Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ment and severities of the cloister. To justify this extraordinary step, he insinuated, that abstinence and sensuality were of themselves indifferent things, and that all meats were equally lawful when taken with thanksgiving; that the state of virginity was not more perfect than that of matrimony; and that the Holy Mother of God did not remain a virgin after her concep, tion. He held likewise, that those who were once regenerated in baptism, could no more be vanquished by the devil ; that, consequently, all the regenerate would receive an equal recompence in heaven.

According to St Augustine, he moreover maintained with the Stoic philosophers, that all sins were equally enormous. These errors, were condemned by Pope. Siricius, and by a council which St Ambrose held at Milan in 390.

St Jerome, with his usual vivacity of style, vindicated the merit of virginity. To some he appeared to reprobate the married state. But the holy, doctor undertook to shew, that his meaning had been misinterpreted ; and explained the passages which had given offence. The charge against St Jerome has, however, been renewed by protestants, who have adopted a great part of the errors of Jovinian. They pretend that, after indulging in intemperate invective, he had been reduced to the necessity of contradicting himself: it would be well if the adversaries of catholicity were candid enough, in their turn, to retract or to explain, what is susceptible of misconception in their writings, or calculated to scandalize their readers. So far from censuring, we should applaud their candor and their generosity : although in fact, St Jerome was under no such awkward predicament. See his book against Jovinian, Fleury, Hist. Eccles. t. 4, 1. 19, n. 19, &c.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ISLEBIANS. See AGRICOLAITES.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ISOCHRISTÆ_about the middle of the sixth century began to maintain in some parts of the Eastern empire, that the apostles were to be exalted in heaven to an equal dignity with our Saviour Christ.

They were condemned by the council of Constantinople in 553. See ORIGENISTS.

[merged small][ocr errors]

JUDAIZING Christians—were those among the converted Jews who held that, in order to salvation, it was not enough to believe in Jesus Christ, and to practise what he taught; but that it was moreover necessary for the faithful, diligently to keep the ceremonial observances ordained by the Mosaic law; for instance, the Sabbath, Circumcision, Abstinence from certain meats; and that even the Gentile converts were bound to observe them. The contrary was defined by the apostles in the council of Jerusalem, in the year 51, (Act. c. 15.) Those who, notwithstanding this their decision obstinately adhered to their former opinion,

years af

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

were esteemed unorthodox; and St Paul severely condemns
them in his epistle to the Galatians, written about four
ter the council. However, it must be remarked, that the apostles
had not forbidden these legal ordinances to converts that were
born Jews. And the christian church still observes certain reli-
gious practices in use with the Jews. Hence unbelievers object-
that we still continue to Judaize; and the objection originates
with protestants. St Leo answered their exceptions fourteen
hundred years ago. (Serm. 16, n. 6.) “ While under the New
Testament," says this most learned and judicious father of the
church, “ we observe certain practices of the old dispensation,
the law of Moses seems to add new weight to the precepts of the
gospel; and we are more and more convinced, that Jesus Christ
did not come to abolish, but to fulfil the law: and although we
no longer stand in need of types which announced the future
coming of the Saviour, nor of figures, while we are in possession
of the substance, we still deem it convenient to retain what may
contribute to promote the worship of God, and sanctity of morals;
since these are things—both equally enjoined by the old and new
dispensations.” These too, we have received from apostolical
tradition.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

JUMPERS-a branch of the Methodist society, originating in Wales. It began about the year 1760. - In the course of a few years, says Mr Evans in his Sketch, the advocates of groaning and loud talking, as well as of loud singing-repeating the same line or stanza over and over thirty or forty times,—became more numerous, and were found among some of the other den nominations in the principality, and continue to this day.

Several of the more zealous itinerant preachers in Wales, recommended to the people to cry out Gogoniant (the Welch word for glory,) -- Amen, &c. &c.—to put themselves in violent agitations; and finally—to jump until they were quite exhausted. This advice they complied with accordingly, so as often

be obliged to fall down on the floor, or on the field, where this kind of worship was performed;" which singular species of fanaticism is supposed to be rather on the decline, though other ceremonies of a nature not less ridiculous and eccentric, are still prevalent in some assemblies of the Methodistic persuasion. See Mr Evans, article JUMPERS.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

L

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

LATITUDINARIANS—those who very liberally accord salvatioit to all religious sectaries without exception, however widely they may differ in their systems of belief and practice; and thus evince their sincere wishes to enlarge the narrow way that leads to bliss. Their philanthropy would entitie them to the gratitude of a large proportion of mankind, were their doctrine but well supported. It has, at least among protestants, the advantage of consistency. The great Bossuet has fully proved in his sixth Avertissement aux Protestants, that Latitudinarianism or indifference in religious articles, evidently results from the principle which

gave birth to the reformation ; namely, that the church is not infallible in her decisions; that none are obliged to yield submission without discussing first their plausibility; and that the only rule of faith is Sacred Scripture. On this principle too, Socinians rest their claim of toleration from their protestant brethren ; scripture being the alleged rule of faith equally with both parties. In vain would protestants assert the distinction of fundamentals and non-fundamentals : by their own avowal, this dictinction has no existence in Holy Scripture.

The catholic church, less temerarious and more consistent, contends that, to decide who shall, and who shall not be saved, belongs not to man, but to the Deity. When once God exacts from us, as the necessary medium of salvation, that we faithfully believe in his word, we are not privileged to exempt any person from the obligation of believing: and, in effect, it is an absurdity to imagine that God has revealed to us his truths, and left it, notwithstanding, to our caprice to view them in what light we please; as well might we have been left without any revelation at all. But, in fact, God has confided the depositum of revelation to his church; and if in charging her to teach all nations, he had not imposed on all—the obligation of submitting to her doctrine, this would have been a perfect solecism of legislation,

During the long lapse of eighteen hundred years, this church has maintained, invariably, both her principles and her practice. She has always retrenched from her communion every sectarian, that has obstinately vindicated his own independence. The abşurdities, the glaring contradictions, the impieties into which they bave all been hurried in their turn when severed from the catholic church, alone suffice to demonstrate the necessity of submission. Do then the Latitudinarians facilitate the way to heaven, or rather, widen the broad road of perdition? This they may term intolerance of belief: but, the spirit of the catholic church is not the spirit of persecution: its arms are merely spiritual ; and it deprecates from itself and others all violence and blood

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Hh

a

wa

cac

wit

shed. Only, with St Paul, it announces to the world, that without faith, which he says is one, it is impossible to please God. If in this there be a breach of charity, then must that divine apostle equally share the guilt.

Our readers may be apt to infer, that all will be lost, by the above principles, who are not in the external communion of the catholic church. We say not so; but those only, who by their own fault unhappily remain excluded. Well meaning christians of whatever denomination, so disposed as to be sincerely desirous of finding out, and of embracing the truth when once dis 1 covered, are implicitly true believers, and catholics in their t heart. All these the church of God acknowledges her children, p although the unhappy circumstances of their birth and education prevent them from recognising their rightful mother. ti: Will the eighteenth of the thirty-nine articles of the church of th England bear a more charitable interpretation ?

They also,

li says this article, are to be had accursed, that presume to say,

tif That every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he profess ch eth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature. For holy scripture doth set out unto us th only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved. And be will protestants still forget their own creed, however at defiance with the grand reforming maximin order to calumniate more wantonly their fellow christians !

of LOLLARDS_sectarians of the fourteenth century, thus named from one Walter Lolhard a German, who commenced his apostleship in 1315. The greater part of his erroneous opinions he borrowed from the Albigenses : he taught--that the devils hadity been banished heaven unjustly; that they would one day be readmitted there, and that on the contrary, Michael and the dou other angels, authors of this pretended injustice, would be eternally damned, as well as all those who should refuse to embrace pub his doctrine.

It spread very rapidly in Austria, Bohemia and other places. This sect rejected the ceremonies of the church ; the invocation of saints; the Blessed Eucharist, and the sacrifice of the mass, as well as extreme-unction, and satisfactory L works of penance. They maintained that baptism was of no avail, confession useless, and matrimony a professed whoredom. Lolhard was condemned to the flames at Cologne in 1322, and at his execution betrayed no symptoms either of fear, or of repentance.

In England the Wicklefites were denominated Lollards, be cause these two sects, by reason of the similarity of most of their opinions, had formed a junction; and they were both condemned by Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, in the self council of London 1396, and in that of Oxford in 1408. It has been very justly observed, that the Wicklefites had predis

abu nat and

Cess

cat!

com

whic

estet

[ocr errors]

hiss

viole also,

awe ceed had

Saxo - Chai

posed the minds of the people for the schism of Henry VIII. in England, and that the Lollards had prepared the way for John Huss in Bohemia.

Mosheim gives a different account of the origin of these fanatics, who, he says, under the garb of religion concealed their inmoralities; and on this account were the heretics of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries called indiscriminately-Lollards.

LUTHER —the great apostle of protestantism, was born at Isleb, a town of Saxony, towards the close of the fifteenth century, 1483. He studied' his course

of theology at Wittenburg, Wister proceeded doctor and commenced professor in that university, after having first embraced the religious institute of the Augustinians. Europe at that time lived in peaceable subjection to the see of Rome--while Leo X. a person of extraordinary qualifications, and a munificent patron of merit, occupied the pontifical chair. He formed the project of erecting a magnificent church in honor of St Peter, and granted indulgences to all that should contribute towards the expences of the edifice. Luther's zeal was awakened-at the abuses which are said to have been practised in the collection of these charities. He entered warmly into the merits of the cause, and soon contested the efficacy of the indulgences themselves. The dispute was maintained with much heat by the papal commissioners and the theologians of Francfort; while Luther on his side, indulged in intemperate abuse, and quite forgot the modest l'eserve of religious subordination. He was cited to appear before his Holiness at Rome; and Leo X. issued forth a bull, in which he declared the valid ity of the indulgences, and pronounced that, in quality of successor to St Peter, and vicar of Jesus Christ, he had an undoubted right to grant them ; that this was the doctrine of the catholic church, and an essential article of her communion. He published another bull, proscribing Luther's opinions, and commanding him to burn his books and to retract his errors; which if he neglected to do within a given time, he was to be esteemed a heretic.

Luther resolved to appeal from the papal bull to a general council, and as the elector of Saxony had begun to patronise his sentiments, he had the boldness publicly to burn the bull at Wittenburg This action was perfectly congenial with Luther's violent temper ; but it proved, eventually, in his regard, an act also, of policy. The people on the sudden lost that reverential awe which hitherto had impressed them, for every decree proceeding from the Roman pontiff; and the confidence which they had always reposed in the efficacy of indulgences. Luther himself, protected by his great admirer and patron the elector of Saxony, disregarded both the ordinances of the emperor Charles V, and the censures of Rome fulminated against him in

« PrécédentContinuer »