« ForrigeFortsæt »
Church with these vices, the latter smiles at the inconsistency of the charge. yr In the course of the following pages, we have applied te these terms where as we think, the subject strictly warrants our doing so----not in the way of retaliation, but simply because we knew of no others in which more clearly to express what we really -meant. If we have used them unjustly, we know and will chance the consequences; but still think we have nothing to apprehend on this score, although we cannot, with Dr. Milner, pronounce the “Admonition of Dr. Porteus, to be “ empty declamation,” merely
calculated for the stupid and the bigoted,” which concludes thus: “Let others build on Fathers and Popes, on traditions and councils, what they will: let us continue firm, as we are, on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, JESUS CHRIST himself being the chief corner-stone."-(Ephes. ii.) hi The chief object of the following sheets is to induce such Romanists, as may peruse them, to attentively READ THE SCRIPURES, as we have repeatedly urged them to do throughout our comments; and, surely, if the Papal Church be the “ true and only Church of Christ,” as her Priests assert, the only authentic History of CHRIST'S DOCTRINES and Acts must confirm them in their present faith? Protestants are never afraid that the Word of God will induce Christians to Iturn to Paganism ;-by their circulation of it they daily witness its effects in turning the Unbeliever to Christianity in the Church of Rome denounces Prostestants as mores invincible heretics" than Pagans
doubtless, dwindle on for some time longer in the sickly condition to which her own impurities have reduced her, however Falsehood may endeavour to disguise her monstrosities.
tid A thorough “Reformation” in religion and morals can only be accomplished by striking at the root of the evil to be subdued; and that the blow has been struck with a well-directed aim, look now at England, and as history shows her to have been, when, crushed by clerical intolerance, her vigorous powers lay prostrate in the dust, enslaved by the galling manacle of MIND, forged by the foreign despot of the Vatican !-Look now, we say, at England, where every individual may freely breathe his conscious "aspirations to his GOD, after that form which is most consonant to his own feelings, and where the noblest CON STITUTION upon earth 'is so deeply imbued with the spirit of Justice and Christian Charity towards all mankind, that he who basks in the radiant beams of its protection fears not those dark clouds, which enshroud the “ Hideous Figure” that would annihilate him, should burst upon his head :~no, those only ap. prehend the evil consequences of this “Figure,” whose subserviency of mind has been cherished by its agents whilst they led them to worship it; and who are, even now, exerting themselves, to the very uttermost, to increase the number of its blind adorers. Popery has been taught to know, by dear-bought experience, that “ knowledge is power ;” and hence it is that her most favoured agents are unremitting in their efforts to withhold and to subdue the power of knowledge. But in
vain is the dark attempt :-the labourer who can read a newspaper, scoffs at her denunciations, though embellished by the wood-engraver with “ faithful” illustrations of the “ Torments of Hell ” for those who laugh at or oppose her *. . When we commenced the Introduction to our subject, we determined to adhere to it as closely as possible, and to avoid every expression that might fairly be deemed unjustifiable, or that ought to be considered offensive by any advocates of the cause of TRUTH ; but that those should think so to whose " Profession of Faith we are opposed, is beyond our hope, although we have not stated, knowingly, one single cir. cumstance throughout our comments upon the "authorized practices” of Popery, which TRUTH would bid us disavow.
We now more particularly address ourselves to our fellow-Protestants, and simply ask if, amidst the daily calumnies which assail their Church-or, more
Speaking of these edifying compositions, The Times (Dec. 1825) says, " It appears that body (the Roman Catholics) are active in distributing Tracts in support of their faith; in truth, we have met with such. But could they not offer a pretty little relic of some kind or other, of which the religion of our forefathers had such abundance, along with the Traets ? -a nail out of the real cross, a thorn out of the crown ? Or even a crucifix would be a handy thing, or a little image like a tobacco-stopper, of the Goddess whom they worship, the Queen of Heaven, with the bambino in her arms; which objects of idolatry are in all their churches, where there are no Protestants to turn them into deserved ridicule. Above all, why cannot they compass a miracle or two ? The religion of our forefathers could work you a miracle or two every day; and Popery, they tell us, never alters. Miracles, also, are incessantly performed at Rome to convince the who have no need to be convinced. We treat. subject with uthull because we think it the best way of putting S end to the foolish stir which the Papists are making in support of the relia) gion of our forefathers.”—The just remark with which the sentence concludes, as it is political, we decline quoting. We could refer to the Herald, Chronicle, Post, Courier, Globe, in short, every respectable London Journal, for similar opinions of the purity of Popery, however different their politics. ;
properly speaking, the religion of Christ, in which they have been taught to believe-if, whilst it is every day áverred that their tenets, drawn from that unpolluted source THE WORD OF GOD HIMSELF, are “ heretical, " “illiberal,” “ intolerant,” &c. &c. &c.-have Protestants, we ask, no duty to perform toward the Church of which they are members, and to society in general? Are the inflammatory declamations against those Institutions which Protestants hold most sacred, to be tacitly considered as mere Papal figures of rhetoric, and their recorded falsehoods to be disseminated without a contradiction, lest it be deemed illiberal to refute and expose them? If there be those in this enlightened age who affect such superlatively-refined notions of liberality as thus to sacrifice TRUTH AND THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR OWN SENSEs to the prejudices of an implacable hierarchy which has already condemned them (with all its power of doing so—to eternal perdition!) We must confess that our own humble ideas are of a more comprehensible stamp; and whilst we regard all mankind as our brethren, we are not inclined to give up our birthright-THE PLAIN USE OF OUR REASONmerely because some fanatical foreigner may choose to declare we cannot appreciate its value, nor profit by its exertion.
To ourselves, who have, with some patience and attention, compared Primitive Christianity with Protestantism, and contrasted it with Popery, it would appear somewhat strange that the sheer abuse which is every day“ levelled at heretics” should be deemed by the enlightened and liberal as the mere vituperation of ignorance, did we not know that thousands of honest men cannot imagine but that gentlemen of the Romish Church speak the truth when they affect to deplore these attacks. We say, affect to regret them, because, if the practice were objectionable to the learned and most influential of that body, IT WOULD, AT ONCE,
The Christian faith, as professed by Protestants, is as open to comment as the profession of the Romish Church; and if it can be proved contrary to the doctrines of its Divine Founder, let the Popish clergy fairly exhibit the whole of it, and the Scriptures (if they can find them) to which it is opposed. It is not insisting that the tenets of Protestantism are “ pestiferous,” &c. that is calculated to convince a reflecting man; and this leads us to think that quantity rather than quality is the great object of Papal conversion more of Papist, if less of Christian.
For our own parts, the only difference we perceive in the writings of the liberal and the learned the ridiculous and the vulgarly ignorant of Romish authors, is in the style and language of their works-whether it be in the theological compositions of Mr. Charles Butler, Bishops Milner, Poynter, Doyle, &c., or the disgusting trash of the most humble order of their tract-writers :-still, we say, they all breathe the same immutable spirit of Popery. How can it be otherwise when they all (see p. 17) “ promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome”--when they ALL * profess All other things” the Church of Rome commands; and when they ALL “ condemn, reject, and anathematize" ALL that she deems inimical to her temporal and secular interests!