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and I am come for thy words.” spirits,” we admit. They must (chap. x. 12.)
often be spectators of the recovery "And at that time shall Michael of a sinner unto God, and must stand up, the great prince which spread the intelligence among their standeth for the children of thy companions. And that intellipeople.” (chap. xii. 1.)
gence, we are told, produces univerNow I beg to ask, what more sal joy among these bright spirits. does any one of these texts tell us, But what is there in all this, to than what is declared of the angels justify or encourage our addressin Heb. i. 14. “ Are they not all ing prayers to them ? Clearly, ministering spirits, sent forth to nothing minister for them who shall be The next passage, Matt. xxii. heirs of salvation ? "
30, merely asserts that the saints But on this point there is no shall be as the angels. But as we controversy. No Protestant de- have not yet found a single aunies the ministry of angels. The thority for praying to the angels, question is, who is to be addressed of course we have none for prayin prayer, the angels or saints, or ing to the saints. We come next their Lord and Master. Now on to Matt. xviii. 10. " Take heed this point we have Scripture ex- that ye offend not one of these amples. In 2 Kings vi. 17. Elisha little ones, for I say unto you, prays,
- O Lord, I pray thee, open That in heaven their angels do alhis eyes, that he may see.
And ways behold the face of my Father the Lord opened the eyes of the which is in heaven.” Still not one young man, and he saw, and behold
word authorizing prayer to them. the mountain was full of horses Last of all, we are referred to and chariots of fire round about Rev. viii. 3, 4. " And another Elisha.” Here, then, were the angel came and stood at the altar, ministering spirits. But with them having a golden censer ; and there close at hand, Elisha thinks not of was given unto him much incense, them, addresses them not, but that he should offer it with the thrice within four verses,
PRAYS prayers of all saints upon the golUNTO THE LORD. In like man- den altar which was before the ner said Jesus bimself, " Thinkest throne.” This passage is highly thou that I cannot NOW PRAY TO figurative. No one, of course, MY FATHER, and he shall presently imagines the existence of a magive me more than twelve legions of terial altar, or a golden censer, or angels? (Matt. xxvi. 53.) All earthly incense. Upon such a these four passages from Daniel, passage, unsupported by any other then, which merely speak of the in the whole Scripture, it is imposangels as “ ministering spirits," sible to found a doctrine. The prove nothing whatever in this
very interpretation of it, in the question, except perhaps that Dr. writings of leading Romish comWiseman was sadly at a loss for a mentators, is wholly inconsistent few authorities from Scripture. with Dr. W's view. Thomas
Inq. But are the other four Aquinas declares the angel to be texts which he cites, of any higher none other than the Lord Jesus value?
Christ: and the Jesuit Viegas says Prot. The first is from Luke —“All interpreters do confess that xv. 7, 10. “ Likewise I say unto by the angel is meant our Lord you, there is joy in the presence of Christ; because of none other can the angels of God over one sinner it be said, that he offers up to the that repenteth.” This goes no
Father, after so glorious and further than the passages in Daniel. majestic a manner, the incense, That the angels' are ministering that is the prayers of all saints AUGUST 1838.
upon the golden altar.'* Whether annals of the Jewish church, however, the angel be Christ or not, through fifteen centuries : That there is nothing said in this place of church possessed as eminent saints any prayers addressed to the angel as any that subsequent ages have by the saints on earth. And that is
Abraham, " the friend the only point for which we are in of God: Moses, with whom search. Not one of all Dr. Wise- God “ talked face to face, as a man's texts comes to this point, or man talked with his friend :” Jaeven approaches to it.
cob, who “ had power with God, Ing. I thought there was ano- and prevailed : David, ther passage in the Revelation after God's own heart:” which the Romanists were accus- Elijah, who only, besides Enoch, tomed to quote in this argument. was not, for God took him :"
Prot. There is, but it is only Daniel, the “man greatly beadduced by less wary advocates loved.” All these we read of in than Dr. Wiseman. It occurs at the their turn; but not one prayer or tenth verse of the nineteenth chap- invocation do we find, addressed ter. The angel there spoken of had to them by the Jewish church, been instructing the apostle in many throughout all these fifteen hunthings, and the apostle adds, dred years ! “ And I fell at his feet to worship And then, coming down to the him.” Thus far is the text usually Apostles' times, we find John the quoted by Romanists. But Dr. Baptist ; Stephen, the first marWiseman too cautious to tyr; and James the brother of meddle with this passage, for he John, all sent to their heavenly well knew that the very next home by martyrdom in the course 66 And he said unto me,
And we have SEE THOU DO IT NOT, I am thy St. Paul writing epistles to various fellow-servant, and of thy brethren churches for more than twenty that have the testimony of Jesus, years, and St. John, for more than WORSHIP God.” This is, in fact, fifty years, after the departure of the only passage in the whole these three martyrs. How, then, Bible, that, taken imperfectly, let me ask, came it, -- that if the might seem to lend countenance to invocation of departed saints was the worship of saints and angels. so right, and fit, and proper, as But the Holy Spirit, foreseeing Dr. Wiseman represents it, -that this great evil, instantly adds no one of all the prophets, no one the most decisive condemnation, among all the apostles, once counand thus leaves no opening what- sels it, or so much as mentions it, ever for the error to creep in.
as an usual and laudable practice And now let me ask you to re
in the church ? Prayer, as we view the whole tenor of scripture have seen, was among their most as to this question. Dr. Wiseman constant topics, How, then, is it, has ransacked the Bible ; he has that prayer to Abraham, or to passed over more than five hundred Elijah, or to Stephen, is never passages in which prayer and once mentioned in all their writworship and supplication is named, ings? Negative proof stronger and not a single text can he find, than this, it is, I conceive, scarcely which lends the least colour to the possible to imagine. worship of saints. This, of itself, Rom. But you stop at too ought to decide the whole question. early a date. Dr. Wiseman goes
For remember what is the in- on to adduce a variety of instances evitable inference : We have the from the writings of Irenæus,
Origen, Cyprian, Eusebius, Basil, * Apoc. c. viii. sect. 2.
Athanasius, and other fathers, in
which the practice of the early ings of the Fathers against the church is clearly seen;
and in worship of the saints, as in favour which the invocation of the saints of such a practice. For instance, is constantly taught.
- We must pray to Prot. I know it, and I admit him alone who is God over all; the fact, but I wholly refuse the and we must pray to the only inference, that, as a practice of the begotten Son of God, the first-born church in the second, third, fourth of every creature; and we must and subsequent centuries, it is entreat him, as our High Priest, binding upon us. I refuse it, to present our prayers when they tirst, because St. Paul, in writing come to him to his God and our to the Thessalonians, had warned God, to his Father and ours.' them that “a falling away” or
Athanasius tells us— It apperapostacy, was at hand ; and that tains to God only to be worship" the mystery of iniquity ped, and the angels themselves are already, in his, the apostle's time, aware of this : for although they at work, (2 Thess. ii. 3, 7.) It Surpass others in glory, they are is clear, therefore, that when we all creatures, and not beings to be find new practices and new doc- worshipped, but beings who wortrines creeping into the church, ship the Lord. The angel, theresubsequently to the apostle's days, fore, admonished Manoah, the we ought at least to suspect, that father of Sampson, saying, “ Offer these were some of the manifestions not to me, but to God.” 7 of that “mystery of iniquity” which Gregory Nazianzen says, “The he had declared to be already at word of God has ordained that none work, and which was to produce a of those things which have their great “falling away."
being by creation shall be worshipBut, 2ndly. I refuse to be ped by men. Moses, the law, the governed by quotations from prophets, the gospels, and all the Cyprian, Origen, Basil, or Gre
apostles, forbid our lookingto the gory Nazianzen, for another very creature.'t sufficient reason; that these emi. And Epiphanius is still more denent men, great and honourable as cided, warning us that “ Neither most of them were were still, like Elias is to be worshipped, nor yet ourselves, fallible and variable; John. Nor is Thecla, nor any of and did in fact, continually change the saints to be worshipped. For their opinions, and confess their that ancient error shall not prevail errors, from time to time. And
over us, to forsake the living God, thus it comes to pass, that while and to worship the things that are the advocate of one view can al- made by him. For they worways replenish his quiver from the shipped and served the creature armoury of the fathers, with argu- more than the Creator, and thus ments for the affirmative of any became fools. And if an angel question, the opponent finds it will not be worshipped, how much equally easy to gather from them more will not she who was born reasons on the negative side in the of Anpa.” “ Let Mary be had in same controversy. And what can honour, but let the Father, the Son, be the end of such contention, but and the Holy Ghost be worshipeither a weariness and disgust at ped. Let no man worship Mary.” § such senseless proceedings, or a * Origen against Celsus. Lib. viii. sceptical doubt whether such a † Athanasius, 3d Orat. against Arians. thing as truth is possibly to be Paris, 1627. discovered.
# Gregory Nazianzen, 4thOrat. against
Eunom. tom.ii. p. 144. In the present case it is just as
$ Epiphanius against Heretics, $ 79, pp. easy to find passages in the writ- 448, 449.
These few passages, which might the saints, are opposed to the be indefinitely increased, shew that spirit and tenor of the gospel : if we were to go to the Fathers for 2. That they are also opposed to a decision of the question, we the plain injunctions of Scripture : should merely involve ourselves in 3. That they do amount, in the an inextricable maze of conflicting generality of cases, to absolute opinions. But we have already and very gross idolatry. decided, that the Bible, and the First, then, I mean to show that Bible only, is to be the standard these doctrines and practices opto which appeal is to be made. pose and counteract the inain ob. And never, assuredly, did advo- ject and intent of the gospel. That cate so utterly fail, as has Dr. intent I shall not venture to deWiseman, in the attempt to sup
scribe to you in my own words, port saint-worship by scripture but shall adduce the descriptions authorities.
of the apostles themselves. Rom. It seems to me that you
St. Paul tells the Ephesians, perpetually confound two things “ But now in Christ Jesus ye who which Dr. Wiseman justly dis- sometimes were far off are made criminates, namely, that highest nigh by the blood of Christ. For worship which is due only to God, he is our peace, who hath made both and that minor degree which may one, and hath broken down the midblamelessly be paid to bis creatures. dle wall of partition between us; You are well aware that the words Having abolished in his flesh the “ worship,” “ worshipful,” “your enmity, even the law of commandworships," are constantly applied ments contained in ordinances ; for by Protestants, both to the wife to make in himself of twain one in the marriage service, and to new man, so making peace ; And magistrates and other authorities, that he might reconcile both unto when invested with the insignia of God in one body by the cross, havtheir office.
ing slain the enmity thereby : And Prot. I am aware, indeed, of came and preached peace to you this circumstance, and of the op- which were afar off, and to them portunity which your writers have that were nigh. For through him thereby obtained, of perplexing the we both have access by one Spirit whole question. I do not mean, unto the Father.” (Eph.ii.13-18.) therefore, to dwell upon the bare To the Corinthians he writes, word, worship,-but upon the very “ All things are of God, who hath nature of the homage and adora- reconciled us to himself by Jesus tion paid by you to the saints, as Christ, and hath given to us the in itself unlawful and idolatrous. ministry of reconciliation ; To wit,
Inq. You are now going, then, that God was in Christ, reconciling to commence your own view of the world unto himself, not imputthe case, your antagonist having ing their trespasses unto them ; and certainly failed to establish his, hath committed unto us the word of either by Scripture or tradition. reconciliation. Now then we are
Prot. Yes, I will take up ambassadors for Christ, as though the solemn question, put in such God did beseech you by us : we pray indignant terms by Dr. Wiseman,
in Christ's stead, be ye recon- Why we venture to charge the ciled to God.” (2 Cor.v. 18—20.) Romish church with idolatry ? In To the Colossians, answering this interrogation, I shall “ For it pleased the Father that endeavour to show three things, in him should all fulness dwell;
1. That the doctrines and prac- And, having made peace through tices of the Romish church, as to the blood of his cross, by him to the adoration and invocation of reconcile all things unto himself ;
by him, I say, whether they be fall, a “great gulf was fixed” bethings in earth, or things in heaven. tween man and his Creator. As a And you, that were sometime alien- sinner, man, until a reconciliation ated and enemies in your mind by is effected, dares not lift up his wicked works, yet now hath he re
eyes to heaven.
His mind is conciled in the body of his flesh always averted with dread, from a through death, to present you holy view of his angry Judge; and this and unblameable and unreproveable fear, and dread, and alienation, it in his sight.” (Col. i. 19-22.) is Satan's chief object to keep up. And so writes St. Peter :
So long, he well knows, as this “ Christ also hath once suffered alienation exists, man must remain for sins, the just for the unjust, entirely in his power. that he might bring us to God. But this enmity and distance it, (1 Pet. iii. 18.)
was the great object of the Gospel And St. John,
Man could not ap" Thắt which we have seen and proach God; God, therefore, by heard declare we unto you, that ye the wonderful contrivance of Realso may have fellowship with us : demption, approached man, in and truly our fellowship is with order to draw man to himself. the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,” says St. Peter, “ hath Christ.” (1 John i. 3.)
once suffered for sins, the just for Beloved, if our heart condemn the unjust, THAT HE MIGHT BRING us not, then have we confidence US TO GOD.” (1 Pet. iii. 18.) And toward God. And whatsoever we “therefore," says St. Paul," being ask, we receive of him, because we justified by faith, we have PEACE keep his commandments, and do WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus those things that are pleasing in Christ; by whom also we have his sight.” (1 John iii. 21, 22.) ACCESS by faith unto this grace
“ God is love ; and he that dwell- wherein we stand, and rejoice in eth in love dwelleth in God, and hope of the glory of God." (Rom. God in him, Herein is our love made v. 1, 2.) perfect, that we may have boldness Now, all this beautiful plan of in the day of judgment : because the Divine wisdom, it is the endeaas he is, so are we in this world. vour of Satan, by every possible There is no fear in love; but per- device, to counteract. fect love casteth out fear: because stant labour is, to persuade man fear hath torment. He that fear- that there is not this perfect reconeth is not made perfect in love.” ciliation; that he may not approach (1 John iv. 16–18.)
God with filial confidence; that “ These things have I written there is some degree of terror and unto you that believe on the name austerity yet remaining, which of the Son of God, that ye may
makes it far wiser and more desirknow that ye have eternal life, and able to use the intercession of that ye may believe on the name of others, rather than to throw himthe Son of God. And this is the self before the Divine footstool. confidence that we have in him, that And having succeeded in creating if we ask anything according to this feeling of dread and distance, his will, he heareth us.”
the next attempt is to throw a v. 13-15.)
similar degree of awfulness and These passages, to which many terror around the character of others might be added, will exhi- Christ; and to argue that human bit better than any words of mine beings like ourselves would be could do, the great end and object more likely to listen with symof the Gospel, which is, TO BRING pathy, and to plead our cause MAN NIGH UNTO GOD.
with earnestness, than so great a