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are not formed upon conviction-nor, are all their iniuds equally strong ~There are young and tender minds—there are weak and uncultivated minds—there are minds that have no other religious impressions, than those which ignorant parents have stamped upon them; now, these minds, would not be proof against the artifices, and the pleasing insinuations of priestcraft, like the experienced and well fortified minds of British senators, and of all others, who have had the advantage of a liberal education-Would it be right then to expose such weak minds to danger?-Would not such a measure be a direct violation of that prayer, which we offer to the deity," lead us not into temp“tation?”—Men who acknowledge the propriety of this address, would act very inconsistently and very urjustifiably, in exposing their weaker brethren unnecessarily to temptation, which they might not be able to withstand: in which case a real injury would be done to them, and the protestant faith.-For, if the artifices of men, in the first ages of christianity, when covered with the cloak of hypocrisy, could draw away numbers from the truth, and almost deceive “the very elect” by their subtle falsehoods,—how much more easily will the ignorant, and those who are not well grounded in the truth of Christ's religion, be imposed upon and deluded by the pretended miracles of Rome, and her assumed power of forgiving sins, which must be grateful to all those who are heavily oppressed with them.-And if the boundary line is removed, on the principle that all religions are equally good, and that it is a matter of no consequence, whether protestants or catholics direct and manage the affairs of the government, with which the protestant church is inseparably interwoven, will not the common people quickly adopt the opinions of their superiors, and become indifferent about the religion they protess? –The removing of the separating line, will elevate the Catholic, and depress the Protestant-lor, the Catholic calculates upon the certainty of great advantage from the alteration in his favour, but the Protestant can gain nothing by it:-the advantage therefore thus gained, must prove injurious to the interest of the protestant:both religiously, and politically —
With respect to the second point, it must be remarked, that there is a wide difference between the case of a person, who wishes to be. come a member of a community, for the purpose of learning its customs, manners, laws, and religion, that he may correct his errors, improve bis mind, and acquire different sorts of knowledge ;---and the case of another, who devands admission into the same community, as his right, not for the sake of improvement, not for the sake of correcting any error in his religion, which he considers in all respects quite perfect, but, for the sake of emolument and power.-In the first case, an ingenuous mind, would throw
aside its prejudices and ignorance, and embrace the truth with eagerness and pleasure;—in the latter, interest being the only object, and that being once obtained, all change and reformation would be out of the question :-pride, generally accompanies wealth and power, and never sees any thing better than itself.—The Catholics demand a:linission as a right, and so far from supposing that they can learn any thing good from protestants in religious matters, they consider them in the deepest errors, and in the worst kind of heresy.-How then is their religion to be altered and reformed by protestantism, and a closer intercourse with protestants ? Will not protestantism do more to destroy catholicism, by exposing its errors in the bright and strong light of its own truth, than by any other means it could adopt?-How can ignorance be better removed, than by information and knowledge ?--And when is real christian charity better exercised, than in bringing the ignorant to God by the way, he himself has graciously pointed out?–To introduce error into the peaceable dwellings of truth, is an extraordinary—a dangerous experiment;—it it would be a still more dangerous thing, for truth to nourish and indulge it.-It ought nęver to be admitted ; the “clay,” though only mixed up with “the iron of the feet of the great "image,” was the cause of its destruction.Instead, therefore, of the Catholic errors being destroyed, if their claims were granted, the protestant religion might, and would suffer, and ultimately be made subservient to the power of its enemy.- It is a bold assertion, that the religion of Rome would be rooted out of these islands, if the professors of it were admitted to all the privileges of the protestant citizens of the British empire.—The rich man asserted in the place of torment where his vices bąd unhappily carried him, that his brothers would repent, it“ one was sent to them from the dead." The truth of the assertion was not admitted by Abraham.—And if living amongst protestants, as they now do, and having full opportunity of examining their religion, and witnessing their benevolent conduct, produces no effective change in the religious sentiments of Catholics, neither would the enabling them to rise to posts of honor and wealth, in the protestant government of Britain, produce the effect of making them renounce their errors, and adopt the doctrine of the church of Christ. As the dissolute habits of intemperate pleasure and vicious indulgence of manhood, are seldom relinquished, till the day of necessity unexpectedly arrives—and as the greater the means of indulging their propensities, the more men set the laws of propriety and virtue at defiance;-so, the religious errors and corruptions of people, competent to distinguish between falsehood and truth, are seldom forsaken,-(more particularly when power and wealth place them too high to hear the remarks of their friends)—till they feel
"the sickle of the harvest-man, or the edge of " the sharp scythe of the vintager." (5)---EDICTS OF JUSTINIAN.--..
Although “the civil jurisprudence of the “empire inight be well digested by Justinian, Sc. in the immortal works of the Code, the Pan“dects, and the Institutes,” yet his theological opinions deserve not the same unqualified eulogy, nor to be held in the same esteem and veueration. The members of the church of Christ, do not admit the truth of some of the religious propositious of the emperor, which sycophantizing Pope John acknowledged, and proelaimed to be, the only true faith :-neither do they hold, that torcing his faith upon people, and anathematizing every one who would not damn all those, whom he and the Pope, called heretics, is agreeable to the doctrine of Christ :-Hè invites all, but compels none to come to him.-It is to be feared that the persecuting spirit of Justinian still breathes in the head of the Roman Church, and that his edicts are still more admired, and his directions better practised, than the bible and its laws and precepts, by the people of the Roman communion-For, when a passage of the bible is.quoted by thein, it is curious to observe how little it seems to bave been weighed and considered ; and therefore it is not to be wondered at, if the passage should have a wrong construction put upon it, and be insiduously made