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cannot be entertained. That the Popery of the present day is the Popery that instigated the Marian persecution, cannot be denied, when we have the avowal of Mr. Butler, an able and accomplished Romanist, that “It is most true that the Roman Catholics believe the doctrines of their Church to be unchangeable, and that it is a tenet of their creed, that what their faith ever has been, such it was from the beginning, such it is now, and such it ever will be.”
Another eminent Romanist, Dr. Doyle, late Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, in his evidence before a Committee of the House of Lords, March 21, 1825, is asked, “ Is the creed of Pius the Fourth the creed acknowledged in the Irish Roman Catholic Church?” to which he replied, “ Yes; every Catholic admits that creed."
The creed of Pope Pius the Fourth was promulgated about 1564, and was received throughout the Roman Catholic Church as an accurate summary of their faith, and continues to be acknowledged as such up to the present time. It is binding upon the whole body,—the clergy, the monastic orders, and the laity. This creed, with the catechism of the Council of Trent, published in 1566, may be termed a compendium of the faith of the Romish Church.
It would be well for the cause of truth, if Protestants generally were carefully and seriously to peruse these two authorized standards of the Church of Rome. To their culpable negligence in these matters is to be attributed, in no small degree, the inroads which Popery is making in this country in the present day,
The ninth article of the creed of Pius the Fourth is as follows :“I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church has condemned, rejected, and anathematized.”
Now it must be apparent, from what has been stated by Mr. Butler, Dr. Doyle, and the authorized documents of the Roman Church, that Popery is unchangeable. The idea that Popery is a system that belonged to the dark ages only is fallacious. True, many Roman Catholics profess themselves superior to what
they term the bigotry of a former period, yet, nevertheless, before Protestants can regard the Church of Rome in a different point of view, as a Church, it is necessary that the same authority that promulged the unscriptural tenets of Popery, should disavow them.
Having said thus much of the unchangeableness of the Church of Rome in doctrinal matters, we will briefly allude to the tactics employed by her advocates, in order to regain the ascendancy in political affairs. In Great Britain she is Liberal—in Ireland, Revolutionaryin America, Democratic.
In England there is too much Protestant feeling to render the full development of Popery safe or expedient. “Popery, in its proper colours,” to use the language of Archbishop Wake, “is so unlike Christianity, that it is in vain ever to promote it, if it appears in its own shape. It is necessary, therefore, that this religion be made to look as orthodox as possible. Some things are denied, others modified, all disguised; and a double benefit is thereby obtained,-Popery is to be received as a very innocent, harmless thing, and the Protestants, especially the ministers and first Reformers, are to be represented to the world as a sort of people that have supported themselves by calumny and lies, and made a noise about errors and corruptions, which are nowhere to be found but in their own brains or books, but which the Church of Rome detests as well as we.”
How applicable to the present times are the observations of the worthy Archbishop! The Tractarians, laity as well as clergy, whose Romeward tendencies are borne out by every day experience, are unremitting in their exertions to avail themselves of every opportunity to disparage the glorious Reformation, and to traduce the honoured instruments, in God's hands, for its accomplishment. What glowing pictures have we presented to the rising generation of the piety of our ancestors, in erecting and endowing those monastic institutions, which our Reformers considered as cages of all manner of unclean birds ! And then, again, we have the catholicity, the devotion, the unity of the Church of Rome contrasted with the supposed deficiency in these respects of the Church of England. But what can be said of that catholicity which is supported by means utterly at variance with the . spirit of the Divine founder of Christianity, who said, “My kingdom is not of this world”? What can be said of that devotion which emanates, not from “perfect:freedom," but from the grossest superstition? As to the unity of the Church of Rome, it is an absolute fiction. What an exposé does Bishop Hall give of the boasted unity of Popery, in its palmiest days! No system could be imagined, composed of more heterogeneous elements. The unity of the Church of Rome is the dreary union of the sepulchre, where lay commingled the decaying tenements of those who, when invigorated by the breath of life, were irreconcilable,
What a contrast is presented in the life-giving and elevating principles of Protestantism! True, we cannot but deplore the unhappy divisions which mar, to a certain extent, its fair portraiture ; but amidst all sectarian vagaries, there is a vital and indissoluble connexion, by which, as by electric swiftness, the whole body is animated, and each individual member presents to the eyes of an atheistic world, the incontrovertible credential of his pedigree, whereon is written, “ The Bible only is the religion of Protestants," proving that all, though differently arranged, are children of the same Father, and members of the same household, even “ the household of faith."
We have been induced to make the foregoing observations, from the fact of it being very generally rumoured that it is the intention of ministers to endow the Romish priesthood of Ireland. It has also been broadly hinted at by various leading publications, who, there is too much reason to apprehend, are but the pioneers of Her Majesty's Government. We trust the Protestant electors of this country will not be unmindful of their duty at the forthcoming elections.
ROME AND ENGLAND:
AN ADDRESS TO THE VICAR, CLERGY, AND LAITY OF THE PARISH OF
ISLINGTON, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF POINTING OUT THE NATURE AND PROGRESS OF POPERY, AND OPPOSING THE CONTEMPLATED ENDOWMENT OF THE ROMISH PRIESTHOOD IN IRELAND.
BY A RESIDENT LAYMAN. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ' hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. v. 1.
“For it is not a vain thing for you ; because it is your life.” Deut. xxxii. 47. The importance of the subject must be my excuse for addressing you. Surely the period is now come when some course of action should be adopted with reference to the spread of Popery, and the contemplated endowment of the Romish Church in Ireland.
The reasons for addressing you in particular are obvious. There is no metropolitan or suburban parish signalised as that of Islington is, by so large a number of churches, and so many ministers so devotedly given to advance the spiritual interests of the flocks over which Christ has made them overseers.
You stood nobly forward mildly to remonstrate against, and firmly to oppose, the novelties sought to be introduced under the sanction of episcopal authority. In the stand made on the surplice question, you not only protected yourselves, but many others also, who, influenced by your example, refrained from yielding to what was considered by some as innovation,-by others as the revival of obsolete practices, and by all as unnecessary.
Not only did you, by thus opposing, avert the evil of that time, and give encouragement to others, but you nipped the bud, which, if grown to maturity, might have overshadowed our land with vain and empty ceremonials. Had you then yielded, more important compliances would shortly have been required. If tacitly assented to and acquiesced in, the theory of development would soon have unfolded a series of measures which you could, perhaps, less ably, because less consistently, have resisted, from not having made a stand in the very outset. It is a matter of gratitude that the clergy and laity in this parish and elsewhere evinced the spirit of our reforming ancestors, willingly acquiescing in what was lawfully and rightly required, but firmly opposing all efforts to dress up our Reformed Church in the cast-off ceremonies and vestments of the Church of Rome.
When the Maynooth question was before the country, you came forward and took an active part in opposing the increased grant for training up priests in idolatry, to corrupt the minds of the people from the true, ancient, and scriptural faith established in this country before the errors of Popery were known ; and now, when we are threatened with worse evils, why should we not again appeal to you?
When did a more critical moment exist in the history of our country, or of our Church ? An experiment is about be made, whether Infidelity shall be the ruling principle of our land ; whether the Protestant Church shall see the Romish Church endowed by her side, if not decked with her spoils.
Lord John Russell has, on a recent occasion, stated, in the House of Commons, as follows :
“With respect to the Church in Ireland, and the endowment of the Roman Catholic Clergy, I voted with my honourable friend the member for Sheffield, in favour of providing for the establishment of Maynooth out of the funds of the Established Church? We were defeated by a great majority, the opinion of that House being adverse to that proposition. I afterwards continued to the end to give a zealous support to the Bill which provided for the establishment of Maynooth out of the Consolidated Fund. I made no difficulty in supporting that Bill because the motion of my honourable friend was not carried."
Hence it is abundantly clear, as pointed out in the “Protestant Magazine,"
," * that not only does the Noble Lord not see any objection to the endowment of Popery in Ireland, but would absolutely deem it preferable to impoverish the Protestant Church that he may deck Popery with the spoils ; would not only endow the idolatry of Rome, but would rob a portion of the Church of Christ of its revenues, that he may give them to the antichristian Church of Rome. As King Hezekiah of old, one of the most pious of Israel's kings, cut off the gold from the Temple of the Lord, that he might, even at so costly a sacrifice, purchase peace with the Assyrian monarch, so would the Noble Lord now rob the impoverished but truth-teaching Church in Ireland of its remaining revenues, in order to conciliate Rome, and render the modern Babylon friendly to this country. But it may
be supposed by some, that his Lordship's opinions have changed since then. Far otherwise ; he assures us they are what they were. In the next sentence of the same speech he proceeds as follows :
“ Well, I now say, that I retain my opinions with respect to the Protestant Church, and with respect to Roman Catholic endowment, but I do not think that it is necessary that I should urge these opinions at the present moment; for I should be doing that which I must confess at the present moment to be impracticable. I believe that with respect to what some have proposed, namely, the destruction of the Protestant Church in Ireland, there could be no worse or more fatal measure sanctioned by Parliament.”
Then, after observing that he had twenty-one years ago voted in favour of a motion made by Lord F. Egerton, now the Earl of Ellesmere, who moved that a provision be made for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic Church, his Lordship thus again proceeds :
“ But what do I find at this moment? I see, generally speaking, that the Church of England, that the Dissenters of England, that the Established Church of Scotland, that the Established Church in Ireland, that the PROTESTANT AssocIATION in Ireland, and lastly, that the Roman Catholics of Ireland themselves, are all vehement in opposition to such a plan. I received only this morning a placard from Edinburgh, in which the Roman Catholics of Edinburgh declared that they would resist to the utmost of their power any plan for the endowment of the Roman Catholic Clergy. I cannot see, then, that that is a measure which I am bound consistently with my duty to bring under the consideration of the House until I see some kind of more favourable disposition towards it on the part of the people.”
Never may that be the case !
You will not be silent and inactive when the Truth is in danger ; nor when efforts
are made to elevate error to equal dignity and importance with it. When I speak of the truth being in danger, I do not refer to its destruction. Truth is indestructible : man cannot change it-time cannot destroy it. No, I speak rather of our candlestick being removed, or the light being obscured in this country, and that, without severe costs and sacrifices, it may be wrested from us.
The laity naturally look up to the clergy in these matters. Dedicated to the work of the ministry, it seems to be your peculiar office from your lofty watch-towers to give signal of alarm, to point out approaching danger. Called upon by your solemn ordination vow to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to the Word of God, your silence amidst the assaults of Romanism might lead them to imagine, either that you believe Popery does not possess a dangerous power in this empire, or that its doctrines are neither erroneous nor strange, nor in any way contrary to the Word of God. Great privileges are ours; but high privileges entail great responsibilities. Why should our clergy fear to preach from their pulpits against that which he, whose ministers they are, has denounced in his Holy Word ? The Articles of our Church, her Homilies and Services, point out Popery as the great antagonist of the Gospel. If our public men would act and legislate in ignorance, forgetfulness, or disregard of this, be it yours to inform, to remind, to stimulate them,
The endowment of Popery is a religious question. Is it not, think you, of very high importance that your people should be alive to the evil, and prepared to resist it? It is a religious question : has not God's own Word denounced idolatry and its patronizers ? has he not denounced Rome and her supporters and members ?
I appeal, then, to the clergy and laity of this great parish, to take some decided step in the manifestation of a strong protest against the advancing encroachments of Rome. You, who are the appointed Pastors, will not be satisfied with the exhibition, however faithful, of simple and undoubted truth ; but being conscious yourselves of the reality of the national danger, you will inform your flocks whither the whole course of public events is tending. You can from your pulpits, and in your visitations from house to house, cry aloud against that hollow, unscriptural liberality which is yielding equal terms to the Churches of Rome and England, either upon the ever-shifting ground of expediency, or upon the view, too common among statesmen, that all religions are alike true or false; or, what is just the same, equally valueless, except for the purposes of amusing men's minds and preserving national order; discarding Divine Truth, they would treat Christianity rather as the invention of men, than a Revelation from God.
Take a retrospection of events and measures, which in our own times have not only loosened the chains by which Popery had been firmly bound by ancestors who too accurately knew its character, but have placed it in a position almost to overrule the government ; why should
you not point out and maintain, that that character is unaltered and unalterable ? and if, as you must prove in so doing, you prove the creed and principles of Rome to be subversive of national liberty,