« ElőzőTovább »
It is our painful office to announce the decease, in the 79th year of his age, of the Rev. Joun HUMPHRYS, LL.D., which event occurred at his House, Fortis Green, Finchley, on Saturday evening, the 15th July.
Few ministers have sustained a more consistent and honourable course through so long a period; and no man has died with a more spotless reputation. A man, however, he could not have been, without some infirmity; but a Christian he was, of the very highest order.
He was born at Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, and lived to be the oldest survivor of his fellow-students at the old College, Homerton, now under the presidency of the eminently learned Dr. J. Pye Smith. The first ministerial charge which Dr. Humphrys undertook was at West Bromwich, Staffordshire, where he was ordained June 13, 1782. He removed from that situation in 1784, to succeed, at Deadman's Place, Southwark, the late Rev. James Watson, D.D., formerly Secretary to the Board of Protestant Dissenting Ministers of the Three Denominations. In January, 1788, the church occupied their new edifice in Union-street, where the Rev. John Arundel has for some years filled the pulpit, Dr. Humphrys was appointed, in 1796, a preacher at the Lecture founded by the late Wm. Coward, Esq.; and in 1799 be succeeded the late Rev. Richard Winter, B.D., in the Merchants' Ancient Lecture, instituted at Pinner's Hall, but carried on latterly in New Broad-street; and, in 1808, he was chosen a distributor of the annual Parliamentary grant, known under the name of “Regium Donum” In 1819, after thirty-five years' labours at Deadman's Place and Union Street, Dr. Humphrys was solicited to become the Principal of the Dis. senters' Grammar School, at Mill Hill, Hendon, which office he retained till shortly after the much lamented decease of his eldest son, Henry, in 1821. From that date Dr. Humphrys has lived free from the cares of a settled charge ; but not without occasional and acceptable labours in preaching, and in dispensing Divine ordinances, at the request of his brethren and of destitute churches, and the occupations of his latest years have been diversified by the duties of a joint trustee of the College endowed by the late W. Coward, Esq. over which the Rev. T. Morell presides. · Dr. Humphrys was wise and cheerful as a friend and companion. A warm admirer of the constitution of his country, he was inflexibly attached to the same general political principles with Fox, and Mackintosh, and Robert Hall; and he maintained, to the last, a profound regard for all who were decided and consistent in the cause of civil and religious liberty. He is now numbered with those who, having faithfully finished their course, are reaping an indestructible reward !- Patriot.
TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c. In consequence of the Editor's absence from town, the usual acknowledgments of Books, Letters, &c. are necessarily deferred till the October Magazine.
The short paragraph, page 519, line 12 to 15 (No. for August,) commencing with the words, " Some sermons," and ending with the words, “ our readers,” ought to have been inserted in page 518, between line 31 and line 32.
THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
THE REV. PHILIP HENRY'S OBJECTIONS TO THE
ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITH.
( To the Editor.) Dear Sir,—For nothing were the early nonconformists more distinguished than their opposition to popery. They often conferred upon the subject; they read, they wrote, they preached upon it. In the work of education it was the theme of familiar and frequent intercourse.
So solicitous was the great and good Philip Henry for his children to be acquainted with the Protestant controversy, that he examined them in Matthew Poole's Dialogues against the Papists. * He seems, likewise, to have translated, for their use, the sentiments he himself delivered, when the topics in question underwent discussion at those meetings with his brethren, which were followed by " set disputations in Latin."+ Mrs. Savage having, happily, preserved her father's replies to the appointed queries, I herewith transmit a copy, made from her own manuscripts, for the favour of insertion in the Congregational Magazine. They will be regarded, I trust, as neither unseasonable, nor uninteresting. The precise time when the discussions thus communicated took place, is unknown, but to one of the periods Mr. Henry thus refers, in his diary. “ 1661. February 6. Ministers meeting at Bangor. Query. An sit transubstantio in cæna sacra." I
I am, Dear Sir, yours respectfully, Shrewsbury.
J. B. W.
Question 1. What are our best arguments against popery?
3. What arguments to prove that there is no worth or merit in good works, as that we are thereby justified in the sight of God?
4. What arguments against worshipping of images, and praying to saints and angels?
5. What arguments against purgatory, praying for the dead, and Popes' pardons ?
6. How may it be proved that the mass is no propitiatory sacrifice, and against transubstantiation ?
7. What arguments to prove that the Scriptures are the highest judge, in controversies of religion ?
Query 1. What are the best arguments against popery?
Forasmuch as it is our duty to render a reason of the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear, and also to the end we may establish and build up each other in our most holy faith, not knowing how we may any of us live to be tried and sifted in these matters; we do therefore purpose and make answer as follows, to this needful inquiry.
1. We think ourselves bound to declare and witness against the way of the Papists, because of those dangerous errors in doctrine which they teach, and impose upon their followers; such are, among many others,
(1.) The Doctrine of Merit; that not Christ's righteousness imputed to us, but our good works, are the matter of our justification before God.
(2.) Of Transubstantiation; that the bread in the Lord's Supper is, by consecration, made the very flesh and body of Christ; and that it ceases to be bread.
(3.) Of Purgatory ; that there is a middle state of the dead, which is neither heaven nor hell, where departed souls have relief from the prayers and alms of their surviving friends; all of which are contrary to the blessed Scripture, which is to us the only rule and standard of faith.
2. Because of those absurd and wicked practices, wherein they require us to join with them—as in the worshipping of images, which we believe no art can excuse from damnable idolatry. Praying to saints and angels as mediators for us. Confessing sins to a priest, as a necessary condition of forgiveness; going on pilgrimages to do honour to imaginary relics.
3. Because of the just exceptions which we have against their worship.
Consisting, mainly, in external performances and bodily exercises ; not suited to the way of the gospel. Praying in language which the people do not understand ; and withholding from them the cup of the sacrament.
4. They deny us the use of the Scriptures, which alone are able to make us wise to salvation; setting up unwritten traditions, as of equal authority with them; and the church above them.
5. Because of the novelty of their way in those things wherein they differ from us-being but, as it were, of yesterday, in comparison of the more ancient, primitive truth, which we plead for.
6. Because of their schism, in setting up the Pope as the head of
the church Catholic, to whom they ascribe power to forgive sins ; to dispense with oaths; and to make new articles of faith.
Being infallible in his dictates and determinations, they unite themselves in a body, and call themselves the church, as if a part could be the whole; and most uncharitably exclude all others from Christ and salvation.
7. Their unheard of cruelty in maintaining and propagating their way, chiefly by fire and sword; whereby it is manifest what manner of spirit they are of; certainly not the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
8. Because of our own experience, both of sweet communion with God, and gracious communications from him, which we have had through mercy, in the Protestant way-from which way, therefore, if we should now depart into any other, we fear the guilt of damnable apostacy–which God forbid. Amen.
Query 2. What arguments to prove that the Pope is the Antichrist?
The apostle saith, there are many Antichrists. 1 John ii. 18: even as many as there are enemies to, and opposers of, the person, gospel, truths, and ways of Christ; but the query is, who is the Antichrist properly and emphatically so called ? For as there is a difference between a sin against the Holy Ghost, and the sin against the Holy Ghost; so there is a difference between an Antichrist, and the Antichrist.
We conceive the Pope to be the Antichrist, or rather the Papacy, in the whole succession of Popes, as such; though, perhaps, some one amongst them, either already revealed, or hereafter to be revealed, may deserve in a more special manner to be so accounted.
Reason 1. Because the name Antichrist doth most fitly agree unto the Pope.
(1.) As the preposition anti signifies, Matt. ii. 22. a deputy. And doth not the Pope call himself the Vicar of Christ, and ministerial head of the church?
(2.) As it signifies contra, against, Matt. v. 25. An adversaryAnd 'is not the Pope whatever he pretends against Christ? the Pope's interest against Christ's interest ?
Reason 2. From the description of the Antichrist, 1 John ii. 22. he is Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son, which the Pope doth.
(1.) The Father : consequently, because he denies the Son. Luke x. 16.
(2.) The Son directly, as Christ, i. e, in his anointed offices; as king and priest, between which is the counsel of peace. Zech. vi. 13. And, therefore, he is not called Anti-Jesus, but Antichrist. Now this the Pope doth most notoriously
1. In his kingly office, by usurping a power over the consciences of men; requiring implicit faith and implicit obedience to all his dictates and commands; which is the peculiar prerogative of Christ himself. Matt. xxiii. 9, 10. Deut. xviii. 15.
2. In his priestly office, by usurping a power to forgive sins, and taking on him to offer up a proper propitiatory sacrifice, both for quick and dead; which is, also, Christ's own peculiar; and which he did himself once for all. Heb. ii. 26, 27.
Reason 3. From Paul's description of the Antichrist. 2 Thess. ii. from ver. 3. to ver. 10: where note,
1. The apostacy is the Antichrist, ver. 3: not apostacy in manners only, but from the faith. 1 Tim. iv. l. Now there was never such an apostacy in the church, as that of the bishops of Rome, signified by the star falling from heaven. Rev. ix. 1: after which followed the smoke of errors and heresies out of the bottomless pit, which darkened the sun and the air. ver. 2.
2. The Man of Sin; and the Son of Perdition, ver. 3.
1. The Man of Sin, i. e. a notorious sinner himself, and a leader of others to sin ; such have divers of the Popes been-Blasphemers, necromancers, adulterers; and what not.
2. The Son of Perdition, as Judas, John xvii. 12. 1. Actively destroying others, so doth the Pope; both friends and foes, his friends and followers; he destroys with eternal destruction-his foes and opposers: as far as his power reaches, with temporal destruction. 2. Passively, that is, to be destroyed himself; whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming. ver. 8.
3. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, ver. 4. i. e. the civil magistrate : this the Pope doth, assuming a power to dethrone kings, and dispose of kingdoms at pleasure, contrary to Rom. xiii. 1.
4. Who, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God, ver. 4. This the Pope doth: his seat is in the church, which is the spiritual temple, Eph. ii. 21; and he vaunts himself as God, being commonly styled, without rebuke, Our Lord God the Pope.
5. Who began to work in the apostles' time, and was afterwards revealed, when that which did lett was taken away, ver. 6,7. This is true of the Papacy; for which way was making, betimes, both by the heresies of some denying the Lord that bought them, and by the pride of others, who loved to have the pre-eminence. And when the Roman Empire, which hindered, was removed, and broken, out of the ruins thereof it did arise to its height and greatness.
The primitive Christians prayed hard for the continuance of the Roman Empire, as an hindrance to the appearing of the Antichrist.
6. Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with powers, and signs, and lying wonders, ver. 9. This is true also of the Papacy : witness the lying legend, Matt. xxiv. 24.
Reason 4. From what is said of the Antichrist in the book of Revelation, most fitly applicable to the Papacy, and to no other.
(1.) In the 13th chapter, ver. 11, &c. And they beheld another beast coming out of the earth, 8c. The mark of the beast, (which whoso has not must not live nor trade amongst them,) is professed