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TO THE

RIGHT REV. DR. BOWEN,

BISHOP OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SOUTH CAROLINA,

ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SANCTIONING THE PUBLICATION OF A

PROTESTANT CATECHISM.

REVISED FROM THE UNITED STATES CATHOLIC MISCELLANY.

“ Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”—EXOD. XX. 16.

AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTORY NOTE. The following letters originally appeared in the UNITED STATES CATHOLIC MISCELLANY, and are now, at the request of several persons, published in pamphlet form.

It will be perceived that they do not assume a controversial character, and therefore are by no means to be considered as a sufficient defence of the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church which are assailed in the Catechism. This defence may be found in the controversial writers of the Church. The object of those letters is merely to show the impropriety of placing this Catechism in the hands of persons seeking instruction: it is a subject of deep regret that it should have been put forth by as amiable a society of ladies as any other of equal numbers in any place. And a hope is indulged that they will withdraw it.

RELIGIOUS TRACTS.

Published by “The Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the Advancement of Christianity in

Pennsylvania," for the “ Episcopal Female Tract Society of Philadelphia."

A PROTESTANT CATECHISM

SHOWING

THE PRINCIPAL ERRORS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME:

IN FOUR PARTS.
1. Of the Rule of Faith, and the Infallibility of the Church.
II. Of the Pope's Supremacy, and the Treatment of Heretics.
III. Of Errors in the Worship of God.
IV. Of the Sacraments, and other points of doctrine and practice.

ADVERTISEMENT. The following publication is among the Tracts of the Society (in England) for the promoting of religious knowledge: with the exception of a few alterations, not affecting any truth of our holy religion. The notes which have the letters Ed. appended to them, are ADDITIONS to the original publication. VOL. II.

2

WORKS OF DR. ENGLAND.

PART I.

(CONTINUED.)

DOGMATIC AND POLEMIC THEOLOGY.

A PROTESTANT CATECHISM.

OF THE CHURCH.

PART I.

7. Q. May all people read the Scriptures?

A. They not only may, but it is their duty OF THE RULE OF FAITH AND THE INFALLIBILITY to read them, or, as they have opportunity

to hear them read; for our Saviour has ex

pressly commanded to search the Scriptures St. Mark xii. 14.

(John v. 39); and St. Paul ordered his epistle Do you not therefore err, because you know to be read to all the brethren (1 Thess. V. not the Scriptures ?

27); that is, to all Christians: and the Bereans

are commended for searching the Scriptures. 1. Q. Are you a Christian ?

(Acts xvii. 11.) A. Yes, by the grace of our Lord Jesus 8. Q. Doth the Church of Rome allow the Christ.

free use of the Scriptures to the people ? 2. Q. What do you understand by a A. No; which is not only very unreason. Christian ?

able, as they are the law by which all men A. One who professeth to believe in are to be governed and judged, but exceedChrist, and to obey him.

ingly wicked, as Christ and his apostles 3. Q. To what church, or society, of have commanded us to read them. Christians, do you belong?

9. Q. Why are the Scriptures kept from A. I thank God, I am a Protestant. the people ? 4. Q. What do you mean by a Protestant? A. The professed reason is the incom

A. One who protests against the errors of petency of the mass of the people to the the Roman Catholic Religion, and admits right understanding of the Scriptures. The no rule of faith and practice but the holy effect is, their not discovering how contrary Scriptures.

their religion is to the word of God. 5. Q. What do you understand by a 10. Q. Are not the Scriptures obscure and Roman Catholic?

hard to be understood ? A. One who acknowledges the Pope to A. As to whatever is necessary to salvabe supreme head of the Church, and besides tion, they are plain and easy to those who the Scriptures, receives whatever the church read them with due care, and suitable disof Rome directs, as the rule of faith and positions. “If the Gospel be hid, it is hid practice.

to those that are lost, in whom the God of 6. Q. Are the Scriptures a full and suffi- this world hath blinded the minds of them cient rule of faith and practice ?

that believe not.” (2 Cor. iv. 3.) A. Yes; the Scriptures being the word of 11. Q. What are those suitable dispoGod, cannot but be a sufficient and perfect sitions ? rule, and "able to make us wise to salva A. An humble desire of instruction, and tion.” (1 Tim. iii. 15.). "Ye are clean a resolution to practise what we find to be through the word which I have spoken to our duty: " Receive with meekness the you.” (John xv. 3.)

engrafted word, which is able to save your

souls. But be ye doers of the word, and A. As successor to St. Peter, whom their not hearers only." (James i. 21, 22.) new creed asserts to have been bishop of

12. Q. Do the Roman Catholics allow the Rome. Scriptures to be the word of God, and rule 18. Q. Was St. Peter bishop of Rome? of faith?

A. It does not appear from Scripture that A. They allow them to be the word of he was, and it is very doubtful from other God, but not the entire rule of faith, except history whether he was or not. as explained by their unwritten traditions, 19. Q. Had St. Peter any supremacy or and the authority of their church.

power over the rest of the apostles ? 13. Q. On what do they found this doc A. None at all. The apostles at Jerusalem trine?

appointed Peter to go to Samaria (Acts viii. A. On the pretended infallibility of their 14): they likewise call him to an account church.

for his behaviour, which they could not 14. Q. Where do they suppose this in- have done if he had been their superior. fallibility to be placed !

(Acts xi. 2.) And Șt. Paul, speaking of A. In that point they are not agreed himself

, says, “ he was in nothing behind among themselves. Some place it in the the very chiefest of the apostles; and that pope; others in general councils approved he withstood Peter to his face, because he by the pope; and others in general councils, was to be blamed.” (2 Cor. xii. 11; Gal. ii. whether approved by the pope or not. 11.) And in the council of the apostles held

15. Q. How do you prove that none of at Jerusalem, it was not St. Peter, but St. these are infallible ?

James that presided. (Acts xv. 19.). A. From many great errors into which 20. Q. What do you understand by the several popes and councils have fallen, and Catholic church? from the contradiction of their decrees: one A. Not the Roman, or any other church in pope condemning what his predecessor had particular, but the whole church of Christ, approved, and one council rejecting the that is, the society of all Christian people in decrees of another council.*

every part of the world. 16. Q. Does it seem to have been the 21. Q. How can people who differ so intention of Almighty God, that there should much from one another, as many Christians be an infallible judge among men? do, be part of the same church?

A. No; for if an infallible judge had been A. As a flourishing and a withered branch intended, he would certainly have been de- may be part of the same tree. * clared in Scripture; but there, on the con 22. Q. Is the Church of Rome a sound trary, we are commanded to examine and and uncorrupt part of the Catholic church? judge for ourselves. « Believe not every

A. No; it is extremely corrupt, in docspirit; but try the spirits whether they be of trine, worship, and practice. God.” (1 John iv. 1.) “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. not claim jurisdiction over the Christian world. v. 21.)

For a long time their authority was bounded by the suburban cities of Italy. In process of time,

it reached over the western parts of Europe; in PART II.

which they were only co-ordinate with the bishops OF THE POPE'S SUPREMACY AND TREATMENT

of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, in their respective spheres. To this day, their

authority is disallowed in the widely extended St. Matt. xvi. 23.

churches of the East.- [Ed. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee

* In order to be satisfied of the vast variety of behind me, Satan; for thou savourest not the opinion in the church of Rome, it is but to read things that be of God, but those that be of men. any history of the Council of Trent. On many

important questions, the jarring sentiments were 17. Q. On what pretence does the pope noi of any two parties, but of subdivisions with. claim to be supreme head of the church?t out end. Had all this ceased with the rising of

the council; yet, what an immensity of error * Some popes have been heretical, as Liberius must have been afloat, previously to the bringing in the fourth century, who joined the Arians, of the jarring opinions into contact! But did the and subscribed an heretical creed. At times, discrepancy cease with the determinations of the there have been two and three claimants of the council? Far from it; while they were yet sit. papacy, each of whom had the support of no ting, the opposing parties in some instances, con. small portion of the Christian world. Of general tinued their contentions; each side construing councils there were none during the first three the decisions in its favour. Neither has this centuries; and when they were held in the fourth been put a stop to since. For instance, the century, in which there were three, the bishops question of the divine decrees has been as keenly of Rome neither called nor presided in them.- argued between the Jesuits and the Dominicans, Ed.

as between the Calvinists and the Arminians † During 600 years, the bishops of Rome did among Protestants.-(Ed.

OF HERETICS.

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