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culty of reading with advantage, while at the same time the service is being carried on in another tongue. this, Roman Catholic instructors are fully aware. Their books of devotion contain no directions for the use of the translated Missal, but rather aim to recommend what is termed spiritual communion, that is, meditation on what the priest is supposed to be saying.

It is the dishonour cast upon our blessed Saviour that justly exposes the mass to the indignant rejection of scriptural christians, and induces them to subscribe heartily to the language of the church of England, stigmatising it as a collection of "blasphemous fables" and dangerous conceits." 1 3 Place by the side of this decree the Epistle to the Hebrews, and then "look on this picture and on that!" How different the one from the other! Surely nothing but an inveterate habit of perverting Scripture to serve a purpose could reconcile the mind to such interpretations as are here propounded. According to the Apostle Paul, Christ is our High Priest, who has offered himself "once for all," and "by his one offering hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Exalted at the right hand of God he "ever liveth to make intercession for us." Having entered into the holy place he presents himself to the Father as "the Lamb that was slain," and his presence there pleads for the penitent. "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him." The privilege of direct access to the Almighty is granted by his mediation to all who repent and believe. They need no earthly priest to introduce them. Jesus only is their priest; his perfect sacrifice, which never needs to be repeated, is the warrant for their approach to God. It were blasphemy to say that any thing more is required, or that a fellow-sinner can propitiate Deity and open the path to pardon for the repenting rebel. But by the obedient Roman Catholic his priest is regarded as all in all. To him he confesses his sins; from him he receives absolution; he is vested with the wondrous power of transmuting the bread and wine into the real body and blood of the Lord; and the impiety is consummated when the sacrament is made a sacrifice, and a sinful

13 Thirty-first article.

mortal presumes to say that he actually offers to the Supreme Being the spotless victim whose "blood cleanseth from all sin." This is in fact to give to the priest

the office of Mediator; and the natural effect is that he, not the Lord Jesus Christ, is the object of the devotee's regard. A similar remark may be applied to masses in memory of the saints, in which the sacrifice of the great and only Intercessor is profanely asserted to be offered to the Most High, in order to procure the intercession of his creatures! Thus the glory of the incarnate Son of God is lawlessly trampled under feet; he is denied his just rights; and impostors usurp the honour which is only due to the "Great High Priest, who hath passed into the heavens."

The correction of certain abuses in the celebration of mass was the subject of the second decree. Avarice, irreverence, and superstition were mentioned as the springs of those abuses. Unreasonable pecuniary stipulations or demands for new masses, were condemned as savouring of simoniacal pravity and base gain. It was required that officiating priests should be men of good character and becoming deportment, and that all licentious music, and whatever was inconsistent with the gravity of a religious service should be abolished. With regard to superstitious observances, it was well known that they were too numerous to be described, and that their exposure would reflect little credit on the Komish church; a general authority was vested in the bishops as delegates of the Holy See, to prohibit, correct, amend, and inflict ecclesiastical censures and other penalties, at their discretion.

Its

This was followed by the decree of reformation. provisions were few and unimportant. Besides the renewal of ancient canons respecting the characters and lives of the clergy, and their ordination, it contained nothing answerable to the wishes and expectations of Christendom, and was consequently subjected to severe criticism.

A separate decree was published, declaring that the question of conceding the cup to the laity was referred absolutely to the Roman Pontiff, who in his wisdom would decide that point, and do what should be most useful to the Christian commonwealth at large, and

salutary to those who petitioned for the privilege. About forty of the fathers recorded their dissent from this decree. 14

14 Pallav. I. xviii. c. 9. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 58. A document was read at this session, purporting to be the confession of one Abdissi, Patriarch of Musal in Assyria, who had visited Rome to receive from the Pope the confirmation of his appointment to office. He promised true allegiance to the pontiff, and obedient reception of all the decrees of the council, the future as well as the past. The Romanists attached a great deal of importance to this event: the submission of a high dignitary of the Eastern church seemed a very favourable opening for papal ambition: but it came to nothing. Le Plat, v. p. 407-501,

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CHAPTER XII.

THE PRIESTHOOD.

Determination to close the Council-Debates on the sacrament of orders, and on the divine right of episcopacy and of residenceArrival of the cardinal of Lorraine, and the French prelates-their views and intentions-Fears of the papal party-Miscellaneous historical notices-Frequent prorogations of the session-TwENTY-THIRD SESSION-Decree on the sacrament of orders-View of the spiritual and temporal power of the Pope-Decree of reformation.

THE Pope had resolved to bring the council to a speedy termination, and thus deliver himself from the vexations and alarms which agitated him during its continuance. To accomplish his purpose he spared no promises, well knowing that it would be very easy to put insuperable difficulties in the way of their performance. But at length the dispatches received from the legates convinced him that nothing short of a bonâ fide concession would be satisfactory, 15 He wrote to them to this effect-that he was willing to consent to all just and necessary amendment that a committee might be appointed to examine the memorials which had been presented at various times by the ambassadors, and select such articles as were most important-that if the question of episcopal residence could not be decided without a violent contest, it would be better to procure it to be referred to himself—and that for the rest, he

15 By the French ambassador ors it had been demanded that doctrine and discipline should be discussed on alternate days, to avoid the indecent haste with which the latter had been commonly treated. The Imperial ambassadors required the presentation of the memorial which they had placed in the hands of the legates long before. Drascovitch proposed that the votes should be taken by nations, an expedient which would have utterly destroyed the Pope's Italian majority.

placed the fullest confidence in the judgment and prudence of the legates, and gave them permission to act according to circumstances. They were well acquainted with the pontiff's real views and wishes, and took care not to thwart them. The business of reformation was committed to Simonetta, who, with the assistance of Boncompagno, Paleotti and others, undertook to prepare such a decree as might at the same time please the Pope and satisfy the oft-repeated demands of the States of Europe. This arrangement was secretly made, and the self-appointed committee pursued its labours unknown to the council till the time came for the production of the decree. Thus the fathers were saved the trouble of investigation; the wounds of corruption were gently opened, and speedily closed again; all they had to do was to receive and apply such remedies as were brought ready prepared to their hands.16

The sacraments of orders and of matrimony were appointed for decision at the next session. In order to facilitate and expedite the business, the divines were arranged in six classes, to each of which a specific portion of the discussion was allotted. To the first three classes the sacrament of orders was assigned, and the sacrament of matrimony to the remainder. Injunctions were issued, prohibiting any one from speaking more than half an hour at a time; but very few observed them.

Seven articles, said to contain the opinions of the Protestants on the subject of orders were committed to the divines for examination. Two or three extracts from the speeches delivered in the course of the discussions will summarily comprise the prevailing sentiments.

Alphonso Salmeron, the Jesuit, affirmed that Christ instituted the sacrament of orders when he appointed his apostles to the priesthood, as declared in the last session. The power then bestowed chiefly related to the consecration of his real body. Another power, that of jurisdiction over his mystical body, the church, was imparted, when he breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," &c. (John xx. 23;) this power was connected with the impression of a charac

16 Pallav. 1. xviii. c. 11.

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