« السابقةمتابعة »
confirmation without a repetition of baptism; but, whether schismatical baptism confers a right to the privileges of the church where the schismatical parties have NOT sought, and do NOT seek, reconciliation with the church. For the schismatical parties who claim the rites of the church for their deceased friends have themselves made no profession of a desire for admission into the church; nor can it be alleged, in respect of the deceased, that death has made any change in his or her condition in this respect. "Where the tree falleth, there it shall be;" and, "as death leaves us, so judgment will find us." They who die in schism, continue in schism till the day of judgment. The church has no power to release them from the state in which they die. The maxim and doctrine of discipline concerning the burial of such persons has ever been, "Quibus non communicavimus vivis non communicemus defunctis," as may be seen by the canon law, de Sepulturis, c. 12, and in the writings of Leo I., and other doctors of the church. In pursuance of which principle, the 21st canon of the fourth Lateran Council, which was received and confirmed in England by the fourth constitution of Archbishop Sudbury, enjoined that every member of the church (omnis fidelis), who did not receive the communion at least once in the year, namely, at Easter, in the year preceding his death, should not receive Christian rites at his burial: the remains of which discipline we find in 112th of the canons of 1603, which enjoins that the names and surnames of all persons, as well men as women, who, being of the age of sixteen years, received not the communion at Easter shall be presented to the bishop.
Such was the discipline of the church, and such the laws existing on her statute book, when our burial service was framed; proving, beyond exception, that that office (like those for matrimony and churching), was intended only for the use of those who were in communion with the church. So plain and undeniable it seems to be, that, according to the received principles and discipline of the church in general, and of the Church of England, down to the time of the framing our burial service, the defendant was justified in his refusal; and the complainants not warranted in claiming the rites of the church for one of their members.
But it is alleged that in 1603 the discipline of the Church of England underwent an important relaxation and alteration in this respect, and on the strength of this alleged alteration it is contended that the claim of the complainants can be established. Whether this be so or no forms (apparently) the last question upon the case, by the answer to which it seems probable that the cause must be determined. It is stated, then, by the complainants that, by the 68th canon of 1603, burial is not to be refused except the party deceased were denounced excommunicated majori excommunicatione, for some grievous and notorious crime, and no man able to testify of his repentance; and that although it is very true that by the 9th, 11th, and 12th canons of the same year, those persons are ordered to be excommunicated ipso facto who shall place themselves in the position of the complainants, yet that, until any individual liable to that censure has had such sentence pronounced against him, he cannot be excluded from burial, according to the canon first alleged. From which it would follow that the defendant, if he find himself aggrieved, has only
1 Eccles., xi. 3.
himself to blame, because, by duly presenting the parties as schismatics, he might have procured them to be denounced as excommunicate, according to the 9th, 11th, and 12th canons aforesaid; in which case his refusal to celebrate the rites of the church would have been fully warranted. In short, that, as he failed to enforce the discipline of the church upon the parties while the child-was living, it is too late to attempt to enforce it upon the child now dead, and that in being compelled to administer the rites of the church improperly, or in being punished for not doing so, he is only reaping the due reward of his former negligence.
But to this the answer, apparently a sufficient one, seems to be that the church, like a mother, provides only for her own children — according to the saying of St. Paul," what have I to do to judge them that are without ?" That until persons be openly admitted within her pale, she has, and can have, no cognizance of their Christian existence; for de non existentibus, et de non apparentibus, eadem est ratio: and that the very requiring sentence of denunciation of excommunication pre-supposes the parties to have been previously in communion. That, therefore, if it can be shown or alleged in behalf of the party deceased, that she was in communion with the Church of England at any time subsequent to her schismatical baptism, her friends will be entitled to claim the benefit of the 68th canon, unless, for offences after such reconciliation, sentence of excommunication was pronounced against her. But that otherwise they cannot; because schismatical baptism in itself is no act of commnunion with the church.
Such at least (under correction) seems to be the conclusion to which, under a due regard to the office of the church, and to the honour of our Lord, who prayed for unity, and to the safety of men's souls, an examination of the church's rules would bring us. Nor is this conclusion otherwise than according to the truest charity. For the more deeply one is convinced of the sin and danger of any course, the more bound is one, in charity, by every means to bear clear witness against it. And to treat schism as no sin, must needs, if it be a sin, be the most unchristian cruelty to men's souls, as encouraging them to continue in a state injurious to their eternal salvation.
East Horsley, Nov. 14, 1840.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Note. In the body of this letter I have purposely abstained from entering into a question connected with the 68th canon, namely, whether the term excommunicate," in the rubric of 1660, prefixed to our burial service, is to be interpreted by the 68th canon of 1603, and not rather to be regarded as substituted for it, and having much more extensive signification, as embracing, not merely those "openly denounced excommnunicated," but, according to the early discipline, all careless members of the church, who, by neglect of public worship, excommunicate themselves. The other enactments in that rubric, which are all revivals of the ancient discipline, concerning burial, as it obtained prior to 1603, would lead one to suppose that the latter was the case. On this point the opinion and practice of the late
1 1 Cor. v. 12.
revered prelate of Moray, the venerable Bishop Jolly, will not be without interest. It is in a letter, dated September 26th, 1833. "Even in this remote corner," he writes, "there are too many who, by their total abstinence from all the offices of the church, excommunicate themselves, (the most hopeless of all), and in such cases I have again and again refused the funeral office, and so declared myself of your judgment, with mournful feeling such as yours is."
SIGNS OF THE TIMES AND CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE EPISCOPAL MAGAZINE.
SIR, I was somewhat amused by the remarks of your two correspondents, Mr. Faber and a Learner, in your October number. Both assume that the Pope is the antichrist of St. Paul and St. John, and that the 1260 years are drawing near to a close, which appear to me not yet to have commenced. Following the axiom of explaining the unknown by the known, the obscure by the clear, it is evident that Mr. Faber has committed a great mistake in asserting that "the conversion of the Jews will usher in the general conversion of the Gentile world,” when St. Paul says, "that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved." Therefore, the converse of Mr. Faber's proposition is the correct one. Let us now see whether the description of the Man of Sin, given in the epistle to the Thessalonians agrees with the present state of the Rom'sh Church. “Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things. And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." Does the Pope exalt himself "above all that is called God, or that is worshipped," when in the mass he bows down at God's altar, and "that God would admit him into the number of the saints, not prays weighing his merits, but pardoning his offences, through Christ our Lord?" Is his coming after the working of Satan when he says, "through him (Christ), with Him, and in Him, to thee, O God, the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory." I take shame to myself that I ever thought so. If we turn
to the description of the beast and false prophet in the 13th chapter of Revelation, we find that blasphemy is the distinguishing mark. Can a church which holds the three creeds which our articles assert " proved by the most certain warrants of Scripture" be accused of blasphemy against God, his name, and tabernacle?" Surely those who make these assertions have no more regard to truth than those upon whom God will send a strong delusion.'
Mr. Faber says "the principle of consistent exposition compels us to set down the kings of the north and south as those of the then sovereignties of Syria and Egypt;" being north and south of Jerusalem: then the kings of the East are not Jews, but kings from the other side Euphrates, which is east of Jerusalem.
"A learner" says that Daniel prophesied in the third year of Belshazzar's reign, or the year 555 B. C., and we find that the sanctuary and host were to be trodden under foot for 2400 years, that is, till the year 1845. This cleansing I take to be the restoration and conversion of the Jews, after the taking away the sacrifice and setting up the abomination of desolation by the Romans. Before there can be a falling away, it is necessary that there should be a full conversion; and, when Jew and Gentile shall form one Church, then the apostasy may be expected, and the Man of Sin to arise and rule for 1260 years. As no person now lives to this age, it is evident that the Antichrist must be a succession of men.
If we turn to the book of Revelation, this will appear to be the fact. We are now living under the sixth trumpet, and the angel declares that in the days of the voice of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God shall be finished. The temple of God and altar (that is, the Church) is to be measured and given over to the Antichrist for 1260 years.
Two witnesses are to prophesy: they are the two olive trees (the wild olive, or Gentile Christian, and the good olive, or Jewish Christian) and the two candlesticks (the Gentile and Jewish Christian Churches) standing before the God of the earth. The false prophet shall, at the conclusion of their testimony, overcome, and, to all appearance, kill them. Their dead bodies are to lie three years and a half (that is, so long as they shall appear extinguished) in the street of the great city (the world, or else Jerusalem). Then Christianity shall revive to the astonishment of its enemies, the seventh angel sounds, and the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ, and the day of judgment is at hand.
But, in order to impress this prophecy more fully on the mind, the apostasy is represented under the figures of a woman clothed with the sun (the Church), and the moon (the synagogue) under her feet, and upon her head the apostolic stars, who is persecuted by a great red dragon for 1260 years. Also under the figure of a beast rising out of the sea, and a false prophet, whose destruction is set forth at great length, and upon whom are poured out the seven vials full of the wrath of God. But those who had gotten the victory over the beast sing "the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb;" a clear proof that the Jews were already converted, and suffering persecution equally with the Gentile Christians.
I have said that "the kings of the east" are not Jews. Justin, the historian, says "that many kings of the east met Alexander, with mitres VOL. II.
and fillets on their heads," but he applies the term to the kings of Tyre and Sidon as well as to the Jews. These kings of the east cross the Euphrates to make war with the Lamb, for we are told that "the kings of the earth and of the whole world" were to be gathered to the battle.
This persecution will throw those of the Pagan emperors into the shade, and the contest will be not between churches, but between Christ and his Church, on the one side, and the devil, antichrist, and the world, on the other. Then will the despised Jew stand beside the Gentile, contending for the Christian faith against blasphemy and infidelity.
If you ask what city heads the infidels, the apostle answers Mystery, Babylon the Great." Mystery, says he then we are to understand that there is a concealed meaning, viz., Rome, and not Babylon, whose destruction follows. Daniel says "that from the beginning of this persecution there should be 1290 years, that is, 30 years after the 1260, and pronounces a blessing upon him that cometh to the 1335 years, the time of blessing, perhaps, alluded to in Revelation xiv. 13, before the pouring out the vials of wrath.
The explanation which I have given may be unsatisfactory, but our duty is clear. We are not to be alarmed, but to "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus," for those who shall attend the Lamb are "called, and chosen, and faithful.” And, in conclusion, I would recommend Mr. Faber, before he sends forth another edition of his work on Justification by faith, to put the words " and it is God who worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure" into their proper place, the middle of his quotation from St. Basil, and not omit them altogether. And when he is explaining St. James's words, of justification as before men, to consider what answer is to be given to these words of Bossuet: "If that justice which is in us were only such in the eyes of men, it would not be the work of the Holy Ghost; it is then a justice, and that before God, seeing it is God himself who produces it in us, by infusing his charity (and, he might have added, his faith) into our hearts." Exposition of Catholic faith. He will then have a better
title to be called faithful than he has at present.
St. John said that, in his time, there were many Antichrists, and no doubt but that the Pope, when he claims a dominion over all other bishops, is one; for it is given to Christ alone to hold all the stars in his right hand; but he is not yet THE Antichrist.
Your obedient servant,
Towcester, November 16th, 1840.
As we are not naturally men without birth, so neither are we Christian men in the eye of the church of God but by new birth; nor, according to the manifest ordinary course of divine dispensation, new born, but by that baptisin that both declareth and maketh us Christians. In which respect we justly hold it (baptism) to be the door of our actual entrance into God's house; the first apparent beginning of life, a seal, perhaps, to grace of election before received.-Hooker.