{197} [Note 1] I MAKE no apology for troubling you with this Letter, for I cannot conceal from myself that I am one of those against whom your recent Publication is directed. My first impulse indeed, when I heard of the probability of its appearance, was to resolve not to answer it, and to recommend the same course to others. I have changed my mind at the suggestion of friends, who, I feel, have taken a sounder view of the matter; but my original feeling was, that we have differences and quarrels enough all around us, without my adding to them. Sure I am, that the more stir is made about those opinions which you censure, the wider they will spread. This has been proved abundantly in the course of the last few years. Whatever be the mistakes and faults of their advocates, they have that root of truth in them which, as I do firmly believe, has a blessing with it. I do not pretend to say they will ever become widely popular, that is another matter; Truth is never, or at least never long, popular;—nor do I say they will ever gain that powerful external influence over the Many, which Truth vested in the Few, {198} cherished, throned, energizing in the Few, often has possessed;—nor that they are not destined, as Truth has often been destined, to be cast away and at length trodden under foot as an odious thing;—but of this I am sure, that at this juncture in proportion as these opinions are known, they will make their way through the community, picking out their own, seeking and obtaining refuge in the hearts of Christians, high and low, here and there, with this man and that, as the case may be; doing their work in their day, as raising a memorial and a witness to this fallen generation of what once has been, of what God would ever have, of what one day shall be in perfection; and that, not from what they are in themselves, because viewed in the concrete they are mingled, as everything human must be, with error and infirmity, but by reason of the spirit, the truth, the old Catholic life and power which is in them.

And, moreover, while that inward principle of truth will carry on their tide of success to those bounds wider or straiter, which, in God's inscrutable providence, they are to reach and not to pass, it is also a substitute for those artificial and sectarian bonds of co-operation between man and man, which constitute what is commonly called a party. I notice this, because though you do not use concerning their upholders the word party, you do speak of an existing "combination," "an indefinite and apparently numerous body of friends," nay you hint at a "formidable conspiracy;" words which mean more than that unity of action which unity of sentiment produces. Men who think deeply and strongly, will act upon their principles; and if they think alike, will act alike; and lookers on, seeing the acts, and not seeing the principles, impute that to concert which proceeds from unanimity. So much I would grant in the present case, and no more; unless the contingence of two persons thinking alike and {199} acting on their thoughts be party spirit, it is impossible to help the appearance of party in cases where there is not the reality. Like actions inevitably follow; but their doers are not party men, till their own personal success becomes prior in their thoughts to that of their object.


Such is the position in which the opinions and persons stand, whom you so heavily censure. And whatever be the consequence to those persons, I see nothing but advantage resulting to those opinions from such publicity and discussion as you are drawing upon them. As far as they are concerned, I should have no anxiety about addressing you; but a feeling of the miserable breach of peace and love which too commonly follows on such controversies, to say nothing of one's own private convenience, is enough to make any one pause before engaging in such a discussion. I cannot doubt you feel it also, and therefore I deeply regret that a sense of imperative duty should have obliged you to commence it. No one of course can deny that there may be cases when it is a duty to hazard such a result; the claims of truth must not be compromised for the sake of peace. No one has any cause to complain of those who, from a religious regard to purity of doctrine, denounce what others admire. But this I think may fairly be required of all persons, that they do not go so far as to denounce in another what they do not at the same time show to be inconsistent with the doctrine of our Church. Now this is the first thought which rises in my mind on the perusal of your Remarks. I do not find in them any proof of the contrariety of the opinions and practices, which you condemn, to our Church's doctrines. This seems to me an omission. You speak of an "increasing aberration from Protestant principles," "a disposition to overvalue the importance of Apostolical tradition;" {200} "exaggerated and unscriptural statements," a "tendency to depreciate the principles of Protestantism," and to "palliate" the "errors of Popery," "gradual and near approximation towards" the "Roman superstitions" concerning "the Lord's Supper." Now this is all assertion, not proof; and no one person, not even a Bishop ex cathedrā, may at his mere word determine what doctrine shall be received and what not. He is bound to appeal to the established faith. He is bound conscientiously to try opinions by the established faith, and in doing so appeals to an Unseen Power. He is bound to state in what respect they differ from it, if they do differ; and, in so doing, he appeals to his brethren. The decision, indeed, is in his own hands; he acts on his own responsibility; but before he acts he makes a solemn appeal before God and man. What is true of the highest authority in the Church, is true of others. We all have our private views; many persons have the same private views; but if ten thousand have the same, that does not make them less private; they are private till the Church's judgment makes them public. I am not entering into the question about what is the Church, and the difference between the whole Church and parts of the Church, or what are, what are not, subjects for Church decisions; I only say, looking at the English Church at this moment, and practically, that if there be two parties in it, the one denouncing, the other denounced, in a matter of doctrine, either the latter is promoting heresy, or the former is promoting schism. I do not see that there is any medium; and it does seem incumbent on the former to show he is not infringing peace, by showing that the latter is infringing truth.


There is a floating body of opinions in every Church, {201} which varies with the age. They are held in one age, abandoned in the next. They are distinct from the Church's own doctrines; they may be held or abandoned, not without criticism indeed, because every man has a right to have his opinion about another's thoughts and deeds, and to tell him of it, but without denunciation. The English Church once considered persecution to be a duty; I am not here called on to give any opinion on the question; but certainly the affirmative side of it was not binding on every one of her members. The great body of English Churchmen have for three centuries past called the Lord's Table an Altar, though the word is not in our formularies: I think a man wrong who says it is not an Altar, but I will not denounce him; I will not write in a hostile tone against any person or any work which does not, as I think, contradict the Articles or the Prayer Book. And in like manner, there has ever been in our Church, and is allowed by our formularies, a very great latitude as regards the light in which the Church of Rome is to be viewed. Why must this right of private judgment be infringed? Why must those who exercise that right be spoken of in terms only applicable to heretical works, and which might with just as much and just as little propriety be retorted upon the quarter they came from? Mr. Froude's volumes are called in your Sermon an "offensive publication;" is this a term to be applied to writings which differ from us in essentials or non-essentials? they are spoken of not only as containing "startling and extravagant" passages, but "poison." What words do you reserve for heresy, for plain denials of the Creed, for statements counter to the Articles, for preachings and practices in disobedience to the Prayer Book? If at any time the danger from Romanism was imminent, it was at the time when the Articles were drawn up; what right has any one now of his own private {202} authority to know better than their compilers, and to act as if those Articles were more stringent in their protest against it than they are? If the Church of the nineteenth century outruns the sixteenth in her condemnation of its errors, let her mould her formularies accordingly. When she has so done, she has a claim on her members to submit; but till then, she has a claim on them to respect that liberty of thought which she has allowed, nor to denounce without stating the formal grounds of their denunciation.


I am speaking, on the one hand, of a public, severe, deliberate condemnation; and on the other of the omission of the grounds on which it is made. If grounds can be produced, of course I do not object; and in such case I leave it for those to decide, whether they be tenable, with whom the decision lies. Nor on the other hand can any fair objection be made to friendly expostulation, nay or to public remonstrance even without grounds stated, if put forward as resting on the personal authority of the individual making them. Men of wisdom need not for ever be stating their grounds for what they say: but then they speak not ex cathedrā, but as if "giving their judgment," their own judgment, "as those that have been faithful;" as "Paul the aged." The private judgment of one man is not the same as that of another; it may, if it so be, weigh indefinitely more than another's; it may outweigh that of a number, however able, learned, and well-intentioned. But then he gives it as private judgment; he does not come forward to denounce. And, again, to take the case of men in general, there will ever be difference of opinion among them about the truth, fairness, propriety or expedience of things said and done by each other. They have full right, as I have already {203} said, or are even under a duty to speak their mind, though they speak it with pain; and the parties spoken to must bear it, though they bear it with pain. All this need not infringe the bond of charity on the one side or the other. But to denounce publicly yet without stating grounds is a different procedure.


And next, I am sorry, that, considering that you have used strong terms concerning Mr. Froude's Volumes, you have not judged it right to state that they contain as strong expressions against Popery as your pamphlet contains against those Volumes. Nay, you might without much trouble have even cited these, especially as you cite so many others which seem to you to countenance the errors of the Papal system; but perhaps this was too much to expect. Yet at least you would have had no need to lose time in finding them, for some of the principal are brought together in the Preface, which you have evidently read. These strong disclaimers in the work in question tell the more from the unsuspicious way in which the Author made them; in private letters to friends, and in casual conversation, when nothing called for them but the genuine feeling of their truth on his part. They shall find here the place which you have denied them.

Speaking of Italy and Sicily, he says, "These Catholic countries seem in an especial manner to 'hold the Truth in unrighteousness.' And the Priesthood are themselves so sensible of the hollow basis upon which their power rests, that they dare not resist the most atrocious encroachments of the State upon their privileges ... I have seen priests laughing when at the Confessional; and indeed it is plain, that, unless they habitually made light of very gross immorality, three-fourths of the population {204} [of Naples] would be excommunicated."  [Note 2] vol. i. pp. 293, 4.

Such a protest against the practical working of the existing Roman system abroad, is not much like a recommendation of it at home. I am sure your readers cannot be prepared for it. All you tell them is, from your title, that there is a "Revival of Popery," and, from your remarks, that Mr. Froude's Volumes help it forward. Certainly you do concede that the persons you speak of are not "strictly Papists;" and that it would be "as uncharitable as it is untrue," to say, "that within certain limits of their own devising they are not actually opposed to the corruptions and the communion of Rome." p. 24. May I ask, whose "devising" the "limits" are, which enable you to assign to these persons their exact place in the scale of theology? Certainly not the devising of the Church; at least, you do not appeal to it. Such is the measure of consideration you show to them.

Again: on a friend's saying that the Romanists were schismatics in England and Catholics abroad, "No," he answered, "they are wretched Tridentines everywhere." p. 434.

In another place he speaks of "the atrocious Council" of Trent; and adds, "I own, it" (information concerning that Council) "has altogether changed my notions of the Roman Catholics; and made me wish for the total overthrow of their system." vol. i. pp. 307, 8 [Note 3]. {205}

Now from such passages I gather, that the author did consider the existing system of Rome, since the Council of Trent, to be a most serious corruption. Nay, he adds himself, that he wishes for its "total overthrow." This is not like giving a helping hand towards "the Revival of Popery." However, the sole impression conveyed to your mind, by the passage, is, not the direct one that the Roman system has been hopelessly corrupt since, but, by inference that it was not hopelessly corrupt before. The latter point you enlarge upon; the former you let alone. Might I not put in a plea that you should not deduce from a premiss, without acknowledging that premiss itself?


But now, as to this question concerning the Council of Trent, let us consider what it is Mr. Froude and others have said about it. Merely this,—not that the Church of Rome was not corrupt before the Council of Trent, but that its corruptions before that Council were for the most part in the Church but not of it; they were floating opinions and practices, far and wide received, as the Protestant opinions in our Church may be at this day, but, like these opinions in our own case, they were not, as a body, taken into the Church, and made the system of the Church till that Council [Note 4]. And this is what Mr. Froude {206} means by his notions being "changed" about the Roman Catholics; he thought, till he was better informed, that the Church in Council might alter what the Church in Council had determined; but when he found that Romanists could not reduce to a matter of opinion what they had once exalted into a doctrine, that they could not unloose an anathema they had once tied, that, in his own words, "they were committed finally and irrevocably, and could not advance one step to meet us, even though the Church of England should again become what it was in Laud's time," then, while he called the Council "atrocious," he went on to "wish for the total overthrow" of the system, which is built upon it.

How different is this from approving of everything that took place in the Church before it! While bitterly mourning over the degradation and divisions of the Church Catholic, he is oppressed with the sudden sight of an apparently insuperable difficulty in the way of any future healing her wounds, the great and formal decision of the Roman Church at Trent, that points which had been before but matters of opinion, should be henceforth terms of communion. There was hope till this decision; there were the means of reformation. In the words of one of the Tracts you refer to, "If she (Rome) has apostatized, it was at the time of the Council of Trent. Then, indeed, it is to be feared, the whole Roman Communion bound itself, by a perpetual bond and covenant, to the cause of Antichrist [Note 5]. But before that time, grievous as were the corruptions in the Church, no individual Bishop, Priest, {207} or Deacon, was bound by oath to the maintenance of them. Extensively as they were spread, no clergyman was shackled by obligations which prevented his resisting them; he could but suffer persecution for so doing. He did not commit himself in one breath to two vows, to serve faithfully in the Ministry, and yet to receive all the superstitions and impieties which human perverseness had introduced into the most gracious and holiest of God's gifts." vol. i. No. 15.

I confess I wish this passage were not cast in so declamatory a form; but the substance of it expresses just what I mean. The Council of Trent did, as regards Roman errors, what, for all we know, (though God forbid!) some future synod of the English Church may do as regards Protestant errors,—take them into her system, make them terms of communion, bind upon her hitherto favoured sons their grievous chain; and what that unhappy Council [Note 6] actually did for Rome, that does every one in his place and according to his power, who, by declaiming against and denouncing those who dare to treat the Protestant errors as unestablished, gives a helping hand towards their establishment.


I will quote two passages from very different persons in corroboration of what has been said, Dean Field and Bernard Gilpin. Dean Field says, that "none of those points of false doctrine and error which Romanists now maintain and we condemn were the doctrines of the Church before the Reformation constantly delivered, or generally {208} received, by all them that were of it, but doubtfully broached, and devised without all certain resolution, or factiously defended by some certain only, who, as a dangerous faction, adulterated the sincerity of the Christian Verity, and brought the Church into miserable bondage." Of the Church, Append. to b. iii. Elsewhere he speaks as follows:—"There is therefore a great difference to be made, between the Church wherein our Fathers formerly lived and that faction of the Pope's adherents, which at this day resist against the necessary reformation of the Churches of God, and make that their faith and religion, which, in farmer times, was but the private and unresolved opinion of some certain only ... Formerly, the Church of Rome was the true Church, but had in it an heretical faction: now the Church itself is heretical, and some certain only are found in it in such degree of orthodoxy, as that we may well hope of their salvation." iii. 47.

Bernard Gilpin, whom I shall quote next, is the stronger evidence, inasmuch as he considered what I certainly cannot, that the Pope was the Antichrist; yet he implies that he only became so at Trent [Note 7] ... "The Church of Rome kept the rule of faith entire, until that rule was changed and altered by the council of Trent; and from that time it seemed to him a matter of necessity to come out of the Church of Rome, that so that Church which is true and called out from thence might follow the word of God." [Note 8] {209}


Nothing surely is more intelligible than being in a Church, and not approving of the acts of its rulers or of large bodies in it. At this day there are many things said and done among us which you would as little approve as myself; and are we answerable for them? and though we should be silent when great and grievous errors were put forth, though we allowed books to go out to the world as if with our sanction when they had it not, though we gave persons out of doors the impression that we approved of them, though when controversy began we took no prominent share in it, though we sat still and let others bear the brunt and odium of it, ought we therefore to be identified with those errors whatever they are? Certainly not; though blameless in such a case we certainly should not be, nor without some sort of debt to them who worked for us. If Albigenses or Waldenses can be found who really did the office of witnesses in those strange times of mixed good and evil, let them have the praise of it; let the Church have the shame of it, for not doing the work herself and in a better way. But it is one thing to say the rulers of the Church were remiss or incapable; quite another that they agreed with their more stirring brethren, who acted instead of them, and usurped the Church's name, and abused her offices, and seemed to be more than they were. How then is it to the purpose to speak of the "systematic imposture of pretended miracles," "the portentous delusions of Purgatory and Transubstantiation," "the especial worship of the Virgin Mary," "the prohibition of Scripture," "the establishment of the Inquisition," &c. as existing before Trent? Who defends such things as these? who says the Church of Rome was free from them before Trent? Are not the Tracts, which you refer to, full of protestations against them, protestations quite as strong as those I read {210} in your pamphlet? Why are the Tracts to be censured for stating a plain historical fact, that the Roman Church did not, till Trent, embody in her creed the mass of her present tenets, while they do not deny but expressly acknowledge her great corruptions before that era, while they give the history of Transubstantiation prior to Trent, (Nos. 27, 28,) of the Breviary worship of the Blessed Virgin prior to Trent, (No. 75,) of Purgatory prior to Trent, (No. 79,) while they formally draw up points in which they feel agreement with Romanists to be hopeless, (Nos. 38, 71,) and while they declare, (in large letters, to draw attention,) that, so long as Rome is what it is, "union" with it "is impossible"? (No. 20.) All that can be said against them is, that in discussing the Roman tenets, they use guarded language; and this I will say, that the more we have personal experience of the arduous controversy in question, the more shall we understand the absolute necessity, if we are to make any way, of weighing our words, and keeping from declamation.


You speak as if the opinions held by the writers you censure were novel in our Church, and you connect them with the "revival of Popery." Does any one doubt that on all points of doctrine on which a question can occur, there is a large school in our Church, consisting of her far most learned men, mainly agreeing with those writers? Does any one doubt that their statements are borne out in the main by Hooker, Andrewes, Laud, Montague, Hammond, Bramhall, Taylor, Thorndike, Bull, Beveridge, Ken, and Wilson, not to mention others? how many are there of the doctrines you object to, which one or other or all of these great pastors and teachers do not maintain? I will confine myself to Bramhall, who flourished in the seventeenth century, and after holding the see of Derry in the reign of {211} Charles the First, and suffering in the great Rebellion, was made Archbishop of Armagh. And let it be observed that in thus drawing out one or two of the opinions of this great man, I am not making myself or any one else responsible for them; I am but showing how far divines may diverge from the views now popular, and yet be held in reverence both in their own day and since.

1. Of the Real Presence he thus speaks: "So grossly is he" (his Roman opponent) "mistaken on all sides, when he saith that 'Protestants' (he should say the English Church if he would speak to the purpose) 'have a positive belief that the Sacrament is not the Body of Christ;' which were to contradict the words of Christ, 'This is My Body.' He knows better that Protestants do not deny the thing, but their bold determination of the manner by Transubstantiation." Works, p. 226.—"Abate us Transubstantiation, and those things which are consequent of their determination of the manner of Presence, and we have no difference with them [the Romanists] to this particular. They who are ordained Priests ought to have power to consecrate the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, that is, to make Them present after such manner as they were present at the first institution, whether it be done by enunciation of the words of Christ, as it is observed in the Western Church, or by Prayer, as it is practised in the Eastern Church; or whether these two be both the same thing in effect, that is, that forms of the Sacraments be mystical prayers and implicit invocations." Works, p. 485. "Whether it be corporeally or spiritually, (I mean not only after the manner of a spirit, but in a spiritual sense,) whether it be in the soul only or in the Host also, whether by consubstantiation or transubstantiation, whether by production, or adduction, or conservation, or assumption, or by whatsoever other way bold and blind men here conjecture, we determine not." p. 21. {212}

2. Concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass. "If his Sacrifice of the Mass have any other propitiatory power or virtue in it than to commemorate, represent, and apply the merit of the Sacrifice of the Cross, let him speak plainly what it is. Bellarmine knew no more of this Sacrifice than we." p. 172. "We acknowledge an Eucharistical Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; a commendative Sacrifice, or a memorial of the Sacrifice of the Cross; a representative Sacrifice, or, a representation of the Passion of Christ before the eyes of His heavenly Father; an impetrative Sacrifice, or an inpetration of the fruit and benefit of His passion, by way of real prayer; and, lastly, an applicative Sacrifice, or an application of His merits unto our souls. Let him that dare go one step farther than we do, and say that it is a suppletory Sacrifice to supply the defects of the Sacrifice of the Cross; or else let them hold their peace, and speak no more against us in this point of Sacrifice for ever." p. 255. "I have challenged them to go one step farther into it [the question of the Sacrifice of the Mass] than I do; and they dare not, or rather they cannot, without blasphemy." p. 418.

3. Concerning adoration in the Sacrament. "We ourselves adore Christ in the Sacrament; but we dare not adore the species of Bread and Wine." p. 356.

4. Concerning Prayers for the Dead in Christ. "We condemn not all praying for the dead; not for their resurrection and the consummation of their happiness; but their prayers for their deliverance out of Purgatory." p. 356.

5. Concerning the Intercession of Saints. "For the 'intercession, prayers, merits of the Saints,' (taking the word 'merit' in the sense of the Primitive Church, that is, not for desert, but for acquisition,) I know no difference about them, among those men who understand themselves; but only about the last words, 'which they invocate in their Temples,' rather than Churches. A comprecation both {213} the Grecians and we do allow; an ultimate invocation both the Grecians and we detest; so do the Church of Rome in their doctrine, but they vary from it in their practice." p. 418.

6. Concerning Monasteries. "So as Monasteries were restrained in their number and in their revenues, so as the Monks were restrained from meddling between the Pastor and his flock; … so as the abler sort, who are not taken up with higher studies and weightier employments, were insured to bestow their spare hours from their devotions in some profitable labour for the public good, that idleness might be stripped of the cloak of contemplative devotion; so as the vow of celibacy were reduced to the form of our English Universities, so long a fellow, so long unmarried; ... so as their blind obedience were more enlightened and secured by some certain rules and bounds; so as their mock poverty ... were changed into competent maintenance; and lastly so as all opinion of satisfaction and supererogation were removed; I do not see why Monasteries might not agree well enough with reformed devotion." p. 65.

7. Concerning the Pope. "He must either be meanly versed in the Primitive Fathers, or give little credit to them, who will deny the Pope to succeed St. Peter in the Roman Bishopric, or will envy him the dignity of a Patriarch within his just bounds." p. 299.

8. Concerning the relation of the English Church to Protestantism. "In setting forth the moderation of our English Reformers, I showed that we do not arrogate to ourselves either a new Church, or a new religion, or new holy orders. Upon this he falls heavily two ways. First he saith, 'It is false,' as he hath showed by innumerable testimonies of Protestants ... For what I said, I produced the authority of our Church, he letteth that alone, and sticketh the falsehood upon my sleeve. It seemeth {214} that he is not willing to engage against the Church of England; for still he declineth it, and changeth the subject of the question from the English Church to a confused company of particular authors of different opinions, of dubious credit, of little knowledge in our English affairs, tortured and wrested from their genuine sense." p. 225.

Certainly Bramhall was allowed more liberty of speech in matters of doctrine and opinion than is given to members of our Church now; yet his subscriptions were much the same as ours.


I have been led to this subject from certain passages in Mr. Froude's Volumes, about the Council of Trent, which you have treated, not as evidence (which it is) that he shrinks from the Church of Rome, being what it is, but as a ground of complaint against him for not shrinking from it, when it was what it is not; passages, which are not fairly quoted, merely used for your purpose. One other protest on Mr. Froude's part against Romanism of a different character is still to come; I cannot find it in your publication.

He says, "Since I have been out here, I have got a worse notion of the Roman Catholics than I had. I really do think them idolaters, though I cannot be quite confident of my information as it affects the character of the priests … What I mean by calling these people idolaters is, that I believe they look upon the Saints and Virgin as good-natured people, that will try to get them let off easier than the Bible declares; and that, as they don't intend to comply with the conditions on which God promises to answer prayers, they pray to them as a come-off." [Note 9] Pref. p. xiii. {215}

Now since you are properly diffuse on the subject of Idolatry, I wish this passage had occurred to you, as showing that, however much you found to censure in Mr. Froude's Volumes, he did concur in your view of Romanism on a point of no ordinary importance, viz. so far as "really to think the Roman Catholics idolaters." And for a parallel reason I beg to offer my own avowal, which is pretty much the same. I would say then so much as this, that it is idolatry to bow down to any emblem or symbol as divine which God himself has not appointed [Note 10]; and since He has not appointed the worship of images, such worship is idolatrous; though how far it is so, whether itself or in given individuals, we may be unable to determine. So far, then, I am happy to follow you; however you then say, "Will it then be credited by any one not already cognizant of the fact, that the Crucifix, the effective engine, the notorious emblem of Romish superstition, is once more becoming, with some professed Protestants, an object, not indeed of worship,—scarcely let us hope even of reverence, yet at least of religious interest." p. 30. Now that the crucifix, if possessed, ought not to be treated with reverence, is a sentiment into which I cannot enter. We treat the pictures of our friends with reverence. Statues of illustrious persons we treat with reverence; and we feel indignation, if they are damaged or insulted. Who among us would think better of a man, who, as being above prejudice, {216} used his Bible for a footstool? yet what is it but an English printed book? Again, would it not offend the run of religious men, to hear of persons making it a point to keep their hats on in Church? yet what is a Church but a building of brick or stone? Surely then it is impossible for any religious man, having a Crucifix, not to treat it with reverence; and perhaps there are few religious people in the ordinary walks of life, (such, I mean, as live by good principles and good feeling, without having their intellect specially exercised,) who would not treat it with due respect. But, while I grant this, I more than doubt whether a Crucifix, carved to represent life as such memorials commonly are, be not too true to be reverent, and too painful for familiar contemplation. I state this, however, as merely my own opinion; without knowing the opinion of others. So much I know, that the use of the Crucifix is in this place no badge of persons whose mode of thinking you would condemn. How many Crucifixes could be counted up in Oxford, I know not; but you will find them in the possession of those who are no special friends or followers of Mr. Froude, and perhaps cordial admirers, except of course on this one point, of the tenor of your publication.


A few words are now necessary on another subject,—Mr. Froude's use of the word Protestantism, and his language concerning some of the Reformers. Your remarks here go to an encroachment on our liberty of thought and speech, such as I have before noticed. I will but ask by which of the Articles, by what part of the Prayer Book, is a member of our Church bound to acknowledge the Reformers, or to profess himself a Protestant? Nowhere. To force him then to do so, when he fain would not, is narrowing our terms of communion; it is in fact {217} committing the same error which we urge against the Roman Catholics. The Church is not built upon, it is not bound up with, individuals. I do not see why Mr. Froude may not speak against Jewel, if he feels he has a reason, as strongly as many among us speak against Laud. Men are not denounced from high places for calling Laud a bigot or a tyrant, why then should not like terms be used against Jewel? One may dislike to hear Laud abused, and feel no drawings towards his abusers; yet may suffer it as a matter in which we must bear differences of opinion, however "offensive." This is the very distinction between our Church and (for instance) the Lutherans; that they are Lutherans, but we are not Cranmerites, nor Jewelists, but Catholics, members not of a sect or party, but of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. And while the name of Luther became the title, his dogmata were made the rule of faith, of his followers; his phrases were noted, almost his very words were got by rote. He was, strictly speaking, the Master of his school. Where has the English Church any such head? Whom does she acknowledge but Christ and His Apostles, and as their witness the consent of Fathers? What title has she, but as an old Father speaks, "Christian for her name and Catholic for her surname?" If there is one thing more than another which tends to make us a party, it is the setting up the names of men as our symbols and watchwords. Those who most deeply love their teachers, will not magisterially bring them forward, and will rather shun than denounce those who censure them.

At the same time if such expressions concerning Jewel and others, as occur in the Volumes under consideration, have been painful to any person, I wish to express my own deep concern at it. With the prospect of such a contingency, nothing but a plain sense of duty could justify their publication; and a duty it may have been with those who considered that an historical name was at this day made {218} the sanction of serious religious errors. The least said here on such a subject, the better; let it only be recollected, that what is said about Jewel, is supported by passages quoted from his works. Shall we defend such passages, or deny his trustworthiness?


And in like manner, if persons, aware that names are things, conscientiously think that the name of Protestantism is productive of serious mischief,—if it be the property of heresy and schism as much as of orthodoxy,—if it be but a negative word, such as almost forces on its professors the idea of a vague indefinite creed, bringing before them how much they may doubt, deny, ridicule, or resist, rather than what they must believe,—if the religion it generates mainly consists in a mere attack upon Rome, and tends to be a mere instrument of state purposes,—if it tends to swallow up devotion in politics, and the Church in the executive,—if it damps, discourages, stifles that ancient Catholic spirit, which, if true in the beginning, is true at all times,—and if on the other hand there be nothing in our formularies obliging us to profess it,—and if external circumstances have so changed, that what it was inexpedient or impossible to do formerly, is both possible and most expedient now,—these considerations, I conceive, may form a reason for abandoning the word. But here it will be sufficient to keep to the question of our obligation to profess it, and with this view I quote the following passage from one of the "Tracts for the Times."

"The English Church," it says, "as such, is not Protestant, only politically; that is, externally or so far as it has been made an establishment, and subjected to national and foreign influences," &c. [Note 11] {219}

Topic - Antichrist 13.

Another question, already touched on, as to which we claim a liberty of opinion is, whether or not the Church of Rome is "the mother of harlots," and the Pope St. Paul's "man of sin." And as feeling it is fairly an open question, I see no need of entering at length into it, even did the limits of a Letter admit. How those divines who hold the Apostolical Succession can maintain the affirmative, passes my comprehension; for in holding the one and other point at once, they are in fact proclaiming to the world that they come from "the synagogue of Satan," and (if I may so speak) have the devil's orders. I know that highly revered persons have so thought; perhaps they considered that the fatal apostasy took place at Trent, that is, since the date of our derivation from Rome; yet if in "the seven hills," in certain doctrines "about the souls of men," in what you consider "blasphemous titles," and in "lying wonders," lies, as you maintain, the proper evidence that the Bishop of Rome is Antichrist, then the great Gregory, to whom we Saxons owe our conversion, was Antichrist, for in him and in his times were those tokens of apostasy fulfilled, and our Church and its Sees are in no small measure the very work of the "Man of Sin."

And the dissenting bodies among us seem to understand this well; for they respond to our attack upon Rome, by briskly returning it on ourselves. They know none of those subtle distinctions by which we distinguish in this matter between ourselves and our ancient Mother, but they apply at once to our actual state what we confess of our original descent. If Rome has "committed fornication with the kings of the earth," what must be said of the Church of England with her temporal power, her Bishops in the House of Lords, her dignified clergy, her prerogatives, her pluralities, her buying and selling of {220} preferments, her patronage, her corruptions, and her abuses? If Rome's teaching be a deadly heresy, what is our Church's, which "destroys more souls than it saves"? If Rome be "Mystery" because it has mysterious doctrines, what are we with our doctrine of the Sacraments and those greater things which are in heaven? If "commanding to abstain from meats" be a mark of Antichrist's communion, why do we observe days of fasting and abstinence, and why have our most revered teachers of times past been men of mortified lives? If Rome has put a yoke on the neck of Christians, why have not we, with our prescribed form of prayer, our Saints' Days, our Ordinances, and our prohibition of irregular preaching? If Rome is accused of assuming divine titles and powers, is not our own Church vulnerable too, considering the Bishop ordains under the words, "Receive the Holy Ghost," and the priest has power given him "to remit and retain sins."

No; serious as are the corruptions of Rome, clear indeed as are the differences between her communion and ours, they do not lie in any prophetic criteria; we cannot prove her the enchantress of the Apocalyptic Vision, without incurring our share in its application; and our enemies see this and make use of it. I am not inventing a parallel; they see it, I say, and use it. They are now exulting, as they believe piously, in our Church's troubles, for they consider, that while she is established, she is "partaker of the sins" of Rome, and they see in those troubles the fulfilment of the prophecy, that the "ten horns" should "hate" the woman, and "make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." In the confiscations going on in Spain and Portugal, and in the acts against us of our own government at home, they recognize one and the same Retributive Dispensation. And they declare that we have not yet obeyed the exhortation which you address to your readers, "Come out of her, My {221} people, that ye receive not of her plagues;" nor shall have, till we give up our stalls, our incumbencies, and our dignities, and are content to rest merely on our popularity, our powers of preaching, our acceptableness to our people, our efficiency, our industry, and our Christian perfection. Nor is this most odious, "offensive" view, as you will call it, a modern one, nor has it been used against us by orthodox dissenters only. It was carried out to its last consequences at the time of the Reformation. The followers of Socinus then proclaimed, as some of us do now, that Rome was Babylon, and then they went on to show that those who so thought could not consistently stop their reasoning till they were brought to the conclusion that Socinianism is the Gospel. According to the well-known lines they said,—

Tota jacet Babylon; destruxit tecta Lutherus,
Calvinus muros, sed fundamenta Socinus.


I will say no more on this subject than this; that the 17th and 18th chapters of the Apocalypse, on which the supposed Scripture evidence against her principally rests, must either be taken literally, or figuratively; now they do not apply to her unless they are taken partly in the one way, partly in the other. Take the chapters literally, and sure it is, Rome is spoken of; but then she must have literal merchants, ships, and sailors; therefore is not Papal Rome but Pagan. Take them figuratively; and then, sure it is, merchants and merchandize, may mean indulgences and traffickers in them; but then the word Rome perhaps is figurative also, as well as her merchandize. Nay, I should almost say, it must be; for the city is called not only Rome but Babylon; and if Babylon is a figurative title, why should not Rome be? The interpretation then lies between Pagan Rome which is past, and some city, or {222} power typified as a city, which is to come; and probably may be true both ways. But, if we insist on adapting the prophecy to Papal Rome, then we are reduced to take half of the one interpretation, half of the other; and by the same process, only taking in each case the other half, we may with equal success make it London, for London has literally ships and sailors, merchants and merchandise, and is a figurative Rome, as being an Imperial City.

And now I come to the main subject of discussion, which is so much more arduous than any of the others, that I fear it will occupy a long time; and that is the subject of the Holy Eucharist.


Before entering upon it, I will notice three points in your publication connected with it, which call for remark.

You write as follows:—"The term Altar, as synonymous with the Lord's Table, does not appear to have been adopted till about the end of the second century; and then merely in a figurative sense, and out of a spirit of accommodation, as it should seem, to the prejudices of Jews and Pagans, who habitually reproached the Christians as having neither Altar nor Sacrifice," pp. 18, 19. You are of opinion that the word Altar was not used for the Lord's Table "till about the end of the second century." On the contrary I read it in as many as four out of the seven brief Epistles of St. Ignatius, at the end of the first. If you are right, even this glorious Saint and Martyr, the immediate companion of Apostles, acted in a "spirit of accommodation" to the "prejudices of Jews and Pagans." Do my eyes play me false in reading Ignatius, or in reading your "Revival of Popery"?

First he uses it in his Epistle to the Ephesians:—"For if I in so short a season formed such an intimacy with your Bishop, not a human but a spiritual, how much more {223} do I call you fortunate, who are so united to him, as the Church to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father, that all things may be concordant in unity? Let no one err; unless a man be within the Altar ([entos tou thusiasteriou]) he comes short of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one and a second has such power, how much more that of the Bishop and all the Church?" §. 5.

Next, in that to the Magnesians:—"Let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love, in that joy which is irreprovable. There is one Jesus Christ to whom nought is preferable; all of you then run together as to one Temple, as for one Altar ([epi en thusiasterion]), as for One Jesus Christ, who is come forth from One Father, and returned again to One." §. 7.

Thirdly, in that to the Trallians:—"Guard against such [sectarians,] and this will be if we are not puffed up, nor separated from Jesus Christ our God, and the Bishop, and the ordinances of the Apostles. He who is within the Altar ([entos thusiasteriou]) is clean; that is, he who does any thing without Bishop, and Presbytery, and Deacons, such a one is not clean in conscience." §. 7.

Lastly, in that to the Philadelphians:—"Be careful to use one Eucharist; for the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is one, and one Cup for the uniting of His blood; one Altar ([en thusiasterion]), as one Bishop, together with the Presbytery, and Deacons my fellow-servants; that whatever ye do, ye may do after God." §. 4.

And while the list of ecclesiastical witnesses to the use of the word Altar for the Lord's Table begins as early as it can after the Apostles and Evangelists, (who use it also as I would contend, in Matt. v. 23. Heb. xiii. 10, but who are not at present under review,) it proceeds downwards, not only in an uninterrupted series, but with a sort of prerogative of usage; for it is very remarkable that, excepting one passage in a letter of St. Dionysius of {224} Alexandria, no ecclesiastical writer at all is found to use the word "Table" till St. Athanasius in the fourth century; and what is also remarkable, when St. Athanasius uses it, he does so with the explanation, "that is, the Holy Altar;" as if he were not using a word commonly adopted. On the contrary, the word Altar is used after St. Ignatius by St. Irenęus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, Origen, Eusebius, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Optatus, St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, and St. Austin [Note 12].


The next point on which it is necessary to remark, is your saying, that the Tracts for the Times "appeal" on the subject of the Eucharist to the "half-converted German Reformers," that is, to Luther, and Melancthon, "and to the strong and unguarded expressions which their works supply;" and this you call an "alarming fact." I am very glad to find we are so well agreed in our judgments as to the authority of Luther and Melancthon in our Church; but I cannot allow that the Tracts do appeal to them, as you assert, or wish to shelter themselves behind them. Bp. Cosin, in the Tract you refer to, certainly does quote the Lutherans, but he also quotes Calvin, Bucer, and the French Protestants; and that, in order to show, that "none of the Protestant Churches doubt of the real (that is, true and not imaginary) presence of Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament;" and he "begins with the Church of England," quoting first our formularies, then the words of Bilson and Andrewes. In what sense then do you mean that the writers of the Tracts appeal to the Lutherans, when, not the writers, but only Bp. Cosin in the Tracts, appeals, not to the Lutherans, but to the whole Protestant world? Concerning the Real Presence itself something shall be said presently; meanwhile I do {225} not fear that any great number of readers will identify or connect with Luther's the doctrine held by Hooker, Andrewes, Bramhall, Cosin, Bull, Ken, and Leslie. It may be well to quote the words of the last-mentioned Divine concerning this work of Bp. Cosin, whose views you consider do not "fall much, if at all, short of what has been commonly termed Consubstantiation." "Bishop Cosin's History of Transubstantiation," he says to a Romanist, is "a little book, long printed both in English and Latin, not yet answered (that I hear), and I believe unanswerable, wherein you see a cloud of witnesses through the first ages of the Church, and so downwards, in perfect contradiction to this new article of your faith." (Rome and England, vol. iii. pp. 130, 1.) This is not the language of one who felt Cosin's book to be "an alarming fact."


And thirdly, let me refer to two statements in Mr. Froude's Volumes, on which you dwell, to the effect that our present Communion Service is "a judgment on the Church," and that there would be advantage in "replacing it by a good translation of the Liturgy of St. Peter." The state of the case is this; the original Eucharistic form is with good reason assigned to the Apostles and Evangelists themselves. It exists to this day under four different rites, which seem to have come from four different Apostles and Evangelists. These rites differ in some points, agree in others; among the points in which they agree, are of course those in which the Essence of the Sacrament consists. At the time of the Reformation we in common with all the West possessed the rite of the Roman Church, or St. Peter's Liturgy. This formulary is called the Canon of the Mass, and except a very few words, appears, even as now used in the Roman Church, to be free from interpolation, and thus is distinguished from the Ordinary of the Mass, which is the additional and {226} corrupt service prefixed to it, and peculiar to Rome [Note 13]. This sacred and most precious monument, then, of the Apostles, our Reformers received whole and entire from their predecessors; and they mutilated the tradition of 1500 years. Well was it for us that they did not discard it, that they did not touch any vital part; for through God's good providence, though they broke it up and cut away portions, they did not touch life; and thus we have it at this day, a violently treated, but a holy and dear possession, more dear perhaps and precious than if it were in its full vigour and beauty, as sickness or infirmity endears to us our friends and relatives. Now the first feeling which comes upon an ardent mind, on mastering these facts, is one of indignation and impatient grief; the second, is the more becoming thought, that, as he deserves nothing at all at God's hand, and is blessed with Christian privileges only at His mere bounty, it is nothing strange that he does not enjoy every privilege which was given through the Apostles; and his third, that we are mysteriously bound up with our forefathers and bear their sin, or in other words, that our present condition is a judgment on us for what they did.

These, I conceive, to be the feelings which dictated to Mr. Froude the sentences on which you animadvert; the earlier is more ardent, the latter is more subdued. In the one he says of a friend, "I verily believe he would now gladly consent to see our Communion Service replaced by a good translation of the Liturgy of St. Peter, a name which I advise you to substitute in your notes to Hooker for the obnoxious phrase 'Mass Book.'" vol. i. p. 287. Lest any misconception of the author's meaning should arise from the use of the word "replaced," I would observe, that such "replacing" would not remove one prayer, one portion of our present Service; it would consist {227} but of addition and re-arrangement, of a return to the original Canon. The substance of this explanation is contained in the second volume of the Remains, (Essay on Liturgies [Note 14],) and a reference to it would supersede it here. The other passage runs as follows: "By-the-bye, the more I think over that view of yours about regarding our present Communion Service, &c., as a judgment on the Church, and about taking it as crumbs from the Apostles' table, the more I am struck with its fitness to be dwelt upon as tending to check the intrusion of irreverent thoughts without in any way interfering with one's just indignation. If I were a Roman Catholic Priest, I should look on the administration of the Communion in one kind in the same light." vol. i. p. 410.

You see, from this last sentence, he thought nothing would be gained by going to Rome, unsatisfactory as might be our present case. Nay that he was not in favour even of changes in our own services, to meet the defects he felt in them, appears from the following passages in his Tract on the Daily Service, 1. "This, it will be said, is an argument, not so much for retaining the present form of the Prayer Book, as for reverting to what is older. In my own mind, it is an argument for something different from either, for diffidence. I very much doubt, whether in these days the spirit of true devotion is at all understood, and whether an attempt to go forward or backward may not lead our innovations to the same result. 'If the blind lead the blind, shall they not both fall into the ditch?'" vol. ii. 382.


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1. [To this Letter, as originally published, applied the well-known paradox, "The author had not time to make it shorter." In consequence, he has now omitted or abridged some superfluous paragraphs which, as they stood, weakened its controversial force or were irrelevant to his purpose.]
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2. [Such language arises from a misconception of the rules and the action of the Catholic system. Immoral men are not publicly excommunicated in foro externo, but, being deprived of the sacraments, or at least of their grace, till they repent, they are but dead branches of the True Vine, and in a truer sense excommunicate than if they were cut off from the visible body.]
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3. [I cannot in fairness withdraw specimens such as these of the view taken by my very dear friend of Italy and its religion, though of course I leave them in the text with much pain. He was a man who did nothing by halves. He had cherished an ideal of the Holy See and the Church of Rome partly erroneous, partly unreal, and was greatly disappointed when to his apprehension it was not fulfilled. He had expected to find a state of lofty sanctity in Italian Catholics, which he considered was not only not exemplified, but was even contradicted in what he saw and heard of them. As to the Tridentine definitions he simply looked at them in the light of obstacles to the union of Anglicans with the See of Rome, not having the theological knowledge necessary for a judgment on their worth.]
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4. Image worship had been sanctioned at the second Council of Nicęa; transubstantiation at the fourth Lateran.
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5. [What the writer meant by these very strong words in 1833 "bound to the cause of Antichrist," except that he thought it right to follow the teaching of Field and Gilpin, presently quoted, it is difficult to say. That he did not in 1838 subscribe to the Protestant notion that "the Pope was Antichrist" is plain from what follows; it is also plain that he was ashamed of his language by the time he wrote this Letter.]
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6. [It is observable that at the commencement of the Oxford movement in 1833 the insuperable obstacle, felt by high Anglicans, to communion with Rome, was the doctrine of the Tridentine Council. By 1865 they seem to have got over it, and the Vatican decrees are the obstacle now. Will they be such in another forty years?]
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7. ["As a boy of fifteen," I have said of myself, "I had ... fully imbibed [pure Protestantism] … The effect of this early persuasion remained a stain upon my imagination ... I began in 1833 to form theories on the subject, which tended to obliterate it; yet by 1838 I had got no farther than to consider Antichrist as, not the Church of Rome, but the spirit of the old Pagan city, the fourth monster of Daniel, which was still alive, and which had corrupted the Church which was planted there ... I had a great and growing dislike, after the summer of 1839, to speak against the Roman Church herself or her formal doctrines." Apolog. pp. 120, 121.]
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8. Wordsworth, Eccles. Biogr. vol. iv. p. 94.
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9. [If by "good-natured people who will try to get them let off easier than the Bible declares," is implied that we hold that the saints are willing to encourage us in living without faith, hope, and charity, without the practice of virtue, and without habitual self-rule, or are able to help us at the last after a bad life, except by gaining for us, what is so rare and so difficult on a death-bed, a true contrition, and a real detestation of our sins, and profound sorrow for our past bad life, our cultus of the saints certainly is idolatry. But we do not hold this; on the contrary we denounce it.]
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10. [What emblems or symbols did the author consider that "God Himself had appointed"? I suppose the Lamb and the Dove. Would he say then that we might bow down to these as divine yet not to a crucifix? But if to the crucifix, why not to an image or picture of the Blessed Virgin? or of St. Joseph? &c. We say God has (by His Church) sanctioned images.]
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11. [Vid. the passage supr. pp. 137-139.]
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12. Vid. Johnson, Unbl. Sacr. vol. i. pp. 306-9.
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13. [What can this mean? The Ordinary consists of Gloria in excelsis, Collects, Epistle, Gospel, Creed, Offertory.]
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14. Vid. also the Introduction of Tract, No. 81.
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