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person as the only begotten Son whom the gospel was intended to of God.
reunite and make one; and to hinAnd in inculcating this false der men from seeking help where view, he is mainly aided by the alone it is to be found, in their alchurch of Rome, whose theolo- mighty and all-merciful God and gians constantly assert it.
Saviour. And therefore I main“ You lament,” says Dr. Mil- tain, that it is opposed to the whole ner, “ that your prayers to God tenor and purport of the gospel are not heard ;- continue to pray dispensation. to him with all the fervour of
your But further, or rather as soul; but why not engage his necessary consequence,-it contrafriends and courtiers to add the dicts the plain declarations of weight of their prayers to your Scripture. own? Perhaps his Divine Majesty Most explicitly does Christ demay hear the prayers of the Jobs, clare of himself,
6. I am the way, when he will not listen to those the truth, and the life ; no man of an Eliphaz,” &c.* “ Beg of cometh unto the Father, but by her, then (the Virgin) with affec- me.” (John xiv. 6.) “ If ye shall tion and confidence, to intercede ask any thing in my name, I will with Jesus for you.” +
do it." (v. 14.) « Verily, verily, saints,” says Dr. Wiseman, " look I say unto you,
Whatsoever ye down upon us with sympathy, shall ask the Father in my name, take an interest in all that we do and he will give it you." (ch. xvi. 23.) suffer, and make use of the influ- St. Paul is equally clear on this ence they necessarily possess with point : “ It is Christ that died, God towards assisting their frail yea, rather, that is risen again; and tempted brethren on earth.” I who is even at the right hand of “We may turn to them in the God, who also maketh intercession confidence of brethren, and ask for us.” (Rom. viii. 34.) them to use their influence with " There is one God, and one their Lord and Master, which their mediator between God and men, charity and goodness necessarily the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. move them to exert.” §
ii. 5.) Now what is the drift and in- Wherefore in all things it beevitable effect of all this ; ---but to hoved him to be made like unto his convey an impression to the peni-' brethren, that he might be a mertent and praying mind, that there ciful and faithful High Priest in are others in heaven whose ears things pertaining to God, to make are more open to his prayers, reconciliation for the sins of the and whose hearts more readily people : For in that he himself hath · sympathize with his griefs and suffered being tempted, he is able necessities, than either
to succour them that are tempted," Father of mercies,” or " the Good (Heb. ii. 17, 18.) Shepherd, who bears the lambs “ We have not an High Priest in his arms
and carries them which cannot be touched with the in his bosom, and gently leads feeling of our infirmities; but those that are with young.” The all points tempted like as we are, yet whole tenor of this system, then, without sin. Let us therefore come is to augment the distance be- boldly unto the throne of grace, tween Christ and the sinner ; to that we may obtain mercy, and find separate and drive apart those grace to help in time of need."
(ch. iv. 15, 16.) * Milner's End of Cont. 18mo. p. 370.
Wherefore he is able also to + Ibid. p. 371. Wiseman's 13th Lecture, p. 98.
save them to the uttermost that § Ibid. p. 98.
come unto God by him, seeing he
ever liveth to make intercession for intruding into those things which them.” (ch. vii. 25.)
he hath not seen, vainly puffed up “ And for this cause he is THE by his fleshly mind : (Col. ii. 18.) MEDIATOR of the New Testa- And to Timothy he writes, ment.” (ch. ix. 15.)
“ Now the Spirit speaketh ex“ For Christ is not entered into pressly, that in the latter times the holy places made with hands, some shall depart from the faith, which are the figures of the true ; giving heed to seducing spirits, and but into heaven itself, now to ap- doctrines of devils, (or demonpear in the presence of God for us." gods).” (1 Ï'im. iv. 1.) (ch. ix. 24.)
Such, then, is the clear and St. John follows in the same broad testimony of Scripture on strain :
this point; and let it be rememIf any man sin, we have an bered, that on the other side not a advocate with the Father, Jesus word can be found, as we have Christ the righteous : And he is the already seen, which gives the least propitiation for our sins : and not countenance to the notion of the for our's only, but also for the sins propriety of seeking other intercesof the whole world.” (1 John ii. sors or mediators, than “ the ONE 1, 2.)
MEDIATOR between God and man, " And this is the confidence that the man Christ Jesus.” we have in him, that, if we ask But I must now proceed, in the any thing according to his will, he last place, to show that this pracheureth us : And if we know that tice, a tendency to which I admit he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we to have shown itself in the church know that we have the petitions as early as the third and fourth that we desired of him.” (1 John centuries, but which was fixed v. 14, 15.)
and consolidated by the Romish And I would boldly ask, whe- ecclesiastical power ;
I must now ther language could possibly be go on, I repeat, to show that this more distinct and full on this point, practice, when carried to the exthat Christ is our ONE MEDIATOR; tent to which Rome has carried it, that he ever heareth the prayer amounts to nothing less than absoof the penitent; and that by Him lute and positive IDOLATRY. no one is ever sent empty away.
For what is Idolatry? It is What folly then, or rather, what the setting up a strange god; the satanic delusion is it, to turn away giving to some creature of God's from this great High Priest, the hand, or some invention of our own appointed channel of communica- fancy, the place and the rightful tion between God and man, and to dominion of God himself. prefer our petitions to Gregory, or Now this worship of “ demons,” Januarius, or Mary, rather than or dead men, is chargeable with unto him.
this guilt, in two particulars :But although the apostles chiefly 1. That it ascribes to human dwell on the truth in this matter, beings the incommunicable attriand seem not to have had much butes of God; and, presage of the false doctrine that
2. That it devolves upon the should arise, they do once or twice same human beings the peculiar allude to this subject, and with the offices and honours of Christ. strongest abhorrence. Writing to It ascribes to “ demons,” or dead the Colossians, St. Paul counsels men, the incommunicable attributes them,
of God. “ Let no man beguile you of Among these we may chiefly your reward in a voluntary humi- name his omnipresence and omnislity and worshipping of angels, cience. These are constantly spoken of in Scripture as God's own pecu- I do not wish to plunge into metaliar and distinguishing attributes. physical discussions. I prefer to
“ Then hear thou in heaven thy press this plain doctrine,--that to dwelling-place, and forgive, and ascribe one of these great and do, and give to every man according peculiar attributes of God to a to his ways,
whose heart thou know. mere human being, without the est; (for thou, even THOU ONLY, least ground for so doing, either in knowest the hearts of all the chil- Scripture or in common sense, is dren of men.)" (1 Kings viii. 39.) to be guilty of an act in the highest
• Shall not God search this out? degree dishonourable to God, and for he knoweth the secrets of the partaking largely of blasphemy. heart.” (Psalm xliv. 21.)
To come to particulars: The “ Thou compassest my path and
Church of Rome causes perpetual my lying down, and art acquainted supplications to be sent up, from with all my ways. For there is not every corner of the globe, and from a' word in my tongue, but, lo, O the secret of the heart, as well as Lord, thou knowest it altogether. by audible voices, to the Virgin Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Mary: Now, I beg to know what or whither shall i flee from thy ground any one can have for suppresence?” (Ps.cxxxix. 3, 4, 7.) posing that any one of these sup6. Can
any hide himself in secret plications are really heard by the places that I shall not see him? Virgin? saith the Lord. Do not I fill Rom. I think that Dr. Wiseheaven and earth? saith the Lord.” man has shewn that the belief of (Jer. xxiii, 24.)
the church, from the third century “ Neither is there any creature down to the present time, has that is not manifest in his sight : been, that prayers were offered for but all things are naked and opened us by the saints in heaven, and that unto the eyes of him with whom we it was therefore our interest and have to do.” (Heb. iv. 13.)
our duty to apply to those saints And it is the persuasion of this for their intercessions. peculiar and all-important fact, Prot. I have already told you, which draws forth man's faith and that the opinion of this or that prayer. It is because “in Him father, or of a whole array of fawe live, and move, and have our thers, cannot establish a doctrine being," that “ the eyes of all wait without the aid of scripture. Nor upon Him, and He giveth them would “ the general consent of their meat in due season.” And antiquity,”- which, however, I do thus it is that the Psalmist ad- not admit to be wholly in favour dresses God, by an allusion to this of saint-worship, prevent me from attribute, as essentially his own: asking this practical question, “O THOU THAT HEAREST PRAYER, How do
know that these unto Thee shall all flesh come.” whispered or secret petitions to
I might proceed to argue, next, Mary, breathed at the same moupon the absolute impossibility of ment in Italy, in Mexico, and in this attribute being communicated Hindoostan, are ever known or to, or conferred upon, any mere heard by her ? creature, There is nothing irre- Rom. Nay, why may I not as verent in saying, that there are well ask you, How do you know attributes which God himself could that they are not? not confer upon another. A crea- Prot. Because, when you
teach ture, for instance, who was formed a worship no where commanded only yesterday, cannot be made to in scripture, you are clearly bound be eternal, or from before all time. to shew that it is grounded on But I forbear urging this point, as
some principle reconcileable with
measure every where, and man's own knowledge and experi- themselves hear the prayers of the ence is opposed, at first sight, to supplicants. your theory.
We know that a " 3. Others, that the saints see creature, a human soul, cannot be in God all things, from the bein two places at once.
ginning of their beatitude, which in if we were to imagine it possible any way appertain to themselves ; for the soul of the Virgin to be and hence even our prayers which conscious of a whispered prayer are directed to them. breathed forth by a nun in Sicily, “4. Others, lastly, that the we should still find it difficult to saints do not see in the Word our conceive the possibility of her prayers from the beginning of their being also aware, at the same in- blessedness, but that our prayers stant of time, of other prayers are only then revealed to them by offered in Canada or in Tran- God, when we pour them forth.”* quebar. Now I admit, willingly, Inq. Nay, I must say that if one that all such difficulties as these of your greatest men, as I suppose must be surrendered the moment Bellarmine to have been, could the words of inspiration are heard. give no more rational account of But I cannot submit to any thing the matter than this, it looks as less authoritative. I cannot give if your case were indeed a bad one. up the conclusions of my own rea- Christ
in one of the texts we son merely out of deference to the
heard just now,
6. Whatsoever ye opinions of Basil or of Hilary. I shall ask the Father in my name, ask, therefore, do you mean to hewill give it you.” Instead of ascribe to the Virgin the language which, according to the first of used only by God himself, “ Do I these imaginations, the angels are not fill heaven and earth, saith the employed in carrying our prayers Lord?” Or do you mean to alter to the saints, who in their turn the words of the Psalmist, and to carry them either to Christ or to say, “ The eyes of Mary are in the Father! Is this circuitous every place, beholding the evil and
course to be preferred to the plain the good.” What, in short, do you path described by Christ, without wish us to understand to be your the clearest necessity, or the most belief, touching the mode in which distinct injunctions ? As to the your "saints" are made acquainted second fancy, quickness of motion with the petitions of their wor- is not omnipresence, nor can it ever shippers ?
answer the same end. But the Rom. I do not know how I can third and fourth are still more better answer this question, than by preposterous. God, it is supposed, a passage from Bellarmine on this
hears our prayers, and reveals very point.
them to the saints, that they may Concerning the manner in which repeat them to him! Why, a systhey know what is said to them, tem is self-condemned at once that there are four opinions among the is only to be defended by such doctors,
hypotheses as these ! “ 1. Some say that they know Prot. The simple truth is, that it from the relation of the angels, there is no middle course. Either who at one time ascend to heaven, the Virgin Mary, and not the and at another time descend thence Virgin only, but all the Ursulas, to us.
and Benedicts, and Dunstans, and “ 2. Others say that the souls Gregorys in the Romish calender, of the saints, as also the angels, are absolutely omnipresent, and by a certain wonderful swiftness which is natural to them, are in * Bellarm. De Sanct, Beat. li.i. c. 20, JULY 1838.
are therefore, so many Gods; or saints before him on our behalf. else, if they remain creatures, On the contrary, we reply, what confined to one place at a time, greater disrespect can we show, and knowing only what is commu- than by neglecting the course presnicated to them by such channels as cribed, and choosing other ways are consistent with their finite and of approach unto God. "I am created state and character, then the way, the truth, and the life," there must ever remain the utmost saith Christ. " No man cometh uncertainty, and in fact improba- unto the Father, BUT BY ME.” I bility, as to the safe passage or am the door ; by me if any man conveyance of each prayer we enter in, he shall be saved, and offer up to them. In a word, if shall
in and out, and find pasthey hear all the prayers addressed ture.' And St. Paul declares, to them, then they are Gods, and again and again, and in the strongnot creatures: but if they are not est and clearest terms, that he is Gods, but finite and imperfect our great High Priest, our only creatures, then they cannot hear Intercessor, and that he “has enall the breathed or whispered aspi. tered into heaven itself, now to rations which ascend towards them, appear in the presence of God for from twenty nations of the earth at And he therefore argues, the same moment of time. If you Let us come boldly unto the throne embrace the latter supposition,
of grace, that we may obtain mercy then give up saint-worship. But and find grace to help in time of if you will not do this, then admit need." that you make to yourselves new Rom. You forget one of Dr. Gods !
Wiseman's reasons, namely, that God is dishonoured, then, by " the saints look down upon us our ascribing bis essential and in- with sympathy; and that we may communicable attributes to divers turn to them with the confidence of his creatures.
But still more is of brethren,” and ask them to use his displeasure excited when his way their influence with their Master. of salvation is set at nought, and Prot. No, I have not forgotten the offices and honours which he con- that which is indeed one of the ferred upon Christ are attributed greatest affronts that can possibly to some of those poor sinners whom be offered to Cbrist. " Greater Cbrist came to save.
Now this is love, said the compassionate Sa. constantly done by those who pray viour, “hath no man than this, to the saints instead of praying to that a man lay down his life for his Christ, and ask of them those very friends."
friends.” “I am the good shepblessings which it is his peculiar herd, and know my sheep, and am pleasure and glory to bestow. known of mine. “ Come unto me,” says Jesus him- It is little to say, that no human self, “all ye that.labour and are records have pourtrayed, nor has heavy laden, and I will give you the mind of man conceived, a rest.' Rather turn, says Dr. character of such exceeding love Wiseman, to the saints, and “ ask and sympathy, as is that of Christ. them to use their influence' with The truth is, that even the outChrist.
St. Paul, lines and rapid lineaments of that " there is one God and one Media- character which are afforded us in tor between God and man, the man the brief narratives of the EvanChrist Jesus." But, rejoins Dr. gelists, are beyond the reach of our Wiseman, it adds immensely to minds and souls. The tenderness bis glory,' it is paying him the and compassion of that heart, which highest homage, when we thus give yearned, even to weeping, over a occasion for the prostration of the city whose inhabitants, he well