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port to the vital interests of the empire, readers with any thing like an analysis and it is discussed in these pages in all of the contents of these letters to atits multifarious bearings, by one who tempt that, would carry us far beyond has evidently bestowed much time and the limits which the number of our copains in making himself master of it; lumns iniposes on us. But, we shall and, though there are certain points make room for a few extracts, merely connected with it, on which we are for the purpose of shewing the spirit compelled to differ from him in opinion, with which our “Protestant friend” opfor he is evidently an advocate for a na-) poses the Catholic claims, and intertional establishment of Christianity, we sperse a few general remarks on his pomust, nevertheless, do him the justice sitions and reasonings. to say, that his volume has deeply in- The first letter is introductory to the terested us; it abounds with informa- series, and presents us with the author's tion respecting the history, the spirit, apology for entering upon the underand the existing state of the Roman taking, and for addressing himself to Catholic church; and, at the present Mr. Wilberforce in particular. Alarmed moment, it is entitled to the peculiar re- at the experiment which that gentleman gard of our countrymen.
seems desirous of making, in granting The first hundred pages of the work the Catholics their claims, he expresses consist of a series of Letters, twenty- his fears that all the fair and wellseven in number, addressed to Mr. Wil-earned fame which Mr. W. has acquired berforce, and issued from the press from the liberation of the Africans, will through the columns of the Morning be completely overthrown by the way Post newspaper, between the 22nd in which he is now inadvertently forMarch, and the 6th July, 1821, during a warding the subjugation of the Europart of which time the Roman Catho- peans, in the revival of that ancient and lic claims were under discussion in Par- degrading system of Ecclesiastical ty. liament. It is difficult to conceive what ranny, from which the Reformation and inducement the writer could have in the Revolution delivered us. selecting “ The Morning Post” for the “ Your name, Sir, so far from going down, medium of his communication; a paper in that case, to our children, with the that is scarcely read beyond the purlieus blessings of our Protestant Church and Emof Carlton House, unless it were a de pire upon it, will descend to them only as a termination that, if possible, these melancholy proof how far a well merited letters should meet the eye of the mo- popularity may be abused at the very zenith narch. But, this ill-judged plan (as it of its elevation; and how easily a Senator appears to us) rendered it the more ne
who has deserved well of his country, may cessary to collect them into a volume,
outlive bis acknowledged usefulness, and by and lay them before the public in their
one grand and irreparable error, neutralise
and desecrate the patriotic labours of a present respectable form. During their
whole political life. I mean no idle comoriginal publication, however, they at pliment when I say, that the influence of tracted the notice of a writer, who, your name and character is deservedly under the signature of Melancthon, ani- great and extensive; but, in the same promadverted upon several parts of them, portion, that such an infuence may be exthrough the columns of the same paper, erted for our common happiness, in no less vindicating Mr. Wilberforce, and the , a degree will that influence be perilous and claims of the Catholics also. To Me / fatal, if any fundamental departure from lancthon, the author has now replied in
the sound and well-tried policy of British fourteen additional letters; and, we are
legislation should be the conseqnence of
the course, which, after much of hesitation glad that he has been stimulated to do
and doubt, you have at length determined So, because the attack made upon him to pursue. The errors of a private person by his opponent, has compelled him to (says Mr. Burkitt, in his funeral sermon throw additional light upon the subject for Gurnall,) are like the defects of a pocket of his former letters--to strengthen his watch, which only affect an individual ; reasonings by the testimonies of Locke, but, when persons of an eminent station and and Bacon, and Hooker, and Puffen- / character are mistaken, it is like the towndorf, and other eminent authorities, in
clock going wrong-it misleads a multiconsequence of which these supplemental epistles are even rendered more In the second letter our author prointeresting than the former series. : poses to the consideration of Mr.'W.
We cannot undertake to furnish our « the fundamental difference which sub
sists between the Protestant and Roman ) is almost identified with the same system. Catholic religions :" a fact which be We see a Religion of forms, processions, laments to find is so much overlooked ceremonies, and externals, usurping the both in and out of Parliament and place of that Faith, which produces the that even Mr. Wilberforce bimself
Wolf fruits of Holiness, without wbich, the Relishould appear to lose sight of "the es
gion of every man is vain. Prayers and
T Invocations offered to saints many of whom sential distinction which subsists be
have been canonized by the Romish Church, tween a Religion which is founded on
after lives of open and notorious sin, are as the Scriptures of truth, and one which repugnant to reason as they are contrary to is built, in the inain, upon human au Revelation. The immoral and profligate thority-between a Religion of tolera- lives of the Catholic Clergy, as a body, tion and charity, and one of intolerance chiefly arising out of their self-imposed celiand cruelty.” This subject occumes bacy, are a grievous scandal, which is thus several succeeding letters, from the
described by Pinkerton." “ The conscience fourth of which we present our readers
is seared by the practice of absolution; and
the mind becomes reconciled to the with the following compendious view of
strangest of all phenomena — theoretic popery.
piety and practical vice united in bonds
almost indissoluble.” Such are the men to “ The doctrine of Papal Infallibility, for
| whom power is now to be given in England example, is too monstrous for endurance,
and Ireland, and who are to be paid from when we observe the errors which the Popes
English taxation. have committed, and the vices in which
"I wish then to ask, with such facts as they have indulged; while that of Papal
these before your eyes, what you and your Supremacy is too gross, either for wise
Religious friends can promise yourselves, or Statesmen, or true Patriots to admit with
the cause of Truth, by the support of the safety to their country. The spiritual
| Roman Catholic claims: why are you not power exercised by the Romish Clergy
ręy rather found on the side of the Ark of God, (each of whom is the Pope of his own dis
in times when your ancient foes are untrict,) is equally at variance with good
| usually vigilant and active “If Baal be sepse and sound reasoning. The doctrine
God, follow him; but if the Lord be God, of Purgatory accords no better with the
then follow him."-My next will have reconstant declaration of Scripture, that the
ference to the ancient policy of Protestant present is a state of probation, and the
England.” future of retribution. The doctrine of Papal or Priestly Absolution, is only an This is certainly a tolerably fair and usurpation by man, of a power which be- accurate view of the subject; but, in longs to his Creator; while that of Papal or going over it carefully, we are apt to Priestly Indulgences affords sanction and wonder whether there was no lurking toleration for every species of crime. The
suspicion, no misgivings in the writer's terrors of excommunication and anathema,
own mind, lest some doughty champion are the mere engines of temporal power,
hol of Catholicism should turn round upon assumed for secular purposes alone. The doctrine of Transubstantiation is an inven
him and exclaim, “ Physician heal thytion, by which a mystery was introduced self! Is it possible that he can rejnto the simplest institution, in order to en- view the articles and constitution of his force the necessity, and exalt the authority own excellent Protestant church, and of a standing Priesthood. Auricular Con- find no traces of episcopal supremacy, fession, in enabling the Ministers of religion of spiritual power exercised in church to penetrate into the secrets of families and
courts, of priestly absolution,-of the individuals, tends above every other expe
terrors of Excommunication and Ara. dient, to consolidate their power, and to
thema,-of Auricular Confession-of multiply their resources. The denial of the Bible to the common people, is an evident
the mixture of human tradition with mark of the departure of that Church from
divine Revelation-of the prohibition the truths which it revealed, and the best of certain orders of the Clergy from proof of the weakness of a system which re-marrying, &c. &c. Can this sensible sorts to such a measure. The attempts of writer be so blinded by prejudice, as to that Church to mix human tradition with view the Church of England all immaDivine Revelation, are utterly unjusti. culate purity in regard to these points! fiable. By thus putting their own gloss and But, we spare bim ! comment upon the Scripture, they virtually
Of the persecuting spirit of the invalidate the sanctions, and evade the force, of the word of God himself. The chu
The church of Rome, we are as fully saProfanation of the Sabbath is a character- / tisfied as the author of these “ Letters:". istic of Popery, wherever that religion pre- and, consequently, we are precisely of vails; and the violation of the Marriage Vos (his mind, that, were that church in possession of power equal to her wishes, have, through the temerity of men, been pro. the first use that she would make of it ductive of more injury than advantage.” For would be to put down all Bible and this cause it is declared to be “ necessary Missionary. and Tract Societies, and. Ito adhere to the Decree of 13th June, 1757. indeed, all the benevolent institutions
which prohibits all versions of the Scrip
Itures in the vernacular tongues, except such enumerated by him in his sixth letter
as are approved by the Apostolic See, and not even his favorite “ Christian Ob
are published with annotations from the server," would continue to be pub writings of the Holy Fathers." In other lished; and, we really think, that Mr. words, the only Translations permitted, Wilberforce himself must be of the when Translations are used at all, are such same mind, though he may differ from as have been published by the Romish the letter writer, in viewing the con
Church, with such interpretations as frenection to becocertain or the danger sol quently dilute the strength, and corrupt great, from granting the Catholics their
the purity of the original text; thus affordpresent claims, as that which he so fully I the Sacred Writings as inay perpetuate the
ing a vehicle for conveying such a sense of apprehends. After all, we readily ad- errors of the Romish Communion. mit, that the palpable disclosures, which “ In this Modern Papal Anathema, suited the Catholic clergy of the present day | as it is to the darkest ages, his Holiness does are making from time to time, are not stand alone, but finds in those of his sufficiently alarming to put Protestants Clergy who are now resident in our own upon their guard, and to justify every
Protestant Empire and Metropolis, the most precaution which they can take against
faithful coadjutors; in all which we are their obtaining the means of playing
led to observe the co-operation of parts, their former pranks over again. On
and the unity of design, which are secured
by such a system as induces any persons to this subject, we submit to our readers denounce the exertions for enlightening the the eighth letter, beseeching them to world by the Holy Scriptures. Does the "read, mark, learn, and inwardly di- | Pope declare, that the Bible printed by gest” the facts stated in it, for they Heretics, that is, the Protestant version, is surely speak volumes !
a prohibited Book, and that the Scriptures
are not to be read in the vulgar tongue ? " It appears of the last importance that The Vicar Apostolic, and the Priests of his all Protestants who value the Religion of Communion, now resident in the British the Holy Scriptures, should observe the Metropolis,' inform a British House of present feelings of the Romish Church, in Commons, that these are the undoubted reference to their general use and free cir- | dogmas of their Church, and that they are culation, In the Bull of the present POPE, | bound by every principle of conscience, the circulation of the Bible is characterised and every motive of duty, to act upon them. as “an abominable device, by which the Bishop Poynter, the Vicar Apostolic of very foundation of Religion is undermined." | the London District, in his answer to the It is stated to be the duty and object of the Education Committee of the House of ComSee of Rome, “ to employ all means for mons, remarks; “ I could not in any manthe purpose of detecting, and rooting out ner approve of any Catholic children reading such a pestilence in every way." The Pri. | the Protestant version of the Scriptures;" bemate of Poland, to whom this anathema is cause (he says) he should “act contrary to addressed, is highly commended for his the constant discipline of the Catholic "zeal and activity, under circumstances so Church.” He afterwards states, that all threatening to Christianity, in having de. the Catholic versions have notes; so that nounced this defilement of the faith, tending when the Holy Scriptures are explained by to the imminent peril of souls ;" and he is Romish notes and comments, but not other"earnestly exhorted to execute, daily, wise, they may be consulted. Upon being whatever he can achieve by his power, asked, whether the objection to the Propromote by his councils, or effect by his au- testant version would still occur, if passages thority, in defeating the plans which the were taken which are exactly the same in the enemies of the Catholic Religion” are two versions, he replies, " The objections stated to have “prepared for its destrue would be the same, although the words were tion." It is further declared to be “the the very same !!!” He then states, that special duty of the Episcopal office to ex-“ children and the unlearned” (or the poor) pose the wickedness of such an abominable "are not allowed to read the Scriptures in the scheme, by shewing, in obedience to the pre- vulgar tongue, without the permission of their cepts of the Catholic Church, that the Bible Pastors.” He further states, that "there printed by Heretics is to be numbered among was never any prohibition at all in the Ca. other prohibited Books of the Index.” After tholic Church against reading the Scripwhich, it is expressly asserted, that “ex- tures in Latin; but all the regulations reperience bas proved, that the Holy Scrip- ferred to the translations in the vulgar tures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, 'tongue; and the Church," he adds, “ had two views:--one, that the translation should The Romish Bishop, MILNER, in his be such as was authorised by the Catholic charge to his Clergy, dated 30th March, Church,” (and we have before seen that 1813, while he severely reprobates those of there is no authorised translation without his own Communion who join Bible SoRomish notes,) “and 2ndly, that they cieties, remarks, “ The promiscuous readshould not be read by those, from whose ig- ing of the Bible is not calculated, nor innorance or dispositions, the Pastors of the tended by God, as the means of conveying ReChurch had reason to fear that the reading ligious instruction to the bulk of mankind." of the Scriptures would be rather prejudicial Again :-“ It is evidently a much more rathan beneficial to them;" or, as the POPE tional plan to put the Statutes at large into says, in his Bull against the Bible Society, the bands of the illiterate vulgar, telling " The Holy Scriptures, in the vulgar them to become their own lawyers, tban it tongue, have been productive of more injury is to put the text of the mysterious Bible than advantage”-a blasphemous position, into their hands, for enabling them to hamby which the Anti-Christian power of the mer their religion and morality out of it." Apocalypse bas placed himself in direct op- Again :-" The Church recommends the position to Him, who has dictated those reading of the Bible to all who have some Scriptures by his unerring Spirit, declared tincture of learning, and an adequate knowthem able to make us “ wise unto salva- | ledge of their Religion, together with the tion,” and enforced upon all men the para. / necessary humility and docility to dispose mount duty of searching them. The Romish them to submit their own private opinion, Vicar Apostolic adds, “ The reading of the upon all articles of faith, to the belief of the Protestant version of the Bible is a point to great Church of ali nations, and all ages.” which I could never give my approbation;" Again:-“My brethren, I am coufident you and being asked, “Could you allow any will not encourage, or countenance, the disporlions of that version to be selected for tribution of Bibles, or Testaments, among the use of Catholic children?” he says, the very illiterate persons of your congre“No.” On being asked, “Whether he gations, as proper initiatory books of in. could consent, by the instruction of Pro- struction for them,” The same Prelate, in testants, to better the moral condition of a Letter, in the Orthodox Journal for those Catholic children, whom he had ad- October, 1813, signed by himself, calls the mitted to have fallen into vicious and bad Bible Society “ a novel and portentous Inhabits, arising from their ignorance;" he stitution, unknown to the Fathers and Doctors replies, “ As a Catholic Bishop, I do not of past ages;" and concludes with this rejudge that their morals could be improved, mark:-It is evidently impossible to add Dut by Religious instruction; and, I could any notes whatever to the Sacred Text, which not consent for them to receive it from Pro- will make it a safe and proper elementary testants;” and, on being asked, “whether book of instruction for the illiterate poor." he conceived that the Religious Instruction which might be conveyed by teaching them
[To be continued.] to read the Protestant Scriptures, would not better their moral condition ?” he an. swers, “ Certainly not.” The Rev. JAMES BRAMSion, a Priest, states, first, that “it Letters chiefly practical and consolatory; is not at all the practice to give the Scrip designed to illustrate the nature and tures to the common people without notes;"
tendency of the Gospel. By DAVID and secondly, that “the Bull Unigenitus"
Russell, Minister of the Gospel, (the main object of which was to prevent
Dundee. Edinburgh, printed for the general use of the Scriptures,) " is still, undoubtedly, in force in the Romish
Waugh and Innes; and sold by Ogle, Church." Thus also, the Rev. JAMES AR
Duncan and Co. London. 1821, pp. CAER, another Priest, states, “that he 330, 12mo. price 5s. boards. knows of no Catholic version in England without notes;' and that the Priests “think
This volume contains fifteen letters, it unsafe for children to be taught even such the subjects of which are,—The Sufparts of Scripture as BOTH CHURCHES AGREE ferings of Christ, The Glory of ChristUPON, without notes ;” after which, he still The Invitations and Promises of the further reduces the chance of a free circu Gospel — The Design of our Lord's Jation, by stating, that, “ even with notes, Mission—Thoughts on the Law and the Priests do not sanction the promiscuous
Gospel-On Christian Comfort-The reading of the Scriptures, but to such per
Practical Influence of the Truth-Hints sons as they think will make a good use of them,” which is, to take upon themselves
on the Means and Happy Effects of the tremendous responsibility of withbold.
Sanctification-On the Perseverance of ing the Word of God from all persons, whom
Christians-On the Death of a Relative they, in their wisdom, may deem unfit to -On the Benefit of Amfiction-On our possess it.
| Lord's Answer to the Sons of Zebedee
On the Diversity of Degreesi n Glory- the all-sufficient remedy which divine On some Difficulties relative to Coming | Wisdom and Mercy have provided, and to Christ-And on Christian Confi- which is fully revealed in the gospel of dence in Prayer.
| grace, for the relief of the guilty, the We are informed, by a short Adver- destitute, and the miserable—the blesstisement prefixed to this volume, that ings of the everlasting gospel, that feast the letters were primarily addressed of fat things provided by the bounty of to persons in affliction; and were con- heaven, consisting of the unsearchable sequently intended to minister to their riches of Christ, on which the hungry consolation, by presenting to their view are invited to come and partake freely, TAB GREAT TRUTH which purifies the without money and without price. He heart, and which “saves and sets the exhibits the suitableness of this remedy sinner free,” in the various lights and to all the various cases of human connections under which it is presented wretchedness, and opens up the sources to us in the Scriptures. We had the of consolation which flow from it, in the privilege of seeing one of the letters in way of doctrine-of invitation-of promanuscript, some time before the vo- mise-and of hope; removing stumbling lume appeared in print; and the interest blocks out of the way, and displaying it which it excited in our minds made us in all its glorious fulness, and freeness, very anxious to possess the whole; and immediate nearness to the guilty, assuring ourselves, that if all the other perishing, self-condemned children of letters were of equal value, their publi- | Adam. But he is too well instructed to cation could not fail of a favourable administer consolation to any one aside acceptance, or of high utility. Nor from the glorious gospel of the blessed have our expectations been at all disap- God, or to speak “ comfortably" to pointed; it is a volume of great merit, those who are not believing it, and richly imbued with doctrinal sentiment, living under its influence. The volume and that of the choicest kind.
would readily supply us with extracts of Mr. Russell is not of the class of the most valuable kind with which we divines who have studied Theology could enrich our columns, but we prefer through the medium of human systems, recommending the purchase of it to our and whose days have been spent in readers, assuring them that they are in accommodating the Scriptures to human no danger of repenting of what they standards. He has evidently read them shall have done. for himself, as one well affected to their leading design; and he shews himself in these Letters to be a scribe well Lily Douglas; a simple story, humbly instructed in the mysteries of the king- intended as a premium and pattern for dom of heaven. We should think it Sabbath Scholars. Second edition. scarcely possible for any one who really Edinburgh, W. Oliphant; and Lonunderstands and loves the genuine apos. don, Nisbet. Pages 105, pr. 1s. 6d. tolic gospel, to peruse the book without receiving much'edification from it; and This is a truly simple, unaffected, and to those who are the subjects of afflic- affecting little story, well suited to antion, in particular, it must be peculiarly swer the noble end of the author; acceptable. The author's method of which evidently is to recommend the speaking peace, and of restoring com- subject of Sunday Schools, not merely fort to the mourners in Zion, differs to those who are fit objects of their widely from that which is commonly benevolent designs, but also to the resorted to in such cases, by many pro- patronage of those in whose power it is sessed ministers of the gospel. It is to aid them in their laudable efforts to not by leading them to reflect upon diffuse religious and other useful knowher past experience as an evidence of ledge among that class of society which er being in a state of grace, and so must otherwise remain in gross ignoloying them up with the fond but rance of all that is profitable for the life elusive conceit, 'that once in Christ that now is, and for that which is to always in Christ,'--that “if thus and come. In a short preface to the narra
us they have been affected, they tive, the author intimates that “the meuld therefore hope." His is a much story, if story it may be called, is not arer, because a far more scriptural entirely real, neither is it altogether pan; namely, to call their attention to fictitious;" and expresses a hope, that