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If any foreign temporal prince should wage war with us, should lay claim to the throne of these dominions, or interfere with our domestic policy and arrangements, we could, relying on the God of battles, bid them bold defiance.
It is the spiritual tyrant, whom most we dread. Whom no walls can keep out-against whom no armaments can protect. Whose silent secret influence prostrates the will of its submissive victims before it-Sows division within the camp,—and gains victory almost before its approach is known. It eludes the grasp of power. Armies and navies in vain oppose it. It overleaps the loftiest battlements. It penetrates the most secret recesses, it presents itself at the Council table, and in the Cabinet of princes. Attacking everything, yet itself eluding the grasp of all, it seems to resemble the lot of the wandering Arab, whose hand is against every man, and every man's hand against him. One armour there is which can withstand it, it is the helmet of salvation and the shield of faith. One weapon there is which alone can hew it down, it is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
But people oftentimes scoff at all apprehensions from the returning power of Popery; with seeming satisfaction to themselves they point to the advanced age, and personal debility of the Roman pontiff, and ask if that infirm old man is he whose power we dread? Those, however, who thus argue, seem to be forgetful of the real source and nature of power. Power rests upon opinion. It is as great an error to measure the power of Popery by the power of the individual Pope, as it would be to measure the power of any nation by the personal strength of the individual sovereign who reigns over it. What makes the power of any European sovereign to be dreaded? The power of the nation, or people, of which the Sovereign is the ruler. But there is no Sovereign who has a more extended empire, a' more numerous people, a more powerful and better disciplined army than the Pope. Therefore his power is great, and great care should be taken not to crouch before it, but to guard against it. He views the world as his empire, Kings and Queens as his subjects, all people as his soldiers,—priests, deans, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, monks, friars, nuns, and holy sisters, with the Jesuits, are the officers of his army; the general of each order being at Rome, where the seventy cardinals meet in conclave,—and the confessional — the conducting wires, by which, as with the rapidity of an electric shock, information is simultaneously conveyed and reconveyed to and from every part of the world. What is power?
What is supremacy ?- Where does it nominally, where does it really reside? Upon what does it rest? and how far is it in its nature permanent, or changing with the varying opinions of the day?
These are questions easily asked, but not so easily solved. We
explain one term by another, and think we have made it intelligible. Power in its ordinary sense is well understood; the power of brute force, physical, mechanical power, the power of armies and navies. There is also the power of opinion, the power of religion, the power of conscience, dark or enlightened, rightly or wrongly directed. If statesmen and theologians will proceed to legislate irrespective of these, or give them an inferior place, when making their estimate of power, they will include nothing but visible brute force, they will leave out of their calculation many of the more powerful and efficient engines, whether of good
There is a power which is not always seen, but which is not therefore the less influential.
“ All power whether of kings or priests, of states or Churches, is founded upon opinion only. Neither knowledge, nor justice, nor law, nor experience, nor reason, nor the sword itself, can permanently sustain an empire. The opinions of the people, whether right or wrong, give efficacy to the thunders of the Vatican, or the decisions of common sense.
If the advocates of the Church of Rome now continue to defend the errors of the dark ages, and to convert their thousands and millions at their pleasure, the thrones of PRINCES will be again at the disposal of the Pontiffs, whenever a race of active ruling priests shall once more court the powerful or terrify the weak.” *
This it is, opinion, religious opinion, which has led contending armies to the battle-field, has bowed the necks of the proudest monarchs, and made nations and people submissive to the Church of Rome. Her power, call it by what name we will, cannot be confined to spiritual matters. It misguides, and overrules the conscience. Supremacy over the conscience, is supremacy over the man.
The power of the priesthood, as pointed out by the Earl of Roden, whose long residence in Ireland, and devoted attachment to the Protestant cause demand for his opinions the highest respect, “cannot be confined to spiritual, it will be extended to temporal things.” The effect must be obvious. The laws of the land will be superseded by the laws of the Court of Rome; the authority of the Government and of the Queen, by that of the Pope and his “ apostolical vicars ;” and by degrees the Roman Catholics will be led to feel that their allegiance is more due to a foreign power than to that whose natural subjects they are. The alchymy of Rome can at all times transmute temporal things into spiritual, and vice versa, and it will be impossible to place limits between the civil and ecclesiastical, between spiritual and temporal jurisdiction. In attempting to do so we shall find, when perhaps too late, that we have renewed, with a folly reckless of past experience, the contests which for centuries wasted the lives of our ancestors, and
* Townsend, page 88. Edition of the Protestant Association.
flung away with criminal prodigality the hard-earned yet cheaplypurchased victories which they achieved over the pretensions of the court of Rome.”*
The Church of Rome has a means of acquiring information, and a mode of enforcing obedience to her mandates, which no other system possesses. We refer to the Confessional; and to excommunication; an ecclesiastical sentence and punishment, which many regard as worse than civil or temporal death. Philosophers may deride it, but so long as people under the influence of a false religion have been taught to quail before it, some control ought to be exercised over the use of this formidable weapon. From the · Report of the Select Committee in regulation of Ro nan Catholic subjects in foreign states, we find that in Austria, no subject of the empire could be excommunicated, without the Emperor's consent. Why should not the same regulation exist in Ireland, and throughout the whole of the dominions of Great Britain ?
Though excommunication is an act of spiritual power, temporal consequences flow from it.
The priest or bishop who can excommunicate a voter, who will not support a candidate in favour of the Church of Rome, has a control over that man's vote, and thus influences the return of Members of Parliament.
The influence of the Priests at elections can scarcely be overrated. The organization of the Irish population is so simple and so complete, merely consisting in the blind and uninquiring obedience of the populace to their priests, that Dr. M Hale was, perhaps, not far wrong, when he affirmed that “he would return a cow-boy for the important county of Galway." +
There is a strong feeling amongst Roman Catholics themselves, as to the evils effected by priestly agitation; and whilst some Protestants, like Lord Grey, would endow the Romish priesthood in Ireland, and give seats to Roman Catholic Bishops in the House of Lords,—others are preparing to retrace the steps by which they have departed from truly Protestant policy, or at least, to hold fast what yet remains of the Constitution. We rejoice to witness such a change, but are not without apprehensions, that before an effective check be given to concessions to Popery, she may acquire a very formidable power; and that when the Protestants are roused against her as their ancestors were, they may find themselves so far fettered by past proceedings, as to have little power of resistance left to them.
If ever, therefore, there was a time, it is now, that England expects every man to do his duty.
† “Observations on Lord Alvanley's Pamphlet on the State of Ireland, &c., by the Earl of Roden." 1842. Pp. 27 and 28. * Church of England Quarterly Review, July, 1839, p. 53.
[From a CORRESPONDENT.]
(Continued from page 121.) THE ROMAN CATHOLIC THE PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN ; OR, CHRISTIAN.
“WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE ?” (9) OF THE EUCHARIST. (9) OF THE EUCHARIST. Sacrament 3d.
Sacrament 3d. Page 53.-Q. But what " At the celebration of the passover will you say to our Sa- four cups of wine are used; but as the viour's calling the sacra- ceremony is not continued in one unment “the fruit of the broken period till its close, after reaching vine?"
that part at which the third cup is taken, A. If it were certain the centre dish, containing the symbols, our Saviour had so called is removed from the table to set on a the consecrated wine of the plentiful supper ; after which the rites blessed sacrament, it would are resumed by a portion of unleavened prove no more than St. bread, reserved for that purpose, being Paul's calling the other kind blessed, broken, and a piece given to bread; but there is all the every person present after blessing and reason in the world to think giving the fourth cup of wine.” The that this appellation of the Scriptures mention no difference or va« fruit of the vine" was riation from the accustomed manner of given by our Saviour, not celebrating the Passover, “And they to the consecrated cup or made ready the Passover." (Luke xxii. cbalice, but to the wine 13.) See St. Matt. xxvi. 26—30, “And of the Paschal Supper as they were eating." Also St. Mark which they drank before xiv. 22–26, “And as they did eat;” and the institution of the sacra- compare these two evangelists with St. ment. This appears evi- Luke xxii. 20, “Likewise also the cup dent from St. Luke, who after supper." Hence it appears that as thus relates the whole mat- they were about concluding or had conter, chap. xxii. from 14th cluded supper, the rites were, according to 24th verse.
to custom, resumed, when our Lord, 17th, 18th, and 20th below. having blessed and distributed first the
17th._" And he took bread and then the cup, says, “I will the cup, and gave thanks, not henceforth drink of this fruit of the and said, Take this, and vine until that day when I drink it new divide it among yourselves.” with you in my Father's kingdom.” (St.
18th.-"For I say unto Matt. xxvi. 29.) I would fain know you, I will not drink of the whether this is also to be taken in a litefruit of the vine, until the ral sense? and if so, how is it to be exkingdom of God shall come.' plained, since it is “contrary to all laws
20th. -"Likewise also of speech” to begin in a literal and end the cup after supper.”
in a metaphorical sense ! (10) Page 54.-Q. But (10) Can any one, indeed, be willing may not the sign or figure, to avow such ignorance, and in these according to the common enlightened days ?* Is it customary to laws of speech, be called give "warning beforehand,” lest in em
OF THE EUCHARIST.
OF THE EUCHARIST. by the name of the thing ploying figures of speech they should not signified ?
be comprehended ? Turn to Job, the A. In certain cases when Psalms, Prophets, where personification, a thing is already known to similes, metaphors, allegories, all the be a sign or figure of some- various figures of speech abound, and no thing else, which it signifies warning given beforehand; for, in the or represents, it may, in- East, it is well known such modes of deed, according to the expression are common to people more
laws of speech imaginative, and certainly more acute, as and the use of the Scrip- it would appear, than the person who tures, be said to be such or could suppose, that, because there wase such a thing; as in the no previous warning given, and others interpretation of dreams, were not acquainted with his design' parables, ancient figures, and beforehand, the words of our blessed upon such-like occasions; Lord, in the institution of this “ sign or where, when a thing is said figure" (here apparently conceded to be to be this or that, the mean- such, while contending for the contrary!), ing is evident, viz., that it must necessarily be as unintelligible and signifies or represents this nonsensical to his disciples as “ to call an or that.
But 'tis not the oak tree Alexander the Great” would be same in the first institution deemed the words of an idiot or madof a sign or figure, because man! Surely the weakness of this arguwhen a thing is not known ment must be too visible to need more beforehand to be a sign or than a reminder, that the disciples being representation of some other well acquainted with our Saviour's ordithing, to call it abruptly by nary method of imparting instruction, a foreign name would be could not well misunderstand a truth so contrary to all laws of self-evident, he being then actually seated speech and both absurd and at the table with them, and farther added, unintelligible; for instance, « This do in remembrance of me." Our if a person by an act of Lord having spoken of himself as “the memory had appointed with- living bread,” and “ the bread that came in himself that an oak tree down from heaven," (see John vi.,) the should be a memorandum disciples could scarcely have needed an of Alexander the Great, explanation of the words used at the and, pointing to the tree, institution of the sacrament; for, as he should gravely tell his always unfolded his parables to them, he friends (who were not ac- would most assuredly have explained how quainted with his design), it was, that though actually sitting with “This is the hero that over- them breaking the bread and distributing came Darius ;" such a pro- also the cup, that in those elements, or position as this would justly one of them, as you teach, was contained be censured as nonsensical “his body and blood, soul and divinity!!” and unworthy of a wise If the bread was then transmuted and man, because such a figure became very Christ, what became of our of speech would be contrary Saviour? Oh! beware how ye charge to all laws of speech, and the Son of God with absurdity, because unintelligible. Just “ye will have it so !” Beware, “lest would it have been if our haply ye be found even to fight against Saviour, at his last supper, God I”. (Acts v. 39.)