Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ritualism vs. Grace
biblebb.com ^ | 19th Century | Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle

Posted on 03/03/2010 4:09:28 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege

Now "strengthening of the heart" is one of the great wants of many professing Christians...They want to realize more tangible comfort. They fancy they ought to feel more and see more...Where shall they turn? What shall set their consciences at rest? Then comes the enemy of souls, and suggests some shortcut road to establishment. He hints at the value of some addition to the simple plan of the Gospel, some man-made gimmick, some exaggeration of a truth, some flesh-satisfying invention, some improvement on the old path, and whispers, "Only use this, and you shall be strengthened."...

"Come to us," says the Roman Catholic. "Join the Catholic Church, the Church on the Rock, the one, true, holy Church; the Church that cannot err. Come to her bosom, and rest your soul in her protection. Come to us, and you will find strength."

"Come to us," says the extreme Ritualist. "You need higher and fuller views of the priesthood and the Sacraments, of the Real Presence in the Lord's Supper, of the soothing influence of daily service, daily masses, confession to priests, and priestly absolution. Come and take up sound Church views, and you will find strength."

"Come to us," says the violent Liberationist. "Cast off the traditions and rules of established Churches. Enjoy religious liberty. Throw away forms and Prayer-books. Join our party. Cast in your lot with us, and you will soon be strengthened."

"Come to us," say the Plymouth Brethren. "Shake off all the bondage of creeds and Churches and systems. We will soon show you higher, deeper, more exalting, more enlightened views of truth. Join the brethren, and you will soon be strengthened."

"Come to us," says the Rationalist. "Lay aside the old worn-out clothes of unfruitful schemes of Christianity. Give your reason free scope and play. Begin a freer mode of handling Scripture. Be no more a slave to an ancient old world book. Break your chains and you shall be strengthened."

Every experienced Christian knows well that such appeals are constantly made to unsettled minds in the present day?

"What does the Scripture say?" This is the only sure guide. Hear what Paul says. Heart strength is not to be obtained by joining this party or that. It comes "by grace, and not by foods." Other things have a "show of wisdom" perhaps, and give a temporary satisfaction "to the flesh." (Colossians 2:23). But they have no healing power about them in reality, and leave the unhappy man who trusts them nothing bettered, but rather worse.

I believe there never was a time when it was more needful to uphold the old Apostolic prescription than it is in the present day. Never were there so many weak and worried Christians wandering about, and tossed to and fro, from want of knowledge. Never was it so important for faithful ministers to set the trumpet to their mouths and proclaim everywhere, "Grace, grace, grace, not foods, establishes the heart."

A clearer knowledge of the Divine scheme of grace, its eternal purposes, its application to man by Christ's redeeming work, a firmer grasp of the doctrine of grace, of God's free love in Christ, of Christ's full and complete satisfaction for sin, of justification by simple faith, a more intimate acquaintance with Christ the Giver and Fountain of grace, His offices, His sympathy, His power, a more thorough experience of the inward work of grace in the heart, this, this, this is the grand secret of heart strength. This is the old path of peace. This is the true panacea for restless consciences.

It may seem at first too simple, too easy, too cheap, too commonplace, too plain. But all the wisdom of man will never show the heavy-laden a better road to heart-rest...

(Excerpt)


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant; Theology
KEYWORDS: anglican; catholic; christianity; episcopal; gospel; grace; truth
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. ~ Hebrews 13:9

Such are the two great principles which Paul puts in strong contrast in the prescription we are now considering. He places opposite to one another "foods" and "grace" --Ceremonialism and the Gospel--Ritualism and the free love of God in Christ Jesus. And then he lays down the great principle that it is by "grace," and "not foods," that the heart is strengthened.

1 posted on 03/03/2010 4:09:28 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

http://www.therealpresence.org/essentials/sacraments/acc33.htm

And where is the Anglican Church headed these days, by the way?


2 posted on 03/03/2010 5:34:46 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
Sacraments = "...have a "show of wisdom" perhaps, and give a temporary satisfaction "to the flesh." (Colossians 2:23). But they have no healing power about them in reality..."
3 posted on 03/03/2010 6:06:10 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

“What are the Sacraments?
We may define a sacrament as a visible sign instituted by Christ which effectively communicates the grace it signifies....But the sacraments are not merely signs that grace is received. No, the heart of the sacraments is that they actually produce the grace which they signify. They are like instruments in the hands of Christ who, through them, confers the graces proper to each sacrament.”

And again, where is the Anglican Church headed these days?


4 posted on 03/03/2010 6:08:38 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
Nothing's new under the sun. Ryle wrote the following over 100+ years ago:

The very history of our own times bears a striking testimony to the truth of Paul's assertion. In the last twenty-five years some scores of clergymen have seceded from the Church of England, and joined the Church of Rome. They wanted more of what they called Catholic doctrine and Catholic ceremonial. They honestly acted up to their principles, and went over to Rome. They were not all weak, and illiterate, and second- rate, and inferior men; several of them were men of commanding talents, whose gifts would have won for them a high position in any profession. Yet what have they gained by the step they have taken? What profit have they found in leaving "grace" for "ceremonies," in exchanging Protestantism for Catholicism? Have they attained a higher standard of holiness? Have they procured for themselves a greater degree of usefulness? Let one of themselves supply an answer. Mr. Ffoulkes, a leading man in the party, within the last few years has openly declared that the preaching of some of his fellow "Perverts" is not so powerful as it was when they were English Churchmen, and that the highest degree of holy living he has ever seen is not within the pale of Rome, but in the quiet parsonages and unpretending family-life of godly English clergymen! Intentionally or not intentionally, wittingly or unwittingly, meaning it or not meaning it, nothing can be more striking than the testimony Mr. Ffoulkes bears to the truth of the Apostle's assertion: "Ceremonial foods do not profit" even those who make much ado about them. The religious system which exalts ceremonial and man-made ritual does no real good to its adherents, compared to the simple old Gospel of the grace of God.

5 posted on 03/03/2010 6:23:08 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

Nothing’s new under the sun.John Henry Newman wrote the following over 100+ years ago:

A day or two after, Oct. 22, a stranger wrote to me to say, that the Tracts for the Times had made a young friend of his a Catholic, and to ask, “ would I be so good as to convert him back; “ I made answer:—

” If conversions to Rome take place in consequence of the Tracts for the Times, I do not impute blame to them, but to those who, instead of acknowledging such Anglican principles of theology and ecclesiastical polity as they contain, set themselves to oppose them. Whatever be the influence of the Tracts, great or small, they may become just as powerful for Rome, if our Church refuses them, as they would be for our Church if she accepted them. If our rulers speak either against the Tracts, or not at all, if any number of them, not only do not favour, but even do not suffer the principles contained in them, it is plain that our members may easily be persuaded either to give up those principles, or to give up the Church. If this state of things goes on, I mournfully prophesy, not one or two, but many secessions to the Church of Rome.”


6 posted on 03/03/2010 6:30:01 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
And in response to that, again, in the words of Bishop Ryle:

Heart strength is not to be obtained by joining this party or that.

Ryle's identity was not found in his Anglicanism, it was found in Jesus Christ.

7 posted on 03/03/2010 6:34:07 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

And in response to that, again, in the words of John Henry Newman,

“...and thus the Catholic dogmas are, after all, but symbols of a Divine fact, which, far from being compassed by those very propositions, would not be exhausted, nor fathomed, by a thousand. 24. Now of such sacred ideas and their attendant expressions, I observe:— 1.) First, that an impression of this intimate kind seems to be what Scripture means by “knowledge.” “This is life eternal,” says our Saviour, “that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou bast sent.” In like manner St. Paul speaks of willingly losing all things, “ for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus;” and St. Peter of “the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue’.” Knowledge is the possession of those living ideas of sacred things, from which alone change of heart or conduct can proceed. This awful vision is what Scripture seems to designate by the phrases “Christ in us,” “Christ dwelling in us by faith,” “ Christ formed in us,” and “ Christ manifesting Himself unto us.” And though it is faint and doubtful in some minds, and distinct in others, as some remote object in the twilight or in the day, this arises from the circumstances of the particular mind, and does not interfere with the perfection of the gift itself.”

Newman’s identity was not found in Ryle’s Anglicanism, it was found in Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.”


8 posted on 03/03/2010 6:53:54 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
it was found in Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.”

and His Catholic Church.

"and"

"Then comes the enemy of souls, and suggests some shortcut road to establishment. He hints at the value of some addition to the simple plan of the Gospel, some man-made gimmick, some exaggeration of a truth, some flesh-satisfying invention, some improvement on the old path, and whispers, "Only use this, and you shall be strengthened."...

*I* am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody gets to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:6

Notice: Christ said "I."

Our Lord did not say "Rome is the way." Not even "the church is the way." Nope, not "Rome and I are the way."

Our Lord said: "I am."

SOLUS CHRISTUS!

9 posted on 03/03/2010 7:01:47 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

10 posted on 03/03/2010 7:04:52 PM PST by narses ("lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church, isn’t man made. Christ is God.


11 posted on 03/03/2010 7:05:04 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998

And the Catholic Church is not God, so when people are seeking solace in having mere identity switch from “Anglican to Catholic” or a mere change in place of worship, or in rituals and sacraments, and not in Christ alone...that is not true Christian faith. That is idolatry.


12 posted on 03/03/2010 7:09:21 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

You wrote:

“And the Catholic Church is not God,”

No, but it is still called the Body of Christ for a reason.

“...so when people are seeking solace in having mere identity switch from “Anglican to Catholic” or a mere change in place of worship, or in rituals and sacraments, and not in Christ alone...that is not true Christian faith. That is idolatry.”

And no one is doing that here. You make something up out of thin air. What actually happens is that those who were deceived as Protestants discover the truth of the Catholic faith and experience a homecoming when they join the Body of Christ. The sacraments are not mere rituals, but God given gifts to us for our benefit.

As Newman wrote:

“But again, has not the Gospel Sacraments ? and have not Sacraments, as pledges and means of grace, a priestly nature ?.... I would have this Scripture truth considered attentively; viz. that Sacraments are the channels of the peculiar Christian privileges, and not merely (as many men think, and as the rite of Confirmation really is,) seals of the covenant. A man may object indeed, that in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans nothing is said about channels and instruments; that faith is represented as the sole medium of justification. But I will refer him by way of reply, to the same Apostle’s speech to Festus and Agrippa, where he describes Christ as saying to him on his miraculous conversion, “ Rise and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a Minister and a Witness,” sending him forth, as it might appear, to preach the Gospel, without instrumentality of Ordinance or Minister. Had we but this account of his conversion, who would not have supposed, that he who was “ to open men’s eyes, and turn them from darkness to light,” had been pardoned and accepted at once upon his faith, without rite or form? Yet from other parts of the history, we learn what is here omitted, viz. that an especial revelation was made to Ananias, lest Saul should go without baptism ; and that, so far from his being justified immediately on his faith, he was bid not to tarry, but “ to arise and be baptized, and to wash away his sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”* So dangerous is it to attempt to prove a negative from insulated passages of Scripture.”


13 posted on 03/03/2010 7:24:46 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
I care not what it is that you add to Christ. Whether it be the necessity of joining the Church of Rome, or of being an Episcopalian, or of becoming a Free Churchman, or of giving up the liturgy, or of being dipped,-whatever you may practically add to Christ in the matter of salvation, you do Christ an injury.

Take heed what you are doing. Beware of giving to Christ's servants the honour due to none but Christ. Beware of giving the Lord's ordinances the honour due unto the Lord. Beware of resting the burden of your soul on anything but Christ, and Christ alone.

14 posted on 03/03/2010 7:30:27 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

Concur on the grace doctrines.

One note regarding food, the ceremonial food was not what grew the soul or the heart, but still from the human spirit, when spiritual food is provided through faith in Christ, while in fellowship, the mind and then the heart are continually sanctified and made strong by the power of God through His grace.

The baby food is consumed so that we might all have the basics, but spiritual growth also requires daily intake of Bible doctrine, then growing still spiritually faith upon faith.


15 posted on 03/03/2010 7:34:47 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998

Excellent ‘tract’ for these dunderheaded rebels, these sons of freemasonry and Talmudic depravity, of Rousseau and Voltaire...

Keep fighting the good fight there Vlad.


16 posted on 03/03/2010 8:13:43 PM PST by BonRad (As Rome goes so goes the world)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

Among all churches, the Roman Catholic Church is the most trustworthy proven by more than 2000 years of its unbroken presence. The church is indeed made up of sinners, but is holy because Christ the head. The Church can be trusted because of Christ words to Peter “Hell’s gate shall prevail against It.” The Church has, true to the nature of Christ has not succuumbed to the pressures or temptations of the world or even its own members to endorse perversions of homosexuality, abortions, divorces, various form of sexual immoralities and abuses, and many other wrongs. Other churches have fallen in many areas because they are not founded on the Rock (the unchanging Christ), but on the sand (shaky men).

You can have your soul’s rest and heart’s satisfaction in Christ even outside a church for some time, but if you want to last long in this world with your faith without doctrinal chaos, confusion or worldly deception, “Come into the bosom of the Church.”

These words may now seem poisonous to you because you heard these very words via a very peaceful, but cleverly constructed sarcastic heretical sermon against the Church, but you can beat it and win over Satan, if you dare to.


17 posted on 03/03/2010 11:35:40 PM PST by Philip10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

As Newman wrote:

Men sometimes ask, Why need they profess religion ? Why need they go to church ? Why need they observe certain rites and ceremonies? Why need they watch, pray, fast, and meditate ? Why is it not enough to be just, honest, sober, benevolent, and otherwise virtuous? Is not this the true and real worship of God? Is not activity in mind and conduct the most acceptable way of approaching Him? How can they please Him by submitting to certain religious forms, and taking part in certain religious acts ? Or if they must do so, why may they not choose their own? Why must they come to church for them ? Why must they be partakers in what the Church calls Sacraments? I answer, they must do so, first of all and especially, because God tells them so to do. But besides this, I observe that we see this plain reason why, that they are one day to change their state of being. They are not to be here for ever. Direct intercourse with God on their part now, prayer and the like, may be necessary to their meeting Him suitably hereafter: and direct intercourse on His part with them, or what we call sacramental communion, may be necessary in some incomprehensible way, even for preparing their very nature to bear the sight of Him.

Let us then take this view of religious service ; it is “going out to meet the Bridegroom,” who, if not seen “ in His beauty,” will appear in consuming fire. Besides its other momentous reasons, it is a preparation for an awful event, which shall one day be. What it would be to meet Christ at once without preparation, we may learn from what happened even to the Apostles when His glory was suddenly manifested to them. St. Peter said, “ Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” And St. John, “when he saw Him, fell at His feet as dead.”

This being the case, it is certainly most merciful in God to vouchsafe to us the means of preparation, and such means as He has actually appointed. When Moses came down from the Mount, and the people were dazzled at his countenance, he put a veil over it. That veil is so far removed in the Gospel, that we are in a state of preparation for its being altogether removed. We are with Moses in the Mount so far, that we have a sight of God; we are with the people beneath it so far, that Christ does not visibly show Himself. He has put a veil on, and He sits among us silently and secretly. 1 Luke v. 8 Sev, i. 17.


18 posted on 03/04/2010 4:11:07 AM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
Vladimir, the writer of this tract was an Anglican who appreciated church traditions and adhered to historical, Bible-based creeds. The Bishop had opposing ideas about the nature of things like the Eucharist, sacraments, and the role they play. He believed the notion of transubstantiation to be blasphemous and the notion of sacraments as "channels of grace" as heretical!!!

If you read the post above, you'd see that Bishop Ryle also criticized the "Liberationists" and the "Plymouth Bethren."

"Come to us," says the violent Liberationist. "Cast off the traditions and rules of established Churches. Enjoy religious liberty. Throw away forms and Prayer-books. Join our party. Cast in your lot with us, and you will soon be strengthened."

"Come to us," say the Plymouth Brethren. "Shake off all the bondage of creeds and Churches and systems. We will soon show you higher, deeper, more exalting, more enlightened views of truth. Join the brethren, and you will soon be strengthened."

19 posted on 03/04/2010 4:22:55 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege (When I survey the wondrous cross...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege

You wrote:

“Vladimir, the writer of this tract was an Anglican who appreciated church traditions and adhered to historical, Bible-based creeds. The Bishop had opposing ideas about the nature of things like the Eucharist, sacraments, and the role they play.”

Then he neither appreciated Church traditions nor did he adhere to the Bible.

“He believed the notion of transubstantiation to be blasphemous and the notion of sacraments as “channels of grace” as heretical!!!”

Yeah, he was steeped in heresy. He was a Protestant after all.

“If you read the post above, you’d see that Bishop Ryle also criticized the “Liberationists” and the “Plymouth Bethren.””

So? Protestants fight one another all the time. It’s essentially the narcissism of minor differences writ over sectarianism. Big deal.

John Henry Cardinal Newman on transubstantiation:

People say that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is difficult to believe . . . It is difficult, impossible to imagine, I grant - but how is it difficult to believe? . . . For myself, I cannot indeed prove it, I cannot tell how it is; but I say, “Why should it not be? What’s to hinder it? What do I know of substance or matter? Just as much as the greatest philosophers, and that is nothing at all;” . . . And, in like manner: . . . the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity. What do I know of the Essence of the Divine Being? In know that my abstract idea of three is simply incompatible with my idea of one; but when I come to question the concrete fact, I have no means of proving that there is not a sense in which one and three can equally be predicated of the Inommunicable God.

Once one realizes that transubstantiation is a miracle of God, any notion of impossibility vanishes, since God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and the sovereign Lord over all creation (Matthew 19:26, Philippians 3:20-21, Hebrews 1:3). If mere men can change accidental properties without changing substance (for example, turning iron into molten liquid or even vapor), then God is certainly able to change substance without outward transmutation.

Therefore, after these weak philosophical objections are disposed of, we can proceed to objectively and fairly examine the clear and indisputable biblical data which reveals to us that God does in fact perform (through the agency of priests) the supernatural act of transubstantiation. http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/eucharist/eucharist_5.htm


20 posted on 03/04/2010 4:50:08 AM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: CondoleezzaProtege
" mere identity switch from “Anglican to Catholic”"

If you think that the differences between Catholicism and Anglicism are superficial you know nothing about either.

21 posted on 03/04/2010 5:02:08 PM PST by Natural Law
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson