Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ignorant, that the laws of the deity do not allow a bad act to be committed, under the idea that some good may arise out of it fifty years afterwards.--Good seed does not always produce equally good fruit :—from bad seed, men are seldom weak enough to expect a very excellent return, eren in the richest and most highly cultivated soils.-It is rather a singular opinion to maintain, that, if a few catholic peers and opu. lent cominoners were permitted to sit in the British houses of parliament, and all the privileges of the constitution were granted the ca. tholics of these united kingdoms, six or seven millions of people would quit the religion of their fathers, and of their early years—that religion which they now believe to be exclusively divine.—This would be an extraordinary religious effect, produced by an act, which their friends consider of a civil character 'only, and never to be treated on religious grounds.What kind of principles can those men have, who will persevere in false worship and idolatry, because their pride is wounded at not receiving what they demand from persons, who look upon what they call religion, as disgraceful to a rational creature, and highly offensive to beaven?—But, these proselyting privileges, these converting concessions--these protestantism producing favours, are thus spoken of by one of the ablest advocates of the catholic claims.—“Ilere I think it will be found, in “ consequence of various relaxations that have

"taken place in the severity of the penal laws, " that in fact there remains no very great deal " for the protestants to bestow, or for the ca“tholics to receive at least, not such an “ amount as to create any rational apprehensiou “ concerning the mischief of any such conces“sion."*_ The various relaxations that have already been made in favour of the catholics, having produced but little alteration in their religious opinions, and the protestants having at this time “no very great deal to bestow" according to the author of the “Calm Statement

of the Catholic Question,' it seems to follow, that the predictions of the catholic advocates, concerning the disappearance of papal errors in these realms would not be fulfilled, although emancipation should be granted them, and all their wishes should be complied with. Their opinions upon other matters relating to this question may perhaps be equally erroneous; and “ mischief” may arise out of “concessions” “ of no particular value," instead of perfect satistaction and content, quickly to be succeeded by a thorough conviction and public acknowledgement that Jehovah is the only object of real worship, and that the adoration of saints, images, and two pieces of wood nailed across each other, with every other superstitious formality and imposing pageantry in religion, ought to be abolished.

If the catholic priests thought that *'A Calmn Statement of the Catholic Question page 15. emancipation would overturn their religion in fifty years, to be at all consistent, they must oppose it with all their influence and power. Such an anticipated rapid falling away of six or seven millions of people from their holy faith, would necessarily fill them with the greatest alarm, and deepest regret.—They would therefore lose no time in petitioning the British government against emancipation :-they would entreat their nobles to relinquish all thoughts of the house of Lords :- they would beg their men of consequence to give up all

thoughts of the house of Commons:—they would · earnestly solicit their Barristers to think po

inore of a seat amongst the Judges, or upon the woolsack amongst the Peers ;-and would endeavour to persuade their opulent and respectable families to cease from vexing themselves, because they cannot be sheriffs, or hold an “office in a corporation, or vote at vestries, or “ present to a living in the established church;" for, all these rights and privileges they would assure them, would only tend to endange their venerable and divine religion, and sink them in the abyss of heresy, along with the protestants of England.

It is said by the friends of the catholics, that their religion is nothing like what it was formerly.-A want of power will frequently produce a great alteration in the practice of individuals, and nations, and churches also, whilst the principles and policy of the two former, and false doctrine of the latter remain exactly the same.—Rome bas at present no inquisition in England, nor has she the power to light a single fire in any part of it for a heretic.-The “ Declaration of the catholic Bishops, the Vi. “ cars Apostolic and their coadjutors in Great “Britain,” will shew whether the leading tenets of their ancient religion are very materially altered, and whether I misrepresent it, when I assert that it is still deeply tinctured with idolatry and false worship.-" In the mass, “catholics do offer supreme adoration, not to “the elements of bread and wine, which they “ hold not to be present after the consecration; “but to Jesus Christ, the son of God, whom they believe to be truly, really and substan“ tially present, under the appearances only of “ bread and wine, after the consecration, and "change thereby of the elements into his body 6 and blood.—To adore Christ, by an act of “supreme adoration, is no idolatry; because he “is the true God, and consequently a legiti.66 mate object of supreme worship. But if ca. " tholics, using the ancient language of the 5 christian church, are said,

Ist. “To worship the saints; this worship 56 must be understood to be only an inferior so worship, honour and respect, paid to them s proportionate to the limited perfections and s excellences which God has bestowed upon :"them, but this worship is infinitely below that “ supreme worship which they pay to God.

“ Catholics acknowledge no perfection or cro “cellence in any saint, not even in the blessed! “ Virgin Mary, which they do not profess to be “the work and gift of God in them. So that “in honouring the saints, they celebrate the “ works of God, and consequently give glory to “himn. - Whatever act of religious veneration “ we pay to the saints, is ultimately referred to “ God.”—

2nd. “To adore the cross: this word, if “applied to the cross itself, means no more " than an interior and relative respect paid to “the instrument of our redemption; but if in

view of the cross it be applied to Christ him' self, then it means as it ought to mean, an " act of supremo adoration.

3rd. “ To worship the images of Christ or "saints; the word is here again understood by “catholics only of an inferior and relative res“pect shewn to images, in consideration of the “respect due to the objects which they repre“sent, and to which the respect shewn to the "images is referred. In this sense, respect is “shewn to the statue or to the throne of the “king, in consideration of the majesty of the “personage to whom they relate.-An insult “ offered to his statue would be considered as “intended to be offered to the king himself.”—

Here then, in direct violation of the laws of God, and in opposition to the doctrine of the gospel, the catholic Bishops in Great Britain, publicly acknowledge and defend the supreme

« AnteriorContinuar »