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THIRD DAY.-Friday, Feb. 28, 1834.


THE RULE OF FAITH (continued.)

THE CHAIRMAN.-Ladies and Gentlemen, the Discussion on the Rule of Faith will now be resumed.


Mr. Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen,-After a long interval from the time at which I quoted the passage, Mr. Brown, at the close of yesterday's discussion, referred to the text from the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, which, in my view of the matter, goes to establish most powerfully the sufficiency of the written Word as a rule of faith. shall read the passage again

"Continue thou (says the Apostle Paul to Timothy) in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee; knowing of whom thou hast learned them: and because from thy infancy thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work."

Upon this passage Mr. Brown asks, are all necessary things contained in the Old Testament alone, or do we find only a portion of those things that are necessary? And he asserts that my argument, to be good for any thing, must rest on the position that all necessary truth is contained in the Old Testament. Now, if Mr. Brown had exercised his memory (and I am sure many here will recollect the fact), he would have known that, at the very outset of my commenting on this passage, I started with the assertion that it did prove that all truth, absolutely necessary for salvation, was contained in the Old Testament Scriptures; and the argument derived from it was, that, if this was the case with regard to the Old Testament alone, according to the testimony of this passage, a fortiori, it must be the case with regard to the Old Testament and the New together.

But my Reverend opponent, in this matter, seems to suppose (and this is just the mistake into which Dr. Milner falls, in his "End of Controversy,") that Christ, when he appeared in our world, came to introduce a new religion, and to give a new rule of faith! He came, however, to do no such thing, but to give a fuller display of the very same religion that had been in existence since the fall. He came "not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." Previous to the fall, indeed, there had been a covenant of works between God and man, but immediately after the fall the covenant of grace commenced. Of this there have been different dispensations, under which (as we see by a reference to many passages in the New Testament, as well as in the Old) men were saved according to the same plan, though that plan was sometimes more darkly, and sometimes more clearly, developed.

We are told, moreover, that, if this text proves anything, it proves that the New Testament was unnecessary. It proves, however, no such thing; for though Christ came, not to introduce an essentially new religion, but to give a fuller display of that religion which, since the fall, had been radically the same, yet the New Testament was necessary, for this latter purpose, and for declaring how all the types and prophecies of the Old, relative to his sufferings and death, had been fulfilled. The Old Testament, therefore, was sufficient for the time being; but when its prophecies and types were fulfilled, the New was necessary for the declaration of that fulfilment.

Mr. Brown has, again and again, insisted that I am bound to prove that Scripture contains all necessary truth. This, I say, I have, again and again, proved; and I contend, that the passage to which I have just now referred, supposing that there were no other in the entire Bible, proves it beyond question. For, if the written word can

instruct unto salvation," and if "all Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work," then it is difficult, indeed, for an unprejudiced mind to avoid the conclusion, that Scripture contains, within itself, all things necessary to be believed for salvation.

An objection was raised to my arguing from the fact, that Christ and his Apostles quoted from the Septuagint, because, as my opponent says, Christ and his Apostles, being infallible, could distinguish between what was right


and what was wrong in the translation. I referred to the fact, when the subject of translations was introduced, only to shew that Christ and his Apostles recognized the Septuagint, though it is well known that it was a translation not altogether perfect; and I thought I might, therefore, fairly draw the inference, that, while it is important to have a translation as correct as possible, the poor man may be contented with one, though it be not absolutely perfect in every particular.

When I asserted that Roman Catholics were divided upon the very foundation of their system, namely, the place where infallibility resides, Mr. Brown declared that there was no disagreement upon this point, because they all agreed that the infallibility was to be found in the church. Really, Sir, this word church is a most useful word to Roman Catholics in the controversy; it seems to have a kind of talismanic effect in settling all differences. But whilst I admit, and did then admit, that Roman Catholics profess, generally, that infallibility is to be found in the church, I contended then, and proved then, and I still contend, that Roman Catholics are divided as to what precise locality in the church this prerogative of infallibility occupies. I quoted one council of Doctors which declared, that the authority of a council was superior to that of a Pope; and another, that the authority of a Pope was superior to that of a council. I also referred to Dr. De La Hogue's Tractatus de Ecclesiâ, which is the class-book at Maynooth College, and to Charles Butler's Book of the Roman Catholic Church, and these stated that the Ultra-montanists (or Italians) asserted the personal infallibility of the Pope, whereas the French Church denied such a doctrine, and said, that the Pope might be "deposed by the church, or a general council, for heresy or schism." THESE ARE MY DOCUMENTS, and Mr. Brown, when giving a general denial, has not noticed the documents on which I based my assertion.

Again-When I stated that Roman Catholics were divided also as to what constituted a council universal or legal, Mr. Brown denied this division too, and he said, that all that was requisite, in order to constitute a council universal and legal, was, that it should be an assembly of Bishops, convened by the supreme Pontiff, and possessing full liberty of discussion. Now, what has Mr. Brown done by that definition of the matter? He has actually, by his own rule, thrown overboard eight out of the eighteen

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General Councils, namely, the eight Eastern Councils: for it is a well-established fact that not one of them was summoned by a Pope, but all by the Emperors; and this is a statement which I rest (amongst other authorities) upon the testimony of Du PIN, the Roman Catholic historian, who says, in precise words, that the first eight councils were summoned by the Emperors.

If more proof were wanted on this point, I have a long chain of evidence here, which will establish it, although Mr. Brown denies that there is any division among Roman Catholics as to what constitutes the universality and legality of councils. The use I made of this point when I first pressed it was this: Roman Catholics speak of the security of the people-that, according to their system, they are taught the truth infallibly: but I say, they are encompassed with difficulties far beyond what the Protestant has to contend with. Even supposing that, when all necessary forms and circumstances are complied with, the Roman Catholic Church should declare the truth of God, yet inasmuch as the decrees of the Church are said to be put forth by a general council, with the Pope at its head, the Roman Catholic will have to inquire and find out a number of things, before he can be certain that any decree was put forth by a lawful council, and is therefore binding on him as divine truth. When the decrees of certain councils are put before him as professing to contain truth, he will have to ask the question, "How am I to know that such councils are general?" Then he finds three opinions, even among Roman Catholic Doctors, as to what constitutes a council general: and he must satisfy himself upon that point, as well as upon what is necessary to make a council legal, before, even on his own principles, he can admit the decrees as a general expression of the truth of God. This is the use I made of the matter, as placing the Roman Catholic in a difficulty, out of which the poor man can never get.

Mr. Brown observed upon what he styles an important declaration that was made by me, when I said that the Bible, strictly speaking, was not the object of faith but rather the means of it. Then he made a strong appeal to our good friends present, and asked them if such were their opinion: and he concluded by saying that he trusts, for the honour of religion, I have "committed myself!" What I said then, however, I stand by, and I do not look for any such dreadful consequence as Mr. Brown would

apprehend. I did not say it was not necessary to receive the Bible as a divine revelation, but I said that, strictly speaking, the Bible was not the OBJECT of man's faith, but was the MEANS of it.

Let us, therefore, examine what the Scripture says on the subject, and we shall see whether my dreadful assertion, or Mr. Brown's denial, is most in accordance with it. In the 1st chapter of St. James and the 18th verse, we read thus

"Of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures.'

Here we see the word of truth is the means which God uses for man's regeneration. Again, in the 1st Epistle of St. Peter, the 1st chapter and the 23d verse, it is said

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God, who liveth and remaineth for ever."

The same truth is in this place asserted by St. Peter. These two passages, therefore, prove that the Bible, according to the testimony of James and Peter, was rather looked upon as the means of faith than, strictly speaking, as the object of it.


When I was yesterday adducing the proofs and evidences upon which Protestants, independent of the infallible decision of any Church, received the Bible as a divine revelation-when I was adverting to the historical, internal, and experimental evidences of the truth of Scripture-Mr. Brown objected to the doctrine of moral certainty, upon which I insisted. I said, that we received the Scripture, so far as historical evidence was concerned, on such evidence as amounted to moral certainty, though we have not actual mathematical demonstration of the matter, because such was absolutely impossible. proving the genuineness or authenticity of any ancient book, I asserted that this was quite sufficient for us, and the ONLY species of evidence we COULD have; and that, moreover, we were believing and acting, every day of our lives, on what we call moral certainty, without actual demonstration. Of all this I gave practical instances. Brown, however, objects to such a foundation, and says, that it would not be sufficient on which to rest faith. Then, I ask in reply, what greater foundation than moral certainty has Mr. Brown, as a Roman Catholic, with regard to his religion? It is true, he will tell me he believes the Bible, and the doctrines of his religion, because the Church declares respecting them. But then, I ask, how does he


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