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sacred; but the general voice of the Christian world is not now against dissent. As to the first, let me ask—Have not our dissenters, generally speaking, something to struggle against in that respect ? Have they not a notion that they are doing wrong? Those who know much of the poor, even in dissenting neighbourhoods, must allow that they have it. And, as to the second, while I admit with sorrow that in this country the protest against schism is far less general and decided than it was in the purer ages of the church, and that therefore this particular difference between the parties (the consequence of our own misconduct) is favourable to the dissenters of the day; yet, as to how far it is so, I must remind you that the Christian world, though sadly divided, does still really witness in every land against schism, and denounces it in a voice that few can fail to hear. It is denounced wherever the Bible is distributed our canons and our liturgy reiterate the condemnation; and wheresoever the Romanist gains a footing he inculcates a fear and a dread of it with praiseworthy zeal, though it may not be a zeal according to knowledge. And further, upon this point it is not allowable to talk of “the whole Christian world” in the apostles' times. A few poor men and their converts, scattered up and down in the large cities of Greece and Asia Minor in small detached parties, who were each surrounded by a hundre. times their own number of unbelieving countrymen, cannot with propriety be thus designated. By such an expression we impart a very false notion of the real influence exerted by the church in those days on the minds of its members. In many cases it would not have been more than that which one of our dissenting bodies would possess, if all other parties in the state consented to proscribe its members,-burn, hang, or give them to wild beasts, wherever they were found. All I want to shew is, that these comparisons, when carried on with any degree of impartiality, end in doubt; and are not by any means as favourable to our dissenters as their friends would have us suppose.
6. They must have resisted apostolic authority.- True. But apostolic authority was not to them what it is to us. We know St. Paul's real character-we know his Divine mission; there is not one who dreams of a doubt about it: but it was otherwise with his converts. Most of them must for a long time have entertained strangely mixed notions of him. The majority in every city would ascribe his miracles to skill in the black art, and his converts, suffering from their influence, and the ill effects of their own previous opinions and habits, would not soon get rid of all feeling of the kind: and do we not know from scripture that his personal presence was weak, and that he was despised by many on that account? Our respect for the apostles cannot be lessened by any such feelings ; may we not, therefore, conclude that the respect general amongst them can have borne little resemblance to our own ?
7. A dissenter then must have been conspicuous in his resistance; whereas now he only does as others do,-follows a multitude, &c. Does any one suppose, then, that those schismatics of early days whose names have come down to us were the only schismatics of those times--that they had not very inany followers, and that whole cities and regions did not from time to time continue long more full of schismatics than of catholics? There is such strange ignorance of ecclesiastical history in such a notion, that I forbear to pursue it further.
.Now, Sir, whether in the above cases I have succeeded in shewing that it is extremely doubtful whether the present dissenters have not resisted quite as much light as ever shone upon those of early times, I leave it to your readers to judge. I have not endeavoured to do more, and I feel that in almost every case much more might have been said to the same purpose, and with much greater effect. My letter has now run to such a length that I have hardly time to notice the common application to this subject of Luke ix. 50 :-“ He that is not against us is for us.” I can only at present ask those who think themselves justified in such a use of the passage, what they can say against the counter-application of Mat. xii. 30:“ He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad”?
MOORE'S HISTORY OF IRELAND.
SIR,—The arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland having been assigned to the year 432, Mr. M., in common with all who adopt that date, is somewhat perplexed by the assertion of Prosper respecting Celestine:
“whilst he endeavoured to keep the Roman island catholic, he made the barbarous island Christian.”
“• Et ordinato Scotis episcopo, dum Romanam insulam studet servare catholicam fecit etiam barbaram Christianam.'— Prosper, Lib. contra Collat., eap. 41. This sanguine announcement was issued by Prosper, in a work directed against the semiPelagians, when the true result of Palladius' mission had not yet reached him.” (p. 210, note.) The term “ barbaram” being taken to mean Ireland, and the mission of Palladius being assumed to have terminated in a few months, Mr. M. with some reason observes, that the “ zealous anti-Pelagian’ announced the conversion of Ireland somewhat “prematurely.” It cannot be admitted, however, that there was not time for the “true result of Palladius's mission” to reach Rome before Prosper penned the sentence under consideration, for that mission failed (according to the date usually assigned to it) sometime during the year 431, and Prosper wrote against Cassian in 433. Now considering that Palladius is supposed to have reached Ireland early in the very year he left Rome, is it likely that intelligence respecting a mission which excited so much interest should be at least twelve, if not eighteen, months travelling from Ireland to Rome? Such an hypothesis ought to appear improbable, at least to Mr. M., who tells us (p. 214,) that “two or three of" Palladius's “ disciples set out to announce the death of this bishop “to his successor, St. Patrick, who was then on his way through Gaul;"' so that, if this statement be true, the news of Palladius' death must have reached nearly half way to Rome by the end of the year 431. But a more serious consideration is, that it remains to be explained what credit is due to the statements of Prosper on any subject whatever, if he could write so much at random as he is here represented to have done? Who will believe his assertion (supposing he made it,) that Palladius was the “first bishop" of Ireland, after this his singularly premature announcement of the conversion of that country? But enough has been said of the “ill-fated missionary,” Palladius; so turn we now to his more fortunate successor.
Here, however, let it not be supposed that I am about to canvass the merits or defects of Mr. M.'s Life of St. Patrick, for that were a most unprofitable undertaking. Indeed,- if one might say it without offence,-a cursory glance at that wonderful story is calculated to excite a suspicion that the legend must have been originally intended for some anile or juvenile branch of the renowned “ Fudge family,” and to the sympathies of that household it shall therefore freely be consigned. At the same time, one may be permitted to express one's surprise how so grave an editor as Dr. Lardner is reported to be could be induced to believe that such a palpable romance forms any portion of the history of Ireland. And what is more, one may ex• press a hope that the Doctor will either abstain in future from making his “ Cabinet Cyclopædia" the repository of such unsophisticated fiction, or else give his protestant subscribers due notice that he intends to give currency to popish fables. But to return ;-although it were next to useless to occupy time in the examination of such a composition as Mr. M.'s Life of St. Patrick, it may help to draw attention to an obscure but important portion of ecclesiastical history, if, to such observations as have already been made respecting the apostle of Ireland by some of your learned correspondents, I add a few notices of some points which have not yet been touched upon.
Let us, in the first instance, then, notice some peculiarities connected with that creed which is found in the document usually known by the name of the “Confession of St. Patrick.” A translation of that creed having been already given in the “ British Magazine” for October last, the doctrines embodied in it will be already familiar to your readers; for my own purposes I subjoin the original
“ Non est alius Deus, nec unquam fuit, nec erit post hunc [posthac), præter Deum Patrem, ingenitum sine principio, a quo est omne principium, omnia tenentem (ut diximus): et hujus filium Jesum Christum, quem cum Patre scilicet fuisse semper testamur, ante originem seculi spiritualiter apud Patrem inenarrabiliter genitum ante omne principium; et per ipsum facta sunt visibilia et invisibilia ; hominem factum; devicta morte, in cælos ad Patrem receptum; et dedit ille omnem potestatem super omne nomen, cælestium et terrestrium, et infernorum, ut omnis lingua confiteatur quia Dominus et Deus est Jesus Christus: quem credimus et expectamus adventum ipsius, mox futurus Judex vivorum et mortuorum qui reddet unicuique secundum facta sua, et infundit in nobis abunde Spiritus Sancti donum, et pignus immortalitatis; qui facit credentes et obedientes ut sint filii Dei Patris et cohæredes Christi : quem confitemur et adoramus, unum Deum in Trinitate sacri Nominis.”
Such is the creed of St. Patrick, the wording of which is, in my
opinion, quite decisive as to the claims of the church of Rome, since every person, the least acquainted with the language of the ancient symbols of faith, will see, that if the author of this confession were the apostle of Ireland, be must have been connected with some branch of the eastern, and not of the western, church. one, for instance, compare this document with what are called the Nicene and Apostles' creeds,—the symbols of the eastern and western churches respectively,—and he will be at no loss to decide with which the wording of St. Patrick's creed most nearly harmonizes. It is worth while, also, for those who have the opportunity, to compare the creed of the latter with the “ Professio Fidei” of St. Martin of Tours, as given in the “ Bibliotheca Patrum,” De la Bigne, vol. iv., Paris, 1624; or in the “ Bibliotheca Maxima,” vol. v., Lugd. 1678; since it will thus be farther evident how diverse the creeds of the assumed pupil and master are from each other.
Thus far, then, I think, may be concluded with certainty,—that the author of the creed found in the “ Confession of St. Patrick" did not profess himself to be of the church which had at an early period adopted what is called the Apostles' creed for its symbol of faith ; nor did he square his belief by that profession of faith which is attributed to St. Martin of Tours. In this conclusion I can scarcely expect Mr. Moore and the worshippers of the Romish St. Patrick to acquiesce; but, still, direct internal evidence is never to be rejected for the sake of upholding fables or hypotheses.
The next conclusion I draw from the creed under discussion is, that the author of it was a semi-Pelagian,-one of that school of heresy of which Mr. M.'s favourite author, Prosper, was so strenuous an opponent. All conversant with the writings which relate to the Pelagian and semi - Pelagian controversies will have noticed the expressions “qui reddet unicuique secundum facta sua ;"_“infundit.
pignus immortalitatis ;"_“qui facit credentes et obedientes, ut sint filii Dei Patris." The first, though a strictly scriptural sentiment, was introduced into the Pelagian confession of faith to mark a peculiarity in their belief, as opposed to those notions respecting the doctrine of grace which were maintained by Augustine; the expression, “ infundit , ..... pignus immortalitatis," also, in the creed of a Pelagian, had reference to his belief in the original opinion that Adam was at the first created mortal; whilst the phrase “ qui facit credentes et obedientes,” &c., embodies the sentiment on which the semi-Pelagian controversy hinged. Let it finally be noted that, according to Sir W. Betham's full and interesting account of the Book of Armagh, it would appear that the same book in which the confession of St. Patrick is found contains also a copy of the New Testament, to most of the apostolical epistles in which is prefixed a prologue, or argument, taken from the commentary of Pelagius. So that, putting these things together,-viz. the oriental phraseology of the creed of St. Patrick, (a phraseology in which all the Pelagian confessions of faith are couched ;) the Pelagian and semi-Pelagian sentiments which occur in that creed itself; and, lastly, the Pelagian prologues, in the company of which the confession of St. Patrick is found ;-I conclude that this confession of St. Patrick, and the other contents of the Book of Armagh, formed the manual of some ecclesiastic of questionable orthodoxy.
These conclusions are submitted to the consideration of the learned, with the apprehension that they may be regarded as startling novelties, and with the conviction that it is very probable they may be but the deductions of less extensive knowledge than the discussion of this subject demands. In a future communication, therefore, I purpose, with your permission, to place the different members of St. Patrick's creed in juxta-position with such matter as I believe will establish my position, and then submit myself to the correction of those who may think it worth while to point out the errors of
C. E. G. (Errata in Letter III.- For “ Abbye Boyle," read “the abbey of Boyle ;" for “edited by Gisborne," read “ edited by Gibson."]
ASSOCIATION WITH HERETICS. MR. Editor,—I have just risen from the perusal of Mr. Newman's sermon on the tolerance of religious error. [Vol. 2. xxiii.] Like his other writings, it is able, zealous, sublime. I am not such a slave to names as to shrink from its conclusions because the world calls them bigoted. At the same time, since the line of duty which he prescribes would be attended, not only by many painful circumstances, but by an apparent diminution of usefulness, I cannot adopt it without being fully convinced that it is the line prescribed by Scripture. Mr. Newman's principle appears to be, not to use hospitality or shew kindness to heretics,-of course Socinians must be included, perhaps all who dissent from our church. I cannot reconcile this view of the subject with St. Paul's words—“ If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, &c.” 1 Cor. x. 27. This seems to imply association with infidels. Again, 1 Cor. vii. 16, the reason for not separating husband and wife, is what Mr. Newman would call expediency. The apostle does not rest his rule on the inviolability of the union, but in the practical effects which may be expected. Does not this appear to justify an association with unbelievers for their good ? Again, is it for individuals to act upon the principles of 1 Cor. v. 9—13. Am I called upon to separate from professed Christians, against whom the church has issued no censure ? Now, if dissenters are to be looked upon as members of the church, they in general have no censure pronounced against them; if they are not members of the church, are they not, so far, just in the condition of the heathen ?
I have no pretensions to oppose such an authority as Mr. Newman ; but, till these doubts are satisfied, I cannot take upon myself the responsibility of acting on my private judgment, in contradiction, as far as I know, to the general custom of churchmen. If any of your learned correspondents will favour me with their sentiments, they will oblige one who is practically at a loss as to the path of duty.
W.I.R. Vol. IX.-March, 1836.