August 22, 2019

#5 Protestants Bible Alone? 1846


CHAPTER I – God’s Commandments

What is the doctrine of Protestants regarding the commandments of God? [pg. 89] A. They teach that it is impossible to keep them. “No mere man,” say they, ”since the fall, is able perfectly to keep the commandments of God.”

Q. What says our Saviour on this subject, in the 11th chapter of St. Matthew?
    A. “My yoke is sweet, and my burden is light.”

Q. What says the Gospel of St. Luke, chap. i, ver. 6, speaking of Zachary and Elizabeth?
    A. ”And they were both just before God, walking in ALL the commandments and justifications of the Lord, WITHOUT BLAME.”  St. John, in his first Epistle, chap, v, ver. 3, says: “For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not heavy.” In Deut. chap. xxx, we have: “This commandment that I command thee this day, is not above thee,….but in thy mouth and in thy heart that thou may do it.”

Q. Do you find from these passages, that the law of God cannot be observed?
    A. No; I find quite the contrary. Protestants, therefore, follow any thing or every thing but Scripture in this matter; their empty boasting about what they call their Scriptural religion, is only a grossly fraudulent means to conceal their errors—to catch the simple and ignorant—and to throw the more learned off their guard.

CHAPTER II – Subject of Faith

Q. What is the doctrine of Protestants on the subject of faith?
    A. They teach that faith alone justifies the sinner.
    Q. What does St. James say?  Chap. ii, ver. 17, and following.
   A. “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself,….even the devils also believe and tremble.” “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?”  “Do you see that man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”  St. Paul, 1 Corinth. chap.xiii, says: “And if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Our Saviour addresses Magdalen thus: “Many sins are forgiven thee, because thou hast loved much.”

Q. What do these texts clearly prove?
    A. That the Protestant doctrine is false,—that their creed is in direct opposition to their own boasted rule of faith.
    Q. What is the Protestant doctrine touching good works?
    A. They teach that good works are not at all necessary to salvation.

Q. What does our Saviour teach on the same subject?  Matt. x, 17.
   A. That we cannot enter into heaven without good works:—”If you would enter into life, keep the commandments.” St. James, chap, ii, 17, says:—”So faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.” St. Paul teaches, Rom. chap, ii, ver. 13, that “not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” In 2 Peter, chap. i, 10, we are told: “Wherefore, brethren, labor the more, that by GOOD WORKS you make sure your calling and election.” Jesus Christ himself says—Matt. chap. vii, 21:—”Not every one that say to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    A. No, certainly; on the contrary, it seems invented to set Scripture and reason at defiance. It is evidently opposed both to the spirit and the letter of the Word of God.

Q. What is the reason to be given by Christ on the last day, why he shall pronounce the sentence of eternal exile on many of the wickedis it only that they had no faith?
    A. No; it is that they had no charity. Matth. xxv, 41: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,….for I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me not in; naked, and you covered me not; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.”
    Q. What think you now? Is the Protestant doctrine on good works in accordance with Scripture?


Jacobs Ladder Image

Q. What Is the Protestant doctrine on assurance, or the certainty of grace?
    A. They pretend, that the moment we believe in Jesus Christ, we are infallibly assured of God’s grace.
    Q. What are we taught in Eccles. chap. ix, ver. 1 and 12?
    A. “Their just men,” says that inspired book, “and wise men, and their works, are in the hand of God, and yet man know not whether he be worthy of love or hatred, but all things are kept uncertain for the time to come;….man know not his own end.” Solomon, in the 20th chap. of Proverbs, ver. 9, asks: “Who can say: my heart is clean, I am pure from sin?” St. Paul to the Phil., chap. ii, 12—“Wherefore, my dearly beloved,….with fear and trembling work out your salvation;” and again to the Corinthians, chap. iv, 4—“For I am not conscious to myself of any thing, yet I am not hereby JUSTIFIED, but he that judge me is the Lord.”

Q. Do these texts prove the falsehood of the Protestant doctrine in question?
    A. Very clearly indeed. They show it to be as unscriptural as it is presumptuous.
    Q. But do Catholics believe that we should always remain in a state of doubt, as to whether we are in a state of grace?
    A. Catholics hold, that those who fear God may have, not the certainty of faith, as Protestants teach, but a moral certainty that they are in possession of God’s grace; but nothing except a revelation from God, who knows the heart, can give us an absolute certainty.

Q. What is the Protestant doctrine on the subject of penitential works? [pg. 94] A. Protestants pretend, that Jesus Christ has so satisfied for our sins, that, on our part, fasting and other works of penance are entirely useless.
    Q. Is it wonderful that Protestantism should have some professors, since it teaches such a convenient doctrine?
    A. Not at all; since such doctrine opens a wide, easy, and flowery path to heaven for unrepenting and vicious Christians.  According to this, they may serve the devil and serve God at one and the same time.

Q. Does the Scripture teach this doctrine, so flattering to the passions?
    A. No, certainly; the Prophet Joel, chap. ii, 12, says: “Now, therefore, be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping and in mourning.”  St. John the Baptist, Matth. iii, 8, adds:  “Bring forth, therefore, worthy fruits of penance.” In St. Luke, chap. xiii, 3, our Saviour says: “Unless you do penance, you shall all equally perish.” In the 12th chap., he says to those who brought not forth worthy fruits of penance: “Wo to thee, Corozain; wo to thee, Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes.” He tells us elsewhere, that unless we take up our cross, and follow him, we cannot be his disciples. St. Paul, 1 Corinth. chap. ix, 21, says; (I chastise my body and bring it into subjection.” And again we are told: “If we live by the flesh we shall die, but if, by the spirit, we mortify the deeds of the flesh, we shall live.”

Q. Do you find, by the perusal of the these passages, that, according to Scripture, Christ has so satisfied for us, that we may safely dispense with all crosses, sufferings, mortifications, and works of penance?
    A. No; the very reverse is so evident, that a man must be either very ignorant, or blind with prejudice, not to see it.

CHAPTER IV. – Abide by Bible as Regards the Church

Spirit of Error

Q. What do Protestants teach as regards the Church?
    A. That she fell into gross errors, and corrupted the purity of the Gospel doctrine of Christ.
    Q. Is this clearly in opposition to Scripture?
    A. Yes; because the Gospel tells us, that the Church can never fall into error: “Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.” (Matth xvi, 18) A rock is its foundation, Christ its builder, and his power its prop and support. “He that will not hear the Church,” says Christ, “is to be reputed as a heathen and a publican.” (Matth xviii, 17,) “I will be with you,” says Christ again, to his Apostles and their successors, “all days (that is each and every day) to the end of the world.” In fine, St. Paul calls the Church the pillar and ground of truth.  1 Tim. iii, 15.

Q. What do Protestants teach of the Church?
    A. They teach that she was invisible during more than a thousand years, pretending that there were always men who held their faith secretly, but that they dared not profess it outwardly.

Q. Could such a pusillanimous and cowardly body as this be the Church of Christ?
    A. No; for the people of Christ must not only believe with the heart, but openly profess with the tongue.  Rom. x, 10—”For with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
    Q. To what does Christ compare the Church? Matth. xviii, 17.
    A. To a city on the top of a mountain, visible to all the eyes in the world.

Q. What do you conclude from these words (Matth. xviii, 17:) “If he will not hear them, tell the Church?” [pg. 97] A. That the Church must have been always visible, otherwise there must have been a time during which this command of Christ was impossible on account of the invisibility of the Church; for no one could lay his complaint before an invisible Church. Hence the Catholic is the true Church, since she is the only Church that has been always visible.

CHAPTER V. – Communion of Saints in Scripture

Saints in Heaven, ST Paul calls Cloud of Witnesses

Q. What do Protestants teach on the subject of the Scripture?
    A. They pretend that the Sacred Volume is so clear, that every one, learned and ignorant, may easily know its meaning.
    Q. Does St. Peter think with Protestants in this matter?
    A. No, indeed. In his 2d Epist., chap. iii 16, he says, that there are some things in the Epistles of St. Paul that are hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Q. Do Protestants teach any other absurdity on the subject of the Scripture?
   A. Yes; they try to persuade their followers, that the Scripture contains all God’s revealed will, and that nothing is to be believed or practiced but what is expressly laid down in that Divine Book. –

Q. Is this doctrine in accordance with the Scripture itself?
   A. No; it is directly opposed to the words of St. Paul—2 Thess. ii, 14: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or our Epistle.”

Q. What do Protestants teach on the Eucharist?
    A. It is not an easy matter to answer this question; for to these four words, this is my body, each Protestant gives his own peculiar meaning.  Some say that the body of Christ is in the bread; some, that it is under the bread; some, that it is with the bread; some, that it has no connection with the bread, but that you receive the body when you eat the bread; and some, in fine, say, that the body of Christ is not present in any sense whatever,—that the whole affair is a bare memorial.

Q. Are Protestants Scriptural in this matter?
    A. No; they teach the very reverse of Scripture. Christ says—”this is my body;” they say—”it is NOT his body”

Blessed Sacrament Image

Q. How many distinct passages of Scripture are there to prove the real presence? [pg. 99] A. Fourteen,—all contained in the following texts: Matth. xvi, 26, 28; Mark, xiv, 22, 24: Luke, xxii, 19, 20; 1 Corinth. xi, 23, 25; John, vi, 51, 60, 66; 1 Corinth. x, 16; 1 Corinth. xi, 27, 29.

Q. Is there one text of Scripture which declares the Eucharist to be mere bread and mere wine?
    A. No, not so much as one; and hence the faith of Protestants on this subject is not only not scriptural, but antiscriptural.
    Q. What say Protestants of Confession?
    A. That it is an unscriptural, popish, practice.

Q. Is it then unscriptural?
    A. No; the very reverse. St. James, chap. v, 6, says, “Confess your sins one to another.” The first Christians, under the direction of the Apostles themselves, practised confession,—Acts, chap. xix, 18, 19,—”And many that believed came and confessed, and showed their deeds.” See also Num. chap. v, 6, 7, 8; Levit. xii, 15; Matth. iii, 5, 6.

Q. But why confess sin at all?
    A. That, according to the law of Christ. those who are penitent may be absolved by the Priests of Christ’s Church, lawfully sent and ordained.

Q. Do we find in Scripture that any such power was given to the Priests of the Church? A. Yes, we have for this the dearest texts of the Inspired Volume. In John, xx, 21, Christ says to his first chosen Pastors—”AS my Father has sent ME, even so I send YOU;” and in chap. xvii, 18, of same Gospel—”as thou hast sent me into the world, even so I have also sent them into the world.” But Christ was sent into the world with power to forgive sins, therefore, as he communicated to his first pastors the same power he had himself, they also had power to forgive sins; indeed, he expressly declares it,—John, xx, 21, 22, 23: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven  them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” And elsewhere, he says: “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.”

Q. Are Protestant doctrines equally unscriptural as regards the other Sacraments?
    A. Yes; their doctrines are all antiscriptural as regards these. On Extreme Unction, see James, chap. v, 14; on Holy Orders, read 1 Tim. iv, 14—2 Tim. i, 6—Acts vi, 6, and xiv, 23; on Matrimony, see Ephes. v, 24, 25, 32.
    Q. When you read these passages, do you find that Protestants teach Scriptural doctrines?
    A. No; they evidently teach the very con-

Q. What inference would you draw from all this?
A. That Protestants ought rather to call themselves Anti-Evangelicals, than Evangelicals, as their doctrines are opposed to, rather than in conformity with, the Gospel.

REFUTING PROTESTANTISM WITH DOCTRINAL CATECHISM 1846 continues next with... #6 Jesus Christ and His Saints 1846

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