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THE ROMISH

WORSHIP OF THE VIRGIN.

THE WORSHIP

OF THE

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

IN THE CHURCH OF ROME

CONTRARY TO HOLY SCRIPTURE,

AND TO

THE FAITH AND PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

THROUGH THE FIRST FIVE CENTURIES.

BY J. ENDELL TYLER, B.D.,

RECTOR OF ST. GILES IN THE FIELDS,

AND FORMERLY FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

LONDON:

RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET,

in <rtJmarj> to ?|er

1844.

LONDON :

Printed by S. & J. BENTLET, WILSON, and FLE-

Bangor House, Shoe Lane.

TO THE MOST REVEREND

WILLIAM HOWLEY, D. D.

LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,

AT WHOSE DESIRE THE WORK IS NOW PUBLISHED,

THIS HUMBLE EFFORT

TO RESCUE AND PRESERVE THE TRUTH

FROM THE CORRUPTIONS OF SUPERSTITION

IS,

WITH ENTIRE REVERENCE AND GRATITUDE,

DEDICATED

BY HIS GRACE'S

MOST DUTIFUL AND AFFECTIONATE SERVANT,

24, Bedford Square,

April 8, 1844.

J. ENDELL TYLER.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION

Points of Inquiry

The Doctrine of Development

.

.

.

Reverence towards the Memory of the Virgin Mary

PART I.

PRESENT WORSHIP OF THE VIRGIN

.

.

CHAPTER I.

 

Authorized and enjoined worship

.

.

Prayers to the Almighty through the mediation of

Mary

Prayers to Mary for her intercession

.

.

Prayers to Mary for spiritual and temporal blessings

Substitution of the praise of Mary in place of the Gloria Patri

Indulgence of Pope Leo X, with the prescribed prayer

Reflexions on the foregoing evidence

CHAPTER II.

Worship of the Virgin continued

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Worship through May, Mary's Month

Bonaventura . Gabriel Biel, and John Gerson

.

 

.

Damianus

.

.

.

Bernardinus de Bustis

Theophilus Raynaud

 

.

.

Bernardinus Sennensis

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

PAGE

xi

xin

xvi

xvi

1

.1

.5 2

6

12

16

.20

.21

24

25

38

.40

41

.43

48

viii

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER III.

PAGE .58 Present Doctrine of the Church of Rome . . 59 Present Pope's Encyclical
PAGE
.58
Present Doctrine of the Church of Rome
.
.
59
Present Pope's Encyclical Letter
.
.
62
Work called " Imitation of the Virgin Mary"
.
Little Testament of the Holy Virgin" .
64
.
66
.
Alphonsus Liguori's " Glories of Mary"
367
$3f See also Appendix
.
.
.
Confederation of the most holy Mary, mother of Providence
Reflexions on the foregoing
69
.
70
PART II.
CHAPTER I.
.75
Evidence of Holy Scripture
.
Evidence
of the
Old Testament
78
.79
Evidence
of the
New Testament
.
.
.
CHAPTER II.
94
Assumption
of the Virgin Mary
PART III.
EVIDENCE OP THE CHURCH DOWN TO THE NICENE COUNCIL
115
.
CHAPTER I.
Ancient Creeds
.117
.
.
.
.
Apostolic Fathers
.
119
.
.
.
.
Epistle of St. Barnabas
.120
.
.
.
.
Shepherd of Hernias
Clement of Rome
.
121
.
,
.
.122
.
.
.
.
Ignatius
125
Polycarp
127
CHAPTER II.
EVIDENCE TO THE CLOSE OF THE SECOND CENTURY.
Justin Martyr .
.132
,
.
.
.
Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus
.
135
.
.
Irenseus
138
Clement of Alexandria
141
Tertullian
142

CONTENTS.

IX

CHAPTER III.

EVIDENCE THROUGH THE THIRD CENTURY.

Origen

Gregory Thaumaturgus See also Appendix

.

Cyprian

Methodius

Lactantius

t

.

PAGE

.147

152

370

153

156

158

CHAPTER IV.

EVIDENCE OF THE FOURTH CENTURY, DOWN TO THE NICENE COUNCIL.

Eusebius

.

.

.

.

.

.160

Apostolical Canons and Constitutions

 

.

162

Athanasius

.

.

.

.

.

.164

PART IV.

FROM THE NICENE COUNCIL TO THE CLOSE OF THE FOURTH CENTURY

CHAPTER I.

174

.174 Cyril of Jerusalem- . . . . .181 of Poictiers . . Hilary .
.174
Cyril of Jerusalem-
.
.
.
.
.181
of Poictiers
.
.
Hilary
.
.
.186
Macarius
.
.
.
.
190
.
.
.
.
Epiphanius
.
CHAPTER II.
.203
Basil
.
.
.
.
of Nazianzum
212
Gregory
.
375 and 378
See also Appendix
223
.
.
Ephraim the Syrian
.
.
240
Gregory of Nyssa
Ambrose
246
PART V.
EVIDENCE OF THE FIFTH CENTURY
255
.

Chrysostom

See also Appendix

CHAPTER I.

255

370

CONTENTS.

Augustine

.

See also Appendix

Jerome

Basil of Seleucia

Orosius and Sedulius

.

CHAPTER II.

.

CHAPTER III.

.

"

.

CHAPTER IV.

Councils of Constantinople, &c.

.

CHAPTER V.

Isidore of Pelusium

Theodoret

Prosper

Vincentius Lirinensis

.

.

Cyril

of Alexandria

CHAPTER VI.

Pope Leo

Popes Hilarus, Simplicius, and Felix

Pope Gelasius

Popes Anastasius and Symmachus

CONCLUSION

.

Alphonsus Liguori

Gregory Thaumaturgus

Gregory of Nazianzum

Cyril of Alexandria

Mary, the Egyptian

.

.

APPENDIX.

PAGE

276 . . . 370 300 . . . 310 311 313 . . 323
276
.
.
.
370
300
.
.
.
310
311
313
.
.
323
325
332
336
.
339
349
354
.
.
.
356
359
362
.
.
367
370
375
378
384
387

INTRODUCTION.

The Author of the following treatise has been long

accustomed to rank the Worship of the Virgin Mary among the greatest of those impediments which keep

asunder the Reformed Church of England and the

present Church of Rome.

Ardently as every true

Christian must long for the establishment of har-

for the interchange of the

various offices of brotherly love, among all members

mony and peace, and

of Christ's Church, he cannot hope to see the realiza-

tion of his desire with respect to these two Churches

so long as that wide gulf remains to separate them.

A Church which acknowledges no object of religious

worship except the Almighty alone, and recognises no mediator between God and man except only the

Lord Jesus Christ, cannot, without a compromise of

principle, hold the full communion of Christian wor-

ship with another Church which confesses the *yir-

gin

Mary to be the ground

of a Christian's hope,

which offers supplications to her for her intercession,

and prays to her for her protection, guidance, and suc- cour; which addresses prayers to the Supreme Being

xii

INTRODUCTION.

through her, and in her name, as mediator ; and ren-

ders religious praises to her as the fountain and living

spring of mercy, of grace, and of all consolation, ac-

knowledging her to be Queen of heaven and Sovereign

Mistress of the world. Recent events seem to confirm us greatly in this

view ; pointing to the worship of Mary in the Church

of Rome as the chief practical barrier between mem-

bers of the two Churches. To many a wavering spirit

has the Church of Rome held out her own communion

as the sure, and the only sure, place of refuge, where spiritual doubts cease from troubling, and misgivings

have no place ; where implicit faith in an infallible

guide bids defiance to every assailant, and suffers no

disturbing thought to arise, converting the present life

of perplexity into a state of tranquillity and peace.

Various as are the counteracting causes to prevent the

fulfilment of such expectations, none, we are told, are

so generally operative, or so insurmountable to a mind

that has habitually made God the sole object of prayer,

and the Son of God the sole Mediator, as the worship

of the blessed Virgin.

Be this as it may ; as members of the Church of

England, separated from the errors of Rome, and ana-

thematized by Rome in consequence of that separa-

tion* it well becomes us to ascertain calmly and pa-

tiently, first, whether what we allege against Rome

does in very deed exist in her and belong to her ? and, in the next place, whether that, whatever it be,

is so contrary to the doctrine of our Saviour and his

INTRODUCTION.

xili

Apostles, and so inconsistent with the teaching and

practice of the Church in her earliest and purest ages,

as to require such a separation ? These two points it is the main object of the pre-

sent treatise to ascertain and establish.

With that view, the author endeavours, first, to

shew from authentic documents, and without exagge-

ration, what has been, and what still is, the teaching

and practice of the Church of Rome as to the worship

of the Virgin. He has searched diligently into her authorized and prescribed formularies ; into the works of her canonized saints and accredited teachers ; and

into the devotional exercises provided for her mem-

bers, with more or less of public sanction attached to

them, and still in common use.

He then proceeds

to another inquiry, and proves that such a system, so

far from having its foundation in Holy Scripture, is directly at variance with the teaching of the Book of

inspired truth ; and, in confirmation of the conclusions

which the study of that volume forces upon the mind,

he appeals to the faith, and teaching, and practice of the primitive Church through the first five centuries.

In this department of his undertaking he can fear-

lessly say that he has not wittingly neglected a single

genuine work, or a single passage in any genuine work,

of the writers of those times, which could throw light

He has not only exa-

on the subject of his inquiry.

mined, without any conscious partiality, into the evi-

dence to which the Roman Catholic advocates for the

worship of Mary have appealed, but he has also him-

xiv

INTRODUCTION.

self searched with diligence for any other testimony

which may exist of each author's habitual sentiments,

and even incidental expressions and indirect refer-

ences, bearing on the point at issue. On putting the

various testimonies together, he acknowledges that

the result has been no less surprising than satisfactory

to himself, as a Catholic Christian protesting against the errors of the Church of Rome.

No single remark of any of these writers leads us to

infer that the worship of the Virgin was known in

their times.

On the contrary, their silence, and that

often on occasions when their silence is inconsistent

with their possessing knowledge on the subject, proves

them to have

been unconscious of any such doc-

trine and practice as now prevail in the Church of

Rome. But besides this, which may be called negative

evidence, we find many of the most venerable Fathers of the Church, in their comments on the passages of Scripture which record the actions of the Virgin, di-

rectly charging her with errors and failings totally irreconcileable with the present doctrine and practice

of the Church of Rome.*

Indeed, a collection of

these comments would form a catena of interpretation

of passages of Scripture as harmonious, consistent, au-

* e. g. See Tertullian, p. 145 and 146 of this volume.

Origen, p. 151.

Basil, p. 206.

Ambrose, p. 251.

Chrysostom, p. 269.

Theodoret, p. 329. Cyril of Alexandria, p. 342.

INTRODUCTION.

XV

thoritative, and Catholic, perhaps, as could be col-

lected on any one subject whatever from the writers

of the same period.

It is also worthy

of remark,

that the spurious writings ascribed to these Fathers,

writings, the date of which cannot with any reason be referred to a period earlier than the seventh century,

most remarkably abound, on the other hand, with

ascriptions of power, and mercy, and glory, to the Vir-

gin, declarations of implicit belief in her influence and

intercession, and prayers to her for temporal and spi-

ritual blessings ; whilst for any traces of such ascrip-

tions, declarations, and prayers, their genuine works

will be searched in vain."'"

With humble confidence the Author would invite

all who call themselves Christians to examine and sift

the evidence, and to try the momentous question for themselves ; the issue joined between the two Churches being this, Whether the worship of the blessed Virgin

Mary in the Church of Rome be not contrary to the

teaching of Holy Scripture, and to the faith and prac-

tice of the Church of Christ for five hundred years

and more.

* See St. Ignatius, p. 370.

Methodius, p. 156.

Athanasius, p. 165.

Gregory Thaumaturgus, p. 370.

Gregory of Nazianzum, p. 217, 218, 375, 378.

Ephraim Syrus, p. 226.

Chrysostom, p. 370.

Augustine, p. 370. Cyril of Alexandria, p. 384.

Pope Leo, p. 350.

XVI

INTRODUCTION.

If this point be settled ; if the written word of God

cannot be alleged in support of the system upheld and propagated by the Church of Rome, but is in its

general bearing contrary to it ; and if the teaching and

example of the primitive Church through five hundred

years be also contrary to the doctrine and practice

of the Church of Rome, probably few unprejudiced

minds will acquiesce in the solution which there ap-

pears at the present day among the advocates of that

system a growing inclination to put forward and main- tain THE DOCTRINE, as it is called, of DEVELOPMENT.

The Almighty, they allege, did not impart to mankind

the whole truth in all its fulness at the first preaching of

the Gospel, but bequeathed to his Church the privilege

of deriving from him and communicating to the world

successive revelations of essential doctrine.

Conse-

quently (they proceed to argue) it is not enough to

shew that a tenet is

not found in

Scripture, nor

even in the early Church, to warrant its rejection.

It may,

they say, have pleased God to reveal it in

his own good time ; and of the reality of that revela-

tion the Church is the only judge: from her there

lies no appeal. This is no new doctrine, though after ages of desue-

Not for the first

tude it has recently been revived.

time now is recourse had to the perversion of a principle

which is in itself, and in its legitimate application, sound

We find the abuse of the true doctrine

censured in early days ; and it well becomes us to be

on our guard against the return and prevalence of that

and valuable.

INTRODUCTION.

xvii

abuse. We hold it to be sound doctrine to maintain that

just as an individual member of Christ's Church, how-

ever firmly rooted and grounded in the faith, should still

daily increase in knowledge, no less than in the spirit

of obedience, more and more, so may the Church itself

receive from age to age further and clearer develop-

ments of the truth ; but then the development in each

case must be a further development of the truth as it

the same truth which is announced to

the same truth

which was once delivered to the saints. If ever a doc-

the world in the written word of God,

is in Jesus,

trine or practice be promulgated at variance with the

tenor of Holy Scripture and primitive Christian wor- ship, that doctrine or that practice carries with it its

own condemnation ; proving itself to have derived its

origin, not from the well-head of truth, but from the

deceitfulness of superstition or misbelief. Indeed, this

same doctrine of development has been employed to

countenance the wildest novelties of unbridled fanati-

cism, and cannot fail to open a door for the admission

among our most sacred truths of all the errors which

ignorance, superstition, or mistaken zeal or fraud, may

devise and spread. But on this subject the Author

needs not to dwell in his own words ; the same per-

version and misapplication of the sound principle of

SPIRITUAL PROGRESS was attempted in early times, and

was then most ably exposed and refuted by one whose

maxims on the authority of tradition have of late been

very often cited as principles from which there is no

appeal.

Vincentius Lirinensis thus records his doc-

b

xviii

INTRODUCTION.

trine, that while Churches and individual Christians

ought ever to be in a state advancing towards perfec-

tion in knowledge,

faith, and practice, yet no one,

whether Church or individual, has a right, under co-

lour of further development, to graft upon the ancient faith new doctrines not warranted in Holy Scripture.

In his work called " Commonitorium," dilating on St. Paul's charge to Timothy, " Keep what is commit-

ted unto thee," among other suggestions, Vincentius

says, " What is meant by that which is committed ?

That which is intrusted to thee, not what has been

invented by thee ; what thou hast received, not what

thou hast devised ; an affair, not of ingenuity, but of

learning ; not of private adoption, but of public tra-

dition ; a thing brought to thee, not brought out by

thee; in which thou must be, not an author, but a

keeper ; not an originator, but a pursuer ; not leading,

but following.

What was before believed more ob-

scurely, let that from thy exposition be understood

more clearly. Let posterity rejoice in understanding

through thee, what past ages, without understanding,

Nevertheless, those same things which thou

revered.

didst learn, do thou teach in such a way as that thou

teach no new doctrine, though thou teach in a new

manner."

"But," continues Vincentius, "perhaps some one

will say, * Is there, then, in the Church of Christ no

progress ? '

Surely there is. Let there be a progress,

even the greatest. Who would be so envious to man,

so hateful to God, as to attempt to hinder it ?

Yet it

INTRODUCTION.

xix

must be in such sort as to be in good truth a PROGRESS

in the faith, not a CHANGE of it. Of progress it is the

property that the thing itself should be augmented ; of change it is the property that there be an alteration

from one thing to another. Therefore the understand-

ing, the science, the wisdom should increase, and be

made greatly arid strenuously progressive, as well in

individuals, as in all collectively ; as well in the succes-

sive stages of a man's life, as in

the advances of the

ages and times of the whole Church : but it must be

only in one kind, IN THE SAME DOCTRINES, IN THE SAME SENSE, IN THE SAME TENET." *

Now, we believe that to offer prayers to God in the

name and through the mediation and intercession of

the Virgin Mary, and to offer prayers to her, whether

for her intercession, or for her good offices as the dis-

penser of God's gifts, and as a mediator between God

and man, are " new inventions,"

not the ancient

doctrines of Christianity, but devices superadded to

the original truths of salvation ; and withal directly

repugnant to the Word of God, and the faith and

practice of our fathers in the primitive Church.

We,

moreover, maintain, that if the Roman Church does

offer prayer to God through the mediation and interces-

sion of the Virgin Mary, and does present supplications

to her for her intercession, or for the gifts of spiritual

and temporal graces ; and if these religious acts are

proved to be contrary to the plain teaching and spirit

of Holy Scripture, and to the faith and practice of the

* Oxford, 1836,. p. 53.

XX

INTRODUCTION.

Church through five hundred years ; then no doctrine

of DEVELOPMENT, even in its widest sense, can cover

them : for (to adopt the language of some modern

casuists) these are not latent doctrines and latent prac-

tices now at length enucleated, whilst the germ of

them always existed ; they are not tenets long since,

and from the first, really though unconsciously held by the Church ; they are in their very nature contrary to

the principles of the Gospel, to the teaching of the

Apostles, and to the faith and practice of the Church

in its best and purest times : and of these antagonist

principles we must discard the one or the other ; we

must either reject the Scriptures and the early Church,

or we must remain separate from Rome, in so far as

Rome is the teacher of such errors.

On the title of the present work it seems de-

sirable to offer a few words in this place, to prevent

any misunderstanding of the principles and of the

subject of our inquiry.

The word " worship" is now

said to admit of various significations ; sometimes

implying merely the respect which one human being

may entertain towards another, and sometimes mean-

ing the highest religious and divine honour which a

creature can render to the Supreme Lord of the uni-

verse : consequently we are warned not to charge the Romanists with a spiritual offence in paying " worship"

to

a creature, but rather

to

attach

to

their word

" worship" those ideas only which what they say and

do naturally and plainly suggests; the same warning

INTRODUCTION.

XXi

equally apply