether they assented to Paul’s doctrine, or still doubted, there was nothing more conformable to the dictates of piety or reason, than to compare for their greater satisfaction, or the removal of their doubts, what they had heard, with the revelation and prophecies in which they believed, and to which the Apostles referred them. The Jews in Rome, are obliged to attend on certain “days at sermons preached for the purpose of shewing the truth and divinity of the christian religion, and these Jews are constantly referred to their own scriptures for the justice of the arguments addressed to them ; but does it follow, therefore, that the Romans who believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, can prefer their own private interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, to the judgment of this church 2 When doubts arise amongst christians, it is not the example of unbelieving Jews which should be proposed to them, but that of the christians at Antioch, who, when a dispute occurred amongst them, sent up an embassy to Peter and the other Apostles at Jerusalem, in order to know what seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to them, upon the subjeet. A passage from the second letter, 3d chapter of St. Paul to Timothy is also objected to us, where it is H
written that “all scripture, divinely inspired, is useful to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in righteousness;” as if there was a christian in the world who did not admit this truth. I have adduced in my Windication of the Religious and Civil Principles of the Irish Catholics, a greater number of proofs from the scripture itself, from popes, and holy fathers of our church, as well as from the nature of revelation to confirm this truth, than many of those who impudently propose this objection could easily muster. What then is the difference between us?—A very wide one indeed : for we maintain that the scripture is precisely such as St. Paul describes it—useful to the doctor, that he may teach by it—to the pastor, that he may reprove and instruct by it; to all that they may, each in his proper station, be instructed by it unto righteousness. Not all of it to be entrusted to each, but what is useful to every one, that no one may be more wise than he ought, but that he may be wise to sobriety, just as the Spirit who inspired it divideth to every one even as he listeth, or according to the measure of the gift of Christ. This is the economy of our Church, whilst those who mistake or abuse the text of the apostle, give the scriptures entire without note or comment, to be judged of by all—to the wise, that they may go off in their own inventions—to the ignorant and unsettled, that they may wrest them to their own perdition –to all, that they may be tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. If there be, however, one chapter more than another in the bible which condemns by anticipation those preachers and bible distributors, with whom we have to contend, it is the chapter of St. Paul’s epistle which I am now treating of, and that which next follows it
In these the Apostle commences by telling his beloved disciple that “in the last days shall come dan’ and the present seem to be replete with danger, “men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, inoontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasure, more than of God. Having an appearance indeed of piety, but denying the power thereof, now this avoid, for of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captives silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires,” (one imagines that he sees a bible meeting, with the ladies applauding); but let us hear the apostle— “always learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth.” Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth—men
corrupted in mind, reprobate as to the faith. But
they shall proceed no farther: for their folly shall be manifest to all; it is pretty apparent, I think, at present. Here the divine apostle commences his pathetic exhortation, saying, “But thou hast known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, patience—(Timothy had not been a member of any Bible Society, he spent his life much as we do)— what persecutions I endured; and out of all the Lord delivered me. And all who will live piously in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution; but evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, erring and drawing into error. BUT conti NUE THOU IN THE THINGs whiqh THou HAST LEARNED (not on board ship, I presume), AND WHICH HAVE BEEN COMMITTED To Thee, KNow ING of whoM THou HAST LEARNED. Paul seems to allude to that form of sound speech, to that sacred deposit of doctrine, 60 which he had committed to Timothy. Here follows the text which the bible men exult in, and which I shall give them at full length. “And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus; all Scripture, divinely inspired, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice.” Here are the purposes detailed for which Timothy now a bishop, and the metropolitan of Asia, was to use the knowledge he had learned by the perusal of the sacred Scriptures, according to the discipline of the Synagogue, which, see my Windication, p. 56, was exactly similar to that of the church, but which knowledge he had acquired chiefly from St. Paul himself, as appears from the preceding verse. The apostle continues: “I charge thee before God, and Jesus Christ who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they shall not hear sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers (he seems to foresee the system of granting licences for half a crown to preach the gospel,) having itching ears, and will turn away indeed their hearing from the truth, and will be turned to fables;” the reports no doubt of the Missionaries, or to something worse, the blasphemous phrenzies, perhaps, of Johanna Southcote. So far the Apostle—I shall not add to, or take from his words by any comment of my own, nor detain you further with a refutation of silly objections—objections much more silly than those of Spinoza against the attributes of . the Deity, but remain, • Dear Sir, Your obedient, humble servant,