Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ignorant of, or but imperfectly acquainted “with our doctrines of faith, will do us the jus“ tice to acknowledge, that as catholics, we hold “no religious principles, and entertain no opini“ons flowing from those principles, which “are not perfectly consistent with our duties “as christians, and as British subjects".- , Protestants are here called upon to acknowledge, that it is not inconsistent with christian duties, for catholics to maintain that the rerealed Will of God will lead to fanaticism, sedition, and disorders in states and kingdoms,—that inferior sort of worship ought to be paid to saints, images, and crosses—and that God comes at their call to be eaten in the mass.-If“ mala “ verba de deo” is to blaspheme, is not this blasphemy? And are not protestants here called upon to approve and sanction it ? This address I hope, will be rejected with the same spirit of indignation, and in the same language, that Christ rejected the solicitations of the devil to listen to him: “get thee hence, Satan; for it is 6 written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, “and him only shalt thou serve”.-If the catholics thus boldly and arrogantly, whilst under their disabilities, open their mouths in blasphemy, and ask the protestants to approve it, what would they do if they possessed all the power they wish for 2- In the day of adversity and captivity, Israel wept by the waters of Babylon and remembered Zion; but whether in prosperity or adversity, Rome blasphemes, and is

equally distant from “ repenting of her evil “ deeds".—Never was prophecy so exactly, so literally, so clearly fulfilled-Rome perseveres in all her abominable doctrines—and will continue in them, till the threatened vengeance falls upon, and utterly annihilates her.

To save six or seven millions of people from the wrath of God and impending destruction, would be a very great and benevolent act.Though the friends of the catholics, whether statesmen or divines, hold all interference of this kind as unjust, and to be condemned, yet in such cases the prophets always interfered:in such a case Christ interfered, and commanded his followers to interfere, till they had taught all men their duty to each other, and to God.-But, if they forbid us to interfere in matters of religion, why should the friends of religious liberty and non-interference between men and their God, interfere with us, and endeavour to force upon us, and our constitution, (which is essentially protestant,) the errors, and abominations of Rome :—Why should they try to persuade, or rather to compel us, to admit amongst us, that, wbich will destroy the peace and quiet of our worship ? For, we most conscientiously believe it would be a violation of the duty we owe to God, to put the members of the church of Rome in Great Britain, upon an equal footing with those of the church of Christ; and we hope we may be allowed to have consciences equally tender, and equally susceptible of impiession wiin those of catholics, and seceders from pure protestantism.-Was the worship of Christ undisturbed whilst bis father's house contained in it filth and impurity?-On that occasion, he scrupled not to give offence to men, because he was discharging a duty that was acceptable to God.--In any thing relating to political and civil affairs, it is generally allowed to be just, to occasion men pain and trouble, and even to inflict punishment for the sake of making them good citizens :-but, to interfere and endeavour to make men virtuous subjects of God's government, seems to be in the estimation of some, exceedingly unjust and cruel, if not criminal. —And yet, the history of the prince, who proudly asked the question, “who is the Lord, that I should obey “ his voice?" and then scornfully added, “I “know not the Lord, neither will I obey him," should teach us that God's government ought to be an object of very deep interest to us.

Admitting the catholics of Ireland to be in the galling state of misery described in their publications, and speeches at political meetings, I am of opinion, that the whole of their sufferings arises entirely from that mass of corruption, which they call their religion.—The retributive justice of God is visible in this matter, and is making that corrupt religion which during thirteen centuries was an engine of torture to “all the nations of the earth," a grievous source of torment and plague to itself. ---Crime

is always a bitter source of anguish to the inind of the person who commits it -As the prisoner is enclosed in his dungeon with chains, bars, and bolts, which at once prevent his enjoying the wholesome air and liberty, and make him curse his prison and the crime that fixed him in it, so is the catholic shut up in the dungeon of blasphemy and idolatry, prepared for bin by his fathers, in which he feels the most excruciating agony and torment, and yet, from which he cannot escape, to enjoy the blessings and happiness of truth, and all the privileges of the British constitution.-In this dreadful state, the catholics must perceive with additional anguish of heart, that even the blessed virgin, with all their saints, images, and crosses, are deat to their prayers, petitions, and invocations, and pay no more regard to any sign of worship offered them, than Baal did to the solemn importunate addresses of his besotted priests, when Elijah mocked them and said, “cry aloud, for Baal is a God; either he is talking, or he “is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradven“ture he sleepeth, and must be awaked.”-Nothing is more galling to people, than to have the absurdities and the errors of their religion exposed :-hence, the priests of Baal, who had not the power to turn their knives and lancets against the prophet's breast, turned them upon themselves till the blood gushed out. The chief priests and rulers of the people gnashed their teeth with rage and indignation, when they saw

Christ exposing the hypocrisy and corruption they had thrown over their religion-interfering to save men from the dreadful effects of them

and interposing his authority to prevent their worshipping the Creator in any way, excepting one;*—and the Catholics, perceiving the circulation of the Scriptures producing the same effect upon their images and crucifixes, that the ark of God did upon Dagon, when " set beside

* It is a common opinion, uot much to be wondered at, where numerous religious sects abound, that it can never be expected that all men should be of one and the same religious way of thinking. How many kinds of religion does the Bible contain ? How many Gods does it proclaim ? " Is Christ er divided ?" The stone that is to fill the whole world will never be split into pieces.--Institutions, called religious, and established by human authority, will always be imperfect, and therefore it would be in vain to suppose that any one of them should command universal approbation.-But this remark will not apply to the moral laws and precepts, which God has given for the use of all his rational creatures :--these laws and precepts are suited to the nature and capacities of all those whom he is pleased to form in his own image, and why should not all men be able to make them the rule of their practice ? It is the corruptions that encompass God's laws-it is the clouds of error that hang over his truth, that produce different religious opinions, and prevent men from worshipping the Creator in ove and the same manner.-Destroy the mystery of iniquity--strip protestantism of its errors-inculcate the great leading article of religion, with a solennity and proPriety worthy its importance, and teach the laws of God in the same plain and simple manner in which they are taught in the Bible-let instruction and example go hand in hand-and the prophecies of inspiration will soon be accomplished, and one God will be adored-one doctrine will have universal assent-and one religion only will be known from Pole to Pole.-The voice of the Great " Shepherd” has proclaimed this truth, and whoever does not endeavour to promote this object, but calls all religions good, does, in fact, aim a heavy blow at the “ stone cut out without hand," and tries to split it in pieces.

V

« AnteriorContinuar »