Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

millstone in the waters, we may add our voice to that of the much people in heaven who then shall say, “ Alleluia; salvation and glory and honour and power unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” *

* When these lectures were delivered, it appeared necessary to maintain the old-fashioned doctrine of the Church of England, concerning the idolatry of Rome. That necessity has, unhappily, not diminished. The Roman Church still sends forth the most painful evidences of her adherence to idolatry; and those, who receive not the truth in the love of it, are still given over to strong delusions to believe a lie. To add to the proofs already adduced from older writers, or from foreign publications of the present day, would be easy ; but it is, perhaps, more conclusive to give some specimens of the devotional books published, and re-published every day for the benefit of British Roman Catholics. Amongst these “The little office of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Latin, and with a new English translation, by the Rev. F. C. Husenbeth," Norwich, 1843, is particularly worthy of attention. The translator states in the preface, that his object in re-translating and republishing was To encourage the revival of the ancient spirit of devotion among the faithful, and more particularly to promote the veneration, and invocation of the Holy Mother of God.” That this devotion is idolatrous will scarcely be doubted by any who read the following extracts :“Hail, mistress of the world, and heaven's bright Queen !

Virgin of virgins, hail ! thou star serene :
Thou who in early morn to earth dost shine,
Filled with celestial grace, and light divine ;

O lady, hasten and thine arm extend,
Guard us from sin, and from our foes defend.”

The Latin is still more blasphemous, as the ascription of what belongs to Christ only, “Stella matutina," “mundi in auxilium Domina festina” is more apparent.--Again

6 LET US PRAY. “Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and mistress of the world, who forsake no one, and despise none, look upon me mercifully with your pious eyes, and obtain for me of your beloved Son, the pardon of all my sins, &c.” This blasphemous effusion is according to the office to be repeated eight times, so as to work it well into the minds of the unhappy victims, that it is Mary who obtains pardon of sins. This doctrine is inculcated with equal earnestness, in “The Devotion and Office of the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ,” a book well worthy the attention of those who entertain any doubts concerning the idolatry of the Roman Church. Let the following serve as specimens :

“A prayer to beg purity of soul and body through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.

“It is to thee, Holy Virgin ! I have recourse, however unworthy of thy goodness. I know thou never abandonest those who call upon thee with confidence, and that the Church does not call thee in vain, the refuge of sinners. Blessed Virgin, obtain for me the grace to hate what I have loved, and to love what I have hated. Make my eyes overflow with tears that may efface all impurities. This miracle is reserved to thee, O Mother of Mercy. Renew in me those prodigies of conversion which thou hast formerly wrought, and appear now so seldom, in an age so corrupted as ours. ..... Let not the price of that blood which thou gavest to the Saviour of Men be lost : refuse not to thyself the pleasure of securing a strayed sheep to that heavenly shepherd. Show that thou art the Mother of Sinners, and let it not be said that I perished at thy sacred feet, where

no one ever found but grace and salvation.” Dublin, 1845, page 198—200. Again, on page 219, “Rejoice, O most glorious Virgin ! The saints and angels in heaven honour thee as the daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, and Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. They pay all due respect, love and homage to thee, the object, next to God, of their complacency, gratitude, and attention. I rejoice in the honours paid to thee, O blessed Mother of God! Look down on thy servant from the height of thy glory, and by thy power and goodness obtain for me from thy son a meek and pure heart, that I may serve thee in this life, and by thy powerful intercession, be happy with thee hereafter. Amen. Hail Mary.”

Sad as these passages are, they are exceeded in what is called “An Angelical Exercise in Honour of our Blessed Lady," of which it is said, “Whosoever is devoted to this exercise in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on reading over every point, may meditate upon it for the space of one Hail Mary, or more ; and by God's grace, he will in a short time find himself greatly increase in love towards that blessed Queen of heaven ; and at the hour of death will, by so pious a mother, be received as her dearest child. Nor can such a one, according to St. Anselm and St. Bernard, possibly perish, but shall find life everlasting and taste of the joys of eternal bliss.” This has much the appearance of ascribing salvation to Mary instead of God, and this appearance is confirmed by many passages, such as the following “I am the help and aid of Christians, Auxilium Christianorum, says the glorious mother of God. Will you, my dear child, WHOLLY CONFIDE IN ME, and call upon me in your necessities, as did my dear daughter, St. Mary, of Egypt ? &c.

Yes, my most dear mother, I will always confide in you ; and, although I were as perfidious as Judas or Cain, yet, if you be once pleased to undertake my cause, I shall never despair. And, I do reverence you, O sacred Virgin Mary! happy gate of heaven, and together with all the principalities of the celestial court, I bless and praise you infinitely, for that you have been found worthy to be the most faithful and humble handmaid of the most Holy Trinity. Hail Mary.'' Ibid. page 243, 244. Here Mary asks the sinner to confide wholly in her, and the sinner blesses and praises her infinitely. What greater measure of affiance, and praise, than whole and infinite can be given to God ? None. To Mary is here given that which pertains only to God. He therefore who gives it, is an idolater. It is generally said, that Mary is asked to be the medium through whom and whose influence blessings are obtained. In the “Thirty Days' Prayer," Mary herself is represented as the great helper of sinners, and instead of prayer being made that, for her sake, Christ may undertake their cause, Christ himself is made only the advocate through whom to approach Mary, and for whose sake Mary may grant their petition. “ Thou art the mother of mercy, the sweet consolatrix and only refuge of the needy and the orphan, of the desolate and the afflicted. Cast, therefore, an eye of pity on a miserable forlorn child of Eve, and hear my prayer.

Whither can I fly for more secure shelter, O amiable mother of

my

Lord Jesus Christ, than under the wings of thy maternal protection. Attend, therefore, I beseech thee, with an ear of pity and compassion, to my humble and earnest request. I ask through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son.

I ask it through his bitter tears and bloody sweat.

I ask it through his immaculate life, bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross, &c.” page 262—268. The Bible tells us to come to the Father through the Son. The Roman Church tells us to use Christ's passion as the means of obtaining the favour of the Virgin Mary, who is the only refuge of the needy, the most secure shelter of those in danger. If this be not to take the glory from the Creator and give it to the creature, then there is no such sin.

All further proof is needless.

[ocr errors]

.

LECTURE VI.

REVELATION XVII. 5, 6.

And upon her forehead was a name written, Mys

TERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus."

CONTROVERSY is not the most popular nor always the most profitable mode of Christian instruction, but there have been few periods of the Church's history in which it has not been absolutely necessary for the defence of truth as well as the refutation of falsehood. It formed a prominent topic in the teaching of our blessed Lord and his apostles—in the writings of the Fathers, and in the preaching of the Reformers; not because the merciful and compassionate Saviour, or his disciples preferred the exposure of error or ignorance, but because, without it, the maintenance, not to say the propagation, of truth was impossible. On this principle it is that this and similar Lectures have been established, and that the founder pointed especially to the exhibition of Roman corruption, as an efficient mode of

« AnteriorContinuar »