Imatges de pÓgina
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LETTER I.

EXTENSIVE DIFFUSION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION.

Your vindication and adoption of Doctor Southey's expression, that the Roman Catholic Religion is "a prodigious "structure of imposture and wickedness."

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I. 1.

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N my first letter to Doctor Southey, after describing the extent of the Roman Catholic religion, and observing that Doctor Southey, in the last line of his tenth chapter, describes it, "as a 'prodigious structure of imposture and wickedness;" I ask that gentleman, whether "it be "decorous to apply this opprobrious language to

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a religion professed in such extensive territories, "several of which are in the highest state of intel"lectual advancement, and abound, as Dr. Southey "must acknowledge, with persons, from the very "highest to the very lowest condition of life, of "the greatest honour, endowments and worth?" I then inquire, if the religion of this large proportion of the Christian world really be, "this prodigious "structure of imposture and wickedness," the gates of hell have not, contrary to the solemn promise of the Son of God, prevailed against this church?

To the first of these questions, you give no answer, and therefore your sentiments upon it can only be inferred from your own pages.

To the second, You reply, (p. 24), that "the “ promise of God has not failed, because his pure “ church is reduced to the smaller number."

Permit me to suggest, that “smaller” is not, in this place, the proper word. You should have said “a number incalculably small.For, what is the proportion of the Lutherans—the most numerous of all Protestant denomination of Christians,-compared to that of all other Christians ? Is it not incalculably small? Has not the promise of God failed, if it has only been kept to this, or to any other incalculably small proportion of individuals ?

To make the proportion of Christians such, as will save the promise, must not the Roman Catholics be taken into account? Then, can the Roman Catholic church be that“ prodigious struc“ ture of imposture and wickedness,” described by Doctor Southey, and by You?

I. 2.

You intimate (p. 25), that if the adherents " to Rome are as numerous as I represent, your vigilance must be proportioned to your danger.

If, by the words, « adherents to Rome,” you mean to describe the English, Irish and Scottish

Roman Catholics, as adhering in politics, or as having a political attachment or subserviency to the Roman see, You affix to them an opprobrious description which they do not deserve, and which they reject with scorn; and You offer to the whole body, and to every individual of which it is composed, a personal insult.

But, let me ask,-have the Protestant Powers on the Continent shown more attachment to England than the Roman Catholic? In Marlborough's wars, who adhered longest to the banners of England, the Austrians or Dutch? In the contest with America, which preserved their allegiance to their sovereign, the Catholic or the Protestant colonies? In the French revolution, which soonest deserted England, Austria and Spain, or Denmark, Sweden and Holland? Who was Great Britain's last and most honourable ally, through the whole of that tremendous contest? The Pope. Which party in France now most curses the success of the British arms at Waterloo? and most wishes the complete humiliation of the British nation? The Anti-Catholic.

LETTER II. & III.

THE ANGLO SAXONS.

II. & III. 1.

Identity of the doctrine preached to them, and the

doctrine of the Council of Trent.

I have asserted, as you justly observe, (page 29), and I now confidently repeat the assertion, “ that “ the doctrines of the Church of Rome were the same in the days of St. Augustine, when the

Anglo-Saxons were converted, with those which

are now received as established by the Council of « Trent."

In opposition to this assertion, you produce from Bishop Stillingfleet, thirteen instances, in which they differ. I lament that I have not time to discuss them, as I think I could, with very little trouble, show, even to your satisfaction, that, in all the instances of a supposed disagreement between the two churches, which you produce from the works of that prelate, there is not even one, in which he does not misrepresent either the doctrine of the Anglo-Saxon church, or the doctrine of the Council of Trent, or both; or propound conclusions, which his premises do not warrant.

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To convince you that my assertion is founded, I beg leave to refer you to "The Protestant's Apology for the Roman Church, by John Brerely, priest," (Tractate 1. section 1. p. 57.) He shows, beyond the possibility of disproof, that the most powerful adversaries of the Church of Rome have unequivocally acknowledged the identity of the Anglo-Saxon and Trentine doctrines, and reproached the memory of the Apostles of the Anglo-Saxons with this identity.

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The adversary writers, who so describe it, "are not," says Mr. Brerely, "writers of vulgar note; "but, such as are for learning most accomplished: "as namely, Dr. Humfrey, Carion, Luke Osiander, "the Century-writers of Magdeburgh, and others. "These," he says, "describe the particulars of the "religion as then taught and professed by St. Gre"L gory and St. Augustine. They recite and affirm "the said confessed particulars to be altars, vestments, images, chalices, crosses, candlesticks, " censers, holy vessels, holy water, the sprinkling thereof, reliques, translations, and religious dedicating of churches to the bones and ashes of saints, consecrations of altars, chalices and cor"porals, consecration of the fonte of baptism, "chrism and oyle, consecration of churches with sprinkling of holy water, celebration of mass, "the Archbishop's pall at solemn mass time, (Romanarum cæremoniarum codices), Romish mass "bookes, (et onus cæremoniarum); a burden of cere"monies; also, free will, merit and indulgences,

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