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Dr. Pusey on the Worship of Mary in the Church of Rome

by C. H. Spurgeon
From the January 1866 Sword and Trowel

Spurgeon

CCORDING to promise, we have summarized the detailed account of the idolatrous worship of Mary by the Papists as exposed in full by Dr. Pusey in his new work. As his statements are not made at random, but are supported by quotations from Romish writers of recognised authority, they will be valuable to those who are met by the crafty denials of Romanists whenever they expose the genuine doctrines of Popish faith. Amid all the mischief which Pusey has done, it is well to note and acknowledge whatever service he may in this case render to truth. The headings of the paragraphs are ours; the quotations are given as they stand.
 Blessings said to be obtained through Mary.—"So, then, it is taught in authorized books, that 'it is morally impossible for those to be saved who neglect the devotion to the Blessed Virgin;' that 'it is the will of God that all graces should pass through her hands;' that 'no creature obtained any grace from God, save according to the dispensation of His holy Mother;' that Jesus has, in fact, said, 'no one shall be partaker of My Blood, unless through the intercession of My Mother;' that 'we can only hope to obtain perseverance through her;' that 'God granted all the pardons in the Old Testament absolutely for the reverence and love of this Blessed Virgin;' that 'our salvation is in her hand;' that 'it is impossible for any to be saved, who turns away from her, or is disregarded by her; or to be lost, who turns to her, or is regarded by her;' that 'whom the justice of God saves not, the infinite mercy of Mary saves by her intercession;' that God is 'subject to the command of Mary;' that 'God has resigned into her hands (if one might say so) His omnipotence in the sphere of grace;' that 'it is safer to seek salvation through her than directly from Jesus.'"
 Mary worship held up as a cure for trouble.—"F. Faber, in Ms popular books, is always bringing in the devotion to the Blessed Virgin.. He believes that the shortcomings of English Roman Catholics are owing to the inadequacy of their devotion to her. After instancing people's failures in overcoming their faults, want of devotion, unsubmission to God's special Providence for them, feeling domestic troubles almost-incompatible with salvation, and that 'for all these things prayer appears to bring so little remedy,' he asks, 'What is the remedy that is wanted? what is the remedy indicated by God himself? If we may rely on the disclosures of the saints, it is an immense increase of devotion to our Blessed Lady, but remember, nothing short of an immense one. Here, in England, Mary is not half enough preached. Devotion to her is low and thin and poor. It is frightened out of its wits by the sneers of heresy. It is always invoking human respect and carnal prudence, wishing to make Mary so little of a Mary, that Protestants may feel at ease about her. Its ignorance of theology makes it unsubstantial and unworthy. It is not the prominent characteristic of our religion which it ought to be. It has no faith in itself. Hence it is, that Jesus is not loved, that heretics are not converted, that the Church is not exalted; that souls, which might be saints, wither and dwindle; that the sacraments are not rightly frequented, or souls enthusiastically evangelized. Jesus is obscured, because Mary is kept in the background. Thousands of souls perish, because Mary is withheld from them. It is the miserable unworthy shadow which we call our devotion to the Blessed Virgin, that is the cause of all these wants and blights; these evils and omissions and declines. Yet, if we are to believe the revelations of the saints, God is pressing for a greater, wider, a stronger, quite another devotion to His Blessed Mother.'"
 The Pope's whole reliance on the Virgin.—In his Encyclical Letter of 1849, Pius IX wrote: "On this hope we chiefly rely, that the most Blessed Virgin—who raised the height of merits above all the choirs of Angels to the throne of the Deity, and by the foot of Virtue 'bruised the serpent's head,' and who, being constituted between Christ and His Church, and, being wholly sweet and full of graces, hath ever delivered the Christian people from calamities of all sorts and from the snares and assaults of all enemies and hath rescued them from destruction, and, commiserating our most sad and most sorrowful vicissitudes and our most severe straits, toils, necessities with that most large feeling of her motherly mind—will, by her most present and most powerful patronage with God, both turn away the scourges of Divine wrath wherewith we are afflicted for our sins, and will allay, dissipate the most turbulent storms of ills, wherewith, to the incredible sorrow of our mind, the Church everywhere is tossed, and will turn our sorrow into joy. For ye know very well, Ven. Brethren, that the whole of our confidence is placed in the most Holy Virgin, since God has placed in Mary the fullness of all good, that accordingly we may know that if there is any hope in us, if any grace, if any salvation, it redounds to us from her, because such is His will Who hath willed that we should have everything through Mary."
    Mary blasphemously called Co-Redemptress with our Lord.—"We had heard before, repeatedly, that she was the Mediatrix with the Redeemer; some of us, who do not read Marian books, have heard now for the first time, that she was ever our 'Co-Redemptress.' The evidence lies, not in any insulated passage of a devotional writer (which was alleged in plea for the language of M. Olier), but in formal answers from Archbishops and Bishops to the Pope as to what they desired in regard to the declaration of the Immaculate Conception as an Article of Faith. Thus the Archbishop of Syracuse wrote, 'Since we know certainly that she, in the fulness of time, was Co-redemptress of the human race, together with her Son Jesus Christ our Lord.' From North Italy the Bishop of Asti wrote of 'the dogma of the singular privilege granted by the Divine Redeemer to His pure mother, the Co-redemptress of the world.' In South Italy the Bishop of Gallipoli wrote, 'the human race, whom the Son of God, from her, redeemed; whom, together with Him, she herself co-redeemed.' The Bishop of Cariati prayed the Pope to 'command all the sons of Holy Mother Church and thy own, that no one of them should dare at any time hereafter to suspect as to the Immaculate Conception of their Co-redeemer.' From Sardinia, the Bishop of Alghero wrote, 'It is the common consent of all the faithful, and the common wish and desire of all, that our so beneficent Parent and Co-redeemer should be presented by the Apostolic See with the honour of this most illustrious mystery.' Spain, the Bishop of Almeria justified the attribute by appeal to the service of the Conception. The Church, adapting to the Mother of God in the Office of the Conception that text, 'Let Us make a help like unto Him,' assures us of it. and confirms those most ancient traditions, 'Companion of the Redeemer,' 'Co-Redemptress,' 'Authoress of everlasting salvation.' The Bishops refer to. these as ancient, well-known, traditionary titles, at least in their Churches in North and South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Spain."
    A Parallel infamously drawn between Jesus and Mary.—"As our Redemption gained its sufficiency and might from Jesus, so, they say, did it gain its beauty and loveliness from the aid of Mary. As we are clothed with the merits of Christ, so also, they say, with the merits of Mary. As Jesus rose again the third day without seeing corruption, so they speak of her Resurrection so as to anticipate corruption, in some three days;' as He was the first-fruits of them that slept, so is she; as He was taken up into heaven in the body so, they say, was she; as He sits at the Right Hand of God, so she at His Right Hand; as He is there our perpetual Intercessor with the Father, so she with Him; as 'no man cometh to the Father.' Jesus saith, 'but by Me;' so 'no man cometh to Jesus', they say, 'but by her;' as He is our High Priest, so she, they say, a Priestess; He, our High Priest, gave us the sacrament of His Body and Blood; so, they say, did she, 'her will conspiring with the will of her Son to the making of the Eucharist, and assenting to her Son so giving and offering Himself for food and drink, since we confess that the sacrifice and gifts, given, to us under the form of bread and wine, are truly hers and appertain unto her. As in the Eucharist He is present and we receive Him, so she, they say, is present an received in that same sacrament. The priest is 'minister of Christ,' and 'minister of Mary.' They seem to assign to her an office, like that of God the Holy Ghost, in dwelling in the soul. They speak of 'souls born not of blood, nor of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God and Mary;' that 'the Holy Ghost chose to make use of our Blessed Lady to bring His fruitfulness into action by producing in her and by her Jesus Christ in His members;' that 'according to that word, 'the kingdom of God is within you,' in like manner the kingdom of our Blessed Lady is principally in the interior of a man, his soul; that 'when Mary has struck her roots in the soul, she produces there marvels of grace, which she alone can produce, because she alone is the fruitful Virgin, who never has had, and never will have, her equal in purity and fruitfulness.'"
    Shameless declaration that Mary is in the Eucharist.—(Oswald.) "'We maintain a (co-)presence of Mary in the Eucharist. This is a necessary inference from our Marian theory, and we shrink back from no consequence.' 'We are much inclined,' he says afterwards, 'to believe an essential co-presence of Mary in her whole person, with body and soul, under the sacred species. Certainly to such a presence in the Eucharist, 1. there is required a glorious mode of being of the Virgin body of the Holy Mother. We are not only justified in holding this as to Mary, but we have well-nigh proved it. 2. The assumption of a bodily presence of Mary in the Eucharist compels self-evidently the assumption of a multi-location (i.e. a contemporaneous presence in different portions of space) of Mary, according to her flesh too. 3. One who would receive this must be ready to admit a compenetration of the Body of Christ and of that of the Virgin in the same portion of space, i.e. under the sacred species.' The writer subsequently explains that 'the "lac virginale" must be looked upon as that of Mary, which is primarily present in the Eucharist, whereto, in further consequence, the whole Christ the Head, the Blessed Virgin is, as also her soul, would be joined.' 'The Blood of the Lord, and the lac of His Virgin Mother, are both present in the sacrament.'"
    Mariolotry to swallow up all other devotion.—"'Assuming that, in and under Christ the Head, the Blessed Virgin is, after her Assumption, as it were, the neck of the Church, so that all grace whatever flows to the Body through her, that is, through her prayers, it might be argued, that, for such as have this belief to ask anything of or through her, is identical in sense, but in point of form better, than to ask it directly of Christ, in like manner as to ask anything of or through Christ, is identical in sense, but clearer and fuller in point of form, than to ask it directly of the Father. And hence, it might seem that it would bean improvement, if, reserving only the use of the appointed forms for the making of the Sacraments, and an occasional use of the Lord's Prayer (and this rather from respect to the letter of their outward institution than from any inward.199 necessity or propriety), every prayer, both of individuals and of the Church, were addressed to or through Blessed Mary, a form beginning, 'Our Lady, which art in heaven,' etc., being preferred for general use to the original letter of the Lord's Prayer; and the Psalter, the Te Deum, and all the daily Offices, being used in preference with similar accommodation.'" Horrid ravings of Faber, whose writings are very popular among Papists.—"'There is some portion of the Precious Blood which once was Mary's own blood, and which remains still in our Blessed Lord, incredibly exalted by its union with His Divine Person, yet still the same. This portion of Himself, it is piously believed, has not been allowed to undergo the usual changes of human substance. At this moment, in heaven, He retains something which was once His Mother's, and which is, possibly, visible, as such, to the saints and angels. He vouchsafed at mass to show to S. Ignatius the very part of the Host which had once belonged to the substance of Mary. It may have a distinct and singular beauty in heaven, where, by His compassion, it may one day be our blessed lot to see it and adore it. But with the exception of this portion of it, the Precious Blood was a growing thing,' "&c.
    Enough! enough! every one of our readers will cry out, and therefore we stay our hand. Surely "for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

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