Preface and Contents

The subject of these pages is one of the highest interest,
and it is only those who are in some way behind the scenes who can judge aright
of its peculiar urgency at the present moment.

"The greatest achievement in
English history" is a distinguished historian’s estimate of the
Reformation ; but in this flippant and shallow age we seem to be letting slip
what the Reformers won for us. For a national lapse toward superstition upon
the one hand, and rationalism upon the other, is one of the marked
characteristics of the day. And altogether apart from religious controversy
these movements deserve the earnest attention of the thoughtful. For the
dethronement of the Bible eliminates the most important factor in the formation
of our national character, and it is not easy to estimate the effect which this
will have on the life of the people of this country.

The superstitious
phase of the apostasy, with which the following chapters chiefly deal, was the
burden of a volume published ten years ago, with the title The Buddha of
. And as that book is now out of print, the greater part of
it is incorporated with the present work.

The title, The Bible or
the Church?
implicitly raises the question whether the Bible can still
be accorded the place which it held with the Reformers as a Divine revelation.
And I intended to deal with this question in a concluding chapter. But a
defence of the Scriptures within such narrow limits would necessarily be so
inadequate that it might serve only to prejudice the issue. I have decided
therefore to omit it, trusting that my other writings will be accepted as proof
that I do not ignore the subject in any aspect of it. I will only add that my
deepening and now settled belief in the authenticity and Divine authority of
the Bible owes much to the study of rationalistic criticism.
R. A.



To establish the supremacy of the
Bible was the aim of the Reformers —False views about the
Church—Cardinal Newman on Transubstantiation and the Church as the oracle
of God— The question discussed—Pascal’s advice to those who
cannot accept superstitious beliefs—The Papal Bull of September
1896—Cardinal Vaughan on the Ritualists—Action taken by the English
Archbishops—The Martyrs, and their attitude toward the Church
—Excavations at New Scotland Yard—Dean Alford on the apostasy of the
Christian Church—The scheme and purpose of this book


Man is a religious
animal—Renan’s dictum—Testimony of Tiele, Max Muller, and
Charles Darwin—How can the fact be explained?—How can man’s
evil propensities be accounted for?— These appear in the spiritual, more
universally than in the moral, sphere—The Pelagian heresy—If man is a
religious being, why is not religion always pure and true?—The tendency
of all religions is to regenerate and to corrupt mankind—The only possible
explanation of this


follows that religion should always be tested—By what standard? The
Christian answers, "By the Bible"; and yet the Church is set up as the
authority—What and where is the Church?—The Church of England's
position-The claim of Rome is an instance of "the confidence trick"-How, then,
is the question to be decided ?-The claims of the Greek Church-The dogma of
Papal supremacy-It is unsupported by evidence and refuted by Scripture-The
Apostle Peter's ministry-To him were given the keys of the kingdom, not of the
Church -A confirmation of the Eden fall


The dogmas of the religion of Christendom: on what ground are they
presented to our faith?-Dr. Pusey's answer: Scripture as interpreted by the
Fathers-This is refuted by the testimony of the Fathers themselves, and by the
condition of the early Church--The Bampton Lectures, 1864, quoted -The Church
of Christendom was founded on the Fathers - Augustine's pottion and influence -
His Confessions -The teaching of the Greek and the Latin Fathers contrasted -
Clement and Augustine - Dean Farrar on the Church as formulated by


The teaching of
Gautama and the corruption of Buddhism-The Lamaism of Tibet-The Christian
religion marked by corruptions akin to those of Buddhism and the old classic
cults-The explanation of this strange phenomenon -The Divine religion of
Judaism differed from all other religions-The character of the apostasy it
suffered-The "Golden Calf"


The religion of Christendom refuses an appeal to Scripture - Not so was it with
the Reformers - Article XX.-The true character of the Reformation-Henry VIII.
and Paul -The vital question is whether the supreme authority is the Bible or
the Church- Bishop Gore cited as an exponent of the Romish view-Lux Mundi and
The Ministry of the Christian Church-The absutdlty and effrontery of his
position--Professor Harnack quoted-The figment of Apostolic Succession stated
and refuted .


With the
Romanisers the Church is paramount -The one mediator -This is the cause of the
secessions to Rome -The true character of Protestantism -Salvation a personal
matter -The teaching of the Law and the Gospel contrasted: Moses and Paul - The
meaning of "religion": Trench and Carlyle quoted - The secular Press on
Ritualism - A typical letter quoted - What these men mean by "The Church "- The
Reformers' definition of it - The vital importance of the distinction - The
revival of the Confessional in England - The manuals in use by priests - The
profanity of priestly absolution - Scripture condemns it - Its degrading effect
on national character


The fate of an unbaptized infant-The change alleged to be caused by
baptism-What kind of God is thus presented to us? - Three facts established by
an appeal to Scripture-Baptismal regeneration traced to the classic cults of
Paganism-Mithras worship- The Eleusinian mysteries-description of the cult, and
its influence on the Christian Church-The Hibbert Lectures, 1888- Similar rites
in Mexico and T'ibet-The early corruption of the other "Sacrament"


"The illuminated mind of primitive
Christendom "-The Church of Christendom and "the Church in the wilderness "-The
early Church marked by false doctrine and low morality--Pledged celibacy and
asceticism-Nuns and nunneries -Tertullian's baneful teaching-The testimony of
Cyprian and Clement-Chrysostom and the Church in his day-The Imperial Edict to
shield women from "The greed of the clergy-Cyril of Alexandria and the Council
of 1431-The "Council of Robbers" -Salvian and his testimony to the state of the
Church-"A sink of vices "-Ritualists appeal to this "primitive Church :" the
Reformers appealed to the Christianity of the New Testament- The decline of the
Evangelical party


apostasy of Christendom and of "the Jews’ religion "—The apostasy of
Buddhism—Satan’s influence in the religion of
Christendom—Alexander VI. and his immoralities—The Emperor Charles V.
and his dreams of reform—The Edict of Worms —Charles’ efforts to
obtain the calling of a Council—The Council of Trent and Paul —The
Massacre of Bartholomew, and Gregory XIII.—Submission to the Pope is
declared to be the way of salvation — Cardinal Vaughan’s statement of
this— Macaulay’s problem—Human Religion a curse to
mankind—Mill’s dictum discussed and justified—The God of the
historic Church a monster


The true method of theological study—The typology of Scripture a
safeguard against Ritualism—The Passover; the Exodus; Sinai; the
Covenant—Redemption was completed apart from priesthood —The antitype
of all this in Christianity—Latin theology ignores or denies the truth of
it—The teaching of Hebrews . . .


Bishop Gore again cited as an exponent of the Romish view of the
Church—The covenant is for the covenant people: How then men be brought
within it ?—The answer is to be found in the fundamental, but forgotten,
truth of Grace—The doctrine explained and vindicated—The teaching of
Hebrews and Romans contrasted


Restatement of the question —The "Catholic’s"
answer—The Church an apostasy, but the Bible stands unchanged—" But
the Church has given us the Bible": discussion of this and other like themes of
Rome—The true Church cannot fail, but the professing Church has become a
part of the world—The charge of Bibliolotry—To the Christian, Christ
is, not first, but all in all- Christianity not a religion—Archbishop
Trench quoted—Judaism and Christianity compared and contrasted—The
origin of sacrifice—Harnack on the Church of the Fathers—Dr. Hatch
quoted—The position and teaching.


Christian Baptism and Baptismal Regeneration


The Romish Propaganda


Paolo Sarpi and the Council of


NOTE I. Bishops II.
"Deacons" III. "The Church" . . IV. "The Priest in Absolution". V. Death-dates
of the leading Fathers VI. The "Virgin Mary" myth VII. The Apostle Paul on
Celibacy - VIII. "We have an altar" .