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Majesty's superior courts of law, with the consent of her Majesty's Attorney General in England and Ireland, or her Majesty's Advocate in Scotland, as the case may be.
“ ACT NOT TO EXTEND TO BISHOPS OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CAURCA
“III. This Act shall not extend or apply to the assumption or use by any bishop
of the Protestant episcopal church in Scotland exercising episcopal functions within some district or place in Scotland of any name, style, or title in respect of such district or place; but nothing herein contained shall be taken to give any right to any such bishop to assume or use any name, style, or title which he is not now by law entitled to assume or use.
“SAVING THE POWERS OF 7 AND 8 VICT. C. 97. “IV. Be it enacted, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to annul,
repeal, or in any manner affect any provision contained in an Act passed in the eighth year of the reign of her present Majesty, intituled 'An Act for the more effectual Application of Charitable Donations and Bequests in Ireland.""
PROTESTANT DISSENTERS have been neither apathetic or indifferent at what has been passing around them. Although (with few exceptions) they have not united in the general public agitations which have prevailed upon the subject of Papal Aggression, they have not failed, however, to give a clear and decided exposition of their sentiments; and without offering further individual comment,* the united utterance of their views are given in the following Resolutions, commencing with those adopted by the LONDON MINISTERS OF THE THREE DENOMINATIONS OF CONGREGATIONALISTS, BAPTISTS, AND PRESBYTERIANS, at a meeting held in the Congregational Library, Blomfield Street, London, on the 31st December, 1850; Dr. Leifchild in the chair :“I. That, at the present crisis, when all classes of their protestant countrymen are "2. Because its assumption, that the church of Rome is the only true church of
expressing their just indignation at the introduction of the papal brief erecting a Romish hierarchy in this kingdom, it eminently becomes this body, in consideration alike of their known principles and their past history, publicly to declare their sentiments in relation to popery itself, and to the efforts it is making to regain its ancient ascendancy; and this they now do, not under the sudden impulse of feeling which they shared in common with others when the obnoxious measure was first announced, but after time has been allowed for a calm and
deliberate judgment to be formed upon it. “II. That, in bearing their solemn and public protest against popery, they are
constrained to denounce it, amongst other reasons, especially for the following, “1. Because it is incompatible with the independence of national government,
subversive of the just prerogatives of the British crown, and a foe to the liberties and social interests of the people.
* The writer has stated some views with regard to the extent to which legislative enactment should extend, in its protective and preventive requirements agaiust Jesuitism and Papal Aggression, p. xxiv.
Christ on earth, is not only arrogant, and destitute of all foundation in the word of God, but is essentially intolerant; and, taken in connexion with its known determination to suppress, wherever it has the power to accomplish it, all other churches,-whether the ecclesiastical establishments of England and Scotland, or the unendowed and independent churches of the various denomi. nations of protestant nonconformists,- is fitted to excite the detestation of all who value their rights as men, or the religious freedom which in this country they enjoy as Christians.
“3. Because it denies to the common people the free use of the bible, and demands
to be its infallible and authoritative interpreter,-allowing it to be understood, even by those who possess it, only in the sense which the church of Rome imposes,—thus, on the one hand, robbing mankind of God's inestimable gift, the precious charter of their noblest liberties, and the only revelation of that truth by which men are sanctified and saved ; and, on the other; interfering with their personal responsibility by refusing to them the right, and releasing them from the duty of searching the scriptures for themselves, and understanding them by exercise of their own judgment in dependence on the promised aid of their Divine Author.
“4. Because it teaches doctrines directly opposed to those fundamental verities
of the gospel which have been held in every age by the true followers and churches of Christ, and were vindicated by the protestant reformation of the sixteenth century; the perfect and everlasting expiation of sin by the sacrifice of Christ once offered, and never to be repeated; his exclusive mediation, whether of atonement or of intercession, between God and man; and justification, not by human works, but by faith only in the blood and righteousness of the incarnate Son of God; and by opposing, corrupting, and nullifying these vital
truths, virtually overthrows Christianity, and imperils the salvation of men. “5. Because, finally, all history shows that the predominance of popery in any
country is invariably attended with the prevalence of gross and debasing superstition, with the usurpations of a tyrannical priesthood, and a corresponding servility of the people; that it enslaves the mind, pollutes the conscience, and corrupts the morals of men ; that it is unfriendly to domestic virtue and social happiness, and, instead of ennobling a nation and enriching it with science, learning, commerce, and manufactures, and, above all, with the generous institutions and purifying influence of Christianity, drags it down, as in the instance of the Roman states at the present moment, to the lowest depths of political insignificance, social wretchedness, and practical immorality.
“III. That, in the recent measure of the pope, as announced in the papal bull or
brief, and explained in other documents put forth by Dr. Wiseman and others of the Romish bishops, this body see conclusive evidence that popery, in its most revolting features, remains unchanged amidst the progress of society, and the development of the principles of national independence and general liberty ; since it asserts the right of the Roman pontiff—a foreign potentate-to interfere with the prerogatives of the British sovereign, and the internal arrangements of the kingdom, and takes upon itself to appoint ecclesiastical authorities, not only with territorial titles, but with an implied claim of ecclesiastical jurisdiction commensurate with the geographical extent of their dioceses ; and that, regarding this measure as being illegal, a dangerous innovation upon the protestantism of the country, and aimed against all that they hold dear, both as Britons and as
Christians, this body are convinced that it ought to be disallowed and annulled. “IV. That this body would be unfaithful to their convictions if they did not advert
with disapprobation to the encouragement given to popery by successive governments, and by the legislature, in the concession of civil rank made to popish bishops above some orders of the peerage, on the ground of their ecclesiastical office; and in the endowment of its institutions and its priesthood in Ireland and the colonies; since both these measures were subversive of religious liberty, and on that ground were especially opposed by protestant nonconformists; and to this disposition repeatedly manifested to patronise popery, together with the anti-protestant spirit and teaching of a large portion of the clergy of the established
church, they cannot but MAINLY ATTRIBUTE the audacity which it nou displays. “ V. That while this body thus express their unconquerable aversion to popery,
they would be no parties to any legislative enactment by which their Roman catholic fellow-subjects should be deprived of the same measure of civil and religious liberty wbich they claim for themselves; but they cannot hold it to be an infringement of the rights of conscience for the legislature to annul the papat rescript, and for the development of popery to be only so far legally permittei as is plainly compatible with the security of the throne and the liberties of the
subject. " VI. That this body, nevertheless, place their hopes for the successful counteraction
of popery principally, not on legislative enactments, but on moral and religious means. It will afford them, therefore, the greatest satisfaction, should occasion be taken from this aggression of the pope to give a more extensive circulation to the bible among all classes of the community; to extend the benefits of education ; to diffuse the knowledge of those great principles, both of scriptural Christianity and of civil and religious freedom, which were asserted by the protestant reformation; to remove impediments to the cordial and open union of all protestant Christians ; and to revive a spirit of earnest and enlightened piety in all the evangelical churches in the country, -only that, in their judgment, all religious communities should be left to pursue these objects by their own proper agencies and methods, unaided and unimpeded by the legislative inter
ference of the state. “VII. That, in conclusion, this body, animated by the spirit of ardent attachment
to the civil constitution of their country, and to the illustrious house of Brunswick, which has ever distinguished protestant nonconformists,-declares, on the present occasion, their devoted loyalty to her majesty the queen, who, with equal honour to herself and happiness to her subjects, sways the sceptre of her royal ancestors; and their grateful acknowledgments to Almighty God for the blessings which have been conferred by His providence under her gracious reign; together with their fervent prayers that the diadem may long encircle her. brow with undiminished lustre, until, by His rich mercy, and through the grace of our only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, it shall be exchanged for a crown of glory that fadeth not away.'"
The Declaration of the BAPTIST BOARD, adopted at a meeting held at the Baptist Mission House, London, December 31st, 1850, Dr. F. A. Cox in the chair, will give the views of the Baptist Body in their Denominational character :
“Ever amongst the foremost advocates, and the most strenuous defenders of civil and religious liberty, The BAPTISTs of this country solemnly deprecate intoler. ance in all its forms, and exercised towards the professors of whatever mode of religious faith and worship. The freedom they now enjoy, in common with their fellow-subjects, was acquired by their forefathers at too serious a cost not to be watched over, and guarded against encroachments, with the utmost jealousy. They cannot, therefore, but view with alarm the efforts which are made by the Roman pontiff to regain his former ascendancy in this kingdom, since of all intolerant and persecuting powers Popery has ever shown itself the most despotic cruel. The ecclesiastical development at which it aims is incompatible with any, even the smallest degree of religious liberty, and indeed with the existence of any other Church; for in the words of Dr. Wiseman, in his 'Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling of the English People,' it is stated to be “the doctrine and belief of Catholics (that is Roman Catholics) all over the world, that there are no such things as national or separate churches, but only one true Catholic or universal Church, under one head, the Bishop of Rome, otherwise called the Pope.' P. X. The inference from this doctrine is too obvious to need to be enunciated, and, taken in connection with history, too frightful not to be contemplated with equal detestation and horror.
“Not second to any in ardent attachment to evangelical truth, they maintain, in resolved opposition to Romanism, the great doctrine of the Protestant Reformation : the right of every man to possess the Bible, as God's common gift to the whole human family; to interpret it for himself by the aid of the Holy Spirit promised to be given in answer to prayer; the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for all the purposes of salvation ; justification by faith only in the blood and righteousness of Christ; and his sole mediation and priesthood, with the perfection and everlasting virtue of his once offered sacrifice on the cross ;—while they utterly renounce and deeply abhor the antagonist doctrines of ecclesiastical infallibility, tradition, human merit, and the mass, with their adjuncts of auricular confession, sacramental efficacy, and priestly power.
“ This Board has long witnessed with concern the gradual and constant augmentation in the United Kingdom of the adherents of the Papacy--the result of a systematic and eager proselytism, conducted in many cases with the insidious wiles for which the Jesuits are notorious--to which the recent erection of the Romish hierarchy is both intended and calculated to give an additional impetus. This bold progressive step but too clearly evinces the growth which at the same time it tends to foster ; while the manner in which it has been taken indicates no less surely the existence of expectations, the realization of which would be destructive of our national welfare and liberties, both civil and religious, and entail the most fearful curse upon our children.
“Unhappily, the causes of the boldness which Romanism has manifested are to be found not exclusively in itself, but in circumstances nearer home. On the one hand, the British Government has been seen for many years past not only relieving Roman Catholics from civil disabilities, and so rendering them the justice due to all classes of peaceable subjects, but endowing their institutions with grants of public money, and conferring on their ecclesiastics national honours usually pertaining only to peers of the realm. On the other hand, men have arisen in the bosom of the Church of England, and favour has been shown them by their episcopal superiors, whose ministrations have tended to Romanize the people, and whose secret proceedings may be said to have amounted to a conspiracy against her. That these combined influences should have seemed, in the judgment of the Pope, to invite
and to justify his recent measure, is little to be wondered at, although greatly to be deplored.
“ The remedy of a mischief so deep rooted cannot be instantaneous in effect, though it ought to be instantly applied. If, warned by what has now taken place, the Government and the Legislature would abandon the habitual patronizing ot the Romish priesthood, withdraw the endowments bestowed upon them from the national funds, and leave them, as in the judgment of this Board all religious bodies should be left, to themselves; and if evangelical Christians of all churches would multiply their zealous efforts, not after party triumphs, but for the diffusion of the common salvation, and conduct them, not in a spirit of denominational rivalry, but cf brotherly concord, then, under God, might much be hoped for. This Board, however, cannot be satisfied without asserting its conviction, that scarcely would anything, in the order of means, more powerfully tend to paralyze the efforts of Popery, or to render them innocuous, than the separation of the Church from the State, and the consequent placing of all religious communities, in the eye of the law, on one and the same level.
“This Board, in conclusion, seizes the opportunity thus afforded to declare anew its devoted loyalty to her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, and to express its fervent prayers that it may please Almighty God long to preserve and uphold her in the undiminished dignity and just authority of her throne, for the happiness of her subjects and for the purposes of His own glory. And it avows its unalterable attachment to the constitucion of these realms, the Royal prerogative in civil affairs, and, so long as an established Church exists, the Royal supremacy in its ecclesiastical affairs, both of them defined and exercised according to law, this Board most cordially approves and maintains; and it rejoices in the hope, that her Majesty will defend them alike from encroachment, in happy and honourable union with that freedom, both civil and religious, which is the birthright of Britons, and the vindication and extension of which have rendered the House of Hanover the most illustrious that ever swayed the British sceptre."
Although the documents together are somewhat lengthy, they are entitled to be placed upon record as the sentiments of the representatives of a numerous and an influential section of her Majesty's Dissenting subjects, and embrace topics which will become matters for reference to the present and future historian, as indicative of the progress of sentiment at the present period upon questions of vital interest to the nation.
In the preceding declaration of the Baptist Board, it will have been seen, views are expressed, which will be considered somewhat extreme.
“This Board, however, cannot be satisfied without asserting its conviction that scarcely would anything, in the order of means, more powerfully tend to paralyse the efforts of Popery, or to render them innocuous, than the separation of the Church from the State, and the consequent placing of all religious communities, in the eye of the law, on one and the same level.”
The proposed remedy stated to be an essential antidote against the