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RECENT LETTER FROM IRELAND. Ir our friends in your happy and peace- it pleased God to own my unworthy ful country could but attend me for one endeavours to promote his glory. week through the wide range of moun- Discourses, with which many of your tain and lowland committed to my care gentry would be perhaps but little satis-could they but hear an argument with fied, were, as I have ever experienced, a Roman Catholic, and listen to a man, welcome to the poor, and my churches who in other respects would be consi soon overflowed. From a congregation, dered shrewd, and no wise deficient in amounting frequently to no more than understanding, affirming that black is 40 or 50, we have beheld from 1100 to white because his priest has said so- 1200 within the walls; while such was that a wafer, with all the properties of the concourse on a late occasion, that bread, is actually and absolutely the I was under painful anxiety lest some very body of the Lord Jesus Christ, accident should occur : hundreds, at seated though he is on the right hand of the same time, going away unable to the majesty on high, and received into enter. The Roman Catholics have the heavens until the times of restitution attended me hitherto in great numbers; of all things—and that he actually and and in proof of this I may inform you, absolutely swallows his God; could, I that at one of my private lectures alone, say, our friends in England but hearken I had upwards of 50. to such things as these, and see the in- As you may supposé, the Gospel, vincible pertinacity with which these which was scarce ever heard in these poor deluded beings cling to their parts, and which, if faithfully delivered, heart-sickening superstitions ---surely, will not long be heard without attractsurely, they would open their tender ing attention, soon excited a ferment; compassions, and aid us not only with some accusing me of one thing, some their purses, but their prayers. Tell of another: here, alleging that I was no them, my dear friend, tell them from friend to the Protestants, and there, me, whom they have heard depicting, affirming that I was the mortal enemy in no measured strains the horrors of of Roman Catholics. The interest that popery-O tell them, tell them, that I has been awakened is really surprising; concealed the half. I speak from the and, were I but able to address them, I full conviction of my soul, when I could have large audiences every day. affirm, that, were all the abominations This, however, could not long proceed, that ever visited this sin-stained world, without an alarm among the priests; collected in one heap of impurity, and I have consequently been denouncpopery would infinitely surpass them ed from two or three altars, the Roman all. The truth must no longer be bid in Catholics being enjoined under severe a corner; for, until the people of Eng- penalties to desist from hearing me. land, and it is to them that we must One of these, finding his prohibitory look for funds to carry on our opera- measures not succeeding according 10 tions, are made acquainted with the his wish, wrote to his Bishop, and real state of Ireland, nothing of any received in return a letter of strict moment will be accomplished. How injunction to his flock not to venture just was the remark of Cecil, that either to my public or private assem“ popery was the master-piece of Satan!” blies. . This rescript was read at mass
- It is time for thee, Lord, to lay to on St. Catherine's day. The circumthine hand, for they have made void thy stance here alluded to occurred in the law.
parish where I am at present resident. To come now to my own more imme- For my own parish, the Roman Cathodiate employments, in which, I doubt lic curate, unable to prevent his sheep not, you will feel an interest, just as I from straying, applied to his superior was meditating a return to England, who, though heretofore regarded as a I was requested to undertake the super moderate man, preached on Sunday intendence of an adjoining parish. The last against me, commanding his hearers arrangements were soon concluded, and to adhere to their own true and only I entered on my charge. On my first safe church. But all this, it appears, arrival, my regular duties were four is not sufficient to check the spread of sermons or lectures every week; and heresy, Some celebrated orator is to be sent from all the way, to “Well then," said I, “ away with preach controversial sermons as my your absolution, it is of no avail to you: peculiar antagonist. He commences for, as you will find it written in the on Sunday next, and, if it be thought Douay Testament, 'Eye hath not seen, ad visable, I shall go to hear him, in nor ear heard, neither hath it entered order to meet him in spiritual warfare. into the heart of man, what things God I say, if it be thought advisible; for my hath prepared for them that love him.'” friends are already considerably alarmed If you had but seen them then! All for my safety. There are many rumours their tongues were loose on me in a of aggression against my life ; and I moment, and particularly that of the have been earnestly entreated not to first man I met. “Go along with you be out after night-fall. At first I paid about your business, and argue with little attention to these reports ; but those who are able to argue with you; they thicken around me so quickly, that and don't be coming here to poor I believe they must remain no longer ignorant people.” “The very reason," disregarded. What a country is this ! I replied, “ It is because you are ignoand all owing to this accursed supersti- rant I am come to instruct you." He tion. They may talk of popery who can continued to abuse me with oaths and lie down quietly in their beds at night, curses, when I again observed, “ Well, without any apprehension from a lawless my honest fellow, it's a clear case that banditti. O, if they only knew some of mine is a better religion than yours, the comforts of seeking protection from inasmuch as it prevents me from cursing an armed force in their houses, as two and swearing, which, as I perceive, ministers in this vicinity who assailed your's does not you.” He now moved “ the man of sin,” were obliged to do for off, with a countenance which really months together, they would speak and seemed to me that of a fiend, and still feel differently on the subject of Po- muttering as he went. I was afterwards pish superstition. Bowed down as the cautioned against venturing into that minds of the people are, and looking, quarter. not to that God whose laws they have The “argumentum ad hominem" I violated, and from whom their hearts have always found come home to them; are so awfully alienated by nature, “You are a sinner—your heart is at confirmed by the satanic bonds of strong enmity with God-polluted, and undelusion, but to their priests, who are clean.". The truth of this conscience in general more deeply corrupted attests. “Well then, how is it possible than themselves, for 'pardon and form for you in that state to live with Godgiveness ; what can we expect but the and enjoy the purity and holiness in most blind and implicit obedience to which he dwells ?” I could furnish the craft and subtlety of their spiritual you with very many anecdotes which guides? A few days ago, I passed would, if I am not mistaken, interest a man, whom I heard muttering to him my good friends in England ; but time self, as I had afterwards reason to be would fail. One, however, I must reliere, curses and maledictions on my late. A meeting for discussing the head. On my return, I came to an controverted points was held last week open area, where my friend just men in this neighbourhood up towards the tioned had arrived, and was stand mountains, between a Scripture reader ing talking to three or four men who belonging to my parish on the one part, were winnowing corn. On coming up, and some great disputant on the other. I checked my horse, and, as my custom I was to have been there; but my is, entered into conversation with them friends became so much alarmed that upon religion. Presently one man they would not allow me to attend : and affirmed that the Priest could“ preserve it was, perhaps, providentially so orderhim from going to hell.” To this I re ed, as they threatened to twist the plied by an argument which struck me reader's neck off,” (I use their own exthe other day as somewhat cogent pression) and were so turbulent that he against absolution. « Can the Priest," durst not venture out that night. Among I demanded, “make you love God ?” the nine hundred who assembled on “ He can pray for us, and”-I stopped the occasion, there was a firm band of him, “ Can he make you love God?” three hundred Protestants well armed, “ He can set things before us, and " who had determined on resistance in again I interrupted him, “ Can the case there should be any attempt at Priest make you love God?” On this, violence. Whether this was lawful or another of the party called out “ No.” not, I shall not stop to consider. I had
no part in it, nor was I aware of their much, and join his church directly." intention. The Reader, however, in This challenge, as you may suppose, was relating the circumstance, seemed to not accepted, and the Papist stood think that he was not the worse for their somewhat abashed. Well may the word protection; and I avow, that I felt of God mention “ lying wonders " in much inclined to be of his opinion, designating the mystery of iniquity. It
The particulars would much interest may be right, however, here to remark, you, had I leisure and space to detail that the poor deluded people really bethem. On the second day of the dis- lieve these things. A friend of mine a cussion, the Roman Catholic appealed short time ago met three or four men to miracles in proof of the truth of his conveying another, who was in a state religion; and instanced an individual of the most beastly drunkenness, upon who had been restored to sight by one a car. He asked them where they were Priest M- On this a voice was taking him. “0," said they, “ this is heard, declaring, that the man saw just Priest M- , and we are taking him as well before, as after the miracle had to perform a miracle on a young woman been performed. This, as we say here, who is ill.”—This, if necessary could be was as a bit of a staggerer;” but as the authenticated on oath. And now what papist still remained the undaunted ad. are we to think of these things! To vocate of miracles, the Reader thus mend the matter, I am informed, that it put him to the test. “ Well, if it be is only drunken Priests who can perso," said he," let me see the Priest cure form miracles. This was a circummy friend, Jack B 's eye, there.” stance which I could not suffer to pass, Jack, I should observe was leaning and with Priest M- whom by the against the door, and in view of the way I did not name, I introduced Prince whole assembly, with an eye perfectly Hohenlohe ; observing that it was sunk in the socket,-6 let him do this," strange that the latter with all his miracontinued the Reader, « and I'll be- culous power, was unable to prevent his lieve.” “Aye,” says Jack, “and I'll castle from being reduced to ruins by go to him to-morrow, and thank him lightning.
ROMAN CATHOLIC DISCUSSIONS.
The following admirable observations on the conduct of Discussions with Romanists, are extracted from a speech delivered some time since by the Rev. MORTIMER O'SULLIVAN, at a meeting of the Dublin Reformation Society, when His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Dublin presided. They appear to us every way deserving of the most serious attention,
In the first place I would say, when you address yourself to, and prepare for this great controversy, count fully the cost of your undertaking. Do not rashly enter into it-do not boast when putting on your harness, as he who taketh it off.-Remember that mighty energies are at work to oppose you ; that you must make yourself acquainted, notonly with the truth, which can set men free, but with the evil, and the falsehood, which keep them fettered. In many instances, where you will be controverted by persons, whom you may think feeble opponents, they will develope powers you would not imagine them to have possessed. Perhaps they have been trained for this especial purpose ; but even those who have not been so
trained, have been, in all probability, from the discipline of their earlier years, fitted for that mode of introducing into their discussions arguments which the bad cause always needs, and which the good cause ought never to neglect. I speak this with a special reference to the young divinity students who may hear me: I have spent, perhaps, the best years of my life in that one controversy to which they are coming forward ; and therefore I remind my junior friends that they should be careful to arm themselves with all the weapons which history, which experience, and which reason furnish; and that they should exert themselves in private reasoning, and in social exercises, that they may be enabled to bring forward their treasures with the best effect.
The next remark I beg leave to offer is this : whenever you oppose any parti. cular doctrine of the church of Rome, and show its falsehood, set by its side the doctrine which is true. Frequently a man who will not be able to disengage himself from the trammels of false reasoning, will be convinced at once by having the sound principle presented to him. In many instances you the physician, whom you thought will find the arguments advanced by best calculated to deliver you from your your Roman Catholic brethren to be in disease; and when you have discovered their premises and in the forms of their that physician, you would commit yourargument perfectly true, and in their self into his hands, and implicitly perconclusion perfectly false; and if in this form what he directs. This is percase you present before men's minds fectly correct, if we apply the analogy what their arguments do in reality prove, where alone it can be of effect to the you will emancipate them from the evils Word of God, and to our Lord Jesus of false reasoning by means of the truth Christ; but in an inferior sense this which you offer to their acceptance.--I argument is perfectly appropriate, so think this may be illustrated by some far as it agrees with Protestant prinsubjects which were yesterday spoken of. ciples; and the moment it leaves The controversy seemed to resolve itself Protestant principles it becomes abinto this :- Is the true Church a Scrip- surd. I will suppose, for example, tural Church, or is it a Church in which that you have perfect confidence in Scripture and Tradition are blended the man you propose for your phytogether, of equal efficacy and of equal sician. How long, let me ask you, influence ? Now it was asked how will that confidence continue, if he calls the Reformed Church could lay claim on you to accept a thing from his hands, to the Scriptures how she had or to perform a thing at his direction, received them otherwise than from which your own previous experience that Church to which she now set and the light of your reason teaches you herself in opposition? Your Grace to be ruinous ? Or if he should say, I' heard the reply given by the very gen- will attend you on this sole condition, tleman who proposed the question. He that while I visit you and give you the told you that in the early ages pious men benefit of my advice, you shall never collected all the evidence by which seek any other counsel, nor open any Scripture was proved to be of divine in.. other volume than that which I offer for spiration and authority; and having your perusal. Would it not be an extold you that, it is not necessary for ceedingly difficult thing for you to subme to repeat that he was himself mit to such a condition, more especially the answerer of his own question. You if other men, equally high in profesperceive, then, by this illustration, the sional character, and the judgment of object I have in view. He wished you the world, came forward and offered to understand that you could have the you their assistance without any such Scriptures from no other source than stipulation ? Would you not conclude the authority of his Church, and I have that such a physician must have some given you his own answer to the ques. secret reason, or must be of a brutal tion he proposed—that we have the character, if he could not bear having Scripture on evidence, not on authority his judgment brought into comparison collected by men who he said were of with the judgments of other men ? his Church. I will state to you one Would you not say, that such a phyother illustration from the same gentle sician was one in whom you would not man's speech; it was a quotation which put your trust, and would you not seek he proposed—“ that we should hear the a man of milder habits ? From these two Church.” It was very ably argued pre illustrations I think it will appear what viously, that if a man be under the ne- my meaning is; and I, for my own cessity of using his reason in order to part, have never found in the course of arrive at the knowledge of what the my reading or experience arguments Church is, it would be preposterous in advanced by the Church of Rome, on the extreme to suppose that he was to points of fundamental importance, in extinguish the light that had guided which I could not perceive a certain him so far; and when he had found the propriety and cogency of reasoning, so Church, that he should consent to be far as principles and premises were blindfolded by that Church, and led in concerned; but the instant the argudarkness. The analogy which the Gen- ment diverged from the moderate tleman wbo defended the tenets of the claims of the Reformed Churches, that Church of Rome used, cannot be for instant the analogy became incongotten: if you, said he, were afflicted clusive. I therefore beg my brethren by some grievous malady, you would to 'remember this—that it may frenaturally resort to all means in your quently happen, that in the subtle power to acquire a knowledge of and perplexing intricacies in which the
Church of Rome has wrapped her man to these laws of ceremonies, and arguments, a man may not be able these sensual images, from which the to disengage himself from the bonds true Church ought to have liberated, and which fetter him, and the most effectual set him free. Now if you were to promeans may frequently be, not to endea pose this objection to an experienced vour to loose the cords one by one, al- disputant of the Church of Rome, he though this is a portion of your task to would, according to the practice that it which you should especially apply your so invariably observes, refer you to the selves, but let the truth stand by the system of your own Church and its side of the false doctrine, and then let it observances; he would say, besides, be judged.
that all Churches must have some aids The third advice which I would give of devotion; and that these ceremonies, to my young brethren is this—to be very and these pomps, and these processions careful to separate in their minds the on which you would inflict the anathema motives which animate their Roman Ca- of rejection, are nevertheless necessary, tholic brethren in general, in the defence as aids to keep alive the spirit of true of their creed, from any unworthy ad- devotion. I would mention this as a mirture. I have no hesitation in saying, test by which things of this nature may that there are members of that Church be tried. It is the object of a Church who maintain the charge committed to to be a faithful minister in turning men them with a generosity and devotedness from the bonds of this world, and from which is worthy of a better cause; and carnal things that are at enmity with if we find enlightened and intelligent God, by introducing them to a more men still cleaving to forms and to doc- spiritual system; and then how will it trines which do not satisfy the under- be ascertained whether a Church constanding, yet we should be far from siders itself in all respects as the minisimagining that such men cleave to ter of the Lord, in preparing men's them from unworthy motives, or a te- hearts and affections for him, or whether nacity to their own opinion. It may it would attract to itself those affections, be, that their views of the Church of that homage, and that reverence, which Rome have grown with their growth, should have been given to God? Wheand so imbedded themselves in their ther in the institution and use of cerematurer years, as to make it appear to monies it considers them as aids of them, that although evils which they devotion, or as trammels of attachment cannot deny cling around the system, for itself? If you find a man in yet the system as a whole, has so many the exhibition of various performexcellencies as make it worthy of their ances, labouring to produce strong serious support. The evil arises alto impressions on the senses of those gether from this, that such men form who witness his exhibitions, and entheir notion of the Church of Rome, deavour so to engage their attenwithout any consideration of the Word tion as that they shall respect and adof God--they do not bring things to mire them—if a man wishes to set bethe standard of the law and the testi- fore you a phantasmagoria—if he wishes mony; and so forming their judgment, to disturb your senses with the image according to the erroneous calculations of truth where no truth is, what does he of human nature, they perceive a halo first do? He brings darkness around around the system, which for a time de- you-he carefully excludes the light; ceives them. Let me illustrate this, by a and while you sit in the darkness and statement made by one of the speakers of in the gloom, shades and figures present yesterday. In considering the Church themselves to your sight and disturb of Rome, he applied himself boldly and your imagination. But let in the blessed wisely to the mark of its great and light- let the free air of heaven come fundamental error: he told you that the in, and you will see that the phantasmaobject of all religion was to conduct goria which needed darkness to support man from the allurements of this life, it, is a pale and evanescent sbadow.and from its criminal observances, into So then, if ever a principle of this kind the light and purity of a spiritual king- is started in argument, bring it to the dom; and that the Church of Rome was law and to the testimony, and the ordifalse to her trust, because, instead of nances and the ceremonies shall pale ministering to that great office for which before the light of God's word, unless God must have designed bis Church, from that word they have their life and that of Rome endeavoured to bring each their power.