Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

TEE TREATISE. xxxVlI titled to a higher place than the modest estimate of its author as- signed to it, of being " indifferent perfect." As a historico-political argument against the Papacy it stands unrivalled, and must remain unanswered. The argument may perhaps be found lessapplicable to the present aspect of the controversy than the reader may have been led to ex- pect, inasmuch as it refers not so much to the civil as to the eccle- siastical supremacy of the pope. The temporal power claimed by the Roman pontiff is, indeed, touched on in the Introduction, but the Treatise itself deals with his assumption as the head of the church. When, however, it is considered how closely these two things are connected, and how certainly both must stand or fall together, we cannot fail to see the importance of Barrow's work at the present conjuncture. It is an armory from which the protestant warrior may be supplied with every species of weapon against the arrogant pretensionsof the pope. The present editor cannot conclude this Essay, however, without expressing his regret that, in treating the question of papal supre- macy, the author did not dwell more explicitly than he has done on the antichristian character of the system as developed in Scripture, and on its anti-social tendency, as the great enemy of civil and religious liberty. Barrow's argument is, so far as it goes, complete and conclusive; but he has viewed the subject too exclusively with the eye of the scholar and the recluse, and has failed to present it in the light in which it will always be felt most tangible by the student of revelationandof providence, and even by the enlightened practical philosopher. Christians are beginning now to regard Popery, not as a mere phase of religious error, or as a degenerate branch of the Christian church, far less asa mere schism from the beau ideal of a rightly constituted church, but as the perfected form of that grand Apostasy to which the prophets and apostles pointed with unerring finger, and whichtheyhave portrayed in unmistakable colours. And even political economists, who are not pledged to the partyexpedients of the day, are coming round to the opinion long ago pronounced by Adam Smith, in his " Wealth of Nations," that " the church of Rome may be considered as the most formidable combination that ever was formed against the authorityand security of civil government, as well as against the liberty, reason, and happiness of mankind."