NOT long since the Presbyterian Union Theological Seminary of New York, invited a Roman Catholic priest, “Father” Doyle, to address its candidates for the ministry on the subject, “Methods of Preaching.”
Our readings will remember that the Churchman, a Protestant Episcopal paper, questioned the propriety of inviting Roman Catholic priests to teach Protestant candidates for the ministry, and for this faint echo of the Reformation, the Churchman was severely rebuked by its superior, Bishop Potter, and the Outlook, a Congregational paper, heartily indorsed and printed the rebuke.
So well pleased was the Outlook with the papal priest’s preaching prescriptions, that it requested the priest to contribute an article for its columns on the subject, “The Making of a Missionary.”
And now we want our readers to see what a professedly Protestant paper publishes from the pen of a Romanist, for the edification and instruction of its readers. We quote one paragraph from the priest’s article in the Outlook of January 12:—
To fit a young man to campaign it in this spiritual warfare, a discipline is resorted to far more severe than a West Point cadetship involves. It continues through six years after he has taken his degrees at college. It means daily rising at five o’clock, with two half-hours of meditation or silent prayer to make the truths of religion more vivid, constant examination of conscience that the mirror of the soul may be kept bright, weekly confessions that the soul may be purified from all sin, a yearly “retreat” of eight days in solitude without any conversation with another, the constant recourse to the literature of ascetic theology and hagiology to stimulate in the service of God by precept and example, three years of metaphysics as a basis of knowledge, three years of dogmatic theology with Holy Scripture and concurrent studies, and along with dogma three years of moral theology to cultivate one’s practical judgment of sin and its remedies—with this training, and a repertory of thirty well-prepared sermons that grasp the very marrow of the subject discussed, a young missionary is equipped for the battle-field.
It will be noticed that the “Holy Scripture” hardly escaped being left out altogether from this papal preacher’s curriculum. It comes in as a side-dish in one of the courses. “Dogmatic theology with Holy Scripture;” roast turkey with cranberry sauce; and even then this “Holy Scripture”-side-dish sauce is pumped through the Roman Catholic sewer of “infallible” interpretation.
And now that apostate Protestants are inviting papists to feel their people through pulpit and press, with papal pap, let the gospel preacher feed the people with the “sincere milk of the word.” “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 2.