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THE RIGHT OF THE LAITY TO THE UNRESTRICTED READING

OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES VINDICATED.

BY THE LATE

REV. B. W. MATHIAS, M. A.

CHAPLAIN OF THE BETHESDA, DUBLIN.

BIB

EDITED BY THE

REV. W. B. STEWART MATHIAS, B.A.

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"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from

her, my people : that you be not partakers of her sins,
and that you receive not of her plagues.”—Rev. xxviii. 4.
Douay version.

LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & co., STATIONERS' HALL.
EDINBURGH: OLIVER & BOYD. DUBLIN: S. OLDHAM, SUFFOLK-ST.
LIVERPOOL : EDWARD HOWELL, 6, CHURCH STREET.

1851.

100. 3.303,

PREFACE.

The following controversial Lectures, on the Infallibility of the Church of Rome, were delivered in the Bethesda Chapel, Dublin, by the late Rev. B. W. Mathias, Chaplain, at a period when the clergy of both Churches in Ireland began to come forward in advocacy of their peculiar tenets. Discussions were frequently held, and the public mind was strongly excited on the subject. The deputations from the Hibernian Bible Society rarely visited the Auxiliary Societies throughout the country without their meetings terminating by a discussion, commenced by the Roman Catholic priest of the place, or else, by some one put forward by him, the advocate of scriptural truth on such occasion being most generally the clerical member of the deputation. Both Protestants and Romanists felt deeply interested in the results of these controversial campaigns. Many of the latter were led to a serious and scriptural examination of the doctrines of their Church ; and not a few members of that communion regularly visited the revered author of these discourses for his advice and instruction; and many, both priests and private individuals, through his instrumentality, were led to forsake, from conviction, the soul-destroying errors of Romanism, and embrace the pure religion of the unadulterated gospel of Christ.

The Editor has taken no further liberties with

these lectures than was absolutely necessary, in order to render them fit to meet the public eye. As they were delivered at intervals of a fortnight or a month, recapitulations and repetitions unavoidably occurred, these have been omitted ; and some expressions, which might, perhaps, be used with effect in the pulpit, have been changed for others, similar in meaning, but more suitable for a printed discourse. A few notes have been added.

The essay, entitled “Vindicia Laicæ,” was originally published in the form of a pamphlet, in the year 1827, and is reprinted, verbatim, from the copy in the Editor's possession.

The immediate cause of the present publication is the recent aggression of the Bishop of Rome, which renders it necessary that Protestants should have the arguments in favour of the truth placed fully and fairly before them.

The Editor presents this volume to the public with respectful confidence, as being the production of a late eminent servant of God, who has been well styled the Father of the Church in Ireland.

The earnest prayer of the Editor is, that the great Head of the Church may be pleased to accept this little work, and condescend to follow it with His blessing, for the maintenance of truth, and the exposure of error.

LIVERPOOL, January, 1851. N.B.-All passages of importance are given according to the Douay version.

CONTENTS.

SERMON I.

Introductory to the course-Object of Sermon 1.- Meaning of the

word “prove"—What is the test-lst decree of the Council of

Trent-Passages of Scripture to prove the written word the test

-1. The Old Testament-II. The New Testament—How the

test is to be received-In what manner and frame of mind to

be read-Admonition of the text important-Address of Christ

to the Church of Ephesus-St. Peter, 1 Ep. iii. 15—Why neces-

sary to examine and believe the Scriptures Important and

alarming passages, Ezekiel iii. 17, Matthew xv. 13, 14

Conclusion.

SERMON II.

Difficulty in ascertaining the doctrines of the Church of Rome-

Infallibility has never been defined Church of Rome claims
it for herself exclusively-Strong presumptions against the
claim-Exact seat of infallibility uncertain—Viewed as placed
in the Pope-No infallibility in the Jewish Church-Impecca-
bility required—Meaning of the word Church-God has given
infallibility—Where-Objection noticed— Conclusion.

SERMON III.

Claim of infallibility considered in two points of view-1. As a

question of right-Scripture proofs for that doctrine examined
-Method of interpreting those passages by the advocates of
infallibility-Deut. xvii. 8–13, proves too much—“Table of
references”—Isaiah lix. 20, 21, considered-Four principal
passages in New Testament relied on by advocates of infalli-
bility-1 Tim. iii. 16, Matt. xxviii. 20, xviii. 17, xvi. 18, ex-
amined—Two points for consideration ; I. Whether Christ
spoke of Peter's person; or, II. of Peter's confession-Romish
tradition concerning St. Peter-Had two lines of successors-
Which inherited his infallibility ?-Questions to be answered
before the claim can be acknowledged-Opinion of the fathers
respecting the words, “ Thou art Peter,” &c.—Gildas.

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