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THE PERSECUTING AND SANGUINARY SPIRIT OF THE
CHURCH OF ROME. In the year 1816 an edition of the Rhemish Testament (to which was appended notes of the most unchristian character) was published under the express approbation, as stated in the title-page, of “ The Most Rev. Doctor Troy, R.C.A.D.:” which, on being detected and exposed by the “ British Critic,” was, in consequence, disowned and clenounced even by the same Dr. Troy, as well as by Mr. D. O'Connell, who declared that “he owed it to his religion as a Catholic and a Christian, to his country as an Irishman, to his feelings as a human being, to utterly denounce the damnable doctrines contained in the notes of the Rhemish Testament.” But at the very time these denunciations were taking place there was another edition in the press containing the self-same notes, under the patronage of three Romish archbishops, (one of whom was Dr. Troy,) nine bishops, and many of the priesthood of Ireland. And which edition was printed, as the prospectus declares, for “ subscribers only,” and that “ Proper people will be appointed in each town throughout Ireland to leave the numbers and parts as soon as published at the respective house of each subscriber."
This edition of 1818 was discovered and brought forward by Mr. M‘Ghee in 1836, when Mr. D. O'Connell was invited by the Committee of the Protestant Association to meet the case before a public Meeting. From doing so he shrunk back.
Of these awful notes the following may serve as a specimen :
1. “Our Protestants shall find all definitions and marks of an heretic to fall upon themselves.” (Note on Tit. iii. 10.)
II. « The Church of God calling the Protestants' doctrine, heresy in the worst part that can be, and of the worst sort that ever was, doth right and most justly.” (Note on Acts xxviii. 22.)
III. “In worldly conversation and secular acts of our life, we must avoid them [heretics] as much as we may; but in matters of religion, in praying, reading their books, hearing their sermons, presence at their service, partaking of their sacraments, and all other communicating with them in spiritual things, it is a great damnable sin to deal with them.” (2 Epist. John, ver. 10.)
IV. “Therefore neither heretics' sermons must be heard; no, not though they preach the truth; so is it of their prayer and service, which being never so good in itself is not acceptable to God out of their mouths; yea, it is no better than the howling of wolves.” (Mark iii. 12.)
V. “ The new-pretended Church-service of England,” its members being “in schism and heresy, is not only unprofitable, but also damnable." (Acts x. 9.)
VÍ. “If the Temple" [of the Jews] “ was then, a den of thieves because of profane and secular merchandise; how much more now, when the house appointed for the holy sacrifice and sacrament of the body of Christ is made a den for the ministers of Calvin's breed.” (Mark xi. 17.)
VII. “ The speeches, preachings, and writings of heretics be pestiferous, contagious, and creeping like a cancer, therefore Christian men must never hear their sermons, nor read their books, for such men have a popular way of talk, whereby the unlearned, and especially women laden with sin, are easily beguiled. Nothing is so easy (saith St. Jerome) as with voluble and rolling tongue to deceive the rude people, which admire whatever they understand not.” (2 Tim. ii. 17.)
VIII.“ A Christian man is bound to burn or deface all wicked books, of what sort soever, specially heretical books.” (Acts xix. 19.)
IX. “ We see plainly that they" (our English translators] “have no conscience, indifferency, nor other purpose, but to make the poor readers believe that their opinions be God's own word, and to draw the Scriptures to sound after the fantasy of their heresies. But if the good reader knew, for what point of doctrine they have thus framed their translation, they would abhor them to the depth of hell.” (Heb. v. 3.)
X. “Heretics allege Scripture, as here the devil doth, in the false sense.” (Matt. iv. 6.)
XI. “ To say that Judas, or an heretic, evidently known to die obstinately in heresy, is damned, is NOT FORBIDDEN.” (Matt. vii. 1.)
XII. “ Heretics, because they will not hear the Church, be no better nor no otherwise to be esteemed of Catholics, than heathen men and publicans were esteemed among the Jews.” (Matt. xviii. 17.)
XIII. “ Heretics may be excommunicated, and so made as an heathen or publican was to the Jews, by the discipline of the Church, casting him out of the fellowship of Catholics : which excommunication is a greater punishment than if he were executed by sword, fire, and wild beasts.” (Matt. xviii. 17.)
XIV. “St. Augustin also referreth this compelling to the penal laws which Catholic princes DO JUSTLY use against heretics and schismatics, proving that they who are by their former profession in baptism subject to the Catholic Church, and are departed from the same after sects, may and ought TO BE COMPELLED into the unity and society of the universal Church again. ... In this sense, by the third part of the parable, such are invited as the Church of God hath power over, because they promised in baptism, and therefore are to be revoked not only by gentle means but by just punishment also.” (Luke xiv. 23.)
XV. “Not ustice nor all rigorous punishment of sinners is here forbidden, nor the Church or Christian princes blamed FOR PUTTING HERETICS TO DEATH: but that none of these should be done for desire of our particular revenge, or without discretion, and regard to their amendment, and example to others.” (Luke ix. 55.)
XVI. “ The Protestants foolishly expound it of Rome, for that there they put heretics to death, and allow of their punishment in other countries ; but their blood is not called the blood of saints, no more than the blood of thieves, man-killers, and other malefactors, for the shedding of which, by order of justice, no commonwealth shall answer.” (Rev. xvii. 6.)
XVII. “You may see hereby, that the spiritual power of bishops is not only preaching the Gospel, and so by persuasion and exhortation only (as some heretics hold) to remit or retain sins, but that it hath authority to punish, judge, and condemn heretics and other like rebels." (2 Cor. x. 6.)
XVIII. “WHERE ILL MEN (BE THEY HERÉTICS OR OTHER MALEFACTORS) MAY BE PUNISHED OR SUPPRESSED WITHOUT DISTURBANCE AND HAZARD OF THE GOOD; THEY MAY AND OUGHT, BY PUBLIC AUTHORITY, EITHER SPIRITUAL OR TEMPORAL, TO BE CHASTISED OR EXECUTED.” (Matt. xiii, 29, 30.)
XIX. St. Jerome useth this place to prove that the zeal of Catholic men ought to be so great toward all heretics, and their doctrines, that they should give them THE ANATHEMA,” (the curse or execration,] “though they were never so dear unto them." (Galatians i. 8.)
XX. “He warneth bishops to be zealous and stout against false prophets and heretics of what sort soever, by alluding covertly to the example of holy Elias, that in zeal killed 450 false prophets of Jezebel, and spared not Ahab nor Jezebel themselves.” (Rev. ii. 20.)
Such! are the pernicious, intolerant, persecuting principles of Popery in the 19th century. These are no fictions of the dark ages,no tales of the “bloody Mary,"—-no records of the fagot and the stake ; they are the dogmas of the Romish Hierarchy, promulgated in the present time; notes taken from a version of the Holy Scriptures,
originally prepared in the sixteenth century, but revised for the Irish Papists of the present day, and published in Ireland under the sanction of the highest authorities of the Romish body. *
Can we wonder at the wretched state of Ireland ? Do we not well to tremble for England ? Englishmen! pause, think, and ask yourselves, is it not time to unite as one man to resist the circulation of such principles in our free Protestant land ?
MONTMORENCY.—A ROMAN CATHOLIC TALE.
(Continued from p. 106.)
CHAPTER IV. WE have said that Clara seemed to enter with ardour into gaiety and amusement, but the truth was that she strove to drown in bustle and excitement those feelings that rushed with painful force on her mind, when left to calm reflection, for Clara had tasted no real peace since she resigned her Testament, she had indeed partially contrived to silence the voice of conscience and stifle the uneasy convictions that at first arose as she remembered the past, and contrasted it with the present; she had made many an effort to drown this faithful monitor, but though it spoke more faintly, its whispers sometimes caused her anguish. It has been said by a pious writer, no case except that of confirmed impenitence is so pitiable as the case of a backslider ; conscience is too much awake to allow them to enjoy the pleasures of the world, and religion too much neglected to yield them any comfort. And Clara found this true; she had been partially enlightened, she could not fully believe in the errors of Romanism, yet to please her brother she had resigned her Testament, and against conviction, returned to her former darkness; thus religion gave her no peace, and she made an effort (ah, an effort that had not forbearing love prevented, must have ended in her ruin) to find false peace in forgetfulness of eternity, amidst the passing vanities of a fleeting world ; yet as we before observed, the good seed was not lost-it was hidden, but still existed, and He who had thoughts of mercy towards her, overruled the designs of her spiritual foes, so that the very place to which she was sent, for the purpose of further quenching good impressions, proved to be the very place where these impressions should revive and deepen.
A few days after the arrival of Clara and her brother, the little party were assembled in the same room, intending to pass the evening at home, when Mrs. Cleves, seeing Frances about to leave the room, asked if she were going out, as the sun had already set. “I have not yet visited all my pensioners,” replied she, “I was too much fatigued in the morning, and dreading the sultry heat of the day, purposely waited for the cool of the evening." “Do let me dissuade you, the vapours are rising after the intense
* See Nos. iv. v. and vi. of the Pamphlet Series. VOL. IX.-May, 1847. . L New Series, No. 17.
heat; consider what anxiety I have lately suffered on your account, and do not again thus needlessly expose yourself.”
“ Have you been ill, Miss Cleves ?” inquired Hubert, “I ought to reproach myself for having inquired so little after the welfare of my friends, but my own illness and near approach to death have made me selfish.” Frances coldly replied she had caught a slight fever in attending on a poor woman, but did not feel justified in neglecting further duties on that account, observing that her cousin, who had exposed his life from private feeling, could not blame her for doing the same from a higher motive.
“Assuredly not,” returned he, “but some respect is due to a mother's feelings."
“Did you consult a father's, when your friend was ill ?” said Frances reproachfully.
Hubert replied not; he could not yet think or speak of Ernest with composure. Clarice hastily observed, “You must forgive my sister if she has roughly touched a tender chord, it is a part of her religion, though not of mine, to do violence to every natural feeling, both of her own and of others, if they stand in the way of duty.” “ She is right,” said Hubert, sadly, “whatever stands in the way of duty must be sacrificed.”
“ Thank you, my cousin,” said Frances, more cheerfully than she had yet spoken, “dear mamma, would you wish me to pass a sleepless night ? which I shall do if I remain at home.”
“No, my love, but why need you do that?”
“It is useless to argue on that point, we view things so differently, so farewell, and believe I do not wish to pain where conscience does not command.”
The moon had risen long, and the little party had strained their eyes in vain, watching for the return of the young enthusiast ; at last all had forgotten her in the interest of the conversation which was passing ; lights had been placed in the room, when Frances entered, unseen by all but Hubert, and seated herself in a vacant chair which chanced to be opposite him ; an air of sadness pervaded the circle, the momentary silence of which was broken by Mrs. Cleves, exclaim. ing with much feeling, “Poor Mrs. Willoughby, we received many kind attentions from her, though she was a Protestant, and Laura, too, how would she bear the sad news that her only brother was dead ?"
“ Dead !” exclaimed Frances, while every trace of colour fled from her cheek, and the cold self-possession on which she prided herself, entirely vanished ; " Tell me," added she, turning to Hubert, “did he die a heretic ?” Silence reigned throughout the room, till Frances, almost in a tone of agony, repeated the words “ Did he die a heretic ? Answer but that question, and if it be sinful to feel pity for lost souls, severer duties shall atone."
“ He died,” replied Clara, anxious to spare her brother's feelings, “trusting for mercy through the same Saviour in whom we trust."
“You evade my question_did he die a member of our Church ?” “No, Frances,” replied Hubert, “neither my arguments nor
persuasion altered those views which made him happy in life, and supported him in death.”
“ Enough, I wish to hear no more; there is a false peace, which, like an opiate, lulls the soul till it awakes in the torturing flame of perdition ; there is now no hope, the portals of eternity are closed, he is lost for ever.”
“Nay, Frances,” continued Clara, “if closed, why attempt to lift those portals ? leave the decision with his Maker, and be not yourself the judge.”
“I am not attempting to judge; the Church has already decided there is no salvation out of her pale; such false liberality as yours cannot benefit those who are gone, and is cruel to those who live."
“Cruel to those who live ! would you snatch from my brother the only ray of hope that remains ? O Frances, had you loved a friend as Hubert loved Ernest Willoughby, you could not talk thus.”
“Nay,” replied Frances, “had I a friend, dearer than the very breath I draw, bound so closely round my soul that every fibre bled as I rent the tie asunder, never would I assert, at the expense of truth and faithfulness, there was hope for a heretic.”
“I blame you not, my cousin,” said Hubert, “ philosophers say your sex is weaker than ours, but I yield to you that strength of mind, which here I greatly need. I have not learnt calmly to say, the soul of my friend is lost for ever.”
"I asked you not to say it calmly, but is it not the highest victory over human nature to acquiesce in the justice of the punishment of those (however dear they may have been to us), who live and die despising the authority of the Church ?”
“In theory it may be easy, but in practice when every gentle tie is rent asunder, how difficult; oh, may none of you suffer what I have done from loving too well one from whom I must believe I am parted for ever!”
Mrs. Cleves, now anxious to interrupt a conversation which was become painful, and observing Frances' excitement, insisted on retiring with her to take some refreshment, after the fatigue and coolness of the evening hour.
For some time after they left, Hubert paced the room rapidly, apparently indifferent to the anxious looks of his sister and Clarice. At last turning to the latter, he observed, with a melancholy smile, “Your sister is better suited for a hero and martyr than I am ; my heart will ache, my temples throb, and my tongue falter as I utter the words— There is no hope for a heretic.'”
“ There is hope, dear Hubert,” said Clara involuntarily, “ a hope that shall never make ashamed for all who love the Lord Jesus. The Bible speaks more glorious words, it declares there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus ; oh, my brother, might not your friend be right, and we perhaps in error ?”
“Is it thus you would console me, Clara, by doubting the truth of our faith? No, let not our rebellious feelings mislead us, let us rather acquiesce in the will of God.” “I would acquiesce were it the will of God, but it is not his will