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actions as meritorious to salvation or otherwise. The first is, that man has no free will, and that this word free will is but a name without the substance (18). The first man alone, he said, had free will, but he and all his posterity lost it through sin; hence, anything that man docs he does through necessity, for God has so willed it, and it is God himself moves him to do it, which movement man cannot resist. But then, it may be said, when man acts without free will, and through necessity, both when he does what is good, as well as when he does what is evil, how can he have merit or demerit? Calvin again blasphemously answers this and says, that to acquire merit, or deserve punishment, it is enough that man should act spontaneously, without being driven to it by others, though all the while he acts without liberty and through necessity. But if God moves the will of man even to commit sin, then God is the author of sin. “ No," says Calvin, “ because the author of sin is he alone who commits it, not he who commands or moves the sinner to commit it." He does not blush, then, to give utterance to a third blasphemy, that every sin is committed by the Divine authority and will; and those, he says, who assert that God merely permits sins, but does not wish them, or instigate them, oppose the Scriptures. “ They feign that he permits those things which the Scripture pronounces are done, not only by his permission, but of which he is the author” (19). He bases this falsehood on that text of David (20): " Whatsoever the Lord pleased he both done in heaven and on the earth” (Psalms, cxxxiv. 6); but he appears to forget what the Psalmist says in another place: “ Thou art not a God that willeth iniquity” (Psalms, v. 5). If God, I ask, moves man to commit sin, how can he avoid it? Calvin not being able to get out of this difficulty, says, that carnal men as we are, we cannot understand it (21)
94. It is a necessary consequence of this doctrine that the sinner who is lost is lost by Divine ordinance, and even this horrible blasphemy did not affright Calvin; monstrous as it is he agrees to it, and concludes that God, knowing beforehand the salvation or reprobation of each person, as he has decreed it, that some men are predestined to eternal torment by the Almighty, solely by his will, and not by their evil actions (22). Such, reader, is the fine theology of these new Reformers of the Church-Luther and Calvin, who make the Almighty a tyrant, a deceiver, unjust and wickeda tyrant, because he creates men for the purpose of tormenting them for all eternity; a deceiver, because he imposes on them a law
which they never can, by any means in their power, observe; unjust, since he condemns men to eternal punishment, while, at the same time, they are not at liberty to avoid sin, but constrained to commit
(18) Calv. Inst. l. 3, c. 2 sec. 16, & seq. (19) Calv. l. 2, c. 3. (20) Calvin de Prædest. Dei, æterna. na.) Calv. Inst. l. 3, c. 23. (22) Calv. ibid.
it; and wicked, for he himself first causes a man to sin, and then punishes him for it. Finally, they make God distribute his rewards unjustly, since he gives his grace and heaven to the wicked, merely because they have Faith, that they are justified, though they should not even
sorry for their sins. Calvin says that this is the benefit of the death of Christ; but I answer him thus: If, according to his system, a man may be saved, then good works are no longer neces. sary, and Christ died to destroy every precept both of the Old and New Law, and to give freedom and confidence to Christians to do whatever they like, and to commit even the most enormous sins, since it is enough to secure their salvation without any cooperation on their part, that they should merely believe firmly that God does not impute to them their sins, but wishes to save them through the merits of Christ, though they do everything in their power to gain hell. This certain faith in our salvation, which he calls confidence, God, he says, gives to the elect alone.
95. Speaking of the sacraments, he says that they have effect on the elect alone, so that those who are not predestined to eternal happiness, though they may be in a state of grace, receive not the effect of the sacrament. He also says that the words of the ministers of the sacraments are not consecrating, but only declaratory, intended alone to make us understand the Divine promises (23), and hence he infers, that the sacraments have not the power of conferring grace, but only of exciting our Faith, like the preaching of the Divine Word (24), and he ridicules our theological term, ex opere operato, for explaining the power of the sacraments, as an invention of ignorant monks; but in this he only shows his own ignorance, as he understands by opus operatum, the good work of the ministers of the sacraments (25). We, Catholics, understand by opus operatum, not the act of the minister himself, so much as the power which the Almighty gives to the sacraments (if not hindered by sin), of operating in the soul; that which the sacrament signifies, as Baptism, to wash ; Penance, to forgive; the Eucharist, to nourish. He denies that there is any difference between the sacraments of the Old and the New Law (26); but St. Paul says that the former were but weak and needy elements (Gal. iv. 9), and a shadow of things to come (Colos. ii. 17). He ridicules the sacramental character which is impressed by Baptism, Confirmation, and Orders (27), and Christ, he says, only instituted three sacraments-Baptism, the Supper, and Ordination; the first two he positively asserts to be sacraments, and the third he admits. “ The imposition of hands," he says, " which is performed in true and lawful Ordinations, I grant to be a sacrament;" but he totally rejects the Sacraments of Confirmation, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Matrimony (28).
(23) Calvin. Instit. I. 4, c. 14, s. 4. (24) Idem, l. 4, c. 14, s. 11. (25) Idem, 1. 4, c. 14, s. 26. (26) Idem, I. 4, c. 14, s. 23. (27) Calvin, Instit. in Antid. Conc. Trid. ad Can. 9, Sess. 7. (28) Idein, l. 4, c. 19, s. 19, 20.
Though he admits Baptism as a sacrament, he denies that it is necessary for salvation (29), because children, he says, snatched off by death, though they are not baptized, are saved, for they are members of the Church when they are born, for all children of Christians, he says, being born in the alliance of the New Law (30), are all born in grace (31), and he teaches that laymen and women cannot baptize a child, even in danger of death (an error most dangerous to the salvation of these poor innocents), because, though they die without baptism, they are saved (32). Finally, he teaches that the Baptism of John the Baptist was of the same efficacy as the Baptism instituted by Jesus Christ (33).
96. He not alone denies that Penance is a sacrament, but he teaches many errors concerning it; for the sins committed after Baptism, he says, are remitted by the remembrance of Baptism, and do not require the Sacrament of Penance (34); that the absolution of the confessor has no power to remit sins, but is merely an abstraction of the remission God grants us, by the promise made to Christians; that the confession of sins is not of Divine right, but only ordained by Innocent III., in the Council of Lateran; and that it is not necessary to make satisfaction for our sins, because God is not to be pleased with our works, and such satisfaction would be to derogate from that atonement made by Christ for our sins.
97. Regarding the Sacrament of the Eucharist, against which all his malice is directed, as we see in his book, “ De Cæna Domini," he says that Transubstantiation, as believed by Catholics, is nothing but a mere invention, and that the Eucharist ought not to be preserved or adored, because it is a sacrament only while it is used, and that the essence of this sacramentis eating by Faith (35). He denies (and this is the error he most furiously defends) the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The words of consecration: “ This is my body, and this is my blood," are to be taken, he says, not in reality, as we believe them, but figuratively, and that they do not mean the conversion of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but that the bread and wine in the sacrament are merely figures of the body and blood of our Lord (36), bat in the communion we receive the life and substance of Jesus Christ, but not his proper flesh and blood; then he says, “we do and do not receive Jesus Christ,” proving that he did not believe in, or admit, the Real Presence in the Eucharist (37). Nothing, he says, can be more reprehensible than dividing the Supper—in other words, giving communion under one kind. When such is their doctrine, we ought surely be surprised to see the Calvinists in their famous Synod of Charenton, in 1631, deciding that the Lutherans,
(29) Idem, c. 19, s. 31. (30) Idem, l. 4, c. 15, s. 20. (31) Bossuet, Variat. t. 3, 1. 14, n. 37. (32) Calvin, l. 4, c. 15, s. 20 & seq. (33) Idem, l. 3, c. 15, s. 3 & 4. (34) Vide loc. cit. (35) Calvin, loc. cit. de Cæna Dom. (36) Calvin, Instit. I. 4, c. 17, s. 32. (37) Idem, loc. cit. s. 33, 34.
who they knew believed in the Real Presence, should be admitted to their communion, because, as they asserted, both believed in the fundamental articles (38). Daille denies (39) that there is anything in this Decree contrary to piety or to the honour of God: but we may ask the Calvinists: Is not idolatry contrary to the honour of God? and are not the Lutherans idolaters, when they adore as God mere bread? Calvin denies, also, that the Mass is a sacrifice instituted by Jesus Christ for the living and the dead (40), and it is, he says, injurious to the Sacrifice of the Cross to say so, and that private Masses are in direct opposition to the institution of Christ.
98. Calvin likewise denies purgatory (41), the value of indulgences (42), the intercession of saints, and the veneration of images (46); and St. Peter, he says, enjoyed among the apostleg merely a supremacy of honour, but not of jurisdiction (44), and then he rejects the primacy of St. Peter and the Pope (45). The Church and General Councils, he says, are not infallible in the definition of articles of Faith, or the interpretation of the Scriptures. He entirely renounces ecclesiastical laws, and the rites appertaining to discipline (46), such rites, as he alleges, being pernicious and impious, and he rejects the fast of Lent (47), and the celibacy of the clergy (48); vows to fast or to go on a pilgrimage, and the religious vows, he says, are superstitious (49). "Usury, he says, may be permitted, for there is no text of Scripture prohibiting it. Noel Alexander and Cardinal Gotti (50) enumerate many other errors of his, and, in a word, he preached and wrote so many blasphemies, that it was not without reason, at his death, that he cursed his life, his studies, and his writings, and called on the devil to take him, as we read above (N. 70) (51).
SEC. IV.- THE DIFFERENT SECTS OF CALVINISTS.
99. The Sects into which Calvinism was divided. 100. The Puritans. 101. The Inde
pendents and Presbyterians. 102. The Difference between these Sects. 103. The Quakers and Tremblers. 104. The Anglo-Calvinists. 105. The Piscatorians. 106. The Arminians and Gomarists.
99. The sect of Calvin was soon divided into numerous other sects—in fact, we may say that from every sect a thousand others sprung, and that is the case, especially in England, where you can scarcely find the members of the same family believing the same thing. We shall speak of the principal sects described by Noel Alexander and Cardinal Gotti (i). These are the Reformed, who
(38) Calvin, l. 4, c. 17, s. 46-48. (39) Dallæus, Apol. Eccl. Reform. p. 43. (40) Calvin, Instit. I. 4, c. 18. (41) Idem, l. 3, c. 5, s. 6, 10. (42) Calvin, Inst. Idem, l. 3, c. 5, s. 2. (43) Idem, l. 3, c. 20. (44) Idem, I. c. II. (45) Idem, 1. 4, c. 6. (46) Idem, l. 4, c. 9. (47) Idem, l. 4, c. 20. (48) Jdem, l. 4, c. 12, s. 19 & 20. (49) Ibid. s. 23. (50) Idem, l. 4, c. 13, s. 6. (51) Calvin, Respons. de Usur. inter Epist. p. 223; Nat. Alex. t. 19, art. 13, s. 2; Gotti, 1, 2, c. 3, s. 5. (1) Nat. Alex. t. 19, art. 13, s. 3; Gotti, Ver. Rel. c. 312, 8. 1, 2.
are found in France, in the Palatinate, in Switzerland, and Flanders, and these, in general, follow the doctrine of Calvin to the letter. In England and Scotland they are called Puritans, and, besides, we find among his followers others called Independents, Presbyterians, Anglo-Calvinists, Piscatorians, Arminians, and Gomorists.
100. The most rigid of all the Calvinists are the Puritans, who hate all who do not follow their own way of thinking, but abhor the Catholics especially, and do not even like to pray in the churches consecrated by them. They rejected Episcopacy—the rites, and ceremonies, and Liturgy, both of the Catholic and Anglican Churches, not even keeping the Lord's Prayer. They are as exact in the observance of the Sunday as the Jews are of the Sabbath. They are no friends to royalty, and it was through their means that Charles I. was brought to the block (as we have seen above, N. 85), in 1649.
101. The Independents and Presbyterians believe much the same as the Puritans, but their system of church government is different. When Oliver Cromwell became Protector of England (N. 86), he was an Independent. They believe just what they like, and recognize no superior as invested with the power of teaching them. According to them, that supreme power resides in each sect which they would not allow to the Councils of the Universal Church. They allow no one to preach who does not follow their doctrine. They celebrated the “Supper" on Sundays; but they do not admit to the “ Supper," nor to Baptism, only those of their own sect. They celebrated the Supper, with their hats on, without catechism, sermon, or singing; and they were the progenitors of all the other sects that overran England, as the Anabaptists, the Antinomians (who rejected all law, N. 35), disciples of John Agricola, and the Anti-Scripturists, who totally rejected the Scriptures, boasting that they had the spirit of the Prophets and Apostles.
102. The Presbyterians are a powerful body in the British islands. They separated themselves from the Independents. Their churches are formed into classes; the classes are subject to Provincial Synods; and these to a National Synod, whose decisions must be obeyed, as if almost of Divine authority. They are called Presbyterians, because they adopt a form of church government by lay elders, and they say that bishops have no more authority than presbyters. Their elders are generally men of years, unless in the case of some specially gifted young person; the name is derived from the Greek word, Presbuteroi, which means our elders.
103. There are also Quakers, or, as they were sometimes called, Tremblers, who considered themselves perfect in this life. They imagined they were frequently moved by the Spirit to such a pitch, that they trembled all over, not being able to endure the abun