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Ah! it is not the people upon whom we should charge their own unbelief, but their spiritual guides, destroying the faith by their vices and their crimes. Infidelity has always increased with the number and influence of the Romish clergy: Italy is worse than Spain, because it has the Pope and his court at its head; Spain is worse than France, because it has cherished the inquisition; and France is worse than the United States, because it still has a numerous body of Romish clergy. Do you think that if the Popes had been as virtuous as some of them have been criminal, Europe would be at this day so deeply plunged in demoralization and impiety? No; and I take yourself, reader, as a witness. If, as spiritual guide, were presented to you a Being, truly pure, truly holy, whose every word was a truth, every action a kindness, every promise a certainty ; would you not feel yourself attracted toward such a bishop of your soul ? Would you not be rejoiced to hear him, ready to obey him, and desirous to imitate him? What, then, if this Bishop, or Pope, were willing to give you, and not to sell you, the greatest favours of heaven, and to guarantee to you, from this very day, your everlasting salvation? Ah! doubtless, you would love him as yourself ; you would make him, in some sense, your god upon earth! Well, then, listen : such a Pope exists, he is Jesus Christ! What Pope of Rome would dare to deny this? Yes, reader, Jesus Christ is your true Bishop, your true Master. He, and he alone, has always spoken the truth, always lived holily, always kept his promises, and given, instead of selling, not dead relics to restore health, but his living body to expiate your sins! What Pope has descended from his throne to die as an outcast for the saving of his people? It is Jesus Christ, who descended from heaven to expire on earth in the stead of those who confide in him. What Pope has published bulls really inspired by the Holy Ghost, and of which every word is certain ? Jesus Christ, who has left us the writings of his Apostles in the New Testament; a book infallible, Divine, and sufficient to guide and save us. What Pope is there whose life, from first to last, can serve us for a model ? Jesus Christ, who went about doing good, preaching the Gospel to the poor, visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, and pardoning his enemies. Ah! let us at length be wise ; let us leave yonder that vast succession of Popes, defiled, cruel, ignorant; and let us content ourselves with one who is pure, gentle, and all-powerful! Is not one holy God more worthy of estimation than a thousand men who are sinners? Cannot Jesus Christ supply the place of all the Popes for us? Jesus, who speaks to us in the Bible, answers us from the highest heavens, and is ready to give to us eternal life to-day, this very instant, if to-day, if this very instant, we are willing to confide in him ? Yes; and, therefore, without doubt, I take for Master, for judge, for teacher, not the Pope-mere man who sits at Rome,--but Jesus Christ, the true God who reigns in the heavens.
opinion. In fact, we have seen that if policy has induced the temporal monarch to make great promises to his people on his ascending the throne, the very nature of Popery has compelled him, since then, to confine himself to slight ameliorations in the civil government, without touching the monstrous privileges of the Romish priest, who is a complete screen placed between Jesus Christ, the Sun of Truth, and the eyes of the people who must remain in darkness as in times past. Pius IX, like his predecessor, has condemned, in his encyclical letter, the liberty of the press, the works of philosophers, and even the innocent Bible Societies.
FACTS FOR THE TIMES ; OR, THINGS TO THINK ON FOR ALL
BY S. PHILLIPS DAY, FORMERLY A RELIGIOUS OF THE ORDER OF THE PRESENTATION. THERE are FACTS which many of the present generation would feign disregard, notwithstanding the momentous import of their bearing. We allude to those principles and practices which but too powerfully illustrate the rampant genius of Rome. Why it is that the Protestant mind has become so imbecile, and the Protestant heart so tainted with a spurious liberality, as to regard the mystic Beast OF BABYLON as an innocuous creature-suited, it may be, to the refinement of the drawing-room, the innocent recreation of the nursery, or even the solem. nities of the sanctuary—is a problem, the solution of which we entrust to the ingenuous reader. Enough for us to bewail the utter declensions from those upright principles, and that undeviating policy, which heretofore influenced the statesmen and intelligent of the British Empire, in the breasts of England's children at the present day. Still, we venture to hope that that magnanimous spirit which directed and governed the minds of our forefathers, will, like the bird of fable, burst into life from its consuming embers, and spring forth in all the fulness and freshness of beauty, resuming its wonted influence in the senate chamber, and rendering still more happy and more free the homes and altars of the British people.
In undertaking the review of some of Rome's barbarities, we are uninfluenced by low bigotry or personal spleen. We love Roman Catholics as much as we hate their principles ; though to some, such an assertion would appear paradoxical. Indeed, we are stimulated in our efforts by love for the truth, and a desire, however ineffectual, to disabuse the minds of those who are prepossessed in favour of Romanism, and who are, consequently, either utterly ignorant of Rome's iniquitous practices, or unwilling to believe that she really is what the concurrent and incontrovertible testimony of history, experience, and revelation confirm her to be.
The unchangeableness of the Church of Rome is the vaunt of her deluded votaries—“ semper eadem”-and so far as that immutability of character is connected with a decided hatred of, and opposition to Protestantism and its professors, the fact is sufficiently notorious.
We shall now direct the reader's attention to the intolerant and antichristian spirit of the Church of Rome, as strikingly exemplified by her public and avowed sanction and approval of massacres and persecutions the most savage and relentless ; having, moreover, in order to gratify her insatiable appetite, and to afford a more fitting opportunity for slaughter and carnage, entered into and formed treaties, which
she, void of all principle, 'faith, or religion, most égregiously broke, and rendered de jure void, as soon as the unfortunate but credulous victims of her deception were within the merciless grasp of her jurisdiction.
The chief weapon of Rome's warfare, which is a most decided characteristic of the apostasy-is the temporal sword. Truth could not be disseminated by this means. Falsehood could not be propagated by any other. Truth would need it not, but would spurn from its presence an auxiliary so inconsonant with its purity, having but to appeal to the judgment and understanding to cause itself to be received. Falsehood, as it could neither appeal to the one or the other, must necessarily summon tyranny to its assistance, and use the iron rod of authority to establish itself.
That such has been the mode of procedure with the Romish Church, melancholy, heart-distressing facts render most undeniable. A few of those facts I shall narrate—and but a few-for instances without number are recorded of barbarities-cruel and savage in the extreme
--such as could only be devised by an infernal agency, perpetrated by this unholy and apostate Church. * But would (though it were vain to wish) that all her barbarous and bloody deeds could be computed—would, I repeat, that the powers of calculation could enumerate them ! But no! They are countless as the sands on the sea shore-countless as the drops which compose the ocean-countless as the atoms which float in the immeasurable space around us; and although no human register is stained with all the crimson deeds she has perpetrated, yet they are not lost—they are not forgotten. No: they are entered in the great “Book of Remembrance” by the hand of the recording angel, and shall be revealed nakedly and openly when God comes to judge the earth. Then shall the mighty cry resound, “ Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her.” (Rev. xviii. 20.)
In bringing forward examples of Rome's blood-thirstiness and perfidy, I shall, in the first instance, briefly allude to the protracted and cruel persecution of the poor, faithful, and religious people denominated Waldenses and Albigenses, who inhabited the mountains of France and Piedmont. These unoffending individuals, of whom even Roman Catholic writers of authority give the most adulatory account, were from the year 1209 (at which period Pope Innocent III.t established crusades against them, and put 60,000 to the sword), to 1218, and at subsequent periods, persecuted with the direst severity; all the thunders of Rome's artillery being hurled on them. Under that
* As a specimen : at the inauguration of Henry II. of France, Protestants were fastened to stakes in the principal streets, and set on fire, to serve as torches to the procession; and the Parliament of Paris made a decree declaring it lawful to kill heretics wherever found, which was read in all the churches. Philip of Spain personally superintended the ecclesiastical fires in his dominions, and ordered his heretic subjects to be consumed in his presence.
† A.D. 1208. This Papal Antichrist ordered one hundred nobles and several others of Alsatia, to be burned to death for holding that it was lawful to eat meat on certain days, and that priestly celibacy was unscriptural. This very doctrine of celibacy was forbidden the clergy by Pope Siricius in the fourth century. What a specimen of Rome's infallibility!
human monster, Simon de Mountford, * whom the Pope designated “ The active and dexterous soldier of Jesus Christ, and the invincible defender of the Catholic faith,” hundreds of thousands most miserably and inhumanly perished. So dreadful, indeed, are the circumstances connected with the slaughter of those “witnesses for the truth,” that the very narration of them would harrow up the soul, and melt the most obdurate and adamantine breast. Human nature, one should suppose, in its highest possible state of depravity and guilt, could not devise or perpetrate deeds so diabolical and dark as those committed by the hired emissaries of the Pope. † My mind recoils from the contemplation of them,
So deep a malice ? The crusaders, or “pilgrims," as such savages were denominated employed for the total extirpation and annihilation of those devoted professors of Gospel truth-put to death in various ways 2,000,000 of persons, according to their own vaunted testimony,t of every age and condition ; nor did the venerable and hoary-headed parent, or the smiling infant on its mother's breast, escape their fell barbarity. The city of Beziers alone, in one day, was deluged with the blood of 67,000 beings, comprising 7,000 Roman Catholics. And when the Popish party entreated the Pope's legate to spare the town, this monster swore in a rage, that, if the city did not surrender, all should meet with one common fate! Accordingly, Rome's ruthless warriors wielded the weapons she had intrusted them with in a manner suitable to her wishes-devastation, ruin, and blood tracked the course they pursued. Even amidst the direful scene of action—and the clang of arms—and the agonising shrieks and groans of the wounded and dying—was to be observed the Pope's representative encouraging on the blood-hounds (who needed not any reiterated command) in the hellish work in which they were engaged. And in order to shed a degree of solemnity on the scene, he exalted a crucifix in his hand and cried out—" Kilt all. and God will know his own!!!”
I here subjoin an extract from the decree of Pope Gregory IX., against those unoffending, Christian people. It was addressed to the inquisitor-general and the local inquisitors :
« Since, according to the office enjoined on us, we are bound to root out all offences from the kingdom of God, and, as much as in us lies, to oppose such beasts (meaning the Waldenses), we deliver into your hands the sword of the word of God, which, according to the words of the prophet Jeremiah, ye ought not to keep back from blood ; but, inspired with a zeal for the Catholic faith, like Phinehas, make diligent inquisition concerning these pestilent wretches, their believers,
• He finished his career by his head being opened with a stone let fall upon him by a woman.
+ The Duke of Alva, another minion of the Papacy, destroyed, in the low countries during the reign of Philip II., 36,000 persons by the hands of the common executioner, in the short space of nine years. The learned commentator, Grotius, computes the number of his murders at 100,000!!!
I Calv. Minor, 129.
receivers, and abettors, and proceed against those who shall be found guilty, according to the canonical sanction, and our statutes, which we have lately published, to confound heretical pravity, calling in against them, if need be, the assistance of the secular arm !”*
The following letter of the Archbishop of Aix, Arles, and Narbonne, to the Inquisitors, might be deemed interesting, as illustrative of the sufferings of those persecuted people :-“ It has come to our knowledge that you have seized so great a number of the Waldenses, that so far from being able to supply them with the necessaries of life, you cannot even procure the stones and mortar requisite to build prisons for them! We counsel you, therefore, to abate a little these arrests, until the Pope be informed of the number of captures you have made, and let him command what he chooses to be done.”+
Further, Bzovius, in his “ Annals of the Thirteenth Century,” alluding to the Albigensian war, thus writes :
“ Lavavre being taken, Aymeric, the Lord of Mountroyal, who held the camp with a garrison, was hanged. Eighty others who fell from the gibbet, were slain by the crusaders, who were impatient of the delay, by the orders of Simon, and innumerable heretics were burnt. ....... In the same year the crusaders obtained possession of another great city by the divine aid, situated near Toulouse, called from the event, the beautiful valley ;' in which, when after an examination of the people, all promised to return to the faith, 450 of them, hardened by the devil, persisted in their obstinacy, of whom 400 were burned, and the rest were hanged. The same was done in the other towns and castles, these wretches willingly exposing themselves to death.”
Such is the testimony of a Roman Catholic writer of great distinction, and the acknowledged author of the continuation of the “Ecclesiastical Annals” of Cardinal Baronius. Well, indeed, might Milton, on surveying the butchery of the saints of the Most High, by Papal emissaries, exclaim,
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
(To be continued.) The same unchanged and unchangeable spirit of Popery is manifested in the Bull of Pope Leo X. to the German princes, in which he exhorted them “ to use the sword of fire to exterminate Luther and those who followed his doctrine !!”
Epochs of the Church of Lyons, pp. 31, 32.