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This cut represents the devil appearing to Thomas Whittle, see page 13 of this sheet.
the Catholic Church, in honouring the memory of the Saints and Martyrs, whose purity of life and heroic fortitude, furnished the most convincing proofs of the divine essence of the Christian Religion. We will then glance at the motives which produced the strange and incongruous Calendar of Fox, and conclude with a summary of the laws which were passed by the fautors and abettors of the Reformation so called, under which so many of the Catholic Priesthood, with Laymen and Women, suffered martyrdom.
We read in holy scripture that when the apostles of Christ were assembled together, after the resurrection and ascension of their Master, the Holy Ghost, according to the promise made to them by the divine Founder of the Church, descended upon them in form of tongues of fire, and they became as it were new men. Being thus filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, it was their special province to communicate the same to such as believed in the doctrives they were divinely commissioned to teach ; and hence it was a peculiar gift of God to the Catholic or Christian Church, that her children should be endowed with such heavenly fortitude as to offer their lives in defence of their faith
and confession of their Redeemer. The Church had not been established long before many were called to give a proof of their fortitude, and invincible was the courage which they shewed under the most cruel tortures. By a singular instinct of the Holy Ghost, the Church not only honoured these heroical acts with special veneration, but she took the greatest care to collect the names and deeds of the actors, and note the days and places of their sufferings. For this purpose, notaries were appointed to record the circumstances as they occurred, and others were selected, as deacons and subdeacons, by the bishop of each diocess, to watch the accuracy of the records, that no imposition might be practised upon the faithful. These ecclesiastical legends and sacred nartations were carefully preserved in the archives of every Church, and read to the people publicly on the anniversary days and festivals of these holy martyrs, who thus braved death and tortures to gain an immortal crown with Christ in the kingdom of heaven.
Catholics can produce testimonies extant from the very foundation of their Church of the innumerable martyrs immolated by the spirit of error and persecution, down through all ages, for the same faith which they now profess, and for professing which they are excluded in the nineteenth century, and age of enlightened wisdom as it is called, from the exercise of their civil rights, by means of certain tests passed in the 30th year of Charles the second, when the nation was in a state of delirium from the horrible perjuries of Titus Oates and his villanous companions, who had conjured up a supposed Popish Plot, and swore away the lives of innocent men on the most improbable stories ever devised. By these tests, it is declared that the invocation of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, as now used in the church of Rome is superstitious and icolatrous, though it is incontestibly (clear, from their writings, that the most eminent fathers of the Christian or Catholic church invariably followed and maintained the doctrine of invoking and honouring the memory of Saints and Martyrs. It would occupy too large a space to cite the words of all the great doctors upon the subject, we must therefore content ourselves with enumerating some of their names. Of the fathers of the first five centuries, which are called the primitive ages, are Origen, SS. Gregory Nazianzum, Cyprian, Gregory Nyssa, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerom, Augustin, Victor, Leo, and many more, whose practice and knowledge of true Christianity must be undoubted, and whose example is a sufficient warranty for Catholics to follow the same, while the Protestant ought to hesitate before he makes so impious a protest against the universal practice of Christendom, in the awful presence of his God.
The intention of the Catholic church, in thus invocating the Saints and Martyrs, and venerating their memories, may be divided into the five following reasons :-- 1st. To yield to them and to Christ by them, through whose power and grace they were made saints and martyrs, due honour and respect for their virtues and heroical actions. 2d. To be made partakers of their merits, by way of association and communion with them. 3d. To be helped by their prayers and intercession. 4th. To stir up others to imitate and follow their example. 5th. To confirm thereby the certainty of our faith in the Catholic church, seeing so many witnesses in succession dying in and for one