Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

convince, any one that the Hon. and Rev. G. Spencer, did not be. come a Catholic ? Truly, it must induce readers to require more proof of the occurrence, but it certainly goes far to extenuate the error of the Protestant in not having the personal recollection, that Lord Spencer had four sons.

The Catholic writer then accuses his opponent, of the guilt, of vague contradictions-verbose conjectures—says he scorns such modes of arguing, as for example the assertion of the Protestant, that a Reverend gentleman not fifty miles from Baltimore, committed to the flames a Bible, and appears sorry, to refer to some address delivered against the Catholic Clergy, not twenty years ago, in St. Paul's Church, which grieved the bosoms of not a few good Protestants--among whom he says he has the honor, to number some of his best and oldest friends. To this the Protestant answers, “I recollect having heard that both the Minister of that church and the congregation expressed much dissatisfaction; but surely neither the one or the other can be held responsible for the imputed indiscretion of an “itinerant Minister no more than it would be reasonable that the body of Roman Catholics in this eity, should be held responsible for the frequent and unqualified reproaches cast upon the principles of various Protestant Ase sociations, from the pulpits of the Roman Catholic church:

On the 11th of May, our Catholic writer appears again considerably embittered. “I enter sir,” says he, “upon the enquiry into the marvellous conversion of the men of Cavan, who, by the mere reading of the word of God, without note or comment, became instantaneously metamorphosed into Protestants. It is highly improbable that one out of fisty could read at all. I ask-whether these poor, starving, miserable beings, could find in the bible -without note or comment" that the Catholic Religion is false, and the Protestant Religion truc-you have only to consider, what are the principles that constitute a Protestant, and the particular shades that contradistinguish him from the numberless sects around him, to be convinced thať this supposition is absurd. After asserting that some persons from actual want, embraced Protestantism and after partaking for some time of the good things of the establishment, returned again to the Catholic church, we are forcibly struck; with the following remarks, which enable the reader to raise the curtain somewhat, that conceals in a great measure, the true spirit of the “Ancient Domain."

“The religion of Rome, Sir, is daily diffusing itself into the interior of the Island, which was rescued from barbarism and idolatry by a monk, and the annals of whose History are decorated with the virtues, magnanimity, valour, and chivalry of her Catholic Kings, Barons, Knights, and Commons. On the magna charta of her liberties the seal of Catholicism is impressed; and on the dilapidated monuments of her ancient piety, is stamped, in indelible characters, a memento to posterity -Her proudest institutions were formed in Catholic times: the spires of her most venerable universities, as they pierce the clouds about them, seem to exclaim, these are the works of Catholic munificence! Why has that religion been forsaken? Why has that religion been persecuted? Why is that religion reproached as the parent of darkness and ignorance? Why is that religion mis-represented, calumniated, blackened, by the prejudices, the illiberality, the acrimony of those, whose forefathers lived, and died, and immortalized themselves, in the profession and practice of its doctrines ?

Yes, Sir, and that voice, echoing over the waters which roll between England and this continent, is heard appealing to the bosoms of “THOUSANDS.” Why, in this enlightened republic, this sanctuary of religious, as well as national in

is every engine directed against that Church, in which, the most bigoted will allow, salvation can be obtained ? A Church which has existed through all ages, and which now contains within her pale the vast, vast majority of christians ? Why so many inveterate publications against her ?

We cannot omit a few extracts from the answer of the Protestant, because of the solidity and strength of argument,

But, Sir, how does he endeavour to prove that “the men of Cavan" have not abjured the errors of Popery? Why, Sir, he furnishes the public with some extracts from Journals, which state that “a married couple of the name of Enright,” “Nicholas Coates, Esq. of Ballynafa,” “two poor girls in the service of Dr. Cotter, "have returned to the Catholic Church, bringing with them the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart.” Next Sir, he tells us of the challenge of the Roscommon Priests to a religious controversy of the Catholic Priest in the vicinity of Dublin, who has received one hundred and nine converts in as many days”-and of the fifty Cheltenham converts, “mirabile dictu,” and from all these irrelevant matters, he draws the inference that therefore “the men of Cavan” have not abjured the errors of Popery. But fearing this stratagem would not suoceed, he attempts to persuade the public, that the converts were actuated by "interested motives”-and that they were poor starving miserable beings,” and “most of them deficient in character.” Now, sir, is your Correspondent ignorant of the fact, that the recent events have produced great excitement throughout Ireland, and that the Roman Catholic Priesthood have become greatly alarmed? Is he ignorant that Dr. Curtis and other Roman Catholic Prelates proceeded to Cavan to discover the cause of these large secessions ; and that when there they published a sort of manifesto, pretty much of a piece with his last production ? Is he now to be informed for the first time, that on the appearance of this manifesto, a meeting was called at Cavan for the purpose of refuting the statements made tberein, and that a meeting did in consequence take place, at which some of the first noblemen, (not including his friend, Lord Farnham) and most respectable Clergy and gentry of the country attended; and that under the sanction and authority of that meeting a counter statement was published, shewing that the converts who “declared against Popery were neither actuated by “interested motivesnor were they deficient in character”—but that they were a respectable class of people, above bribery and corruption, and from conviction alone of the errors of Popery, had abjured their religion.” Is your correspondent ignorant of the fact, that the Catholic Prelates were invited to a public controversy when at Cavan which they most prudently declined ?

In one paragraph of your correspondent's letter he wishes us to believe that in Great Britain, “Protestantism has remained stationary or retrograded and in another he tells us of the Catholic Kings, Barons, Knights, and Commons of England" in times past. Now, do the fact of there being at this tin but SIXTEEN Catholic Peers, out of six HUNDRED AND TEN, the whole number in England, Scotland and Ireland,

prove that Protestantism has either been stationary or retrogaded. The house of Peers consists of three hundred and sixty eight noblemen--and twenty eight Bishops) of which number seven only are Catholics. This being the state of the case we need not wonder that there should be so much anxiety manifested to enrol even the fourth son of an English Peer among the ranks of Catholicism, and the very extract furnished with singular simplicity, by your correspondent, from the London Evangelical Magazine, shews the estimation in which the Hon. Convert was held in his own country, and sufficiently proves the value of this boasted acquisition to the Roman Catholic Church, as it is intimated that he had “rushed into the ministry in deplorable ignorance of divine truth,” as may reasonable be presumed, from the course he has subsequently pursued.--Next we are told that "on the delapidated monuments (alluding to monasteries and Convents I suppose, for all the Cathedrals and Churches are maintained in very good repair) of her ancient piety, is stamped in indelible characters a memento to posterity,"LOf what, pray Sir?-That superstition and bigotry however sustained by the bayonet and the throne, cannot long successfully contend against the force of Truth, in a land of freedom, and in an enquiring and enlightened age. And then we are reminded that the venerable Universities of England owe their origin to Catholic munificence. Does your correspondent imagine that we have forgotten the manner in which St. Peter's at Rome, and many of these ancient monuments of Catholic piety were built? Has he never heard of the large sums raised in those days for this purpose, by the sale of indulgences? Has he never heard of a ship being captured on this very coast, so recently as the year 1800, li

terally laden with bales of indulgences, destined for South America? Or is this all new to him?

What principle has contributed more than any other, to throw down the barriers between contending sects, to extinguish the animosities of conflicting opinions, and to combine in one vast body the whole population of the Protestant world ? Is it not the principle that the Bible in its sanctity and majesty is equally the defence and treasure and privilege of every believer in Christ? What institution pervades the whole nation_exists in every town-has its branch in every hamlet_draws its resources from every cottage? It is that association which maintains as its great principle, that the Bible, without note or comment, is the most precious gift of God to man. Can it then Sir, be a subject of surprise that that Church which in a greater or less degree would lock up, instead of disseminating, this sacred volume,—that that Church whose Minister, in the present age, in our own country, in this very city, amidst the universal and devout zeal for the promulgation of the inspired volume, can with unhallowed hands commit to the flames à volume, which was perhaps, the purchase of the savings of some widow's or orphan's piety,—the tribute of humble devotion to the great and holy cause Christianity? Can it, I say, be a subject of surprise, that this Church is forsaken ? That this Church is esteemed the parent of darkness; and ignorance? that the merits of this Church in an enlightened republic, whose citizens investigate and judge for themselves, should, through the medium of Periodical publications, he the subject of a candid and liberal, but yet close, and not timill discussion

[To be continued in our next.}

WAS LUTHER AN ABSOLUTE PREDESTINARIAN?

We have lately been desired to shew, that Luther was not an absolute Predestinarian. We thought the question had been put to rest, by a series of numbers which we published in the first and second volumes of the Intelligencer, upon this subject. Whoever reads them attentively, must be convinced at once, that Luther was not an absolute Predestinarian. It was our intention to publish this masterly investigation as it appeared in the Intelligencer, and which was furnished us, by the late Rev. Dr. Endress, in a separate volume, but for want of a sufficient number of subscribers to defray the necessary expenses, we were compelled to abandon the project. We have however a few copies of the Intelligencer, containing it, on band, and should be pleased to loan them, or dispose of them at the subscription price, to any person, desirous of being convinced, that Luther did not teach and inculcate the doctrine of election and reprobation, but that he was much opposed to it. He was not, however, an Arminian, “for the Arminians are a party who seceded from the Calvinists, and adopted sentiments on the subject in some degree, resembling those of the Lutherans, but going beyond them, as men will, for the most part do, when flying off from an extreme in opinion.-Editor.

REMARKS.

In our remarks upon the errors of Popery, and occasional extracts from different Periodicals upon the alarming efforts of Jesuits, we had in view nothing more nor less, than to rouse Protestants from their lethargy, so as to preserve their liberties--the cause of the Bible, and to guard their children against the snares about to be prepared for them. In plain language, the scheme of Jesuits, to obtain the superintendence of the education of the rising generation, we abhor. To prevent Protestants from intrusting Jesuits with the education of their children, we have given our readers an idea of this order of men, and also of the faith of Papists.

We rejoice, that our course of proceeding, has not only been afproved of, but that attempts to arrest the progress of light, by lectures in a Mass-House, which consist of condemning Luther-personal attacks against us, equivocation and contradictions, have disgusted even some, who heretofore felt some attachment to the Romish church. They have been startled by the Jesuitical remarks; “We are called Romans-the Roman Catholic church. Strange !—why the Roman church is in Rome, &c.” when actually in their confession of faith, Catholics declare, that they owe obedience to the Pope, that the Roman Catholic church is the mistress of all churches, and, that there is no salvation out of it.

We shall not, because Luther is calumniated, and unfounded accusations are brought against him, especially as to his motives in seceding from the “Ancient Domain” introduce the characters of inany · Popes, as admitted to be awfully bad; nor will we speak of their children. We have no idea of doing good by mere crimination and recrimination. Jesuitical lectures may be continued for ought we care ad infinitum--the people are now in possession of many important facts, and if our Sunday schools, Tract and Bible

« ZurückWeiter »