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passive, let him be anathema.” This condemns that part of Calvinism which teaches that the elect are under the irresistible influence of Divine grace ; for it is as absurd to rob the just as the wicked of their free-will, since without it they would deserve no greater praise for practising virtue, than the rain for fertilizing our fields, or the sun for diffusing upon us its light and warmth. The Holy Council continues, in Canon v.,
. “ If any one says the free-will of man, after the sin of Adam, was lost and extinct, or that it is only a mere title, nay, a title without reality, and even a figment introduced by Satan into the Church, let him be anathema.” Hence, men by the sin of Adam have not lost free-will, and fallen under the sway
of inexorable necessity, but have really retained their free-will, though much weakened and bent, as the Council elsewhere declares. The Council judged it proper to condemn in an especial manner that worst feature of Calvinism, namely, sinners are subjected to the ineluctable necessity of sinning and of incurring everlasting death. Hence it declares, Canon vi., — " If any one says that it doth not lie within the power of man to make his ways evil, but that God himself operates evil works, as well as good, not merely by permitting them, but even properly and by his own action, so that the treason of Judas is no less properly his work than the vocation of Paul, let him be anathema." Finally, in Canon xviii., the Holy Council establishes the doctrine, that the precepts of God are never impossible :
“ If any one says that the commandments of God are to man, even justified and established in grace, impossible to keep, let him be anathema."
Before taking our leave of Presbyterians on the momentous topics which we have been discussing, we owe it to them to take a brief notice of the Scriptural texts which they cite to prove that some are under the necessity of forfeiting their eternal salvation. This will not detain us long, if we confine ourselves to those which bear on the subject, and the others we may well pass over. One of these last, however, we must notice for the sake of the admirable Scriptural logic of Presbyterians which it displays. In order to prove that some elect can be saved without being outwardly called by the ministry of the word, they quote (Confession, p. 52) the text, —" There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts iv. 12. And then, on the next page, they cite it again to prove that men not professing the Christian religion cannot be saved at all. This displays rare
economy of logic, for it makes the same text answer to prove each of two contradictory propositions. It is something to be able to prove two such propositions, it is much more to be able to prove them both from the same text.
A plain man, however, would say that the text, if it proves any thing to the purpose, proves the second proposition, and therefore disproves the first.
To prove that the fall of Adam brought about a necessity of sinning, Presbyterians quote Gal. v. 17,-“ The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
The blessed Apostle here speaks of a struggle between the flesh and the spirit, - that struggle between concupiscence and reason, pleasure and duty, to which every one not utterly profligate must bear witness ; but Presbyterians add, what the Apostle does not, that in this struggle men are under the necessity of doing what they would not, and are unable to repress concupiscence, " Ye cannot do what ye would." But they flagrantly corrupt the word of God. Have they not told us that the New Testament in Greek is divinely inspired, and by God's singular care and providence it has been kept pure in all ages, and is therefore authentical, and that in all controversies of religion the Church is to appeal to it? Why, then, do they not appeal to it? The Greek' does not say, " ye cannot,” but says, “ you do not,” — iva uv å av félnie,
- μη & αν , ταύτα . taūta noite. Griesbach gives no various reading of the text, and all the versions on this point agree with our Douay Bible, which translates, — “ So that you do not the things that you would.” The substitution of cannot entirely changes the sense. “ You do not resist your passions,
you cannot resist your passions,” are propositions of widely different import, and resemble each other no more than the Catholic doctrine, “Ma are called, few are saved,” resembles the Presbyterian heresy, “ Many are called, few can be saved." The Presbyterians will do well to expunge this corruption from their Bible and Confession without delay.
The Presbyterians with no better grace cite the latter part of the seventh chapter of Romans. It is nothing to their purpose. St. Paul, it is true, says,
.“ I am carnal, sold under sin.
What I would, that I do not ; but what I hate, that I do. I know that in me, that is, in my
flesh, there dwelleth no good thing ; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not " ; but he is
far from saying that he is responsible and will be condemned for that inward warfare between nature and grace. In fact, he says directly the reverse. " Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Rom. vii. 14-20 This proves the very contrary of Presbyterianism ; for, since it is not Paul that produces these motions of concupiscence, but sin, that is, concupiscence, that dwelleth in him, it is evident he did not view this concupiscence as something truly and properly sin, which might be imputed to him, but as a misfortune, a burden under which he groaned, and which made him exclaim, -" Unhappy man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We come now to another text, disfigured in the same way. Presbyterians wish to prove that the elect only are redeemed, and, therefore, that the others are left in the fatal necessity of sinning. To this end, they cite John xvii. 9, -" I pray for them ; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me ; for they are thine.” They would have us infer from this, that those whom God has given to his Son are the elect, and for them Christ prays; the others are the reprobate, and for them he does not pray ; therefore they have no power to escape damnation. This is another example of the way in which people are humbugged in the interpretation of Scripture. The pious old Presbyterian lady who reads this flatters herself that she is unquestionably one of those whom God gave to his Son, and thanks him that she is not one of the worldly Papists for whom our Lord did not pray. But this seventeenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, if examined, will soon dispel the dear old lady's pleasant dream. It contains a prayer addressed by our Lord to his Heavenly Father, after the Eucharistic Banquet, and in the presence of his Apostles, to whom he had made a long discourse on the occasion. In this prayer he states, verses 6 – 8, what he has done for these men who had been given him ; and then he says, “I pray for them ; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me. It is evidently a distinct, a special prayer for his Apostles, who surrounded him at the moment. So the words, “ I pray not for the world,” are not expressive of a resolution not to pray for the world at all, but simply mean, “ I pray not for the world now, but for my Apostles.” This interpretation will be undeniable, if we read on; having prayed specially for his Apostles, our Lord extends his prayer, verse 20, — " And not
for them only do I pray, but for those also who through their word shall believe in me ; and in verse 21, still further, " that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." excludes, therefore, no one from his prayers ; and we know that on the cross he prayed for his very executioners. God so loved the world as to give his only Son to die ; and i St. John ii. 2 positively asserts that “ he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world."
The last text we will notice is St. John vi. 65  :man can come unto me except it were [be] given unto him of my Father.” Presbyterians appear to rely much on this text, for they quote it on several occasions ; but it is by no means to their purpose. It does not in the least say that it is impossible for some to go to Christ, or that those who do go do so through irresistible grace, though voluntarily. It merely teaches, that grace or supernatural illumination of the mind and supernatural motion of the will are necessary to enable us to come to Christ, as Catholicity uniformly asserts ; but it does
that this grace is refused to any not determined to offer resistance to God. It offers no contradiction to that other text of St. John, that Christ is " the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world,” i. 9; or ihat of St. Paul, 1 Tim. ii. 4, that "God wills the salvation of all men.” God offers to all the remote means, at least, of coming to Christ by prayer ; and if it be written, St. John vi. 44, “ No man can come to me except the Father draw bim," it is also written, xvi. 23, “ If you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you." Hence St. Augustine adds, “ You are not yet drawn ; . pray
that drawn.” This is a drawing, however, which does not necessitate the will, which one may resist ; for Judas was drawn at first, but afterwards refused to follow the attraction of grace.
Here we close our discussion on this part of the Confession. We might offer some reflections ; but those who have followed us will not have failed to remark the utter weakness and folly, as well as falsity and wickedness, of Presbyterianism. Surely, if Presbyterians were not under demoniacal influence, if they had even the free exercise of ordinary human reason, they would abandon their system in disgust.
you may be
ART. VI. — LITERARY NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
1. — Catechism of an [the] Interior Life. By J. J. OLIER,
Founder and First Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpitius. From the French, by M. E. K. Baltimore: Metropolitan Press. 1847. 48mo. pp. 251.
This is a work which needs no recommendation to those who know any thing of it, and those who are not acquainted with it cannot do better than instantly to procure it, and to read and meditate a portion of it every day. We thank the Sulpicians of Baltimore for translating it, and placing it within the reach of all the faithful whose mother tongue is English. It is one of the best ascetic books we are acquainted with, and it may be named along with the Following of Christ and the Spiritual Combat, though of course not equal to the former, which is surpassed only by the inspired Scriptures. The admirable works of the profound and saintly — we trust we may yet in the strict sense write sainted - Olier, the venerable founder of the Sulpicians, we hope will be more known by our English Catholics than they now are. There is in them that union of the active and contemplative which constitutes the highest and most perfect form of the Christian life. This Cate. chism of the Interior Life is profound and full of unction, and, like the sun, enlightens and warms. It must be a favorite with all who are aspiring to Christian perfection.
2. The Blind Man's Offering. By B. B. BOWEN. Boston:
For the Author. 1847. 12mo. pp. 432.
REGARDED as the production of a blind man, this is a remarkable book, and well worth studying; for it shows, that, after all, the other senses can go very far towards supplying those ideas which are commonly supposed to depend wholly on the sense of sight. If the author did not tell us that he is blind, we should hardly suspect the fact from reading his pages. The loss of one's corporeal eyes is great, and we naturally feel a deep sympathy for him who suffers it; yet the exterior blindness of Mr. Bowen does not affect us so much as his interior blindness. His spiritual blindness is more deplorable than his corporeal blindness. He is a Transcendentalist, and feeds his mind and nourishes his soul with unbelief, impiety, and nothingness. Sad, sad is his book! Would that his soul were illumined!