Imatges de pÓgina
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"purgatory, the unmarried life of priests, publique "invocation of saints, and their worship, and the worshiping of images, exorcisms, pardons, vows, monachism, transubstantiation, prayer for the "dead, offering the healthful host of Christ's body "and blood for the dead; the Roman Bishops "claim for the exercise of jurisdiction, and primacy over both churches; and lastly, (reliquumque Pontificia superstitionis chaos), even the "whole chaos of a popish superstition." Upon each of these heads, Mr. Brerely refers to the chapter and verse of the authors, whom he cites. His work being scarce, permit me to offer You the loan of it. I am confident, that if You seriously compare Dr. Stillingfleet with Mr. Brerely, You will find that the prelate, when put into the scales with Brerely, kicks the beam as rapidly as when he ventured into scales with Locke.

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II. 2.
Miracles.

The remainder of your letter, contains several passages which I think reprehensible; but I shall confine myself to what You say in page 49, upon the subject of miracles.

You express yourself very inaccurately, when in contrasting your church with ours, You say, "The Protestant may reject the opinions " which reason or Scripture convince him are ab"surd. The Romanist is permitted to reject "nothing which his church has once sanctioned."

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All opinions which the church sanctions, BY

PROPOUNDING THEM TO HAVE BEEN REVEALED,

we are bound to believe: All other opinions she leaves to our reason.

1

You say, "we are compelled to assert the mira"culous powers of our church." This is true. "We are therefore," You tell us, "compelled to "allow that our most absurd legends may be true.” Here You are completely mistaken. We know and proclaim that all absurd legends, are, and must be, untrue. "You dare not," say You, "resign the "miracles of the darkest age to their fate." We dare, and we do resign them all to their fate. Did not Cardinal Bellarmine *, in the fifteenth century, profess general incredulity of the miracles related by Metaphrastes? Did not Lewis Vives †, in the sixteenth century, cry aloud, "What a shame it is "to the Christian world, that the acts of our

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martyrs have not been published with greater "truth and sincerity ?" Does not Dr. Milner ‡ admit that " a vast number of incredible and false "miracles, as well as other fables, have been forged by some and believed by other Catholic "writers, in every age of the church, not except even that of the Apostles?" Does he not reject, in the wholesale," the miracles related in the "Golden Legend of Jacobus Voragine; those re"lated in the Speculum of Vincentius Bellua

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*Cited by Bellarmine in the Preface to Acta Sanctorum. + Liber II. de Causis Corruptarum Artium. End of Controversy, Letter XXIV.

❝censis?" Does any Roman Catholic credit those which rest solely upon the credit of Surius or Mombritius? Does not Doctor Lingard* reprobate the credulity of Osbert, the biographer of St. Dunstan? Does he not admit that "many of "the Anglo-Saxon miracles shrink from the severity of criticism."

I desire you to read with attention, what I am now going to write.

I have mentioned, in my third letter to Doctor Southey, that no miracles, except those which are related in the Old or New Testament, are articles of faith; that a person may disbelieve every other miracle; and that he may even disbelieve the existence of the person by whom they are said to be wrought, without ceasing to be a Catholic. Supposing a Protestant to present himself to a Roman Catholic priest,-to request that priest to receive him into the Roman Catholic church,— and the priest to find him well instructed and well disposed: Supposing the Protestant then to tell the priest, that candour required him to say, before they proceeded further, that, while he sincerely believed that Christ had delivered to his church the power of working miracles, there was not even one miracle,-(speaking of it in particular), except those recorded in Scripture, which he believed:-Would this prevent the priest from

* Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, chap. IX. XII.

n. 6.

receiving him into the Roman Catholic church? By no means. The priest would say, "ALL

THE MIRACLES RELATED IN THE SCRIPTURE

YOU MUST BELIEVE. I CANNOT RECEIVE YOU INTO THE CHURCH UNLESS YOU BILIEVE THEM. ALL OTHER MIRACIES YOU 66 MAY LEAVE TO THEIR FATE: THE CHURCH DOES NOT REQUIKE OUR BELIEF OF ANT " ONE MIRACLE AMONG THEM."

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LETTERS IV. & V.

ALLEGED PURER FAITH OF THE

WELSH CHRISTIANS.

THESE Letters contain several observations which I think reprehensible. I shall notice one only of them.

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"Dr. Lingard," you say, (p. 54), “has asserted "that the Welch must have had the same faith as Augustine: for he invited them to assist in converting the Saxons :—this," you remark, "is "true; but they were not to be permitted to join "in the work, unless they first submitted to certain "decisions of the church of Rome.”

Now, what were the conditions which these decisions required? Dr. Lingard* informs us, that St. Augustine only required that they should observe the original computation of Easter; and should conform to the Roman rite, in the administration of baptism. Both were matters of discipline, and faith was concerned in neither. Thus, the demands of St. Augustine do not show that the church of Rome and the church of Wales differed in a single article of faith.

* Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon church, page 48.

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