Imatges de pÓgina

a Catholic Priest, at that awful time, abundantly proves, that if the Protestant religion is the easiest to live in, the Catholic religion is the safest to die in. It has been acknowledged by Protestant ministers, that when they attended the sick, they have often found them in trouble about their faith ; and that the first and chief thing to be done, was to quiet their doubts on that head. With Catholics, upon their death-bed, their case is very different; about the truth of their religion, they are perfectly satisfied ; the only thing which gives them trouble, is, that they have not taken more pains to live up to its maxims.

Protestantism can not be the true religion, because its ministers are self-appointed, and have received no commission from God to preach, or perform any spiritual function. When Christ appointed his Apostles to the work of the ministry, he said to them, As my Father hath sent me, I also send you, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, fc. John, chap. xx. Accordingly, as St. Paul testifies No man taketh the honour to himself, but he that is called by God as Aaron was.

This divine commission, comprehending all the powers pecessary for the work of the ministry, descends to the Catholic clergy in virtue of their ordination by bishops rightly ordained, and succeeding in a right line to the Apostles. But have Protestants received any such commission ? If they have, when, and from whom did they receive it? Who ordained their ministers? Their bishops. And who ordained their bishops? Nobody. Their first bishops had no valid ordination. It is therefore plain that their present bishops have no other powers than what the State gives them; and if the King and Parliament were so to decree it, they would have to surrender their livings and their churches into the hands of the methodists, unitarians, or any other sect.

Protestantism cannot be the true religion, because it allows men to embrace whatever faith they like best, or find most convenient; contrary to common sense, which teaches, that since Christ came upon earth to establish one, and only one religion, it is our duty to find out which is that one true religion which he established ; contrary also to the words of Christ, who commanded his apostles to teach just those things which he had taught them ; and declared that whoever would not believe them should be damned-Matt. xxvii, Mark xvi. ; also to the words of St. Paul, who tells us that if even an angel were to come down from heaven and teach us a different doctrine from what we have received, we must not listen to him.-Galat. i. 8.

Protestantism cannot be the true religion, because it is both inconsistent and unholy. It teaches that all men have a right to choose their own faith, yet is continually upbraiding Catholics for believing what they think right. It teaches that the Catholic religion is a mass of superstition and idolatry, yet allows that Catholics can be saved if they only live up to what they profess. It ridicules Catholics for fasting and doing penance, yet enjoins fasting to its members. (See the Book of Common Prayer.)

It teaches that Christ has given to no man upon earth power to absolve sinners; yet in the visitation of the sick, it requires the sick person to make a special confession of his sins, after which the minister is enjoined to exercise the power (which he has never received,) of binding and loosing, in this manner, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

It allows the rich to put away a lawful wife and marry another! (See the report of the speeches of the bishops, at the trial of the late Queen Caroline, and the every day occurrences in high life.) It teaches people to pronounce a falsehood of the most awful kind, every time they repeat that part of the creed I believe the holy Ca. tholic Church. It affords the edifying spectacle of a clergy, inculcating to others what they do not believe themselves; for example, the Athanasian creed forms part of the public service, which they are enjoined to recite on stated occasions; yet how few of the Protestant clergy subscribe to it in their hearts ! Even the thirtynine articles which form the basis of their religion, are not believed by one in a hundred of the clergy of the present day; yet they are obliged to declare their assent to the truth of them in the most solemn manner! Thus is liberty, given to the people to believe, that a man may solemnly attest that he really and unfeignedly believes, what he really and unfeignedly disbelieves ! One of the fruits of the Reformation in England is that men take oaths like as they drink water.

If this be a religion which can satisfy the consciences of Protestants, they may possess it in peace; Catholics have no wish to molest them; they are content to go to heaven by a road of greater constraint, but more certainty. They glory in having stuck true to the faith of their forefathers; and in knowing that their religion is not, like the Church of England, confined to one nation, but fulfils in itself the prophecies of Scripture, by being the church of all nations, as it is of all ages. They have too much confidence in the promises of Christ, to think that it will ever be shaken by the malice of those who have separated from its pale ; and can view in security their puny efforts to defame it by distributing tracts filled with lies and perversions of Scripture. The Catholic clergy have generally too much contempt for such trash, to think it worth their • notice; or too much of more important business upon their hands to find time to answer it. They trust to the force of truth and persuasion for success; and they think it no small compliment to the merits of their cause, when its enemies are obliged to take secret and shabby means of opposing it.

if it is to be opposed, let it be by preaching and public disputation, not by deceiving the people with the misrepresentation and falsehood contained in tracts profanely called religious. But it is all in vain; they are only the efforts of men in despair. The Catholio religion is again spreading itself over the face of the land. It has been kept down by a series of intolerant laws, and almost extinguished by the bloody persecution of Protestant Kings : but it is again taking its hereditary attitude, supported by Him who promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If there be any who think it teaches those absurdities which are imputed to it by its enemies, let them take the proper means of informing themselves, (and nothing can be of so much importance as to find out the true religion) let them attend Catholic sermons and instructions, and judge for themselves ; let them consult the first catholic priest they can find, and let them ask him whether those things be so? Whether, for instance, an indulgence is 'leave to commit sin ?? whether he teaches people to worship the saints,' or that no faith is to be kept with heretics? They may rely upon it they will find the Catholic religion to be very different from wbat they have been taught to suppose it. They will find that it teaches nothing but what is most holy; nothing but what is shewn to agree most strictly with the words of Scripture; nothing but what has been taught and believed, in all former ages, since the beginning of Christianity.”


As occasion offers, we shall expose to public inspection other specimens not inferior in falsehood and ferocity to the foregoing. We take this opportunity of returning our thankful acknowledgments to all who have benefitted our work by their assistance, of requesting the continuance of their support, and of inviting still further help.



Historical Lessons of the Roman Breviary. No. 8.


From the Breviary of Pius V. Lucia,

a virgin of Syracuse, of noble birth, and distinguished from her childhood for her attachment to the Christian Faith, accompanied her mother Eutychia, who was ill of a bloody Aux, to Catana, in order to worship the body of the blessed Agatha ; and when she had suppliantly prayed at her sepulchre, she obtained her mother's restoration to health by Agatha's intercession. She then immediately prevailed on her mother to allow her to bestow the dowry intended for her upon the poor of Christ's flock; and accordingly, upon her return to Syracuse, she distributed among the poor all the money which she raised by the sale of her property. When this became known to the person to whom her parents had betrothed her against her own inclination, he accused Lucia of being a Christian, before the Prefect Paschasius. The Prefect, when he was not able to prevail upon her to worship the heathen idols, either by his entreaties or his threats, but, on the contrary, found her the more zealous in extolling the Christian faith, the more he endeavoured to overcome her resolutions, said _“Your words will fail you when you come to the scourge.” The Virgin replied—“ Words can never fail the servants of God, to whom our Lord Christ has said, When ye stand before kings and rulers, do not meditate how or what ye shall speak, for it shall be given to you in that hour what ye shall speak; for, it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit that speaketh in you. When Paschasius asked her—“ Is the Holy Spirit then in thee?” She answered—“ They who live chastely and piously are the temple of the Holy Spirit.” He then said I will order thee to be taken to the brothel, that the Holy Spirit may forsake thee.” The virgin replied—“ If thou commandest me to be violated against my will, my chastity will be reckoned worthy of a double reward.” Upon this, Paschasius, inflamed with anger, ordered her to be dragged to a place of ill fame to be deflowered, but, by divine agency, the virgin was enabled to stand so fast, that no violence could remove her from the place. Paschasius, therefore, commanded her to be smeared with pitch, resin, and boiling oil, and a fire to be kindled around her; but she remaining unhurt by the flame, he ordered her throat to be pierced with a sword, after she had suffered various excruciating tortures. Upon receiving this wound, Lucia yielded up her soul to God, having first predicted the tranquillity the Church would enjoy after the death of Maximian and Diocletian. Her body was interred at Syracuse; it was afterwards translated to Constantinople, and finally to Venice.

REMARKS. The above narrative is one of a very numerous class of legends, evidently manufactured in the dark ages by writers whose trade it was to write fictitious martyrdoms, as much as it is the trade of the caterers for the Minerva press to write trashy novels for low and vulgar readers. The qualifications of the two classes of authors seem to be much upon a level. Any person of ordinary discrimination who takes the trouble to compare their respective productions, will find both equally regardless of truth and probability-destitute of genius, invention, and an accurate knowledge of human nature,—the lack of which they attempt to supply by stuffing their narratives with monstrous and impossible incidents; and, to complete the resemblance, they are uniformly servile copyists and impudent plagiarists. The circumstances said to have occurred at the martyrdom of St. Lucia, may be found, with little variation, in at least a hundred other narratives of the same stamp, as like as one egg to another, and all evidently formed upon the same model. There is regularly a young and beautiful female who has made a vow of virginity, a heathen suitor, a tyrannical and cruel Governor or Emperor, together with a profusion of flames, racks, scourges, and incredible tortures ; and out of those materials, transposed ad libitum, and diversified by the alteration of the names of the parties, or by changing the time and place, the martyrdom of a virgin saint is pretty uniformly constructed. In most cases, both the characters and incidents are altogether imaginary, and even when the personages are real, the circumstances related of them are, with few exceptions, totally false. It is indeed possible enough, though we have no direct proof of it, that a Sicilian virgin named Lucia might suffer martyrdom in Diocletian's persecution, and far be it from us to speak slightingly of any true disciples of Christ who braved torture and death in the noblest of all causes, -who endured the fiery trial of their faith and patience without shrinking, and who well and truly earned that imperishable crown of glory which will be awarded to them hereafter.



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